Gervinho

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Serie A: Parma completes amazing comeback to tie Juve

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On most days, a 3-1 Juventus lead would mark the figurative end of the game. On Saturday, Parma wasn’t having that.

The once-proud club staged an incredible second half comeback with a pair of goals from former Arsenal winger Gervinho as Parma drew with Juventus, 3-3. Cristiano Ronaldo also scored two goals and set up the third for Juventus, who drew for just the third time this season. Even with the draw, Juve is still nine points clear at the top of the Serie A table, over Napoli, who won over high-flying Sampdoria.

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Juventus, playing at home in Turin, took the lead in the 36th minute through a shot from Ronaldo, who slipped while taking it and that, plus a deflection, helped it find the back of the net. Ronaldo nearly scored a second at the stroke of halftime, but in the 62nd minute, he was credited with an assist after a header ricocheted off his head onto the foot of Daniele Rugani, who fired home.

Less than two minutes later, Antonino Barilla stormed into the box and latched onto a long cross for a header goal to bring it back to a one-goal deficit, but Ronaldo extended the lead back to two in the 66th minute, heading a snap header past Parma goalkeeper Luigi Sepe.

In impressive fashion, Parma never gave up, and a wonderful back-heel flick goal from Gervinho gave Parma some life in the 74th minute. Finally, in the third minute of stoppage time, it was Gervinho again, arriving at the penalty spot and firing a strike that found its way past Mattia Perin in for a goal.

Serie A: Milan ends skid, Fiorentina blanks Atalanta, Gervinho scores

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AC Milan ended a three-game winless streak by storming Sassuolo 4-1. It started on a first-half breakaway goal by 21-year-old Franck Kessie. The Ivory Coast international ran on the ball from his own defensive third on a breakaway, ending in a three-on-two situation and taking it himself and firing low into the back of the net.

The visitors would score twice more by the hour mark, as Suso gave Milan its second on a fantastic curler from the top-right corner of the box soon after the break, and 23-year-old Spanish international Samu Castillejo bagged their third with a left-footed shot from the top of the box. It’s just the second win of the season for AC Milan, pushing them to 10th in the Serie A table above SPAL and Torino on goal differential.

In somewhat controversial fashion, Fiorentina moved up to 4th with a 2-0 victory over Atalanta at home. The key moment came in the 62nd minute when Federico Chiesa went down at the edge of the box under pressure from Atalanta defender Rafael Toloi. The referee pointed to the spot for a penalty, but replays showed Chiesa clearly went to ground on his own from little to no contact.

Still, Jordan Veretout buried his penalty strongly into the top-left corner, and Fiorentina took a 1-0 lead. The visitors pushed hard for an equalizer, holding 65% possession and ripping off 17 shots to Fiorentina’s seven, but Atalanta only managed to put three of those on target, and were unable to pull back level. The hosts killed off the game in stoppage time on a goal by Cristiano Biragi and they moved to 13 points, level with Sassuolo and Inter.

23-year-old Polish international Krzysztof Piatek bagged a double for Genoa three minutes apart as they win on the road at Frosinone 2-1. Both of Piatek’s goals came off poor defensive mistakes, giving him an incredible eight goals just six matches into the season, including at least one in every game thus far. His first came in the 33rd minute on a speculative long-ball into the box that met the head of Christian Kouamé who beat his defender with ease, and all Piatek had to do was turn and shoot. His second came just three minutes later as Bartosz Salamon flubbed collecting a Genoa long-ball and had his pocket picked by Kouame, who fed Piatek on the two-on-none break for an easy finish.

Former Arsenal and Roma winger Gervinho scored the game’s only goal as Parma topped Empoli 1-0. The 31-year-old scored from a tight angle on a brilliant feed from Antonino Barillà in the 33rd minute.

Bologna earned its second win of the season by beating Udinese on an 82nd minute winner by Italian U21 international Riccardo Orsolini. Federico Mattiello whipped a cutback from the right edge of the box and it hit Orsolini perfectly in stride for the finish. Previously, Ignacio Pussetto saw his 32nd minute opener canceled out by Federico Santander just before halftime.

Chievo Verona and Torino went scoreless for 88 minutes before Simone Zaza scored to earn the visitors all three points at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi. Zaza slid to finish off an absurd through-ball from Alex Berenguer seemingly out of nothing. It earned Torino its second win of the season moving them into 10th with nine points.

VIDEO: Gervinho scores incredible goal for Parma

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Yes, that Gervinho.

The former Arsenal and Roma forward scored an absolute beauty for Parma in Serie A on Saturday, with the Ivory Coast forward (who spent the last two years playing in China) putting down a marker for the Goal of the Season in Italy’s top-flight.

[ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule

Gervinho picked the ball up just outside his own box and then drove forward, beating several Cagliari players before slamming a shot off the inside of the near post.

Take a look at the video above to see the stunning solo goal which sealed Parma’s 2-0 win as their impressive start to life back in Serie A continues as they sit in seventh place in the table after promotion last season.

