A roundup of Sunday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights… Barcelona 2-1 Leganes The Blaugrana were just minutes away from another disappointing result but Lionel Messi rescued his side on the brink of time with an opportune penalty kick. The Argentine attacker netted a brace on Sunday, which helped keep Barcelona within a point of league leaders Real Madrid at the top of Spain’s top flight. Messi entered his name on the scoresheet in the fourth minute before Unai Lopez equalized for the visitors in the 71st minute. The loss for Leganes keeps the club just two points above the relegation zone through 23 rounds of play. Real Sociedad 0-1 Villareal Samu Castillejo’s stoppage time winner kept
Mauricio Pochettino said that team meetings with his Tottenham players after two straight defeats helped to turn the side around for today’s 3-0 FA Cup defeat of Fulham. Spurs lost 2-0 at Anfield last Saturday and 1-0 at KAA Gent on Thursday evening, two results that threatened to derail the season. “After Gent we had a few meetings [with the players] and the reaction was fantastic,” Pochettino said.
Well, that didn’t go according to plan. The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team suffered a 1-0 defeat against Panama to open Group B play in Saturday’s CONCACAF Championship match. Despite playing down a man for over 70 minutes, Panama managed to find a winner in the first half when Leandro Avila beat Jonathan Klinsmann off of a lobbed effort inside the penalty area. The U.S. was dealt a further blow in its first match of the tournament as captain and New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams was forced off at halftime with an apparent ankle injury. Adams was seen hobbling on crutches at the start of the second stanza, leaving his status for the rest of the competition uncertain. Jeremy Ebobisse
Chelsea and Manchester United were drawn together on Sunday in one of two potentially all-Premier League ties in the 2016-17 FA Cup quarterfinals. Middlesbrough will host Manchester City should the Citizens get past Championship side Huddersfield Town in the two sides’ fifth-round replay (0-0 draw on Saturday). Tottenham Hotspur will host Millwall in a volatile London derby, while fifth-division Lincoln City will visit either a fellow non-Football League side in Sutton United, or PL giants Arsenal. Full FA Cup quarterfinals draw Chelsea vs. Manchester United Middlesbrough vs. Manchester City/Huddersfield Town Tottenham Hotspur vs. Millwall Sutton United/Arsenal vs. Lincoln City The weekend’s FA
Controversial coach Marcelo Bielsa will take charge of ambitious Lille for next season, signaling his return to French football after a chaotic end to his spell with Marseille. Lille said in a statement on Sunday that Bielsa will replace interim coach Franck Passi on July 1 and has been given a two-year deal. “Marcelo Bielsa is without a doubt one of the most respected and influential coaches in the world and it’s a huge satisfaction for Lille,” said Marc Ingla, a club director. “It also proves the ambition of our club.” A former Argentina manager, Bielsa is highly rated as an innovative, attack-minded leader who brings the best out of his players. With Lille hiring Bielsa, Lyon already settled
ROME (AP) Gabriel “Gabigol” Barbosa began repaying his 30 million euro ($32 million) transfer fee by scoring his first goal for Inter Milan in a 1-0 win at Bologna on Sunday. Seven minutes after coming on, Barbosa tapped in a cross from Danilo D’Ambrosio in the 81st minute to secure fourth-placed Inter its ninth win in 10 Serie A matches. Barbosa had been hailed as the next great Brazil striker when he signed a five-year deal after transferring from Santos in August. But he struggled in his first five months at Inter. “I’m happy for him. He had a bit of a tough time at the start. But now he’s starting to click,” Inter coach Stefano Pioli said. Garbosa was preparing to offer his teammates and
PARIS (AP) Marseille showed it can cope without top scorer Bafetimbi Gomis by beating Rennes 2-0 at home in the French league on Saturday, a win that maintains its push for a top-four finish and place in the Europa League next season. Gomis has been Marseille’s best player this season, scoring 16 league goals, but picked up a knee injury last weekend and is expected to be out for up to six weeks. In his absence, wingers Clinton N'Jie and Florian Thauvin grabbed second-half goals as Marseille moved level on points with fifth-place Saint-Etienne and one point behind fourth-place Lyon. They are both playing on Sunday. France playmaker Dimitri Payet went close three times – hitting the crossbar with
