World Sports News in Brief

Liverpool move closer to title with 4-0 win over Palace

Thursday, 2020-06-25 09:08:09
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Premier League - Liverpool v Crystal Palace - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - June 24, 2020 Liverpool's Fabinho celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease. (Photo: Reuters)
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Liverpool were back at their lethal best to beat Crystal Palace 4-0 at Anfield on Wednesday (June 24), moving within two points of securing the Premier League title.

The victory, with goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah, Fabinho and Sadio Mane, ensured Juergen Klopp’s side could be crowned champions on Thursday if second-placed Manchester City fail to win at Chelsea. Should Pep Guardiola’s side win at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool could finish the job with a victory in their next game, against defending champions City, on July 2. Liverpool have 86 points from 31 games with City 23 points behind ahead of their trip to Chelsea.

* Real Madrid eased to a 2-0 home victory over Real Mallorca on Wednesday thanks to goals in each half from Vinicius Jr. and Sergio Ramos to stay in charge of the La Liga title race ahead of Barcelona. Real's fourth win in a row since the season returned took them back to the top of the table on 68 points after 31 games, level with Barcelona but ahead of the Catalans due to their superior head-to-head record.

* Jose Luis Palomino's header 10 minutes from time completed a stunning turnaround as Atalanta came roaring back from two goals down to beat Lazio 3-2 on Wednesday and damage the Roman side's Serie A title hopes. Palomino's header from Alejandro Gomez's corner completed a brilliant comeback and left Atalanta fourth on 54 points after 27 games. Second-placed Lazio stayed on 62 points, four behind leaders Juventus.

* Third-placed Inter Milan threw away two points in the Serie A title race when they missed an open goal and conceded an 89th- minute equaliser in a 3-3 draw at home to mid-table Sassuolo on Wednesday. The result left Inter with 58 points, eight behind leaders Juventus with 11 matches to play.

* A second-half header by Michael Keane gave Everton a 1-0 away win against bottom side Norwich City in the Premier League on Wednesday, as the Canaries showed little sign of the spark they will need to avoid relegation. Norwich remain bottom on 21 points, six points behind 17th-placed West Ham United with seven games left to play.

* Aston Villa substitute Ahmed El Mohamady scored with seven minutes remaining to give his beleaguered side a potential lifeline from relegation as they claimed a point in a 1-1 Premier League draw at Newcastle United on Wednesday. Newcastle, who beat Sheffield United 3-0 on Sunday in their first game after the COVID-19 lockdown, stayed in 13th place as they advanced to 39 points from 31 games.

* Another episode of the Adama Traore-Raul Jimenez show delivered Wolverhampton Wanderers a precious 1-0 win over struggling Bournemouth in the Premier League on Wednesday. Victory put them on 49 points in sixth place, the same total as fifth-placed Manchester United who have a better goal difference.

* The organisers of the US Open said on Wednesday they will include a wheelchair tournament at this year's Grand Slam in New York following a wave of player backlash over their initial decision to scrap the event.

* Players, managers and coaching staff will be able to flag up serious discriminatory online abuse through a dedicated reporting system, the Premier League announced on Wednesday. Targetting direct messages received on social media platforms, the Premier League says the central rapid response reporting system could lead to legal action where appropriate.

* Soccer fans will be allowed in limited numbers at stadiums in the Netherlands after the summer, as long as they keep a safe distance and do not sing or yell, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Wednesday. It was part of a widespread easing of restrictive measures following a slowdown in coronavirus infections and hospital admissions, Rutte said.

* World number four Brooks Koepka has decided to withdraw from this week's PGA Tour event, the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut, after his caddie tested positive for COVID-19, Golfweek reported on Wednesday. Cameron Champ, a two-times winner on the PGA Tour, pulled out of the Travelers Championship on Tuesday after testing positive for COVID-19.

* The Berlin Marathon, one of the world's big six races, will not take place this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers said on Wednesday. The race was originally scheduled for Sept. 26-27 but organisers had already said it could not go ahead then because of Germany's ban on public gatherings of more than 5,000 people until Oct. 24.

* Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero underwent knee surgery in Barcelona on Wednesday and said the operation had gone well.

* The New York City Marathon, one of the most prestigious events on the global running calendar, has been cancelled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, race organisers said on Wednesday. The race was scheduled to take place on Nov. 1.

* Electronic Arts on Wednesday extended its licensing contract with La Liga until 2030, allowing the video game maker to retain exclusive access to the Spanish top-tier soccer league for its flagship football franchise "FIFA".

* Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov on Wednesday threatened to impose a ban on spectators at domestic league matches unless social distancing among fans improved. Bulgaria decided on Wednesday to extend a state of emergency declared in response to the coronavirus outbreak until July 15 after another jump in new registered cases.

* Arsenal defender David Luiz, who was sent off against Manchester City last week, has signed a one-year contract extension, the Premier League club said on Wednesday.

* The Rugby World Cup held in Japan last year was the most economically successful World Cup to date, attracting some 242,000 international visitors and adding £2.3 billion to the country's GDP, a report said on Wednesday. It was also "the biggest single-sport event ever held in Japan," said the report, which was commissioned by the sports governing body World Rugby and conducted by consulting firm EY.

* Real Mallorca forward Luka Romero became the youngest player to make his La Liga debut after the 15-year-old came off the bench in his side’s 2-0 defeat at Real Madrid on Wednesday. Aged 15 years and 229 days, Romero came on in the 83rd minute to break a record lasting over 80 years held by former Celta Vigo player Francisco Bao Rodríguez, known as Sanson, who made his first La Liga appearance in 1939 aged 15 and 255 days.

* AS Roma forward Edin Dzeko scored two similar, superbly-taken goals to give his side a 2-1 win at home to struggling Sampdoria as they resumed their Serie A campaign following the coronavirus stoppage on Wednesday. Roma stayed fifth with 48 points from 27 games while Claudio Ranieri's Sampdoria are 16th with 26, one point clear of the drop zone.

* Anthony Martial scored Manchester United's first Premier League hat-trick for seven years to inspire a 3-0 home win over Sheffield United on Wednesday and maintain their hopes of a top-four finish. United stayed fifth in the standings on 49 points from 31 games, two behind fourth-placed Chelsea whose game in hand is a home clash with champions Manchester City on Thursday.