Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 25th 2016 Contents A52
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, April 25, 2016
and Getafe both conced-
ed late goals in disap-
pointing draws at home
yesterday that hurt their
chances of avoiding rel-
egation from the Spanish
Levante couldn t stop
Athletic Bilbao from scor-
ing twice in the final min-
utes to finish 2-2 and
remains at the bottom of
the standings with only
three rounds remaining.
Getafe stayed immedi-
ately above Levante after
seeing its fightback frus-
trated when Valencia
scored for a 2-2 stalemate.
Villarreal, Liverpool s
opponent in the Europa
League semifinals on
Thursday, drew 0-0 with
Real Sociedad in a lack-
luster home match as it
stayed in fourth place.
"One more point. Now
we can think about Liv-
erpool, a game to enjoy
and one our fans have
been looking forward to,"
Villarreal goalkeeper Ser-
gio Asenjo said.
Sevilla beat Real Betis
2-0 in a derby for its first
win in six rounds to warm
up for its Europa League
semifinal against Shakhtar
Donetsk, also on Thurs-
Levante was set to pro-
visionally escape last place
after going 2-0 up at Ciu-
tat de Valencia Stadium
with a goal by Victor
Casadesus and an own
goal by Xabier Etxeita. But
Inaki Williams set up
strikes for Markel Susaeta
in the 88th and Mikel San
Jose in stoppage time to
ensure the hosts stayed
at the foot of the table.
PARIS---Marseille s miserable
home form continued yesterday
as it was held 1-1 by mid-table
Nantes, while Monaco is level with
Lyon in their fight for second place
after drawing 1-1 at Rennes.
Marseille is in 16th place and just
five points clear of the relegation
zone. Monaco and Lyon are battling
it out for an automatic place in next
season s Champions League.
Monaco led through midfielder
Helder Costa s early goal, but Ivory
Coast striker Giovanni Sio leveled
10 minutes from time, sparking a
frantic finale where Monaco right
back Fabinho missed a good chance
in injury time.
Lyon, which is second, holds the
advantage as it has a much better
goal difference and hosts Monaco
in the penultimate round of games.
Marseille is the only French club
to have won the Champions League,
in 1993, but can only qualify for
the Europa League by beating Paris
Saint-Germain in the French Cup
final on May 21.
That looks a long shot, consid-
ering that French champion PSG is
27 points clear at the top---with a
game in hand---and sits a staggering
45 points ahead of bitter rival Mar-
Marseille has not won at home
since beating Bastia on September
13---a run of 15 games in the French
league. On Sunday, it fell behind in
the 31st minute following a mix-up
in defense that led to center half
Nicolas N Koulou s own goal.
Winger Florian Thauvin equalized
in the 49th, but Marseille s hopes
of an elusive home win were hit
when midfielder Alaixys Romao was
shown a straight red card in the
"We were on top and we con-
ceded a goal we shouldn t have,"
Thauvin said. "There is obviously
a lack of confidence, since we
haven t won at home for so long."
Elsewhere, striker Nolan Roux
scored twice as Saint-Etienne beat
Lorient 2-0 to climb to fifth place
and behind fourth-place Nice on
Marseille has been in turmoil for
several months and Spanish coach
Michel was fired on Tuesday. Fans
stayed away in their droves and
those that were there jeered the
players off at halftime.
Soon after Marseille striker Michy
Batshuayi hit the post, rather than
passing to the unmarked Thauvin
next to him, Nantes took the lead.
As a cross came from the left,
N Koulou and goalkeeper Steve
Mandanda both went for it. N K-
oulou then ducked, only for the ball
to bounce off his back, loop over
Mandanda and into the net.
It was the kind of calamitous goal
that summed up Marseille s abject
Thauvin equalised with his sec-
ond goal of the week, having
grabbed the winner on Wednesday
against Sochaux in the French Cup
But Marseille was soon down to
10 men after Romao was shown a
straight red for kicking out at striker
After the match, Nantes coach
Michel Der Zakarian said he will
leave the club at the end of the sea-
son when his contract expires.
In other matches, Montpellier
moved up to 11th after routing last-
place Troyes 4-1---despite playing
with 10 men after defender Vitorino
Hilton was sent off in the 40th---
while Gazelec Ajaccio moved out
of the relegation zone after beating
Corsican rival Bastia 3-2. Also, both
sides finished with 10 men as
Guingamp drew 1-1 with Caen.
