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Serie A roundup: Inter edge 10-man Udinese

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Napoli and Inter Milan walked away winners in Saturday’s Serie A action.

Inter Milan 1-0 Udinese

After three games, Antonio Conte‘s spell at Inter Milan remains in immaculate shape.

According to the table, there is no better team than I Nerazzurri, who have won their first three league matches – notching seven goals and conceding only one along the way. In other words, the Italian’s astute coaching style remains effective.

Despite, Inter’s convincing play throughout the 90 minutes, only a goal would separate them from visiting Udinese, who played a with 10 players from the 35th minute on, following Rodrigo De Pual’s slap to the back of Antonio Candreva’s head.

In the 44th minute, Stefano Sensi – one of the smallest players on the field – headed the ball into the back of the net. Late in the game, Alexis Sanchez nearly scored in his Inter debut.

In the end, Udinese were no match for Antonio Conte and Co., who find themselves in prime form heading into their Champions League return midweek.

Up next for Inter in league play: Derby della Madonnina. Udinese, on the hand, host Brescia.

Napoli 2-0 Sampdoria

Dries Mertens is the gift that keeps on giving for Napoli.

To be exact, the Belgian gifted his team two goals on Saturday. 13 minutes in, following a perfectly-placed cross from Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Mertens’ first-time strike was unstoppable for Emil Audero.
Emiliano Rigoni had Sampdoria’s best chance of the night in a one-on-one opportunity with Alex Meret. The Argentine, however, wasted one of the visiting side’s two chances all night.
Then in the 67th minute – with some luck on his corner -Mertens completed his brace off a deflected shot, giving his team their second win of the season.

Quick turnaround for Napoli as they host Liverpool midweek before traveling to take on Lecce in league play, while Sampdoria take on Torino next.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Fiorentina 0-0 Juventus

Serie A: Milan stunned; Roma draw in six-goal thriller (video)

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A roundup of all of Sunday’s action in Italy’s top flight.

Roma 3-3 Genoa

There were plenty of promising talking points in Roma’s season opening six-goal thriller against Genoa, but their draw certainly overwrote almost everything with red ink.

Edin Dzeko was one of the few highlights that remained in the clear. The 33-year-old – five seasons into his Roma spell -scored and assisted for I Giallorossi. Recent arrival, Davide Zappacosta, made his debut in the 78th minute.

Genoa, not necessarily impressive throughout the match, figured out a way to crack Roma’s defense. When they conceded, they’d respond. Stadio Olimpico saw six lead changes, with Christian Kouame’s diving header in the 70th minute splitting the points.

For a Roma that missed out on qualifying for the Champions League last season, the result is a low-blow right off the bat. For Genoa, who remained in Serie A by a miraculous goal, a six-goal thriller in Roma is music to their ears.

Udinese 1-0 AC Milan

Another Italian giant had a slow, first day at the office.

AC Milan, boasting a plethora of firepower, were outclassed by a well-prepared and structured Udinese.

Rodrigo Becão’s debut goal was the only difference between both sides. Milan, who are already three points behind favorites such as Juventus and Napoli, have plenty of questions to answer. The reported possible arrival of Angel Correa may certainly help on the attacking side of things, but Marco Giampaolo still has plenty of work laid out in front of him.

Banned from Europa League for overspending by Financial Play Fair Rules, Milan are expected to fully focus on the Serie A campaign, which they have yet to win since the 2010/11 campaign.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Sampdoria 0-3 Lazio 

Cagliari 0-1 Brescia

Verona 1-1 Bologna 

SPAL 2-3 Atalanta 

Torino 2-1 Sassuolo 

Too many fans: Udinese vs. Hannover friendly called off

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ST. VEIT, Austria (AP) Local authorities in southern Austria have called off Sunday’s friendly match between Udinese and Hannover as the estimated number of spectators exceeds the capacity of the stadium.

The city of St. Veit says about 4,000 fans, including 280 potential football hooligans, were expected for the game at the ground of local amateur club FC Alpe Adria, which has a capacity of 2,430.

St. Veit mayor Gerhard Mock says “it’s a shame … but security comes first.”

It’s not immediately clear whether the match between the Italian and German top-flight teams can be moved to a larger venue. Both Udinese and Hannover are having their preseason training camps in the province of Carinthia.

Serie A: Juve draw for first time this season, title lead still grows

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MILAN (AP) There is still a glimmer of hope for Roma and Napoli.

Juventus was prevented from going 10 points clear in Serie A as a lethargic performance saw the leaders held 1-1 at Udinese on Sunday. It was Juve’s first draw in the league this season.

