Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 20th 2015 Contents A61
December 20. 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
FRANKFURT---Bayern Munich will take
a comfortable eight-point lead into the
Bundesliga Christmas break, during which
coach Pep Guardiola is expected to clear
up his future.
Bayern beat Hannover 1-0 yesterday and,
combined with second-place Borussia
Dortmund s 2-1 loss in Cologne, the league
leader and defending champion can be sat-
isfied with what s happening on the field.
Off the field, some German media are
reporting that Guardiola has decided to
leave the Bundesliga powerhouse when his
contract expires at the end of the season.
Bayern and Guardiola have declined to
comment on the reports, saying the deci-
sion will be announced shortly.
"Tomorrow, tomorrow," Guardiola said
Thomas Mueller converted a penalty
close to halftime for Bayern.
Dortmund led Cologne for much of the
game, but conceded two goals in the last
"It was totally unnecessary to lose here,"
Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender said.
In other matches, Bayer Leverkusen won
1-0 in Ingolstadt on Javier "Chicharito"
Hernandez s 19th goal in 22 matches in all
competitions; Eintracht Frankfurt earned
an important 2-1 win over Werder Bremen;
and Augsburg also won on the road, beating
Hamburger SV 1-0.
Daniel Didavi scored twice for Stuttgart
to leave the relegation zone with a 3-1 upset
of Wolfsburg in the late game.
It was looking bad for the home side
when Maximilian Arnold fired Wolfsburg
ahead early, but Didavi answered eight
minutes later, Filip Kostic made it 2-1 nine
minutes after that, and Didavi claimed his
second two minutes after the break as
Stuttgart responded with its best football
of the year.
Stuttgart defender Tonu Sunjic s second
yellow card should have ensured a nervy
finale with 20 minutes to play, but Sebastian
Jung missed on open goal and Max Kruse
another chance for Wolfsburg late on.
In Hannover, Bayern had much of the
possession but looked tired, doing just as
much as it needed to win three points. The
penalty came as Christian Schulz handled
the ball as he attempted a diving clearance
of a low cross by Arturo Vidal.
Leon Andreasen came close for Hannover
earlier, hitting the crossbar with a head-
er.Robert Lewandowski hit the post for
Bayern, and Mueller s followup was kicked
away by goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler.
Dortmund went ahead early in Cologne
when Sokratis Papastathopoulos headed
in a corner.
But Cologne battled back late, after
defending most of the time. Simon Zoller
hit the equaliser and substitute Anthony
Modeste notched the winner near the end.
Leverkusen moved into fourth place
thanks to Chicharito s second-half strike,
a clinical finish of a counterattack guided
by Karim Bellarabi, and his 11th Bundesliga
goal in 14 matches.
"He s scoring at an incredible rate," Lev-
erkusen coach Roger Schmidt said of the
Mexican forward. "He s so cool in front of
Ausgburg s three points in Hamburg
meant a decisive step away from the rel-
egation zone for a team that started the
season struggling but is unbeaten in five
Jan Moravek scored for Augsburg.
In Frankfurt, Eintracht fell behind to a
goal by veteran Claudio Pizarro.
But Alexander Meier headed in the
equaliser from a long cross by Aleksandar
Ignjovski, and Stefan Aigner secured the
win after halftime with a fine lob.
Eintracht swapped places with Bremen,
and was 14th.
"The win came at the right time. Every-
one s relieved," Frankfurt chairman Heribert
Bruchhagen said. (AP)
BOLOGNA---Empoli recorded a fourth successive
Serie A win for the first time as it beat Bologna 3-
2 yesterday in its final match before the winter
Massimo Maccarone headed in the winner three
minutes into the second half.
It was his second goal of the match after making
it 2-1 three minutes before the break, volleying in
Piotr Zielinski s chipped pass. The forward celebrated
in unusual style, racing to the stands to take a sip
from a friend s beer.
In-form striker Mattia Destro leveled on the stroke
of halftime, beating the offside trap to control Adam
Masina s ball over the top.
Franco Brienza leveled from a free kick 12 minutes
after Manuel Pucciarelli s shot was deflected in off
Luca Rossettini for Empoli s opener. (AP)
PARIS---French league leader Paris Saint-Germain
remained undefeated at the halfway point after
beating Caen 3-0 away yesterday.
Angel di Maria, who scored twice, underlined the
good start to his PSG career since joining from Man-
chester United in the offseason. He has nine goals
in all competitions with 10 assists.
