World Sports News in Brief

Liverpool and Arsenal off to flying starts in new Premier season

Sunday, 2020-09-13 08:56:50
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Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Leeds United - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - September 12, 2020 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores their first goal from the penalty spot. (Photo: Pool via Reuters)
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Liverpool and Arsenal got off to winning starts with victories over promoted sides on the opening day of the new Premier League season on Saturday.

Mohamed Salah scored a hat-trick, including two penalties as champions Liverpool won a seven goal thriller with hugely impressive Leeds United at Anfield with the Egyptian grabbing the win from the spot in the 88th minute of a 4-3 victory. Arsenal enjoyed a more comfortable opening day with a 3-0 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage.

* Crystal Palace forward Zaha scored his 50th league goal for the club as they beat Southampton 1-0 to secure a home victory on the opening day of a Premier League campaign for the first time. In Saturday’s late game, new signings Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick both got on the scoresheet for Newcastle United as they won 2-0 away to West Ham United.

* Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has tested positive for COVID-19, his club said in a statement on Saturday, meaning the team could be without their manager when they start the La Liga campaign in two weeks' time. Atleti's statement said the Argentine was asymptomatic and was currently isolating in his home after undergoing a test on Friday during the team's pre-season training camp.

* Naomi Osaka ended Victoria Azarenka's dream run to claim her second U.S. Open title in three years with a 1-6 6-3 6-3 comeback win on Saturday which cemented her status as the sport's leading light both on and off the court. It marked the first time since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 1994 that a player had dropped the first set of the women's final and fought back to win the title.

* COVID-19 tests conducted on all participating teams in the AFC Champions League's West Asian hub of Qatar have returned seven positive results, Asian soccer's governing body said on Saturday. The AFC said in a statement that five players and one member of staff from Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal and one player from Qatar's Al Duhail had tested positive.

* Denmark's Soren Kragh Andersen timed his effort to perfection to win the 14th stage of the Tour de France, a 194.5-km ride from Clermont-Ferrand on Saturday. The Team Sunweb rider attacked with just under three kilometres to go and never looked back as Slovenian Luka Mezgec took second place and Italian Simone Consonni came home third, 15 seconds behind.

* Austria's Dominic Thiem and Germany's Alexander Zverev will vie for the US Open title on Sunday in a final that will crown a new men's Grand Slam singles champion for the first time in six years. With Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer, the sport's dominant trio, all absent from Flushing Meadows' final weekend this year, tennis will have a new Grand Slam champion for the first time since Marin Cilic beat Kei Nishikori to clinch the US Open title in 2014.

* RB Leipzig dominated second-tier Nuremberg throughout their German Cup first round game on Saturday to win 3-0 for a successful start to their season. The German Cup first round kicked off on Friday.

* Serena Williams has pulled out of the Italian Open starting on Monday due to an Achilles injury, the former world number one confirmed on Saturday. Double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu and top-ranked Ash Barty have also pulled out of the tournament.

* Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the first Tuscan Grand Prix at Italy's Mugello circuit on Saturday and dealt another blow to Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull's Max Verstappen qualified third behind the Mercedes pair with Thai team mate Alexander Albon lining up fourth.

* Yamaha's Maverick Vinales took pole position for Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix after setting a lap record of one minute, 31.411 seconds in qualifying to edge out Petronas Yamaha's Franco Morbidelli in Misano on Saturday. It was the Spaniard's second pole of the season and he was 0.312 seconds quicker than Morbidelli. Championship leader Fabio Quartararo will start the race from third on the grid.

* Manchester United defender Harry Maguire will remain captain of the Premier League club despite being given a suspended prison sentence by a Greek court during the close season, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said.

* The coach of Turkish soccer team Besiktas has tested positive for coronavirus, a club official said on Saturday, a day after the first game in the main league's new season. Sergen Yalcin tested positive as part of routine tests conducted ahead of a match on Sunday with Trabzonspor, Tekin Kerem Ulku, the team's health board coordinator, said.

* The Republic of Korea and Indonesia have withdrawn from next month's Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Denmark, the Badminton World Federation said in a statement on Saturday. The two countries join Australia, Taiwan (China) and Thailand in skipping the Oct 3 to Oct 11 tournament amid the COVID-19 pandemic.