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup — As the kids would say, it was “lit” ]

Leonardo Bonucci was both hero and villain as he was outmuscled for Duvan Zapata’s opener but leveled on the hour.

Juventus is eight points clear of second-placed Roma and 10 ahead of Napoli with 11 rounds remaining.

“We gained a point on Roma,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “We were coming from a very hard period, where we played very important matches and today we faced a Udinese side which deserved to draw.

“When you can’t win certain matches, you mustn’t lose them … it’s an important point. And even with a win, the title race wouldn’t have been over.”

After Napoli won 2-1 at Roma on Saturday, Juventus knew it could take a big step toward an unprecedented sixth successive title.

[ MORE: Kane scores two more, Spurs top Toffees | Man City cruise ]

Udinese had picked up only one point from its previous four matches, scoring just one goal. But it took the lead eight minutes from halftime as Zapata held off Bonucci and beat Gianluigi Buffon at the near post.

Juventus struggled to create real opportunities but leveled when Bonucci headed in Paulo Dybala’s free kick.

Udinese coach Luigi Delneri was dismissed immediately after for dissent.

The home side almost restored its lead two minutes later but Danilo’s header came off the base of the left post, although it looked as if Buffon had it covered.

[ MORE: Alexis reportedly dropped after storming off training field ]

Ciro Immobile scored twice as Lazio maintained its late push for a Champions League spot.

Immobile had been on target in four of his last five matches and he took just nine minutes to open the scoring, heading in Senad Lulic’s cross.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic put in another impressive performance and the 22-year-old set up Lazio’s second with a delightful through ball to release Immobile for his 16th goal of the season.

Lazio moved fourth, four points behind Napoli.

Atalanta failed to keep up the pressure in the race for a Champions League spot as it was kept at bay by Fiorentina goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s side had emerged as surprise contenders for a top-three finish after beating Napoli last weekend but it slipped five points below the Champions League qualifying spots.

Atalanta laid siege to the goal but could not find a way through due to a combination of wayward finishing and excellent saves by Tatarusanu. He also somehow managed to claw Andrea Petagna’s effort off the line and out off the upright late on.

Ever Banega made the most of a rare start as he scored one goal and set up another to help Inter Milan comfortably beat Cagliari and remain six points behind Napoli.

Ivan Perisic scored twice as Inter bounced back from last week’s 3-1 defeat at home to Roma.

[ MORE: Belotti’s hat trick sends him top of goal-scoring charts ]

“We got what we wanted, to react at the right moment and in the best way possible after the defeat to Roma,” Perisic said. “We still believe in third place.

“Today we showed we are on the right path. We will give our utmost until the end.”

Inter broke the deadlock in the 36th when Ivan Perisic controlled Banega’s chipped pass with his right foot and hit it past Gabriel with his left.

Banega doubled Inter’s lead three minutes later with a free kick into the top left corner.

Cagliari got back into it shortly after. Samir Handanovic did well to keep out David Di Gennaro’s free kick but the ball was crossed back in for Marco Borriello to head home.

Perisic doubled his tally two minutes after the break following a lovely one-two with Mauro Icardi, who backheeled it for the Croatia forward to curl into the bottom right corner.

Icardi scored his 17th league goal of the season with a penalty in the 67th after he was tripped by Gabriel and Roberto Gagliardino netted his first for Inter two minutes from time.

Serie A roundup: Roma victorious, Dybala brace paces Juventus

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With only three games on tap for Saturday, Roma took full advantage of its opportunity to move up the Serie A table against one of the league’s most competitive sides.

[ MORE: Chelsea, Bournemouth dominate on Matchday 8 ]

Edin Dzeko‘s brace helped give Roma a 3-1 victory over Napoli to move up to second in Italy’s top flight. The former Manchester City striker scored on both sides of halftime, while ex-Chelsea attacker Mohamed Salah netted the third for Roma to permanently put the game out of reach. Back-to-back defeats for Napoli puts Gli Azzurri in third in Serie A.

Juventus edged Udinese, 2-1, on Saturday behind Paulo Dybala’s pair of finishes on both sides of halftime. After Jakub Jankto gave the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute, Juventus battled back through the Argentine striker to remain atop Serie A with 21 points in eight matches.

Pescara did just about everything wrong in its 1-1 draw with Sampdoria, but the 17th place side will surely be pleased to come away with a point from the match. Hugo Campagnaro’s own goal after just 12 minutes put the hosts behind, while Andrea Coda’s sending off on the stroke of halftime made the occasion all the more challenging for Pescara. Campagnaro avenged his early mistake int he 23rd minute when he booted the Biancazzurri level.