European roundup: Napoli stay top after scrappy victory against Salernitana | European club football


Napoli maintained top spot in Serie A with a 1-0 win at Salernitana on Sunday, but had to work hard against the relegation battlers as Piotr Zielinski scored a scrappy winner and both sides had players sent off late in the game.

The result leaves Luciano Spalletti’s unbeaten side with 31 points, three clear of second-placed AC Milan, who visit Roma in Sunday’s late game.

Napoli struggled to create in the absence of the injured top-scorer Victor Osimhen and captain Lorenzo Insigne, who was only fit enough for the bench, but they eventually broke through in the 61st minute. The substitute Andrea Petagna headed against the bar, the ball was cleared to Mario Rui, and the defender’s shot deflected into the path of Zielinski for a close-range finish.

It was Napoli’s first shot on target and proved to be enough for the win, and there was more incident to come when Salernitana midfielder Grigoris Kastanos and Napoli captain Kalidou Koulibaly were sent off in the final 20 minutes.

Earlier, Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic scored a hat-trick to fire his seventh-placed side to a 3-0 win over a Spezia team stuck in the relegation zone. The Viola have 18 points. Empoli rose to 10th, level on 15 points with Juventus, after coming from behind to beat 12th-placed Sassuolo, while Genoa and Venezia, who both sit just above the drop zone, drew 0-0.

In La Liga, Atlético Madrid put an end to their winless run by beating Real Betis 3-0 to stay within striking range of the Spanish league leaders. Atlético got on the board with goals from Yannick Carrasco and João Félix, and an own-goal by Betis defender German Pezzella, in heavy rain at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. The victory moves Atlético within two points of leaders Real Madrid, Sevilla and Real Sociedad.

Mallorca drew 1-1 at Cádiz after conceding a late goal for the third consecutive match. The visitors opened the scoring with a goal by Iddrisu Baba in the 29th, and Álvaro Negredo equalized for Cádiz by converting a penalty three minutes into stoppage time. Enes Ünal’s double strike saw the bottom club, Getafe, defeat Espanyol 2-1 for only their second win of the season.

Álvaro Negredo after equalising for Cadiz against Mallorca. Photograph: Fran Santiago/Getty Images

In France, Nice moved up to second place in Ligue 1 with another comeback win, Andy Delort scoring twice in a 2-1 victory over Angers. The Angers winger Sofiane Boufal opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 29th minute after Youcef Atal tripped him inside the area.

But Delort equalized with a deflected shot in the 57th before slamming home a volley from the edge of the box in stoppage time. The victory moves the club within eight points of league leader Paris Saint-Germain.

Elsewhere, Brest stunned Monaco 2-0 to earn their first win of the season but remain in the relegation zone. The Benin international striker Steve Mounie scored from close range after Jeremy Le Douaron diverted a free-kick from Romain Faivre in the 17th. Brest capitalised on a counterattack to double the lead in the 79th as Franck Honorat converted a cross from Irvin Cardona.

Strasbourg striker Habib Diallo raised his tally to six goals for the season by scoring twice in a 4-0 win over Lorient while Florent Mollet and Elye Wahi led mid-table Montpellier to a 2-0 win over Nantes, Bordeaux moved away from the relegation zone with a 3-2 comeback win over Reims, and Troyes stayed in the bottom half of the table after drawing 2-2 with fifth-placed Rennes.



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