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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Briefs: Neymar, Cavani strike again as PSG go 10 points clear

Football Briefs: Neymar, Cavani strike again as PSG go 10 points clear

November 30, 2017 13:52 IST

Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani celebrates with Neymar after scoring their second goal against Troyes at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on Wednesday

IMAGE: Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani celebrates with Neymar after scoring their second goal against Troyes at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on Wednesday. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Neymar and Edinson Cavani, Paris St Germain's deadly double act, again delivered a goal apiece in a sluggish 2-0 victory over Troyes that took them 10 points clear of their Ligue 1 challengers on Wednesday.

While their nearest chasers lost, Olympique Lyonnais succumbing 2-1 at home to struggling Lille and Monaco falling 1-0 at Nantes after a last-gasp Lucas Lima thunderbolt, PSG marched on without ever hitting top gear.

 

They left it late as a brilliant Neymar strike in the 73rd minute, his 15th PSG goal in all competitions, eased nerves at the Parc des Princes before the Brazilian set up Cavani, who had a first-half penalty saved, to score in stoppage time.

The pair had a spirited debate over who should take the penalty, with Cavani winning the argument, but they worked in perfect harmony for the Uruguayan's 23rd goal, stretching his lead as top marksman in Europe's major leagues this season.

The losses for Lyon and Monaco enabled Olympique de Marseille, with their emphatic 3-0 win at bottom club Metz, to move into second place but they are 10 points adrift of unbeaten PSG, who moved on to 41 points after 15 games.

Third-placed Lyon and Monaco, both on 29 points, were left two points behind Marseille.

PSG had seemed out of sorts against mid-table opponents they had hammered 9-0 in their last meeting when sealing the title in 2016, but looked to be in charge once Cavani earned the penalty with a theatrical fall under Karim Azamoum's shirt tug.

Just as during a game against Lyon in September when the pair argued over who should take the set-piece duties, Cavani won the day but his 40th minute spot kick was saved by Mamadou Samassa, who was way off his line as the ball was struck.

Neymar, who never stopped trying to galvanise the side, took his one chance superbly, marauding to the edge of the box before unleashing a left-foot shot worthy of the world's most expensive player.

Champions Monaco's miserable spell continued after their Champions League exit and weekend loss to PSG when Nantes' Brazilian substitute Lima cracked home a left foot half-volley to give Claudio Ranieri's side a well deserved win.

Lyon's eight-match unbeaten run in the league was ended surprisingly by Lille, whose goals from Thiago Mendes and Ezequiel Ponce were both aided by poor defending.

Australia fails to agree on reforms, FIFA takeover looms

Australia's football association failed to pass a vote to secure reforms demanded by FIFA on Thursday, paving the way for the global governing body to take over the governance of soccer in the country.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) said it had fallen short of the votes required to pass a resolution to expand its Congress, which elects members to the executive board, by a Nov. 30 deadline set by FIFA.

"FFA will now formally communicate the outcome to football's world governing body FIFA, which had instructed Australian football's stakeholders to agree on expansion of the Congress by today's date," FFA chairman Steven Lowy said in a statement.

"We will now talk to FIFA about what steps can now be taken to resolve this issue so that we have a larger, more representative Congress."

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