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dybala-juveArgentina forward Paulo Dybala rescued a sedate Juventus with a well-taken second-half winner as the champions continued their Serie A fightback with a 1-0 win over AC Milan.

Milan travelled to Turin hoping to build on a recent purple patch that has seen Sinisa Mihajlovic’s men take ten points from their last four league outings. But despite causing the Turin giants problems, the Rossoneri had no reply to Dybala’s half-volley which beat Milan’s towering, teenage goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma on 66 minutes.

These are heady days for Fiorentina fans. The last time Fiorentina had this many points (27) after 12 games was a decade ago (28) when Luca Toni won the European Golden Boot. They would have qualified for the Champions League were it not for their implication in the Calciopoli scandal. Instead, a 15-point penalty meant they finished ninth.

Currently top of the table, it’s the first time Fiorentina have been there since Valentine’s Day 1999. They were winter champions that season and could well have won the title if Gabriel Batistuta hadn’t pulled a muscle and Edmundo had stayed away from the Rio carnival. Alas he went A.W.O.L and the team, missing their goals, faded.

Last month, Last month AC Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic stunned Milan fan when he made Gigio Donnarumma the youngest player to make his debut in Serie A for 35 years. He was 16 years and eight months old. Only Paolo Maldini made his first appearance for Milan’s first team at a younger age.

Unsurprisingly there were cries of “too soon” from the conservative commentariat. Mihajlovic’s decision was counter-intuitive. When the going gets tough and you may recall at the time there were reports that he had been given two games to save his job, the received wisdom is to go with experience. He instead decided on the road less travelled, trusting that kids instead have no fear.

FC Nordsjaelland vs. Juventus - UEFA Champions League 2012-2013Gianluigi Buffon celebrated 20 years of playing in Serie A on Thursday as the Juventus and Italy goalkeeping great was hailed by his fellow professionals. Buffon, whose performances at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ helped Italy to their fourth triumph in the competition, made his Serie A debut on November 19, 1995.

From keeping a clean sheet for Parma against what was then a fearsome AC Milan side, Buffon has gone on to make 565 appearances in Italy’s top flight and been capped 154 times by his country. Bayern Munich and Germany shot-stopper Manuel Neuer is among Buffon’s many admirers.

gervinho-roma2FIFA’s injury bug has hit Roma striker Gervinho, who has bene ruled out for three weeks with a thigh injury suffered during Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Liberia.

A statement by Roma said:

“Gervinho underwent scans which revealed damage to the rectus femoris muscle in his right thigh. He will be out of action for three weeks.”

It’s a big blow for the Giallorossi as the striker has scored seven times already this season, including once in the Champions League.

derby-romaLocal bragging rights and the chance to lord it over Italy’s traditionally stronger northern clubs won’t be the only prizes at stake this weekend when Roma host Lazio in the ‘Derby della Capitale’.

After Roma’s 3-2 Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday, winning the derby could be the ice-breaker for Roma, who are poised to go top if they win and joint leaders Fiorentina and Inter slip up on their respective travels to Sampdoria and Torino.

Garcia just has to hope Roma, who suffered a “blackout” during five, second-half minutes in which Leverkusen pulled level, don’t suffer another similar episode.

paul-pogba-new1Fascinating comments from Juventus star Pail Pogba about his commitment to Juventus. The France midfielder, who joined Juventus from Manchester United in 2012, insists he loves the club 100%.

Pogba has been linked with a world record move away from Turin for the last 12 moths with Chelsea, Manchester City and Barcelona all rumored to be possible destinations.

But Pogba’s comments on Thursday seem to suggest he could stay beyond the current season.

“Juve are the first team where I started to play,” Pogba said.

updated-champions-league-trophyRoma moved above Bayer Leverkusen and into second place in Champions League Group E thanks to a dramatic 3-2 win at the Stadio Olimpico.

The sides shared eight goals at the BayArena a fortnight ago and it did not take long – 100 seconds – for the first to arrive here. Edin Džeko fed Mohamed Salah who turned on the turbo to bear down on Bernd Leno and slot the hosts in front from a lightning counterattack.

Lazio have announced they will be without defender Stefan De Vrij for the next six months after the Dutch international underwent knee surgery on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old De Vrij has barely played for Lazio this season as he has struggled with reoccurring knee complaints.

The former Feyenoord defender is now set to miss most of the season and may not even return to first-team action until after the summer.

“Lazio announced that the athlete Stefan De Vrij underwent micro fracture surgery on the lateral condyle and an arthroscopic partial menisoctomy on his left knee this morning at the AZ Monica clinic in Antwerp,” a statement read.

rudi-garciaAccording to various media reports, AS Roma have told coach Rudi Garcia that if they don’t win the Scudetto this season that he will be fired,

Garcia has steered the Giallorossi to two second-place finishes since taking over in 2013, but even then his side finished 17 points adrift of Juventus on both occasions.

The former Lille coach is said to he infuriated the clubs American owners this summer when he rightly pointed out that he in order to close to the gap on Juventus that he needed better players.