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Rediff.com  » Sports » PIX: Napoli stun Liverpool; Neymar treble inspires PSG

PIX: Napoli stun Liverpool; Neymar treble inspires PSG

Last updated on: October 04, 2018 10:45 IST

Liverpool failed to muster a single shot on target in a Champions League game for the first time since a 1-0 defeat to Benfica in February 2006.

Liverpool

IMAGE: Napoli players celebrate after the match. Photograph: Ciro De Luca/Reuters

Lorenzo Insigne’s 90th-minute winner gave Napoli a deserved 1-0 Champions League victory over Liverpool on Wednesday that saw the Italians move to the top of Group C.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side produced a dominant performance against a muted Liverpool team that failed to muster a single shot on target in a Champions League game for the first time since a 1-0 defeat to Benfica in February 2006.

 

Napoli top the group with four points, while Liverpool are level on three with Paris St Germain, who they beat 3-2 at Anfield in their opening game. Red Star Belgrade are bottom with one point.

The visitors were dealt a blow inside the opening 20 minutes when midfielder Naby Keita was taken off on a stretcher on his Champions League debut for Liverpool, and Napoli had the better of the first half with Insigne shooting wide and Arkadiusz Milik forcing a save from Alisson Becker.

IMAGE: Napoli's Dries Mertens shoots at goal. Photograph: Ciro De Luca/Reuters

Poland striker Milik again stung the palms of Alisson early in the second half as Napoli grew in confidence.

They went close to taking the lead with 10 minutes remaining when substitute Dries Mertens met a cross from Mario Rui and volleyed off the crossbar from six metres.

The pressure paid off in the 90th minute as Insigne scored a deserved winning goal, stretching to tap in a low cross from Jose Callejon.

“It’s wonderful to win like this, but we had a great performance as a team and wanted the result at all costs,” Insigne told Sky Italia.

"Now we’ll enjoy this victory for a little bit...

"We know it’s a difficult group, we always did, but we want to make our mark in every game and put any opponent under pressure."

Liverpool face Red Star at Anfield next and Napoli travel to Paris to play PSG on October 24.

Neymar treble inspires PSG to 6-1 rout of Red Star

Neymar

IMAGE: Paris St Germain's Neymar celebrates scoring their sixth goal to complete his hat-trick. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Paris St Germain got their Champions League campaign back on track with a 6-1 home rout of Serbian side Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday as Brazil forward Neymar lit up a lop-sided Group C clash with a hat-trick.

Angel Di Maria, Edinson Cavani and France World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe added a goal each as the French champions ripped into 1991 European Cup winners Red Star, who were spared a heavier defeat by goalkeeper Milan Borjan.

The result left PSG on three points from two games after their opening 3-2 defeat by Liverpool, who visit Napoli in the group’s 1900 GMT kick off. Napoli were held to a surprise 0-0 draw at Red Star in their opening match.

The outcome was also Red Star’s heaviest defeat in Europe, ending their 38-match unbeaten run in all competitions stretching back to last season.

Despite the obvious gulf in class, PSG coach Thomas Tuchel praised his team for keeping up a high tempo which barely allowed the visitors to get out of their own half and singled out the outstanding Neymar.

“We’ve improved our intensity in every game and you saw that tonight,” Tuchel told a news conference.

“Neymar is one of the best players in Europe. We have several of the best in our team — not just Neymar. We’ve won lots of games because we have the best players, but also because we were the best team. That’s very important.”

PSG

IMAGE: Paris St Germain's Edinson Cavani shakes hands with coach Thomas Tuchel after the match. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

It was one-way traffic from the start as the home side raced into a 2-0 lead with two goals in two minutes as Neymar curled a delightful free kick past Borjan in the 20th minute before he converted a fine run and pass by Mbappe.

Cavani made it 3-0 with a deflected shot from inside the penalty area in the 37th minute before Di Maria added a fourth from close range after Thomas Meunier floated in a superb pass with the outside of his foot.

In between the goals and early in the second half, Borjan pulled off a string of superb saves to deny Neymar and Mbappe on multiple occasions as PSG carved open Red Star’s defence at will, with Mbappe also guilty of some sloppy finishing.

