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Serie A: Higuain gets a double, Napoli and Lazio win

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The peak of the Serie A table stayed unchanged as teams placed 2-4 all kept pace with Juventus by winning on Sunday, also all earning clean sheets.

Second-placed Napoli went ahead early and took care of Sassuolo for a 2-0 win at Stadio San Paulo. Adam Ounas scored the opener just four minutes in on quite a stunning goal as he intercepted a back-pass off his chest and controlled the ball around Giangiacomo Magnani. He took a brilliant touch to pop the ball up in the air over the defender, and ripped a left-footed blast on the volley for an impressive finish. Lorenzo Insigne put the game away in the 72nd minute with his seventh goal of the season. The defense gave him far too much space to tee up a shot outside the top of the box, and he curled one into the top-right corner.

Lazio needed just a goal from Ciro Immobile in the 37th minute to hold serve at home over Fiorentina with a 1-0 victory. It came on a set-piece, as Lazio delivered one of its five corners. Stefan Radu got his head to it from the penalty spot and sent it to the far post, where Immobile was there to tap it in for his sixth goal of the season. The win pushed Lazio as high as third, although they would fall to fourth by the end of the day.

Sampdoria – at the time – secured its spot in a Champions League place for another week as Lorenzo Tonelli got his first goal with the club in the 76th minute of a 1-0 road win over Atalanta. Tonelli got his head to a corner and directed it inside the near post, as Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini was incredibly late to react. The 28-year-old Tonelli joined Sampdoria this summer from on loan after he barely featured for Napoli last season. The three points pushed Sampdoria up to fourth, although Inter jumped them after their late kick.

AC Milan also won its second straight, the club’s first winning streak of the season, with a 3-1 victory over Chievo Verona. Gonzalo Higuain grabbed a brace, scoring first-half goals seven minutes apart to put Milan in control.

His first came on a bit of sloppy play with Chievo unable to clear. A Hakan Calhanoglu cross was too far over the box, but Suso was able to collect on the right edge of the box, and with the defense out of sorts, his low bullet found Higuain in the middle of the box for a simple poke inside the near post. Then, past the half-hour mark, Suso again found the Argentinian, this time through the center with a clinical through-ball that left Higuain free on goal. Giacomo Bonaventura grabbed Milan’s third after halftime, while Sergio Pellissier picked up Chievo’s consolation just past the hour mark.

Earlier in the day, Parma moved into the top half of the table with a 3-1 road win at Genoa. They went behind just six minutes in via Genoa’s Krzysztof Piatek who bagged his league-leading ninth goal of the season, but Luca Rigoni would equalize soon after thanks to a terrible mistake by Genoa goalkeeper Ionut Radu who attempted to punch a corner but whiffed. Luca Siligardi put Parma in front with a deflected strike, and by the 30th minute Fabio Ceravolo completed the scoreline

Mauro Icardi’s double saved Inter’s day as the visitors won 2-1 over SPAL at Stadio Paolo Mazza in Ferrara. Icardi struck first 14 minutes in on a stunning header from an impossible angle. Inter pushed to get the ball into the box, but with SPAL continuing to clear, Sime Vrsaljko lofted a ball in from the right flank and Icardi, with his back to net and near the end line at the near post, somehow flicked a bouncing header across the face of goal and in past Alfred Gomis. SPAL equalized on a sleepy moment by Inter defender Miranda to let Alberto Paloschi leak behind and score, but it wouldn’t stay level long.Ivan Perisic fed Icardi just five minutes later with a beautiful through-ball down the left and the Argentine finished with ease for the 2-1 win. The win moves Inter to third, above Lazio and Sampdoria.

Europa League wrap: Milan, Arsenal, Celtic, Chelsea win on day of thrills

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This was a good day for the Europa League.

Plenty of goals and some wild comebacks dotted the landscape as our Thursday friend truly began its season run.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]


Marseille 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt

The Bundesliga visitors collected a very decent result considering their status in one of the tournament’s toughest groups. Conceding in the third minute and going down to 10-men minutes after Lucas Torro leveled the score, the German visitors got an 89th minute winner from Luka Jovic to snare all three points.

Dudelange 0-1 AC Milan

The Luxembourgish hosts made their celebrated hosts work hard for the win, with Gonzalo Higuain finally breaking through for Milan before the hour mark. Credit Samu Castillejo with the assist as Milan dodges a poor start.

Celtic 1-0 Rosenborg

Leigh Griffiths’ 87th minute goal saved Celtic from a sleepy start to this season’s tournament (on a night when their Old Firm rivals got a surprising point in Spain).

Scott Brown started the play, and the goal was a delight.

RB Leipzig 2-3 Red Bull Salzburg

Munas Dabbur and Amadou Haidara scored two minutes apart as the Austrian side surprised its Red Bull brothers in Germany with a 2-0 lead, then overcame throwing it away via a Fredrik Gulbrandsen 89th minute face-saving marker.

