Leicester turn up heat in top-four race
Soccer Football - Premier League - Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City - The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton, Britain - March 6, 2021 Brighton & Hove Albion's Dan Burn in action with Leicester City's Caglar Soyuncu. (Photo: Pool via Reuters)
Leicester City turned up the heat in the Premier League's top-four battle as they struck late to earn a 2-1 victory at relegation-threatened Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday (Mar 6).
It moved Brendan Rodgers's side above Manchester United into second place with 53 points from 28 games with United away to runaway leaders Manchester City on Sunday.
* Earlier Southampton ended a horrendous run of form as they beat bottom club Sheffield United 2-0. Burnley also secured an important point in their quest to stay clear of trouble as they drew 1-1 with Arsenal.
* Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Romain Saiss provided a contender for miss of the season during a 0-0 Midlands derby stalemate away to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday. The draw left Villa in ninth place on 40 points from 26 games with Wolves in 12th spot on 35 points.
* Paris St Germain geared up for their Champions League last-16 second leg against Barcelona with a no-nonsense 3-0 victory at Stade Brestois in the French Cup last 32 on Saturday. Elsewhere, RC Lens, who are fifth in Ligue 1, slumped to a 3-2 defeat at third division Red Star. Olympique Lyonnais advanced by beating Ligue 2 side Sochaux 5-2.
* Barcelona continued their rampant run of domestic form to beat Osasuna 2-0 away from home on Saturday and move to within two points of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid, with Lionel Messi setting up goals scored by Jordi Alba and teenager Ilaix Moriba. The victory followed Barca's heroic second leg comeback win over Sevilla to reach the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday and notched a 13th league win in 16 games, while they are unbeaten since losing at Cadiz on Dec. 5.
* Faced with a poor penalty record this season, Eibar again turned to goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic in Saturday's La Liga game at Cadiz but the move did not pay off as they suffered a 1-0 defeat. Eibar dropped to 18th in the standings and into the relegation zone having failed to win any of their last nine league games.
* Two goals from Alvaro Morata helped Juventus come from behind to beat Lazio 3-1 in Serie A on Saturday, closing the gap on leaders Inter Milan to seven points. The win moved Juve on to 52 points, one behind AC Milan. Milan and Inter are in action on Sunday and Monday respectively.
* Champions Bayern Munich roared back from two goals down to beat Borussia Dortmund 4-2 on Saturday with a hat-trick from Robert Lewandowski, to remain two points clear at the top of the Bundesliga. Bayern are on 55 points, two ahead of RB Leipzig, winners 3-0 at Freiburg. Dortmund dropped to sixth on 39.
* A 77th-minute goal by Patrik Schick gave Bayer Leverkusen a 1-0 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday to snap a five-game winless run and lift them back to fifth place in the Bundesliga. Leverkusen are fifth on 40 points, three behind Eintracht Frankfurt, who drew 1-1 against VfL Stuttgart. VfL Wolfsburg are third on 45 points following their 2-1 loss to Hoffenheim.
* Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng suffered a knee injured in their 4-2 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Saturday but the extent of the damage is not yet known, coach Hansi Flick said. The central defender went down injured without an opponent involved when his left foot seemingly got stuck in the grass and he was taken off in the 70th minute.
* Southampton forward Danny Ings could face a few weeks out after sustaining a muscle injury in their 2-0 Premier League win at Sheffield United, manager Ralph Hasenhuettl said on Saturday. Ings went to ground early in the contest at Bramall Lane and was replaced by Che Adams in the 13th minute, as Hasenhuettl was left frustrated by another injury to his influential striker.
* Norwich City forward Teemu Pukki struck a brace while midfielder Todd Cantwell marked his return from a calf injury with a goal as the Championship leaders beat Luton Town 3-0 to stay 10 points ahead of second-placed Watford. Norwich have 76 points from 35 matches, with Watford their nearest rivals following a 1-0 home win over Nottingham Forest in an early encounter where defender Adam Masina netted his first goal in more than a year.
* Rangers fans flouted coronavirus lockdown restrictions to gather outside Ibrox before and after their team's 3-0 win over St Mirren to move within a point of the Scottish Premiership title on Saturday. Goals by Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos and Ianis Hagi continued Rangers' 100% home record with a 16th win and they will be champions if Celtic fail to beat Dundee United on Sunday.
* Sevilla slumped to a surprise 2-1 defeat at struggling Elche in La Liga on Saturday to complete a miserable week of three consecutive losses. Sevilla head to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday with the daunting task of overturning a 3-2 deficit from the first leg of their last-16 tie.
* The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) has decided to suspend this month's double header of World Cup qualifiers for Qatar 2022 amid concern over the COVID-19 pandemic and strict quarantine restrictions. The 10 South American teams were due to play two games on March 25/26 and March 30.
* Real Madrid's top scorer Karim Benzema is back for Sunday's derby away to La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid, coach Zinedine Zidane said, no doubt hoping the striker can restore some attacking flair to the side, which has struggled for goals in his absence.
* Norway's Therese Johaug put in another blistering performance to win Saturday's 30km classic race, streaking away from the start to take her fourth gold medal of the FIS Ski World Championships. Her compatriot Heidi Weng took second and Sweden's Frida Karlsson followed with the bronze.
* American boxer Claressa Shields scored a unanimous points victory over Canada's Marie-Eve Dicaire on Friday to become the first undisputed world champion in two different divisions in the four-belt era. Shields, 25, retained her WBC and WBO light-middleweight titles, won the vacant WBA belt and also took Dicaire's IBF crown after all three judges at the Dort Federal Event Centre in Flint, Michigan, scored the fight 100-90 in the American's favour.
* Leicester City's Jamie Vardy is irreplaceable and the club will look to ease the goalscoring burden on the English striker by strengthening the squad in the summer transfer window, manager Brendan Rodgers said. Vardy is Leicester's top scorer with 14 goals in all competitions this season but has netted just once in his last 13 appearances.
* World number one Novak Djokovic has said he will return to the court at this month's Miami Open having recuperated from a muscle tear suffered during his Australian Open title defence. The 33-year-old Serbian suffered the injury during a third round match at Melbourne Park but that did not stop him from clinching a record-extending ninth Australian Open title and his 18th Grand Slam.
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