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Serie A roundup: Inter win Derby della Madonnina, Juventus edge Verona (video)

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Inter Milan’s rampant run and Juventus’ win headline Saturday’s Serie A action.

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AC Milan 0-2 Inter Milan

The stats books following this season’s first Derby della Madonnina make two things very clear: at the moment, Inter are the best team in Milan and in Serie A.

With four consecutive victories to start the season, Antonio Conte and Co. lead Italy’s top-flight by two points.

 

After nearly being up two goals in the first half, Inter broke deadlock in the 49th minute. From a orchestrated set-piece play, marcelo Brozovic’s strike skimmed the heels of Rafael Leão, deflecting the ball past Gianluigi Donnarumma, and into the back of the net. An offside call was reviewed through VAR, but the goal stood.

In the 78th minute, a short, lofted cross from Nicolò Barella found Romelu Lukaku, who headed the ball into the far post. The Belgian, who arrived from Manchester United during the summer, has scored three goals in four league games.

Dominating time with the ball didn’t do much for AC Milan, whose clearest chance came late in the second half when Theo Hernández’s strike inside the box hit the bar.

Yet to taste a draw or defeat, Inter marches on as they host Lazio next, while AC Milan travel to Turin to take on Torino.

Juventus 2-1 Hellas Verona

In a game that could have gone either way, Juventus, with its star-studded team and all, walked away with three points against 10-man Hellas Verona.

Aaron Ramsey, who made a shock switch to the Old Lady in July following an 11-year spell with Arsenal, scored his first Serie A goal. From distance, in the 31st minute, the 29-year-old’s shot deflected Verona’s Koray Gunter, beating Marco Silvestri and into the goal.
Ramsey’s goal, however, only leveled the score.
Following a missed penalty and second chance, Miguel Veloso scored what can be the goal of the week: a first-time, left-footed volley into the top corner of Gianluigi Buffon’s goal. Verona, who had a couple of clear chances in the second half, were unable to get past Buffon again.
With three points desperately needed to keep pace with Inter Milan, Cristiano Ronaldo came to the rescue. The Portuguese converted from the sport – his first of the season – following a solo run from Juan Cuadrado.

With positive momentum behind them, second-place Juventus travels to Brescia next, while Hellas Verona receive a lackluster Udinese side.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Cagilari 3-1 Genoa

Udinese 0-1 Brescia

AC Milan announces internal anti-racism task force

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MILAN (AP) AC Milan has announced it will establish an internal task force to address racism in Italian football.

[ Premier League Previews: Leicester City v. Tottenham | Man City v. Watford ]

The club says the task force will be supported by “an external consultancy” and “develop a program of activities to increase awareness, monitor and address racist behavior on social media and in the stadium, and drive the adoption of global best practices on diversity and inclusion.”

The move comes after reports of racist chants directed at Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, who is black, during a match at Hellas Verona last weekend.

Milan says the anti-racism initiative will be launched during Saturday’s derby against Inter Milan.

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Inter striker Romelu Lukaku was subjected to racist chants in a match at Cagliari this month.

Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis, who is South African, says: “Italian football needs to wake up and take a strong stance against racist behaviors. AC Milan will take a leadership position on this issue. . We believe that we have a moral obligation to do everything we can to address this issue.”

Kessie and Lukaku subjected to more racism in Italy

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MILAN (AP) AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie and Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku reportedly have been subjected to more racism in Italy.

The Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Hellas Verona supporters aimed offensive chants at Kessie during the first half of a 1-0 loss to Milan on Sunday night.

The Italian sports newspaper adds that the chants continued during halftime.

Kessie, an Ivory Coast international who is black, was also subjected to racist chants by Inter Milan and Lazio fans last season.

Also Sunday, a commentator on Italian TV, Luciano Passirani, was immediately suspended for a racist comment directed at Lukaku.

Speaking on the “Qui Studio a Voi Stadio” show, Passirani started off by saying, “I don’t see any other player in Italy now like Lukaku. … I really like him,” before adding, “the only way to stop him is to say, `Here are 10 bananas that you can eat.”‘

Lukaku, who is also black, was targeted with monkey chants by Cagliari fans this month. The league judge has not decided yet whether or not Cagliari should be punished.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Serie A roundup: Roma’s Mkhitaryan scores on debut, Milan edges Verona

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Roma’s first win of the season headlines Sunday’s Serie A action.

