Eredivisie Wrap: PSV held at home, Go Ahead win in style

PSV were held to a 0-0 home draw by newly promoted Eredivisie rivals Cambuur on Saturday, while newcomers Go Ahead Eagles won impressively.

The Eindhoven side were celebrating their 100th anniversary, and could have gone top with a win, but there were few thrills as the slipped to their fourth consecutive game in all competitions without victory.

PSV had the most of possession and fired in more shots than their opponents, but a lack of accuracy cost both sides as they each only managed two on target.

Phillip Cocu saw his side eliminated from the UEFA Champions League at the play-off stage by Milan in midweek and will hope they come back from the international break refreshed.

Elsewhere, Erik Falkenburg hit a hat-trick as Go Ahead Eagles thrashed RKC Waalwijk 4-1.

The former Netherlands Under-21 international joined the Eagles on loan from AZ in early August and opened his account in fine style as they secured their second win of the season.

He hit two first-half goals within the first 20 minutes before notching his third and final goal just after the hour mark. Denzil Slager hit a consolation for Waalwijk, who drop to 13th.

Twente escaped with a 1-1 draw at home to Heerenveen as Rasmus Bengtsson struck in the 90th minute.

Midfielder Joey Van der Berg had put Marco van Basten’s men ahead on 64 minutes. The draw means both sides are locked just outside the top two positions.

Heracles were denied late in the game against PSV last weekend, but managed to hold on to their lead this week as they beat Den Haag 1-0 at home.

The hosts dominated, firing in 15 shots, with the visitors only able to muster three. Australian defender Jason Davidson broke the deadlock on the half-hour with Heracles failing to add to that goal, but remaining comfortable throughout.

Sat 31 Aug, 2013
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Genoa, Milan agree Antonini, Birsa swap deal

Genoa have announced the signing of Milan full-back Luca Antonini in a swap deal that will see winger Valter Birsa move the other way.

Antonini had been mooted as a possible target for Premier League side Sunderland, but has now decided to join Genoa on a three-year deal.

He made over 100 appearances for Milan, scoring just one goal, since beginning his career at San Siro in 2000.

The 31-year old was loaned out to a series of clubs during his time with the Serie A outfit, including Sampdoria, Modena and Siena.

He became a particular favourite with coach Massimiliano Allegri, who installed him as first choice left-back for the 2010-11 season, where he helped his side to their 18th league title.

In an emotional tweet, he told fans: “After 23 years in Rossonero, today I salute the team I support. The time has come for me to go. Goodbye my Milan, I gave my heart for you. Thank you for everything.”

Birsa, 27, will go in the opposite direction as part of the deal, and like Antonini has signed a three-year deal at his new club.

The Slovenian leaves having made 12 appearances for Genoa in all competitions, scoring two goals.

Sat 31 Aug, 2013
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Sporting, Benfica share spoils, Setubal ease to victory

Sporting and Benfica cancelled each other out in the Lisbon derby as they drew 1-1 at the Estadio Jose Alvalade on Saturday.

Fredy Montero’s fifth goal of the season handed the hosts the early advantage but Serbian Lazar Markovic ensured that the spoils were shared with a second-half strike.

Benfica spurned an opportunity from a promising free-kick in the final third and were punished with a swift Sporting counter-attack that was finished by the head of Montero with 10 minutes gone.

Enzo Perez should have equalised before half-time as he arrived late in the Sporting area and connected with Bruno Cortez’s low cross, but he put it over the bar from a few yards out.

Both sides showed attacking intent but a combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping meant that the game’s second goal did not arrive until 20 minutes into the second half.

The goal was worth the wait, however, as Markovic – a half-time substitute for Eduardo Salvio – picked up the ball before skipping past the challenges of three defenders and poking the ball past Rui Patricio.

In Saturday’s only other match, Vitoria Setubal put their poor start to the season behind them as they recorded their first win of the campaign, beating Vitoria Guimaraes 4-1 away from home despite being reduced to 10 men.

Paulo Tavares opened the scoring for the visitors from the penalty spot in the 20th minute, but Marco Matias’ third goal in his 31st match for Guimaraes levelled the scores on the stroke of half-time.

Paraguayan defender Javier Cohene restored the lead for Setubal early in the second half, with Ramon Cardozo notching two.

Ruben Vezo was sent off for the visitors in the closing stages.

Sat 31 Aug, 2013
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Serie A Wrap: Juventus, Napoli hit four in comfortable wins

Juventus and Napoli each hit four to continue their fine starts to the Serie A season on Saturday.

The Turin outfit continued their Serie A title defence with a 4-1 home win over Lazio.

Antonio Conte’s men got off to a solid start as they set out to attack from kick-off and opened the scoring 14 minutes in. Paul Pogba spotted the advancing run of Arturo Vidal and picked him out with an exquisite lofted pass into the area allowing the Chilean to bring it down and poke into the goal.

Vidal’s bursts from midfield were proving unstoppable and he doubled his tally just before the half-hour mark as he broke the offside trap, controlled Leonardo Bonucci’s long pass and stroked the ball under a helpless Federico Marchetti.

