Stefano Pioli is using the pain of derby defeat as fresh inspiration as he attempts to steer AC Milan to success this season.

The Rossoneri were trounced 5-1 by Inter Milan a fortnight ago and then drew 0-0 with Newcastle in their Champions League opener.

They have since beaten Verona and Cagliari to go level on points with Inter at the top of the Serie A table and manager Pioli, who found himself under intense pressure in the wake of a difficult week, is keen to draw a line under the derby day disappointment ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Lazio.


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He told a press conference: “We are doing well, we want to find the right continuity to do well in the league and in the Champions League. We need to focus only on tomorrow.


“We have always lived with balance between negative and positive moments. The derby was not the end of our journey, but a new beginning to start from.

“Now we are not perfect, we are not flawless, but we can put our best performance on the field tomorrow.”

Pioli will hope to have key players back for the weekend, with goalkeeper Mike Maignan having sat out Wednesday’s 3-1 win at Cagliari through injury, while strikers Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao started on the bench with the former not leaving it.

However, the Milan boss was coy about his team selection when asked about the depth of his squad.


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Pioli said: “I am convinced of the quality of my players, but we have to keep moving forward.

“After the break, a new season started. To stay at the top, we need to be strong in every aspect. Now we only think about tomorrow.”

Lazio will arrive at the San Siro after clinching just their second win of the campaign in midweek, when they beat Torino 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico.

Pioli will hope a third successive victory will ease the tide of criticism which has come his way, although he remains philosophical.

He said: “It’s useless to talk about the criticisms. We are Milan, we want to win and be competitive. The club is following a wonderful path, already capable of winning and to put the accounts right. Everyone is working very well.

“We are Milan, the praise and criticism are high. It’s part of our job.”

Dusan Vlahovic struck twice as Juventus beat Lazio 3-1 at the Allianz Stadium to briefly climb top of Serie A.

The Serbia striker and Federico Chiesa gave Juve a 2-0 interval lead and after Luis Alberto had pulled one back for the visitors, Vlahovic produced another emphatic finish.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side, without the suspended Paul Pogba following his recent positive drugs test, have leapfrogged Inter and AC Milan into top spot ahead of their derby clash at 5pm.

Juve went straight on the offensive and Filip Kostic’s angled drive was palmed away by Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel before Vlahovic slammed home Manuel Locatelli’s superb cross at the near post in the 10th minute.

The goal stood after VAR had checked whether the ball had gone into touch during the build-up.

Kostic forced Provedel into another save and successive headers from Weston McKennie and Vlahovic were narrowly off target as Juve continued to threaten.

Daichi Kamada had Lazio’s first shot on target in the 25th minute, which was held by Wojciech Szczesny and the visitors fell 2-0 behind less than 60 seconds later.

Adrien Rabiot tried to make room for a shot inside the penalty area and the ball broke for Chiesa, who buried an emphatic finish into the bottom corner.

Fabio Miretti was a fraction away from adding a third with a shot from outside the penalty area before Lazio twice went close to reducing the deficit on the stroke of half-time.

Ciro Immobile’s header from Felipe Anderson’s cross and Mattia Zaccagni’s angled effort both forced Szczesny into full-length saves.

Provedel kept Juve at bay early in the second period, saving successive headers from Rabiot, but Lazio began to threaten.

Anderson dragged his effort wide after being played in by Luis Alberto, who then pulled one back for the visitors in the 64th minute as he crashed a shot into the top corner from outside the box.

Juve regained their two-goal lead three minutes later when Vlahovic arrowed home his fourth goal of the season into the bottom corner.

Danilo, Arkadiusz Milik and Timothy Weah all went close to extending Juve’s lead in the closing stages and after Valentin Castellanos fired wide for Lazio, Milik headed Rabiot’s cross narrowly off target.

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has challenged his team to “find an extra gear” when they take on Lazio in Serie A on Saturday.

The Turin giants are unbeaten in their opening three outings of the season, winning 2-0 at Empoli in their last game before the international break.

