Milan, Feb 5 (AP/UNB) — Lazio and Atalanta kept themselves firmly in the race for a Champions League place with narrow wins in Serie A on Monday.
They are both level with Roma, one point behind fourth-place AC Milan, after Lazio won at relegation-threatened Frosinone 1-0 and Atalanta triumphed at Cagliari by the same scoreline.
The top four in Serie A qualify for the Champions League.
Lazio's victory was far from convincing. It took the lead in the first half when Luis Alberto threaded the ball through to Felipe Caicedo and he took one touch before striking it powerfully into the back of the net.
There had been controversy 10 minutes earlier when referee Michael Fabbri awarded a penalty to Frosinone for a presumed tug from Bastos on Camillo Ciano but he revoked his decision on video review.
Frosinone remained second-to-last, five points from safety.
Atalanta almost conceded a stoppage-time equalizer to dent its Champions League aspirations.
Alessandro Deiola's flicked header from a corner beat Atalanta goalkeeper Etrit Berisha but bounced off the crossbar much to the visitors' relief.
Hans Hateboer headed in Timothy Castagne's deflected cross for the only goal, five minutes into the second half.
Cyril Thereau, who is on loan from Fiorentina, had a miserable debut for Cagliari as the forward limped off with a muscular problem 20 minutes after coming off the bench.
Cagliari was four points above the relegation zone.
Turin, Feb 5 (AP/UNB) — Juventus and Brazil winger Douglas Costa has escaped unhurt after he was involved in a car crash.
The incident occurred on Monday on a motorway in northern Italy as Douglas Costa was returning to Turin.
His Jeep was involved in a collision with a Fiat Punto, and the driver of that car was taken to hospital for minor injuries.
Juventus was not training on Monday as the players had two days off following Saturday's 3-3 draw against Parma.
Douglas Costa was substituted at halftime during that match with a muscle injury in his left thigh.
London, Feb 5 (AP/UNB) — With points dropped for the second consecutive game and a title challenge getting jittery, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp is keen to transmit serenity.
After all, Liverpool is still top of the English Premier League by three points despite being held 1-1 by West Ham on Monday after also drawing with Leicester in the previous game.
"It's not about pressure," Klopp said. "It's about enjoying the situation you are in it. We have 62 points. We lost one game in the (league) season so far, which is very positive."
There is, however, a noticeable downturn in the club's fortunes in the league. Michail Antonio canceling out Sadio Mane's opener for Liverpool meant Klopp's squad has now dropped seven potential points in its last five games. The northwest club only dropped six points in the opening 20 fixtures by drawing three games.
Now Manchester City can overhaul Liverpool for top spot by beating Everton on Wednesday, albeit only on goal difference and by having played a game more than Liverpool.
Klopp could tell critics weren't convinced by the display at the Olympic Stadium or Liverpool's ability to sustain the challenge to end the team's 29-year English title drought.
"I have seen your faces," Klopp told a post-match news conference. "You feel a little bit sorry for us, and you don't have to. We are all fine."
But a Liverpool lineup devoid of much attacking flair did rely on the referee missing a clear offside — and having no access to video review — to score its goal.
James Milner was able to receive the ball in an offside position down the right flank from Adam Lallana before crossing to Mane to score on the turn in the 22nd minute.
But the lead was gone inside six minutes when Felipe Anderson sent the ball down the right to Michail Antonio, who struck past static goalkeeper Alisson.
"We scared them," said Mark Noble, captain of 11th-placed West Ham.
Klopp, inevitably, countered the notion.
"They defended well, that's truth, (but) they didn't scare us," Klopp said. "We won away games where we played worse than tonight and nobody spoke about it afterward."
The result allowed West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini, who lifted the trophy with City in 2014, to help his former team's title defense under Pep Guardiola.
"If we are going to give a hand to Manchester City, they are my club also," Pellegrini said. "Maybe that was the reason the manager of Liverpool didn't like it."
Paris, Feb 5 (AP/UNB) — French midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa is seeking up to 8 million euros ($9.1 million) in compensation from Paris Saint-Germain for not playing him during the last 15 months of his largely unhappy spell with the club.
The player's lawyer, Jean-Jacques Bertrand, said in an Associated Press interview on Monday that the suit was filed on Friday with a Paris labor tribunal.
Bertrand said Ben Arfa's contract at PSG was heavily weighted with performances bonuses, so his earnings took a hit from the club's decision not to play him. The suit also argues that PSG's treatment of Ben Arfa amounted to workplace harassment.
The lawyer alleges the club's aim was "to make him crack," and PSG "did everything to push him to leave."
In response, PSG expressed confidence that it will be vindicated and said it regrets the "stubbornness" of Ben Arfa and his attorney.
Ben Arfa joined PSG in 2016. But after scoring twice in a French Cup quarterfinal in April 2017, he never played for the PSG first team again to the end of his contract in June 2018, an exile of nearly 70 matches.
Dhaka, Feb 3 (UNB) – The leaders of Bangladesh District & Divisional Football Association (BDDFA), led by its secretary general Tarafder Md Ruhul Amin, made a courtesy call with State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russell MP at the conference room of the ministry at Bangladesh Secretariat on Sunday.
During the meeting, BDDFA general secretary gave a brief presentation of their activities at grass-root level for the development of country’s football.
The State Minister appreciated their role for the improvement of the country’s football, stressed the need for collective efforts for the game’s development and assured them of his support in solving problems.
Omar Faruk of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Secretary General of Bangladesh District and Divisional Sports Organizers Forum and Deputy Secretary General of Bangladesh Olympic Association Ashiqur Rahman Miku and general secretary of the Chattogram Divisional Sports Association Sirajuddin Mohammad Alamgir and NSC secretary M Karim were also present on the occasion.