World Sports News in Brief

Messi surpasses Pele and leads Barca to victory at Valladolid

Wednesday, 2020-12-23 08:15:08
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Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Real Valladolid v FC Barcelona - Estadio Jose Zorrilla, Valladolid, Spain - December 22, 2020 Barcelona's Lionel Messi in action. (Photo: Reuters)
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Barcelona turned on the style to thrash Real Valladolid 3-0 away in La Liga on Tuesday (Dec 22) as Lionel Messi scored his 644th goal to surpass Pele as the all-time record scorer for a single club.

It was also an outstanding team display from Ronald Koeman’s side, who responded to Saturday’s disappointing 2-2 home draw against Valencia by earning their first away league win since beating Celta Vigo on Oct. 1. Barca remain fifth in the standings, moving on to 24 points after 14 games. Atletico Madrid are top with 32 points from 13 games after a 2-0 win at Real Sociedad on Tuesday.

* Arsenal's miserable season continued as they slumped to a 4-1 home defeat by holders Manchester City in the League Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday. City joined Brentford in the semi-finals after the second-tier (Championship) side enjoyed a 1-0 win over Premier League Newcastle United earlier on Tuesday.

* Champions Juventus suffered their first Serie A defeat of the season when they crashed 3-0 at home to lowly Fiorentina after having Juan Cuadrado sent off after 18 minutes on Tuesday. The defeat, Juve's worst at the Allianz Stadium since it opened nine years ago, left them fourth with 24 points after 13 games, seven behind leaders AC Milan.

* Formula E's season-opening double header scheduled to take place in Santiago, Chile on Jan. 16-17 was postponed on Tuesday after the country closed its borders with the United Kingdom.

* A first-half brace from Junior Messias, including a stylish lob, gave Crotone their second Serie A win of the season as they beat Parma 2-1 to move off the foot of the table on Tuesday.

* Tottenham Hotspur may be playing second-tier Championship side Stoke City in the League Cup but that does not make their route to the semi-finals any easier, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho has said. Spurs and Newcastle United both avoided all-Premier League ties with Arsenal taking on Manchester City while Everton host Manchester United this week.

* Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says that he hopes to get his hands on the League Cup so that it will serve as a stepping stone to winning more trophies in the future as his team prepare for their quarter-final match against Everton. United last won the League Cup in 2017 under former manager Jose Mourinho while Solskjaer's side were knocked out in the semi-finals last year by derby rivals and eventual winners Manchester City.

* France's LFP soccer body will be able to recover rights held by the Spanish company Mediapro, following a court ruling to resolve a dispute over broadcasting rights for French soccer, said the LFP body on Tuesday.

* West Ham United lacked a cutting edge in front of goal in Monday's 3-0 defeat by Chelsea and manager David Moyes said he is still trying to fill the void left by the injured Michail Antonio. Antonio, 30, has missed seven of West Ham's last eight league games due to a hamstring problem. His replacement Sebastien Haller has netted just three league goals this season and failed to register a shot on target at Stamford Bridge.

* Football Australia have reshuffled the fixtures for the early rounds of the new A-League season, which starts on Sunday, as an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Sydney means inter-state matches are unable to be played.

* Chelsea full back Ben Chilwell will undergo a scan on his ankle after picking up an injury in Monday's 3-0 win over West Ham United, manager Frank Lampard said.