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Serie A: Lazio rescues Milan draw, Napoli held, Empoli wins late

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Napoli and Lazio both took the field on Sunday hoping to entrench themselves in a top four position, but came away with disappointing draws. Napoli was held off the scoreboard, while Lazio needed a stoppage time goal just to earn the lone point.

It was especially disappointing for Napoli, who hosted basement-dwellers Chievo Verona and failed to find the scoresheet. Napoli ripped off 21 total shots, including eight on net, but could not find an opener. Lorenzo Insigne missed a huge opportunity just minutes after halftime as he ripped wide on a turn-and-shoot behind the defense. It looked like Insigne expected the offside flag to go up, but it correctly never did. With ticks left on the clock, Amadou Diawara attempted an audacious overhead kick and nearly won it in spectacular fashion, but his was just wide right.

Lazio found the back of the net, but it took 94 minutes to do so as they drew 1-1 with AC Milan. It was quite a cheap goal for Milan to concede, as Lazio lumped the ball forward, and while Christian Zapata cleared the initial ball with his head, it wasn’t nearly far enough, and it fell to Joaquin Correa who flicked it up in the air and then volleyed a speculative effort on net that squeaked past Gianluigi Donnarumma. That canceled out Franck Kessie’s opener that had come in the 78th minute, a deflected effort that banged hard off the tucked arm of Lazio defender Wallace. The draw leaves Lazio in fourth, unable to extend their one-point above fifth-place Milan.

Empoli picked up a huge three points by downing 10-man Atalanta 3-2 with a goal from Matias Silvestre in the 92nd minute. The 34-year-old Argentinian headed in off a corner for a huge victory, moving Empoli out of the relegation zone and into 17th position with 12 points. Serbian midfielder Josip Ilicic had been stupidly sent off in the 84th minute, earning a yellow card for a tackle in transition, and then immediately sent off for dissent. That left Empoli to go for the win in the dying minutes with the game level at 2-2.

Parma moved into 6th in the table with a 2-1 victory over Sassuolo. All three goals were scored in the first half, with Parma going two-up on a 25th minute winner from 36-year-old Portuguese defender Bruno Alves, the first Parma goal for Alves who joined this summer on a free transfer from Rangers. It’s the fourth one-goal victory for Parma this season, jumping a point above Roma in the league table.

Elsewhere, Genoa and Sampdoria drew 1-1 after early goals from Krzystof Piatek and Fabio Quagliarella cancelled out. Fiorentina popped off 19 shots on a visit to Bologna, but only managed five of those on target as they drew 0-0.

Serie A: Romagnoli saves AC Milan again, Lazio and Torino roar

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The top three teams in the Serie A table had already taken the field earlier in the weekend, but there was plenty of Sunday action for the Italian top flight to digest.

AC Milan was the headliner as they traveled to Udinese, and it took some incredibly late fireworks for the visitors to come away with all three points and stay fourth in the Serie A table. With Gonzalo Higuain off at halftime with a back injury, there were no goals through the 90 minutes. They went to stoppage time, and it was then that things got crazy.

Five minutes into added time, Udinese substitute Bram Nuytinck, who only came on 10 minutes earlier, was controversially sent off. He clearly clipped Samu Castillejo on a breakaway, but as it was a professional foul to prevent a counter opportunity with little actual malice, it was generally thought to have deserved a yellow card. Instead, referee Marco Di Bello showed Nuytinck a straight red, reducing Udinese to 10 men.

That clearly changed the flow of the final few minutes, and Milan capitalized. The visitors won the ball on the midline and had another chance to break. While Udinese seemed to recover before Milan could find space, somehow Romagnoli rifled a howitzer into the top-right corner and gave Milan the win seven minutes deep into stoppage time. While initially the assistant had his flag raised for offside early in the buildup, VAR confirmed the linesman’s call was very incorrect and the goal stood, while AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso was sent off for arguing during the check.

The goal for Romagnoli is his second straight stoppage-time winner after scoring in the 91st minute of a midweek win over Udinese.

Elsewhere, both Lazio and Torino bagged four goals, with the former keeping pace with Milan near the Champions League places. Lazio hammered SPAL 4-1 behind a pair from Ciro Immobile who is red-hot in league play. Immobile’s brace gave him five goals in his last five games and seven in his last seven. Danilo Cataldi and Marco Parolo both added a goal each and it kept Lazio level with AC Milan on points, while also drawing them closer in goal differential, still back in fifth position.

