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Leaders Inter draw, Dortmund stay in Champions League hunt and Neymar scores as PSG win in cup
AC Milan lost to Sassuolo in Serie A.

SERIE A LEADERS Inter Milan were held at Spezia on Wednesday but extended their advantage to 10 points, as nearest rivals AC Milan fell to a 2-1 home defeat by Sassuolo after a chaotic few days amid the European Super League furore.

italy-soccer-serie-a Tano Pecoraro / LaPresseLaPresse/Tano Pecoraro Ivan Perisic scored for Inter Milan tonight. Tano Pecoraro / LaPresseLaPresse/Tano Pecoraro / LaPresseLaPresse/Tano Pecoraro

Champions Juventus moved third, just one point behind AC Milan, after beating Parma 3-1, hours after the top three were forced to backtrack on plans to join the new 12-team closed tournament.

But it was a second consecutive 1-1 draw for Antonio Conte’s Inter after the same result against Napoli last weekend, with Diego Farias surprising the visitors with a 12th-minute opening goal.

Ivan Perisic pulled Inter level after 39 minutes from an Achraf Hakimi cross, finding the net on his 200th appearance for the club.

The leaders were unable to find a winner despite chances, with Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku both having goals ruled out in the final five minutes.

In Milan, Stefano Pioli’s hosts’ bid for a return to the Champions League for the first time since 2014 remains at risk, with top-four rivals Atalanta, Napoli and Lazio all in action on Thursday.

Giacomo Raspadori came off the bench in the second half and scored twice in a seven-minute spell, after Hakan Calhanoglu had put Milan ahead on the half-hour mark.

Juventus also got off to a slow start in Turin, with Parma’s Gaston Brugman’s perfectly taken free-kick beating Gianluigi Buffon on 25 minutes.

Serie A top-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo was back, alongside Paulo Dybala, after a one-match injury absence, but it was Juve’s defenders who scored the goals.

Alex Sandro volleyed in the first before the break and struck again early in the second half, heading in a Juan Cuadrado cross.

In the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund remain four points from next season’s Champions League places as Raphael Guerreiro’s late goal helped seal a 2-0 home win over Union Berlin.

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Dortmund have four games left to bridge the gap to the Champions League spots, but can boost their chances with a win at third-placed Wolfsburg on Saturday.

Dortmund took the lead in the first half at Signal Iduna Park when captain Marco Reus tapped home after Erling Braut Haaland’s penalty was saved.

imago-20210421 Matthias Koch Borussia Dortmund players celebrate after Marco Reus scored. Matthias Koch

England winger Jadon Sancho came on with 30 minutes left to make his 100th Bundesliga appearance having been sidelined since February by a leg injury.

Dortmund rode their luck before Guerreiro finished off a flowing move two minutes into added time as Haaland combined with Julian Brandt for the goal.

Wolfsburg regained third from Eintracht Frankfurt with a 3-1 win at VfB Stuttgart as their Dutch striker Wout Weghorst netted his 20th league goal this season.

At the other end of the table, Mainz are now five points from the relegation places after their 1-0 win at Werder Bremen thanks to Adam Szalai’s early strike.

Borussia Moenchengldabch’s hopes of a top four finish to qualify for the Champions League were dented by conceding three second-half goals in a 3-2 defeat at mid-table Hoffenheim.

The results leaves Gladbach four points from the European places.

In France, Mauro Icardi netted a hat-trick and Neymar scored his first goal since January as holders Paris Saint-Germain thrashed Angers 5-0 on Wednesday to reach the French Cup semi-finals, while Monaco progressed with victory at Lyon.

imago-20210421 Imago / PA Images Neymar in action for PSG against Lyon. Imago / PA Images / PA Images

The capital giants join Montpellier, amateurs Rumilly Vallieres and Monaco, who beat fellow Ligue 1 title hopefuls Lyon 2-0, in the last four.

Icardi fired Pochettino’s hosts ahead in the ninth minute, before Angers right-back Vincent Manceau put through his own net midway through the first half.

Neymar, captaining PSG in the absence of the injured Marquinhos, nodded home in the 65th minute.

Angel Di Maria teed up Icardi to tap in three minutes later, before the striker wrapped up his hat-trick in the 90th minute.

Monaco, who are only two points off the pace in Ligue 1, saw off 10-man Lyon thanks to second-half goals from Wissam Ben Yedder and Kevin Volland.

© – AFP, 2021

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