World Sports News in Brief

Solskjaer confident Man United squad can win over doubters

Manchester United can ease supporters’ doubts after a relatively quiet transfer window by producing the attractive football that has delighted them in the past, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday.

Soccer Football - Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Press Conference - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - March 28, 2019 Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the pitch REUTERS/Jon Super
Soccer Football - Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Press Conference - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - March 28, 2019 Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the pitch REUTERS/Jon Super

A pall of gloom hangs over Old Trafford with many fans disillusioned with United’s transfer business in the close season even though the club signed defenders Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and winger Daniel James. However, United lost striker Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan and midfielder Ander Herrera to Paris St Germain without recruiting replacements but Solskjaer said the club would only sign players if they improved the squad.

* Dustin Johnson sank an eight-foot birdie putt at the last to take a one-stroke lead over Jordan Spieth in the second round of the Northern Trust in New Jersey on Friday. Johnson shook off an opening bogey to make five birdies as the world number two shot a four-under par 67 in the afternoon at Liberty National to move to 12-under for the tournament.

* Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu coped with leg pain to keep her dream Rogers Cup run alive with a 6-0 2-6 6-4 upset of Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova to reach the semi-finals on Friday. Up next for Andreescu will be unseeded American Sofia Kenin, who extended her impressive Toronto run with a 7-6(2) 6-4 win over Ukrainian sixth seed and former champion Elina Svitolina for her second top-10 victory if the week.

* Olympique Lyonnais brushed aside AS Monaco 3-0 away in the season-opening Ligue 1 match on Friday, helped by a red card for Cesc Fabregas after half an hour and a dreadful mistake by goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte on his debut. Moussa Dembele and Memphis Depay scored first-half goals for Lyon, who were third last season, and Lucas Tousart fired home the third with 10 minutes left to give new manager Sylvinho a winning start in his first senior coaching job.

* Borussia Dortmund were made to work in the first half before overcoming the resistance of third division club KFC Uerdingen to win 2-0 and move into the German Cup second round on Friday. Captain Marco Reus broke the deadlock in the 49th minute a with a shot from five metres after the ball had also made contact with his arm, and Paco Alcacer doubled their lead with a fine 70th-minute free kick from 22 metres.

* Andy Murray will return to singles action at the Cincinnati Open starting on Saturday after accepting a wildcard, Britain's former world number one said on Friday. The 32-year-old three-time Grand Slam champion has not played singles since losing in the Australian Open first round in January to Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, after which he had hip resurfacing surgery in a bid to salvage his career.

* Arsenal will allow more players to leave the club before the transfer window shuts for the rest of Europe's major leagues on Sept. 2, manager Unai Emery said on Friday. Arsenal made six major signings in the close season, which included defenders David Luiz and Kieran Tierney on deadline day and record signing Nicolas Pepe who reportedly cost the London club 72 million pounds. But a number of regulars including captain Laurent Koscielny, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi left and Emery is prepared to lose more in the coming weeks.

* Spain's La Liga has been given the go-ahead in a court ruling to continue staging matches on Fridays but not on Mondays following the latest round of a tug-of-war with the country's national football federation. The decision by Madrid judge Andres Sanchez Magro, which is provisional and was announced in a 32-page document on Friday, means that the season can start as planned with a match between Athletic Bilbao and titleholders Barcelona on Friday Aug. 16. However, two games due to be played on Monday, Aug. 19, will have to be moved.

* Leicester City are pleased with their transfer business in the close season despite being unable to replace centre back Harry Maguire following his record-breaking departure, manager Brendan Rodgers said on Friday. Maguire moved to Manchester United in the final week of the transfer window for a reported 80 million pounds, a world record fee for a defender, leaving Leicester with little time to find a replacement. However, Leicester did sign forward Ayoze Perez and made midfielder Youri Tielemans' loan move permanent while Dennis Praet was signed on deadline day to give the club more options in attacking midfield.

* Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha is committed to helping the club in the new Premier League season despite the disappointment of missing out on a deadline day move away from Selhurst Park, manager Roy Hodgson said on Friday. Zaha, 26, was linked to both Arsenal and Everton during the English transfer window, which closed on Thursday, but Palace refused to accept offers below their 80 million-pound valuation of the Ivory Coast international.

* Tiger Woods has been forced to withdraw from the Northern Trust Open due to pain and stiffness in his surgically repaired back, the PGA Tour said on Friday. Woods, 43, had acknowledged that his back was stiff on the eve of the first event of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs which had limited his ability to practice.

* Everton's failure to bolster their defence in the close season is "not the best scenario" with only three senior centre backs available for selection ahead of the new Premier League season, manager Marco Silva said on Friday. After Kurt Zouma's return to Chelsea following a season-long loan deal, Everton have only Yerry Mina, Michael Keane and Mason Holgate as their main centre back options.

* Inter Milan's new signing Romelu Lukaku has been handed the coveted number nine shirt which previously belonged to Mauro Icardi who was stripped of the captaincy during the course of last season. Inter posted a photograph of the Belgian forward wearing the shirt on the club's Instagram account one day after confirming that they had signed him from Manchester United.

* Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who suffered a heart attack in May, has been registered by the club to play in this season's Portuguese league. The 38-year-old former Spain and Real Madrid goalkeeper features in the Porto squad list which has been published on the league's official website ahead of their opening game away to Gil Vicente on Saturday.

* Japanese star Naomi Osaka will reclaim the WTA world No.1 spot for the second time in her career when the new rankings are made official next Monday. At the ongoing Rogers Cup WTA tournament, reigning world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty suffered an opening round stunner to American player Sofia Kenin, opening the door for former No.1s Osaka and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic to return to the top.

* Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola said on Friday that winger Leroy Sane will be out of action for between six or seven months after confirming the 22-year-old had torn his cruciate ligament in last weekend's Community Shield final against Liverpool.

* Veteran striker Aritz Aduriz on Friday confirmed he will hang up his boots at the end of the forthcoming season. The 38-year-old Athletic Club Bilbao player, who will be 39 in February and who made 13 appearances for the Spanish national team, revealed the news in a press conference.

Reuters, Xinhua