Krzysztof Piatek

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Transfer rumor roundup: Piatek to Spurs, Lookman to Newcastle

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Transfer rumors, am I right?

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The Times reports that Tottenham Hotspur is getting aggressive in a bid to ease its center forward woes.

AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek has been linked with Premier League suitors Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, and Aston Villa, but Spurs will reportedly make a bid.

Piatek, 24, will command around $30 million and may be willing to leave Milan after the club signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

He has four goals in 18 matches this season but collected 30 between Milan and Genoa last season, his first in Italy. Milan reportedly beat Newcastle to his signature last January.

Speaking of Newcastle, the Magpies may be a medical away from getting help in attack.

Ademola Lookman has not been getting many minutes for RB Leipzig after a big summer buy, and several reports say he wants to come back to England.

Lookman was fantastic in a loan campaign to Leipzig two seasons ago, but failed to impress under Marco Silva back at Everton and was sold to Leipzig for close to $30 million.

Newcastle would loan the ex-Everton man with an option to buy according to Sky Sports and others, though local paper The Chronicle says there’s nothing cooking yet.

Back to Spurs, Football.London cites Di Marzio that Christian Eriksen’s representatives are headed to Italy to talk with Inter Milan. The same publication says Juan Foyth would like to leave Spurs, quoting his agent as “evaluating the possibility” of departing in January.

Serie A: AC Milan on winning streak, Fiorentina woes deepen

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AC Milan secured its first winning streak since mid-September as Krzysztof Piatek and Theo Hernandez led the way to a 3-2 road win over Bologna.

Piatek was the first on the scoresheet, opening the scoring from the spot after the Polish striker was bundled over on the break by Mattia Bani. He utilized a heavy stutter in his run-up, but wrong-footed Bologna goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski for the conversion. Hernandez was next up, latching onto a perfect through-ball from Suso that sprung the former at the far post.

Bologna pulled one back before halftime on a Hernandez own-goal, but Giacomo Bonaventura restored the two-goal lead just seconds after the restart. Nicola Sansone’s late penalty made no difference in the result and Milan sits 10th in the league table, level on points with Torino.

Fiorentina slumped to its fourth straight loss as they fell at Torino 2-1. The visitors were soundly beaten on goals by Simone Zaza and Cristian Ansaldi, only able to grab a consolation strike from Martin Caceres in stoppage time. They put just four of their 17 shots on net and had very few true chances until Caceres’s late goal. With the loss, Fiorentina drops to 13th in the table, just five points above the relegation zone. Vincenze Montella’s job is on the line, having just returned to the club in April for a second stint in charge after the departure of Stefano Pioli.

Cagliari failed to pull away from Roma with a 2-2 draw on the road at 14th placed Sassuolo. A comeback was required after falling down 2-0 before halftime. João Pedro brought the visitors one back just six minutes after the break, and Daniele Ragatzu rescued the point as he snuck one in at the near post a minute into added time. They also survived what could have been the game-winning goal as Domenico Berardi clattered the crossbar from the penalty stop on a chance that would have put the home side 3-1. Instead, Cagliari moves level with Roma on 29 points, clinging to the fourth Champions League spot on goal differential.

Genoa survived the final 13 minutes with just nine men, securing a 2-2 draw with Lecce that keeps them in the hunt for Serie A safety. Goran Pandev and Domenico Criscito had put Genoa 2-0 up before halftime, but they had coughed up the lead by the 70th minute. Still, things could have been worse as Kevin Agudelo was sent off with 20 minutes to go after conceding a penalty, while Pandev was given his marching orders in the 77th minute. The goals in this game were spectacular, with Pandev’s opener coming from nearly 40 yards out as he chipped Lecce goalkeeper Gabriel who was off his line, while Filippo Falco scored a fine curler to mark Lecce’s first on the hour mark.

Brescia topped SPAL 1-0 to leave the latter at the bottom of the Serie A table, with the lone goal coming via Mario Balotelli in the 54th minute as he collected a bobbling ball on the break and fired it in at the far post. The win was critical, moving 19th-placed Brescia to 10 points on the year, two from safety.

Parma defeated Sampdoria 1-0 on a 21st minute goal from Juraj Kucka that left Claudio Ranieri‘s squad just a point off the relegation zone.

Serie A roundup: Late Correa goal squeezes Lazio past Milan (video)

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Aside from the disgusting racist abuse that Mario Balotelli received from Hellas Verona supporters, Lazio’s late victory over Rossoneri highlights Serie A’s Sunday action.

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AC Milan 1-2 Lazio

With goals from Ciro Immobile and Joaquin Correa, Lazio edged AC Milan in Serie A play at the San Siro for the first since 1989, snapping a 29-match winless streak.

With the 2-1 victory under their belts, Lazio climbed to fourth in the table, eight points adrift from leaders Juventus.

What proved to be a tightly contested encounter was, ultimately, defined by Correa’s blistering strike inside the penalty box. The Argentine covered three-quarters of the field before finishing off Luis Alberto‘s pace between two Milan defenders.

Like the league-leading goalscorer that he is, Immobile, too, contributed one of his own.

With Leo Duarte marking him from behind, the 29-year-old made a sneaky run towards the first post and met the incoming service with a well-placed and aggressive header, leaving Gianluigi Donnarumma with no chance of blocking the ball. It was Immobile’s 13th goal in 11 games this season, and his 100th with Lazio.

Down 1-0, the hosts pulled one back. In the 28th minute, Krzysztof Piatek’s right-footed volley deflected off Bastos’ chest and into the back of net. It wasn’t enough for Milan, who now stand 11th with 13 points.

