Torino frustrates Napoli as Nainggolan seals Inter win

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Napoli’s Allan is shown a red card by referee Michael Fabbri before a VAR decision overturns it during their match against Torino at Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Sunday. — Reuters

NAPLES — Napoli’s title hopes took a further blow Sunday as Carlo Ancelotti’s side settled for a goalless draw for the third time in four league matches against Torino Sunday to trail Serie A leader Juventus by 13 points.

Napoli had drawn at home against AC Milan two weeks ago and at Fiorentina last time out and will face a top-of-the-table clash against Juventus on March 3 with its Serie A bid already all but over.

Champions Juventus is firmly on track for an eighth consecutive title after Cristiano Ronaldo scored in a 3-0 win over lowly Frosinone Friday.

Earlier Sunday, Radja Nainggolan scored the winner for Inter Milan to consolidate third position with a 2-1 win over Sampdoria at the San Siro, while Lazio’s Champions League hopes took a knock with defeat by Genoa.

Earlier, Genoa captain Domenico Criscito scored deep into injury time to grab a 2-1 win over Lazio which left the capital club in seventh, four points adrift of fourth-placed AC Milan in the race for Champions League qualification.

Europa League hopefuls Fiorentina was saved by VAR amid controversy after the referee disallowed rivals SPAL a goal and instead awarded a penalty which the Tuscans converted before winning 4-1.

PSG 12 points clear

Kylian Mbappe’s excellent volley secured Paris Saint-Germain a hardfought 1-0 win at Saint-Etienne Sunday as the runaway Ligue 1 leader moved 12 points clear at the summit.

The 20-year-old Mbappe fired home his league-leading 19th goal of the campaign with 17 minutes remaining.

“He (Mbappe) shows his quality every day in training, he has this hunger to score, score, score,” said PSG coach Tuchel. “It’s his quality. He is a special player.”

Mbappe has now scored 45 goals for PSG since signing from Monaco at the start of last season.

“We lost to a goal from nowhere... A 20-year-old who will soon be the best player in the world,” said Saint-Etienne coach Jean-Louis Gasset.

With a second straight French title all but secured, Tuchel’s men, who also have two games in hand on second-placed Lille, now have their eyes on breaking their own record tally of 96 points set in 2015-16.

Tuchel rested midfielder Marco Verratti after his excursions in the midweek Champions League victory at Manchester United, with Leandro Paredes handed his first league start for the club.

“Everyone was tired after Manchester United — physically, but also mentally,” added Tuchel. “It was necessary to control the game, to play focused.”

Earlier Sunday, Lille were held to a goalless draw by Montpellier, while Reims boosted their hopes of European qualification with a 2-0 victory over Rennes. — Agencies


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