Nice 0 – 3 PSG

Nice 0 – 3 PSG

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France forward Kylian Mbappe marked his return to action with a vintage performance and a goal as champions Paris St Germain rediscovered their form with an impressive 3-0 win at Nice in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Mbappe, who missed the opening three games after contracting the coronavirus, fired PSG ahead with a 38th-minute penalty and had a big part in Angel Di Maria’s strike before Marquinhos headed home the third in the second half.

“I was just happy to put the jersey back on because here in Paris when you miss a game, it’s like you’ve missed 10,” Mbappe told Canal Plus television.

“I spent the last few days watching television and I couldn’t wait to come back. It was nice to score but we are still going through a complicated period and it’s not easy to live with. It was a stylish victory and getting back to winning ways is perfect.”

PSG made a sluggish start to their campaign as they lost the opening two matches and eked out a last-gasp 1-0 home win over Metz on Wednesday but they tore Nice apart with sublime skill and crisp one-touch passing.

Angel Di Maria embraces Mbappe as PSG returned to winning ways
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Angel Di Maria embraces Mbappe as PSG returned to winning ways

Mbappe blasted his spot-kick into the roof of the net after he was fouled by Khephren Thuram and Nice goalkeeper Waller Benitez could only parry the forward’s crisp low shot for Di Maria to sweep home the rebound on the stroke of halftime.

The result lifted PSG to seventh place on six points from four games, with Nice slipping to 10th also on six points.

In Sunday’s other stand-out fixtures, St Etienne, who had a maximum nine points from their opening three games, surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Nantes.

Meanwhile, striker Andy Delort scored twice as Montpellier beat Angers 4-1 to move into third place and Senegalese striker Ibrahima Niane grabbed both goals as Metz beat Reims 2-1 for their first win.

Elsewhere, Strasbourg beat Dijon 1-0, Brest were 3-2 winners over Lorient and Marseille drew 1-1 with Lille.

Serie A: Ronaldo on target in Juve win

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after his customary strike in Juventus' win
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Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after his customary strike in Juventus’ win

Andrea Pirlo got his coaching career off to a winning start as his Juventus side began their quest for a 10th successive Serie A title with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday.

Dejan Kulusevski, signed from Atalanta, scored on his debut in the 13th minute with only his sixth touch of the ball in a Juventus shirt before defender Leonardo Bonucci and Cristiano Ronaldo added two more in the last 15 minutes.

Like Sunday’s other Serie A matches, a smattering of fans watched the game after the Italian government authorised up to 1,000 spectators at matches for the first time since March.

As expected, Pirlo’s side began with an aggressive high press and the pressure quickly paid off.

Ronaldo finds the far corner as Juventus added a late third against Sampdoria
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Ronaldo finds the far corner as Juventus added a late third against Sampdoria

Ronaldo burst into the Sampdoria area and, although his run was blocked, the ball ran loose to Kulusevski who curled a precise low shot into the far corner.

Ronaldo also smacked his shot against the crossbar and then side-footed wide following a neat exchange of passes as Juve dominated possession.

But, as expected from a Ranieri team, Sampdoria, who spent most of last season in the drop zone, were awkward opponents and it took Juventus until the last 15 minutes to finish them off.

Sampdoria failed to clear a corner, Weston McKennie’s effort was saved by Emil Audero, and Bonucci snapped up the rebound and celebrated with his familiar gesture that suggests his critics should wash their mouths out.

Ten minutes later, Aaron Ramsey released Ronaldo and the Portuguese opened his account for the season by drilling his shot into the far corner.

Dries Mertens is all smiles as he celebrates during Napoli's opening win
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Dries Mertens is all smiles as he celebrates during Napoli’s opening win

Meanwhile, Napoli pounced on two defensive mistakes to win 2-0 at Parma in their opening match of the season on Sunday.

Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne got Napoli’s campaign off to a winning start with second-half goals shortly after club record signing Victor Osimhen was brought on for his debut.

A smattering of fans, wearing masks and widely spaced apart, watched the game at the Stadio Tardini.

A cagey first half produced no real chances but Napoli came to life after Nigerian Osimhen, signed from Lille in the summer, was brought on in the 61st minute.

Mertens and Victor Osimhen enjoyed themselves in Napoli's victory
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Mertens and Victor Osimhen enjoyed themselves in Napoli’s victory

Two minutes later, Hirving Lozano crossed the ball into the area and Parma defender Simone Iacoponi headed his attempted clearance straight to the feet of Mertens who fired past Luigi Sepe from 15 metres.

Insigne struck the post from Osimhen’s flick before Parma gifted Napoli a second goal. Lozano intercepted a pass out of the Parma defence, his shot was saved by Sepe but Insigne snapped up the rebound in the 77th minute.

