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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Briefs: Juventus maintain perfect start; Lyon beat Marseille

Football Briefs: Juventus maintain perfect start; Lyon beat Marseille

September 24, 2018 10:57 IST

News of all that's transpired on and off the football field

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo scores the opening goal against Frosinone Calcio during their serie A match at Stadio Benito Stirpe in Frosinone, Italy, on Sunday

IMAGE: Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo scores the opening goal against Frosinone Calcio during their serie A match at Stadio Benito Stirpe in Frosinone, Italy, on Sunday. Photograph: Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo’s late goal helped Juventus to maintain their perfect start to the Serie A season with a hard-fought 2-0 victory away to Frosinone on Sunday, while Roma suffered a shock 2-0 defeat in Bologna.

 

Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus, who are chasing an eighth consecutive Italian league title, have now won their opening five league games for the third time in five seasons.

Ronaldo was the hero, days after being sent off on his Champions League debut for the Turin club, breaking the deadlock from close range in the 81st minute to take his Serie A tally to three goals in five games.

The well-drilled hosts, who have picked up just one point this season and are still waiting to score their first goal, provided a surprisingly stern test for the champions but their challenge ended in stoppage time when Federico Bernardeschi finished off a counter attack to put the result beyond doubt.

“We expected it to be like this," Allegri told reporters.

"Frosinone had conceded five to Sampdoria and we played down to 10 men for 70 minutes against Valencia (in the Champions League) on Wednesday.

“We just needed to have patience and after many shots, crosses and passes, we found the breakthrough."

Juve lead the Serie A standings with a maximum 15 points from their opening five games.

Roma coach Eusebio di Francesco’s position is under increasing scrutiny after his side's defeat by Bologna which club president James Pallotta said made him feel "disgusted".

Bologna went into the game without a win or a goal to their name this season but strikes from Federico Mattiello and Federico Santander gave Pippo Inzaghi’s side their first home win against the capital club since 2004 and left Roma in 14th place with five points.

“If something doesn’t snap inside the players, then we’re going to struggle,” said Di Francesco.

“We could just sit there in front of the goal and hope the right cross comes in but that is not my philosophy of football.”

Napoli continue to look like Juventus’s most likely challengers after beating Torino 3-1 thanks to a LorenzoInsigne double and a Simone Verdi strike.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side have won four of their five Serie A games so far and occupy second place, three points behind the leaders.

Atalanta scored a stoppage-time equaliser to earn a 2-2 draw with AC Milan at San Siro, Lazio moved into fifth place with a 4-1 win at home to Genoa and Chievo remain bottom of the pile after falling to a 2-0 home defeat to Udinese.

Ligue 1: Lyon beat Marseille

Olympique Lyon players celebrate after Bertrand Traore scores their third goal against Olympique de Marseille at Groupama Stadium in Lyon on Sunday

IMAGE: Olympique Lyon players celebrate after Bertrand Traore scores their third goal against Olympique de Marseille at Groupama Stadium in Lyon on Sunday. Photograph: Emmanuel Foudrot/Reuters

Olympique Lyonnais cruised to a 4-2 win over Olympique Marseille and Paris St Germain stretched their perfect Ligue 1 start to six wins after coming from behind to beat Rennes 3-1 away in a rip-roaring clash on Sunday.

Bertrand Traore scored two goals in nine second-half minutes as Lyon outclassed the visitors, who had Duje Caleta-Car sent off late in the game, to move level with Marseille on 10 points after six games, one spot behind them on goal difference.

PSG's victory kept them top of the French league on a maximum 18 points, five clear of second-placed Lille, after Angel Di Maria and Thomas Meunier cancelled out an early Adrian Rabiot own goal which fired the adventurous home side ahead.

Second-half substitute Eric Choupo-Moting added the third goal in the closing stages for the visitors, who rebounded from a 3-2 Champions League defeat by Liverpool on Tuesday.

Roared on by their vocal fans, Rennes twice went close before they stunned the more fancied visitors in the 11th minute when towering striker Mbaye Niang glanced on an inswinging corner which cannoned into the net off Rabiot.

The visitors quickly regained their composure and levelled on the stroke of halftime thanks to a superb Di Maria strike, the Argentina midfielder unleashing a low shot after Edinson Cavani's clever dummy from a Julian Draxler cut-back.

Bordeaux climbed out of the relegation zone with a 3-1 win over bottom side Guingamp thanks to goals from Francois Komano, Yann Karamoh and Nicolas De Preville.

Germany to follow World Cup winners France in regeneration

France won the 2018 World Cup by regenerating their squad and previous holders Germany must now do the same, the countries' respective coaches said on Sunday.

Didier Deschamps and Joachim Loew were speaking at FIFA's World Cup conference in London attended by representatives of almost 200 member associations.

Deschamps, who in July became one of only three men to win the competition as both player and coach, said it was necessary to rejuvenate the French side that lost the 2016 European Championship final on home ground to Portugal.

"In two years things change," he said through an interpreter.

"In football terms it's a long time.

"You have to rethink and renew. It's important to have players with experience but it can be hard to find the balance between experience and youth.

"We had 14 out of 23 players who had never played at the Euros or a World Cup. But eight of the 11 in the final had done."

His overall impression of the 2018 finals was that "all teams were extremely well prepared in terms of fitness and able to play at high intensity, so that as well as creativity they need nowadays to be true athletes".

Deschamps defended one of the younger members of his team, Manchester United's Paul Pogba, who one delegate said had been more impressive for France than his club.

"The rest of the world had an image of him that didn't reflect who he is, of someone very individualistic who only thinks of himself," he said. "That's not true at all."

Loew said Germany, who went into the tournament as holders but finished bottom of their group, had more or less the same group of players for a long period, some of them appearing in three World Cups.

"Maybe after this long time at the top you don't have the same passion or greed to win the title," he said through an interpreter.

"So now we have to think about how we integrate some new players over the next two to four years to get some new blood into the team and set new aims for what we want to do."

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