Juventus had no fans to celebrate their goals in front ofJuventus beat Inter Milan to go top of the Serie A table – in a surreal match behind closed doors because of coronavirus.One of the biggest games of the Italian season took place with no fans, with all sport in Italy being played in empty…
Juventus beat Inter Milan to go top of the Serie A table – in a surreal match behind closed doors because of coronavirus.
One of the biggest games of the Italian season took place with no fans, with all sport in Italy being played in empty grounds until 3 April at least.
Some 366 people in Italy have died of coronavirus, with 7,375 infected.
Aaron Ramsey and Paulo Dybala scored the goals to take Juve one point above Lazio at the top of the table.
Wales midfielder Ramsey pounced onto a loose ball before rifling home the opener and Dybala scored a classy second – from Ramsey’s pass – with some nice footwork to dummy Ashley Young before poking home.
Inter’s title challenge is likely to be over as they now sit nine points behind Juventus.
Cristiano Ronaldo – who pretended to high-five where fans would have been standing on the way into the stadium – failed to score for the first time in Serie A since 10 November.
His 11-game league scoring streak is a joint record with Gabriel Batistuta and Fabio Quagliarella.
Inter substitute Daniele Padelli was sent off from the bench for dissent in the second half.
In an atmosphere akin to a training session, television viewers could hear the ball being kicked and the shouts of players and coaches.
Media, support staff, security, ground staff and club senior executives were allowed into the Allianz Stadium, but no fans or family members of the players. Everyone had their temperature checked before being allowed in.
Up to 16 million people in Lombardy – the region where Milan is – and 14 provinces need special permission to travel under new quarantine rules.
There is a growing expectation that Premier League matches in England may have to played behind closed doors within the next two weeks, depending on government advice.
Italy’s sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora accused Serie A of being “irresponsible” for ignoring his calls for football to be suspended because of coronavirus.
He said it “makes no sense” for football to continue after up to 16 million people were placed in quarantine in Italy in a bid to contain the spread of the virus – but this weekend’s games all took place behind closed doors.
Parma’s game against SPAL earlier on Sunday kicked off 75 minutes late as they awaited a decision on whether the game would happen after Spadafora’s comments.