His first goal was a crisp finish after Caen failed
to clear a cross from right back Serge Aurier. He
added his second five minutes after the break, clipping
the ball neatly over goalkeeper Remi Vercoutre from
In between, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a spectacular
league-leading 15th goal with a powerful shot from
just outside the penalty area.
PSG has not lost in the league since a 3-2 defeat
away to Bordeaux on March 15, and was under little
threat from the Normandy side.
Caen was awarded a late penalty when captain
Thiago Silva barged into striker Andy Delort, but
PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp dived to his right to
push away Delort s shot.
Heading into the winter break, PSG sits 19 points
clear of Monaco, which was held to a goalless draw
at Troyes, as the bottom club recorded its third suc-
cessive draw despite playing almost the entire match
with 10 men.
Angers can move back into second and cut the
gap to 17 if it wins at Saint-Etienne today.
With 51 points, PSG has the highest total midway
through a season---one more than Lyon s tally in
2006---and PSG s 48 goals is also the highest tally.
PSG s defense has also been strong, with only nine
goals conceded in 19 games, giving coach Laurent
Blanc s side a massive goal difference of plus-39.
Monaco looked certain to win after Troyes went
down a man in the third minute when Mouhamadou
Dabo fouled Helder Costa, with the on-loan Benfica
forward through on goal.
However, Lacina Traore s penalty was too weak
and Paul Bernardoni was able to save it---the first
crucial stop by the Troyes goalkeeper.
Monaco could have had another penalty minutes
later but the referee waved away the visiting side s
protests when Traore was fouled by Thiago.
Troyes could also have had a spot kick when
Stephane Darbion appeared to be fouled by Ricardo
Troyes had chances to snatch victory in the dying
seconds, but has equaled Bastia s record of being
without a win in its first 18 league matches.
Guingamp and Toulouse remained mired in the
relegation zone. Guingamp fell to a fifth consecutive
defeat 2-0 at home to Rennes, with Ousmane Dembele
and Giovanni Sio netting the goals.
Toulouse managed a 1-1 draw against Lille despite
being reduced to 10 men after Tongo Doumbia was
sent off in the 68th following a second booking.
Sofiane Boufal rescued a point for Lille three minutes
from time, atoning for his mistake in the buildup to
Wissam Ben Yedder s opener. (AP)
BARCELONA---Valencia coach Gary
Neville remained winless in his second
Spanish league match after a 2-2 draw
at home against Getafe yesterday.
Getafe s Pablo Sarabia scored from a
free kick early, only for Spain striker
Paco Alcacer to equalise five minutes
later by skillfully stabbing home Joao
Cancelo s cross.
Getafe went back in front through
Angel Lafita, but Valencia substitute
Santi Mina went on for the injured Jose
Gaya and his first touch was to tap in
Alcacer s pass, all in the first half.
Valencia was fortunate not to concede
a late goal to Lafita, who missed a point-
blank opportunity moments before hit-
ting the crossbar in stoppage time.
"In the first half of the game we made
some mistakes. It is a pity, because the
effort has been enormous," Neville said.
"I know that the results will follow."
Neville started as coach with a 2-0
home loss to Lyon in the Champions
League, followed by a 1-1 draw at Eibar
in the league.
The former Manchester United
defender got his first win, 2-0 over third-
tier Barakaldo, in the Copa del Rey on
Also yesterday, Sevilla drew 0-0 at
Real Betis in an ill-tempered Seville derby
that featured 12 yellow cards---seven for
Betis---to just two scoring opportunities,
both by Sevilla s Kevin Gameiro that
were saved by goalkeeper Antonio Adan.
Sevilla remained in seventh place, one
Espanyol striker Felipe Caicedo scored
in the second half to give coach Con-
stantin Galca a 1-0 win over visitors Las
Palmas in his league debut.
Right back Javi Lopez recovered the
ball to start a counterattack that he fin-
ished off by crossing for Caicedo to score.
Galca, a former Espanyol player, won
his first match in charge when Espanyol
eliminated Levante from the Copa del
Rey on Tuesday.
Deportivo La Coruna hosted Eibar late.
Bayern edges Hannover 1-0
amid Guardiola exit speculation
Hannover's Mevluet Erdinc, left, and Bayern's Javi Martinez, right, challenge for the ball
during the German Bundesliga football match in Hannover, Germany, yesterday. Bayern
won 1-0. AP PHOTO
Neville still looking for 1st Liga win with Valencia
Di Maria scores
double in PSG victory
Maccarone celebrates with beer
...as Empoli tops Bologna 3-2
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