World Sports News in Brief

Chelsea and United draw, Liverpool win as top-four battle heats up

Monday, 2021-03-01 09:30:52
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Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Manchester United - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - February 28, 2021 Chelsea's Mason Mount in action. (Photo: Pool via Reuters)
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After Manchester City extended their lead of the Premier League, the battle for a top-four finish intensified on Sunday (Feb 28) as Chelsea and Manchester United ground out a goalless draw, Leicester City lost and Liverpool finally came back to life.

Chelsea's 0-0 home draw with second-placed United ensured Thomas Tuchel is still undefeated in nine games since replacing Frank Lampard, but it meant they failed to dislodge fourth-placed West Ham United who became Manchester City's 20th successive victims in all competitions on Saturday.

* Injury-hit champions Liverpool snapped a four-match losing run in the league with a rather laboured 2-0 win at bottom club Sheffield United - Curtis Jones's 48th-minute goal and Roberto Firmino's shot deflected in off United's Kean Bryan enough for Juergen Klopp's side to get back to winning ways.

* Leicester, who are third with 49 points, ended a dismal week in which they went out of the Europa League with a 3-1 home defeat by Arsenal, despite taking the lead.

* Gareth Bale scored twice as Tottenham emerged from a run of five defeats in six league games to hammer Burnley 4-0, lifting Jose Mourinho's side to eighth with 39 points.

* Third-from-bottom Fulham had the chance to pull to within a point of 17th-placed Newcastle United but could only draw 0-0 with Crystal Palace and with Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City up next it could prove costly.

* La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid secured a vital 2-0 win away to Villarreal on Sunday to reaffirm their title ambitions following a difficult run of results. A first win in four games in all competitions moved Atletico on to 58 points after 24 games, five clear of second-placed Barcelona, who have played 25, and six above third-placed Real Madrid.

* AC Milan returned to form with an enthralling 2-1 victory away to AS Roma on Sunday that a restored a four-point gap to Serie A leaders Inter Milan. Milan remain second on 52 points, four behind Inter and six ahead of Juventus in third, while Roma remain fifth with 44 points.

* Dries Mertens scored on his first Napoli start since December as Gennaro Gattuso’s side earned a 2-0 win over Benevento to go sixth in Serie A. Napoli move ahead of Lazio into sixth place, but both sides have 43 points, while Benevento are 16th with 25 points and without a league win in eight matches.

* Captain Jose Fonte struck late as Lille salvaged a point with a 1-1 home draw against Racing Strasbourg on Sunday to ensure they would end the weekend at the top of the Ligue 1 standings. Fonte found the back of the net with four minutes left to cancel out Ludovic Ajorque’s first-half opener and put Lille on 59 points from 27 games, leading second-placed Paris St Germain, who hammered bottom club Dijon 4-0 on Saturday, by two points.

* Former West Ham United and Newcastle United manager Glenn Roeder has died at the age of 65 following a lengthy battle with cancer, the League Managers Association said in a statement on Sunday.

* Belgian David Goffin fought back from a set down to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 5-7 6-4 6-2 in the final of the Open Sud de France in Montpellier for his first ATP title in more than three years. It was the fifth singles ATP crown for the world number 15 and follows his success on the hardcourts of Tokyo in 2017.

* Inter Milan moved four points clear at the top of Serie A on Sunday as Romelu Lukaku scored after 32 seconds and bagged an assist in a 3-0 win over midtable Genoa. Earlier, Atalanta moved into fourth place and drew level with Juve on 46 points after a 2-0 win at Sampdoria, thanks to goals from Ruslan Malinovskyi and Robin Gosens.

* Australia's Alexei Popyrin stormed back from a set down to beat Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 and clinch his first ATP Tour title at the Singapore Tennis Open on Sunday. He becomes the second player to win a maiden title this year after Briton Dan Evans triumphed at the Murray River Open.