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Soccer PIX: Juve rally to take Serie A lead; Spurs knocked out of League Cup

September 25, 2019 10:42 IST

Juventus' Miralem Pjanic celebrates his goal againt Brescia Calcio during their Serie A match at Stadio Mario Rigamonti in Brescia, Italy, on Tuesday

IMAGE: Juventus' Miralem Pjanic celebrates his goal againt Brescia Calcio during their Serie A match at Stadio Mario Rigamonti in Brescia, Italy, on Tuesday. Photograph: Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Juventus came from behind to go top of Serie A with a 2-1 win at Brescia on Tuesday as Mario Balotelli marked his return to Italian football.

 

Alfredo Donnarumma gave the hosts an early lead at the Stadio Mario Rigamonti but Juve hit back through a Jhon Chancellor own goal and a Miralem Pjanic strike either side of the break.

Balotelli made his debut for his hometown club after completing a four-match suspension that he was handed at Olympique de Marseille last season, while the visitors were without Cristiano Ronaldo as he recovers from injury.

Maurizio Sarri's side edged an entertaining encounter to continue their unbeaten start to the season and the coach was encouraged to see improvements from his team.

"We improved a great deal in our passing and had more control of the game, but we need to improve in our defending," he told DAZN.

"I saw steps forward in the way we created chances too, as there were basically three goal-line clearances and it wasn’t easy after going behind within four minutes in a passionate atmosphere."

Brescia Calcio's Mario Balotelli competes for the ball with Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci 

IMAGE: Brescia Calcio's Mario Balotelli competes for the ball with Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci. Photograph: Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Juventus have moved on to 13 points at the summit of the table, one ahead of Inter Milan, but Antonio Conte's side can return to first place by beating Lazio at San Siro on Wednesday, while a draw would also be enough to send them top on goal difference.

Sarri tinkered with his formation in the absence of Ronaldo, selecting former Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey behind a front pair of Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain in a new-look 4-3-1-2 formation.

The champions got off to a nightmare start when Donnarumma, last season’s top scorer in Serie B, caught Juve goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny off guard as he fired a powerful shot past the Pole inside four minutes.

Juve went in search of an equaliser as Sami Khedira flashed a shot narrowly wide and Higuain’s glancing header went just past the far post, while Balotelli connected brilliantly with a long-range free kick to draw a flying save out of Szczesny.

Juventus' Adrien Rabiot and Brescia's Leonardo Morosini vie for possession

IMAGE: Juventus' Adrien Rabiot and Brescia's Leonardo Morosini vie for possession. Photograph: Daniele Mascolo/Reuters

Sarri’s side drew level five minutes before halftime when Dybala’s whipped corner caused chaos in the Brescia six-yard box as goalkeeper Jesse Joronen failed to gather and the ball ricocheted off defender Chancellor and into his own net.

Juventus pressed for a second after the break as Joronen saved well from Higuain and Chancellor cleared an Adrien Rabiot shot off the line.

They made the breakthrough when Dybala's free kick rebounded off the wall into the path of Pjanic, who struck a beautifully controlled half-volley into the bottom corner.

Brescia responded as Daniele Dessena’s strike whistled just past the post and Dimitri Bisoli volleyed over from close range, before Balotelli rose to meet a cross in stoppage time only to direct his header over.

In Tuesday’s other fixture, Hellas Verona and Udinese played out a 0-0 draw at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi.

Spurs dumped out of League Cup on penalties

Colchester United players celebrate after winning the penalty shootout against Tottenham Hotspur to win their League Cup match at JobServe Community Stadium, Colchester on Tuesday

IMAGE: Colchester United players celebrate after winning the penalty shootout against Tottenham Hotspur to win their League Cup match at JobServe Community Stadium, Colchester on Tuesday. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images via Reuters

Fourth-tier Colchester United dumped last season's Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur out of the League Cup 4-3 on penalties in the big shock of the third round on Tuesday.

While an abject Spurs side sank after a goalless 90 minutes to the lowest-ranked side in the draw, holders ManchesterCity powered past second-tier Preston North End 3-0 with forward Raheem Sterling scoring the opener and setting up another.

