Bookies make Patriots a 3-point pick with record over/under

TIM DAHLBERG, AP Sports Writer br /> LAS VEGAS (AP) — Oddsmakers like the New England Patriots by a field goal over the Atlanta Falcons in what experts think will be a high-scoring Super Bowl. Most are also expecting an offensive showdown, with an over/under of 59 at some sports books the biggest ever in Super Bowl history. 'You've got the Patriots and then you have this scoring machine in Atlanta,' said veteran oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro at the South Point. 'There should be a lot of points on the board.' The AFC title game had barely entered the fourth quarter when oddsmakers around town began putting up their numbers. There was agreement all around that the Patriots should be a 3-point pick, though some had the over/under at 58 instead of 59. There was also agreement that the legal handle on the game could exceed the record $132.5 million bet on last year's Super Bowl. 'I think we have a real shot at a record handle,' said Chuck Esposito, oddsmaker for Station Casinos. 'These teams are huge offensive teams and you're going to see a lot of action on the total.' Oddsmakers had plenty of history on their side in finding a line that could stick at 3 points all the way until kickoff. The Patriots have won four Super Bowls and the margin of victory in all but one was 3 points. 'Three seems to be the prevailing number for them in Super Bowls,' Esposito said. Westgate Super Book oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said the Super Bowl handle might have gone even higher had Green Bay made the title game. Atlanta doesn't have a big following among casual sports bettors, but there will still be plenty of action. 'It won't be any problem,' he said. 'There are plenty of people with opinions on the game.' Sherman said the 3-point spread will probably stand because if it moved to 3 1/2 casual bettors would be putting money on the Falcons and if it dropped to 2 1/2, the so-called 'sharps' would be all over the Patriots. In addition to the point spread and total bets, sports books will offer hundreds of different parlay bets ranging from which team will win the opening coin flip to how many points will be scored in the third quarter. ___ For more NFL coverage: and .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports4 min. ago Related News

Serena Williams into Australian Open quarterfinals

JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer br /> MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams scrapped her way into the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, working around a misfiring serve and a rash of unforced errors to beat Barbora Strycova as the heat intensified on Monday. She had a little bit of luck in some big moments, but created it herself by staying in points against the No. 16-ranked Strycova, who made the No. 2-ranked Williams engage in more and longer rallies than anyone so far in the tournament. Despite the four service breaks (three in the first set) and 46 unforced errors, and with the fluky net cord and the off-balance, scrunched-shoulder backhand that bounced flatly and clinched her the first set on her eighth set point, Williams found a way to win 7-5, 6-4. That keeps Williams on track in her bid for an Open-era record 23rd Grand Slam title. If she gets there, the 35-year-old American will regain the No. 1 ranking as well. 'I feel like it was really good for me to win on probably not my best day, which is always good, because sometimes you rely on one shot and if it goes off, and then, like, what happens now?' Williams said. 'It was really good for me to almost lose that so I know my other game is going pretty good, too.' Next up, she'll face No. 9 Johanna Konta, who beat Ekaterina Makarova for the second straight year in the fourth round. The 2016 semifinalist was only broken once and broke Makarova four times. 'That's an incredible experience for me. She's one of the few players still playing I watched growing up,' Konta said of Williams. 'It's an incredible honor and I can't wait to share the court with her.' Williams' fourth-round match started with four straight service breaks, with only two points going with serve, until Williams held for a 3-2 lead. There were seven service breaks in the first set — with Williams getting the decisive one in the 12th game. She broke Strycova's serve early in the second to establish a lead but was broken while serving for the match. She finished off in the next game with another break of her own, her sixth of the match. 'It's good to know I have a plan B or option 2, I wasn't serving my greatest today, also she was putting a lot of returns in there,' said Williams, who had a first-serve percentage of 45, and made four double-faults. 'It's always good to have something to improve on.' The second-seeded Williams advanced to quarterfinals at Melbourne Park for the 11th time since 2001 — she's only ever lost three times here in that round. Angelique Kerber, who beat Williams in the final here last year and then ended the 22-time Grand Slam winner's 186-week streak at No. 1 by winning the U.S. Open, was upset in the fourth round six minutes into second week of the tournament in a straight-sets loss to Coco Vandeweghe the previous night. 'I love pressure. I feel like I deal well with pressure,' said Williams, who has won the Australian Open six times. 'I love the game. Honestly I have nothing to lose. I've won enough. ... Everything is a bonus for me right now. It's kind of a little relaxing.' The hot-and-cold run of weather in Melbourne continued, with the temperatures hitting 35 Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) when Williams walked onto Rod Laver Arena to get play started on Day 8. It followed a chaotic middle Sunday that contained two big upsets, with Kerber's exit following top-ranked and five-time finalist Andy Murray's fourth-round defeat by No. 50-ranked Mischa Zverev. Roger Federer, returning from six months on the sidelines, rebounded to beat No. 5 Kei Nishikori in five sets and will meet Zverev in the quarterfinals. Rafael Nadal, the only major winner remaining on the bottom half of the men's draw, was playing for a quarterfinal spot later Monday against Gael Monfils. .....»»

