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Soccer Extras: Neymar 'punches' fan after French Cup final

Last updated on: April 28, 2019 19:42 IST

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A video grab of PSG's Neymar punching a fan in the stands after losing the French Cup final against Stade Rennes on Sunday

IMAGE: A video grab of PSG's Neymar punching a fan in the stands after losing the French Cup final against Stade Rennes on Sunday. Photograph: Twitter

Paris St Germain's Brazil forward Neymar was involved in an altercation with a spectator following Saturday's French Cup final with Stade Rennes, appearing in video footage to strike the fan following his team's defeat.

Stade Rennes stunned PSG 6-5 on penalties after rallying from two goals down to draw 2-2 in a match where Neymar got on the score sheet.

 

As the PSG squad walked up to receive their runners-up medals, Neymar initially pushed a supporter's hand away as he tried to record him on his mobile phone.

The visibly frustrated Brazilian, who had returned last week from a three-month injury layoff, then appeared in the video to jab at the spectator before walking away to collect his medal.

Neymar posted a message on Instagram after the game, saying: "Nobody likes to lose. Everyone who knows me knows how competitive I am and how much defeat shakes me.

"But losing is part of an athlete's life, it makes us grow, makes us think, makes us better. Happy to be able to play again, to score again and feel good on the pitch but the biggest feeling today is one of sadness."

Frappart becomes first female referee to officiate in Ligue 1

Stephanie Frappart, the only referee from France who will be officiating at the Women's World Cup to be held in the country from June 7 to July 7, was also the first woman to officiate a Ligue 2 (second-tier) match

IMAGE: Stephanie Frappart, the only referee from France who will be officiating at the Women's World Cup to be held in the country from June 7 to July 7, was also the first woman to officiate a Ligue 2 (second-tier) match. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Stephanie Frappart became the first female referee to officiate a French Ligue 1 match when she took charge of the game between Amiens and Strasbourg on Sunday.

Frappart, the only referee from France who will be officiating at the Women's World Cup to be held in the country from June 7 to July 7, was also the first woman to officiate a Ligue 2 (second-tier) match.

Sunday's match ended 0-0 but Frappart was kept busy, booking four players in all, three of whom were from Strasbourg.

Strasbourg manager Thierry Laurey said she did a good job and had no issues with the 35-year-old's officiating.

"I had no worries before the game about the fact that Mrs. Frappart will referee us and my opinion has not changed," Laurey told reporters.

"It's very good that she was able to reach a high level. She's doing very well."

Frappart is not the first woman to officiate a top-flight men's game in Europe's top leagues. Germany's Bibiana Steinhaus became the first woman to officiate a Bundesliga match in 2017 when Hertha Berlin drew 1-1 with Werder Bremen.

Lyon rout Nimes 5-0 to consolidate second place in Ligue 1

Second-placed Lille moved one step closer to securing Champions League qualification with a commanding 5-0 win over Nimes to move six points ahead of Lyon in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

After a goalless first half, Lille opened the scoring six minutes following the re-start when Boubakary Soumare won the ball in a midfield duel and provided Loic Remy with a through ball on the counter-attack. It was Remy's first goal since February.

Jonathan Bamba doubled their lead in the 64th minute with a floating header into the top corner which was out of reach of the diving goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni.

Right back Mehmet Zeki Celik then made an attacking run and was spotted by Thiago Mendes who lobbed the ball over the defence for him. Seeing Bernardoni charge him down, Celik chipped the ball over the goalkeeper to make it 3-0.

Substitute Rafael Leao then danced past his marker and attracted three defenders towards him before laying the ball for an unmarked Nicolas Pepe at the far post.

They added a fifth in stoppage time when Rui Fonte volleyed home from the edge of the box to complete the rout.

The top three in Ligue 1 qualify for the Champions League, with the third-placed team starting in the third qualifying round for Europe's premier club competition. Both Lille and Lyon have four more games to play.

Bayern stumble to 1-1 draw at struggling Nuremberg

Bayern Munich stumbled to a 1-1 draw at relegation-threatened Nuremberg on Sunday to leave the Bundesliga title race wide open with three games left in the season.

Serge Gnabry rescued a point for Bayern with a 74th minute goal after the hosts, who also missed a last-minute penalty, took an unexpected lead after the restart.

The result leaves Bayern top on 71 points with Borussia Dortmund in second place on 69 after Saturday's 4-2 home loss to Schalke 04 in the Ruhr valley derby.

Bayern were dominant, as expected, against Nuremberg and hit the woodwork through David Alaba in the first half.

But it was the home side who struck first with Matheus Pereira firing in on the rebound after Bayern keeper Sven Ulreich had blocked a shot three minutes after the break.

The Bavarians were visibly rattled and it took them some time to recover from the setback before retaking the initiative.

After a bagful of missed chances Gnabry finally beat the Nuremberg defence at the far post, beautifully chipping his volley over the keeper in the 74th.