BERLIN (AP) Robert Lewandowski struck in the seventh minute of injury time for Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich to draw at Hertha Berlin 1-1 and avoid to its second defeat on Saturday. Lewandowski rifled in the ball after Arjen Robben’s effort was blocked on the line, setting off celebrations cut short amid initial confusion over whether the goal stood. Hertha had long been calling for the final whistle – five minutes of injury time were indicated – but Bayern’s last chance came when Peter Pekarik fouled Kingsley Coman on the edge of the penalty area. Thiago Alcantara sent the ball in for Robben to shoot. Lewandowski’s goal was eventually confirmed. “A game lasts until the referee blows the whistle,”
Reuters sports schedule at 1400 GMT on Sunday: SOCCER La Liga Real Sociedad v Villarreal (1100) Valencia v Athletic Club (1515) Celta Vigo
David Villa became the first MLS player to be sent off following the use of video replay during New York City FC’s preseason game against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday. Villa, the reigning league MVP, was initially shown a yellow card by referee Nima Saghafi for a slap to the face of Dynamo defender A.J. DeLaGarza (the incident begins at the 36:50 mark of the above video). Following a review of video evidence (Video Assistant Referee — VAR), which MLS has implemented on a trial basis this preseason, Saghafi correctly changed Villa’s booking to a straight red card. The biggest stumbling block for video replay in soccer is, undoubtedly, the length of time each video-assisted decision would require
Dimitar Berbatov is actively seeking a new club as the veteran striker aims to extend his playing career at the age of 36. The former Manchester United and Tottenham forward has been out of contract since he was released by Greek side PAOK in June 2016, but he is not ready to retire. Bulgarian Berbatov, who has also featured for clubs including Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco during his career, believes he still has something to offer.
LONDON (AP) Bournemouth is the latest target of the English Football Association’s anti-doping crackdown after being charged with breaching regulations. The Premier League club is accused of failing to keep the governing body informed on the location of their players in order to facilitate drug-testing. Manchester City was fined $44,000 on Thursday for failing to ensure that information about players’ whereabouts was accurate three times a year. The FA requires teams to provide the times of training sessions and home addresses of players or other addresses where the team is staying overnight.
AMATRICE, Italy (AP) Italian great Roberto Baggio marked his 50th birthday on Saturday by visiting towns devastated by earthquakes last year. Baggio opted not to celebrate his milestone surrounded by celebrities, and instead spent the day in Amatrice, which was almost wiped out by the Aug. 24 earthquake. The former world footballer of the year, who met children and others from the central Italy region, said “it was very emotional,” and he went there with his family “to fully understand what so many people are going through.” Baggio also met the mayor of Amatrice, Sergio Pirozzi, and said they will remain in contact, “and we will try to do something concrete.” Baggio was moving on to nearby Norcia,
LONDON (AP) Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri criticized his players for lacking “desire and heart” in a 1-0 loss at third-tier Millwall in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday, the latest setback for the stuttering English champion. Leicester, which is one point above the relegation zone in a woeful defense of its Premier League title, is without a victory in its last eight matches. Millwall played most of the second half with 10 men and won thanks to a 90th-minute goal. “I want to speak again with the players and say we have to fight every match,” an animated Ranieri said. “Who wants to fight? Tell me. I need the soldiers, I need the gladiators. “It is strange because last season we won for this,
|vs||Wycombe Wanderers||W||4 - 3|
|@||Sunderland||D||0 - 0|
|vs||Middlesbrough||W||1 - 0|
|@||Liverpool||L||2 - 0|
|@||KAA Gent||L||1 - 0|
|@||West Ham United|