Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 20th 2014 Contents A59
April 20, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
ROME---Mario Balotelli set a per-
sonal record with his 14th goal of
the Serie A season and set up anoth-
er score as AC Milan beat visiting
Livorno 3-0 yesterday for its fifth
Still, Milan remained five points
behind city rival Inter Milan in the
race for fifth place and the final
Europa League berth, after Inter beat
ten-man Parma 2-0.
Meanwhile, Paul Pogba led the way
as Juventus stayed on course for a
third consecutive title with a 1-0 win
over relegation-threatened Bologna.
Pogba, the France international
and former Manchester United mid-
fielder, scored with a long, low shot
from beyond the area in the 64th
Juve remained eight points ahead
of second-place Roma, which won
1-0 at fourth-place Fiorentina with
a 26th-minute goal from Radja
Nainggolan. Former Fiorentina for-
ward Adem Ljajic set up the goal by
evading a bunch of defenders and
slipping the ball through to Naing-
With 90 points and four matches
remaining, Juventus has a chance to
become the first Serie A club to break
the 100-point barrier. Inter set the
record of 97 in 2007.
Serie A began awarding three
points for wins in the 1994-95 season
and the current 20-club format was
instituted in 2003-04.
Roma secured second place and a
direct Champions League berth.
At the San Siro, Balotelli scored
with a textbook header from the cen-
ter of the area in the 43rd following
a cross from Kevin Constant.
Midfielder Adel Taarabt doubled
Milan s lead in the 51st after dribbling
past a defender, and substitute
Giampaolo Pazzini finished off in the
84th after taking a pass from Balotelli
that left him with only the goalkeeper
Balotelli s previous best output was
13 goals, with Manchester City in
2011-12, and City and Milan com-
bined last season.
"He s improving and maturing
mentally and that permits him to do
better on and off the pitch," new
Milan coach Clarence Seedorf said.
It was also Balotelli s 18th goal in
all competitions this season, another
personal record, which should give
the striker confidence entering the
World Cup as Italy s leader in attack.
"I m happy to have reached the
record but I have to improve, because
there are players that score 40 in a
season," said Balotelli, who did not
celebrate after his goal.
The win was also a relief for See-
dorf, amid reports his job was at risk.
"I didn t know anything about
that," Balotelli said. "The coach has
given a big hand to the squad. ... But
this is still nothing. It s just a great
result. We re playing to qualify for
the Europa League."
After the loss, relegation-threat-
ened Livorno fired Domenico Di Carlo
and rehired Davide Nicola as man-
Elsewhere, third-place Napoli was
held to 1-1 at Udinese, while Torino
and Lazio remained level eighth after
a wild 3-3 draw that saw Ciro Immo-
bile score his league-leading 20th
Also, it was: Atalanta 1, Hellas
Verona 2; Catania 2, Sampdoria 1;
Chievo Verona 0, Sassuolo 1; and
Genoa 1, Cagliari 2.
In Parma, Inter goalkeeper Samir
Handanovic stopped a penalty from
Antonio Cassano by tipping it off the
post in the 44th. The hosts were then
reduced to 10 men when Italy inter-
national Gabriel Paletta picked up
his second yellow card in first half
added time for a foul on Rodrigo
Defender Rolando put Inter ahead
in the 48th with a header, and sub-
stitute Fredy Guarin sealed the victory
by scoring on his first touch in the
89th from beyond the area. (AP)
BARCELONA---Carlos Vela skill-
fully chested down a long pass
before firing in Real Sociedad s
injury-time winner to snatch a dra-
matic 2-1 win at home over Espany-
ol in the Spanish league yesterday.
Vela s 13th goal in league play
allowed Sociedad to rise into pro-
visional sixth place, and moved the
Basque club closer to clinching a
Europa League berth.
"This victory ... almost books our
place in Europe" Sociedad coach
Jagoba Arrasate said. "Vela wasn t
having his best day, but that doesn t
bother him and he is able to score
a goal like he did. He is a player that
makes the difference."
Sociedad hemmed Espanyol into
its area from the start, pushing the
action into its final third of the pitch.
But Espanyol striker Jhon Cordo-
ba s solo effort put the visitors ahead
at Anoeta Stadium in the 26th
minute, when he quickly spun
around Mikel Gonzalez before slot-
ting the ball past goalie Claudio
Sergio Canales levelled in the 32nd
when his cross took a deflection off
the back of Espanyol s Manuel Lan-
zarote, catching goalie Kiko Casilla
The match looked destined to end
in a draw until Vela used a deft touch
to control a lobbed pass and slip the
ball by defender Juan Fuentes before
firing in the late winner.
