Kalidou Koulibaly promised Napoli will respond after the centre-back's stoppage-time own goal handed Juventus victory in a thrilling Serie A clash on Saturday.

Carlo Ancelotti's side came from 3-0 down to level at 3-3 with nine minutes of normal time remaining only for Koulibaly to score in his own net in the second minute of injury time.

Danilo, Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo put Juve in complete control only for the champions to collapse, allowing new signings Kostas Manolas and Hirving Lozano to score in the space of two minutes.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo thought he had rescued a point for the visitors in Turin before Koulibaly sliced a hopeful Juve free-kick into the top-right corner of Alex Meret's goal.

Napoli defender Koulibaly admitted he is hurting after the defeat but backed his team to show they have the mettle to recover.

"It's an own goal that hurts me because it came after an incredible comeback," he wrote on Instagram.

"I'm sorry but I have to - we have to accept it: we are strong. We showed it. We will prove it."

Koulibaly was turned brilliantly by former team-mate Higuain, who scored for the first time since returning to Juve from a loan spell at Chelsea last season.

"It was a rollercoaster," Juve striker Higuain told Sky Sport Italia. "They scored two quick goals, which can't happen. We lost control of the match and they equalised but, in the end, it's ended up like this.

"It's a really important win. We have things to improve, but we left everything out on the pitch and the reward came in the end."

Higuain has surprisingly won back a place in Juve's plans despite being deemed surplus to requirements last season and sent for a largely disappointing spell under Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge.

The Argentina international insisted he wants nothing more than to stay and prove his worth again in Turin.

"I'm motivated to stay here. I love this shirt, this club, these fans. From the first second I arrived, I was determined to stay," he said.

Napoli roared back from 3-0 down against Juventus only for Kalidou Koulibaly's injury-time own goal to hand the Serie A champions a dramatic 4-3 victory on Saturday.

Juve, whose coach Maurizio Sarri was again absent from the Allianz Stadium due to a bout of pneumonia, produced a commanding performance for the first hour to open up a sizeable lead over Carlo Ancelotti's side.

Danilo broke the deadlock with his first touch just 29 seconds into his debut as a substitute for Mattia De Sciglio, before Gonzalo Higuain doubled the lead against his old club and Cristiano Ronaldo struck a third.

Napoli were allowed back into the match through quick-fire goals from Kostas Manolas and Hirving Lozano, another man in his first Serie A outing, before Giovanni Di Lorenzo thought he had earned a dramatic draw.

However, in the second minute of injury time, Koulibaly put through his own net to gift Juve an early boost in the Scudetto race.

Wojciech Szczesny saved superbly from Allan and Juve struck within seconds of the resulting corner being cleared, as Douglas Costa raced into the box and pulled the ball back for Danilo to finish.

It was 2-0 three minutes later, Higuain spinning away from Koulibaly and firing into the top-right corner in fine style.

Victory for a commanding Juve was seemingly assured 62 minutes in, when Ronaldo met Costa's cut-back and placed a left-foot shot beyond the attempted block of Koulibaly and dive of Alex Meret for his first goal of the season.

Suddenly, though, they seemed to crumble. Manolas met Mario Rui's cross with a fine header and, barely two minutes later, Lozano slotted past Szczesny after being picked out by Piotr Zielinski from the left.

Costa's shot was brilliantly tipped onto the bar by Meret and, as anxiety seemed to build within the stands, Napoli snatched an equaliser when Di Lorenzo diverted Jose Callejon's delivery into the net from inside the six-yard box.

Yet with barely 90 seconds remaining, a hopeful free-kick was lofted into the Napoli area and Koulibaly sliced a clearance high into his own net with no Juve player nearby.

Inter head coach Antonio Conte claims speculation over Mauro Icardi’s future has "not been disruptive" to his squad and he does not expect any incomings or outgoings before Monday's transfer deadline.

Argentina striker Icardi has been linked with a move away from San Siro all through the window, with Napoli and Juventus reportedly leading the chase for the 26-year-old.

Inter bolstered their attacking options with the signing of Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United and a season-long loan deal for Red Devils playmaker Alexis Sanchez.

Lukaku took Icardi’s number nine shirt after arriving at Inter, with the latter switching to number seven.

Nerazzurri chief executive Giuseppe Marotta suggested the club were still hopeful of selling Icardi, who scored 11 goals from 29 Serie A appearances last term but managed impressive hauls of 29 and 24 in 2017-18 and 2016-17, respectively.

However, speaking in his news conference ahead of their trip to Cagliari, Conte indicated Icardi is unlikely to leave as he predicted a quiet end to the window.

"I think it's finished both inbound and outbound," Conte said. "If someone came out numerically we would be forced to do something inbound.

"There are two days to the end of the market but this is the situation."

Former Inter captain Icardi did not feature in the club's win against Lecce and will not be picked to play against Cagliari.

"For me, there continues to be no disruption," Conte added. "What has been done has been done correctly and we will continue to do so.

"We are focused on work and what is happening in the field.

"I understand that for others it is more important to continue to focus on other situations. But we must be focused on what happens in the field."

Italy have called up Francesco Acerbi to replace the injured Giorgio Chiellini for upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Armenia and Finland.

Azzurri captain Chiellini faces a long spell on the sideline after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a Juventus training session on Friday.

Lazio centre-back Acerbi takes his place in Roberto Mancini's squad for next week's two away trips.

The former Sassuolo defender will compete with Armando Izzo, Gianluca Mancini and Alessio Romagnoli for the chance to partner Leonardo Bonucci.

AC Milan skipper Romagnoli replaced Chiellini when the 35-year-old was rested for the 6-0 victory over Liechtenstein in March.

Italy have won each of their four matches in qualifying to sit top of Group J.

Atletico Madrid have been busy during the transfer window and they may be aiming to land another star attacker.

It appears the LaLiga giants, who have gone through a rebuild, are targeting unwanted Inter forward Mauro Icardi.

With Joao Felix having made an impressive start in Madrid, Atletico may strengthen yet again before the transfer window shuts on Monday.

 

TOP STORY – ATLETICO LOOK TO SIGN ICARDI ON LOAN

Atletico Madrid are negotiating a deal to sign Icardi on loan from Inter, according to ESPN FC.

The report says the deal for Icardi, who has been linked with Juventus and Napoli, would include an option to buy for €70million.

The Argentina international has been heavily linked with a move away from San Siro and doesn't appear to fit into the plans of new coach Antonio Conte.


ROUND-UP

- There is still plenty to play out on the Neymar front. Paris Saint-Germain still want Ousmane Dembele as part of any deal with Barcelona, according to RAC1. Meanwhile, Sport report Neymar is still optimistic and confident of a return to Camp Nou.

- Fernando Llorente has made a decision on his future. AS and Sport report the striker, who has been a free agent since leaving Tottenham, has agreed a deal to sign with Napoli.

- Giorgio Chiellini's knee injury could lead to some late movement from Juventus. The Serie A champions are interested in Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, according to Sport.

- AC Milan are looking to bolster their attack before the window closes. Gianluca Di Marzio reports the Serie A side are considering two options – Atletico Madrid's Angel Correa or Gremio's Everton – before the window shuts.

- The moves look set to continue at Manchester United. The Sun reports Matteo Darmian is set to join Parma in a €1.6m (£1.4m) deal, ending his four-season stay at Old Trafford.

Mauro Icardi is not part of the first-team plans at Inter and the Serie A club remain hopeful of selling their former captain before Monday's transfer deadline, according to CEO Giuseppe Marotta.

Icardi has been linked with a move away from San Siro all through the window, with rivals Napoli and Juventus reportedly leading the chase for the 26-year-old.

The Argentina striker missed a large chunk of last season due to a contract dispute, with his current deal having two seasons left to run.

Inter brought in Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United to lead their line, handing the Belgian Icardi's No.9 shirt, with the latter switching to No.7.

Although Icardi's wife and agent Wanda Nara had suggested the forward could be staying, it appears there is no way back for him at the club following Alexis Sanchez's arrival, with Marotta confident a deal will be found by the transfer deadline.

"When we acted, we did so with a conscience and a sense of responsibility," Marotta told Tuttomercatoweb.

"The club have the duty and right to choose their stance. They have to make decisions. We're certainly not self-harming. We always act with respect for our players. After that, great difficulties arose.

"There are only three days left, but I still hope that it can be resolved in a positive way. We can't say everything publicly, but we always do things responsibly."

Icardi scored 11 goals from 29 Serie A appearances last term, but managed impressive hauls of 29 and 24 in 2017-18 and 2016-17, respectively.

Regardless of Icardi's future, Marotta stated the Nerazzurri are unlikely to bring in any new faces before the window closes.

"We're satisfied with the work we've done," he said.

"We're happy and satisfied with the investments the club have made. We're happy to have given Conte a great team, so I don't think we'll bring anyone else in."

Giorgio Chiellini has damaged the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee and must undergo surgery, Juventus have confirmed.

The experienced centre-back will begin treatment in the coming days after tests at J-Medical revealed the extent of the injury, which was sustained during training on Friday.

Juve have not offered a timescale on the recovery of the 35-year-old, who scored the only goal of the game in last week's 1-0 Serie A victory over Parma.

"During today's training, Giorgio Chiellini sustained a sprain of his right knee," Juve said in a statement.

"The diagnostic tests performed at J-Medical showed a lesion of the anterior cruciate ligament.

"It will be necessary to have surgery in the coming days."

The news is likely to mean Juve will keep Daniele Rugani and Merih Demiral, who had each been linked with moves away from Turin before Monday's transfer deadline.

Chiellini has made 384 league appearances since joining Juve from Roma back in 2005.

An eight-time Serie A champion, he was a key part of the defence under former coach Massimiliano Allegri, although muscle problems restricted him to just 22 starts in the top flight last season.

In April, the Italy international told DAZN he expected to play "for another year or two" and then take up a backroom role at Allianz Stadium.

Juve face Napoli on Saturday and could consequently hand Matthijs de Ligt a competitive debut.

The second weekend of the new Serie A season sees last term's top two meet in Turin as defending champions Juventus host Napoli.

Juve finished 11 points clear in 2018-19 as Napoli, in Carlo Ancelotti's first campaign in charge, struggled to match their consistency from Maurizio Sarri's reign.

Sarri is now with Juve - an ongoing recovery from pneumonia means he will not be on the bench against his old club on Saturday - and has already criticised his new side's seemingly clumsy transfer strategy.

The door could therefore be open for a different Serie A champion for the first time since Milan were crowned in 2010-11, since when Juventus have triumphed every year.

Omnisport takes a look at four factors that could see Napoli, who were last Scudetto winners during Diego Maradona's time, come out on top.


DOMINANT DEFENDERS

Napoli only conceded six more goals than Juventus last season but they moved to further strengthen their defence by signing Kostas Manolas from Roma. On paper, they now have one of the most dominant defensive duos in world football, with Manolas joining the excellent Kalidou Koulibaly at the heart of their back line. Some initial teething problems were on show as Napoli shipped three goals at Fiorentina last time out though, with Ancelotti's men requiring Lorenzo Insigne's second goal of the game to edge a 4-3 victory. Alex Meret is only 22 but is considered one of the best young goalkeepers around and he should be well protected once Manolas and Koulibaly form a partnership.


FEARSOME FORWARDS

Napoli's front line was already incredibly strong, but the addition of pace ace Hirving Lozano gives them an even greater threat in the final third, plus a wonderful option from the bench against tiring defenders. The Mexico forward has arrived from PSV for a fee that could reportedly rise to €42million - eclipsing Gonzalo Higuain as the club's record buy - but will find it challenging to break into Ancelotti's attack given the coach already has Insigne, Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon, as well as Poland striker Arkadiusz Milik, to choose from. Insigne, Callejon and Mertens all scored against Fiorentina and Milik - who missed the opening weekend with injury - struck 17 Serie A goals last season.


