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Rediff.com  » Sports » Roundup: Balotelli, Ibrahimovic get in the groove

Roundup: Balotelli, Ibrahimovic get in the groove

September 23, 2015 08:50 IST

Ibrahimovic on the spot at last as PSG beat Guingamp

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Paris St Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic prepares to shoot a penalty kick. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Paris St Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his first Ligue 1 goal this season before missing a penalty as they beat En Avant Guingamp 3-0 to extend their lead to four points on Tuesday.

Pastore netted in the 18th minute and fellow Argentine Angel Di Maria doubled the tally in the 77th before Ibrahimovic wrapped up the victory six minutes from time to put PSG on 17 points from seven games after two consecutive draws.

They lead Stade Rennes and St Etienne who have 13 points and play on Wednesday at Ajaccio and Troyes respectively.

Ibrahimovic, whose start to the campaign has been hampered by injuries, missed from the spot in the 87th minute.

Pastore opened the scoring with a low shot from just inside the box, after being set up by Ibrahimovic, as PSG were rewarded for their early domination.

Unbeaten in Ligue 1 since March 15, the side from the capital were barely threatened by Guingamp, who had their best chance just before the interval when Yannis Salibur's fierce strike was parried away by Kevin Trapp.

Di Maria, who had been quiet for most of the game popped up to score his first league goal of the season after Guingamp keeper Jonas Lossl dropped the ball having blocked Ibrahimovic's shot leaving the Argentine to poke home for 2-0.

Ibrahimovic then collected Di Maria's cross on the left side of the area and beat Lossl to put the result beyond doubt.

The Sweden striker, however, saw his weak penalty tipped away by Lossl after Guingamp had been punished following Younousse Sankhare's foul on Edinson Cavani.

Stade de Reims and Angers are fourth and fifth respectively on 12 points after a 0-0 draw earlier on Tuesday.

Balotelli off the mark in Milan win

Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli, left, of AC Milan is challenged to Emmanuel Agyemang Badu of Udnese Calcio during the Serie A match. Photograph: Dino Panato/Getty Images

Mario Balotelli scored his first goal since rejoining AC Milan to set them on the way to a 3-2 win at Udinese in Serie A on Tuesday. Milan raced to a 3-0 halftime lead before surviving a second-half fightback from the hosts as they picked up their third win in five Serie A outings under new coach Sinisa Mihajlovic.

Balotelli, on loan from Liverpool, needed only six minutes in his first start of the season to open his account when he curled a 20 metre free kick past Ornestis Karnezis who barely moved.

Giacomo Bonaventura volleyed in from Riccardo Montolivo's pass and Colombia defender Cristian Zapata headed the third from Bonaventura's corner in first-half stoppage time.

Emmanuel Badu and Duvan Zapata scored in a six-minute spell early in the second half to bring Udinese back into the match and set up a dramatic final half hour.

Milan goalkeeper Diego Lopez made a brave save at Cyril Thereau's feet, Maurizio Domizzi sent a free header over the bar and Lopez punched away a powerful Bruno Fernandes drive as Milan clung on. Fernandes was sent off in stoppage time amid angry protests as Udinese slumped to their fourth successive defeat since their shock opening day win at champions Juventus.

Griezmann double sends Atletico top

Antoine Griezmann

Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann celebrates. Photograph: Sergio Perez /Reuters

In-form Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann struck twice to earn a comfortable 2-0 derby victory over toothless visitors Getafe that sent his side top of La Liga on Tuesday. The France striker, who is developing into a talisman for Atletico, scored at the start of the first half and the end of the second after a competent display by the hosts.

Atletico have 12 points from five games, having only dropped points against Barcelona who have a 100 percent record from four games and visit Celta Vigo on Wednesday when Real Madrid, with 10 points from four matches, visit Athletic Bilbao.

Atletico controlled the game but they eased off for long spells against a side incapable of putting them under sustained pressure.

Griezmann netted after four minutes with a volley from six metres and wrapped up the win with another close-range finish from a Jackson Martinez pass in the final minute.

“We scored quickly and we were well placed but we stopped looking to build play,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone told a news conference. “We then improved again in the final stages of the game. In the middle section we looked to close the game down too much.”

Valencia’s dismal start to the season continued as they lost 1-0 at Espanyol, with Victor Alvarez scoring in the first half. They are eighth with six points after one win and three draws.

Elsewhere, Imanol Agirretxe's hat-trick gave Real Sociedad a 3-0 win at Granada, their first victory of the season which put them on five points from five games.

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