Italian club search for a return to form despite Champions League loss.
|Bari’s Paulo Vitor de Souza Barreto shoots and scores a penalty to add to Juventus’ woes [AFP]|
Juventus’ troubles continued in a 3-1 loss at newly promoted Bari, with playmaker Diego missing a penalty kick for the 27-time Serie A champion.
Juventus were eliminated from the Champions League on Tuesday after a 4-1 home loss to Bayern Munich. The Bianconeri beat Serie A leader Inter Milan last weekend but risk falling further behind the four-time defending champions.
“We’re lacking continuity,” Juventus president Jean-Claude Blanc said.
Inter have 35 points, AC Milan 31 and Juventus 30.
Juventus coach Ciro Ferrara wouldn’t criticise his team since they created plenty of scoring chances, but he called it “a heavy loss.”
“It’s tough to digest, and you can see that in the players’ eyes,” he said.
“It’s difficult to offer an explanation.”
Earlier, Napoli and Cagliari played to a 3-3 draw featuring a frenetic finish.
Bari and Napoli moved into a six-way tie for fifth with 24 points each.
With 51,849 fans on hand for Juventus’ first visit to the San Nicola stadium in nine years, Riccardo Meggiorini put Bari in front seven minutes in, taking advantage of failed defensive coverage.
David Trezeguet equalised for Juventus in the 23rd but Paulo Barreto restored Bari’s lead with a penalty kick in the 44th, Diego missed his spot kick way over the bar in the 68th and Sergio Almiron sealed the victory for Bari in the 81st.
|Results & fixtures|
Saturday December 12
Sunday December 13
AC Milan v Palermo
Cristian Molinaro and Mauro Camoranesi exited for Juventus with apparent injuries, and the game was likely the last for Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon before knee surgery on Sunday.
The result was all the more surprising since Bari’s top defender Andrea Ranocchia was suspended.
In Sardinia, Napoli took a 2-0 lead after 65 minutes with goals from Ezequiel Lavezzi and Michele Pazienza.
Cagliari rallied with three scores in the final 15 minutes – including a potential match-winner from striker Jeda in the 90th.
Lavezzi was sent off for booting the ball at Cagliari manager Massimiliano Allegri in a melee that followed Jeda’s goal, but the Argentine was still on the sidelines to cheer when Mariano Bogliacino equalised for Napoli in the sixth minute of added time, heading in from close range.