European roundup: Martínez sends Inter top of Serie A as Juventus stumble

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  • Internazionale 2-1 Spal; Juventus 2-2 Sassuolo
  • Gladbach top Bundesliga after win over Freiburg

Reuters

Lautaro Martínez celebrates after taking his season goal tally to 13 with a double against Spal. Photograph: Matteo Bazzi/EPA

Antonio Conte’s Internazionale moved to the top of Serie A with a 2-1 home win over struggling Spal, after Juventus were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Sassuolo.

Argentinian forward Lautaro Martínez continued his fine goalscoring form, scoring both Inter goals before half-time. The first came via a low finish into the corner following a solo run, before a header took his season tally to 13 in all competitions.

Mattia Valoti pulled one back for Spal with a dazzling individual effort, but the hosts held on to ignite the title race. “Being back on top of the table makes us proud, because we know the journey we’ve been through to get here,” Conte said. “It should give us enthusiasm [and] push us to do even better.”

Earlier, Cristiano Ronaldo’s first Juventus goal since October was required to earn Juventus a point at the Allianz Stadium. Leonardo Bonucci fired Juve into the lead with 20 minutes, but an exquisite finish from Sassuolo winger Jérémie Boga levelled the scores just three minutes later.

Francesco Caputo then put the visitors in front soon after the break following an error by keeper Gianluigi Buffon. Maurizio Sarri brought Paulo Dybala on and the forward made an immediate impact, grazing the bar with a free kick after Ronaldo had a goal ruled out for offside.

Dybala was then brought down in the box by Filippo Romagna, and Ronaldo stepped up from the penalty spot. Juve pushed for a winner but were denied by Sassuolo’s 18-year-old goalkeeper, Stefano Turati, while one Dybala effort looked to be heading in before striking Ronaldo on the shin.

Elsewhere, top scorer Ciro Immobile took his Serie A tally to 17 goals with a double as third-placed Lazio cruised to a 3-0 win over Udinese. Milan grabbed a welcome away win to dent Parma’s European aspirations, as Theo Hernandez poked home the only goal in the 88th minute for Stefano Pioli’s side.

Borussia Mönchengladbach climbed back to the top of the Bundesliga with a rollercoaster 4-2 home win over Freiburg.

Gladbach forward Breel Embolo scored twice, set up another and missed a penalty as Marco Rose’s side regained their one-point advantage over RB Leipzig. The hosts took the lead through Marcus Thuram after just three minutes, only for Jonathan Schmid to equalise moments later for the in-form visitors.

After the break, Gladbach shot out of the blocks, with Embolo putting them ahead from a Patrick Herrmann pass – but the Swiss international missed a spot-kick two minutes later. Embolo quickly made amends, setting up Herrmann for Gladbach’s third in the 51st minute.

Freiburg bounced back with a Lucas Höler goal and pushed for an equaliser before Embolo scored his second to put the result beyond doubt. Gladbach lead an unexpected top three also featuring Leipzig and Schalke, with Bayern Munich – who lost 2-1 at home to Leverkusen on Saturday – in fourth.

In La Liga, Sevilla boosted their Champions League qualification hopes with their ninth league win of the season – but had to work hard for a narrow 1-0 win over bottom club Leganés.

Diego Carlos struck the only goal in the 63rd minute of an end-to-end game. The defender blasted the ball into the roof of the net from close range after Jules Koundé’s overhead kick was parried.

Leganés are much-improved under Mexican coach Javier Aguirre and they produced a gutsy display, creating numerous chances to score. “We can’t kid ourselves, we need to improve a lot,” the Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui said afterwards. “Sometimes you play badly and win, or play well but you lose.”

Athletic Bilbao maintained their own unexpected top-four push with a 2-0 home win over Granada. Raúl Garcia’s penalty and Yuri Berchiche’s late goal helped Athletic join Basque neighbours Real Sociedad on 26 points.

 

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