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Ochoa impresses in Serie A debut despite AC Milan win ‣

Ochoa impresses in Serie A debut despite AC Milan win


ROME, — Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa made a Serie A debut to remember for Salernitana.

Even if it wasn’t enough to prevent defending champion AC Milan from beating the southern club 2-1 on Wednesday as the Italian league resumed after a 7 ½-week break.

Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali scored one goal and set up another for Rafael Leão over a five-minute stretch early on, while Federico Bonazzoli pulled one back late for Salernitana.

Otherwise, it was almost all about the 37-year-old Ochoa, who denied Milan on chance after chance to follow up a strong performance for Mexico at his fifth World Cup.

Ochoa set the tone at the start when he stuck his left boot out to stop a shot from Leão in a 1-on-1 situation and also later made a quick-reflex save on Milan forward Olivier Giroud, who was back in action 17 days after playing for France in the World Cup final.

Ochoa could only do so much, though, when Tonali’s through ball set Leão in on goal again and the Portugal international dribbled wide around the goalkeeper before depositing the ball into an empty net from a sharp angle.

Ochoa did stop Tonali five minutes later but the Milan player then got another opportunity when the defense failed to clear and hit the target with a powerful shot.

In all, Ochoa made nine saves, while Milan counterpart Ciprian Tatarusanu made none.

“Ochoa showed what people say about him: that he’s a player with personality, so a big acquisition,” Salernitana coach Davide Nicola said.

Second-place Milan moved within five points of Serie A leader Napoli, which was to play Inter Milan at the San Siro later


Roma beat Bologna 1-0 with an early penalty kick from Lorenzo Pellegrini after Paulo Dybala was fouled, and a late goal-line headed clearance from Tammy Abraham preserved the advantage.

Roma moved level on points with fifth-placed Lazio, which gave up a goal advantage in a 2-1 loss at Lecce.

Ciro Immobile put Lazio ahead early on with his 189th Serie A goal, boosting him into sole possession of ninth place on the all-time list, moving him out of a tie with Alessandro Del Piero, Alberto Gilardino and Giuseppe Signori, who scored 188 each.

Lecce struck back with goals from Gabriel Strefezza and Lorenzo Colombo.


Atalanta came back from two goals down for a 2-2 draw at Spezia as Mario Pašalić set up one goal before scoring the equalizer to keep up his form after helping Croatia to a third-place finish at the World Cup.

Also, relegation-threatened Sampdoria won 2-1 at Sassuolo with goals from Manolo Gabbiadini and Tommaso Augello, prompting Samp coach Dejan Stanković to point to the sky in apparent memory of former teammate Siniša Mihajlović, who died last month after a long battle with leukemia.

Torino and Hellas Verona drew 1-1.

Each match was preceded with a minute of silence to remember Pelé, the soccer great who died last week.

All 20 teams were in action.