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Serie A: Dybala leads Juve to win, Fiorentina draws late

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Paulo Dybala has his first goal streak of the season and Juventus won its third match in a row with a 1-0 victory over Bologna. Dybala, who has struggled in front of net this season, scored in the 3-0 win over Frosinone last time out and bagged the game’s only goal on Sunday. Juventus also struggled, with just 50% possession and a massive 18-6 shot deficit, but Dybala came off the bench for the final half-hour to grab the win.

A cross by Blaise Matuidi in the 67th minute was cut out by Filip Helander, but his clear only reached Dybala at the top of the box in space, and the Argentinian rifled into the back of the net for the lead. Juventus goalkeeper Mattia Perin was also required to preserve the win, stopping a spectacular curler from Nicola Sansone in added time. The three points great Juventus’s lead to 13 points ahead of Napoli’s match.

Napoli kept pace at the top, closing the gap back to 10 behind Juventus as they topped Parma 4-0 behind a brace from Arkadiusz Milik. The opener came from essentially nothing, with Piotr Zielinski given the ball at a tight angle on the right and Bruno Alves failed to challenge with any sincerity, leaving the Polish international to slot home into the far post. Napoli doubled the lead just as easy past the half-hour mark as Milk took a free-kick from straight on and just slid it under the wall and inside the unmanned right post.

Milik scored his second with 17 minutes to go, and that was followed by Napoli’s fourth from Bordeaux youth product Adam Ounas, Milik’s substitute with 10 minutes remaining. Despite Juve’s massive lead, Napoli has lost just one league match since the start of October, but the Sunday victory is big as it eases fans who watch a pair of 0-0 draws in league play prior to this result.

Elsewhere, Fiorentina scored 16 seconds into the match and Inter equalized five minutes later, paving the way for a wild one as both teams came from behind in a 3-3 draw. Straight off the kickoff, a long ball forward from deep fell to a streaking Federico Chiesa, and for some reason Samir Handanovic came way off his line to challenge. That left Chiesa to touch across to Giovanni Simeone with no one in net, and with Stefan de Vrij challenging the cross, he touched it into his own net for the opener. It only took Inter until the sixth minute to level things up, an equally messy goal. A poor corner saw an even poor clearance, and Radja Nainggolan just pumped the ball back into the box for Matias Vecino to rifle home against his old club on the volley.

Inter went ahead just before halftime as Matteo Politano created his own opening, cutting back onto his left at the top of the box and whipping in a curling delivery that found the back of the net past a helpless Alban Lafont. They doubled the lead thanks to VAR as the referee checked the monitor and awarded a penalty for a handball by Edimilson Fernandes on a free-kick delivery. Ivan Perisic dispatched the spot-kick and sent Inter into a 3-1 lead.

Fiorentina set the crowd alight with a Cristiano Biraghi free-kick firecracker 16 minutes from time, and the electric Stadio Artemio Franchi crowd spurred its team to a late result. In the 95th minute, the referee gave a penalty for handball, and despite a long VAR check, he stuck with his controversial decision. Jordan Veretout deposited the penalty in the 101st minute, and Fiorentina completed the two-goal comeback. The dramatic finish means Inter now sits more precariously in third, just two points ahead of fourth-placed AC Milan.

Fabio Quagliarella buried an unstoppable penalty after the hour mark and Sampdoria topped Cagliari 1-0 at Stadio Luigi Ferraris. The visitors managed just one single shot on target, and they were soundly beaten, lucky not to concede more as the hosts missed a pair of big chances to score more, including Quagliarella who saw a close-range attempt smartly saved on the doorstep just minutes before his penalty.

SPAL went on the road and earned an important point in the relegation battle as they drew 1-1 with Sassuolo. Federico Peluso met a corner with his left foot to pummel home the opener just before halftime to put the home side up, but VAR was utilized in the 66th minute to help bring terms back level. Sergio Floccari went flying in the box during a set-piece delivery, and came up screaming that he was pushed. There was initially no call, but the referee went to the monitor and awarded the spot-kick. Andrea Petagna stepped up and buried it into the top corner and SPAL went four points above the drop. They nearly won it minutes later as Felipe headed a corner across the face of goal to the far corner, but it came off the post and out.

Chievo Verona and Genoa combined for 20 shots, but created very few real chances as the two sides drew 0-0. It was an especially disappointing result for Genoa who generated just a single shot on target against the last-placed team in the Serie A table.

10-man Red Bulls hold off Atlanta United at home

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Atlanta United’s five-game winning streak went up in smoke as the New York Red Bulls pulled off an incredible 1-0 victory.

Playing down a man for around 65 minutes, the Red Bulls shutout Atlanta United’s high powered offense in front of 18,495 fans at Red Bull Arena. Tom Barlow, in just his second appearance with the Red Bulls, scored the game-winning goal in the 65th minute off a header at the far post, one that left U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Brad Guzan rooted to his line.

[READ: Pep: Domestic Treble harder than UCL]

Tim Parker was shown a straight red card in controversial fashion, after grabbing Josef Martinez’s left arm with Martinez in front of him just outside the box. Martinez was clearly pulled back but continued running and eventually got a shot off that Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles parried away.

Referee Robert Sbiga then decided to call the play back and award Atlanta United a free kick outside the box. After what seemed to be consultation with his assistants, Sbiga then showed Parker a straight red card, likely for denial of a clear goal scoring opportunity (DOGSO) while Martinez was through on goal.

