Late own goal hands Milan 2-1 win over Fiorentina

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Reuters) – AC Milan needed a stoppage-time own goal from defender Nikola Milenkovic to secure a 2-1 Serie A win against Fiorentina at home on Sunday. 

The hosts took 90 seconds to take the lead when Olivier Giroud flicked the ball to Rafael Leao, who surged into the box and calmly placed it in the net.

Fiorentina could have equalised after eight minutes when Cristiano Biraghi was played free, but his shot from an acute angle hit the post and bounced out.

Antonin Barak deservedly equalised for Fiorentina after 28 minutes when his shot went in after deflecting off defender Malick Thiaw following scrappy play from Milan inside the box.

One minute into stoppage time, Ante Rebic sent a cross into the box, with Milenkovic miscalculating and directing the ball into his own net.

Milan are second with 33 points as they go into the World Cup break, with third-placed Lazio playing later on Sunday. Fiorentina are 10th with 19 points.

Dzeko double sends Inter up to fourth with 3-2 win at Atalanta

BERGAMO, Italy: Inter Milan recovered from a goal down to earn a 3-2 win at Atalanta in Serie A on Sunday (Nov 13), with striker Edin Dzeko netting twice to send the visitors into provisional fourth place.

Inter moved up one spot and onto 30 points, two points ahead of fifth-placed Juventus who host Lazio later on Sunday. Atalanta remain sixth on 27 points.

Goalkeeper Andre Onana saved Inter early on when he kept out a close-range effort from midfielder Teun Koopmeiners in the 15th minute and Jose Luis Palomino’s header one minute later.

But Onana was beaten 10 minutes later from the penalty spot when Atalanta winger Ademola Lookman converted to put the hosts ahead after Duvan Zapata had been brought down.

Inter levelled in the 36th through Dzeko after Lautaro Martinez nodded the ball into the six-yard box for the Bosnia striker to finish with a clever backheel.

Simone Inzaghi’s visitors took the lead when Dzeko’s strike from close range deflected off Atalanta defender Joakim Maehle into the net after 56 minutes.

Inter then went 3-1 up just after the hour when home defender Jose Luis Palomino headed the ball into his own net after Martinez nodded on a corner from Hakan Calhanoglu.

Palomino made amends in the 77th with a diving header from a corner in the 500th Serie A match for Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini and 250th for Inter boss Inzaghi.

“We started a bit sluggish but we woke up when conceding, which is what happened last time too,” Dzeko told Sky Sport Italia. “When you win in the end, that’s fine, when you don’t, it’s bad.

“Atalanta are always a dangerous team, but we really woke up after that initial goal and it was a good performance from then on.”

“Now let’s rest and then think about Napoli, which is the first to start from,” added Dzeko.

League leaders Napoli visit the San Siro on Jan 4 after the World Cup break, with their advantage at the top now 11 points over Lazio, AC Milan and Inter.

Atalanta, who started the season with an unbeaten run of 10 league games, have now lost four of their last five matches. They have also suffered three consecutive top-flight home defeats for the first time in 25 years.

“It is clear that not having won games playing well is regrettable, we probably deserved more,” Gasperini said.

“We had a very good first half, then we got an unlucky goal with a deflection that cut out Palomino. It was a shame to end the first 45 minutes at 1-1.”

Late Matic goal gives Roma a draw against Torino in thrilling finish

(Reuters) -Nemanja Matic salvaged a point for Roma with a last-ditch equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Torino in Serie A on Sunday after a frantic few final minutes in which the Rome side missed a penalty and had manager Jose Mourinho sent off.

Mourinho, already angry about a first-half decision not to allow his side a penalty for a handball which the VAR ruled was involuntary, was sent off a minute before stoppage time for protesting, with visitors Torino leading 1-0.

“It was the right decision, my words to the referee deserved a red card,” Mourinho told DAZN.

“I spoke to him after the game and apologised but I don’t want to talk about his performance. I was humble enough to apologise but I will leave his performance and the hypothetical influence on the match to you. I don’t want to talk about what we said, that was private. My words deserved a red card but I will not judge the referee’s performance.”

Three minutes after Mourinho made his exit, Roma’s Andrea Belotti hit the post with a penalty awarded for a foul by Koffi Djidji on Paulo Dybala, who was returning from a thigh injury that had kept him out for a month.

Matic saved a point for Roma four minutes into stoppage time with a long shot from outside the box.

Karol Linetty, left out of the Polish World Cup squad bound for Qatar, had scored for Torino in the 55th minute, jumping for Wilfried Singo’s cross and heading into the net.

Roma are in seventh place with 27 points after 15 games as the league goes into the World Cup break. Torino are on ninth with 21 points.

Nothing can be taken for granted, Spalletti says after narrow Napoli win

Napoli’s nervy 3-2 win over Udinese on Saturday highlights how the Serie A leaders cannot take their position for granted, coach Luciano Spalletti said.

Spalletti’s side almost squandered the chance of setting a club record of 11 consecutive Serie A victories within a season when Udinese substitutes Ilija Nestorovski and Lazar Samardzic both scored late in the game.

“Every victory is a struggle, and the final 15 minutes of this game help to underline just how much these players have achieved so far is not to be taken for granted,” Spalletti told DAZN.

“We thought the game was over and took our foot off the gas, but the game is never over because when you can introduce players off the bench like Nestorovski, they can find a way through if you don’t keep the tempo up.”

Napoli go into the World Cup break top of the Serie A standings, with their next game to come in early January, but Spalletti was still cautious about talk of winning the league.

“There are six challengers and they are all close by, because it just takes a couple of incidents, a couple of minutes to create problems,” he said.

“This afternoon’s match will help us because it hasn’t happened so far, but we need to be even more determined and committed to the end in every match.”


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