CL re-draw pits Man Utd against Atletico after initial error

A re-draw for the Champions League last 16 has pitted Manchester United against Atletico Madrid after Ralf Rangnick’s side had initially been drawn to face Paris Saint-Germain.

A surprise turn of events saw the initial last-16 draw declared void after what UEFA called a “technical error” involving Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester United.

The re-draw took place three hours later, and Liverpool now face Serie A champions Inter Milan, Chelsea drew Ligue 1 winners Lille – having done so in the first draw as well – while Manchester City will take on Sporting Lisbon.

United looked to have been offered the biggest reprieve after drawing PSG in the initial draw, but a meeting with Atletico in European competition since 1991 will still provide a stern test.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid will perhaps feel the most aggrieved by the error – they were drawn against Benfica in the morning but will now face PSG instead.

Elsewhere, Liverpool’s reward for becoming the first English side to win all six Champions League group games is a tie with Inter, who won Serie A last season and currently top the table after 17 games.

It was a case of deja vu for defending champions Chelsea, who were drawn against Lille in both the original and rescheduled draw.

City, last season’s losing finalists, face Sporting for the first time since the two sides met in the Europa League nine years ago.

Champions League last-16 draw

Salzburg vs Bayern Munich

Sporting Lisbon vs Manchester City

Benfica vs Ajax

Chelsea vs Lille

Atletico Madrid vs Manchester United

Villarreal vs Juventus

Inter Milan vs Liverpool

Paris Saint-Germain vs Real Madrid

Liverpool became the first English side to win all six Champions League group stage games
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Liverpool became the first English side to win all six Champions League group stage games

When are the last-16 ties?

The last-16 ties will be split across different weeks, with the first legs taking place on February 15-16 and February 22-23.

The second legs are then on March 8-9 and March 15-16.

How UEFA’s Man Utd gaffe prompted re-draw

Cristiano Ronaldo played a pivotal role as Manchester United topped their Champions League group
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Manchester United were initially drawn against PSG

The Champions League draw was conducted in Nyon by UEFA deputy general secretary, Giorgio Marchetti, and UEFA head of club competitions, Michael Heselschwerdt, with the help of special guest Andrey Arshavin.

Eight balls representing eight runners-up were in one bowl, while eight group winners were in individual pots.

Every winner was to be drawn against a runner-up from a different group and football association.

Heselschwerdt confirmed that the draw process would see one runner-up drawn from the runners-up pot. A computer would then indicate which winners could be drawn against them. Balls containing the names of eligible opponents would be placed together into another bowl, from which one eligible group winner would be drawn and paired with the runner-up.

What was the original Champions League last-16 draw?

  • Benfica vs Real Madrid
  • Villarreal vs Manchester City
  • Atletico Madrid vs Bayern Munich
  • Salzburg vs Liverpool
  • Inter Milan vs Ajax
  • Sporting Lisbon vs Juventus
  • Chelsea vs Lille
  • Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester United

How the draw farce unfolded…

Draw starts: Benfica are the first team drawn from the runners-up pot – and subsequently paired with Real Madrid.

Villarreal error: Villarreal are drawn from the runners-up pot as Marchetti said: “Villarreal can be paired against all the other seven teams”. Arshavin draws Man Utd from the pot of eligible opponents, prompting Marchetti to correct his earlier assertion and say: “This is not possible because Man Utd were in the group so we need to do another one.”

Apology: Arshavin instead draws Manchester City but Marchetti apologises for “the technical issue that our draw is experiencing” as a delay occurs in City’s name appearing on screen as Villarreal’s opponents.

Man Utd missing: Atletico are drawn from the runners-up pot as Marchetti says: “The possibilities are all except Liverpool, who were in the same group, and Manchester United; Manchester United have already been drawn.” Manchester United have not already been drawn but Heselschwerdt appears to pick Liverpool and miss picking Man Utd when placing balls representing Atletico’s eligible opponents into the bowl. Arshavin draws Bayern to face Atletico.

Draw concludes: The rest of the draw is concluded, with Liverpool drawn against Salzburg and Man Utd eventually drawn against PSG.

Re-draw? The draw concludes but reports emerge of clubs immediately questioning the draw. Sky Sports News contacts UEFA about the possibility of a re-draw.

Draw void! UEFA admits a “technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other” caused a “material error” and declares the draw void, to be re-done later on Monday afternoon.

What are the key dates?

Last 16 first legs: February 15/16/22/23

Last 16 second legs: March 8/9/15/16

Quarter-final & semi-final draw: March 18

Quarter-final first legs: April 5/6

Quarter-final second legs: April 12/13

Semi-final first legs: April 26/27

Semi-final second legs: May 3/4

Final: May 28 – Gazprom Arena, Saint Petersburg

CL last 16 re-draw after Man Utd-Liverpool-Atletico error

UEFA will conduct a new Champions League last-16 draw at 2pm after a mistake involving Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester United.

UEFA said a “technical problem” was to blame and resulted in the original draw being declared void.

The issue arose when Group B runners-up Atletico were drawn and their possible last-16 opponents – all group winners – were then put into a separate pot, but United were not included.

Teams who met in the group stages are supposed to be kept apart in the last-16 draw. United did not face Atletico in the groups, but Liverpool did, and Jurgen Klopp’s side were mistakenly put into the pot to potentially face Atletico – who were then drawn against Bayern Munich.

The original draw had seen United set to play Paris Saint-Germain, while Liverpool had been drawn against Salzburg.

Champions League – original last-16 draw

  • Benfica vs Real Madrid
  • Villarreal vs Manchester City
  • Atletico Madrid vs Bayern Munich
  • Salzburg vs Liverpool
  • Inter Milan vs Ajax
  • Sporting Lisbon vs Juventus
  • Chelsea vs Lille
  • Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester United

UEFA said in a statement: “Following a technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other, a material error occurred in the draw for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.

“As a result of this, the draw has been declared void and will be entirely redone.”

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says given the problems with the initial Champions League draw a re-draw is the fair and right thing to do

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes UEFA has made the correct decision to repeat the draw.

