MILAN: Fiorentina’s Jordan Veretout converted a penalty, awarded after a VAR review which took nearly five minutes, in the 11th minute of stoppage time to draw 3-3 with Inter Milan in an extraordinary Serie A game on Sunday.
Federico Chiesa’s shot hit Davide D’Ambrosio in the sixth minute of stoppage time and referee Rosario Abisso immediately pointed to the spot, a decision greeted by furious protests from Inter who claimed it hit the defender’s chest.
However, after consulting with the video assistant, the referee reviewed the incident on the pitchside monitor and eventually confirmed his original decision. Veretout calmly slotted home to equalise and Inter coach Luciano Spalletti was left fuming.
“Everyone saw it wasn’t a penalty, it hit his chest,” he said. “It was in front of everyone’s eyes. If the referee uses the monitor, he can’t see something different to what everyone else is seeing.
“These matches and results are fundamental in reaching your objectives at the end of the season,” added Spalletti, whose side are chasing a Champions League place.
Third-placed Inter had earlier benefited from two VAR decisions as they had a penalty awarded to them and Fiorentina a goal disallowed.
Fiorentina coach Stefano Pioli implied he would not have given either of the two penalties. “There are some handball decisions which I would never give. But, nowadays, they (referees) give them all,” he said.
Fiorentina took a first-minute lead when Giovanni Simeone’s shot hit Stefan de Vrij and ricocheted off the Inter defender for an own goal.
Inter replied quickly as Matias Vecino volleyed the equaliser in the sixth minute and Matteo Politano scored with a dipping shot from the edge of the penalty area five minutes before halftime.
Six minutes into the second half, Marcelo Brozovic floated a free kick into the Fiorentina area and, although the ball was clear, Inter claimed handball. The referee consulted the pitchside monitor and awarded a penalty which Ivan Perisic converted.
Fiorentina thought they had scored on the hour when Cristiano Biraghi rifled home a loose ball but, following another review, it was chalked off for a foul by Luis Muriel on D’Ambrosio in the penalty area.
However, Muriel made amends by scoring with an exquisite free kick from 25 metres in the 74th minute.
Veretout then completed an extraordinary fightback, extending Fiorentina’s unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions, in a game which finally ended in the 13th minute of stoppage time.
Milik scores under-the-wall free kick as Napoli find scoring touch
MILAN: Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik scored twice, including a crafty under-the-wall free kick, as Napoli rediscovered their scoring touch with an emphatic 4-0 win at Parma in Serie A on Sunday.
Piotr Zielinski set Napoli on the way with their first away goal in the league for more than two months before fellow Pole Milik struck either side of halftime and Adam Ounas completed the scoring.
Second-placed Napoli, who had drawn their last two league games 0-0 with Fiorentina and Torino, stayed 13 points behind leaders Juventus who they host next Sunday.
Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti said that the performance was similar to the last two, except that this time his side took their chances.
“It was in line with the games against Fiorentina and Torino but this time our finishing was very good,” he said. “There are no regrets, this team is doing well and must continue like this.”
Napoli looked far more like their old selves and Zielinski put them ahead in the 19th minute when he exchanged passes with Elseid Hysaj and rolled his shot past Luigi Sepe. Their previous away goal in Serie A was in the 1-0 win at Cagliari on Dec. 16.
Napoli continued to pour forward, were awarded free kick on the edge of the area in the 36th minute and, when the Parma wall jumped, Milik cleverly rolled it underneath them and into the net.
“I told him keep it on the ground. It was very close to the goal and it was unlikely he would have scored by going over the wall. It’s something I learned from Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Ancelotti, who coached the Portuguese for two seasons at Real Madrid.
Parma won a penalty in the 56th for a foul on Bruno Alves by Kevin Malcuit but, after delaying and reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitor, the referee ruled that Napoli forward Jose Callejon was tripped in the build-up.
Milik pounced on a wayward back pass to add the third with an emphatic finish in the 73rd minute, his 14th league goal of the season, and substitute Ounas finished off a trademark exchange of passes to score the fourth nine minutes later.
Parma’s fourth home defeat in a row left them 13th with 29 points.
Dybala comes off the bench to sink brave Bologna
BOLOGNA: Paulo Dybala came off the bench to give unbeaten Serie A leaders Juventus a 1-0 win away to a brave Bologna side who had the better of the match and hit the post in stoppage time on Sunday.
Dropped from the starting line-up, Dybala was brought on in the 59th minute and settled the game eight minutes later as the Turin side bounced back from Wednesday’s Champions League defeat at Atletico Madrid.
Juventus, who have won all but three league games this season, have 69 points from 25 games, 16 ahead of Napoli who were away to Parma later on Sunday.
Relegation-threatened Bologna, who are 18th in the 20-team table, had the better of the first half with Nicola Sansone and Federico Santander both going close with low shots from the edge of the penalty area.
Federico Bernardeschi had Juve’s best effort, curling a shot just past the crossbar after cutting inside.
Alex Sandro rescued Juventus after halftime, blocking Ibrahima Mbaye’s goal-bound shot on the line, before making way for Dybala, who quickly made his mark.
Filip Helander tried to intercept Blaise Matuidi’s low cross but succeeded only in teeing the ball up for Dybala who stroked it into the corner from 12 metres.
Bologna were out of luck again in stoppage time when Sansone’s brilliant curling effort was tipped onto the post by goalkeeper Mattia Perin.
Chievo 0-0 Genoa
Sampdoria 1-0 Cagliari
Sassuolo 1-1 SPAL