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Diego Maradona hopeful of future Napoli role

  NAPLES, Italy (AP) — Former Napoli star Diego Maradona is in talks to work with the Serie A side, where he is still idolized nearly 27 years after leaving the club. Maradona, who is in Naples for a theatrical event on Monday celebrating the club's first title win, met with Napoli President Aurelio de Laurentiis on Saturday night. 'It was the first step,' Maradona said Sunday. 'First of all I have to sort out the problems I have here in Italy, then I can work for Napoli in Italy and in the world. 'We have to do things well because I want a winning team, a team that can play on level terms against Juve, Inter, Milan and Roma. He understood immediately because in these years he has grown from a president who didn't know much about football to become an expert today.' An Italian court is scheduled to finally end the decades-long battle between Maradona and the Italian government on Feb. 28. Maradona has always insisted he does not owe any of the millions in back taxes the government claims are due. The 56-year-old Argentine arrived in the city on Saturday night and was greeted by more than 100 cheering Napoli fans, who had waited in freezing temperatures outside his hotel for a glimpse of their idol. 'It continues to surprise me,' Maradona said. 'There are kids who have never seen me play and today they get excited and cry for a photo with me. 'Every day I feel the affection and love the Neapolitan people have for me. The father has transmitted it to his son, who has then transmitted it to his and this will never end. After 30 years the same love continues, like the first woman you have in your life.' Maradona led Napoli to its only two league titles in 1987 and 1990 and scored a club record 115 goals between 1984 and 1991. 'After a match against Cremona at the beginning of the season which didn't count for anything but which drew 80,000 people, I understood that here at Napoli we needed to play for the title,' Maradona said. 'I came from Barcelona, where we could win, draw or lose, but here at Napoli no, I couldn't lose, I told myself then. 'I would have been ashamed to have 80,000 people and then not to win. And we won everywhere, at Juve, at Inter, at Roma... And if now Napoli can think it can win the title, it is thanks to me.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2017

Juventus signs defender Caldara from Atalanta for 25 million

TURIN, Italy (AP) — Juventus has acquired Mattia Caldara's rights from Atalanta in a 25 million euro ($26 million) deal that keeps the center back on loan with the Bergamo club for another season and a half. Caldara signed a five-year deal with Juventus that expires in June 2021. Juventus announced it is paying a 15 million euro transfer fee with another 6 million euros in eventual bonuses plus 4 million euros in incentives during Caldara's remaining time with Atalanta. Juventus is hoping the 22-year-old Caldara becomes the next in a long line of standout Juventus defenders, and can replace the likes of Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci. It's the second major deal involving Atalanta in two days after Inter Milan signed midfielder Roberto Gagliardini on Wednesday in a deal that could end up costing as much as 28 million euros. Featuring a large group of homegrown players, Atalanta has been the revelation of Serie A this season. The provincial club located near Milan is in sixth place. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2017

Buffon sounds alarm as Juve stutters

MILAN: The Juventus defense is leaking, goals have dried up and captain Gianluigi Buffon has rung the alarm after the Serie A champions were exposed during a 2-1 ‘Derby d’Italia’ defeat to Inter Milan. Juventus host Cagliari on Wednesd.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsSep 20th, 2016

Hart, Cuadrado, Alberto move to Serie A from Premier League

DANIELLA MATAR, Associated Press br /> MILAN (AP) — Three of the biggest transfers in Serie A on deadline day saw players switch from the English Premier League to Italy's top league on Wednesday. Manchester City and England .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 1st, 2016

