World Sports News in Brief

Below-strength Man United move into Europa League last eight

Thursday, 2020-08-06 08:32:41
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Europa League - Round of 16 Second Leg - Manchester United v LASK Linz - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - August 5, 2020 LASK Linz's Philipp Wiesinger in action with Manchester United's Odion Ighalo, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease. (Photo: Reuters)
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Former Europa League winners Manchester United booked a quarter-final spot in the tournament after their second-string side laboured to a 2-1 home win over LASK Linz on Wednesday (Aug 5) to seal a 7-1 aggregate rout of the Austrian side.

United’s reward is a clash with FC Copenhagen in Cologne on Monday after the Danish side beat Istanbul Basaksehir 3-0 at home earlier on Wednesday to wipe out a 1-0 first-leg deficit. The last eight will be played in four German cities as part of the mini-tournament, with the final on Aug. 21 in Cologne.

* Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Copenhagen became the first two teams to reach the Europa League quarter-finals as the continent’s second-tier competition resumed on Wednesday after a five-month break forced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Shakhtar thumped German side VfL Wolfsburg 5-1 on aggregate after a 3-0 win in the return leg in Kiev while Copenhagen beat Turkish champions Istanbul Basakshehir 3-0 at home to wipe out a 1-0 first-leg deficit.

* Inter Milan have agreed to sign Alexis Sanchez from Manchester United on a permanent three-year deal, the Serie A club's CEO Giuseppe Marotta said on Wednesday. Sanchez signed with Inter on loan at the start of the 2019-20 season following a disappointing spell at United where he scored only five goals in 45 matches.

* Romelu Lukaku and Christian Eriksen were on target as Inter Milan moved into the last eight of the Europa League with a 2-0 win over Getafe on Wednesday. The single-match, neutral-venue tie, played at the Veltins-Arena, was rearranged after the scheduled fixtures in March were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Santos sacked Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira on Wednesday, eight months after he took charge at the Brazilian club. Ferreira was let go following Santos’ disappointing quarter-final elimination by Ponte Preta in the Sao Paulo state championship last week.

* US Open singles winners will receive US$850,000 less prize money this year, the United States Tennis Association said on Wednesday, with first-round prize money increasing. The US$53.4 million total prize pool is down from last year's US$57 million pot, the richest in the tournament's history, with 2020 first-round prize money jumping 5% to US$61,000 from US$58,000. Singles winners will receive US$3 million, down from US$3.85 million in 2019.

* Manchester City have signed defender Nathan Ake from Bournemouth on a five-year deal, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday. Financial details of the transfer were not disclosed but British media reported City paid Bournemouth 40 million pounds (US$52 million) to sign the 25-year-old with an additional 1 million pounds to be paid in add-ons.

* Antonio Felix da Costa stretched his Formula E lead on Wednesday as the all-electric series resumed its COVID-19-hit season behind closed doors at Berlin's Tempelhof airport after 158 days without racing.

* Former F1 driver Paul di Resta will be on standby this weekend as McLaren's reserve for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone after having a seat fitting on Wednesday, the British team said. Under COVID-19 protocols, the 34-year-old Scot will not be in close contact with the race team unless needed as a replacement for Lando Norris or Carlos Sainz in the season's fifth round.

* The final round of the Six Nations Championship will be played on Oct. 31 with leaders England taking on Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome as organisers confirmed the dates for the remaining four fixtures. The Six Nations was suspended in March when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Europe and World Rugby had last week earmarked Oct. 24 and 31 as the concluding dates of the tournament.

* Deportivo Alaves have appointed former Sevilla and Espanyol manager Pablo Machin as their new head coach to replace Juan Ramon Lopez Muniz, the La Liga club announced on Wednesday. Muniz had taken charge of Alaves at the back end of the 2019-20 season and guided them to a 16th-place finish despite managing just one win in four games.

* Work on the A$730 million (US$525 million) rebuild of the Sydney Football Stadium will get underway in earnest this week and is on schedule for completion in September 2022, the New South Wales government said on Wednesday.

Reuters