x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

European football round-up: Inter claim bragging rights in Milan derby

Water Samuel hands 10-man Inter a controversial win over AC Milan, while Marseille and PSG battle to a 2-2 draw at the top of Ligue 1.

Inter defender Walter Samuel heads home the winner in the Milan derby
Inter defender Walter Samuel heads home the winner in the Milan derby

Walter Samuel lit the touchpaper on the fieriest of Milan derbies, and stood back as 10-man Inter Milan rode out a controversial 90 minutes to heap further woe on Massimiliano Allegri.

All eyes had been on Inter striker Antonio Cassano, who had switched sides at the San Siro before the start of the Serie A season, but it was veteran centre-back Samuel who won the game for the Nerazzurri with a headed goal in the third minute.

Riccardo Montolivo was denied the chance to restore parity courtesy of a controversial call from referee Paolo Valeri, but AC Milan only had themselves to blame for failing to capitalise when Yuto Nagatomo's dismissal put Inter on the back foot for much of the second half.

The 'Derby della Madonnina' traditionally allows both Milan clubs to put their domestic travails on hold in the pursuit of bragging rights in Lombardy, but such a toothless display from the Rossoneri could have more wide-reaching consequences for Allegri.

If the Diavolo boss was incensed by Valeri's decision to award Inter a soft free kick in the third minute, then he would certainly be apoplectic at its conclusion.

Esteban Cambiasso swung the ball across the box from deep, Christian Abbiati flailing wildly as Samuel beat the jockeying pack to head home.

It would have been two almost immediately, if not for Diego Milito's moment of hesitation, the Argentinian clipping tamely against Abbiati before inexplicably heading the rebound into his arms.

Kevin-Prince Boateng rifled Daniele Bonera's cool pull-back past a post before Milan had an equaliser chalked off in controversial fashion.

Emanuelson collided gently with Handanovic in the area while challenging for a lob forward, leaving Montolivo to toe-poke the loose ball into the back of the net, but Valeri had already blown his whistle for what he considered an infringement by the Dutchman.

Valeri had ruled against Allegri's men in the first half but he evened things up shortly after the restart as Nagatomo received his marching orders for a second yellow card, this time for a handball.

Andrea Stramaccioni moved quickly to shuffle his pack, invoking both jeers and applause to ring around the San Siro as Cassano made way for Alvaro Pereira.

But Nagatomo's dismissal was to have a lasting effect on the remaining 30 minutes, with Inter opting to close ranks completely and nullify Milan's growing confidence.

Giampaolo Pazzini, the bait in the Cassano swap deal, was introduced to expose an ailing Inter backline but his first contribution was to land flat on his back chasing down a sweet Robinho cross.

Andrea Ranocchia's woeful clearance fell to Robinho, who thought fast to tee up Pazzini in the six-yard box, but to no avail.

Abbiati roused himself after a quiet half to block substitute Rodrigo Palacio's low drive, following a rare Inter break, but all eyes switched back to the other end 10 minutes from time.

Robinho and Pazzini were up in arms at Valeri's decision not to award a penalty for Samuel's heavy challenge on the former, the Italy striker going into the book for his ferocious protests.

By this point, Stramaccioni was gesturing wildly from the touchline, and his call to retreat defused both a bombing run from Bojan and a dangerous swerving cross from Robinho.

Allegri wore an expression of weary resignation as 90 minutes of Inter defending came to fruition, the Rossoneri left languishing in the bottom half of the table after suffering a third straight derby defeat.

Elsewhere in Serie A, Napoli and Juventus remain locked together at the top of the table.

Napoli battled to a 2-1 victory over Udinese at the Stadio San Paolo, with Marek Hamsik and Goran Pandev scoring either side of Giampiero Pinzi's equaliser for a Udinese side who continue to struggle.

Meanwhile Juventus also had to do it tough, ultimately emerging from their clash at Siena with a win by the same scoreline.

Andrea Pirlo gave the Bianconeri the lead with an early free kick, but the Old Lady were pegged back in first-half stoppage time by Emanuele Calaio's equaliser.

However, the visitors refused to settle for the draw and secured all three points five minutes from time when Claudio Marchisio volleyed home the winner.

Roma bounced back from their 4-1 defeat to Juventus a week ago to pick up all three points at the expense of Atalanta in a 2-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico.

Erik Lamela and Michael Bradley got the goals as Zdenek Zeman's side responded to recent criticism to edge up the Serie A table.

Elsewhere, Stevan Jovetic's early goal earned Fiorentina a 1-0 victory at home to Bologna, while Catania made it another trip to Sicily to forget for 10-man Parma as goals from Alejandro Gomez and Gonzalo Bergessio sealed a comfortable 2-0 win.

Pescara's mini-revival was ended in emphatic fashion as Lazio ran out comfortable winners 3-0, with a Hernanes free kick and a brace by Miroslav Klose sorting things out inside 35 minutes.

