Edin Dzeko

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Serie A Roundup: Roma pummel Brescia, move top four; Lazio edge Sassuolo (video)

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Inspired by Chris Smalling‘s career night, AS Roma’s dominant, 3-0 win over Brescia highlights Sunday’s Serie A action.

 [ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule ]

Roma 3-0 Brescia

A two-time Premier League league winner, Smalling, 30, must have a long list of “memorable” games to choose from. But after scoring once and assisting twice against bottom-dwellers Brescia on Sunday, it can be said that the Englishmen might have topped the list.

On Sunday, the defender became the first English player to score at least two goals in a single Serie A season since David Beckham.

The Manchester United loanee opened the floodgates in the 49th minute, heading Lorenzo Pellegrini’s lofting corner into the back of the net. Just eight minutes later, Roma scored a second from a corner-kick. 

This time, Smalling – keeping tabs on the last Brescia defender – headed the ball downwards, rebounding and finding defender Gianluca Mancini’s right foot, which set up for a simple volley strike past Jesse Joronen

In the 66th minute, the defender’s header found a well-positioned Edin Dzeko for Roma’s third and final of the night.

Now fourth in the Italian top flight, Roma prepare for Istanbul Basaksehir on Thursday, while Brescia look for their league win in eight consecutive games against Atalanta.

Sassuolo 1-2 Lazio

With the game two minutes away from the final whistle, Lazio needed a miracle to comfortably remain in Serie A’s third spot.

Substitute Felipe Caicedo was just that, scoring I Biancocelesti’s game-winning goal in the first minute of stoppage time.

 

With the frustration of not getting a penalty call go their way minutes earlier, Luis Alberto and Caicedo paced past Sassuolo’s midfield and backline, combining with a set of back-and-forth passes. Inside the box, with position to shoot at goal, the Ecuadorian’s strike bounced over two, full-stretch defender and into the back of the net.

In the first half, Serie A top scorer, Ciro Immobile, added his 15th of the season, while the home side finished the first 45 minutes with a lot of hope, following captain’s Francesco Caputo’s tap-in.

Red-hot Lazio host CFR Cluj on Thursday in Europe League play, while Sassuolo prepare for their big game against Juventus on Sunday.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Bologna 2-2 Parma

Verona 1-0 Fiorentina

Sampdoria 2-1 Udinese

Discriminatory chants prompt suspension of Roma-Napoli game

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ROME — Discriminatory chants prompted a Serie A soccer game between Roma and Napoli to be briefly suspended Saturday.

Referee Gianluca Rocchi made the decision in the second half after Roma fans aimed anti-territorial chants – which are treated in the same manner as racist chants – at Napoli. The game resumed after a few minutes.

[ MORE: Man City 2-1 Saints ]

Rocchi had already ordered an announcement to be made over the Stadio Olimpico’s public address system asking fans to stop the chants.

During the suspension, Rocchi gathered teams in the center circle, then Roma forward Edin Dzeko encouraged fans to applaud rather than jeer the opposition.

Roma led 2-0 at the time of the suspension before going on to win 2-1.

Italy’s top tier has been marred by several incidents of fan racism this season.

Serie A roundup: Atalanta crush Udinese in historic victory (video)

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Atalanta’s historic 7-1 victory over a typically defensively sharp Udinese highlights Sunday’s Serie A action.

 [ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule ]

Atalanta 7-1 Udinese

Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia was a fun place to be on Sunday.

The home side, Atalanta routed Udinese 7-1, equalling their biggest ever Serie A victory and moving just three points behind league leaders Juventus.

Udinese opened the scoreline in the 11th minute, but the visitor’s red card in the 32nd minute proved to be too much for them to overcome. When all was said and done, Luis Muriel finished with hat-trick, while Josip Ilicic added a brace of his own.

Fresh off of a 5-1 drilling against Manchester City in the Champions League – a tournament that has seen them lose its first three games – La Dea was in dire need of such reviving performance, despite just loosing once this season.

Prior to Sunday, Udinese had conceded just six goals this season.

Atalanta will have to turn the page quickly, however, as they take on fourth-place Napoli midweek, while Udinese host Roma, who edged AC Milan with goals from Edin Dzeko and Nicolo Zaniolo.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Roma 2-1 Milan

SPAL 1-1 Napoli

Bologna 2-1 Sampdoria

Torino 1-1 Cagliari

Fiorentina 1-2 Lazio

Serie A: Lukaku brace helps Inter win shootout, AC Milan caught late

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Inter Milan kept pace with Juventus atop the Serie A table with an exciting 4-3 win on the road at Sassuolo. Romelu Lukaku scored a brace, as did Lautaro Martinez to go up 4-1 with 20 minutes to go, although the visitors nearly coughed up the big lead.

