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Thursday , November 21 2019

Inter go top of ‘Serie A’ – Atletico up to 2nd

Inter Milan’s defender from Japan Yuto Nagatomo (left), fights for the ball with Frosinone’s midfielder from Italy Danilo Soddimo during the Italian Serie A football match Inter Milan vs Frosinone on Nov 22 at the San Siro Stadium in Milan. (AFP)
Inter Milan’s defender from Japan Yuto Nagatomo (left), fights for the ball with Frosinone’s midfielder from Italy Danilo Soddimo during the Italian Serie A football match Inter Milan vs Frosinone on Nov 22 at the San Siro Stadium in Milan. (AFP)

MILAN, Nov 23, (Agencies): Inter Milan went on a rare scoring spree to thrash Serie A newcomers Frosinone 4-0 and go clear at the top on Sunday,  the first time Roberto Mancini’s team have won a league match by more than one goal this season.

Fiorentina, previously level with Inter, needed two goals from substitute Nikola Kalinic to rescue a 2-2 draw at home to lowly Empoli after they had trailed 2-0, with coach Paulo Sousa admitting he had made mistakes with his team selection.

Vincenzo Montella made a losing start as coach of Sampdoria, who lost 1-0 at Udinese, and Davide Ballardini, starting a second stint in charge of Palermo, saw the Sicilians held 1-1 at Lazio.

There was an amazing finish at Genoa where Francesco Acerbi scored in the 94th minute for visitors Sassuolo to make it 1-1, only for Leonardo Pavoletti to win it for the hosts almost immediately. Both teams had a player sent off in the first half.

Inter have 30 points from 13 games, two ahead of Fiorentina and Napoli, who ground out a 2-0 win at Verona with second-half goals from Lorenzo Insigne and Gonzalo Higuain.

AS Roma, held 2-2 at Bologna on Saturday, are a further point behind in fourth.

Jonathan Biabiany pounced on a rebound to put Inter ahead in the 29th minute and Mauro Icardi doubled their lead early in the second half from Adem Ljajic’s pass.

Inter, who had scored only 12 goals in their first 12 games and won eight times by single-goal margins, added late goals through defender Jeison Murillo and substitute Marcelo Brozovic.

Atletico Madrid moved up to second in La Liga as Koke’s early strike was enough to earn all three points in a 1-0 win away to Real Betis.

Diego Simeone’s men close to within four points of leaders Barcelona, but now lead city rivals Real Madrid by two points after Barca thrashed Real 4-0 on Saturday.

The visitors were rewarded for a fast start as Antonio Adan could only parry Fernando Torres’s shot on seven minutes and Koke was on hand to sweep home the rebound.

Atletico should have gone on to win by a much greater margin as they controlled the game throughout.

Antoine Griezmann volleyed Torres’s lovely chipped past over midway through the first half.

Betis only threatened to strike back once when Jan Oblak produced a stunning save from Alvaro Cejudo’s long-range effort.

Griezmann missed an even better opening to kill the game when he blazed over with Koke begging for a cut-back to slot into an open goal after the break.

However, the Frenchman was very unfortunate moments later when he was clearly brought down inside the area by Heiko Westermann, but the referee waved play on.

And Griezmann’s night in front of goal was summed up when he struck the inside of the post three minutes from time.

Caen had Alaeddine Yahia sent off in the 31st minute but held on for a 0-0 draw at home against promoted Angers to go third in Ligue 1. The Normandy side have 25 points from 14 games and trail leaders Paris St Germain, who beat Lorient 2-1 away on Saturday, by 13 points.

Defender Yahia was shown a straight red card for a rough tackle on Billy Ketkeophomphone. Caen threatened an upset in the 65th minute when a cross by Dennis Appiah lobbed Ludovic Butelle but hit the crossbar.

Angers, who are fifth on 23 points, came close in the 74th when Thomas Mangani’s fierce strike from 20 metres smashed against Remy Vercoutre’s bar. The crowd, officials and players observed a minute’s silence before kickoff and the French national anthem was played in memory of the 130 who died in last week’s Paris attacks.

The anthem was also played, and respected despite fears it could be booed by Corsican separatists, ahead of the derby between Bastia and Gazelec Ajaccio which ended with the visitors’ 2-1 win. The same protocol was respected at Geoffroy Guichard, too, where Olympique de Marseille eased away from the relegation zone with a 2-0 win against hosts St Etienne.

“Rest in Peace”, a banner read. “We are Paris”, another one, unfolded by the OM fans, said. Michy Batshuayi opened the scoring from close range four minutes before the interval and then set up Georges-Kevin Nkoudou for the second six minutes into the second half.

Marseille are now 12th with 18 points, four points above the relegation zone, while St Etienne are seventh on 22 points. Elsewhere, Giovanni Sio missed an injury-time penalty as Stade Rennais drew 2-2 at home to Girondins de Bordeaux.

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