European roundup: Argentina’s Paulo Dybala set to miss World Cup with injury

Roma’s Argentina forward Paulo Dybala suffered a serious injury in the 2-1 home win over Lecce and may not be fit by the end of the year, José Mourinho said on Sunday.

Dybala was substituted straight after scoring the winning penalty in the 48th minute, leaving the pitch with what appeared to be a muscle problem. Medical staff put ice on his left thigh.

“I say [Dybala is] bad, not to say very, very bad,” Mourinho told Dazn. “Unfortunately, it is more very bad than [just] bad.” Roma’s manager said he imagined it would be difficult for Dybala to return before 2023.

“I’m not a doctor and I haven’t spoken to one, but from my experience, from what I understood from talking to Paulo, [it will be] difficult,” he said. The World Cup in Qatar starts on 20 November.

Napoli snatched back the Serie A lead with a 4-1 win at Cremonese on Sunday, helped by two goals in added time. Napoli opened the scoring with a penalty in the 26th minute after Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was clumsily tackled inside the box by Matteo Bianchetti. The striker Matteo Politano had no problem converting.

Cremonese equalised two minutes into the second half when Cyriel Dessers got to a through ball into the box and hammered it in the net.

Giovanni Simeone put Napoli ahead again when he jumped to reach a cross from Mario Rui and headed into the net in the 76th minute. Three minutes into stoppage time, Kvaratskhelia passed to an unmarked Hirving Lozano who scored from close range. Mathías Olivera finished off the match with a headed goal.

Napoli, after seven wins and two draws in their nine matches, have 23 points, two ahead of Atalanta. Earlier a late goal by the defender Nehuén Pérez helped Udinese to come back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 home draw against Atalanta as the hosts continued their best start to a top-flight campaign in their history.

In Spain, Pedri’s first-half goal gave Barcelona a 1-0 win over Celta Vigo at the Camp Nou on Sunday to move them back to the top of La Liga but they had to battle for the victory against determined opponents.

Barça are level on 22 points with Real Madrid but have a better goal difference before the pair face each other next Sunday at the Santiago Bernabéu.

It was the seventh consecutive league win for Barcelona. Celta’s Argentinian goalkeeper Agustín Marchesín made an incredible save in the 10th minute with the tip of his left hand to keep out a brilliant long-range shot from Raphinha. However, he was beaten seven minutes later by Pedri’s close-range strike from a rebound after capitalising on an error by defender Unai Núñez who tried to clear Gavi’s cross.

Celta looked much better after the break, taking control of the ball and creating several chances, but were denied by goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen. Celta made a late push but Ter Stegen made three brilliant safes to deny Celta an equaliser. First he stopped a one-on-one strike from Iago Aspas with his right foot and then, in added time, deflected a close-range header by Carles Pérez moments before Gonzalo Paciencia smashed a thundering strike off the right post.

“We need to be self-critical today, we have to be much better than we were today,” Barca coach Xavi told Dazn. “Our team played well in the first 30 minutes, could have scored more goals, but they were better than us in the second half.”

The hosts eventually halved the lead when Gerard Deulofeu made it 2-1 with a superb free-kick in the 67th minute. A brilliant header by Pérez put them level.

In the Bundesliga, Union Berlin’s Paul Jaeckel scored a 76th-minute winner to give his team a 1-0 victory at VfB Stuttgart and send them two points clear at the top.

Jaeckel was left with too much space in the box, allowing him to head in off the post and lift surprise leaders Union to 20 points, two ahead of second-placed Freiburg. Stuttgart finished the game with 10 men after Serhou Guirassy was dismissed in the 82nd minute.

In France, Lille beat Lens by a single goal in the derby du nord. Jonathan David was the hero for the hosts with his penalty just before half-time. The win moved them up to seventh while Lens remain fourth.

Laurent Blanc, World Cup winner with France in 1998, has been appointed Lyon’s head coach. Blanc, who played for Manchester United for two seasons before retiring in 2003, is starting his fourth coaching job in France, having also managed Bordeaux, PSG and the national team.