Allegri allays Higuain injury fears ahead of key fixtures

The Argentina international was withdrawn early on during the Bianconeri’s derby win over Torino, but his manager insists his problem is not serious

Juventus star Gonzalo Higuain was substituted just 15 minutes into a 1-0 win over Torino on Sunday, but did not suffer a serious injury, according to coach Massimiliano Allegri.

Higuain was replaced by Federico Bernardeschi early in the Derby della Mole at Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, an apparent ankle problem prompting fears over the future availability of the Argentina striker.

Bernardeschi was also withdrawn in injury time, but Allegri does not expect either player to spend a significant period of time on the sidelines.

“Starting Wednesday we’ll regroup with everyone available, but in any event the team is feeling well and they showed it today.”

Juve host Atalanta in successive Serie A and Coppa Italia matches before visiting Lazio in the league, as they build towards the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie against Tottenham on 7 March.

Spurs rallied from falling 2-0 down within nine minutes at Juventus Stadium on Tuesday to earn a 2-2 draw, leaving the Scudetto holders with a tough task to progress to the quarter-finals when they visit Wembley next month.


Dybala to miss out on Tottenham Champions League clash for Juventus

There had been hope that the striker would face Tottenham, but the Argentina forward will miss out on the last-16 tie

Paulo Dybala has failed to recover from a hamstring injury in time for Juventus’ Champions League round-of-16 tie against Tottenham.

There had been reports the Argentina star may be on the bench for the first leg at Juventus Stadium on Tuesday having taken part in training on Monday.

However, the forward was not included in Juve’s squad, which was announced before head coach Massimiliano Allegri addressed the media for his pre-match news conference.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino had been speaking about the quality of Dybala in his own media briefing before Juve released their squad.

“Obviously, Paulo Dybala is a great player who knows how to make the difference,” he said of his Argentine compatriot.

“As you know, however, Juve have quality players like Federico Bernardeschi and many others.

“We want to compete with them, we’ll see what happens.”

Dybala’s last appearance came in Juve’s 1-0 win at Cagliari on January 6.

Experienced wing-back Stephan Lichtsteiner was also excluded due to a problem with his left thigh. Source:


Inter’s wait for their first win of 2018 goes on after they were undone by another late goal, this time at SPAL.

Inter have now gone seven games without a win in Serie A following a 1-1 draw with SPAL on Sunday.

A second-half own goal from Francesco Vicari looked set to give Luciano Spalletti’s side all three points until Alberto Paloschi’s 90th-minute header snatched a point for the home side.

Inter’s last win was a 5-0 thrashing of Chievo on December 3, although consecutive draws against Lazio, Fiorentina and Roma had given the Nerazzurri belief that their form required little drastic improvement.

They laboured for much of the first half at the Stadio Paolo Mazza, though, with an Antonio Candreva strike the closest they came to breaking the deadlock as new signing Rafinha watched on from the bench, from where he was only introduced in stoppage time.

The opener came three minutes into the second half, when Vicari turned in Joao Cancelo’s teasing delivery and sapped the growing optimism out of the home fans.

Ivan Perisic almost scored a second and their failure to kill the game proved costly, just as it did at Fiorentina two weeks ago, with Paloschi’s fine header denying Inter the win that would have moved them level on points with third-place Lazio ahead of the latter’s meeting with AC Milan.

Mirco Antonucci came within inches of turning a Jasmin Kurtic cross goalwards, but Alex Meret was forced into a fine stop to deny Candreva in a lively start in Ferrara.

Alberto Grassi headed a half-chance over the crossbar but there was little else of note in a competitive first half that was low on quality, with Inter bossing most of the possession but creating very little for striker Mauro Icardi.

The Argentine did waste a clear opening just before the break, though, steering a Danilo D’Ambrosio cross over the bar on the volley from barely 10 yards out.

Spalletti made a change at the interval, replacing Candreva with Eder, but Inter’s breakthrough came courtesy of a helping hand from the hosts.

Cancelo turned brilliantly into space down the left and sent in a teasing cross, and Vicari, trying to cut out the ball, contrived to prod it into the right-hand corner past the static Meret.

The positivity among the home fans had suddenly disappeared and it nearly got worse for SPAL 58 minutes in, with Meret reacting brilliantly to tip Matias Vecino’s shot over the bar after good work from Perisic.

The visitors continued to create chances to kill off the match, with Perisic’s stinging strike tipped over the bar by Meret and the resulting corner somehow bouncing over and out of play after a brief scramble.

Samir Handanovic had been given little to do but he was given a fright in the closing stages, with Kurtic blasting over from close range and Paloschi heading over the bar after the Inter keeper had failed to intercept a cross.

That looked to be as close as the 18th-place side would come until the 90th minute, when Paloschi met Antenucci’s cross with a diving header that nestled into the right-hand corner.



Patrick Cutrone and Giacomo Bonaventura struck to give AC Milan a home victory over Lazio in Serie A.

AC Milan made it three wins in a row in Serie A for the first time since March last year as they claimed a 2-1 victory over Lazio on Sunday.

Goals from Patrick Cutrone and Giacomo Bonaventura, either side of an Adam Marusic strike, sealed all three points for Gennaro Gattuso’s side and prolonged their impressive unbeaten league run against Lazio at San Siro, which stretches back to 1989.

Simone Inzaghi’s side travelled to Milan on the back of a six-game streak without a top-flight defeat, but they looked unsettled from the off as the Rossoneri produced one of their best performances of another difficult campaign.

Cutrone’s third league goal of the season, which replays showed came off his arm, was cancelled out by Marusic’s fine finish, but Bonaventura’s emphatic header restored Milan’s lead before the break as the home fans roared their approval.

Lazio threatened in the second half through Sergej Milinkovic-Savic but could not come up with a second equaliser, meaning they are now just two points above fourth-placed Inter.

Milan, meanwhile, are level on points with Sampdoria in sixth and beginning to present themselves as contenders for the European spots once more.

Hakan Calhanoglu had Thomas Strakosha at full stretch with a fierce effort from 25 yards after 10 minutes, although Lazio appeared the more settled of the teams in the opening exchanges.

Milan started to play their way into proceedings and broke the deadlock with 15 minutes played when Cutrone glanced Calhanoglu’s free-kick high into the net from six yards out, although the ball was actually turned in with his arm.

The lead lasted just five minutes, though. Lucas Leiva picked out Marusic in space inside the penalty area and the winger cut back onto his left foot before placing his finish into the bottom-left corner, out of Gianluigi Donnarumma’s reach.

Luis Alberto came close to giving Lazio the lead, crashing a shot off the top off the crossbar after drifting inside from the left, but Milan seemed the more likely to find the third goal and it took another good Strakoshka save to keep out a Calhanoglu drive.

He could do nothing to stop Bonaventura restoring Milan’s advantage two minutes before the break, though, the midfielder racing onto Davide Calabria’s brilliant curling cross and powering a header into the net.

Inzaghi made an attacking change early in the second half, introducing Felipe Anderson for Lucas, and the Brazilian teed up Milinkovic-Savic 12 yards out only for Donnarumma to repel his low strike.

Milinkovic-Savic was posing as the most likely candidate to spark another Lazio comeback and he was again denied by Donnarumma when he rose highest to head Marusic’s cross towards goal, before he sent a 20-yard strike into the keeper’s grasp.

Substitute Andre Silva almost poked home a late third and Lazio captain Senad Lulic failed to get good contact on a clear late chance from Felipe Anderson’s cross, but Milan survived to claim one of their best league wins of the campaign.