Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 29th 2016 Contents Messi helps Barcelona
equal unbeaten record
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scored with an unstoppable free
kick to help Barcelona come from
behind to beat Sevilla 2-1 yester-
day, a record-equaling 34th game
without loss that kept the cham-
pions on track to retain their
Spanish league title.
Sevilla s Victor "Vitolo" Machin
struck first for the visitors in the
20th minute, but Messi curled
home his free kick 11 minutes later
before Gerard Pique put Barcelona
ahead just after halftime.
Barcelona s 10th consecutive
Liga win maintained its eight-point
lead over second-place Atletico
Madrid. Third-place Real Madrid,
which lost 1-0 to Atletico on Sat-
urday, fell 12 points behind the
pacesetters with 12 rounds to go.
Barcelona equaled Madrid s
record unbeaten streak in all com-
petitions from 1988-89.
Barcelona s last loss in any com-
petition was at Sevilla on Oct. 3.
"We are playing well, but records
are worth nothing. The only thing
that matters are titles," Pique said.
"We turned this around, and that
is how you win leagues."
Sevilla, which remained dan-
gerous until the final whistle,
slipped down to sixth place. Unai
Emery s team will have the oppor-
tunity to avenge the defeat when
they meet Barcelona in the Copa
del Rey final on May 22.
"Every time we have played
them this year, we have caused
them trouble," Vitolo said. "I think
this game is a good reference (for
the cup final)."
Elsewhere yesterday, Villarreal
eased to a 3-0 win over 10-man
Levante to cement its hold on
fourth place and Spain s last
Champions League berth, while
Athletic Bilbao won 3-0 at Valencia
in a preview of their Europa League
Granada eked out a 1-0 win at
Deportivo La Coruna in the debut
of coach Jose Gonzalez to escape
last place and push Levante to the
While Sevilla made no attempt
to hide its intent to defend and
counterattack, Barcelona mustered
the first scoring chances with two
strikes that hit the woodwork in
the 13th minute.
Messi was first, sending a corner
kick toward the near post that
defender Coke Andujar was lucky
to head onto the upright and not
into his own net. The rebound then
fell to Luis Suarez near the edge
of the box, where he blasted it off
Having dodged Barcelona first
shots, Sevilla stunned the Camp
Nou crowd with a finely executed
move that started from an appar-
ently harmless throw-in.
Benoit Tremoulinas put the ball
in play, weaved together two passes
with teammates, and found himself
unmarked on the left flank. His
cross was then volleyed beyond
goalkeeper Claudio Bravo by Vito-
lo.Sevilla held firm at the back,
until all its discipline in defense
was undone by Messi after Suarez
earned a dangerous free kick on
the edge of the area.
ROME---A defensive error helped
Juventus to a 2-0 win over Inter
Milan in Serie A yesterday, provi-
sionally stretching the four-time
defending champion s lead over
Napoli to four points.
Juventus went ahead shortly after
halftime following a free kick from
Paulo Dybala on the right flank. Inter
defender Danilo D Ambrosio did a
poor job of heading away Dybala s
kick and Leonardo Bonucci redi-
rected it in by the near post.
Alvaro Morata added a penalty in
the final minutes.
Napoli visits fourth-place
Inter remained fifth, one point
ahead of city rival AC Milan.
In a matchup known as "Italy s
derby," Juventus controlled from the
start and Hernanes rattled the cross-
bar with a long-distance effort five
A few minutes later, Juventus for-
ward Mario Mandzukic had a great
chance but fired wide.
Inter produced only two shots in
the first half, neither of them dan-
gerous, as Juventus goalkeeper Gian-
luigi Buffon collected an eighth con-
secutive clean sheet.
The match was put out of Inter s
reach when defender Miranda made
contact with Morata, drawing the
Buffon s toughest work came in
added time, when he did well to
react to a quick shot from Eder inside
The teams meet again Wednesday
when Juventus takes a 3-0 lead into
its return-leg visit to Inter in the
Italian Cup semifinals.
Earlier, Sampdoria beat visiting
Frosinone 2-0 for a key victory in
the battle to avoid relegation.
Brazilian midfielder Fernando put
Sampdoria ahead just before the
break and veteran Fabio Quagliarella
scored midway through the second
While Frosinone remained in the
drop zone, Sampdoria moved five
points clear with 11 rounds remain-
Also, it was: Palermo 0, Bologna
0; Carpi 1, Atalanta 1; Chievo Verona
1, Genoa 0; and Udinese 2, Chievo
PARIS---Paris Saint-Germain s
long unbeaten run finally came
to an end yesterday as it lost 2-
1 at Lyon, the runaway league
leader s first loss in domestic
competition for almost a year.
Lyon s goals came in the first
half from teenage forward Maxwel
Cornet and Spanish midfielder
Sergi Darder, while Brazilian
winger Lucas replied for PSG.
The win moved Lyon up to third
place on goal difference ahead of
Caen, while PSG s lead over sec-
ond-place Monaco is still a mas-
sive 23 points with 10 games
It was only PSG s second defeat
in 42 games this season---the other
was a 1-0 reverse away to Real
Madrid in the Champions League
on Nov 3---and the first domestic
loss since a 3-2 reverse at Bordeaux
in the French league on March 15.
Cash-rich, Qatari-backed PSG
came into this match brimming
with confidence and on the back
of an unbeaten 46-game run in
But Lyon took the game to PSG
from the outset, playing at a fre-
netic pace and struck first in the
The 19-year-old Cornet did
brilliantly to take down a high ball
on the left, cut inside and curl an
unstoppable shot past goalkeeper
Kevin Trapp, who then made a
late reaction save to keep out
Darder s shot moments later.
PSG midfielder Thiago Motta
was lucky not to be sent off mid-
way through the first half for
clearly slamming his forearm into
the side of Ferri s head, but he
escaped with a yellow card after
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, captain Thiago
Silva and striker Edinson Cavani
surrounded referee Lionel Jaffre-
do.Silva was left sliding into thin
air after midfielder Rachid Ghezzal
turned him inside out brilliantly
moments later, only to shoot wide,
and a lackluster PSG did not prop-
erly test Lyon goalie Anthony
Lopes until Silva s header in the
PSG s defense was then undone
in sublime fashion by Darder with
just seconds to go until halftime.
The 22-year-old Spaniard cush-
ioned a high pass on the inside of
his foot and span around his
marker in one swift and smooth
movement before planting the ball
past a helpless Trapp for a goal
that Ibrahimovic would have been
lead to four points
match at the
PSG's long unbeaten run ends
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