Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Substitute Castellanos scores 2 goals in win for Lazio as post-Sarri era begins

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Milan, March 17: Substitute Taty Castellanos scored twice in Lazio’s 3-2 win at relegation-threatened Frosinone on Saturday in what is set to be interim coach Giovanni Martusciello’s only match in charge of the capital club.
Pol Lirola gave Frosinone the lead before Mattia Zaccagni leveled shortly before halftime. Castellanos scored twice after the break but Walid Cheddira reduced the deficit to set up a nervy final 20 minutes and also had a goal ruled out.
Martusciello, Maurizio Sarri’s longtime assistant, was named caretaker coach on Wednesday after Sarri resigned. But Italian media reports an agreement has already been reached with Igor Tudor to take over from Monday.
Tudor has previously coached Udinese and Hellas Verona in Serie A. The 45-year-old Croatian’s last job was at Marseille, which he left in June after leading it to third place in the French league.
Lazio had lost its last four matches – including a Champions League exit at Bayern Munich – and got off to the worst start at Frosinone as Lirola headed the home side into the lead in the 13th minute.
Lazio was struggling and Frosinone had chances to extend its lead before Zaccagni volleyed in a cross from Matteo Guendouzi to level, seven minutes from the break.
Castellanos was brought on for Ciro Immobile in the 56th minute, with play stopped following a foul by Frosinone, and he had an immediate impact as he headed in Luis Alberto’s free kick.
Castellanos called the whole team over to celebrate with him in a huddle, including the players on the bench.
And the Argentine forward doubled his tally just five minutes later. Nicolò Casale’s effort came off the left post but Castellanos was quickest to react. With Frosinone goalkeeper Stefano Turati on the ground, he just had to tap the rebound into the empty net.
Cheddira pulled one back with an acrobatic, overhead kick in the 70th minute and thought he had leveled three minutes later, following a howler by Lazio stand-in goalkeeper Christos Mandas, but it was ruled out for offside.
Ninth-place Lazio is 11 points behind fourth-place Bologna, while Frosinone remained a point from safety.
ANOTHER COACHING CHANGE?
Lecce had the ideal debut under new coach Luca Gotti as it won 1-0 at bottom club Salernitana to snap a five-match winless run and move four points clear of the relegation zone.
Gotti was appointed on Wednesday, two days after Roberto D’Aversa was fired for headbutting an opposing player.
Salernitana was the better team for much of the match and Lecce had goalkeeper Wladimiro Falcone to thank for a number of decisive saves.
Lecce took the lead in the 17th minute when, during a goalmouth scramble, Salernitana defender Norbert Gyömbér deflected the ball into his own net.
It was only the second goal Lecce had scored since Feb. 2. The previous one was also an own-goal.
Salernitana remained 11 points from safety and seemingly doomed for Serie B. CEO Maurizio Milan said it is “evaluating” whether to fire Fabio Liverani, the team’s third coach of the season.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Daniel Maldini has emulated his father by scoring against a Cagliari side coached by Claudio Ranieri.
A stunning free kick, four minutes from halftime, was enough to secure a 1-0 win for Monza and left Cagliari two points above the drop zone.
The 22-year-old Maldini, who joined Monza on loan from AC Milan in January, has scored three goals in his last four matches.
His father, Paolo Maldini, was a former Milan captain and defender. One of his 29 Serie A goals came against Cagliari in 1991 when the Sardinian team was previously coached by Ranieri.
Udinese was only three points above the relegation zone after losing 2-0 at home to Torino.
Juventus jeered off field
Juventus was booed off the field on Sunday as its miserable run continued with a 0-0 draw at home to Genoa in Serie A.
Juventus, which hit the woodwork twice, also had Dušan Vlahović sent off in stoppage time. The forward was booked for dissent but furiously continued his protests and was shown a second yellow card.
Massimiliano Allegri’s team has won just one of its past eight matches to slip 16 points behind runaway league leader Inter Milan.
Juventus moved level with second-placed AC Milan, which will be looking to put a difficult week behind it when it visits relegation-threatened Hellas Verona.
On Tuesday, Milan’s offices were raided by police as part of an investigation by Italian prosecutors into the sale of the seven-time European champion.
It was a mediocre first half in Turin and there were loud jeers by Juventus fans at halftime, while Allegri was visibly angry with his players.
Matters barely improved after the break and Allegri made a triple change on the hour mark.
That almost had an immediate impact as one of those substitutes, Samuel Iling-Junior, had a shot deflected onto the right post in the 67th minute.
Moise Kean also saw a powerful shot come off the left upright in the final minute, shortly before Vlahović lost his temper.
The boos were even louder after the final whistle. (AP)

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