A superb strike from Ismaël Bennacer deserved Milano a 1-0 win at Cagliari as Stefano Pioli’s side maintained their three-point lead at the top of Serie A.
Second-placed Napoli’s comeback victory over Udinese earlier on Saturday put pressure on Milan to respond, and they endured a frustrating first half in Sardinia, squandering several chances to climb out of the match. dead end. It took the visitors until the 59th minute to find what turned out to be the winner, and it was worth the wait as Olivier Giroud gave the ball away to Algerian international Bennacer for a volley into the net from the edge of the penalty area.
Milan, chasing their first Serie A title since 2011, survived a big late-night scare as Leonardo Pavoletti’s latest header came off the crossbar.
“We’re not used to just managing matches,” Pioli told Sky Sport Italia. “We usually score more goals, but the team did well today even when they had to grit their teeth. We’re doing very well but we know there are four teams that can win the Scudetto Now comes the [international] break and we will have to work hard to be ready for the return to action.
International dropped more points when they were held 1-1 by Fiorentina at the San Siro. The game was scoreless at half-time, with Inter’s Samir Handanovic called into action to stop long-range efforts. Fiorentina’s Pietro Terracciano denied Edin Dzeko from close range before Lautaro Martínez’s strike was disallowed for offside.
Sustained pressure from the visitors paid off early in the second half when Gaetano Castrovilli opened up the Inter defence. His pass found Nicolas Gonzalez in the penalty area, and the striker’s quick cut was fired by Lucas Torreira.
Simone Inzaghi’s side equalized within five minutes, with Ivan Perisic floating a cross into the box for fellow winger Denzel Dumfries to head home. Fiorentina nearly grabbed a late winner, Handanovic denying Jonathan Ikone at the break – but the draw means Inter have won just one of their last seven league games.
Naples are three points ahead of Inter in second place after fighting back to beat Udinese 2-1 at home. Luciano Spalletti’s side fell behind in the 22nd minute after Gerard Deulofeu netted a shot into the net, but Victor Osimhen headed Napoli level seven minutes into the restart and then added the second with a close finish from the pole.
A second brace in a week for the Nigerian striker was enough to secure back-to-back wins for Napoli, while Pablo Marí’s late red card ended the visitors’ hopes of finding an equaliser. Napoli move level on points with leaders Milan, who travel to struggling Cagliari on Saturday night.
A fine finish from midfielder Koke was enough to win Atlético Madrid a 1-0 win at Rayo Vallecano to keep their faint La Liga title hopes alive.
Antoine Griezmann wasted several chances to break the deadlock for the visitors in the first half as the Frenchman’s finish gave him away on numerous occasions.
The only goal came four minutes into the second half when a perfect pass from João Félix picked Koke, who swept the ball into the bottom corner with precision. Griezmann then missed another glorious chance, before Jan Oblak barred Mario Suarez for the home side’s best goal.
The only drag on a fifth straight win in all competitions for Diego Simeone’s side was the late dismissal of Ángel Correa, who was shown a red card for something he appeared to have said to the referee.
In the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich got their title bid back on track with a dominating 4-0 home win Union Berlin. Robert Lewandowski scored either side of half-time as Bayern moved seven points clear of Borussia Dortmund, who face Cologne on Sunday.
Bayern had drawn their last two league games, against Hoffenheim and Leverkusen, but never looked in danger after taking the lead. With 16 minutes on the clock, Kingsley Coman’s shot from outside the box caught Union goalkeeper Andreas Luthe.
Centre-back Tanguy Nianzou netted a 25th-minute header, before Lewandowski converted a half-time penalty after being knocked down by Luthe. The Polish striker struck again two minutes after the restart, converting Jamal Musiala’s cross to take his tally of league goals to 31 this season.
Hertha Berlin came out of the bottom two and ended a nine-game winless streak with a 3-0 victory over Hoffenheimalthough new head coach Felix Magath missed the game due to a Covid-19 infection.
It was left to Magath’s assistant Mark Fotheringham to lead the team and the Scotsman oversaw a dominant win, with Marvin Plattenhardt’s set pieces creating all three goals. Niklas Stark, Ishak Belfodil and Lucas Tousart all scored as Hertha climbed above Arminia Bielefeldbeaten 4-0 in mid-table Mainz.
stuttgart also bolstered their hopes of beating the fall with a 3-2 win at home against fellow wrestlers Augsburg. The hosts had to come from behind twice but sealed a spectacular win when Tiago Tomás fired into the roof of the net five minutes from time. Elsewhere, Freiburg returned to the top four with a goalless draw at last club Greuther Furth.