Sport Soccer

Friday 24 November 2017

Bayern suffer Robben injury blow for United clash

Arjen Robben will miss Bayern Munich's first-leg Champions League quarter-final against Manchester United tomorrow night after picking up a calf injury in the German side's shock home defeat to Stuttgart.

Bayern already have their other superstar Franck Ribery wrapped in cotton wool and now can only hope Robben will make the second leg at Old Trafford.

Ribery was left on the bench in the 2-1 defeat, which leaves Louis van Gaal's team two points off the lead in the Bundesliga.

Hamburg SV lost further ground in their battle to secure a European spot next season when they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach.

Hamburg, who have taken only one point in the last three league games and won two of their last 10 matches, are in sixth place, four behind Werder Bremen in fifth.

Two goals from Kevin Kuranyi, meanwhile, took Schalke to the top of the Bundesliga standings with six games of the season remaining as the Royal Blues triumphed 2-0 at Bayer Leverkusen.

Kuranyi scored twice in the first half as a dominant Schalke got the better of third-placed Leverkusen at the BayArena to move two points clear of Bayern Munich, who they meet next weekend in a mouthwatering top-of-the-table clash.

The Italian title race, meanwhile, was blown wide up with Roma closing the gap on Internazionale to one point by beating them 2-1 at home courtesy of goals from Luca Toni and Daniele De Rossi.

The result left Roma in second place and just one point behind four-time defending champions Inter with seven games remaining.

After Daniele de Rossi opened the scoring for Roma in the 17th minute, Inter were unlucky not to pull level as Walter Samuel and Diego Milito were denied by the crossbar either side of half-time.

But they were finally rewarded when Milito equalised soon after the hour mark.

Inter's joy was shortlived as Toni struck the winner with 17 minutes remaining to send the Stadio Olimpico fans into raptures.

With Roma's fans already celebrating, Milito almost ruined the party when he struck the post at the death. Last night, AC Milan wasted the latest in a series of chances to boost their Serie A title hopes when a depleted side were held 1-1 at home by Lazio.

Marco Borriello, who was standing in as penalty taker with Brazilian star Ronaldinho suspended, expertly converted from the penalty spot on 18 minutes, but Stephan Lichtsteiner scrambled in the equaliser on 32 minutes.

Felipe Melo earlier gave protesting Juventus fans a rare reason to cheer after heading the winner eight minutes from time in a 2-1 home victory over relegation strugglers Atalanta.

Elsewhere, Liverpool's Europa League quarter-final opponents this week, Benfica defeated Braga 1-0 in the Potuguese Liga on Saturday evening to go six points clear at the top of the table, thanks to a 44th-minute strike from their Brazilian centre-back Luisao.

Irish Independent

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