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Juve, Napoli and Roma all win in first Seria A weekend

The top three from last year's campaign all won their opening round of matches.

Juve, Napoli and Roma all win in first Seria A weekend
Juventus Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo in action against Chievo on Saturday August 18th. Photo: Isabella Bonotto/AFP.

A late Edin Dzeko stunner got AS Roma off the mark in their Serie A campaign at Torino on Sunday but Inter Milan made the worst possible start with a 1-0 loss at Sassuolo.

Champions Juventus, with new superstar signing Cristiano Ronaldo making his debut, won 3-2 at Chievo on Saturday with runners-up Napoli coming back to win 2-1 at Lazio.

But Inter Milan — fourth last season — suffered an early upset after Domenico Berardi slotted in a 27th-minute penalty to give all three points to their rivals from Modena. 

“This has complicated everything,” said Inter coach Luciano Spalletti. “Sassuolo did well on the counter-attack, they were compact without giving anything. We lost the game because of a penalty and Sassuolo didn't create many chances.”

Sassuolo dominated the first half, earning a penalty when Joao Mario brought down Federico Di Francesco in the penalty area. Inter Milan's top scorer last season Mauro Icardi came close twice, with Croatian Ivan Perisic also sending the ball over the top in the second half.

Earlier Roma's only goal came one minute from time following spectacular play by new Dutch signing Justin Kluivert, son of former Barcelona striker Patrick Kluivert. The 19-year-old came on as a second-half substitute, running down the right flank, dribbling past past three players to provide the crucial cross which Dzeko lashed into the far top corner.

“It was a great cross, and I scored even better goal!” Dzeko joked. “Last year I scored one that was maybe a bit better (against Chelsea), but this is among the best three.

“I saw Kluivert on the right and hoped he would cross it to the back post, which is fortunately what he did. He definitely changed the game.”

Venezuelan Tomas Rincon had Torino's best chance as he rattled the crossbar on 39 minutes. Iago Falque thought he had scored for the hosts three minutes after the break but his attempt was ruled offside after a look at the VAR.

Former Paris Saint Germain player Javier Pastore missed a number of chances against his former teammate Salvatore Sirigu in the Torino goal. Lorenzo De Silvestri limped off after a knock and allowed Ola Aina to also get his first Serie A game just days after arriving on loan from Chelsea, with new Roma goalkeeper Robin Olsen making several saves.

“Edin maybe misses the easiest goals, but has accustomed us to these feats,” said Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco. “In the second half we suffered, I put Kluivert on to give a little freshness. He has important qualities, today he has shown it.”

Parma – returning to the top flight after bankruptcy and three consecutive promotions –threw away a two-goal being held 2-2 at home after Udinese scored two goals in four minutes in the second half.

Empoli returned to the top flight with a 2-0 win at home against Cagliari as SPAL won their local derby at 10-man Bologna 1-0.

The opening round of matches involving both Genoa teams were postponed because of the bridge collapse in the port city. Sampdoria had been due to host Fiorentina and Genoa to travel to AC Milan.

READ MORE: Flurry of deals completed in Italy's Seria A on eve of deadline day

SPORT

PHOTOS: Italy’s most memorable medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

The Tokyo Olympics were Italy's best Games yet, with Italian athletes taking home more medals than ever before. Here are the highlights.

PHOTOS: Italy’s most memorable medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs and Gianmarco Tamberi celebrate after winning golds in the 100m sprint and high jump. Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

With ten golds, ten silvers and 20 bronzes, the Azzurri representing Italy in Tokyo were tenth on the medal table overall and top in Italian sporting history.

Previously the most medals Italy had ever won at a single Olympics was 36, which the country hadn’t equalled since the Rome Games in 1960.

READ ALSO: ‘Do Italy just win everything now?’: Celebrations after Italian athletes take Olympic gold

As well as a ceremony at the presidential palace in September, Italy’s Olympic champions will be welcomed back with prize money from the Italian National Olympic Committee: gold medalists are awarded €180,000 each, while silver medallists get €90,000 and bronze medallists get €60,000.

And then there’s the glory: after an exceptionally successful summer of Italian sport and music, Italy’s Olympic team dubbed their athletes “stupor mundi” – Latin for ‘the wonder of the world’. 

Italy’s gold medals at the 2020 Olympics

  • Men’s high jump: Gianmarco Tamberi

Italian high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi couldn’t have been happier to share the gold with his fellow competitor Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar, in what was hailed as one of the most touching moments of the Games. 

Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP
  • Men’s 100m: Lamont Marcell Jacobs

Relatively unknown long jumper-turned-sprinter Lamont Marcell Jacobs was in the form of his life when he outran the favourites and hurtled to first place in the biggest race in men’s athletics. He’s the first Italian ever to qualify for the Olympic final of the event, let alone win it.

Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP
  • Men’s 4 x 100m relay 

Lorenzo Patta, Lamont Marcell Jacobs, Eseosa Desalu and Filippo Tortu pulled off an astonishing victory by the smallest of margins, with Tortu flinging himself over the finish line to snatch gold from the favourites, Great Britain, by just a hundredth of a second. It was another historic first for Italy: the country has never before won the event, and the last time an Italian team got onto the podium was at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin (silver). 

Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP
  • Men’s 20km race walk: Massimo Stano
  • Women’s 20km race walk: Antonella Palmisano

Antonella Palmisano cemented Italy’s domination of the walking competition when she followed up her teammate Massimo Stano’s gold with her own victory a day later. She actually performed slightly faster at the Rio Olympics in 2016, but that time only earned her fourth last time round.

Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP
  • Track cycling, men’s team pursuit

Italy’s four-man team set a new track cycling world record by completing 16 laps (4km) in just 3:42.032. While Great Britain had long dominated the event and Denmark were reigning World Champions, no Italian team had won it since the Rome Olympics of 1960.

Photo by Greg Baker / AFP
  • Karate, men’s kumite -75kg: Luigi Busa
  • Rowing, lightweight women’s double sculls 
Valentina Rodini (L) and Federica Cesarini (R) celebrate their win in the lightweight women’s double sculls final. Photo by Luis ACOSTA / AFP
  • Sailing, mixed multihull – Nacra 17 foiling
  • Taekwondo, Men’s -58kg: Vito Dell’Aquila

Vito Dell’Aquila won Italy its first gold of the Games, at the age of just 20. It was his first Olympics but at this rate, it won’t be his last.

Photo by Javier SORIANO / AFP

Italy’s silver medals at the 2020 Olympics

  • Artistic gymnastics, women’s floor exercise: Vanessa Ferrari

Arguably Italy’s greatest competing gymnast, 30-year-old Vanessa Ferrari proved the value of experience when she became the first Italian to win an individual Olympic medal for women’s artistic gymnastics.

Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP
  • Men’s individual archery: Mauro Nespoli
  • Men’s kayak single 200m: Manfredi Rizza
  • Fencing, men’s foil individual: Daniele Garrozo
  • Fencing, men’s sabre individual: Luigi Samele
  • Fencing, men’s sabre team

Fencing has long been one of Italy’s strongest sports, and these Games were no exception. Altogether Italian fencers took three silvers and two bronzes in both team and individual events. 

Italy’s Luca Curatoli (L) competes against South Korea’s Gu Bongil in the men’s sabre team gold medal bout. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
  • Women’s skeet shooting: Diana Bacosi
  • Swimming, men’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay
  • Swimming, men’s 800m freestyle: Gregorio Paltrinieri 
  • Weightlifting, women’s 64kg: Giorgia Bordignon
    Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

    Italy’s bronze medals at the 2020 Olympics

    • Women’s individual archery: Lucilla Boari
    • Women’s featherweight boxing: Irma Testa

    Irma “Butterfly” Testa made history as the first Italian woman to win an Olympic medal for boxing, a victory she dedicated to all of Italy’s female boxers.

    Photo by Luis ROBAYO / POOL / AFP
    • Women’s cycling road race: Elisa Longo Borghini 
    • Track cycling, men’s omnium: Elia Viviani 
    • Men’s 10km marathon swimming: Gregorio Paltrinieri 

    Gregorio Paltrinieri is one of the best long-distance swimmers there is, holding the men’s world record for the 1500m freestyle. He comes home from Tokyo with two medals: silver in the 800m freestyle, and bronze in the gruelling 10km swim.

    Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP
    • Swimming, men’s 100m breaststroke: Nicolo Martinenghi
    • Swimming, men’s 100m butterfly: Federico Burdisso
    • Swimming, men’s 4 x 100m medley relay
    • Swimming, women’s 800m freestyle: Simona Quadarella 
    • Judo, women’s -52kg: Odette Giuffrida
    Photo by Franck FIFE / AFP
    • Judo, women’s -63kg: Maria Centracchio
    • Fencing, women’s épée team
    • Fencing, women’s foil team 
    • Karate, women’s kata: Viviana Bottaro

    Accomplished karateka Viviana Bottaro won Italy its first Olympic medal in karate, which made its debut at the Tokyo Games. 

    Photo by Alexander NEMENOV / AFP
    • Rowing, lightweight men’s double sculls
    • Rowing, men’s four
    • Rhythmic gymnastics, group all-around

    Nicknamed le Farfalle (‘the Butterflies’), Italy’s five-woman rhythmic gymnastic team provided one of Italy’s last medal-winning performances on the final day of the Games, and one of the most spectacular.

    Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP
    • Weightlifting, men’s 67kg: Mirko Zanni 
    • Weightlifting, men’s 81kg: Antonino Pizzolato
    • Wrestling, men’s freestyle 97kg: Abraham de Jesus Conyedo Ruano 
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