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Paris Saint-Germain suffer shock defeat at Nantes as Atletico Madrid get back to winning ways – European round-up

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Nantes stormed into a three-goal half-time lead and then rode their luck to win 3-1 at home on Saturday and hand runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain their second Ligue 1 loss of the season.

Nantes saw little of the possession, had a player sent off only to see the red card overturned on VAR review and then watched as Neymar squandered a penalty in a thrill-a-minute clash at the Stade de la Beaujoire.

But they came away with a full haul of points in a surprise reversal for the star-studded PSG line-up.

Randal Kolo Muani put Nantes ahead within four minutes after a storming run down the left wing by Moses Simon, and they were 2-0 up some 12 minutes later when teenager Quentin Merlin scored his first goal for his hometown club with a rasping left-footed shot.

Nantes defender Dennis Appiah was sent off two minutes before the break for tripping Kylian Mbappe as he headed goalwards. But the referee was asked to review his decision by the VAR and changed it to a yellow card when replays showed the clash was not as cynical as first presumed.

VAR then intervened again in stoppage time before the break when Georginio Wijnaldum handled the ball in his own penalty box, handing Nantes a spot-kick which Ludovic Blas converted for a stunning half-time lead.

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Nantes celebrate after Blas put the game to bed

PSG, who started the game 13 points clear of second-placed Marseille, pulled a goal back a minute into the second half as Lionel Messi set up Neymar for a clinical finish.

The Brazilian, back in the starting line-up for the first time since November, then had a chance to further reduce the deficit when Appiah again brought down Mbappe, but Neymar’s penalty was a weak effort straight at Alban Lafont.

Mbappe then produced an uncharacteristic miss from point-blank range in the final 20 minutes as PSG kept up the pressure but were unable to make use of their numerous chances.

The win saw Nantes leap from 10th to fifth in the Ligue 1 standings as they push for a spot in next season’s European club competition.

Earlier on Saturday, Lyon came from a goal down to hold hosts Lens to a 1-1 draw as striker Tino Kadewere scored his first goal since March.

Lens took a 13th-minute lead through Jonathan Clauss and had the ball in the net again in the 37th minute, but Seko Fofana’s effort was ruled out after a VAR check. Kadeweres equaliser came on the stroke of half-time.

La Liga: Atletico get back to winning ways

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Atletico Madrid’s Angel Correa celebrates after scoring

Struggling La Liga champions Atletico Madrid recovered from their shock midweek defeat by basement club Levante with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Osasuna.

Strikers Joao Felix, Luis Suarez and Angel Correa were on target to lift Diego Simeone’s side to fourth spot with 42 points from 25 games. They are 12 points adrift of leaders Real Madrid and three ahead of Barcelona, who will have a game in hand following their match against Bilbao on Sunday.

The goal would have come as a huge relief to Portugal international Felix as he has been struggling to gain Simeone’s trust and was making only his third start in Atletico’s last 15 league matches.

Felix rifled in a rebound from a corner in the third minute and after the break assisted Suarez, who scored the second when he lobbed goalkeeper Sergio Herrera from 40 yards. Correa completed the rout with a lightning-fast last-minute counter-attack.

Atletico made the most of their opportunities after getting the early lead, and goalkeeper Jan Oblak was solid when tested, stopping efforts by Nacho Vidal and David Garcia in the first half.

Real Madrid secured a 3-0 home win against AlavesImage:
Real Madrid secured a 3-0 home win against Alaves

Osasuna’s best chance came late in the first half, when Croatian striker Ante Budimir sent a header off Atletico’s right post. But Atleti were clinical, scoring twice from just three shots on target in the second half.

Real Madrid dug deep in a 3-0 home win against lowly Alaves, scoring all three in the last 27 minutes of the game after the visitors gave them a few scares early on and threatened to pull off an upset at the Bernabeu.

Marco Asensio roused the Bernabeu in the 63rd minute with a brilliant curled shot into the top right corner from outside the box.

Vinicius Jr extended the lead in the 80th minute, and Karim Benzema added one more with a stoppage time penalty kick.

The La Liga leaders moved up to 57 points from 25 games, seven ahead of Sevilla and 14 clear of Real Betis – both of whom have a game in hand over Real. Champions Atletico are fourth with 42 points, three more than Barcelona.

Serie A: Rebic avoids embarrassment for leaders AC Milan

AC Milan's Junior Messias celebrates with Theo HernandezImage:
AC Milan’s Junior Messias celebrates with Theo Hernandez

Serie A leaders AC Milan averted a shock defeat to basement club Salernitana, with Ante Rebic rescuing a 2-2 draw with a late strike from long range.

Milan, who are chasing a first title in 11 years, went ahead in the fifth minute with a strike from Brazilian attacking midfielder Junior Messias after he had been released by full-back Theo Hernandez.

Salernitana pulled level in the 29th minute through striker Federico Bonazzoli and then took a surprise lead in the 72nd minute with a diving header from Bosnian forward Milan Djuric.

Salernitana's Federico Bonazzoli was on targetImage:
Salernitana’s Federico Bonazzoli was on target

The home side’s euphoria did not last long, however, as Croatian midfielder Rebic let fly with a low shot from outside the box which skidded into the far bottom corner of the net.

The draw meant Milan failed to extend their lead at the top of the table and they sit on 56 points after 26 matches, two ahead of neighbours and champions Inter Milan, who have two games in hand and can regain top spot when they host Sassuolo on Sunday.

Salernitana stayed rooted to the foot of the table but moved on to 14 points.

Bundesliga: Wins for Cologne, Hoffenheim

Anthony Modeste was the match-winner for CologneImage:
Anthony Modeste was the match-winner for Cologne

Anthony Modeste returned to shoot Cologne to a 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt and sixth place in the Bundesliga.

The French striker came on in the 61st minute against Frankfurt and scored the winner when he capitalised on a mistake and stayed calm to shoot between goalkeeper Kevin Trapp’s legs.

Rafael Santos Borr might have equalised with the final kick of the game, but the Colombian’s shot was too weak and Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn easily gathered.

Meanwhile, relegation-threatened Stuttgart were on the verge of claiming their first league win since December when they conceded a penalty in the third minute of injury time to draw 1-1 with Bochum.

Eduard Lowen made the most of Mavropanos Konstantino’s poor challenge on Sebastian Polter by scoring the equaliser from the spot and stretching Stuttgart’s dismal run to eight games without a victory.

Stuttgart remain second from bottom in a direct relegation place with 11 rounds remaining.

Lowen’s late equaliser for promoted Bochum wasn’t enough to prevent the so-called Bayern Munich curse from striking again. Bochum had beaten the Bavarian powerhouse 4-2 in their previous game and, like the previous eight teams to achieve the feat, they failed to follow up with a win.

Danish forward Jonas Wind’s first Bundesliga goal for Wolfsburg wasn’t enough as visiting Hoffenheim came back to win 2-1.

Union Berlin slumped to a 1-0 loss at Arminia Bielefeld for their third consecutive defeat since experienced forward Max Kruse joined Wolfsburg, while Freiburg won 2-1 at Augsburg, who remains in the relegation play-off place.

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