PSG rally past Lorient; Napoli defeat Roma; Old Firm set to renew hostilities
Edinson Cavani and Jean-Christophe Bahebeck helped defending champions Paris Saint-Germain rally past Lorient 2-1 on Saturday and pull within a point of leaders Marseille in the French Ligue 1. Bahebeck came on as a substitute to net the winner when he beat Lorient goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte to a long ball to score into an empty net in the 68th minute. Lorient midfielder Raphael Guerreiro opened the scoring by firing home a low strike in the 42nd, but Cavani converted a rebound to level in the 61st.
A spectacular strike from Gonzalo Higuain and a late Jose Callejon goal handed Napoli a 2-0 win over title challengers Roma in Italy’s Serie A. The sides met at Napoli’s San Paolo stadium for the first time since the death of 31-year-old Ciro Esposito, a Napoli fan who was killed by a hardline Roma ‘ultra’ on the fringes of the Italian Cup final last May. In front of a half-empty stadium, following a decision to ban travelling fans from the capital and surrounding regions, Higuain gave the hosts a third-minute lead with a bicycle kick that beat Roma goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis from inside the area.Lorenzo Insigne’s long-distance drive was deflected, and as it fell in front of Higuain the striker turned on the volley to beat De Sanctis from 10 yards. With five minutes left, Higuain fed Callejon for his eighth goal of the campaign, which left him top of the scoring charts.
Romanian media was full of praise for Dinamo Bucharest’s Stefan Barboianu after the midfielder played in a derby against bitter rivals Steaua just hours after losing his son. On Friday, the 26-year-old Dinamo vice-captain was told his three-day-old infant son, who was born more than three months premature, had died in hospital following complications. “A true professional and a character,” wrote digisport.ro, with fans using Internet forums and social media to offer their condolences. Barboianu, capped 18 times by the Romanian Under 21 team, told Dinamo coach Flavius Stoican prior to the 157th Eternal Derby that he was prepared to play despite his personal tragedy.
Celtic and Rangers will resume hostilities after almost three years apart after being paired together in the Scottish League Cup semi-finals. The clash – which will take place on January 31 or February 1 – will be the first time the Glasgow clubs have met since the financial collapse of Rangers in 2012. Holders Aberdeen will face Dundee United in the other semi-final. The last Old Firm clash came in April 2012, when Celtic celebrated their title with a 3-0 victory against a club that had been deducted 10 points and were battling for survival off the field.
Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE
Published: November 2, 2014 04:00 AM