Unstoppale Mbappe sparks PSG's rout of Lorient 

Unstoppale Mbappe sparks PSG's rout of Lorient 
Mbappe doubled the advantage with a neat finish inside the near pos. (AFP)
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Updated 04 April 2022

Unstoppale Mbappe sparks PSG's rout of Lorient 

Unstoppale Mbappe sparks PSG's rout of Lorient 
  • Messi and Mbappe combined to set up Neymar for the opening goal on 12 minutes

PARIS: Kylian Mbappe struck twice and created two goals for Neymar and another for Lionel Messi as Paris Saint-Germain thrashed Lorient 5-1 at home on Sunday to edge closer to the Ligue 1 title.

After three defeats in four games before the international break and a traumatic Champions League exit, PSG began the end-of-season run-in with a crushing win at the Parc des Princes.

They lead Marseille by 12 points and need just 13 more from their final eight games to be assured of a record-equalling 10th French title.

"We've got to keep winning and show that we want to get this 10th title," Neymar told Prime Video.

"Losing is very difficult, that's what happened in Madrid. We have to keep moving forward. It really hurt us to lose (in Europe), we wanted to go all the way in the competition."

Messi and Mbappe combined to set up Neymar for the opening goal on 12 minutes as the Brazilian struck for just the sixth time in another injury-plagued campaign.

Mbappe then doubled the advantage with a neat finish inside the near post, but Terem Moffi gave Lorient hope early in the second half after punishing a defensive mix-up.

The Nigerian beat an uncertain Marquinhos to a loose pass from Achraf Hakimi, poking beyond Gianluigi Donnarumma.

With Lorient threatening to get back into the game, Mbappe restored PSG's two-goal cushion by drilling home from 20 metres to take his league goals tally to 17, one behind Monaco's Wissam Ben Yedder.

Mbappe teed up Messi to crash in a fourth via the underside of the crossbar on 73 minutes, moments after Sergio Ramos came on for a first appearance since January 23.

Neymar and Messi were both whistled by supporters in PSG's last home game. This time it was Ramos who was jeered following a nightmare first season in Paris blighted by a calf problem.

Mbappe nearly capped a sensational performance with a hat-trick, his shot grazing the post after a scorching burst into the box.

He instead turned provider in the final minute, exchanging passes with Neymar to send the Brazilian racing through to complete a 14th win in 15 home games for Mauricio Pochettino's side.

Marseille reclaimed second place with a 4-2 win at Saint-Etienne in a game that was rescheduled from Saturday following heavy snowfall.

Dimitri Payet and Bamba Dieng scored penalties either side of a comical own goal from Saint-Etienne defender Timothee Kolodziejczak before Amine Harit added a fourth for Marseille.

"We saw total domination from Marseille. It's an important victory but we need to fight until the end," said Marseille coach Jorge Sampaoli.

"We can't ease off and we'll need to perform well when it's more difficult."

Denis Bouanga had given Saint-Etienne the lead at a sold-out Stade Geoffroy-Guichard after a mistake by Marseille goalkeeper Pau Lopez.

Lucas Gourna grabbed a late consolation for the hosts, who remain in the relegation play-off spot but are still just one point from safety.

Marseille are three points clear of Rennes while Strasbourg climbed above Nice into fourth courtesy of a 1-0 victory at home to Lens.

Ludovic Ajorque scored the only goal from the penalty spot as Strasbourg extended their unbeaten run to eight matches.

Ajorque notched his 11th goal of the season after a cross struck the arm of Poland international Przemyslaw Frankowski.

Strasbourg won another penalty when Ajorque was fouled by Lens goalkeeper Jean-Louis Leca, but Kevin Gameiro's spot-kick was saved.

They moved ahead of Nice on goal difference after Christophe Galtier's side were held 1-1 at home against Rennes on Saturday.

Strasbourg are two points behind Rennes.

Brazilian winger Tete struck two minutes into his Lyon debut to give his new side a 3-2 home win over Angers.

The 22-year-old joined Lyon this week for the rest of the season from Shakhtar Donetsk following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

FIFA has allowed Ukraine-based players to temporarily suspend their contracts and move to other clubs.

Moussa Dembele twice gave Lyon the lead but Angers replied through goals from Mathias Pereira Lage and Sofiane Boufal, with Tete curling in the winner 10 minutes from time.

