Lazio beats Juventus to take control of Serie A top 4 race

Lazio players celebrate their victory after the Italian Serie A soccer match between Lazio and Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico stadium in Rome, Italy, Saturday, April 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Second-placed Lazio took control of a tight Serie A battle for the Champions League qualifying places after beating Juventus 2-1 on Saturday.

Mattia Zaccagni scored what was to prove the winner early in the second half after Adrien Rabiot canceled out Sergej Milinković-Savić’s controversial opener.

Lazio moved five points clear of third-placed Roma, which won at Torino 1-0. Lazio was six points ahead of AC Milan and seven ahead of fifth-placed Inter Milan after they dropped points on Friday.

Juventus — hit by a 15-point penalty in January — was seventh, eight points below Milan.

Despite its point deduction, Juventus closed in on the top four with a run of seven wins in eight matches.

Lazio broke their deadlock in the 38th minute when Milinković-Savić chested down a pass from Zaccagni and fired into the back of the net.

There were lengthy Juventus protests as Milinković-Savić had one hand on Alex Sandro’s back as they went for the ball and the defender went sprawling. But the goal was given after a check by the VAR much to the Bianconeri’s disgust.

That appeared to motivate them even more as they levelled just four minutes later. A corner was floated in and Ivan Provedel parried Bremer’s header but Rabiot turned home the rebound at the third try after the Lazio goalkeeper kept out the first two attempts.

Lazio restored its advantage eight minutes into the second half with a fine team goal. Luis Alberto flicked on Felipe Anderson’s cross with a backheel for Zaccagni to sweep across into the bottom right corner.


Atalanta’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League took a blow when it lost at home to Bologna 2-0.

Nicola Sansone and Riccardo Orsolini scored in the second half to lift Bologna up to eighth, five points below sixth-placed Atalanta.

Atalanta dominated possession but struggled to carve out goal-scoring opportunities.

Sansone broke the deadlock four minutes after the break when he curled into the far side of the net after being set up by Musa Barrow.

Orsolini thought he doubled Bologna’s lead 10 minutes from time and celebrated by taking his shirt off but the goal was ruled out for offside and the forward was shown a yellow card. He will be suspended for next weekend’s match against AC Milan.

He did score six minutes later, cutting inside from the right and firing into the bottom far corner.


Paulo Dybala converted a penalty for the second straight match to help Roma prevail in Turin.

Dybala sent his spot kick straight down the middle to give Roma an eighth-minute lead after Torino defender Perr Schuurs blocked a Nicola Zalewski shot with his arm.

Dybala also nailed a penalty last weekend in a win over Sampdoria.

Torino almost equalized immediately after the break but Roma goalkeeper Rui Patrício did well to fingertip Aleksej Miranchuk’s header around his left post.


Two late goals saw relegation-threatened Hellas Verona snatch a 2-1 win over Sassuolo to give it real hope of avoiding the drop.

Federico Ceccherini leveled with six minutes remaining and fellow substitute Adolfo Gaich netted in stoppage time after a goalkeeping error.

Verona moved to within four points of safety after 17th-placed Spezia drew at Fiorentina 1-1, thwarting its opponent’s hopes of a record 10th straight victory in all competitions.

Earlier, Leonardo Sernicola struck in stoppage time to help Cremonese fight back to win at Sampdoria 3-2 in a battle between sides at the foot of Serie A.

Sampdoria replaced Cremonese in last place, 11 points from safety.

Udinese also scored in added time, with a penalty, to draw with Monza 2-2.