The outcome is a massive one for the Red Bulls. It’s been a rough season, with the loss of both Jesse Marsch and Tyler Adams and the poor form of Bradley Wright-Phillips up top. Wright-Phillips was out on Sunday and another attacker Andreas Ivan, went off with an injury in the first half as he was about to be substituted off anyways following the red card.

Alejandro Romero Gamarra, Kaku, has made his feelings known that he wants (or wanted) to leave the club. His form hasn’t been stellar this season either.

Meanwhile, Atlanta’s finally found its way back into the win column and is looking more like the juggernaut from last season, especially with five-straight shutout wins. It’s all back to zero today though, with the defeat at the Red Bulls on a perfect grass pitch up a man.

Mbappe hints he could leave PSG

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Kylian Mbappe accepted his award as the Ligue 1 MVP, dedicated it to Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and then mentioned he could be off soon to another club.

Wait, what?

Yes, following Mbappe accepting his award, the French star and World Cup winner stated he hoped he could continue his career at PSG but left open the possibility of moving to another club that allows him to take the next steps in his career.

[READ: Kompany to join Anderlecht as player-manager]

“This is a very important moment for me, I arrive at a first or second turn of my career,” Mbappe said, via L’equipe. “I’ve discovered a lot of things here, I feel that maybe it’s time to have more responsibility. I hope it may be at Paris Saint-Germain, it would be with great pleasure, or perhaps elsewhere for a new project.”

Mbappe later clarified his comments, stating he was looking for more responsibility. “If it’s at PSG, that’s good. If it is elsewhere, it will be elsewhere for a new challenge.

“For me, it was time to say it. I am someone whole: when I say something, I think it. For me, it was the right time to say it. That’s it, I said it!”

It’s unclear why exactly Mbappe used this moment to put some pressure on PSG. Perhaps its to remind them that the club needs to be successful in its transfer endeavors this summer, so it can compete deep into the UEFA Champions League. With Neymar injured and a central midfield ravaged by injuries, PSG capitulated and somehow fell to Manchester United in the Champions League Round of 16, grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory.

There’s no reason why PSG can’t dominate the Champions League like it does Ligue 1, especially with the attacking trident of Mbappe, Neymar and Edinson Cavani. But of course, against better competition, the inferiority in mentality and in talent along the backline has started to show.

So, where could Mbappe go? There’s very few places that could effectively match both his salary and his competitive goals. It’s the usual suspects, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and perhaps Manchester City, should they be interested in it. More recently, while Man City has spent big, it’s been on signing multiple players on $50 million transfers, as opposed to one player on a $200 million transfer, for example.

It’s unlikely, but an intriguing option would be Liverpool. If the club somehow came up with the funds, imagine Mbappe playing alongside Sadio Mane and Mo Salah, with Roberto Firmino coming in to spell either of the three over the course of the season. Mbappe would likely make up that one-point difference between Liverpool and Man City, and if that’s what it takes for Liverpool to finally win the title, it could be worth the initial massive investment.

Messi finishes season leading La Liga in goals, assists, and more

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Lionel Messi turns 32 this summer, and after more than a dozen years of first team soccer, playing more than 50 games a season, the old man’s still got it.

The Argentine star, playing his first season in almost a decade without direct competition from Cristiano Ronaldo, scored twice as Barcelona tied Eibar, 2-2. The two goals gave him 34 for the season, by far the most by any player in the league, and his 50th in all competitions.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Messi also led La Liga this season with 13 assists, 136 shots, 85 shots on target and 70 through balls. In terms of successful dribbles, Messi’s 132 fell seven short of Celta Vigo’s Sofiane Boufal.

Messi’s 34 goals gave him his sixth Pichichi, the trophy given to the league’s leading scorer. Messi is now tied with legendary Telmo Zarra for the all-time record of most Pichichi’s, and Messi is now three ahead of Ronaldo.

As if Messi wasn’t already a legendary player, the man seems to be showing no signs of slowing down. It may have helped that he skipped matches with Argentina after the 2018 World Cup this past fall, keeping him fresh for Barcelona. Even so, the man looks as good, if not better, with age.

Messi already holds the record for most goals in league history, and at this rate, he’ll set it to a level that will be almost impossible to reach. While he’s going to be remembered for his incredible control on the ball, it doesn’t hurt that he’s been incredibly productive during his career, including in 2018-2019. Barcelona won the league title with ease and the club made the UEFA Champions League semifinal. If for some better defending, Messi could be contesting for another Champions League title.

Nani scores twice as Orlando City thrashes FC Cincinnati

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Nani may not be the star he once was while he played for Manchester United, but he’s still making a powerful impact in MLS.

The Portuguese international scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season as Orlando City ran circles expansion side FC Cincinnati, winning 5-1. Along with Nani, Tesho Akindele scored a brace and Dom Dwyer came off the bench and scored a header in the win.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Aside from having a chance to record a big win over a struggling side, Orlando City may have been ultra motivated on Sunday. Orlando City manager James O’Connor has history with FC Cincinnati from his time at Louisville City, with intense rivalry matches taking place as well as arguments between O’Connor and former FC Cincinnati coach Alan Koch on the sidelines.

FC Cincinnati actually went up early with a Darren Mattocks finish past Brian Rowe, but it didn’t take long for Orlando City to respond. Akindele fired home from 20-yards out in the 37th minute to make it 1-1. Early in the second half, Nani scored on a penalty kick rebound to make it 2-1 to the hosts, and then he added a second off a cross from the right to blast the game wide open.

With the win, Orlando City moved just one point outside of a playoff place, while Cincinnati remains in the basement of the Eastern Conference. However, Orlando City has a difficult road ahead, with matches against the LA Galaxy, Montreal Impact and D.C. United to come.