Wellington Phoenix 1-2 Newcastle Jets: O'Donovan reaches landmark as Newcastle win at last

By Sports Desk January 24, 2021

Newcastle Jets claimed their first victory of the A-League season at the fifth time of asking with a 2-1 triumph at Wellington Phoenix.

Wellington are still without a win this term and now sit a place below Newcastle in 11th, although they have two games in hand.

The Jets came into the match on a run of four defeats from four but at least boasted a man in form in Valentino Yuel, and the forward was played through by strike partner Roy O'Donovan in the eighth minute to clip home a fine finish off the left post for a third goal in three outings.

O'Donovan got in on the act six minutes into the second period, keeping his composure to net a 50th A-League goal after Wellington goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic charged out of his area.

Marinovic's opposite number Jack Duncan excelled throughout the contest, making seven saves, although he was beaten from the penalty spot in the 85th minute - Phoenix captain Ulises Davila sending him the wrong way after substitute Blake Archbold made a rash sliding challenge on Cameron Devlin.

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    Defending Serie A champions Juve were heading for a second victory of the week after Cristiano Ronaldo netted early for the visitors in the second half.

    But Antonin Barak's header 13 minutes from time rescued a point for Verona, who might then have snatched victory during the closing stages as Wojciech Szczesny saved smartly from influential substitute Darko Lazovic.

    Juve head coach Pirlo was disappointed with the way the Bianconeri slipped up from a position of strength, having been made to work hard for their lead against a side they have failed to beat in three attempts.

    "We're sorry because we knew it was going to be a difficult, dirty game," Pirlo told DAZN.

    "We had interpreted it well. We were also able to take the lead, which was the hardest thing, but then we couldn't keep the result.

    "We lacked a bit of aggression, especially for the goal. It was necessary to prevent [Lazovic] from crossing easily.

    "These are issues that, unfortunately, the young players still do not understand, because these make the difference and make you take home points."

    When Aaron Ramsey was substituted 22 minutes from time, six of the remaining Juve players were aged 23 or younger. Alessandro Di Pardo, introduced in place of Federico Chiesa late on, was a seventh.

    Meanwhile, only Alex Sandro (147), Rodrigo Bentancur (102), Federico Bernardeschi (98), goalkeeper Szczesny (92) and Ronaldo (84) had made more than 50 league appearances for Juve.

    Amid the lack of experience, Pirlo turned to Alex Sandro and Ronaldo to lift their colleagues, failing to do so as the defender was outjumped for Barak's leveller while the scorer of the opener ended the game having hit the target with only two of his seven attempts.

    "When you have the advantage in these games, you have to try to bring it home," Pirlo added.

    "But there was a lack of experienced players, many young players, therefore few who made themselves heard and understood the moment of the game.

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    Bayern put an end to their two-game winless streak in the Bundesliga with a routine victory against their relegation-battling opponents at Allianz Arena to retain a two-point lead on RB Leipzig at the summit.

    Goretzka set up goals for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry, making it four assists in his last two outings after also teeing up Jamal Musiala's goal in the 4-1 Champions League win at Lazio in midweek. 

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    "Leon did an excellent job in assisting the goals. That's why he was Man of the Match for me today," Flick said. "We will analyse the game and show it to the team. There were one or two things I didn't like. 

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    Gnabry marked his return from a thigh injury lay-off by scoring twice from his 14 touches of the ball as a second-half substitute, adding to Lewandowski's brace and Choupo-Moting's opener.

    Thomas Muller also appeared for the first time since being struck down by coronavirus at the Club World Cup earlier this month and Flick is delighted to have both players fit and available.

    "Serge and Thomas were very important to us as substitutes today," he said. "Thomas assisted Lewy [Lewandowski] with his first touch of the game and brought some certainty to our game, which we needed at that point. 

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    Bayern let Cologne into the game early in the second half before pulling clear with three goals in the final 25 minutes in what was the 100th competitive meeting between the sides.

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    Juventus suffered another setback in their bid to rein in Serie A leaders Inter as they could only draw 1-1 at Hellas Verona on Saturday.

    The defending champions are third but had the opportunity to close within five points of the frontrunners ahead of their game the following day.

    Although the Bianconeri were made to work hard by Verona, they looked to be on course when Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 26th goal of the season early in the second half.

    But Antonin Barak's header gave Verona a point they deserved, extending their unbeaten league run against Juve to three matches for the first time since the 1980s.

    Juve made a rapid start and Aaron Ramsey had a low shot touched wide, but the best attempt of the first half soon followed at the other end as Wojciech Szczesny turned Marco Faraoni's header onto the crossbar.

    The pace of the game slowed thereafter, although Marco Silvestri was asked to push away a Federico Chiesa effort.

    The breakthrough goal arrived four minutes into the second period when Chiesa turned provider and squared to Ronaldo, whose finish slipped beyond Silvestri.

    Juve failed to build on that strike, though, and Verona recovered a foothold and eventually parity as Barak towered over Alex Sandro from substitute Darko Lazovic's cross.

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