x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

European round-up: Bastos puts Lyon top, Celtic held by Hibs

Al Ain transfer target Michel Bastos scored again to move Lyon to the top of Ligue 1, while new AC Milan striker Giampaolo Pazzini grabbed a hat-trick on his Rossoneri debut.

Lyon's Michel Bastos celebrates scoring against Valenciennes
Lyon's Michel Bastos celebrates scoring against Valenciennes

FRANCE

Al Ain transfer target Michel Bastos showed why the Pro League champions were so keen on his services as Lyon recorded their third win in four games to move top of Ligue 1 with a 3-2 defeat of Valenciennes.

The Brazilian started for the first time this season, having scored as a substitute in his two previous appearances, and was on the spot again after 17 minutes to cancel out Gil's opener.

Bafetimbi Gomis, with a penalty, and Clement Grenier put the hosts 3-1 up and though Gregory Pujol pulled one back, it was Les Gones who took top spot rather than their fellow strong starters.

Reigning champions Montpellier claimed a belated first victory in their title defence by condemning Sochaux to a fourth straight defeat.

The fact that Sloan Privat registered Les Lionceaux's first goal of the season was scant consolation as goals from Younes Belhanda, Emanuel Herrera and Remy Cabella ensured the hosts remain the only side without a point in Ligue 1.

Surprise winners of the French championship last year, Montpellier had endured a dismal start to the new campaign by claiming just one point from the first nine on offer but quadrupled their total with the 3-1 success.

Lorient consolidated their spot near the top of the Ligue 1 standings with a convincing 3-0 home victory over Nancy.

Goals from Ludovic Giuly, Lamine Kone and Alain Traore sealed the victory for Lorient, who would have been celebrating an even bigger triumph but for a missed first-half penalty from Traore.

The triumph leaves unbeaten Lorient with eight points from four games, two behind current leaders Lyon and one behind Marseille, who will look to continue their 100% start against Rennes tomorrow.

First-half goals from Carl Medjani and Johan Cavalli earned Ajaccio their second win of the season with a 2-0 home success over Evian.

The impressive Cavalli delivered the corner from which defender Medjani headed the opener, and then added a close-range second before the interval.

Evian pressed in the second half, looking for a way back into the game, but remain on only one point after four games.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his third goal in two games as St Etienne claimed a 3-0 victory at Bastia.

The Gabon striker hit a brace last weekend against Brest and was on target again after Renaud Cohade had opened the scoring. Substitute Josua Guilavogui scored the third.

Geoffrey Dernis grabbed a dramatic injury-time winner after Brest looked to have been denied victory at the Stade Francis-le-Ble.

Eden Ben Basat gave the home team an early lead but Mounir Obbadi's solo goal for Troyes levelled matters midway through the second half before Dernis fired home a late goal to secure a 2-1 win.

Wissam Ben Yedder continued his impressive start to the season as his late strike snatched a point for Toulouse in a 1-1 home draw against Reims.

The visitors looked to be headed for back-to-back wins as they led late into the match thanks to an Aymen Abdennour own goal after 55 minutes.

 

SPAIN

Malaga and Real Mallorca both won to move joint top of the Primera Division table - for 24 hours at least.

Malaga were 1-0 winners at Real Zaragoza thanks to a second-half Nacho Camacho header, while it was a similar story in the late game as Mallorca relied on Victor's 75th-minute effort to break down a stubborn Real Sociedad.

Both teams therefore maintained their unbeaten start to the season and moved a point clear of a chasing pack, headed by Barcelona, who could go past them tomorrow.

Second-half goals from Iago Aspas and Mario Bermejo were enough to hand Celta Vigo their first win in the top flight for five years as 10-man Osasuna slipped to a third consecutive defeat.

Aspas opened the scoring on 69 minutes when he flicked home Augusto Fernandez's cross and when Alejandro Arribas was then dismissed for a second bookable offence Bermejo rolled in the second.

Promoted Deportivo La Coruna continued their promising start to life back in the top flight with a 1-1 home draw against a Getafe side who last weekend beat reigning champions Real Madrid.

Riki gave Depor a flying start when he netted after just six minutes against his former club, but Getafe hit back to claim a share of the points when Abdelaziz Barrada, the match winner against Madrid, equalised in the 26th minute.

 

ITALY

New AC Milan recruit Giampaolo Pazzini took his stock with the Rossoneri sky high by scoring a hat-trick in a 3-1 win away to Bologna on Saturday.

Pazzini, part of the swap deal for Antonio Cassano last week, took no time in showing where his loyalties now lie by scoring a first-half penalty then producing a superb second-half brace.

