The Belgians abroad: Naples and Dries Mertens, scorer and passer, released by Fiorentina, AC Milan, with a goal from Saelemaekers in extra time, defeated Genoa


Despite a goal and an assist from Dries Mertens, Napoli were eliminated Thursday by Fiorentina in the round of 16 of the Italian Cup.

In a match marked by three red cards, the Neapolitans were caught at home 2-5 at the end of extra time. Winners in 2020, Naples and Dries Mertens were hoping to reach the quarter-finals of this Coppa Italia. A goal that took the lead in the 41st minute when Dusan Vlahovic gave ‘La Viola’ the lead. The Partenopei returned in a hurry thanks to the inevitable Dries Mertens. The striker equalized with a superb shot in a time that left no chance for Bartlomie Dragowski (44th, 1-1).

The last Florentine bulwark was sent off three minutes later for a foul as the last man on Elif Elmas, who went alone on goal. The Neapolitans did not take advantage of their numerical superiority in the second act, conceding a goal from the works of Cristiano Biraghi just before the hour mark (58th, 1-2).

The case was further complicated for Napoli with the expulsion of Hirving Lozano (84th), imitated a few minutes later by Fabian Ruiz (90 + 3) for a second yellow card.

While the game was in favor of Fiorentina, Andrea Petagna brought the two teams to a draw on a pass from Dries Mertens (90 + 5, 2-2).

Now nine against ten in extra time, Luciano Spalletti’s team held on for fifteen minutes before breaking three times on goals from Lorenzo Venuti (105 + 1, 2-3), Krzysztof Piatek (108th, 2-4) and Youssef Maleh (119th, 2-5).

AC Milan had to wait for extra time to get rid of Genoa (3-1 ap) Thursday night in the round of 16 of the Italian Cup. Having entered the game in the 80th, Alexis Saelemaekers sealed the outcome of the match by scoring the third and last goal of his own. Zinho Vanheusden played the 120 minutes in the Genoese rearguard. Disproportionate on paper, this duel pitted the second to the penultimate in Serie A. However, it was Vanheusden’s teammates who took the advantage quite early in the game thanks to a realization by defender Léo Ostigard (17th, 0 -1). A lead that would last until a quarter of an hour from the end, a moment chosen by Olivier Giroud to restore equality (75th, 1-1). The score did not change and the two teams went into extra time.

The difference then came from the bench when Rafael Leao (102nd) and Saelemaekers (112th), ridden in part race, scored in favor of the formation of Stefano Pioli.


In the Qatari championship, Toby Alderweireld and Al-Duhail retained the lead after a 2-4 victory at Al-Gharafa. Junior Edmilson, former Standard, scored and provided an assist for the winners. After 14 days, Al-Duhail has 32 points, one more than Al-Sadd, three games behind.


Athletic Bilbao won 1-2 Thursday night against Atlético de Madrid and Yannick Carrasco in the second Super Cup semi-final in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Led to the score, the Basques reversed the situation in four minutes. Atlético de Madrid have not won this competition since 2014, while opposite, Athletic Bilbao is simply the defending champion. In clear regain of form after the end of the year 2021 punctuated by four consecutive defeats in the league, the Colchoneros hoped to continue their momentum. Things seemed to be going in the right direction for Diego Simeone’s side thanks to the unwitting help of opposing goalkeeper Unai Simon. The back of the goalkeeper de la Roja sent the ball into the net after a rebound on the post (62nd, 1-0).

The Basques equalized a quarter of an hour later through Yeray Alvarez with a header from a corner (77th, 1-1). A goal quickly followed by another, scored by Nico Williams (81st, 1-2), also following a corner. Pushed back by the defense, the ball landed in the feet of the young 19-year-old Spanish midfielder, whose recovery of the flat left foot left no chance for Jan Oblak. Atlético ended the game at ten after the expulsion of Jose Gimenez in stoppage time (90th + 4).

Athletic Bilbao will try to keep their title on Sunday against Real Madrid, who beat FC Barcelona 2-3 on Wednesday after extra time.


At ten against eleven for more than an hour, Arsenal and Albert Sambi Lokonga held Liverpool in check (0-0) at Anfield Road in the first leg of the second semi-final of the English League Cup. After the 1-0 elimination in the 3rd round of the FA Cup on January 9 against Nottingham Forest (English D2), Albert Sambi Lokonga was once again starting in the ranks of Arsenal and played the entire of the meeting. A duel during which the Gunners quickly found themselves at ten, following the exclusion of the Swiss Granit Xhaka (24th). A premature exit which ultimately had no consequences against the men of Jürgen Klopp, deprived of Divock Origi, injured, as well as Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah, who left for the African Cup of Nations.

Arsenal will host the Reds on January 20 for the return leg. The winner of the double-ended confrontation will challenge Chelsea at Wembley on February 27. On Wednesday, the Blues won 0-1 at Tottenham after having already dominated the first leg (2-0).

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The Belgians abroad: Naples and Dries Mertens, scorer and passer, released by Fiorentina, AC Milan, with a goal from Saelemaekers in extra time, defeated Genoa

The Inside News Hyderabad