Edinson Cavani converted a late penalty for his league-leading 27th goal of the season as Paris Saint-Germain labored to a 1-0 win over strugglers AS Nancy-Lorraine on Saturday.
PSG endured a frustrating afternoon, despite their domination at the Parc des Princes and survived a huge scare when Nancy substitute Alexis Busin’s 75th-minute shot struck both posts.
However, the hosts won a penalty after Serge Aurier was fouled by Nancy goalkeeper Sergey Chernik, leaving Cavani to score the only goal 10 minutes from time as PSG moved back level on points with leaders AS Monaco.
“It’s difficult to play against these teams that defend a lot and give you so little space,” Cavani told TV station Canal+, with PSG turning their focus to defending their 4-0 lead against Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.
“The important thing is to win,” Cavani added.
AFP, MILAN, Italy
Napoli’s Dries Mertens hit a brace in a thrilling 2-1 win at the Stadio Olimpico that prompted AS Roma coach Luciano Spalletti to virtually concede the Serie A title race to Juventus on Saturday.
“We have to be realistic. For us it’s now almost impossible to catch Juventus,” Spalletti said after a morale-crushing defeat.
Belgium midfielder Mertens was given the nod ahead of striker Arkadiusz Milik, despite the Poland star’s recent return from a five-month injury lay-off.
Manager Maurizio Sarri’s intuition to keep deploying the Belgian midfielder as his main striker was proved right during an end-to-end thrill-fest that saw Napoli soak up long spells of pressure before seeing Mertens punish Roma’s leaky defense.
Napoli took a 1-0 lead into halftime at the Stadio Olimpico after Mertens struck against the run of play to flick the ball over onrushing Wojciech Szczesny on 26 minutes.
Mertens completed his brace, taking his league tally for the season to 18 goals, five minutes into the second half with another cool finish following Lorenzo Insigne’s inswinger toward the back post.
When Kevin Strootman reduced the arrears on 89 minutes it sparked a dramatic late fightback from Roma that saw Pepe Reina acrobatically palm Diego Perotti’s deflected drive off the crossbar before clearing with his leg.
Red Bull team chief Christian Horner has welcomed Ferrari’s U-turn to support a Formula One engine freeze from 2022. The move gives Red Bull a chance to continue using Honda power after the Japanese supplier exits next year. Speaking ahead of yesterday’s final practice for today’s Bahrain Grand Prix, Horner said that Ferrari’s decision was encouraging for F1 and everyone involved in the business end of the sport. “It’s positive news,” he said. “I think all the manufacturers, all the CEOs of the automotive industry, they all recognize the investment and cost of these engines, particularly with the new technology coming for 2026,
Argentina’s Pablo Matera yesterday said that he was “deeply ashamed” as he was stripped of the captaincy and suspended along with two other players over messages he wrote on Twitter in 2011 to 2013. Just weeks after leading the Pumas to their first win over the All Blacks, the Argentina Rugby Union “revoked” Matera’s captaincy and suspended him, along with lock Guido Petti and hooker Santiago Socino. “The Argentina Rugby Union forcefully rejects the discriminatory and xenophobic comments published by members of the Pumas squad on social media,” a statement read. In the tweets, since deleted, Matera spoke of “running over blacks” with
Taiwan Steel on Sunday celebrated with the Taiwan Football Premier League trophy, despite a 3-1 loss in their final match of the season, while Taipower claimed second place and Tatung’s Ange Samuel scored on a breakaway to claim the Golden Boot with 20 goals. Ahead of all four of Sunday’s matches players, coaches and fans observed a minute’s silence prior to kickoff in honor of Argentine great Diego Maradona, who died aged 60 on Wednesday last week, following a directive received from FIFA. Already assured the title, Taiwan Steel manager Lo Chi-chong fielded a second-string team against defending champions Tatung in Taoyuan. Lo
Argentine prosecutors on Friday were investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Diego Maradona and whether it could have involved medical negligence, judicial sources said. “There are already irregularities,” a close family member told reporters. Maradona’s lawyer, Matias Morla, had earlier called for an investigation into claims that ambulances took more than half an hour to reach the soccer star’s house in response to an emergency call on the day of his death. A preliminary autopsy report established that Maradona died in his sleep at noon on Wednesday of “acute lung edema and chronic heart failure.” The prosecutors’ office in Buenos Aires has opened