Euro round-up: Dembele fires Barca to Atleti win

Barcelona went three points clear at the top of La Liga on Sunday with a 1-0 away win at Atletico Madrid, thanks to a first-half goal from Ousmane Dembele.

Rivals and second-placed Real Madrid suffered a 2-1 defeat at Villarreal on Saturday, giving Barca the chance to seize the advantage in the league after 16 rounds.

The visitors got the only goal of the game after 22 minutes when Dembele was played clear inside the box and sent the ball into the bottom right corner.

The hosts started to wake up at the end of the half, taking over possession and sending Barcelona into defensive mode.

Two minutes into stoppage time Barca’s Ferran Torres and Atletico’s Stefan Savic were sent off for violent conduct as the visitors held on for the narrow win.

Late Abraham goal deals blow to Milan’s title hope

Roma's Tammy Abraham, left, celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie A soccer match between Milan and Roma at San Siro Stadium, Milan, Italy, Sunday Jan. 8, 2023. (Spada/LaPresse via AP)
Roma’s Tammy Abraham celebrates his late equaliser

A goal in stoppage time by Tammy Abraham helped AS Roma snatch a 2-2 draw at AC Milan on Sunday, as Stefano Pioli’s men’s hopes of catching up to Serie A leaders Napoli suffered a blow.

It was a soggy night at the San Siro, creating slippery conditions that affected the play.

Milan’s Pierre Kalulu scored first when he headed in from a corner on the half-hour mark.

Tommaso Pobega doubled the lead in the 77th minute when he was played into space in the box and smashed the ball into the lower right corner with one touch.

Roger Ibanez pulled one back for Roma three minutes before stoppage time when he headed in a corner, and Abraham completed the late comeback six minutes later when he managed to send in a rebound from inside the box.

Milan are now third in the Serie A table with 37 points after 17 games, equal with second-placed Juventus on points and seven behind Napoli.

Napoli bounce back to extend lead at top of table

Napoli's Elmas celebrates after scoring to 0-2 during the Serie A soccer match between Sampdoria and Napoli at the Luigi Ferraris stadium in Genoa, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (Pecoraro/LaPresse via AP)
Napoli’s Elmas celebrates after scoring against Sampdoria

Despite missing an early penalty, Napoli bounced back from their first league defeat of the season to beat 10-man Sampdoria 2-0.

In an emotional match at Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Victor Osimhen opened the scoring in the 19th minute after Matteo Politano had seen his penalty saved.

Any chance Sampdoria had of getting back into the match diminished when Toms Rincon was sent off shortly before half-time and Napoli sealed the result with another penalty.

There were video tributes before the match to former Sampdoria players Gianluca Vialli and Sinisa Mihajlovic, both of whom died recently. There were also plenty of banners in the stands dedicated to them and chants throughout the match.

The Sampdoria players warmed up wearing special jerseys bearing Vialli’s name and the No 9 which he wore when he played for the team. Flowers were also laid by the side of the field by members of the Sampdoria staff and the Italy players from Napoli.

Vialli, who died on Friday, helped Sampdoria to their only Serie A title, three Italian Cups and the European Cup final during an eight-year stint.

Mihajlovic played and coached Sampdoria, and his three children stood on the side of the field holding up a team jersey with his name on the back during a minute’s silence.

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