ANCELOTTI PEDIGREE

There is a school of thought that has suggested Ancelotti is a fading force, but his coaching record still demands total respect. The 60-year-old has collected three Champions League titles - nobody has won more - and has triumphed in leagues in Germany, England and Italy, failing to top the table only in Spain, with Real Madrid. Ancelotti's reputation was hurt somewhat by a slightly underwhelming spell with Bayern Munich but he remains one of the most respected coaches in world football, even if he is regarded more as a motivator than an innovator.


SETTLED SQUAD

Juventus, Inter, AC Milan and Roma all have new coaches in the dugout for 2019-20 after an unprecedented close season of upheaval, but steady stability could count in Napoli's favour. Amadou Diawara has been the only notable sale, the midfielder moving to Roma, although Napoli previously lost the inspirational Marek Hamsik to the Chinese Super League in February. Lozano and Manolas look to be two of the most impressive signings in Europe.

Napoli have finished second in three of the past four seasons, but taking the next step is always going to be a huge challenge given Juve's gargantuan financial advantages. An attempted move for James Rodriguez, an Ancelotti favourite from Madrid and Bayern, demonstrated Napoli are serious about being title contenders, although their failure to get that deal over the line indicated there is still a lot of work to do.

Victory for Napoli on Sunday could be the start of a Serie A shake-up, but Juventus have won seven of their last eight home league games against this weekend's opposition. Juve's last home loss, though, came at the hands of Napoli in April 2018, thanks to Koulibaly's late header. If they can repeat the trick, Ancelotti and his charges may start to believe it is their year.

Maurizio Sarri could return to the dugout ahead of schedule when Juventus host his former employers Napoli on Saturday.

The ex-Chelsea boss skipped last weekend's season-opening win at Parma after being diagnosed with pneumonia earlier this month.

Juve gave Sarri until after the international break to recuperate but his assistant, Giovanni Martusciello, claimed the 60-year-old is keen to get back to work before his squad disassembles.

"He is good. Sarri has always been present at the club even without directing training," Martusciello told reporters on Friday.

"We have the final training session in the afternoon and then we will see if he is able to make it tomorrow.

"I would like him to be on the bench because he is the Juventus coach and it is right that he participates in this occasion.

"If he does not make it we will certainly find a solution accordingly."

Sarri coached Napoli for three seasons, guiding the club to two second-place finishes behind the Bianconeri.

One of his stars at Stadio San Paolo, Gonzalo Higuain, has been given the chance to resurrect his Juve career this season and started the 1-0 defeat of Parma.

The striker's inclusion came at the expense of Paolo Dybala, the subject of persistent transfer speculation throughout the transfer window.

Martusciello admitted the Argentina international was frustrated by his omission but insisted his attitude is not in question.

"Dybala is an extraordinary player," he said.

"He is focused despite all the talk. He is very motivated and a level-headed person. Not playing from the beginning upset him but it is part of the rules to be respected: you play with 11 and we have a squad of 27.

"They are all of an equal level except for Ronaldo, so you have to make specific choices. We are happy to have selection problems."

Maybe, just maybe, the Neymar transfer saga is coming to an end.

The Brazilian's future has dominated the headlines over recent weeks as Barcelona try to re-sign the wantaway Paris Saint-Germain superstar.

With the September 2 deadline looming, Barca may have struck a deal…

 

TOP STORY – BARCA AND PSG REACH NEYMAR AGREEMENT

According to BBC Sport, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have agreed terms on the value of Neymar.

The two clubs have reportedly settled on a figure of €200million for a player who left Camp Nou in a world-record €222m deal in 2017.

The LaLiga champions are also willing to offer Jean-Clair Todibo, Ivan Rakitic and Ousmane Dembele on a season-long loan, though all three players still have to agree terms.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to Gianluca di Marzio, Atletico Madrid have made an enquiry for Inter outcast Mauro Icardi. However, the race seems to be between Napoli and Monaco, who are both reportedly prepared to pay €65million for the former Inter captain.

