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PIX: Ronaldo seals Juventus win; Barca win at Getafe

September 29, 2019 00:52 IST

Cristiano Ronaldo

IMAGE: Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus celebrates his goal during the Serie A match against SPAL. Photograph: Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo helped Juventus continue their unbeaten start to the Serie A season with a comfortable 2-0 home victory over struggling SPAL on Saturday.

Miralem Pjanic’s strike put the hosts in front on the stroke of halftime before Ronaldo, who missed Tuesday's win over Brescia with a minor injury, headed his third goal of the campaign with 12 minutes remaining.

 

Juve are second in the table on 16 points, two behind leaders Inter Milan after their 3-1 victory at Sampdoria on Saturday.

SPAL goalkeeper Etrit Berisha made a string of impressive saves to keep down the score as the visitors fell to their fifth defeat in six matches to stay level on three points with Sampdoria at the foot of the table.

Juventus and Inter will go head-to-head at San Siro next Sunday in a match expected to have a big impact on the title race.

However, Juve coach Maurizio Sarri said he was taking things one step at a time with a Champions League clash against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday first.

“I haven’t actually watched any Inter games this season, as we’ve focused mainly on the teams we are facing next," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"Tonight, we’ll watch a couple of Bayer Leverkusen matches and then go to dinner.

“I hear that Inter are playing very well; I had no doubt they would considering the quality of the coach and their players. I always said this would be a far more balanced season."

Sarri’s side were denied a more comprehensive scoreline by Berisha, who dived to palm away Paulo Dybala’s curling effort in the first half before superbly blocking an Aaron Ramsey header from point-blank range.

However, the Albanian could do little to stop Pjanic’s strike just before the break as the midfielder curled a shot into the top corner from outside the box.

Berisha was again to the fore in the second half as he stopped a close-range Sami Khedira header, dived to save efforts from Dybala and Ronaldo and denied the Portuguese again by blocking a powerful shot.

The former Real Madrid man finally broke through when he rose to meet Dybala’s cross and head home through the legs of the goalkeeper.

Their battle did not end there as Berisha again showed superb reflexes to spring to his left and palm away a Ronaldo volley in stoppage time.

Barcelona beat Getafe to end struggles on the road

IMAGE: Luis Suarez scores the first goal for Barcelona. Photograph: Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Barcelona ended a string of bad results away from home with a 2-0 win at Getafe on Saturday in La Liga.

Strikes by Luis Suarez and Junior Firpo either side of halftime gave the Spanish champions their first win of the season on the road, although they finished with 10 men after Clement Lenglet's dismissal.

It was Barcelona's first win in their last nine competitive games away from Camp Nou and it eased the pressure on coach Ernesto Valverde.

Barca moved provisionally into second with 13 points from seven matches, one behind leaders Real Madrid who face Atletico Madrid later Saturday.

"Lately teams have made a lot of chances against us but today they didn't make so many," said Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, whose pass set up Suarez for the opening goal.

"I think in some moments we used our experience, which is important. In the end you have to stick together and know how to defend.

"I'm happy I could do something for the team (setting up Suarez) and take three points back to Barcelona."

The Catalans were without captain Lionel Messi and teenager Ansu Fati as well as winger Ousmane Dembele who suffered a thigh injury before the game.

Getafe attacked boldly from the start, looking to test the nerve of the Spanish champions, while Carles Perez and Suarez came close at the other end.

Ter Stegen made a fine save to keep out Angel Rodriguez as the hosts threatened at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

Barcelona's German goalkeeper then played a crucial role in the opener, charging out of his area to regain possession before lofting a fine pass over the top of the defence for Suarez.

The Uruguayan coolly lobbed Getafe goalkeeper David Soria to send Barcelona ahead in the 41st minute.

Firpo doubled the lead four minutes after halftime, tucking home from close range after Perez's effort was only parried by Soria.

Lenglet was sent off in the final stages for a late challenge which earned him a second yellow card, while Angel missed a late chance, allowing Barcelona to keep their first clean sheet in La Liga this season.

Mbappe makes decisive return for winning PSG

IMAGE: Paris St Germain's players after Neymar, centre, scored their first goal. Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

Kylian Mbappe's return boosted Paris St Germain as the France striker set up Neymar for a soft goal in a 1-0 victory at Girondins de Bordeaux in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Mbappe, back as a substitute after a lengthy injury, burst down the right flank in the 70th minute and Neymar just had to tap in as PSG reclaimed the league lead with 18 points from eight games.

They lead Nantes, who snatched a 1-0 win at Olympique Lyonnais, by two points.

PSG travel to Galatasaray in the Champions League on Tuesday, without the suspended Neymar, who has scored his team's last three goals in Ligue 1.

Mbappe, who missed a month of competition with a muscle problem, played only 30 minutes as a second-half substitute but his impact was immediate after a dull first half.

PSG, however, controlled the game as Idrissa Gueye, back after being rested in Wednesday's 2-0 home loss to Amiens, and Marco Verratti, returning from suspension, stabilized the midfield.

PSG have now won all their six matches in all competitions without conceding a goal with Gueye on the pitch.

Earlier, Olympique Lyonnais's winless streak stretched to seven games in all competitions as they slumped to a 1-0 home defeat to Nantes.

Nantes prevailed thanks to a 58th-minute own goal by Fernando Marcal and the Canaries, with 16 points from eight games, are second in the standings.

Lyon, who travel to RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday, dropped to 11th on nine points.

The outcome of the game increased the pressure on coach Sylvinho, who replaced Bruno Genesio during the close season, after club president Jean-Michel Aulas said this week that he expected results.

"We will talk tonight. The president is not happy, obviously," said sports director Juninho, who was recruited alongside Sylvinho.

"We will see which decision he will make."

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