Manchester United were named as the wealthiest soccer club in the world last week -- but all their riches will appear to account for nothing if they are knocked out of the Champions League this week. \nThere could also be somewhat untimely European exits for Bayern Munich and last season's runners-up Juventus after the second legs of the first knockout stage of the competition takes place tonight and tomorrow. \nIt is the point of no return for Europe's leading clubs with the field cut from 16 to eight teams following the introduction of the first knockout stage this season after only one group stage. \nBut European champions AC Milan, nine-times champions Real Madrid and London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea all look likely to make it into the quarterfinals. \nManchester United, bidding to reach the quarter-finals for the eighth successive season, are likely to face a tough task against Portuguese rivals Porto who came from behind to win the first leg 2-1 with goals from South African striker Benni McCarthy. \nAlthough they have a poor record over the years in England, having lost all six European matches they have played, including a 5-2 defeat at Old Trafford in 1977 and a 4-0 defeat there in 1997, coach Jose Mourinho saw Porto largely dominate United in the first leg. \nHis side will also be strengthened by the return of Costinha, who was suspended for the first leg while United will be without their skipper Roy Keane, suspended after being sent off for stamping on Porto keeper Vitor Baia. \nUnited prepared for the match with a 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final win over Fulham on Saturday, with two goals from Ruud Van Nistelrooy. \nBayern Munich, who last won the European Cup in 2001, face a tall order in Madrid against Real, who escaped from Germany with a fortunate 1-1 draw after a mistake from goalkeeper Oliver Kahn allowed Roberto Carlos to equalize Roy Makaay's goal for Bayern. \nKahn, who symbolically left his gloves in the center-circle after the match as a sign of disgust with himself, has vowed to win the match "single-handedly" for letting his team mates down at home. But both sides are depleted for the return. \nReal will miss Ronaldo, who injured a thigh in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Racing Santander, and the suspended Roberto Carlos. \nBayern will almost certainly be without defender Willy Sagnol who broke his left arm in Bayern's 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday. Fellow French defender Bixente Lizarazu will also miss the match -- the 16th between the two clubs in European competition, a European record. \nBayern's coach Ottmar Hitzfeld believes that if Bayern win it will restore their reputation in Europe where they have struggled for the last three years -- and it is not beyond Bayern to do so. \nWhile one big club will definitely be eliminated in Madrid, Juventus will be hoping they are not shown the exit door at home against Deportivo Coruna. \nThe Spaniards won the first leg 1-0 two weeks ago and all seven matches between the two sides in the last four years have been close. \nJuve will be without the suspended Antonio Conte and warmed up for the match with a 3-2 Serie A win at Brescia on Saturday. \nEuropean champions AC Milan beat Sampdoria 3-1 to stay six points clear of Juve at the top and should be too strong for Sparta Prague in Milan. \nArsenal, on a high both domestically and in Europe, should also see off Celta Vigo following their 3-2 win in Spain in the first leg. Chelsea should continue their advance with a win over VfB Stuttgart at home following their 1-0 away leg victory. \nMonaco have to overturn a 2-1 first leg deficit against a tricky Lokomotiv Moscow team to keep their hopes alive, but they will have to do so without skipper Ludovic Giuly who has not recovered in time from a broken bone in his foot. \nOlympique Lyon start their return against Real Sociedad having won the first leg 1-0 in Spain and look capable of building on that lead at home.
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being