On Saturday, PSG beat Lille 2-1
to win the League Cup for a third
straight year and remain on course
to defend its domestic treble, with
only struggling Marseille standing
in its way.
Juventus' forward Alvaro Morata, centre, celebrates
after he scored during a Serie A football match at the
Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence, Italy yesterday.
Juventus won 2-1.
ROME---Gianluigi Buffon saved a late
penalty and Juventus took a big step
toward a fifth consecutive Serie A title
with a 2-1 win at Fiorentina yester-
If Napoli fails to win at Roma today,
Juventus will have sealed the Italian
league championship with three match-
es to spare.
Substitute Alvaro Morata scored the
winner, seconds after Nikola Kalinic
had equalised for Fiorentina late in the
second half. Buffon then stopped Kalin-
ic s spot kick in the 90th.
Mario Mandzukic had put Juve ahead
with a volley in the first half after being
set up by Sami Khedira and Paul Pogba.
Mandzukic has scored in four of
Juve s last five matches, while Pogba
has provided the assist for six of the
Bianconeri s last 13 goals in the league.
Morata s winner came on a rebound
after Milan Badelj cleared off the line.
Kalinic earned a penalty for a debat-
able foul by Juan Cuadrado and had
his poor spot kick blocked by Buffon,
who at 38 is having one of his best sea-
sons. In a frenetic finish, Kalinic hit
the crossbar with a header from close
range in stoppage time.
In the first half, Fiorentina protested
over a goal that was ruled out for off-
side, with replays showing that Federico
Bernardeschi was onside when he put
the ball in the net.
Juventus moved 12 points clear of
Napoli, while Fiorentina remained fifth.
Earlier, Palermo won 2-0 at Frosinone
to boost its chances of avoiding rele-
gation in a turbulent season featuring
nine coaching changes.
Alberto Gilardino put Palermo ahead
with a header early in the second half
and Macedonia international Aleksandar
Trajkovski sealed the result in stoppage
time with a solo counterattack.
In 18th place, Palermo is level with
17th-place Carpi on points ahead of
Carpi s match against Empoli on Mon-
day. Palermo hadn t won in exactly
three months, since a 4-1 victory over
Udinese on Jan. 24.
"We showed that we re still alive,"
said Gilardino, a member of the Italy
squad that won the World Cup a decade
ago. "Now we ve got three finals to
Davide Ballardini was rehired earlier
this month for his second stint in charge
of Palermo this season.
Counting caretakers, Palermo has
had seven different coaches this season:
Giuseppe Iachini (twice), Ballardini
(twice), Fabio Viviani, Guillermo Sch-
elotto, Giovanni Bosi, Giovanni Tedesco
and Walter Novellino.
Palermo president Maurizio Zam-
parini has made almost 60 coaching
changes in 29 years as a club owner,
first at Venezia and then at Palermo.
Frosinone is 19th, two points behind
Carpi and Palermo---with the bottom
three in the 20-team league to be rel-
Last-place Hellas Verona is 10 points
from safety ahead of its match against
AC Milan on Monday.
Three rounds remain.
Elsewhere, seventh-place Sassuolo
moved within one point of Milan with
a 3-1 win at Torino. Nicola Sansone,
Federico Peluso and Marcello Trotta
scored for the visitors, who still have
a chance of a Europa League spot.
Chievo Verona remained one position
behind Sassuolo despite a 1-0 loss to
10-man Atalanta, with Marco Borriello
scoring to mathematically ensure
another season in the top flight for the
Lazio is ninth after a 2-1 loss at Sam-
pdoria. After Filip Djordjevic gave Lazio
an early lead, Fernando and Modibo
Diakite responded for Samp.
Also, Emanuele Giaccherini and Ser-
gio Floccari scored for Bologna in a 2-
0 win over Genoa, boosting Roberto
Donadoni s chances of coaching his
squad to safety.
Donadoni has put himself in the run-
ning for a second stint as Italy coach
with Antonio Conte having signed to
manage Chelsea after the European
Championship. (AP Stories)
goals to stay in
danger of drop
Marseille's dismal form continues in 1-1 draw with Nantes
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