Serie A: Milan’s supersub strikes last second winner

Milan 2-1 Roma

Milan had a dramatic 2-1 win over league rivals Roma at the Giuseppe Meazza thanks to a 95th minute strike by substitute Patrick Cutrone in a game the Rossoneri fully deserved to win.

Gennarro Gattusso’s Milan wants to make an impact on Serie A with the express aim of making the top four. It will be a tough task, but they did themselves the world of good tonight beating a well organised Roma. The home side will feel they had more than enough possession and chances to put the game to bed well before the end, but they won’t mind the wait now.

The hosts were fancied to beat Eusebio Di Francesco’s Roma with us odds of 2.46, but with Roma at 2.83 and the draw at 3.25 it was always going to be a tight match.

Highlights of the game

Milan started on the front foot and Suso had a shot blocked on just five minutes then Hakan Calhanoglu tried his luck from distance but his shot was saved in the bottom left corner by Roma stopper Robin Olsen.

All eyes were on the big name strikers Gonzalo Higuain for Milan and Edin Dzeko for Roma and it was the Bosnian who showed first of the two, having a shot blocked on 21 minutes. But Milan continued to dominate and first Giacomo Bonaventura had a shot charged down and then Calhanoglu shot high and wide.

Serie A AC Milan vs AS Roma: Gonzalo Higuain’s great pass sets the Rossoneri up for a late win

Gonzalo Higuain reacts on the VAR decision

Then Higuain got in on the act, getting on the end of a corner, but his shot was off target. And then when Bonaventura tried to put him through Higuain strayed offside.

Aleksandar Kolarov is often an inspiring force for Roma, and he tried to get his side going, crossing for Patrik Schick who saw his header saved.

But it was all Milan and Bonaventura had another effort blocked and then, on 40 minutes, Milan’s pressure finally paid off. Ricardo Rodriguez put a dangerous ball into the box and Franck Kessie made no mistake from six yards.

It was no more than the Rossoneri deserved and a two goal lead at the break wouldn’t have flattered them.

Eusebio Di Francesco decided to ring the changes at the break and brought on Stephan El Shaarawy to replace Ivan Marcano to try to spark something. Javier Pastore had a quiet first half, but he found Dzeko in space and the Bosnian came close with his drive from just outside the box.

Federico Fazio scores his first away goal in over a year in Serie A

Frederico Fazio shoots his side opening goal

And then, on 59 minutes, Milan had cause to regret their failure to capitalise on their dominance when Roma drew level. Lucas Biglia conceded a corner and when Federico Fazio got on the end of the cross he fired low and hard into the bottom left corner.

But Milan thought they restored their lead within two minutes when Higuain latched on to a superb through ball from Bonaventura and finished coolly in the bottom right corner. But the home fans’ delight turned to despair when the goal was ruled out by VAR.

The Rossoneri continued to press; Suso had an attempt saved and then Higuain shot too high. But they were hit by another sucker punch when Steven N’Zonzi poked home, from a corner, from point black range. This time VAR came to the hosts rescue though and the score remained at 1-1.

Gattusso had his last throw of the dice, brining Cutrone on after 84 minutes, and what a substitution that was.

The big players eventually came through for the hosts, right at the death. This time it was Higuain threading a ball through for Cutrone and the striker fired home on 95 minutes to prompt bedlam in Milan!

Key statistics

Milan’s last gasp defeat to Napoli, in their opener, was hard to take, so this one was sweet.

Milan totally dominated the first half with 57 per cent possession and 11 shots to Roma’s two and their young keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma had little chance to impress. But he had a slightly busier time of it in the second half as Roma ended with six shots. But Olsen was busy all night faced by 26 Milan strikes.

Serie A 2018 betting odds on Milan to make a top four place will shorten if they carry on playing like this and get the results they deserve.

The head-to-heads between these two clubs now stands at 21 for Milan with Roma winning 18 and 18 ending in a draw.

What’s next?

Next up Milan visits Cagliari on the 16th, before entertaining an attacking Atalanta side a week later. The Rossoneri is looking in good shape and we’ll bring you all the Serie A 2018 news updates right here at us.

Meanwhile Roma hosts Chievo, who gave Juventus a scare on the opening day and then the Giallorossi has a belting Champions League tie away to La Liga’s Real Madrid.

 

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Formula 1 Adds to the Italian Summer With a Sizzling Monza Race

Italian Grand Prix

Italy will roar to life again as the fastest motor sporting association in the world starts burning rubber at Monza.

It’s time for the Italian Grand Prix, and it’s in this track where we will see outrageous speeds and daring overtakes dominate the circuit and enthral the fans with a need for speed. Formula 1 has always been welcomed warmly in the sunny, picturesque backdrops of Italia, and fans all over the world cannot wait to see some high-flying action from the world’s fastest drivers.

The battle at the summit of the Formula 1 rankings might be ultimately decided here. Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel aren’t separated by a considerable point gap in the Driver’s Championship, and a victory here would do well for their title aspirations.

Given that they both have the fastest machines in Formula 1, there’ll be no wonder that both of them would be at the forefront of Formula 1 2018 news during the lead-up to this big race. Of course, there are other drivers worthy of attention, but the two of them shine like blazing flames and we’re the speed-hungry moths that can’t look away from it.

Talking Points

The season entered the break with Hamilton taking the plaudits with his victory at the Hungaroring. The victory gave the British star a lot of breathing room against his German rival as he tries to win another Formula 1 title with Mercedes.

However, Vettel and Scudario returned to the Formula 1 season with a vengeance at Spa-Francorchamps. Ferrari came out on top of a hectic race that saw retiring racer Fernando Alonso and McLaren wunderkind Charles Leclerc bow out of the competition on the very first turn.

Now that the lead can be trimmed further with another win at a track that is suited to Ferrari’s lightning-quick machines, it is expected out of Vettel and the Prancing Horse to win of their adoring home fans and challenge their rivals at Mercedes for the title.

Knowing that an upcoming race could change your fate is something that would drive many drivers to buckle and choke where it matters, but you will find none of that with Ferrari’s star driver. The German driver relayed to the press that he and his team will be taking things one step at a time and make sure that their machine will burn the asphalt of the track that was made for cars like theirs.

Fortunately for Hamilton, he will not be fighting this battle alone. Through the majority of his Formula 1 career, Lewis has always clashed with his team-mate and scrapped with him for points. He finally gets a team-mate that will support his championship aspirations in Valtteri Bottas.

Mercedes’ second-choice driver Valtteri Bottas is willing to help the whole team to win the Formula 1 world title

Valtteri Bottas talking to his teammate Lewis Hamilton

The Finn, who is the second-choice driver in the team, came out and said to the media that he is more than happy to help his team turn the Ferrari vs Mercedes odds several betting websites by following team orders and doing everything he can to help Hamilton win.

Red Bull might be trying to steal some points from the two giants if everything goes according to plan. Max Verstappen proved to be speedy during the rainy free practice despite Force India’s Sergio Perez getting the quickest time.

Verstappen’s performance in this race would lift plenty of spirits in a chaotic Red Bull locker room. With Daniel Ricciardo’s defection to Renault, Christian Horner has been scrambling to get a driver to pair up with the Dutch star. A podium finish here would greatly boost the team’s confidence.

However, that would only happen if rain was to even hit the track. Weather forecasts at Monza predict race day to be perfectly sunny while the days allotted to free practice and qualifiers are pegged to be rainy affairs.

With that being said, Ferrari’s advantage on their home track just got bigger. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the pack would act with the weather being all wonky.

History

Lewis Hamilton leads Sebastian Vettel by 17 points in the standing and winning at Monza will boost his chances of winning his fifth Formula 1 world title

Lewis Hamilton focusing before his practice

Hamilton has won plenty of times in this track, so there’s little to no concern among fans as to whether he can actually win in this track. The Briton won three of the last five races, and all of his victories saw him start at pole position.

Meanwhile, Vettel has only won on this track once while racing for Red Bull in 2013. Fortunately for him, Ferrari cars have won on this track 17 times, and the team is intimate with every gravel that sits on the track. They are still the kings of Monza, and it is high time for them to break Mercedes’ tyranny on their home track.

What are the odds?

The us Formula 1 market understand just how big of an advantage Vettel has on this track, giving him 1.63 odds. Hamilton will be on the backfoot, but his 3.00 outright odds tell fans that he has a fighting chance.

Ferrari Driver Kimi Raikkonen is fast enough to contend at Monza, urging punters to give him the third-highest odds of 6.00. Bottas (12.00), Verstappen (34.00), Ricciardo (67), and Perez (151.00) make the rest of the chasing pack.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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Premier League Burnley vs Manchester United: Plenty to Prove

Burnley vs Manchester United

Manchester United make the short trip up the road to Burnley on Sunday, in a clash where the victors will happily silence a few critics.

The hosts are in the bottom three after a slow start, while United aren’t far ahead. Jose Mourinho claims he has nothing to prove, reminding the press pack of his stellar track record, but his current crop at Manchester United does.

Meanwhile, in their fourth season in the last five years in the Premier League, the Clarets are becoming top-flight regulars. But they will be keen to prove that last season’s seventh-place finish was no flash in the pan.

