Ante Rebic

AC Milan
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Red-hot Rebić scores again as AC Milan tops Torino

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MILAN — Ante Rebić kept up his scoring form to lead AC Milan to a 1-0 win over struggling Torino in Serie A on Monday.

The Croatia international beat his marker to redirect a cross from the center of the area midway through the first half at the San Siro.

The score raised Rebić’s tally to six goals and an assist in eight matches since he earned his starting spot – a move that coincided with Zlatan Ibrahimović’s return to the Rossoneri.

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Bouncing back from a derby loss, Milan moved up to eighth and just beyond the Europa League places. The seven-time European champion is hoping to return to continental competition after voluntary withdrawing from this season’s Europa League to pay for UEFA financial fair play breaches.

Torino, meanwhile, lost its fifth straight, with new coach Moreno Longo still unable to turn things around in his second match in charge.

Ibrahimović narrowly missed a curling shot shortly after the break.

Controversial late penalty helps Ronaldo, Juve to 1st leg draw at Milan

Coppa Italia
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Off-form for most of the day, Cristiano Ronaldo showed up when it mattered in earning and converting a controversial penalty in a 1-1 draw with 10-man AC Milan on Thursday in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semifinal tie.

Red-hot Ante Rebic and Milan nearly claimed control, but couldn’t hold onto the lead after Theo Hernandez was shown his second yellow card.

The two sides meet again March 4 in Turin. The other semifinal has Napoli leading Inter Milan 1-0 at the first leg in Milan.

Ronaldo was held without a shot on target until stoppage time, and Gianluigi Buffon was Juve’s star in the loss. The veteran goalkeeper kept the Old Lady in the match with nine saves.

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Rebic scored off a Samu Castillejo assist as Milan took the lead before despite the 71st minute sending off of Theo Hernandez.

The defending was less than ideal on Rebic’s goal, as the Croatian scored for the fifth time in six matches. Rebic has caught fire with regular playing time after getting little chance to show his stuff in his first 10 matches since signing on a two-year loan from Eintracht Frankfurt.

Juventus had a lot of the ball, but AC Milan ripped off far more shots in the win. They carried an 18-7 advantage when Hernandez saw his second yellow card, but finished the day witha. 21-14 margin.

An airborne Davide Calabria was, we guess, supposed to know that Ronaldo’s overhead kick would strike the back of his elbow. Bad rule, correct call. Fix it.

The goal was Ronaldo’s eighth from the spot this season.

Serie A: AC Milan extends unbeaten run since Zlatan’s arrival

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BRESCIA, Italy (AP) Ante Rebic scored his third goal in two matches, goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was superb and AC Milan won 1-0 at relegation-threatened Brescia on Friday to climb into the Europa League places in Serie A.

[ MORE: Report: Man United’s list of possible new strikers revealed ]

Rebic, who scored twice in a win over Udinese last weekend, pounced on a loose ball directly in front of the goal following a cross from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 71st minute.

Since Ibrahimovic’s return to Milan over the holiday break, Milan is unbeaten with four wins and a draw across all competitions.

Donnarumma produced several difficult saves to deny Dimitri Bisoli and Ernesto Torregrossa.

Also, Milan fullback Theo Hernandez hit the crossbar in the closing minutes.

The Rossoneri moved up to sixth place, four points behind fifth-place Atalanta.

[ MORE: Solskjaer’s transfer update; positive on rebuild ]

“Our goal is to qualify for Europe,” Donnarumma said. “We’ve got to continue like this and not rest for a moment. There’s another big Italian Cup match coming up with Torino midweek and we want to reach the semifinals.

“We’ll take it one game at a time and try to keep this momentum going.”

Brescia was without Mario Balotelli, who was suspended for two matches after protesting a booking last weekend that ended up with the striker being sent off.

Brescia remained one point above last-place Genoa.

Bundesliga wrap: Dortmund, Gladbach scoop big away wins

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The Top Three all won their first matches after the Bundesliga’s Winterpause, as leaders Borussia Dortmund and third place side Borussia Monchengladbach joined Friday winners Bayern Munich in the win column.

[ MORE: Arsenal-Chelsea recap | JPW’s 3 things ]


Bayer Leverkusen 0-1 Borussia Monchengladbach

Alassane Plea’s 10th goal of the season kept ‘Gladbach three points back of Bayern and nine behind BVB. The visitors had almost a month to stew on a 2-1 loss to the leaders, but were fairly fortunate to get three points considering Bayer out-attempted the Foals by a 21-7 margin and put nine shots on Yann Sommer.

Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 Freiburg

Eintracht’s pair of Top Ten scorers struck again, with Luka Jovic adding his league-best 13th goal and Sebastien Haller notching hsi 10th goal of the season. Borussia Dortmund is the only other club with two double-digit league scorers (Paco Alcacer and Marco Reus). The other goal came from Ante Rebic, who has six in 874 minutes.

RB Leipzig 0-1 Borussia Dortmund

Axel Witsel’s well-hit 19th minute goal off a corner kick was all BVB needed to restore its six-point table advantage on Bayern Munich. Christian Pulisic played the final quarter-hour for BVB, while fellow American youngster Tyler Adams of RBL was an unused sub during his first Bundesliga matchday.

