A sixth successive Serie A title for Juventus might not be the foregone conclusion it appeared to be at the start of the season.
Cracks have started to appear and Juventus lost its perfect start to the season on Sunday as Inter Milan came from behind to win the Derby d’Italia 2-1.
Mauro Icardi and substitute Ivan Perisic scored for Inter to cancel out Stephan Lichtsteiner’s opener.
“We couldn’t hold out for even two minutes (after scoring),” said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri. “It’s brought us back to earth, we will have to fight. This defeat hurts us but at least it will do us good.
“Wednesday we’re playing against Cagliari and we have the chance to immediately get back on track and take home the three points.”
Juventus, which also drew 0-0 against Sevilla in the Champions League, was very much second best at San Siro for large periods – and this against a team which lost 2-0 at home to Hapoel Beer-Sheva in the Europa League on Thursday.
Inter had won just one of its first three league matches. Coach Frank de Boer, who replaced Roberto Mancini less than two weeks before the start of the season, was very much under pressure amid reports of being fired if the Nerazzurri lost heavily to its bitter rival.
“I don’t want to talk about revenge, I can’t do miracles,” De Boer said. “Today we didn’t lose our heads. The team played very well and we deserved to win. Today I saw the team fight right until the end and we have so much quality if we do that. There are those who played fantastically but no one is bigger than Inter and everyone has to be proud to wear this shirt.”
Juventus broke the deadlock in the 66th minute. Lichsteiner, who had been strongly linked with Inter in the offseason, got in front of Davide Santon to volley in Alex Sandro’s cross from close range.
However, Icardi had scored six goals in his last seven Serie A matches against Juventus and he struck again, heading in a corner just two minutes after the opener.
It was the Argentina forward’s fourth goal in his last three league matches.
Indeed no one else had scored for Inter this season until Perisic headed in Icardi’s cross in the 78th.
Allegri had brought on Gonzalo Higuain four minutes earlier but Italy’s most expensive signing could not change anything.
Even the sending off of midfielder Ever Banega in the final minute, following two yellow cards in quick succession, could not dampen Inter’s spirits as it held out to seal a first home win over Juventus in more than six years.
Juventus is second, a point behind Napoli, which is now the only unbeaten side in the league.
Here’s what else happened in Serie A:
Roma lost its unbeaten start to the season with a 1-0 defeat at Fiorentina.
Milan Badelj scored the only goal of the match eight minutes from time, drilling the ball into the bottom left corner through a sea of bodies.
Replays showed the goal perhaps should have been ruled out as Nikola Kalinic, who was in an offside position, opened his legs to let the ball through.
Moments earlier Radja Nainggolan’s effort was fingertipped onto the post by Fiorentina goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu, in a move which was started by Francesco Totti.
Roma is three points behind league leader Napoli, with Fiorentina a point further back. Fiorentina has played one match less as last week’s encounter with Genoa was suspended 28 minutes in due to heavy rain.
HART’S HOME DEBUT
Joe Hart had barely a save to make in his home debut for Torino and kept his first clean sheet for his new team in a 0-0 draw against Empoli.
Hart, who joined from Manchester City on loan, had a Serie A debut to forget last week in a 2-1 defeat at Atalanta.
This week, however, the England goalkeeper was a spectator for most of the match and didn’t make a save until the 63rd minute.
That sparked a good spell of pressure for Empoli but Hart withstood the challenge. He punched more effectively than last weekend, when he misjudged a corner and only got a weak glove on the ball, gifting Atalanta the equalizer.
CROTONE OFF THE MARK
Newly-promoted Crotone picked up its first ever Serie A point with a 1-1 draw against Palermo.
Marcello Trotta gave Crotone the lead in the 23rd minute.
Ilija Nestorovski leveled in the 66th to give new Palermo coach Roberto De Zerbi a first positive result after he replaced Davide Ballardini days before a 3-0 loss to Napoli.
All 20 teams in Serie A now have at least a point.
Marco Borriello scored twice against his former club as Cagliari won 3-0 against Atalanta, which missed a penalty when 1-0 down.
Also, Chievo Verona came from behind to beat Udinese 2-1 with a stoppage-time winner, and Sassuolo triumphed 2-0 against Genoa.