Alessandro Bastoni completed Inter Milan’s late turnaround as they scored twice in the final six minutes to beat Parma 2-1 on Sunday.
Gervinho gave Parma a first-half lead at the Stadio Ennio Tardini but Inter, who conceded a last-gasp equaliser at home to Sassuolo in midweek, fought back with headers from Stefan de Vrij and Bastoni to snatch a vital win.
Inter stay eight points adrift of leaders Juventus and four behind Lazio in second with 10 rounds of matches remaining.
“I thought it was a more than deserved victory. Thoroughly deserved,” Inter assistant Cristian Stellini told Sky Sport Italia, with coach Antonio Conte forced to watch from the stands as he served a touchline ban.
Atalanta consolidated their grip on fourth place thanks to two stunning goals from Luis Muriel, who came on as a second-half substitute in their 3-2 victory at Udinese.
The Colombia international put his team back ahead with a magnificent 71st-minute free-kick, after Kevin Lasagna had levelled for Udinese in the 31st minute following Duvan Zapata’s early opener for away side.
Muriel then put Atalanta two goals ahead with a superb volley that ensured Lasagna’s second three minutes from time made no difference to the result.
Roma are facing another season without Champions League football after losing 2-0 at AC Milan.
Ante Rebic and Hakan Calhanoglu scored late to give Milan victory at a stifling San Siro to put Stefano Pioli’s side three points away from the last Europa League place held by Napoli, who beat bottom side SPAL 3-1 in Naples.
Gennaro Gattuso’s side, who have already won the Italian Cup this season, came out on top at the Stadio San Paolo thanks to goals from Dries Mertens, Jose Callejon and Amin Younes.
Roma stay fifth but are only three points ahead of Napoli and nine behind Atalanta in fourth, who are now clear favourites to qualify for Europe’s top club competition.
MILAN TARGET EUROPE
Both teams started slowly but Milan dominated after the break with Rebic breaking through on 76 minutes, rifling the ball into the roof of the net at the third attempt after a frantic scramble following a Davide Zappacosta blunder.
Calhanoglu converted a penalty with a minute to go after Chris Smalling fouled Theo Hernandez in the area to earn a second win this week, despite the absence of star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a calf problem.
“We were looking for a win against a strong opponent and we deserved to get it,” said Pioli after their first win over one of the top-six sides this season.
“This victory gives us confidence to try to hit the goal of bringing Milan back to Europe.
“(Ibra) helped us raise our level. Let’s not forget that we only lost one game with him.
“But the team is doing well without him and his return gives us other solutions.”
Roma coach Paulo Fonseca conceded his side were struggling for fitness after the three-month coronavirus shutdown.
“They (Milan) were fresher in the second half,” said Fonseca. “Let’s not forget that they had seven days to prepare and it’s their third game, it’s not an excuse, it’s the truth.
“I’m worried about physical fitness, we will play in two days.”
Sampdoria sank further into the relegation mire after a 2-1 home defeat to Bologna which leaves them just a point above the drop zone, while Rogerio struck in the sixth minute of stoppage time to earn a 3-3 draw for Sassuolo against Hellas Verona.
Juventus beat Lecce 4-0 on Friday and Lazio came from behind to see off Fiorentina 2-1 on Saturday.
Manchester United And Leicester City Could Still Finish 4th
Manchester United and Leicester City are involved in a real tussle to finish in the top four this season, but one of them could finish fourth and still not get Champions League football.
The fight for the top four was already a scrappy affair before this weekend, then Chelsea and Leicester both lost and on Monday it was confirmed that Manchester City’s UEFA ban had been overturned.
That means that there’s no spot for fifth place in the league to creep into the Champions League on a technicality, but there might not even be room for fourth.
Should United or Leicester get the final spot, with the other getting third place and denying Chelsea, then there’s an outside chance that fourth wouldn’t be in the Champions League, if Chelsea won the competition this year and Wolves won the Europa League.
Winning either competition gets you added into next season’s Champions League and with counties only being allowed a maximum for five entrants that would mean no place for fourth.
Of course that scenario is highly unlikely because of the Blues’ current situation in this season’s edition of Europe’s top club competition.
Frank Lampard’s side lost 3-0 at home in the first leg of their last 16 tie against Bayern Munich, who have since gone on to win a league and cup double in Germany.
The Bundesliga champions are one of the favourites to become European champions so Chelsea’s chances of overturning the deficit are very slim, but last season’s Champions League taught us to rule nothing out.
Wolves side of the bargain might be more feasible and Nuno Espirito Santo’s side will not be ruling out winning the Europa League.
They drew 1-1 away in Greece against Olympiakos in their last 16 first leg and should they make it through would play Roma or Sevilla in the quarters.
That’s a tough draw but far from unthinkable they could get through, and might even meet United in the semi-finals, should Ole Solskjaer’s team get past LASK and then either Istanbul Basaksehir or Copenhagen.
Chelsea’s loss to Sheffield United on Saturday left them in danger of missing out on the top four, with games against Wolves and Liverpool to go, but they were helped out by Leicester losing to Bournemouth.
