World Sports News in Brief

Liverpool scrape a win, but rivals drop points

Sunday, 2020-10-25 10:25:18
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Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Sheffield United - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - October 24, 2020 Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates scoring their second goal with Roberto Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold. (Photo: Pool via Reuters)
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Champions Liverpool got back to winning ways in the Premier League with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Sheffield United but their likely title rivals all dropped points on Saturday (Oct 24).

Diogo Jota's second-half header earned Liverpool a first win in three league games to lift them joint top with Merseyside rivals Everton who play on Sunday. Manchester City's stuttering start continued as they drew 1-1 at West Ham United while Manchester United and Chelsea played out a drab 0-0 draw at Old Trafford. Crystal Palace moved up into the top five as they beat bottom club Fulham 2-1 with goals by Jairo Riedewald and Wilfried Zaha.

* World number three Justin Thomas birdied two of his final three holes to grab a one-shot lead over Jon Rahm at the Zozo Championships on Saturday and set up a final round showdown with the Spanish world number two. Thomas started the day with a one-shot lead and ended it the same way, mixing six birdies with a single bogey at Sherwood Country Club for a scrappy five-under 67 to get to 19-under for the tournament.

* Moise Kean scored his first goals for Paris St Germain as the French champions recovered from their Champions League defeat by Manchester United to move top of the Ligue 1 standings with a 4-0 home victory against lowly Dijon on Saturday.

* Atletico Madrid beat Real Betis 2-0 at home on Saturday in La Liga thanks to goals from Marcos Llorente and Luis Suarez after coach Diego Simeone sprung a double change at halftime. Elsewhere, Sevilla succumbed to a second consecutive league defeat as they went down 1-0 at home to Eibar.

* Top seed Alexander Zverev reached his second final in the space of a week in Cologne with a clinical 7-6(3) 6-3 victory over Italian wild card Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals of the bett1HULKS Championship on Saturday. The German world number seven claimed his first ATP crown of the year after besting Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3 6-3 to win the bett1HULKS Indoor title at the same venue last Sunday.

* Borussia Dortmund cantered to a 3-0 win over Schalke 04 in the Ruhr valley derby on Saturday to pile on the misery for their neighbours who have now gone 21 Bundesliga games without a win.

* Ajax Amsterdam set an Eredivisie record when they scored 13 goals past a hapless VVV-Venlo side to move to the top of the standings on Saturday, with seven different players getting their names on the score sheet. The previous record for most goals scored in an Eredivisie game was also held by Ajax when they beat Vitesse 12-1 in 1972.

* Former world number one Victoria Azarenka trounced Greece's Maria Sakkari 6-1 6-3 on Saturday to reach the final of the J&T Banka Ostrava Open, where she will meet fellow Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka. Third seed Sabalenka beat American Jennifer Brady 6-4 6-4 in the other semi-final.

* RB Leipzig came from behind to beat Hertha Berlin 2-1 and stay top of the Bundesliga on Saturday after their opponents had substitute Deyovaisio Zeefuik sent off after only five minutes on the pitch. Unbeaten Leipzig lead with 13 points from five games, one ahead of Bayern Munich who thumped Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0.

* Belgian Tim Wellens beat Guillaume Martin in a sprint finish to win a hilly stage five of the Vuelta a Espana on Saturday, as Primoz Roglic stayed out of trouble to keep the overall lead.

* Luis Alberto set Lazio on the way to a 2-1 win over Bologna with a superb solo effort in Serie A on Saturday after the visitors had a goal disallowed by VAR. Lazio, fourth last season, are 10th with seven points.

* Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos praised his side for sticking together and digging deep to beat Barcelona 3-1 in La Liga on Saturday after a nightmarish week in which they suffered shock defeats by Cadiz and Shakhtar Donetsk. Ramos scored a crucial penalty in the second half to put Madrid in front again after Barca's Ansu Fati had cancelled out Federico Valverde's opener, while Luka Modric made sure of the points for the La Liga champions with a stoppage time strike.

* Romelu Lukaku struck again as a Inter Milan ground out a 2-0 win away to Genoa in a lacklustre Serie A match on Saturday. The Belgian scored his fifth league goal of the season, and his seventh in all competitions, as Inter ended a three-match winless run and kept a clean sheet for the first time this season.

* Lewis Hamilton seized pole position in the dying seconds of qualifying for the first Portuguese Grand Prix in 24 years on Saturday to deny and dismay Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas once again. The pole, in a session delayed for half an hour while loose drainage covers were fixed, made it 12 out of 12 for Mercedes this season and was a record-extending 97th for the six-time world champion.

* Manchester City suffered a fresh injury blow in their 1-1 draw at West Ham United on Saturday as Sergio Aguero was withdrawn at halftime at the London Stadium. The Argentine striker was replaced by Phil Foden, who grabbed City's equaliser, and manager Pep Guardiola said later he had suffered a muscular injury, only a week after making his first start of the season following knee surgery.

* Sampdoria's veteran forward Fabio Quagliarella scored an early goal and missed a penalty as his side produced a shock 3-1 win away to Atalanta in Serie A on Saturday. Sampdoria's third successive win pulled them level on nine points from five games with third-placed Atalanta, who have lost their last two league games.

* Honda's Takaaki Nakagami became the first Japanese rider in 16 years to clinch a premier class pole position when he sealed top spot in qualifying at the Teruel Grand Prix in Spain on Saturday. Makoto Tamada was Japan's last rider to start on pole in 2004.