Parma, playing their first match under coach Fabio Liverani, did little to impress new president Kyle Krause, chief executive of the US-based Krause Group which took over the club on Friday.

Genoa, who narrowly escaped relegation last season, made a flying start under new coach Rolando Maran as they thumped promoted Crotone 4-1.

Mattia Destro and 37-year-old Goran Pandev put them 2-0 ahead inside 10 minutes before Emmanuel Riviere pulled one back for the visitors before the half hour.

Davide Zappacosta, making his debut on loan from Chelsea, made it 3-1 with a solo goal in the 34th minute and Marko Pjaca, signed on loan from Juventus on Saturday, added the fourth in the 75th.

Sassuolo midfielder Mehdi Bourabia curled in an 87th-minute free kick to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to Cagliari, who were playing their first match under former AS Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco.

Giovanni Simeone gave the Sardinians the lead with a diving header from Joao Pedro’s cross in the 77th minute and had a goal disallowed for offside three minutes later.

La Liga: Madrid held by Sociedad

Real Madrid's Dani Carvajal shows his frustration during the stalemate
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Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal shows his frustration during the stalemate

Real Madrid had an underwhelming return to La Liga as they could only draw 0-0 away to Real Sociedad on Sunday in the first game of their title defence.

The champions looked rusty and particularly toothless up front, barely creating any chances of note in either half as Karim Benzema found little support in Brazilian teenage forwards Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo.

Benzema missed Real’s best chance of the first half when he lost his footing as he rounded goalkeeper Alex Remiro and later saw a goal-bound shot blocked by a dive from Sociedad defender Aritz Elustondo.

Substitute Marvin, 20, could have had a dream Madrid debut when a chance fell his way after coming on but failed to keep his composure. Sociedad’s David Silva made his first La Liga appearance in a decade when he came on as a substitute in the second half.

William Carvalho was on target for Real Betis in La Liga on Sunday
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William Carvalho was on target for Real Betis in La Liga on Sunday

Real Betis continued their perfect start under new coach Manuel Pellegrini as they beat Real Valladolid 2-0 at home on Sunday for a second win in a row.

Nabil Fekir put Betis ahead in the 10th minute while Portuguese midfielder William Carvalho promptly extended their lead in the 18th with a volley from outside the area.

The hosts comfortably saw out the victory to add to last week’s last-gasp win at Alaves.

Elsewhere, Granada notched a third consecutive win in all competitions by beating Alaves 2-1 at home thanks to a late winner from Darwin Machis after Alaves striker Joselu had cancelled out an early opener from veteran Roberto Soldado.

Granada had gone into the game in a confident mood after thrashing Albanian side Teuta 4-0 in a Europa League qualifier, which followed their 2-0 opening-day win over Athletic Bilbao.

Earlier, Cadiz earned their first win in the top flight for 14 years by beating Huesca 2-0 away with goals in either half from Alvaro Negredo and Jorge Pombo.

Bundesliga: No Werner, no problem for Leipzig

Emil Forsberg celebrates after scoring  RB Leipzig's first goal with team-mates
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Emil Forsberg celebrates after scoring RB Leipzig’s first goal with team-mates

RB Leipzig eased past Mainz 05 3-1 in their Bundesliga opener on Sunday to enjoy a successful start to league life without striker Timo Werner.

Werner joined Chelsea in the close season and missed their run to their Champions League semi-finals in August but Leipzig had little trouble finding the back of the net against Mainz, striking twice in four minutes.

Emil Forsberg converted a 17th-minute penalty for a foul on Dani Olmo and Yussuf Poulsen rose high to drill in a header for the second goal.

Amadou Haidara wheels away in delight after notching his goal for RB Leipzig
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Amadou Haidara wheels away in delight after notching his goal for RB Leipzig

With Mainz struggling to find ways of stopping Leipzig, Forsberg almost scored again on the half hour mark when he dribbled past two opponents but his clever flick bounced off the post.

Mainz cut the deficit three minutes after the restart when Quaison threaded a ball through the entire Leipzig defence for Jean-Philippe Mateta to score with a fine finish.

Any hopes of a comeback lasted only three minutes, however, with Amadou Haidara tapping in a Forsberg assist in the 51st to restore Leipzig’s two-goal cushion.

“On the first matchday it is all about starting the season well,” said Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann. “It is important to live up to your own expectations. We wanted to show from the start that we are fully there.”

Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen played out the only goalless draw of the opening matchday, with the Wolves repeatedly coming close in the first half and Leverkusen taking control after the break.

It was also the first time after 35 consecutive games against Wolfsburg that Leverkusen failed to score.

Champions Bayern Munich opened their season with an impressive 8-0 demolition of Schalke 04 on Friday.



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