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They're Back: Brady and Patriots win AFC, 36-17 vs Steelers

They're Back: Brady and Patriots win AFC, 36-17 vs Steelers.....»»

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Tatlong Miss Universe ng PH, nagtagpo sa unang pagkakataon

Tatlong Miss Universe ng PH, nagtagpo sa unang pagkakataon.....»»

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Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen, kabilang sa mga judge sa 65th Miss Universe

Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen, kabilang sa mga judge sa 65th Miss Universe.....»»

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Miss Universe, may mga bagong patakaran

Miss Universe, may mga bagong patakaran.....»»

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Bagong rules ng Miss Universe.....»»

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Sampung kalahok sa Ati Tribe Competition ng Dinagyang Festival, nagpasiklaban

Sampung kalahok sa Ati Tribe Competition ng Dinagyang Festival, nagpasiklaban.....»»

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Online Voting sa Miss Universe, magsisimula ngayong araw

Online Voting sa Miss Universe, magsisimula ngayong araw.....»»

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Towns carries Wolves past Nuggets

em>By Jon Krawczynski, Associated Press /em> MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns had 32 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists and hit the go-ahead shot with 42.5 seconds to play to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 111-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time). Towns hit 13-of-19 shots and also had four blocks, while Andrew Wiggins scored 24 points in Minnesota's fourth straight home win. Shabazz Muhammad contributed 20 points off the bench, as the Wolves rallied from nine points down midway through the fourth quarter for the win. Gary Harris scored 22 points and Nikola Jokic had 18 points and eight rebounds for the Nuggets on the second night of a back-to-back. Wilson Chandler and Jamal Murray added 17 points each for Denver, which played without Emmanuel Mudiay because of a sore back. .....»»

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Bledsoe's career day leads Suns over Raptors

TORONTO (AP) -- Eric Bledsoe scored a career-high 40 points and had 13 assists and the Phoenix Suns handed the Toronto Raptors their third straight loss, 115-103 on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time). Bledsoe was 11-of-17 from the floor, including 4-of-7 from three-point range, and Devin Booker added 20 points as the Suns won their second straight road game following Saturday's (Sunday, PHL time) win at New York. The victory also completed a season sweep of the Raptors for the first time since 2013-14 and improved Phoenix to 11-6 against Eastern Conference teams this season. DeMar DeRozan had 22 points for Toronto and Jonas Valanciunas added 16 points and 12 rebounds for his 17th double-double of the season. It's the first time the Raptors have lost three straight since Nov. 6-10, 2015. Kyle Lowry was ejected with 1:30 left after a flagrant-two foul following contact with the head of Brandon Knight. It capped a night to forget for Lowry, who had 15 points but shot just 5-of-17, including 1-of-9 from three-point range. Toronto led from the 2:13 mark of the second quarter until the Suns tied it at 95 on a banked hook shot from Tyson Chandler with 7:29 to play. After DeMarre Carroll and Bledsoe exchanged baskets, Phoenix went on an 18-6 run the rest of the way to take the game away from the Raptors. After falling behind on Bledsoe's three-pointer just 19 seconds in, the Raptors responded with a 12-0 run, punctuated by a spectacular alley-oop dunk by Lucas Nogueira from Lowry's pass. The Raptors led 31-28 after 12 minutes. DeRozan led the way in the second quarter, going 4-of-5 from the floor for 12 points as the Raptors built their lead to seven on a driving layup with 1:51 to play in the half. The Suns countered with a 10-4 run to go into the interval down 60-57. The Raptors extended their lead to seven in the third but only shot 36.8 percent from the floor and were unable to pull away, settling for an 85-82 edge after 36 minutes. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Suns: /strong> /em>One night after setting the mark, Chandler ended his franchise record and career high of consecutive 15-plus rebound games at seven with nine rebounds on the night. F Dragan Bender left with 9:03 remaining in the second quarter with a sore right ankle and did not return. em> strong>Raptors: /strong> /em>F Patrick Patterson (left knee) missed his sixth consecutive game. The Raptors got double-digit points from all five of their starting players. strong>HOME AT LAST /strong> Toronto's prized free-agent signing Jared Sullinger played his first home game for the Raptors on Sunday night. After missing the first 41 games of the season following left foot surgery, the forward made his debut in Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) loss in Charlotte before entering the fray Sunday (Monday, PHL time) with 3:56 to play in the first. He ultimately played 13 minutes, scoring nine points. strong>DRAWING LEVEL /strong> With 22 points Sunday (Monday, PHL time), DeRozan tied Chris Bosh for second in franchise history with 265 games with at least 20 points. Vince Carter leads the way with 273 such games. strong>HIGHLIGHT REEL /strong> With 7:10 left in the third, Marquise Chriss made a spectacular, one-handed alley-oop dunk from T.J. Warren's lob pass that was slightly behind him, falling to the floor before rolling over and popping right back up. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Suns: /strong> /em>Host Minnesota on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time), aiming to avoid a season sweep at the hands of the Timberwolves. em> strong>Raptors: /strong> /em>Host San Antonio on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time), looking for a third straight home win over the Spurs. .....»»

