New signings Vlahovic and Zakaria star for Juventus
VENICE, Italy (AP) — Dušan Vlahović made a dream debut for Juventus, scoring the opening goal in a 2-0 win over Verona in the Italian league on Sunday.
The coveted striker completed a 70-million-euro ($80-million) transfer from Fiorentina on Jan. 28 on his 22nd birthday. At his new club, he wears the No. 7 shirt vacated by Ronaldo.
Vlahović, a Serbia international, scored with a clinical finish, lobbing onrushing Verona goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipo in the 13th minute.
He’s joint top of the Serie A scoring charts, along with Lazio’s Ciro Immobile with 18 goals.
Another new signing for Juventus, Switzerland midfielder Denis Zakaria, who joined from Bundesliga’s Borussia Mönchengladbach, doubled the lead with a low shot past Montipo in the second half.
Juventus moved to fourth in the standings with 45 points, Verona is ninth with 33.
Wearing a protective mask, striker Victor Osimhen scored on his first start since November as Napoli beat 10-man Venezia 2-0 to move level on points with second-place AC Milan.
Napoli and Milan trail Serie A leader Inter Milan by one point after Milan rallied late to beat its city rival 2-1 on Saturday. Inter has a game in hand.
The 23-year-old Osimhen, who suffered a serious injury in a clash of heads with Inter’s Milan Skriniar in November, headed in the opening goal in the 58th minute. It was the sixth Serie A goal for the Nigeria international this season and 10th in all competitions. He returned to the squad from injury last month.
In a lively finish, defender Tyronne Ebuehi received a straight red card following a VAR review for a high tackle on Dries Mertens five minutes into stoppage time before substitute Andrea Petagna made it 2-0 another five minutes later.
Earlier in the game, Ebuehi and referee Maurizio Mariani needed both treatment after colliding on the pitch.
Venezia is 18th in the standings.
Udinese also relied on injury time goals to beat Torino 2-0.
In another late drama, Torino’s Rolando Mandragora received his second yellow in the second minute of stoppage time for tackling Mato Jajalo.
Substitute Nahuel Molina curled in the free kick before another substitute, Ignacio Pussetto, converted from the spot for Udinese’s second.
Udinese is 14th while Torino is 10th.
Another relegation-threatened team, Cagliari, won three important points after a 2-1 upset victory at 10-man Atalanta to move to 17th. Atalanta dropped to fifth.
In a game between teams hit by COVID-19, suspensions and injuries, Gaston Pereiro scored both goals for Cagliari in the 50th and 68th minutes.
Just two minutes after Pereiro’s first goal, Atalanta goalkeeper Juan Musso downed Pereiro just outside the penalty area following a defensive blunder and was sent off.
The hosts still managed to equalize through Jose Palomino’s header before Pereiro collected a perfect cross from Raoul Bellanova at the far post to stun Atalanta with his second.
In Genoa, Stefano Sensi scored for Sampdoria in a 4-0 rout of Sassuolo on his debut after joining the team on loan from Inter in January.
Francesco Caputo opened the scoring five minutes into the match against his former club, with Sensi stretching the lead two minutes later. Andrea Conti made it 3-0 in the second half before Antonio Candreva finished it off in injury time from the penalty spot.
Host Bologna drew 0-0 against Empoli.
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