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Ibra brace ends wait for Milan win at Napoli

Last updated on: November 23, 2020 10:34 IST
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AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring their first goal while wearing red face paint to raise awareness of domestic violence against women in their match against Napoli on Sunday

IMAGE: AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring their first goal while wearing red face paint to raise awareness of domestic violence against women in their match against Napoli on Sunday. Photograph: Ciro De Luca/Reuters

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice before picking up an injury as Serie A leaders AC Milan beat 10-man Napoli 3-1 on Sunday to record their first league win in Naples for more than 10 years.

 

The 39-year-old powered a bullet header into the bottom corner in the first half before bundling in his second of the night after the break to take his league-high tally to 10 goals in six games this season.

Dries Mertens pulled one back for the home side to give them hope, but a clumsy challenge by Tiemoue Bakayoko earned the Napoli midfielder a second yellow card with 25 minutes left on the clock and Jens Petter Hauge eventually notched Milan's third in stoppage time.

Ibrahimovic was forced off with a muscle problem with 11 minutes remaining, and the Swede was pictured sitting on the bench with an ice pack strapped to the back of his left leg.

Milan assistant coach Daniele Bonera, who stepped in for head coach Stefano Pioli after he tested positive for COVID-19, was unable to shed any light about the severity of the injury.

“I don’t have much information, he had ice on his thigh and we’ll see in the next few days what the tests say. He isn’t someone who usually comes off the pitch,” Bonera told Sky Sport.

The result means unbeaten Milan retain top spot on 20 points, two clear of Sassuolo in second and six ahead of sixth-placed Napoli.

It also ended an 11-match winless league run for the Rossoneri in this fixture and marked only their second Serie A victory away to Napoli in the 21st century, the other a 2-1 win in October 2010 in which Ibrahimovic also scored during his first spell at the club.

Milan’s unbeaten run of league form is now 20 games long and stretches back to March, but Bonera refused to be drawn on the possibility of clinching the club’s first Serie A title since 2011 this season.

“We want to stay high up the table but after eight rounds it’s too soon to get carried away," he said.

"There are teams that have invested more than us and that were built to win the league. We weren’t built to win straight away, but we’re growing game after game."

Spurs confirm losses of 63.9 million pounds as COVID-19 hits revenue

Tottenham Hotspur

IMAGE: A member of Tottenham Hotspur staff cleans a corner flag before the match. Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur suffered a net loss of 63.9 million pounds ($85.45 million) in the last financial year as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted schedules and forced games to be played in empty stadiums, the Premier League club said on Monday.

Spurs said revenue for the year ended June 30 was 402.4 million pounds, down from 460.7 million pounds in the previous year.

Television and media revenue decreased from 149.9 million pounds last year to 95.2 million pounds this year as a result of revenue being deferred to the 2020-21 season for games played after the year's end.

Spurs' net debt rose from 534.3 million pounds to 604.6 million pounds.

"We are currently in the midst of one of the most challenging times ever experienced," chairman Daniel Levy said.

"The impact of the pandemic on our revenue is material and could not have come at a worse time, having just completed a 1.2 billion pounds stadium build which is financed by club resources and long-term debt."

Levy also said Spurs, who top the Premier League standings with 20 points from nine games, face losses in excess of 150 million pounds next year if fans are not allowed back into stadiums.

Yazici shines as Lille cut PSG's lead with Lorient win

Lille's Yusuf Yazici scored twice and set up another goal as they hammered visitors Lorient 4-0 to narrow the gap with Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain to two points on Sunday.

Yazici scored in each half with Luiz Araujo and Jonathan David also scoring to put second-placed Lille on 22 points from 11 games after PSG lost 3-2 at AS Monaco on Friday.

Olympique Lyonnais are third on 20 points after Tino Kadewere gave them a 1-0 win at Angers earlier on Sunday.

Montpellier are surprisingly fourth, also on 20 points, following their 4-3 home win against Racing Strasbourg.

In Lille, Turkey striker Yazici beat the offside trap to collect Jonathan Bamba's through ball and open the scoring with a low shot in the 29th minute.

He doubled the tally six minutes into the second half by latching onto a Jonathan David cross, six minutes before Araujo put the result beyond doubt with a left-footed effort after being set up by Yazici.

Canada forward David then scored his first goal for Lille from close range since joining from Gent during the close season, with one minute remaining.

The result left Lorient third from bottom on eight points after their seventh defeat of the season.

Lyon, who are not playing in Europe this season, have now won four of their last five games after Kadewere volleyed home in the 78th minute at Angers.

Montpellier, who are on a three-match winning streak, won a seven-goal thriller as Algeria striker Andy Delort scored twice against Strasbourg, who are second-bottom on six points.

