Sun, Dec 23, 2018 - Page 10 News List




Dortmund ‘autumn champs’

Borussia Dortmund are to begin the new year in pole position to win their first title since 2012 after beating second-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1 on Friday. An outstanding goal from English teenager Jadon Sancho and a sliding finish from Dortmund captain Marco Reus ensured that Dortmund end the first half of the season top of the table as “autumn champions.” Reus said they showed some signs of tiredness following three league games in the past six days, including Tuesday’s shock 2-1 defeat at Fortuna Duesseldorf. “A few weeks break will do us good so that we can attack again in the new year,” Reus said. The win puts Dortmund nine points clear of ‘Gladbach, who are level on points with reigning champions Bayern Munich. Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre played an experimental back four with defensive midfielder Julian Weigl partnering Omer Toprak at centerback. “We deserved the win and now a few days of holiday,” Favre said. “Julian Weigl played really well, created a lot of movement and solved a few problems for us at the back.”


Alaves tally another win

Deportivo Alaves on Friday won at Real Sociedad 1-0 to head into the winter break in fifth place. The small club beat their regional rivals thanks to an early goal by Jonathan Calleri. The Argentine striker headed in a cross from Borja Baston in the 11th minute. Alaves have proven to be the surprise of La Liga as the season reaches its midway point. Their success is largely based on a stingy defense that has kept them unbeaten in all eight of their home games. Their win at Sociedad broke a dip in form that kept them winless in four rounds. Soceidad’s fans booed their team after a fourth consecutive loss that left them in 16th place. “We have to improve in every aspect,” Sociedad midfielder David Zurutuza said. “We have trouble scoring, especially against teams like [Alaves], which defend in their half.” Sociedad gave a debut to 16-year-old Ander Barrenetxea as a late substitute.


Ronaldo trial set for Jan. 21

Cristiano Ronaldo is to be tried for tax fraud on Jan. 21, a Spanish court said. He is expected to plead guilty and receive a suspended two-year sentence, in agreement with a deal the Portugal forward struck with Spain’s state prosecutor and its tax authorities this year. The deal includes Ronaldo agreeing to also pay a fine of nearly 19 million euros (US$21.6 million). Last year, a state prosecutor accused Ronaldo of four counts of tax fraud from 2011 to 2014 worth 14.7 million euros. Ronaldo was accused of having used shell companies outside Spain to hide income made from image rights.


C.C. artery block removed

Left-hander C.C. Sabathia had a stent inserted after a blockage was found in an artery from his heart, and the New York Yankees anticipate the 38-year-old pitcher is to report to spring training on time. “C.C. was experiencing some chest pain which turned out to be a blockage in one artery to his heart,” Sabathia’s agent Kyle Thousand said on Friday in a statement. “A procedure was done to insert a stent to clear the blockage on Dec. 11. C.C. is doing great and will be reporting to spring training on time to get ready to play for his upcoming final season in 2019.” Sabathia is listed as 198cm and 136kg, and his weight has contributed to a chronic right knee problem that has required several operations.

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