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Di Maria-led PSG humble Real Madrid, Juve held by Atletico in Champions League

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Paris: Angel Di Maria was hailed as “exceptional” after scoring twice against his former club as Paris Saint-Germain shrugged off the absences of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe and thrashed Real Madrid 3-0 on Wednesday to get off to the perfect start in the Champions League.

Di Maria beat Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois at his near post to put PSG ahead in the 14th minute at the Parc des Princes, but it was his second goal just after the half-hour that really lit up this encounter.

The Argentine, who starred for Real for four years and won the Champions League with them in 2014 before moving to Manchester United, gave Courtois no chance with a left-footed shot from 20 yards out that arrowed into the corner.today’s sports news

Thomas Meunier added the gloss at the death but it was Di Maria who had cleared the way, stepping into the gap left by the injured Mbappe and Edinson Cavani as well as suspended Neymar.

These two clubs are trying to recover some of their lustre after disappointing campaigns in Europe last season, but for PSG this result is a measure of revenge for their defeat at the hands of Real in the last 16 the previous year.

They remain unbeaten at home in the Champions League group stage since 2004 and they are already in control of Group A before facing Galatasaray and Club Brugge, who drew 0-0 on Wednesday.

They had a Gareth Bale goal disallowed for handball after a VAR review just after going two behind, while Eden Hazard struggled to make an impact on his first start since his move from Chelsea.

Madrid were also handicapped by the absences of Sergio Ramos, Nacho and Marcelo in defence as well as Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric in midfield.

PSG, confusingly wearing white while the visitors wore dark blue, opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Di Maria latched onto a Juan Bernat cutback from the left byline and fired in.

Hazard shot just wide at the other end moments later and Bale curled a free-kick over the bar from the edge of the area. Just after that, in the 33rd minute, Di Maria took a touch and smashed a shot into the right-hand corner to make it 2-0.

Then came Bale’s disallowed goal, and the Welshman came close again in first-half stoppage time, yet the Spanish giants created little in the second half apart from a Karim Benzema goal that was ruled out for offside.

Hazard, meanwhile, departed 20 minutes from time having failed to make his mark, and PSG scored again in stoppage time, Meunier exchanging passes with Bernat before finishing.

Both sides should still make it through but for now it is PSG, six months on from their horror show against Manchester United, who have more reason to be optimistic. Especially with so much firepower still to return.

Herrera gabs late point for Atletico

Hector Herrera grabbed a dramatic point on his Atletico Madrid debut with a late header that saw his side come back from two goals down to draw 2-2 in their Champions League opener against Juventus on Wednesday.

Herrera came off the bench to crash home Kieran Tripper’s last-minute corner and complete the comeback after Juve had gone ahead through Juan Cuadrado’s superb strike seconds after the break and a bullet header from Blaise Matuidi on 65 minutes.

Stefan Savic gave the home fans hope when he pulled one back for Atletico five minutes after Frenchman Matuidi had doubled the away side’s lead.

Manchester City made a flying start to their campaign with a 3-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk. Robert Lewandowski scored as Bayern Munich eased to a 3-0 win over Red Star Belgrade while Tottenham let a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2 away to Olympiakos.

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Jamshedpur rally to beat debutants Odisha FC in ISL

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Action during JFC's match against Odisha FC.

Jamshedpur: A 10-man Jamshedpur FC overcame the odds and put up a spirited display to defeat Odisha FC 2-1 in a thrilling Indian Super League match.

Farukh Choudhary broke the deadlock in the 17th minute fortuitously, but the lead was put in danger by a red card that Bikash Jairu picked up with 10 minutes to go for the half-time whistle.

Aridane Santana stuck soon after to restore parity for Odisha FC but a fighting second-half culminated in Sergio Castel finding a winner in the 85th minute for the home side at the JRD Tata Sports Complex.

The two teams looked to get on the scoresheet early and it was Odisha FC that threatened first. Xisco Hernandez fed Jerry Mawhmingthanga down the right flank and the winger’s floating cross was headed just wide by Aridane Santana.

The re-branded Bhubaneswar-based side continued to push and went close again four minutes later. Xisco split the Jamshedpur defence to send Jerry free down the right flank but the winger’s curling effort ricocheted off the post.

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‘Ageless’ Cristiano Ronaldo not ready to retire yet

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Turin: Cristiano Ronaldo reassured Juventus supporters and his legions of fans worldwide that at 34 he’s not ready for retirement yet.

“Age is just a number. It does not mean that at 34, 35, 36 you are at the end of your career,” Ronaldo said at a news conference ahead of Juventus’ Champions League match against Lokomotiv Moscow.

“I can show that with my performances, how I play, the way I play, the way I still feel good, sharp, thinking about the game, more mature. This makes the difference.”

In the second season of a four-year deal at Juventus, Ronaldo had sparked concern among his fans when he said in an interview published a few weeks ago that he was starting to enjoy seeing himself “outside of football, so who knows what will happen in the next year or two?”

Ronaldo recently scored his 700th goal as a professional while on international duty with Portugal and has been nominated for a record sixth Ballon d’Or award which would break his tie of five with Lionel Messi.

