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La Liga & Serie A: Villareal rolls, Lazio stumbles against Chievo

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A roundup of Saturday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights…

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s La Liga coverage ]

Villareal 2-0 Granada

Bruno and Alvaro booked their names on the scoresheet at the Estadio El Madrigal to put Villareal comfortably into sixth place. Granada was held to no shots on target during the match, and the lack of finishing touch keeps the side at the bottom of La Liga on 10 points.

Alaves 0-0 Atletico Madrid

Diego Simeone’s men continue to struggle to find consistency in La Liga, and that proved to be the case again on Saturday at the Estadio Mendizorroza. Atletico struggled to break down the Alaves backline throughout the encounter, and the draw now puts the Rojiblancos seven points behind Real Madrid at the top of the table. Alaves currently sits 12th in Spain on 24 points and the side has now drawn three straight fixtures in all competitions.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Eibar 3-1 Deportivo La Coruna
Leganes 0-2 Celta Vigo

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Real Betis vs. Barcelona (6 a.m. ET)
Espanyol vs. Sevilla (10:15 a.m. ET)
Athletic Bilbao vs. Sporting Gijon (12:30 p.m. ET)
Real Madrid vs. Real Sociedad (2:45 p.m. ET)


Inter Milan 3-0 Pescara

Inter moved up to fourth in Serie A on Saturday after a convincing home effort over last-place Pescara. Danilo D’Ambrosio and João Mario both found the back of the net prior to the halftime whistle before Eder added a third for the hosts inside of the final 20 minutes of play.

Lazio 0-1 Chievo

Roberto Inglese scored in second-half stoppage time to lift Chievo into the top 10 in Italy’s top flight. Despite facing an onslaught of pressure from Lazio throughout the match, the visitors broke the deadlock in the 90th minute when Inglese knocked home Massimo Gobbi’s cross. Lazio currently sits fourth in Serie A on 40 points, eight behind league leaders Juventus.

Sunday’s Serie A schedule

Torino vs. Atalanta (6:30 a.m. ET)
Cagliari vs. Bologna (9 a.m. ET)
Crotone vs. Empoli (9 a.m. ET)
Fiorentina vs. Genoa (9 a.m. ET)
Sampdoria vs. Roma (9 a.m. ET)
Sassuolo vs. Juventus (9 a.m. ET)
Udinese vs. AC Milan (9 a.m. ET)
Napoli vs. Palermo (2:45 p.m. ET)

UEFA: Wales in trouble; Spain dominates; Buffon hits 1000

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Friday’s matches mark the midway point of the main round of qualifying in UEFA, and the tables remain tight near the top of Groups D and G.

[ MORE: Smalling hurt, Gibson called up ]

Group I, however, is seeing some distance between first and second thanks to Croatia’s result versus Ukraine.

Republic of Ireland 0-0 Wales

Neil Taylor was sent off in the 69th minute for Wales, whose World Cup hopes are in trouble.

Seamus Coleman was stretchered off after the tackle, with a scary-looking injury that will leave Everton fans sick in more ways than one. Coleman’s leg was broken, and left dangling by the challenge.

Ireland couldn’t take advantage of the sending off, and failed in a bid to overtake Serbia for first in Group D. The Irish trail on goal differential, and will host Serbia on Sept. 5.

But Wales will rue the result more, remaining four points back of second-place Ireland. Chris Coleman’s side drops a point behind Austria as well, and will not have Taylor or Gareth Bale (card accumulation) in its next match. That comes against leaders Serbia.

Italy 2-0 Albania

Daniele De Rossi scored a 12th minute penalty kick won by Andrea Belotti, and Ciro Immobile scored late to provided the goals in Gianluigi Buffon’s 1000th appearance for club and country. Fittingly, it ended in a clean sheet. The match was briefly delayed after flares were thrown onto the field.

Spain 4-1 Israel

David Silva, Vitolo, and Diego Costa stakes the Spaniards to a three-goal lead, with Lior Refaelov ruining David De Gea‘s clean sheet with 11 minutes to play. Isco scored the match’s final goal.

Spain remains atop Group G on goal differential, eight better than second place Italy. Israel is four points behind both.

Croatia 1-0 Ukraine

Fiorentina’s Nikola Kalinic’s 38th minute goal was enough for the hosts, and Croatia is now five points clear at the top midway through qualifying.

Elsewhere
Austria 2-0 Moldova — RB Leipzig’s Sabitzer nabs winner
Liechtenstein 0-3 Macedonia — Ilija Nestorovski bags brace
Kosovo 1-2 Iceland — Sigurdsson PK the match winner
Georgia 1-3 Serbia — Mitrovic, Tadic lead the way
Turkey 2-0 Finland — Brace for Cenk Tosun

Boro’s Gibson called to England after injury to Man Utd’s Smalling

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Scoring goals has been the biggest problem for Middlesbrough in its return to the Premier League, and that overshadows how well the Northeast club has defended its own goal.

Ben Gibson has been a huge part of that, and now he’ll earn the chance to represent his nation thanks to an injury to Chris Smalling. Gibson will join England ahead of Sunday’s home World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

[ MORE: Podolski leads Germany past England ]

Gibson has far and away been Boro’s best player, leading the side in blocked shots and clearances. The blocked shots total is tied for ninth in the Premier League, 11 behind current leader and new England teammate Michael Keane.

Smalling’s undisclosed injury is a bigger problem for Manchester United, which had already lost center back depth on England duty when Phil Jones was hurt.

Dele Alli to miss next three European matches, UCL or UEL

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Tottenham Hotspur is primed to qualify for a second-straight UEFA Champions League campaign this year, and will have to start that sophomore run without Dele Alli.

The 20-year-old playmaker has banned for his next three matches. If Spurs finish fourth, that would mean both qualifying matches and an additional match.

[ MORE: Five questions for USMNT ]

If they finish higher, Dele will miss the first three group stage matches.

Dele was shown red for a tackle on Brecht Dejaegere in Spurs’ 2-2 draw with Gent in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32, as Tottenham left the tournament.

Men in Blazers podcast: Man City-Liverpool review, USMNT preview

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Rog and Davo recap the Top Four battle between Manchester City and Liverpool, ask (again) whether it’s time for Arsene to go, and break down two of the most important USMNT games in modern history.

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