Europe: Torino dent Juve title hopes

Juventus’ faint Serie A title hopes were further dented by local rivals Torino, who fought their way back to earn a deserved 1-1 draw in Friday night’s Turin derby.

An Andrea Belotti volley in the second half cancelled out Matthijs de Ligt’s early header, leaving Juve fourth in the table on 47 points after 26 games, eight behind leaders AC Milan, who visit bottom side Salernitana on Saturday.

Fifth-placed Atalanta, on 44 points after 24 games, have the chance to leapfrog Juve when they visit Fiorentina on Sunday.

Dutch defender De Ligt headed Juve in front in the 13th minute, arriving at the far post to connect with a Juan Cuadrado free-kick.

Torino coped well with falling behind and matched their more illustrious neighbours for intensity and intelligence and went on to outplay them in the second half.

After coming close to scoring on a few occasions they found an equaliser when Josip Brekalo raced to the byline and launched a cross back into the box which star striker Belotti converted on the volley.

Bundesliga: Mainz comeback to stun Leverkusen

Image: Danish forward Marcus Ingvartsen (R) celebrates scoring Mainz’s dramatic late winner

Patrik Schick scored his 20th Bundesliga goal of the season in vain as Bayer Leverkusen slumped to a 3-2 loss at Mainz on Friday.

Leverkusen looked to be on track again when Schick scored 10 minutes before the interval with the help of a deflection off Mainz captain Moussa Niakhat – only Robert Lewandowski has more goals (26) than Schick across any of Europe’s top five leagues.

Aaron Martin Caricol equalised with a perfectly placed free-kick in the 57th minute. The Spanish defender looked to have set up a goal two minutes later with another free-kick, but Karim Onisiwo’s header was ruled out through VAR.

It was a let-off for Leverkusen, and the visitors took full advantage through Lucas Alario in the 74th minute, but back came Mainz through substitute Jean-Paul Boetius’s volley six minutes from time, before Ingvartsen prodded home the winner two minutes later.

Ligue 1: Lille held by Metz

Image: Lille were held to a frustrating goalless draw by Metz

Lille were held to a 0-0 draw at relegation-threatened Metz on Friday, showing little to worry Chelsea before they meet in the Champions League.

The game ended on a sour note with Lille substitute Edon Zhegrova sent off in injury time with his second yellow card and Metz coach Frederic Antonetti shown red for his part in an altercation with the Lille coaching staff.

There were more flared tempers after that with referee Bastien Dechepy booking Lilles Tiago Djal and Metz Ibrahim Amadou before the end of the game.

The result against a team that had been level with bottom side Bordeaux dents defending champions Lille’s hopes of European qualification and will do little to boost confidence before they visit Chelsea for the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie on Tuesday.

La Liga: Elche leave it late to overcome Rayo

In Spain, Elche scored twice late on to seal a dramatic 2-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano.

Fran Garcia put Rayo ahead in the 52nd minute when his shot took a deflection off a defender and looped into the far corner of the net.

Guido Carrillo headed in Elche’s 76th-minute equalizer when he rushed in to finish off an attempt by Pere Milla that hit the crossbar.

Milla set up the winner for the hosts in the 84th minute, when he led a quick counterattack and threaded a pass behind the backtracking defines for Ezequiel Ponce to score against goalkeeper Luca Zidane.

Elche, who were in the relegation zone at the start of the year, climbed into 13th place after only one loss in their last six games. Rayo remain in 11th.

Source : Sky Sports