Finally, Ivo Pulga started life in the Cagliari hot seat with a win - and a first of the season at that - as Nene`s goal 16 minutes from time saw off Torino.

 

PORTUGAL

Jackson Martinez scored a wonder goal as Porto saw off Sporting Lisbon 2-0 and ruined Oceano`s first game in charge of the visitors.

The Colombian took in Danilo`s 10th-minute pass, flicked it up off his thigh and, with the goal behind him, lobbed Patricio with a brilliant volleyed backheel.

It was a moment of magic from the striker, but it took until six minutes from time for James Rodriguez to make the win safe from the spot.

Porto share the lead with Benfica, while Braga are three points behind following a 4-4 draw with Olhanense.

On a fast and furious night at Estadio Municipal de Braga, Liban Abdi opened the scoring for the visitors with four minutes gone, with Helder Barbosa making it 1-1 five minutes later.

Ivanildo Cassama`s brace then fired the Lions two goals clear, before Douglao reduced the deficit. But an own goal from Ruben Amorim saw Olhanense out to 4-2, leaving it to Antonio Eder and Douglao (90) to rescue a point.

Algeria international El Arbi Soudani scored twice as Guimaraes came from behind to win 2-1 at Academica, who had gone in front through Tomas Marinho and had John Ogu sent off (90).

Joao Tomas scored twice as Rio Ave came away from Estoril with a 3-1 win, with Ricardo Tarantini scoring the other for Nuno Espirito Santo`s side.

Diogo Amado scored for the home team who had Joao Paulo sent off.

Elsewhere, Nacional were beaten 1-0 by Gil Vicente and Rafael Silva`s goal, while Vitoria Setúbal and Pacos Ferreira drew 0-0.

 

SPAIN

The tied score in the first El Clasico of the season allowed Atletico Madrid to move level with Barcelona at the summit of La Liga, courtesy of a 2-1 win over Malaga.

Los Rojiblancos required a last-gasp own goal from Weligton to pick up the three points at the Vicente Calderón after on-loan Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz had cancelled out Falcao's early opener.

Elsewhere, a superb Obafemi Martins strike proved the difference as Levante defeated city rivals Valencia 1-0 in the early kick-off.

Granada secured their first away win of the season, second-half goals from Youssef Al-Arabi and Gabriel Torje handing them a 2-1 triumph at Real Mallorca.

Aritz Aduriz's early goal earned Athletic Bilbao a much-needed 1-0 win at home to fellow strugglers Osasuna.

The striker guided the ball home from inside the area to give last season's Europa League runners-up their second league win of the campaign.

 

FRANCE

Andre-Pierre Gignac and Zlatan Ibrahimovic each netted twice as the top-of-the-table Ligue 1 clash between Marseille and Paris St Germain finished all square.

Gignac opened the scoring at the Stade Velodrome in the 17th minute and then finished it 15 minutes later, after Ibrahimovic's double had turned the game on its head.

Lorient and Lyon produced a tight affair that befitted their respective impressive starts to the Ligue 1 season.

Third-placed Lyon took the lead in the first half through Bafetimbi Gomez, but Jeremie Aliadiere ensured Lorient would not be beaten a minute after the break.

Bordeaux drew 1-1 against Brest at Stade Francis-Le Ble.

Eden Ben Basat opened the scoring for the hosts before Cheick Diabate levelled for Bordeaux after the break.

 

GERMANY

Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund are nine points behind leaders Bayern Munich after struggling to a 1-1 draw at Hannover.

Mame Biram Diouf's late equaliser salvaged a point for the hosts to leave Dortmund without a win away from home this season.

Robert Lewandowski gave Dortmund the lead in the 26th minute before Diouf equalised four minutes from time.

Eintracht Frankfurt remain second, five points behind Bayern, despite a 2-0 defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach.

Stefan Kiessling scored twice as Bayer Leverkusen came from behind to draw at Stuttgart.

 

HOLLAND

FC Twente stayed three points clear at the top of the Eredivisie after a 3-0 win at home to nine-man AZ Alkmaar.

Nacer Chadli opened the scoring after 20 minutes and AZ shot themselves in the foot twice in consecutive minutes early in the second half.

The visitors had Adam Maher sent off in the 51st minute and Jozy Altidore dismissed a minute later and after that it was just a question of how many Twente would get.

PSV Eindhoven moved level on points with Vitesse Arnhem in second with a 4-0 win at home to NAC Breda.

Jeremain Lens put PSV in front in the 24th minute and Ola Toivonen got a second on the stroke of half-time.

Mark van Bommel grabbed number three 11 minutes after the break and Georgino Wijnaldum completed the rout five minutes from time.

Champions Ajax slipped up as they were held 1-1 at home to FC Utrecht to fall five points off the early pace.

Bruno Martins Indi scored a 90th-minute leveller to rescue a 2-2 drew for Feyenoord at FC Groningen.

Sekou Cisse put the visitors ahead in the ninth minute, but goals from Leandro Bacuna and Virgil van Dijk had Groningen ahead at the break.

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE