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Soccer PIX: Bayern stay top; PSG tame Lyon

February 10, 2020 09:57 IST
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Bayern Munich

IMAGE: Bayern Munich's Thiago and Thomas Muller after the match. Photograph: Andreas Gebert/Reuters

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich drew 0-0 with visiting RB Leipzig on Sunday, missing their chance to increase their lead at the top of the table, with their opponents staying a point behind in second place.

The Bavarians, top on 43 points, enjoyed possession in a dominant first half but failed to score despite chances from Robert Lewandowski and Thiago Alcantara.

 

They were lucky not to concede a goal in the second half with their opponents lurking on the break, but they also saw Lucas Hernandez and Kingsley Coman return to action after long injury breaks.

“To be honest the 0-0 is correct,” said Bayern interim coach Hansi Flick of the result that ended his team’s eight-game winning run in all competitions.

“I like the way we played for the first 25 minutes but then we lost some of our pace and Leipzig grew bolder. We can be satisfied with the result. We were a bit luck they missed their big chances and I am happy to have kept a clean sheet.”

With the league’s top two scorers — Lewandowski for Bayern with 22 and Leipizg’s Timo Werner with 20 — in fine form, the game had promised fireworks.

But Bayern’s firepower barely lasted one half before the visitors took over after the break.

Leipzig, who have now gone four games without a win in all competitions, waited patiently for their chances and they got their first with Marcel Sabitzer right after the restart. But he fired over the bar from 11 metres out.

Werner then squandered their biggest opportunity in the 63rd with only keeper Manuel Neuer to beat but he also missed the target.

Leipzig keeper Peter Gulacsi then had to come to the rescue, tipping Leon Goretzka’s effort wide in the 80th, in Bayern’s best chance of the second half.

“Bayern expected us to play higher. We did not want to play too deep,” Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann said. “It was clear we would have to overcome a period of intense Bayern pressure and we did it well to go into the break with a 0-0.

“We then had our chances in a good second half but overall it is a deserved draw and we can live with that.”

Sunday’s only other game between Borussia Moenchengladbach, who are fourth on 39 points, and Cologne was postponed due to a storm warning.

Cavani finally on target as PSG tame Lyon

Edinson Cavani

IMAGE:  Paris St Germain's Edinson Cavani. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Second-half substitute Edinson Cavani rediscovered his scoring touch as Paris St Germain beat Olympique Lyonnais 4-2 to edge closer to a seventh Ligue 1 title in eight years on Sunday.

Uruguay striker Cavani struck his first goal in almost six months after being barely used on his return from injury. His goal completed the win to put PSG on 61 points from 24 games.

Thomas Tuchel’s side, who also scored through Angel Di Maria, Kylian Mbappe and a Fernando Marcal own goal, lead second-placed Olympique de Marseille by 12 points.

Lyon, who hit back with goals by Martin Terrier and Moussa Dembele, are in ninth place on 33 points, eight behind Stade Rennais who hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.

Inter top Serie A following stunning comeback win over AC Milan

Inter Milan

IMAGE: Inter Milan players celebrate. Photograph: Daniele Mascolo/Reuters

Inter Milan went top of Serie A on Sunday after completing a remarkable second half comeback to overturn a two-goal deficit and beat AC Milan 4-2.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up Ante Rebic’s opener before scoring with a header, as Milan held a deserved 2-0 lead at the break.

But a Marcelo Brozovic volley and Matias Vecino strike in the space of two minutes saw Inter draw level at the start of the second half, before Stefan De Vrij’s header put them in front in the 70th minute.

Ibrahimovic hit the post with a late header as Milan pressed for an equaliser, but Antonio Conte’s side sealed the win in stoppage time through a Romelu Lukaku header.

Inter move into first place on goal difference, after catching Juventus on 54 points following their 2-1 defeat by Hellas Verona on Saturday, while Milan are 10th with 32 points.

Conte admitted Inter can dare to dream of the title ahead of a week that will test his team’s credentials.

Inter host Napoli in the Coppa Italia semi-final first leg on Wednesday, before travelling to third-placed Lazio on Sunday, who are one point behind them in the standings.

“It’s still very early to talk about something we can only dream of for now,” the Inter coach told Sky Italia.

“We can have a dream. It’s a very intense period for us coming up and after that we’ll have a better idea of our potential and our real capabilities.

“We must face important matches, starting from Wednesday’s with Napoli, then Lazio, who have really strengthened over the years.

“We can’t achieve everything from one day to the next, but we are building. These guys proved they have great strength and guts today.”

Milan started strongly, coming close when Hakan Calhanoglu smashed a low shot off the post from outside the box. They took a deserved lead five minutes before the break when Ibrahimovic headed a lofted pass into the path of Rebic for a tap-in.

Ibrahimovic then netted during the first half stoppage time, heading in at the back post after Franck Kessie directed a corner into his path, making the Swede the oldest player to score in the famous fixture at the age of 38 years and 129 days.

However, Inter completed a stunning comeback in the space of just two minutes at the start of the second half.

Brozovic showed superb technique to guide in a volley from the edge of the area on the 51st minute, before Alexis Sanchez sprung the offside trap and pulled a pass back for Vecino to fire home the equaliser.

Conte’s side completed the turnaround when De Vrij stooped to guide home a header from a corner, and substitute Christian Eriksen was inches away from scoring his first goal for the club when his long-range freekick came back off the crossbar.

Ibrahimovic powered a header off the post from point-blank range in the final minute of regulation time, before Lukaku made sure of the three points by heading in his 17th league goal of the season in stoppage time.

“We stopped playing, the team stopped believing, we stopped pressing, didn’t pass it around enough,” said Ibrahimovic.

“From the equaliser onwards, everything collapsed.”

Inter have now won four consecutive Milan derbies in Serie A for the first time since 1983.

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