Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 29th 2013 Contents A59
September 29, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
BARCELONA---Atletico Madrid s
record-setting 1-0 win over Real
Madrid brought an emphatic end
to its crosstown rival s 14-year
unbeaten league run in their
Spanish capital derby yesterday.
On-form Diego Costa struck in
the 11th minute and not even
Gareth Bale in his home debut for
Madrid could help it rally.
Atletico s big win came after
Lionel Messi scored before being
substituted due to injury to help
Barcelona win 2-0 at Almeria.
Barcelona and Atletico set club
records by staying perfect through
seven rounds to start the season,
opening up a five-point gap over
Messi and Diego Costa have
guided their teams to their mile-
stones and lead the league with
eight goals each.
"We are having a great year and
we have to keep it going," said
Atletico s Jorge "Koke" Resurrec-
cion, who set up Diego Costa s
goal. "Diego Costa is in a spec-
tacular moment. He has helped us
Bale, Madrid s 100-million-euro
man, went on at the start of the
second half, finally playing in front
of his new home fans after strain-
ing his left thigh while warming
up before last weekend s match.
Yet neither the Wales winger in
45 minutes nor Cristiano Ronaldo
in 90 were able to target Atletico s
Atletico s last league win against
Madrid had come in 1999, and
since then it had gone 23 games
without a victory.
But Atletico s victory over
Madrid in the same Santiago Bern-
abeu Stadium last May to claim
the Copa del Rey had apparently
given it the boost in confidence it
needed to break its horrendous
While Atletico squeaked out that
cup win in extra time, Diego Sime-
one s side simply outplayed Madrid
on Saturday, creating many more
shots and deploying a swarming
defense that kept Madrid in check
until the final minutes.
Simeone pumped both fists on
the final whistle as he left the
dugout, deservedly satisfied with
his team s effort.
"We can play better or worse,
but our commitment to working
hard is non-negotiable," said Sime-
one. "The team is above all the
Diego Costa, who also scored in
last season s cup final, took the
game s sole goal when Filipe Luis
stole the ball from Madrid s Angel
Di Maria and Koke placed a
throughball for his goalscorer to
coolly fire it in.
As the Brazilian forward soaked
up the dismay of Madrid s sup-
porters, Madrid coach Carlo
Ancelotti turned away and slapped
his leg in frustration.
"When things don t go well you
have to reflect on the reasons," said
Madrid defender Sergio Ramos.
"They won the derby because we
lacked the efficiency from recent
years, but we can t live in the past."
Messi netted his goal in the 21st
with a left-footed shot after com-
bining with Pedro Rodriguez, but
he asked to be replaced eight min-
utes later after hurting a muscle
in his right leg.
Adriano sealed the result for
Barcelona in the 56th from a pass
by Cesc Fabregas while Messi
watched from the bench.
Messi s injury leaves him in
doubt for Tuesday s Champions
League match at Celtic, when
Atletico plays at Porto. Madrid
hosts Copenhagen on Wednesday.
Barcelona said the Argentina
forward would undergo more tests
While Barcelona may be missing
Messi for the trip to Glasgow, it
should have Neymar well rested
after the striker didn t play a
minute at Juegos Mediterraneos
Barcelona s first-year coach Ger-
ardo Martino has guided Barcelona
to its best start in 82 leagues. Five
other managers, including Pep
Guardiola (2009-10) and prede-
cessor Tito Vilanova (2012-13), had
reached six wins.
"I have only latched on to one
of the records that these players
have broken and continue to
break," said Martino. "They have
been doing so for years both indi-
vidually and as a team. The fact
that I formed a part of this one is
Elsewhere, Jonas scored his third
winning goal for Valencia this week
to secure a 1-0 victory at home
over Rayo Vallecano.
Jonas netted the decisive goal
in recent wins against Sevilla and
Granada, and he stepped up once
again to produce the 36th-minute
winner after intercepting a poor
pass by Rayo s Saul Niguez.
Real Sociedad, meanwhile, was
held to 1-1 at home by Sevilla
before its Champions League game
at Leverkusen on Wednesday. (AP)
MILAN---Napoli eased to a 2-0 win
at Genoa to move provisionally atop
of the Serie A, thanks to a double from
Goran Pandev yesterday.
AC Milan picked up only its second
win of the season, beating struggling
Sampdoria 1-0 at San Siro, with Valter
Birsa scoring his first goal since signing
from Genoa in the offseason.
"It was more important to win than
my goal," Birsa said. "We had been
playing well in matches but we hadn t
managed to pick up the points we need-
ed. What s important is the work of
the squad, individuals can give a hand
but all the players are important. We
needed the goal to make us more com-
In Genoa, Pandev nabbed his first
in the 14th, latching onto a poor pass
from Juraj Kucka, racing forward and
firing into the bottom right corner.
Pandev doubled his tally 10 minutes
later as Lorenzo Insigne lifted a superb
ball into the area for the Macedonia
striker to smash across goal into the
bottom left corner, with his weaker
Napoli, which lost its perfect record
in Wednesday s 1-1 draw at bottom
club Sassuolo, moved a point ahead of
Roma, which hosts Bologna today.
