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PSG Wins Without Messi, Neymar

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PSG Wins Without Messi, Neymar

Despite the absence of the duo of Lionel Messi and Neymar, PSG defeated Brest 4-2 on Friday to make it three wins out of three this season in Ligue 1.

Ander Herrera and Idrissa Gana Gueye also found the net for the capital side as they moved ominously on to nine points from a possible nine and clear at the top of the fledgling French table with a second consecutive 4-2 victory.

The full house of 15,000 in Brittany were denied the chance to see Messi make his PSG debut after the Argentine was left out of the squad as he continues to build up his fitness.

Neymar, who like Messi returned to training late after going all the way to the final of the Copa America last month, was also left out but PSG once again showed that they have little trouble finding the net and winning without the two superstars.

However, once again their defending left a lot to be desired and will have given coach Mauricio Pochettino food for thought with a number of players still waiting on the sidelines.

– Donnarumma on the bench –
Italy’s Euro 2020 goalkeeping hero Gianluigi Donnarumma appeared in the squad for the first time since his arrival from AC Milan but was left on the bench as Keylor Navas started in goal.

READ ALSO: UEFA Shortlists 3 Players For 2021 Men’s Player Of The Year Awards

Donnarumma’s fellow European champion, Marco Verratti, did play for the first time this season in midfield but skipper Marquinhos was still missing.

Mbappe has dominated headlines in Paris ever since the arrival of Messi as speculation surrounds the future of the World Cup winner, who is out of contract at the end of the campaign and is a target for Real Madrid.

However he set up a total of four goals in the opening league wins against promoted Troyes and against Strasbourg, and once again Mbappe played a central role in the rudimentary surroundings of the Stade Francis-Le Ble.

PSG went ahead midway through the first half when Mbappe tried a clipped cross which was cleared out to the edge of the area where Herrera met the ball on the volley and the Spaniard’s shot found the bottom corner.

Mbappe made it 2-0 in the 36th minute, arriving to head in his first goal of the season after Georginio Wijnaldum’s shot had been blocked.

Brest got one back just before the break when Franck Honorat finished first-time after a fine back-heel lay-off by Romain Faivre.

Nevertheless Gueye appeared to put the game to bed when he made it 3-1 in the 73rd minute with a piledriver from fully 35 metres which Brest’s Dutch international goalkeeper Marco Bizot could only help on its way in.

READ ALSO: Mbappe Takes Final Decision On PSG Future

Yet Brest pulled another one back five minutes from time through Steve Mounie, with Faivre again providing the assist.

PSG were actually in danger of conceding an equaliser until the 90th minute when, as Brest threw everyone forward, Di Maria broke downfield and played a one-two with Achraf Hakimi before scoring with a delightful lob.

Di Maria had come on for Mbappe late on for his first appearance of the campaign and his goal was reminiscent of his winner for Argentina in the Copa America final against Brazil last month.

Saturday in Ligue 1 sees Monaco host Lens in between the two legs of their Champions League play-off against Shakhtar Donetsk, before defending champions Lille go to Saint-Etienne.

AFP

 

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Salah Breaks Records As Liverpool Tutor Man Utd In Historic Win

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Salah Breaks Records As Liverpool Tutor United In Historic Win

Mohamed Salah, on Sunday scored a hat-trick, to become the top-scoring African player in Premier League history as Liverpool humiliated Manchester United in a 5-0 win at Old Trafford to move one point behind league leader, Chelsea.

For the first time in Premier League history, United trailed 4-0 at half-time and failed to score in a hopelessly one-sided contest. The Red Devils have now taken a run of one point from a possible 12 in the league.

Naby Keita started the rout before Diogo Jota doubled Liverpool’s lead inside 15 minutes.

Salah then took centre stage to take his tally for the season to 15 goals in 12 appearances.

To round off a miserable day for United, Paul Pogba lasted less than 15 minutes as a second-half substitute as he was shown a straight red card for a reckless lunge that forced Keita to leave the pitch on a stretcher.

Liverpool’s first victory in front of a crowd at Old Trafford under Jurgen Klopp moves them back above Manchester City into second, just a point behind leaders Chelsea.

By contrast, United’s hopes of a first league title since 2013 already look over as they remain eight points off the leaders.

That gap is likely to grow in the coming weeks with Tottenham and City to come in the next fortnight before an international break.

READ ALSO: Ecuador’s 200 Metres World Bronze Medallist Shot Dead

Whether Solskjaer will still be in charge come November is now in serious doubt as he has completely failed to form a balanced team from a talented collection of star players.

