Espanyol edge Mallorca
RCD Espanyol beat 10-man RCD Mallorca 3-2 at home in the Spanish league on Friday as the Barcelona-based side confirmed its turnaround under coach Javier Aguirre. Simao Sabrosa scored from a free-kick to give Espanyol the lead in the 17th minute, but Giovani Dos Santos equalized in the 35th and Javi Marquez put Mallorca ahead in the 42nd with a long-range volley. Joan Verdu started Espanyol’s comeback by making it 2-2 with a penalty kick after Samuele Longo was fouled by Jose Nunes in the area. Midfielder Raul Baena then drove in a loose ball to grab the winner in the 83rd two minutes after Mallorca’s Antonio Luna received his second booking. Espanyol’s victory lifted them into 14th place, while Mallorca stayed in the relegation zone.
Meltdown proves costly
Jerzy Janowicz’s on-court meltdown at the Australian Open is going to cost him. The Pole became irate over a line call during his second-round match against India’s Somdev Devvarman and repeatedly screamed at the chair umpire, spat on the court and hit the umpire’s chair with his racket. The tantrum went viral on YouTube with more than 750,000 views in two days. On Friday, he was fined US$2,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct. Janowicz was incredulous when he learned that he had received a fine. “For sure I will not believe this because I didn’t say anything bad,” he said. “I didn’t do anything bad. I was just shouting. You get fined for shouting?” The fine is the highest of this year’s tournament so far, but it could have been worse. Last year, David Nalbandian received an US$8,000 fine for throwing water at a staff member at Melbourne Park after another disputed line call. Marcos Baghdatis, meanwhile, was penalized US$1,250 for smashing four rackets during a changeover at last year’s tournament.
Aussies call up Bird
Australian selectors have added fast bowler Jackson Bird to their one-day squad for today’s crucial clash against Sri Lanka in Sydney. Sri Lanka lead the five-match series 2-1 after a four-wicket win in Brisbane on Friday, bowling out Australia inside 27 overs for just 74. “Jackson Bird will join the squad as cover for the fourth Commonwealth Bank Series match in Sydney,” Cricket Australia said in a statement late on Friday. Bird, 26, yet to play in a one-day international, has made an impressive start to his Test career, taking seven wickets in his second Test against Sri Lanka earlier this month in Sydney to be named man of the match.
Sven snubs 1860 Munich
Ex-England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has snubbed German second- division side 1860 Munich, just three days after it was announced the Swede would join the Bavarian outfit’s coaching staff. Eriksson, 64, had met the club’s board for seven hours on Tuesday before it was confirmed that he would work alongside coach Alexander Schmidt. However, 1860, who share the Allianz Arena with Bayern Munich, said on Friday that after a period of reflection, Eriksson had changed his mind. The club’s Jordanian investor Hasan Ismaik had wanted Erikkson appointed as head coach, but a compromise was reached for the Swede to work with Schmidt, who took charge in November. Eriksson had been working with Thai club Tero Sasana and his lengthy resume of former clubs includes Benfica, Roma, Fiorentina, Sampdoria, Lazio and Manchester City.
Loeb extends lead
Nine-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb of France won two of Friday’s three stages to extend his overall lead on the third day of the Monte Carlo Rally. Loeb, competing in one of only four races he will contest this season after going into semi-retirement, has won six of the past seven Monte Carlo Rallies and looks set for another win. The Citroen driver leads countryman Sebastien Ogier by 1 minute, 47.4 seconds. Loeb won stages one and three to add 13 seconds to his overnight lead over Ogier, who also drives a Citroen. Norway’s Mads Ostberg won the other stage of the day. The 38-year-old Loeb will not secure a 10th straight world title as he will race only in Sweden, Argentina and France this year after Monte Carlo.
Lyon held to a draw
Olympique Lyonnais made hard work of keeping their challenge for a first French league title in five years alive when they were held to a goalless draw at home by Evian Thonon Gaillard on Friday. The visitors, facing a relegation battle as they sit third from bottom, defended doggedly for long periods and denied Lyon the chance to open up a five-point gap over title rivals Paris Saint-Germain. In near freezing conditions, but with the pitch showing no trace of the day’s snow, Lyon just about took the first half honors, with Brazilian Michel Bastos causing Evian all manner of problems down their right flank, but failing to find the opening. Just after the hour mark Lyon wasted their best chance to take the lead as Bastos again threaded a neat ball through the center for Steed Malbranque to run on to and he unselfishly switched it to Alexandre Lacazette, clear on the right of the area, but he sent a tame effort beyond the far post.
Pinturault wins third race
France’s Alexis Pinturault made the most of his all-round talent to clinch his third World Cup race in a men’s super-combined in Wengen on Friday. The 21-year-old, one of the most exciting prospects to emerge in the sport in recent years, outclassed his rivals in the afternoon slalom to win in a combined time of 2 minutes, 41.62 seconds. While he limited the damage by finishing 22nd in the morning’s downhill, 2.07 behind Italy’s Christof Innerhofer, Pinturault left his nearest rival, Croatia’s Ivica Kostelic, 1.15 adrift after the slalom leg. Local favorite Carlo Janka, in the doldrums for nearly two years, finished third, 1.49 behind the Frenchman.
Phoenix, coach part ways
The Phoenix Suns have ended head coach Alvin Gentry’s tenure of almost four years in charge of the Western Conference strugglers after both sides “mutually agreed to part ways,” the team said on Friday. The Suns have made a poor start to the campaign and sit bottom of the Pacific division with a 13-28 record, which is also the poorest in the conference. “All of us, including Alvin, realized that the pieces weren’t fitting,” Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby said in a statement. “To be sure, integrating nine new players was a challenge.” In his time as head coach of the Suns, Gentry compiled a 158-144 (.523) record, earning one playoff appearance and a trip to the 2010 Western Conference Finals. “After nine years with the Suns, the organization and I came to a mutual agreement to go in different directions,” Gentry said.