"We really wanted these three points
after the awful night against Sassuolo,"
Pandev said. "We got over it really well."
Coach Rafa Benitez rotated his squad,
with key players Gonzalo Higuain,
Marek Hamsik and captain Paolo Can-
navaro starting on the bench.
Genoa has lost four of its opening
six games, raising speculation its young
coach Fabio Liverani could be the first
Serie A manager to be fired this sea-
It has had only one worst start to
the season, 30 years ago.
There were signs of improvement in
the second half, however, and Genoa
almost got one back in the 64th when
Alberto Gilardino s header flashed just
past the left post.
It also had strong claims for a penalty
turned down three minutes later when
Cannavaro brought down Gilardino in
the area, but the Genoa striker was
harshly flagged offside much to the
displeasure of the home fans.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri
had castigated his team for wasting too
many chances after it again needed two
late goals to rescue a 3-3 draw at
Forward Mario Balotelli sat out the
second of a three-match ban, while
Stephan El Shaarawy, Riccardo Mon-
tolivo, Mattia De Sciglio, Kaka,
Giampaolo Pazzini and Matias Silvestre
are still out injured. (AP)
PARIS---Paris Saint-Germain kept
the pressure on title rival Monaco by
beating Toulouse 2-0 at home in
another below-par performance set-
tled by a scrappy first goal and a con-
tentious penalty yesterday.
Teenage defender Marquinhos bun-
dled the ball home in the 41st minute
and striker Edinson Cavani came off
the bench to score from the spot late
on, although he was fairly tackled and
then fell to the ground.
Monaco is one point behind PSG and
can reclaim top spot if it wins at Reims
"We ve got 18 points from eight
matches. That s good," PSG coach Lau-
rent Blanc said. "We can do better in
terms of efficiency. I m surprised by
the number of chances we create, espe-
cially at home, but we don t put them
Cavani made an impression imme-
diately after replacing Zlatan Ibrahi-
movic midway through the second half.
He sprinted onto midfielder Adrien
Rabiot s long ball and centre back Uros
Spajic slid to take the ball cleanly.
Referee Saïd Ennjimi did not initially
give the spot kick but changed his mind
after the linesman flagged for a foul.
Cavani sent goalkeeper Ali Ahamada
the wrong way for his second goal of
the week after scoring in the 1-0 win
at Valenciennes in midweek.
Third-place Marseille won 2-0 at
Lorient as Mathieu Valbuena and Andre
Ayew scored their first goals of the sea-
PSG hosts Benfica in the Champions
League in midweek and then travels to
play bitter rival Marseille next Sunday.
Despite having a side packed with
attacking talent, PSG struggles to play
PSG labored to a scrappy win at
Valenciennes and again played poorly
in a frustrating first half for the home
Toulouse could have scored early on
but PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu
kept out Etienne Didot s header.
The breakthrough came in the 41st
minute when Marco Verratti flicked on
Thiago Motta s free kick and Marquin-
hos beat Ahamada at the second
attempt after his first effort was saved
and the ball deflected back to him off
a defender s leg.
In a rare sight for PSG fans, Ibrahi-
movic was taken off in the 67th and
replaced by Cavani, who scored in the
Under former PSG coach Carlo
Ancelotti, Ibrahimovic played the full
90 minutes in almost every match last
Ibrahimovic still managed to stand
out, getting into a heated argument
with Abel Aguilar after the Colombian
midfielder appeared to elbow him in
the back, and the imposing Sweden
striker then shouted at the Toulouse
bench as he walked off.
Marseille withstood spells of pressure
before Valbuena---who got the winner
in the corresponding fixture last sea-
son---drilled home a free kick in the
In other matches, it was: Evian 1,
Bordeaux 1; Lyon 0, Lille 0; Nice 1,
Guingamp 0; Saint-Etienne 2, Bastia
2, and Sochaux 2, Valenciennes 0.
Also today, Rennes hosts Nantes in
their local derby and Montpellier travels
to Ajaccio. (AP)
Georgios Samaras scored a hat
trick as Celtic warmed up for its
upcoming Champions League
match against Barcelona with a
5-2 win at Kilmarnock in the
Scottish Premiership yesterday.
Celtic went 3-0 up after 27
minutes thanks to Kris Commons
opener and two quick strikes by
Samaras, before Kilmarnock
pulled two goals back before half-
However, Samaras completed
his hat trick in the 88th and
Amido Baldo added a fifth in
Celtic remained second in the
standings on goal difference, how-
ever, because surprise leader
Inverness beat Hibernian 3-0.
The reigning champions take
on Barca on Tuesday and will be
looking to repeat its memorable
home victory over the Spanish
giants in the group stage of last
season s Champions League.
Atletico upsets Madrid 1-0
Celtic warms up for Barca with 5-2 win
PSG keeps pressure on
Monaco after scrappy win
Atletico de Madrid's Diego Costa from
Brazil, left, celebrates his goal after facing
Real Madrid's Diego Lopez during a Spanish
La Liga football match at the Santiago
Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain,
yesterday. Atletico won 1-0. AP PHOTO
Napoli moves top of Serie A
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