Rediff.com  » Sports » PIX: Messi scores in PSG's win; Real maintain lead

PIX: Messi scores in PSG's win; Real maintain lead

February 07, 2022 09:41 IST
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Images from the matches played across football leagues in Europe on Sunday.

Paris St Germain's Lionel Messi shoots at goal during the Ligue 1 match against Lille at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France, on Sunday

IMAGE: Paris St Germain's Lionel Messi shoots at goal during the Ligue 1 match against Lille at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France, on Sunday. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe both scored as Paris St Germain ran riot in a 5-1 thrashing of Lille in Ligue 1 on Sunday, extending their unbeaten run in the competition to 14 matches.

 

It was a clinical performance from the visitors, aided by some poor defending from their hosts as Portuguese midfielder Danilo scored a brace and Presnel Kimpembe also got his name on the scoresheet.

Sven Botman had equalised for mid-table Lille in the first half.

It was a positive response from PSG following their French Cup exit on Monday at the hands of Nice and they now have a 13-point lead over Marseille in the title race after 23 matches.

Third-placed Nice were stunned at home by lowly Clermont as Elbasan Rashani scored the winner for the visitors 13 minutes from fulltime.

Bordeaux’s poor season continued when they were thrashed 5-0 at Reims and finished the game with 10 men after a red card for Danylo Ignatenko.

Zimbabwe midfielder Marshall Munetsi scored twice for the home side to go with goals from Hugo Ekitike, Azor Matusiwa and Wout Faes.

Bordeaux are second bottom in the table with only four wins from their 23 games this season.

Lorient moved out of the relegation zone with a 2-0 home success against Lens, Sambou Soumano and Mali striker Ibrahima Kone, recently returned from the Africa Cup of Nations, got their goals.

Strasbourg climbed up to fourth with a 1-0 win over Nantes thanks to a Dimitri Lienard goal on 76 minutes, while Rennes are one place further back following their 2-0 home win against Brest.

Gaetan Laborde scored in the first half and Martin Terrier grabbed a late second.

Troyes and Metz played out a 0-0 draw in the other game on Sunday.

Asensio stunner helps Real Madrid extend lead at the top

Real Madrid's Marco Asensio celebrates scoring against Granada at Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, on Sunday

IMAGE: Real Madrid's Marco Asensio celebrates scoring against Granada at Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, on Sunday. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters

Marco Asensio's second-half goal secured three points for Real Madrid as they won 1-0 at home against Granada, who put in an almost-perfect defensive performance in LaLiga on Sunday.

Asensio found a way past Granada’s defensive wall with a brilliant angled shot from the edge of the box that went just inside the right corner.

After second-placed Sevilla drew 0-0 at Osasuna on Saturday and third-placed Real Betis lost 2-0 at home against Villarreal, Real Madrid extended their lead at the top to six points.

Missing four key starters, Real Madrid completely dominated the match and finished with almost 70% possession and 10 shots on target against only three from Granada.

Vlahovic and Zakaria score on Juventus debuts in Verona win

Juventus' Dusan Vlahovic who joined Juve from Fiorentina in a deal worth up to 80 million euros ($92 million) opened the scoring with a lob

IMAGE: Juventus' Dusan Vlahovic, who joined Juve from Fiorentina in a deal worth up to 80 million euros ($92 million) opened the scoring with a lob. Photograph: Massimo Pinca/Reuters

Dusan Vlahovic and Denis Zakaria enjoyed dream Juventus debuts as the two January signings scored in a 2-0 win over Hellas Verona on Sunday, sending the Turin club fourth in Serie A.

Serbia international Vlahovic, who joined Juve from Fiorentina in a deal worth up to 80 million euros ($92 million)on Jan. 28, opened the scoring with a perfectly weighted lob after 13 minutes.

It was the 22-year-old’s 18th goal of the season, drawing him level with Lazio’s Ciro Immobile as the league’s joint-top scorer, and he came close to a second before halftime in an impressive Bianconeri bow.

Things got even better for Massimiliano Allegri’s side after the break when deadline day arrival Zakaria sprinted forward from midfield to hammer a shot into the bottom corner.

“The most important thing is to score goals, but I also want to improve in every way and help the team," Vlahovic told DAZN.

"Allegri didn’t ask me to do anything in particular, he just said to stay calm and not be anxious, that everything would be fine."

Juventus climbed two points above Atalanta into fourth place with 45 points, eight behind leaders Inter Milan, while Verona are ninth with 33 points.

