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Inter tastes first defeat of the season




Inter Milan crashed to their first defeat of the Serie A season on Wednesday, going down 2-1 at home to Sassuolo.

Inter went into the game with a perfect record of five wins in five and looked in control at 1-0 ahead thanks to a Denzel Dumfries goal on the stroke of half-time at the San Siro.


Sassuolo levelled in the 54th minute when Nedim Bajrami scored with a long-range effort which caught out goalkeeper Yann Sommer.

Domenico Berardi hit the winner 10 minutes later as Sassuolo claimed all three points to follow up last week’s win over Juventus.

Inter remain top of the table on goal difference ahead of AC Milan who earlier defeated Cagliari 3-1.

After a defeat and two draws, champions Napoli returned to winning ways with Victor Osimhen playing a starring role.

The Nigerian striker scored his fourth goal of the season after 39 minutes with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia ending a long goal drought by finding the net in the second half.


Osimhen, top scorer in Serie A last season, had cut a controversial figure at the weekend when he showed his displeasure at being taken off by coach Rudy Garcia in the 0-0 draw with Bologna.

On Tuesday, his agent threatened Napoli with legal action for having published a video on the club’s TikTok account, since deleted, mocking the striker for missing a penalty in that game.

Napoli are now fifth in the table with 11 points, four points behind the two Milan clubs.

AC Milan fought back from a goal down to defeat Cagliari.

Milan were without injured goalkeeper Mike Maignan as well as strikers Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao.


Cagliari, searching for a first win of the campaign, grabbed a shock 29th-minute lead through Angolan winger Zito Luvumbo who capitalised on a mix-up in the Milan defence to shoot past Marco Sportiello.

Milan, however, hit back with Noah Okafor levelling in the 40th minute when he beat goalkeeper Boris Radunovic from a cross by Christian Pulisic.

In first-half injury-time, Fikayo Tomori added Milan’s second thanks to the work of Yacine Adli who was starting a game for only the second time since his arrival at the club in July 2022.

Stefano Pioli’s side made sure of the three points on the hour mark when Ruben Loftus-Cheek hit the target.

The win was a fifth in six matches for AC Milan who are level on 15 points with Inter.


“We deserved our victory in a match which was not a formality,” said Pioli who celebrated his 200th win as a coach in Serie A.

However, he admitted there had been “naivety” over the goal Milan conceded.

“We know that it is the matches against our direct rivals for the title which will impact our place in the table, but these matches which, on paper, seem simple will be very important at the end of the season,” he added.

Empoli, who sacked coach Paolo Zanetti last week after a 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Roma, celebrated their first win of the season.

Tommaso Baldanzi scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Salernitana. 


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Iftikhar Ahmed reveals reason for choosing National T20 over T10 league




Pakistan middle-order batsman Iftikhar Ahmed has explained his decision to prioritize participation in the country’s premier domestic tournament, the National T20, over the Abu Dhabi T10 League. 

Despite being signed by Bangla Tigers for the T10 League starting on December 28, the 33-year-old chose to play domestic cricket for the Peshawar region.

In a statement on the sidelines of the National T20, Iftikhar highlighted his commitment to paying respect to domestic cricketers and Pakistan by opting for the national competition. He emphasized that playing for Pakistan had earned him respect, and as a professional player, he felt it was important to honor the domestic cricket platform.


“I had a contract in the T10 league but I cancelled it to play here in domestic cricket. I have played for Pakistan after playing domestic cricket, and playing for Pakistan is what has earned me respect, so as a player and a professional, I should also pay respect to domestic cricketers and Pakistan (by playing here),” Iftikhar said.

The National T20 is currently ongoing at four venues in Karachi, featuring eighteen teams. The group stage games will conclude on November 28, followed by the Super Eight stage starting from December 1.

On the other hand, the Abu Dhabi T10 League 2023 will involve eight teams, including New York Strikers, Deccan Gladiators, Northern Warriors, Morrisville Samp Army, Delhi Bulls, Team Abu Dhabi, Chennai Braves, and Bangla Tigers. 

The tournament, which will take place at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, will follow a round-robin format in the group stage, leading to the Qualifier 1, Eliminator, Qualifier 2, and the Final.