Lazio bounced back from losing their opening two matches by winning 2-1 at champions Napoli and Allegri knows they will pose a stern test at the Allianz Stadium.

He said at a press conference: “Tomorrow will be a tough game and we have to be 100 per cent focused on this game alone.

“Lazio are a direct rival for the top four. Lazio are a well-organised team, both in defence and attack.

“Tomorrow we’ll be at home, so we’ll see if we can find an extra gear to click into after the win at Empoli. There’s a good atmosphere in the group and it’s always tough to choose who will start.

“But it’s good to know that we have a competitive squad and that will be important to qualify for next season’s Champions League. It’s a young group with a lot of desire, and tomorrow is a big test.”

Allegri said there was a “good chance” Federico Chiesa would start, having recovered from the muscle issue which forced him to withdraw from the Italy squad.

Having Chiesa available will be a welcome boost for Allegri, the forward having already scored twice this season.

Allegri said he could not comment on the situation facing Paul Pogba, who has been provisionally suspended by Italy’s national anti-doping tribunal after testing positive for testosterone.

“We’re sorry about the whole situation and are waiting for developments and further clarity,” he said.

“We hope that light will be shed on what has happened as soon as possible. I can’t comment on other issues because they concern Paul directly and they are strictly personal.”

He also declined to elaborate further on the reasons behind Leonardo Bonucci’s sudden departure to German side Union Berlin earlier this month.

“I’ve already said everything I have to say about Bonucci, a number of times,” he said. “I don’t feel the need to say any more, I only wish him the best of luck for the rest of his career.”

Defenders Maik Nawrocki, Alexandro Bernabei and Yuki Kobayashi have missed out on Celtic’s Champions League squad.

Polish centre-back Nawrocki is out injured with a hamstring problem and faces a continued lay-off of about six weeks along with fellow defenders Cameron Carter-Vickers and Stephen Welsh.

The latter pair have made the 25-man squad with Welsh’s homegrown credentials a potential factor in the decision.

Celtic since signed Nat Phillips on loan from Liverpool to deal with their injury list at the back, with fellow summer signing Gustaf Lagerbielke in the pool too.

Japanese central defender Kobayashi is expected to return to fitness soon following an ankle injury but he is not listed in the squad.

Bernabei has played twice this season but has not made the cut with Liam Scales a potential back-up for left-back Greg Taylor after impressing in central defence in the recent win over Rangers.

There is also no place for goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist, midfielder Kwon Hyeok-kyu and summer signing Marco Tilio, who arrived at Celtic with an injury, along with James McCarthy, who last featured in October last year.

Celtic begin their European campaign in Rotterdam next Tuesday against Feyenoord and also face Lazio and Atletico Madrid in their group.

Lazio forward Daichi Kamada sealed his side’s 2-1 win at Napoli as the defending Serie A champions slipped to their first defeat of the season.

The Japan international struck early in the second half after Napoli captain Piotr Zielinski had cancelled out Luis Alberto’s opener before half-time.

Napoli, who finished last season 16 points clear of runners-up Lazio, spurned a hatful of chances after dominating the first half.

But the visitors were well disciplined at the back and always dangerous on the break as they secured their first win of the season.

Napoli made the better start as winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia had two early shots blocked and Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel saved twice from Mathias Olivera and Zielinski.

Victor Osimhen headed a scoring chance wide and Kvaratskhelia was denied by another smart Provedel save before Lazio struck against the run of play after half an hour.

Felipe Anderson’s pass inside the box found Luis Alberto and the Spanish midfielder finished with an impressive back-heel into the far corner.

But Napoli’s response was almost immediate as Provedel was left helpless when Poland winger Zielinski’s drilled shot from outside the penalty was deflected past him two minutes later.

The home side continued to rack up the chances before the break, with Osimhen and Olivera both firing off target.

Provedel produced another fine save early in the second half, beating away Zielinski’s swerving volley before Lazio stunned the home fans at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona with a second goal in the 52nd minute.