Lazio replied less than a minute later as Gianluigi Buffon could not hold on to Hernanes’ powerful shot and Miroslav Klose slid in to bury the rebound, but Mirko Vucinic eventually re-established the two-goal advantage four minutes after the break as he latched on to another long pass from Bonucci and slotted home.

A red card for Hernanes soon followed as he attempted to knock a cross towards goal with his hand and was shown a second yellow card, before Carlos Tevez wrapped up the win for Juventus with a placed shot.

Napoli remain top in the embryonic Serie A table, after they thrashed Chievo 4-2 away from home.

Rafael Benitez’s side took the lead in the 13th minute as Lorenzo Insigne cut in from the left and laid the ball off for Marek Hamsik who found the net from the edge of the area. Their lead did not last long, however.

Eleven minutes later Perparim Hetemaj brought down a lofted ball on the right flank before volleying a low cross into the area and Alberto Paloschi diverted the ball past Pepe Reina.

Chievo had not been level for five minutes when Gonzalo Higuain surged into the left-hand side of the hosts’ penalty area and squared for his former Real Madrid teammate Jose Callejon to tap into an empty net, but Paloschi hit back again before half-time.

After the break, however, Chievo would not prove to be so resilient as two goals in the space of six minutes settled the match.

Hamsik grabbed his second of the game in the 64th minute, a goal which saw him become the first player to score twice in each of the first two Serie A matches of the season since Alessandro Del Piero managed it in 2002-03, while Higuain rounded off the win soon after.

Sat 31 Aug, 2013
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Ligue 1 Wrap: PSG leave it late, more misery for Lyon

Paris Saint-Germain snatched their first Ligue 1 home win of the season as Lyon’s shaky start to the campaign continued on Saturday.

The hosts managed to create a number of good opportunities throughout the game, but struggled to break down the visitors with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi all wasting good opportunities.

Guingamp thought that they may have done enough to secure a point as the game entered stoppage time, before Thiago Motta’s teasing free-kick was met by the head of Alex, whose header forced a parried save from Mamadou Samassa, with Adrien Rabiot pouncing on the rebound to net from close range.

The win was assured moments later, when Ibrahimovic latched on to Gregory van der Wiel’s long ball before bursting into the box to round the keep and slot into an empty net.

The champions moved to within a point of leaders Marseille, who host fellow title rivals Monaco on Sunday.

Lyon were consigned to playing UEFA Europa League football with a 4-0 aggregate loss to Real Sociedad in their midweek UEFA Champions League play-off and rounded off a difficult week with a surprise 2-1 defeat away to Evian.

A first-half brace from Kevin Berigaud was enough to give the home side the win, despite Lyon replying early after the break through Jordan Ferri.

Christian Romaric struck in the second half to secure a 2-1 win for 10-man Bastia at home to Toulouse.

Claudiu Keseru gave the hosts the lead two minutes before the break, after Julian Palmieri had been shown a straight red card for a high foot.

The visitors were level through Martin Braithwaite 13 minutes into the second half, but Bastia secured the victory when Romaric rose to head home a whipped Florian Raspentino cross nine minutes from time.

The result leaves Toulouse at the bottom of the table in Ligue 1, level on points with Sochaux, who were held to a goalless draw at home to AC Ajaccio.

Vincent Aboubakar scored the only goal of the game for Lorient as they edged past Valenciennes, who ended the game with 10 men when Rudy Mater was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence with five minutes to go.

In the day’s other games. Lille earned a point in a goalless draw at Rennes, while there were also no goals in the match between Reims and Nantes.

Sat 31 Aug, 2013
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Di Canio slams Sunderland defending

Paolo Di Canio launched a scathing attack on his Sunderland players after their 3-1 defeat against Crystal Palace.

The Italian was unhappy with the way his side defended at Selhurst Park and admitted that there was a lot of work to do in order to improve his side’s fortunes.

One thing Di Canio had no complaints about was the penalty that changed the game. John O’Shea brought down Dwight Gayle inside the penalty with a wayward lunge, earning him a red card.

Gayle converted from the spot to move Palace ahead and Stuart O’Keefe made it 3-1 in stoppage time.

Fletcher had levelled for the visitors but despite large spells of possession, they were unable to claim their first win of the season.

“Today it was difficult to be angry,” he said. “Normally I can tell you I’m very angry, but today it was difficult – it was too poor that it was really difficult to say something.

“I don’t think that even the most arrogant player in the world could argue if you said the first two goals were absolute rubbish.

“My leader (O’Shea) was already in the dressing room and said sorry to everybody – how can you be angry?

“They are intelligent and understand when they do something bad. I couldn’t be angry but obviously I was really sad.

“The second goal was very poor. It came from nothing. My leader let the ball get away behind him and then tried to tackle the opponent and it cost us – the goal and the red card.

“They took advantage from our mistake and they put everything on the field. They never gave up but to be honest their goals were very poor.”