Nuremberg had the chance to win with an 89th minute penalty but Tim Leibold hit the post and Bayern escaped with a point.

Valencia's top four hopes dented after late loss to Eibar

Valencia's hopes of sneaking into the top four in La Liga were severely dented with a limp 1-0 defeat at home to Eibar on Sunday as the struggling visitors silenced the Mestalla with a stoppage-time winner from visiting striker Charles.

The defeat keeps Valencia in sixth place in the standings on 52 points after 35 games, three behind fifth-placed Sevilla, who were beaten 1-0 at Girona, and fourth-placed Getafe, who were in action against Real Sociedad later on Sunday.

The best chance of Marcelino's side getting back into the Champions League now appears to rest on them overcoming Arsenal in the Europa League semi-finals and going on to win the trophy, which offers the victors a place in Europe's premier club competition.

Brazilian veteran Charles, 35, pounced on a poor attempted headed clearance from Valencia defender Jose Gaya to calmly stick the ball into the far corner of the net in the second of three minutes of stoppage time.

The Basque side had more chances in the first half but Valencia went all out for a winner in the second and strikers Rodrigo and Kevin Gameiro both spurned clear opportunities before Eibar caught Marcelino's side out on the break.

Eibar's last-gasp victory lifted them up to ninth place in the standings on 43 points after 35 games.

Girona overcome Sevilla to earn first home win in six months

Girona snapped a six-game losing streak by beating Sevilla 1-0 at home on Sunday to climb out of the La Liga relegation zone and ease pressure on coach Eusebio Sacristan while harming Sevilla's chances of finishing in the top four.

Cristian Portu, who was on the verge of joining Sevilla last August, broke the deadlock just after the hour mark, stroking the ball into an empty net to finish off a composed team counterattack.

The Catalans had not won at home since beating Rayo Vallecano in October but they produced a gutsy display and nearly took the lead in the first half when defender Bernardo Espinosa headed against the crossbar.

Sevilla's Argentine midfielder Ever Banega was sent off deep in stoppage time for kicking out at Girona captain Pere Pons, compounding the visitors' frustration at missing out on a chance to gain on their rivals for fourth place in the standings.

Joaquin Caparros's side are fifth in the table after the defeat but locked on 55 points with Getafe, who can go three points clear if they win at Real Sociedad later on Sunday.

Valencia, who were beaten 1-0 at home by Eibar earlier on Sunday, are sixth on 52 points.

Girona meanwhile boosted their chances of staying in the top flight by leapfrogging Real Valladolid, moving two points above the drop zone with three games remaining.

'Sterling finally getting recognition he deserves'

Raheem Sterling

IMAGE: Manchester City's Raheem Sterling in action.Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

England and Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling is finally getting the recognition he deserves for both his on-field performances and his work in fighting against racism, Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has said.

Sterling has scored 29 goals for club and country this season, his most productive campaign yet. He was also awarded The Integrity and Impact Award this week for speaking out on a range of social issues, including racism.

"A lot of his good work over the years has gone unnoticed and now he's finally getting the recognition he has always deserved - as a top, top footballer and also as a very decent human being," Oxlade-Chamberlain said in an interview with The Times.

"I think for years he has taken a lot of different accusations and digs in the media. The whole time he just keeps his head down, never talks too much and just keeps doing what he does."

"I think what he's doing at the moment is completely inspirational, his off field antics."

Liverpool lead City by two points in the Premier League title race, but have played a game more. City play Burnley later on Sunday with Sterling, who has 17 league goals and 10 assists this season, expected to start.

"What he's doing on the pitch is not helping us out at the minute at Liverpool, but for him personally it's outstanding," Oxlade-Chamberlain added. "As a friend, I'm really pleased to see him doing so well."

British police investigate online picture reported to be soccer player Sala's body

Sala

IMAGE: General view of tributes left outside the stadium in memory of Emiliano Sala before the match.Photograph: Peter Cziborra /Reuters

British Police said on Sunday they were investigating how a picture reported to be of the body of Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala had been taken and posted online.

Sala, 28, had been flying from his previous club Nantes in western France to Wales on Jan. 21 to join up with Cardiff City when the single-engined Piper Malibu aircraft disappeared over the English Channel.

Wreckage was found on Feb. 3 following a privately-funded underwater search and a body was recovered three days later. Later that month Sala's body was flown back to Argentina for his funeral.

"We are aware that a picture reported to be of Mr Sala's body has been shared on social media channels and are disgusted that somebody did this," a spokeswoman for Dorset Police said in a statement.

"It is clearly a very difficult time for Mr Sala's family and they should not have to endure additional pain that this shameful act will undoubtedly cause. We are investigating this incident and are working together with a number of agencies to establish how the picture was taken and who is responsible."

Sheffield United promoted to Premier League after Leeds draw with Villa

Sheffield United sealed promotion to the Premier League after Leeds United were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa in a controversial Championship encounter at Elland Road in which tempers flared on Sunday.

