Real Madrid frustrated in goalless draw against Real Sociedad
Battling Real Sociedad survived a pounding at Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday when they held Real Madrid to a goalless draw in a frantic LaLiga match.
Real Madrid recorded 20 goal attempts compared to only seven created by the visitors who held their turf heroically to go home to San Sebastian with a point thanks to a string of saves by goalkeeper Alex Remiro.
Vinicius Jr wasted two chances from close range, one in each half, with Remiro denying both. The keeper also made critical stops of efforts by Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Rodrygo.
“I’m happy with the point earned and with my personal effort,” Remiro told Movistar Plus.
“Playing against these teams, they usually don’t forgive you but we also missed the chances we had, we were not effective in front of the goal. But happy with the draw.”
Leaders Barcelona moved to 47 points in the standings after their 1-0 win at Girona on Saturday and are now five points ahead of second-placed Real Madrid. Real Sociedad are third on 39 points, having played one more game than the top two.
Desperate to close the gap with Barca, Real Madrid stormed after Real Sociedad from the beginning, roared on by their fans on a chilly evening in the Spanish capital.
Benzema had Real’s first chance in the seventh minute when he made a brilliant individual play, dribbling past three defenders, but saw his close-range shot stopped by Remiro.
Soon afterward, Vinicius beat defender Igor Zubeldia to run into the box but his right-footed effort went just wide.
Remiro palmed away a Kroos long-range shot midway through the first half and Federico Valverde misfired a promising volley from just inside the box.
Rodrygo fashioned a shot from the edge of the box in the 35th minute and, once again, Remiro was there to make another stunning save.
Just before halftime, Benzema passed to Vinicius whose low shot was blocked by Remiro with his left leg.
The LaLiga holders had almost 70% of possession in the second half but Real Sociedad created a few chances with counter-attacks.
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made a brilliant save in the 60th minute from a low strike by Takefusa Kubo.
Vinicius had a final chance to break the deadlock but Remiro palmed away a one-on-one chip-shot by the Brazilian in the 70th minute.
“It was a very entertaining match for the spectators, very intense,” Madrid defender Nacho told Movistar Plus.
“We had the clearest chances but we didn’t score. It’s a shame about the draw, we wanted to win.”
PSG’s poor run continues with Reims draw
Paris St Germain’s mediocre run in Ligue 1 continued as they fell to a last-gasp 1-1 draw at home against Stade de Reims after being reduced to 10 men on Sunday.
Neymar scored early in the second half before Marco Verratti was shown a straight red card shortly after coming on as a substitute, with Folarin Balogun equalising six minutes into stoppage time.
PSG, who again lacked creativity, missed out on an opportunity to extend their Ligue 1 lead to five points after the chasing pack of RC Lens, Olympique de Marseille and Monaco also grabbed only one point on Saturday.
The capital side, who had lost two of their three previous games, have 48 points from 20 games with Lens on 45 and Marseille on 43 in an open title race.
Reims are 11th on 26 points after stretching their Ligue 1 unbeaten run to 12 games.
“I don’t have the words to describe this match. We need to change our mindset,” said PSG midfielder Danilo Pereira.
“We have to be able to suffer together. If we can’t do that it’s going to be tough for us.”
PSG started with Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar for the first time this year but snoozed through the opening half, which they ended with a single shot while Reims, who played with a compact defence, threatened through Marshall Munetsi, Alexis Flips and Balogun.
It prompted coach Christophe Galtier to substitute Vitinha with Verratti in midfield and the Italian had an immediate impact as PSG finally applied some pressure.
In the 51st minute, Messi’s shot was deflected into the path of Neymar, who dribbled past Yehvann Diouf before poking the ball home.
Verratti’s contribution, however, ceased after 14 minutes as he picked up a red card after a VAR review for a rough tackle on Junya Ito.
But PSG continued to dominate with Sergio Ramos coming close with a double header and Achraf Hakimi having a goal disallowed for offside.
As it seemed the home side would get away with three points, Balogun ran beyond Ramos before dribbling past Gianluigi Donnarumma and putting the ball into an empty net for a well-deserved equaliser, his 11th league goal of the season.
Earlier, Olympique Lyonnais claimed a 2-0 win at AC Ajaccio for their first win in their last four league games thanks to goals by Johann Lepenant and Alexandre Lacazette.
Tempers flared after the final whistle as a scuffle erupted between staff members of both sides.
Lyon are ninth on 28 points.
Late goal from Simeone gives Napoli 2-1 win over Roma
A superb first-half goal from Victor Osimhen and a late decider from Giovanni Simeone gave Napoli a 2-1 home win against Roma on Sunday as they took another step closer to ending their 33-year wait to win the Serie A title.
Napoli are alone at the top of the league with 53 points from 20 games, 13 ahead of second-placed Inter Milan. Roma are in sixth with 37 points.
Kim Min-Jae came close to an own goal for Napoli after 12 minutes when he misjudged keeper Alex Meret’s position and headed the ball just to the right of the open goal.
Osimhen, Serie A’s top scorer, put Napoli ahead after 17 minutes when he chested down a cross inside the box and sent the ball into the roof of the net with a volley,
The 24-year-old Nigerian has netted 14 times in Serie A this season.
Meret was forced into a full-stretch save to stop Bryan Cristante’s header after a corner in the 61st minute. Roma keeper Rui Patricio saved a shot from a Napoli counter-attack three minutes later.
Roma equalised in the 75th minute when substitute Stephan El Shaarawy broke free from his marker and tipped in a cross from an acute angle.
Four minutes before stoppage time, Simone got the ball at the edge of the box, turned round and put it into the upper right corner, sending the fans at Diego Armando Maradona Stadium into a frenzy.
Lazio lose ground after 1-1 draw with Fiorentina
Lazio missed the chance to move up to second in Serie A when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Fiorentina at home on Sunday.
Maurizio Sarri’s side are now in third place with 38 points, 12 behind leaders Napoli who were playing later on Sunday. Fiorentina are 12th with 24 points.
Nicolo Casale scored for the hosts after eight minutes, while Nicolas Gonzalez equalised four minutes after the break with a well-placed shot from outside the box.
Felipe Anderson was close to giving Lazio the lead on the hour, but his attempt from an acute angle went outside the post.
Substitute Ciro Immobile missed the opportunity to send Lazio ahead when his shot from the edge of the box after 75 minutes also went wide.
Fiorentina could have scored a decider four minutes into stoppage time but Nikola Milenkovic’s shot from a corner hit the crossbar.
Lazio next play next Juventus in a Coppa Italia quarter-final on Thursday.
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