MILAN, Italy: AC Milan continued their unbeaten start to their Serie A title defense with a 2-0 victory over Bologna on Saturday as Tammy Abraham handed Roma a 1-1 draw against Juventus in the return of Juventus to their former playground.
Champions Milan picked up a routine win at the San Siro with goals either side of half-time from Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud to get the upper hand on goal difference.
Stefano Pioli’s side took full advantage of Inter Milan’s loss to Lazio on Friday night to move one point above their local rivals.
“We are more focused and confident than in the past, we played with a real commitment to attacking and defending as a unit,” Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.
“I’m happy with our performance but I know we can still improve.”
Milan are one of four teams locked on seven points, along with Roma, Lazio and Torino – 2-1 winners over promoted Cremonese.
Napoli will return to the top if they win at Fiorentina on Sunday night, Luciano Spalletti’s flamboyant side with six perfect points after two stunning performances in their opening matches.
Leao gave the hosts the lead in front of more than 60,000 fans with his first goal of the season, the Portuguese winger was lucky to see his missed shot past Lukasz Skorupski in the 21st minute after good play from debutant Charles De Ketelaere.
Leao, 23, who has been linked with Chelsea, should have added to Milan’s lead before the break, missing a one-on-one with Skorupski in the first half.
However, he set up the opening strike of Giroud’s campaign in the 58th minute with a perfectly cut pass which the France international drove home with a beautifully placed volley finish.
Nicola Sansone broke the upright 10 minutes later for Bologna who hover above the drop zone with just one point.
Andrea Pinamonti scored his first goal for Sassuolo after leaving Inter, heading home after defensive confusion to hand his new side a 2-2 draw at Spezia.
Jose Mourinho said he was “ashamed” of his Roma players’ performances before they battled to score Abraham’s first goal of the season.
England international Abraham headed home after Dybala’s 69th-minute knockdown at the Allianz Stadium to maintain Roma’s unbeaten record.
Mourinho used the vulgar Italian phrase ‘culo’ to describe their luck to be just one goal away at the break after learning a lesson from Juve.
Roma escaped Turin with a point despite being second best for long stretches. Dusan Vlahovic put Juve ahead with a superb free-kick after barely a minute.
“I told my players at half-time that I was ashamed of them… We can’t come here and play like this,” he said.
“We did absolutely nothing, it was pure luck. They were a very different team in the second half.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side remain unbeaten by five points but will be disappointed not to have taken all three on Saturday.
The strong result at a place where Roma have an abysmal record also masks a poor showing from Dybala, who looked overwhelmed in his first Juve appearance since leaving as a free agent in the summer.
The Argentine striker won five Serie A titles and four Italian Cups in seven years with the Turin giants and received warm applause from home fans ahead of the game.
However, there were boos and whistles from the stands when he was finally substituted with 12 minutes remaining after helping prevent his former side from winning.