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Soccer PIX: Real Madrid win; PSG, Dortmund stunned!

Last updated on: April 03, 2021 23:53 IST
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Asensio and Benzema fire Real Madrid to victory over Eibar

Real Madrid

IMAGE: Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring their second goal. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

Real Madrid forwards Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema struck to give their side a 2-0 win at home to Eibar in La Liga on Saturday, keeping up the pressure on leaders Atletico Madrid ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Liverpool.

Asensio finally gave Madrid the lead late in the 41st minute after his side had two goals ruled out for offside, latching on to a Casemiro through ball and curling his effort into the bottom corner despite losing his footing as he took the shot.

 

After controlling the first half, Real struggled for a long spell in the second as torrential rain poured down on the Alfredo di Stefano stadium and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois almost committed a howler when he miscontrolled a backpass but managed to kick the ball away just before it crossed the line.

Real then had a goal ruled out for offside for the third time but eventually got the all-important second goal when Benzema headed home a cross from Vinicius Jr. in the 73rd minute.

A third consecutive league win lifted Zinedine Zidane's side to second in the standings with 63 points, one point above Barcelona. Leaders Atletico, who visit Sevilla on Sunday, are on 66.

With an eye on the quarter-final first leg at home to Liverpool, Zidane shuffled his squad to rest defender Raphael Varane while starting without Toni Kroos and Vinicius, handing rare starts to Marcelo and Isco.

Sergio Ramos missed out after picking up an injury on international duty and is set to miss both games against Liverpool as well as next weekend's 'Clasico' at home to Barcelona.

Real made a bright start and should have taken the lead when an Eibar defensive mishap led to the ball falling at the feet of Benzema, giving him a free run at goal. But the French striker could not dribble past keeper Marko Dmitrovic.

Benzema later had a goal ruled offside while Asensio had the ball in the net soon after with a delightful backheel but his strike was also chalked off.

Asensio quickly overcame the setback to break the deadlock while Benzema joined him on the scoresheet in the second half, netting for the seventh game in a row in all competitions.

David on target as Lille move top with PSG win

PSG

IMAGE: Lille's Jonathan David celebrates scoring. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Lille leapfrogged Paris St Germain to grab the lead in Ligue 1 on Saturday after Jonathan David found the back of the net in a 1-0 win over the French champions, who had Neymar sent off in the last minute.

Canada striker David scored in the first half to put the northerners on 66 points with seven games remaining, three ahead of PSG who were lacklustre throughout the showdown.

Neymar was sent off when he picked up a second yellow card for shoving Tiago Djalo, who reacted with a foul-mouthed rant and was also shown a red card.

Monaco moved up to third on 62 points with a 4-0 thrashing of promoted Metz.

Olympique Lyonnais, fourth on 60 points, take on fifth-placed RC Lens later on Saturday.

PSG have won seven of the last eight Ligue 1 titles, only finishing second behind Monaco in 2017, while Lille are looking to claim their first since 2011.

Lille, who were without Yusuf Yazici after the Turkey midfielder tested positive for COVID-19, defended thoroughly throughout and were the sharper side at the Parc des Princes to bag a deserved three points after two consecutive defeats in competitive matches.

PSG, who travel to Bayern Munich for their Champions League quarter-finals first leg on Wednesday, have now lost their last three home games in Ligue 1.

Neymar, in his first Ligue 1 start in over two months, found Kylian Mbappe early on with a defence-splitting pass, only for the French striker to see his low crossed shot parried away by Mike Maignan.

Lille went ahead on 20 minutes as David fired under the roof of the net from Jonathan Ikone's cross after controlling the ball with a soft touch.

PSG struggled to create chances despite enjoying most of the possession and Lille threatened several times with lighting-quick counter attacks.

Neymar forced Maignan to a good save with a powerful half volley from just outside the box on the hour and he came close again in the 70th with a diving header that went just wide.

The Brazilian will, however, miss PSG's next league game against Racing Strasbourg following his sending-off.

Earlier Monaco were on a class of their own against Metz, with penalties from Cesc Fabregas and Wissam Ben Yedder, who scored a double, and a goal by Kevin Volland, all after the break.

Coach Niko Kovac refused to get carried away, though.

"There are still 21 points at stake and we first need to secure fourth place," he told a news conference.

"But we're good. We have a good momentum."

Eintracht win at Dortmund to boost Champions League hopes

Dortmund

IMAGE: Borussia Dortmund's Erling Braut Haaland in action with Eintracht Frankfurt's Kevin Trapp and Luka Jovic. Photograph: Ina Fassbender/Reuters

Eintracht Frankfurt striker Andre Silva headed in an 87th-minute winner to stun hosts Borussia Dortmund 2-1 on Saturday and give his team a major boost in their bid for a top four-finish and a spot in next season's Champions League.

The Portuguese headed in a Filip Kostic cross at the far post for his 22nd league goal of the season to lift Frankfurt to 50 points in fourth place, seven ahead of Borussia Dortmund in fifth.

The top four teams qualify for the Champions League group stage.

Frankfurt went in front as Dortmund's Nico Schulz wrongfooted his own keeper with a header in the 11th minute. The visitors were also unlucky not to be awarded a penalty for a clear handball by Thomas Delaney.

Instead it was Dortmund who scored on the stroke of halftime when Mats Hummels turned in the box to volley in the equaliser.

Frankfurt were sharper after the break, however, bagging a deserved winner after coming close through Silva, Kostic and Stefan Ilsanker in a strong second-half display.

Leaders Bayern Munich, on 61 points, play second-placed RB Leipzig, four points behind, later on Saturday.

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