Serie A Sunday roundup: Juventus labor to win Turin derby, Inter and Lazio held

Leave a comment

Torino 0-1 Juventus:

It wasn’t easy, but Paul Pogba’s strike bested derby rivals Torino thanks to a Paul Pogba offsides goal on the rebound from a Carlos Tevez smash of the crossbar.  The visitors also kept their 11-year clean sheet over Torino going, and despite the work-rate required to maintain the victory, the points were there.

The main issue is that The Old Lady continue to struggle without Andrea Pirlo, as the lack of patience and length in possession doesn’t give them the ability to take their time in opening an opposing defense.

Cagliari 1-1 Inter

Walter Mazzarri and Inter Milan had the opportunity to leapfrog Napoli for the top spot, but Radja Nainggolan denied them with an equalizer in the 83rd minute.  Mazzeri chose to rotate a number of his players after an impressive win over Fiorentina, making four changes.

Cagliari keeper Michael Agazzi was impressive, keeping his team within range until they equalized.  Inter haven’t won at Cagliari since 2010.  Juventus ended up top of the table thanks to Inter’s falter.

Sassuolo 2-2 Lazio

A week after holding Napoli to a surprising draw, newly promoted Sassuolo were able to draw even with top-half Lazio as well.  Both teams were slammed by the injury bug, with 10 players between the two sides missing out, including Lazio’s Miroslav Klose.

Lazio had taken a quickfire 2-0 lead just after halftime thanks to Andre Dias and Antonio Candreva, but the home side fought back.  They got one back right away through Ezequiel Schelotto, and then an Antonio Floro Flores free kick goal in the 76th minute to get even.

Atalanta 2-0 Udinese

32-year-old German Denis hit a brace as Atalanta got some space between them and the relegation zone with their second win of the season.

Roma vs. Bologna

Michael Bradley’s Roma are looking to stay perfect on the season as they welcome Bologna.  The Giallorossi are a perfect 5-0-0 so far, and can go top of the table with a win.  They take on a winless Bologna side in 18th place with 3 points, all on draws.

Independiente and Flamengo meet for South American trophy

Twitter/@Flamengo_en
Leave a comment

SAO PAULO (AP) Independiente, relegated for the first time in its history in 2013, can complete a remarkable turnaround by winning the Copa Sudamericana at the Maracana Stadium on Wednesday.

[ MORE: LA FC selects Urena, four others in MLS Expansion Draft ]

The Argentine team will go into the second leg of the final holding a 2-1 lead over Brazilian club Flamengo from the first leg.

Independiente, which has won multiple titles in South American tournaments, will be counting on 18-year-old midfielder Ezequiel Barco, one of the best players in this year’s competition.

Flamengo is also seeking to restore some pride in Rio de Janeiro. The big-spending Brazilian club, playing in its first Copa Sudamericana final, finished its domestic championship in a disappointing sixth place.

The Rio team will be without Peru striker Paolo Guerrero, who is serving a one-year doping ban.

Instead, veteran midfielder Diego will be the key player as Flamengo looks to claim its first regional title since winning the now-defunct Copa Mercosur in 1999.

After Independiente won the first leg, the club posted on its social media channels a picture of its players celebrating at the Maracana in 1995 when the two teams played for the Supercopa.

If the Argentines lose 1-0 on Wednesday, there will be a penalty shootout to decide the winner.

Last year, Brazilian club Chapecoense was awarded the title before the final after 19 players, plus club directors and several members of staff, died in an air crash.

The Copa Sudamericana is the continent’s second most prestigious tournament after the Copa Libertadores.

Bundesliga wrap: Dortmund wins in Stoger’s managerial debut

Twitter/@Sanchooo10
Leave a comment

For the first time since late September, Borussia Dortmund has won a league match, while Leipzig’s slip up opens the door for Bayern Munich to extend its lead in Germany’s top flight.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Huddersfield, level on points with Man United ]

Here’s a brief look at all of Tuesday’s Bundesliga action.

Mainz 0-2 Borussia Dortmund

10 points separates Dortmund from league leaders Bayern Munich, who also have a match in hand, but for the moment, the bleeding his stopped. BVB picked up a crucial win on Tuesday to end its domestic woes upon manager Peter Stoger’s debut. The side’s drought stretched over an eight-match winless period. Second-half goals from Sokratis and Shinji Kagawa moved Dortmund into the top four, while Mainz remains 15th in the league table.

 

Wolfsburg 1-1 Red Bull Leipzig

Meanwhile, RB Leipzig’s form continues to slide downward after the second-place side dropped points in its fourth straight match across all competitions. The road side’s fortunes were dampened early on when Paul Verhaegh converted from the penalty spot, however, Marcel Halstenberg did manage to pull a goal back for Leipzig in the 52nd minute. Leipzig’s misfortunes carried on in stoppage time though when Dayot Upamecano was sent off after picking up his second yellow card of the day.


The rest of Tuesday’s scores

Hamburg 1-2 Frankfurt
Freiburg 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

Inter beats 3rd-division Pordenone 5-4 on penalties in Cup

Albano Angilletta/ANSA via AP
Leave a comment

MILAN (AP) Inter Milan scraped into the Italian Cup quarterfinals after the Serie A leader was taken to penalties by third-division Pordenone on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Huddersfield, moves level on points with Man United ]

Pordenone goalkeeper Simone Perilli pulled off several saves in regulation time to keep the game scoreless, and he almost proved to be the hero during the shootout, stopping two penalties.

But Inter prevailed 5-4, with Yuto Nagatomo tucking away the final spot kick.

Both sides hit the woodwork during the 120 minutes.

Inter coach Luciano Spalletti rang the changes, and only Milan Skriniar and Matias Vecino remained in the starting 11 from Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Juventus.

[ MORE: Burnley moves into top four after win over Stoke ]

However, he was forced by desperation to bring on Marcelo Brozovic at halftime as well as star forwards Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi.

Report: Cosmos coach Savarese to be named new Timbers manager

Twitter/@usatodaysports
Leave a comment

In a time where NASL’s status moving forward is hanging in the balance, one of the league’s top managers is set to make the jump to Major League Soccer.

[ MORE: LA FC close to acquiring Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan ]

According to ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman, New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese is set to be named the next Portland Timbers manager.

Savarese will take over for the recently departed Caleb Porter, who stepped down from his head coaching role with the Timbers in November.

The former professional player spent five seasons in MLS during his career, including stints with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (now the Red Bulls), as well as the New England Revolution and the San Jose Earthquakes.

The 46-year-old has managed the Cosmos from 2013 to present, and guided the NASL side to three Soccer Bowl titles in that span.