x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

European football round-up: Real Madrid battle back to 3-2 win over Valladolid

A brace from Mesut Ozil kept Real Madrid chase on course, while Paris Saint Germain sounded a warning to their title rivals and Celtic marked their Champions League success with a comfortable victory in Scotland.

Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil (centre) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Real Valladolid.
Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil (centre) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Real Valladolid.

SPAIN

Mesut Ozil's brace was decisive as Primera Division champions Real Madrid twice came from behind to win 3-2 at Real Valladolid.

Manucho twice put the hosts ahead from corners, but Madrid equalised through first Karim Benzema and then, on the stroke of half-time, Ozil.

The Germany midfielder then curled home a sublime second-half free-kick - his fifth goal in seven games - to secure all three points.

The win lifted Jose Mourinho's third-placed side two points behind Atletico Madrid, who host Deportivo La Coruna tonight, and within eight of leaders Barcelona ahead of the Catalan club's trip to Real Betis tomorrow night.

Malaga earlier moved above Betis into fourth spot - for at least 24 hours - as goals from Joaquin, Javier Saviola, Ignacio Camacho and Roque Santa Cruz saw them thrash Granada 4-0 at La Rosaleda.

Elsewhere, Ernesto Valverde's first Primera Division match in charge of Valencia ended in a 1-0 win at Osasuna, Roberto Soldado netting the game's only goal 11 minutes into the second half in Pamplona.

The win was Los Che's first on the road in La Liga this term, Mauricio Pellegrino having paid the price for the poor form when he was sacked earlier in the week after the club picked up only two points from their first seven away games.

Finally, Carlos Martinez's stoppage-time header salvaged a 1-1 draw for Real Sociedad as they stretched their unbeaten run to five league games with a point against Getafe at Anoeta.

The game suddenly came to life in the final few minutes when Angel Lafita nodded home from Jaime Gavilan's cross on 87 minutes, but Sociedad responded immediately as Martinez rose highest at the far post to convert Alberto de la Bella's cross.

 

PORTUGAL

Porto went three points clear at the top of the Liga with a 1-0 home win over Moreirense.

The hosts struggled to break down the league's second bottom side before Jackson Martinez's 71st-minute goal settled the match.

The win put Porto three points clear of Benfica, who have a game in hand.

 

ITALY

Francesco Totti took centre stage as Roma defeated Fiorentina 4-2 in their Serie A clash at the Stadio Olimpico.

Leandro Castan put Roma in front in the seventh minute but Facundo Roncaglia levelled seven minutes later.

Totti put Roma back in front before extending their lead before half-time and setting up a fourth for Pablo Osvaldo in the 89th minute.

Mounir El Hamdaoui added Fiorentina's second but Roma were always in control.

The win lifts Roma into fourth, now level on points with Fiorentina who slip a place to fifth.

Atalanta posted a 2-1 win over Parma at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia.

German Denis gave Atalanta the lead in the fourth minute and Federico Peluso (38) made it two.

Amauri brought Parma back into the game on the stroke of half-time but they were unable to find an equaliser in the second half.

The win lifts Atalanta above Parma and into eighth place.

 

HOLLAND

Ajax stepped up the pressure on the Eredivisie leaders with a 2-0 win over Groningen.

Derk Boerrigter put Ajax ahead in the 42nd minute and the game was as good as wrapped up when they were awarded their second penalty of the game in the 53rd minute.

With Siem de Jong having earlier missed from the spot, Lasse Schone this time stepped up to clinch a 2-0 win.

The result leaves Frank de Boer's side level on points with third-placed PSV Eindhoven, who play leaders FC Twente today. Twente are a point ahead, along with Vitesse Arnhem.

RKC Waalwijk were deserving 2-0 winners against NEC Nijmegen to move up to eighth.

Cuco Martina beat both keeper Gabor Babos and defender Rens van Eijden on the line to open the scoring just before half-time and Florian Jozefzoon took advantage of a stretched defence to exchange passes with Nordin Boukhari and score the second.

RKC went ahead of ADO Den Haag, who were held to a 1-1 draw by PEC Zwolle.

Rochdi Achenteh's free-kick, which flicked off the knee of Joey van den Berg, gave Zwolle the lead in the 24th minute, but Jens Toornstra equalised midway through the second half.

AZ Alkmaar and Willem II drew 0-0.

All the games, like those across the remainder of the weekend, were preceded by a minute's silence in memory of Richard Nieuwenhuizen, the linesman affiliated to youth club Buitenboys who died after being attacked by players from opponents Niuew-Sloten last Sunday.

 

FRANCE

Paris St Germain sounded a warning shot to their Ligue 1 title rivals with a 4-0 thrashing of lowly Evian.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored one and made one for Ezequiel Lavezzi as the hosts raced into a 2-0 lead after half an hour, while Thiago Motta and Kevin Gameiro added gloss to the scoreline late on as Carlo Ancelotti's men closed to within two points of leaders Lyon.

Fifth-placed Valenciennes and sixth-spotted Rennes lost ground in the title race as they only managed draws which left them five points off leaders Lyon, who visit fourth-placed St Etienne tomorrow night.

Rennes looked all set to climb to fourth place after second-half goals by Julien Feret and Romain Alessandrini put them in the driving seat against Brest, but the visitors rallied with goals from Benoit Lesoimier and Charlison Benschop in the final 20 minutes.

