Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 25th 2014 Contents A49
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
GRANADA---Granada squandered an
excellent chance to break its winless streak
when it was held 0-0 by 10-man Almeria
at home in the Spanish league yesterday.
The match pitted two of the worst teams
in the league, and both sides scoring woes
only deepened through a drab contest that
ended with a showering of boos from Grana-
da s supporters.
Granada controlled possession throughout
but faded down the stretch against an Alme-
ria side that couldn t muster a shot on goal
and played with 10 men from the 53rd
minute after midfielder Ramon Azeez earned
his second booking.
Granada coach Joaquin Caparros quickly
sent on an extra forward in Jhon Cordoba,
but the hosts went no closer than his header
by the post in the 62nd.
Almeria remained winless in six games,
but inched out of the relegation zone to rest
level on points with two teams.
Granada s winless streak reached eight
games. It remained one point above Almeria
and the lowest-scoring team in the league
with six goals in 12 rounds.
Granada hasn t scored at its Los Carmenes
Stadium since its home opener, a run of
Its frustrated fans jeered the team after
the final whistle.
"It s normal (they jeer), they pay to see
us, but we let the points get away again,"
said Granada midfielder Francisco "Piti"
Medina. "I don t think this is our low point.
We are trying as hard as we can. The goals
just aren t going in."
Granada also lost defender Jeison Murillo,
who had to been carried off after a collision
with another player, and forward Ruben
Rochina appeared to have hurt a leg muscle
in the final minutes.
Real Madrid leads the league by two points
over Barcelona, with defending champion
Atletico Madrid four points adrift. (AP)
GENOA---Genoa s bid for a Champions
League spot was hindered as it was held
to a 1-1 draw against Palermo in Serie A
Paulo Dybala scored a stunning opener,
skipping down the right flank before cutting
inside the box and evading Nicolas Burdisso
to curl a shot into the top far corner and
get Palermo off to the perfect start in the
Alessandro Matri had an equalizer ruled
out as the ball was judged to have gone out
of play in the build-up, but Genoa did level
on the half hour when a defensive header
came out to Andrea Bertolacci, who drilled
the ball into the bottom left corner.
Palermo almost restored its advantage
shortly before the hour mark as Franco
Vazquez s fierce strike crashed off the left
post, with Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin
Genoa also wasted a good opportunity
when Luca Antonelli drew goalkeeper Ste-
fano Sorrentino before crossing to an
unmarked Mauricio Pinilla, who headed
over the bar from three yards out.
Pinilla appealed for a penalty deep in
stoppage time as he felt he had been brought
down by Ezequiel Munoz in the box as a
cross was floated in.
Genoa---which is emerging as a surprise
potential contender for a top-three finish---
stretched its unbeaten run to seven but
remained fifth, two points behind third-
Palermo was level with 12th placed Hellas
PARIS---After becoming the Spanish league's all-
time leading scorer over the weekend, Lionel Messi
is chasing another milestone in the Champions
The Argentina forward is even with Raul Gonza-
lez's all-time record of 71 Champions League goals,
and he could better that today when Barcelona trav-
els to Cypriot club APOEL today in Group F.
"He doesn't stop breaking records," Barcelona de-
fender Jordi Alba said. "It's a privilege to have Messi
as a teammate."
Barcelona has already qualified for the second
round while APOEL is last in the group and looking
for its first win.
Also, unbeaten leader Paris Saint-Germain hosts
Ajax, with the Dutch side now aiming for a third-
place finish and a place in the Europa League.
Here are some things to know ahead of today's
Barcelona overlooked Luis Suarez's checkered
past and his most recent biting ban when it signed
him for his scoring prowess. But the Premier
League's top scorer last season has so far only ex-
celled at helping others to score and is still looking
for his first goal for Barcelona.
Suarez has assisted on four goals in five appear-
ances, and the Uruguay forward will surely be eager
to finally get his debut goal against APOEL.
That is unless coach Luis Enrique decides to rest
him and some other first-choice starters with
Barcelona facing four matches in a 16-day span.
Barcelona has a tough visit to Valencia in the
Spanish league looming on Sunday. It then starts its
Copa del Rey campaign next week before hosting
Espanyol in a city derby. And after that, PSG arrives
on Dec. 10 for a match that could decide which team
claims top spot in the group and more favorable
seeding going into the second round.
