Daily Sabah (Turkey)
Milan held by last-placed Salernitana, Verona denies Roma
THE WIDE-OPEN Serie A title race was made more interesting Saturday after AC Milan was handed a 2-2 draw by last-placed Salernitana.
The stalemate kept seven-time European champion AC Milan top with a twopoint lead but handed the title advantage to city rival Inter.
Inter, still smarting from a midweek Champions League home loss to Liverpool, could reclaim pole position if it defeats Sassuolo yesterday.
Brazilian midfielder Junior Messias gave Milan a fifth-minute lead before Federico Bonazzoli leveled with an overhead kick on the half-hour mark.
Giant Bosnian striker Milan Djuric headed Salernitana in front on 72 minutes before Milan salvaged a point thanks to a long-range effort by Ante Rebic five minutes later.
Salernitana, with its third coach of the season in Davide Nicola in charge, is still seven points from safety.
Teenagers Cristian Volpato and Edoardo Bove came to Roma’s rescue as Jose Mourinho’s side drew 2-2 with Verona.
With Verona 2-0 up, 18-year-old Volpato scored in the 65th minute, just three minutes after coming off the bench when he reacted fastest to a half-cleared corner.
Bove, 19, was then introduced in the 78th minute and six minutes later secured a point with a shot in off the post, again following a corner from Jordan Veretout.
Verona, coached by Igor Tudor, had been worth its 2-0 lead.
A free kick, well-rehearsed on the training ground, from Czech star Antonin Barak gave them a fifth-minute lead. It was his 10th goal of the season.
MOURINHO RED CARD
It doubled the advantage on 20 minutes through French midfielder Adrien Tameze.
Mourinho was sent off in stoppage time for an angry outburst at the referee.
He later posted a series of photographs of himself on Instagram, holding and then kicking the ball.
A third successive draw for Roma left it in seventh place, six points off the Champions League spots.
Meanwhile, Fabio Quagliarella made light of his 39 years to score twice as Sampdoria defeated Empoli 2-0 to boost its Serie A survival hopes.
Before Saturday, former Juventus striker Quagliarella had only scored once this season, a penalty in October, but he rediscovered his form at a crucial time with goals in the 14th and 29th minutes against Empoli.
Sampdoria is now in 15th place in the table, five points above the drop zone.
“These are three very important points. There’s a long way to go in the championship but this victory gives us confidence,” the veteran striker told DAZN.
“I realize that I am a certain age but I will give everything and my last drop of sweat for this shirt,” added Quagliarella, who has been on the scoresheet for the last 18 consecutive seasons in Serie A.
With 180 goals in the league from a career which has also taken in Torino, Ascoli, Udinese and Napoli, he is Serie A’s leading active scorer.
Ciro Immobile, 31, who has 19 goals this season for Lazio, is not far behind on 174 goals.