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Serie A deadline day: Milan signs Laxalt, Marchisio exits Juve

MILAN (AP) — AC Milan signed midfielder Diego Laxalt from Genoa on the last day of the Italian transfer window Friday, while forward Gervinho returned to Europe with Parma and Juventus released veteran midfielder Claudio Marchisio. Laxalt won plaudits for his play on the left side of midfield as he helped Uruguay to reach the World Cup quarterfinals and scored four goals in 34 games for Genoa last season in all competitions. Spanish winger Samu Castillejo is also headed to Milan. Castillejo arrives from Villarreal, where he scored six goals in the Spanish league last season. Two Milan players moved in the opposite direction. Colombia forward Carlos Bacca went to Villarreal and Italian forward Gianluca Lapadula to Genoa. Both Bacca and Lapadula spent last season at those clubs on loan. Following a takeover last month by American hedge fund Elliott Management, Milan previously signed forward Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Juventus and also brought in midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko on loan from Chelsea. The former Roma and Arsenal forward Gervinho ended a two-year spell playing in China by signing for Parma on Friday. Parma said the 31-year-old Ivory Coast international signed a three-year contract. Juventus pulled off the biggest transfer of the summer in Europe by signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid. But a popular Juventus player left on deadline-day. Marchisio, who joined 25 years ago as a seven-year-old, departed after what the club called "the agreed termination of his contract." The industrious Marchisio played nearly 400 games for the club, scoring 37 goals and winning seven Serie A titles, but has been less prominent since a cruciate ligament injury in 2016. He played 15 times in Serie A last season. Napoli brought goalkeeper David Ospina from Arsenal on a season-long loan. The Colombia international — who played at the World Cup — fell down the pecking order at behind Peter Cech and Bernd Leno at Arsenal. Another player left the London club for Italy, with Joel Campbell joining newly-promoted Frosinone. The Costa Rica forward had been an Arsenal player since 2011 but spent most of his time on various loan deals, including with Real Betis last season, and hadn't played a competitive game for the Premier League club since the 2015-16 season. Atalanta added to its midfield options by signing Argentine player Emiliano Rigoni from Zenit St. Petersburg on loan. The Russian team said the loan deal includes an option to buy Rigoni......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnAug 18th, 2018

Napoli keeping pressure on Ronaldo-dependent Juventus

By Daniella Mata and Andrew Dampf, Associated Press MILAN (AP) — Last season Napoli pushed Juventus all the way in the Italian league before ultimately finishing second as the Bianconeri clinched a record-extending seventh Serie A title. This campaign, second-place Napoli is already six points behind Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Juventus. But the destination of the title is far from a foregone conclusion. Juventus proved it is not infallible when it dropped its first points of the season against Genoa last week. It also appeared lethargic in the first half at relegation-threatened Empoli on Saturday before rallying to win 2-1 — with two goals from Ronaldo. And the Bianconeri are arguably becoming too reliant on the Portugal superstar to rescue them when things aren't going their way. The 33-year-old Ronaldo has scored Juve's past four league goals as he shows little sign of being affected by a rape allegation in the United States. Kathryn Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit in Nevada last month claiming Ronaldo raped her in his Las Vegas hotel room in 2009. Police reopened an investigation into the allegation at her request. Ronaldo denies any wrongdoing. Ronaldo's two goals at Empoli — one a penalty and the other a 20-yard strike — maintained Juve's unbeaten start to the season. Napoli dropped vital points on Saturday as it needed a last-minute goal from Dries Mertens to snatch a 1-1 draw against Roma. However, coach Carlo Ancelotti believes his Napoli team is showing increasing signs of maturity. "I'm happy and proud," Ancelotti said. "We had a constant pressure despite conceding early, we created so many opportunities." FULLY FIT Just a few months after he thought he might have to quit football, Josip Ilicic is back to his best. Ilicic netted a hat trick in his first start of the season for Atalanta last week and did everything but score in his team's 3-0 victory over Parma on Saturday. The 30-year-old Ilicic spent most of the summer in and out of hospital with a bacterial infection. "As a man, the illness changed me a great deal," Ilicic said. "I want to thank everyone who stood by me during this difficult time. I look at the world differently now. I thought many times that I might have to give up football." SERIE B CHAOS A stay of execution has again upended a verdict in the lengthy saga over deciding which clubs belong in Serie B. On Wednesday, a regional appeals court overturned an Italian football federation decision from August that had reduced Serie B from 22 to 19 clubs. The earlier decision by the federation's emergency commissioner Roberto Fabbricini was made following the bankruptcies of Avellino, Bari and Cesena. Virtus Entella, Novara, Pro Vercelli and Ternana — the four clubs relegated at the end of last season — plus Catania and Siena, which lost in the Serie C playoffs, are all arguing for a place in the second division. However, on Saturday an appeal by the Serie B league temporarily overturned the decision from the regional appeals court. A final decision could be made at an Italian football federation board meeting on Tuesday. ___ Dampf reported from Rome......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 29th, 2018