Speaking at a press conference to preview his side’s game with Leeds on Tuesday, Guardiola said: “I think it is fair. It was a mistake but sometimes these things can happen.

“If there was a mistake you have to repeat so it is not suspicious.”

How UEFA’s Man Utd gaffe prompted re-draw

The Champions League draw was conducted in Nyon by UEFA deputy general secretary, Giorgio Marchetti, and UEFA head of club competitions, Michael Heselschwerdt, with the help of special guest Andrey Arshavin.

Eight balls representing eight runners-up were in one bowl, while eight group winners were in individual pots.

Every winner was to be drawn against a runner-up from a different group and football association.

Heselschwerdt confirmed that the draw process would see one runner-up drawn from the runners-up pot. A computer would then indicate which winners could be drawn against them. Balls containing the names of eligible opponents would be placed together into another bowl, from which one eligible group winner would be drawn and paired with the runner-up.

How the draw farce unfolded…

Draw starts: Benfica are the first team drawn from the runners-up pot – and subsequently paired with Real Madrid.

Villarreal error: Villarreal are drawn from the runners-up pot as Marchetti said: “Villarreal can be paired against all the other seven teams”. Arshavin draws Man Utd from the pot of eligible opponents, prompting Marchetti to correct his earlier assertion and say: “This is not possible because Man Utd were in the group so we need to do another one.”

Apology: Arshavin instead draws Manchester City but Marchetti apologises for “the technical issue that our draw is experiencing” as a delay occurs in City’s name appearing on screen as Villarreal’s opponents.

Man Utd missing: Atletico are drawn from the runners-up pot as Marchetti says: “The possibilities are all except Liverpool, who were in the same group, and Manchester United; Manchester United have already been drawn.” Manchester United have not already been drawn but Heselschwerdt appears to pick Liverpool and miss picking Man Utd when placing balls representing Atletico’s eligible opponents into the bowl. Arshavin draws Bayern to face Atletico.

Draw concludes: The rest of the draw is concluded, with Liverpool drawn against Salzburg and Man Utd eventually drawn against PSG.

Re-draw? The draw concludes but reports emerge of clubs immediately questioning the draw. Sky Sports News contacts UEFA about the possibility of a re-draw.

Draw void! UEFA admits a “technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other” caused a “material error” and declares the draw void, to be re-done later on Monday afternoon.

Europe: Real win Madrid derby | Barcelona held by Osasuna

Barcelona let three points slip from their grasp at Osasuna as a late stunner from Chimy Avila secured a 2-2 draw for the hosts in La Liga on Sunday.

Deprived of seven key players through injury, Barca coach Xavi Hernandez was forced to turn to his youngsters and 19-year-olds Nico Gonzalez and Abdessamad Ezzalzouli both scored as the visitors twice took the lead.

But Osasuna levelled first through defender David Garcia and then almost in stoppage time, through a low shot from Avila from outside the box that deflected in off Samuel Umtiti’s right foot.

Barcelona are eighth in the table, still outside the European qualification places and 15 points off leaders Real Madrid.

Xavi had told reporters on Saturday that he was worried after their 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich which saw them exit the Champions League at the group stage for the first time in almost two decades.

He said the club needed a reset, to create a new Barcelona.

Yet their performance on Sunday in Pamplona was more of the same, as his team continued to struggle to create opportunities and to keep their opponents at bay.

Barca opened the scoring in the 12th minute when 17-year-old Gavi found Nico with a precise long through-ball that broke Osasuna’s defensive line and left him all alone inside the area to score.

Osasuna responded immediately as Garcia connected with a perfect header that went in close to Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s right post.

It then became a nervy encounter with few clear opportunities. Barcelona’s second goal arrived from a counter-attack, created when Osasuna’s players were complaining about a handball from Sergio Busquets.

Ousmane Dembele sprinted between the hosts’ disrupted defence and crossed for Ezzalzouli to volley home powerfully.

Osasuna never gave up, however, and found the equaliser with an Avila effort that left Barca stunned.

Champions League: Real top group, Atletico through

Real Madrid are through to the Champions League last 16 as Group D winners while Atletico Madrid beat Porto in Group B to finish second behind Liverpool.

Real Madrid finished top of Group D as goals from Toni Kroos and Marco Asensio secured a 2-0 home win over Inter Milan, who had Nicolo Barella sent off.

Both teams had already booked their last-16 places and Real ended on 15 points from six games, five more than second-placed Inter.

Kroos struck the opener in the 17th minute with a crisp low shot from 20 metres which flashed past goalkeeper Samir Handanovic – the 1,000th goal scored in the European Cup and Champions League by the record 13-times champions.

Referee Felix Brych showed Barella a straight red card in the 64th minute. The Italy midfielder retaliated after he rubbed shoulders with Rodrygo by the touchline and crashed into the panel boards, swinging his arm and leg at the Brazilian while he was still on the ground.

Inter were on the back foot and substitute Asensio made it 2-0 with a superb goal in the 79th minute shortly after coming on for Rodrygo. Crisp one-touch passing left the Spanish forward with time and space on the edge of the penalty area to curl a delightful shot which flew into the back of the net off the post.

Sheriff Tiraspol will head into the Europa League after finishing third in the group. Boban Nikolov’s injury-time equaliser earned the Moldovan minnows a 1-1 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Antoine Griezmann scores for Atletico Madrid in their vital clash with Porto
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Antoine Griezmann scores for Atletico Madrid in their vital clash with Porto

Atletico Madrid made it through to the knockout stages and broke Porto‘s hearts with victory at Estadio do Dragao in a match full of incident in Group B.

Atletico had to win to progress and they took the lead after 56 minutes through Antoine Griezmann. However, Yannick Carrasco’s 67th-minute red card made their task more difficult.

The hosts shot themselves spectacularly in the foot, though, when they were reduced to 10 men with the sending off of Borges Wendell.

As Porto pushed for the goal that would keep them in the competition, they were twice hit on the counter attack in injury time through goals from Rodrigo De Paul and Angel Correa.

Sergio Oliveira tucked away a very late penalty but it was too little too late.

