Goals from Lucas and Edinson Cavani and the return of talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped Paris Saint-Germain beat Ligue 1 leaders Olympique de Marseille 2-0 on Sunday, a victory that closed the gap in between the two sides.
PSG, who were boosted by the return of Sweden forward Ibrahimovic from a heel injury he sustained in late September, remain second in the standings with 27 points from 13 games, while Marseille have 28 points from 13.
The Parisians struggled early on, with l’OM pressing high up and forcing their archrivals into a string of poor passes and late tackles.
Andre-Pierre Gignac hit the upright with a bullet header from a corner in the fifth minute and two minutes later, Romain Alessandrini whisked a half-volley passed the post after good work from Benjamin Mendy on the right.
“I want to complement Marseille because they were well organized and defended well,” Brazil international Maxwell said in a pitchside interview. “It counts for us because we were four points behind so it was important to win.”
As the first half wore on, PSG, who are now unbeaten in their past 18 matches, began to get ahold of the game as Marseille lost some intensity and the capital club finally broke the deadlock when captain Thiago Silva surged forward and fed Cavani, who set free Ezequiel Lavezzi to cross for Lucas to tap home after 37 minutes.
Gignac should have leveled just after halftime after stealing the ball off Silva, but with just the goalkeeper to beat, he opted for a complicated chip.
From then on, PSG were mostly in control and once Giannelli Imbula was sent off with just more than 10 minutes left, Marseille’s hopes of turning the game round were over.
Cavani sealed the win with his fifth goal in five games after a pinpoint cross from right back Serge Aurier, who had been released by 65th-minute substitute Ibrahimovic.
“We’re disappointed. We lost because we lacked realism,” Marseille captain Steve Mandanda said.
In the earlier games, Olympique Lyonnais moved into third one point behind PSG after a 3-1 win over En Avant de Guingamp with two goals from Nabil Fekir and Alexandre Lacazette scoring his 11th of the campaign to become Ligue 1’s top scorer.
In other league play, AS Monaco continued their patchy start to the season drawing 1-1 with sixth-placed AS Saint Etienne despite taking the lead earlier and Stade de Reims blanked LOSC Lille Metropole 2-0.
A sudden shortage of locks in Australian rugby union has opened the door for Matt Philip to reclaim his Wallabies jersey, but the Melbourne Rebels player says that the uncertainties wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic have left him with a difficult choice. The Australian yesterday named Philip among 16 Rebels players either set to leave the Super Rugby club or seriously considering it, underscoring the challenge Rugby Australia faces to retain talent. Linked with a move to Section Paloise Bearn Pyrenees, commonly referred to as Pau, in France’s Top 14, Philip said that he had yet to settle his playing future, and
As professional soccer returned to Denmark, fans used Zoom to be part of the action. Thousands of Danish soccer fans on Thursday logged on to the conferencing software and were transported to Ceres Park for a league match between AGF and Randers that heralded the resumption of the nation’s pandemic-affected soccer season. While the stadium itself was without fans, the faces of thousands of supporters who joined the Zoom call were shown on giant screens that ran along one side of the pitch. Families wearing club shirts and scarves cheered inside their living rooms. Some were seen clenching their fists in joy after
It is the land of the world champions, but is it really a soccer country? That is the question that some in France have been asking this week while its European neighbors work to bring the sport back after the COVID-19 shutdown. Debate has raged ever since Ligue 1 decided in late April to bring a premature end to the season with 10 rounds of matches unplayed. By contrast, two weeks have passed since the Bundesliga restarted, while Italian Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora on Thursday confirmed that Serie A would return on June 20, and La Liga and the English Premier
A feel-good campaign allowing fans to have cardboard cutouts of themselves at Australian rugby league games has been hijacked by pranksters, with a notorious serial killer among those making an appearance — while one TV show edited an image of Adolf Hitler into the crowd. The NRL launched “Fan In The Stand” to coincide with the sport’s return at the weekend after its season was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporters are barred from stadiums under strict health protocols, but can pay A$22 (US$15) to have their photograph printed on a life-size cutout and placed in the stands of