Juventus draws with Parma, Napoli beats Sampdoria in Serie A

By Daniella Matar, Associated Press MILAN (AP) — Juventus is uncharacteristically leaking goals and coach Massimiliano Allegri is concerned ahead of the Champions League last 16, where they face Atletico Madrid. For the second time in a week, Juventus conceded three goals as Parma fought back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 in stoppage time in Turin on Saturday in Serie A. Even Cristiano Ronaldo's two goals couldn't help Juventus win. The Serie A leader saw its advantage cut to nine points over second-placed Napoli, which earlier beat Sampdoria 3-0. "We got soft at the back," Allegri said. "We made mistakes on their second and third goals ... we got sloppy. "It's a shame because we had the points in the bag. You can't just attack. To win games you have to work really hard defensively." It was the first time in seven years that Juventus was unable to count on any of its BBC defense of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini as all three were injured. Juventus let in three goals midweek in its Italian Cup quarterfinal defeat to Atalanta but there was little sign of what was to come in the first half against Parma. In fortunate circumstances in the 36th minute, Ronaldo slipped as he unleashed an effort and it took a deflection to wrongfoot Parma goalkeeper Luigi Sepe. Ronaldo also inadvertently had a hand in Juve's second at the start of a crazy 14 minutes in the second half as his poor header ended up being an assist for a Daniele Rugani volley. Antonino Barilla immediately got Parma back into the match but Ronaldo restored Juve's two-goal advantage two minutes later, only for Gervinho to reduce the deficit again in the 74th minute. And Gervinho sent the travelling fans wild in the third minute of stoppage time when he fired in a powerful equalizer after good work from Roberto Inglese. Sami Khedira hit the woodwork twice for Juventus, which also had a penalty decision revoked after video review. DROUGHT ENDED Lorenzo Insigne ended his goal drought, while Arkadiusz Milik and Simone Verdi also netted as Napoli kept Juventus within its sights. There was to be no record for former Napoli forward Fabio Quagliarella, who was looking to beat Gabriel Batistuta's 1994 feat of scoring a goal in a 12th consecutive Serie A match. Napoli was looking to recover from a league draw against AC Milan and an Italian Cup exit to the same team, and it took an early lead. Marek Hamsik floated a lovely ball onto the right flank to Jose Callejon, who rolled the ball across for Milik to smash in. Callejon set up Napoli's second just 70 seconds later with a throughball for an Insigne snapshot into the bottom left corner. It was Insigne's first goal in any competition since early November. The result after that didn't look in doubt but Napoli extended its lead with a Verdi penalty in the final minute after Joachim Andersen was penalized for handball. EMPOLI COMEBACK Francesco Caputo scored twice as Empoli came back from two goals down in a relegation battle against last-placed Chievo Verona. Empoli remained 17th, four points above the bottom three and nine points above Chievo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2019

Juve out of cup, Roma s Dzeko sent off after ref incident

By Daniella Matar, Associated Press MILAN (AP) — Four-time defending champion Juventus lost in the Italian Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday, while Roma lost 7-1 at Fiorentina and had forward Edin Dzeko sent off after appearing to spit at the referee. Juventus is on course for a record-extending eighth successive Serie A title and had won the league and cup double in the past four seasons, but it surprisingly lost 3-0 at Atalanta. Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri was also sent to the stands for dissent shortly before halftime after throwing his coat to the floor in anger at something in the buildup to Atalanta's second goal. "It was right to send me off, I was losing my temper and the refereeing was impeccable during the whole match," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "Compliments to the referee. At that moment I paid for my anger. The lads are feeling low, but now we'll grit our teeth. These matches can happen. There's nothing to blame the guys for, especially given what they've done up until now." Fiorentina will play Atalanta in the two-legged semifinal. The other match pits AC Milan against either city rival Inter Milan or Lazio, which face each other on Thursday. Atalanta had not beaten Juventus since a 2-0 victory in the Italian Cup in 2004, with five draws and 21 defeats in all competitions since that victory. Both teams lost key players to injury in the 27th minute, as Josip Ilicic and Giorgio Chiellini limped off. Ten minutes later Chiellini's replacement, Joao Cancelo, was caught in possession by Timothy Castagne, who sprinted forward and smashed it into the far bottom corner to give Atalanta the lead. Duvan Zapata doubled Atalanta's lead two minutes later with his 16th goal in his past 10 games. The Bianconeri tried to fight back after the break but couldn't find a way past a determined Atalanta performance and Zapata sealed the result with his second of the match four minutes from time. DREAM FOR CHIESA, NIGHTMARE FOR DZEKO Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa scored his first career hat trick against Roma, which was already 4-1 down when Dzeko was shown a straight red card in the 72nd minute after arguing with referee Gianluca Manganiello and then appearing to spit at him. Dzeko could be facing a lengthy ban if Manganiello confirms he was spit at in his official match report. Roma has struggled this campaign after selling the backbone of its squad in the offseason, but had won four of its past five matches. However, it started badly and Chiesa netted twice in the opening 18 minutes and also hit the post. Aleksandar Kolarov got one back for Roma in the 28th but Luis Muriel restored Fiorentina's two-goal advantage shortly after. Roma was better at the start of the second half but its defense let it down again and Marco Benassi extended Fiorentina's tally before Dzeko lost his head. Chiesa completed his hat trick in the 74th before going off minutes later to a standing ovation. There was still time for substitute Giovanni Simeone to score twice. It was the first time Roma had conceded six goals or more in an Italian Cup match since May 1961, also against Fiorentina. However, Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco said he will not resign. "In my head there is never that thought," he said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 31st, 2019

Piatek scores 2 as Milan beats Napoli to reach semifinals

By Daniella Matar, Associated Press MILAN (AP) — Krzysztof Piatek was given a standing ovation when he went off the field on Tuesday after scoring two goals on his full AC Milan debut to send his new side into the Italian Cup semifinals. Piatek, who joined Milan from Genoa last week for a reported 35 million euros ($40 million), scored both goals inside 27 minutes to help Milan beat Napoli 2-0. "I expected a night like this, I said that I was ready and today I got a brace," Piatek said. "And this is just the start. Both goals were great, even if they were different. Today went well but I already have my mind on the next match against Roma. ... I only want to score goals and I repeat, I feel good and I was born ready." The Poland forward had come off the bench against Napoli in the league this past weekend for the final 19 minutes of a 0-0 draw. He was given his first Milan start at San Siro and it took him less than 11 minutes to open his Rossoneri account. Nikola Maksimovic allowed a long ball from Diego Laxalt to bounce and Piatek ran into the area and drilled it into the bottom right corner. Piatek's second was even better as he controlled the ball on his chest, cut inside Kalidou Koulibaly and curled a shot between the defender and Maksimovic, into that same far bottom corner. The 23-year-old Piatek is the cup's top scorer, having netted four on his debut for Genoa against Lecce and another two against Virtus Entella, when his old side went out on penalties. Piatek replaced Gonzalo Higuain and his threat in front of goal will give Milan hope that he can lead it into the Champions League. Milan currently occupies fourth place in Serie A, the final qualifying spot for Europe's premier club competition, but has only one more point than Roma and two more than Sampdoria. At the other end, Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma made several crucial saves as the Rossoneri booked a semifinal spot against either city rival Inter Milan or Lazio, which face each other on Thursday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 30th, 2019

