Atletico Madrid lose at Sevilla to hand Real and Barcelona lifeline – European football round-up


Sevilla recovered from missing an early penalty to beat La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid 1-0 at home on Sunday and hand a lifeline to title challengers Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Atleti’s Jan Oblak saved a penalty for the second game in a row when he repelled Lucas Ocampos’ spot-kick in the eighth minute while Sevilla’s Joan Jordan hit the bar moments later in a rampant start by the hosts as the visitors looked rattled.

Sevilla finally found a breakthrough in the 70th minute when left-back Marcos Acuna headed in a cross from fellow full-back Jesus Navas and the referee ignored Atletico’s claims that Ocampos handled the ball at the start of the move.

Atleti still lead the standings on 66 points but third-placed Barcelona can move one point behind them when they host Real Valladolid on Monday. Real Madrid are second on 63 after beating Eibar 2-0 at home on Saturday.

Valencia players walk off amid alleged racism

Valencia’s La Liga game at Cadiz was temporarily halted as the visitors walked off the pitch in protest after the alleged racist abuse of one of their players.

The incident occurred just before the half-hour mark after Valencia’s Mouctar Diakhaby collided with Juan Cala as Cadiz launched a free-kick into the Valencia box.

The French defender was visibly angry and after a verbal exchange in which he had to be held back by team-mate Kevin Gameiro and Cadiz’s Fali, he was shown a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct.

After speaking to the referee further to explain the reason for his outburst, the player walked off the pitch and down the tunnel alongside his team-mates with the game poised at 1-1.

After the Valencia players held a meeting as to the best course of action, they returned to the pitch to continue the game around 20 minutes later.

Gameiro’s 19th-minute strike for Valencia had cancelled out Cala’s opener for Cadiz at the Carranza Stadium before the game was halted.

Cadiz went on to win the match 2-1 thanks to an 88th-minute header by Marcos Mauro, moving further away from the relegation zone.

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Bundesliga: Hertha snatch derby draw but still in peril

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Hertha Berlin earned a point against Union thanks to a Dodi Lukebakio penalty

Hertha Berlin rescued a 1-1 draw at local rivals Union in the capital’s derby on Sunday but remain mired in a battle to avoid relegation with seven games left in the Bundesliga season.

Both teams hit the crossbar and scored in an exciting first half with Robert Andrich putting the hosts in front with a powerful shot from outside the box in the 10th minute.

Hertha, who are just two points above the drop zone, levelled with Dodi Lukebakio’s 35th-minute penalty but the pace dropped off sharply after the break with no chances for either side.

The result helped Union stretch their unbeaten home run to 13 league games but they failed to close in on the European spots, staying seventh on 39, four behind Bayer Leverkusen.

Union are joined on 39 points by Stuttgart following their 1-0 win over Werder Bremen earlier on Sunday.

Ludwig Augustinsson diverted a Borna Sosa cross into his own goal with nine minutes remaining as the visitors’ stubborn resistance was finally undone.

Ligue 1: Marseille strengthen Europa bid

Marseille laboured to a 2-0 home win against last-place Dijon on Sunday but strengthened their bid for a Europa League place after their rivals dropped points over the weekend.

The scrappy victory moved sixth-place Marseille one point behind Lens in fifth place and a Europa League spot next season. Rennes and Montpellier dropped three points behind Marseille by drawing their matches on Sunday, the day after Lens were held by Lyon.

It was a third win in four games for Marseille’s new coach, Jorge Sampaoli, but he was clearly frustrated at times, with Dijon have not won this year, losing 11 straight league games and drawing the other three. Despite facing poor opposition, Marseille struggled to create anything in a drab first half.

Seconds before the break, Argentina centre-back Leonardo Balerdi, on loan from Borussia Dortmund, headed in Dimitri Payet’s corner at the near post.

Payet set up the second goal for another central defender as Alvaro Gonzalez nodded home from his free kick in the 78th minute.

Montpellier were held 1-1 at Angers while Rennes needed a late equalizer from striker Serhou Guirassy to draw 2-2 with Reims.

English striker Stephy Mavididi’s header just after half-time earned him a ninth goal of the season for Montpellier, but Stephane Bahoken equalised for Angers in the 71st.





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