Andrea Belotti

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Serie A: Another loss for AC Milan; Belotti scores two for Torino

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The old adage goes, “Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better,” so why isn’t anything getting better for AC Milan?

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Italian soccer’s second-most winningest club with 18 top-division titles, Milan haven’t finished in Serie A’s top-four since 2013. Eight managers have sat on the hot seat in the six-plus seasons since then

Five games into the 2019-20 season, Marco Giampaolo’s side has just six points and doesn’t appear destined to snap that streak. The Rossoneri suffered another defeat, their third of the season, 2-1 at the hands of Torino on Thursday.

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Milan led through Krzysztof Piatek’s penalty kick in the 18th minute, but Andrea Belotti spearheaded a quick comeback with a pair of goals just four minutes apart beginning in the 72nd minute. That’s four goals in five games for Belotti, who scored 15 last season and 26 just three seasons ago.

Milan currently sit 11th in the Serie A table, three points back of the fourth-place logjam and already nine off the pace of Inter Milan’s perfect start to the season, which included a comfortable 2-0 victory over their Milan rivals last weekend. Torino, meanwhile, are one of the three teams with nine points jostling for fourth place, alongside Cagliari and Napoli.

Serie A: Roma steals win late, Torino tops Atalanta

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Defensive calamities appeared to prove deadly with Roma barreling towards a disappointing draw with relegation-threatened Frosinone, but Edin Dzeko stole victory from the jaws of defeat, scoring in the fifth minute of stoppage time to seal a vital three points amid a fight for Champions League qualification in a 3-2 win at Stadio Benito Stirpe.

Roma was tragically bad at the back from the opening whistle. Frosinone scored the opener just five minutes in after Steven N’Zonzi’s horrible back-pass was stolen, and while Robin Olsen saved the shot from Camillo Ciano with a diving effort, but the ball popped up into the air with crazy spin and when it came down near the line, it bounced back into the net.

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Frosinone nearly had a second in the 11th minute but Ciano blasted it over the bar while all alone at the back post. Down the other end, Marco Sportiello was required to tip a dangerous Stephan El Shaarawy header over the bar. Roma built into the game and finally equalized right on the half-hour mark as Edin Dzeko picked the pocket of clueless Frosinone defender Edoardo Goldaniga in the box and his shot pinged off the left post and spun into the back of the net. They took the lead just a minute later and turned the game on its head as Dzeko fed El Shaarawy on the break, and while his shot to the far post was tipped by Sportiello, Lorenzo Pellegrini was on hand to deliver a sliding tap-in at the far post as the ball trickled away.

El Shaarawy was lucky to stay on the pitch after a bad challenge late in the first half only produced yellow despite an apparent stamp, and the referee was not buzzed by VAR to take another look. Frosinone was struggling to regain a foothold in the match until the 68th minute when they came so close to an equalizer as Andrea Pinamonti came flying in to meet a cross with a flying ninja kick but he was out of control and whiffed on the effort. They would find the leveler with 10 minutes to go, pegging back Roma on the break as Pinamonti finished the counter that left both Aleksandr Kolarov and Daniele De Rossi looking silly.

It could have been worse had Olsen not made a spectacular save in the 85th minute to keep out a cut shot from substitute Marcello Trotta that nearly found the back of the net, but instead trickled safely away off the goalkeeper’s fingertips. With a disappointing result on the horizon, Dzeko was there to snatch victory, bundling home a short cross from El Shaarawy in the 95th minute. The win moved Roma back to within a point of fourth-placed AC Milan, erasing doubts the draw would have left with the club potentially three points back in fifth.

Elsewhere, Torino topped Atalanta 2-0 at home on goals from Armando Izzo and Iago Falque that neatly bracketed halftime. Just before the break, Izzo put the home side in front on a messy goal that eventually pinged its way to the 26-year-old defender at the far post for the opener. Just a minute after they returned from halftime, Torino found its second as a whipped delivery from Soualiho Meite passed Andrea Belotti but found Falque near the penalty spot who rifled in a low, scything effort that found the back of the net.

The win moves Torino into seventh, well in the thick of the crowded top half of the Serie A table. They’re level with both Lazio and Atalanta on points with 38, but still five back of fifth-placed Roma after their win.

VIDEO: Sought-after Belotti scores the goal of the weekend

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It’s truly a wonder that Andrea Belotti didn’t join the $100-million club this summer, during a transfer window in which the collective footballing world lost its mind with regard to fees paid for some of the world’s best players.

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The 23-year-old Italian international bagged 28 goals across all competitions last season (26 in Serie A), and he’s not yet arrived at one of the world’s 10 or 15 biggest clubs — Belotti just his third season at Torino, who, thanks in large part to his output, finished ninth last season.

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Whatever Belotti might have cost someone yesterday (he has a $129-million release clause for clubs outside of Italy, for what it’s worth), you can safely assume it’s gone up $20 million following the stunning overhead kick he scored (below video) during Torino’s 3-0 victory over Sassuolo on Sunday. (Yes, it’s ridiculous to think one goal — no matter how spectacular it might have been — could inflate a player’s price so much, but this is the summer transfer window of 2017.)

Transfer rumor roundup: Mbappe to PSG? Torino rejects Belotti bid from Chelsea

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Although all the major European leagues have all kicked off, the transfer rumors continue to swirl as the window closes in on deadline day.

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In another twist that could make Paris Saint-Germain clear favorites to win the UEFA Champions League, the French giants appear close to signing Monaco teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe.

While PSG remains under UEFA’s microscope for the club’s unwillingness to obey Financial Fair Play laws, the Parisians have launched a $211 million bid for Mbappe, according to Mundo Deportivo.


Chelsea continues to look for more options up front, but their latest attempt at poaching one of Italy’s brightest strikers has failed.

Torino has reportedly declined Chelsea’s $74 million bid for Andrea Belotti, with the Serie A side unwilling to part ways with the 23-year-old unless a team meets his $103 million release clause.

The Blues have already added Alvaro Morata this transfer window in the wake of the Diego Costa saga, while Michy Batshuayi is also in the Chelsea squad.


West Brom is playing hard to get with defender Jonny Evans, and Manchester City will have to fork up more money if they want the Northern Ireland veteran.

The Baggies are reportedly seeking over $41 million for Evans, as the Citizens continue to spend at a lightning pace during this transfer window.

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Manager Pep Guardiola and Co. have already added the likes of Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy at the back, while Bernardo Silva has been thrust into the team’s attack.

Transfer Rumor Wrap: Bale’s agent laughs off speculation

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It appears Gareth Bale has no plans of following Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez out of Real Madrid this summer.

“It’s a ridiculous, stupid story,” Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett told the BBC, following reports that Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane wouldn’t promise Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo that they’d staying with the club this summer.

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Of course, these prompted counter reports that Manchester United could take advantage of possible instability at the Santiago Bernabeu and swoop in for Bale, but it seems that Bale is not for sale.

Bale played just 27 times for Real Madrid last season in all competitions, scoring nine goals with three assists while dealing with multiple injuries. His entire career at Real Madrid in fact has been plagued by injury, but ahead of a World Cup year with Wales still in contention for a spot in Russia, Bale will be extra motivated to stay fit this season.

Here’s some more transfer rumors from around the world:

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