Roma 4-2 Sassuolo

Henrikh Mkhitaryan‘s stint with Roma is off to a brilliant start.

The former Arsenal attacker, scored a blistering goal in his debut with the Italian giants, who won their first game of the season in the 4-2 thumping of Sassuolo.

The Armenian’s goal was only one of the four that Roma put together in the first 45 minutes of the game. With a headed goal off of a corner kick, Bryan Cristante gave the home side an early lead. Seven minutes later, Edin Dzeko tallied his second goal of a young season.

By the 33rd minute, Justin Kluivert’s calm finish inside the box had Roma up by four goals. I Giallorossi kept pushing, dismantling the visiting with their frenetic pace down the wings, but came up short, striking the bar post in three different occasions.

Despite being outclassed in the first half, Sassuolo’s silver lining showed up in the final 45 minutes: Domenico Berardi. A wonder free-kick opened the scoring for the 24-year-old, who eventually sealed his brace in 72nd minute. The captain has scored five goals in two league matches this season.

With confidence under their belt, Roma travel to Bologna next, while Sassuolo host SPAL.

Verona 0-1 AC Milan

Milan aren’t doing it in convincing fashion, but they’re winning.

A game that saw both teams end up with 10 players, also saw Milan walk away with a 1-0 victory in Verona. The win has Marco Giampaolo’s side sixth in the table only three points behind leaders and rivals Inter Milan.
Despite playing a player down early on, Verona had a pair of chances in the first half. A half-effort bicycle was no match for a well-positioned Roma defense and Gianluigi Donnarumma. The clearest chance of them all came right before the first 45 minutes came to a close, however. In motion, with his back turned on the ball, Valerio Verre’s first touch and subsequent strike would just go inches high of the bar.
As the second half went on, Milan proved to be too much for the home side, controlling the ball and taking a plethora of shots on goal. Eventually, it took a tool on I Gialloblu. In the 68th minute, Hakan Çalhanoğlu shot struck Verona’s Koray Gunter hand, resulting in a penalty that Krzysztof Piątek put away.

Now in sixth place, Milan face rivals Inter Milan next. On the hand, Verona travel to Turin to take on a mighty Juventus.

Elsewhere in Serie A

SPAL 2- 1 Lazio

Brescia 3-4 Bologna

Parma 1-3 Cagliari

Transfers in Europe: Final deals done before deadline

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A roundup of the final few transfers completed across Europe on Monday, including a few outgoing deals involving players belonging to Premier League clubs…

[ MORE: Transfer Deadline Day in Europe: Deals galore ]

Yannick Bolasie (Everton to Sporting CP)
Bolasie is headed out on loan for the third time in 12 months, following half-season spells at Aston Villa and Anderlecht last season. After arriving at Goodison Park for $30 million back in 2016, Bolasie has battled long-term injuries and a lack of fitness/form.


Mario Lemina (Southampton to Galatasaray)
This is just about all the needs to be said of Saints’ transfer activity over the last few years…


Kenedy (Chelsea to Getafe)
Speaking of players going out on multiple loan spells from their parent club, Kenedy has departed Stamford Bridge for the fourth time since joining the club in 2015. First, he went to Watford (one appearance); then it was Newcastle United (13 appearances); and again, to Newcastle United (23 appearance). It’s the first time the Brazilian has been loaned to a club outside the PL.


Andre Silva (AC Milan to Eintracht Frankfurt) & Ante Rebic (Frankfurt to Milan)
AC Milan and Eintracht Frankfurt have essentially swapped forwards for a period of one season. According to reports, neither loan agreement includes an option to buy. Silva scored 11 goals in 40 appearances while on loan to Sevilla last season. Rebic bagged 10 in 35 during Frankfurt’s magical 2018-19 season.


Jese Rodriguez (PSG to Sporting CP)
From Real Madrid, to Paris Saint-Germain, to Las Palmas, to Stoke City, to Real Betis, and now Sporting CP, Jese has been trying to right the wrongs of his career for a few years now. Now 26, he has made 20 or more league appearances just once in his career (2015-16 for Madrid).