Lazio beats Atalanta 2-0 to win Italian Cup

ROME (AP) — Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored moments after coming off the bench to lead Lazio to a 2-0 win over Atalanta in the Italian Cup final on Wednesday. Milinkovic-Savic, who was making his comeback from an injury, broke the deadlock in the 82nd minute by heading in a corner. Joaquin Correa doubled Lazio's lead following a counterattack in the final minute as Atalanta pressed for the equalizer. Marten de Roon had hit the post for Atalanta in the first half in an entertaining, high-tempo match. It was Simone Inzaghi's first Italian Cup victory as coach, having won the competition as a player with Lazio three times. The win also salvaged a disappointing season for Lazio, whose hopes of qualifying for the Champions League ended with a recent loss to Atalanta in the league. Several of the Atalanta players were in tears after the final whistle. The team from the small northern city of Bergamo has won the Italian Cup only once in its history, back in 1963. It was Lazio's seventh Italian Cup victory and also ended four years of Juventus domination. Lazio lost to Juventus in two of those finals. Atalanta can console itself by fulfilling its other ambition, of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in its history. The team is currently on an 11-match unbeaten run in the league and that has lifted it up to fourth place in Serie A and the final Champions League qualifying berth. Atalanta has a three-point advantage over AC Milan and Roma with two matches remaining......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 15th, 2019

Milan beats Bologna 2-1 to keep Champions League hopes alive

MILAN (AP) — AC Milan kept its Champions League hopes alive by beating Bologna 2-1 on Monday in a Serie A match in which three players were sent off. Suso and substitute Fabio Borino scored in each half for Milan before Mattia Destro pulled one back for Bologna in the 72nd minute. Moments later, Milan was reduced to 10 men after Lucas Paqueta was booked for an angry reaction to a foul by Bologna midfielder Erick Pulgar and then sent off for slapping away the referee's hand in dissent. Bologna forward Nicola Sansone was also sent off for dissent in stoppage time as was teammate Mitchell Dijks after the final whistle. Milan moved into fifth place, three points below Atalanta and the final Champions League berth. There are three rounds remaining. Bologna moved five points above the relegation zone......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 7th, 2019

Ronaldo nets 600th club goal as goalscoring race heats up

By Daniella Matar and Andrew Dampf, Associated Press MILAN (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo's unrelenting hunger for goals is plain to see. The Juventus forward netted his 600th club goal on Saturday and celebrated with typical joy. But his desire to score was far more evident in the first half against Inter Milan when he fired over the bar and showed anguish and frustration. That appeared to spur Ronaldo to the equalizer after the break as Juventus came back to draw with bitter rival Inter 1-1 in Serie A. "Ronaldo is lethal, I have him, and I'm happy," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "It's important to have a player like him. After he missed a chance he got very angry, then he played a different game." Ronaldo already plays a different game to most. And after alreading clinching a record-extending eighth successive Serie A title, Ronaldo could become the first player to win the top goalscorer award and the Serie A title in his first season in Italy. The 34-year-old Ronaldo has 20 league goals for Juventus, three less than league leader and Sampdoria forward Fabio Quagliarella. He could also become the first player to win the top goalscorer award in three of Europe's top five leagues, having claimed the prize in Spain (three times) and England. There are four rounds remaining. Ronaldo has been playing and scoring regularly, even while being accused of raping a woman in 2009 in the United States — something the Portugal star denies. The strike against Inter Milan was his 27th for Juventus in all competitions. Ronaldo scored 450 for Real Madrid, 118 for Manchester United and five for Sporting Lisbon. "With him you always start in front, we are lucky to have him with us," Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini said. "He will help Juventus win more." Earlier in the season, Ronaldo became the first player to net 400 goals across Europe's top five leagues. CONTE CRAZINESS Roma fans are starting to believe the reports that Antonio Conte could become the club's next coach. With Claudio Ranieri in a caretaker role following Eusebio Di Francesco's firing, speculation is rampant that Roma is in talks with Conte about taking over the team for next season. When Conte, the former Juventus, Italy, and Chelsea coach, was spotted at Rome's Leonardo Da Vinci Airport on Sunday, Roma fans stopped him for selfies and spread the word on social media — even though it appeared Conte was merely traveling to his home in Turin. While the Roman-born Ranieri has said he would like to remain with Roma, even he acknowledged the club would do well to hire Conte. "I would love to see him on the Roma bench, but I don't know anything: I would be the last to know," Ranieri said with a smile following Roma's 3-0 win over Cagliari on Saturday. "I would be super happy if Conte came in. I would go and collect him from the airport." Retired Roma captain Francesco Totti, who has a position in Roma's management, called Conte "one of the best coaches in Europe." "Wherever he's gone he's won. Any squad would do something crazy to get him," Totti said, adding that there are also reports that Inter Milan and Bayern Munich are interested in Conte. "There are a lot of squads chasing him." ATALANTA STADIUM Fresh off qualifying for the Italian Cup final, Atalanta has announced plans for a complete overhaul of its Atleti Azzurri d'Italia stadium. Work on the 40 million euro ($45 million) project will begin following Atalanta's game against Udinese on Monday, meaning the team will play its final two home matches of the season in Reggio Emilia at Mapei Stadium, Sassuolo's ground. The three-phase project should be completed in time for the 2021-22 season, at which time the stadium will be renamed Gewiss Arena. Atalanta beat Fiorentina on Thursday to advance to the May 15 Cup final against Lazio. ___ Dampf reported from Rome......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 29th, 2019