- A swap deal involving Keylor Navas and Alphonse Areola is close to completion. RMC says Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Areola has reached an agreement with Real Madrid. Marca, meanwhile, says Navas will sign a three-year deal with PSG.

Parma are confident of signing Manchester United full-back Matteo Darmian, says Alfredo Pedulla. Former Torino defender Darmian has been virtually non-existent at Old Trafford in recent months.

- Radio Marte reporter Dario Sarnataro claims Chelsea have offered Michy Batshuayi to Napoli. The 25-year-old striker has recently spent time on loan at Borussia Dortmund, Valencia and Crystal Palace.

- Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is on the verge of moving to Roma on loan, according to widespread reports in Italy and England.

- Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny is set to join Besiktas on a season-long loan, says Goal.com. The Egypt international only made 17 appearances last season. Il Messaggero, meanwhile, claims the Gunners and Tottenham are both monitoring Roma star Cengiz Under.

Cristiano Ronaldo is hoping for a kinder reception from the Atletico Madrid faithful after Juventus were drawn against Diego Simeone's side in the Champions League group stage.

Juve met Atleti in the round of 16 last season with Real Madrid icon Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick in the second leg to overturn the Rojiblancos' 2-0 lead from the first match.

Ronaldo was jeered by the Atleti support during the first leg and responded by gesturing a "five" to the home fans, demonstrating the number of Champions League trophies he has won.

The Portugal star also told reporters in the post-match mixed zone: "I won five Champions Leagues, Atletico Madrid zero. Defeat? That's what happens in football, let's see if Atletico will qualify."

Ronaldo's warning shot to Atleti ultimately proved true and now the sides will meet again in this season's competition having been matched up in Group D alongside Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow.

However, Ronaldo is holding out for a less hostile return to the Wanda Metropolitano on his next return to Madrid.

"It's one more game. Atletico is a great team as we all know," Ronaldo, the all-time leading scorer in the Madrid derby, told Movistar.

"In Madrid I played many times and they were always a tough opponent. I hope they don't crush me again at the stadium, calling me unsportsmanlike. 

"Atletico has an excellent team and an excellent coach. The other two adversaries are tough. This is the draw."

Despite their superb comeback against Atleti, Juve were dumped out in the next round, going out to Erik ten Hag's scintillating Ajax side.

It was a defeat that ultimately appeared to cost Massimiliano Allegri his job, with Juve also moving to sign one of Ajax's scorers in that encounter – Netherlands star Matthijs de Ligt – in the close season.

But Ronaldo is confident the Serie A champions can go deeper into the tournament this time around.

"The favourite does not always win. Look at last year. Barcelona in Anfield, with Juve the same," Ronaldo said.

"I hope it is this year. I am confident. I hope it is the year of Juve. All teams reinforce to win. I hope it's Juve. We have great team and great players, a great coach."

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo thinks Lionel Messi has pushed him to become a better player and says he enjoys a "good relationship" with the Barcelona star.

The pair dominated the Ballon d'Or voting for a decade, winning it five times apiece before Luka Modric broke their stranglehold last year.

Messi and Ronaldo were second and third respectively for the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award for 2019, which was won by Virgil van Dijk.

Ronaldo swapped Real Madrid for Juventus in 2018 and Messi recently confessed he has missed having the Portugal international in LaLiga.

Speaking at UEFA's award ceremony ahead of Thursday's Champions League draw, Ronaldo thanked Messi for helping to raise his game and vowed to maintain his high performance levels.

"We have shared the stage [for] 15 years. I don't know if that's happened before - the same two guys, all the time," he said.

"We had that battle in Spain, I pushed him, and he pushed me. So, it's good to be part of the history of football.

"Of course, we have a good relationship. We haven't had dinner together yet, but maybe in the future!

"Leo is two years younger than me but I look good for my age. I hope to be here next year, and in two or three. People who don't like me will continue to see me here."