But Ronaldo said he’s more interested in winning a treble with Juventus.

“We want to win Serie A, we want to win the Cup, the Champions League,” he said. “Juventus should think big. … We are going to try to win all the trophies, we know it will be difficult, especially the league and the Champions League, but I think it is possible. Everything is possible.

“In terms of individual, I have nothing to say as this is individual. It is not the most important thing,” Ronaldo added.

“The most important is the collective awards. If you win the collective awards you have more chance to win the individual awards. … The Golden Ball is for me in second place.”

While retirement may not be on Ronaldo’s mind yet, family time is a big part of his life now.

“To win games, to score goals, to enjoy myself, to arrive home and see my kids happy and say, ‘Congratulations daddy for scoring a goal.’ That makes me happy,” he said. “This is my motivation to come to train, for the games, to entertain people and the fans with my passion.”

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Messi to battle Ronaldo, Van Dijk for Ballon d’Or award

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Paris: Lionel Messi will have Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk as rivals for the 2019 Ballon d’Or award. But not Neymar.

When the long list of 30 candidates was announced where Neymar has played for more than two years at Paris Saint-Germain the Brazil star’s name was missing from the nominations by a global voting panel of journalists.

Messi and Ronaldo’s 10-year grip on the individual award organised by France Football magazine was broken by Luka Modric last December.

Modric is also absent one year after he swept the Ballon d’Or and FIFA best player awards after a stellar 2018 with Real Madrid and Croatia.

World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe is favored to add a Ballon d’Or to her FIFA award won last month.

The United States star is joined on a 20-woman list by teammates Tobin Heath and Alex Morgan. Defending her title is Ada Hegerberg, winner of the inaugural women’s award, from Europe’s dominant club team Lyon which has six nominees.

Neymar has twice placed third in Ballon d’Or voting, both times finishing behind Messi and Ronaldo. Moving out of Messi’s shadow in Barcelona, where they won a Champions League title together in 2015, has not delivered the personal acclaim Neymar sought.

Messi won his sixth FIFA award last month, edging Van Dijk who starred in Liverpool’s Champions League-winning team.

Van Dijk would be the first defender topping the poll since Italy’s World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro in 2006.

The Liverpool center back was among seven teammates nominated, including Alisson Becker and Roberto Firmino. They also won the Copa America with a Brazil team that managed without an injured Neymar.

Van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum also figured in the five nominees from a resurgent Netherlands team. No Dutch player has won since Marco van Basten in 1992.

Liverpool forwards Sadio Man and Mohamed Salah are among a six-strong African challenge, including Man ‘s Senegal teammate, Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

The only Asian player on the list is South Korea forward Son Heung-min of Champions League finalist Tottenham.

The awards ceremony is December 2 in Paris.

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Men’s list: Sergio Ag ero (Argentina, Manchester City), Trent Alexander-Arnold (England, Liverpool), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon, Arsenal), Alisson Becker (Brazil, Liverpool), Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium, Manchester City), Frenkie De Jong (Netherlands, Ajax/Barcelona), Matthijs de Ligt (Netherlands, Ajax/Juventus), Jo o F lix (Portugal, Benfica/ Atl tico Madrid), Roberto Firmino (Brazil, Liverpool), Antoine Griezmann (France, Atl tico Madrid/Barcelona), Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea/Real Madrid), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal, Napoli), Robert Lewandowski (Poland, Bayern Munich), Hugo Lloris (France, Tottenham), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria, Manchester City), Sadio Man (Senegal, Liverpool), Marquinhos (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain), Kylian Mbapp (France, Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Juventus), Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool), Bernardo Silva (Portugal, Manchester City), Son Heung-Min (South Korea, Tottenham), Raheem Sterling (England, Manchester City), Dusan Tadic (Serbia, Ajax), Marc-Andr ter Stegen (Germany, Barcelona), Donny van de Beek (Netherlands, Ajax), Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands, Liverpool), Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands, Liverpool).

Women’s list:

Kosovare Asllani (Sweden, Link pings/Tacon), Sarah Bouhaddi (France, Lyon), Lucy Bronze (England, Lyon), Pernille Harder (Denmark, Wolfsburg), Ada Hegerberg (Norway, Lyon), Amandine Henry (France, Lyon), Nilla Fischer (Sweden, Wolfsburg/Link pings), Tobin Heath (United States, Portland Thorns), Sofia Jakobsson (Sweden, Montpellier/Tacon), Sam Kerr (Australia, Perth Glory/Chicago Red Stars), Rose Lavelle (United States, Washington Spirit), Dzsenifer Marozsan (Germany, Lyon), Marta (Brazil, Orlando Pride), Lieke Martens (Netherlands, Barcelona), Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands/Arsenal), Alex Morgan (United States, Orlando Pride), Megan Rapinoe (United States, Seattle Reign), Wendie Renard (France, Lyon), Sari van Veenendaal (Netherlands, Arsenal/Atletico Madrid), Ellen White (England, Manchester City).

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