x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

European football round-up: Totti fires himself into Italian football record books

The veteran striker's penalty against Genoa saw him become Serie A's joint-second highest scorer of all time, while elsewhere Atletico Madrid failed to capitalise on Barcelona's Clasico defeat.

Roma captain Francesco Totti fires home from the penalty spot against Genoa to become Italy's joint second-top goalscorer.
Roma captain Francesco Totti fires home from the penalty spot against Genoa to become Italy's joint second-top goalscorer.

ITALY

Francesco Totti made Serie A history as his first-half penalty for Roma in a 3-1 victory over 10-man Genoa saw the veteran striker become the league's joint-second highest scorer of all time.

The 36-year-old needed one more goal to match iconic AC Milan striker Gunnar Nordahl's career haul of 225 goals and it arrived from the penalty spot with 15 minutes on the clock.

Genoa battled hard to spoil Totti's night, though, and Marco Borriello ensured the second half would be a contest by converting a spot-kick of his own, against his former club, just before the break.

Teenage defender Alessandro Romagnoli then took his first step towards chasing Totti's record with his maiden league goal and Simone Perrotta put the result beyond doubt after Juraj Kucka was dismissed following an angry exchange with Totti.

"I really wanted this goal and to get it in front of our own fans is special," Totti said afterwards.

"It's an important achievement and a sign of my love for the Roma jersey."

Rodrigo Palacio scored twice from the bench as Inter Milan came back to seal an impressive 3-2 victory at Catania.

The Sicilians were pushing hard for a Europa League place and took a quick two-goal lead through Gonzalo Bergessio and Giovanni Marchese.

A gritty Inter side steadily forced their way back into the game, however, with substitute Palacio following up Ricky Alvarez's 52nd-minute header.

Palacio then scored at the death to keep the former European champions within a point of the Champions League positions.

Substitute Marcelo Larrondo headed a late winner at the Stadio Artemio Franchi to boost Fiorentina's own top-three ambitions with a 2-1 win over Chievo.

La Viola, who went down 2-1 at Bologna on Tuesday, started on the front foot and took an early lead through Manuel Pasqual's fine free kick.

Chievo substitute Isaac Cofie got the visitors back on level terms seven minutes before half-time but Larrondo had the last word with the decisive goal 12 minutes from time.

There was a managerial casualty as Antonio Di Natale's 150th Serie A goal decided a 1-0 win for Udinese that ultimately cost Pescara boss Cristiano Bergodi his job.

Pescara had lost six of their last seven matches and Di Natale ensured both a seventh defeat from eight and a change of management at the Stadio Adriatico, with the club set to name Bergodi's replacement tomorrow.

Sampdoria climbed into the top half of the table and above Parma as Mauro Icardi decided a 1-0 victory at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

The tie was settled as Argentinian striker Icardi ended his own two-game drought by converting an easy finish following a mistake from Parma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante.

Parma's neighbours Bologna, meanwhile, took a significant step towards securing their future in the top flight by ending Cagliari's seven-game unbeaten run with a 3-0 win at the Renato Dall'Ara.

Saphir Taider's early opener proved enough to earn Stefano Pioli's men back-to-back victories for the first time this season with Alessandro Diamanti making the points safe midway through the second half.

A red card for Francesco Pisano saw the Sardinians reduced to 10 men before substitute Cristian Pasquato added gloss to the score line as Bologna opened an 11-point gap on the bottom three.

Elsewhere, Giacomo Bonaventura scored in either half to seal a 2-0 win over Siena that moved Atalanta nine points clear of the drop zone.

Bonaventura opened the scoring with a cracking strike in the opening minutes and sealed the win midway through the second half with another fine effort.

Siena, who are five points adrift of safety, occupy the final relegation spot and lead Pescara and Palermo on goal difference alone.

The Sicilian strugglers also endured a difficult afternoon and had to settle for a single point from this morning's goalless draw at Torino.

 

FRANCE

Lyon were unable to pick up the win they needed to move level with Paris St Germain at the top of Ligue 1 after drawing 1-1 at Brest.

Kamel Chafni gave the strugglers an eighth-minute lead, only for Tripy Makonda's own goal eight minutes into the second half to earn Remi Garde's visitors a point.

The draw means Lyon trail PSG by two points, following the leaders' unexpected loss at Reims, while Brest move five points clear of the bottom three.

Andre-Pierre Gignac's late goal rescued Marseille against bottom club Troyes as they kept in touch with the top two with a 2-1 win.

