Marco Giampaolo wants AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek to become a complete player, insisting the Poland international cannot just be "a poacher".

Piatek scored nine Serie A goals for Milan last term following his January arrival from Genoa.

However, the 24-year-old is yet to score this season and was named on the bench against Brescia following Milan's opening-day defeat to Udinese.

Giampaolo, though, has been impressed by Piatek's response to being dropped, but insists he needs the forward to start offering more in general play.

"I liked him over the last three days," Giampaolo said ahead of Sunday's clash with Hellas Verona.

"Piatek shouldn't just focus on attacking in the final third like a poacher, he ought to be more of a complete player.

"We are Milan, we can't always just pump long balls up, we need to pass it around. He knows how to do it, I've seen him in training, he just has to play like a complete player.

"Goals mustn't be an obsession either, he should focus on playing well and the goals will come as a consequence."

The former Sampdoria coach also believes Milan's players will adapt to his style of play, even if they have failed to impress in their opening two fixtures.

"I am confident that things will improve with hard work and enthusiasm," he said.

"I admire the dedication they show in training and I feel they are increasingly becoming a team. I want to make our identity clearer at all times, in attack and defence.

"It doesn't concern me that Verona is traditionally a tough place for Milan to play in, as I don't really believe in these things.

"The team must fight for victory in any arena. It's the attitude that makes the difference and I see the right approach now."

Atletico Madrid's 100 per cent LaLiga record was emphatically ended on Saturday, as they lost 2-0 to a fired-up Real Sociedad in the first competitive fixture played at the Reale Arena.

Diego Simeone's side had managed three straight wins prior to the international break but turned in a below-par performance on the road, conceding two goals in a costly three-minute spell in the second half.

After a trio of away games at the start of the 2019-20 campaign, Sociedad excelled in front of a raucous crowd at their revamped home, albeit Martin Odegaard's opener owed much to a huge deflection off Stefan Savic.

They doubled their lead soon after through debutant Nacho Monreal, the former Arsenal defender seizing on a loose ball to poke home ahead of Jan Oblak.

Atletico's goalkeeper was injured in trying to prevent Monreal scoring and, after lengthy treatment on the field, was replaced by Antonio Adan, adding further to Simeone's concerns ahead of the start of the Champions League group stage in midweek.

Oblak had saved from Mikel Oyarzabal with an outstretched leg in a first half that saw the home side on top, while Savic denied Sociedad's captain when he inadvertently turned away an on-target header with his thigh.

Simeone sent on Marcos Llorente and Angel Correa in an attempt to turn the tide early in the second half, only for the visitors to be laid out by Sociedad's rapid one-two punch.

They had rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat Eibar at home last time out but were unable to complete a similar comeback on this occasion, Sociedad goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya denying both Vitolo and Savic with smart saves to keep a clean sheet against his former club on a memorable occasion for the hosts.

Robert Lewandowski's 199th goal for Bayern Munich was not enough to claim the points as RB Leipzig fought back through Emil Forsberg's penalty to draw 1-1 in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

In their first meeting with Leipzig since a 3-0 DFB-Pokal final win in May, Lewandowski edged closer to a double century of Bayern goals to put Niko Kovac's side ahead.

But, after Bayern had a penalty overturned by VAR, Forsberg levelled matters from 12 yards on the stroke of half-time.

A rejuvenated Leipzig found Manuel Neuer in top form after the restart, though Bayern would have snatched it had Peter Gulacsi not managed to tip Kingsley Coman's deflected effort onto the woodwork as Leipzig held firm to move back into top spot after being briefly replaced by Borussia Dortmund.

Leipzig's support was in full voice before kick-off, but the home fans were silenced within three minutes when Lewandowski raced onto Thomas Muller's pass and coolly slotted beyond Gulacsi.

Lukas Klostermann wasted a chance to provide a swift response when he blasted over, while Lewandowski passed up two presentable opportunities.