Ronaldo rescues Juve in Atalanta draw, Napoli loses at Inter

By Daniella Matar, Associated Press Juventus can't afford to give Cristiano Ronaldo a rest. Massimiliano Allegri was forced to bring on Ronaldo for the final 25 minutes, while Juventus was trailing and down to 10 men. The Portugal superstar leveled but did not have time to completely rescue Juventus as it was held at Atalanta to 2-2 on Wednesday. It was only the second time this season that Juventus has dropped points in Serie A, but it ended up extending its advantage to nine points ahead of second-placed Napoli after Carlo Ancelotti's side lost at Inter Milan 1-0 in dramatic fashion. "All considered it's a good point against a good team," Allegri said. "We were good in not going out of the match when we went down to 10 men." The Bianconeri, as winter champions with two rounds to spare, took the opportunity to rest Ronaldo and some others. And it seemed as if that would not affect Juventus as it took the lead after less than two minutes when Atalanta defender Berat Djimsiti turned Alex Sandro's innocuous-looking cross into his own net. But Atalanta shook off that and leveled in the 24th. Duvan Zapata gathered a Papu Gomez throughball, turned Leonardo Bonucci and scored in a fifth successive Serie A match. Matters started to go wrong for Juventus eight minutes into the second half when Rodrigo Bentancur was sent off following a second yellow card. It took Atalanta just three minutes to exploit the numerical advantage as Zapata headed in a corner. Allegri sent on Ronaldo in the 65th and he leveled 13 minutes later, heading in from point-blank range after Giorgio Chiellini flicked on a corner. Juventus also thought it got a stoppage-time winner but Bonucci's goal was ruled out for offside. COSTLY SENDING OFF Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly cost his side dearly as he was needlessly sent off and Inter scored a stoppage-time winner to close the gap to its opponent. Napoli played the final 10 minutes a man short after Koulibaly received two yellow cards in quick succession, the second for sarcastically applauding the referee after being shown the first. But Ancelotti excused his player, saying the Senegal international lost his cool after monkey noises were made at him all night throughout the game. "We asked three times for the match to be halted because of racist chants," Ancelotti said. "Announcements were made but the match continued. Next time we'll stop the match by leaving the pitch, even if that means maybe forfeiting the match. "Koulibaly was agitated and nervous, which is normal. It's not good for us and it's not good for Italian football." Koulibaly posted on Twitter of his pride of being born in France to Senegalese parents. "I'm sorry about the defeat and especially to have left my brothers! But I am proud of the color of my skin. Of being French, Senegalese, Neapolitan: a man," he wrote. Lautaro Martinez fired Keita Balde Diao's cross into the bottom left corner to spark wild scenes at San Siro. Third-placed Inter moved to within five points of Napoli. Koulibaly earlier made a decisive goal-line clearance to deny Inter captain Mauro Icardi, who also hit the crossbar straight from kickoff. Napoli ended the match with nine men after Lorenzo Insigne was also sent off following an off-the-ball incident with Keita. FIGHT FOR FOURTH At the age of 35, Fabio Quagliarella is almost singlehandedly propelling Sampdoria into a Champions League qualifying berth. Quagliarella was on target again — for the eighth successive Serie A match — with a stunning backheeled goal to help his side beat bottom club Chievo Verona 2-0. Meanwhile, Lazio moved into fourth and the last Champions League spot with a 2-0 win at Bologna, which is managed by Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi's brother, Filippo. Sampdoria was fifth, while AC Milan slipped to sixth, putting coach Gennaro Gattuso under more pressure after drawing at relegation-threatened Frosinone 0-0. It extended Milan's winless streak to five in all competitions. The Rossoneri also haven't scored in four successive Serie A matches. OTHER MATCHES Teenage midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo scored a sensational solo goal as Roma beat Sassuolo 3-1. Parma won at 10-man Fiorentina 1-0, and Cagliari beat fellow struggler Genoa 1-0. Another relegation battle between Spal and Udinese finished 0-0. Torino beat Empoli 3-0......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2018