Also, Valencia forward Jonas went
on in the second half and scored to
secure a 1-1 draw at Osasuna, while
Getafe stayed in the drop zone after
a 0-0 draw at Levante.
The draw left Valencia in eighth
place and seven points off the final
Europa League berth, while Osasuna
stayed three points from the rele-
Getafe finished at Levante with
ten men following Alexis Ruano s
second yellow card in the 81st minute
of a foul-filled match.
Barcelona trails Atletico by seven
points before hosting Athletic Bilbao
scored twice to fire Paris Saint-
Germain to a 2-1 win over Lyon
in the French League Cup final
PSG won a record fourth League
Cup, one more than Marseille and
Cavani outpaced the Lyon
defense to poke home a clipped
pass from Maxwell in the fourth
minute. The Uruguay forward
doubled the lead by converting a
penalty in the 33rd after goalkeeper
Anthony Lopes fouled winger
Lucas Moura. Lyon forward
Alexandre Lacazette scored a con-
solation goal with a long-range
strike in the 56th.
PSG was the overwhelming
favourite despite missing Sweden
striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic through
injury. The Parisian club tops the
French league with a ten-point
lead with five rounds left. Lyon
sits in fifth place and is fighting
for a European spot.
PSG caught Lyon off guard by
converting its first scoring chance
when Maxwell charged down the
left flank to play a one-two with
Ezequiel Lavezzi. The Brazilian
leftback beat Lopes to the ball to
feed Cavani for the opener.
Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis
came close to equalising twice.
He took a pass from Lacazette in
the sixth minute but could fire
only into the side-netting. Gomis
then met a corner from Arnold
Mvuemba in the tenth but sent
his header straight into the arms
of goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez.
Some poor decision-making
from Lopes in the 31st gifted PSG
a second goal. The goalie came
off his line to challenge Lucas in
the air for a long ball from Thiago
Silva. Lopes was a split second
late and brought Lucas down.
Cavani scored the subsequent
penalty with a powerful strike into
the bottom corner.
Lacazette restored some hope
for Lyon in the second half, skip-
ping past rightback Christophe
Jallet to cut PSG s lead with a low
diagonal drive from the edge of
the box. (AP)
SAO PAULO---Brazil s sports tri-
bunal says the club that abandoned
a second-division match claiming
it had a court order allowing it to
play in the top flight could face
exclusion from the championship.
Portuguesa players left the field
in the 16th minute of their match
against Joinville on Friday after a
court official showed up and pre-
sented the ruling to team officials
The Brazilian football federation
said the court order wasn t valid
because it was issued by a judge
without jurisdiction over the case.
The attorney general at the coun-
try s top sports tribunal said charges
against Portuguesa are expected to
be filed next week.
"Portuguesa shouldn t have left
the pitch," Paulo Schmitt told Brazil-
ian reporters. "It will be subjected
to punishment that ranges from loss
of points to a fine or even exclusion.
The tribunal will have to analyse
the match reports."
Portuguesa officials said the club
shouldn t face any punishment
because it could not disobey the
judicial order presented by the court
Portuguesa and its fans have been
filing lawsuits in civil courts trying
to get reinstated to the top division
of the Brazilian league that began
yesterday. The club avoided demo-
tion on the field last year but was
relegated after the sports tribunal
stripped it of four points for using
a suspended player in the final
round. Officials said the Brazilian
federation did not properly advise
the club of the suspension.
Friday s court ruling gave the
points back to Portuguesa and void-
ed its relegation, but it was not
recognised by the Brazilian federa-
tion, which has overturned similar
decisions recently. The federation
said the first-division matches would
be played as scheduled this week-
The federation released a state-
ment saying the judge s ruling on
Friday "disrespected" a higher
court s determination that all deci-
sions regarding the case must be
handled by a court in Rio de Janeiro.
Joinville officials said the club
would have to reimburse fans who
attended the match, which was
stopped with the score at 0-0. The
club could seek damages and also
wanted to be awarded the three
points for the victory. (AP)
Balotelli leads Milan
to 5th straight win
for leaving game
AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli, top,
scores during the Serie A football match
between AC Milan and Livorno at the San
Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, yesterday.
Milan won 3-0. AP PHOTO
Vela's goal snatches victory for Real Sociedad in La Liga
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