Second-placed United had beaten Ipswich Town 2-0 on Saturday to move on to 88 points in the second-tier table. They are now five points ahead of third-placed Leeds with one more game to go.

Norwich City, with 91 points, were promoted on Saturday following a 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers.

Leeds opened the scoring in controversial circumstances when Villa's Jonathan Kodjia was down injured on the pitch. Leeds were about to put the ball out of play but Mateusz Klich picked it up and fired it into the bottom corner to spark a melee.

Villa's Anwar Al Ghazi was sent off for his role in the protests after which Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa, who was seen arguing with former England captain and assistant Villa coach John Terry on the touchline, asked his players to allow Villa to score unopposed when the game was restarted.

Albert Adomah was allowed to dribble past the Leeds team but even then Leeds defender Pontus Jansson attempted to stop him as he fired it past goalkeeper Kiko Casilla who stood at the edge of the box.

Villa boss Dean Smith said Klich apologised for his goal and also gave credit to Bielsa for allowing Villa to score unimpeded.

"Klich has apologised," Smith told Sky Sports. "Every credit to Leeds and Marcelo Bielsa for putting that right. I asked him and he agreed. He said 'yes'. He apologised for what happened.

"Fair play to them. It was a good game of football until that moment."

Bielsa said he had allowed Villa to score in the spirit of sportsmanship.

"We gave the goal back," Bielsa said. "English football is known for its sportsmanship so I don't need to comment on this kind of thing which is common in English football."

Villa defender Tyrone Mings also praised Leeds for allowing them to score the equaliser after failing to put the ball out of play so Kodjia could get treatment.

"We kicked it out for them," Mings said after the game. "But listen each to their own. Fair play to their manager for saying we can go and score a goal, full credit to them for saying we could go and score."

Leeds, who were league leaders until February, will now have to vie for promotion through the Championship playoffs with West Bromwich Albion and Villa also involved.

The fourth and final spot is yet to be decided with Derby County, Middlesbrough and Bristol City all in contention.

Barca beat Bayern to set up final with Lyon in Women's Champions League

Barcelona dug deep after having a player sent off to beat Bayern Munich 1-0 on Sunday and reach the final of the Women's Champions League for the first time after securing a 2-0 aggregate victory.

Barca will meet Olympique Lyonnais in the final on May 18 at the Groupama stadium in Budapest after the French side knocked out Chelsea in the other semi-final with a 3-2 aggregate win.

Barca, who had earned a 1-0 win in the first leg in Germany, broke the deadlock at the end of a hard-fought first half thanks to a penalty from Mariona Caldentey after Bayern captain Melanie Leupolz had rattled the underside of the crossbar.

The German side hemmed Barca into their half for most of the second period, with forward Sara Dabritz missing a clear chance to equalise when she failed to find the target from inside the area.

The home side came under further pressure after Kheira Hamraoui was sent off in the 70th minute and Barca keeper Sandra Panos made an impressive save to keep out a looping header from Dominika Skorvankova which looked destined for the top corner.

Bayern coach Thomas Worle was sent off for protesting a refereeing decision on the sidelines and his side soon lost momentum.

Barca should have put the result beyond doubt late in the game when they twice caught the Germans out on the counterattack but failed to find the net.

Barca's coaching staff and substitutes invaded the pitch when the fulltime whistle sounded before doing a lap of honour of the stadium in the shadow of the Nou Camp, where the men's team sealed the La Liga title the night before.

In Sunday's other semi-final, defending champions Lyon were held to a 1-1 draw by Chelsea in the second leg in London but the French side advanced to the final thanks to their 2-1 win in the first leg last week.

An own goal from Maren Mjelde gave Lyon the lead in the first half but Chelsea midfielder So-yun Ji equalised when she expertly curled a free kick over the wall to find the back of the net in the 34th minute.

Ballon d'Or winner Ada Hegerberg nearly won it for Lyon towards the end when she had a chance from a few metres out, but she mistimed her shot to give Chelsea a glimmer of hope.

Chelsea needed a winner to take the tie into extra time but Lyon managed to hold on. This is the second year in a row where Chelsea have been knocked out in the semi-final stage.

Napoli return to form with victory to send Frosinone towards the drop

Napoli pushed Frosinone towards relegation with a 2-0 away victory in Serie A on Sunday as Dries Mertens equalled Diego Maradona’s league scoring record.

The Belgian’s superb first-half free kick was his 81st league strike for Napoli, sending him level with the Argentine at number three in the club's all-time Serie A scoring charts, behind Antonio Vojak (102 goals) and Marek Hamsik (100).

Amin Younes topped off an impressive individual performance with a neat finish in the second half, leaving Carlo Ancelotti’s side in second place on 70 points, eight clear of Inter Milan below them.

Frosinone, in 19th place, are now 10 points adrift of the safety zone with four rounds remaining and their relegation will be confirmed if Genoa earn at least a point away to SPAL on Sunday and Udinese win away to Atalanta on Monday.

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