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Rediff.com  » Sports » Euro football: Inter's Champions League hopes dented, Nice held

Euro football: Inter's Champions League hopes dented, Nice held

March 19, 2017 11:01 IST

FC Torino's Andrea Belotti (right) clashes with Inter's Cristian Ansaldi as they vie for possession during the Serie A match at Stadio Olimpico di Torino in Turin on Sunday

IMAGE: FC Torino's Andrea Belotti (right) clashes with Inter's Cristian Ansaldi as they vie for possession during the Serie A match at Stadio Olimpico di Torino in Turin on Sunday. Photograph: Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Inter Milan are still five points off the Champions League places after Antonio Candreva's equaliser rescued a solitary point in a 2-2 draw at Torino in a thrilling Serie A clash on Saturday.

Candreva slammed the ball into an empty net in the 62nd minute after a glaring error from Joe Hart, who failed to claim Cristian Ansaldi's pinpoint cross.

Afriyie Acquah had given Torino the lead after Daniele Baselli had cancelled out Geoffrey Kondogbia's fine solo opener before the break.

Inter started brightly, taking the lead in the 27th minute through Kondogbia when he cut in from the right, outmuscled two defenders and slammed home past the culpable Hart, who managed to get a hand to the ball.

Inter were pegged back five minutes later when Daniele Baselli profited from some sloppy defending at a corner to head past Samir Handanovic, and the keeper was forced to make a series of fine saves before Acquah fired the hosts ahead from the edge of the box in the 59th minute.

The point takes Inter up to 55 points, but they remain in fifth and five behind Napoli, who currently occupy third ahead of their match at Empoli on Sunday. Leaders Juventus are at Sampdoria, while Roma, in second, host Sassuolo.

Inconsistent Torino are in 10th on 40 points.

Nice held 1-1 at Nantes as title dream fades

Nice's Mario Balotelli reacts during their France Ligue 1 match against FC Nantes at the La Beaujoire Stadium in Nantes on Saturday

IMAGE: Nice's Mario Balotelli reacts during their France Ligue 1 match against FC Nantes at the La Beaujoire Stadium in Nantes on Saturday. Photograph: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Injury-hit Nice's hopes of a first Ligue 1 title since 1959 suffered a setback on Saturday when they were held to a 1-1 draw at mid-table Nantes.

Jean Michael Seri cancelled out Emiliano Sala's opener to earn the third-placed visitors a point, which moves them on to 64 points, one behind Paris St Germain and four behind leaders AS Monaco ahead of their games at home to Olympique Lyonnais and at Caen respectively on Sunday.

Sala crowned an intense opening spell for Nantes when he beat keeper Yoan Cardinale in the 22nd minute, after being picked out by Jules Iloki, for his fourth goal in his last five matches.

However, surprise package Nice, without key players Alassane Plea, Wylan Cyprien and captain Paul Baysse due to injury, responded six minutes later when Seri netted with a delightful strike from the edge of the box.

Nice saw a lot of the ball after the break but were unable to make the most of their dominance, with Italian frontman Mario Balotelli needlessly distracted by a tit-for-tat battle with Nantes' Diego Carlos.

Nantes remain in 10th place on 38 points.

Source:
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