Serie A: Napoli Delays Juventus’ Coronation

Cristiano Ronaldo (centre) celebrates with his Juventus teammate

Defending champions, Juventus will have to wait till next weekend to claim the eight Serie A title after rivals, Napoli battled to a 1-1 scoreless against visiting Genoa last night.

A loss at home would have handed the Italian Giants its eight consecutive title but will have a delay till next week if they win their next match.

In other matches played yesterday, Inter Milan were held to a goalless draw by Champions League rivals Atalanta but still retained its third position on the log with 57 points while city rivals, AC Milan are fourth with distant 52 points but are tied on points with Atalanta.

Atalanta – without suspended star striker Duvan Zapata – missed the chance to move fourth and into the Champions League berths at the expense of AC Milan who fell 2-1 at Juventus on Saturday.

Bergamo side Atalanta are equal on points with Milan but behind in fifth position on goal difference.

Juventus will claim an eighth Serie A title – with a record seven games to spare – if second-placed Napoli slip up at their San Paulo Stadium.

The Turin giants have a 21-point advantage on Napoli and have won both their direct clashes with Carlo Ancelotti’s side this season.

In Milan, Icardi returned to the San Siro for the first time since a defeat to Bologna on February 3, and was greeted with a mixture of whistles and cheers from the home crowd.

The Argentina striker had scored on his return at Genoa last weekend after six weeks out after being stripped of the captaincy over a contract dispute.

Teammate Matias Vecino thought he had scored minutes into the game but the goal was disallowed for offside, with Icardi also denied early.

Atalanta missed Colombian ace Zapata, who has scored 20 times this season, as he sat out the game after his yellow card in a 4-1 win over Bologna last Thursday.

The visitors best chance came after 48 minutes when Alejandro Gomez failed to connect with a great Josep Ilicic cross in front of the goalmouth.

Claudio Ranieri’s Roma, meanwhile, are back in the Europa League places after a 1-0 win over Sampdoria on Saturday and are now just a point off the Champions League places.

City rivals Lazio were held 2-2 at home against Sassuolo and are two points behind in seventh, but have a game in hand.

Senad Lulic grabbed a point for Lazio five minutes into injury time, to rescue a draw after their midweek defeat to lowly SPAL.

In Florence, substitute Daniel Ciofani grabbed a late win for second-from-bottom Frosinone to crush Fiorentina’s Europa League hopes.

Ciofani fired in the winner six minutes from time to gave the promoted side from outside Rome consecutive wins for the first time.

Fiorentina drop to 12 points off the Europa League berths.

Elsewhere ten-man Udinese held on for a 3-2 win over relegation rivals Empoli.