Juve ease pressure with Bologna win, Atalanta keep pace with leaders Napoli
MILAN, Oct 3, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - Juventus swept aside Bologna 3-0 on Sunday to ease their recent troubles as Atalanta continued their dream start to the Serie A season with a 1-0 win over Fiorentina which kept them level on points with leaders Napoli.
A routine third league win of the season against dismal opposition will stave off questions about coach Massimiliano Allegri's future until at least next weekend, when they travel to champions AC Milan.
They are seventh, seven points behind the leading duo of Napoli and Atalanta thanks to Filip Kostic's first goal for the club midway through the first half and two more after the break from strike pairing Dusan Vlahovic and Arkadiusz Milik.
"We hadn't won a game for a month, when we got back to the dressing room we almost couldn't believe it," said Allegri to DAZN.
"We have to take it one step at a time, hopefully we can close the gap like we did last season."
Before facing Milan they host Maccabi Haifa on Wednesday with a win over the Israelis essential for their hopes of reaching the Champions League's knockout rounds.
Fans of Italy's biggest club are not filling the Allianz Stadium in Turin and they will not be won over by a home win over Bologna, who are one point above the relegation zone and have shown no signs of improvement since replacing Sinisa Mihajlovic with Thiago Motta earlier this month.
However Juve did at least have a goal threat, and will be cheered both by Vlahovic scoring his first league goal since August and the continued good form of Milik, who lashed in his fourth goal in seven matches since arriving from Marseille.
It was a one-way end to an eventful day in which Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi made history as the first woman to referee a game in Italy's top flight, Sassuolo's 5-0 thumping of Salernitana.
Sampdoria sacked coach Marco Giampaolo following their 3-0 humilation at the hands of Monza -- who leapt out of the drop zone -- and Fiorentina demanded government action over offensive chants directed at their owner Rocco Commisso by Atalanta fans.
- Atalanta keep pace -
While Fiorentina raged at fans mocking Commisso's southern Italian origins, unbeaten Atalanta celebrated thanks to Ademola Lookman, who tapped in the winner from Luis Muriel's cross in the 59th minute in Bergamo.
Gian Piero Gasperini's side trail Napoli on goal difference and are three points ahead of both third-placed Lazio -- 4-0 winners over Spezia earlier on Sunday -- and AC Milan.
"I'm just happy to do it in front of our home fans today. When I scored the stadium was rocking so I was very pleased," Lookman told DAZN.
It was a fifth clean sheet in eight league matches for Atalanta, who are less flamboyant than they have been in recent years but now have a solidity which has made them extremely hard to beat.
There were a few nervy moments against Fiorentina, who are 11th after their third defeat of the campaign, after failing to capitalise on good opportunities after taking the lead.
Joakim Maehle should have made it two in the 67th minute when he fluffed a one-on-one with Pietro Terracciano, and shortly afterwards Lookman was denied a brace by superb defending from Lucas Martinez Quarta.
- Caputi makes history -
Ferrieri Caputi had one moment of controversy in her Serie A officiating debut at eighth-placed Sassuolo, giving the penalty from which Andrea Pinamonti put the hosts two goals ahead six minutes before half-time.
Armand Lauriente had already scored his first Serie A goal in the 12th minute when she whistled for what Salernitana thought was a soft foul on Emil Ceide by Giulio Maggiore.
Kristian Thorstvedt, who had laid on Lauriente's opener, then swept home the third in the 53rd minute after rapid counter led by Agustin Alvarez Martinez.
Abdou Harroui made it four with 14 minutes remaining before Janis Antiste rolled in a low finish to complete the rout in stoppage time.