AC Milan are out of Europe this season after losing 2-1 to Liverpool at San Siro. The hosts led through Fikayo Tomori’s tap-in but goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi either side of half-time saw Liverpool make it six wins from six matches in the group – the first English side to do so in the Champions League.

Borussia Dortmund beat Besiktas 5-0, but it was not enough for them to go through and it will also be Europa League football for them in the new year.

Erling Haaland and Marco Reus both scored twice but it was only good enough for third place in the group, despite Sporting Lisbon losing 4-2 at Ajax.

Sebastien Haller kept up his scoring streak as the Dutch side ended the Champions League group stage with a 100 per cent record.

The former West Ham striker became only the second player after Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017-18 to score in each game of the six-match group phase as he tucked away an eighth-minute penalty to take his tally in this year’s competition to 10.

Sporting equalised through Nuno Santos in the 22nd minute but Brazilian Antony restored the Dutch sides lead just before half-time after a horror defensive error by the visitors.

David Neres extended Ajax’s advantage after 58 minutes and four minutes, later Steven Berghuis added the fourth. Sporting got a 78th-minute consolation with Bruno Tabatas thunderous side-footed shot off the underside of the crossbar.

The top two places in Group A were already decided but RB Leipzig’s 2-1 home win over group winners Manchester City kept them in Europe.

Goals from Dominik Szoboszlai and Andre Silva sealed third place, despite Riyad Mahrez’s reply for the English champions – who had Kyle Walker sent off.

Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi each scored twice in Paris Saint Germain’s 4-1 win against Club Brugge.

Visiting goalkeeper Simon Mignolet clumsily punched Nuno Mendes’s cross into the path of Mbappe who fired home after two minutes and the striker was at it again five minutes later when he volleyed past the Belgian from Angel Di Maria’s pass.

Mbappe is the youngest player to reach 30 goals in the Champions League, less than two weeks before his 23rd birthday.

Messi added the third seven minutes before half-time with a trademark curled attempt from outside the area and although Mats Rits pulled one back in the 68th minute, PSG were always in control.

Messi wrapped up a comfortable victory with a late penalty after being brought down by substitute Ignace Van der Brempt.

Euros: Bayern beat Dortmund | Jose suffers Roma humiliation

Robert Lewandowski scored twice, including a second-half penalty, to guide the German champions Bayern Munich to a crucial 3-2 victory at title rivals Borussia Dortmund on Saturday and a four-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga.

The Pole opened his account in the ninth minute to level after Dortmund had taken an early lead through Julian Brandt, and then converted a controversial 77th-minute spot-kick to seal victory with his 16th goal of the campaign.

Kingsley Coman had put Bayern in front a minute before the break before Erling Haaland equalised for the hosts with a superbly curled effort in the 48th.

Robert Lewandowski was the difference again
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Robert Lewandowski was the difference again

In an action-packed encounter, Dortmund coach Marco Rose was sent off with a second booking for dissent following the penalty decision.

Bayern, chasing a record-extending 10th league crown, move up to 34 points with this sixth straight league win over their rivals, leaving Dortmund in second place on 30. Bayer Leverkusen are in third place on 27.

Julian Nagelsmann celebrates with Lewandowski
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Julian Nagelsmann celebrates with Lewandowski

“I think we deserved to win but I also understand the discussions over the two penalty situations,” Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann said.

Dortmund were fuming about the penalty decision in favour of Bayern after having been denied a VAR review in a penalty claim of their own earlier.

“It was a very tight game that was worthy of its reputation. We could have scored more in the first half,” Nagelsmann said. “Dortmund did it well early in the second half but we found our rhythm again and had good control.”

Elsewhere, Patrik Schick scored four times in 27 minutes as Bayer Leverkusen crushed Greuther Fuerth 7-1 to make it three wins in a row and climb into third place in the Bundesliga.

The 25-year-old Czech striker took his season tally to 12 league goals after scoring all of his four goals in a remarkable second-half performance, to stretch Leverkusen’s unbeaten run to four consecutive league games and lift them to 27 points.

Serie A: Inter thrash Roma as Mourinho suffers reunion to forget

Jose Mourinho suffered a heavy home defeat
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Jose Mourinho suffered a heavy home defeat

AS Roma collapsed to a 3-0 defeat at home to manager Jose Mourinho’s former club Inter Milan on Saturday as the champions climbed to second in Serie A and inflicted a fourth defeat in six league games on the capital club.

Mourinho led Inter to an unprecedented treble in 2010 but his first meeting with them as an opposing coach ended with the second Serie A home defeat of his career in his 46th match — the other coming against AC Milan in October.

The Portuguese pointed to his side’s absentees, who included the suspended Tammy Abraham and Rick Karsdorp and injured captain Lorenzo Pellegrini, after a comprehensive defeat.

“Inter are stronger than us in normal circumstances, in these circumstances, they are much stronger,” Mourinho told DAZN.

Inter Milan celebrate their comfortable away win
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Inter Milan celebrate their comfortable away win

“Today between injuries and suspensions it was a very limited selection. Our attacking potential was practically zero, we had three chances and didn’t score,” Mourinho added.

“When you play with a new defensive system you can’t concede goals like the first and third.”

Elsewhere, Napoli surrendered the lead to lose 3-2 at home to Atalanta, dropping from first to third as the gap between the top four sides in Serie A was squeezed to four points.

Luciano Spallettis hosts recovered from a goal down and went in front early in the second half, only for the visiting Bergamo club to mount a comeback of their own and inflict a second league defeat of the season on the hosts.

The result saw Napoli, who had led the title race since week four, remain on 36 points, two behind new leaders AC Milan, one behind Inter Milan and two ahead of fourth-placed Atalanta.

Meanwhile, AC Milan climbed to the top of the Serie A table with a comfortable 2-0 win over bottom side Salernitana, thanks to early goals from Franck Kessie and Alexis Saelemaekers.

The Rossoneri dominated at San Siro to gain a victory that sent them provisionally into first place on 38 points, two clear of second-placed Napoli, who host Atalanta later in the day.

