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Football PHOTOS: PSG punish Marseille; Bayern retain top spot

March 18, 2019 10:13 IST
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Di Maria in another league as PSG punish Marseille

Angel Di Maria

IMAGE: Paris St Germain's Angel Di Maria scores their third goal from a free kick. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

Angel Di Maria delivered a near-perfect performance, scoring two and setting up another as runaway leaders Paris St Germain beat 10-man Olympique de Marseille 3-1 at home on Sunday.

The Argentine forward tormented the visitors' defence throughout, adding to Kylian Mbappe's opener to put PSG on 77 points from 28 games.


PSG's bitter rivals Marseille, who equalised through Valere Germain seconds into the second half, are fourth on 47 points from 29 matches.

OM keeper Steve Mandanda was sent off after 62 minutes for handling outside the area.

Earlier on Sunday, third-placed Olympique Lyonnais claimed a 3-2 home win against Montpellier to move within four points of Lille, who slumped to a 1-0 home defeat by Monaco on Friday and are now 20 points behind PSG having played one more game.

At the Parc des Princes, part of the Auteuil stand was left empty just before kickoff as fans protested against PSG's elimination from the Champions League against Manchester United earlier this month.

"We do not forget," a banner read.

But with Marseille having scored at least one goal in their last 13 league outings and PSG having found the back of the net in each of their previous 27 matches in Ligue 1, the fans expected goals.

Two minutes into stoppage time in the first half, they got their reward.

Di Maria, who had an early goal disallowed for offside after a VAR review, beat three OM players just outside the area to launch a sharp counter attack.

The Argentine released Mbappe to his left for the France striker to coolly slot the ball past Mandanda for his 26th goal from 23 games in Ligue 1 this season.

Mbappe however missed a penalty in injury time.

PSG were ahead but had already lost fullbacks Dani Alves and Thomas Meunier through injuries.

Germain levelled with a low crossed shot from Lucas Ocampos's pass in the area, but Di Maria quickly restored the advantage.

He broke down the right flank, cut back into the area and netted into the far corner in the 55th minute.

Six minutes later, as Di Maria led another counter attack, Mandanda, who had rushed out of his box, handled the ball that the Argentine had just released.

The keeper was sent off and Di Maria's exquisite 30-metre free kick went into the top corner, beating replacement keeper Yohann Pele who had not yet touched the ball.

Rodriguez treble helps Bayern retain top spot with Mainz rout

Bayern Munich

IMAGE: Bayern Munich's James Rodriguez celebrates scoring their fifth goal to complete his hat-trick. Photograph: Michael Dalder/Reuters

Bayern Munich's James Rodriguez netted a hat-trick to help them return to the top of the Bundesliga on goal difference with a 6-0 thrashing of Mainz at the Allianz Arena on Sunday.

Goals from Robert Lewandowski, Rodriguez and Kingsley Coman gave the hosts a commanding lead in the first half, before the Colombian added another two goals after the break and substitute Alphonso Davies scored his first for the German champions.

Bayern coach Niko Kovac was under pressure to deliver a convincing win after his side were knocked out of the Champions League in the last 16 by Liverpool last week, and his team responded with their 13th win in their last 14 league games.

The result saw Bayern move level with Borussia Dortmund on 60 points with eight games left, but the Bavarians top the table with a goal difference of +41 compared to Dortmund's +34.

Polish striker Lewandowski’s neat finish opened the scoring after three minutes and Coman almost doubled their advantage when his powerful angled shot came back off the post.

Bayern pulled away with two goals in five minutes before the interval, Rodriguez racing onto Leon Goretzka’s lay-off to fire home before Coman cut inside and curled a shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the box.

Rodriguez piled on the misery for Mainz six minutes into the second half when he notched his second goal of the day, before the on-loan Real Madrid midfielder completed his treble with a dinked finish after a defensive mix-up.

Teenage substitute Davies completed the rout with his first Bundesliga goal 20 minutes from time, leaving the visitors in 13th place on 30 points.

Inter edge Milan in five-goal derby thriller to go third

Inter Milan

IMAGE: AC Milan's Mateo Musacchio scores their second goal. Photograph: Daniele Mascolo/Reuters

Inter Milan moved above city rivals AC Milan into third place in Serie A with an exhilarating 3-2 derby victory at San Siro that ended a five-match winning run for Gennaro Gattuso's hosts.

Matias Vecino’s goal gave the Nerazzurri a deserved halftime lead before Stefan De Vrij and Lautaro Martinez, with a penalty, struck after the break, while goals from Milan's Tiemoue Bakayoko and Mateo Musacchio kept the Rossoneri in the game.

Inter coach Luciano Spalletti was facing increasing pressure after his side were knocked out of the Europa League in the last 16 by Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.

However, he was left delighted as his team stretched their unbeaten Milan derby run to six games, their best spell since 1999, and moved to 53 points, two clear of fourth-placed Milan.

“We need to say well done to Lautaro for the penalty, well done to (Ivan) Perisic for the runs, well done to everyone for all you did. Bravo, bravo to everyone in that dressing room," Spalletti told Italian broadcasters.

“I thought Milan put in a very strong performance and Gennaro Gattuso ought to be proud of his players. When it’s this open and exciting, anyone can win or lose.

"The city of Milan earned this Derby della Madonnina and were rewarded with a wonderful night of football. We both honoured the derby.”

Inter went in front within three minutes when Martinez rose at the back post to head Ivan Perisic's cross into the six-yard box, where Vecino was on hand to smash home from close range.

They doubled their lead in the 51st with De Vrij's superb header beyond keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma but Milan took six minutes to pull a goal back as Bakayoko headed his first goal since joining on loan from Chelsea in the close season.

Milan substitute Sami Castillejo then tripped winger Matteo Politano and Martinez converted the penalty in the 67th.

But Inter were pegged back four minutes later when Musacchio scored from the rebound after keeper Samir Handanovic parried a goal-bound deflection from team mate Danilo D’Ambrosio.

There was controversy in the final few minutes when Milan substitute Andrea Conti got a straight red card for a tackle on Martinez, only for the referee to downgrade his punishment to a booking after a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review.

Spalletti was furious and got sent off for his protests, but his side held on thanks to a late goal-line block by D’Ambrosio from Patrick Cutrone’s goal-bound effort.

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