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Football PIX: Getafe close in on Champions League spot

May 06, 2019 10:46 IST

Getafe's Jorge Molino celebrates after scoring against Gerona on Sunday 

IMAGE: Getafe's Jorge Molino celebrates after scoring against Gerona on Sunday. Photograph: Getafe CG/Twitter

Getafe edged nearer Champions League qualification for the first time with a 2-0 win at home to struggling Girona in La Liga thanks to goals from strikers Jorge Molina and Angel Rodriguez in either half on Sunday.

The victory saw the unfashionable Madrid club tighten their grip on the coveted fourth spot in the table by moving on to 58 points after 36 games, three points clear of nearest challengers Sevilla, who lost to Leganes on Friday.


They are six points ahead of sixth-placed Valencia, who thrashed Huesca 6-0 on Sunday.

Girona, who finished the game with 10 men, later sank into the relegation zone after Real Valladolid beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0 at home later on Sunday, leapfrogging the Catalan side to take 17th spot on 38 points to Girona's 37.

Getafe broke the deadlock in the 16th minute after a misplaced pass from Girona defender Bernardo invited a counter-attack and 37-year-old Molina fired into the bottom corner to score his 14th goal of the season.

Getafe coach Jose Bordalas had to watch from the stands as he was serving a touchline ban for insulting the referee in his side's 2-1 defeat at Real Sociedad which had threatened to derail their hopes of making the top four.

Girona's Borja Garcia was sent off in the 70th minute for dissent and Getafe made the most of their advantage when substitute Angel Rodriguez doubled the lead in the 77th, holding off two defenders before arrowing his finish into the net.

Insigne's late strike secures second place for Napoli

Lorenzo Insigne scored late to help Napoli to a narrow 2-1 win over Cagliari to go second in Serie A

IMAGE: Lorenzo Insigne scored late to help Napoli to a narrow 2-1 win over Cagliari to go second in Serie A. Photograph: Official SSC Napoli/Twitter

Lorenzo Insigne's 98th-minute penalty helped Napoli clinch the runners-up spot in Serie A with a 2-1 home win over Cagliari on Sunday.

Leonardo Pavoletti had put the Sardinian side in front in the second half but Dries Mertens’ header for Napoli five minutes from time levelled the scores before Insigne converted the late winner from the spot.

The result means Carlo Ancelotti's side are assured of finishing in second place for a second consecutive season as they moved to 73 points, 10 clear of Inter Milan in third with three rounds of matches remaining.

Cagliari remain in 12th place with 40 points, eight clear of the relegation zone and two behind SPAL and Sassuolo.

Napoli were in stuttering form coming into the game, having won one of their last five league matches.

Their struggles looked set to continue when Nicolo Barella’s backheel set up Pavoletti to fire in the opener after 63 minutes.

But the home side cranked up the pressure as Cagliari goalkeeper Alessio Cragno denied Mertens with a superb one-handed save.

However, Cragno was left powerless when the Belgian rose to head in the equaliser from close range with five minutes of regulation time remaining.

Napoli were then awarded a penalty for handball following a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review deep into stoppage time, resulting in a red card for Cagliari midfielder Artur Ionita for dissent.

Insigne stepped up and showed great composure to dispatch the spot kick and seal the points.

AS Roma held to costly draw, Genoa miss last-gasp penalty

AS Roma's Antonio Mirante saved a stoppage-time penalty to earn a point in a 1-1 draw at Genoa in Serie A although Sunday's result still damaged the capital club's Champions League qualifying hopes.

Roma's Stephan El Shaarawy had put the visitors ahead in the 82nd minute before Genoa defender Cristian Romero headed home from a corner eight minutes later to level the scores.

The hosts then had a glorious chance to complete a remarkable turnaround when Mirante brought down Antonio Sanabria to concede a penalty deep into added time, but the Roma keeper made up for his error by saving the Paraguayan’s spot kick.

"Genoa did well not to give up. We knew it was going to be difficult but we let ourselves get surprised on the corner, otherwise we would have taken the win home,” Roma coach Claudio Ranieri told Sky Sport Italia.

“This was I think Romero’s fourth goal of the season from set pieces. (Patrik) Schick was marking him but he managed to get away and head in at the last second.

 “It’s a pity, because the three points would have been very useful, but we’ll keep going."

Roma are fifth in the standings and needed a win to stay within touching distance of fourth-placed Atalanta, who beat Lazio 3-1 earlier on Sunday.

The draw leaves Ranieri's team three points behind the Bergamo club on 59, while it could prove to be a valuable point for 16th-placed Genoa, who lie four points above the relegation zone with three rounds of matches remaining.

