Gomez delighted to net on return

25 November 2012 00:34

Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez was thrilled to make a scoring return to the first team in a 5-0 rout of Hannover on Saturday.

Germany international Gomez had been sidelined for much of the early 2012/13 campaign following ankle surgery, losing his place to Croatian Mario Mandzukic in the process.

The former Stuttgart striker returned to action off the bench at the Allianz Arena, netting in the 67th minute.

“The most important thing is that I am healthy again,” Gomez said.

“For me personally, to come in and score immediately is just great. But just for me and not for the team, because it was already 4-0.

“But the coach has one option more now and that’s good for us and bad for our contenders.

“I am just happy now. I have to thank the medical team which has done a great job and who I annoyed for 14 weeks.

“And they were all there for me. Also thanks to the coach, for putting me in today. It’s just great.”

Gomez’s team-mate Toni Kroos said the dominant performance was a reflection of the positive mood in the Bayern camp.

“We have qualified in the Champions League, we are way ahead in the Bundesliga, so of course we are confident and we showed it today,” he said.

“Also the early goal helped us with that.”

Serie A: Palermo 3 Catania 1

25 November 2012 00:14

Palermo brushed aside Catania 3-1 to move three points clear of the relegation zone in the Serie A on Saturday.

Fabrizio Miccoli opened the scoring after just 10 minutes before Josip Ilicic fired a second-half brace to put the home side 3-0 ahead.

Francesco Lodi gave Catania some hope with a goal on 71 minutes but the away side could not find another way past Gian Piero Gasperini’s men.

The win ensures Palermo move clear of the bottom three while Catania miss the chance to climb to sixth on the table with the rest of the league due to play on Sunday.

Eredivisie wrap: NEC respond as Willem II snatch draw

25 November 2012 00:07

NEC Nijmegen bounced back from their heavy defeat to Vitesse last weekend with a 2-0 win over FC Utrecht in the Eredivisie on Saturday.

Ricky ten Voorde brought the home fans to their feet after 16 minutes as he opened the scoring, before Melvin Platje doubled NEC’s advantage six minutes before the interval to seal the win.

The result sees Alex Pastoor’s men move level with Utrecht on 22 points, who are now winless in their last three league games.

Bottom side Willem II scored a late equaliser to salvage a 2-2 draw at home to Heracles.

Two Samuel Armenteros goals either side of the half appeared to have handed Heracles the victory before Willem II rallied late to snatch an unlikely point.

Niek Vossebelt gave his side hope on 77 minutes and defender Jordens Peters scored his first league goal of the season in the 90th minute to complete the comeback.

Elsewhere, RKC Waalwijk played out a 1-1 with Groningen, while VVV Venlo and Heerenveen also drawing 1-1.

Ligue 1 wrap: PSG back to winning ways

24 November 2012 23:35

Paris St-Germain ended a three-game winless streak in Ligue 1 with a thumping 4-0 victory over Troyes at the Parc des Princes on Saturday.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side welcomed back star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to league action after his two-game suspension and the Swede made all the difference, playing a part in all four goals as PSG moved to the top of the table.

Former Barcelona defender Maxwell opened the scoring on 17 minutes after turning home a deflected Ibrahimovic cutback from just outside the six-yard box.

The Swede was involved again in the 63rd minute, setting up Blaise Matuidi, who coolly slotted the ball past Yohann Thuram-Ulien in the Troyes goal to double PSG’s advantage.

Ibrahimovic then scored the 200th league goal of his career after 70 minutes, thrashing the ball in on off the crossbar before he wrapped up the victory by netting his second with one minute remaining.

Elsewhere, Rennes’ impressive three-game winning streak was brought to an end after they fell 1-0 at home to Evian TG.

After a scoreless first half, Zouheir Dhaouadi scored what proved to be the match-winner in the 79th minute to give his side a much-needed three points.

The loss sees Rennes miss the opportunity to move into the top four, while Evian take their season tally to 15 points, one clear of the drop zone.

Bastia snapped a two-game losing streak as they defeated Lorient 2-1 at the Stade Armand Cesari.

All the goals came in the first half, with Anthony Modeste opening the scoring for the hosts 12 minutes in before Lamine Kone restored parity for Lorient on 31 minutes.

Attacking midfielder Wahbi Khazri found the net just four minutes later to give Bastia the lead once more and they were able to hold on to secure all three points.

In the other matches on Saturday, Nice saw off Sochaux 1-0 away from home, Nancy and Ajaccio drew 1-1, while Reims played out a 0-0 draw with Brest.

Allegri: Juve result would boost morale

24 November 2012 23:12

AC Milan head coach Massimiliano Allegri says his team have to play an almost perfect match when they face Juventus on Sunday.

Juve are top of the Serie A, having lost only one match this season, while AC Milan are floundering in twelfth.

Allegri knows his side are going through a negative spell but thinks a result against the league leaders would boost morale.

“Juventus are on the top of the table this season and won the scudetto last season, they were unbeaten for a long time,” he said.

“They’re a well-organized team, they have excellent players.

“They play in an aggressive style and they’ve been very confident recently, that’s why tomorrow we need to play an almost perfect match, an excellent match from any point of view, with the awareness that we will be facing the strongest team of the league.”

Milan were champions as recently as two season ago under Allegri, but find themselves some distance behind Juve in terms of quality after losing the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva in the off-season.

“Juventus are doing extraordinary things, they have 32 points and 32 is a lot compared to last season. 15 points for Milan is not good enough, we needed to have some more points and we’re sorry we’re not closer to the top positions,” he said.

“We still have the time to come back to a more suitable position. Tomorrow will be an important match, for our morale in particular, and to give some confidence to everyone, because with a great performance we will surely gain some self-esteem and our supporters will gain some enthusiasm.

“Anyway, we won’t turn around Milan’s season in one match, we need some more time at the moment.”