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Ibrahimovic double wins Milan derby as Real Madrid, Barcelona suffer defeat

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic made a winning return to the AC Milan team as his quickfire double won the Milan derby, while Real Madrid and Barcelona suffered a shock defeats in La Liga.

Romelu Lukaku also scores for Inter Milan in derby; Real Madrid beaten by Cadiz in La Liga for the first time since 1991; Luis Suarez scores for Atletico Madrid but Diego Costa injured; Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and Marco Reus all on the scoresheet in the Bundesliga

Ibrahimovic, a 39-year-old striker, had missed recent games after contracting coronavirus and only resumed training this week, but scored twice early on, Sky Sport reports.

Ibrahimovic put Milan in front after 13 minutes, tapping the ball in from the rebound after his penalty was saved by Samir Handanovic, and then struck again three minutes later from Rafael Leao’s cross.

In a breathless first half, Romelu Lukaku pulled one back for Inter in the 29th minute – the first Serie A goal Milan have conceded this season. Inter were awarded a penalty in the 75th minute but it was revoked for offside in the build-up.

Milan have won all four games so far and top the table with 12 points, while Inter have seven after their first defeat of the season.

Federico Chiesa was sent off on his debut for Juventus as Crotone earned their first point back in Serie A.

Juventus was without Cristiano Ronaldo and Weston McKennie, who both tested positive for COVID-19, and also had several other players out injured.

Simy gave Crotone a surprise lead from the penalty spot in the 12th minute after Leonardo Bonucci fouled Arkadiusz Reca.

Chiesa set up Alvaro Morata for the equaliser nine minutes later but was shown a straight red on the hour following a challenge on Crotone midfielder Luca Cigarini.

Juve thought they had scored a winner shortly after but Morata’s effort was ruled out for offside on video review by VAR.

Napoli were 4-1 winners against Atalanta, which was only their second loss since January.

Hirving Lozano scored twice for Napoli and there were also goals for Matteo Politano and Victor Osimhen in the first half. Sam Lammers netted a consolation for Atalanta in the 69th.

The only positive note for Atalanta from a miserable afternoon was the return of key forward Josip Ilicic. He has not played since July after being given compassionate leave because of personal issues.

triker Fabio Quagliarella set Sampdoria on the way to a comfortable 3-0 win at home to a disappointing Lazio.

The 37-year-old capitalised on poor marking by Lazio to head in from Tommaso Augello’s cross in the 32nd minute after Sampdoria had taken control of the game.

Augello added the second himself nine minutes later when a clearance landed at his feet and he thumped a left-foot shot into the net from the edge of the area for his first Serie A goal at the age of 26.

Lazio failed to take their second-half chances and substitute Mikkel Damsgaard wrapped the game up for Sampdoria in the 74th minute after the ball ricocheted around the Lazio area.

Spanish champions Real Madrid suffered a shock 1-0 loss at home to promoted Cadiz – their first La Liga defeat in over seven months.

Honduran forward Anthony Lozano put Cadiz ahead in the 16th minute, darting between Madrid defenders Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane to meet a cushioned header from Alvaro Negredo and lifting the ball over keeper Thibaut Courtois into the net.

Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane made four substitutions at half-time in a bid to turn the game around and brought on Luka Jovic later on. The Serbian striker soon putt the ball in the net but saw his effort ruled out for a clear offside.

Vinicius Jr missed the target with a free header, while Karim Benzema struck the bar from the edge of the area and Cadiz clung on to claim their first league win over Madrid since 1991.

Barcelona missed the chance to go top of La Liga after slipping to a surprise 1-0 defeat at Getafe.

Jaime Mata scored the only goal from the penalty spot early in the second half and that was enough to lift Getafe up to second, level on points with leaders Real Madrid, who were beaten at home by Cadiz earlier on Saturday.

Lionel Messi hit a post for Barca in the first half, but it was a frustrating evening for the Catalans and Getafe also hit the woodwork in the closing stages.

Barca’s first defeat of the season under head coach Ronald Koeman leaves them ninth in the table, three points adrift of Madrid with a game in hand.

Luis Suarez scored an early goal to help Atletico Madrid win 2-0 at Celta Vigo, breaking a short run of 0-0 stalemates against Huesca and Villarreal.

Suarez netted after a pass from Manuel Sanchez in the sixth minute at Celta’s Balados Stadium. Yannick Carrasco added a second goal in stoppage time when he headed in a rebound after fellow substitute Joao Flix hit the crossbar with a curling strike.

Celta had their chances to equalise in the first half, only to be stopped by the woodwork and goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

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Ronaldo Misses Portugal Training Ahead Of South Korea Clash

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo did not train with his Portugal teammates on Wednesday ahead of their final World Cup group game against South Korea.

The Portuguese striker, 37, was doing “specific recovery work” according to a source from the Portuguese football federation.

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Ronaldo, without a club since leaving Manchester United during the tournament, scored a penalty in his country’s opening win over Ghana.

Portugal beat Uruguay 2-0 in their second match to qualify for the last 16, with Ronaldo appearing to claim a goal but he did not touch the ball and it was awarded to teammate Bruno Fernandes.

