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AC Milan’s Rafael Leao scores fastest ever Serie A goal; Inter, Lazio rack up wins

Rafael Leao scored the fastest goal in Serie A (after 6 seconds) against Sassuolo on Sunday, overtaking the previous record made by Paolo Poggi (8 seconds) in December 2001.

By: Reuters | Updated: December 21, 2020 9:08:56 am
AC Milan's Rafael Leao celebrates after scoring his side's first goal. (AP)

AC Milan forward Rafael Leao scored the fastest goal in Serie A history, hitting the target after six seconds, to set the Serie A leaders on their way to a 2-1 win at Sassuolo on Sunday.

In an astonishing start, Hakan Calhanoglu collected the ball straight from the kickoff and opened up the Sassuolo defence with an incisive pass to Leao, and the Portuguese beat goalkeeper Andrea Consigli with an angled drive.

His lightning strike beat the previous record of eight seconds set by Piacenza’s Paolo Poggi against Fiorentina in 2001.

Alexis Saelemaekers added a second following a powerful Theo Hernandez run in the 26th minute and Domenico Berardi pulled one back for Sassuolo late in the game.

Milan, again missing injured forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic as well as midfielder Ismael Bennacer and defender Simon Kjaer, remained unbeaten after 13 games and lead the standings with 31 points, one ahead of their neighbours Inter Milan. Sassuolo are sixth with 23 points.

Lazio make the most of their chances to beat Napoli

Lazio brushed aside their dismal home form in Serie A when goals from Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto gave them a 2-0 win over Napoli on Sunday.

The hosts scored from their only two shots on target as they notched their second win in seven home league games this season while Napoli slumped to a second defeat in five days after losing 1-0 at Inter Milan on Wednesday.

Napoli stayed fifth with 23 points, eight behind leaders AC Milan, while Lazio are eighth with 21.

Immobile volleyed against the crossbar in the sixth minute and three minutes later out jumped two defenders to open the scoring from Adam Marusic’s cross, his eighth Serie A goal of the season and his 13th in all competitions.

Lazio goalkeeper Pepe Reina, facing his former club, saved from Fabian Ruiz and Piotr Zielinski as Gennaro Gattuso’s side tried to battle their way back into the game.

However, the visitors also produced few scoring chances despite having 57% of the possession and Luis Alberto curled in a second for Lazio in the 56th minute after Napoli lost the ball in midfield.

Hakimi, Lukaku overcome Spezia resistance as Inter win again

Second-placed Inter Milan needed second-half goals from Achraf Hakimi and leading scorer Romelu Lukaku to overcome stubborn resistance from Spezia as they beat the Serie A newcomers 2-1 on Sunday.

Inter’s sixth successive league win kept Antonio Conte’s side one point behind leaders AC Milan, who won 2-1 at Sassuolo. Inter, who have lost only once in the league this season, have 30 points from 13 games.

Spezia, making their Serie A debut this season, held out until the 52nd minute when Hakimi latched onto Lautaro Martinez’s pass, sped away, and scored with a shot which appeared to catch goalkeeper Ivan Provedel off his guard.

Lukaku added the second from a penalty in the 71st minute, his 11th league goal of the season, after M’Bala Nzola’s handball. Roberto Piccoli pulled one back for the visitors in stoppage time, but too late to threaten Inter’s win.

Struggling Torino threw away another lead when they were held 1-1 at home by Bologna.

Simone Verdi put Torino ahead from a free kick in the 69th minute which was helped into the net by Bologna goalkeeper Angelo Da Costa, but Roberto Soriano levelled nine minutes later.

Benevento pushed Genoa deeper into trouble with a 2-0 win thanks to second half goals from Roberto Insigne, the brother of Napoli captain Lorenzo, and Marco Sau, who won and converted a penalty.

Torino and Genoa both have seven points, one more than bottom-of-the table Crotone, who lost at Sampdoria on Saturday.

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