Ronaldo relies on teammates for winning league start at Juve

By Daniella Matar, Associated Press VERONA, Italy (AP) — A smile, a wink and a thumbs-up: Cristiano Ronaldo didn't seem too perturbed at not scoring on his Juventus debut. The 33-year-old forward appeared relaxed after Saturday's 3-2 victory against Chievo Verona and, although Ronaldo did not stop to speak to reporters, he responded with those gestures when asked how he felt his debut had gone. His coach wasn't too troubled either. "Cristiano Ronaldo had a good game. He had several shots on goal. Today he didn't score because clearly it was written somewhere that he wouldn't score," said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri with a smile. For the thousands of fans who descended on the medieval city of Verona, this was one of the rare occasions when the five-time world player of the year couldn't score. Ronaldo had scored in both pre-season friendlies he played for Juventus since his surprise 112 million euro (then $131.5 million) move from Real Madrid but could not find the back of the net on his competitive debut. And it was up to Federico Bernardeschi to rescue Juventus, with a stoppage-time winner as the Bianconeri fought back from a goal down to beat Chievo and get their pursuit of an eighth straight league title off to a winning start. Ronaldo should make his home debut next week against Lazio and there were encouraging signs for Juventus from this game. He linked up well with Douglas Costa, notably in the 18th minute when Ronaldo's effort went just the wrong side of the left post. Ronaldo also fired narrowly over from a tight angle on the half-hour, while he drew several smart saves from Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino, who is still going strong at the age of 39. The Portugal international almost scored the winner at 2-2, but Sorrentino got down quickly to beat away his angled free kick. "(Ronaldo) moved well at times but he wasn't picked out by his teammates," Allegri said. "He's a different footballer, you can see that. He's integrated into the team with ease." BALL TRICKS The excitement had been building in Verona since the fixtures were announced. The match at the Stadio Bentegodi was sold out and long queues to get in formed more than three hours before kickoff. The team bus carrying Ronaldo and his Juventus teammates was greeted by huge cheers, with fans crowding onto the balconies of the stadium. Ronaldo warmed up with crowd-pleasing ball tricks and Juventus fans cheered his every touch. BONUCCI BACK Juventus took the lead after just 162 seconds as Chievo failed to properly clear a free kick and Sami Khedira fired Juventus in front. The Bianconeri wasted chances to double their lead, with Ronaldo going close on several occasions. Mariusz Stepinski headed Chievo level shortly before halftime and Emanuele Giaccherini converted a penalty after being brought down by Juventus debutant Joao Cancelo. But Leonardo Bonucci marked his return to Juventus with a role in the equalizer after the Italy defender spent just one season at AC Milan. Bonucci headed in a corner in the 75th. The goal, which went down later as an own-goal from Chievo defender Mattia Bani, was met with a mix of cheers and jeers by the visiting fans. Mario Mandzukic's goal was ruled out by the video assistant referee shortly before full time following a foul on Sorrentino which led to an anxious few minutes as the goalkeeper received medical treatment on the pitch. ___ LOOK WHO'S BACK Carlo Ancelotti had a winning start to his return to Italian football as his Napoli team fought back to beat Lazio 2-1. Ciro Immobile scored a stunning opener for host Lazio but Arkadiusz Milik leveled in first-half stoppage time and Lorenzo Insigne netted the winner in the 59th. The 59-year-old Ancelotti took over from Maurizio Sarri at Napoli, who finished second last season, four points behind Juventus. Ancelotti has not worked in Italy since leaving AC Milan in 2009 after leading the Rossoneri to a number of trophies, including two Champions League titles......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 19th, 2018

Juventus stays on Serie A title track with wild win at Inter

By Andrew Dampf, Associated Press ROME (AP) — Juventus scored two late goals to rescue a 3-2 win over 10-man Inter Milan in a wild Derby d'Italia on Saturday and stay on track for a record-extending seventh straight Serie A title. Juan Cuadrado and Gonzalo Higuain scored in the final four minutes as Juventus moved four points ahead of Napoli, which visits Fiorentina on Sunday in a tense title race. "This is the hunger, pride and thirst for victory that this squad possesses. We will fight to the death to win," Higuain said. After Douglas Costa's early opener for Juventus, Inter equalized after the break with a header from captain Mauro Icardi then went ahead with an own goal from Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli. The victory ended a run of two straight matches in which Juventus dropped points, having drawn with relegation-threatened Crotone and lost to Napoli at home last weekend. Inter remained fifth, one point below the Champions League places. "Inter played well, but got tired in the end, crumbled physically and we took advantage," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "It's another step towards the Scudetto, even if it remains very difficult." Early on, it was all Juventus. Douglas Costa scored with a decisive half-volley, extending the Brazilian's streak of being involved in the last six Juventus goals in Serie A: Two goals and four assists. Inter midfielder Matias Vecino was sent off for a foul on Mario Mandzukic in the 18th. Referee Daniele Orsato originally pulled out a yellow card but changed to red after a video review. Vecino stepped on Mandzukic's ankle and the Croatia international later showed a deep cut. Inter stepped up after the break. Icardi rose above Juve's defense to redirect a free kick into the far corner with a glancing header — his eighth goal in 11 Serie A matches against Juventus. Then in the 65th, Cuadrado couldn't handle Perisic on the left flank and lied down instead to avoid picking up a second yellow card. Perisic then crossed toward Icardi but the ball bounced in off Barzagli. Cuadrado made up for the error by scoring from a tight angle with a shot off Inter defender Milan Skriniar in the 87th. Then Higuain ran past Inter's defense to head in Paulo Dybala's free kick two minutes later to complete the comeback. Allegri was sent off after Higuain's winner for entering the pitch in an attempt to get his players to stop celebrating and refocus for the final minutes. "There were four minutes to go ... I didn't want a repeat of Madrid," Allegri said, referring to the Champions League elimination by Real Madrid. ROMA SHOWS POTENTIAL Displaying the offensive firepower it will need in the Champions League semifinals, 10-man Roma defeated visiting Chievo Verona 4-1 in convincing fashion. Edin Dzeko scored twice, Patrik Schick and Stephan El Shaarawy also found the target, and Roma goalkeeper Alisson saved a penalty. Roma also hit the post twice. Roberto Inglese pulled one back late for Chievo. A similar result on Wednesday would allow the Giallorossi to overturn a 5-2 deficit to Liverpool. "Now we have to recover our physical and mental energy, leave the field on Wednesday knowing we've done all we possibly could," Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco said. "We've proved in the past that we can achieve great results in the Champions League, so we must all believe, that is my slogan." Meanwhile, the victory strengthened Roma's chances of returning to the Champions League next season. Third-placed Roma moved three points ahead of Lazio, which visits Torino on Sunday. Chievo remained two points above the relegation zone. EMPOLI PROMOTED Empoli secured promotion into Serie A after only one season in the second division. Empoli moved 14 points ahead of Parma and Palermo after drawing with Novara 1-1 and was assured of winning Serie B with four rounds remaining. The Tuscan squad is coached by former Roma manager Aurelio Andreazzoli......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 29th, 2018

