MILAN (AP) – Some players appear to be taking advantage of the new handball rules to deliberately earn penalties.
The new rules state that it is automatically a penalty if the ball touches a player’s hand or arm when it is over his shoulder, regardless of his intention.
This is how Roma striker Edin Dzeko won the first-half penalty in the Rome derby on Sunday.
Rather than shoot on goal, Dzeko appeared to see Sergej Milinkovic-Savic raise his arm and instead hit the extended limb to get the kick which was later converted by Aleksandar Kolarov.
“We have to get used to this new rule,” Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi said. “I think we looked for him and found him.
“We must not keep our arms raised because otherwise footballers with a very good goal will seek the arm in the box and therefore with these rules a penalty will be imposed.”
Luis Alberto equalized for Lazio after the break and the game ended 1-1.
The rules were meant to bring more clarity to those who play or watch the game, but they continue to spark controversy.
Last week, Fiorentina received a penalty when the ball was deflected by a knee under the arm of Piotr Zielinski, who was slightly elevated.
However, Napoli took the 4-3 victory.
Juventus have had the best defense in Serie A in each of the past eight seasons.
His famous BBC defense of Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini helped him win the title in each of those years.
Despite Barzagli’s retirement, Juventus needed to remain strong at the back, especially after making Matthijs de Ligt the most expensive defender in Serie A history by signing him from Ajax for € 75m ($ 85 million) last month.
But the Bianconeri were hit by a heavy blow when Chiellini tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in training on Friday, ruling out the Juventus and Italy captain for around five months.
De Ligt made his debut in Saturday’s game against title rivals Napoli and was at fault for two of the goals as Napoli fought back three-level goals before Juventus won 4-3 thanks to a own goal in stoppage time.
“He comes from a team that defended differently, in a league other than Italy,” Juventus assistant coach Giovanni Martusciello said. “He also played well for an hour, then his condition was a bit lacking. But he is a player of the highest level.
Mario Balotelli was at San Siro on Saturday to see his new club face off against his old one as Brescia lost 1-0 to AC Milan.
Balotelli joined newly promoted Brescia after his contract with Marseille expired, returning to Serie A with his home club after a three-year absence.
The forward has to wait to make his debut as he is serving a four-match suspension following a back-to-back red card in his last game for Marseille against Montpellier in May.
“He’s working really hard, he’s had three double training sessions,” Brescia coach Eugenio Corini said. “He’s here with the right mindset, we’re counting on him a lot.
Balotelli’s last stint in Italy was miserable as he battled injury and only scored once on a one-season loan at AC Milan before returning to Liverpool in 2016 and move immediately to France, resuscitating his career first with Nice and then in Marseille.
It was Balotelli’s second stint at Milan, the team he supported as a child.
Balotelli’s first appearance for Brescia will likely be the home game against eight-time defending champions Juventus on September 25.
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