The Sunday show in the Premier League: Burnley vs Manchester United, has all the hallmarks of a classic.

Talking Points

This would have billed as a David-vs-Goliath battle a few seasons ago, but that is not the case these days. Last season, Burnley gave Manchester two very competitive games as Sean Dyche has improved his squad slowly but surely.

There are always higher expectations at Old Trafford, of course, and no one expects more than the current boss. Mourinho is right to tell all of his past triumphs, as a coach he has won the league in England, Spain and Italy. But his chances of keeping up with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are slim, and that annoys the Manchester United faithful no end.

The Class of ’92 is giving Jose support though. TV pundit and committed Red Gary Neville has urged United not to follow Chelsea’s model of hire-and-fire, while his big mate Ryan Giggs has also offered his support for the United coach.

But he needs to get his team playing sooner rather than later. He has some stellar talent at his disposal, but back-to-back defeats in the Premier League has cast serious doubt over their ability to turn it on every week. They were lacklustre in a shock defeat to Brighton and outclassed in the second half against Spurs. The Red Devils played with great tempo and intent in the first half-hour of the game against Mauricio Pochettino’s team on Monday night, but they were eventually undone by the visitors’ more potent attack.

Why did some of the Red Devils star at the World Cup when they have been so inconsistent at the Theatre of Dreams? Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford seemed to play with much more attacking verve for England, while Paul Pogba played a big part in France’s World Cup win.

Pogba is a key man for Mourinho. The post-Russia 2018 close-season gossip was around whether the player and his boss had fallen out and if a power struggle was starting at the club. Jose certainly hasn’t cut a happy figure.

Premier League: Burnley vs Manchester United, the Red Devils prepare themselves as they were group with Juventus in the Champions League.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates their win against Lazio

And now, the Red Devils have just heard the news that they have been grouped with Juventus and Valencia in the Champions League. That’s a tough group which will see Cristiano Ronaldo strut his stuff at Old Trafford again.

Meanwhile, Burnley just crashed out of Europe. Despite dominating Greek side Olympiakos at Turf Moor last night, the Clarets were unable to progress after missing a host of chances, but Dyche says Burnley’s European adventure has been an important learning experience.

Premier League: Burnley vs Manchester United, defender James Tarkowski made his mark last season making him a key player in defence against the Red Devils.

Burnley’s James Tarkowski fights for the ball during the Europa League qualification soccer match

They need to get back to concentrating on domestic matters quickly. Burnley’s last home league game was a 1-3 defeat to Watford, and the passionate home fans will try to make Turf Moor a fortress once more. Centre-back James Tarkowski has earned a recall to Gareth Southgate’s England squad and, along with key players Chris Wood and Jack Cork, was rested against Olympiakos, so he’ll be raring to go.

History

Neither team has made a good start to the season; both have three defeats from the last four in all competitions.

Burnley will try to get back to their defensive prowess of last term when they conceded just 39 league goals. Manchester United were strong on the road last season, winning ten, drawing four and losing five.

The Burnley vs Manchester United results in recent years have been in the visitors’ favour with five wins to Burnley’s one and three draws. In the last two seasons, the Red Devils have won the meetings at Turf Moor while the Old Trafford clashes have ended in draws, including a dramatic 2-2 on Boxing Day last year when Lingard grabbed an injury-time leveller for the hosts.

Betting Tip

??
Burnley vs Manchester United 2 to 3 goals at 1.90
September 2, 23:00 (GMT+8)

The Burnley vs Manchester United odds suggest an away win, but it’s by no means cut and dried. At us, we’re offering 5.20 on a home win, 1.67 on an away win and 3.60 on the draw.

While 0-1 is the most likely result at 5.40, Burnley’s defence has not been so tight so far this season while they have packed more of an attacking punch. The odds on a 1-1 draw are at 6.80. That might be worth a look.

I think there will be goals at Turf Moor but not a glut.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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Sarri: RLC will become important

England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has won praise from Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri for showing an improvement in his play in recent days.

The 22-year-old, who spent the whole of last season out on loan at Crystal Palace, has not featured for the Blues since their 3-0 win at Huddersfield Town on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

That absence prompted talk of another possible loan move away from Stamford Bridge, but Sarri says he has been impressed with the way Loftus-Cheek has worked in the last two weeks, while he expects the schemer to become an important part of his plans in the coming weeks and months.

He told reporters ahead of a Saturday afternoon visit from Bournemouth: "I am happy with him and he has improved a lot in the last ten days. I think he will be important and useful, for sure.

