World Sports Brief: May 25, 2023

Brighton snap champions Man City's winning streak

Champions Manchester City's 12-match winning streak in the Premier League came to an end as Julio Enciso's stunner earned sixth-placed Brighton and Hove Albion a 1-1 draw to seal them a Europa League berth on Wednesday (May 24).
Brighton & Hove Albion's Pervis Estupinan with Julio Enciso celebrate qualifying for the Europa League - Premier League - Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester City - The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton, the UK - May 24, 2023. (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
Brighton & Hove Albion's Pervis Estupinan with Julio Enciso celebrate qualifying for the Europa League - Premier League - Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester City - The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton, the UK - May 24, 2023. (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)

It was the first time since February that City had dropped points and with one league game left at Brentford on Sunday they have 89 points, eight more than Arsenal. Brighton have 62, a total seventh-placed Aston Villa now cannot match.

* Frank Lampard is confident that Chelsea will come back stronger next season after a dismal campaign, the interim manager said on Wednesday ahead of their last two Premier League games. Chelsea, 12th in the standings with 43 points, play fourth-placed Manchester United, who are bidding to secure a Champions League place, on Thursday.

* Russian and Belarusian athletes will continue to be barred from competitions organised by skiing's global federation (FIS), the governing body said on Wednesday.

* Sweden's Marcus Ericsson will attempt to become the first driver to claim back-to-back Indianapolis 500 wins since Helio Castroneves in 2001-02, while fan favourite Tony Kanaan gears up for his final race at the famed Brickyard on Sunday. Ericsson, who will start from 10th position on the grid, will face the 500 mile race with a different feeling after last year's dramatic victory gave Chip Ganassi Racing their fifth Borg Warner Trophy.

* CONMEBOL has fined Argentine team Racing Club and Uruguay's Nacional for racist behaviour by their fans during Copa Libertadores matches against Brazilian sides Flamengo and Internacional. Racing were fined US$100,000 by CONMEBOL after their fans made racist gestures towards fans of the opposing team during a 1-1 draw with Flamengo on May 4.

* Goals by Karim Benzema and Rodrygo earned Real Madrid a 2-1 win over mid-table Rayo Vallecano in LaLiga on Wednesday as fans and players showed their support for Vinicius Jr who was subjected to racial abuse over the weekend. Real's Brazilian forward Vinicius received a tribute ahead of the game after being the target of racist insults during the 1-0 loss at Valencia on Sunday.

* Jordan Spieth heads into this week's Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas ready to test a wrist injury that limited him at the PGA Championship and fully aware that aggravating it could derail his preparation for the year's final two majors. Despite an injury that denied him time to sufficiently prepare, Spieth opted to play last week's PGA Championship at Oak Hill in Rochester, New York where he was seeking the final leg of the career Grand Slam of golf's four majors.

* Italian Andrea Pirlo has been released from his job as coach of Turkish top-tier side Fatih Karagumruk SK, the club said on Wednesday. The 44-year-old former Juventus coach signed a one-year contract with the Istanbul-based Super Lig team last summer when he arrived from Juve, will leave the position with three matches left in the season.

* Italy's top flight soccer league has picked Lazard as adviser to assess approaches from private equity firms and banks interested in buying into Serie A's media business, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday. Representatives from Serie A clubs are meeting in Rome on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

* Alberto Dainese timed his sprint to perfection in a breathless finish to win Wednesday's stage 17 at the Giro d'Italia, a 195-kilometre ride from Pergine Valsugana to Caorle. Ineos Grenadiers rider Geraint Thomas continues to lead the overall standings, 18 seconds ahead of Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) with Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) in third place.The Team DSM rider held off Jonathan Milan (Bahrain Victorious) in a mass sprint to prevail by a few centimetres, with Michael Matthews (Jayco-AlUla) taking third place.

* Clubs in the German DFL soccer league failed to reach a two-thirds majority in a vote to allow outside investors to buy its media rights, DFL supervisory board chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke told reporters on Wednesday. There were 20 yes votes, 11 no votes and five abstentions in a secret ballot at a meeting of 36 professional soccer clubs in Frankfurt.

* In-form Crystal Palace midfielder Eberechi Eze earned his first senior call-up for England as coach Gareth Southgate named his squad for next month's Euro 2024 qualifiers on Wednesday. The 24-year-old was the only uncapped player in the 25-man selection for the two games in Group C, away to Malta and at home to North Macedonia.

* Defender Jordi Alba will leave Barcelona at the end of the season after 11 years with the Catalan outfit, the LaLiga club said on Wednesday. The 34-year-old Spain international has played more than 450 games for Barcelona, winning the Champions League in 2015, six LaLiga titles, five Copa del Rey titles, four Spanish Super Cups and the Club World Cup.

* Forward Marcus Rashford could return from a two-game absence when Manchester United host Chelsea, manager Erik ten Hag said on Wednesday as the Premier League club look to secure their place in the Champions League next season. The 25-year-old England international, who is United's top goalscorer this season with 29 goals in all competitions, missed their last two wins against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bournemouth, first with a leg injury and then an illness.

* Coach Ruud van Nistelrooy has quit PSV Eindhoven citing a lack of management support and amid reports of a player revolt, despite leading the club to a Dutch Cup final victory last month and potentially a place in the Champions League next season.PSV confirmed on Wednesday that Van Nistelrooy had left following discussions with the club’s management after it was reported that several players made complaints about his style of coaching and tactics.

* Southampton interim coach Ruben Selles will not have his contract renewed at the end of the season, the Premier League club said on Wednesday after their relegation from the English top-flight. Spanish coach Selles, 39, was placed in temporary charge after Nathan Jones was sacked on Feb. 12 following a dismal run of nine defeats in 14 games that left Southampton sitting at the bottom of the standings with 18 points.

* World Cup winners Argentina will visit Indonesia next month for a friendly against its national team, its top football official said on Wednesday, in a boost for a country that has suffered a succession of recent football setbacks. The visit will be part of an Asian tour by the South American side that also includes a Jun 15 stop in Beijing for a friendly against Australia.

* A total of 26 men involved in attempts to attack family and friends of West Ham United players in the Netherlands last week have reported to police, with seven detained but 10 more still sought, Dutch media reported on Wednesday. Dutch police used a television program on Tuesday to appeal for help to try and identify hooligans, showing images of suspects involved in the attack at the conclusion of Thursday’s Europa Conference League semi-final second leg between AZ Alkmaar and the London club.

* Everton go into their final-day fixture at home to Bournemouth on Sunday with their proud 69-year presence in the top flight of English football depending on a repeat of the two last-day escapes of the 1990s that are part of the club's folklore. Victory at Goodison Park will ensure a 121st top-flight season - a record unmatched anywhere in the world - while a draw or even defeat will see Everton safe if Leicester City and Leeds United fail to beat West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur respectively in the simultaneous 1530GMT kick offs.