22.04.2021, 07:15

Man City close on Premier League title with 2-1 win at Villa


Aston Villa's Ross Barkley in action with Manchester City's Phil Foden. (Photo: Reuters)   

Manchester City recovered from conceding a very early goal to win 2-1 at Aston Villa on Wednesday (Apr 21) and move a step closer to the Premier League title after a game in which both sides finished with 10 men.

Set to face Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup Final on Sunday, City’s win took them 11 points clear of second-placed Manchester United at the top of the table with five games left.

* Ryan Mason described a feeling of "massive relief" after his first game in charge of Tottenham Hotspur ended in a vital 2-1 Premier League victory over Southampton on Wednesday. It lifted Tottenham into sixth spot to revive their top-four hopes and put them in good heart for Sunday's League Cup final showdown with Manchester City at Wembley.

* Striker Mauro Icardi scored a hat-trick as Paris St Germain eased into the French Cup semi-finals with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Angers and AS Monaco joined them with a 2-0 win over 10-man Olympique Lyonnais on Wednesday. Montpellier and fourth division Rumilly-Vallieres, who stunned second-tier Toulouse on Tuesday, are the other sides to reach the semi-finals.

* Paris St Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been elected chairman of the European Club Association (ECA), the body said on Wednesday, replacing Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli who quit on Sunday.

* The PGA Tour has implemented a lucrative bonus structure this year that will compensate the 10 players judged to drive the most fan and sponsor engagement, regardless of their results on the course, through a pool US$40 million. The funds for those judged to have added the most value to the PGA Tour's product will be distributed at the end of the year, with the player deemed most valuable receiving US$8 million.

* A first-half double from Karim Benzema helped Real Madrid cruise to a 3-0 victory away to Cadiz on Wednesday that moved them top of La Liga. The Frenchman's brace came either side of a maiden senior league goal for defender Alvaro Odriozola, as Real moved onto 70 points, level with city rivals Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand, but top due to their better head-to-head record.

* Ivan Perisic's equaliser earned Inter Milan a 1-1 draw at Spezia on Wednesday to move Antonio Conte's side one step closer to the Serie A title. AC Milan's home defeat by Sassuolo earlier on Wednesday opened the door for Inter to stretch their lead and although they failed to win, the league leaders now hold a 10-point advantage over their city rivals in second with six games left.

* A second-half strike from Youssef En-Nesyri gave Sevilla a 1-0 win away at Levante on Wednesday that moved them to within three points of the top of the La Liga table.

* Frenchwoman Stephanie Frappart will become the first female official to be involved in European Championship matches after UEFA confirmed the list of referees for this year's tournament. Frappart was not named among the 18 referees to take charge of the 51 Euro 2020 games but she will be involved as a support match official, working either as a fourth official or a reserve assistant referee.

* The women's ice hockey world championships set to be played in Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia have been cancelled because of a surge in COVID-19 cases in Canada, Hockey Canada said on Wednesday. The announcement came one day before the 10 teams were to arrive to begin their quarantine ahead of the May 6-16 tournament.

* Top seed Rafael Nadal rallied from a set back to beat Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 on Wednesday in the second round at the Barcelona Open in Spain. In other action, No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, No. 3 Andrey Rublev of Russia, No. 4 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, No. 6 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain and No. 10 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada were among those advancing.

* Top seed and home-country favorite Novak Djokovic needed just 68 minutes to top Korean Soon-woo Kwon 6-1, 6-3 and advance to the quarterfinals in Belgrade, Serbia. In the next round, he’ll meet fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic, the eighth seed, who needed three sets to oust Arthur Rinderknech of France 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

* Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde has tested positive for COVID-19, the La Liga club said on Wednesday. Real said on Sunday that Valverde was self-isolating after coming into contact with a positive case, missing the 0-0 league draw with Getafe, and he has now tested positive himself.

* Spain's Tito Rabat will replace injured compatriot Jorge Martin at the May 2 Spanish motorcycle Grand Prix after the Pramac Ducati rider fractured his right hand and ankle in a big crash in Portugal last weekend. The team said in a statement that MotoGP rookie Martin, who crashed in practice in Portimao, would undergo surgery in Barcelona later on Wednesday and miss the race in Jerez.

* Luca Modric has signed a new contract with Real Madrid, the club president Florentino Perez said on Thursday. Perez did not give any details of the deal with the 35-year old Croatian, who joined Real from Tottenham Hotspur in 2012. He said the club had still to reach an agreement with Sergio Ramos but hoped the club captain would remain at the Bernabeu.