Impressive Union beat Cologne 2-1 to climb to fifth place

Union Berlin's Max Kruse scored a second-half winner as they snatched a 2-1 victory at Cologne on Sunday to stretch their club record unbeaten run to seven Bundesliga matches and climb to fifth place.

Kruse scored on the rebound in the 72nd minute after Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn saved his penalty, denying the 32-year-old forward a league record of 17 consecutive successful spot kicks.

Taiwo Awoniyi had put the in-form visitors, unbeaten on the road this season, ahead in the 27th minute before Ellyes Skhiri pulled Cologne level with a close-range effort.

The defeat means Cologne are without a win in their last 18 Bundesliga matches, matching their club record, while also equalling the club record of 10 home games without a win.

Union are on 15 points in fifth -- their best ever position -- while Cologne, who hit the woodwork with the last kick of the game, dropped to second-bottom on three after eight games.

Liverpool's Salah to train after negative COVID-19 test, says Klopp

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who missed Sunday's 3-0 Premier League win over Leicester City after contracting COVID-19, has now tested negative and can return to training, manager Juergen Klopp has said.

Salah tested positive for the novel coronavirus while on international duty with Egypt last week.

"That's what I've heard, a negative," Klopp said. "I think from now he is pretty normal in all the testing. On Monday, we have UEFA testing and I am pretty sure he will be in that.

"He can train with us. There are two tests in the next two days so he will be tested."

Klopp also confirmed midfielder Naby Keita had sustained a hamstring injury against Leicester, joining defenders Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the injury list.

Keita was withdrawn after 53 minutes and replaced by Neco Williams.

"He (Keita) felt his hamstring and was not able to play on, otherwise he would have stayed on the pitch," Klopp said.

Liverpool face Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Suarez says Uruguay players let guard down after spate of COVID-19 cases

Uruguay forward Luis Suarez has apologised for the team "letting their guard down" during the international break after 16 members of their squad and staff, including Suarez, tested positive for COVID-19.

The national team faced fierce criticism after pictures emerged of the players enjoying a barbecue without observing social distancing as well as sharing the traditional tea 'mate', which is drunk through a communal straw.

"Many people are criticising us, we committed an error and we apologise for that," Atletico Madrid's Suarez told Uruguay television programme 'Punto Penal' (Penalty Spot) on Sunday.

"The infection did not happen because of the barbecue, that's very clear. We had the bad luck of one of us getting infected in Colombia."

Suarez was among 10 players to test positive while away with Uruguay, along with his Atletico team mate Lucas Torreira and Cagliari's Diego Godin, the national side's captain. Six staff members were also infected.

The striker, who missed Uruguay's 2-0 defeat to Brazil as well as Atletico's 1-0 win over his former side Barcelona on Saturday, said he was asymptomatic and was self-isolating in an apartment in Madrid.

He also said he and other team mates had tested negative on several occasions during the international break, including after Matias Vina became the first player to test positive.

"We all felt uncertain as we had been with Matias in the dressing room and the showers but then we tested negative and thought we were safe. Then unfortunately there were more cases and the whole thing snowballed," he explained.

"We made a mistake. We let our guard down when we tested negative and then several positive tests started appearing. We did something wrong.

"This should serve as a warning to all young people out there and everybody else that nobody is immune and even though we are tested very often we need to take care of ourselves."

Goal-crazy Bodo/Glimt win first Norwegian title

Free-scoring Bodo/Glimt claimed their first Norwegian top flight title on Sunday with a 2-1 win over Stromsgodset thanks to goals from Kasper Junker and Philip Zinckernagel, the team's 84th and 85th strikes of the season.

The result gives the club, whose Aspmyra stadium is some 1200 kilometres north of the capital Oslo, a total of 68 points after 25 games in the Norwegian top-flight, 18 ahead of second-placed Molde with five games left to play.

Founded 104 years ago, Glimt were runners-up in the league in 2019 but they went one better in 2020, scoring two or more goals in every league game. A 4-2 loss to Molde in mid-October was their only defeat of the season.

"I am touched," coach Kjetil Knutsen told Eurosport.

"This is a fantastic group of players, a fantastic team and a fantastic club."

Knutsen's side were narrowly beaten 3-2 by AC Milan in the Europa League third qualifying round, and they have won fans from all over Norway with their high-tempo, hard-working style that has provided an average of over three goals per game.

With five games to go, the newly-crowned champions need four points to break Molde's 2014 record of 71 points in a league season, and team captain Ulrik Saltnes was left speechless at what his team had achieved.

"I need a bit more time before the big quotes will come," he told newspaper Verdens Gang as the celebrations began ahead of the long journey back to northern Norway.

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