Daily Archives: September 25, 2017

Wolfsburg holds Bayern as dominant Dortmund stays top

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Defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich faltered in their title defense once more after a 2-2 home draw against Wolfsburg.

Bayern had themselves to blame as they squandered a two-goal advantage at the break on Friday in a disappointing 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena.

Striker Robert Lewandowski had opened the scoring with a penalty to get his 11th goal in just nine games this season, while Arjen Robben made it 2-0 with a deflected strike to put Bayern in a comfortable position to secure the game.

But their lead was halved with a terrible flap from backup goalkeeper Sven Ulreich, as Wolfsburg was allowed a lifeline into the game at the 56th minute thanks to the Bayern keeper fumbling Maxi Arnold’s 25-yard free-kick into the net.

Later, Wolfsburg definitely punished Bayern’s inability to finish their host of chances to seal the game as substitute Daniel Didavi scored against Bayern with a neat header in off the post with seven minutes remaining, thus sealing an unlikely draw as Bayern frittered away a two-goal Bundesliga lead for the first time since 2004.

Meanwhile Bayern’s fiercest rivals Borussia Dortmund continued their dominant form in the German top-flight with a 6-1 hammering over Borussia Monchengladbach.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his first goal on the stroke of half-time, before heading past goalkeeper Tobias Suppel for his second soon after, and subsequently completed his hat-trick from a tight angle to secure Dortmund their fifth win from six league games.

A brace from Maximilian Philipp and one by Julian Weigl completed the scoring, although Dortmund would rue that they could not keep out Lars Stindl, whose goal for Monchengladbach stopped Dortmund’s Yellow Wall from collecting a record sixth consecutive clean sheet in the Bundesliga.

Simon Mignolet saves Vardy penalty for Liverpool revenge

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Simon Mignolet helped Liverpool end a dry run of four games without a win by withholding the Leicester City offense and saving a Jamie Vardy penalty late on to help the Reds win 3-2 in the Premier League.

Liverpool, who were also coming off a 2-0 loss against Leicester that eliminated them from the League Cup altogether mid-week, responded with a brilliant offensive showing at the King Power stadium and exacting their revenge in the process.

Philippe Coutinho, who was missing in action for the Reds for most of the season’s opening matches, put on a brilliant showing by first crossing to Mohamed Salah for a header to open the scoring, and then himself scoring a brilliantly curled free-kick.

However, Leicester City was able to reduce the deficit before half-time when Shinji Okazaki poked home from close range just before the break following a scramble in the box.

Liverpool responded through a counter after halftime to make it 3-1 and seemingly secure the points, but the hosts were not to be denied and responded a minute later when Jamie Vardy headed into an empty net after Mignolet pushed Demarai Gray’s shot into his path.

Vardy then gave Liverpool more jitters as he earned a penalty when he was brought down by Mignolet, but the Belgian kept out the England striker’s spot-kick, which followed his usual tactic of going straight down the middle.

While his number and rate of saves in regular play is much more modest, Mignolet’s heroics also meant that he has saved seven of the 15 Premier League penalties he’s faced since joining the Reds in the 2013-14 season — more than any other keeper in the English top-flight.

The Reds then held on against a few more scares to finally earn three points after four consecutive winless games to move up to fifth in the Premier League, while Leicester remain just above the relegation zone with merely a win and a draw from their opening seven matches.

AC Milan’s Serie A struggles continues with defeat to Sampdoria

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AC Milan continues to struggle in their new Serie A campaign after a weekend which saw them lose by 2-0 to Sampdoria, condemning them to their second defeat of the season.

Sampdoria started on the front foot, and were initially awarded an early penalty after two minutes when a cross from Ivan Strinic hit the arm of Franck Kessie.

However, the referee then changed his decision after reviewing the incident on video, as Franck Kessie’s arm was against his back when it was hit by Ivan Strinic’s cross.

Although Samp also had a host of chances, they only opened their account through striker Duvan Zapata.

Zapata, who was up against his cousin Cristian Zapata, exploited a mistake when the Milan defender mistakenly headed an attempted clearance towards him and scored from six yards, breaking the deadlock in the 73rd minute, while his teammate substitute Ricardo Alvarez wrapped up the win with a breakaway goal in stoppage time.

Milan — who spent £175m this summer — would slip to six in the table. While they remain one point above Sampdoria, they are six points behind leaders Napoli and Juventus.

Ahead of Milan were also their city rivals Internazionale, who stay two points behind the top two after a narrow 1-0 victory over Genoa, with Lazio three points further back after beating Hellas Verona 3-0.

Samir Handanovic pulled off a number of saves to keep Inter in the game until a late goal finally helped the Nerazzurri secure a 1-0 win over Genoa, which ended the match with nine men. Both dismissed players were sent off in injury time.