Rafael produced two penalty saves as Napoli won the Supercoppa Italiana shootout 6-5 against Juventus, after the match had ended 2-2.
The Brazilian goalkeeper saved Giorgio Chiellini and Simone Padoin’s efforts from 12 yards at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha to give Napoli their first win in the competition since 1990 on Monday and deny Massimiliano Allegri his maiden piece of silverware at Juve.
Two Argentina internationals had battled for the headlines before that, with Carlos Tevez netting twice for the Serie A champions and Gonzalo Higuain responding with a double for the Coppa Italia winners.
A defensive mistake gifted Tevez the opening goal of the game – his 14th of the season in all competitions – after five minutes, the striker taking full advantage with a composed finish.
Stoke City managed to get their Premier League campaign back on track following three successive defeats as Mark Hughes’ charges defeated Arsenal at home before holding Crystal Palace to a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park.
The Potters, however, will have much bigger fish to fry when they host Premiership leaders Chelsea to Britannia Stadium, with the Blues desperate to restore the three-point lead at the top of the standings after Manchester City won their weekend’s match.
The Blues will obviously heavily rely on star striker Diego Costa, who has bagged 12 goals in 13 league outings this term, so it is hardly surprising that Ladbrokes has enhanced the price on Costa to score first from 3/1 to 4/1.
Ally McCoist has left his post as Rangers manager and is now on gardening leave, the Scottish Championship club have confirmed.
McCoist tendered his resignation on Monday following a 2-0 league loss at Queen of the South.
That triggered a 12-month notice period and a significant increase in McCoist’s pay, although at the time the club said they would re-negotiate his salary.
The 52-year-old oversaw the 2-0 win over Livingston on Saturday, but his tenure has now finally come to an end.
Fiorentina are the latest side to have shown interest in Guangzhou Evergrande striker Alberto Gilardino, according to Tuttosport.
Viola were unfortunate to have Giuseppe Rossi, Khouma Babacar and Filippo Bernardeschi all suffer injuries in quick succession, meaning they desperately need a new centre forward.
Tuttosport has suggested that Fiorentina are ready to make a move on former player Alberto Gilardino, who should be available on a cut-price deal in January.
The only problem is that a host of other Serie A clubs are keen on the striker’s signature, with Roma, Inter and Torino in the mix as well.
Burton Albion missed the chance to put pressure on Wycombe Wanderers at the top of League Two as they drew 0-0 with Southend United.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men could have taken over at the top with a win at Roots Hall, however, they were grateful for the performance of goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin, who pulled off a number of strong saves to preserve a point.
The result means that Wycombe are still a point ahead of Burton having played two games fewer.
In Friday’s other game in the English fourth tier Cambridge United snatched a 1-1 draw at Tranmere Rovers.