Inter without a win in 4 league games after draw with Lazio

By Daniella Matar, Associated Press Inter Milan's crisis deepened as it was held to a 0-0 draw at home by Lazio on Saturday to leave it without a win in four league matches. Inter was undefeated and top of Serie A only two weeks ago. But it is now seven points behind leader Napoli and six below Juventus, which won 3-1 at relegation-threatened Hellas Verona. Roma is two points further back after a 1-1 draw with Sassuolo, while Lazio remained fifth. The two capital sides have played a match less than the top three. "When you're part of a team like Inter there are no alibis or excuses, we just have to get good results," Inter coach Luciano Spalletti said. "For the moment we're meeting our targets, which means that the group is working hard." Inter moved top of Serie A with a credible 0-0 draw at Juventus on Dec. 9. However, that was mainly down to the performance of goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, and its struggles in front of goal have continued. Three days later, Inter needed penalties to get past third-division Pordenone in the Italian Cup after a goalless draw. That was followed by league losses to Udinese (3-1) and Sassuolo (1-0) before Wednesday's surprise Cup defeat to AC Milan. Inter has scored just one goal in its past six matches in all competitions. It was the visitors who went closest to scoring at the end of the first half when Inter midfielder Borja Valero attempted to head clear Lazio's corner and it came off the crossbar. Valero almost scored at the right end for Inter but Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha did well to turn his effort onto the post. Lazio was awarded a penalty on the hour mark but, after reviewing the incident on video (VAR), the referee revoked his decision as Ciro Immobile's cross had hit Milan Skriniar's leg before bouncing up onto his arm so the handball was involuntary. "My appraisal of VAR is completely negative because it takes emotions out of football, now you don't even celebrate after a goal," Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi said. "We would've had an extra seven points this season without VAR." ___ DYBALA'S BACK Paulo Dybala broke his goal drought by scoring two goals to help Juventus keep up the pressure on Napoli at the top of Serie A by beating Hellas Verona 3-1. Dybala hadn't scored in the league since Nov. 19 but he restored Juve's lead in the 72nd and doubled his tally five minutes later. Earlier, former Juventus player Martin Caceres had canceled out Blaise Matuidi's opener. Juventus bettered one of its own Serie A records, having now scored in 23 consecutive away matches. ___ ROMA FALTERS Sassuolo was revitalized under new coach Giuseppe Iachini and had won its previous three league matches, but fell behind in the 31st minute against Roma when Edin Dzeko rolled the ball across the area for an unmarked Lorenzo Pellegrini to fire into the far bottom corner. Pellegrini left Sassuolo in the offseason along with current Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco. Simone Missiroli headed in the equalizer in the 78th Edin Dzeko had a goal for Roma ruled out for offside as did Alessandro Florenzi, who was making his 200th appearance for the club. ___ FIRST-EVER WIN Benevento recorded its first Serie A victory with a 1-0 win over Chievo Verona. Benevento had the worst start to a season in modern history among Europe's five major leagues, losing 17 of its previous 18 matches in its debut season in Serie A. Massimo Coda netted the historic goal for Benevento in the 64th minute, flicking Marco D'Alessandro's chipped pass beyond Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino. Benevento picked up its first Serie A point at the beginning of the month when goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli's injury-time equalizer secured a 2-2 draw against Milan. ___ OTHER MATCHES Teenage goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma marked his 100th appearance for Milan by helping it rescue a 1-1 draw at Fiorentina. Donnarumma made several crucial saves, notably palming Gil Dias' header onto the crossbar from close range in first-half injury time. Hakan Calhanoglu scored for Milan to cancel out Giovanni Simeone's opener. Elsewhere, Cagliari upset Atalanta 2-1, while Udinese won at Bologna by the same score. Sampdoria beat Spal 2-0 and Torino drew 0-0 with Genoa......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 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

High-stakes U.S.-China trade talks resume as deadline approaches

WASHINGTON DC, USA – With a March 1 deadline fast approaching, US and Chinese officials resume negotiations next week to prevent escalation of a trade dispute that has major implications for the global economy . China's economy already has shown signs of slowing, while the trade war has shaken ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2019

Arsenal facing make-or-break 6 days

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press It's a six-day stretch that could make or break Arsenal's season and prompt renewed scrutiny into the machinations of a club that appears to have issues at every level. A home game against Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, soon followed by the visit of Manchester United in the FA Cup. Lose both matches and Arsenal's bid for domestic silverware will be over for another season. Finishing in the top four of the league, and thereby qualifying for the Champions League, would also be highly unrealistic. And it won't even be February. It wasn't so long ago that Unai Emery was making a mockery of any fears he would struggle to oversee a smooth transition from Arsene Wenger's 22-year reign. The team was on a 22-match unbeaten run in all competitions. Emery's high-energy pressing game was working and the goals were flowing, even if there were some slight concerns about the defense. Tottenham, Arsenal's big rival, was trounced 4-2 in the North London derby. "We've got out Arsenal back," chanted gleeful Arsenal fans. Then came the slide. The first worrying signs came in a 3-2 loss at lowly Southampton on Dec. 16 that ended Arsenal's four-month unbeaten run. Then there was the elimination at the hands of Tottenham in the English League Cup quarterfinals, before a 5-1 mauling by Liverpool in the league at Anfield on Dec. 29 which revived memories of the defensive horror shows from the darkest days in the final years of the Wenger era. More recently, there was the timid 1-0 loss at West Ham on Saturday when Arsenal had two shots on target. If Arsenal loses to Chelsea, it will drop nine points adrift of the top four and probably into sixth place — the position it finished in Wenger's last year. Arsenal will be left relying on winning a cup competition — the FA Cup or, perhaps more likely, the Europa League — to salvage anything from its season. The problems won't end there. Mesut Ozil is the club's marquee and highest-earning player — reportedly getting 350,000 pounds a week ($450,000) — yet is regularly left out by Emery, just as he was against West Ham on Saturday. Ozil, a mercurial player with a languid approach, doesn't fit Emery's preferred style and so is proving to be a very expensive commodity. Another midfielder, Aaron Ramsey, has also been in and out of the team this season and is reportedly close to signing for Juventus. "At certain times, you have to provoke friction with footballers," Emery said this week, perhaps with a nod to his relationship with Ozil. "From that friction, you can get something more out of them, something from inside." Without its two most creative attacking midfielders, and with Henrikh Mkhitaryan currently injured, Arsenal lacks any playmaking ability or balance behind the two strikers, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. Meanwhile, Emery's team has kept only three clean sheets in 22 league games. "There are times," Emery said, "when defensively we have not been very solid but we have still won because offensively we have created a lot of chances. So, at the moment, I am still leaning toward making sure the team doesn't lose what it has." Emery doesn't have the option of buying his way out of trouble. He said last week that there is no money available for permanent signings, only loans, with Arsenal having spent 70 million pounds on four players in the offseason and a club-record 56 million pounds on Aubameyang last January. In an attempt to formalize a structure to the technical staff above the manager, Arsenal created the positions of head of football relations (Raul Sanllehi joined from Barcelona) and head of recruitment (Sven Mislintat joined from Borussia Dortmund) in 2017. No way was Emery going to have the same power as Wenger. Yet sections of the British media are reporting this week that Mislintat is on his way out as part of a power struggle in the wake of the departure of chief executive Ivan Gazidis, who left for AC Milan in October. So, potential upheaval behind the scenes. No money to spend. Apparent rifts with key players. And a defensively suspect team that has lost four of its last eight games. It's a huge week coming up for Arsenal and Emery, for whom the enormity of the task in replacing Wenger might finally be sinking in......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2019