Messi, sitting alongside Ronaldo at the glitzy ceremony in Monaco, pipped Ronaldo to be named the Forward of the Season for the 2018-19 Champions League.

"With Cristiano, it was a beautiful rivalry," he said.

"It's nice to score goals. The goal is always to try to do things to win, before scoring. But if you can win and score, then [it's] better."

Cristiano Ronaldo should have won the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award instead of Virgil van Dijk, Juventus vice president Pavel Nedved has suggested.

Defender Van Dijk triumphed at Thursday's ceremony having played a key part in Liverpool's Champions League triumph last term and Netherlands' run to the Nations League final.

Ronaldo appeared in good spirits despite being overlooked for the prize, joking with old rival Lionel Messi in a stage-side interview.

Nedved, though, was in no doubt over which of the nominated trio should have been given the trophy.

"I expected Ronaldo's victory, but we accept everything," he said to Sky Sport Italia.

Ronaldo hit a hat-trick to steer Juve through a Champions League last-16 tie with Atletico Madrid last season and the two clubs will meet again in the 2019-20 group stage.

The Serie A champions will also face Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow in Group D.

"A tough round, not easy, but there are no easy matches in the Champions League," Nedved said. "We have changed a lot, we have a new coach and players, but I am convinced that we can do well."

Juve coach Maurizio Sarri is yet to lead his team from the dugout in a competitive game after contracting pneumonia.

He missed a 1-0 win at Parma on the opening weekend and will be absent again for Saturday's visit of old club Napoli.

Nedved, though, believes the former Chelsea boss will be ready to take his place when Juve face Fiorentina on September 14, ahead of their first Champions League group game the following week.

"It was right that, for these first two Serie A matches, he should be left to recover: with pneumonia, there is no joking," he said. 

"I think we will see him back on the bench immediately after the international break."

Virgil van Dijk has won UEFA's Player of the Year award.

The Liverpool defender took the honour ahead of Barcelona captain Lionel Messi and Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Van Dijk's arrival from Southampton made him the world's most expensive defender and he helped repay his fee by starring as the Reds won Champions League glory last term.

"I need to thank all my team-mates and the staff. I wouldn't have achieved what I have over the last year [without them], my family of course, it's been a long road but it's part of my journey, who I am," Van Dijk said.

"I had to work hard every step of the way, it's part of me and I'm happy about that. I'm proud to get that trophy and it's a credit to everyone who helped me along the way.

The Netherlands international is considered a leading contender to win this year's Ballon d'Or, which has not been given to a defender since Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro triumphed in 2006 having led the Azzurri to World Cup glory.

Taking the Women's Player of the Year award was England right-back Lucy Bronze, who beat out Lyon team-mates Ada Hegerberg and Amandine Henry.

UEFA also handed out positional awards for male players, with Van Dijk landing Champions League Defender of the Season recognition in addition to taking the top prize.

Midfielder of the Season went to Frenkie de Jong for his performances in Ajax's stunning run to the semi-finals, while Forward of the Season was given to Messi.

Champions League holders Liverpool have learned their opponents for the 2019-20 group stage, with Jurgen Klopp's side facing Napoli again.

The Reds were placed in Group B, which also includes Salzburg and Genk, when Thursday's draw was made in Monaco.

Inter's return to the Champions League saw them placed along with Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund in a daunting Group F, which also includes Slavia Prague.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid's bid to recapture their crown will see Zinedine Zidane's men take on Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, as well as Club Brugge and Galatasaray.

Champions League group stage draw in full:

Group A: Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Club Brugge, Galatasaray

Group B: Bayern Munich, Tottenham, Olympiacos, Red Star Belgrade

Group C: Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo, Atalanta

Group D: Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Moscow

Group E: Liverpool, Napoli, Salzburg, Genk

Group F: Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Inter, Slavia Prague

Group G: Zenit, Benfica, Lyon, RB Leipzig

Group H: Chelsea, Ajax, Valencia, Lille

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