"We need to go forward game by game,"
Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets said. "We play
in the Champions League first and have to take it
step by step. We must make a big effort to win
Although only the most dedicated fans would con-
sider betting on Ajax's chances of beating PSG, the
French champions' injury worries might give a slight
chance to the Dutch side.
Midfielders Yohan Cabaye and Thiago Motta were
replaced during PSG's 3-2 win over Metz in the
French league because of calf problems, while David
Luiz, Lucas and Marco Verratti were not fit enough
"This is what happens to clubs who have a lot of
international players. You need to be able to deal
with it," PSG coach Laurent Blanc said.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic started for the first time in two
months against Metz following a heel injury, but the
former Ajax striker---who has not scored for PSG
since a hat trick at the end of August---said he needs
some more time to play at his best again.
Ajax, which has scored four goals in four of its last
five games, will be without the suspended Joel Velt-
man, who has been replaced by Stefano Denswil in
LOOKING FOR GOALS
A goalless draw against second-place Apollon Li-
massol helped APOEL remain at the top of the
Cypriot championship this weekend. But APOEL has
now gone 275 minutes without a goal, the team's
longest goal drought since February 2012. (AP)
CSKA Moscow vs
Manchester City vs
APOEL Nicosia vs
Paris Saint Germain vs
Schalke 04 vs Chelsea
Sporting CP vs
BATE Borisov vs Porto
Shakhtar Donetsk vs
Lionel Messi chasing
new record at APOEL
Granada held 0-0 by 10-man Almeria in Spain
Genoa held 1-1 at home to Palermo
Nathaniel Clyne rescued a point for
Southampton as they were held to a 1-1
draw at Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier
Fraser Forster s clanger had gifted Gabby
Agbonlahor the opener with the Saints rarely
at their fluid best.
They dominated possession but failed to
regularly test goalkeeper Brad Guzan while
Villa were left to rue Andi Weimann s glaring
miss at 1-0.
The point did at least lift Villa, who are
without a win in eight games, up to 16th in
the Barclays Premier League while
Southampton stay second.
The draw marked Paul Lambert s 100th
game in charge of Villa and he recalled Ciaran
Clark and Jores Okore - Villa s only two fit
centre-backs - with Okore making his first
appearance since suffering a serious knee
injury in September 2013.
Alan Hutton was back after an ankle prob-
lem while Shane Long replaced the injured
Steven Davis, out with a hamstring issue, in
the Saints only change.
A subdued Villa Park was rarely woken
from its slumber in the opening 20 minutes,
aside from seeing Victor Wanyama sweep
over from 18-yards and Clark producing a
fine tackle to halt Long.
Villa were reliant on Agbonlahor s pace,
which worried Southampton, and the forward
earned a free kick after being tripped by Jose
Fonte but Ashley Westwood wasted the
But the striker s efforts paid off on 29
minutes when Villa opened the scoring.
Lambert had joked he hoped his one-time
Norwich loanee Forster would have a night-
mare and the keeper obliged with a gift for
Clark s long clearance should have been
easily dealt with but Forster rushed out with
Fonte struggling - only for Agbonlahor to
beat him to the ball and fire into the empty
It came against the run of play but, tails
up, Villa had breached the Southampton
backline for the first time in seven-and-a-
At the other end, the Saints were yet to
seriously test Guzan until he tipped Sadio
Mane s curling effort around the post on 37
Fonte then headed straight at the American
as the visitors threatened to get out of second
gear before the break.
They were almost 2-0 behind two minutes
into the second half, though, when Ryan
Bertrand hacked Charles N Zogbia s goal-
bound effort away.
Villa Park remained muted a combination
of nerves and dimmed enthusiasm.
In their last home game Villa conceded
twice in the final 10 minutes to lose 2-1 to
Tottenham and nerves were justified.
But Southampton s decision-making
remained poor, their final ball loose as Villa
continued to deny them.
Both goalkeepers remained untroubled,
even when Fonte s cross flashed across the
Villa box with Graziano Pelle lurking.
Weimann then wasted a golden chance to
make the game safe with 12 minutes left
when he broke from Southampton s corner.
The Austrian found Agbonlahor and when
he received the return pass, could only blaze
over from 12 yards.
And Villa paid the price when the Saints
levelled with nine minutes remaining. (AP)
Clyne strikes to deny Villa
Agbonlahor clashes with
Nathaniel Clyne, left,
during the English
Premier League football
match between Aston
Villa and Southampton
at Villa Park,
yesterday. The match
ended tied 1-1. AP PHOTO
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