Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cup exits for PSG and Liverpool

Mamadou Sakho's

Juventus claimed a welcome cup win but the misery continues for Liverpool FC, as they and Paris Saint-Germain FC were dumped out of knockout competitions by second-tier opposition.

Late turnaround
Smiles abounded at Anfield as new signing Maxi Rodríguez was paraded ahead of their FA Cup third-round replay with Reading FC, yet few remained at the end of the evening. The Reds were 1-0 up at half-time after Ryan Bertrand diverted Steven Gerrard's cross past his own goalkeeper, but when the Liverpool captain failed to appear for the second period – Fernando Torres having already limped off – the tide turned. Gylfi Sigurdsson equalised in the third minute of added time to force the extra half-hour, where Shane Long's header sent the seven-time FA Cup winners crashing.

Del Piero double
By contrast, Juventus made light work of an SSC Napoli side previously 13 games unbeaten to book a place in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals. Diego put Ciro Ferrara's men ahead midway through the first half and two late Alessandro Del Piero efforts – the second a penalty after Matteo Contini had been dismissed – secured progress. There were more red cards at Genoa CFC, where an early Gianvito Plasmati double set Catania Calcio on course for a 2-1 victory over the nine-man home side. Mathieu Flamini's sublime, swerving 81st-minute effort spared AC Milan's blushes as they beat third tier Novara Calcio 2-1.

Guingamp joy
Struggling in Ligue 2, French Cup holders EA Guingamp lived up to their giant-killing reputation as Mamadou Sakho's 79th-minute own goal earned the ten-man hosts a 1-0 win against PSG. Elsewhere in the League Cup round of 16 it went pretty much to type as Olympique Lyonnais, FC Lorient, LOSC Lille Métropole, Toulouse FC and Olympique de Marseille prevailed, though OM needed a last-minute Mamadou Niang goal to see off AS Saint-Etienne. There were also two games in Ligue 1, US Boulogne and FC Sochaux-Montbéliard playing out a goalless draw while AS Monaco FC overwhelmed third-placed Montpellier Hérault SC 4-0.

Filipe fillip
In Spain, Josep Guardiola is reflecting on rare disappointment after Xavi Hernández's goal was insufficient to stop FC Barcelona exiting the Copa del Rey round of 16 on away goals to Sevilla FC. CA Osasuna also progress on away goals, and while Real Racing Club scraped past third-tier AD Alcorcón, Getafe CF were far more convincing as they overturned a 2-1 first-leg deficit with a 5-1 victory over Málaga CF. Pushed into a midfield role, Filipe scored one and set up another as RC Deportivo La Coruña recovered from two first-half Nikola Žigić goals to beat Valencia CF 4-3 on aggregate.

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