MLS

MLS: Higuain fires for in-form Inter Miami, Buchanan maintains New England's lead

By Sports Desk September 11, 2021

Gonzalo Higuain scored the winner as resurgent Inter Miami continued their excellent run of form with a fifth straight home win beating Columbus Crew 1-0 in the MLS on Saturday.

Higuain struck the winner in the 16th minute for Inter who have claimed 13 points from their past five matches to surge up to ninth in the Eastern Conference.

Inter had endured a six-game losing span in May and June but Phil Neville's side have bounced back, losing only once in their past 10.

The former Real Madrid forward swooped on a wayward back pass from Josh Williams, taking a touch inside the box and dinking a shot over Crew keeper Eloy Room, with Vito Wormgoor unable to clear it on the line.

New England maintained their stronghold on the lead at the top of the table with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over 10-man New York City.

Santiago Rodriguez had put City ahead with an 11th-minute volley before Revolution midfielder Emmanuel Boateng drive in a low leveller 10 minutes later. Tom McNamara may have put New England ahead when he hit the post late in the half.

Alfredo Morales was sent off for a second bookable offence, an heavy tackle on McNamara, early in the second half.

New England capitalized with in-form Tajon Buchanan coming up with a 65th minute winner from Carles Gil's assist.

Nashville maintained their strong season with a 1-0 victory on the road over Montreal after Walker Zimmerman's glancing 66th-minute header, keeping them second in the Eastern Conference behind New England.

Sporting KC struck twice inside the first 10 minutes from Jose Mauri and Johnny Russell as they won 2-0 over Chicago Fire to stay in touch with Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders.

Colorado Rapids squandered an opportunity to temporarily go top in the west after Samuel Grandsir's late equalizer for LA Galaxy in a 1-1 draw. The Rapids instead slip to third below KC.

Seattle Sounders remained first in the west with a 1-0 home win over Minnesota United thanks to Joao Paulo's 22nd-minute strike.

Teenage sensation Ricardo Pepi scored his 12th goal of the season as Dallas drew 1-1 with San Jose Earthquakes, while lowly Houston Dynamo won 3-0 over fellow Texas outfit Austin.

New York Red Bulls continue to struggle for wins, only managing a 1-1 home draw with DC United after a controversial penalty award for a Sean Nealis handball.

Cincinnati snapped their three-game losing run with a 2-0 home win over struggling Toronto, who have lost five in a row.

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    Stefano Pioli says Milan's Scudetto triumph was fully deserved as they were more consistent than Inter and showed more belief than their fierce rivals.

    Milan ended their 11-year wait to finish top of Serie A with a 3-0 win at Sassuolo on Sunday, rendering Inter's win at home to Sampdoria by the same scoreline meaningless.

    The Rossoneri finished two points ahead of erstwhile champions Inter to claim their first trophy since the 2016 Italian Super Cup some 1,976 days ago.

    Pioli's men won their final five matches and went 15 without defeat to see out the campaign, with their final tally of 88 points their second best ever in the three-points-per-win era.

    And after a gripping title battle with Inter that went down to the final game – the first time that has happened in Serie A since 2009-10 – Pioli was full of praise for his players.

    "They are phenomenal," he told DAZN. "I am happy for them, for myself, for the fans, the club. This Scudetto makes us all very happy.

    "We showed more consistency than Inter. The last game we lost was against Spezia in January and even then we shouldn't have lost it.

    "The team never gave up; all the players were fantastic. We fully deserved this Scudetto because we believed in it more. We are a strong team and I have great staff around me."

    Olivier Giroud scored twice for Milan in their title-clinching win at Sassuolo and Franck Kessie added a third before half-time.

    Rafael Leao assisted two of those strikes and has been involved in at least one goal in his past six league appearances, including three strikes of his own.

    The Portugal international was named as Serie A's Most Valuable Player for 2021-22, while Pioli was named Coach of the Year.

    "I have the players and the club to thank for that," Pioli said. "This award is for them. Without them what we achieved would not have been possible."

  • 'I was just crying my eyes out' – Grealish revels in winning maiden Premier League title 'I was just crying my eyes out' – Grealish revels in winning maiden Premier League title

    Jack Grealish was reduced to tears after Manchester City's stunning turnaround against Aston Villa secured the first Premier League title of his career.

    An unused substitute at the Etihad Stadium, Grealish watched on from the bench as Pep Guardiola's men fell 2-0 behind against his former club, who appeared set to hand the crown to Liverpool.

    However, City hit back in emphatic fashion with three goals in the space of five minutes – Ilkay Gundogan's brace sandwiching a Rodri strike – completing a remarkable turnaround and sealing a fourth title in five seasons in a 3-2 victory.

    Grealish has endured a tricky first year at the Etihad since making a British-record £100million switch from Villa.

    But with a first Premier League triumph under his belt, the England international is confident he can truly kick on next season.

    "It's unbelievable," he told Sky Sports. "After the third goal went in, I ran onto the pitch and, after that, I ran straight down the tunnel, I was just crying my eyes out.

    "We know how good of a side they were, and they showed it today. But we knew with our quality, we can beat anyone.

    "I can't put it into words. When I signed here, people would say to me: 'what do you actually want to win, the Champions League or Premier League?' For me, I've never won it, so it's incredible.

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    "This today, makes up for it, it really does. I know that I can kick on, and I certainly will."

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    "It shows what a talented bunch [of players] we have, and the determination to go year in and year out and try to challenge for the title. It's an unbelievable achievement," he said.

    "At 1-0, I still thought we could do it. When I saw that second goal go in, it was a real disappointing one. But with the players that we have and still having time on the board, it’s still possible, so what a win!

    "Each year, we know how difficult it’s going to be. Liverpool is a great opponent; every year, they push us to the wire, but this is why we can achieve stuff like this."

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    Zlatan Ibrahimovic smoked a cigar and toasted Milan's Serie A title triumph with champagne as he collected yet another medal on Sunday.

    The Rossoneri secured their first Scudetto for 11 years with a 3-0 win at Sassuolo on the final day of the season, finishing two points clear of city rivals Inter.

    All three goals came in the first half at the Mapei Stadium on Sunday, Olivier Giroud scoring twice before Franck Kessie got in the act for rampant Milan.

    The outstanding Rafael Leao laid on all three goals as a huge contingent of Milan fans partied in Reggio Emilia, where they moved level with Inter's tally of being crowned champions of Italy 19 times.

    It was Ibrahimovic who took centre stage during the trophy presentation ceremony, coming out of the tunnel smoking a cigar and swigging champagne.

    The 40-year-old had a goal disallowed for offside against Leao after he came on to replace Giroud in the second half of what could be his final appearance for the club.

    Ibrahimovic's contract expires at the end of the month and he could be on the move once again. 

    While he has not lit up San Siro this season due to injury problems, if the legendary Swede's Milan career is over, it seems only right that he departs on a such a high note resembling a rock star.

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