Paris Saint-Germain missed out on an opportunity to open a seven-point gap at the top of Ligue 1 when they threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at AS Saint-Etienne on Sunday. Saint-Etienne trailed to early goals by Javier Pastore and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the home side snatched a point thanks to Alex’s own-goal and a superb effort by Francois Clerc. David Beckham took a couple of last-gasp free-kicks, but to no effect. PSG have 58 points from 29 games and lead Olympique Lyonnais by five points. Saint-Etienne are fourth on 49 points, two behind Olympique de Marseille. Les Verts are one point ahead of OGC Nice, who missed out on the opportunity to take third place when they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at bottom side AS Nancy-Lorraine earlier on Sunday. Earlier, Toulouse and Girondins de Bordeaux played out a goalless draw. “Frankly, that was bloody boring,” Bordeaux coach Francis Gillot told a news conference.
Star back after heart attack
Adrian Purtell made his first appearance after a career-threatening heart attack in May last year in Bradford Bulls’ 34-12 Super League win over Hull KR. Purtell played the whole of the Bulls’ defeat to Leeds 10 months ago and began to suffer chest pains before his condition worsened on the journey home. The 28-year-old center, who featured for Canberra and Penrith in Australasia’s National Rugby League before moving to Europe, was given the all-clear to resume training in December. The green light to play again came last week and, named among the replacements for the clash with Hull KR, he came off the bench to rapturous applause at Odsal after 24 minutes.
Aussies win cup in Malaysia
Australia won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup on Sunday, defeating hosts Malaysia 3-2. The final went down to the wire with Trent Mitton scoring the winner in the game’s dying moments. The home team had taken the lead courtesy of a penalty corner by Faizal Saari in the third minute. Australia fought back and Nick Budgeon scored from their first penalty corner in the 29th minute. A minute later Craig Boyne added a second off a field attempt. Ahmad Tajuddin Jalil scored the equalizer in the second half, but the match ended with heartbreak for the hosts in the 70th minute. South Korea took bronze after beating New Zealand 2-1.
Juve triumph at Bologna
Juventus remained on course to defend their Serie A title with a 2-0 away win to Bologna as challengers SSC Napoli stayed nine points behind with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Atalanta BC on Sunday. Elsewhere, Francesco Totti scored AS Roma’s second, and his 226th in Serie A, to help his side to a 2-0 home win over Parma. Roma jumped two places to sixth and ahead of depleted city rivals SS Lazio, whose torrid month continued with a 1-0 reverse in Turin where a late goal by Jonathas secured Torino’s eighth win of the campaign. Lazio have now won only once since a 2-0 defeat of Atalana in mid-January. Elsewhere, Mario Balotelli scored twice as AC Milan beat US Citta di Palermo 2-0 at the San Siro to send the Sicilians back to the bottom of the table. ACF Fiorentina are in fourth place after a 3-2 win over plucky Genoa at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, while AC Chievo Verona claimed a 2-0 away win at Delfino Pescara 1936. AC Siena and Cagliari drew 0-0. Inter’s trip to Sampdoria was postponed due to harsh weather conditions.