Elsewhere
Hoffenheim 1-3 Bayern Munich — Friday
Stuttgart 2-3 Mainz
Augsburg 1-2 Fortuna Dusseldorf
Hannover 0-1 Werder Bremen — USMNT’s Sargent plays 10 mins
Nurnberg v. Hertha Berlin — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Schalke v. Wolfsburg — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Borussia Dortmund 18 14 3 1 45 18 27 8-1-0 6-2-1 45
 Bayern Munich 18 12 3 3 39 19 20 4-3-1 8-0-2 39
 Mönchengladbach 18 11 3 4 37 18 19 8-0-0 3-3-4 36
 RB Leipzig 18 9 4 5 31 18 13 7-2-1 2-2-4 31
 Eintracht Frankfurt 18 9 3 6 37 24 13 5-1-3 4-2-3 30
 VfL Wolfsburg 17 8 4 5 27 22 5 3-3-3 5-1-2 28
 1899 Hoffenheim 18 6 7 5 33 26 7 3-4-3 3-3-2 25
 Werder Bremen 18 7 4 7 29 29 0 3-3-3 4-1-4 25
 Hertha BSC Berlin 17 6 6 5 26 27 -1 4-3-1 2-3-4 24
 Bayer Leverkusen 18 7 3 8 26 30 -4 4-1-4 3-2-4 24
 FSV Mainz 05 18 6 6 6 20 24 -4 3-4-2 3-2-4 24
 SC Freiburg 18 5 6 7 22 28 -6 3-4-2 2-2-5 21
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 18 6 3 9 21 34 -13 4-0-5 2-3-4 21
 FC Schalke 04 17 5 3 9 20 24 -4 3-0-5 2-3-4 18
 FC Augsburg 18 3 6 9 26 31 -5 1-4-4 2-2-5 15
 VfB Stuttgart 18 4 2 12 14 38 -24 3-1-5 1-1-7 14
 Hannover 96 18 2 5 11 17 36 -19 2-1-6 0-4-5 11
 1. FC Nürnberg 17 2 5 10 14 38 -24 2-3-4 0-2-6 11

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Pogba to Juventus, Rebic to Manchester United

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With the World Cup over, the transfer season is now in full swing. Players have returned from Russia, some having improved their stock mightily. While the World Cup participants will likely receive an extended vacation from clubs to spend time with families and rest their bodies a bit, transfer season never rests.

According to Italian publication Tuttosport, World Cup champion Paul Pogba may have some leverage this summer and could use that to his advantage. The world could see how effective he was in a box-to-box midfield role under French manager Didier Deschamps with slightly more freedom than he saw under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United this past season where many felt he has room to grow.

The report says that Pogba might use the World Cup performances to leverage his way out of Manchester United and back to Juventus where Cristiano Ronaldo has just signed for a mega-transfer. The report states that Pogba is intrigued to join his old club and be a part of Ronaldo’s tenure in Turin. With Ronaldo at 33 years old, he might not have long at Juventus, and Pogba wishes to take advantage.

Tuttosport, which is based in Turin, says that Pogba retains at the least a professional relationship with all his former teammates, and would welcome a move back to Italy. His current Manchester United contract runs out in 2021, meaning he has three full seasons left on his current deal.


Whether Pogba stays or goes, Manchester United will be looking to improve its squad, with a World Cup runner-up in its sights. There have been rumors of a move for both Croatian wingers Ivan Perisic and Ante Rebic, but the latter seems to make more sense. Rebic is just 24 years old, and would likely be the cheaper of the two coming from Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt. At the World Cup, the Croatian displayed strength, technical ability, and an innate sense for finding space.

Rebic can play on either wing, playing on the left with his club while deployed on the right with the national team during this summer’s tournament. He would fit in nicely to Manchester United’s squad, which is light on wide attacking players outside of Alexis Sanchez. Rebic would be a perfect foil for Sanchez, preferring to stick to the touchline while Sanchez cuts inside, and enjoying allowing the full-back to overlap.

Reports around England tag Rebic with a $57 million fee, which is just slightly under what Perisic might command from Inter.


In London, there are heavy rumors swirling that Real Madrid will move to make Eden Hazard their replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo. Hazard’s national team manager spoke out on the potential move, following Belgium’s third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup.

“I believe now is maybe the right time for him to move,” Martinez told Cadena Ser radio in Spain. “With Belgium he displayed maturity and leadership to add to his outstanding talent, I believe he can play for any side. There is not one team in the world he would not fit in and that means he will be the subject of offers from elsewhere.”

“I am sure Chelsea have received a lot of interest in Eden because he is one of the select group of players whose talent is based on individual play.”

Following the completion of Belgium’s win over England in the third-place match, Hazard was quoted as saying it “might be time for something new.” He has been with Chelsea since moving from Lille in the summer of 2012. At Stamford Bridge, Hazard has blossomed into one of the world’s best one-on-one attackers.


According to Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol, Everton is in “advanced talks” with Bordeaux over Brazilian winger Malcom. The report states that Everton is closing in on a $39 million deal for the 21-year-old and Everton’s team will meat with the French club’s representatives on Thursday to hammer out the final version of the transfer.

The potential signing would be a fabulous move, given that Malcom had been linked with not just Inter Milan but other Premier League club Fulham. Reports say Inter had been looking for a loan with an option to buy, whereas Everton was ready to splash the cash now, which intrigued Bordeaux the most.