Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 13th 2015 Contents A44
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt December 13, 2015
BARCELONA---Barcelona missed a
chance to temporarily increase its Spanish
league lead when it conceded two late
goals and drew with Deportivo La Coruna
2-2 at home yesterday.
Lionel Messi opened the scoring with
a curling free kick before halftime, and set
up Ivan Rakitic s powerful strike from out-
side the area after an hour. Then Deportivo
striker Lucas Perez scored, and set up the
equaliser by Alex Bergantinos after a late
counterattack to shock the crowd at the
The result extended Barcelona s winless
streak to three matches, and gave rivals
Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid---which
play their games on Sunday---precious
chances to make up ground in the 15th
round. Barcelona has a three-point lead
over Atletico Madrid, which plays Athletic
Bilbao. Real Madrid, which plays at fifth-
place Villarreal, was five points behind
Deportivo, unbeaten in six games and
with only one away loss this season, was
"We had everything under control until
the 30-minute mark of the second half,"
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said.
"Deportivo had a brave strategy, and it
worked out for them.
"It isn t the result that we deserved but
it shows that we have to be plugged in for
all 90 minutes."
It was Barcelona s last game before trav-
eling to Japan for the Club World Cup. Its
semifinal will be on Thursday against either
America of Mexico or Guangzhou Ever-
grande of China. Barcelona is chasing its
third club world title after 2009 and 2011.
Enrique decided not to rest his regular
starters, with Neymar being the only
absentee because of a groin injury that is
also likely to keep him sidelined at the
Club World Cup.
Neymar has six of Barcelona s last 14
league goals, and remains the competition
top-scorer with 14.
Barcelona dominated from the start but
had difficulties getting past the Deportivo
defense until Messi broke the deadlock
with a remarkable free kick. Lux stretched
his left arm but could not get close to the
ball as it curled over the wall and into the
The foul happened when Luis Suarez
was brought down just outside the area.
Suarez, who scored in his previous eight
games, had a goal disallowed for offside
in the second half.
Messi set up Rakitic with a quick pass
at the top of the area, but Deportivo found
a way to get back into the game after
Barcelona squandered good chances, espe-
cially through Suarez and substitute Munir
Perez had a goal disallowed because of
offside in the 75th, but two minutes later
he found the net from inside the area after
being left unmarked by the Barcelona
defense. The equalizer came in a fast coun-
terattack after Perez controlled the ball
near midfield and sent a perfect through
ball to Bergantinos, who shot into the far
"We just didn t put away the game,"
Deportivo earned a 2-2 draw at
Barcelona late last season, also after trailing
by two goals and also with a goal by Perez.
The result at the time was crucial to help
the team escape relegation.
"I ll keep having great memories of play-
ing at the Camp Nou," Perez said. "The
reaction of our team after going down 2-
0 today was incredible."
Barcelona was coming off a 1-1 draw at
Valencia in the league last weekend, when
it also conceded a late equalizer. It also
drew with Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 in Ger-
many in its final group-stage game in the
Champions League on Wednesday.
Barcelona had already secured first place
in the group, and Enrique rested some of
the regular starters, including Suarez.
Elsewhere, Iago Aspas scored as Celta
Vigo remained in fourth place after beating
Sevilla forward Kevin Gameiro scored
twice in the final 15 minutes to secure a
2-0 victory over Sporting Gijon, and Adal-
berto Penaranda scored his first two goals
for Granada in a 2-1 win at last-place Lev-
MILAN---Mauro Icardi hit back at his critics with
two goals as Inter Milan moved provisionally four
points clear in the Serie A by comfortably beating
Udinese 4-0 yesterday.
The Inter captain and Stevan Jovetic both took
advantage of howlers in the Udinese defense to put
Inter 2-0 up at halftime.
Icardi, the league s joint top goalscorer last season
and criticized this season for lack of form, doubled
his tally late on before Marcelo Brozovic added to
Udinese s embarrassment with a stunning strike.
"Scoring is his (Icardi s) job," Inter coach Roberto
"We were never worried about him, because at
the end he will score goals. It s normal that forwards
go through dry spells, but tonight he played very
well, as did Jovetic: They re beginning to understand
each other and that s a good sign."
