Mon, Oct 17, 2016 - Page 12 News List

SOCCER SHORTS

Agencies

SERIE A

Sousa’s woes continue

Embattled ACF Fiorentina coach Paulo Sousa’s woes continued after the misfiring Viola were held to a scoreless stalemate at home to Atalanta BC yesterday. Fiorentina were among the early season challengers to champions Juventus last season, but with only three points from their last four Serie A outings the Florence-based club are well below mid-table position. Fiorentina have a game in hand, but are in 13th spot, 12 points behind leaders and champions Juventus, who have a five-point lead on second-placed AS Roma. Injury to Slovenian international Josip Ilicic meant Sousa drafted in Khouma Babacar for a rare start at a sun-drenched Artemio Franchi stadium. However, despite creating a series of chances throughout, Nikola Kalinic notably coming closest for the hosts in both halves, the perfect playing conditions failed to inspire the hosts against a decidedly defensive Atalanta.

LA LIGA

Messi scores on return

Lionel Messi scored within three minutes of returning to action for the first time in more than three weeks to help fire La Liga champions Barcelona to a resounding 4-0 home win over RC Deportivo de La Coruna on Saturday. Brazilian midfielder Rafinha put Barca ahead in the 21st minute with the help of lax goalkeeping from Deportivo’s German Lux and slid in the second in the 35th after the stopper failed to hold Gerard Pique’s header. Luis Suarez combined with Neymar to stretch Barca’s lead two minutes before the break and substitute Messi latched on to a through ball from the Brazilian to stroke the ball high into the net in the 58th.

LIGUE 1

Cavani steers PSG to win

Top scorer Edinson Cavani netted his ninth goal of the Ligue 1 season as Paris Saint-Germain geared up for next week’s Champions League match with a 2-1 win at bottom club AS Nancy-Lorraine on Saturday. PSG got off to a brilliant start before letting Nancy back into the contest. The French champions moved up to second with 19 points from nine matches, four behind leaders OGC Nice who beat Olympique Lyonnais 2-0 on Friday. They lead third-placed AS Monaco, who slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Toulouse on Friday, on goal difference. PSG went ahead in the 13th minute when forward Lucas scored with a long-range free-kick. It took the visitors five minutes to double the tally when Cavani intercepted a poor header toward Ndy Assembe and easily beat the keeper. Nancy’s Alou scored in the 55th minute with a header into the top corner from Benoit Pedretti’s free-kick.

BUNDESLIGA

Embolo breaks ankle

Schalke 04 are expected to be without teenage striker Breel Embolo for the rest of the year after the Swiss international broke his left ankle on Saturday. The 19-year-old was stretchered off after 25 minutes of Schalke’s 1-1 draw at Augsburg, which lifted them out of the Bundesliga’s relegation places into 15th. Embolo was taken to hospital where X-rays revealed the injury suffered in a clumsy tackle from Augsburg defender Konstantinos Stafylidis, who was booked. “We wish Breel Embolo all the best and a speedy recovery,” Augsburg coach Dirk Schuster said. “Stafylidis got himself into a stupid situation.” This is the latest blow to Schalke’s new head coach Markus Weinzierl, who set a new club record after they lost their first five games of the season. “Very unfortunate news. Breel Embolo will be out for some time with a broken ankle,” Schalke tweeted on the club’s official account.

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