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FOOTBALL

Roma stun Juve as Chievo crush Lazio

Juventus's early season woes continued on Sunday with a 2-1 defeat to scudetto rivals Roma as Chievo went top of Serie A with a resounding 4-0 win over Lazio.

Roma stun Juve as Chievo crush Lazio
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has called for fans' patience as new recruits settled in. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

A week after being stunned at home by Udinese, Juventus, the Italian champions and beaten Champions League finalists, suffered a second straight league defeat at the start of the season for the first time in their history.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri has called for fans' patience as several new recruits, notably Carlos Tevez's replacement Mario Mandzukic, settle in at the club.

But the 48-year-old Italian suggested the Turin giants, only a few months after a fairytale end to a double-winning season, have yet to focus fully on the job of defending their fourth consecutive title.

“I'm not worried, but we have to change something, namely our mental approach,” said Allegri, whose side has undergone several changes since last season.

In a later tweet, Allegri added that Juventus have to “work to fix the things that are not working, get the new lads settled and don't cry about it: let's get back on top quickly!”

Runners-up to Juventus the past two seasons, Roma raced into a 2-0 lead with 11 minutes to play thanks to Bosnia pair Miralem Pjanic and Edin Dzeko after Juventus had been reduced to 10 men following Patrice Evra's sending-off.

The champions, who sit 17th, pulled a consolation goal back, their first of the league season, through Paulo Dybala in the final minutes.

But Roma were dominant throughout and fully deserved beating Juventus in the league for the first time since Francesco Totti sealed a 1-0 win in February 2013.

“We dominated them so we're looking at the glass half-full, but we went to sleep at the end and gave them a really soft goal,” Roma captain Daniele De Rossi told Sky Sport.

“But I think we played incredibly. You can't forget, Juventus were challenging for the Champions League (in the final) a few months ago.”

Despondent Lazio

Having slipped to a 1-1 draw at Verona last week, Roma emerged among Serie A's high-flyers on a day that produced more than a few surprises.

Lazio, whose Champions League group stage hopes were ended midweek in the play-off by Bayer Leverkusen, looked despondent as Chievo ran riot at their Bentegodi stadium.

Riccardo Meggiorino's opener took a deflection before bobbling past Lazio goalkeeper Etrit Berisha on 12 minutes, but his next trick was far more impressive.

As a cross from the left was swept beyond the far post, Meggiorini somehow got his heel to the ball and knocked it back in towards Alberto Paloschi, who beat Berisha with a firm header from close range.

Former AC Milan forward Walter Birsa all but wrapped up the points for the hosts on the stroke of half-time when he curled the perfect free kick into Berisha's top right-hand corner.

Paloschi, another ex-Milan forward, had his second of the night just after the hour mark as Lazio crumbled.

“The lads fully deserved the win, but that doesn't mean it was easy,” said Chievo coach Rolando Maran.

On-loan Manchester City forward Stevan Jovetic, meanwhile, took his goals tally at Inter Milan to three from two games as the Nerazzurri chalked up a second successive win, 2-1 at new boys Carpi.

Gonzalo Higuain opened his account this season with a first half brace as Napoli raced to a 2-0 lead at home to Sampdoria.

But an Eder penalty on the hour reduced the arrears and the Brazil-born Italy international levelled the match just a minute later as Napoli settled for their first point of the campaign.

In Turin, Fiorentina were given a 10th minute lead by Marco Alonso but two goals in the space of two minutes from Emiliano Moretti and Fabio Quagliarella turned the match on its head.

Torino sealed the points with their third on 77 minutes, thanks to Daniele Baselli's crisp shot from inside the area to move up to second.

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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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