Leader AC Milan drops points after 2-2 draw at Salernitana
MILAN (AP) — Italian league leader AC Milan dropped crucial points in the title race after drawing 2-2 at last-place Salernitana on Saturday.
Milan is two points ahead of defending champion Inter Milan, which has played two fewer games, and three points ahead of third-place Napoli, which has one game in hand.
It could have been worse for Milan coach Stefano Pioli’s side, as Croatia forward Ante Rebic rescued a point with a powerful strike from outside the penalty area in the 77th after being set up by striker Olivier Giroud.
Five minutes earlier, striker Milan Djuric headed Salerintana ahead.
The game started well for Milan.
Brazilian midfielder Junior Messias put Milan ahead in the fifth minute but striker Federico Bonazzoli equalized for the home side in the 29th with a fine scissor kick after goalkeeper Mike Maignan failed to properly clear a cross.
Inter hosts midtable Sassuolo on Sunday and Napoli goes to play Cagliari on Monday.
Veteran Franck Ribery captained Salernitana and the former France winger missed a good chance in the second minute.
Milan punished the home side moments later when defender Theo Hernandez made a typically surging run from near the halfway line and played a clever pass into the path of Messias, who curled the ball confidently into the left of the net.
Jose Mourinho’s seventh-place Roma scraped a 2-2 home draw with Verona after trailing 2-0 inside the first 20 minutes.
Czech Republic midfielder Antonin Barak gave Verona a fifth-minute lead and Frenchman Adrien Tameze made it 2-0.
But Mourinho drew on his experience to make telling changes, as forward Cristian Volpato and midfielder Edoardo Bove scored after coming off the bench.
The 18-year-old Volpato netted in the 65th, three minutes after coming on, and the 19-year-old Bove did so six minutes after his entry to make it 2-2 in the 84th. It was Bove’s first goal for the club.
Veteran striker Fabio Quagliarella hit both goals as Sampdoria beat midtable Empoli 2-0 at home to move further away from the relegation zone.
Quagliarella, who turned 39 last month and made his league debut 22 years ago for Torino, netted twice inside the first 30 minutes to reach 90 career goals for Sampdoria.
He rejoined the Genoa-based club in 2015 after spells with Udinese, Napoli, Juventus and Torino again.
The win moved Sampdoria up to 15th spot.
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