Felipe Anderson burst down the right on the counter and his cut-back to the edge of the area was dummied by Luis Alberto, allowing Japan forward Kamada to take one touch before burying a low finish.

Napoli looked to his straight back again and blocked shots from Kvaratskhelia and Stanislav Lobotka sandwiched another long-range effort from Zielinski.

Lazio caught their hosts out twice more on the break and the Napoli faithful breathed huge sighs of relief as two efforts from the visitors were ruled out for offside in the space of four minutes.

Mattia Zaccagni and debutant Matteo Guendouzi both thought they had made it 3-1 before VAR intervention spared Napoli, with the latter’s strike viewed by the referee on the pitchside monitor.

Luis Alberto went close to wrapping it up for Lazio when he curled a shot narrowly wide in the 85th minute.

Napoli applied late pressure, but failed to breach Lazio’s impressive defence and substitute Jesper Lindstrom blazed the ball high and wide when presented a chance in the closing stages.

Tottenham have opened talks with Lazio over the proposed departure of former captain Hugo Lloris.

Lloris made clear earlier this summer his desire for a new challenge after 11 years at Spurs and was not involved in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Brentford.

The World Cup winner is now closing in on a switch to Lazio after talks between the clubs started, but a final agreement on a fee is still to be reached, the PA news agency understands.

If Lloris does leave, as has always been expected in this transfer window, his final appearance for Tottenham would be the thumping 6-1 loss at Newcastle in April.

A thigh injury ruled Lloris out of the final weeks of the campaign and the French keeper revealed in June his desire “to do other things” in the future.

While no move was forthcoming during the early part of the transfer window, Spurs’ focus was on Bayern Munich’s public pursuit of Harry Kane and incomings with James Maddison able to sign.

Lloris was left out of the club’s pre-season tour of Perth, Bangkok and Singapore in July to explore transfer opportunities, but Kane moved on before the Frenchman with his switch to Bayern finalised on Saturday.

Spurs announced their new captain on the same day with Son Heung-min named as Lloris’ successor, while Cristian Romeo and Maddison were listed as vice-captains.

Lloris retained his number one shirt when Tottenham unveiled their squad numbers on Sunday, but he was left out of the squad at Brentford despite back-up goalkeeper Fraser Forster injured with a back problem.

It meant academy graduate Brandon Austin was named on the bench as deputy to new number one Guglielmo Vicario, who endured some nervy moments on his Premier League debut.

Vicario will be able to move forward at Tottenham without the shadow of Lloris after talks between Lazio and the club stepped up this week.

With Lloris still having a year left on his contract, Spurs hope to get a fee for their former captain but it is now expected the 36-year-old will begin the next chapter of his career in Italy.

Lloris will leave Tottenham after 447 appearances and 151 clean sheets, having helped the club reach three finals during his 11 years, including the 2019 Champions League Final.

Milan pushed on in the battle for a top-four Serie A finish as Ismael Bennacer and Theo Hernandez scored in a 2-0 win over Lazio at San Siro.

Stefano Pioli's side were in full control from the off, though Lazio were masters of their own downfall for the opening goal as Marcos Antonio's error allowed Bennacer to bundle home. 

Hernandez doubled Milan's advantage before the break with a terrific solo effort, helping the Rossoneri to fourth in Serie A ahead of Inter's crucial clash with Roma later on Saturday. 

However, Milan's victory was marred by the sight of star forward Rafael Leao limping from the field early on, with the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie against Inter just four days away.

Having rested several players for Wednesday's draw with Cremonese, Pioli may have regretted naming a more familiar lineup when Leao was withdrawn just 11 minutes in – the forward appearing to suffer a groin injury.

Yet Milan made light of his absence as Bennacer pounced on a Lazio mix-up, combining with Olivier Giroud before volleying into the ground and over Ivan Provedel.

Milan doubled their lead from a lightning break 12 minutes later. Hernandez received the ball from Mike Maignan near his own penalty area before driving forward and lashing home from 20 yards via a slight deflection.