 “We were able to get a problematic situation back on track and now we’re right up there," Ranieri added, "so whoever picks up the most points in these final rounds will take the Champions League spot."

Genoa keeper Ionut Radu denied Roma an opener midway through the first half when he flew across his goal to claw Federico Fazio’s header back off the line.

Romero then failed to direct an angled effort on target at the back post before Nicolo Zaniolo had a powerful strike tipped over by Radu after the break.

The game came to life in the closing stages when El Shaarawy met Edin Dzeko’s flick-on to volley the opening goal into the bottom corner against his former club.

Roma’s top scorer appeared to have secured a valuable win but Cesare Prandelli’s side kept coming and were rewarded when Romero rose to nod in from a corner in the 90th minute.

Substitute Sanabria then won a penalty when he was brought down by Mirante in the fifth minute of added time, only for the striker to see his tame effort saved in a dramatic finale.

Lyon hold Lille to 2-2 draw in top-three thriller

Olympique Lyonnais and Lille both stayed on course for a top-three finish in Ligue 1 and Champions League football next season after battling to a 2-2 draw in pulsating clash on Sunday.

The result left Lille second on 69 points with three matches remaining, six ahead of third-placed Lyon and seven in front of fourth-placed St Etienne, who closed the gap with a 3-2 win at Monaco in the afternoon fixture.

Champions Paris St Germain had last month secured an eighth league title and their sixth in the last seven seasons.

The top two in Ligue 1 are guaranteed automatic Champions League berths while the third-placed team will enter the elite club competition's qualifying rounds.

There were muted celebrations from Lille's former forward Martin Terrier when he fired Lyon into an 11th-minute lead, sweeping the ball home from eight metres after a fine assist by Memphis Depay.

Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan twice denied Nabil Fekir and his counterpart Anthony Lopes kept out a Loic Remy header on the stroke of halftime, but there was nothing the Lyon keeper could do after some sloppy defending early in the second half.

Remy capitalised on a comedy of errors after Jason Denayer completely missed a clearance and the ball rebounded off Ferland Mendy straight to the striker, who did well to round Lopes and slot the ball home from close range.

Boubakary Soumare then turned the match on its head when he drove the ball home off the underside of the bar from close range, as he got on the end of a floated free kick at the far post in the 69th minute.

But Lyon salvaged a point as right back Leo Dubois equalised with a fine volley from the edge of the penalty area in the 74th minute, drilling his shot in after Moussa Dembele's initial effort was cleared of the line by a Lille defender.

Leverkusen thrash Frankfurt 6-1 to keep top-four hopes alive

Bayer Leverkusen boosted their chances of a top-four finish in the Bundesliga and a place in next season's Champions League after scoring six first-half goals for a breathtaking 6-1 home win over direct rivals Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.

The result left Frankfurt fourth on 54 points with two games to play, ahead of fifth-placed Leverkusen on goal difference. Sixth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach and Wolfsburg in seventh are a further two points adrift.

Frankfurt, looking bereft of energy after Thursday's 1-1 home draw with Chelsea in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final, were totally overrun in the opening period and lucky not to concede more than six in an astonishing first half.

Leverkusen's Lucas Alario struck twice and Kai Havertz, Julian Brandt and Charles Aranguiz also netted before Martin Hinteregger's own goal completed the scoring after 36 minutes, with Ante Rebic having pulled one back for Frankfurt.

Havertz opened the floodgates with a sweet left-foot shot from the edge of the penalty area in the second minute and Julian Brandt made it 2-0 in the 13th with a deft finish after a second assist by midfielder Aranguiz.

Rebic pulled one back for Frankfurt barely 60 seconds later with a heavily deflected shot but that was as good as it got for the visitors, with striker Alario heading in the home side's third in the 23rd minute.

The lively Aranguiz made it 4-1 when he blasted the ball into the roof of the net from close range after shaking off Makoto Hasebe and Alario grabbed his second with a tap-in after more good work by Kevin Volland.

Hinteregger's spectacular own-goal in the 36th added insult to injury as the centre back beat his own keeper Kevin Trapp with a diving header any striker would have been proud of, summing up Frankfurt's first-half nightmare.

With the game over as a contest, Leverkusen took their foot off the pedal after the break but still dominated with some crisp one-touch passing, as Havertz missed a pair of gilt-edged chances midway through the second half.

Frankfurt were reduced to almost walking pace in the closing stages and Havertz again came close when he fired inches wide from long range.

Earlier on Sunday, Schalke confirmed their place in the top flight with a 0-0 home stalemate against Augsburg while mid-table Fortuna Dusseldorf earned a 1-1 draw at Freiburg.

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