Lewandowski looked set to have the chance to score his 200th Bayern goal when the visitors were awarded a penalty for a foul on Lucas Hernandez, but the referee changed his decision after a VAR check.

Bayern's frustrations were compounded in first-half stoppage time, Hernandez bringing down Yussuf Poulsen and Forsberg stepping up to tuck home from 12 yards.

Bayern would have restored their lead if not for a last-ditch block from Ibrahima Konate, before Neuer brilliantly denied Marcel Sabitzer on the hour.

Gulacsi made an outstanding save of his own soon after, denying Corentin Tolisso, with Timo Werner drilling wide at the other end.

Leipzig's goalkeeper had the final say, though, preventing Coman's strike looping in before he appeared to get a hand to Niklas Sule's last-gasp header to ensure a deserved share of the spoils.

 

What does it mean? Bayern face genuine challengers again

Bayern just edged out Borussia Dortmund last term, while Leipzig came in third. There is now an undoubted top three in the Bundesliga and based on this display, Leipzig are more than capable of testing Bayern this season.

Whether that will translate into a title challenge remains to be seen, but with both Leipzig and Dortmund improving their squads, Bayern should not have a clear path to an eighth successive league crown.

Nagelsmann's tactical tweak pays off

Julian Nagelsmann has enjoyed a fine start to his tenure in charge of Leipzig, though his decision to start with a back three backfired in the first half.

The former Hoffenheim coach made a change to a back four at half-time in a switch that worked well in helping to push Bayern back and give Leipzig's creative players more space to operate.

Rare Thiago error leaves Bayern exposed

Making his 200th Bayern appearance, Thiago Alcantara gave away a simple pass in the build-up to Leipzig's penalty, causing panic in the visitors' defence before Hernandez clumsily bundled into Poulsen.

What's next?

Bayern host Red Star Belgrade in their first Champions League outing of the season on Wednesday, a day after RB Leipzig face Benfica in the same competition. 

Neymar was given a hostile reception by Paris Saint-Germain supporters but scored a brilliant volleyed winner in a 1-0 victory over Strasbourg on his return to action.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel did not select Neymar while there was uncertainty over the Brazil international's future, amid speculation he was trying to engineer a return to Barcelona.

The close of the transfer window ensured the 27-year-old would remain with the Ligue 1 side for the immediate future and he appeared at club level for the first time this season on Saturday.

Neymar was booed by large sections of the home support whenever he touched the ball but he had the last word in injury time with a stunning overhead kick to give PSG the points.

Maurizio Sarri believes Juventus were fortunate to come out of their Serie A match against Fiorentina with a point but was happy with his side's character.

Juve dropped points for the first time this season on Saturday, drawing 0-0 at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

The visitors lost Douglas Costa and Miralem Pjanic to suspected hamstring and thigh injuries respectively before half-time and never really got going, with full debutant Franck Ribery the biggest threat for Fiorentina.

Although Sarri, who watched on from the sideline for the first time this season after overcoming a bout of pneumonia, pointed out injuries and a general lack of fitness had an impact on Juve's display, he accepts his side were not up to scratch.

"We didn't put in a good quality performance," Sarri told Sky Italia. "It was a very complicated situation, as Fiorentina played well and we used up all our substitutions with injuries and had no more fresh legs to introduce.

"With all those variables, we did well in terms of character to get a point out of it. We lost possession too many times, which may also be a consequence of physical issues.

"Playing in mid-afternoon in Florence when it's realistically still summer is tough for everyone.

"We had difficulty on a purely technical level and I am confident a team with less personality would've lost. That is the positive and certainly a valuable quality to have a team that can fight it out for a point even when not in great shape.

"We had five players at the Copa America and eight on the treatment table, so we have half the squad at a more advanced fitness level than the rest.

"It was a difficult situation to deal with and we needed some time to get them all to acceptable levels, but the good news is that we tend to finish games strong."

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Douglas Costa started up front for Juve, and Sarri suggested the trio needed to do more to get themselves into the game, as well as assist defensively.