Roma beats Sampdoria 4-0 to reach Italian Cup quarterfinals

ROME (AP) — Roma is on course to face city rival Lazio in the Italian Cup semifinals after easing past Sampdoria 4-0 in the round of 16 on Thursday. It next faces second-division Cesena, which has already seen off two Serie A sides in Empoli and Sassuolo, while Lazio visits Inter Milan in its quarterfinal. Roma survived an early scare as Luis Muriel hit the post in the third minute for Sampdoria. The home side also hit the woodwork, with Leandro Paredes' volley crashing off the underside of the crossbar before bouncing just the wrong side of the line in the 25th. Roma broke the deadlock six minutes from time with an absolute stunner from Radja Nainggolan, who volleyed a poor clearance into the top right corner from 25 yards. On the bench, Francesco Totti swung his scarf around his head in celebration. Stephan El Shaarawy missed a couple of chances at the end of the first half but he set up Roma's second shortly after the restart with a deft chipped pass for Edin Dzeko. Dzeko returned the favor on the hour mark with a 40-yard pass, which El Shaarawy controlled before lobbing Sampdoria goalkeeper Christian Puggioni. Samp had the ball in the net but Patrik Schick's effort was ruled out for offside, and Nainggolan headed in Diego Perotti's cross in the 89th for his first double for Roma. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2017

Murillo spectacular goal with bicycle kick in Inter win

MILAN (AP) — Jeison Murillo scored with a spectacular bicycle kick and Antonio Candreva got the winner in extra time as Inter Milan beat Bologna 3-2 Tuesday to advance to the Italian Cup quarterfinals. Shortly after the half-hour mark, Murillo broke the deadlock in style, redirecting a corner from Joao Mario with a picture-perfect overhead effort from beyond the penalty spot. Mario also provided the pass when Rodrigo Palacio burst through the offside trap to make it 2-0 six minutes later. Blerim Dzemaili pulled one back for Bologna before the break with a shot that was deflected in by Inter midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia. Godfred Donsah equalized for Bologna in the 73rd, heading in a cross by the far post as Inter's defense appeared more concerned with Mattia Destro. Eight minutes into extra time, Candreva scored with a shot that deflected in off a defender. Inter, which has won five straight games in Serie A, will next face Lazio or Genoa, who play Wednesday. Inter took the last of its seven Cup titles in 2011. Gabriel Barbosa, the 20-year-old Brazil forward known as 'Gabigol,' got his first start for Inter and threatened on multiple occasions early on. Inter captain Mauro Icardi came on midway through the second half and wasted a perfect chance at the winner five minutes after Donsah's goal, failing miserably to direct an accurate cross from Eder. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 18th, 2017