Ronaldo scores twice as VAR helps Juventus to 2-1 win

By Andrew Dampf, Associated Press ROME (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as runaway leader Juventus escaped with a 2-1 win over Sampdoria in Serie A on Saturday with help from the VAR. Ronaldo's second goal, a penalty, was awarded by the VAR for a questionable handball. Then Sampdoria had a stoppage-time goal chalked off by the Video Assistant Referee. Sampdoria thought it had become the first visiting Serie A club to score more than one goal at the Allianz Stadium in more than a year when Riccardo Saponara's shot went in off the underside of the crossbar, but replays showed the play was offside. "I like (the VAR) a lot because it reduces the number of mistakes," Ronaldo said. "It's not easy for the match officials to analyze everything that goes on. We just have to let them get on with their jobs." Ronaldo had put Juventus ahead two minutes in with a bouncing shot and Fabio Quagliarella equalized with a penalty before the break to become the first player to score in nine consecutive Serie A matches since David Trezeguet accomplished the feat with Juventus in 2005. Ronaldo's decisive penalty came in the 65th after the VAR decided that Alex Ferrari had used his arm, even though it appeared as if the defender kept his arm next to his body and didn't move it toward the ball. The double gave Ronaldo 14 goals in 19 matches this season to move one ahead of Genoa's Krzysztof Piatek atop the league scoring chart. Ronaldo has maintained his form since leaving Real Madrid in the offseason, despite being the subject of a rape allegation in the United States. Kathryn Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit in Nevada in September claiming Ronaldo raped her in his Las Vegas hotel room in 2009. Police reopened an investigation into the allegation at her request. Ronaldo has denied any wrongdoing. Aiming for a record-extending eighth straight league title, Juventus set a record of 53 points at the season's halfway mark with 17 wins, two draws and no defeats. The Bianconeri remained nine points ahead of second-placed Napoli, which beat Bologna 3-2, and 14 points ahead of third-placed Inter Milan, which won 1-0 at Empoli. "The first half of the season has gone really well," Ronaldo said. "We've won nearly all our games and we're a solid side but there's still a long way to go. We must stay focused and keep working away if we want to achieve great things." After a winter break, Serie A resumes Jan. 19. WE'RE ALL KALIDOU Napoli fans and players showed their support for defender Kalidou Koulibaly during the win over Bologna after the Senegal international was subjected to racist chants this week. With Koulibaly suspended, Napoli fullback Faouzi Ghoulam warmed up wearing the Senegal international's No. 26 shirt. Fans held up photos of Koulibaly and anti-racism banners with the hashtag label #SiamotuttiKalidou, which translates as "We're all Kalidou." Koulibaly had monkey noises directed at him throughout a match against Inter Milan on Wednesday at the San Siro Stadium. Against Bologna, Dries Mertens scored the winner two minutes from time with a shot from beyond the area after the hosts had twice given up the lead. Arkadiusz Milik scored twice for Napoli but Federico Santander replied to his first and Danilo equalized after his second. The victory meant Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti got the better of Bologna counterpart Filippo Inzaghi, his former striker at AC Milan. NO FANS The visiting section was empty for Inter's win at Empoli. Local authorities banned away fans after an Inter supporter died following clashes with opposing supporters outside the San Siro stadium before the match against Napoli. Keita Balde scored midway through the second half with a scuffed shot that went in off the post. Inter will also play its next two home matches behind closed doors, plus there will be a partial closure for the club's third home game, as punishment for the clashes and racist chants. OTHER RESULTS Lazio remained fourth following a 1-1 draw with Torino in which both sides finished with 10 men. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored the equalizer for Lazio after a penalty from Andrea Belotti. Gonzalo Higuain broke a two-month scoring drought by netting the winner as AC Milan ended a four-match streak without a victory by defeating Spal 2-1. Roma won 2-0 at Parma with second-half goals from Bryan Cristante and Cengiz Under. Josip Ilicic came off the bench to score a hat trick in Atalanta's 6-2 win at Sassuolo. It was Ilicic's third hat trick in 2018 — matching Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero for the record in Europe's top five leagues. Udinese won 2-0 against Cagliari with goals from Ignacio Pussetto and Valon Behrami. Emanuele Giaccherini scored with a curling free kick as last-place Chievo Verona beat 10-man Frosinone 1-0 for its first win of the season. Genoa and Fiorentina shared a 0-0 draw......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2018