Sunderland’s only point in the opening three matches came at St Mary’s as they drew 1-1 with Southampton.

Sat 31 Aug, 2013
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Ibrahimovic: More to come from PSG

Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes they are beginning to find momentum in this season’s Ligue 1 campaign.

The Swede was on hand to score his side’s second goal deep into stoppage time, shortly after substitute Adrien Rabiot had broken the deadlock.

Despite leaving it late, the former Milan and Barcelona star was convinced his side were good value for the win, but admitted they should have killed off the game earlier.

He told PSG TV: “We wanted to score early in the game and we didn’t. I hit the post I think if I had scored with the free-kick the game would have been totally different.”

The result ensured that PSG remain unbeaten in Ligue 1 this season, and Ibrahimovic believes that it is only a matter of time before his side hit their best form.

He added: “We are slowly reaching our rhythm and I think we only need to click from the beginning of the game and everything will be much easier.”

The result was PSG’s first league win at the Parc des Princes this season, and brought them to within one point of leaders Marseille.

Sat 31 Aug, 2013
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Palace seal Kebe signing

Jimmy Kebe has become Crystal Palace’s 11th signing after agreeing a move from Reading for an undisclosed fee.

The 29-year-old completed a return to the Premier League having been relegated with Reading at the end of the last campaign.

Kebe ends a five-year spell at the Madejski Stadium which has seen two Premier League campaigns, a promotion and two relegations.

He had not featured in Nigel Adkins’ side’s opening five games of the Championship season and admitted he was delighted to return to the top flight.

“It’s a big move for me,” he told the club’s official website. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to move in this transfer window but getting back to the Premier League was my main target. I’m very excited about it.

“I talked to the manager (Ian Holloway) and you can see how excited he is and I’m ready for the challenge.

“It’s a big opportunity for the club and we know it’s not going to be easy to stay in this league as there’s a lot of good clubs but anything is possible, so we’ll try our best.

“I was in the same situation with Reading and it’s never easy to move from the Championship to the Premier League as it’s a big step but there’s quality players here and we have a strong team to do something with here.”

Kebe made 18 appearances in the league last season scoring five goals.

Sat 31 Aug, 2013
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Scottish Premiership Wrap: Inverness, Celtic win again

Inverness Caledonian Thistle retained their spot at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a 2-0 win at home to 10-man Hearts on Saturday.

A first-half brace from Billy McKay was enough to seal the victory for Terry Butcher’s men, who remain unbeaten at the top of the table.

McKay should have sealed his hat-trick but missed from the spot following Jamie Hamill’s red card for deliberate handball.

Inverness remain three points ahead of Celtic, who kept the pressure on at the top with a dramatic 1-0 win at Dundee United in the day’s early kick-off.

Neil Lennon’s side enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win over Shakhter Karagandy in midweek, a victory that sealed their place in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.

But they left it late at Tannadice, in a game where chances were few and far between, before Anthony Stokes stepped up to curl home a sweetly struck free-kick three minutes from time, rounding off a terrific week for the champions.

Partick Thistle also managed to secure a late win over St Mirren at Love Street, leaving the home side still to record a win this season.

The hosts took the lead five minutes after half time when Kenny McLean tucked away David van Zanten’s cross, before Kallum Higginbotham levelled with a superb curled effort half an hour later.

Ross Forbes made the points a certainty just three minute later when he came off the bench to lash home and heap more misery on Danny Lennon’s side.

The evening kick off saw Motherwell come from behind to see off Kilmarnock with a 2-1 win at Fir Park .

Goals from Henri Anier and John Sutton cancelled out Darren Barr’s 17th-minute header.

Motherwell were reduced to 10 men late on, but hung on to a win that moves them up to third in the table

Aberdeen were held to a goalless draw at home to St Johnstone, while there were also no goals in the clash between Hibernian and Ross County.

Sat 31 Aug, 2013
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Holloway praises ´commanding´ Crystal Palace

Ian Holloway expressed delight after Crystal Palace claimed their first win of the new season by beating Sunderland 3-1 on Saturday.

Dwight Gayle and Stuart O’Keefe secured the victory for Palace in the second half after Steven Fletcher had cancelled out Danny Gabbidon’s ninth-minute opener.

Gayle scored a late penalty after being brought down by John O’Shea, who was subsequently dismissed, before O’Keefe took advantage of his side’s numerical superiority to seal the win in stoppage time.

And Holloway later declared himself proud of his team after they reacted well to being brought level just after the hour mark.

“All you can do is work on your performances, whether you win or not in this division,” he said. “The first one we got one or two things wrong against Tottenham, kept giving the ball away, we got better by the end but we lost.

“In the second one we were terrific in the first half, then had a terrible wobble, let a goal in then let another one in. Today, they scored and we didn’t wobble.

“I thought that was a commanding performance. I was so pleased. I’m very, very pleased with the determination, the work rate and the performance. Some of that passing was really nice to watch.”

Palace face Manchester United at Old Trafford on September 14 in their next Premier League outing.

Sat 31 Aug, 2013
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