"When the team defends deeper, we need the forwards to come back and help more," added the former Chelsea boss.

"It was evident after 30 minutes that this was going to be extremely difficult."

Neymar will make his first appearance for Paris Saint-Germain this season after being named in the starting line-up for Saturday's game with Strasbourg, while there is also a debut for Keylor Navas.

Forward Neymar has not featured in the 2019-20 campaign at club level amid speculation over his future in the French capital, while he was also been hampered by injury.

However, the 27-year-old played twice for Brazil during the recent international break, starting in the 2-2 friendly draw against Colombia before coming off the bench four days later in the 1-0 loss to Peru.

With Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani both missing and talk of a return to Barcelona over - for now at least - with the transfer window closed, Thomas Tuchel has selected Neymar for the Ligue 1 fixture at Parc des Princes.

There is no spot in the XI for Mauro Icardi, though the striker could still make his first appearance for his new club as he is among the list of substitutes.

Goalkeeper Navas, meanwhile, also comes into the team following his arrival from Real Madrid.

Teenager Marcin Bulka started in PSG's previous outing, a 2-0 triumph at Metz, but is not in the matchday squad, Sergio Rico - signed on a season-long loan from Sevilla - named instead as the back-up option on the bench.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said Eden Hazard was still some way short of being match fit after a low-key debut in Saturday's victory over Levante.

Hazard made a subdued start to his Madrid career with an appearance as a second-half substitute in a 3-2 win against Levante at the Bernabeu.

The Belgium international, who joined Madrid from Chelsea in June, has only recently returned to training following a thigh injury.

Hazard showed a few nice touches after he came off the bench in the 60th minute, although the 28-year-old forward was far from his sparkling best.

"When he touches the ball he has a lot of versatility," Zidane said.

"But what he needs now is to train more. He has only done four workouts with the team.

"The second half was more complicated for us, especially at the beginning. When the opponent scores a goal after three minutes it is difficult.

"But we got three points. We must not look for excuses, the important thing is to keep the first part of the game and play more minutes as the first part. We can improve a lot, we have to play better."

Real seemed to be cruising victory against Levante after two goals from Karim Benzema and one from Casemiro put them 3-0 up at half-time.

However, Borja Mayoral, on loan at Levante from Madrid, and Gonzalo Melero reduced the deficit.

Madrid’s defensive shakiness almost allowed Levante to take a point and the capital giants have yet to keep a clean sheet this season.

Zidane was full of praise for Benzema, who took his tally to four goals in four LaLiga matches, but acknowledged the need for an improvement from his struggling backline.

"What I can say about Benzema is keep it up," Zidane added. "We are very happy to see Benzema like this. We have seen Karim's ovation from the supporters.

"The defence? It doesn't worry me, although we have to improve and we are going to do it.

"Physically, maybe, the international break could be noticed but I don't want to look for excuses.

"I know we are going to score more goals and concede less."

Maurizio Sarri watched on from the dugout for the first time but could not prevent Juventus' perfect start to the Serie A campaign coming to an end in a goalless draw at Fiorentina on Saturday.

Juve's head coach was absent for the wins against Parma and Napoli due to a bout of pneumonia but was on the sideline in Florence as his side failed to find a way through.

The visitors lost Douglas Costa and Miralem Pjanic to suspected hamstring and thigh injuries respectively before half-time and never really got going at Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Fiorentina were without a point heading into this match - and without a Serie A win since February - but looked the more likely to score against a lacklustre Juventus, who move one point clear of Inter and Torino at the summit after playing a game more.

Franck Ribery was handed his full debut for the home side and fired in a low drive 16 minutes in that was saved by Wojciech Szczesny, who survived an earlier scare when his clearance ricocheted off Federico Chiesa and flew over the bar.

Fiorentina keeper Bartlomiej Dragowski kept out efforts from Blaise Matuidi and Pjanic in the space of a minute, but Szczesny was also kept busy at the other end as Dalbert came close with his back-post header.

