Italy Roundup: Napoli hands Juventus rare Serie A loss

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Napoli snapped a remarkable Juventus run and slowed the coronation cruise control displayed by The Old Lady with a 2-0 home win on Sunday.

Juve posted a remarkable 20W-2D-0L mark in its previous 22 matches, but Napoli came to play with a goal in each half and strong defending. Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens scored for Napoli, which is far off the title chase, though the Juve loss gives a modicum of hope to AS Roma. Carlos Tevez was not suspended for Juve, with Dani Osvaldo getting the slot in Tevez’s absence.

I Lupi scored a controversial win over Sassuolo, now in severe relegation trouble after goals from Mattia Destro and Michel Bastos paced Roma to a 2-0 win. Sassuolo was given a penalty kick in the first half, only to have the call shockingly reversed by official Nicola Rizzoli. Our own Kyle Bonn has a recap of that ordeal here.

Roma has a match-in-hand on Juve, though even that 11-point lead dropping to eight at mid-week wouldn’t be a major cause for concern. Juve still has to visit Stadio Olimpico on May 11, but a few more wins will make the third-consecutive Scudetto all but in the bag.

Fiorentina gave some leeway to Inter Milan in the race for fourth place by sleepwalking to a scoreless draw at 12th place Sampdoria. Despite a combined 36 shots between the two clubs, no one put one across the line. Inter tangles with Livorno on Monday. Both Livorno and Catania are searching for Monday points in their quest to escape the drop zone. A Livorno win would do the trick, though three points for Catania against Udinese would still find them three points from safety.

Elsewhere

  • AC Milan 3-0 Chievo — Chievo’s relegation troubles are real; Kaka’s two goals backed Mario Balotelli’s single tally as all goals were scored before the clock struck 54.
  • Bologna 0-2 Atalanta — Giuseppe De Luca and Marcelo Estigarribia struck twice in four first-half minutes to lift the visitors’ quest for Europe.
  • Verona 3-0 Genoa – 10-men? No problem for Hellas Verona, with a late brace from Luca Toni making the score line defy game play. Marco Donadel also scored for the hosts, who saw a second yellow given to Michelangelo Albertazzi just before half.
  • Torino 2-1 Cagliari – Road woes continue for Cagliari (0W-7D-8L away from home) as goals from Alessio Cerci and Omar El Kaddouri lead Torino to win.
  • Lazio 3-2 Parma– Plenty of drama in Rome, as Antonio Candreva’s stoppage-time winner offseat an own-goal equalizer to keep the hosts in European contention.
  • Udinese vs. Catania – Monday
  • Livorno vs. Inter Milan — Monday

Standings

 

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Juventus 31 26 3 2 67 22 45 15-0-0 11-3-2 81
Roma 30 21 7 2 58 15 43 12-3-0 9-4-2 70
Napoli 31 19 7 5 59 32 27 10-4-2 9-3-3 64
Fiorentina 31 15 7 9 49 33 16 8-3-4 7-4-5 52
Inter Milan 30 12 12 6 47 31 16 7-7-2 5-5-4 48
Parma 30 12 11 7 49 37 12 6-7-2 6-4-5 47
Atalanta 31 14 4 13 37 39 -2 10-2-3 4-2-10 46
Lazio 31 12 9 10 40 40 0 8-4-3 4-5-7 45
Verona 31 13 4 14 46 52 -6 9-2-5 4-2-9 43
Torino 31 11 9 11 45 40 5 7-5-4 4-4-7 42
AC Milan 31 11 9 11 47 43 4 7-4-4 4-5-7 42
Sampdoria 31 11 8 12 40 43 -3 6-5-5 5-3-7 41
Genoa 31 10 9 12 34 39 -5 7-4-4 3-5-8 39
Udinese 30 10 5 15 33 42 -9 7-2-5 3-3-10 35
Cagliari 31 7 11 13 29 41 -12 7-4-5 0-7-8 32
Chievo 31 7 6 18 26 46 -20 5-2-8 2-4-10 27
Bologna 31 5 11 15 24 48 -24 3-7-6 2-4-9 26
Livorno 30 6 6 18 32 56 -24 4-4-7 2-2-11 24
Sassuolo 31 5 6 20 29 61 -32 4-1-11 1-5-9 21
Catania 30 4 8 18 23 54 -31 4-6-5 0-2-13 20

Independiente and Flamengo meet for South American trophy

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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

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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

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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

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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.