Allegri's side are unbeaten in 10 league games and the arrival of Vlahovic has sparked debate about whether they can get back into the title race this season.

“Juve always aim for the highest objectives. When every competition starts, Juve aim to win it," Vlahovic said.

"That is why I’m here, to help and give my contribution. We will go game by game and at the end of the season we will see where we are.”

The anticipation at Vlahovic’s debut was palpable in the Allianz Stadium.

The home crowd didn’t have to wait long to get their first taste of what the Serbian offers, as his fierce shot was palmed away by a flying Lorenzo Montipo early on.

Five minutes later, Vlahovic showed his class by racing after a Paulo Dybala pass and guiding a perfect lob over the outrushing Montipo and into the bottom corner.

The Serbian’s physicality caused problems for the Verona defence throughout the first half, and he almost got a second when he steered a shot wide from an Alvaro Morata cross.

Morata was the creator for Juve’s second after 61 minutes, driving through the centre of the pitch and picking out Zakaria’s run, and the Switzerland international took a touch before driving home a finish.

The score could have been more comfortable were it not for the heroics of Montipo, who blocked a Dybala effort with his legs and showed great agility to make diving saves from Adrien Rabiot and Weston McKennie efforts.

Napoli beat Venezia to go one point off top ahead of clash with leaders Inter

Napoli moved into second place in Serie A with a 2-0 win at struggling Venezia on Sunday, as the gap between the top three teams was cut to a single point.

Goals from Victor Osimhen and Andrea Petagna in the second half ensured that Luciano Spalletti’s side took advantage of a rare slip-up by league leaders Inter Milan, who lost 2-1 to AC Milan on Saturday.

Napoli are second with 52 points, ahead of third-placed AC Milan on goal difference and one point behind champions Inter, who they face next in Naples on Saturday.

“Nobody thinks it will be easy, but I think that by all pulling in the same direction we can reach our objectives. We have a lot of (objectives), and one is to win the league. Step by step, with determination, we can do it,” Osimhen said.

The race for the top four was blown wide open as fourth-placed Atalanta suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Cagliari, who climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time since September.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s side went behind through a Gaston Pereiro strike before goalkeeper Juan Musso was sent off, and Pereiro scored again to win it for the Sardinians four minutes after Jose Luis Palomino had equalised.

Atalanta are one point above Juventus, who face Hellas Verona later on Sunday, while Lazio and AS Roma are lurking four points behind the Bergamo club.

Elsewhere, Sampdoria thrashed midtable Sassuolo 4-0 to go five points clear of the relegation zone, and Bologna drew 0-0 with Empoli in a clash between 13th and 11th.

Dortmund's title hopes fade further with heavy home defeat

Borussia Dortmund were thrashed 5-2 at home by Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Sunday, as their hopes of catching leaders Bayern Munich slipped yet further away.

The defeat left second-placed Dortmund on 43 points, nine behind Bayern after the champions beat RB Leipzig 3-2 on Saturday. Leverkusen stayed third but reduced the gap with Dortmund to five points.

The hosts got off to a nightmare start when they fell behind to a Manuel Akanji own goal in the 10th minute, but they soon levelled when Leverkusen's Jeremie Frimpong also fired into his own net.

Leverkusen restored their lead in the 20th minute through Florian Wirtz following a flowing counterattack and further increased their advantage with a sizzling free kick from Robert Andrich in the 28th.

The visitors quickly killed off any hopes of a second-half revival from the hosts when Jonathan Tah slammed in a volley eight minutes after the interval.

Moussa Diaby compounded Dortmund's misery by scoring the visitors' fifth goal in the 87th minute although the hosts did manage to respond with a strike from Steffen Tigges in the 89th which was eventually awarded after a lengthy VAR review to check a possible offside.

Dortmund were missing their injured top scorer Erling Haaland and slumped to only their second home defeat in the league this season after losing to Bayern in December, having won all of their other home games in the campaign.

Also in the Bundesliga on Sunday, Wolfsburg pulled clear of the relegation zone with an emphatic 4-1 win at home to basement club Greuther Fuerth.

Austrian midfielder Aster Vranckx put the hosts in front in the seventh minute but Fuerth levelled shortly before halftime with a penalty from Branimir Hrgota.

Vranckx, 19, struck again early in the second period to put Wolfsburg back on top before further goals from Maximilian Arnold and Maximilian Philipp in the 70th and 75th minutes rounded off the victory.

The win lifted Wolfsburg from 16th to 12th in the standings on 24 points, while Fuerth remained rooted to the foot of the table on 10.

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Source: REUTERS
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