Coronavirus wreaks havoc on Italian football

FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte holds a news conference at the end of the European Union leaders summit dominated by Brexit, in Brussels, Belgium October 18, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced late on Saturday evening that they would “suspend all sporting events planned for Sunday in the Veneto and Lombardy regions.” This affected four games in the Serie A programme for Sunday, the postponed games were: Torino-Parma, Atalanta-Sassuolo, Verona-Cagliari and Inter-Sampdoria.

The alarm over the spread of the Coronavirus in Italy prompted this sudden restriction on the congregation of big groups of people from zones affected by the virus.

In other games

In other games, however, Napoli completed a second-half comeback on Friday. John Chancellor opened the score to beat Brescia 2-1 with Lorenzo Insigne’s penalty and a Fabian Ruiz sensational goal. It was Brescia who scored with their first chance of the game on 27 minutes, Sandro Tonali’s corner to the near post found defender Jhon Chancellor who headed into the net from six yards. Insigne converted a penalty for the visitors 4 minutes after the restart. Napoli turned the game around with a moment of brilliance, Fabian Ruiz collected the ball on the edge of the box and curled an unstoppable left-foot shot into the far top corner.

Ronaldo marks 1000th game

In the match between bottom against the top in the Serie A, Spal hosted leaders Juventus. Cristiano Ronaldo made history in Ferrara, as his goal and an Aaron Ramsey lob pushed past struggling SPAL, despite Andrea Petagna’s penalty for the hosts. It was a momentous event for Cristiano Ronaldo, his 1,000th match as a professional football player. He also equalled the record set by Gabriel Batistuta and Fabio Quagliarella having scored for the 11th consecutive Serie A game. Lazio’s Ciro Immobile became the first player in 61 years to reach 27 goals in 25 matches in Serie A.

Lazio moved back within one point of leaders Juventus with a hard-fought 3 – 2 victory away at strugglers Genoa. The team took the lead 2 minutes into the game through Adam Marusic. Lazio went into the second half on the offensive, as Immobile found the back of the net from 12 yards. Genoa got back into it with a superb strike from Francesco Cassata six minutes later. Lazio then again stretched their lead with a Cataldi free-kick, curled over the wall and into the net. Genoa set up an exciting finale as they made it 3-2 with Domenico Criscito’s penalty one minute from time.