Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has attempted to play down expectations after his side’s strong start to the season.

The Bianconeri have claimed 10 points from their opening four Serie A games and sit second in the table, two points behind early leaders Inter Milan.

With no European commitments this season, Juve could made a strong push to reclaim the title but Allegri does not want to look further than Saturday’s trip to Sassuolo.

Allegri told reporters: “Now we have to stay focused because there’s too much euphoria and, while on the one hand that’s nice, it can take away energy and attention.

“We’re only on matchday five and Sassuolo, with the exception of a 3-0 win a few years ago, have always been tough opponents.

“They’re coming off the back of a big defeat to Frosinone, so we’ll have a tough task and we will have to be very attentive, physical and technically good. It will be important to get a good result.”

Allegri insists other teams are still in a stronger position than Juve and he thinks it will be tough enough to get back into the Champions League.

He said: “We have a chance to get into the top four, but it won’t be easy because Inter, AC Milan and Napoli are stronger than everybody.

“We have to go one step at a time, with balance, without mood swings that are tied to single results.

“Whatever path we take will be determined to have been right or not by the results at the end of the season.

“We have to have the desire to be at the top but we have to get the results to get into the Champions League.”

Federico Chiesa and Dusan Vlahovic have been passed fit for the trip to Reggio Emilia but with a short turnaround before Tuesday’s home clash with Lecce, Allegri recognises the need to manage his squad.

He said: “Vlahovic had some back pain and Federico had some fatigue with his flexor but they’re fully available.

“We are only thinking about Sassuolo but we have a game three days later and I think we’ll rotate on Tuesday. I’ll evaluate Vlahovic’s condition.

“We have a less experienced squad this year but we’ve got enthusiasm and dynamism.

“We have to keep working hard to improve, remembering that we have to run more than everybody else and results will bring more confidence and belief.”

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli is keen to see his side return to winning ways when they welcome Verona to San Siro on Saturday.

Pioli’s side were on the wrong end of a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of local rivals Inter Milan last week and failed to convert any of their 25 shots on goal in their goalless draw against Newcastle in the Champions League curtain raiser.

The defeat to Inter ended Milan’s 100 per cent start to the campaign and they now face Verona who have won two already, including victory over Jose Mourinho’s Roma.

Pioli is confident his side can put things right this weekend, saying in quotes reported on the club’s website: “Winning is always important, especially after a defeat.

“Easy matches don’t exist, just the desire to interpret them well. The team are doing well.

“We’re confident about what we’re doing and eager to produce the right performance against Verona.

“Right now, we’re only focused on our match against them.

“They’re an intense and aggressive side, and we need to be prepared and approach the game well to come away with the three points.

“We’ll have to be composed and intelligent and show an ability to understand the situations that develop as we look to find the necessary solutions.”

Following the dip in form, Pioli hinted at making changes but knows his players are eager to put things right.

“I’m focusing on making the right choices to win. It’s only right that the players are champing at the bit,” he said.

“There are 11 starters and then those who are subbed on as the game progresses, who can also provide something different. The maximum availability of players is important, the opportunities will come for everyone.”

Rafael Leao, 24, has made a bright start to the season having contributed two goals and two assists during his four Serie A matches this campaign.

Pioli is pleased with the Portugal international and thinks he is making all the right steps to be a top player.

He added: “Leao is on an important path, to go from the great player he is to being a champion.

“He will have to manage his talent and some phases of the game better. Growing up means more responsibility, but on a mental and character level he is making important steps, also in terms of availability.

“We must not give too much responsibility to a single player: the mistake of one is a mistake of all: we must continue on our path knowing that we all have to improve some things.”

Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s double helped Inter Milan remain unbeaten in Serie A with a 5-1 thrashing of bitter rivals AC Milan.

They got off to the perfect start in the Milan derby, going ahead through Mkhitaryan before extending their advantage when Marcus Thuram hit a stunning strike into the top corner.

Rafael Leao gave Milan some hope with a quick finish after the break, but Inter cruised to victory when Mkhitaryan’s second was followed by Hakan Calhanoglu’s penalty and Davide Frattesi’s last-minute strike.