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Messi scores 5th goal in 6 games as Barcelona beats Eibar.....»»

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Super Falcons: Atlanta routs Packers 44-21 for NFC title

Super Falcons: Atlanta routs Packers 44-21 for NFC title.....»»

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Host Gabon out of African Cup; Cameroon, Burkina Faso in QFs

Host Gabon out of African Cup; Cameroon, Burkina Faso in QFs.....»»

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Current, former major leaguers die in Dominican crashes

EZEQUIEL LOPEZ BLANCO, Associated Press br /> SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura and former major leaguer Andy Marte died in separate traffic accidents early Sunday in their native Dominican Republic. Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo said Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He said it was not clear if Ventura was driving. Metropolitan traffic authorities said they had opened an investigation into the crash, as well as that of Marte, who died when the Mercedes Benz he was driving hit a house along a road between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital. Traffic authority spokesman Diego Pesqueira told The Associated Press there were no rains registered at the time of Ventura's accident but that it is often foggy in the early morning. He added that the vehicle's tires were in good condition and experts think the cause of the accident was an excess of velocity. The official results of the investigation will be released in the coming days. The country, whose roads are among the world's most dangerous, has now lost four current or former major leaguers to traffic accidents in recent years. President Danilo Medina posted tweets saying the nation 'is dressed in mourning with the deaths of Andy Marte and Yordano Ventura, great sportsmen who raised high our national banner.' Ventura, 25, burst onto the baseball scene with a 100 mph fastball and an explosive attitude to match. He was a fierce competitor always willing to challenge hitters inside, then deal with the ramifications when they decided to charge the mound. He went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 2014, his first full season in the big leagues, and the next year he helped the long-downtrodden Royals reach the World Series for the first time since 1985. He proceeded to dominate San Francisco in both of his starts, though the Royals would ultimately lose in seven games. 'Our prayers right now are with Yordano's family as we mourn this young man's passing,' Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in a statement. 'He was so young and so talented, full of youthful exuberance and always brought a smile to everyone he interacted with. We will get through this as an organization, but right now is a time to mourn and celebrate the life of Yordano.' Born June 3, 1991, in Samana, Dominican Republic, Ventura quit school at 14 and was laboring on a construction crew to support his family when he heard about a tryout, which led to a spot in the Royals' academy on the island. The right-handed Ventura went 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA last season, and wound up pitching his entire career for the Royals, going 38-31 with a 3.89 ERA. Fans began arriving at Kauffman Stadium shortly after Ventura's death was announced, leaving flowers, hats and other mementos outside the stadium. Flags outside the ballpark also were lowered to half-staff. Marte, a 33-year-old infielder, played in the Major Leagues from 2005-2010 with Atlanta and Cleveland and returned in 2014 with Arizona. He hit .218 with 21 home runs and 99 RBIs in the big leagues. He spent the last two seasons in South Korea, where he hit 22 homers last year. Both Ventura and Marte were part of the Dominican winter league team Aguilas Cibaenas, though neither was playing this season. 'We have awoken this Sunday with this sad news that we have lost a special being,' club president Winston Llenas said in a statement about Marte that was issued before Ventura's death became known. Ventura is the second young star pitcher to die in past four months. Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, 24, was among three men killed in a boating accident in September. Two other active Dominican baseball players have died on the country's dangerous highways in recent years. St. Louis Cardinal outfielder Oscar Taveras — a close friend of Ventura — died in 2014 when he crashed in his hometown of Puerto Plata. He was 22. Shortstop Andujar Cedeno died at age 31 in a 2000 crash in the city of La Romana. A 2015 study by the World Health Organization found that the Dominican Republic had the highest traffic accident death rate in the Americas, with a rate of 29.3 per 100,000 inhabitants. Marte's family was holding a vigil for him on Sunday and planned to bury him within hours. Ventura's remains were still at a coroner's office in the city of Santiago. ___ Associated Press Sports Writer Dave Skretta contributed to this report from Kansas City. .....»»

