Juventus and Bologna Stumble in Champions League Race

Juventus and Bologna Stumble in Champions League Race

Juventus and Bologna’s Champions League aspirations suffered setbacks on Saturday as they were held to goalless draws by Torino and Monza, respectively. The Turin derby stalemate and Bologna’s second consecutive draw leave Juve four points ahead of their rivals in the race for a top-four finish.

Despite Italy’s strong performances in European competitions this season, securing an additional Champions League spot for Serie A next year, Juve’s recent form has been concerning. Massimiliano Allegri’s side has won only twice in their last 11 matches and now trail Inter Milan by 19 points in the title race.

“We haven’t obtained our goals yet… it’s a football goal for those of us involved with the team but an economic one for the club,” said Allegri, whose team missed out on European football last year due to a points deduction.

Juve failed to capitalize on their chances against Torino, with Dusan Vlahovic hitting the post in the opening minutes and being denied by Vanja Milinkovic-Savic later in the game. Torino also had a goal ruled out for a foul, leaving them in ninth place.

Bologna’s hopes of a historic Champions League debut were also dented by Monza. The Rossoblu have not played in Europe’s top club competition since 1964, but their recent form has been disappointing.

Meanwhile, Roma can move within a point of Bologna with a win at Udinese on Sunday. The Giallorossi are in fifth place and boosted by their first-leg victory over AC Milan in the Europa League quarter-finals.

In other Serie A action, Nicola Sansone’s late strike gave Lecce a crucial 1-0 win over Empoli. The victory lifts Lecce six points clear of the relegation zone.

Inter Milan Extend Serie A Lead to 18 Points with Bologna Win

Inter Milan Extend Serie A Lead to 18 Points with Bologna Win

Inter Milan’s relentless march towards the Serie A title continued on Saturday with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at in-form Bologna. The win extended Inter’s massive league lead to 18 points, making the championship a virtual certainty.

Yann Bisseck’s headed goal in the 37th minute proved to be the difference in a tight contest at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara. The German defender’s second goal of the season extended Inter’s all-competitions winning streak to 13 matches, emphasizing their dominance in the league.

“This is one of the most difficult places to play… beating Bologna is not easy. We gave everything,” said Nicolo Barella to DAZN. “Who knows how soon we can win it (the league), it depends on the other teams. It’s difficult for those chasing us, let’s hope it stays difficult for them.”

Second-placed Juventus have a chance to reduce the gap when they host Atalanta on Sunday. However, with the title race effectively over, Atalanta will have more to play for as they battle Bologna for a spot in next season’s Champions League.

Bologna’s defeat snapped a six-match winning streak and opened the door for other teams aiming for the top four. Atalanta are five points off Bologna in sixth, while Roma can move to within one point with a win at Fiorentina on Sunday.

Despite Bologna’s impressive season, they were unable to find a way past Yann Sommer in goal. “You can’t concede in the way we did because once you’re behind against a team like Inter, they know how to manage the game,” said Bologna coach Thiago Motta.

Inter now turn their attention to the Champions League, where they defend a 1-0 lead against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday. “It will be a great match, the Champions League is possibly the best competition and we need to stay in it as long as we can,” said Barella.

In other Serie A action, Cagliari moved out of the relegation zone with a thrilling 4-2 win over Salernitana, who continued to slide towards the drop. Sassuolo also picked up their first win under new coach Davide Ballardini, defeating Frosinone 1-0.

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