The hosts continued to look the more likely to score in the early stages of the second half as Dalbert's angled drive was palmed away by Szczesny, moments before Gaetano Castrovilli scuffed wide from a good position.

Chiesa's deflected effort skimmed the crossbar 65 minutes in and Nikola Milenkovic then headed straight at Szczesny from a good position as the match finished scoreless, making it four top-flight away games without a win for Juventus.


What does it mean? Juve far from full flow

Juve's 4-3 win against Napoli followed a slender 1-0 victory against Parma on the opening weekend.

Kalidou Koulibaly's own goal may have rescued the champions last time out but there was no such luck today, giving the chasing pack a chance to capitalise on this first slip-up of the campaign.


Ribery still has it

Used as a substitute in Fiorentina's first two games, the two-week break gave Ribery a chance to reach peak fitness and he was very lively on his first start. 

The 36-year-old had a couple of efforts on target in the first half, created a glorious chance for Dalbert and left the field to a standing ovation 69 minutes in.


De Ligt needs time to adapt

Matthijs de Ligt struggled on his Serie A debut against Napoli two weeks ago and he again looked shaky at times here as Fiorentina took the game to their opponents - though Juve did at least keep a clean sheet on this occasion.

The Netherlands centre-back put Szczesny under pressure with a poor back-pass in the first half and was cautioned 35 seconds into the second period for bringing down Ribery.  


What's next?

Fiorentina visit Atalanta next Sunday and Juventus host Hellas Verona the day before, but first they travel to Atletico Madrid in four days' time for their opening Champions League group fixture.

Eden Hazard helped lift the growing gloom around Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid as he made his long-awaited debut in a 3-2 LaLiga win at home to Levante on Saturday.

Amid driving rain in the Spanish capital - Hazard must have thought he would play in better conditions after leaving London - he made a bright half-hour cameo from the bench.

A thigh injury delayed the Belgium star's debut but after skipping international duty during the break he was finally able to pull on the famous white shirt he has so long desired.

But as Paco Lopez's side battled back from 3-0 down at the break to almost snatch a point, Thibaut Courtois making a fine save to keep out Ruben Vezo's stoppage-time header, it is clear Hazard will not be able to fix all Madrid's problems on his own.

Hazard certainly adds variety to their attacking options. Zidane initially fielded him in a free role ostensibly operating on the left, his favoured position for club and country, filling the void where Cristiano Ronaldo thrived for so long before joining Serie A giants Juventus last year.

That meant the effervescent Vinicius Jr swapped wings and played on the right, with Lucas Vazquez - one of Zidane's favourites - switching inside to a more central role than his usual position on the flank. Hazard did occasionally pop up on the right and also in a more classic number 10 role, so it appears Zidane is going to give the Belgium star plenty of freedom to run his side's attacks.

Hazard replaced Casemiro - the Brazil midfielder having scored the third goal - even though Los Blancos were being dominated in the second half, ex-Madrid striker Borja Mayoral having cut the deficit to 3-1. Toni Kroos therefore dropped back into the shielding role in front of defence and Zidane still has to fit Ballon d'Or winner Luka Modric back in after he was ruled out by injury.

Victory was set up by Karim Benzema, who scored twice in the first half to help build Madrid's commanding lead. At 2-0, he had scored nine of Madrid's past 11 LaLiga goals at home, while his tally in the league since the start of the year stands at an impressive 19.

Benzema has often been under-rated by fans and pundits during his time at the Bernabeu, but not by Zidane. Other coaches have failed to fully appreciate his understanding of the game and ability to bring others into play, which will be crucial if Hazard is to shine. 

A perfect example of his all-round skills was provided by Madrid's second goal, with Benzema linking up perfectly with James Rodriguez before slotting a low finish past Aitor Fernandez. Benzema would have had the matchball to show for his efforts had the woodwork not denied him, the crowd later giving him a rousing reception when he was replaced by Luka Jovic.