Lazio failed to record a single shot on target before the break, and Milan continued to dominate after the interval as substitute Malick Thiaw powered a header over from Sandro Tonali's corner. 

Milan were denied a late third when Ante Rebic slotted home from an offside position, but it was of little consequence as they warmed up for Wednesday's Champions League derby in style.

Lazio extended the Serie A title race by at least a day with a 2-0 win over Sassuolo, meaning Napoli have the chance to clinch the Scudetto on Thursday.

Felipe Anderson’s 14th-minute goal and a second from Toma Basic two minutes into stoppage time secured a victory which kept Lazio in second place, although Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli need just a point at Udinese on Thursday evening to claim their first Serie A title for 33 years.

First-half goals from Leandro Paredes and Dusan Vlahovic ended Juventus’ four-game winless league run as a 2-1 victory cemented them in third place.

Assan Ceesay’s 37th-minute penalty, awarded for handball by Danilo, cancelled out Paredes’ opener, but Vlahovic struck within three minutes to clinch the points.

Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez both scored twice as Inter Milan hit struggling Verona for six to maintain the pressure on the top three.

Inter effectively won the game inside six first-half minutes with Adolfo Gaich’s 31st-minute own goal sparking a collapse which saw Hakan Calhanoglu and Dzeko increase the visitors’ lead before the break with Martínez twice and Dzeko again finding the net after it.

Atalanta climbed into fifth after coming from behind to beat lowly Spezia 3-2 at the Gewiss Stadium.

Emmanuel Gyasi fired the visitors into an 18th-minute lead before Marten de Roon, Davide Zappacosta and Luis Muriel struck within 22 minutes either side of half-time, although Mehdi Bourabia reduced the deficit with 26 minutes remaining to ensure a tense conclusion.

Substitute Junior Messias’ stoppage-time free-kick spared AC Milan’s blushes and denied relegation-haunted 10-man Cremonese a lifeline.

Luca Caldirola’s first-half equalizer handed Monza a 1-1 draw with Jose Mourinho’s Roma, who had gone ahead through Stephan El Shaarawy and had Zeki Celik sent off at the death.

In LaLiga, lowly Valencia came from behind to claim a 1-1 home draw with rivals Villarreal after Samuel Lino cancelled out Nicolas Jackson’s strike.

Simone Inzaghi revelled in "one of the best games" of his Inter tenure after the Nerazzurri roared back from a goal down to beat Lazio in an absorbing contest at San Siro.

Inzaghi looked set to suffer defeat against his former club when Felipe Anderson fired the visitors ahead, but three goals in the final 13 minutes turned the game on its head.

Two one-on-one finishes from substitute Lautaro Martinez – coming either side of Robin Gosens' acrobatic strike – ensured Inter leapfrogged Milan and Roma to move into Serie A's top four.

Lazio's defeat had handed runaway leaders Napoli the opportunity to clinch their first Scudetto since the Diego Maradona era on Sunday, but Luciano Spalletti's men were made to wait after they could only draw 1-1 with Salernitana.

Inzaghi believed Inter's victory was richly deserved even after seeing them fall behind, telling Sky Sport in Italy: "This was one of the best games since I've been here.

"At the end of the first half, I told my players that they should continue to play like that. We were down but we had put in a great performance after a very busy Wednesday.

"Let's not forget that we were playing against the team second in the table. Today, I saw a really beautiful Inter team."

Martinez's brace – his first in Serie A since January – was accompanied by a pair of assists from fellow striker Romelu Lukaku, who has started to hit form following a frustrating start to his loan spell.

With a huge Champions League semi-final tie against Milan to come, Inzaghi is unable to split his four forwards, with Edin Dzeko and Joaquin Correa also competing for a starting spot.

Asked which duo were ahead in the battle to start, Inzaghi said: "Inter's four starters at the moment are Lautaro, Lukaku, Correa and Dzeko. 

"If you look at the playing time of the last few games, they've alternated and given each other great satisfaction. 

"Right now we saw Lautaro's two great goals. If we didn't have to play like we did before December, we would always have had Lautaro like this.

