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Extras: PSG extend Ligue 1 lead; Dortmund rally

Last updated on: November 23, 2019 11:13 IST

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Angel Di Maria scores Paris St Germain's second goal.

IMAGE: Angel Di Maria scores Paris St Germain's second goal in Friday's Ligue 1 match against Lille, at Parc des Princes, Paris. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Paris St Germain's Brazil forward Neymar made his comeback from injury as they enjoyed a 2-0 home win over Lille on Friday to move a provisional 11 points clear at the top of Ligue 1.

 

First-half goals from Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria put the hosts ahead and Lille never seriously threatened a comeback.

Neymar had not featured for the champions since Oct. 5 due to a hamstring problem but returned to the starting lineup to help his side ease to victory at the Parc des Princes.

PSG moved to 33 points ahead of second-placed Olympique Marseille, who visit second-bottom Toulouse on Sunday, while Lille are seventh on 19.

Lille manager Christophe Galtier suffered a blow this week when he lost his assistant Joao Sacramento, who left the club to join new Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho's backroom team.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel started with Kylian Mbappe on the bench due to an illness, while selecting Argentine Icardi ahead of Edinson Cavani to spearhead the attack.

His decision was soon justified as Icardi bundled in Idrissa Gueye’s low cross after 17 minutes to bring his tally this term to six goals in seven league matches and 10 in all competitions.

Neymar delighted the home crowd with some delightful touches as the hosts continued to threaten, and they doubled their lead just after the half-hour mark when Di Maria found space in the box to curl a finish into the far corner.

PSG midfielder Julian Draxler came close after the break as he shot over with just the keeper to beat before firing against the foot of the post, while substitute Cavani squandered a good chance by scooping a finish over the bar in added time.

It was a routine win for Tuchel’s side, who travel to Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, while Lille host last year's semi-finalists Ajax Amsterdam on Wednesday.

Comeback kings Dortmund rally to hold Paderborn

Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus scored a stoppage-time equaliser as they dragged themselves back from 3-0 down to rescue a 3-3 draw against promoted Paderborn on Friday but they still suffered a dent to their Bundesliga title hopes.

The visitors played a dream first half, with Streli Mamba scoring twice and Gerrit Holtman also on target as they outpaced the hosts and hit them on the breaks to leave Dortmund shell-shocked and the home fans jeering the team off at halftime.

To make matters worse, Dortmund's top striker Paco Alcacer, making a comeback from a heel injury, had to be taken off before halftime after suffering a knee injury that left him in tears.

Jadon Sancho pulled a goal back two minutes after the break as Dortmund shot out of the blocks to set a blistering pace.

But despite their dominance and a bagful of chances they did not score again until Axel Witsel headed a second in the 84th.

Reus rescued a point deep in added time to move Dortmund up to fifth on 20 points, five behind leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach, who travel to Union Berlin on Saturday when Bayern Munich, on 21, visit lowly Fortuna Duesseldorf.

While Dortmund's comeback showed their fighting spirit, the result did coach Lucien Favre no favours following their 4-0 loss to Bayern Munich on the previous matchday.

Dortmund visit Barcelona in the Champions League next week as they battle for a spot in the knockout stage.

The Swiss coach has been under mounting criticism with his team being the textbook example of inconsistency in recent weeks with just two wins in their last eight league matches.

"I have absolutely no explanation for the first half," Reus told reporters. "I have no idea what we produced there. It was shameful. We can never, never play like that. We cannot play like that at home, no matter who we play against."

"We came away tonight with more than just a black eye. We need to talk about that. The coach gives us a great game plan. It is up to us to perform on the pitch and we are not doing it at the moment," he added.

UEFA fine Celtic for illicit banners, chants in Lazio win

Celtic have been fined 15,000 euros ($16,582) by UEFA for illicit banners and offensive chants by their supporters in their Europa League match against Lazio last month, European soccer's governing body said on Friday.

Scottish champions Celtic beat the Italian outfit 2-1 at Celtic Park but the game was overshadowed by events off the pitch.

A home supporters group displayed signs that read "Brigate Verde" - along with a white star - which bore a resemblance to Italian left-wing organisation Brigate Rosse.

Another flag depicted Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini hanging with the slogan "Follow Your Leader."

UEFA rules prohibit "provocative messages that are of a political, ideological, religious or offensive nature".

UEFA's control, ethics and disciplinary body also hit Lazio with a fine of 10,000 euros for offensive chanting.

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