 


Edoardo Mortara wins Marrakesh E-Prix in round 10 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship

Edoardo Mortara wins Marrakesh E-Prix in round 10 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship
Updated 03 July 2022

Edoardo Mortara wins Marrakesh E-Prix in round 10 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship

Edoardo Mortara wins Marrakesh E-Prix in round 10 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship
  • Antonio Felix da Costa finished in second place, with Mitch Evans third
  • ROKiT Venturi Racing driver Mortara tops podium for the third time this season with victory in Marrakesh, and takes lead in drivers’ championship

MARRAKESH: Edoardo Mortara hit the top of the Drivers’ World Championship with victory in the Marrakesh E-Prix round 10 as the ROKiT Venturi Racing driver fended off pressure from DS TECHEETAH teammates Antonio Felix da Costa and Jean-Eric Vergne throughout.

Da Costa started on pole position and, after falling behind Mortara during the early stages, he clung to the back of the Swiss driver’s car as the race reached its climax. But the Season 6 champion couldn’t make it past the Venturi driver who remained unflustered on the way to the top step and his third win of the season, as well as the standings lead.

“I must admit after Free Practice 2, we had a lot of issues and I was not thinking we could turn this thing around, but I have an incredible team behind me and they managed to do an incredible job already in quali,” said Mortara. “Then during the race, they had a plan, they had a strategy, we executed it and it was perfect.”

“You have the guys putting you under a lot of pressure. I was trying to be intelligent, trying to manage,” he said. “There was a lot to manage today — tires obviously, but also battery temperatures, energy. It was very difficult. I had some issues with the car today, I was a little bit by myself, let’s say, but we did that and I’m extremely happy.”

Mercedes-EQ’s Stoffel Vandoorne was top of the Drivers’ World Championship going into the race but a braking glitch in qualifying left him down in 20th on the grid. He recovered to finish eighth but with just four points on the day, Mortara stands tall at the end of Round 10 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

Vergne had found himself in second heading into the closing stages with 2 percent of usable energy available before he slipped back behind da Costa to an eventual fourth position. Fellow title challenger Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) fought from sixth on the grid to the podium with a final lap lunge on Vergne for silverware and a handful of extra, crucial World Championship points.

In the searing 33-degree heat, drivers and engineers elected to jump early for their two mandatory Attack Mode boosts with the school of thought being that it would be more efficient and effective in the long run to ply that extra 30kW through the batteries and powertrain. In the mix was Lucas di Grassi (ROKiT Venturi Racing), who battled to fifth and vital points for the Monegasque team.

Reigning World Champion Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ) clambered to sixth and Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) would have to settle for seventh. Vandoorne did make up an impressive 12 spots to finish eighth in the end after his qualifying disappointment. Sam Bird wound up ninth for Jaguar TCS Racing, and Oliver Rowland — who ran as high as second spot early on — rounded out the points-paying positions in 10th.

All that saw Mortara jump to an 11-point Drivers’ World Championship lead, with Vergne second and Vandoorne now third, having led heading into this Marrakesh E-Prix race weekend. Evans finds himself just 15 points shy of Mortara, with the top four breaking well clear of the chasing pack to set up a four-driver shootout over the final six races.

Next time out is the New York City E-Prix on July 16 to July 17 for rounds 11 and 12 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. The much-anticipated double-header takes place on the streets of the Red Hook district of Brooklyn against the spectacular backdrop of the Manhattan skyline. 

Two more double-headers close out Season 8, with the London E-Prix weekend on July 30 to July 31 before the championship climaxes with a first visit to Korea and the Seoul E-Prix weekend on Aug. 13 to Aug. 14.


Riyadh to host Italian Super Cup between Inter and AC Milan next year

Riyadh to host Italian Super Cup between Inter and AC Milan next year
Updated 03 July 2022

Riyadh to host Italian Super Cup between Inter and AC Milan next year

Riyadh to host Italian Super Cup between Inter and AC Milan next year
  • The showpiece match between Italy’s league and cup winners was last held in Saudi Arabia in 2019

The Italian Super Cup match between league champions AC Milan and cup winners Inter is set to take place in Riyadh on Jan. 18, 2023, Italy’s national professional league, Serie A, has confirmed.

No stadium has yet been assigned for the return of the showpiece match to Saudi Arabia.

The Italian Super Cup, or Supercoppa Italiana, has often been played abroad and was last hosted outside of Italy in Riyadh in 2019, when Lazio beat Juventus 3-1 at the King Saud University Stadium.

The competition has for the last two years taken place on home soil due to COVID-19 restrictions, with Juventus beating Napoli 2-0 in Reggio Emilia in 2020 and Inter beating Juventus 2-1 last year at Milan’s San Siro Stadium.