Brest lost Ahmed Kantari to a second yellow card in the last minute following an altercation with the referee, but held on for a 2-2 draw.

Valenciennes needed a second-half own goal to earn a 1-1 draw against bottom-of-the-table Nancy at the Stade Marcel Picot.

Jordan Loties opened the scoring for the hosts just after the half-hour and that looked to be enough to get Jean Fernandez's side only a second league win of the season, until Massodio Haidara put through his own net 17 minutes from time.

Nancy remained at the foot of the standings - still level on points with Troyes, who drew 1-1 at home to Nice.

Troyes came undone at the death for a second straight game as Dario Cvitanich earned Nice a point, cancelling out Stephane Darbion's close-range opener at the Stade de l'Aube.

Elsewhere, Montpellier brushed aside meek Ajaccio 3-0 to climb towards mid-table safety.

The champions are not the same side that won the title last season, but they had little problem seeing off relegation-threatened Ajaccio thanks to goals from John Utaka, Remy Cabella and Younes Belhanda.

Ten-man Sochaux moved out of the relegation zone with a 1-1 home draw against Lille.

The mid-table visitors, who have been somewhat off the pace this season after finishing third in the last campaign, took the lead in the 62nd minute through Nolan Roux.

Sochaux hit back immediately through Tunisia international Yassin Mikari, although they had to hang on in the closing stages after Loic Poujol was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

 

GERMANY

Bayern Munich extended their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to 11 points with victory at Augsburg as defending champions Borussia Dortmund slipped yet further off the pace.

It was a routine win for Bayern against the league's second bottom team, with a 39th-minute Thomas Muller penalty and a Mario Gomez effort after 63 minutes sealing a 2-0 win.

Dortmund missed the chance to go level on points with second-placed Bayer Leverkusen as a 3-2 home loss to Wolfsburg left them 14 points from top spot.

Marco Reus gave the hosts a sixth-minute lead but things went badly wrong in the 35th minute, when Marcel Schmelzer was sent off for a handball on his own goal-line and Diego converted the resulting penalty.

Naldo made it 2-1 to the Wolves before the break and, even though Jakub Blaszczykowski levelled from the spot just after the hour mark, Bas Dost grabbed a 73rd-minute winner.

Eintracht Frankfurt took advantage of Schalke's 3-1 loss to Stuttgart to move fourth, level on points with Dortmund, with a 4-1 win over Werder Bremen.

Alexander Meier put Eintracht in front, but Nils Petersen levelled nine minutes after the break.

Two goals in two minutes from Pirmin Schwegler and Stefan Aigner midway through the second half put the hosts back in command, though, and Takashi Inui got a fourth at the death.

Stuttgart went level on points with Schalke with their victory over the Royal Blues, a Vedad Ibisevic hat-trick settling a match which saw both teams end with 10 men.

Ibisevic opened the scoring after two minutes only for Ciprian Marica to level 10 minutes later.

The Bosnian got his second from the spot in the 38th minute, though, and completed his treble in the 61st minute.

Stuttgart were reduced to 10 men in the 67th minute when Gotuko Sakai was sent off, but Schalke's numerical advantage lasted just six minutes before Jermaine Jones also saw red.

At the other end of the table, bottom side Greuther Furth were beaten again, Daniel Caligiuri's early goal earning Freiburg a 1-0 win.

Nurnberg won 2-0 at home to Fortuna Dusseldorf, Sebastian Polter and Markus Feulner on target.

 

SCOTLAND

Celtic returned their focus to domestic action following their mid-week Champions League success with a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Scott Brown, the Celtic captain, postponed hip surgery to feature in the game and was rewarded for his efforts with the opening goal just before the half-hour mark, sidefooting a cutback from Adam Matthews.

Brown turned provider for the second, setting up Wales midfielder Joe Ledley, before Matthews set up Giorgios Samaras to head home for the third. Former Celtic striker Cillian Sheridan volleyed home a consolation goal in stoppage time for the hosts.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle moved to second with a comfortable 3-0 win over rivals Hibernian.

Ross Draper opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a header from Graeme Shinnie's free kick, but despite keeping Hibs under pressure it would not be until 14 minutes from time that they found the net again.

David Raven's cross found Richie Foran, who headed home to double the lead. Caley wrapped up the win with three minutes left, after Aaron Doran's run down the right set up Billy McKay.

Hearts claimed a goal in each half to win 2-0 over Aberdeen. Ryan McGowan blasted home from the spot after being brought down by the visitors' Josh Magennis in the first half, before Calum Paterson stroked home from 12 yards out in the second.

Highlanders Ross County were left empty-handed despite a battling performance at Motherwell, with Keith Lasley's 82nd minute winner giving the Lanarkshire side a 3-2 win.

County took the lead courtesy of a Rocco Quinn strike from distance, but Michael Higdon headed an equalizer just miniutes later.

Nicky Law gave Motherwell the lead just after the break, before Quinn leveled with a deflection past goalkeeper Lee Hollis. But with eight minutes left, the Motherwell captain got on the end of a Jamie Murphy ball to grab the winner.

In the day's other game, St Mirren drew 1-1 with St Johnstone.

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