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Mexico exit World Cup despite beating Saudi Arabia

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Mexico suffered an agonising exit from the World Cup on goal difference on Wednesday despite beating Saudi Arabia 2-1 in a dramatic finale to Group C.

Second-half goals from Henry Martin and Luis Chavez secured victory for Mexico but they finished third behind Poland after Salem Al-Dawsari’s late strike.

Mexico desperately pushed for a third goal in an effort to improve their goal difference as they faced elimination on FIFA fair play rules.

Saudi Arabia’s win over Argentina in their opening match was one of the World Cup’s great upsets, but they crashed back down to earth with a 2-0 loss to Poland in their second game.

Coach Herve Renard urged his players to show that was no flash in the pan and write themselves into Saudi football history by reaching knockout rounds for the first time since 1994.

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Having failed to win either of their first two group games for the first time in 44 years, Mexico knew victory was essential if they were to stand a chance of reaching the last 16 at an eighth successive World Cup.

Mexico boss Gerardo Martino ditched the back five he used in the 2-0 loss to Argentina and brought in Martin to lead the attack.

It almost reaped immediate rewards but Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais raced out to block Alexis Vega after he was slipped in behind the defence by Hirving Lozano.

Al-Owais, one of the heroes of the 2-1 win over Argentina, tentatively palmed away a bouncing cross ahead of a lunging Martin and held weak attempts by Chavez and Orbelin Pineda.

Mohamed Kanno whipped a free-kick just over for Saudi Arabia, who saw defender Ali Al-Bulayhi forced off with injury — adding to their mounting casualty list.

Mexico continued to attack without success and Ali Al-Hassan nearly sent the bulk of the largely Saudi crowd wild late in the first half with a diving header that flashed wide of the far post.

Chavez tested Al-Owais right after the interval and Martin soon broke the deadlock as he turned in from close range following Cesar Montes’ clever flick-on at a corner.

Mexico’s second goal arrived just five minutes later when Chavez sensationally curled a free-kick into the top corner from 30 metres.

Keeping an eye on the score between Argentina and Poland, Mexico pushed relentlessly for a third goal, with Lozano’s effort ruled out for a tight offside.

Martin blazed over when he had a glorious chance and Chavez had another free-kick turned away by Al-Owais, who also sprawled to his right to claw out a drive from Lozano.

Uriel Antuna then had another goal disallowed for offside before Al-Dawsari’s late strike put an end to the drama.

AFP

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Argentina beat Poland 2-0, advance to last 16

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Lionel Messi had a penalty saved but Argentina still advanced to the last 16 of the World Cup as Group C winners after a 2-0 victory over Poland on Wednesday.

Poland also went through as runners-up although a 2-1 win for Mexico over Saudi Arabia in the group’s other game meant Czeslaw Michniewicz’s side advanced only on goal difference.

Alexis Mac Allister’s 46th-minute goal settled Argentina’s nerves after a tense first half, before Julian Alvarez doubled their lead just over 20 minutes later.

Argentina had been unable to find a way past Wojciech Szczesny in an opening 45 minutes in which the Poland goalkeeper saved his second penalty of the tournament.

Szczesny was adjudged to have fouled Messi while stretching to reach a cross, but he dived to his left to beat away the resulting spot-kick.

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It was the 31st penalty Messi had failed to convert in his career.

Poland offered little attacking threat, with star striker Robert Lewandowski virtually anonymous throughout.

Instead it was left to Szczesny to take centre stage for the Poles, denying Messi with two crucial early stops.

First Messi wriggled clear of a pack of defenders before producing a shot that flew straight at the keeper.

Then he found space to charge into the Polish box down the left, forcing Szczesny to make a save at his near post.

Argentina continued to create the better chances in the first half and Marcos Acuna flashed a shot wide after Alvarez had also gone close to breaking the deadlock.

Szczesny had to scramble to stop Angel di Maria scoring direct from a corner, before the goalkeeper was again called into action to deny Alvarez.

– Penalty save –
Szczesny outdid himself when he dived to his left to stop Messi’s penalty in the 39th minute.

He still had more to do before the half-time whistle, punching away a shot from Alvarez before saving the follow-up from Rodrigo de Paul.

There was nothing he could do when Mac Allister broke the deadlock less than a minute after the interval.

Nahuel Molina charged down the right, then cut the ball back for Mac Allister to drill just beyond Szczesny’s reach.

The goal forced Poland to show some belated attacking ambition and Kamil Glik headed just wide from a free-kick almost immediately after the restart.

Argentina continued to go in search of more goals and Alvarez scored their second after combining well with Enzo Fernandez.

Fernandez, making his first start for Argentina, picked out his team-mate, who held off a defender before lashing the ball past Szczesny.

Poland were still walking a tightrope with yellow cards potentially crucial to their chances of reaching the last 16.

Grzegorz Krychowiak went into the book in the 83rd minute but a late goal for Saudi Arabia against Mexico saw the Poles safely through on goal difference.

AFP

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