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Ramsey fires Juventus back to top of crowdless Serie A

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Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey (second right) is congratulated by Gonzalo Higuain after scoring the opener during last night’s Serie A clash at an empty Juventus Stadium in Turin. Photo: Getty Images

Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey (second right) is congratulated by Gonzalo Higuain after scoring the opener during last night’s Serie A clash at an empty Juventus Stadium in Turin. Photo: Getty Images

AFP via Getty Images

Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey (second right) is congratulated by Gonzalo Higuain after scoring the opener during last night’s Serie A clash at an empty Juventus Stadium in Turin. Photo: Getty Images

The rapid spread of the coronavirus and the effective quarrantine of 16 million people in northern Italy didn't stop Serie A from running a round of five fixtures over the weekend, albeit behind closed doors.

The fact that games were played in the first place attracted the rage of Italy's sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora, who dubbed Serie A as "irresponsible" and added that "the world of football feels immune to rules and sacrifices."

Lazio entered the weekend top of the table, but their position at the summit depended on the result of yesterday's 'Derby d'Italia' between Juventus and Inter Milan.

Juve drew first blood in an empty Allianz Stadium when Aaron Ramsey's close-range shot took multiple deflections off Inter defenders as it sailed past a confused Samir Handanovic. That was followed by a Paulo Dybala goal on 67 minutes, and when Daniele Padelli's dismissal saw Inter go down to 10 men, Juventus comfortably closed out a 2-0 win that puts them back on top, one point ahead of Lazio.

Liverpool's midweek opponents, Atletico Madrid, missed the chance to get back into the top four in La Liga when they were held to an entertaining 2-2 draw with third-placed Sevilla, with all of the goals scored in the first half.

Elsewhere, Lionel Messi's late penalty edged Barcelona to a 1-0 victory at home to Real Sociedad to ease the pressure on manager Quique Setien, who dubbed the clash "a tremendously complicated game".

Sociedad posed a difficult test for Barca, buoyed by reaching the Copa Del Rey final in midweek, and Setien's side had to wait until the 81st minute for a winner at the Camp Nou, eventually finding a breakthrough when Sociedad defender Robin Le Normand was penalised for handball as he dived to clear a cross.

The win put Barcelona back on top of the table pending Real Madrid's clash with Real Betis, where Zinedine Zidane's charges suffered a shock 2-1 loss to the Andalucians, who netted in the 40th and 82nd minute to condemn Madrid to a 2-1 loss that leaves them once again trailing Barca.

Meanwhile, Tottenham's Champions League opponents RB Leipzig played out a lacklustre 0-0 at VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday to drop to third place in the Bundesliga following their second consecutive draw.

Those draws have helped widen the gap between Germany's top two and the rest, with league-toppers Bayern Munich securing a 2-0 win at home to Augsberg in a game where the Bavarians were far from impressive. Bayern move up to 55 points, four ahead of Borussia Dortmund, who are second after Saturday's 2-1 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach, their seventh win in eight.

Indo Sport