Brazilian striker Marco had given the visitors the lead in the 71st minute as they sought what would have been just a fourth win of the season.

However, a Florian Jarjat own goal levelled the scores with nine minutes left and, buoyed by the equaliser, Gignac struck a minute later to seal the points and move OM to within three points of Lyon.

Lille battled from a goal down to maintain their European push with a hard-fought Ligue 1 victory over Bordeaux at the Grand Stade Lille Metropole.

Jaroslav Plasil had given Les Girondins the lead from the penalty spot just after the half-hour mark.

But Rudi Garcia's side responded well and turned the game on its head thanks to second-half goals from Ronny Rodelin and Salomon Kalou to secure their fourth straight league win and climb to seventh in the standings.

 

PORTUGAL

Benfica moved two points clear at the Liga summit thanks to a 1-0 win at bottom-of-the-table Beira Mar.

Oscar Cardozo netted the game's only goal from the penalty spot after 16 minutes to ensure his team took full advantage of Porto's weekend slip-up, when the champions could only manage a 0-0 draw at Sporting Lisbon.

Nacional climbed into the top half of the standings with a 2-1 triumph at struggling Gil Vicente, second-half goals from Mexer and substitute Mateus overturning Luis Carlos' early opener.

Estoril remained seventh and two points better off than Nacional thanks to a 2-0 success at fifth-placed Rio Ave, with late goals from Carneiro Lica and Steven Vitoria - the latter from the penalty spot - proving decisive.

Finally, two goals in two minutes midway through the second period saw sixth-placed Maritimo's clash with Moreirense end 1-1. Filipe Goncalves grabbed the opener for the second-bottom visitors, but substitute Costa Kukula swiftly restored parity.

 

SPAIN

Second-placed Atletico Madrid failed to fully capitalise on Saturday's Clasico defeat for league leaders Barcelona as they were held to a goalless draw at Malaga this evening.

Atletico could have cut the points gap to single figures, following Barca's 2-1 reverse at Real Madrid, had they managed to overcome Malaga.

But the fourth-placed hosts proved tricky opposition and just about held their own to claim a point which kept their own Champions League aspirations on track.

Dorlan Pabon scored twice as Real Betis held off Real Sociedad's fightback to secure a 3-3 draw in a freewheeling encounter at Estadio Anoeta.

Jorge Molina gave Betis a half-time lead after Antoine Griezmann's brilliant strike was disallowed at the other end, and Pabon doubled the lead early in the second half.

Sociedad roared back with three goals in 11 minutes from Carlos Vela, Inigo Martinez and Xabi Prieto, the latter with a penalty, but Pabon's second secured a deserved share of the spoils for Betis.

Real Mallorca snatched a late 2-1 win at Granada - their first league victory in 10 matches.

The hosts took an early lead through Nolito but Alfaro levelled soon after, before a last-gasp header by substitute Tomer Hemed gave the visitors all three points and their first win of 2013.

Espanyol and Real Valladolid played out a dull goalless draw at the Cornella-El Prat in a game where excitement and chances were in short supply.

Valladolid got the point they would have wanted from the clash but Javier Aguirre's side would have left disappointed after previously picking up 16 of a possible 18 home points since the Mexican replaced Mauricio Pochettino at the helm.

 

HOLLAND

Feyenoord are three points behind Eredivisie leaders PSV following a comfortable 3-0 win at NEC.

Jean-Paul Boetius put the visitors ahead after 11 minutes, before Graziano Pelle doubled their advantage four minutes before the interval.

Boetius grabbed his second of the afternoon seven minutes from time to seal the win.

Relegation-threatened Roda picked up a surprising 4-1 win over Groningen.

Roda - who are third from bottom of the table - made the perfect start when Frank Demouge put them ahead inside the opening minute before David Texeira levelled the scores six minutes later.

Guus Hupperts put the hosts back in front after 29 minutes while Demouge's second four minutes before the break put them two goals to the good.

Sanharib Malki's strike three minutes after the restart completed the scoring for Roda who are now level on points with AZ, who are only out of the relegation zone by virtue of goal difference after they lost 2-1 at RKC.

Mart Lieder bagged a brace for RKC, as AZ could not hold on after Jozy Altidore's leveller.

Elsewhere, ADO Den Haag beat Heracles 3-1 thanks to a Mike van Duinen double and Tjaronn Chery strike, with Geoffrey Castillion on target for Heracles.

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