All three of the Bianconeri’s Champions League rivals tasted victory in their final domestic fixtures ahead of Wednesday night’s return to Group B action.
Real Madrid, who Antonio Conte’s men face next at the Bernabeu, trimmed the gap on current league leaders Barcelona to just three points with Saturday afternoon’s 2-0 home success over Malaga.
In truth, the slender scoreline fails to tell the full story, with visiting goalkeeper Willy Caballero producing a string of fine saves to prevent Carlo Ancelotti’s side from winning by a more comprehensive margin.
In the end they only had second-half strikes from Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo to show for their dominance, although the successful return from injury for Gareth Bale, who came off the bench to win the penalty converted by Ronaldo, represented the main positive for Ancelotti ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League fixture.
Over in Turkey, Roberto Mancini chalked up his first win as Galatasaray manager in yesterday’s 2-1 home victory over Karabukspor. Wesley Sneijder struck twice to ensure a successful home debut for the newly-installed Italian, who sees his team move up to ninth in the Super Lig table.
Meanwhile, FC Copenhagen completed the winning trio with this evening’s 3-0 home triumph over Aarhus. The success - which came courtesy of efforts from Nicolai Jorgensen, Igor Vetokele and a Lasse Neilsen own goal - enables Stale Solbakken’s side climb away from the relegation zone to occupy a position of relative mid-table safety.