Torino also put four past its opponent, with a 4-1 road win over Sampdoria. Andrea Belotti answered Immobile’s brace with one of his own, and Torino was already 3-0 up thanks to one from Iago Falque before Fabio Quagliarella earned a consolation for the hosts. Armando Izzo finished things off for Torino 12 minutes from time and the visitors jumped into seventh in the table.

Parma entertained relegation-threatened Frosinone and while the hosts fell a man down in the 61st minute as Leo Stulac was sent off for a studs up tackle after a heavy touch, they held on for a 0-0 draw. Sassuolo earned a 2-0 road win over Chievo Verona in a game that featured an own-goal that will leave Emanuele Giaccherini red in the face.

Duvan Zapata snatched a 70th minute winner to give Atalanta a 2-1 win over Bologna. Zapata latched onto a loose ball in the box as the defense appeared to freeze for just a moment, and he pounced for the win. Before that, Ibrahima Mbaye’s third-minute goal had been cancelled out by Gianluca Mancini just before the hour mark. The win moved Atalanta to 10th on 15 points, while Bologna remains in 17th, just three points above the relegation zone.

Icardi double against Lazio sends Inter to 2nd in Serie A

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Internazionale has not finished in the top two of the Serie A table since the 2010/11 season. They have the look of a team that could bring the Italian giants back to the heights of yore.

Mauro Icardi bagged a brace as Inter spanked Lazio 3-0 and moved past Napoli into second in the Serie A standings. Marcelo Brozovic scored the third as Inter asserted its dominance. The visitors had 63% possession, and put almost half their shots on target while the hosts struggled to create good chances and finish them off. Lazio had just four shots on target of 20 total efforts at Stadio Olimpico.

Icardi’s first was a tap-in, finishing off a deflected shot by Matias Vecino after brilliant one-touch play created the opportunity. Brozovic was a maestro in midfield and deserved his strike that doubled Inter’s lead just before halftime. The Russian fired a long-range effort in the 40th minute low through traffic into the bottom-left corner.

Ciro Immobile was dangerous for Lazio throughout the match, active around the Inter penalty area, but he was ultimately denied of his seventh Serie A goal of the season.

Icardi finished things off in the 70th minute as he got a perfectly weighted pass at the far post from Borja Valero and waited to latch on as he successfully baited Senad Lulic to fly by before finishing cooly with his left foot inside his near post.

With the win, Inter moves to 22 points on the season, level with Napoli but ahead in 2nd place on a better goal differential. They host Genoa in league play this coming Saturday before a massive Champions League bout next week against Barcelona and the Nou Camp.

Reports: Mourinho scouts Milenkovic, Milinkovic-Savic; Lodges $70m bid

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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho was in the stands for Serbia’s 2-0 win over Montenegro on Sunday, and that’s naturally being linked to the transfer rumor mill.

Nikola Milenkovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic are the names being pulled from this particular match, both high-profile (and price tag) players from Serie A.

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Now technically any coach is observing nearly every player on the pitch, but both do make sense in terms of skill (a Mourinho and Ed Woodward requirement) and age (more of a Woodward priority).

Eight-times capped center back Milenkovic, who turned 21 on Friday, is said to be a subject of United interest, having raised his profile since arriving from Fiorentina in 2017. La Nazione says United has filed a bid of approximately $70 million for his services.

Milenkovic has scored twice this season and played a little right back, too. He stands close to 6-foot-4.

Lazio midfielder Milinkovic-Savic played the final 11-plus minutes for Serbia, and was of course quizzed on Mourinho’s interest.

Milinkovic-Savic, 23, said he read that Mourinho was there to see him, and that he was honored if that’s true, but was quick to give allegiance to Lazio.

Not to mention, the 9-times capped Milinkovic-Savic is probably going to cost well over $100 million.

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic missed the match with an injury.

Italian soccer body promises to punish Lazio for sexist fans

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ROME (AP) The Italian soccer federation’s secretary general says Lazio will be punished for fans trying to ban women from a section of Stadio Olimpico.

Michele Uva says there will “certainly be disciplinary consequences” for the incident ahead of Lazio’s opening Serie A game last weekend.

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A group of fans described their section as a “sacred space” women should avoid.

Female fans were invited in distributed flyers to “position themselves from the 10th row back.”

Lazio distanced itself from the latest incident of discrimination by fans, which has been a persistent problem in recent seasons.

Uva, an elected vice president of European soccer body UEFA, says in comments reported by Italian agency Ansa that “the conviction is obvious” from his point of view.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports