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Mbappe strikes in PSG win, Zlatan sees red for Milan and Bayern caught with late equaliser

Plenty European action today ahead of the week’s Champion League games.

Contrasting fortunes today for Kylian Mbappe and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Contrasting fortunes today for Kylian Mbappe and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

KYLIAN MBAPPE’S GOAL set Paris Saint-Germain on their way to a 4-1 win at Strasbourg on Saturday as Mauricio Pochettino’s side moved back to within three points of leaders Lille in the Ligue 1 title race.

Pablo Sarabia and Moise Kean also scored in the first half while Leandro Paredes netted the fourth from a free-kick as PSG made short work of a trip to Alsace that fell in between the two legs of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich.

Youngster Moise Sahi pulled a goal back for Strasbourg but the defending champions bounced back from losing at home to Lille last weekend and closed the gap on the leaders who had triumphed 2-0 at Metz on Friday.

Pochettino made seven changes to his team from the match in Germany, with Neymar one of the players to drop out as he began a two-game domestic ban following his red card against Lille.

Captain Marquinhos also missed out after coming off injured in midweek, but Mbappe kept his place and played 88 minutes.

Mbappe opened the scoring in the 16th minute, it was Mbappe’s 21st Ligue 1 goal of the season and his 33rd in all competitions in 39 games.

Depleted Bayern Munich were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Union Berlin in the Bundesliga, three days before their crunch return leg in Paris.Teenager Jamal Musiala beat three defenders to give injury-hit Bayern the lead midway through the first half at the Allianz Arena only for Marcus Ingvartsen to equalise for Union four minutes from time.

imago-20210410 Bayern players react to the concession of a late equaliser. Source: kolbert-press/Christian Kolbert

In Paris on Tuesday, European champions Bayern need to overturn a 3-2 first-leg defeat and started reserve team players Tiago Dantas, on a season-long loan from Benfica, as well as Josip Stanisic against Union.

The club world champions have nine players sidelined, including injured top-scorer Robert Lewandowski and winger Serge Gnabry, who is quarantined after testing positive for Covid-19.

Musiala showed great footwork to pick his way through the Union defence for the opening goal midway through the second-half, only for Ingvartsen to beat Stanisic and grab the visitors’ equaliser.

The home draw trims Bayern’s lead at the top of the Bundesliga table to five points ahead of second-placed RB Leipzig, who romped to a 4-1 win at Werder Bremen.

Leipzig dominated throughout and raced into a 3-0 lead as Dani Olmo gave them the lead before Alexander Soerloth netted twice.

Although Milot Rashica pulled a goal back for Bremen, Marcel Sabitzer finished a move for the visitors to make it 4-1 midway through the second-half.

Eintracht Frankfurt took another key step towards reaching the Champions League for the first time with a thrilling 4-3 win at home to Wolfsburg.

The hosts ran riot as Daichi Kamada, Luka Jovic, Andre Silva and Erik Durm all netted for Frankfurt who now have a ten-point cushion in fourth, the Bundesliga’s final Champions League berth for next season.

Third-placed Wolfsburg pulled goals back through Ridle Baku and Wout Weghorst before Frankfurt’s Brazilian defender turned the ball into his own net for a late own goal five minutes from time.

The result put pressure on fifth-placed Dortmund, who need to overturn a 2-1 first leg defeat at home to Manchester City on Wednesday in the Champions League, when they played later at Stuttgart but they won 3-2 away from home.

imago-20210410 Jude Bellingham hit the net for Borussia Dortmund today. Source: Imago/PA Images

Sasa Kalajdzic gave Stuttgart a 1-0 half-time lead before Jude Bellingham (47th minute) and Marco Reus (52nd minute) put Dortmund in front. Daniel Didavi levelled for Stuttgart in the 78th minute before Ansgar Knauff pounced for the winner two minutes later.

Borussia Moenchengladbach earned a 2-2 draw at Hertha Berlin despite playing 77 minutes a man down after goalkeeper Yann Sommer was shown an early red card for fouling Jhon Cordoba.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up two first-half goals before being sent off after an hour as 10-man AC Milan beat Parma 3-1 in Serie A to boost their Champions League hopes.

The 39-year-old Swede was given a straight red card for arguing with the referee at the Stadio Ennio Tardini when his team were two goals ahead.

Riccardo Gagliolo pulled one back for relegation-threatened Parma minutes after Ibrahimovic’s sending off, but Milan held on despite some late scares, with Rafael Leao scoring a third in injury time.

italy-parma-calcio-1913-vs-ac-milan Red card today for AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Second-placed Milan closed the gap to leaders Inter, who host Cagliari on Sunday, to eight points.

Luigi Sepe had denied Franck Kessie early on before Ibrahimovic sent the ball through for Rebic, who spun and blasted in the ninth-minute opener.

Ibrahimovic then combined with Theo Hernandez and teed up Kessie to drill in the second just before the break.

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But Ibrahimovic was given his marching orders for a comment to the referee over a midfield incident in which he wasn’t involved.

Gagliolo gave Parma a lifeline, beating Donnarumma, who made some crucial late saves before Leao added a third.

Milan are set to be without Ibrahimovic for their next two games at home against Genoa and Sassuolo as Pioli’s men bid for a first win at the San Siro in over two months.

Ibrahimovic will return for the trip to top-four rivals Lazio on April 26.

Before the match, club director Paolo Maldini had confirmed that Ibrahimovic was close to renewing his contract for another season with Milan.

The Swedish international, who turns 40 in October, has been credited with turning Milan into title contenders again since his return to the club in January last year.

“For Ibrahimovic there are only small details missing, we are very close to renewal,” Maldini said.

Ibrahimovic, who helped Milan to their last Scudetto in 2011, is the club’s top scorer with 15 goals in 17 league games this term despite struggling with injury and illness.

Contract talks with Donnarumma are less advanced.

“It takes two to make a deal,” Maldini said of the 22-year-old Italy international.

© – AFP, 2021

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