Belotti shines again but Torino still can't beat AC Milan

TURIN, Italy (AP) — Italy forward Andrea Belotti has three goals in three matches against AC Milan this season but his Torino club can't beat the Rossoneri. Milan came back from two goals down to draw at Torino 2-2 in Serie A on Monday, four days after eliminating the 'Granata' from the Italian Cup. Belotti and Marco Benassi put Torino ahead 2-0 at halftime but Andrea Bertolacci and Carlos Bacca responded for Milan. Milan, which has a game in hand, remained fifth, three points behind Lazio, while Torino dropped to ninth, seven points further back. Torino coach Sinisa Mihajlovic smashed an interview backdrop as he walked off the pitch. 'I'm not angry, I'm furious and very disappointed because we continue to throw away points and waste chances,' said Mihajlovic, who coached Milan last season. 'It's crazy to draw this match. We made the same mistakes we made in the Italian Cup. We went up by two goals, we narrowly missed a third, and then in the second half we didn't play for 20 minutes.' Midway through the first half, Belotti stuck his boot out to redirect in a shot from Adem Ljajic. Belotti also scored when Milan beat Torino 3-2 on the opening weekend of Serie A in August — when he had an injury-time penalty saved by Milan teenager goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma — and got the opener in the 2-1 loss at the San Siro last week. Five minutes after Belotti's goal, Benassi scored with his backheel, redirecting a cross from Iago Falque. Torino had a golden chance to take a 3-0 lead when Antonio Barreca earned a penalty after a foul by Ignazio Abate but Adem Ljajic's spot kick went directly at Donnarumma in the center of the goal. Just like last week's match, Torino dominated the first half then ceded control to Milan. Ten minutes after the break, Bertolacci scored his first of the season from close range with the help of goal-line technology. Near the hour mark, Luca Rossettini used his arm to push Milan defender Gabriel Paletta to the ground, drawing a penalty that Bacca drilled into the top right corner. It was Bacca's fourth goal in two league matches against Torino this season, having scored a hat trick during the victory in August. Milan ended with 10 men when Alessio Romagnoli picked up his second yellow for a foul on Belotti in the 89th. Before the match, Milan announced it sold forward Luiz Adriano to Spartak Moscow. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2017

