Paris Saint-Germain went top of Ligue 1 for the first time this season after title rivals Olympique Lyonnais lost 2-1 at home to ten-man OGC Nice on Saturday.
Lyon coach Hubert Fournier accepted his side, rich in players from their youth academy, might have made a critical blunder.
“We’ve lost three points at a crucial part of the season, but how can you be angry when your forward line has an average age of 21 years, and your entire team lacks the depth of experience to deal with the pressure of that kind of game,” Fournier said.
“We knew it could be tricky with Nice battling relegation, while we were playing without some of our senior players,” he added.
Lyon had their star striker and talisman Alexandre Lacazette suspended for the match, but visitors Nice were reduced to ten men when Lloyd Palun was sent off on 56 minutes. The resulting penalty saw Maxime Gonalons equalize from the spot after the visitors had gone ahead when Carlos Eduardo converted a corner in acrobatic fashion on 23 minutes.
However, a late penalty saw Nice reclaim the lead on 86 minutes with Valentin Eysseric stepping up to clinch three points and topple Lyon from the summit. Claude Puel, the ex-Lyon coach now at the helm of Nice, had no sympathy for his former club as his Riviera outfit notched up vital points in the battle against relegation.
“The relegation battle is still going to be close. In terms of the title race that will slow Lyon down and I’m happy about that because it means we won, and won with quality football despite everything,” said Puel, whose side are now provisionally five points above the first relegation spot.
New Toulouse coach Dominique Arribage saw his relegation-threatened side collect three potentially crucial points with a 2-1 home win against Girondins de Bordeaux, featuring a fine opening goal from Wissam Ben Yedder after 18 minutes.
Bordeaux reduced the deficit ten minutes later through striker Diego Rolan. However, defender Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik headed in the winner for the hosts after 61 minutes after picking up a pass from Francois Moubandje that left Cedric Carrasso with no chance in the Bordeaux goal.
Elsewhere, Evian Thonon Gaillard beat Montpellier Herault 1-0 thanks to a Clarck N’Sikulu goal six minutes from time.
Nantes were held to a goalless draw at fellow Brittany side Stade Rennais, while SC Bastia and Stade Malherbe Caen Calvados also had stalemates at home at the hands of visiting En Avant de Guingamp and Metz respectively.
Fernando Torres scored his first La Liga goal for eight years as Atletico Madrid moved back to within a point of third-placed Valencia with a 2-0 win over Getafe on Saturday.
Torres produced a towering header from Koke’s free-kick to get the hosts off to a perfect start after three minutes.
Tiago then nodded home from Raul Jimenez’s flick-on a minute before half-time to lift Atletico to just six points behind leaders Barcelona.
Atletico boss Diego Simeone was without the injured Miguel Angel Moya, Mario Mandzukic and
Raul Garcia, as well as Miranda through suspension, as he made six changes in all.
However, the crowd inside the Estadio Vicente Calderon roared when Torres rose highest to loop home a wonderful header for his fourth goal since returning to Atletico in January.
The hosts were desperately unlucky not to be 2-0 up inside the first 10 minutes when Koke’s thunderous shot came off the inside of the post and somehow did not rebound into the net after hitting goalkeeper Vicente Guaita on the back.
Mexican striker Jimenez was given his first league start since September by Simeone and made his presence felt as he pulled a shot just wide and then nodded down a cross for Koke, who could only turn into the hands of Guaita.
Getafe’s only clear chance of the afternoon came on 25 minutes when Fredy Hinestroza found space inside the box, but his effort was amazingly blocked by Jose Maria Gimenez diving head first to divert the ball from danger whilst he was lying on the ground.
Only a brilliant goal line clearance from Mehdi Lacen denied Jimenez a goal, as Atletico continued to threaten from set-pieces.
The champions did finally extend their lead when Koke’s free-kick was flicked on by Jimenez, and Tiago timed his run to head home unmarked at the back post.
Elsewhere, Rayo Vallecano de Madrid beat Malaga1-0 at home, Levante UD were beaten 1-0 by visitors RC Celta de Vigo, hosts Athletic Bilbao won 2-1 against UD Almeria and Granada registered a 0-0 stalemate with the traveling Sociedad Deportiva Eibar.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017