With pressure at an all-time high, Stefano Pioli and Roma, travel to Turin to take on leaders Juventus, while Lazio prep for a midweek, Europa League showdown against Scottish giants, Celtic, at home.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Atalanta 0-2 Cagliari 

Genoa 1-3 Udinese

Hellas Verona 2-1 Brescia 

Lecce 2-2 Sassuolo 

Fiorentina 1-1 Parma 

Serie A: Piatek scores again as AC Milan win 2-1 at Chievo

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MILAN (AP) AC Milan ensured it will go into next weekend’s derby match ahead of Inter Milan after beating Chievo Verona 2-1 in Serie A on Saturday.

Krzysztof Piatek scored what was to prove the winner. His 19th league goal moved him level at the top of the goalscoring chart with Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Sampdoria’s Fabio Quagliarella.

Milan consolidated third place, four points ahead of Inter, which hosts Spal on Sunday. The top four from Serie A qualify for the Champions League next season.

The only negative note for Milan was coach Gennaro Gattuso was sent to the stands in the first half for dissent and risks being suspended for the derby on March 17.

A decision will be announced on Tuesday and will depend on what is written about the incident in the referee’s report.

“The coach didn’t want to talk precisely because of his sending off,” said assistant coach Luigi Riccio, who stood in for Gattuso in the post-match news conference. “I just want to say that they have already clarified everything, they talked, and these are things that happen on the pitch.”

Lucas Biglia, back from a lengthy injury layoff, marked his first start since October by curling a magnificent free kick into the top left corner in the first half.

However, Chievo leveled four minutes from halftime when Mehdi Leris curled in a cross from the right for Perparim Hetemaj to head in at the far post.

It was only the third league goal Milan has conceded in 2019.

Piatek has scored seven goals for Milan since his move from Genoa, and the eighth arrived in the 57th following a chaotic and somewhat controversial move.

Piatek attempted an overhead kick after his initial effort was saved by Stefano Sorrentino but ended up kicking a Chievo player instead. The move continued and Samu Castillejo headed the ball back into the area for Piatek to volley home.

The Chievo players protested but the goal was allowed to stand after a check with the video assistant referee.

“I don’t want excuses but in the last six matches all the VAR decisions have gone against us,” Chievo coach Domenico Di Carlo said. “Piatek’s move on (Fabio) Depaoli wasn’t football, it’s kung fu … you can write the headline: `Chievo beaten by a kung fu kick.'”

Chievo remained bottom of the table, 12 points from safety.

Serie A: Milan tops Atalanta in massive win, Cagliari grabs 3 points

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AC Milan has scored one of the most important results of the Serie A season in what has turned out to be a vicious battle for the final Champions League places, coming from behind to beat Atalanta 3-1 on a brace from new signing Krzysztof Piatek. The win gave Milan a four-point gap between themselves and fifth-placed Atalanta, with Roma and Lazio all right there in the chase as well.

Both teams struggled to find good chances through the first 45 minutes, as the only two shots on target of the first half resulted in goals. Atalanta struck first through Remo Freuler, although Gianluigi Donnarumma will want it back. Just past the half-hour mark, great work from Josip Ilicic on the right-hand edge of the box led to a cutback where Freuler was waiting in acres of space, but his shot was right at Donnarumma. Unfortunately for the visitors, he was unable to stop the shot completely, and it trickled away to his right and over the line.

Milan was able to change the halftime feel of the game right on the stroke of the break as Piatek scored his 16th goal of the season and third for Milan since joining in the winter by somehow managing to touch Ricardo Rodriguez’s cross into the far corner despite his back to the target, contorting his body so that his leg whip redirected it inside the far post.

The visitors took the lead just after the break, a meaningful strike in more ways than one as Hakan Calhanoglu bagged his first goal of the season to a thunderous response from the Milan bench. His low strike from the top-left corner of the penalty area found the far post past a diving Etrit Berisha. Less than a week ago, Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso had called Calhanoglu out for poor play, saying “I expect more” from the Turkish winger. The goal is his first in league play since he ended last season with a run of three goals in the final four games of the campaign.

Piatek made it 3-1 just minutes after by heading in a Calhanoglu corner, and that was the ballgame wrapped up. Milan won its second in a row and fourth in its last six league matches. With just one league loss since the November international break, Milan has strengthened its Champions League hopes, just a point back of third-placed Inter who is set to host Sampdoria tomorrow.

Elsewhere, Cagliari also came from behind, beating Parma 2-1 on a brace from Leonardo Pavoletti despite falling behind before halftime.

The visitors at Sardegna Arena went in front in the 40th minute on an absolutely stunning header from Juraj Kucka, redirecting a free-kick from a great distance out, looping his header up and over Cagliari goalkeeper  Alessio Cragno, clipping the underside of the bar and deflecting into the net.

Cagliari stormed back and Pavoletti struck for the first time just past the hour mark, touching home on a set-piece development after Luca Cigarini’s looped free-kick found Luca Ceppitelli’s head, touching the ball across the face of goal right to the doorstep where Pavoletti was streaking in.

The hosts owned both the bulk of possession and the advantage in the shot count, finishing with 16 to Parma’s nine, but they struggled to get them on target. Finally, in the 85th minute, Pavoletti won it as Nicolo Barella produced a wonderful cutback delivery from the left touchline and his looping cross found the 30-year-old’s head leaving Parma goalkeeper Luigi Sepe no chance.

The win pushes Cagliari to 14th in the table, six points above the relegation zone and just one point below their opponents.