Barella winner sends Inter Milan top of Serie A
Milan (AFP) –
Nicolo Barella scored his first league goal for Inter Milan in a 2-1 win over Verona which put Antonio Conte's side top of Serie A on Saturday.
The former Cagliari forward's curling effort seven minutes from time allowed Inter to overtake defending champions Juventus.
Inter have 31 points from 12 games, two points ahead of Juve, who host 13th-placed AC Milan in Turin on Sunday.
Conte had been furious after his side threw away a two-goal lead to fall to a 3-2 Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund in Germany midweek.
And they got off to the worst possible start when Valerio Verre put Verona ahead from the spot on 19 mintues afer Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic tripped Mattia Zaccagni.
Goalkeeper Marco Silvestri and the Verona defence held off Inter at the San Siro before Matias Vecino broke through sending in off a Valentino Lazaro cross on 65 minutes.
But Barella grabbed the winner with a superb curling effort on 83 minutes whipping off his jersey as he celebrated wildly with his teammates.
It was his second goal since joining Inter last summer having scored the equaliser in a 1-1 Champions League draw to Slavia Prague as Verona drop to ninth place with the defeat.
Later, Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli, in seventh after three league defeants without a win, host 17th-placed Genoa.
In Turin, Andrea Belotti converted a pair of penalties with Alex Berenguer bagging a brace of his own to get Torino back to winning ways with a 4-0 romp over ten-man Brescia.
Torino snapped their six-match winless run and inflicted a first defeat on new Brescia coach Fabio Grosso whose side are second from bottom in the Serie A table.
Belotti got Torino off the mark after 17 minutes with a penalty awarded after a Simone Verdi free kick bounced off Brescia defender Andrea Cistana's arm.
The second came on 26 minutes when Czech defender Ales Mateju was deemed to have used his arm to block a Belotti shot on goal after a VAR review.
Belotti again slotted in to bring his tally to seven Serie A goals this season.
Brescia were reduced to ten men before the break when Mateju was sent off for a second yellow card for fouling Belotti.
A man down, Grosso substituted Brescia forward Mario Balotelli by defender Bruno Martella after the break.
Jesse Joronen denied Belotti a hat-trick before Berenguer broke through and fired past the Finnish keeper on 75 minutes.
And five minutes later Berenguer added a third when he picked up a Diego Laxalt cross to slot in his second goal this season.
Brescia, with a game in hand, fell to their fourth consecutive defeat with their winless run now stretching back seven games.
Torino's first win since September 26 puts them 11th with 14 points from 12 games.
© 2019 AFP