The win ensures Inter remain top of the table and are two points clear of Juventus, who beat Lazio 3-1 earlier in the day through Dusan Vlahovic’s brace.

The Serbia striker and Federico Chiesa gave Juve the lead and though Luis Alberto pulled one back for the visitors, Vlahovic put the game to bed.

Reigning Scudetto champions Napoli were forced to come from behind to snatch a draw with Genoa.

Goals from Mattia Bani and Mateo Retegui looked set to seal a historic victory for the home side, but substitute Giacomo Raspadori and Matteo Politano struck in the last 15 minutes to earn a point.

Barcelona moved to the top of the La Liga table after hammering Real Betis 5-0.

Joao Felix opened his account for the club with his first goal since arriving on loan from Atletico Madrid at the start of the month and Robert Lewandowski doubled the lead going into the break.

Ferran Torres and substitute Raphinha also got on the scoresheet before Joao Cancelo rounded off a dominant evening for Barca.

Athletic Bilbao are third in the table after beating Cadiz 3-0 and Mallorca beat Celta Vigo 1-0, while Valencia stunned Atletico Madrid to hand them their first defeat in the league.

Hugo Duro scored twice and Javi Guerra rounded off a 3-0 win to take Valencia fifth and Diego Simeone’s side will be hoping to bounce back against Lazio in the Champions League on Tuesday before their derby against Real Madrid next weekend.

Mats Hummels was at the double for Borussia Dortmund as they struck late to earn a 4-2 win against Freiburg in the Bundesliga.

The veteran centre-half opened the scoring in the 11th minute before Lucas Holer and Nicolas Hofler both scored in quick succession to give Freiburg the lead at half-time.

Donyell Malen levelled the score on the hour mark, but Freiburg were reduced to 10 men with nine minutes to go when Hofler was sent off, allowing Hummels and Marco Reus to capitalise with two goals in two minutes at the death.

Goals from David Raum, Lois Openda and Xavi Simons helped Leipzig earn a third straight league victory, beating Augsburg 3-0.

Three points sees them move into third in the table where they are tied on nine points with Wolfsburg, who came from behind to beat Union Berlin 2-1 through Joakim Maehle’s winner.

Hoffenheim and Stuttgart also have nine points after 3-1 wins against Koln and Mainz respectively, while Eintracht Frankfurt were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against VFL Bochum.

Ibrahim Salah’s 89th-minute goal helped Rennes come from behind to salvage a 2-2 draw with Lille in Ligue 1.

Seventeen-year-old Leny Yoro and Bafode Diakite gave Lille the advantage before Lorenz Assignon pulled one back with 16 minutes of normal time to play and Salah snatched a point at the death.

Metz sit between both sides in sixth after beating struggling Lens 1-0 in Saturday’s other fixture.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s double ensured Inter Milan continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 5-1 drubbing against bitter rivals AC Milan.

Inter got off to a perfect start in the Milan derby with two goals from Mkhitaryan and Marcus Thuram, before Rafael Leao gave Milan some hope with a quick finish after the break.

Mkhitaryan earned his brace before Hakan Calhanoglu’s penalty and Davide Frattesi’s goal ensured there was no way back for Milan, who now face Newcastle in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Three points means Inter have now won all four of their games in Serie A this season and remain top of the table by two points.

Mkhitaryan set the tone in the fifth minute with a clean first-time effort from close range, which found the bottom corner and the goal stood despite a VAR check for a foul in the build-up.

The former Manchester United and Arsenal midfielder came close to a second with his header flashing wide of goal and Federico Dimarco then fired a free-kick over the crossbar before Theo Hernandez tried his luck for Milan, but his effort rolled past the post.

Thuram struck to double Inter’s advantage in the 38th minute with a stunning strike across the face of goal and into the top corner.

Milan had a chance after being awarded a free-kick outside the box just before the break, but Olivier Giroud blasted the ball over the bar.

Despite a bright start from Inter in the second half, it was Milan who pulled one back in the 58th minute after a superb through-ball from Giroud found Leao and his deflected shot landed in the net.

Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan made a good dive to his right to deny Carlos Augusto, who smashed the ball from outside the box, as Inter ramped up the pressure.

Nerazzurri struck again in the 68th minute after a great team move saw Lautaro Martinez lay the ball off to Mkhitaryan before the midfielder found the bottom corner, helped by a deflection, to earn his brace.

Milan’s misery continued when Hernandez conceded a penalty after catching Martinez in the box and Calhanoglu made no mistake from the spot in the 79th minute, blasting the ball low underneath Maignan.

Frattesi capped off a dominant evening for Inter after bursting through the Milan defence to latch onto the end of Mkhitaryan’s well-timed pass and tucked the ball home.

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.”

Napoli manager Rudi Garcia has backed Khvicha Kvaratskhelia to return to form ahead of a busy period for the club.

Georgian winger Kvaratskhelia scored 14 goals last season to help the Serie A title return to Naples, but a calf injury has restricted his involvement during the new campaign.

Kvaratskhelia played twice for Georgia during the international break and Garcia knows he can count on the attacker when Napoli travel to Genoa on Saturday night for the start of a sequence of seven matches in 23 days.

“Kvara has played 180 minutes (for Georgia). He struggled a bit in the first match and was a bit better in the second, but I am not worried for him,” Garcia told a press conference.

“He was a bit unlucky in the second half against Lazio. He will score and assist again. He could not play for 90 minutes against Lazio, but two full games with Georgia are good news for us.

“We have seven games in 23 days. It will be like a marathon and we must start well having all the group available.”

Last season’s Scudetto winners suffered their first loss of the campaign before the international break when Lazio won 2-1 at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on September 2.

Garcia admitted he will be forced to make changes to his starting line-up for that match and goalscorer Matteo Politano could be on the bench.

Politano trained separately this week with a knock but could still be included on the bench for the trip north.

Garcia added: “Many players were tired yesterday and some are not 100 per cent fit, but I am happy that there are no injuries.

“Matteo Politano should be with us, even if he can’t play for 90 minutes.

“Kvaratskhelia has only started one Serie A game so far this season but is getting back in shape.

“Those who deserve it will play but the starting line-up won’t be the same as against Lazio.

“We must be more efficient up front. It would be important to keep a clean sheet, like against Sassuolo.

“We must be confident because we have a tidy playing style, which must bring us to scoring more goals.”

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli feels his side are ready to turn the tide in the Derby della Madonnina against city rivals Inter.

Both Milan clubs have opened the new season with three straight wins to sit top of Serie A, two points ahead of defending champions Napoli, in the build up to Saturday’s clash at the San Siro.

The Nerazzurri won the four derbies played in 2023 across all competitions – with their rivals failing to score a goal in any of the games, including both legs of the Champions League semi-final.

Pioli, though, is not bothered by historical statistics.

“I am not interested past derbies – Saturday’s one counts. It is an opportunity to exploit and I want my players to think they can win it,” Pioli told a press conference.

“We are at the start of the championship, we have started well and we want to continue like this with a clear head.

“I am convinced of how the team has prepared and wants to face the match, we know what to propose, but then the matches must be played and interpreted.”

Pioli added: “I want to see Milan, I want to see the team follow our playing principles and what we have prepared.

“I am sure that we will face the match with the right spirit, with enthusiasm and with heart. Against Inter, but also in the whole season. We are not afraid of anything.”

The Rossoneri – who open their Champions League campaign against Newcastle next week – will be without defender Fikayo Tomori following his red card in the win at Roma before the international break.

With Pierre Kalulu also not fully fit, veteran Dane Simon Kjaer should come into the side.

“Kjaer is ready to play such an important match,” Pioli said. “He is strong and has a great personality.”

“I must manage my players in the best way. We will play many games in 21 days. We think about the derby now, then from Sunday we will focus on Newcastle.”

Pioli also confirmed Davide Calabria “won’t be available for a long time” because of an ankle problem.