Milan’s current points tally of 38 is their highest after 16 league games since 2003/04, when they won the title.

La Liga: Barcelona, Atletico beaten as Real win

Xavi on the touchline during the Real Betis loss
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Xavi on the touchline during the Real Betis loss

Barcelona were stunned by Juanmi’s late goal for Real Betis that secured a 1-0 win in LaLiga on Saturday and ended home coach Xavi Hernandez’s honeymoon at the club as he suffered his first defeat since coming back to the Nou Camp three weeks ago.

It was Betis’ first win at Barca in more than three years and took them up to third place with 30 points, six points behind leaders Real Madrid who play later on Saturday at Real Sociedad. Barcelona are languishing in seventh on 23 points.

With Barca’s decisive Champions League match away to Bayern Munich coming up on Wednesday, Xavi rested three of his most important players – Gerard Pique, Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembele – but the decision backfired.

Memphis Depay responds to Juanmi's goal
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Memphis Depay responds to Juanmi’s goal

Betis were dangerous on the counter-attack and Juanmi, who earlier had a goal disallowed by VAR for a close offside call, struck a clean finish past keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen after fine build-up play by Sergio Canales and this one did count.

Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid conceded a goal by Mallorca’s Takefusa Kubo in added time in a shock 2-1 La Liga home defeat that will be remembered on the Mediterranean island for years.

In an electrifying match in the Spanish capital, Atletico went in front through a Matheus Cunha strike in the 68th minute.

However, with 10 minutes left and Atletico looking in control of the match, Mallorca equalised with a header from Argentine defender Franco Russo, who outjumped Mario Hermoso from a free-kick and finished with precision past Jan Oblak.

Eight of the 15 goals conceded by Atletico this season have come when they have been defending set-pieces.

As the clock ticked down in stoppage time substitute Kubo, on loan at Mallorca from Real Madrid, received a perfect through pass from Angel Rodriguez behind the defensive line and the 20-year-old Japan striker calmly slotted the ball under Oblak.

Real Madrid's team players celebrate after scoring their side's second goal
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Real Madrid’s team players celebrate after scoring their side’s second goal

Meanwhile, Real Madrid travelled north to San Sebastian and left with a statement 2-0 win against Real Sociedad on Saturday to move eight points clear at the top of La Liga.

With Karim Benzema forced off after 17 minutes with a hamstring injury, it was once again Vinicius Jr who stood out by scoring his 10th goal of the season and driving the home side’s defence crazy with his boldness and audacity.

Real’s man of the hour, 21-year-old ‘Vini’ has been one of the standout players in Europe during this campaign and is two goals behind Benzema at the top of LaLigas scoring charts.

Luka Jovic, who replaced the injured Benzema, enjoyed his best game as a Real Madrid player, assisting Vinicius for the first goal and scoring the second with a diving header.

Ligue 1: Wijnaldum salvages draw for PSG

PSG's Marco Verratti and Lens' Jonathan Clauss in action
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PSG’s Marco Verratti and Lens’ Jonathan Clauss in action

Georginio Wijnaldum came to the rescue with a last-gasp goal as Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain salvaged a fortunate 1-1 draw at RC Lens on Saturday.

The Dutch midfielder headed home two minutes into stoppage time to cancel out Seko Fofana’s second-half opener and put PSG on 42 points from 17 games.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who once again looked severely short of ideas, lead second-placed Olympique de Marseille by 13 points after OM slumped to a 1-0 defeat at home against Stade Brestois earlier on Saturday.

Lens, who missed several chances to wrap it up before Wijnaldum’s equaliser, stayed fifth on 27 points.

With Kylian Mbappe on the bench as Pochettino sought to rest the France forward, PSG had the first clear chance when Lionel Messi’s curled shot struck the post in the 19th minute.

But it was Lens who dominated, with opportunities through Jonathan Clauss and Arnaud Kalimiuendo before the interval.

The hosts were rewarded in the 62nd minute when Keylor Navas’s blunder allowed Fofana to score with a floating strike from just outside the box.

Seven minutes later, Pereira Da Costa’s shot hit Navas’s post before landing in the PSG keeper’s arms as Lens continued to push.

Przemyslaw Frankowski tested Navas again at the end of a sharp counter-attack but PSG held out.

Florian Sotoca’s attempt went just wide nine minutes from time and it proved to be Lens’s last clear chance before Mbappe, who came on as a 70th-minute substitute, found Wijnaldum with a fine cross.

The Dutchman timed his jump to perfection to beat Jean-Louis Leca with a header that went into the top corner to give PSG their only satisfaction of the night.

On Sunday, Stade Rennais could move into second place, 11 points off the pace, if they beat bottom side St Etienne at Geoffroy Cuichard.

Fourth-placed Nice host Racing Strasbourg and could themselves go into second place if they win and Rennes do not.

Eriksen ‘training by himself’ at former club in Denmark

Christian Eriksen has begun working out at the training ground of his youth club in Denmark following his rehabilitation after suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020, a spokesperson for the club said on Thursday.

Eriksen, 29, has not played since suffering the cardiac arrest while running near the left touchline during Denmark’s opening game of Euro 2020 against Finland in June and received life-saving treatment on the pitch.

“Eriksen reached out to us, and he is now training by himself,” a spokesperson for Odense Boldklub (OB) told Reuters.

“It’s natural for him since he played here in his youth and lives around the corner. We are very happy to be able to provide training facilities for him,” he said.

Christian Eriksen joined Inter Milan from Tottenham in January 2020
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The Italian medical authority has suspended Eriksen from playing in Serie A

Eriksen played for OB before joining Ajax in 2008, where he became a Denmark international. He moved to Tottenham Hotspur in 2013, playing in the 2019 Champions League final, and then signed for Inter Milan last year.

The Italian medical authority has suspended Eriksen from playing in Serie A, due to a rule prohibiting the use of a cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) device that he has had implanted, Inter said in October.

The Serie A champions also said they were open to letting the Danish midfielder leave the club.

The OB spokesperson did not know when Eriksen started training in Odense or how long he planned to train there.

