World Sports News in Brief

Rakitic rescues win for sluggish Barca

Wednesday, 2020-06-24 07:17:37
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Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - FC Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - June 23, 2020 Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic celebrates scoring their first goal, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease. (Reuters)
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Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic scored his first goal of the season to give his side a 1-0 win at home to Athletic Bilbao on Thursday, averting a second successive draw which would have further dented the champions’ La Liga title defence.

* Novak Djokovic, the men's world no. 1 tennis player, has tested positive for COVID-19. Croatia's Borna Coric, Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and Viktor Troicki had previously tested positive for the coronavirus after playing in Djokovic's Adria Tour exhibition tournament in the Balkan region.

* Harry Kane scored his first goal of 2020 as Tottenham breathed new life into their challenge for a Champions League place next season with a 2-0 win over West Ham on Tuesday (Jun 23).

* Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic came off the bench to give his side a 1-0 win at home to Athletic Bilbao on Tuesday (Jun 23), averting a second consecutive draw which would have further dented the champions' La Liga title defence.

* Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel's first-half penalty save denied Brighton & Hove Albion a second win on the trot as the two teams played out a 0-0 draw in the Premier League on Tuesday (Jun 23).

* Napoli made Verona pay dearly for one of the most astonishing misses of the season as they scored twice with headers from corners to claim a 2-0 win in Serie A on Tuesday (Jun 23).

* Andy Murray enjoyed a winning return to action as he beat Liam Broady in the 'Battle of the Brits' tournament at the national tennis centre in west London on Tuesday (Jun 23). The twice Wimbledon champion and former world number one eased to a 6-2 6-2 victory over the British number six in his first competitive match since the Davis Cup Finals in November.

* Chelsea wingers Willian and Pedro have extended their contracts until the end of the current campaign, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday (Jun 23). Both Brazilian star Willian and Spanish playmaker Pedro could have left Chelsea on Jun 30 when their original deals were set to expire.

* Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has signed a new deal that will keep him at the club until 2025, with the option of a further year, the club announced on Tuesday (Jun 23). The 23-year-old academy graduate made his debut in 2017 and has made 75 appearances for the side, scoring six goals.

* Relegation-threatened Championship side Middlesbrough sacked former England international Jonathan Woodgate as manager on Tuesday and appointed the veteran Neil Warnock as his replacement.

* British long-distance runner Luke Traynor has been handed a two-year suspension from all sport for a doping violation, the UK Anti-Doping agency (UKAD) said on Tuesday. The 26-year-old had tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine, a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, during an in-competition urine test last May, UKAD said in a statement.

* French clubs on Tuesday (Jun 23) voted to maintain a 20-team Ligue 1 next season, knocking on the head a proposal to expand the league to 22 clubs that would have saved Amiens and Toulouse from relegation.

* Morgan Schneiderlin has joined Ligue 1 side Nice from Everton for an undisclosed fee, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday (Jun 23). The 30-year-old midfielder, capped 15 times by France, scored once in 88 appearances for Everton after his move from Manchester United in 2017.

* Bundesliga runners-up Borussia Dortmund announced on Tuesday (Jun 23) that they plan to replace their cancelled trip to Asia with a virtual tour of on-line events in August.

* Borussia Dortmund are poised to sign Paris Saint-Germain right-back Thomas Meunier and 16-year-old English midfielder Jude Bellingham from Birmingham City, according to German media reports.

* Formula One fans can buy individual squares on the race-ending chequered flag, starting with next month's season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, to help raise money for charity, it announced on Tuesday. The sport said 56 of the black and white squares will be available for fans to have their name printed on, with the remaining 24 allotted to the race promoter, as part of a #WeRaceAsOne initiative.