Konrad Laimer pulled one back for RBL in the 70th minute, and Danish star Yussuf Poulsen completed the comeback to earn the hosts a point.

And, oh yeah, what a team goal for the winner:

Scoreboard
AEK Larnaca 0-1 Zurich
Ludogorets Razgrad 2-3 Bayer Leverkusen
Akhisarspor 0-1 Krasnodar
Sevilla 5-1 Standard Liege
Dynamo Kiev 2-2 Astana
Rennes 2-1 Jablonec — WATCH: Sarr’s stunner
MOL Vidi 0-2 BATE Borisov
PAOK 0-1 Chelsea — RECAP
Copenhagen 1-1 Zenit Saint-Petersburg
Slavia Prague 1-0 Bordeaux
Dinamo Zagreb 4-1 Fenerbahce
Spartak Trnava 1-0 Anderlecht
Arsenal 4-2 Vorskla Poltava — RECAP
Sporting Lisbon 2-0 Qarabag
Olympiakos 0-0 Real Betis
Rapid Vienna 2-0 Spartak Moscow
Villarreal 2-2 Rangers — REACTION
Lazio 2-1 Apollon Limassol
Besiktas 3-1 Sarpsborg
Genk 2-0 Malmo

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.

[ PL PREVIEW: Leicester vs. Liverpool ]

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.

Higuain, Bonucci swap places between Juventus, AC Milan

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Leonardo Bonucci has rejoined Juventus, while Gonzalo Higuain goes to AC Milan in the other direction in a pair of transfers that have reunited Juve’s trophy-winning center-back pairing.

Bonucci had gone to AC Milan last summer ending a seven-year stretch with Juventus where he won seven Serie A titles. The 31-year-old at the time said his “bond had faded” with Juventus and it was “time to part ways.” Now, after a disappointing season with Milan, he has returned.

“After spending seven wonderful years in black and white, Leonardo Bonucci has returned to the club following a season at AC Milan,” Juventus said in a statement confirming the deal. “Both Juventus and Bonucci are ready to start winning things again together.”

The transfer is a swap deal, but not for Higuain. Instead, 24-year-old defender Mattia Caldara moves to Milan after only joining Juve in January of 2017. He never made a senior appearance for Juventus, spending much of his time out on loan at his boyhood club of Atalanta. There is no money changing hands, with both players essentially traded with an equal monetary value.

To Milan also goes striker Higuain, in what are technically separate transfers. Higuain reportedly moves to Milan on a one-year loan, with an option to purchase at nearly $42 million at the end of the season, when the Argentinian will be 31 years old.

“Gonzalo and Mattia are two important pieces of the new era of the club,” AC Milan’s statement read.

Higuain scored 16 goals last season with Juventus in 35 Serie A appearances, with 24 goals scored the league season before that. Milan will be Higuain’s third consecutive Italian club, having previously played for Napoli before moving to Turin.

Juventus comes back, eliminate Spurs from Champions League

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Juventus’ Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala scored quickfire second half goals to battle back past Spurs 2-1 — 4-3 on aggregate — and send The Old Lady into the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

Heung-Min Son scored the lone Spurs goal to give the hosts a 1-0 lead at Wembley Stadium, but Tottenham failed in its bid to reach a first quarterfinal since 2011.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Harry Kane burst inside and past Giorgio Chiellini, then moved by Gianluigi Buffon but couldn’t cut his shot inside the goal post.

Douglas Costa was not given a penalty when Jan Vertonghen clipped his ankle in the box, perhaps because the Brazilian did not go down and instead tried to continue his dribble.

Instant replay is a beaut, but how this wasn’t called a penalty in real time we’ll probably never understand. So many refs!

Vertonghen would pick up a yellow card soon after, and the match devolved for a bit into a series of chippy incidents after (and during) hard tackles. Sandro earned one in the 35th.

Moments after Son dragged a shot wide of goal, the South Korean put Spurs ahead 1-0 and ensured Juventus would need at least two goals to win. Kieran Trippier‘s cross zipped through the 18 and Son got enough of the shot to score.

Miralem Pjanic placed a 41st minute shot wide of the near post within two minutes of the Londoners’ opener.

Chiellini saw yellow for a edgy tackle on Dele Alli two minutes before the hour mark.

Then it all fell apart for Spurs.

Juventus earned new life when Christian Eriksen and Eric Dier were watching Sami Khedira’s header and not Higuain’s move to the back post to push it past Lloris.

Within two minutes, Dybala raced past Ben Davies to catch Higuain’s pass and beat Lloris 1v1. Poor from Spurs, euphoria for The Old Lady.

Spurs pushed hard, but an emotional Juve defended with vigor. Chiellini had a fine intervention to force a corner in the 79th minute.

Any Juve’s aggrieved penalty feelings received some salve when Chiellini’s blocked shot in the 18 rebounded off his arm but went uncalled by the referee.

Then, pure anguish: Kane nodded off the ground and the post and sub Erik Lamela couldn’t get his bearing to redirect the rebound before Andrea Barzagli cleared the ball.

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