 


Saudi Arabia to play France, Poland and Slovenia at 2023 Handball World Championship

Saudi Arabia to play France, Poland and Slovenia at 2023 Handball World Championship
Updated 03 July 2022

Saudi Arabia to play France, Poland and Slovenia at 2023 Handball World Championship

Saudi Arabia to play France, Poland and Slovenia at 2023 Handball World Championship
  • The Saudi team has faced all three Group B opponents in previous competitions

The draw for the 2023 IHF Men’s World Championship on Saturday placed Saudi Arabia’s handball national team in Group B alongside France, Slovenia and co-hosts Poland.

The tournament, organized by Sweden and Poland, will run from Jan. 12 to Jan. 29 in 2023.

The Saudi team has faced all three rivals in previous versions of the competition, having twice taken on Slovenia and Poland, while facing France once.

The first meeting against Slovenia was in 2001, ending in a 35-22 defeat for Saudi Arabia, while the second meeting in 2013 resulted in a 32-22 loss.

In 2003, Saudi Arabia faced France for the first time, in a match that ended in a 33-22 loss for the Green Falcons.

Poland, too, have won both of their encounters with Saudi Arabia — with a result of 28-14 in 2013, and 32-13 in 2015.

This will be the 10th time the Saudi national team has taken part in this competition, with the first of nine previous participations taking place in 1997, and the last in 2019. The team’s highest position was 10th in the 2003 competition played in Portugal.


UAE jiu-jitsu clubs top medals table as AJP Tour Fujiarah International Pro Championship kicks off

UAE jiu-jitsu clubs top medals table as AJP Tour Fujiarah International Pro Championship kicks off
Updated 03 July 2022

UAE jiu-jitsu clubs top medals table as AJP Tour Fujiarah International Pro Championship kicks off

UAE jiu-jitsu clubs top medals table as AJP Tour Fujiarah International Pro Championship kicks off
  • Commando Group took the top position on day one, with AFNT and Sharjah Self-Defense Sports Club in second and third place

FUJAIRAH: The AJP Tour Fujairah International Pro Championship kicked off at Zayed Sports Complex on Saturday with stellar performances from Emirati fighters in the teens, youth, and men’s masters categories.

Commando Group came in first on the opening day of the championship while AFNT and Sharjah Self-Defense Sports Club took second and third places respectively.

About 800 athletes from 50 countries are competing in the championship, which is organized by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation in partnership with AJP. The first day’s competitions were held across seven mats with the top finisher in each category receiving 600 ranking points under the AJP-approved ranking.

The AJP Tour Fujairah International Pro Championship is the third event of the AJP Championships, which consists of five legs held in different regions of the country.  The opening day saw the UAE take first place in the country rankings, ahead of Colombia and Brazil.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, minister of state for foreign trade, was presented with two commemorative shields at the event by the UAEJJF and the Fujairah Martial Arts Club in appreciation of his support for jiu-jitsu and other martial arts competitions.

“The UAE continues to excel and solidify its position as a home for jiu-jitsu,” Al-Zeyoudi said. “The strongest evidence of our country’s excellence in hosting and managing the largest sporting events and championships is the fantastic performance we saw in the Zayed Sports Complex today and the great response by the public to the competitions.”

Mohammed Salem Al-Dhaheri, on behalf of the board of directors of the federation, extended his thanks to Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Sharqi, crown prince of Fujairah, for his support for jiu-jitsu.

“The biggest assurance for the tournament’s success and achievements was his highness’ support,” he said. “The primary tenet of the nation’s leadership in this sport on a global scale is the support of our wise leadership.”


Ronaldo wants to leave Man United — reports

Ronaldo wants to leave Man United — reports
Updated 03 July 2022

Ronaldo wants to leave Man United — reports

Ronaldo wants to leave Man United — reports
  • United’s international players are due to report for training in the coming days ahead of flying to Thailand on Friday

LONDON: Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester United this summer if the Premier League club receive an appropriate offer, according to multiple reports on Saturday.
The 37-year-old Portugal forward returned to Old Trafford from Juventus last summer but despite being United’s top scorer last season, and third in the Premier League, the campaign was overall disappointing.
United finished sixth in the Premier League, missing out on Champions League qualification, leaving the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who has a year left on his contract plus an optional year, facing the prospect of playing in the Europa League for the first time.
Manchester United are adamant Ronaldo, who scored 24 goals in all competitions, is not for sale, according to reports, with new manager Erik ten Hag keen to work with him.
Ronaldo won three Premier League titles and the Champions League during six trophy-laden years with United before leaving for Real Madrid in 2009 and Juventus in 2018, collecting more trophies at both clubs.
United’s international players are due to report for training in the coming days ahead of flying to Thailand on Friday for the start of their pre-season tour.