Bologna started in lively fashion but Milan's enterprise and discipline soon began to tell as they worked steadily towards breaking the deadlock.

Despite Pazzini delaying his chance to tumble under pressure from defender Nicolo Cherubin as he toiled down the left flank, the foul left the referee no option but to point to the penalty spot.

Pazzini stepped up and made no mistake to score Milan's first goal of the campaign in the 16th minute.

The goal stunned the hosts into action and Alessandro Diamanti coolly interceped a pass from deep in his own half by Milan defender Mattia de Sciglio only to shoot wide.

Bologna's pressing finally paid off when Diamanti earned a penalty after coming down under pressure from Antonio Nocerino on the edge of the box and got back up to drive the ball past Abbiati from the spot.

Milan came dangerously close to going behind two minutes after the restart after an exquisite exchange of passes between Robert Acquafresca and on-loan Seville midfielder Tiberto Guarente deep on the left.

Pazzini, however, put the match beyond reach with two fine pieces of skill.

A deflected cross from the left flank was fumbled by Agliardi, allowing the new man to volley home.

For his third, Pazzini cheekily first-timed a backheel past the keeper after a low drive from outside the area.

Newly-promoted Torino picked up their first win of the season with a 3-0 victory against 10-man Pescara at the Stadio Olimpico.

Alessandro Sgrigna put the Granata in front in the 34th minute, seven minutes after Christian Terlizzi was given his marching orders.

Matteo Brighi then added a second before Torino captain Rolando Bianchi wrapped up victory having missed a penalty in the first half.

 

PORTUGAL

Porto moved to their familiar perch atop the Portuguese Liga standings but needed to come from a goal down to achieve it as they edged past Olhanense 3-2.

The previously unbeaten hosts took a 13th-minute lead through Liban Abdi but two-time reigning champions Porto hit back through goals from substitute James Rodriguez (43), Jackson Martinez (49) and Hulk (72) to take control of the contest.

Olhanense gave Porto another scare by pulling a goal back in the 86th minute through Tiago Targino but the visitors held on to go three points clear with all their main rivals at the summit in action tomorrow.

In the day's other match Guimaraes struck twice in the last eight minutes to salvage a 2-2 home draw against Estoril.

Estoril looked well on their way to a maiden win of the season after establishing a 2-0 lead through goals from Lica (six) and Bruno Miguel (47), but Mahamadou N'Diaye gave Guimaraes a lifeline in the 82nd minute before substitute Joao Ribeiro equalised right at the end to leave both teams on two points.

 

SCOTLAND

Celtic were brought back to earth with a bump after their midweek Champions League joy after being held 2-2 by Hibernian at Parkhead.

Despite a dominant performance and Gary Hooper twice hitting the woodwork, a 10th minute Mikael Lustig strike was all they had to show for their efforts.

Hibs fired back in the second half, with Tim Clancy capitalising on a woeful passbook by Lustig to slot home the equaliser.

James McPake deflected in an own goal to restore Celtic's lead before summer signing Paul Cairney beat two defenders to score an impressive equaliser.

It was to prove the only SPL game with any goals, as Aberdeen and St Mirren, Ross County and Kilmarnock, and St Johnstone and Dundee Utd all finished 0-0 draws.

 

HOLLAND

RKC Waalwijk missed the chance to go top of the Eredivisie after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Heracles Almelo.

The visitors got off to a dream start when Willy Overtoom put them in front inside the opening minute but RKC levelled before the break through Florian Jozefzoon.

Neither side could find a winner after the break, meaning RKC failed in their bid to move above FC Twente at the summit.

NEC Nijmegen thrashed nine-man PEC Zwolle 4-0 with Ryan Koolwijk contributing two penalties.

Koolwijk put his side ahead from the spot after 18 minutes and doubled their lead 13 minutes later after a foul by Zwolle goalkeeper Leon ter Wielen which saw him receive a red card.

Joey van der Berg was also dismissed 10 minutes into the second half for collecting two bookings with NEC wasting little time in making it 3-0 through Evander Sno.

And Melvin Platje rounded off an impressive display by the visitors shortly after the hour mark.

Roda JC claimed their first win of the season with a 3-0 defeat of Willem II.

Sanharib Malki scored the opener five minutes before the break and Krisztian Nemeth made it 2-0 five minutes before winless Willem were reduced to 10 men following the sending-off of Jordens Peters.

Adil Ramzi completed the rout nine minutes from the end.

NAC Breda's poor start to the season continued with a 1-1 home draw against FC Utrecht.

The home side, who went into the match with just one point from three games, went ahead in the seventh minute through Alex Schalk but Alexander Gerndt grabbed an equaliser with 16 minutes to go for mid-table Utrecht.

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