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 By Ben Gladwell
2 hours ago

Rafa Benitez frustrated as penalty miss costs Napoli third place

The ESPN FC team explain their surprise in Juventus' recent 1-1 draw with Sassuolo, while Shaka Hislop believes the title race now becomes a little more interesting between Juve and AS Roma.

Napoli boss Rafa Benitez bemoaned the missed penalty that cost his side the chance to move into third place in the Serie A table on Wednesday.

With almost a quarter of the Serie A season played, seven clubs are grouped within a single point of each other behind league leaders Juventus and second-placed Roma.

AC Milan edged up to third with a 1-1 draw at Cagliari on Wednesday, but Napoli wasted the chance to move a point clear of the Rossoneri when Gonzalo Higuain missed a late spot-kick in their...

 By Ben Gladwell
3 hours ago

Italian player, physio banned for five years after referee attack - reports

A player and physiotherapist of Italian amateur club Atletico Cavallino have been banned for five years each for assaulting a referee, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The pair were picked out as the main culprits of an attack on 17-year-old official Luigi Rosato, which led to the abandoning of the Apulian league game against Cutrofiano -- a game Cavallino were winning 2-1 when a penalty was awarded to the opposition.

That spot kick was never taken as Rosato, after being attacked by fans, staff and...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
6 hours ago

Fabio Capello: I tried to sign Barcelona star Lionel Messi on loan for Juventus

ESPN FC analyst Craig Burley sounds off on the poor officiating in Manchester United's last-gasp draw against Chelsea and explains why Cristiano Ronaldo is head and shoulders above Lionel Messi so far this season.

Fabio Capello has revealed he once asked Frank Rijkaard during a match if he could take Lionel Messi on loan from Barcelona to Juventus.

Messi, 27, is two goals short of breaking Telmo Zarra's all-time La Liga record of 251 strikes, and is among the 23 nominees for the 2014 Ballon d'Or having won the award four times already.

Russia coach Capello says he tried to persuade former Camp Nou coach Rijkaard during a Gamper Trophy match in 2005 -- in which Messi impressed with an assist -- to let him take...

 By Ben Gladwell
8 hours ago

Mattia Destro hints at Roma exit after match-winning display vs. Cesena

AS Roma head coach Rudi Garcia praised an efficient showing from his side as they beat Cesena 2-0 in Serie A.

Mattia Destro has hinted that he could be leaving Roma despite scoring on Wednesday to send his side level on points with Serie A leaders Juventus.

The Giallorossi striker -- who was linked with a move to Chelsea this summer -- set his team on their way to a 2-0 triumph over Cesena which took them to 22 points from nine games, but his mood was unusually subdued at full-time.

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It may have been his fourth league goal this season, yet it had come in only his fifth start in nine matches.

"The coach makes...

 By Ben Gladwell
9 hours ago

Walter Mazzarri doubts exit rumours, Inter Milan team 'united' behind him

Should the poor results continue at Inter, manager Walter Mazzarri may be pointing himself to the exit doors.
The Nerazzurri coach's future has been under speculation after a frustrating start to the 2014-15 Serie A campaign.

Inter Milan coach Walter Mazzarri cannot quite understand the doubts over his future after saying he had seen "his" Inter on Wednesday night.

A Mauro Icardi penalty was enough to earn the Nerazzurri all three points against Sampdoria and move them to within a point of third-placed AC Milan.

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SampdoriaSampdoria
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The pressure had been mounting on Mazzarri of late, but back-to-back 1-0 wins should have brought an air of calm back to the club according to the former Reggina, Sampdoria and Napoli coach.

Mazzarri doubts that...