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Pressure grows on Gattuso as Milan held again

AC Milan’s stuttering start to the season continued Thursday when the former European champions were held to a 1-1 draw at Empoli for a third successive Serie A stalemate.

The result will pile the pressure on coach Gennaro Gattuso whose side have just six points from five games and are already 12 points off the pace of champions Juventus.

Milan took the lead after just 10 minutes when Leonardo Capezzi diverted a fierce drive by Lucas Biglia into his own goal.

Pietro Terracciano pulled off a series of fine saves to prevent Milan who was without star striker Gonzalo Higuain through injury from adding to their lead.

Empoli striker Francesco Caputo made Milan pay for their wastefulness when he converted a 71st-minute penalty awarded when he had been hauled down by Biglia.

Little Sassuolo continued their strong start with a 2-0 win at SPAL moving them into third place, five points behind Juve and just two back from Napoli.

Defender Claud Adjapong gave Sassuolo a 59th-minute lead before Alessandro Matri added a last-minute second just 60 seconds after coming on as a substitute.

Meanwhile, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has returned to football club ownership by buying third division Monza, his Fininvest holding company said on Friday.

“Fininvest S.p.A. today finalised the acquisition of 100 per cent of the shares of SS Monza 1912,” Fininvest said. Berlusconi’s wealth propelled AC Milan to eight Serie A titles in the 1980s and 1990s and they were European champions three times under his ownership, in 1989, 1990 and 1994.

But the 81-year-old sold his majority stake in AC Milan in April 2017.

The Fininvest statement said Adriano Galliani, who was Berlusconi’s right-hand man at AC Milan, will play a leading role at Monza, who are in Serie C.    -AFP

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