• Wednesday, May 12, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:39 am

Milan teams frustrated, Juve go third

  • Published at 01:09 pm April 22nd, 2021
Lautaro
Inter's Lautaro Martinez shoots at goal during their Serie A match away to Spezia Wednesday AFP

Milan's bid for a return to the UCL for the first time since 2014 remains at risk, with top-four rivals Atalanta, Napoli and Lazio all in action Thursday

Serie A leaders Inter Milan were held at Spezia Wednesday but extended their advantage to 10 points, as nearest rivals AC Milan fell to a 2-1 home defeat by Sassuolo after a chaotic few days amid the European Super League furore.

Champions Juventus moved third, just one point behind Milan, after beating Parma 3-1, hours after the top three were forced to backtrack on plans to join the new 12-team closed tournament.

But it was a second consecutive 1-1 draw for Antonio Conte's Inter after the same result against Napoli last weekend, with Diego Farias surprising the visitors with a 12th-minute opening goal.

Ivan Perisic pulled Inter level after 39 minutes from an Achraf Hakimi cross, finding the net on his 200th appearance for the club.

The leaders were unable to find a winner despite chances, with Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku both having goals ruled out in the final five minutes.

Conte 's side are targeting a first title since 2010.

In Milan, Stefano Pioli's hosts' bid for a return to the Champions League for the first time since 2014 remains at risk, with top-four rivals Atalanta, Napoli and Lazio all in action Thursday.

Like Juventus, AC Milan did not formally withdraw but said they were bowing to a backlash from fans around the world

Posted by Sports Tribune on Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Giacomo Raspadori came off the bench in the second half and scored twice in a seven-minute spell, after Hakan Calhanoglu had put Milan ahead on the half-hour mark.

The defeat came after Milan bowed to pressure from fans and accepted the failure of the ill-fated Super League.

Sassuolo coach Roberto de Zerbi had threatened to boycott the game.

And before kick-off club director Paolo Maldini apologized "to the Milan fans but to all the supporters in general".

Milan were without star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a muscular problem, with Theo Hernandez and Ismael Bennacer also sidelined.

But Calhanoglu broke the deadlock with a superb strike from a tight angle after a perfect Alexis Saelemaekers cross.

Sassuolo goalkeeper Andrea Consigli denied Saelemaekers 10 minutes into the second half and saved from Calhanoglu six minutes later to keep his side in the game.

Breakaway European Super League founder and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli said on Wednesday that the league can no longer go ahead after six English clubs withdrew

Posted by Sports Tribune on Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Raspadori, 21, came off the bench and pulled his side level with 14 minutes to play and grabbed the winner in the 83rd minute.

Milan suffered their fifth home league defeat of the season as eighth-placed Sassuolo moved nine points off the European places.

Juve also got off to a slow start in Turin, with Parma's Gaston Brugman's perfectly taken free-kick beating Gianluigi Buffon on 25 minutes.

Serie A top-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo was back, alongside Paulo Dybala, after a one-match injury absence, but it was Juve's defenders who scored the goals.

Alex Sandro volleyed in the first before the break and struck again early in the second half, heading in a Juan Cuadrado cross.

Giuseppe Pezzella was denied an equalizer for Parma on the hour when Arthur headed his effort off the line.

Cuadrado provided the corner which Matthijs de Ligt got his head to on 68 minutes to seal all three points for Juve, in front of club president Andrea Agnelli after three days of Super League turmoil.

Before the game, Juve chief football officer Fabio Paratici had defended the Super League as "a unique opportunity to try to lend a hand to the whole football pyramid".

Results

Milan 1 (Calhanoglu 30) Sassuolo 2 (Raspadori 76, 83)

Crotone 0 Sampdoria 1 (Quagliarella 53)

Juventus 3 (Sandro 43, 47, De Ligt 68) Parma 1 (Brugman 25)

Spezia 1 (Farias 12) Inter 1 (Perisic 39)

Genoa 2 (Pandev 11, 21) Benevento 2 (Viola 5-P, Lapadula 15)

Udinese 0 Cagliari 1 (Pedro 55-P)

Bologna 1 (Barrow 25) Torino 1 (Mandragora 58)

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