Edinson Cavani’s double helped Napoli fight back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at rivals Udinese on Sunday, but the point meant SS Lazio stayed third in Serie A despite their defeat at Catania.
Modest Udinese sold three of their best players before the season and never directly replaced them, yet they could have been sitting in the Champions League qualifying-round berth with just 10 games to go if they had weathered Napoli’s late storm.
Midfielder Giampiero Pinzi grabbed a rare goal to put the hosts ahead in the first half in Udine before evergreen top scorer Antonio Di Natale hooked the ball over the line after Pinzi’s second-half header had come off the post.
Udinese’s Diego Fabbrini received a second booking in the 60th minute before Cavani missed an awful penalty and then scored a sublime freekick for Napoli, knocked out of the Champions League last 16 by Chelsea in midweek.
The Uruguay striker then completed the comeback from a tight angle five minutes from time.
Lazio stayed a point above the pair after they lost 1-0 at Catania, while Inter are struggling to stay in contention for the Champions League qualifying place after a 0-0 home draw with Atalanta BC.
Former Juventus defender Nicola Legrottaglie grabbed Catania’s winner following a corner 11 minutes from time to shoot Vincenzo Montella’s overachieving Sicilians up to joint-sixth.
“Now we can target new objectives, maybe even aiming at a European place,” former Roma boss Montella told reporters. “But let’s leave the dreams to the fans. We have to stay realistic.”
Lazio’s defeat also meant leaders AC Milan and second-placed Juventus, who won 2-0 at Parma and 5-0 at Fiorentina respectively on Saturday, have almost unassailable cushions over the rest in the two automatic Champions League places.
Milan are top with 60 points from 28 games followed by Juve on 56 and Lazio on 48. Udinese and Napoli — in two of three potential Europa League berths — are six clear of Inter, Catania and AS Roma, who were to host Genoa yesterday.
Inter, dumped out of the Champions League by Olympique de Marseille in midweek, have little hope of making next season’s competition after Diego Milito missed a first-half penalty.
Coach Claudio Ranieri denied reports striker Diego Forlan refused to come on as a substitute.
“I was talking to him about tactics,” he said.
Mauricio Pinilla bagged a hat-trick as Cagliari coach Massimo Ficcadenti — reappointed last weekend four months after being fired — returned for a 3-0 win over the nine men of ex-club Cesena, who are rock bottom and 14 points from safety.
Second-bottom Novara Calcio won 2-0 at AC Siena to boost their outside chances of avoiding the drop and Lecce — in the third and final relegation spot — drew 1-1 at home to Palermo to stand five points adrift of Parma, who are 17th in the 20-team standings.
Chievo Verona drew 2-2 at fellow mid-table side Bologna.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two