"Starting in September we will play every three days, so he will be very important and useful for us.

"He has to improve in order to play my football. He has great qualities from a physical point of view and technical point of view. I think he needs to improve from the tactical point of view, nothing else."

Sarri and Chelsea will be aiming to avoid a third home league defeat in four seasons by the Cherries this weekend and also maintain their 100 per cent record in the Premier League so far this term.

A victory for the Blues on Saturday is available at 3/10, while the hosts are 15/2 to claim a 2-0 victory, with Eden Hazard priced at 4/7 to score at any time.

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Klopp wary of in-form Foxes

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp has warned his players that Leicester City will be a tough nut to crack when the two sides meet at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

The hosts continue to be without star striker Jamie Vardy due to suspension, but Klopp is still well aware of the capabilities of the Foxes, who have won two of their three games played in the Premier League so far this season.

The Reds, meanwhile, are hoping to make it four wins out of four and continue their 100 per cent start to the campaign.

Klopp told reporters: "Vardy causes each team problem with his style of play. Going in behind and over the shoulder and all that sort of stuff. That makes him different to nearly all other strikers in Premier League.

"Him not playing will change the Leicester style of play slightly, but they have (other) good strikers.

"It would be fantastic if we get to 12 points but we're not going for 12, we're going for three and that's hard enough.

"We will try to win, for that we need to be ready for a fight. Leicester really have a good side and have looked really good in the first three games."

The Merseysiders were beaten 2-0 at Leicester in a League Cup tie last season, but secured a 3-2 Premier League victory in the East Midlands.

Shinji Okazaki scored in both of those games and is 9/2 to find the net at any time on Saturday, while Liverpool are 4/9 to win the game and 8/1 to do so by a 2-1 scoreline.

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London sides handed kind draws

Arsenal and Chelsea have been handed kind draws in the group stage of the Europa League but Rangers and Celtic have tougher tasks.

The Gunners will be confident about their chances of qualifying from Group E which also includes Sporting Lisbon, Qarabag from Azerbaijan and the Ukrainian team Vorskla.

Chelsea have been placed in Group L alongside the Greek outfit PAOK, Belarus' BATE Borisov and Vidi from Hungary, who were knocked out of the Champions League by AEK Athens on Tuesday.

Celtic, who beat Suduva to reach this stage of the Europa League after AEK Athens had also ended their Champions League campaign, face a tricky time against Salzburg, who reached the semi-finals last term, Bundesliga side RB Leipzig and Rosenborg.

Brendan Rodgers' side beat the Norwegians 1-0 on aggregate earlier this season in the third qualifying round of the Champions League.

Steven Gerrard has guided Rangers past Shkupi, Osijek, Maribor and FC Ufa to reach the group stage. They face matches against Villarreal, Rapid Vienna and Spartak Moscow in the next three months.

Arsenal are 8/1 to win the Europa League outright, while Chelsea can be backed at 11/2, Celtic at 80/1 and AC Milan at 25/1.

Full Europa League draw:

Group A: Bayer Leverkusen, Ludogorets, Zurich, AEK Larnaca
Group B: Salzburg, Celtic, RB Leipzig, Rosenborg
Group C: Zenit St Petersburg, Copenhagen, Bordeaux, Slavia Prague
Group D: Anderlecht, Fenerbahce, Dinamo Zagreb, Spartak Trnava
Group E: Arsenal, Sporting Lisbon, Qarabag, Vorskla Poltava
Group F: Olympiakos, AC Milan, Real Betis, Dudelange
Group G: Villarreal, Rapid Vienna, Spartak Moskva, Rangers
Group H: Lazio, Marseille, Eintracht Frankfurt, Apollon
Group I: Besiktas, Genk, Malmo, Sarpsborg
Group J: Sevilla, Krasnodar, Standard Liege, Akhisar Belediyespor
Group K: Dynamo Kiev, Astana, Rennes, Jablone
Group L: Chelsea, PAOK, BATE Borisov, Vidi

Old Trafford trip suits Lampard

Frank Lampard has welcomed the opportunity to pit his wits against Jose Mourinho after Derby County were handed a Carabao Cup tie with Manchester United.

The former Chelsea and England midfielder believes it is a great opportunity for his Rams players after they reached the third round of the competition by defeating Hull City 4-0.

Lampard said: "It's a brilliant draw and it will be a really good test for our players. Going to Old Trafford and coming up against a top team and world-class players will be great for us.

"On a personal note, to go up against a manager that I respect so highly and worked with is obviously a huge thing for me. We should all see it as a great challenge to go to Manchester United and give a good account of ourselves."