It was arguably telling that although Hazard, Jovic and Eder Militao all came off the bench, Zidane's starting XI - as long as you include James, who spent the past two years on loan at Bayern Munich - did not include any of the new signings provided by Florentino Perez.

Cracks have already reportedly begun to show in the relationship between Zidane and Perez, who failed to deliver Paul Pogba for his coach, so this was a welcome win, albeit by a far narrower margin that Madrid's vibrant first-half display deserved.

Zidane had made it clear the World Cup winner was a key target, adding mobility and drive to a central midfield department that has grown stale, but Pogba could not be prised away from Manchester United despite telling reporters he was ready for a new challenge.

Hazard will instead be relied on to provide Galactico stardust, but he will hope to have a greater impact than the time-wasting job he carried out in the latter stages as Madrid clung on.

Zidane and Madrid could celebrate a much-needed win after successive LaLiga draws, though, ahead of Wednesday's Champions League trip to Paris Saint-Germain, where Hazard will surely make his first start.

Eden Hazard made his Real Madrid debut as they claimed a nervy 3-2 victory over Levante in LaLiga thanks to two goals from Karim Benzema.

A brace from Benzema, plus a goal from Casemiro, ensured Madrid were firmly in control when 3-0 ahead at the break before a second-half fightback from the visitors.

Borja Mayoral, on loan at Levante from Madrid, pulled a goal back and the home team conceded again when Gonzalo Melero headed in from a corner, with Thibaut Courtois preserving their lead with a fine save in the closing minutes.

Hazard, who joined from Chelsea, was given a warm welcome when introduced on the hour, the Belgium forward having missed his new club's opening three games of the season with a muscle injury.

Eden Hazard has been named in a Real Madrid matchday squad for the first time since joining from Chelsea as Levante visit the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

The Belgium international signed in a deal that could reportedly cost €140 million, but a thigh injury suffered in August proved an early disruption for the winger.

Coach Zinedine Zidane has stressed the need to go easy on Hazard following the injury, particularly as they head into a period that will see them play seven matches in 21 days.

But Hazard has been deemed fit enough to at least feature from the bench, as he takes a place among the substitutes against Levante.

Madrid have been particularly unlucky with injuries in recent months, leaving them with only three senior midfielders to play on Saturday; Toni Kroos, Casemiro and James Rodriguez, all of whom start.

New signing Alphonse Areola is on the bench following his arrival from Paris Saint-Germain, while 18-year-old Brazilian Rodrygo Goes is also among the substitutes for the first time in LaLiga.

Gareth Bale is missing through suspension after being sent off in the 2-2 draw with Villarreal before the international break.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Daniel James to continue his flying start to life at Old Trafford.

Winger James, 21, joined United from Swansea City in June for a reported £15million in a deal that caught many by surprise given he had been close to signing for Championship side Leeds United a few months earlier.

Of United's three close-season signings – Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire being the others – James was the least heralded, but the rapid forward has arguably made the greatest impact, scoring three times in four Premier League appearances as well as being named the club's Player of the Month for August.

A goal against Leicester City on Saturday will make James – who also netted on international duty with Wales on Monday – only the second United player to score in his first three Premier League games at Old Trafford and Solskjaer has great expectations.

"He's had a great start and transferring that into the Wales games is great for him and great for Giggsy [Wales boss Ryan Giggs]," Solskjaer told United's official app.

"I just hope he [James] feels that there's more to come. We feel there's more to come. He's had a great start, but it's just the start of his career."

Saturday's clash will see Maguire come up against his former club for the first time since leaving them to become the world's most expensive defender and Solskjaer is confident he will thrive despite the impressive form of Jamie Vardy and James Maddison.

"They're creative, they have pace, there's a good link-up between the two of them," Solskjaer said of Leicester's star duo.

"We know from last year that Maddison created loads of chances and to have Vardy's energy and penetration and running in behind all the time is great for any creative player.