Euro round-up: Barca end winless streak, Juve lose again

Memphis Depay and Philippe Coutinho scored late on at Villarreal as Barcelona won 3-1 to finally end their winless streak away from home under new coach Xavi.

Prior to Saturday’s game, only three teams across the division had picked up fewer points on the road this season, after Barcelona were winless in their first five league matches away from the Nou Camp.

The long-awaited win came in Xavi’s third match in charge since replacing Ronald Koeman.

Frenkie de Jong broke through for the visitors minutes after half-time when he turned in a rebound.

But Villarreal equalised through substitute Samuel Chukwueze 15 minutes from time and were pressing for a winner themselves when Depay struck against the run of play two minutes from time.

Depay brought down a long goal kick from Marc-Andre ter Stegen, dribbled around Rulli and coolly put the ball between the legs of defender Pervis Estpuinan on the line.

Coutinho sealed the three points in stoppage time when he converted a penalty he had earned himself.

Barcelona remain in seventh place, but reduced the gap to early leaders Real Madrid to seven points.

Rayo Vallecano continued to impress as the promoted team fought back to draw 1-1 at Valencia.

Rayo, who have the league’s best home record, inched into fifth place after taking the point on the road.

Iago Aspas and Santi Mina scored as Celta Vigo won 2-1 at Alaves, while Mallorca and Getafe drew 0-0 on the Balearic Islands.

Serie A: Juventus’ misery compounded by Atalanta

Duvan Zapata has now scored nine goals in 12 Serie A games this season
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Duvan Zapata has now scored nine goals in 12 Serie A games this season

There was more misery for Juventus as they were jeered off following a 1-0 home defeat by Atalanta, four days after losing 4-0 at Chelsea in the Champions League.

Duvan Zapata scored the only goal in Turin, with a powerful effort in the 28th minute which went in off the underside of the crossbar.

Juventus almost levelled in the second half but Adrien Rabiot’s effort was denied by a fingertip save from Juan Musso.

Juventus players Federico Chiesa and Weston McKennie went off injured during the match, to cap a miserable night for the Bianconeri.

Inter Milan kept up the pressure on the top two in Serie A as the defending champions won 2-0 at Venezia.

Hakan Calhanoglu opened the scoring in the first half, before Lautaro Martinez sealed the result with a stoppage-time penalty. Third-placed Inter moved to within two points of AC Milan and Napoli. Napoli hoss Lazio on Sunday, while Milan welcomes Sassuolo to the San Siro.

Hakan Calhanoglu opened the scoring for Inter Milan at Venezia
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Hakan Calhanoglu opened the scoring for Inter Milan at Venezia

Both teams struggled to create chances in the early stages and Inter’s best opportunity came in the 30th minute when Venezia goalkeeper Sergio Romero did well to parry an Ivan Perisic header.

Inter took the lead six minutes later as Calhanoglu unleashed a powerful effort from outside the area which flew into the bottom-left corner.

Venezia almost levelled shortly after with a screamer from Mattia Aramu that Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic kept out.

Inter had several opportunities to double their lead before eventually doing so in stoppage time. Venezia left-back Ridgeciano Haps was penalised for a handball, and Martinez fired the resulting spot kick into the bottom-left corner.

Elsewhere, two late goals saw Empoli complete an extraordinary turnaround and beat Fiorentina 2-1.

Fiorentina seemed to be heading for the win after Dusan Vlahovic’s 57th-minute opener but substitute Filippo Bandinelli levelled three minutes from time, and Andrea Pinamonti netted the winner in the final minute of the game.

Sampdoria came from behind to beat Hellas Verona 3-1.

Bundesliga: Haaland scores on return from injury

Erling Haaland scored on his comeback with a second-half volley as Borussia Dortmund came from a goal down to beat VfL Wolfsburg 3-1 in the Bundesliga.

The Norwegian striker scored in the 81st minute after coming on as a second-half substitute following his recovery from a hip flexor muscle injury that had sidelined him since mid-October.

With their sixth win in the last seven league matches, Dortmund – having crashed out of the Champions League on Wednesday after a 3-1 loss to Sporting Lisbon – moved up to 30 points, one behind Bayern Munich, who beat Arminia Bielefeld later in the day.

The Bundesliga’s top two teams face each other next weekend.

Haaland was a second-half substitute for Dortmund
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Haaland was a second-half substitute for Dortmund

“A lot has happened in the past few days. But we played a good game and the result stands above everything else,” Dortmund’s Julian Brandt said.

“We are extremely happy. Now we have a good full week to prepare for Bayern and we will go into that game with a lot of confidence.”

The Wolves took a second-minute lead through Wout Weghorst, who headed in at the near post to complete a textbook break that had left the Dortmund back line exposed.

The Ruhr valley club levelled with an Emre Can penalty in the 35th minute after captain Marco Reus was brought down in the box by Wolfsburg’s Maxence Lacroix.

Donyell Malen put them in front by rifling in from a Reus pass to score for the third consecutive game in all competitions.

There was more good news for Dortmund, with Haaland making a second-half substitute appearance and looking as sharp as ever ahead of the big game against the Bavarians.

He needed only eight minutes on the pitch to bag his 10th league goal in seven appearances, volleying in from close range to become the youngest ever player to reach 50 Bundesliga goals at 21 years and 128 days.

Leroy Sane's winner was his fourth Bundesliga goal of the season
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Leroy Sane’s winner was his fourth Bundesliga goal of the season

Bayern laboured for long periods against a defensive-minded Bielefeld team, who had earned a 3-3 draw on their previous visit to Munich.

Substitute Jamal Musiala provided the key with a brilliant diagonal pass forward to Thomas Muller, who laid it off for Leroy Sane to fire in the winner from outside the penalty area in the 71st minute.

It ensured Bayern set a record of 102 Bundesliga goals in a calendar year, previously held by Cologne who plundered 101 in 1977.

Sebastian Andersson scored in injury time as Cologne beat Borussia Monchengladbach 4-1 in their Rhine derby in front of 50,000 fans.

