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Soccer PICS: AC Milan thrash Bologna 5-1; Norwich lose

July 19, 2020 10:55 IST
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IMAGES from football matches played in the Serie A and the English Premier League on Saturday.

AC Milan's Ismael Bennacer (centre) celebrates his goal with his teammates Alexis Saelemaekers (right) and Davide Calabria (left) during their Serie A match against Bologna FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, Italy, on Saturday

IMAGE: AC Milan's Ismael Bennacer (centre) celebrates his goal with his teammates Alexis Saelemaekers (right) and Davide Calabria (left) during their Serie A match against Bologna FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, Italy, on Saturday. Photograph: Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

AC Milan secured a commanding 5-1 victory over Bologna in the ongoing Serie A in Milan on Sunday.

With this win, AC Milan have boosted their Europa League hopes, consolidating its sixth place on the table with 56 points in the league, just one point away from Roma, who currently occupy fifth place.

AC Milan's thumping victory saw Alexis Saelemaekers, who broke the deadlock, and Ismael Bennacer, who made it 3-1 at the start of the second half.

 

Ante Rebie and Hakan Calhanoglu, and Davide Calabria also got on the scoresheet.

Coach Stefano Pioli's men dominated the first half, giving the away side no room to play with their perfectly implemented pressing game. Bologna's only goal was scored by Takehiro Tomiyasu, just before the conclusion of the first half.

Pioli has brushed off Zlatan Ibrahimovic's angry reaction to being substituted in the 5-1 win over Bologna, saying only that the 38-year-old needs to avoid over-exerting himself amid a crowded fixture list.

The Swede was clearly annoyed at being taken off in the 62nd minute of Saturday's match at San Siro, the third time in four games he has been replaced around the hour mark, and ignored a fist bump from Pioli as he left the field.

"It's natural that he doesn't like being substituted," said Pioli.

"He said something to me which I honestly didn't understand."

"He was important for the team but I have to make sure he conserves energy -- we are playing every three days and he is coming back from injury."

AC Milan will next take on Sassuolo on July 22.

In-form Atalanta held to 1-1 draw at Verona

Atalanta dropped points for only the second time since the season's restart after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Hellas Verona on Saturday.

Atalanta, who drew 2-2 with Serie A leaders Juventus last weekend, are tied on 71 points with second-placed Inter Milan, who play away at AS Roma on Sunday, and six points behind Juve who also have a game in hand.

Duvan Zapata gave Atalanta the lead when he forced Koray Guenter into an error five minutes into the second half. Despite the defender's best efforts to deny Zapata a run on goal, the Colombian striker calmly slotted the ball past Marco Silvestri.

Verona responded nine minutes later when Matteo Pessina, on loan from Atalanta, made a late run into the box to pounce on Pierluigi Gollini's parry and fire home emphatically his fourth goal since the restart and seventh of the season.

Atalanta, who would have wrapped up Champions League qualification with victory, nearly took all three points in stoppage time when Mario Pasalic's effort from a cross went inches wide of the post.

Norwich suffer two reds and own goal in loss to Burnley

Burnley's Jay Rodriguez and Norwich City's Lukas Rupp vie for possession during their English Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich, Britain, on Saturday

IMAGE: Burnley's Jay Rodriguez and Norwich City's Lukas Rupp vie for possession during their English Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich, Britain, on Saturday. Photograph: Julian Finney/Pool via Reuters

Relegated Norwich City endured a nightmare final Premier League home game of the season as they had two men red-carded and conceded an own goal in a 2-0 defeat by Burnley on Saturday.

The bottom club's hopes of ending a miserable eight-game losing streak evaporated in a crazy end to the first half with Emiliano Buendia sent off after 35 minutes for an elbow and Josip Drmic following him 10 minutes later for a lunging tackle.

As if that were not bad enough, Burnley took the lead in the fifth minute of first-half stoppage time when Chris Wood's bicycle kick crept past goalkeeper Tim Krul.

Norwich showed spirit after the break to frustrate Burnley but their wretched afternoon was summed up in the 80th minute when defender Ben Godfrey turned a cross into his own net.

Victory lifted Burnley above Arsenal into ninth place with 54 points from 37 games, two points behind sixth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers who have a game in hand.

Sixth spot will earn a Europa League place.

Norwich became the third team in English top-flight history to lose five consecutive home games without scoring a goal and the first since Birmingham City in 1922.

The Canaries also extended their record league losing sequence to nine and will end the season with the lowest points tally in the club's history.

Burnley have set records too but more positive ones as for the first time they have won 15 Premier League games in a season. Goalkeeper Nick Pope also leads the way for Premier League clean sheets this season with 15.

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