"I have high hopes because he's an extraordinary guy, with the way he works."

Inter's Champions League hopes received a huge boost with a late comeback and a 3-1 win against Lazio in Serie A.

Felipe Anderson had given the visitors a first-half lead at San Siro, robbing Francesco Acerbi of possession and dispatching past Andre Onana.

Numerous chances for an equaliser went begging for the hosts in the second half, which looked set to result in yet another home loss for the Nerazzurri.

However, Martinez smashed home an equaliser after 77 minutes, with Robin Gosens putting his side ahead befre Martinez added further gloss to the scoreline in a rallying finish from Simone Inzaghi's men.

Lazio head coach Maurizio Sarri has called for resignations over the decision to overturn Juventus' 15-point deduction in Serie A.

The Bianconeri were hit with the penalty in January after an investigation into a capital gains case, with the club found guilty of alleged breaches in relation to historical transfers.

However, Juve's appeal to have the deduction revoked proved successful, with the Collegio di Garanzia announcing on Thursday the penalty has been annulled.

The Italian Football Federation (FICG) could yet punish Juve again after re-evaluating the case, but for now they have jumped to third in Serie A.

Massimiliano Allegri's men have the chance to leapfrog Lazio into second should they beat leaders Napoli on Sunday, but Sarri is not happy with how the situation has been handled.

"From a legal point of view, I don't have the knowledge to be able to give an opinion," he said following Lazio's 1-0 home loss to Torino on Saturday.

"But from a sporting point of view, the championship is distorted. For months there was a ranking, but now it's different and could change. 

"I hope someone in sports justice has the good taste to resign."

Sarri's mood was not helped by what he thought was a poor display from the officials in the loss to Torino, with Ivan Ilic's first-half goal proving the difference.

"The refereeing had an impact," he said. "[Elseid] Hysaj should have had a penalty, and Torino's goal came from a throw-in metres inside the pitch. It influenced the game. 

"I wonder how seven people didn’t see these things. The boys were good – there was a risk of being reduced to nine or 10 men with these referees."

Ciro Immobile "feared for his daughters" and feels he had a lucky escape after the Lazio captain's car was hit by a tram on Sunday.

The Italy striker sustained a distortion trauma of the spine and a compound fracture of his rib when his vehicle was struck in Rome.

He was taken to the Agostino Gemelli IRCCS University Hospital following the crash, which occurred while his two daughters were travelling with him.

Video footage showed substantial damage to the front of Immobile's car and the 33-year-old is relieved he was not driving a smaller vehicle.

He is quoting as saying in the Corriere dello Sport: "An incredible blow. I only thought about protecting my girls. A nightmare, I feared for them. Luckily both we and the tram driver are here to talk about it. With another car I don't know what would have happened."

Lazio president Claudio Lotito said: "Ciro is part of our family, he is a champion to whom I am particularly attached also from a human point of view. 

"We are with him and we hope he will return soon, but now he must have the utmost serenity to think about his health and to that of his daughters."

Immobile scored his 12th goal of the season from the penalty spot in second-placed Lazio's 3-0 win over Spezia last Friday.


Lazio captain Ciro Immobile walked away without suffering any serious injuries after his car collided with a tram on Sunday morning.

The Italy striker was reportedly taken to the Agostino Gemelli IRCCS University Hospital following the crash in Rome.

It was reported Immobile's two daughters were also in his vehicle when the accident occurred in the Italian captain.

Lazio revealed in a statement that the 33-year-old sustained a distortion trauma of the spine and a compound fracture of his rib.

Immobile, who remains under observation in hospital in the Eternal City, said at the scene: "The tram ran a red light. Luckily I'm fine, my arm just hurts a little."

Video footage showed substantial damage to the front of Immobile's car.

Immobile scored his 12th goal of the season from the penalty spot in second-placed Lazio's 3-0 win over Spezia on Friday.


Maurizio Sarri accepts Lazio's opening goal in Saturday's 2-1 win over Juventus could have been ruled out, but says the visitors were fortunate not to be reduced to nine men.

