Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 2nd 2014 Contents A61
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
PARIS---Two-time defending cham-
pion Paris Saint-Germain will look to
Zlatan Ibrahimovic to make an impact
again in tomorrow s trip to play Lille.
The imposing Sweden striker has
scored in his past two games as he
regains his form following a heel injury
which kept him out of action for nearly
League leader Marseille, which is one
point ahead of PSG, needs top scorer
Andre-Pierre Gignac to find his touch
again in today s match at Lorient. Gignac
has scored 11 league goals this season,
but only one in his past seven games for
club and country.
Here are some things to know about
this week s French league games:
Although Paris Saint-Germain is
unbeaten in 21 matches this season, frus-
tration is increasing that Laurent Blanc s
star-studded team fails to produce the
spectacular football craved for by fans.
Saturday s listless 1-0 win at home
to mid-table Nice was another dour per-
formance with a meager two shots on
target from a PSG side featuring Zlatan
Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani in
attack. Fans expect more in the next few
First up is a trip to Lille on Wednesday,
followed by a home game against Nantes,
before PSG travels to Barcelona for a
table-topping Champions League group
game four days later.
"We need this Barcelona game to
gauge our true level," PSG midfielder
Javier Pastore told beIN sport television
on Sunday. "To see if we re really at the
top level or not..."
Marseille will pay close attention to
former striker Jordan Ayew when it trav-
els to take on Lorient today.
Ayew has scored three goals and set
up four in 12 games since joining from
The 23-year-old Ghana forward has
been directly involved in five of Lorient s
last six goals, scoring one and creating
two in Saturday s 3-2 win at Toulouse.
Despite an encouraging start to his
Lorient career, he was jeered by Lorient s
fans during a 1-0 home win against Lens
a previous earlier.
"Look at my stats and then we ll talk,"
Ayew was quoted saying yesterday. "Peo-
ple can say whatever they like, but I ve
been involved in all of Lorient s goals
for a while now. So there..."
Ayew scored 14 league goals in 111
league games for Marseille where he
often played as a winger.
Denmark midfielder Daniel Wass is
again leading Evian s bid to avoid rel-
The 25-year-old Wass scored with a
free kick from nearly 30 meters out in
Sunday s 2-0 home win against
Guingamp, taking his league tally to six
goals in 13 league games.
Last season, Evian finished four points
above the relegation zone, with Wass
contributing nine league goals.
This term, his scoring return is frac-
tionally less impressive than that of PSG
striker Edinson Cavani, who cost a club
record €64 million ($80 million ).
In total, Wass has played only 29 min-
utes longer than Cavani.
"(Next season) he ll be free to display
his talents elsewhere," said Evian coach
Pascal Dupraz. "I invite the big clubs to
take a look at him."
Lyon s nine-game unbeaten run ended
with a 3-0 loss at Saint-Etienne Sunday
and coach Hubert Fournier has chal-
lenged his players to respond against
Reims on Thursday.
Third-place Lyon was inferior in every
department as Saint-Etienne beat its
fierce local rival at home for the first
time in 20 years.
"I m thinking about our fans and we re
sad to have played so badly," Fournier
said. "It was a collective failure for which
myself and the technical staff accept our
share of the blame."
Fournier thinks the players may have
"We need to show some character and
a good dose of humility," he said. "We ll
see on Thursday."
Lille is 10 matches without a win and
has won only once in 14---hardly encour-
aging before facing defending champion
Paris Saint-Germain tomorrow.
The goals have almost completely
dried up for coach Rene Girard s hard-
working, yet unspectacular side, with
only six scored in the past 14 matches.
Salomon Kalou has not been properly
replaced since leaving to join Hertha
Berlin in the offseason.
Divock Origi, who is on loan from
Liverpool, has managed three league
goals so far, while strike partner Nolan
Roux has just one.
Kalou scored 30 league goals in 67
games in two seasons with Lille. (AP)
ROME---Ten-man Napoli salvaged a 1-
1 draw at Sampdoria with an injury-
time equaliser yesterday in a key contest
for third place and Serie A s final Cham-
pions League berth.
Napoli moved into third, level on points
with Genoa, and one point ahead of Sam-
pdoria in fifth.
Colombian forward Duvan Zapata
scored two minutes into added time after
Brazilian forward Eder had given Sam-
pdoria the lead in the 58th.
