Soccer PIX: Milan and Inter share spoils; Atletico held

IMAGES from soccer matches played across Europe on Sunday.

AC Milan continued their unbeaten start to the Serie A season with a 1-1 draw against Inter Milan in an enthralling Milan Derby on Sunday, maintaining the Rossoneri’s seven-point lead over the reigning Italian champions.

Hakan Calhanoglu, who crossed the divide by joining Inter on a free transfer from Milan in the summer, quickly made his mark against his former employers by winning and scoring a penalty 11 minutes in.

But Stefan de Vrij headed into his own net to draw the Rossoneri level six minutes later, before Milan keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu superbly saved a Lautaro Martinez penalty in a frantic first half.

Milan substitute Alexis Saelemaekers was inches away from a stunning 90th-minute winner when his powerful strike cannoned off the foot of the post, as Stefano Pioli’s side dropped points for just the second time this season in the league.

“The glass is half full, it was a complicated match. In the end the performance was positive against a strong team, but we showed that we are also strong,” Pioli told DAZN.

“We were brave, especially in the defensive phase. We attacked with a lot of players in the first half and showed great desire to bring home a big result. Only us and Napoli are still unbeaten in the top European leagues.”

Milan remain second with 32 points, behind leaders Napoli on goal difference, while champions Inter are third with 25 points.

It is the first time the Rossoneri have registered as many as 32 points after 12 games of a Serie A season in the three points for a win era.

The stakes were high for both teams, with Milan having the chance to go ten points clear of one of their major title rivals and Inter desperately needing a result to keep hopes of a successful Scudetto defence alive.

Inter coach Simone Inzaghi therefore saw the result in a different light to his Milan counterpart Pioli.

“For us the glass is half empty because with the chances we created and the penalty we missed, we deserved more,” Inzaghi told DAZN.

“But we were up against a great team that is deservedly on top of the table. We are lagging behind, but there is still time and games like this make us more self-aware.”

The game started with a bang when Calhanoglu was tripped by Franck Kessie to win a penalty, which he converted before celebrating in front of supporters of Milan, the club he represented for four years.

Inter’s lead lasted only six minutes before De Vrij headed a dangerous cross into his own net, but the Nerazzurri had a golden chance to regain the advantage when Fode Ballo-Toure brought down Matteo Darmian to concede a second spot kick.

This time Martinez stepped up, but the Argentina international’s effort was saved by Tatarusanu, who sprung to his right to get a hand to the shot.

Inter cranked up the pressure as Nicolo Barella had a shot cleared off the line and Martinez shot wide from a promising position, and after the break nobody could get a touch on Calhanoglu’s dangerous drilled volley across the six-yard box.

Milan finished the stronger as a Zlatan Ibrahimovic free-kick required a smart save from Samir Handanovic, but Saelemaekers came closest when his shot thumped the post and Kessie sent the rebound wide.

Valencia strike twice in added time to grab 3-3 draw with Atletico

Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann scored a sensational individual goal against Valencia on Sunday but the La Liga champions let a two-goal lead slip in stoppage time to draw 3-3 on Sunday.

Valencia were trailing 3-1 when seven minutes of time were added on but Hugo Duro scored twice in the final stretch of the game to salvage a point, to the delight of their raucous home fans.

Luis Suarez had put Atletico in front in the 35th minute but Valencia levelled five minutes into the second half through an own goal from Stefan Savic.

Griezmann restored Atletico’s lead in the 58th with a superb shot into the top corner from outside the box following a marauding run from his own half in undoubtedly the Frenchman’s best moment of skill since returning to the club in September.

Sime Vrsaljko looked to have sealed the points with a scrappy goal from close range two minutes later that was initially ruled out and then awarded following a VAR review.

But Valencia came alive right at the end of the game, pulling themselves back into contention when substitute Duro slid in to meet a Jose Gaya cross and score in the first minute of stoppage time.

Duro then equalised in the fifth minute of added time with a towering header from a corner, deepening Atletico’s problems after they were easily beaten 2-0 at Liverpool on Wednesday to leave their hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout stage hanging by a thread.

Atletico would have gone up to second in the standings with a win but instead are fourth on 23 points, four behind leaders Real Madrid after 12 games. Valencia moved up to 10th on 17 points.

Nice miss out on second spot with Montpellier defeat

Nice suffered their third defeat of the season when they were beaten 1-0 at home by Montpellier and missed out on second spot in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Florent Mollet scored the only goal with his side’s second shot on target after centre backs Mamadou Sakho and Maxime Esteve had been handling Nice’s attacks with ease.

The result left Nice in third place after 13 games on 23 points, 11 behind leaders Paris St Germain and ahead of fourth-placed Olympique de Marseille on goal difference. RC Lens reclaimed second spot following Friday’s 4-0 demolition of Troyes.

Montpellier, who have won two of their last three league games, jumped up to sixth on 19 points.

Olympique Lyonnais had an opportunity to move within one point of Marseille, who were held goalless by bottom side Metz, and Nice, but they were completely overwhelmed in a 4-1 defeat by Stade Rennais.

Rennes, guided by former Lyon coach Bruno Genesio, are fifth on 22 points while Lyon dropped to seventh on 19.

At Nice’s Allianz Riviera, the opening half was entertaining but both teams struggled to create chances.

Nice came close on two occasions, with Amine Gouiri’s shot on the turn from Andy Delort’s cross flying just high in the 12th minute.

Five minutes later, Stephy Mavididi unleashed a powerful shot that shaved the post.

Montpellier goalkeeper Jonas Omlin only had two stops to make before the break and his Nice counterpart Walter Benitez was Tested for the first time only in the 65th minute when he denied Mollet.

The midfielder was at it again in the 80th with more success as he netted from close range after a bad clearance from the Nice defence.

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