Malta Independent

Džeko double as Inter downs Atalanta


A superb performanc­e from Edin Džeko helped Inter Milan come from behind to win 3-2 at Atalanta on Sunday and close in on second spot.

Ademola Lookman's penalty had given Atalanta the lead but Džeko netted twice and José Luis Palomino's own-goal secured the win for Inter.

The Nerazzurri moved up to fourth place, level on points with Lazio and three behind AC Milan after a late own-goal helped the defending champion beat Fiorentina 2-1.

Atalanta remained sixth, three points behind Inter.

Four of the five teams below Napoli were facing each other Sunday and hoping to put pressure on the runaway Serie A leader in the final round before the Italian league pauses for the World Cup and the traditiona­l winter break. Inter will host Napoli in the first match back.

Napoli started the day 11 points ahead of Lazio, which was playing at fourth-place Juventus in the evening.

Atalanta was looking to recover from a poor run of three defeats in its past four matches and it took the lead in the 25th minute when Inter defender Stefan de Vrij tripped Duván Zapata and Lookman converted the resulting penalty.

But its advantage lasted 11 minutes before Hakan Çalhanoğlu whipped in a cross from the left that was brilliantl­y nodded on by Lautaro Martínez for Džeko to volley in with the side of his foot at the far post.

Inter turned the match around completely in five second-half minutes as first Džeko beat his marker to bundle in Federico Dimarco's cross and then Palomino headed into his own net following a corner.

Palomino headed in a corner at the other end in the 77th to set up a tense finale.

Garnacho gives United 2-1 win at Fulham ahead of World Cup break

Alejandro Garnacho made sure Manchester United goes into the World Cup break on a high by scoring a stoppage-time winner to secure a 2-1 win over Fulham on Sunday.

In the last Premier League game before the tournament in Qatar, Garnacho came off the bench to score with almost the last kick of the game at Craven Cottage.

The win strengthen­s United's grip on fifth place in the standings, with the team having recovered from a poor start under new manager Erik ten Hag to sit three points behind fourth-place Tottenham with a game in hand.

United had gone ahead after 14 minutes when Christian Eriksen capitalize­d on a well-worked quick break from the visitors before slotting the ball into an empty net.

Despite that early lead, United was unable to fully take control of the game, and the absence of several players — including Cristiano Ronaldo — was evident as Fulham pushed for an equalizer.

And Fulham was rewarded just after the hour mark when former United winger Daniel James turned in a low cross from close range for a deserved equalizer.

However, despite Fulham being the better team for large parts of the game, it was the visitors who claimed the victory when Garnacho played a clever one-two with Eriksen on the edge of the box before running into the area to slot home past Bernd Leno just before the final whistle.

Ronaldo missed a second straight game with an unspecifie­d illness, while United was also without Antony, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane.

Fulham, meanwhile, was without star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic due to a foot problem.

Grifo's hat trick fires Freiburg to 2nd as Bundesliga pauses

The last Bundesliga game before a long World Cup break brought plenty of drama as Vincenzo Grifo scored a hat trick in the opening 20 minutes to fire Freiburg to a 41 win over Union Berlin and up to second place on Sunday.

Bayern Munich goes into the two-month break — by far the longest in the main European leagues — with a four-point advantage over Freiburg. Union is fifth and winless in three games after having led the league in recent weeks.

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