Lazio maintained their fine Serie A form with victory at Stadio Olimpico thanks to goals from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Mattia Zaccagni, either side of Adrien Rabiot's equaliser.

Juve's players were furious Milinkovic-Savic's 38th-minute opener was allowed to stand as the midfielder nudged Alex Sandro in the back before controlling the ball and firing in.

But Sarri does not believe Juventus can complain too strongly as he feels Manuel Locatelli and Juan Cuadrado could easily have been sent off.

"From where I was, my impression is that the referee could have called for a foul," Sarri told DAZN. "But I also got the impression Juve could have ended with nine men.

"There was a Locatelli foul that was worthy of a red card and Cuadrado should have had a second yellow card. That was clear when he was substituted off straight after."

Referee Marco Di Bello allowed the goal to stand following a check of the pitchside monitor, seemingly adjudging that Alex Sandro went to ground too easily under contact.

Juve assistant coach Marco Landucci, who was standing in for the ill Massimiliano Allegri, did not want to dwell on the key call.

"The referee decides. Juve fans would say it was a foul, Lazio fans would say it wasn't, but the only opinion that matters is that of the referee," he said.

"All I can say is that our first half was below par, whereas we did much better after the break, deserved to score again and the draw would've been the fair result.

"As usual, we accept the result on the field. We don't stir up controversy over these things."


Rabiot bundled the ball over the line four minutes after Milinkovic-Savic's strike, but Zaccagni restored Lazio's lead early in the second half with what proved to be the winner.

The 27-year-old has reached double-figures for goals in a single Serie A season for the first time and is the only Italian to have scored 10 goals in the division this campaign.

Lazio's second home win against Juve in 18 attempts tightens their grip on second place in Serie A, which Zaccagni says gives him more joy than any individual milestones.

"They're both beautiful to hear, but second place is worth much more [than scoring 10 goals]," he said. "I always want to improve and hope to continue as I am.

"It's going to be very difficult staying second. There are many teams around us, so we have to stay focused and score as many points as possible between now and the end."

Juve conceded more than once away from home for the first time since mid-January, with this defeat leaving them eight points off the top four.

However, with an appeal against their 15-point deduction set to be held on April 19, the top-four battle may yet take another twist.

"It's hard to say much about this," Landucci said at his post-match press conference. "On the field, we've scored 59 points. Now we'll wait to hear the appeal on the 19th.

"Lazio now only have to focus on the league, so they have a clear advantage."

Lazio maintained their impressive run of form with a 2-1 win over Juventus at Stadio Olimpico on Saturday to tighten their grip on second place in Serie A.

On a weekend in which Milan, Inter and Atalanta had all dropped points, Lazio took full advantage with an entertaining win over Juve, who remain eight points off the top four.

Adrien Rabiot cancelled out Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's opener in a frenetic end to the first half, with that sloppy goal ending Lazio's six-game run without conceding in the league.

But Mattia Zaccagni restored the hosts' lead eight minutes after the restart, and Lazio held on to move five points clear of third place, which is now occupied by rivals Roma.

Wojciech Szczesny produced a fine save to keep out Ciro Immobile's volley, but the Juventus goalkeeper could do little to deny Milinkovic-Savic from close range for Lazio's 38th-minute opener.

Referee Marco Di Bello allowed the goal to stand following a check of the pitchside monitor, despite the visitors arguing Milinkovic-Savic shoved Alex Sandro before controlling and firing in.

A member of Juve's backroom team was issued a red card and substitute Leonardo Bonucci cautioned for their protests, but Juve were level before half-time as Rabiot bundled in after Ivan Provedel had saved Bremer's initial header.

Lazio were back in front on 53 minutes through Zaccagni's first-time finish into the bottom-right corner after Luis Alberto brilliantly back-heeled the ball into his path in front of goal.

Massimiliano Allegri turned to Federico Chiesa and Arkadiusz Milik from the substitutes' bench, but Juve did not register a meaningful attempt in the second half as they failed to make up ground on the top four.

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