Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 23rd 2017 Contents A36 sports
guardian.co.tt Sunday, April 23, 2017
Barca still campaigning for
Neymar to play clasico
campaign for as long as pos-
sible to get the suspended
Neymar playing against Real
Madrid today in a clasico that
will go a long way to deciding
the Spanish league.
Spain's sports tribunal said
yesterday that while it had not yet
had the opportunity to consider
the appeal Barcelona lodged to
challenge Neymar's suspension,
that did not mean the striker was
cleared to play.
Barcelona responded with a
statement saying it was "still
waiting for the sports tribunal's
resolution to its appeal."
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique
said on Saturday "we are ready
to play with or without Neymar."
Friday's appeal to the sports tri-
bunal came after Barcelona lost its
first appeal to the Spanish football
federation on Thursday.
Neymar was handed a two-game
suspension for sarcastically ap-
plauding an assistant referee after
being sent off on April 8 in a 2-0
loss at Malaga.
The two-match ban was in ad-
dition to the one-game suspension
he was automatically required to
serve for the red card. He has sat
out one game so far.
For Madrid, the host will have
Gareth Bale available after a right
leg problem sidelined him for two
"He'll be with us tomorrow (to-
day) and we'll have to wait and see
whether or not he plays," coach
Zinedine Zidane said.
Two-time defending champi-
on Barcelona trails Real Madrid
by three points with six rounds to
go in the Spanish league. Madrid,
seeking its first league title since
2012, also has a game in hand.
Griezmann gives Atletico win at Espanyol
kept Atletico Madrid focused on a
strong finish to the Spanish league
yesterday despite its looming
Champions League semifinal with
Griezmann struck late in the second
half at Espanyol to earn a 1-0 victory
that kept Atletico in third place, three
points ahead of Sevilla, and on course
for a return to Europe's top competition
Atletico moved within four points
of second-place Barcelona, which
visits leader Real on Sunday trailing
the pace-setter by three points. Real
also has a game in hand as it tries to
win the domestic title for the first time
At Espanyol, manager Diego Simeone
made only one change in his starting 11
from the team that drew at Leicester on
Tuesday to advance in the Champions
League on a 2-1 aggregate score.
His side, however, showed little signs
of weariness against an Espanyol that
won four straight at home. AP
In other matches: Villarael 2, Le-
ganes 1; Malaga 2, Valencia 0; and
Osasuna 2, Sporting Gijon 2.
Cavani scores again
as PSG goes top
PARIS---Striker Edinson Cavani
scored his 44th goal of the season
and created the second goal as Par-
is Saint-Germain beat Montpellier
2-0 to go top of the French league
Cavani thumped home a cross from
midfielder Blaise Matuidi in the first
half, with winger Angel Di Maria in-
volved in the buildup. It took Cavani's
career-best tally to 31 league goals and
he thought he had another later in the
half, but his powerful header was ruled
out for offside.
Three minutes after the break, Cavani
back-heeled to Di Maria, who curled in
from just outside the penalty area for
his fifth goal in five games.
Defending champion PSG is three
points ahead of Monaco, which has
led for most of the season.
Monaco has played two games less
and can return to the top on goal dif-
ference by winning at Lyon today.
Both sides are doing well in Europe.
Monaco reached the Champions
League semifinals and Lyon got through
to the last four of the Europa League
PSG has won eight straight games in
all competitions to keep the pressure
on Monaco. They meet each other on
Wednesday in the French Cup semifi-
nals. PSG then faces a tough away trip
at third-place Nice next weekend as the
hard-fought title race heats up.
"Monaco's had a great season and you
have to congratulate them," PSG left
back Maxwell said. "But we're still in it."
In other matches, Bordeaux beat last-
place Bastia 2-0 at home to move up
to fourth spot, with striker Malcom
getting the first goal.
But Lyon needs only a draw at home
to Monaco to regain fourth spot.
After struggling for most of the sea-
son, Lorient is suddenly playing like a
team near the top. AP
Cavani jumps over
Pionnier during the
French League One
match at the Parc
stadium in Paris,
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