News of all that's transpired on and off the football fie
Germain opens account for Marseille with a double
Olympique de Marseille stayed in touch with the Ligue 1 pace-setters after striker Valere Germain scored his first two goals for the club in a 3-0 home win over 10-man St Etienne on Sunday.
The result kept Marseille fourth on 35 points from 17 games, behind third-placed champions Monaco and second-placed Lyon on goal difference. Runaway leaders Paris St Germain have 44 points after Saturday's 3-1 home win against struggling Lille.
Germain, who moved from Monaco during the close season, headed home an 11th-minute corner and steered in a Florian Thauvin cross in the 74th after St Etienne had defender Ronael Pierre-Gabriel sent off for a professional foul.
In between the goals, Germain missed several chances as dominant Marseille hit the woodwork twice and kept raiding both flanks almost at will, with St Etienne keeper Stephane Ruffier producing a string of good saves.
Substitute Lucas Ocampos added the third with a delightfully curled shot into the top corner in the 80th minute as the home side continued to press in the closing stages.
Stunning Sorrentino stops Roma on weekend of 0-0 draws
Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino produced a memorable double save to frustrate AS Roma while fading Napoli were held at home by Fiorentina as Serie A's weekend of 0-0 draws continued on Sunday.
Sorrentino defied Patrik Schick and then Gerson in quick succession to cap an outstanding performance in their goalless stalemate, denying fourth-placed Roma a chance to close the gap on the leading trio.
Napoli's draw, which followed the previous week's 1-0 defeat to Juventus, was the first time they had failed to score in successive league games in Maurizio Sarri's two-and-a-half seasons as coach.
AC Milan gave Gennaro Gattuso his first win as their new coach when two goals from Giacomo Bonaventura gave them a 2-1 win over Bologna at snowy San Siro, their first at home in the league since late September.
Inter Milan, still unbeaten, lead with 40 points from 16 games after they also drew 0-0 away to titleholders Juventus on Saturday. Napoli are a point behind in second, followed by Juve on 38 and Roma in fourth on 35.
Roma dominated their match but found Sorrentino, on the wrong end of a 5-0 defeat against Inter Milan one week ago, in unbeatable form.
Winless Cologne squander three-goal lead and lose 4-3
Bottom-of-the-table Cologne's dismal season took another twist on Sunday when they blew a three-goal lead to lose 4-3 at home to fellow strugglers Freiburg and remain winless after 15 games in the Bundesliga.
In a game that began half an hour late for snow to be cleared from the pitch, Nils Petersen scored two penalties in the final minutes to complete a hat-trick and win the match for the visitors, who began the day one place above their opponents.
Cologne, in their first league game under caretaker coach Stefan Ruthenbeck after Peter Stoeger was fired a week ago, looked certain to pick up their first league win of the season as they raced to a 3-0 lead in less than half an hour.
"What happened today was very painful," said Ruthenbeck. "We began well and did everything right early on. But after halftime the game was turned on its head."
Lukas Kluenter sidefooted home from Milos Jojic's pass to put them ahead, Sehrou Guirassy won and converted a penalty and Caleb Stanko turned Konstantin Rausch's cross into his own goal.
It began to go wrong for the Billy Goats when Petersen volleyed one back five minutes before halftime and the tension was palpable after Janik Haberer headed a second in the 65th minute.
Petersen then equalised with his first penalty in the 89th minute, after Salih Ozcan fouled Nicolas Hoefler, and struck the winner from the spot in the fifth minute of stoppage time, this time following handball by Guirassy.
Cologne remained stuck on three points at the bottom, eleven adrift of Werder Bremen, while Freiburg climbed out of the direct relegation spots to 16th with 15 points.