Gianluca Busio and Tanner Tessman’s efforts against Inter were in vain in their loss to the reigning Serie A champions, while Weston McKennie’s evening against Atalanta was cut short due to a minor knee injury.
Venezia FC 0 – 2 Inter Milan
Both Gianluca Busio and Tanner Tessmann were in the action for Venezia on Saturday night, as the Winged Lions put on a valiant, yet losing effort against visiting Serie A champions Inter Milan.
Despite Inter dominating possession (56% to 44%) and peppering Venezia’s goal with 27 shots, 12 of which were on-target, the hosts kept it close, and only only conceded the second in the dying seconds of second-half added time.
Busio, who started and played the full game, completed an impressive 48 of his 50 passes, while Tessmann put in a solid shift during his 19 minutes on the field, playing alongside his American compatriot in the midfield.
Inter needed until four minutes past the half-hour to open the scoring, with Hakan Calhanoglu hitting a low shot from distance past Sergio Romero for the 1-0.
Four minutes after entering the game, Tessmann had a look at goal, but skied his shot from outside the area over goal.
With the game winding down into the final moments of added time, and Inter still looking to pad their lead, their efforts paid off when Ridgeciano Haps errantly handled the ball in the area, allowing Lautaro Martínez to convert from the spot for 2-0.
The loss drops Venezia down to 16th place, however still five points clear of the relegation places. They have precious little time to lick their wounds, as they are back in action on Tuesday evening with a difficult trip to high-flying Atalanta.
Juventus 0 – 1 Atalanta
A bad evening for Juventus on Saturday saw them first lose their star midfielder Weston Mckennie to a knee injury, and then lose the game to Atalanta as The Old Lady was subdued by The Goddess.
Prior to leaving the game shortly past the hour after tweaking his right knee, an injury the team later confirmed wasn’t serious, McKennie was perhaps Juve’s most dangerous player, hitting teammates with a number of key passes, while reeking havoc on the Atalanta attack with several of intercepted passes, tackles and clearances.
Despite Juve dominating the numbers from start to finish, it was Atalanta who took a glorious lead just inside of the half-hour, much to the delight of the contingent of visiting fans who made the trip from Bergamo to the Allianz Stadium in Torino.
None other than Colombian striker Duvan Zapata was the catalyst, quickly taking advantage of a Juve turnover in the midfield, and charging ahead through two Juve defenders like an enraged bull through the streets of Pamplona before blasting his shot off the underside of the cross bar, leaving Wojciech Szczesny no chance to save.
Juve’s bad luck continued coming with a pair of injuries to influential starters, first with Federico Chiesa forced off just after the half with what turned out to be a hamstring injury, then McKennie having to leave just past the hour with his knee issue.
Directly before leaving the field, The American had perhaps the most impressive moment for the hosts, streaking behind the Atalanta defense into their area on a full sprint, recovering the ball after it was initially cleared, and impressively maintaining possession in the danger zone long enough for his teammates to arrive down the field.
In the end, Atalanta held on for their first away win over Juve in over 30 years, despite a late free kick effort from Paolo Dybala clanking off the crossbar moments before the final whistle.
Juventus continue to struggle in the standings, currently in seventh place, and more troublesome, a full seven points out of the Champions League spots. They will return to the field on Tuesday night against last-place Salernitana, beginning a run of games against lower-table opposition which could be the make-or-break stretch for their hopes to climb the standings.
Frosinone Calcio 2 – 2 Pordenone Calcio
Andrija Novakovich was in Frosinone’s starting lineup on Saturday afternoon, however it was his replacement who saved the day with a pair of late goals as they fought back twice to draw against visiting Pordenone.
Novakovich started atop the Frosinone attack, however most of the action for both teams happened after he left the field in favor of Gabriel Charpentier in the 56th minute.
Pordenone did open the scoring three minutes after the half, when Alberto Barison headed in a corner. However their lead was put into grave danger barely ten minutes later as Hamza El Kaouakibi was given his marching orders for a second yellow, giving the guests the tough task of defending a precious lead for the final 30 minutes with a man-disadvantage.
Charpentier equalized for the hosts in the 74th minute with a reaction strike from short range, however Pordenone looked to have edged back ahead with four minutes remaining after a poor backpass gave Nicolo Cambiaghi the golden opportunity to pull the keeper off his line and connect with a low shot.
Charpentier struck again, this time in the final seconds of added time, securing the hosts the point with a floating header off of a free kick from the left flank.
Frosinone finish the round in fourth place, four points back of the top-two automatic promotion spots. They will be back on the field on Tuesday with a visit to US Cremonese.
Bryan Reynolds was left on Roma’s bench on Sunday night for their narrow 1-0 win over Torino.
Giuseppe Barone was not in uniform for Ascoli on Saturday as they drew at home with Monza in a 1-1 result. Ascoli remain in seventh with the result, in a large group of eight teams separated by two point.