Referee criticized for protocol lapse in Koulibaly incident

By The Associated Press FIFPro and UEFA have criticized referee Paolo Mazzoleni for "failing to respect anti-racism protocol" after monkey noises were directed at Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly throughout his team's 1-0 Serie A loss at Inter Milan. FIFPro, the world players' union, and European soccer's ruling body UEFA also said the racial abuse aimed at the player, who was born in France to Senegalese parents, on Wednesday was "unacceptable" and had "no place in football." The two organizations backed the prompt action taken by the Italian league judge, who has decided Inter's next two home matches should be played behind closed doors, and included a partial closure for the club's third home game. "FIFPro and UEFA are very concerned by this unacceptable racist incident and by what appears on the surface to be a failure to respect the widely-recognized three-step anti-racism protocol," they said in a joint statement on Friday. "Koulibaly was subject to racist chanting and, despite announcements made by the stadium speaker, the chants did not stop. Moreover, it seems Napoli's coaching staff had already informed the referee several times of racist chants. FIFPro and UEFA support the Italian football authorities on any additional measure that will be taken to tackle racism in stadia for which FIFPro and UEFA have a zero-tolerance policy." Koulibaly was sent off in the 81st minute after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession, the second for sarcastically applauding Mazzoleni after being shown the first. The league judge's punishment was handed out for the racism aimed at Koulibaly and for anti-territorial chants aimed at Napoli. Also, Koulibaly was suspended for two matches — one for the red card and one for applauding the referee. After the game, Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti threatened to lead his team off the field the next time one of his players was subjected to continued racist abuse. He asked several times for the match against Inter to be halted after the chants, and announcements warning fans this would happen were made but no further action was taken. The first step of UEFA's anti-racism protocol says "if the referee becomes aware of serious racist behavior, or is informed of it by the fourth official, he shall, as a first step, halt the game and ask for an announcement to be made requesting the public to immediately desist from such racist behavior." The second step explains that "if the racist behavior does not cease once the game has restarted, the referee shall suspend the match for a reasonable period of time, and ask the teams to go to the dressing rooms." The final step says "if the racist conduct does not end after the game has then resumed, the referee shall definitively abandon the match as a last resort. The UEFA delegate will assist the referee, through the fourth official, in determining whether the racist behavior has stopped, and any decision to abandon the fixture will only be taken after all other possible measures have been implemented and the impact of abandoning the match on the security of the players and public has been assessed.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 29th, 2018

Ronaldo speaks out on racism after chants aimed at Koulibaly

MILAN (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo has come to the defense of Kalidou Koulibaly after the Napoli defender was the target of racist chants during a match at Inter Milan. Next to a photo of him being marked by Koulibaly during a match between Napoli and Juventus earlier this season, Ronaldo writes in Italian on Instagram , "In the world and in football there always needs to be education and respect. No to racism and to any sort of insult and discrimination!!!"         View this post on Instagram                   Nel mondo e nel calcio Ci vorreberro sempre educazione e rispetto. No al razzismo e a qualunque offesa e discrimination!!! A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on Dec 27, 2018 at 1:28am PST Koulibaly had monkey noises directed at him throughout the Serie A game on Wednesday at Milan's San Siro Stadium. He was sent off in the 81st minute after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession, the second for sarcastically applauding the referee after being shown the first. The league judge on Thursday ordered Inter to play its next two home matches without fans and a third game with a portion of the stadium closed as punishment both for the racism aimed at Koulibaly and anti-territorial chants aimed at Napoli. Also, Koulibaly was suspended for two matches — one for the red card and one for applauding the referee. After the game, Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti threatened to lead his team off the field the next time one of his players was subjected to continued racist abuse. Ancelotti asked several times for the match against Inter to be halted after the chants, and announcements warning fans this would happen were made but no further action was taken. Koulibaly posted on Twitter of his pride of being born in France to Senegalese parents . "I'm sorry about the defeat and especially to have left my brothers! But I am proud of the color of my skin. Of being French, Senegalese, Neapolitan: a man," he wrote in Italian. Mi dispiace la sconfitta e sopratutto avere lasciato i miei fratelli! Però sono orgoglioso del colore della mia pelle. Di essere francese, senegalese, napoletano: uomo. ⚽ #InterNapoli 1-0 🇸🇳 #KK26 #famiglia 💙 #ForzaNapoliSempre 💪🏿 #DifendoLaCittà pic.twitter.com/f9q0KYggcw — Koulibaly Kalidou (@kkoulibaly26) December 26, 2018 Inter beat Napoli 1-0......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 28th, 2018

Ronaldo rescues point for 10-man Juventus

    MILAN, Italy– Cristiano Ronaldo came off the bench to score a late equalizer as 10-man Juventus salvaged a 2-2 draw at Atalanta on Wednesday, December 26, to move 9 points clear of Napoli at the top of Serie A. Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli missed the chance to cut the gap to the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 27th, 2018

Juventus beats Inter 1-0 to open up 11-point lead in Serie A

TURIN, Italy (AP) — Mario Mandzukic often scores important goals and he did so again as he helped Juventus to a 1-0 win over title rival Inter Milan in the Derby d'Italia on Friday. The imposing Croatia striker headed home in the 66th minute after Inter had missed a couple of golden opportunities as Juventus continued its seemingly unstoppable march to an eighth successive Serie A title. Juventus has an 11-point lead over second-placed Napoli, which hosts lowly Frosinone on Saturday. Third-place Inter is now 14 points behind Juventus. Paulo Dybala had the first chance of the match but headed Cristano Ronaldo's cross over the bar after drifting into the penalty area. Inter had two great chances in quick succession. Mauro Icardi did well to hold the ball up and pick out a good run from an unmarked Roberto Gagliardini, but his scuffed finish came off the inside of the right post. Moments later Icardi and Ivan Perisic both went for a Matteo Politano cross and ended up colliding with each other. Juventus began to take control and Marcelo Brozovic had to desperately slide in to block Rodrigo Bentancur's effort. Veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini scored his first goal in two years in last week's 3-0 win at Fiorentina and he almost got another one but he headed the resulting corner narrowly over. Juventus finally broke the deadlock when former Inter midfielder Joao Cancelo put in a delightful cross from the left for Mandzukic — who netted in the World Cup final defeat to France — to nod in at the far post. There was more positive news for Juventus as midfielder Emre Can came on late on for his first appearance for the Bianconeri since Oct. 6, having undergone surgery to have a thyroid nodule removed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2018