Juventus' lead cut to 1 point after 2-1 loss at Fiorentina

br /> DANIELLA MATAR, Associated Press   MILAN (AP) — Fiorentina coach Paulo Sousa got his tactics spot on as he steered his side to a 2-1 win over Juventus, which saw the Serie A leader's advantage slashed to only one point on Sunday. Juventus had been seven points clear of second-placed Roma after beating the Giallorossi 1-0 on Dec. 17 and was seemingly on an unstoppable march to a record sixth straight Serie A title. 'Every match should be the big match for Fiorentina — with that attitude almost every team would struggle to beat us,' Sousa said. 'I don't think there is any doubt about the fact Fiorentina deserved this win. 'Beating the best gives you an extraordinary sensation and that should encourage us to continue to believe in our project.' Juventus has played a match less than most other teams due to the Italian Super Cup, which it lost on penalties to AC Milan. 'When you lose, you never feel good,' Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. 'We had an awful first half, while we did better in the second and also had chances to equalize. 'They were very aggressive, but we made it easier for them with our mistakes ... Against Juventus every team plays the game of its life. We have to remain calm.' Fiorentina dominated from the start and Juventus was given an early warning when Matias Vecino, who had already seen an effort saved by Gianluigi Buffon, hit the left post in the 10th minute. Fiorentina took a deserved lead in the 37th as Nikola Kalinic latched onto Federico Bernardeschi's through ball and slotted into the far bottom corner from a tight angle. The hosts doubled their advantage 10 minutes into the second half as a throw-in found Milan Badelj 30 yards (meters) out and he launched the ball toward Chiesa who attempted to meet it with an acrobatic effort as it bounced in. It was unclear whether Chiesa got a touch or not but his movement was enough to confuse Buffon. The league's official website, which had initially awarded the goal to Chiesa, later credited it to Badelj. Juventus reduced the gap three minutes later when Sami Khedira floated in a cross from the left and it came off opponents Stefano Sturaro and Maximiliano Olivera. Gonzalo Higuain was on hand to slot it home. Juventus almost leveled in the 80th but Higuain's header was stopped by the legs of Fiorentina goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu and Giorgi Chiellini's attempt from the rebound was blocked before the ball was finally cleared. Paulo Dybala also blazed over the bar from a good position. It was only Fiorentina's second home win over Juventus since 1998. ___ NAPOLI 3, PESCARA 1 With Diego Maradona in Naples to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his side's first title win, Marek Hamsik closed in on the Napoli great's goal scoring record. Maradona is still revered in Naples after leading the team to its only two league titles in 1987 and 1990 and that was evident when he was greeted by more than 100 fans upon his arrival in the city on Saturday night. Napoli struggled to get past a well-organized Pescara side in the first half but broke the deadlock immediately after halftime as Lorenzo Tonelli headed in a free kick. It was the defender's second goal in as many matches after sitting on the bench for the first half of the season. Napoli doubled its lead less than two minutes later as Hamsik volleyed in a brilliant chipped pass from Piotr Zielinski. The Slovakia international needs just nine more to equal Maradona's record of 115 goals for Napoli. The home side was in full control and had chances to extend its advantage before Dries Mertens scored five minutes from time following a one-two with Allan. Pescara netted a late consolation as Gianluca Caprari converted a penalty in stoppage time after Elseid Hysaj fouled Alexandru Mitrita. Third-placed Napoli moved four points behind Juventus. ___ UDINESE 0, ROMA 1 Roma recorded another slender win to move to within a point of Juventus. It was Roma's third 1-0 win in its past four victories. Radja Nainggolan scored the only goal, in the 12th minute, volleying Kevin Strootman's ball over the top into the bottom left corner. Edin Dzeko should have extended Roma's lead six minutes later but he blazed his spot kick over the bar after Marco Davide Faraoni had been penalized for handball. Francesco Totti came off the bench shortly after the hour, making it a 25th consecutive year that he has played in Serie A. The 40-year-old almost set up Roma's second with his first touch as he spooned the ball toward Nainggolan, who just failed to meet it six yards from goal. ___ OTHER MATCHES Lazio fought back to beat Atalanta 2-1 to remain a point behind Napoli and extend its advantage over both Milan sides to four points. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic headed in the equalizer in first-half stoppage time after Andrea Petagna had opened the scoring in the 21st. Ciro Immobile converted the winning penalty in the 68th after being tripped by former Lazio goalkeeper Etrit Berisha. Sassuolo and Cagliari both won 4-1, beating Palermo and Genoa respectively. Empoli missed a penalty in a 0-0 draw at Sampdoria. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2017

