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Serie A: Juve lose to Cagliari; Ibra stars in Milan win

July 30, 2020 10:17 IST
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Immobile strikes in Lazio's  win, in contention for golden boot.

IMAGES from the Serie A matches played on Wednesday.

Cagliari's Luca Gagliano celebrates scoring their first goal against Juventus at Sardegna Arena, Cagliari, Italy, on Wednesday

IMAGE: Cagliari's Luca Gagliano celebrates scoring their first goal against Juventus at Sardegna Arena, Cagliari, Italy. Photograph: Alberto Lingria/Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo's hopes of finishing the season as top scorer in Italy's Serie A faded away on Wednesday as he failed to find the net when champions Juventus slumped to a shock 2-0 defeat away to Cagliari.

The 35-year-old Portuguese attacker is on 31 goals for the season, four behind Lazio's Ciro Immobile with only a home league game against fifth-placed AS Roma left to play.

Cagliari, who are 13th in the table, shocked the newly-crowned champions in the eighth minute when 20-year-old striker Luca Gagliano reacted quickest, stabbing home Federico Mattiello's pass across the box to net his first goal for the club.

 

Things went from bad to worse for Juve in first-half stoppage time as Giovanni Simeone smashed a right-foot shot across keeper Gianluigi Buffon and in at the far post to put Cagliari two goals up.

With a first-half goal chalked off for offside, Ronaldo had plenty of chances as Juve dominated, but he found his efforts smothered by the Cagliari defence.

When his team mates did manage to get a shot on target they found keeper Alessio Cragno in superb form as Cagliari held on to win.

Ibrahimovic double, Donnarumma saves penalty in Milan win

AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring against Sampdoria

IMAGE: AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring against Sampdoria at the Luigi Ferraris stadium in Genoa, Italy. Photograph: Kind courtesy AC Milan/Twitter

Veteran AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice and Gianluigi Donnarumma saved a penalty as they won 4-1 at Sampdoria on Wednesday to stay unbeaten since the Serie A season restarted.

Milan remained sixth with 63 points which will earn them a place in the Europa League second qualifying round next season, with the automatic spot in that competition going to fifth-placed AS Roma, who beat Torino 3-2 later on Wednesday.

Milan went ahead after four minutes when Ante Rebic crossed from the left and the unmarked Ibrahimovic headed past Sampdoria goalkeeper Wladimiro Falcone who was making his Serie A debut at the age of 25.

However, Falcone made a good save to deny Ibrahimovic a second goal before halftime when the Swede's shot took a deflection.

Donnarumma did well to stop a Fabio Quagliarella free kick after the break before Hakan Calhanoglu added a second in the 54th minute. The referee initially disallowed it for a foul but the goal was awarded following a VAR review.

Calhanoglu also set up the third with a pass to Ibrahimovic who scored from a narrow angle four minutes later. It was the 38-year-old Swede's ninth league goal since he returned for a second stint with Milan in January.

"I'm like Benjamin Button, I've always been young, never old," Ibrahimovic told Italian TV, referring to a character played by Brad Pitt in a 2008 movie who aged in reverse.

Donnarumma saved Gonzalo Maroni's penalty and, although Kristoffer Askildsen pulled one back for Sampdoria, Rafael Leao then added a fourth for Milan.

In Turin, Roma went behind to an Alex Berengue strike in the 14th minute, but goals from Edin Dzeko and Chris Smalling and an Amadou Diawara penalty put them 3-1 ahead after 61 minutes.

Wilfried Singo pulled a goal back for Torino but Roma held on for a 3-2 win that put them on 67 points, four ahead of Milan with one game left.

Immobile scores as Lazio beats Brescia 2-0 in race for 2nd

Lazio's Ciro Immobile and Joaquín Correa celebrate a goal against Brescia

IMAGE: Lazio's Ciro Immobile and Joaquín Correa celebrate a goal against Brescia at Rome’s Olympic Stadium. Photograph: Kind courtesy SS Lazio/Twitter

Lazio recorded a 2-0 win against already-relegated Brescia in their penultimate match of the season to stay in the race for second spot in the Serie A table.

Ciro Immobile also boosted his chances of winning the golden boot as he netted his 35th goal of the season on Wednesday, moving four clear of Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

Immobile is also just one off equaling the all-time record of 36 goals in a Serie A season, set by Gonzalo Higuain when he was at Napoli in 2015-16.

Immobile's late goal sealed the win for Lazio, which had taken the lead in the first half through Joaquín Correa.

Lazio moved level on points with Atalanta, one below second-place Inter Milan. Atalanta plays Inter in the final round of the season, when Lazio visits Napoli.

Lecce won 2-1 at Udinese to avoid drop while Genoa was routed 5-0 at Sassuolo.

Lecce remained in the bottom three but is just one point below 17th-place Genoa.

Genoa hosts Hellas Verona on the final day while Lecce welcomes Parma.

Federico Chiesa scored a hat trick to help Fiorentina beat Bologna 4-0 and Verona beat Spal 3-0.

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