Despite their own fine start to the new campaign, which has seen them yet to concede a goal in Serie A, Inter coach Simone Inzaghi is determined to keep a sense of perspective.

“Before the start of the season, they said that we were weaker – but now, it seems that we will have to win the Champions League rather than the Scudetto,” Inzaghi told a press conference.

“It doesn’t bother me – I am joking about it because this is what I am reading after three victories.

“It is not a problem. We know that we hit our peak last season and that is why it is difficult for me to say if we are better than last year.

“We hope to play another 57 games, but time will tell. We are at Inter to win and we work hard to achieve our goals.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Inter (@inter)

 

“We know that we have to work hard and that tomorrow we will have very strong opponents to face.”

Inzaghi added: “Milan and Inter both made a good impression thus far.

“It is only the fourth round (of Serie A), but it is an important match. We want to get the best possible result.”

Inter will check on the fitness of Juan Cuadrado and Alexis Sanchez.

Midfielder Davide Frattesi laid down a marker to make his first start for the Nerazzurri with two goals for Italy in the Euro 2024 qualifier win over Ukraine.

Inzaghi said: “I have to make choices and I’m happy to have options.”

Napoli winger Matteo Politano is recovering from a calf strain sustained while on international duty, his club have confirmed.

Politano has undergone tests back at Napoli after being sent home from Italy’s Euro qualifying squad. He was withdrawn at half-time during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with North Macedonia in Skopje.

The Serie A champions have not confirmed whether Politano is expected to be fit for Saturday’s Serie A match at Genoa, while Denmark midfielder Jesper Lindstrom has rejoined Rudi Garcia’s squad.

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has been provisionally suspended by Italy’s national anti-doping tribunal after returning an adverse sample.

The France international tested positive for testosterone in a random drugs test following Juventus’ Serie A game against Udinese on August 20, when he was an unused substitute.

After the Italian anti-doping body issued a statement on Monday evening confirming Pogba’s suspension, Juventus said the club would now consider “the next procedural steps”.

If found guilty of doping, a suspension of between two and four years could be handed out to Pogba.

“Juventus Football Club announces that today, September 11, 2023, the footballer Paul Labile Pogba received a precautionary suspension order from the National Anti-Doping Tribunal following the results of tests carried out on August 20, 2023,” a statement from the Serie A side read.

“The club reserves the right to consider the next procedural steps.”

Italy’s national anti-doping tribunal confirmed Pogba’s positive sample for testosterone.

A statement from the anti-doping body read: “The National Antidoping Tribunal informs that, in acceptance of the instance proposed by the National Antidoping Prosecutor, it has provided for the provisional suspension of the athlete: Paul Labile Pogba (FIGC) for the violation of articles 2.1, 2.2; prohibited substance detected: Non-endogenous testosterone metabolites (The GC/c/IRMS results are consistent with the exogenous origin of the target compounds).”

Earlier on Monday, former Manchester United midfielder Pogba said he was almost driven to walk away from football after allegedly being blackmailed by an organised crime gang.

The 30-year-old’s brother Mathias was detained in September 2022 on suspicion of involvement in the alleged plot, which Paul Pogba claimed amounted to a bid to extort £11.1million from him.

Mathias Pogba was released in December and denies the charges.

Paul Pogba reported the incident to Turin prosecutors in July of last year, shortly after leaving Manchester United on a free transfer in order to rejoin Juventus.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Paul Pogba said: “When there is money you have to be careful. Money changes people. It can break up a family. It can create a war.

“Sometimes I was just by myself thinking: ‘I don’t want to have money anymore. I just don’t want to play anymore. I just want to be with normal people, so they will love me for me – not for the fame, not for the money.’

“Sometimes it’s tough. This life, you have to go through it. It will only make me stronger.”

Laure Beccuau, a Paris prosecutor, said the investigation was looking into allegations of “blackmail by an armed gang, kidnapping and membership of a criminal conspiracy”.

Mathias Pogba is himself a professional footballer, with the 33-year-old having represented Crewe, Crawley, Wrexham and Partick Thistle, as well as the national team of Guinea.

