The Spanish paper El Mundo Deportivo claims to be have gotten its hands on the 57 names that make up the shortlist for the this year’s Ballon d’Or.
A successful night of Europa League action has allowed Italy’s Serie A to eat into the deficit on the English Premier League in UEFA’s coefficient rankings.
HHaving already relinquished second spot to Germany’s Bundesliga at the start of the season, the Premier League is in danger of losing a Champions League berth to Serie A for the 2017-18 season.
That will happen if Italian clubs get consistently good results and the Premier League continues to disappoint in Europe — and Thursday’s Europa League results have boosted Italy’s hopes.
Italian Serie A leaders Fiorentina continued their fine form as they defeated Belenenses 4-0 in Portugal in Group I. Federico Bernardeschi and Khouma Boubacar scored before the break in Lisbon and a Tonel own goal made it three before Giuseppe Rossi scored his first goal since May last year after injury to clinch the win.
Fiorentina are second in their group, three points behind Basel, who beat Lech Poznan 2-0 in Switzerland. Fiorentina were not the only Italian winners, with Lazio coming from behind to beat nine-man Saint-Etienne 3-2 in Group G and Napoli winning 2-0 at Legia Warsaw in Group D.
Alessandro Florenzi has called for a swift change in Roma’s mental approach after their 3-2 humbling by BATE Borisov in group E of the UEFA Champions League. The Italian giants travelled to Belarus hoping to build on a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Barcelona in their opener, only to concede three quick-fire goals at the Borisov-Arena inside the opening half hour. Rudi Garcia’s men reduced the arrears twice in a far improved second half, but the damage was done and IGiallorossi suffered a defeat that sent them bottom of the pool.
A hat-trick by Croatia striker Nikola Kalinic set up Fiorentina for a stunning 4-1 win at the San Siro that ended Inter Milan’s 100 per cent start to the campaign and sent La Viola top of Italian Serie A. Inter, who have not won the scudetto since their treble-winning feat of 2010, had boosted their early-season hopes by racing to a ten-point lead over defending champions Juventus after winning their opening five games.
A rare slate of midweek games in Italy saw Inter Milan stretch their lead at the top of Serie as champions Juventus were held by Frosinone and Roma lose to Sampdoria. Inter’s blistering start to the season has left many believing that Roberto Mancini’s side have already stolen a march on four-time consecutive champions Juventus in the fight for this season’s scudetto as the gap between the two rivals is now 10 points.
Paul Pogba created one goal and scored another as Juventus finally picked up heir first Italian Serie A win of the season, while Francesco Totti hit his 300th goal for Roma in a 2-2 draw with Sassuolo. Amid their worst start to the season in several decades, Juventus travelled to Genoa hoping to build on an impressive 2-1 Champions League victory over Manchester City in midweek.
Carlos Bacca scored twice, including a second-half winner as AC Milan got back to winning ways after last week’s derby defeat thanks to a 3-2 win over Palermo at the San Siro on Saturday.
The Colombian international opened the scoring in the 21st minute and, after Oscar Hiljemark had hit his second of the night to level Giacomo Bonaventura’s 40th minute free kick, he restored Milan’s lead on 75 minutes with a powerful glancing header. Milan, defeated 1-0 by Inter Milan in the city derby last week, held on to claim their second win in four games to move up to ninth place at three points behind leaders Inter ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.
Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini warned his side not to make the same mistakes as Roma two years ago when the Giallorossi threw away the chance to challenge for the scudetto. Inter sit two points clear at the top of the Italian Serie A table after a 1-0 derby win over AC Milan last week, a victory that prompted Mancini to reiterate his side’s title hopes after four years of failed challenges.
Mancini said Friday those chances would improve if Inter remained top of the league after their opening ten games, although he was quick to cite Roma’s spectacular fall out of contention in 2013 after they had made a record-setting start to the season.
A 58th-minute strike by Colombian Fredy Guarin settled what was a thrilling ‘Derby della Madonnina’ in front of 79,154 spectators at the clubs’ shared San Siro ground. It sent Inter two points clear at the top of the table – the first time they have topped the league in three years – to boost their hopes of figuring in the Scudetto battle come the end of the season.