Icardi scores to help Inter fight back to beat Chievo 3-1

DANIELLA MATAR, Associated Press br /> MILAN (AP) — Serie A's top goalscorer will not be moving to the Chinese Super League anytime soon. Mauro Icardi scored again to help Inter Milan come from behind to beat Chievo Verona 3-1 on Saturday, and his goalscoring rate is sure to be garnering attention among the new pacesetters in the global transfer market. However, Icardi, who turns 24 on Thursday, insists he is not about to follow the likes of Carlos Tevez, Axel Witsel, Oscar, and John Obi Mikel to China. 'I renewed my contract at the beginning of the year and I'm happy to stay with this shirt,' Icardi said. 'There's always time to go to China at the end of my career.' Icardi scored the equalizer in the 69th minute, volleying in Antonio Candreva's stunning cross from the right. Icardi's 15th goal in 20 league matches moved him two clear of Roma forward Edin Dzeko and Torino's Andrea Belotti in the goalscoring charts. Icardi also had a hand in the winner, four minutes from time. He won the ball back in midfield and set up Ivan Perisic, who raced towards goal before firing past Stefano Sorrentino after the Chievo defenders backed away from him. Eder topped the scoring in stoppage time. Inter extended its winning run in the league to five matches and moved up to fifth, level on points with AC Milan, which has played two matches less than Stefano Pioli's side and visits Torino on Monday. Chievo remained 11th. 'We had a great game,' Icardi said. 'We've shown we have character for several games now.' Inter dominated the match and only Sorrentino's heroics in goal prevented it from taking the lead. The 37-year-old goalkeeper made some fine stops, including twice preventing new signing Roberto Gagliardini from scoring on his debut. At the other end, a fellow veteran gave Chievo a surprise lead, completely against the run of play, with the 37-year-old Sergio Pellissier volleying in a corner. Pellissier almost doubled his tally in the opening minute of the second half but Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic got down smartly to beat away his effort. Sorrentino made another fantastic stop to keep out Perisic's header from point-blank range, and he also twice denied Eder before he was finally beaten. Overall, Inter had 31 attempts on goal, 14 of which were on target. Inter is nine points behind league leader Juventus, which visits Fiorentina on Sunday. ___ CROTONE 0 BOLOGNA 1 Crotone looks ever more likely to go straight back down to Serie B after a 14th defeat of the season left it bottom, eight points from safety. Bologna moved up to 14th, 13 points off the relegation zone after Blerim Dzemaili's 51st-minute strike. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2017

AC Milan beats Torino to set up Cup meeting with Juventus

MILAN (AP) — AC Milan came back from a goal down to beat Torino 2-1 on Thursday and set up a meeting with Juventus in the Italian Cup quarterfinals. After Andrea Belotti put Torino ahead, Juraj Kucka and Giacomo Bonaventura responded for Milan in a three-minute span of the second half. 'We were slow in the first half. In the second we accelerated and the pace of the match slowed down, enabling our quality to emerge,' Bonaventura said. Milan has beaten Juventus twice this season, once in Serie A and more recently on penalties in the Italian Super Cup last month, while Juventus defeated Milan in last season's Italian Cup final. Juventus eliminated Atalanta 3-2 on Wednesday. It was a tale of two halves at San Siro Stadium. Torino dominated the opening period and Belotti finished off a swift counterattack, beating Milan's 17-year-old goalkeeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma, with one touch. It was a measure of revenge for Belotti, who had a penalty saved in stoppage time of a 3-2 loss on the Serie A opening weekend in August. Shortly after the hour mark, Kucka equalized by redirecting in a cross near the far post and then Bonaventura connected on a volley from the center of the area to beat England goalkeeper Joe Hart. Hart was playing with his head in a bandage by that point, having taken a boot to the face from Milan forward Gianluca Lapadula. Donnarumma restored order with Belotti by denying the Italy forward of a potential equalizer with his boot in the 69th, and Torino ended with 10 men when Antonio Barreca picked up his second yellow. Lapadula dribbled past Hart in added time but had his shot cleared off the line by Torino defender Emiliano Moretti. On Monday, Milan visits Torino in Serie A. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2017