Portugal qualifies for finals, Italy earn positives in draw

By Daniella Matar, Associated Press MILAN (AP) — No Cristiano Ronaldo, no problem. Portugal drew with Italy 0-0 on Saturday to pick up the point it needed to qualify for the UEFA Nations League finals and confirm it as host of the first Final Four in June. Ronaldo is taking a break from the national team and wasn't present at San Siro, just as he wasn't in Portugal's first two Nations League matches — both of which they won. "There's a lot of satisfaction at having reached the final phase," Portugal coach Fernando Santos said. "It was a difficult match, much more than we thought it would be. When we had the ball it was difficult to build and that was merit to Italy and demerit to us. Italy had a great game." Poland has already been assured of finishing last in Group A3 and will be relegated to League B, and Italy will finish second. However, a year after Italian football's darkest moment, there are positive signs for the Azzurri. Italy dominated and had the better of the chances in front of a packed crowd in Milan but ended with a sixth successive home draw. The Azzurri have also scored only twice in four matches in the competition — but only conceded as many. "I don't think there's so many problems up front, it's a question of five centimeters here, 10 there," Italy coach Roberto Mancini said. The Azzurri almost took the lead as early as the fifth minute. Lorenzo Insigne unleashed a scorcher from distance which Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio did well to bat away, and Ciro Immobile fired the rebound over from point-blank range. There was a lot of good interplay from the hosts with crisp, efficient passing in the best performance seen by an Italy side in a long time. It was a far cry from Italy's last match at San Siro, when it drew with Sweden 0-0 last November and failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades. "Little by little we'll manage to sort out the attack, too," Mancini said. "Having so much possession in their half is something very significant. We're a step further ahead than we thought we'd be. We have to resolve this small problem (of scoring) but we will." The fans are also starting to fall back in love with the Azzurri, with 73,000 spectators at San Siro. LEAGUE B Sweden kept alive its hopes of promotion with a 1-0 victory at Turkey, which was relegated to League C. Andreas Granqvist netted the only goal with a second-half penalty after Okay Yokuslu brought down Marcus Berg. Sweden will be promoted on Tuesday if it beats Russia, which leads Group B2. LEAGUE C Scotland will win Group C1 if it beats Israel on Tuesday following a 4-0 victory over 10-man Albania in Tirana. Ryan Fraser scored his first international goal shortly before Albania captain Mergim Mavraj was sent off. Steven Fletcher doubled Scotland's tally from the penalty spot, and James Forrest netted a second-half double. Serbia beat Montenegro 2-1 despite Aleksandar Mitrovic missing a penalty and will win Group C4 if it beats Lithuania on Tuesday. Mitrovic scored Serbia's second, two minutes after Adem Ljajic opened the scoring, before chipping over from the spot. Lithuania lost 3-0 at Romania, which will go up if it beats Montenegro and Serbia fails to win. LEAGUE D Kosovo beat Malta 5-0 and Azerbaijan beat the Faroe Islands 2-0. The teams set up a winner-takes-all clash when they meet on Tuesday in Group D3, although a draw would be enough for Kosovo. The Nations League also offers a second chance to qualify for the European Championship in 2020. The 16 group winners in Leagues A, B, C and D — or the next best-placed teams who have not already qualified via the European qualifiers starting in March — will progress to the playoffs to compete for the last four qualifying places......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 18th, 2018

Pogba has no regrets about United move ahead of Turin return

TURIN, Italy (AP) — Paul Pogba insists he has no regrets about leaving Juventus to rejoin Manchester United. Pogba was signed by United for a then-world record fee of $116 million from Juventus in 2016, ending a four-year spell at the Italian club during which he won four Serie A titles and two Italian Cup trophies. Since then, Pogba has won the Europa League and League Cup with Manchester United, while Juventus went on to secure two more league and cup doubles and reached the final of the Champions League. "Choosing to come back to United, first of all, was my choice. Juve were playing Champions League and Manchester were playing Europa. I don't regret my choice," Pogba said at Tuesday's news conference ahead of United's Champions League match against Juventus. "I know Manchester in the last few years haven't been at the top, but I came back to help the team and get them back to the top. We have a lot of goals. For me, it's not changed, I don't regret it at all. I'm very happy to come back to United and I'm sure we will come back to the best." Pogba was stripped of vice captaincy duties by United coach Jose Mourinho at the end of September for speaking out about his team's style of play. The France World Cup winner's relationship with Mourinho has appeared strained at times — last season as well as this campaign. "One thing is what the press says, and another thing is what Paul says and of course another thing is what I say," said Mourinho, who was sat next to Pogba at the news conference. "The press says we have a terrible relationship, Paul some weeks ago said we had a typical coach-player relationship, I think we have a good relationship. I would classify it as a good relationship between a coach and a football player." There have been question marks over Pogba's future at United but when the 25-year-old was asked if he is happy at the club, he responded with a smile: "Why? Do I look sad?" "I'm really happy, I'm happy to wear this shirt. It's a big club and at a big club there is always talk.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 7th, 2018

Ronaldo hat trick of assists as perfect Juve beats Napoli

Juventus' Mario Mandzukic, left, celebrates with teammates Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring during the Serie A soccer match between Napoli and Juventus at the Allianz Stadium i.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsOct 1st, 2018

Ronaldo recovers

MILAN, Italy — Cristiano Ronaldo erased the frustration of his Champions League red card by scoring the opener and setting up Federico Bernardeschi for a second as Juventus maintained their perfect record in Serie A after five games with a 2-0 win at promoted Frosinone on Sunday. The Portuguese star had threatened several times at […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 25th, 2018