"I know he [Maguire] will be fine, because he's a top character and a top player. I'm sure he'll look forward to playing against his old team-mates.

"He'll know them and they'll know him. I'm sure we'll see the best of Harry in that game."

Neymar has been warned to expect a rough reception from the Paris Saint-Germain ultras on Saturday after they claimed he has "humiliated" their club.

The Brazil international joined PSG from Barcelona in a world-record €222million move two years ago and, although he has generally performed well for the French champions when fit, he has been accused of doing little to dampen down repeated links with a return to Camp Nou.

Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu was reported to have told key players he was confident of securing Neymar's return and last week he confirmed talks were held between the two clubs.

Reports claimed Barca made an offer of approximately €130m plus Ivan Rakitic, Jean-Clair Todibo and Ousmane Dembele on loan, but the latter's reticence prompted the deal to collapse.

Neymar was said to have been angered by PSG sporting director Leonardo asking him to release a statement insisting he no longer wanted to leave ahead of PSG's Ligue 1 opener, and that silence has not gone down well with the club's supporters as the forward prepares to make his first club appearance of the season.

"In a footballing sense, Neymar is one of the greatest players of his generation, but that's far from the most important thing for us today [Saturday]," read a statement from Collectif Ultras Paris ahead of the visit of Strasbourg.

"What we reproach him for is being disrespectful on several occasions towards our club, even to have humiliated it at times.

"He has put in place a disastrous communication strategy to try and force a move to Barcelona, one of our main European rivals, leaving his entourage to speak in his place... except when it comes to discussing his best memories [Neymar citing Barcelona's comeback against PSG as his favourite football moment].

"At a time when he has made no public statement, let alone an apology, he will soon return to the field at the Parc des Princes, and we are legitimately more than sceptical about him playing another season in our jersey.

"The Virage Auteuil, in which the most loyal supporters of the club are grouped [at Parc des Princes], has the duty to show him that all his actions cannot be without consequence.

"Therefore, we invite all the Parisian supporters who have felt hurt at one point or another to show him that he no longer has the right to make mistakes and the path of redemption will be long... very long. It's out of the question that we will penalise the team due to a single player."

David de Gea has finally committed his long-term future to Manchester United.

The goalkeeper was out of contract at the end of the season, with plenty of speculation regarding his future at Old Trafford.

But the Spain shot-stopper has now agreed to a new deal.

 

TOP STORY – DE GEA FINALLY SIGNS MAN UNITED DEAL

De Gea has signed a long-term contract with Manchester United, according to the Daily Record.

The 28-year-old's five-year deal is worth more than €15million per season, the report says.

De Gea has been linked with a move away amid the ongoing contract saga, with Juventus among those reported to be interested.

ROUND-UP

- Christian Eriksen's Tottenham future remains up in the air, but the Premier League giants seem eager to keep the midfielder amid apparent interest from Real Madrid and Juventus. Football Insider reports Spurs have offered the Denmark international a new deal worth £60m in total.

- Mario Mandzukic appears to be nearing a Juventus exit. The Croatia striker has rejected Qatari club Al-Gharafa, according to CalcioMercato, but is evaluating offers from elsewhere, including MLS, with the 33-year-old seemingly not in Maurizio Sarri's plans in Turin.

- Napoli are to chase Atalanta playmaker Josip Ilicic again in January, according to CalcioMercato. The 31-year-old was considered by Napoli during the close season and they are set to intensify their interest again at the start of 2020.

- Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha missed out on a move before the transfer window closed, and he is reportedly on the look-out for a new agent. The Daily Mail reports Mino Raiola is one of several agents circling the attacker, who is unhappy about not getting his move from Selhurst Park.

- Keita Balde enjoyed his season on loan at Inter in 2018-19, but the Serie A side opted not to use their buy option on the Monaco attacker. CalcioMercato reports the Senegal international wanted to stay in Italy and AC Milan are now considering the 24-year-old.

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