Keisuke Honda nets brace as AC Milan topple Hellas Verona

AC Milan forward Keisuke Honda celebrates after scoring vs. Hellas Verona.

GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images

Keisuke Honda scored twice as resurgent AC Milan broke into the Champions League places with a 3-1 win at Hellas Verona on Sunday.

The Rossoneri, who were helped along the road to victory by Rafael Marques’ early own goal, climbed to fourth place in the Serie A table thanks to Japan striker Honda’s well-taken brace.

Ambitious Verona fought hard to rescue a share of the points and a late rally did see Nico Lopez grab a consolation goal.

Lazio climbed further up the Serie A table with their third win in a row, a 2-0 triumph at Fiorentina.

Filip Djordjevic and Senad Lulic scored the goals for the Biancocelesti to lift them three points clear of their hosts and into the hunt for the European places.

Lazio had the better of the first half, taking the lead with Djordjevic’s fifth goal of the season, but Fiorentina had chances to level in the second half before Lulic scored on the break to seal his side’s win.

Udinese will be glad to see the back of Turin this season after losing in the Piedmont city for the second time.

Their former forward Fabio Quagliarella did the damage as Torino beat the high-flyers 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico to inflict only the second defeat on Andrea Stramaccioni’s side this season, the other a 2-0 loss to city rivals Juventus.

SERIE A RESULTS

Substitute Richmond Boakye condemned hapless Parma to a fourth straight Serie A defeat as Atalanta prevailed 1-0 to claim their first home win of the season.

Cagliari came from two goals behind to grab a point against Sampdoria, who ended the game with only 10 men.

Manolo Gabbiadini and Pedro Obiang had Sampdoria on course for their fifth win of the season, but a red card to Fabrizio Cacciatore and a penalty just shy of the hour mark proved to be the turning point in the game.

Danilo Avelar converted from the spot before Marco Sau earned Zdenek Zeman’s men a point.

Palermo picked up their first win back in Serie A to ease the pressure on their coach Giuseppe Iachini, although they left it late to beat 10-man Cesena 2-1.

Pauli Dybala put the Rosaneri in front after 33 minutes, but substitute Alejandro Rodriguez levelled from the penalty spot on the hour mark.

Manuel Coppola was given his marching orders for a second yellow card with 10 minutes to go and Cesena were unable to hold on to a point as Costa Rica defender Giancarlo Gonzalez headed in Palermo’s winner in the second minute of stoppage time.

Juventus dropped their first points of the season on Saturday night when they were held to a 1-1 draw at Sassuolo in a battle of bottom against top in Serie A.

Simone Zaza, on loan at Sassuolo from Juve, scored against his parent club to give the Emilia-Romagna side the lead, but Paul Pogba levelled for the Bianconeri soon after.

Juve had chances to win it but Sassuolo did not just defend and could have snatched all three points themselves at the Stadio Giglio with a point lifting them off the foot of the table ahead of Sunday’s matches, while the visitors’ lead was cut to one point at the top.

Roma are the side behind them and warmed up for their Champions League showdown with Bayern Munich by getting back to winning ways in the league with a 3-0 win at home to Chievo.

Goals from Mattia Destro, Adem Ljajic and a Francesco Totti penalty saw the hosts bounce straight back from their controversial 3-2 defeat to Juventus a fortnight ago to keep up the pressure on the Bianconeri at the top of the table.

Perhaps equally important was the confidence boost victory gave Rudi Garcia’s men ahead of their tough encounter with Bundesliga leaders Bayern on Tuesday night.