World Sports News in Brief

Messi gives set-piece masterclass as Barca crush Celta

Sunday, 2019-11-10 08:10:53
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Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - FC Barcelona v Celta Vigo - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - November 9, 2019 Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring their first goal from the penalty spot. (Photo: Reuters)
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Lionel Messi scored two exquisite free kicks as he netted his first hat-trick of the season in a 4-1 win over Celta Vigo at the Camp Nou on Saturday which took Barcelona back to the top of La Liga after a difficult week.

Barca lead the standings on 25 points after 12 games, level with second-placed Real Madrid who eased to a 4-0 win at Eibar.

* Australian boxing was in shock on Sunday after local fighter Dwight Richie died in a training accident at the age of 27. One of the country's brightest boxing talents, Ritchie last fought Tim Tszyu, the son of former world champion boxer Kostya Tszyu, in August for the IBF Australasian super welterweight title in Sydney. He lost by unanimous decision but was to return to the ring next month for a light-middleweight fight against Tommy Browne.

* Unheralded Ecuadorean side Independiente del Valle overcame a rain-sodden pitch to beat Argentina's Colon 3-1 and win the Copa Sudamericana on Saturday in a final interrupted for over half an hour by a tropical downpour. The game kicked off a new era which will see South American club competition finals follow the European model and be played over one match in a neutral venue.

* Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Adama Traore has been handed a late call-up to the Spain squad for the first time ahead of their final Euro 2020 qualifiers against Romania and Malta after Rodrigo Moreno was forced to withdraw due to injury. Rodrigo injured his back during Valencia's 2-0 win over Granada on Saturday and a statement on the Spain team's official website said coach Robert Moreno had turned to the 23-year-old in his place.

* Wildcard Jannik Sinner completed a dream run when he beat top-seeded Alex de Minaur to win the final of the Next Gen tournament for the season's best Under-21 players on Saturday. To the delight of the home crowd, the Italian won 4-2 4-1 4-2 to become the third winner of the tournament after Korean Chung Hyeon and Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.

* Napoli's problems continued when they were held to a 0-0 at home by Genoa in a tense atmosphere and jeered off the field on Saturday following a tumultuous week at the Serie A club. Napoli, runners-up in three of the last four seasons, stayed seventh on 19 points, 12 behind leaders Inter Milan.

* Bayern Munich's interim coach Hansi Flick was to be in charge for only two matches but club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said on Saturday he would remain until further notice after the side's 4-0 demolition of Bundesliga title rivals Borussia Dortmund. Flick made an emphatic debut in the Bundesliga after leading the team to a 2-0 victory over Olympiakos in the Champions League to qualify for the knockout stages.

* Inter Milan were rewarded for a relentless second-half performance when a magnificent strike from Nicolo Barella gave them a 2-1 win over Verona after the visitors had taken a shock first-half lead in Serie A on Saturday. Inter, who blew a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2 to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday, went back to the top of Serie A with 31 points from 12 games, two ahead of Juventus who host AC Milan on Sunday.

* A record crowd for an England women's team match watched the Lionesses fall to a 2-1 defeat to Germany at Wembley in a friendly on Saturday. The attendance of 77,768 surpassed those of the Great Britain women's team's matches at the 2012 London Olympics.

* Karim Benzema struck twice as Real Madrid continued their sparkling run of form by coasting to a 4-0 win at Eibar on Saturday thanks to a rampant first-half display, going level on points with La Liga leaders Barcelona. The victory briefly took Zinedine Zidane's side top of the standings on 25 points after 12 games but Barcelona went ahead of them on goal difference after a 4-1 win at home to Celta Vigo.

* Cologne sacked coach Achim Beierlorzer in Saturday, a day after their 2-1 loss to visitors Hoffenheim left them 17th in the Bundesliga. Assistants Andre Pawlak and Manfred Schmid will take over, the club said. Beierlorzer lasted only 11 matches after joining this season from Jahn Regensburg, with Cologne having won just two league games.

* Substitute Mauro Icardi struck a late goal after only five minutes on the pitch to give Paris St Germain a 2-1 win at Brest in Ligue 1 on Saturday as they bounced back from the previous week's loss to Dijon. The Argentine forward, on loan from Inter Milan, was quickest to react as Brest failed to clear the ball and scored with a shot into the top corner in the 85th minute for his ninth goal in 10 games in all competitions for PSG.

* Peru international Andre Carrillo's second half header gave Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal a 1-0 win against Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds in the first leg of the Asian Champions League final in Riyadh on Saturday night. Carrillo nodded into an empty net after goalkeeper Haruki Fukushima misread Mohammed Al Burayk's cross from the right on the hour mark to give the two-time Asian champions a narrow advantage ahead of the return fixture in Japan on Nov. 24.

* Chelsea notched a sixth successive Premier League win as they beat Crystal Palace 2-0 to move into second spot, but stuttering Tottenham Hotspur's winless run continued as they were held to a draw at home by Sheffield United on Saturday. Burnley crushed West Ham United 3-0 to pile the pressure on Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini, but Everton's Marco Silva finally found some cheer as his side won 2-1 at Southampton.

* Goals from DeAndre Yedlin and Ciaran Clarke helped Newcastle United recover from a goal down to beat Bournemouth 2-1 at St James's Park on Saturday and secure back-to-back victories in this season's Premier League. Newcastle weathered a late storm to hang on for a win that lifts them to 11th place in the table on 15 points after 12 games, while Bournemouth are a point ahead of them in 12th position.

* Australia's ever-dependable Ash Barty doled out the dreaded double-bagel to Caroline Garcia, levelling the Fed Cup final at 1-1 against France after the opening day's singles in Perth on Saturday. On a day of scorching heat, France struck the early blow when Kristina Mladenovic thrashed Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1 6-1, but the terrier-like Barty wrested back the momentum with her 6-0 6-0 rout of Garcia, firing up a heaving crowd at Perth Arena.

* Leipzig came from behind to beat Hertha Berlin 4-2 on the brace from Timo Werner while Schalke squandered their lead three times to share the spoils with Fortuna Dusseldorf for a 3-3 tie in the Bundesliga 11th round actions on Saturday.

* The first Paralympic swimming competition "Sarajevo Open 2019-We are All Equal in Water" was officially opened in Bosnia and Herzegovina's (BiH's) capital Saturday afternoon. The two-day competition featured 90 swimmers from Austria, BiH, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey, who will compete in the 50-meter pool.

Reuters, Xinhua