Icardi breaks goal drought

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MILAN — Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi ended his two-month goal drought in style by scoring four times to help them wallop Sampdoria 5-0 away in Serie A Sunday.

AC Milan came from behind to beat Chievo 3-2 in a San Siro thriller and the video replay system (VAR) was involved in three key penalty decisions as Fiorentina won 2-1 at Torino with a last-minute penalty.

Icardi, left out of Argentina's squad for this month's friendlies, took his tally for the season to 22 and gave Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli a timely reminder of his scoring prowess.

Ivan Perisic opened the scoring with a looping header in the 26th minute before Icardi, playing against his former club, grabbed a 14-minute hat trick, the first from a penalty, and added a fourth early in the second half with a mis-hit volley.

Milan took an early lead through Hakan Calhanoglu but was stunned when Mariusz Stepinksi and Roberto Inglese scored twice in two minutes to put the Flying Donkeys 2-1 up at halftime.

Patrick Cutrone turned in from a rebound to level for Milan, the referee initially disallowing the goal for offside before consulting VAR and changing his mind.

Portugal forward Andre Silva snatched the winner from close range with eight minutes left and there was still time for Franck Kessie to miss a last-minute Milan penalty, awarded for handball with the help of VAR.

The video system was even more in evidence at Torino where Fiorentina had an early penalty revoked after a VAR consultation and then a second penalty awarded for handball — only for Jordan Veretout's weak effort to be saved by Salvatore Sirigu.

Veretout made amends by giving Fiorentina the lead with a solo goal in the 59th minute before Andrea Belotti volleyed Torino level with four minutes left.

It did not end there as Fiorentina waas awarded a third penalty for handball, again with the help of VAR, which Cyril Thereau converted.

Third-placed AS Roma enjoyed a straightforward 2-0 win at lowly Crotone after Stephan El Shaarawy volleyed in Aleksandar Kolarov's cross and Radja Nainggolan scored with a low shot from the edge of the area.

Cagliari scored twice in stoppage time, through Leonardo Pavoletti and a Nicolo Barella penalty, to win 2-1 at bottom club Benevento, which had gone in front at the start of the second half with a goal by Enrico Brignola.

Josip Ilicic scored a hat trick in Atalanta's 5-0 win at lowly Verona in the other game. — Reuters


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