With Napoli losing to Inter 24 hours earlier, Juventus moved nine points clear at the top of the Serie A standings with their 4-0 destruction of Palermo on Sunday. While the excellent result all but assures Juve of their fifth consecutive Scudetto, it came at a cost as midfielder Claudio Marchisio suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament just 15 minutes into the match.
Marchisio’s ACL is a blow to Juventus, who will be without the influential box-to-box midfielder for the remainder of the season, including the Coppa Italia final against AC Milan next month. Marchisio, 30, will also be unable to represent Italy in this summer’s Euros in France.
Sami Khedira had opened the scoring for Juve just five minutes prior to Marchisio going down injured. Paul Pogba doubled the advantage on the half-hour mark, while Juan Cuadrado and Simone Padoin completed the route with a goal each in the second half.
The win was Juve’s seventh consecutive in Serie A and brought them that much closer to a fifth consecutive Serie A title – a feat the Turin club last achieved in 1935.
Napoli’s Title Hopes Fade with Inter Loss
Napoli missed out on the opportunity to keep pace with the leaders one day earlier, when they lost 2-0 to Internazionale Milan away at the San Siro. The Azzurri had responded well to the suspension of leading scorer, Gonzalo Higuain, registering a win over Verona the previous weekend.
They took to the field against Inter with the faintest hopes of overhauling Juve for the title still alive, however, Roberto Mancini’s Inter had different ideas.
Unanswered goals from striker Mauro Icardi and midfielder Marcelo Brozovic saw the Nerazzurri move to within four points of third-place Roma. The dominant display in front of the home crowd at the San Siro puts Inter within striking distance of a spot in next season’s Champions League.
Brocchi Oversees AC Milan Win in First Game in Charge
Elsewhere, newly appointed AC Milan manager Christian Brocchi started off his tenure on the right foot with a 1-0 win away at Sampdoria on Sunday. The former youth team boss was promoted to the first team this week, following the dismissal of Serbian manager Sinisa Mihajlovic.
It took just a single goal from Carlos Bacca to secure all three points and to snap Milan’s five-game winless streak. The result sees the Rossoneri consolidate their hold on sixth place, although the seven-time European champions are still seven points off the pace for a spot in Europe’s second-tier competition, the Europa League.