Meanwhile, Liverpool will play Chelsea at Anfield and holders Manchester City face a trip to League One side Oxford United.

Arsenal will play Championship outfit Brentford and Tottenham take on Watford.

West Ham United, who have lost their first three Premier League games of the campaign, will host Macclesfield Town, while Burnley, who were knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday by Olympiakos, visit Burton Albion.

Manchester City are 4/1 to win the Carabao Cup outright, while Liverpool can be backed at 8/1, Chelsea at 9/1 and Manchester United at 6/1.

Third round draw:
West Brom v Crystal Palace
Arsenal v Brentford
Burton Albion v Burnley
Wycombe v Norwich
Oxford United v Manchester City
West Ham v Macclesfield
Millwall v Fulham
Liverpool v Chelsea
Bournemouth v Blackburn
Preston v Middlesbrough
Wolves v Leicester
Tottenham v Watford
Blackpool v QPR
Everton v Southampton
Manchester United v Derby
Nottingham Forest v Stoke

Ties to be played in week commencing 24th September.

Bielsa anticipates tough test

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa is expecting a very difficult and tough game when his side face Middlesbrough on Friday.

The two top teams in the Championship have both won four and drawn one of their first five matches with Leeds having scored more goals than any other side in the division and Boro having the best defensive record.

Bielsa said ahead of the Elland Road fixture: "Middlesbrough are an important rival, there is no doubt about that, and it will be a very difficult and tough game.

"Middlesbrough's style is well known and their head coach (Tony Pulis) is a legend in English football.

"Liam Cooper has a chance of playing on Friday and Adam Forshaw will be available again after the international break. I don't know if Tom Pearce or Jamie Shackleton will be available or not yet though."

Boro have started the campaign well despite selling the likes of Ben Gibson, Adama Traore and Patrick Bamford over the summer and they are 5/2 to win at Elland Road and 11/8 to be promoted this term.

Kemar Roofe is 8/5 to score at any time in the match for a Leeds side that are available at 6/5 to win the top-of-the-table clash.

Berenguer signs as Bouzanis exits

Melbourne City have signed French attacking midfielder Florin Berenguer, but goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis is set to leave on loan.

Berenguer has signed a one-year deal with City, becoming their sixth signing of the off-season. Five of the new arrivals have been midfielders, the only exception being forward Michael O'Halloran who has joined from Rangers.

Berenguer has spent the past four years back with Sochaux, where he played his junior football, making 84 first team appearances.

He made his senior debut with Dijon in 2009, going on to score 10 goals in 112 games for the club.

Speaking of the 29-year-old, City coach Warren Joyce said: "Florin is a creative, attacking midfielder who will add further spark and goal threat to the team and is a player I'm sure fans will enjoy watching.

"Florin's experience playing in France not only helps add to the quality of our team today, it also helps our younger players as he is able to pass on his knowledge and set a good example."

Joyce indicated Berenguer would be in contention to make his debut in the FFA Cup quarter-final against Western Sydney next month.

Meanwhile, City have confirmed Bouzanis is travelling to Europe to finalise a loan move. The 27-year-old has made 46 appearances for the club since joining midway during the 2015/16 season.

He made 19 starts in the last league season, but hasn't featured in either of the FFA Cup ties so far this term.

City are 7/5 to win their first A-League game against Melbourne Victory, who are 17/10, with the draw 13/5.

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Chadli makes Monaco move

AS Monaco have signed West Brom's 29-year-old Belgium international Nacer Chadli for an undisclosed transfer fee.

Chadli, who moved to The Hawthorns from Tottenham for £13million two years ago, scored six times in 36 Premier League matches for the Baggies, who were relegated from the top-flight last term.

He has penned a three-year contract with AS Monaco, who won the Ligue 1 title and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2016/17.

"I am very happy to join AS Monaco, a great French club that participates in the Champions League," Chadli said.

"The results of the last seasons prove the quality of the project and the ambition of the club. I will do everything to help AS Monaco achieve great things and achieve its goals."

Monaco finished second in Ligue 1 last season and have been drawn to play Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Bruges in Champions League Group A.

"We are delighted to welcome Nacer Chadli, an offensive midfielder who has demonstrated his quality. His experience at the highest level and his technical profile will be additional assets for the team," said Monaco's CEO Vadim Vasilyev.

Chadli scored a last-gasp goal for Belgium at World Cup 2018 as Roberto Martinez's side came back from two goals down to beat Japan 3-2 in the round of 16.

West Brom are 2/1 to be promoted from the Championship this season and 21/20 to beat Stoke City on Saturday while AS Monaco are available at 9/5 to emerge victorious against Marseille on Sunday.