Published: 11:37 EST, 23 December 2017 | Updated: 17:37 EST, 23 December 2017
Medhi Benatia scored against his old club to help Juventus beat title rival Roma 1-0 on Saturday and move to within a point of leader Napoli in one of the tightest Serie A races in years.
Earlier, Napoli fought back to beat Sampdoria 3-2 in a match in which Marek Hamsik became the club's all-time leading scorer with his 116th.
Juventus moved four points above Inter Milan, which had a penalty saved in a 1-0 loss at Sassuolo.
Juventus' Medhi Benatia celebrates after scoring during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Roma in Turin, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
Roma remained fourth, seven points behind Napoli but with a game in hand.
Benatia, who spent a season at Roma before leaving for Bayern Munich in 2014, almost did his old club a favor deep in stoppage time with a poor backpass which sent Patrik Schick clear on goal, but goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny rushed out to parry with his legs.
"I'm pleased because Roma is a rival for the title," Benatia said. "Having won with my goal is an added joy … although of course I have friends there.
"We could have finished it off but we made a couple of mistakes in attack. Then we risked a lot with my mistake, but luckily Szczesny was phenomenal. It … could have cost us a lot. We are still the team to beat."
Juventus broke the deadlock in chaotic fashion following a 19th-minute corner. Roma goalkeeper Alisson did brilliantly to keep out Giorgio Chiellini's header and turned Benatia's attempt from the rebound onto the bar but couldn't keep out the Morocco defender's follow-up.
Another former Roma player was in goal for Juventus, with Szczesny standing in for the injured Gianluigi Buffon. He did well to deny Stephan El Shaarawy from close range.
Roma's night was almost made worse by another ex-fan favorite, but Miralem Pjanic's shot came off the crossbar.
Alessandro Florenzi also hit the bar for the capital club.
Napoli was behind twice before Hamsik surpassed Argentina great Diego Maradona's tally with the winner shortly before halftime.
Sampdoria got off to a perfect start in Naples as Gaston Ramirez curled a free kick into the top left corner with less than two minutes on the clock.
Napoli leveled when Emiliano Viviano could only parry Jose Callejon's volley and Allan fired home the rebound.
Fabio Quagliarella restored Sampdoria's lead with a penalty after Elseid Hysaj brought down Ramirez.
It was Quagliarella's first time back at Napoli since he revealed a stalker nightmare forced him to leave his hometown club in 2010.
Lorenzo Insigne marked his return from injury with an equalizer, volleying Dries Mertens' chipped pass into the bottom left corner.
Hamsik made history six minutes later, still in the first half.
Allan dribbled past three players in the area before picking out Mertens, who rolled the ball across for Hamsik to tap in from close range.
The only negative note for Napoli was the dismissal of defender Mario Rui 13 minutes from time following a second yellow card.
Little more than a week ago, Inter was on top of the table and the only unbeaten team in the league.
It is now five points off the pace following a second successive defeat.
Diego Falcinelli scored the only goal 11 minutes from halftime, heading in a cross from Matteo Politano, who ran almost the entire length of the right flank.
Falcinelli needed several minutes of treatment afterward as he clattered into the post as he scored.
Icardi, who earlier missed a sitter and saw an effort cleared off the line, should have leveled five minutes after the break but Andrea Consigli saved his penalty after Francesco Acerbi's handball.
It was a third successive win for Sassuolo, which moved five points clear of the relegation zone.
AC Milan was booed off the pitch after falling to a second successive defeat, 2-0 at home to Atalanta.
Gennaro Gattuso has just one win from his four league matches since replacing Vincenzo Montella as coach.
Fresh from beating Inter last weekend, Udinese continued its revival by humiliating Hellas Verona 4-0 for its fourth consecutive league win.
Antonin Barak scored twice to take his tally to four goals in the last three rounds. Teammate Kevin Lasagna has four in four.
Lazio beat Crotone by the same result, while Genoa needed a stoppage-time penalty to defeat Benevento 1-0.
Spal and Torino drew 2-2.
More AP Serie A coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/SerieA
Juventus' Medhi Benatia, second from left, celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Roma in Turin, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (Andrea Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
Juventus' Medhi Benatia, center, scores during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Roma in Turin, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri gestures during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Roma in Turin, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
Juventus' Miralem Pjanic, second from left, kicks the ball during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Roma in Turin, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (Andrea Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
Napoli's Marek Hamsik, right, celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Napoli and Sampdoria at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP)
Napoli's Marek Hamsik, third from right, scores during a Serie A soccer match between Napoli and Sampdoria at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP)
Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Napoli and Sampdoria at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP)
Napoli's Allan celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Napoli and Sampdoria at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP)
Inter coach Luciano Spalletti waits for the start of the Italian Serie A soccer match between Sassuolo and Inter in Reggio Emilia, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017.(Elisabetta Baracchi/ANSA via AP)
Sassuolo's Diego Falcinelli, second from right, scores during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Sassuolo and Inter in Reggio Emilia, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (Elisabetta Baracchi/ANSA via AP)
Sassuolo's players congratulate their teammate goalkeeper Andrea Consigli, third from left, after he saved a penalty kicked by Inter's Icardi during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Sassuolo and Inter in Reggio Emilia, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (Elisabetta Baracchi/ANSA via AP)
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Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms
The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.
The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.
All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.
It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.
British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.
The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.
The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.
It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.
“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.
“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”
The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.
It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128
Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official
Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.
The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.
Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.
Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.
“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.
“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.
Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.
Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”
However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.
Australia’s tight restrictions
The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.
Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.
A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.
Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.
Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.
Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.
Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.
The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.
While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.
Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.
In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581
Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection
The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.
Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.
Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.
It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.
The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.
Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”
“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.
“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”
Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.
Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.
For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.
Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.
A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.
Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane
Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane
At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.
When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.
Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.
While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.
But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.
And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.
And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836
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