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Leao back to best, helps AC Milan blank Verona

Rafael Leao Rafael Leao - The Canadian Press

MILAN (AP) — Juventus fell to its first loss of the season after three glaring errors contributed to a 4-2 defeat at struggling Sassuolo in Serie A on Saturday, including a bizarre late own goal.

Bianconeri goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny first gifted the home side the lead when he failed to make a routine save on a shot from Armand Laurienté in the 13th minute. Another mistake from Szczęsny gave Sassuolo a 3-2 lead in the 82nd and Juventus then added a comical own goal in injury time.

Szczęsny left his goal to take a free kick near the corner flag, passing the ball across the pitch to Gatti as Juventus tried to launch a final attack in search of an equalizer. However, the defender came under quick pressure and passed the ball back toward the goal — seemingly forgetting that his goalkeeper was not there — and it bobbled into the empty net.

It was Juve’s first loss of the fledgling campaign after three wins and a draw. On Tuesday it plays Lecce, which is the only side still undefeated in the Italian league along with Inter Milan.

Sassuolo had only three points from its opening four matches but took the lead when Laurienté’s shot went straight at Szczęsny but the power behind the strike saw the ball bounce off the goalkeeper’s gloves and off the turf before going into the back of the net.

Juventus leveled in the 21st when Federico Chiesa whipped in a cross from the left but, under pressure from United States midfielder Weston McKennie, Matías Nicolás Viña prodded the ball into his own net.

Domenico Berardi restored Sassuolo’s lead shortly before halftime when he swept a finish into the bottom left corner but the home side’s hopes of getting an impressive win appeared to evaporate when Chiesa’s effort was deflected in with 12 minutes remaining.

However, Sassoulo went ahead again four minutes later after Szczęsny palmed Laurienté’s fierce strike straight at Pinamonti, who headed in the rebound for his fourth goal in three matches.

If that wasn't bad enough, Gatti added the worst howler of the day right at the end.


Rafael Leão appears back to his best and the AC Milan forward helped the Rossoneri bounce back from a disappointing week with a 1-0 win over Hellas Verona in Serie A.

Leão scored the only goal of the delayed match in the eighth minute to help his team get back to winning ways. Milan was humiliated 5-1 by Inter Milan in the city derby last weekend before being held 0-0 by Newcastle in their Champions League opener on Tuesday.

It was the third straight league match in which Leão scored. The 24-year-old forward had a mixed campaign last season as he appeared distracted by off-the-field issues with his contract, which he renewed in June.

A mistake by the Verona defense allowed Olivier Giroud to win the ball back in midfield and he sent it through to Leão, who used his impressive pace to surge between two opposition players and slot into the bottom right corner.

The match almost didn’t go ahead, however, as the San Siro pitch was waterlogged following heavy rain and hail in the hour before kickoff. It eased off and the water drained quickly so the match was able to get underway 25 minutes late.

Christian Pulisic went close to doubling Milan’s lead in the 72nd when he raced into the right side of the area and left Verona defender Paweł Dawidowicz scrambling as the U.S. international turned and curled in a shot, which Lorenzo Montipò managed to palm out from under the bar.

Milan moved level on points with league leader Inter, which plays at Empoli on Sunday.


Lazio continued to drop points in the league as it was held 1-1 by Monza.

Ciro Immobile gave Lazio an early lead from the penalty spot but Roberto Gagliardini equalised for Monza, which also had two goals ruled out for offside.

Immobile hit the post in the second half.

Lazio has just four points from five matches. It also drew 1-1 at home to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday following a stoppage-time equaliser from goalkeeper Ivan Provedel.


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