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Lionel Messi in assist mode as PSG beat 10-man St Etienne – European round-up

Lionel Messi set up all three goals as Paris Saint-Germain stretched their Ligue 1 lead to 14 points with a 3-1 comeback win at 10-man St Etienne as Neymar sustained a possible ankle injury and was taken off on a stretcher on Sunday.

PSG made the most of Timothee Kolodziejczak’s red card on the stroke of halftime as Messi fed Marquinhos for two headed goals and Angel Di Maria struck to seal a clinical turnaround after Les Verts had opened the scoring through Denis Bouanga.

The result put the capital side on 40 points from 15 games, with third-placed Rennes having a chance to leapfrog Nice into second when they travel to Lorient later on Sunday.

St Etienne, who mounted on a decent challenge despite being a man down as snow fell on the Geoffroy Guichard stadium, are now bottom of the standings with 12 points.

Olympique de Marseille moved up to fourth in the Ligue 1 standings as Pol Lirola’s second-half strike gave them a 1-0 win against Troyes.

In a game played behind closed doors, after the French league sanctioned Marseille for objects being thrown from the stands in their clash against PSG, Lirola found the back of the net 16 minutes from full-time to put his side on 26 points from 14 games.

Rennes are second after a 2-0 victory at Lorient with late goals from Gaetan Laborde and Jeremy Doku.

Brest came from behind to win 2-1 at strugglers Bordeaux, where Jeremy Le Douaron struck twice in the second half.

N’Clomande Ghislain Konan struck a last-minute goal to give Reims a 1-0 win over Clermont, whose troubles continue after a fifth straight defeat.

Monaco and Strasbourg drew 1-1, with Ludovic Ajorque’s penalty early in the second half cancelling out a spot-kick from Wissam Ben Yedder just before the break. Lyon also beat Montpellier 1-0 thanks to Lucas Paqueta’s 17th-minute goal.

Serie A: Milan stunned by Sassuolo

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AC Milan succumbed to a second straight Serie A defeat

AC Milan slipped to their second successive Serie A defeat when Sassuolo stunned their opponents in the San Siro after coming from behind to earn a 3-1 victory on Sunday.

The hosts raced into an early lead after skipper Alessio Romagnoli headed home from a corner in the 21st minute, and Milan looked on course to get back to winning ways in the league following last weekend’s loss at Fiorentina.

However, Sassuolo, who beat Juventus away from home last month, turned the match on its head, with Gianluca Scamacca’s stunning strike and Simon Kjaer’s unfortunate own goal giving them a 2-1 lead inside 33 minutes.

Even with veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic leading the line, Milan struggled to issue a response, as Domenico Berardi made sure of a thoroughly deserved victory for Sassuolo with a superb solo goal in the 66th minute.

Romagnoli’s red card in the 77th minute effectively ended Milan’s hopes of getting anything from the match. They remain second in the standings, level on 32 points with leaders Napoli, who play Lazio later on Sunday.

Sassuolo’s first win in four league games sees them climb to 12th on 18 points.

Napoli unveiled a statue of Diego Maradona on the year anniversary of his death
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Napoli unveiled a statue of Diego Maradona on the year anniversary of his death
Napoli players wore special shirts with Diego Maradona's face on them
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Napoli players wore special shirts with Diego Maradona’s face on them

Napoli put on a dazzling display to mark the first anniversary of Diego Maradona’s death when they stormed to a 4-0 win over Lazio to move three points clear at the top of Serie A.

Club great Maradona died on November 25 last year and to mark the anniversary, Napoli unveiled a statue inside the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium pre-match and wore shirts with the Argentine’s face on them for the Lazio clash.

The performance was befitting of the man, too, with the home side blowing away Lazio with a stunning show of attacking football, racing into a 3-0 lead inside 29 minutes thanks to goals from Piotr Zielinski and a double from Dries Mertens.

