12.11.2018 14:14 h

Five talking points from Serie A

Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic scored in either half as Juventus bounced back from their Champions League defeat by Manchester United with a 2-0 win over 10-man AC Milan in Serie A to maintain their six-point lead over Napoli before the international break.

But Inter Milan collapsed 4-1 at Atalanta to drop to third place, three points ahead of Lazio who occupy the final Champions League spot despite being held 1-1 by Sassuolo.

AFP Sport looks at five things we learned in Serie A this weekend:

Ronaldo's Juventus are setting a record pace in the Italian league with the champions picking up a Serie A record of 34 points in their first 12 matches.

Massimiliano Allegri's side have now won 13 away games in 2018, more than any other team in the top five European leagues.

The Bianconeri are also unbeaten in their last 16 league matches, with 14 wins and two draws.

Mandzukic's opening goal was the 100th time Juventus have scored against Milan away from home.

"It hurts to have lost, but they were better than us," said AC Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli.

"They are among the strongest in Europe. We were compact and united, but it was a game in which we didn't have many chances."

French defender Medhi Benatia revealed that hearing he was often the weakest link in the Juventus squad had spurred him to keep a clean sheet against AC Milan.

"(Saturday) I was getting a massage with Cristiano (Ronaldo) and (Daniele) Rugani when I heard on TV that I often mess up in big games, so I wanted to show that I can be relied upon," said Benatia.

Benatia did concede a penalty after a handball, but former Juve teammate Gonzalo Higuain missed, with the defender otherwise having a solid performance, provoking a foul which led to Higuain's sending-off.

Czech forward Patrik Schick scored his first goal for Roma this season in a 4-1 win over Sampdoria to get the capital side back on maximum points after three winless games.

"He needs to find that spark but scoring will no doubt boost his confidence," said coach Eusebio Di Francesco. "He's got great quality. It wasn't just the supporters waiting for him to score, but everyone - including the coach."

"He's quick, energetic and has good technical ability - he can play in many different roles."

De Francesco believes his tinkering is paying off as Roma, who finished third last season, moved up to sixth -- five points off the Champions League places.

"I'm chopping and changing things, so as to achieve greater balance, particularly from a mental point of view.

"We've dropped points in games where we deserved more, but we've still got time to make up for that."

With just one shot on target in the 4-1 loss at Atlanta, Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti blamed lapses in concentration for the end to their seven-match winning streak and their worst defeat in almost two years.

"When you're coming off so many victories you think you have acquired some rights but you have to find the strength to start from zero," said Spalletti.

"The result is a setback, we weren't on the pitch" added goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, who had conceded just six goals in 11 games prior to their visit to Bergamo.

Genoa president Enrico Preziosi has backed under-fire Croatian coach Ivan Juric after his foul-mouthed rant to journalists after his side fell 2-1 to Napoli.

Juric is in his third stint as Genoa coach having been brought in to replace Davide Ballardini las month.

Genoa had been leading 1-0 at the break but Fabian Ruiz and a Davide Biraschi own goal following a rain break gave Napoli a win.

Preziosi insisted Monday he had "full confidence in Juric".