The Norwegian will wonder what might have been had Bruno Fernandes not fired over a glorious chance to open the scoring on three minutes.

But soon the defensive cracks that have blighted United’s season began to appear.

Salah teed up Keita to open the floodgates after just five minutes with a composed low finish past David de Gea.

United came from 2-0 down at the break to beat Atalanta 3-2 in the Champions League on Wednesday.

But former midfielder Paul Scholes’ warning after that match that Liverpool would be 4-0 up in 45 minutes if handed the same space to attack into came to fruition.

Jota justified his selection ahead of Sadio Mane as he stretched to turn in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross to double Liverpool’s advantage.

Salah has now scored in 10 consecutive games and overtook Didier Drogba with his 105th Premier League goal when the Egyptian turned home Keita’s cut-back with the United defence all at sea.

Cristiano Ronaldo was lucky to avoid a red card as United’s frustrations bubbled over in first-half stoppage time when he was booked for lashing out at Curtis Jones in a sign of what was to come as the home side lost their discipline.

Liverpool inflicted further punishment before the break when Salah smashed home his 14th goal in 12 games this season at De Gea’s near post.

Salah then completed his hat-trick with another cool finish five minutes into the second-half after Jordan Henderson’s pass dissected the United defence once more.

Ronaldo thought he had pulled a goal back only for a VAR review to catch him in an offside position.

Another VAR check saw the end of Pogba’s brief cameo for a horrendous studs-up challenge on Keita that forced the Guinean off.

Solskjaer sacrificed Fernandes and Marcus Rashford to try and stop the bleeding as Old Trafford emptied during the final half hour.

De Gea ensured Liverpool failed to match their record margin of victory against United with an incredible save from Alexander-Arnold’s drive.

However, that did not subdue the mood among the travelling fans as they mockingly chanted for Solskjaer to remain in his job.

AFP

 

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Ecuador’s 200 Metres World Bronze Medallist Shot Dead

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Ecuador’s 200 Metres World Bronze Medallist Shot Dead

Ecuador’s 200 metres world bronze medallist Alex Quinonez was shot dead in the port city of Guayaquil, authorities announced on Saturday.

Quinonez, 32, and another person were found dead close to midnight local time on Friday, according to local police.

“With great sadness, we confirm the murder of our sportsman Alex Quinonez,” the country’s Sports Ministry announced on Twitter.

“We have lost a great sportsman, someone who allowed us to dream, who moved us…he was the greatest sprinter this country produced.”

Quinonez — who was suspended prior to the Tokyo Olympics due to “breach of his whereabouts obligations” — was also hailed by Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso.

“We offer our sincerest condolences to his family,” he tweeted.

“May he rest in peace. Those who take the lives of Ecuadoreans will not remain unpunished.

“We will act with force.”

READ ALSO: Bayern Coach Nagelsmann Tests Positive For Covid-19

Ecuador’s Olympic Committee said the death of Quinonez “leaves us with profound pain” and that his “legacy will forever stay in our hearts”.

Violence has been spiking dramatically in Ecuador in recent months. Between January and October this year, the country registered almost 1,900 homicides, compared to about 1,400 in all of 2020, according to the government.

Lasso on Monday declared a state of emergency in the country grappling with a surge in drug-related violence, and ordered the mobilisation of police and military in the streets.

AFP

 

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Bayern Coach Nagelsmann Tests Positive For Covid-19

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Bayern Coach Nagelsmann Test Positive For Covid-19

Bayern Munich on Thursday confirmed that head coach Julian Nagelsmann has tested positive for Covid-19 – even though he is fully vaccinated.

“Julian Nagelsmann has tested positive for the coronavirus despite being fully vaccinated,” the German giants said in a statement.

“He will return to Munich separately from the team by air ambulance and will isolate at home.”

Nagelsmann missed Wednesday’s 4-0 thrashing of Benfica in Lisbon after  taking  ill and his assistant coaches Dino Toppmoeller and Xaver Zembrod took over duties on the bench.

READ ALSO: LaLiga President Reveals How Players Caused Messi’s Exit From Barcelona

Bayern have not said how long the 34-year-old will be sidelined.

The team has a busy schedule with five games in the next two weeks before the November international break.

Under the current rules in Bavaria, anyone testing positive for Covid must stay in home isolation for a fortnight.

Bayern showed they can win without Nagelsmann with Leroy Sane scoring twice in Lisbon as the Germans opened a five-point gap at the top of Group E.

They are also a point clear at the top of the Bundesliga table before Saturday’s home game against Hoffenheim.

 

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