'Bull's eye!': Dybala works through adversity with class

ANDREW DAMPF, AP Sports Writer   ROME (AP) — 'Take a bow and arrow, aim: Bull's eye!' That's what Paulo Dybala tweeted after scoring one goal and setting up another in Juventus' 3-2 win over Atalanta in the Italian Cup. If only it was always that easy for the Argentina forward. Considered one of the brightest young talents in world soccer, the 23-year-old Dybala is enduring a turbulent season that has included a six-week injury layoff and a decisive penalty blocked by AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the Italian Super Cup shootout that reduced him to tears. 'I had a bit of a rough time over the break,' Dybala said. 'I had never missed a penalty with Juventus before and I missed the most important one.' Fortunately, the rough spell didn't last long. Dybala regained his confidence from the penalty spot by converting in Juventus' first match after the holiday break, a 3-0 win over Bologna. Midway through the first half against Atalanta on Wednesday, Dybala scored with a splendid volley from outside the area following a touch from Mario Mandzukic. Then he returned the favor by threading a pass through several defenders to Mandzukic, who made it 2-0. By the end of the month, Juventus is expected to extend Dybala's contract by one year to 2021 and increase his salary — which would end speculation over potential moves to Barcelona and Real Madrid. 'I'm not someone who goes and reads the newspapers. I read these things on social media but these are things you have to ask the club and my agent about,' Dybala said. 'I train all week focused on Juventus to repay the fans for their affection. I don't worry about external things. 'My agent will arrive over the next few days and we should have some news next week,' Dybala added. 'I'm happy here. ... I'm in good condition now but I think I can still offer a lot more.' Nicknamed 'La Joya' — The Jewel in Spanish — Dybala was handed the difficult task of replacing the departed Carlos Tevez in Juventus' attack last season after a celebrated transfer from Palermo. He responded with 23 goals in 46 matches in all competitions, helping the Bianconeri to a fifth straight Serie A title and the Italian Cup trophy. Capable of playing any position and just as adept at creating chances as scoring — not to mention his ability on free kicks — Dybala might be Juventus' most complete forward since Alessandro Del Piero. When Paul Pogba left for Manchester United before this season, Dybala was offered Del Piero's old No. 10 but he turned it down, preferring to keep his No. 21 shirt. As a 'trequartista' — playmaker — Dybala has proven capable of complementing both Mandzukic and fellow Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuain, who took some of the pressure off Dybala when he joined Juventus in an Italian-record 90 million euro ($100 million) transfer from Napoli before this season. 'I am only 23, so I need to improve in so many areas, such as my physical strength and my right foot,' Dybala said. 'I am enjoying the trequartista position that (coach Massimiliano) Allegri is giving me. It gives me a lot of space and I can express myself well there.' ___ Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2017