Martinez opened the scoring just two minutes in with a far-post snipe, but Domenico Berardi leveled things back up before the 20-minute mark. Lukaku put Inter back in front on 38 minutes, taking a feed down the center from Stefan de Vrij and posting up Federico Peluso before producing a strong turn and finish. He hit again from the penalty spot just after halftime after Martinez was hauled down in the box, and the Argentinian got his second also from the spot on 71 minutes to go three goals in front. The win moved Inter back to just a point behind leaders Juve.

Krzysztof Piatek struck in the 81st minute to seemingly rescue AC Milan, but Lecce hit back in the 92nd minute to earn a 2-2 draw at the San Siro. Goals from Hakan Calhanoglu and Khouma Babacar had cancelled each other out by the hour mark, but Piatek was on hand to bag his third of the season after Calhanoglu did the hard work down the right. Marco Calderoni was on hand to pip the hosts, however, with a last-gasp strike from distance that found the back of the net and gave AC Milan yet another disappointing result, having won just once in its last five games.

Roma was held to a scoreless draw on the road at Sampdoria, with Justin Kluivert seeing red on a pair of cautions and leaving the visitors to finish the match with 10 men. Roma held 65% possession throughout the match, but managed just a single shot on target amid their nine efforts. Edin Dzeko began the match on the bench, and while he came on at halftime, he did little to change Roma’s fortunes. The draw leaves Roma with just one win over its last four matches, sitting sixth in table, nine points back of the top.

Parma hammered Genoa 5-1 behind a hat-trick from Danish international Andreas Cornelius. The 26-year-old came on in the 12th minute for an injured Roberto Inglese and scored all three goals in an eight-minute stretch that bracketed halftime. The second was a vicious half-volley that impressively rippled the netting. He got his third in the 50th minute by beating Ionut Radu at his near post with a low blast.

Cagliari continued its impressive start to the season with a comprehensive 2-0 win over SPAL. The first goal came inside the opening 10 minutes on a rip-roaring thunderbolt by Radja Nainggolan from miles out, a candidate for Goal of the Season. You can watch the goal here.

Udinese pulled away from the bottom third with a 1-0 win over Torino at home. 30-year-old Stefano Okaka scored the game’s lone goal just before halftime, nodding in with his head while essentially standing right on top of the left post after Rolando Mandragora sent a looping header of his own that way.

Serie A: AC Milan falls again, Napoli and Lazio roll

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AC Milan’s nosedive has been nothing but painful, and it continued again this weekend as Fiorentina downed them at home 3-1 behind an early Erick Pulgar penalty and a second half strike by Gaetano Castrovilli. Milan, already down 1-0, fell behind a man when Mateo Musacchio was sent off early second half when he went in studs up over the ball on Franck Ribery. The incident was initially deemed a yellow card but was upgraded to a red, dooming AC Milan to its fate. Ribery scored to make it 3-0 in the 78th minute before AC Milan bagged a consolation goal two minutes later through Rafael Leao to finish the scoreline.

Marco Giampaolo’s seat warmed even further with the club’s fourth loss in their last six games, dropping to 16th in the table. They out-passed Fiorentina 500-300 and still just managed two shots on target to Fiorentina’s six. It could have been even worse as Federico Chiesa missed a penalty that would have put them 3-0 up, but the defeat still stings for a club in regression.

Napoli skated passed Brescia 2-1 despite Mario Balotelli‘s consolation goal with his daughter in attendance. Dries Mertens and Kostas Manolas scored in the first half, the latter in first-half stoppage time, and the home side held on thanks to a VAR review that chalked off a long-range rocket from young Sandro Tonali for a foul in the buildup. The win moved Napoli into fourth one point back of Atalanta, four points behind Juventus and six back of leaders Inter.

Lazio obliterated Genoa at home 4-0 in a comprehensive performance backed by four different goalscorers. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic started things off seven minutes in on a curler from the top of the box, and Stefan Radu made it 2-0 before halftime with a quality left-footed strike from a tough angle. Felipe Caciedo added a third on the hour mark one the break, and Ciro Immobile rounded out the scoring also on the counter 12 minutes from time. Lazio moved to sixth, level with Cagliari on 10 points but above on goal differential.

Edin Dzeko gave Roma a 1-0 road win over Lecce to keep them in 5th in the table. He struck on 56 minutes with a header at the far post to push the visitors through, despite finishing level with the newly-promoted side on shots on target, each with six. Roma fouled Lecce players 20 times during the sloppy match, but Paulo Fonesca’s club pulled out the clean sheet victory.

Stefano Okaka scored just before the half-hour mark and Udinese beat 10-man Lazio 1-0 to pull out of the relegation zone. The goal is the Italian international’s first of the season, and moved them to six points on the year in a crowded bottom half of the table six matches in. Roberto Soriano saw red six minutes into second-half stoppage time for a second yellow card, ending the threat.

Calgiari and Hellas Verona drew 1-1 on goals from Lucas Castro and Davide Faraoni. The goal for Castro is his second in two games, coming after his winner over Napoli last time out.