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Allegri marks 300th match as coach with Juve win over Lazio

DANIELLA MATAR, Associated Press br /> MILAN (AP) — On his 300th Serie A match as coach, Massimiliano Allegri appeared to throw caution to the wind as Juventus fielded an all-out attacking lineup against Lazio on Sunday. But it paid off as Juventus bounced back from last weekend's defeat at Fiorentina to beat Lazio 2-0, with goals from Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain inside 16 minutes. 'I woke up on Wednesday morning and I decided to change things,' Allegri said. 'I decided so because we were coming off not so good a match in Florence and today was the right match for that sort of experiment. 'We won't always play like this, but the response the team gave me today was positive: we played well, with quality and sacrifice. And despite the attacking imbalance, we still did well in defense, not risking anything. But we have to maintain this tempo, irrespective of the formation.' Juventus remained one point above Roma and four above Napoli, which won 2-1 at AC Milan on Saturday. Allegri's side also has a game in hand on its rivals. Lazio is fourth, four points further back. There have been question marks this season over who works best with Higuain and Allegri found a novel solution, by utilizing all his main attackers in a new 4-2-3-1 formation. Miralem Pjanic partnered Sami Khedira in midfield, with Juan Cuadrado, Dybala and Mario Mandzukic just behind Higuain. It took just five minutes for the new-look Juventus to take the lead, with Mandzukic knocking down a long ball for Dybala's half-volley into the bottom left corner from just outside the area. Juve doubled its lead in the 16th when Cuadrado crossed from the right and Higuain tapped it into the bottom right corner from six yards for his seventh goal in the past five league matches. Higuain had another goal, a header, ruled out for offside on the half hour. Juventus extended its Serie A record to 27 consecutive home wins. ___ ROMA 1, CAGLIARI 0 The best and worst of Edin Dzeko was again on show as Roma ground out a third straight 1-0 league win. Dzeko missed a golden opportunity in the first half as he volleyed Daniele De Rossi's chipped pass straight into the arms of Cagliari goalkeeper Rafael from six yards. But Dzeko put away a more difficult chance 10 minutes into the second half as he used his strength to hold off Nicola Murru and fire Antonio Rudiger's cross into the back of the net. 'Before they said it wasn't possible for us to win 1-0, but now we have won three in a row like that,' Dzeko said. 'We can win also like this. The defense do their job and we up front do ours, like we did today. 'It was difficult. I missed the great ball Dani gave me but in the second half I had my say, I was clinical. We have to continue like this, all together.' Dzeko also had a goal ruled out for offside. Cagliari Joao Pedro was shown a straight red card in stoppage time for an uncontrolled challenge on Kevin Strootman. ___ PALERMO 0, INTER MILAN 1 Inter recorded an eighth successive win in all competitions but only after struggling to break down relegation-threatened Palermo. Substitute Joao Mario scored the only goal of the game in the 65th when he was left unmarked to volley in Antonio Candreva's cross. Both teams were reduced to 10 men late on, with Inter defender Cristian Ansaldi sent off in the 80th for a second yellow card. Inter protested and coach Stefano Pioli was also dismissed. Palermo midfielder Alessandro Gazzi was also shown a second yellow and sent off in stoppage time. Inter leapfrogged AC Milan into fifth, a point behind Lazio, although the Rossoneri have a game in hand. ___ OTHER MATCHES Crotone picked up a precious point in its fight for survival as it twice fought back to draw 2-2 at Genoa. It remains 11 points behind 17th-placed Empoli, which beat Udinese 1-0. Bottom club Pescara had a late penalty saved as it lost 3-1 at home to Sassuolo, with Alessandro Matri scoring a second straight double Bologna beat Torino 2-0, and Atalanta defeated Sampdoria 1-0. .....»»