Brendan Rodgers’ side will fall out of the top four should United beat Southampton on Monday night, and the Red Devils would go third for the first time this season, with just three games left.
Who do you think will finish in the top four? Let us know in the comments.
Pep Guardiola agrees with Ashley Cole about Chelsea transfer target Ben Chilwell
Chelsea’s hopes of securing a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League suffered a major blow on Saturday evening as they were beaten 3-0 by Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
A brace from David McGoldrick and a firm header from Oli McBurnie sealed a comfortable win for the home side, who still have aspirations of securing European football for next season themselves.
Whilst credit must be given to Chris Wilder’s side, who have surprised everyone with their performances this season, for their showing, Chelsea were left to reflect on yet more defensive woes.
The three goals they conceded at Bramall Lane now means that Frank Lampard’s side have let in 49 league goals this season – the most by any side currently sitting in the top 10 of the Premier League table.
Ahead of next season, which will see Chelsea aiming to bridge the gap on the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City at the very top of the table, the Blues have already been active in the transfer market, securing the signings of Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech and Germany international Timo Werner from RB Leipzig.
The Blues also continue to be linked with the likes of Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho and Brentford winger Said Bernrahma.
Whilst it is positive to see Chelsea looking to significantly bolster their attacking options, it is in defence where Lampard needs to improve things, with Chelsea’s back-line frequently coming under deep scrutiny.
But whilst it is the centre of defence that should be Lampard’s main concern, the Blues are eager to bolster their left-back options by landing Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell.
The England international, 23, has been one of the Premier League’s most consistent performers over the last couple of seasons, which has naturally led to interest in his services from a whole host of clubs.
Football.london understands that Chilwell is a concrete target for Chelsea and they are desperate to sign him.
And should they be able to strike a deal with Leicester in the coming weeks and months, it would be a signing that would most certainly get the seal of approval from former Blues defender Ashley Cole, who many consider as one of the best left-backs to have ever played in the Premier League.
Speaking last year, Cole told talkSPORT: “I would love to see him at Chelsea. He’s doing really, really well at Leicester.
“He’s enjoying the way Brendan [Rodgers] plays and his system; he’s got that licence to attack.
“When he’s played for England he’s played well – in his last game he got three assists. He’s shown quality not just on the ball, but one-on-one he can defend and he likes to defend.
“I think he’s quality and I’ve heard he’s a Chelsea fan, too, so I would like to see him here.
“Whether he would want to leave, or if Leicester would want to sell him, that’s something the clubs would have to talk about.
“Not forgetting we’ve got [Marcos] Alonso here and Emerson, who I like, and Cesar [Azpilicueta] can also play there.
“So if you buy a player you’ve still got another three players you need to try to keep happy or whether they want to leave or not… so it’s a big decision for the club”
“But he’s got the quality. For sure he’s good enough.”
Cole’s opinion of Chilwell matches that of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
The Spaniard, who guided his side to an emphatic 5-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday evening at the Amex Stadium, was also full of praise for the England international last year.
After City, thanks to a goal from former captain Vincent Kompany, had defeated the Foxes 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium, Chilwell revealed that Guardiola had come up to him told him that he was a “really talented player.”
Chilwell said: “He [Guardiola] just said he thought I was a really talented player and he wanted me to keep playing well, getting up and down the pitch and never going away from it.
“That was it and then he walks off to the next person he wants to speak to.
“It was nice for such a successful manager to say I’m a good player.”
Liverpool drop points at home for the first time in season; Norwich City relegated after 4-0 loss to West Ham
Norwich became the first team to be relegated from the English Premier League as Liverpool dropped points at Anfield for the first time this season on Saturday.
Michail Antonio scored all the goals for West Ham in its 4-0 win over last-placed Norwich, which cannot stay up because it was 13 points behind 17th-placed Watford with a maximum nine points on offer from the three remaining games.
Watford, like West Ham, boosted its survival hopes by coming from behind to beat Newcastle 2-1.
West Ham and Watford are both six points clear of 18th-placed Bournemouth, which occupied the final spot in the relegation zone.
Players wore black armbands as Premier League games this weekend started with a minute’s silence as a tribute to England’s World Cup winner, Jack Charlton, who died on Friday aged 85.
Norwich returns to the second-tier Championship after just one season, having lost all six of its matches since the restart of the league last month — scoring just once in the process.
“From the first day after promotion, our chances to survive were perhaps 5 percent, so in 19 out of 20 cases you will go down,” Norwich manager Daniel Farke said.
“If you have luck and no injuries, then you have a chance. When we are 100 percent, we are competitive but when it’s 96 or 97 percent then it sometimes looks like men against boys. That’s what I expected.”
Set-pieces have been a regular source of hurt for Norwich this season and that was the case again on Saturday as Antonio scored his first career hat trick.
The forward’s first goal was a close-range finish at a corner and his second a header from Mark Noble’s free kick. Antonio headed the third on the rebound when his shot was saved by Tim Krul on the break and he flicked in a fourth from close range.