Augsburg substitute Michael Gregoritsch scored in the seventh minute of injury time to salvage a 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin, and extend the hosts’ winless run to four games.

Elsewhere, Hoffenheim routed bottom side Greuther Furth 6-3 away, while Bochum came from behind to beat visitors Freiburg 2-1. Milos Pantovic scored the winner from barely inside the Freiburg half.

Ligue 1: Bottom side Metz stun second-placed Nice

Bottom side Metz stunned second-placed Nice 1-0 in Ligue 1.

Nice’s second straight defeat at Allianz Riviera Stadium could see Rennes, who play on Sunday, jump above them into second place.

The hosts gave a listless performance in the first half and Metz capitalised on a lack of urgency to take the lead in the 31st minute when Fabien Centonze converted a low cross from Nicolas de Preville.

Goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja protected Metz’s lead by saving Andy Delort’s close-range header with his legs on the stroke of half-time, before pushing behind a cross-cum-shot from Pablo Rosario in the 63rd minute.

Champions Lille failed to convert a late penalty and remained in the bottom half of the Ligue 1 table when they were held to a 1-1 home draw by 10-man Nantes on Saturday.

The result left Lille stuck in 12th spot, with 18 points from 15 matches, one point behind their visitors who remained in 11th.

Jonathan David had his 80th-minute penalty saved by Alban Lafont after Fabio had given away the spot kick, and been sent off, for tugging on the shirt of Mehmet Celik.

It was an unconvincing effort from the Canadian international and proved a comfortable stop for the Nantes goalkeeper.

Lille, whose domestic form has contrasted with their Champions League exploits where they top their group with one game to play, went ahead early when veteran Burak Yilmaz crashed home a right-footed shot.

The ninth-minute goal was set up by Jonathan Bamba and suggested Lille could break a spiral of disappointing Ligue 1 form.

But, as had happened six times previously this season, they failed to hold on to their lead as Nantes equalised in the 24th minute.

Ludovic Blas shrugged off the defensive attention of both Tiago Djalo and captain Jose Fonte to squeeze his shot inside the post and make it 1-1.

Nantes might have taken the lead six minutes later but the effort of former Manchester United full-back Fabio cannoned back off the upright.

Nantes’s Pedro Chirivella missed a good chance with some 30 minutes left before Lille came back strongly to dominate the closing stages but squandered their chance to take all three points.

CL round-up: Real, Inter qualify; Dortmund drop to EL

Real Madrid and Inter Milan have secured their spots in the Champions League last 16, but Borussia Dortmund have dropped into the Europa League.

Real Madrid strolled to a 3-0 win at Moldovan rivals Sheriff Tiraspol in their lop-sided Group D clash.

France striker Karim Benzema, who was handed a suspended one-year prison sentence earlier on Wednesday, had a goal chalked off in the 10th minute for offside as Real laid siege to the home side, who stunned the Spanish side 2-1 in the reverse fixture in September.

David Alaba fired the visitors ahead with a deflected free-kick in the 30th minute, with his shot from 22 metres leaving Sheriff goalkeeper Georgios Athanasiadis stranded after it clipped Cristiano’s outstretched foot.

Toni Kroos doubled Real’s lead on the stroke of half-time with a fine effort which cannoned in off the underside of the crossbar after a flowing move left the German midfielder with time and space to pick his spot.

Benzema made it 3-0 with a sublime strike from the edge of the penalty area into the bottom corner after he was teed up by left-back Ferland Mendy in the 55th minute, as Real kept their foot on the pedal.

The home side came close to pulling one back shortly after the hour as Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois parried Adama Traore’s low drive and Sebastien Thill hit the post with a glancing header in the follow-up.

Edin Dzeko scored twice for Inter Milan as they reached the last 16
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Edin Dzeko scored twice for Inter Milan as they reached the last 16

Real top the group on 12 points from five games, two more than second-placed Inter Milan with the result also sending the Italian champions through after they beat Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0.

Edin Dzeko scored twice to help Inter Milan reach the Champions League knockout stage for the first time in 10 years.

Dzeko’s two goals came in the space of six minutes in the second half. Inter had been by far the superior team, but had been let down by poor finishing, while Shakhtar goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin had also pulled off a number of good saves.

Inter had earlier had two goals disallowed, with Ivan Perisic and Lautaro Martinez seeing efforts ruled out.

Sporting Lisbon beat 10-man Borussia Dortmund 3-1 with two goals from Pedro Goncalves to clinch their spot in the Champions League knockout stages for the first time in 13 years and eliminate the Germans from the competition.

Goncalves struck twice in the first half to lead his team to their 10th straight victory in all competitions and nine points in Group C, three ahead of the Germans with a game left and a better head-to-head, after losing 1-0 in Dortmund in September.

Emre Can was sent off for Borussia Dortmund
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Emre Can was sent off for Borussia Dortmund

Sporting – in the round of 16 for the first time since 2008-09 – made the most of a disastrous Nico Schulz clearance that sent the ball straight to Goncalves who flicked it past ‘keeper Gregor Kobel after half an hour. He then rifled home from 20 metres nine minutes later to put Sporting firmly in the driving seat.

Dortmund, still without injured striker Erling Haaland, came out fighting after the break, but their hopes of a comeback were dashed when Emre Can was sent off in the 75th for a foul on Pedro Porro.

Sporting earned a penalty four minutes later and Porro headed in the rebound after Kobel had saved Goncalves’ spot-kick to deny him a hat-trick. Dortmund scored their consolation in stoppage-time through Donyell Malen.

Sebastien Haller brought his Champions League goal tally to nine this season as he came off the bench to score both goals as Ajax beat Besiktas 2-1 to secure the top spot in Group C with five straight wins.

Manchester City sealed their passage into the Champions League last 16 as group winners after coming from a goal down to beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City celebrate after Gabriel Jesus' winner against PSG
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Manchester City celebrate after Gabriel Jesus’ winner against PSG

RB Leipzig scored four goals in a rampant first-half performance and added one more after the break for a comprehensive 5-0 victory away at Club Brugge that lifted them off the foot of Champions League Group A.

