Author: AFP

Lukaku helps keep perfect Inter top with derby triumph

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Milan (AFP) – Romelu Lukaku fired Inter Milan back top of Serie A with the second goal of a 2-0 derby win that extended their perfect start to the season at the expense of city rivals AC Milan. Belgium striker Lukaku and Marcelo Brozovic’s second half strikes gave Inter their fourth win in as many games, putting them two points ahead of Juventus after the champions’ came back from a goal down beat Verona 2-1 thanks to Aaron Ramsey’s first Serie A goal and a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty. Antonio Conte’s Inter were looking for a boost after their dismal 1-1 ... Read more

Barcelona’s poor start continues with surprise defeat by Granada

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Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona threw on their stars of the present and the future on Saturday but neither Lionel Messi nor Ansu Fati could save them from a dismal 2-0 defeat away at Granada.  Messi was still not deemed fit enough to start at Los Carmenes while Fati, the 16-year-old who has lit up La Liga in recent weeks, also began the game on the bench.  But while both came on at half-time with Barca trailing to Ramon Azeez’s opener, it was Granada that scored again, Alvaro Vadillo converting a penalty after Arturo Vidal was found guilty of a handball.  ... Read more

Dolberg claims first goal as Nice move level with PSG

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Paris (AFP) – Former Ajax striker Kasper Dolberg scored his first goal for billionaire-backed Nice as they moved level on points with Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain with a 2-1 win over Dijon on Saturday. Dolberg, 21, who left the Champions League semi-finalists over the summer, brought his side level after Julio Tavares’ opener for the visitors, who are yet to win this season. African Cup of Nations champion Youcef Atal then scored the second-half winner for Patrick Vieira’s side, who were brought by British petrochemical businessman and owner of Ineos, Jim Ratcliffe in August. “It’s good that he (Dolberg) ... Read more

Dolberg claims first goal as Nice climb to second

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Paris (AFP) – Former Ajax striker Kasper Dolberg scored his first goal for billionaire-backed Nice as they moved level on points with Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain with a 2-1 win over Dijon on Saturday. Dolberg, 21, who left the Champions League semi-finalists over the summer, brought his side level after Julio Tavares’ opener for the visitors, who are yet to win this season. African Cup of Nations champion Youcef Atal then scored the second-half winner for Patrick Vieira’s side, who were brought by British petrochemical businessman and owner of Ineos, Jim Ratcliffe in August. The victory means Nice join ... Read more

Leipzig retain top spot as Coutinho scores first Bayern goal

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Berlin (AFP) – RB Leipzig stayed top of the Bundesliga on Saturday with a 3-0 win at Werder Bremen while Philippe Coutinho  scored his first Bayern Munich goal as the defending champions climbed to second with a 4-0 rout of Cologne. Bayern briefly had topped the table thanks to the win at the Allianz Arena before Leipzig replaced them despite finishing with 10 men in Bremen. A first-half header by defender Willi Orban and a stunning free-kick by playmaker Marcel Sabitzer saw Leipzig go 2-0 up before midfielder Konrad Laimer was sent off for a second yellow card with 26 ... Read more

Marseille see red in Montpellier draw to miss out on top spot

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Paris (AFP) – Marseille failed to move top of Ligue 1 on Saturday after Valere Germain’s second goal in as many games salvaged a 1-1 draw against Montpellier in a fiery encounter that saw three players sent off in a stoppage time bust-up. The match ended in chaos after Boubacar Kamara and Jordan Ferri were shown red cards for their part in a late scuffle before Dimitri Payet was given his marching orders for losing his temper with referee Amaury Delerue after being booked for a trip on Montpellier’s Vitorino Hilton. Andre Villas-Boas’ side could have moved above champions Paris ... Read more

Creativity lacking again as Atletico held by Celta

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Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid missed the chance to return to the top of La Liga on Saturday as they were held to a goalless draw at home to Celta Vigo.  After coming from two goals down to salvage a point against Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday, Atletico failed to sustain the momentum in a match of few chances at the Wanda Metropolitano.  Atletico had capitalised on the stumbling starts of both Barcelona and Real Madrid by winning their opening three league games this season but they are now two without a victory, following last weekend’s shock defeat ... Read more

Coutinho, Lewandowski fire Bayern top with Cologne rout

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Berlin (AFP) – Philippe Coutinho’s first Bayern Munich goal and a brace from Robert Lewandowski helped the German champions climb to second in the Bundesliga with a 4-0 thrashing of 10-man Cologne on Saturday. Poland star striker Lewandowski put Bayern ahead with just 150 seconds gone at the Allianz Arena after Joshua Kimmich split the Cologne defence. He then doubled the hosts’ lead with a header from a corner at the start of the season half to take his league tally to nine in five games. Coutinho, on loan from Barcelona, converted a penalty on the hour at the second ... Read more