Talking points from the Serie A weekend

Genoa’s Luca Pellegrini in action with Juventus’ Paulo Dybala at the Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, Italy, December 13, 2020. — Reuters pic
Genoa’s Luca Pellegrini in action with Juventus’ Paulo Dybala at the Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, Italy, December 13, 2020. — Reuters pic

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LONDON, Dec 14 — Talking points from the weekend’s Serie A matches:

Dybala up and running

It has been a frustrating campaign for Paulo Dybala to date, with injuries and struggles in front of goal seeing his game-time limited for Juventus.

However, Dybala finally got off the mark, scoring his first league goal of the season to set Juventus on their way to a 3-1 with at Genoa yesterday.

“Dybala needed the goal to unblock himself mentally and physically,” Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo said. “We’ve been waiting for this and now we expect even more from him.”

Five years after joining Juventus, the talented Argentine has yet to hit top gear for a prolonged period, but Dybala insisted talk of a move away is wide of the mark.

“So many things that aren’t true have been said in relation to my contract,” Dybala told Sky Sports after the Genoa win.

“It would be better if the truth could be told, with all the love I have for Juventus.”

Inter win but struggles continue

After being dumped out of the Champions League in midweek, finishing bottom of their group, Inter Milan needed a victory over Cagliari yesterday to ease the pressure on manager Antonio Conte.

They got just that, earning their fourth successive league win with a 3-1 success, but Inter needed to come from behind having been frustrated for much of the contest, scoring three goals in the last 15 minutes to pick up three points.

“You could feel the after-effects of the Champions League match in the players’ heads and legs, but the team gave a great response,” said Conte.

The result was the most important, with Inter second in the standings, three points behind leaders AC Milan, but another far from convincing performance will not silence the Conte doubters.

AC Milan dig deep to stay unbeaten

It looked that at long last AC Milan’s long unbeaten league run, stretching back to March, was about to finally come to an end yesterday.

Milan hit the woodwork four times and also had a first-half goal disallowed while Parma scored from two of their three shots on target to race into a 2-0 lead at the San Siro.

But Stefano Pioli’s side refused to give in and two goals from Theo Hernandez ensured Milan remain the only unbeaten side in Europe’s top five leagues since the first Covid-19 lockdown between March and April. — Reuters

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