Torino rally to beat Verona
Torino came from behind to win 3-1 at Hellas Verona in Serie A on Monday and boost their chances of qualifying for Europe. Torino moved level on points with Verona and sixth-placed Parma, three points behind Inter, who occupy the last Europa League qualifying spot. Verona took the lead 10 minutes from halftime after Cesare Bovo fouled Juanito Gomez and Luca Toni converted the resulting spot-kick. Ciro Immobile leveled immediately after the restart with his 13th goal of the season, although there were suspicions of offside. Highly rated midfielder Alessio Cerci put Torino in front with a superb volley from Omar El Kaddouri’s pass four minutes later. El Kaddouri sealed the match on the hour, slotting Cerci’s through-ball into the bottom left corner from just outside the area.
Sociedad edge Malaga 1-0
Carlos Vela scored early and Real Sociedad hung on to claim a narrow win at Malaga on Monday and move in on La Liga’s last Champions League qualifying spot. The Mexican striker continued perhaps the best season of his career by guiding Jose Angel Valdes’ cross into the area past goalkeeper Willy Caballero with his left foot, as the visitors went ahead after 10 minutes at the La Rosaleda. The Basque side maintained the momentum following Malaga’s sloppy start, with the Andalucians failing to conjure up much in attack. Sociedad join Villarreal on 40 points to sit just three back of Athletic Bilbao in the race to clinch the last spot in Europe’s top-tier competition. Malaga sit 17th, three points above the drop.
Police seek tear gas culprit
Spanish police have still not been able to shed any light on who threw a tear gas canister onto the pitch in Saturday’s La Liga match between Villarreal and RC Celta de Vigo and have appealed to the public for information. “A hooligan cannot be allowed to blacken the name of the fans of @VillarrealCF,” police said on Twitter. “We are looking for the person responsible for this act of madness,” they added, posting a YouTube link to footage of the incident and a telephone number for the public to call in information. Celta were leading 1-0 at El Madrigal with about three minutes left when the canister landed near the visitors’ goal and began spewing out a thick cloud of white smoke. The players, some of whom were clearly suffering the effects of the gas, retreated inside the stadium and fans quickly left the ground. The match was restarted about 30 minutes later in an almost empty arena and Celta’s Nolito made it 2-0 from a free-kick in the 90th minute.
Hamburg contract Slomka
Bundesliga strugglers SV Hamburg on Monday signed Mirko Slomka as their coach until 2016, as they seek to avoid what would be their first-ever relegation from the top flight. Slomka has penned a two-year contract and will be Hamburg’s third coach this season. The club fired Thorsten Fink in September last year and Bert van Marwijk last weekend. Slomka now faces the unenviable task of inspiring a squad low on morale. “It’s going to be about sorting out the tactical and technical abilities of the team. That’s what we’re going to have to work on in the next few days,” he said in his first press conference. “We’ll do everything we can to tug the club free of the situation it is in.” Slomka said he had given little thought to what happens if his rescue mission fails. “I’m not dealing with the issue of the second division, but it would be naive not to give it any thought,” he said. “I am just assuming we will stay in the league.”