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Reina faces hearing over links with trio connected to mafia

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ROME (AP) Outgoing Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina has been summoned to a hearing at the Italian football federation over his association with people with links to the mafia.

Reina, along with Paolo Cannavaro and Salvatore Aronica, is to face the FIGC’s disciplinary committee after an investigation by Naples’ anti-mafia department.

It is reportedly one of the reasons why Napoli decided not to renew Reina’s contract, with the former Liverpool goalkeeper set to move to AC Milan on a free transfer.

The FIGC says Reina “has had and continues to have inopportune association and friendship with Gabriele Esposito, Francesco Esposito and Giuseppe Esposito.” It adds that that includes holidays and “an exchange of favors.”

Cannavaro, who had two spells with Napoli, retired at Sassuolo last year. Aronica also spent several years at the southern club before joining Palermo in 2013.

Napoli draws against Torino to all but hand Juventus title

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MILAN (AP) Juventus has the champagne on ice after Napoli was held to a 2-2 draw by Torino on Sunday to all but mathematically hand the Bianconeri their seventh successive Serie A title.

[ MORE: Guardiola celebrates trophy ]

Napoli is six points behind Juventus with two matches remaining. The two sides have the same head-to-head record – which is the next deciding factor – but Juventus has a significantly better goal difference.

Juventus can mathematically secure the title at Roma next weekend.

After Juventus beat Bologna on Saturday, Napoli knew it needed a victory to keep the title race alive.

Napoli wasted a couple of opportunities before taking the lead in the 25th minute.

It was Dries Mertens’ 31st birthday and Nicolas Burdisso gifted him a goal as he failed to control a backpass with two awful touches, allowing the Belgium international to pounce and end his eight-round goal drought.

Torino leveled 10 minutes into the second half when Daniele Baselli’s effort was deflected in off Vlad Chiriches.

Substitute Arkadiusz Milik almost restored Napoli’s lead in the 70th minute but his powerful effort crashed off the left post.

Shortly after another substitute, Marek Hamsik, who had been on the pitch for less than two minutes, did fire Napoli in front again, curling into the right side of the net.

Milik should have sealed the result but he fired inches wide of the left post from close range and Lorenzo De Silvestri headed in the equalizer seven minutes from time.

Serie A: Napoli handed title lifeline, throw it away a day later

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ROME (AP) Napoli’s title hopes were dealt a severe blow with a 3-0 loss at Fiorentina on Sunday that leaves Juventus with a clear path toward a record-extending seventh straight Serie A championship.

Napoli played most of the match with 10 men after Kalidou Koulibaly was sent off for a last-man foul on Giovanni Simeone, who went on to score a hat trick.

Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri called it his squad’s “worst match of the season.”

After Koulibaly’s red card and Fiorentina’s first goal “we were completely lost,” Sarri said. “Over the course of the season we’ve done well to handle these types of problems but today we didn’t.”

Napoli was left four points behind Juventus with three matches to play – the same gap which existed until the Partenopei beat Juventus a week ago.

Juventus produced two goals in the final four minutes of a 3-2 win at 10-man Inter Milan on Saturday.

However, Juventus will have to overcome an injury to striker Mario Mandzukic, who had 10 stitches applied to a deep cut in his left ankle after getting stepped on by Matias Vecino against Inter.

In Florence, Koulibaly was first shown a yellow and a penalty was awarded since the referee believed the foul had occurred inside the area. But after VAR help, the referee ruled that the foul had occurred outside the area and changed the card from yellow to red.

Simeone, the son of Atletico Madrid coach and former Argentina international Diego Simeone, finished off a counterattack later in the first half by shooting under the legs of goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

Then after the hour mark, Simeone was quickest to a rebound following a corner and scored from close range. He then added another from a counterattack in the 90th, running past a confused Mario Rui for his 13th of the season.

“Clearly, having an extra man after eight minutes was a huge advantage,” Fiorentina coach Stefano Pioli said. “We had the right ideas even with 11 against 11, but we should have scored more goals earlier on.

“We knew Napoli could be dangerous, so we tried to pass the ball and never stopped pressing,” Pioli added. “There’s no such thing as a perfect performance, but I think we came pretty close.”

Fiorentina is ninth, four points below the Europa League spots.


AC Milan ended a five-match winless streak with a 2-1 victory at Bologna to revive its pursuit of a Europa League spot.

Hakan Calhanoglu and Giacomo Bonaventura scored in the first half for the Rossoneri, which had lost two and drawn three since beating Chievo in mid-March.

Milan remained one point behind sixth-place Atalanta, which beat Genoa 3-1, in the fight for the last Europa League spot.

Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso didn’t give his squad any days off this week following a 1-0 loss at home against Bologna last weekend, acknowledging that the club had “touched bottom.”

Calhanoglu was set up by Patrick Cutrone to score from beyond the area in the 34th.

Bologna thought it had equalized four minutes later but what would have been Riccardo Orsolini’s first Serie A goal was waved off by the VAR for a handball in the buildup by Rodrigo Palacio.

Bonaventura then took advantage of a defensive mistake and fooled his marker before firing in an angled shot.

Sebastian De Maio pulled one back for Bologna with a header after the break.

Musa Barrow, Bryan Cristante and Josip Ilicic scored for Atalanta.

Lazio won 1-0 at Torino to stay level on points with third-place Roma and on course for a Champions League berth.

Roma and Lazio are each four points ahead of Inter.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored with a header early in the second half for Lazio after Torino goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu saved an early penalty from Luis Alberto.

Serie A: Juventus stay on title track with wild win at Inter Milan

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ROME (AP) — Juventus scored two late goals to rescue a 3-2 win over 10-man Inter Milan in a wild Derby d’Italia on Saturday and stay on track for a record-extending seventh straight Serie A title.

Juan Cuadrado and Gonzalo Higuain scored in the final four minutes as Juventus moved four points ahead of Napoli, which visits Fiorentina on Sunday in a tense title race.

“This is the hunger, pride and thirst for victory that this squad possesses. We will fight to the death to win,” Higuain said.

After Douglas Costa’s early opener for Juventus, Inter equalized after the break with a header from captain Mauro Icardi then went ahead with an own goal from Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli.

The victory ended a run of two straight matches in which Juventus dropped points, having drawn with relegation-threatened Crotone and lost to Napoli at home last weekend.

Inter remained fifth, one point below the Champions League places.

“Inter played well, but got tired in the end, crumbled physically and we took advantage,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “It’s another step towards the Scudetto, even if it remains very difficult.”

Early on, it was all Juventus.

Douglas Costa scored with a decisive half-volley, extending the Brazilian’s streak of being involved in the last six Juventus goals in Serie A: Two goals and four assists.

Inter midfielder Matias Vecino was sent off for a foul on Mario Mandzukic in the 18th. Referee Daniele Orsato originally pulled out a yellow card but changed to red after a video review. Vecino stepped on Mandzukic’s ankle and the Croatia international later showed a deep cut.

Inter stepped up after the break.

Icardi rose above Juve’s defense to redirect a free kick into the far corner with a glancing header — his eighth goal in 11 Serie A matches against Juventus.

Then in the 65th, Cuadrado couldn’t handle Perisic on the left flank and lied down instead to avoid picking up a second yellow card. Perisic then crossed toward Icardi but the ball bounced in off Barzagli.

Cuadrado made up for the error by scoring from a tight angle with a shot off Inter defender Milan Skriniar in the 87th.

Then Higuain ran past Inter’s defense to head in Paulo Dybala’s free kick two minutes later to complete the comeback.

Allegri was sent off after Higuain’s winner for entering the pitch in an attempt to get his players to stop celebrating and refocus for the final minutes.

“There were four minutes to go … I didn’t want a repeat of Madrid,” Allegri said, referring to the Champions League elimination by Real Madrid.


Displaying the offensive firepower it will need in the Champions League semifinals, 10-man Roma defeated visiting Chievo Verona 4-1 in convincing fashion.

Edin Dzeko scored twice, Patrik Schick and Stephan El Shaarawy also found the target, and Roma goalkeeper Alisson saved a penalty. Roma also hit the post twice.

Roberto Inglese pulled one back late for Chievo.

A similar result on Wednesday would allow the Giallorossi to overturn a 5-2 deficit to Liverpool.

“Now we have to recover our physical and mental energy, leave the field on Wednesday knowing we’ve done all we possibly could,” Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco said. “We’ve proved in the past that we can achieve great results in the Champions League, so we must all believe, that is my slogan.”

Meanwhile, the victory strengthened Roma’s chances of returning to the Champions League next season.

Third-placed Roma moved three points ahead of Lazio, which visits Torino on Sunday.

Chievo remained two points above the relegation zone.

VIDEO: Napoli fans celebrate Juventus win

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It is safe to say Napoli’s fans were pretty happy with the 1-0 win their team secured at Juventus on Sunday.

Kalidou Koulibaly powered home a header in stoppage as Napoli moved just one point behind Juventus, who sit top of the Serie A table, with four games to go. The title race is well and truly on in Italy.

The scenes across Naples after the game were incredible and when the players arrived back at the airport at around 3 a.m. local time they were greeted by thousands of adoring fans.

Take a look at the video below. Wow.