European roundup: Messi hits 650th Barcelona goal; PSG shocked in thriller

Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann fired Barcelona to a 2-1 win at home to Athletic Bilbao, avenging their recent defeat to the Basque side in the Spanish Super Cup final.

Messi curled in a free kick after 20 minutes for his 650th Barca goal on the day the club pledged to sue Spanish newspaper El Mundo for publishing the full details of the Argentinian’s contract. The hosts missed several more opportunities before Athletic levelled in the 49th through a Jordi Alba own goal but Griezmann, who scored twice in the 3-2 Super Cup final defeat, restored the hosts lead in the 74th.

Elsewhere, Luis Suárez struck twice as Atlético Madrid marched 10 points clear by beating Cádiz 4-2 in an action-packed game. The Uruguayan gave Atlético the lead in the 28th minute with a curling free-kick, which was cancelled out by Álvaro Negredo seven minutes later before Saúl Ñíguez restored the visitors’ advantage moments before the break. Suárez then converted a second-half penalty for his 14th goal of the season.

Luis Suárez is spearheading Atlético Madrid’s title charge. Photograph: Cristina Quicler/AFP/Getty Images

Negredo reduced the deficit to one goal with a scrappy strike and Atlético were pegged back in their area for a long spell before Koke struck in the 88th minute to make certain an eighth consecutive league victory for Diego Simeone’s side, who are 10 points ahead of Real Madrid and Barcelona having played a game fewer.

Lorient pulled off one of the shocks of the Ligue 1 season so far by coming from behind to beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 with a breakaway stoppage-time winner.

Terem Moffi won the game in the final moments when he picked up the ball following a PSG attack, steamed clear of a backtracking defence and slotted home left-footed.

France’s reigning champions had gone 2-1 up when Neymar replied to Laurent Abergel’s early opener with two penalties but Yoane Wissa levelled the scores 10 minutes from time, driving at the heart of PSG’s defence before blasting home, to set up a dramatic finale. Moffi’s cool finish clinched a dramatic result that leaves Mauricio Pochettino’s side in third place.

It was not al bad news for PSG, as Neymar said he wanted to stay with the club and has urged teammate Kylian Mbappé to do the same.

“I am very happy today,” Neymar told TF1. “I feel happy. Things have changed a lot, I can’t exactly explain why – if it’s just me, or something else has changed. But today, I am feeling good. I have adapted. I feel calmer and I’m very happy here. I want to stay at PSG, and I hope Kylian will stay too. Of course, that is the wish of every PSG supporter. We want PSG to be a great team, and I want to continue doing what I’ve done every day in Paris – play football and be happy. That is the most important thing.”

Metz moved up to sixth with an impressive 4-2 win at Brest while Angers continued their push for Europe by seeing off rock-bottom Nimes 3-1. And the day after 250 disgruntled St Etienne fans interrupted the team’s training session, Charles Abi’s 88th-minute strike sealed a vital 1-0 victory for the imperilled club away to Nice. “This success is for everyone at the club and for our supporters,” said manager Claude Puel. “They were constructive yesterday in their discussions. The players listened to them.”

Marseille’s Ligue 1 game against Rennes was postponed three hours before kick-off after “a few hundred individuals from ultra supporter groups” stormed the club’s training ground on Saturday.

In a statement on their official website, Marseille condemned the “unacceptable attack” at the Robert Louis-Dreyfus centre, which required police intervention.

“Thefts were committed and vehicles were damaged. Five trees were burned with the sole desire to destroy,” the club said. “The damage inside the buildings amounts to several hundreds of thousands of euros.”

André Villas-Boas’ team have lost their last four games in all competitions, causing discontent among some hardcore fans.

The statement continued: “These irresponsible and unacceptable actions must be condemned with the utmost severity. Olympique de Marseille has all the evidence – it was immediately forwarded to investigators. Complaints will be filed in the coming hours to assert the rights of the club against this barbarism.”

Angry fans storm Marseille training ground in protest against club directors – video
Angry fans storm Marseille training ground in protest against club directors – video

In Italy, Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso has said he was disappointed with how he had been treated by president Aurelio De Laurentiis as speculation over his future has grown in the last few weeks. Speaking after his side’s 2-0 win over Parma , Gattuso felt criticism of him and his team was harsh.

The fiery Italian said he was also aggrieved at how De Laurentiis had dealt with media reports that he could be sacked, even though Napoli released a statement on Wednesday giving Gattuso their public backing.

“I’m being slaughtered (in the media) every day, it seems like we are second to bottom,” Gattuso told Sky Sport Italia. “Now we have won, but if I lose the next two, we are up for discussion again. “I have always had a good relationship (with De Laurentiis), but I cannot deny that after the last 15-20 days there is a bit of disappointment on my part for everything that has happened. Everything was badly managed in my opinion, full stop.”

The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email.

Lazio secured their fifth win in a row with a 3-1 victory at Atalanta. Adam Marusic got the visitors off to a perfect start with a fine solo goal inside three minutes before Joaquín Correa latched on to Ciro Immobile’s header and fired home midway through the second half. Mario Pasalic got the hosts back in the match but substitute Vedat Muriqi made sure of the win late on.

Elsewhere, Jérémie Boga’s 94th-minute equaliser earned Sassuolo a 1-1 draw at Cagliari, leaving Roberto De Zerbi’s early-season high-fliers down in eighth place without a win in five games. In-form Genoa are up to 14th after two goals from Mattia Destro helped them beat Crotone 3-0 and Udinese captain Rodrigo de Paul scored and was sent off as his side earned a 1-0 win at Spezia.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button