Eder scored with a low shot from
beyond area through a crowd of defenders
inside the near post.
Zapata crouched down to head in after
teammate Gonzalo Higuain distracted the
defense by leaping for a header---but miss-
ing the ball completely.
In the 85th, Napoli defender Kalidou
Koulibaly picked up his second yellow for
tripping Eder, who had already dribbled
by another defender.
"We put on a great performance and
we were completely superior," said Sam-
pdoria president Massimo Ferrero, who
was chewing on his club scarf in anguish
after Napoli s goal. "We deserved three
points. But that s football. I m going home
with a near heart attack."
Sampdoria has also drawn with AC
Milan and Roma this season, and clearly
has designs on a spot in Europe.
Ferrero deflected reports that former
Italy forward Antonio Cassano could join
Sampdoria in the January transfer window.
"I wish him very well but you ll have
to ask him," Ferrero said. (AP)
Kakuta gives Rayo 1-0
win at Almeria in Spain
ALMERIA---Gael Kakuta scored with four minutes to play
to give Rayo Vallecano a 1-0 win at Almeria in the Spanish
The forward, who is on loan from Chelsea, used one touch
to volley home Alberto Bueno s well-placed cross after
Manucho had headed the ball forward to start the decisive
Almeria created several scoring chances in the first half,
only to squander them all.
Jonathan Zongo fired high in the 21st before goalkeeper
Cristian Alvarez stretched to save Tomer Hemed s strike
and make amends for his errant pass that led to Almeria s
best opportunity to score.
Rayo s second straight win lifted it into 10th place.
Almeria remained winless at home this season and on
the brink of the relegation zone.
"It s obvious that we let too many chances get away, and
we ended up paying the price," said Almeria midfield Fernando
Soriano. "But if we have to lose, let us lose this way. We
showed desire and courage and this is the way forward."
Real Madrid tops the table after 13 rounds. Barcelona is
two points adrift with defending champion Atletico Madrid
trailing the pacesetter by four.
The league will resume next weekend after the midweek
slate of Copa del Rey matches. (AP)
Gerrard given time to consider
new Liverpool deal
LIVERPOOL---Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says
Steven Gerrard can take his time to consider a new contract
on offer from the club.
The 34-year-old captain s current deal expires at the end
of the season.
An extension offer has been made, but Gerrard is yet to
The former England captain joined Liverpool s academy
when he was eight. Rodgers says the midfielder "deserves
the utmost respect and time to consider" the contract offer.
Rodgers added that "it is a big move not just in his life,
but in terms of committing where his next contract is going
Gerrard has won the Champions League, FA Cup and
League Cup with Liverpool, but has never won the Premier
League since making his first team debut in 1998. (AP)
MILAN---Emirates airline celebrated the renewal of its
shirt sponsorship of AC Milan for five more seasons yes-
terday in a deal reportedly worth 85 million euros (more
than US$100 million).
With bonuses, the agreement could be worth 100 million
euros ($125 million), according to the ANSA news agency,
a 40 percent increase on the previous deal.
"It s a double celebration for Emirates as we deepen our
relationship with this great city, heralding two iconic
moments," said Emirates president Tim Clark at a news
"The renewal of our AC Milan sponsorship and intro-
duction of our dedicated A380 service to Milan this evening."
The previous deal, which was worth 11.7 million euros
(US$14.6 million) per season, plus bonuses, was due to
expire next year.
Milan s press office would not confirm details of the deal,
which lasts through the 2019-20 season.
But it s clearly a much-needed cash boost for Milan,
which finished eighth in Serie A last season and failed to
qualify for Europe.
"It will be a big help for the next transfer campaigns and
for the future of Milan," said club vice president Barbara
Berlusconi. "We want to return to the Champions League
as soon as possible."
Berlusconi spoke of Milan s interest in building a new
club-owned stadium in the Rho area in the city outskirts
to host the Expo Milan world fair from May to October in
Milan currently shares the city-run San Siro stadium with
Inter Milan. (AP)
Emirates renews expensive
shirt deal with AC Milan
10-man Napoli salvages a 1-1 draw at Sampdoria
PSG looks for better form
despite unbeaten run
Napoli forward Gonzalo Gerardo Higuain, left, and Sampdoria defender Alessio
Romagnoli fight for the ball during a Serie A football match between Sampdoria and
Napoli in Genoa, Italy, yesterday. The match ended 1-1. AP Photo
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