With the job done, Napoli took their foot off the gas in the second half but Lazio did not register a single shot on or off target in response. Fabian Ruiz put the icing on the cake with a pinpoint fourth goal late on.

Tammy Abraham continued his fine form for Roma, scoring the only goal of the game as Jose Mourinho’s side beat Torino 1-0.

Bologna were also 1-0 winners against Spezia while Udinese and Genoa played out a goalless draw.

La Liga: Atletico second with win in Cadiz, Real stay top

Atletico Madrid turned around a poor first-half performance to score four goals after the break and earn a 4-1 win at Cadiz on Sunday that put them second in the La Liga standings.

Thomas Lemar, Antoine Griezmann, Angel Correa and Matheus Cunha were all on target as Atletico won when scoring four or more for the first time in all competitions this season.

Cadiz scored their only goal to make it 3-1 late in the second half, following a shocking mistake from goalkeeper Jan Oblak. They are still winless at home this season.

Atletico are level on points with former leaders Real Sociedad, who lost their first league game in more then three months on Sunday against Espanyol 1-0.

Yangel Herrera scored in the 77th minute, with Sociedad having a controversial second-half goal by Alexander Isak disallowed because the ball touched the referee in the build-up. The result sees Sociedad drop to third place, one point off the lead.

Vinicius Junior rescued Real Madrid as they fought back to beat Sevilla 2-1 in an electrifying match to stay top of La Liga and frustrate the visitors’ hopes of leapfrogging them at the summit.

Vinicius netted the winner with a stunning cross shot from outside the box in the 87th minute, completing Real’s comeback after they fell behind early.

Sevilla went in front in the 12th minute with a header from Rafa Mir, but a mistake by goalkeeper Bono allowed Karim Benzema to equalise before halftime.

Sevilla did their best to keep Real at bay with a sterling defensive effort in the second half, but the in-form Vinicius scored his ninth goal in LaLiga this season to snatch all three points.

Carlo Ancelotti’s team moved to 33 points from 14 games, four ahead of Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad. Sevilla are fourth, with 28 points.

Manuel Pellegrini’s Real Betis stayed close to the Champions League spots with a 3-1 home win over last-place Levante, with forward Juanmi Jimenez scoring all three goals for the hosts in the second half.

Levante, who took an early lead through Shkodran Mustafi, are the only team without a win after 15 league matches.

Bundesliga: Leipzig lose to Leverkusen

Moussa Diaby celebrates scoring Leverkusen's second
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Moussa Diaby celebrates scoring Leverkusen’s second

RB Leipzig suffered a 3-1 home loss to Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday, their second defeat in a row in the Bundesliga that dropped them to eighth place, piling pressure on coach Jesse Marsch.

Leipzig, runners-up last season, are already 13 points off leaders Bayern Munich following their fifth league defeat of the campaign.

It was Leverkusen’s second straight win and they moved back into third place on 24 points.

Leverkusen, who have yet to lose on the road this season, had an early effort by Moussa Diaby ruled offside but went in front when Floria Wirtz powered into the box to latch on to a perfectly-timed Exequiel Palacios pass to chip the ball over the keeper.

They added another goal in the 34th with Diaby rifling in from a cross by Jonathan Tah.

Leipzig, 5-0 winners over Brugge in the Champions League on Wednesday, were missing half a dozen players through injury and were toothless in attack until Andre Silva’s powerful header in the 62nd cut the deficit.

But two minutes later Leverkusen restored their two-goal cushion when Angelino deflected Jeremie Frimpong’s shot into the Leipzig goal.

The hosts’ frustrating afternoon was complete when Dominik Szoboszlai’s 88th-minute penalty hit the post.

Evan Ndicka also secured a late 2-1 victory for Eintracht Frankfurt against Union Berlin. Djibril Sow fired the hosts in front, but saw his effort cancelled out by Max Kruse’s penalty just after the hour. Ndicka scored in the 95th minute to snatch all three points.



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