Rediff.com  » Sports » Football PIX: Sans Messi, PSG crush Clermont; Dortmund win

Football PIX: Sans Messi, PSG crush Clermont; Dortmund win

September 12, 2021 09:20 IST
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Round-up of football matches played around Europe on Saturday.

Paris St Germain's players celebrate after the match against Clermont on Saturday

IMAGE: Paris St Germain's players celebrate after the match against Clermont at Parc des Princes in Paris France. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Paris St Germain kept their perfect Ligue 1 record intact as they hammered promoted Clermont 4-0 with a brutal display on Saturday.

 

In the absence of Lionel Messi and Neymar, who were not in the squad after returning late from international duty with Argentina and Brazil, Kylian Mbappe netted his fourth goal on his first appearance at the Parc des Princes since his failed transfer to Real Madrid.

The France striker, who has just recovered from a calf injury, was a constant threat as he added to Ander Herrera's first-half brace with Idrissa Gueye rounding if off after the hour.

PSG, who travel to Club Brugge for their Champions League Group A opener on Wednesday, lead the standings on 15 points with Clermont still third on eight points after their first defeat in their first season in the elite.

"We didn't concede a goal, it was very important against a team who had been playing so well since the beginning of the season," said PSG midfielder Danilo Pereira.

The Parc des Princes crowd paid tribute to French film icon Jean-Paul Belmondo and former club defender Jean-Pierre Adams who both died this week with Messi in the stands.

Clermont played their possession game early on but left space on the flanks and Achraf Hakimi made the most of it on the right, managing a powerful cross that was tipped away by Arthur Desmas, only for Herrera to head home in the 20th minute.

The visitors continued to press and created danger in the area, but goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, playing his first game with PSG at the expense of Keylor Navas, proved solid.

"It was my first game, it was a bit special and we got a perfect result after a good preparation," said the Italy keeper.

"I was a bit emotional to play my first game for the club."

Mauricio Pochettino's side doubled the tally in the 31st minute as Mbappe's cutback was deflected by Florent Ogier into the path of Herrera, who slammed the ball in for his third goal of the season.

Mbappe, the only pure striker in the starting 11, extended PSG's advantage 10 minutes into the second half, finishing off a counterattack after being played through by Julian Draxler.

He was at it again 10 minutes later when his right-footed strike was parried by Desmas, but Gueye was lying in wait and headed into the empty net.

PSG, who have now scored 16 goals in five outings, then played it safe for their first clean sheet of the season.

Olympique de Marseille, who have a game in hand, moved up to third on 10 points after their 21-year-old Senegalese striker Ahmadou Bamba Dieng scored in both halves, also hitting the post twice, in a 2-0 win at Monaco.

The principality side, who have already lost three matches, are 14th on four points.

Haaland inspires Dortmund to thrilling win over Leverkusen

Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland celebrates scoring their fourth goal against Bayer Leverkusen at BayArena in Leverkusen

IMAGE: Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland celebrates scoring their fourth goal against Bayer Leverkusen at BayArena in Leverkusen. Photograph: Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters

Erling Haaland scored two goals and made another as Borussia Dortmund repeatedly came from behind before beating Bayer Leverkusen 4-3 in a thrilling Bundesliga game on Saturday.

Florian Wirtz opened the scoring for Leverkusen with a toe-poke in the ninth minute, but striker Haaland equalised with a towering header in the 37th before Jude Bellingham had a second for Dortmund ruled out due to a foul in the build-up.

Patrik Schick scored in first-half stoppage time to put Leverkusen 2-1 up and there was to be no let-up after the break.

Julian Brandt levelled again in the 49th minute, deftly controlling Haaland's pass with his heel before rifling the ball into the roof of the net, but within six minutes Leverkusen were ahead again through Moussa Diaby's strike from the edge of the area.

Again Dortmund equalised, this time through a superb Raphael Guerreiro free kick, and they went into a 4-3 lead from the penalty spot in the 77th minute when Haaland fired home after Marco Reus was struck in the face by the arm of Odilon Kossounou.

Elsewhere, VfL Wolfsburg remained top of the table with a comfortable 2-0 win over struggling Greuther Furth, while FC Cologne managed to hang on for a 1-1 draw at Freiburg despite losing Florian Kainz to a second yellow card in the 74th minute.

Mainz scored a goal in each half as they beat Hoffenheim 2-0 while Union Berlin were held to a scoreless draw at home to Augsburg.

Wolfsburg have a maximum 12 points after four games, with Dortmund second on nine points and Mainz behind them on goal difference. Freiburg are fourth on eight points.

RB Leipzig take on Bayern Munich in Saturday's late game.

Vlahovic double fires Fiorentina to victory over Atalanta

Dusan Vlahovic scored two penalties to earn Fiorentina a 2-1 win away to Atalanta in Serie A on Saturday, continuing their promising start to the season under new coach Vincenzo Italiano.

The result lifts La Viola into sixth place on six points following back-to-back victories, while Atalanta slid to 10th spot on four points.

Vlahovic dispatched a spot kick after Joakim Maehle was penalised for handball following a lengthy Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review.

The 20-year-old was equally composed when Giacomo Bonaventura was tripped in the box to offer him his second penalty of the night early in the second half, which he fired into the top corner.

Atalanta, who had an early Berat Djimsiti goal ruled out for offside, came to life after going two goals down and Duvan Zapata pulled one back on the 55th minute, also from the penalty spot.

The Colombia international’s goal made him Atalanta’s second top scorer in Serie A with 57 goals, only behind Cristiano Doni on 69, but Fiorentina held firm to see out the win.

Earlier, newly promoted Venezia earned their first win of the season at Empoli thanks to a Thomas Henry goal and a dazzling solo goal from substitute David Okereke, who began a winding dribble inside his own half before firing into the bottom corner.

Empoli, who stunned Juventus with a 1-0 win before the international break, pulled one back late on through a Nedim Bajrami penalty, but they remain on three points in 11th, level with Venezia one place below them.

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