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Mazzarri lifts Torino on Italy return


Milan (AFP) – Former Watford boss Walter Mazzarri got off to a winning start as new Torino coach with a 3-0 home win over Bologna on Saturday.

Lorenzo De Silvestri, M’Baye Niang and Iago Falque all scored to seal a valuable three points for just the second time in Torino’s last nine matches.

Mazzarri’s predecessor Sinisa Mihajlovic was sacked after a 2-0 Italian Cup defeat to Juventus midweek.

“If I came back to Italy it’s because I felt fire in my belly again,” said the former Inter Milan and Napoli coach, who managed English Premier League club Watford last season.

“In the last two days it was full immersion, I did not sleep.

“I’m happy, it’s clear, anyone who knows me well will know that between winning and losing really changes my mood.”

The hosts overran Bologna from the outset with De Silvestri heading after 38 minutes off an Alex Berenguer free kick.

Bologna looked set to equalise when Erick Pulgar stepped up to take a penalty awarded after the referee initially booked Simone Verdi for simulation before consultation with the video assistant referee (VAR). Salvatore Sirigu held firm in the Torino goal.

Senegalese striker Niang, who played under Mazzarri last year in Watford, doubled Torino’s lead on 53 minutes with Iago Falque completing the scoreline five minutes from time.

Torino move up to ninth with Bologna three places below after their fourth defeat in their last five games.

On Friday, Giovanni Simeone grabbed a late equaliser as Inter Milan saw their third place threatened before the winter break with a frustrating 1-1 draw against Fiorentina.

Both goals on the night were scored by Argentinians with Inter skipper Mauro Icardi opening after 55 minutes with his 100th goal in Serie A to lead the way in Italy with 18 this season.

But Simeone — son of Atletico Madrid coach and former Inter star Diego Simeone — blasted in the equaliser in injury time to leave Luciano Spalletti’s side winless in five Serie A games.

Inter have 42 points from 20 games, six points behind Napoli who host lowly Verona on Saturday.

Champions Juventus are also five points ahead of Inter before their trip to Cagliari, while Roma are just three points behind Inter before they host Atalanta.

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