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Mainz shock Leipzig despite Covid outbreak as Atlético begin with win | European club football


Mainz, who had around a dozen players in Covid-19 quarantine, struck early to stun last season’s Bundesliga runners-up RB Leipzig 1-0 and spoil new coach Jesse Marsch’s first league match in charge.

The game had been in doubt after several Mainz players and coaching staff tested positive and 11 players and three staff were sent into isolation.

Mainz’s Moussa Niakhaté tapped in at the far post in the 13th minute, however, after a disastrous Leipzig attempt to clear the ball sent it into his path.
“It wasn’t how we were hoping to start the season,” Leipzig coach Marsch, who succeeded Julian Nagelsmann, said. “Mainz sat back and defended after their goal and fought for every ball. That didn’t leave much space for us. It definitely wasn’t our best game, but we will continue to work.

“In total not our best day. It is okay that when we have the first tough result we are still a work in progress,” American Marsch added.

Atlético Madrid began their title defence with a 2-1 win away to Celta Vigo on Sunday thanks to two strikes from Argentine forward Angel Correa although the game ended with a mass brawl and a player from each side was sent off.

Luis Suárez began the game on the bench and Correa took full responsibility for the team’s attacking duties, firing Atlético ahead midway through the first half after a marauding run from Thomas Lemar.

Celta levelled in the 59th minute with a penalty from captain Iago Aspas but Atlético soon restored their lead when Correa arrowed his finish into the bottom corner after a superb diagonal ball from Saúl Ñíguez

The game ended in chaos as Celta captain Hugo Mallo and Atletico defender Mario Hermoso were shown red cards in added time for clashing off the ball while players all over the pitch could be seen confronting each other. Atlético were fortunate not to concede an equaliser when Aspas rounded keeper Jan Oblak but the striker somehow missed.

Rayo Vallecano goalkeeper Luca Zidane, son of Zinedine Zidane, was sent off in the 16th minute after fouling a Sevilla player, leading to a penalty kick and an eventual 3-0 loss. Youssef En-Nesyri converted the penalty and new signing Erik Lamela later scored twice.

Bordeaux fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Marseille on Sunday after Angers made it two wins from two with a 3-0 victory over Lyon. Bordeaux’s clash at Marseille got off to a worrying start when visiting striker Samuel Kalu collapsed on the pitch in the early stages of the match at Stade Velodrome although the 23-year old Nigerian got up as medics rushed on.

He briefly resumed playing before being substituted in the 14th minute, clearly looking groggy.

Marseille took a 2-0 lead into the break with goals from Cengiz Under and a solo effort by Dimitri Payet before halftime substitute Timothee Tembele pulled one back and Remy Oudin, who replaced Kalu, levelled with a first-time shot in the 57th minute.

Marseille had central defender Leonardo Balerdi sent off in the 89th minute for a studs-up challenge shortly after the home team’s winger Nemanja Radonjic had a goal ruled out for offside.

Goals from Randal Kolo Muani and Ludovic Blas gave Nantes a 2-0 victory against visiting Metz on Sunday.

Promoted Clermont Foot also made it two wins out of two as they beat Troyes 2-0 at home, Brest salvaged a last-gasp 1-1 draw against Rennes with a stoppage-time equaliser, while Reims and Montpellier shared the spoils in a thrilling 3-3 draw.



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