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The loss to Atalanta leaves Juventus at risk of missing the Champions League

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Image source: AP

Ruslan Malinowski of Atalanta celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal in a Serie Atalanta-Juventus football match at Bergamo Stadium on Sunday, May 18

Forget about extending your record performance of nine straight Serie A titles.

At this rate, Juventus may not even qualify for the Champions League.

Atalanta, the continuing history of the Italian league for Cinderella, beat the Bianconeri 1-0 with a late goal by Ruslan Malinowski on Sunday to bounce Andrea Pirlo’s team to third place.

The defeat came on the day of the announcement that Juventus is part of a European heavyweight group, renewing threats to move away from the Champions League and create a Super League.

Juventus dropped to fourth place – last place in the Champions League – two points behind Atalanta and three points ahead of Napoli, who could pull on a level if they beat Italian leader Inter Milan later.

Juventus have won just one of their last four games and lost twice in that period – with the other defeat coming home against promoted Benevento last month.

Moreover, Atalanta now also has the advantage over Juventus if a tiebreak is needed. Records directly in the head are the first criteria used in Italy, and the teams made 1-1 in December.

Juventus missed the injured Cristiano Ronaldo and gave a little chance in Bergamo, before Malinowski’s shot in the 87th minute deflected mainly Alex Sandro and sent the goalkeeper Wojciech Szczenski in the wrong way.

This was Atalanta’s first Serie A victory over Juventus in more than two decades, since February 2001.

This was just the last of a series of feats by Atalanta that reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League last season.

Juventus failed to win all four Serie A games that Ronaldo missed this season, including two when he had coronavirus and another when he was resting.

OWN GOALS

With the suspension of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, an own goal by the highly advertised Genoa striker Gianluca Scamaca proved the winner of Milan in a 2: 1 victory.

Milan’s first home win in more than two months ensures that the Rossoneri hold second place.

Skamaka turned when a corner kick floated over Mario Mandzukic’s head and the ball bounced off his back into Genoa’s goal.

Ante Rebic led AC Milan earlier with a long volley.

Matthias Destro then equalized for Genoa with a header after a poor defense by Fikayo Tomori.

Lazio also scored two own goals in a 5-3 victory over Benevento for their fifth consecutive victory, moving the sixth Roman club within four points of Juventus.

Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi missed the match against his brother and his coaching colleague Filippo Inzaghi with the coronavirus.

Ciro Immobile scored twice – the first was his 150th in Serie A – and Joaquin Korea scored a penalty for Lazio, who also received own goals from Fabio Depaoli and Lorenzo Montipo.

Also, Bologna beat the promoted Spice 4-1.

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