On a night with seven Premier League clubs playing lower league opposition, it was Colchester and fellow League Two giant killers CrawleyTown who rose to the challenge and went through.

Colchester managed only a handful of shots on target during their match at the Community Stadium, while Tottenham enjoyed 70% of possession and could boast the likes of internationals Dele Alli, Heung-Min Son and Erik Lamela on the pitch.

Substitute Christian Eriksen had his spot kick saved by Dean Gerken and Lucas Moura blasted against the crossbar.

Tom Lapslie then sent Colchester into the last 16 for the first time in 44 years by scoring the decisive penalty past Paulo Gazzaniga.

"Colchester made a fantastic game, it was difficult. We are so disappointed we could not score in 90 minutes," said Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino.

"They beat (Crystal) Palace on penalties too, that can happen. That's the beauty of the competition, always something can happen."

Crawley beat 10-man Championship (second-tier) side StokeCity 5-3 on penalties after the visitors had Nathan Collins sent off in the 62nd minute for violent conduct.

"We didn't have anything to lose today," said Crawley boss Gabriele Cioffi.

"It was enough to make a statement.

"It's like David against Goliath. What do we have to lose? We couldn't bring stone inside... the only thing we could bring on the pitch was bravery, belief, trust."

Sterling sent Pep Guardiola's Manchester City on their way with a right-foot shot in the 19th minute and then provided the pass for Gabriel Jesus to make it 2-0 in the 35th.

A Ryan Ledson own-goal completed the scoring in the 42nd minute at Deepdale.

"They treat the Carabao (League) Cup the same way as the Champions League," Preston manager Alex Neil told Sky Sports television. "That’s why they’re champions."

A first-half double from Danny Ings helped Southampton to a 4-0 win at League One (third-tier) Portsmouth in the first south-coast derby in seven years between two of the fiercest rivals in English soccer.

Portsmouth piled on the pressure for the opening 20 minutes, when they could have been 2-0 up, but Ings took the wind out of their sails against the run of play in the 21st before adding a second just before the break.

Cedric Soares made it 3-0 in the 77th and Nathan Redmond completed Saints' biggest away win against their neighbours, and first at FrattonPark since 1984, four minutes from time.

Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored twice in the opening 10 minutes to put the Toffees 2-0 up against Championship side Sheffield Wednesday before the goals dried up at Hillsborough.

Arsenal thrashed NottinghamForest 5-0 at The Emirates with Gabriel Martinelli scoring twice on his first start.

"We played on Sunday but we want to do something important in this competition," said Arsenal manager Unai Emery.

Leicester City ran out 4-0 winners at LutonTown while Premier League bottom side Watford laboured to a 2-1 home win against SwanseaCity.

Manchester United and Champions League winners Liverpool play League One sides Rochdale and MK Dons respectively on Wednesday.

Golovin double earns Monaco first win of the season

AS Monaco's Aleksandr Golovin scored twice as the principality side beat visiting Nice 3-1 in the Azurean derby in Ligue 1 on Tuesday to claim their first victory of the season.

Golovin found the net either side of Patrick Burner's equaliser with Wissam Ben Yedder wrapping up the win late on to lift Monaco to 17th on six points from seven games.

The defeat left Nice in fourth place on 12 points.

Olympique de Marseille moved up to third, also on 12 points, despite being held to a 0-0 draw at bottom club Dijon.

Monaco's victory was a relief for coach Leonardo Jardim, who would have come under more pressure with another mishap.

Russian midfielder Golovin opened the scoring in the 29th minute with a superb left-foot effort, only for Burner to level for the visitors nine minutes into the second half.

But Golovin scored again in the 74th, collecting an Islam Slimani cross in the area before flicking the ball past goalkeeper Walter Benitez.

French international Ben Yedder made sure there would be no late shock for the hosts when he added the third from close range after a Golovin through ball.

Earlier, Olympique de Marseille dropped points for the second game in a row when they were held at Dijon.

The Provence side, who were held by Montpellier on Saturday, dominated the first half but Dijon had the best chance seven minutes after the break when Bruno Ecuele-Manga's header hit the post. 

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