Watford captain Troy Deeney scored two second-half penalties to give his team a victory that might just secure its survival.
Dwight Gayle put Newcastle ahead in the 23rd minute but defensive errors proved costly for Newcastle after the break.
Liverpool’s perfect home record in its title-winning campaign was ended in surprising fashion as Burnley battled back for a 1-1 draw.
Jurgen Klopp’s team was heading for an 18th straight home win until Jay Rodriguez drove a low shot into the bottom corner in the 69th minute in a rare sight on goal for Burnley.
It ended Liverpool’s bid to become the first Premier League team to win all of its home games in a single season.
Later Saturday, Chelsea visits Sheffield United and Manchester City is away to Brighton.
FA says competitive grassroots football set for new season return
FA: “We are now working to submit a comprehensive action plan and related guidance for Government approval as outlined in DCMS’s publication. In the meantime, competitive grassroots football can prepare to return and look forward to the start of the new season.”
The Football Association says it is looking forward to the safe return of competitive grassroots football in England after the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
The FA’s announcement comes after guidance published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Compiled with input from the trade body ukactive, the Sport and Recreation Alliance, Sport England. Other sports bodies, and in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.
“Welcome the announcement and publication of the Government’s return to recreational sport framework today, which means we can look forward to the safe return of competitive grassroots football,” a Football Association statement read.
“We are now working to submit a comprehensive action plan and related guidance for Government approval as outlined in DCMS’s publication. Once approved, we will publish new guidance for the grassroots football community. We will confirm timings as soon as we are able.
“In the meantime, competitive grassroots football can prepare to return and look forward to the start of the new season.
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“Please continue to refer to the latest guidance documents for adult players, coaches, facility operators, parents and carers involved in restarting grassroots football.
Activity which came into effect from 4 July – until a further update is provided, in addition to the latest Government guidance on COVID-19.
“Also note that guidance is being developed for clubs with teams competing in the National League System (NLS) and will be shared with those clubs directly in due course.”
Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United: Contentious penalty opens floodgates at Villa Park
Manchester United produced another unerring attacking display to sweep struggling Aston Villa aside 3-0, but only after a contentious penalty unlocked the door at Villa Park.
Relegation-threatened Villa struck the post through Trezeguet in an encouraging opening quarter but unravelled after Ezri Konsa was harshly adjudged to have fouled Bruno Fernandes by referee Jon Moss, as United’s 13th penalty this season saw them equal the Premier League record.
Fernandes converted his seventh Premier League goal of the season from the spot to rouse United from their slumber before Mason Greenwood’s thunderbolt put them in control on the stroke of half-time.
Paul Pogba ended the game as a contest with his first goal since April 2019 early in the second half, and United could have had more as demoralised Villa heads fell.
The victory extends United unbeaten run to 17 games in all competitions and moves them to within a point of fourth-placed Leicester in the race for Champions League qualification. Villa remain 19th, four points from safety with four games remaining to save their Premier League status.
Chelsea cling on to win at Palace, Welbeck lifts Watford
Chelsea moved up to third in the Premier League
Frank Lampard’s men edged closer to sealing a place in next season’s Champions League as a seventh win in eight games takes them two points ahead of Leicester, who travel to Arsenal later on Tuesday, and opened up a five-point lead on fifth-placed Manchester United.
The Blues were fortunate when opening the scoring at Selhurst Park as former Chelsea captain Gary Cahill fell to the ground clutching his hamstring to allow Willian to tee up Olivier Giroud for his fourth goal in six games.
Chelsea have already stated their intent to move up a level next season and challenge Liverpool and Manchester City for the title with the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech.
Their arrival could have put Christian Pulisic’s place in the team under threat, but after an injury-disrupted start to his first season in England, the American is beginning to flourish.
Pulisic’s form has led to comparisons with Eden Hazard, the man he replaced at Stamford Bridge, and the Belgian would have been proud of Chelsea’s second as the 21-year-old skipped past Joel Ward and hammered in off the inside of the near post.
Chelsea looked to have sealed the three points again when substitutes Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham combined for the latter to restore a two-goal cushion 19 minutes from time.
Palace were back in the game when a brilliant move culminated in Patrick van Aanholt squaring for Christian Benteke to tap in just his second goal of the season.
Questions remain over whether the Chelsea defence will be strong enough to maintain a title challenge next season.
At the other end of the table, Welbeck’s first Premier League goal for Watford was as valuable as it was spectacular as the Hornets came from behind to secure their first win since ending Liverpool’s long unbeaten run in February.
The 2-1 defeat pushes Norwich ever closer to the drop as the Canaries are now 10 points adrift of safety with four games remaining.
Emiliano Buendia gave Daniel Farke’s men a dream start by curling past Ben Foster.
Like so much of his career, Welbeck’s first season at Watford has been blighted by injury. The former Manchester United and Arsenal forward showed his class by adjusting his body to hook home Ismaila Sarr’s deflected cross.
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