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Cristiano Ronaldo converted a second-half penalty and was booked for provoking the beaten goalkeeper Salvador Ichazo as relentless Serie A leaders Juventus beat Torino 1-0 in an absorbing derby on Saturday.

Torino, who have beaten their larger neighbours only once in the last 23 years, put up a brave show but were undone by an unfortunate mistake by forward Simone Zaza.

Having dispossessed Leonardo Bonucci, Zaza underhit a pass back to Ichazo, allowing Mario Mandzukic to intercept and the Croatian was then tripped by Torino’s substitute goalkeeper.

It wasn’t pretty to watch at times, but on Saturday night Inter did something they have struggled to do in recent games and that is win.

Captain Mauro Icardi converted a Panenka-style penalty late in the game as Inter rebounded from the disappointment of their midweek Champions League exit by beating Udinese 1-0 win at Giuseppe Meazza.

Udinese appeared to have cleared a corner in the 76th minute but the referee then asked for a VAR review amid Inter protests and, after looking at the pitchside monitor, ruled that Seko Fofana had handled the ball.

AC Milan must break even by June 2021 or face being banned from European competition for two years under Financial Fair Play rules, UEFA has announced.

The decision from the European governing body’s adjudicatory chamber comes after Milan successfully appealed against a two-year ban being immediately imposed this summer, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport referring the matter back to UEFA to impose a ‘proportionate disciplinary measure’ in July.

Milan had been found to be in breach of the break-even requirements of the Financial Fair Play regulations, and Friday’s ruling leaves the club at risk of sitting out European competition in 2022-23 and 2023-24 should they qualify.

The dates and kick-off times of the Coppa Italia Round of 16 have been confirmed, including Sampdoria v Milan, Bologna v Juventus and Inter v Benevento.

As there is a Serie A winter break in January, this time will be used to play Coppa Italia fixtures.

Sat Jan 12

  • Lazio v Novara (14.00 GMT)
  • Sampdoria v Milan (17.00 GMT)
  • Bologna v Juventus (19.45 GMT)

Sun Jan 13

  • Torino v Fiorentina (14.00 GMT)
  • Inter v Benevento (17.00 GMT)
  • Napoli v Sassuolo (19.45 GMT)

Mon Jan 14

  • Cagliari v Atalanta (16.30 GMT)

It has a horrible night for Serie A sides in Europe on Tuesday as both Inter Milan and Napoli were knocked out of the Champions League. Inter drew 1-1 at home to bottom of the group PSV while Napoli lost 1-0 at Liverpool.

Both clubs will now play in the Europa League but that is scant consolation, especially when you consider the financial gap between the two competitions.

At Anfield, Napoli knew they would be guaranteed a place in the Round of 16 if they avoided defeat, but even a 2-1 or 3-2 loss could be enough. Anything but a 1-0 defeat.

Inter Coach Luciano Spalletti says “we’ve dreamed of playing games like this” ahead of the Champions League showdown with PSV.

The Nerazzurri can qualify for the Last 16 with a win tomorrow, but only if Tottenham don’t beat Barcelona at Camp Nou.

Inter must simply better the English side’s result, as Spurs hold the head-to-head advantage with both sides on seven points.

“I think what we’ve done so far is very good,” Spalletti told InterTV.

“Because of that we have a chance to qualify from a group which we all said from the start was very hard.

Not all revolutions or successions are bloody and traumatic. The best ones are a series of tweaks alongside preservation of what the previous regime did well.

That has been the nature of Carlo Ancelotti’s six-month tenure at Napoli since replacing Maurizio Sarri.

Napoli, second in Serie A, face Liverpool in a vital match at Anfield on Tuesday.

It’s a game the Reds must win 1-0, or by a two-goal margin, and therefore is more like a final. And when it comes to finals, it’s 1-1 between the popular Italian coach and Liverpool.

Despite claiming he doesn’t miss their intense rivalry, Cristiano Ronaldo wants Lionel Messi to follow him to Italy and test his skills in Serie A.

Speaking in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, the former Real Madrid icon said,

“I do not fear Messi, I dominated the Premier League and the La Liga. I challenge Leo Messi to come to Serie A. I hope he accepts my challenge and we battle one day in the Italian League. But if he is happy, I respect him. He is a fantastic player.””

Mario Mandzukic’s second-half header earned Juventus a 1-0 win over Inter in Friday’s Derby d’Italia, strengthening the Serie A champions’ grip on top spot in the table.

The Nerazzurri had the chance to exert pressure on the runaway leaders at Allianz Stadium but could not break down Juve as they moved 11 points clear of second-placed Napoli, who host Frosinone on Saturday.

Roberto Gagliardini had the best chance of breaking the deadlock for the visitors in a tactical battle of a first half but the Italy midfielder struck the post when he found a rare pocket of space in the Juventus box.

The Derby d’Italia is a a game drenched in history ands the bitter rivalry between two of Serie A’s greatest clubs continues on Friday night.

Juventus will be out to end hope that Inter have of challenging for the Scudetto this season. The gap between the sides already stands 11 points. A Juve win on Friday would make it an almost insurmountable chasm for Inter.