Inter Milan on leaders’ heels after Venezia win, Zapata sinks troubled Juventus

DailyTimes  |  Nov 29, 2021

MILAN: Inter Milan moved to within one point of the Serie A summit on Saturday thanks to a 2-0 win over Venezia, while Duvan Zapata piled on the misery for Juventus who are reeling from a probe into their accounts. Hakan Calhanoglu continued his fine recent form in the 34th minute when he collected the ball and fizzed the opening goal through a crowd of players, and Lautaro Martinez added the second from the penalty spot deep in stoppage time. Inter have won seven of their last nine matches in all competitions ––– drawing the other two ––– and are on a high after ensuring passage to the Champions League last 16 after a decade away midweek. It was another composed display from the champions which puts them right on the heels of league leaders Napoli and AC Milan, who are level on 32 points and both play on Sunday. Inter only had one real scare when Samir Handanovic, who saved Inter with a miracle save in last weekend’s win over Napoli, had to be at full stretch to tip over Mattia Aramu’s long-range drive. Promoted Venezia meanwhile stay six points above the relegation zone in 15th.

Zapata sinks Juventus: Atalanta strengthened their hold on fourth place and Serie A’s final Champions League spot thanks to Colombian Zapata’s seventh goal in as many games in all competitions in the 28th minute in Turin. Atalanta are six points ahead of their closest rivals for fourth spot Roma, who host Torino on Sunday, while Juve sit a further point back in eighth after the latest uninspiring display which led to them being whistled off by furious fans who watched their team lose for the fifth time this league season. Massimiliano Allegri’s Juve have only scored 18 goals in their 14 league matches, the lowest total in Serie A’s top 10, and rarely looked like pegging back Atalanta until Paulo Dybala clipped a free-kick off the crossbar in stoppage time. Juve’s defeat comes after a difficult week in which they were humiliated by European champions Chelsea on Tuesday and then had police search their offices on Friday as part of a probe into suspicious player transfers.

Transfer probe: Juve confirmed late on Saturday that chairman Andrea Agnelli was among the current and former directors under investigation for “false accounting” and “issuance of invoices or other documents for non-existent transactions”. Prosecutors in Turin had announced on Friday the police search over what Sky Sport Italia report are some 282 million euros ($319.2 million) of suspect capital gains from transfer deals. Last month the Italian Football Federation had launched an investigation into the alleged inflating of the value of certain players for accounting purposes, or using player exchanges to help balance the books.

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