Sensi strike helps Inter pip Udinese; Atalanta down Genoa - GulfToday

Sensi strike helps Inter pip Udinese; Atalanta down Genoa

Stefano-Sensi

Inter Milan’s Stefano Sensi reacts after scoring a goal against Udinese during their Italian League match on Saturday. Agence France-Presse

Milan: Inter Milan reclaimed top spot in Serie A after a 1-0 win over 10-man Udinese on Saturday as Juventus lost three players to injury in a painful goalless draw at Fiorentina to complicate preparations for Champions League opener.

Stefano Sensi’s diving header was enough to seal a maximum nine points for Antonio Conte’s Inter ahead of their European opener against Slavia Prague in the San Siro next Tuesday.

But as Maurizio Sarri made his debut on the Juventus bench after recovering from pneumonia, the Italian champions showed signs of weakness four days before their trip to Atletico Madrid.

Juventus are trailing two points behind Inter Milan after three games and could be overtaken by city rivals Torino who host promoted Lecce on Monday.

Napoli meanwhile warmed up for European holders Liverpool on Tuesday with a Dries Mertens double sealing a 2-0 win over crisis club Sampdoria, to move up to fourth in the table.

In the San Siro, Udinese played an hour a man down after Rodrigo de Paul saw red for slapping Antonio Candreva.

Sensi broke through just before the break getting his head to a cross from fellow newcomer Diego Godin.

Former Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez came on for the final ten minutes, and was denied his first goal by Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso.

Napoli played their first home game after renovations carried out to their San Paolo Stadium.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo provided the cross for Mertens to tap in after 13 minutes.

New signing Fernando Llorente made his debut and the former Tottenham player had an immediate impact, sending the ball back to Mertens who finished off for a 67th-minute goal which took a slight deflection off Sampdoria defender Alex Ferrari.

Meanwhile, Duvan Zapata struck deep into injury time to rescue a 2-1 win for Atalanta over Genoa on Sunday ahead of his side’s Champions League debut.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s side had lost last week to Torino and are now fifth, three points behind leaders Inter Milan, before they travel to Dinamo Zagreb for their first ever Champions League game next week. For Genoa it was first defeat this season after holding Roma 3-3 and beating Fiorentina 2-1.

Cagliari’s Luca Ceppitelli hit an opening brace for a 3-1 win at Parma, and Alfredo Donnarumma also struck twice for 10-man Brescia in an intense 4-3 home crash to Bologna.

Agencies