Inter moved four points clear of Fiorentina, which
visits Juventus on Sunday. Third-place Napoli hosts
Roma the same day, with four of the top five sides
playing each other.
Earlier, Bologna continued its resurgence under
former Italy coach Roberto Donadoni as it snatched
a 1-0 win at fellow relegation struggler Genoa.
Sassuolo s match against Torino was postponed
because of fog.
Bologna, which has picked up 13 points in six
matches under Donadoni, moved five points clear
of the relegation zone.
Genoa has lost three successive matches and fell
to 17th spot, two points off the bottom three, after
it was leapfrogged by Palermo following the Sicilian
side s 4-1 win over 18th-place Frosinone.
Udinese had early chances before gifting Inter
the lead in the 23rd minute.
Icardi intercepted a woeful Bruno Fernandes
backpass and rounded Maurizio Domizzi before
racing through one-on-one and slotting past Udi-
nese goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis.
Udinese could have leveled before Domizzi gave
away the ball to Jovetic, who sprinted forward and
placed a cheeky chip over Karnezis.
Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic continued
to preserve his side s lead, and there was worse to
come from Udinese seven minutes from time as
Francesco Lodi s awful backpass sent Icardi clear
to score his second.
Brozovic capped a great result for Inter three
minutes later, curling a magnificent effort into the
far top right corner from the edge of the penalty
In Genoa, visiting goalkeeper Antonio Mirante
made key saves and Luca Rossettini headed in a
corner to claim the winner deep in stoppage time
as the home side was made to pay for its profligacy
Genoa substitute Diego Perotti was sent off 10
minutes from time for elbowing Amadou Diawara.
It was Genoa s eighth red card in 16 matches.
Diawara also got a red card for comments to the
referee after Bologna scored.
Edoardo Goldaniga and Franco Vazquez fired
Palermo 2-0 up within the opening 17 minutes,
which also saw the home side hit the woodwork
Paolo Sammarco got Frosinone back into the
game shortly after, but Aleksandar Trajkovski netted
his first Serie A goal on the hour to restore Palermo s
two-goal advantage and Alberto Gilardino headed
in the fourth from a rebound late on.
It could have been worse for Frosinone as defender
Leonardo Blanchard was shown a second yellow
and a red card just before halftime but the referee
discussed it with his assistant and changed his
mind, deciding that the foul was from teammate
Mirko Gori on Uros Djurdjevic, who then fell on
It was a first win for Palermo coach Davide Bal-
lardini since he replaced Giuseppe Iachini a month
PARIS---Lille continued its
recovery under new coach
Frederic Antonetti with a
third consecutive win in the
French league yesterday,
beating Lorient 3-0.
Eric Bautheac scored
twice---his first goals this sea-
son---in a victory that lifted
the northern club to 11th
place in the standings.
Djibril Sidibe completed
the win with a late goal.
Lille hired Antonetti last
month as a replacement for
former Ivory Coast manager
Herve Renard, who was
sacked following a poor run.
Bautheac headed home the
opener with his first goal
since joining from Nice this
He doubled his team s lead
in the second half from close
range after Lorient goalkeeper
Benjamin Lecomte failed to
properly clear a cross from
Runaway leader Paris
Saint-Germain hosts Lyon
today, while second-place
Angers welcomes Bordeaux.
Also, Diego Rigonato
scored a second-half equalis-
er from the penalty spot as
Reims extended its unbeaten
run to four matches with a
1-1 draw at home against
Nice, and forward Casimir
Ninga scored his fifth goal in
four matches for Montpellier
in a 2-1 win over Guingamp.
In a crucial match in the
fight against relegation, last-
place Troyes again failed to
secure a first win this season,
drawing 1-1 with 17th-place
Emiliano Sala s second goal
in as many games helped
Nantes draw 1-1 against
Barcelona gives up late lead Leader Inter moves
four points clear
Deportivo's Sidnei Da Silva, left, fights for the ball against Barcelona's Luis Suarez during a
Spanish La Liga football match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, yesterday.
The match ended tied 2-2. AP PHOTO
...draws 2-2 with Deportivo
Lille whips Lorient 3-0
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