Leipzig are now in pole position to finish third in the standings and secure a berth in the Europa League, ahead of their Belgian hosts.

Rachid Ghezzal had given Besiktas the lead from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute after Noussair Mazraoui handled the ball from a corner by Ghezzal.

Haller first tapped in from close range after a cross by Nicolas Tagliafico in the 54th minute and then deflected a shot by Lisandro Martinez into the roof of the net 15 minutes later.

Haller is level with Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski as the top scorer in the Champions League this season.

A stunning header from Junior Messias in the dying minutes handed AC Milan a 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid and kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the last 16.

Mohamed Salah celebrates with Jordan Henderson after scoring Liverpool's second goal
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Mohamed Salah celebrates with Jordan Henderson after scoring Liverpool’s second goal

On a freezing night in Madrid, a packed crowd at the Metropolitano Stadium failed to spur on Atletico, who struggled to make any kind of impact against a Milan side who showed urgency and aggression in a must-win situation.

Brazilian Messias broke the deadlock in the 87th minute with a spectacular header after latching on to a perfect cross from Franck Kessie.

Second-half strikes from Thiago and Mohamed Salah also saw Liverpool ease past Porto as they won 2-0 and kept on course for a perfect Champions League group stage.

Wednesday’s results means the race to see who will join group winners Liverpool in the next round will go down to the wire. Porto, who are on five points, as well as Milan and Atletico, who are tied on four points, will have to wait until the final round of fixtures to decide who will finish second.

Europe: Inter end Napoli’s record unbeaten start

Serie A leaders Napoli lost for the first time this season as Inter Milan reinvigorated their own title bid with a 3-2 win at the San Siro.

Inter, the defending champions, cut the gap on Napoli and AC Milan to four points and ended Napoli’s status as the last remaining unbeaten team across Europe’s five major leagues, a day after Milan were beaten 4-3 by Fiorentina.

Dries Mertens, who had set up a pulsating finale with Napoli’s late second goal, missed the chance to equalise in injury time when he blazed a shot over.

It was Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti’s first return to the San Siro since he was fired by Inter despite leading them to a fourth-place finish in 2019.

Lautaro Martinez netted the winning goal on the counter attack after an hour, set up by compatriot Joaquin Correa, who ran almost from one area to the other to make the goal.

Inter Milan's victory moved them four points off the league leaders
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Inter Milan’s victory moved them four points off the league leaders

Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic preserved the victory with a brilliant save to deny Mario Rui in injury time, turning the ball onto the crossbar, before Mertens’ miss.

The visitors had struck first in the 17th when Piotr Zielinski won possession from Nicolo Barella, then ran forward to smash the ball from Lorenzo Insigne’s pass in under the crossbar.

Hakan Calhanoglu levelled with a penalty, awarded after Kalidou Koulibaly was penalised by VAR for hand ball after blocking Barella’s shot with his left arm.

Inter coach Simone Inzaghi was booked for his furious reaction before the spot-kick was eventually awarded and scored, as was Koulibaly.

It prompted a furious reaction before the break, when Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina denied Barella. Inter scored from the resulting corner just before the interval, when Ospina was powerless to keep out Ivan Perisic’s header at the near post.

Martinez scored but Mertens ensured a lively finale when he pulled one back in the 78th minute with a brilliant shot in under the crossbar. It was his 137th goal for Napoli.

There was another holdup for another clash of heads, between Ospina and Inter striker Edin Džeko. Both continued with bandaged heads to see the late drama.

Earlier, a penalty from Brazilian forward Joao Pedro helped Cagliari off the bottom of the table with a 2-2 draw at Sassuolo.

Sampdoria’s 2-0 win at Salernitana left the promoted side bottom in Cagliari’s place.

Nigerian forward David Okereke’s second-half goal was enough for Venezia to come away from Bologna with a surprise 1-0 win.

La Liga: Real Madrid keep up momentum with big win

Ferland Mendy's goal was his first in La Liga this season
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Ferland Mendy’s goal was his first in La Liga this season

Real Madrid kept their momentum from before the international break by cruising to a 4-1 win over 10-man Granada to reclaim top spot in La Liga.

Marco Asensio, Nacho Fernandez, Vinicius Junior and Ferland Mendy all scored to give Madrid a fourth straight victory in all competitions.

Carlo Ancelotti’s team reached 30 points from 13 league matches, two points more than both Sevilla and Real Sociedad.

Granada were a man down from the 67th as midfielder Ramon Rodriguez was sent off for a late challenge on Vinicius Junior, and head coach Robert Moreno was later sent off for dissent.

The victory extended Madrid’s unbeaten streak to seven matches in all competitions ahead of their Champions League visit to Sheriff on Wednesday.

Asensio put Madrid ahead from inside the area in the 19th minute from a pass by Kroos, who also set up Nacho’s goal shortly after. Vinicius Junior added to the lead after good work by Karim Benzema and Luka Modric after half-time, and Ferland Mendy ended the scoring 15 minutes from time.

Granada’s only goal came in the 34th when a low shot by forward Luis Suarez from outside the area deflected off Nacho before going in.

Elsewhere Getafe beat Cadiz 4-0 at home to move off the bottom of the table.

It was only Getafe’s second victory this season, after starting the campaign with a run of seven straight defeats.

The result moved the Madrid club two points ahead of last-placed Levante, who drew 0-0 against Athletic Bilbao on Friday.

Cadiz, previously unbeaten in three league matches, stayed in 16th place, one point above the relegation zone.

Ligue 1: Nice up to second with Clermont win

Amine Gouiri has now scored eight goals in 14 Ligue 1 games this season
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Amine Gouiri has now scored eight goals in 14 Ligue 1 games this season

Amine Gouiri scored twice as Nice rallied past Clermont 2-1 to climb to second in Ligue 1, 11 points behind PSG.

A late double from Gouiri completed the turnaround to lift Nice up the table, first levelling from Florent Ogier’s early strike with 13 minutes to go before adding his eighth league goal of the season by controlling a corner and guiding the ball into the far corner.