Mbappe finally found the back of the net in the 70th minute after a dazzling move involving Neymar and Juan Bernat left the 19-year-old with a simple tap in from six metres.

Red Star, playing in the competition’s group stages for the first time, scored their maiden goal on the big stage when midfielder Marko Marin buried a shot from 12 metres into the top corner in his team’s first purposeful move.

Borjan could only offer a wry smile when Neymar put the icing on the cake of a brilliant individual performance as he unleashed another breathtaking free kick from 30 metres in the 81st minute before he was substituted.

Cavani had the ball in the back of the net again shortly afterwards but the goal was disallowed for a marginal offside as PSG kept their feet on the pedal until the final whistle.

Marega strikes for Porto after Casillas keeps Galatasaray at bay

FC Porto

IMAGE: Galatasaray's Selcuk Inan with FC Porto's Alex Telles after the match. Photograph: Miguel Vidal/Reuters

A second-half header by Moussa Marega gave Porto a 1-0 Champions League win over Galatasaray on Wednesday after veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas kept the Turkish side at bay.

French-born Mali forward Marega struck four minutes after the break as Porto claimed their first win in Group D, leaving the Portuguese champions level on points at the top with Schalke and one ahead of their Turkish opponents.

Both teams created chances in an open end-to-end game with both Casillas and his opposite number Fernando Muslera keeping the score down.

Muslera was first to be called into action when the Uruguayan got down to block Yacine Brahimi’s powerful volley at the foot of the post, a chance created by Jesus Corona’s weaving run.

Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Casillas, taking part in his 20th Champions League campaign, made two important saves with his legs just before halftime.

First, he blocked Yuto Nagatomo’s close-range effort, then he foiled Sinan Gumus after the Galatasaray forward had burst from inside his own half.

Porto, beaten 5-0 by Liverpool in their last home game in the competition, broke through when Alex Telles swung over a cross and Danilo distracted three defenders leaving Marega unmarked to head home from close range.

Garry Rodrigues missed a chance to level by firing over after a one-two with Gumus and Muslera denied Marega a second goal after the Porto forward broke clear of the Galatasaray defence.

Buoyant Dortmund heap more misery on hapless Monaco

IMAGE: Borussia Dortmund's players celebrate after Marco Reus scored their third goal. Photograph: Leon Kuegeler/Reuters

Borussia Dortmund's blistering start to the season under new manager Lucien Favre gathered momentum as the Bundesliga leaders consigned ailing AS Monaco to a 3-0 defeat in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Dortmund’s young Danish striker Jacob Bruun Larsen, brought on at the break after a mediocre first half from Favre’s unbeaten high-flyers, broke the deadlock within six minutes before strikes from Paco Alcacer and captain Marco Reus heaped more misery on Monaco.

Dortmund’s storming second-half display kept them at the top of Group A alongside Atletico Madrid, with both sides on a maximum six points, but for Monaco, who have not won any of their last nine matches, it was another low point in a poor season.

They are stuck pointless at the foot of the group alongside Club Bruges, who lost 3-1 at Atletico on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old Larsen’s neat finish after being picked out by a superb through ball from 18-year-old English prospect Jadon Sancho enabled Dortmund to relax and take control after a misfiring first 45 minutes.

Alcacer hit the bar with his 69th-minute penalty after Reus had been brought down by Kamil Glik, but the Spaniard soon made amends by rounding substitute keeper Danijel Subasic to slot home the German side’s second.

Reus completed the comfortable win by slotting home the third from a narrow angle in stoppage time as Dortmund celebrated a ninth match unbeaten under Swiss coach Favre.

Monaco had started more brightly than the home side and came closest to breaking the deadlock when a fine 30-metre shot from Youri Tielemans forced an excellent acrobatic stop from Roman Burki.

Alcacer curled a left-footer just wide for Dortmund and Marius Wolf brought a fine save from Diego Benaglio, who had to hobble off before the break due to injury.

Subasic came on for his first match since Croatia’s World Cup final appearance after an injury layoff, but his return proved a tough one as Monaco made it 10 matches without a Champions League win.

Source:
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