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Five talking points from Serie A

Cristiano Ronaldo slips towards the goal after missing a chance to score hist first goal for Juventus against Lazio. © AFP / Filippo MONTEFORTE

MILAN, Italy, Aug 27Seven-time reigning champions Juventus beat Lazio 2-0 and last season’s runners-up Napoli came from two goals down to edge AC Milan 3-2 as the Italian league favourites both continued their perfect start to the season with a maximum six points after two games.

Here are five talking points from the Italian Serie A league this weekend:

– Ronaldo close range miss –

Cristiano Ronaldo frustrated after close range miss. © AFP / Marco BERTORELLO

Cristiano Ronaldo showed his frustration as he missed a chance to score his first goal for Juventus on his debut at Turin’s Allianz Stadium.

The former Real Madrid superstar looked certain to open his Serie A account in the 75th minute when a cross came from fellow Portuguese Joao Cancelo and the 33-year-old had the whole goal to aim for.

But the ball bounced off Ronaldo’s feet with Croatian Mario Mandzukic just behind to tap into an empty net, to give the champions a 2-0 win after Miralem Pjanic had also scored.

Ronaldo threw his hands in the air in disbelief, before turning to Mandzukic to celebrate.

“Everyone is waiting for his goal, but I’m happy with what he did and how he is settling in because he is a very humble lad,” said coach Massimiliano Allegri.

– Milan clubs suffer meltdowns –

Coach Luciano Spalletti furious at Inter Milan meltdown. © AFP / Miguel MEDINA

Both Milan clubs have made stuttering starts to the season despite being active on the transfer market this summer. Each threw away two-goal leads at the weekend.

Gennaro Gattuso’s AC Milan lost 3-2 to Napoli, coached by his former boss Carlo Ancelotti, in their season opener and Inter were 2-2 by Torino in the San Siro, leaving Luciano Spalletti’s side with just one point from two games.

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Goals from Torino’s Andrea Belotti and Soualiho Meite cancelled out first-half strikes from Inter’s Croatian World Cup finalist Ivan Perisic and Stefan De Vrij.

“These moments have characterised Inter in recent years,” said Spalletti, whose side have returned to the Champions League this season.

“We are a team that should be fighting at the top together with four or five other sides. However, to remain at a certain level then we have to build a specific type of mentality.”

Milan, meanwhile, whose first game against Genoa was postponed, remain without a point and are off the foot of the table only on goal difference.

– Zielinski stars for Napoli –

Napoli’s Polish midfielder Piotr Zielinski bagged a brace against AC Milan. © AFP / Alberto PIZZOLI

Polish midfielder Piotr Zielinski scored twice before Dries Mertens came off the bench to grab the winner as Napoli rallied from 2-0 down to beat visiting AC Milan 3-2.

Napoli are reportedly ready to offer Zielinski an improved contract extension until 2023. The 24-year-old has a 65 million euros ($75 million) release clause.

“Piotr is a top-quality player,” said Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti. “He just needs to be a little less shy. I need to fire him up and give him belief because he’s got talent to burn.”

– Higuain pegged back on AC Milan debut –

“A vital player” – AC Milan coach praises Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain. © AFP / Alberto PIZZOLI

AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso chastised his side for failing to utilise Argentine goal machine Gonzalo Higuain.

“We didn’t feed him, he didn’t have chances to score,” blasted Gattuso. “When he touches the ball he always provides quality. Higuain is a vital player for us, we must improve and put him in the best conditions to score goals.”

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The on-loan 30-year-old forward scored 16 league goals for Juventus last season before making way for Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival, having scored 91 times in 146 matches for Napoli between 2013 and 2016.

– That’s my boy –

“That’s my boy” – Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone watched as son Giovanni scored for Italian club Fiorentina. © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone was watching from the stands as son Giovanni scored the final goal for Fiorentina, who kicked off their campaign with a 6-1 rout of Chievo.

The Tuscans opening match against Sampdoria was postponed because of the Genoa bridge disaster, but they inflicted a second defeat on The Flying Donkeys who also lost the previous week to Juventus.

Argentine Simeone, 23, has scored 15 Serie A goals for Fiorentina since joining from Genoa last season.

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