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FOOTBALL

Title party on hold as Juve suffer derby defeat

Juventus will have to wait at least a few more days before they can celebrate winning a fourth consecutive Serie A title as Massimiliano Allegri's side lost 2-1 to city rivals Torino on Sunday.

Title party on hold as Juve suffer derby defeat
uventus' players at the end of the Italian Serie A match against Torino. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Fresh from winning through to their first Champions League semi-final in 12 years after beating Monaco in midweek, Juve took their eye off the ball domestically and suffered a second defeat in three Serie A matches.

"All we had to do is be patient," Allegri said after Juve's first derby loss in 20 years.

"We were ahead, why would we run after that second goal? They had to open up and go for it. We had to force our nature when we shouldn't have.

"We didn't lose because of defensive mistakes. We lost because of the match management."

Andrea Pirlo put the visitors in front at the Stadio Olimpico with a trademark free-kick that went in off the bar 10 minutes before half-time, but Torino produced a tremendous fightback to claim a first win in the city derby
since 1995.

Fabio Quagliarella was the hero for the Granata against the club he left last summer as he set up Matteo Darmian to equalise just before half-time and then netted what proved to be the winner from close range 12 minutes into the second half.

In any case, even a win for Juve would not have been enough to clinch the title with six games to spare as second-placed Lazio drew 1-1 with Chievo at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

The veteran Miroslav Klose put Lazio ahead on the stroke of half-time only for Alberto Paloschi to volley the visitors level with quarter of an hour remaining in the capital.

Lazio are 14 points behind Juventus in second place, and a win at home to bottom club Parma on Wednesday will force the leaders to wait even longer before wrapping up the scudetto.

However, if they slip up at all, Juventus will secure the title with a win at home to Fiorentina.

Lazio are a point clear of rivals Roma in the chase for Champions League qualification after Rudi Garcia's men continued their poor second half to the season by losing 2-1 to Inter at the San Siro on Tuesday.

Europa League semi-finalists Napoli closed the gap on Roma in third to just two points with a convincing 4-2 home win over Sampdoria, who are fifth, later on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Parma earned themselves a reprieve from relegation for now after Antonio Nocerino's first-half penalty secured a 1-0 win at home to Palermo.

Genoa remain in the running for a Europa League place after defeating relegation-threatened Cesena 3-1 while Luca Toni scored twice in Verona's 3-2 win at home to Sassuolo and German Denis netted in stoppage time to secure a 2-2 draw for Atalanta at home to Empoli.

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FOOTBALL

Euro 2020: Concern about virus spread after Italy players’ ‘unauthorised’ victory parade through Rome

Italy’s national football team reportedly insisted on taking an open-top bus tour through Rome to show off their European Championship trophy to crowds of fans - despite city authorities forbidding it amid concern about the spread of coronavirus.

Euro 2020: Concern about virus spread after Italy players' ‘unauthorised’ victory parade through Rome
Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

The team’s bus parade through the city on Monday night following their Euro 2020 triumph “was not authorised”, according to Matteo Piantedosi the head of Rome’s prefettura (the public safety authority).

Thousands of fans packed the streets of central Rome to see the team celebrate their cup win after beating England on penalties in the final.

READ ALSO: ‘Football came home’: Italy celebrates Euro 2020 victory over England

Piantedosi told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Wednesday: “We had denied permission to celebrate Italy’s victory in the European Championships on the open bus, but the pact was not respected.”

Piantedosi, who is Rome’s top public security official, said police had “no choice” but to let the parade go ahead after players Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci insisted on it.

Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

A meeting had been held on Friday with the Italian football federation (FIGC) to discuss plans for the celebrations if Italy won, said Piantedosi.

“I had agreed the line with Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese and Chief of Police Lamberto Giannini,” he said.

“It was clearly explained that [the parade] was not possible. We said we could not authorize it.”

Piantedosi said the Italian football federation (FIGC) initially agreed to hold a “controlled” ceremony in Rome’s central Piazza del Popolo instead of the parade.

After players insisted on the bus tour on Monday however, Piantedosi said, authorities reluctantly let them go ahead due to fears of sparking public disorder.

“At that point we had no choice but to acknowledge the situation and handle it in the best way we could,” he said.

READ ALSO: Covid cases on the rise in Europe once again as WHO warns of Euro 2020 risk

Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

In a statement on Wednesday, the FIGC said it had acted responsibly but decided not to disappoint fans who had come to celebrate with the team.

Footage of large crowds thronging the bus carrying the ‘Azzurri’ and the European Championship trophy through the capital however fuelled concerns about new outbreaks of coronavirus, after Italy’s infection rate began to rise again last week.

The World Health Organization warned earlier this month that crowds and gatherings connected to football matches will fuel a new rise in cases across Europe this summer.

READ ALSO: Delta variant in Italy will be ‘prevalent within 10 days’: health official

Italy’s health minister Roberto Speranza also voiced concerns on Monday about the consequences of people gathering to watch sporting events.

He said the European football championship win was “a great joy after terrible months,” but “even in these moments of national pride we can’t forget that our ‘game’ to defeat Covid is not yet won.”

There are currently minimal health restrictions in place across Italy, however masks are supposed to be worn in crowded public places, including outdoors.

“Footage shows that police were virtually the only ones [in the crowd] wearing masks,” said Piantedosi.

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