Sports

Juventus’ Serie A title bid halted with loss at Spal


AP
Published 11:24 a.m. ET April 13, 2019

MILAN (AP) — Sergio Floccari scored in the 74th minute as Spal halted Juventus’ attempt to secure an eighth consecutive Serie A title with a surprising 2-1 home win on Saturday.

Juventus only needed a draw to claim the title, but relegation-threatened Spal, which was bankrupt when Juventus began its title run, took advantage of coach Massimiliano Allegri’s wholesale changes.

It was a historic first top-flight win over Juventus for Spal, which has twice gone through bankruptcy — in 2005 and 2012 — and been refounded.

Moise Kean gave Juventus the lead in the first half, but Kevin Bonifazi scored in the 49th minute before Floccari kept the champagne on ice.

Juventus remains 20 points above second-place Napoli, which visits last-place Chievo Verona on Sunday. There will then be six matches remaining and Juventus has the better head-to-head record, which is the tiebreaker in Italy.

With the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinal against Ajax on Tuesday, Allegri rested a number of players, including Cristiano Ronaldo. He also handed defender Paolo Gozzi, 17, his Serie A debut.

All appeared to be going to plan when Kean stuck out a boot to divert Joao Cancelo’s shot into the opposite side of the net and past Spal goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano in the 30th minute.

Bonifazi headed in a corner at the near post four minutes into the second half, and that would still have been enough for Juventus to clinch the title, but Floccari scored the winner in the 74th off Alessandro Murgia’s cross.

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Spal moved into 13th, seven points clear of the relegation zone, but every team behind it has played at least one fewer game.

AC Milan hosts Lazio later Thursday in a battle for a Champions League place. Roma, which is also chasing a top-four finish, entertains Udinese.

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