European roundup: Milan’s Leão scores fastest-ever Serie A goal at 6.2 seconds

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  • Real Madrid level at top after 3-1 victory at Eibar
  • Gladbach’s Marcus Thuram apologises for spitting

Rafael Leão celebrates after scoring for Milan against Sassuolo after six seconds. Photograph: Serena Campanini/EPA

Reuters

Milan’s forward Rafael Leão scored the fastest goal in Serie A history, hitting the target after six seconds, to set the Serie A leaders on their way to a 2-1 win at Sassuolo on Sunday.

In an astonishing start, Hakan Calhanoglu collected the ball from kick-off and opened up the Sassuolo defence with an incisive pass to Leão and the Portuguese beat the goalkeeper Andrea Consigli with an angled drive. Milan tweeted that Leão’s goal came after precisely 6.2 seconds.

His lightning strike beat the previous record of eight seconds set by Piacenza’s Paolo Poggi against Fiorentina in 2001.

The move was practised in training, Milan’s coach, Stefano Pioli, said. “We have four or five possible situations for the kick-off which we alternate,” he said. “We wanted to approach the game the right way from the start. We did very well to score after just six seconds and [Brahim] Diaz, Calhanoglu and Leão made the right movements.”

Alexis Saelemaekers added a second following a powerful Theo Hernández run in the 26th minute and Domenico Berardi pulled one back for Sassuolo late in the game from a deflected free-kick.

Milan – whose starting lineup had an average age of just over 22 – remain unbeaten after 13 games and lead the standings with 31 points, one ahead of Internazionale.

Inter needed second-half goals from Achraf Hakimi and their leading scorer Romelu Lukaku to overcome stubborn resistance from Spezia and win 2-1.

Spezia held out until seven minutes into the second half when Hakimi latched on to Lautaro Martínez’s pass, sped away and slipped the ball past Ivan Provedel. Lukaku added the second from a penalty in the 71st minute, after M’Bala Nzola handled. Roberto Piccoli pulled one back in stoppage time.

Lazio brushed aside their dismal home form when goals from Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto gave them a 2-0 win over Napoli. The hosts scored from their only two shots on target as Napoli slumped to a second defeat in five days after losing 1-0 at Inter. Napoli stayed fifth with 23 points, while Lazio are eighth with 21.

Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema kept up his impressive run of form by scoring and providing two assists in a 3-1 win away to Eibar, taking the champions level on points with La Liga leaders Atlético Madrid.

The French forward scored in the sixth minute, trapping a chipped pass from Rodrygo with his right foot and calmly finishing with his left for a fifth goal in four matches.

He was the architect of Madrid’s second in the 13th minute, beating a defender by the byline and cutting the ball to the edge of the area, where Luka Modric was waiting to slam it high into the net.

Eibar got back into contention with a curling long-range strike from Kike García in the 28th minute. However, Zinedine Zidane’s side sealed the points with a Lucas Vázquez goal in stoppage time, created by another fine pass from Benzema, to make it five wins in a row in all competitions.

The Borussia Mönchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram has apologised for spitting in the face of the Hoffenheim defender Stefan Posch during Saturday’s Bundesliga match.

Thuram spat towards Posch during a confrontation and the video assistant referee spotted the incident, prompting the referee to upgrade Thuram’s yellow card to a red and send him off.

“Today something took place that is not in my character and must never happen,” Thuram, son of France’s 1998 World Cup winner Lilian Thuram, wrote on Twitter.

“I reacted to an opponent in a wrong way and something occurred accidentally and not intentionally. I apologise to everyone, to Stefan Posch, to my opponents, to my team mates, to my family and to all those who saw my reaction. Of course, I accept all the consequences of my gesture.”

Gladbach said in a statement on Sunday that they would fine Thuram, who faces a lengthy ban, and impose an internal suspension.

Paris Saint-Germain missed a chance to return to the summit of Ligue 1 after they were held to a 0-0 draw at Lille, who retained pole position ahead of Lyon on goal difference. PSG are a point behind after squandering a number of opportunities in a scrappy contest.

 

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