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Serie A: Lazio, Napoli roll while Roma falls again

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AS Roma’s early-season struggles continue as they fell to Bologna on the road 2-0, their second loss of the year through five matches. Bologna had not yet scored through four matches, blanked by Inter, SPAL, Genoa, and Frosinone coming in. Federico Mattiello somehow broke the duck in the 36th minute as his left-footed curler somehow got through traffic into the bottom-left corner. Federico Santander added another on the hour mark, and Roma lost for the second time in the last three, without a win since the opening week of the season.

Roma head coach Eusebio Di Francesco was furious after the game, lighting his players up for lacking passion. “You all seem to think you know the answers, so maybe I should ask you questions? We always end up talking about numbers, statistics, but not the determination and fire in the belly,” the 49-year-old Italian said to Sky Sport Italia after the match. “If you have 74 percent possession and lose 2-0, it means something is missing in your attitude. If you lose every duel with Bologna, then you weren’t determined enough.”

Juventus grabbed a late victory as new star Cristiano Ronaldo bagged an 81st minute winner in a 1-0 victory over Frosinone. The former Real Madrid forward latched onto a flubbed shot by Miralem Pjanic and buried the chance. Ronaldo had been denied earlier in the match, with the shot first slowed by a diving Marco Sportiello before the ball was eventually cleared off the line by Marco Capuano. It’s a solid comeback moment in Ronaldo’s return to the field after his controversial sending-off in Champions League play during the week.

Elsewhere, Napoli visited Torino and won 3-1 in Turin behind a double from Lorenzo Insigne, giving the 27-year-old four goals on the young season. The first came just four minutes into the game on a terrible mistake by the hosts, with an attempted clear Emiliano Moretti clattering off his central defensive partner Nicolas N’Koulou and falling right into Insigne’s lap for him to smash into the top-left corner. Simone Verdi bagged his first Napoli goal in the 20th minute, and Insigne killed off the game past the hour mark with his second, putting Napoli up by a pair. The result leveled Napoli on points with leaders Juventus, with the defending champions yet to kick off ahead of their eventual win.

Lazio also won big, putting four past Genoa for a 4-1 victory. Felipe Caciedo struck just seven minutes in, and Ciro Immobile did the rest with a brace. Rising star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic added Lazio’s fourth with a long-range header, pulling Lazio into fifth place with nine points through five matches.

AC Milan was pegged back by a very late strike, forced to accept a 2-2 home draw with Atalanta. Milan held a 55% possessional advantage and an eventual 17-15 shot advantage, but Atalanta halftime substitute Emiliano Rigoni scored in the 91st minute to even the score. A ball whipped into the box pinged its way to Duvan Zapata, who slashed a powerful volley on net that was acrobatically saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, but the rebound fell right to Rigoni on the doorstep who couldn’t miss.

WATCH: Higuain sets up Milan’s stoppage time winner vs. Roma

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Gonzalo Higuain slipped Patrick Cutrone through for a winner at the death as AC Milan scooped up a 2-1 win over AS Roma on Friday at the San Siro.

Milan rebounded from a season-opening 3-2 loss to Napoli, moving Roma’s record to 1-1-1.

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The hosts took a lead into halftime when Franck Kessie scored in the 40th minute, but ex-Spurs back Federico Fazio leveled the score before the hour mark.

The match looked destined for a draw when Davide Calabria picked off a terrible Steven N’Zonzi pass and found Higuain.

Look at this ball from the Argentine.

Dutch international Strootman joins Marseille

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MARSEILLE, France (AP) French club Marseille has signed Dutch international Kevin Strootman from Roma in a deal worth 25 million euros ($29 million).

[ MORE: What now for Mourinho & Man United? ]

The 28-year-old midfielder will be reunited with former Roma coach Rudi Garcia after signing a five-year deal on Tuesday.

Strootman joined Roma from PSV Eindhoven in 2013 when the Italian club was coached by Garcia. He made 130 appearances for the Serie A club, scoring 13 goals.

The left-footed Strootman has scored three goals in 41 matches with the Netherlands.

Pastore scores incredible back-heel in wild Serie A match

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Just two minutes into Monday’s match, Roma found itself in front of Serie A opponents Atalanta thanks to a moment of brilliance from former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Javier Pastore.

Having just joined Roma this summer from the French top flight, Pastore earned his second Serie A start and put it to good use. An expert cross from 21-year-old Turkish international Cengiz Under was whipped in on his left foot, and Pastore audaciously attempted to back-heel the ball into the net. He directed it towards the far post, and left Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini with no chance as he scrambled back attempting to collect the slow-roller.

The match took many twists and turns after this incredible start. Atalanta would shockingly go 3-1 up before halftime on a brace from Emiliano Rigoni and one more by Timothy Castagne. Roma would then come back to even things up with a pair of second-half goals to earn a point. Overall, there were an insane 48 shots in the match split between the two teams, with 16 of them on target. Expected goals put the predicted final score at 2.3-2.0, an impressively high total for that statistic.

The draw put both teams on four points, impressive for Atalanta as they also navigate a campaign through the Europa League. They sit two back of the three unblemished sides Juventus, Napoli, and SPAL.

Napoli president accuses Roma and Liverpool of collusion

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Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has never been one to hold back words, but this one’s quite the accusation. He thinks one of his chief Serie A rivals is in cahoots with a top Premier League side.

“I always had a suspicion that the real owner of Roma is the same as Liverpool, and if this were the case, the two clubs should not be allowed to play in the Champions League,” De Laurentiis said to La Gazetta dello Sport.

Both owners are American, with Liverpool owned by John Henry-led Fenway Sports Group and Roma held chiefly by Massachusetts-born James Palotta. It’s not surprising that De Laurentiis would think this, considering the roots of both men in close proximity. What is surprising is that he’d actually say it in public.

De Laurentiis said that “a little bird has told me a few years ago” that Henry and Palotta were secretly working together, and Napoli’s Italian rivals didn’t take kindly to that.

Roma responded vehemently, with the official Twitter account tweeting a quote from Palotta. “What do you think @ADeLaurentiis is smoking over there in Naples? If he finds that little bird again, he’ll find out we also own Barca and Bayern.”

Roma then released a quote from managing director Mauro Baldissoni, who said jokingly, “He [De Laurentiis] said that this was all suggested to him by a little bird. I don’t know who: I can only think that perhaps Aurelio is listening to the wrong birds! Perhaps we could suggest to him that he should speak a bit with songbirds, who deliver nice melodies rather than speaking nonsense. For our part, we send our best wishes to president De Laurentiis and to Carlo Ancelotti, their coach who remains in the hearts of all Roma fans, along with everyone else at Napoli. We wish them good luck for the new campaign, as we do all the other clubs and players.”