World Sports News in Brief

Rusty Real Madrid draw La Liga opener with Sociedad

Monday, 2020-09-21 09:53:42
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La Liga Santander - Real Sociedad v Real Madrid - Reale Arena, San Sebastian, Spain - September 20, 2020. Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior (L) in action with Real Sociedad's Andoni Gorosabel. (Photo: Reuters)
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Real Madrid had an underwhelming return to La Liga as they could only draw 0-0 away to Real Sociedad on Sunday (Sep 20) in the first game of their title defence.

The champions looked rusty and particularly toothless up front, barely creating any chances of note in either half as Karim Benzema found little support in Brazilian teenage forwards Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo.

* Andrea Pirlo got his coaching career off to a winning start as his Juventus side began their quest for a 10th successive Serie A title with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday. Dejan Kulusevski, signed from Atalanta, scored on his debut in the 13th minute with only his sixth touch of the ball in a Juventus shirt before defender Leonardo Bonucci and Cristiano Ronaldo added two more in the last 15 minutes.

* South Africa's Garrick Higgo captured his maiden European Tour title at the Portugal Open on Sunday with a one-shot victory over Spaniard Pep Angles after a spotless final round of seven-under-par 65. The 21-year-old Higgo shot five birdies on the front nine and added further gains on the 11th and 18th holes at Royal Obidos to go 19-under for the tournament.

* Olympique de Marseille needed a late goal from substitute Valere Germain, an excellent performance from goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and some help from the woodwork to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to Lille in Ligue 1 on Sunday. Lille, fifth in the standings, remained unbeaten after four games with eight points while Marseille are one point behind in seventh.

* Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal is on the verge of sealing a move to Inter Milan from Barcelona after landing in Milan on Sunday.

* Champions Liverpool and Leicester City maintained their winning starts to the Premier League on Sunday as the second weekend of the new season produced a goal-rush. Sadio Mane scored twice just after the break to give Liverpool a 2-0 victory at Chelsea who played half the game with 10 men after Danish defender Andreas Christensen was sent off.

* Leicester joined Liverpool, Arsenal and Everton on six points from two games as they beat Burnley 4-2 to take the goal tally for the weekend's eight Premier League fixtures to an astonishing 39.

* Earlier on Sunday Son Heung-min scored four times, all from Harry Kane assists, as Tottenham Hotspur also came from a goal down to run out 5-2 winners at Southampton. Sunday's other Premier League action threw cold water over Newcastle United's opening day optimism. Having beaten West Ham United away, the Magpies were hoping to follow-up against Brighton & Hove Albion at home but suffered a 3-0 defeat - Neal Maupay scoring twice.

* Tadej Pogacar became the first Slovenian to win the Tour de France after he retained the yellow jersey in the 21st stage on Sunday, a day after he pulled off a major coup to take the overall lead. While Sam Bennett won the final stage, the day belonged to Team UAE Emirates rider Pogacar, who will celebrate his 22nd birthday on Monday and is the youngest man to win the race since Henri Cornet in 1904.

* Real Betis continued their perfect start under new coach Manuel Pellegrini as they beat Real Valladolid 2-0 at home on Sunday for a second win in a row. Elsewhere, Granada notched a third consecutive win in all competitions by beating Alaves 2-1 at home thanks to a late winner from Darwin Machis after Alaves striker Joselu had cancelled out an early opener from veteran Roberto Soldado. Earlier, Cadiz earned their first win in the top flight for 14 years by beating Huesca 2-0 away with goals in either half from Alvaro Negredo and Jorge Pombo.

* RB Leipzig eased past Mainz 05 3-1 in their Bundesliga opener on Sunday to enjoy a successful start to league life without striker Timo Werner.

* Top seed Simona Halep overcame Spaniard Garbine Muguruza 6-3 4-6 6-4 on Sunday to reach the Italian Open final and stay on course for her third straight WTA title.

* Toyota's Elfyn Evans won Rally Turkey on Sunday to reclaim the lead in the world rally championship from team mate Sebastien Ogier. Evans leads the championship by 18 points with two rounds remaining. The Welshman has 97 points to Ogier's 79.

* Yamaha's Maverick Vinales claimed his first win of the season in the Emilia Romagna MotoGP at Misano World Circuit on Sunday, after race leader Francesco Bagnaia of Pramac Racing crashed with seven laps remaining. Pole-sitter Vinales got off to a slow start but finished strongly to clock a time of 41 minutes, 55.846 seconds and beat fellow Spaniard Joan Mir of Suzuki by 2.425 seconds.

* France forward Kylian Mbappe marked his return to action with a vintage performance and a goal as champions Paris St Germain rediscovered their form with an impressive 3-0 win at Nice in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

* Napoli pounced on two defensive mistakes to win 2-0 at Parma in their opening match of the season on Sunday as spectators returned to Serie A for the first time since March. Genoa, who narrowly escaped relegation last season, made a flying start under new coach Rolando Maran as they thumped promoted Crotone 4-1. Sassuolo midfielder Mehdi Bourabia curled in an 87th-minute free kick to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to Cagliari.

* Leicester City have signed Turkey winger Cengiz Under from Italian club AS Roma on a season-long loan, the Premier League club said on Sunday.

Reuters