La Liga & Serie A: Madrid fall from top spot; insane table in Italy

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A roundup of all of Sunday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights:

Barcelona 3-0 Villarreal

Neymar, Neymar, Neymar, can’t you see… sometimes your goals just hypnotize me. Not sure what this is all about, have a look for yourself. Since Lionel Messi went out injured on Oct. 3, the Brailian superstar has bagged 10 goals and notched six assists in six games (all competitions). Those are Messi-like numbers. Neymar scored twice more, either side of Luis Suarez’s ninth league goal of the season (13 all competitions) to push Barca all alone on top of the league, with plenty of thanks to Real Madrid.

Sevilla 3-2 Real Madrid

Sergio Ramos gave Real Madrid an early lead with a stunning bicycle kick (below video), but Sevilla hit back not once, not twice, but three times through Ciro Immobile (WATCH HERE), Ever Banega (WATCH HERE) and Fernando Llorente (WATCH HERE) to knock Los Blancos off the top spot with their first league defeat of the 2015-16 season. James Rodriguez scored in the 92nd minute upon returning to action for the first time since late August, but it was nothing more than a late consolation goal.

Atletico Madrid 1-0 Sporting Gijon

Antoine Griezmann — who else could it be, though? — scored the game’s only goal, a 92nd-minute header, to give Atleti all three points and keep Diego Simeone’s side (23 points) within touching distance of Barca and the “other” Madrid side at the top of the table. How much longer can Los Rojiblancos  hold onto Griezmann, who scored 15 times in his first season with the club and already has seven goals and three assists this season?

Elsewhere in La Liga action

Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Espanyol


Sampdoria 0-2 Fiorentina

Josip Ilicic and Nikola Kalinic scored either side of halftime to give Fiorentina all three points away to Sampdoria and keep the Viola top of the league through a vastly superior goal differential. Through 12 rounds, the Serie A table sees four teams within three points of the league lead, five within five, and AC Milan and Juventus the two lurking in sixth in seventh.

Serie A table

Torino 0-1 Inter Milan

Inter stayed joint-top of the league with a 1-0 victory away to Torino, courtesy of Geoffrey Kondogbia’s opportunistic side-volley (below video) in the 31st minute. It’s three wins in a row for Roberto Mancini’s side, which is back to competing for the Scudetto perhaps a year or two sooner than most would have expected.

Roma 2-0 Lazio

The Derby della Capitale (derby of the capital) went Roma’s way on Sunday, keeping Rudi Garcia’s side (26 points) within a point of the league leaders. Edin Dzeko opened the scoring from the penalty spot and Gervinho provided the necessary insurance (below video) when he blew by the Lazio defense for 2-0 just after the hour mark. After a disappointing 2014-15 season in which they finished a stunning 17 points behind Juventus and only held off their neighbors in the capital by a single point for second, the Giallorossi look genuine title contenders once again.

Empoli 1-3 Juventus

Don’t look now, but here come Juve making their charge past mid-table and into the top-third of the league, all the way up to seventh. Mario Mandzukic, Patrice Evra and Paulo Dybala scored for the four-time defending Serie A champions, canceling out Massimo Maccarone’s earlier opener to give the Bianconeri (18 points) their second-straight victory.

Elsewhere in Serie A action

Napoli 1-0 Udinese
Palermo 1-0 Chievo
Frosinone 2-2 Genoa
Sassuolo 1-0 Carpi

Roma in sudden injury crisis with Totti, Dzeko, and Keita all out

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Roma’s feature strikers Edin Dzeko and Francesco Totti were both injured in the club’s 5-1 win over Carpi on Saturday, and it leaves the Italian side incredibly thin up front moving forward.

Dzeko was substituted off at halftime, and the club announced he will miss 3-4 weeks with a strain of the MCL in his right knee.

The Bosnian international was replaced by Totti, who lasted just 10 minutes – set up Mohamed Salah for the team’s fourth goal –  before being forced off himself. Roma announced that Totti suffered a hip flexor strain and will be further assessed in the next day or two, but could miss a few weeks as well if the injury proves severe enough.

With the pair injured, it remains to be seen what manager Rudi Garcia will do to replace them. Juan Iturbe came into the match for Totti, and the only other striker on the roster is 18-year-old Ezequiel Ponce who joined this summer from Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina and has yet to make his Roma debut.

The win came at a price though because we had to make three changes due to injuries inside the first 55 minutes,” Garcia said in his post-match press conference. “That’s not good for us going forward. Keita and Totti have picked up muscle injuries and Dzeko took a knock to his knee. Hopefully none of them are anything serious.”

Garcia could also move Gervinho up front, where the Ivorian is capable of playing.

“We know he can be brilliant offensively,” Garcia said of Gervinho, “and he showed during the preseason that he wants to do his bit to help the Roma cause. He had a very good game tonight and he’s got his confidence back again now — that’s always good for a striker.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Seydou Keita was also removed due to injury after just 20 minutes of play. The club reports he hyper-extended his right leg and picked up a thigh injury as a result, and will be reevaluated in 10 days.