Sports

Euro roundup: Real Madrid held by Villarreal, PSG extend winning run

 

• La Liga leaders draw 0-0 at home; PSG ease past Montpellier

• Paolo Maldini’s son Daniel inspires Milan win over Spezia

Real Madrid missed the chance to go five points clear at the top of La Liga as they were held 0-0 by Villarreal at the Bernabéu. It was a frustrating affair for the hosts where clearcut chances were few and far between, with the final ball too often lacking.

Arnaut Danjuma looked most likely to score for the visitors, forcing goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois into a couple of smart stops in each half. Real defender Éder Militão sent a header wide after the break from a Marco Asensio free-kick as the hosts struggled to make a breakthrough.

A combination of Isco and Vinícius Júnior were denied by Villarreal goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli as Unai Emery’s side held on to secure a point.

Atlético Madrid’s Spanish title defence was dealt a blow as they suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at lowly Alavés in La Liga on Saturday.

Centre-back Víctor Laguardia’s fourth-minute header from a Rubén Duarte corner was enough for the hosts to secure their first win of the season as they moved off the foot of the table.

The result left Diego Simeone’s side second on 14 points, three behind leaders Real Madrid, who drew with Villarreal.

“We need to improve and ensure that our games are more consistent, because right now they really aren’t,” Simeone said. “It’s always tough when the opposition closes up shop. We didn’t have the kind of speed or skill needed to undo them.

“The most important thing for us is to improve and grow and I’m confident we’re heading in the right direction with the work we’re doing.”

Paris Saint-Germain put on a solid display to maintain their perfect record in Ligue 1 with Idrissa Gueye’s fine goal inspiring them to a 2-0 home win against Montpellier. Midfielder Gueye fired home from just outside the box and substitute Julian Draxler wrapped it up late to put the capital side on 24 points, 10 ahead of second-placed Marseille who host Lens on Sunday and have two games in hand.

In the absence of Lionel Messi, who missed his second consecutive game to nurse a bruised knee, Ángel Di María started up front for PSG, alongside Kylian Mbappé and Neymar. Keylor Navas was again chosen over Gianluigi Donnarumma to start in goal.

Neymar was lively but was denied twice by Jonas Omlin in the first half. The second half was a less exciting affair with both teams struggling to find the target as Neymar continued to waste chances and Mbappé also lacked sharpness in the area. Di María was replaced with Draxler in the 88th minute and it took him only one minute to find the back of the net after being set up by Neymar.

Nice are third after they got back to winning ways by beating bottom side Saint-Étienne 3-0 away three days after conceding their first defeat of the season. Champions Lille claimed their second consecutive win as Jonathan David’s double gave them a 2-1 victory at Strasbourg.

One of Italian football’s most famous names returned to a Serie A scoresheet as Daniel Maldini netted in a 2-1 win for Milan over Spezia on his first league start for the club.

The 19-year-old followed in the footsteps of his father, Paolo, and grandfather, Cesare, both of whom were Milan greats, by scoring with a 48th-minute header.

Daniele Verde’s heavily deflected strike drew the home side level at the Stadio Alberto Picco, but a late goal from substitute Brahim Diaz restored Milan’s lead.

The win sent the Rossoneri to the top of the table and two points clear of local rivals Internazionale. Simone Inzaghi’s side maintained their unbeaten record in Serie A with an entertaining 2-2 draw against Atalanta that featured late drama as the champions missed a penalty and the visitors had a match-winning goal ruled out.

A sublime Lautaro Martínez volley put Inter in front after five minutes but Atalanta turned the game on its head before the break with goals from Ruslan Malinovskyi and Rafael Tolói.

Edin Dzeko pulled the hosts level after 71 minutes, before Federico Dimarco’s penalty came off the bar with four minutes remaining and Roberto Piccoli’s last-minute strike was disallowed because the ball went out of play in the buildup.

It was a breathless finish to an end-to-end game that featured 40 shots on goal, the most in a Serie A game so far this season, and saw Inter’s run of 18 consecutive home league wins come to an end.

RB Leipzig humiliated Hertha Berlin 6-0 to ease the pressure on their coach, Jesse Marsch, after a difficult start to the season.

Christopher Nkunku chipped the ball over the Hertha goalkeeper in the 16th minute, then set up Yussuf Poulsen for Leipzig’s second. Lukas Klostermann had a goal ruled out before Nordi Mukiele made it 3-0.

There was no let up for Hertha as Emil Forsberg converted a penalty on the hour mark, and Nkunku – who was fouled for the penalty – scored from a free-kick in the 70th minute. Amadou Haidara completed the rout.

Borussia Mönchengladbach stunned 10-man Borussia Dortmund 1-0 as Denis Zakaria’s strike ended their opponents’ three-game winning run.

Dortmund, playing without Marco Reus and Erling Haaland, suffered their second loss of the season, dropping to fourth place on 12 points, four off leaders Bayern Munich.

Zakaria struck in the 37th minute after charging in the box, getting a lucky deflection to keep possession and then slotting in for the lead. Things got worse for Dortmund three minutes later when Mo Dahoud was sent off after picking up a second booking.

*Courtesy: Reuters

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