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Sevilla tops Osasuna to stay close to leader Real Madrid

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Hertha Berlin stumbles in 3-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen

LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) — Hertha Berlin missed out on a chance to go third in the Bundesliga as it slipped to a 3-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen on two goals from Hakan Calhanoglu on Sunday. There was more than a hint of bad luck for Hertha in two of Leverkusen's goals, with Omer Toprak's opener coming after an attempted clearance hit a Hertha player. For the second, a contentious handball decision against Hertha's Marvin Plattenhardt allowed Calhanogulu to score from the penalty spot. Hertha pulled a goal back just before halftime through Valentin Stocker, who scored on the rebound from John Brooks' effort. But Leverkusen held on well through the second half, and scored a third when Calhanoglu volleyed in Kevin Kampl's cross. Hertha's loss in its first game of 2017 sees the team from the German capital stay fifth. Leverkusen, which had won one of its previous six league games, rises two places to eighth. Cologne and Mainz played out a 0-0 draw which sees the teams remain seventh and 11th respectively. Mainz had some chances saved in the early stages of a game often lacking in excitement, while Cologne's Yuya Osako saw a shot saved by Mainz goalkeeper Jonas Loessl late on. .....»»

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Costa returns to Chelsea side, scores on 100th appearance

ROB HARRIS, AP Global Soccer Writer br /> LONDON (AP) — Still to clear up the ambiguity over last weekend's absence from the Chelsea team, Diego Costa did his talking on the pitch on Sunday. Costa marked his return to the side for his 100th Chelsea appearance by scoring the opener in a 2-0 victory over Hull that sent the Premier League leaders eight points clear. After netting his 52nd Chelsea goal from close range at the end of the first half, the league's joint-top scorer alluded to all the speculation surrounding his Chelsea future by performing a chatter gesture with his hands while celebrating. Publicly, Chelsea said Costa missed last Saturday's game at Leicester due to a back injury. What manager Antonio Conte did not dispute was that the striker was dropped over a dispute with the coaching staff amid suggestions of a big-money offer from China. 'It's important Diego played a good game,' Conte said. 'I hope with this game to finish the speculation about him, about Chelsea, about me and him. We showed we are a team with great unity.' Costa's 15th goal of the campaign came in the seventh minute of stoppage time, the result of a lengthy delay after a clash of heads between Chelsea captain Gary Cahill and Ryan Mason which led to the Hull midfielder being carried off on a stretcher as oxygen was administered before being taken to the hospital. Cahill was able to remain on the field and he headed in Chelsea's second in the 81st minute after getting on the end of a free kick from Cesc Fabregas. While Hull is next from bottom in the standings after a ninth straight away loss, Chelsea opened up an eight-point advantage over Arsenal. ___ ARSENAL 2, BURNLEY 1 It was a fiery end to a game that witnessed two penalties in stoppage time and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger appearing to push the fourth official. Arsenal went into additional time leading through Shkodran Mustafi's header but with 10 men after Granit Xhaka was sent off for a two-footed lunge on Steven Defour in the 66th minute. 'He has to control his game and not punish the team with a lack of control in his tackling,' Wenger said of Xhaka, who has been sent off twice this season for Arsenal. Wenger's heated confrontation with the fourth official came as he tried to watch the rest of the game from near the tunnel after being sent off. 'I regret everything. I should have shut up, gone in and gone home,' Wenger said. 'I apologize for that.' That came as Andre Gray looked to have snatched a point when he netted from the spot after substitute Francis Coquelin tripped Ashley Barnes. Wenger's mood was lifted in the seventh minute of stoppage time when Arsenal was awarded a penalty for Ben Mee's high foot challenge on Laurent Koscielny. ___ SOUTHAMPTON 3, LEICESTER 0 Leicester has mounted the most feeble defense of a Premier League title and is now in a relegation dogfight. Having lost half of their 22 games, Claudio Ranieri's players are sitting only five points above the drop zone. Not since Manchester City in 1938 have the topflight title winners been relegated the following season. James Ward-Prowse, Jay Rodriguez and Dusan Tadic scored the goals as Ranieri, once known as the 'Tinkerman,' rued switching his team around. 'I tried to help my players in the last two matches, I changed our normal shape against Chelsea, to three at the back and today I played with a diamond, and this led to some misunderstanding,' Ranieri said. 'My players are used to playing 4-4-2, or 4-2-3-1, so for this reason I have made mistakes and it's my fault in the last two matches. 'It's one thing trying it in training and another entirely on the pitch. Today there was something wrong and it's my responsibility. If we make mistakes, yes they make mistakes but also it's myself who has to explain better.' .....»»

