Rediff.com  » Sports » PIX: Mbappe double as PSG thrash Dijon; Barcelona sink Sevilla

PIX: Mbappe double as PSG thrash Dijon; Barcelona sink Sevilla

Last updated on: February 28, 2021 10:24 IST
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Kylian Mbappe

IMAGE: Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring the third goal for PSG -- his 18th league goal of the season and his 98th for the French champions. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe bagged a double as they hammered bottom side Dijon 4-0 away to cut Lille's lead to one point in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

 

Mbappe added to Moise Kean's early opener with Danilo Pereira wrapping it up late on to lift PSG to second on 57 points from 27 games ahead of Lille's home match against Racing Strasbourg on Sunday.

PSG were without the injured Neymar, Angel Di Maria, Marco Verratti and Leandro Paredes but Dijon were never a match for the French champions in a one-sided encounter.

Dijon have 15 points and trail second-bottom Lorient by eight points.

Kean put the visitors in front after six minutes, collecting Abdou Diallo's centre inside the box and firing home a cross-shot.

Mbappe doubled PSG's advantage in the 32nd minute by converting a penalty after Bersant Celina's handball.

The France striker then netted his 18th league goal of the season - his 98th for PSG - six minutes into the second half when he curled a shot past goalkeeper Anthony Racioppi after being played through by Rafinha.

"Kylian is an outstanding player. We were all disappointed after his game against Monaco," said PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino, referring to last weekend's 2-0 home defeat against the principality side.

"He remained calm and he worked to be ready today. For the next games we will assess the conditions of Marco Verratti, Alessandro Florenzi, Mauro Icardi or Leandro Paredes, Sunday or Monday."

Pereira rubbed salt in Dijon's wounds eight minutes from time as he headed home from Julian Draxler's corner.

"We knew we had 12 games to win and this one was the first," added Pochettino.

IMAGE: Barcelona captain Lionel Messi scored his 19th La Liga goal this season and a 30th league goal against Sevilla. Photograph: Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Barcelona forwards Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi fired the Catalans to a confidence-boosting 2-0 win at in-form Sevilla on Saturday to keep the pressure on La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid.

Dembele latched on to a through ball from Messi and knocked it through the legs of Sevilla keeper Bono to give Barca a deserved lead in the 29th minute after dominating the first half and barely giving their hosts a hint of a chance.

Sevilla improved after the break but Barca continued to have the edge and found a second goal five minutes from time when Messi played a one-two with teenage midfielder Ilaix Moriba and netted with a scrappy finish after having his first effort saved by Bono.

The result ended a six-game winning streak in the league for Sevilla, who remained fourth in the standings on 48 points, while Barca climbed above Real Madrid into second place with 53 points, two behind Atletico but having played two more games.

Sevilla can avenge the defeat on Wednesday when they head to the Camp Nou for a Copa del Rey semi-final second leg with a 2-0 lead in the tie.

Barca are likely to be without defender Ronald Araujo for the second leg after he made his return from injury by coming off the bench to replace a struggling Gerard Pique but had to be taken off with a suspected ankle problem 15 minutes later.

Visiting coach Ronald Koeman got his tactics spot on against Julen Lopetegui’s side, lining up with a 3-5-2 formation he has used on special occasions this season.

The shape gave Barca extra width but above all helped limit Sevilla’s ability to counter-attack and they barely managed to trouble keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Sergio Busquets and Pedri dominated in midfield for Barca while Dembele used his electric pace to get in behind Sevilla’s defence and cause havoc.

The French forward is in the form of his life and after breaking the deadlock with a confident finish he nearly set up a second goal when he danced through Sevilla’s defence to tee up Messi, who uncharacteristically skied his effort.

Barca’s captain made amends for the miss, however, scoring his 19th La Liga goal this season and a 30th league goal against Sevilla.

Bayern back to winning ways with Cologne demolition

IMAGE: Robert Lewandowski scores the third goal for Bayern Munich against Cologne. Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry both struck twice as Bayern Munich crushed Cologne 5-1 in the Bundesliga on Saturday to earn their first win in three league games and go five points clear at the top.

The champions, who next week face Borussia Dortmund, are on 52 points, with Leipzig, second on 47, taking on Borussia Moenchengladbach later on Saturday.

VfL Wolfsburg remained in third place with a 2-0 victory over Hertha Berlin.

Apart from Lewandowski and Gnabry, Bayern were also indebted to Leon Goretzka who delivered another silky performance with three assists.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting opened the champions' account with his first league goal this season, heading in Leon Goretzka's cross at the far post in the 18th minute.

Lewandowski struck 15 minutes later, combining with Goretzka after a bad pass back from Cologne and the Pole made it 28 league goals from an assist by Thomas Mueller, seconds after the midfielder came on in the 65th minute following a coronavirus infection.

Mueller is the league's top provider with 11 assists while Lewandowski is looking to break Gerd Mueller's record of 40 league goals in one season dating back to the 1971-72 campaign.

Substitute Gnabry completed the rout with two late goals in four minutes.

"For our way forward we have to stop having these shaky periods during the match," Gnabry said. "We have to reduce them and then we will be stronger."

Such phases during their recent games have proved costly for Bayern, including a 3-3 against strugglers Arminia Bielefeld two weeks ago and their 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt last week.

Cologne had briefly cut the deficit four minutes after the restart with Ellyes Skhiri making the most of blunders by three Bayern defenders.

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Indian Premier League - 2021

Indian Premier League - 2021