Higuain helps Juventus to record 26th straight home win

ANDREW DAMPF, AP Sports Writer   ROME (AP) — It's no coincidence that Juventus has won Serie A every season since the Juventus Stadium opened in September 2011. The Bianconeri have been virtually unbeatable in the Italian league's only major club-owned stadium and improved on their own Serie A record with a 26th consecutive home win Sunday. Gonzalo Higuain scored his fourth brace of the season as Juventus beat Bologna 3-0. Juventus held the previous record of 25 straight home wins, established at the stadium between 2013 and 2015. The current streak began against Bologna on Oct. 24, 2015, and Bologna never really had a chance to prevent the latest record. Higuain opened the scoring with a volley from a lobbed pass from Miralem Pjanic seven minutes in, Paulo Dybala added a penalty before the break and then Higuain headed in another early in the second half. Juventus, which still has a game in hand, restored its four-point lead over Roma, which beat Genoa 1-0 earlier. ___ ROMAN VICTORIES Roma finally found a way to win away from home — with an own goal. Armando Izzo redirected a cross from Bruno Peres into his own net in the first half as Roma won 1-0 at Genoa for its first victory away from the Stadio Olimpico since October. Roma has won all nine of its home matches, while its away record now reads four wins, two draws and four losses. 'It's a big win. This is a tough league and we've faced some difficult opponents,' Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi said. 'If we had won all of our away matches, too, we would be champions of Italy by now.' Roma's last win outside the capital had been a 3-1 victory over Sassuolo on Oct. 26 in Reggio Emilia. The Giallorossi also beat Lazio 2-0 in the Rome derby early last month when they were technically the visitors. Roma forward Edin Dzeko hit the post near the hour mark, the fourth time the Bosnia and Herzegovina striker has found the woodwork this season — more than any other player in the league. Roma goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny preserved the win with a difficult save on a shot from beyond the area by Lucas Ocampos in stoppage time. 'For Genoa, I think in 38 matches they won't play one that's not physical. Because that's the type of football they play — very aggressive, man against man,' De Rossi said. 'We needed to put our work boots on and we did.' Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin tore his ACL early on and will miss the rest of the season. Lazio also won 1-0, over struggling Crotone with a last-minute goal from Ciro Immobile after Lucas Biglia hit the crossbar with a penalty in the first half. Lazio is fourth, one point behind third-placed Napoli, which beat Sampdoria 2-1 on Saturday. ___ MILAN CLUBS WIN Fresh off its Italian Super Cup win over Juventus, fifth-placed AC Milan needed a late goal to beat visiting Cagliari 1-0. Carlos Bacca scored from close range two minutes from the end after being set up by Gianluca Lapadula. Cagliari ended with 10 men when Bruno Alves was sent off for pulling down Bacca just outside the area to prevent a clear scoring opportunity in added time. Earlier, Ivan Perisic scored twice and seventh-placed Inter Milan came from a goal down to beat Udinese 2-1 and win its fourth straight game. Perisic equalized in first-half added time, slotting a shot inside the near post after receiving a pass from Mauro Icardi, then headed in from a free kick three minutes from the end. It was the first brace in Serie A for Perisic, a Croatia international who joined Inter from Wolfsburg in 2015. Jakub Jankto, a 20-year-old Czech midfielder, had put Udinese ahead early in the first half after being set up by French talent Seko Fofana. ___ OTHER MATCHES: Atalanta revived its chances of finishing in the Europa League spots with a convincing 4-1 win at Chievo Verona. Alejandro 'Papu' Gomez scored twice for Atalanta, with Andrea Conti and Remo Freuler also finding the target for the Bergamo club. Sergio Pellissier's goal for Chievo temporarily made it 3-1. Domenico Berardi returned from a long injury layoff for Sassuolo in a 0-0 draw with Torino. The Pescara-Fiorentina match was postponed due to too much snow and ice inside and around the Stadio Adriatico. ___ Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

Youth infusions at AC Milan and Atalanta keep Serie A fresh

ANDREW DAMPF, AP Sports Writer br /> ROME (AP) — A couple of teenagers restoring AC Milan to prominence. A group of local players brought up through Atalanta's youth system leading the Bergamo squad to six straight wins and a.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 25th, 2016

Juventus beats 2nd-place Roma 1-0 to move 7 points clear

DANIELLA MATAR, Associated Press br /> MILAN (AP) — No one seems capable of stopping Juventus from winning an historic sixth successive Serie A after it beat second-place Roma 1-0 to move seven points clear at the top of the table on S.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 18th, 2016

Roma beats AC Milan 1-0 to claim 2nd spot in Serie A

DANIELLA MATAR, Associated Press br /> MILAN (AP) — Roma won the battle for second place in Serie A as it beat AC Milan 1-0 on Monday to move three points clear of the Rossoneri and four behind league leader Juventus. Radja N.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 13th, 2016

Napoli 'teenagers' held to 1-1 draw, Inter wins

DANIELLA MATAR, Associated Press br /> MILAN (AP) — Napoli was again made to count the cost of missed opportunities as it was held 1-1 by Sassuolo in Serie A on Monday. 'We should have killed the game off, when I saw two, thr.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 29th, 2016

Suso again on target as AC Milan beats Empoli 4-1 in Serie A

DANIELLA MATAR, Associated Press br /> MILAN (AP) — Suso was again the architect of AC Milan's goals as his side beat Empoli 4-1 and moved into second spot in Serie A on Saturday. Much of the talk this season has been about t.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 27th, 2016