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Monaco thrashes Lorient 4-0 to go top; Lyon beats Marseille

JEROME PUGMIRE, AP Sports Writer br /> PARIS (AP) — After yet another ruthless display of attacking football, free-scoring Monaco moved to the top of the French league and padded out its huge goal difference following a 4-0 home win against Lorient on Sunday. Striker Valere Germain and midfielder Gabriel Boschilia got two goals each. Monaco made it 64 goals in 21 league games — more than any other team in Europe's top five leagues, with 21 goals conceded — and 90 in 34 overall. It was also the ninth time this season that Monaco has scored at least four goals. 'We've been scoring a lot of goals for a few games now. Obviously it is impressive,' Germain said. 'But we must keep working hard and shouldn't get ahead of ourselves.' Monaco has a more difficult trip away to defending Paris Saint-Germain next weekend, in a match that will help to shape the title race. Monaco is two points ahead of Nice and three points clear of third-placed PSG heading into Sunday's clash. 'Winning in Paris would be huge, we'd strike a blow,' Germain said. 'We sense that Paris is not quite as good this year.' Monaco beat PSG 3-1 early in the season — the first of PSG's four defeats away from home. Last Sunday, Monaco's 4-1 win in Marseille was all about lightning counterattacks, but against a Lorient side with the worst defense in the league Monaco dictated play easily. 'We controlled the game, we looked for spaces and we found them,' Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said. 'We weren't as strong in the second half but it was a question of resting players. We have a game on Wednesday.' Monaco is at home to Nancy in the League Cup semifinals on Wednesday, with PSG away to Bordeaux on Tuesday in the other semifinal. Given a rare start, Boschilia put Monaco ahead in the 24th minute with a close-range effort after goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte spilled a high ball, and made it 2-0 five minutes later when he put the ball through Lecomte's legs after a fine run and pass from playmaker Bernardo Silva. The third goal came when Lorient clumsily lost possession in the 38th close to goal and, after striker Radamel Falcao's shot came back off the post, Germain collected the loose ball and curled it into the bottom corner. Poor defending from defender Michael Ciani led to the fourth on the hour mark. Ciani tried to play his way out of trouble near the touchline, but right back Djibril Sidibe robbed him of possession and burst toward the penalty area, where Germain got the ball and placed it out of Lecomte's reach. Germain, an unselfish striker with excellent awareness and movement, took his tally to seven league goals. 'My role is more in the shadows, I try to create space,' Germain said. 'The coach asks me to make runs to the wings and that leaves more space for Falcao.' Lorient, which has conceded 43 goals, is bottom of the table. PSG won 2-0 away to Nantes on Saturday, with Edinson Cavani scoring both goals, while Nice drew 1-1 away to Bastia on Friday night. ___ LYON 3, MARSEILLE 1 Striker Alexandre Lacazette again showed why he is rated at around 50 million euros (around $54 million) with two more goals to take his league tally to 17. Only PSG striker Edinson Cavani — with 20 — has scored more than Lacazette, but Cavani has played two games more. Lacazette struck with clinical finishes in the second half and has now scored eight goals in his last six games for Lyon, which is in fourth place. But the goal of the night came from winger Mathieu Valbuena, who is staking a strong claim to get back in the France squad. Collecting a pass on the left wing in the 43rd, he cut outside Japanese right back Hiroki Sakai, looked up and curled a superb shot into the opposite corner for his sixth goal in the last 10 games. Valbuena was replaced late on by Memphis Depay, who made his debut after joining this week from Manchester United. Brazilian center half Doria scored for Marseille. ___ SAINT-ETIENNE 2, ANGERS 1 Angers players may have cause to feel angry when they see replays of defender Loic Perrin's winner for Saint-Etienne. Perrin was challenging for a cross in the 75th when a defender's clearance struck Perrin on the hand as he raised his arm protectively, and the ball bounced into the goal. Croatian center half Mateo Pavlovic gave Angers an early lead and Saint-Etienne equalized with another stroke of good fortune in the 51st. Winger Romain Hamouma's cross from the left struck defender Abdoulaye Bamba and went over goalkeeper Denis Petric. .....»»

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