Clermont’s fourth straight defeat sees them fall into the relegation zone. The hosts had dominated the first half and took the lead early on when Ogier headed in a Jason Berthomier free-kick.

Nice goalkeeper Walter Benitez limited their advantage, keeping out efforts from Vital Nsimba, Jim Allevinah, Johan Gastien and Salis Abdul Samed.

And after half-time they finally struck, bouncing back from a shock defeat to Montpellier before the international break to move above Rennes in the table.

Elsewhere Brest earned a third straight league win by stunning Lens 4-0 to move away from the relegation zone. Lens provisionally dropped to fourth place, two points behind Nice.

Benin striker Steve Mounie opened the scoring in the third minute, heading home a deflected cross from Jeremy Le Douaron. Brest captain Brendan Chardonnet then doubled the lead when he diverted in a corner with his back.

Brest moved up to 13th in Ligue 1 with their crushing victory
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Brest moved up to 13th in Ligue 1 with their crushing victory

Romain Faivre notched his fifth goal this season with a curling shot from the edge of the box to make it 3-0 before half-time, and Le Douaron put the result beyond doubt shortly after the hour by holding off Kevin Danso to fire into the top corner.

Lens were then reduced to 10 men when substitute Arnaud Kalimuendo was sent off for a tackle from behind on Ronael Pierre-Gabriel.

Angers moved into sixth place by edging Lorient 1-0 thanks to a Thomas Mangani penalty.

Strasbourg equalised with the last kick of the game in a 1-1 draw with Reims as substitute Jean-Ricner Bellegarde curled home a free kick in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

Saint-Etienne remained in the relegation zone despite beating Troyes 1-0 with a powerful long-range strike from Peru defender Miguel Trauco.

Opa Nguette came off the bench and scored twice to help bottom side Metz rally from a 2-0 deficit and draw 3-3 with Bordeaux. Nguette fired in from close-range after a corner shortly after the break before scoring the equaliser with a looping header.

Bundesliga: Frankfurt continue revival at Freiburg

Frankfurt kept up their revival to go 11th in the Bundesliga
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Frankfurt kept up their revival to go 11th in the Bundesliga

Eintracht Frankfurt’s revival under new coach Oliver Glasner continued with a 2-0 win at third-placed Freiburg.

It was Freiburg’s first defeat in the third league game since they moved to a new stadium, and a second straight loss in the league after a 2-1 reverse at leaders Bayern Munich before the international break.

First-half goals from Jesper Lindstrom and Filip Kostic gave Frankfurt a third successive win across all competitions.

Christian Streich’s team had the better chances early on but the visitors had luck on their side as Freiburg’s Lukas Kubler inadvertently set up Lindstrom for the opener. Then, a free-kick from Kostic was somehow missed by team-mates and defenders alike before it bounced into the top corner.

Freiburg remain third, but Bayer Leverkusen are now only a point behind, with Union Berlin and Wolfsburg another point further back. Frankfurt climbed to 11th in the 18-team division, ahead of Cologne, who drew 1-1 at Mainz in the late game, on goal difference.

Euro: Inter stay in touch with Serie A top two

Joaquin Correa scored twice as Inter Milan beat Udinese 2-0 on Sunday to keep up the pressure on the top two in Serie A.

Both of Correa’s goals came in the second half in an eight-minute span as Inter moved to within four points of Milan and Napoli.

Both were playing later on Sunday against very different opponents, with Napoli visiting relegation-threatened Salernitana, just before Milan’s match at title rival Roma.

Inter dominated from the start at San Siro, with Nicol Barella producing seven attempts in the first half as the Nerazzurri midfielder seemed determined to score.

However, it was Correa who gave Inter the lead on the hour-mark. An Ivan Periic dummy allowed Correa to get on the end of a pass from Alessandro Bastoni, before cutting past a defender and firing into the bottom left corner.

Inter almost doubled their lead seven minutes later, but Udinese goalkeeper Marco Silvestri denied Edin Deko from point-blank range, with Walace managing to block the follow-up attempt from Denzel Dumfries.

The Nerazzurri did get their second moments later and again it was Correa, this time with a shot into the top left corner after Dumfries had cut the ball back to him on the edge of the area.

Udinese had a late goal by Gerard Deulofeu ruled out for offside in the buildup and so remain four points above the relegation zone.

Elsewhere on Sunday, wantaway forward Duan Vlahovic may have endeared himself to Fiorentina’s fans again after scoring a hat-trick to help his side beat Spezia 3-0.

Vlahovic converted a penalty on the stroke of half-time after a handball from Spezia forward Emanuel Gyasi and added two after the break to take his tally to nine in Serie A this season.

The 21-year-old recently turned down a new contract, much to the ire of Fiorentina’s fans, who have insulted him after recent matches. His current deal expires in 2023, but the club have not ruled out him leaving in January.

Fiorentina moved to within one point of fourth-placed Roma, while Spezia slipped into the relegation zone after Genoa moved above them on goal difference thanks to a goalless draw at home to fellow strugglers Venezia.

And finally, two late goals saw Empoli come from behind to win 2-1 at Sassuolo.

Ligue 1: Nice go second after comeback win over Angers

Nice moved up to second place in the French league with another comeback win as Andy Delort netted twice in a 2-1 victory over Angers on Sunday

Angers winger Sofiane Boufal had opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 29th minute after Youcef Atal tripped him inside the area.

But Delort equalised with a deflected shot in the 57th minute, before slamming home a volley from the edge of the box in stoppage time. The Nice striker could have had a hat-trick, but his earlier header in the 23rd minute hit the post.

Angers goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni repeatedly frustrated the visitors having tipped Amine Gouiris’s long-range strike over the bar in the 69th minute, before parrying a low drive from the Nice forward in the 72nd minute.

An under-strength Nice side came into the game missing Justin Kluivert, Calvin Stengs, Evann Guessand, and Robson Bambu through injury, as well as Kasper Dolberg for personal reasons.

Nice overcame an even larger 2-0 deficit to edge Lyon 3-2 the previous weekend and the victory moves the club to within eight points of league leaders Paris Saint-Germain ahead of Sunday’s late games.