He is currently without a club after leaving French lower-league side Belfort in 2022.

Paul Pogba could face a lengthy ban after failing a drugs test, according to reports in Italy which emerged shortly after the Juventus midfielder revealed he almost walked away from football after allegedly being blackmailed by an organised crime gang.

It is claimed the France international tested positive for testosterone in a random drugs test following Juventus’ Serie A game against Udinese on August 20, when he was an unused substitute.

Elevated levels of testosterone were reported to have been found, which means Pogba’s second sample would also need to be checked.

According to Italian media, Pogba has three days to produce a counter-analysis of the result. If found guilty of doping, a suspension of between two and four years could reportedly be handed out.

The PA news agency has contacted Juventus and the Italian Football Federation for comment.

Earlier on Monday, former Manchester United midfielder Pogba said he was almost driven to walk away from football after allegedly being blackmailed by an organised crime gang.

The 30-year-old’s brother Mathias was detained in September 2022 on suspicion of involvement in the alleged plot, which Paul Pogba claimed amounted to a bid to extort £11.1million from him.

Mathias Pogba was released in December and denies the charges.

Paul Pogba reported the incident to Turin prosecutors in July of last year, shortly after leaving Manchester United on a free transfer in order to rejoin Juventus.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Paul Pogba said: “When there is money you have to be careful. Money changes people. It can break up a family. It can create a war.

“Sometimes I was just by myself thinking: ‘I don’t want to have money anymore. I just don’t want to play anymore. I just want to be with normal people, so they will love me for me – not for the fame, not for the money.’

“Sometimes it’s tough. This life, you have to go through it. It will only make me stronger.”

Laure Beccuau, a Paris prosecutor, said the investigation was looking into allegations of “blackmail by an armed gang, kidnapping and membership of a criminal conspiracy”.

Mathias Pogba is himself a professional footballer, with the 33-year-old having represented Crewe, Crawley, Wrexham and Partick Thistle, as well as the national team of Guinea.

He is currently without a club after leaving French lower-league side Belfort in 2022.

Paul Pogba says he was almost driven to walk away from football after allegedly being blackmailed by an organised crime gang.

The 30-year-old midfielder’s brother Mathias was detained in September 2022 on suspicion of involvement in the alleged plot, which Paul Pogba claimed amounted to a bid to extort £11.1million from him.

Mathias Pogba was released in December and denies the charges.

Paul Pogba reported the incident to Turin prosecutors in July of last year, shortly after leaving Manchester United on a free transfer in order to rejoin Juventus.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Paul Pogba said: “When there is money you have to be careful. Money changes people. It can break up a family. It can create a war.

“Sometimes I was just by myself thinking: ‘I don’t want to have money anymore. I just don’t want to play anymore. I just want to be with normal people, so they will love me for me – not for the fame, not for the money.’

“Sometimes it’s tough. This life, you have to go through it. It will only make me stronger.”

Laure Beccuau, a Paris prosecutor, said the investigation was looking into allegations of “blackmail by an armed gang, kidnapping and membership of a criminal conspiracy”.

Mathias Pogba is himself a professional footballer, with the 33-year-old having represented Crewe, Crawley, Wrexham and Partick Thistle, as well as the national team of Guinea.

He is currently without a club after leaving French lower-league side Belfort in 2022.

Robert Lewandowski scored an 85th-minute winner from the spot as Barcelona snatched a 2-1 LaLiga victory at 10-man Osasuna on Sunday.

The Spanish champions were outplayed for large spells of the game at El Sadar but Jules Kounde put them ahead in first-half injury time.

Chimy Avila looked to have rescued a deserved point for the hosts after 76 minutes but Alejandro Catena was sent off for pulling back Lewandowski in the box and the Pole scored the resulting penalty.

Elsewhere, Portu scored in the 88th minute to hand Girona a 1-0 win over Las Palmas that leaves them second, two points behind Real Madrid, while Mallorca and Athletic Bilbao played out a goalless draw.

Kylian Mbappe scored twice as French champions Paris St Germain powered to a 4-1 win over troubled Lyon in Ligue 1.

