European roundup: Mbappé denies PSG exit reports, Union Berlin extend lead | European club football


Neymar’s goal ended Paris Saint-Germain’s winless run as they beat bitter rivals Marseille 1-0 in Ligue 1. The Brazilian struck moments before half-time to earn PSG a three-point lead over second-placed side Lorient. Marseille had centre-back Samuel Gigot sent off midway through the second half.

After the game, Kylian Mbappé denied reports he is unhappy at the club and eager to move on in the winter transfer window. “I have not asked to leave PSG in January,” the forward told RMC Sport. “I’m not furious with the club, it’s not true.”

“I was as shocked by this news as everyone else. People may think I’m involved, I’m not at all,” Mbappé added in relation to reports that emerged on Tuesday. “I was taking a nap, my entourage was at my little brother’s game. We were stunned when we found out … I just wanted to say that it’s completely false. I’m very happy here.”

In the Bundesliga, surprise leaders Union Berlin have opened up a four-point lead at the top after Janik Haberer scored twice in 13 minutes to earn a 2-0 home victory over Borussia Dortmund.

Haberer pounced to tap in from close range in the eighth minute after the Dortmund keeper, Gregor Kobel, miskicked the ball. The midfielder drilled in another with a powerful shot from the edge the box in the 21st minute, and the visitors were lucky to go into the break with just a two-goal deficit.

Union’s Sheraldo Becker wreaked havoc down the wing, but Dortmund improved defensively after the break with Kobel producing a full-stretch save to stop a Timo Baumgartl header – but they completely lacked ideas in attack to threaten the hosts.

Bayern Munich moved up to second with a dominant 5-0 victory over Freiburg, who drop to third. The defending champions made an ominous start and Serge Gnabry headed in on the rebound after Freiburg keeper Mark Flekken had parried a close-range shot by Leroy Sané in the 13th minute.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting doubled the hosts’ lead after shaking off Matthias Ginter and threading a low shot inside the far post for his first league goal of the season. Bayern continued their dominance after the break, with Gnabry hitting the post before Sané whipped a superb left-footed shot past Flekken from the edge of the area.

Leroy Sané scores Bayern Munich’s third goal from 20 yards.
Leroy Sané scores Bayern Munich’s third goal from 20 yards. Photograph: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Sadio Mané made it four with a clinical chip in the 55th minute, with Marcel Sabizter completing the rout 10 minutes from time. Cologne moved up to seventh in the table after fighting back to beat Augsburg 3-2 at home, Steffen Tigges striking twice in the second half.

Lyon’s winless run now stretches to six matches after they suffered a 3-2 defeat at Rennes in Laurent Blanc’s first game in charge. Martin Terrier scored two headers for Rennes, while Alexandre Lacazette’s opener and second-half equaliser proved to be in vain as Lyon dropped to 10th in the table.

Monaco drew 1-1 at home with Clermont after Mohamed Camara was sent off early on for the hosts. Breel Embolo scored on the rebound after his penalty was saved to give Monaco the half-time lead, but Komnen Andric earned a point for the visitors.

Napoli returned to the top of Serie A with a hard-fought 3-2 home win over Bologna thanks to a late Victor Osimhen goal. The visitors went ahead through Joshua Zirkzee in the 41st minute, only for Juan Jesus to level just before half-time.

Hirving Lozano gave Napoli the lead soon after the restart, only for Alex Meret to allow Musa Barrow’s shot to squirm past him for Bologna’s equaliser. Osimhen came off the bench to score the winner in the 69th when he collected a through ball from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and elegantly lobbed keeper Lukasz Skorupski.

Milan move up to third, a point behind Napoli and Atalanta, after Sandro Tonali’s late goal earned a hard-fought 2-1 win at Verona in the late kick-off. The visitors went ahead after nine minutes when Verona’s Miguel Veloso deflected Rafael Leão’s cross into his own net.

Olivier Giroud missed a chance to double Milan’s lead two minutes later as he fired wide from Brahim Díaz’s cross. Verona deservedly equalised after 19 minutes when Koray Gunter’s shot deflected off Milan defender Matteo Gabbia and beyond keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu.

Ajdin Hrustic curled a shot just wide for the hosts, who then hit the crossbar through Roberto Piccoli in the 56th minute. At the other end, Ante Rebic was denied by Lorenzo Montipò when put through one-on-one, but the Croatian forward made amends with a perfect cross for Tonali to secure victory in the 81st minute.

Sandro Tonali celebrates in front of the away fans after scoring Milan’s winner at Verona.
Sandro Tonali celebrates in front of the away fans after scoring Milan’s winner at Verona. Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images

Lazio and Udinese stay locked together, three points behind the leading duo and two behind Milan, after a 0-0 draw at the Stadio Olimpico. Maurizio Sarri expressed concern over the state of the pitch, with Ciro Immobile going off in the first half with a muscle problem.

“I am a coach who wants his teams to make 700 passes to feet in every game,” the Lazio head coach said afterwards. “I am not suited to this type of pitch, so if this remains the pitch, the club should think of someone else.”

In the early game, Internazionale eased to a 2-0 won over Salernitana at San Siro. Lautaro Martínez opened the scoring in the 14th minute, his powerful shot bouncing before beating keeper Luigi Sepe. Nicoló Barella made the three points safe just before the hour, controlling neatly in the box before firing home.

Real Madrid overcame Barcelona 3-1 in La Liga’s headline Sunday game but elsewhere, the battle for a top-four place is heating up. Real Sociedad briefly moved up to fourth with a 2-1 win at Celta Vigo, Igor Zubeldia heading home the winner, before Betis overtook them with a 3-1 win over Almería. William Carvalho scored twice for Manuel Pellegrini’s side as they moved to within three points of Barça.



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