Veteran midfielder Xabi Prieto scored two goals to help Real Sociedad win 3-2 against Real Betis Balompie and climb to fourth place in La Liga on Friday ahead of the rest of the weekend’s games.
Prieto, playing his 15th season for Sociedad, twice restored the Basque side’s advantage following an opening goal from 21-year-old Jon Bautista.
Bautista struck 10 minutes into his first start, taking full advantage of the injuries and suspensions to the team’s three first-choice strikers.
The reserve-team player used a deft touch with his shoulder to control a lobbed pass before slotting under goalkeeper Antonio Adan.
Algeria defender Aissa Mandi’s scissor-kick drew Betis level, but Prieto’s long-range shot put Sociedad back in front in the 26th minute.
Shortly after hitting the crossbar, Betis substitute Antonio Sanabria headed in Ruben Castro’s cross to make it 2-2.
However, the 33-year-old Prieto popped up with another goal in the 72nd minute, when he headed forward Mikel Oyarzabal’s cross just inside the upright.
Sociedad moved into fourth place, which earns a Champions League spot.
Betis stayed in 14th after a fifth consecutive home match without a victory.
“We understand why our fans our upset,” Adan said. “We play well for stretches, and then we make silly mistakes and concede easy goals.”
AP, BORDEAUX, France
Emanuel Mammana’s first goal for Olympique Lyonnais was a timely one, as it secured a precious point in a 1-1 draw away to Girondins de Bordeaux on Friday.
The 21-year-old Argentine centerhalf rose to head in substitute Mathieu Valbuena’s pinpoint free-kick with 12 minutes remaining in a hard-fought contest.
The draw kept fourth-place Lyon four points ahead of fifth-place Bordeaux in the chase for a place in next season’s Europa League.
Lyon have played one game less and are still hopeful of finishing in third place to secure a place in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League.
Both sides were in strong form heading into the game, with Lyon having scored 19 goals in four matches and Bordeaux winning four of the past five.
Bordeaux’s confidence showed as they took the game to Lyon, opening the scoring when midfielder Valentin Vada finished off a fine pass from speedy forward Francois Kamano in the 17th minute.
With rain teeming down, goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso made a brilliant point-blank save to deny Lyon winger Memphis Depay midway through the first half.
With 20 minutes remaining, Lyon centerhalf Mouctar Diakhaby headed just over from a corner and there was nothing Carrasso could do to stop Mammana’s bullet header shortly after.
AP, AUGSBURG, Germany
RB Leipzig were held to a 2-2 draw against Augsburg draw on Friday.
Greece defender Konstantinos Stafylidis put Augsburg ahead in the 19th minute with a brilliant long-range strike and almost scored a late winner.
Forward Timo Werner equalized in the 25th minute after being set up by midfielder Naby Keita, arguably Leipzig’s best player this season. It was Werner’s 14th goal of the campaign.
Marvin Compper headed Liepzig ahead from a corner early in the second half, before fellow defender Martin Hinteregger equalized in the 60th minute.
Leipzig, who are playing their first season in the Bundesliga, moved four points behind Bayern ahead of the rest of the weekend’s games.
Kamaru Usman put on a Fight Island masterclass yesterday to retain his UFC welterweight world title by grinding down a brave Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi. “I’m at the top of the mountain and everyone’s looking at me,” said the 33-year-old Usman after scoring a unanimous points decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 on the three judges’ cards. The Nigerian-American Usman (17-1) looked the fresher fighter, with Masvidal (35-14) having taken the UFC251 headline bout at just six days’ notice when Brazil’s Gilbert Burns (19-3) tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to travel. The Las Vegas-based UFC pulled off a power-packed schedule with
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very