Achraf Hakimi and Marco Asensio also got on the scoresheet at the Groupama Stadium as PSG piled on the misery for under-fire home manager Laurent Blanc.

The result left Lyon bottom of the table with just one point from four games.

They were overtaken by Clermont, who claimed their first point of the season by fighting back from 2-0 down to snatch a last-gasp 2-2 draw against Toulouse. Florent Ogier scored their injury-time equaliser.

Metz and Reims also drew 2-2 while Le Havre overpowered Lorient 3-0, Lille edged out Montpellier 1-0 and Nice saw off Strasbourg 2-0.

Lautaro Martinez struck twice as Inter Milan moved to the top of Serie A with an emphatic 4-0 win over Fiorentina at San Siro.

Marcus Thuram and Hakan Calhanoglu, with a penalty, also got on the scoresheet as Inter maintained their 100 per cent start to the campaign.

Juventus continued their unbeaten start with a 2-0 triumph at Empoli. Danilo and Federico Chiesa scored in each half.

Nemanja Radonjic scored a stoppage-time winner as Torino beat Genoa 1-0 and Lecce beat Salernitana 2-0.

In Germany, Benjamin Sesko scored twice in the last five minutes to wrap up a 3-0 win for RB Leipzig over 10-man Union Berlin.

Xavi Simons had opened the scoring after 51 minutes and Union’s hopes of getting back into the game were hit when Kevin Volland was sent off just after the hour.

Niels Nkounkou struck in the 87th minute to cancel out a penalty from Florian Kainz and earn Eintracht Frankfurt a 1-1 draw at home to Cologne.

Juventus maintained their unbeaten start to the Serie A season with a 2-0 win at bottom side Empoli.

Danilo fired the visitors in front in the 24th minute and Federico Chiesa made sure of the points late in the second period after Dusan Vlahovic had seen a poor first-half penalty saved by debutant Etrit Berisha.

The win lifts Juve to third in the table, two points behind Inter and AC Milan, while Empoli have now failed to score in any of their three league games this season after crashing out of the Coppa Italia to Serie B Cittadella.

Vlahovic had the first shot on target in the seventh minute, but his right-footed effort was gathered at his near post at the second attempt by Berisha and moments later Jacopo Fazzini fired a shot high and wide at the other end.

Danilo thought he had opened the scoring in the 10th minute when he headed home from close range, only to be penalised for blocking the goalkeeper as Empoli struggled to clear a corner.

Vlahovic then sent a glancing header wide of the post as the home side again had difficulty clearing their lines and that weakness was to prove costly in the 24th minute as Danilo edged the visitors in front.

Danilo’s initial effort following a corner from the left was inadvertently blocked by team-mate Federico Gatti, but the ball came back to the Brazilian defender and he made no mistake with a side-footed finish from eight yards.

Juventus then had numerous chances to double their lead, with a mishit shot from Vlahovic falling kindly for Chiesa to set up Weston McKennie, but his right-footed effort was deflected wide.

Vlahovic himself then fired wide before squandering a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot after Youssef Maleh clipped Gatti in the box.

Vlahovic had scored a penalty in the opening-day win over Udinese but his left-footed shot lacked enough power and was saved by Berisha with his legs as he actually dived past the ball.

Juventus continued to dominate the game after the interval and Chiesa curled a shot inches wide on the hour mark after playing the ball through the legs of Sebastian Walukiewicz and bursting into the area.

Substitute Paul Pogba then looked to have doubled his side’s lead just four minutes after coming on, only to see his delightful volley ruled out due to Vlahovic being deemed offside in the build-up.

The overdue second goal finally arrived eight minutes from time as Chiesa raced on to a defence-splitting pass from Arkadiusz Milik and was clipped by Berisha as he rounded the goalkeeper, but quickly got to his feet and switched the ball on to his right foot before slotting it into the empty net.

There was still time for Milik to hit the bar with a header from Timothy Weah’s cross and for Moise Kean to clip the post from outside the area, but the two goals were more than enough for a dominant win.

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.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.