Ligety defends title
Ted Ligety became the first male skier in 45 years and only the fifth overall to win three gold medals at the world skiing championships when he defended his title in the giant slalom on Friday in Schladming, Austria. Having already won the super-G and super combined events, a hat-trick was always on the cards for the American in his favorite event, although he had to survive a couple of slips on the second run before winning by 0.81 seconds. Ligety, who has not failed to complete a giant slalom race in four years and totally dominates the event, led by 1.5 seconds after the first run, although his time on the second was only sixth best. Austrian favorite Marcel Hirscher was second after overcoming a back injury to produce a storming second run which brought the home crowd to its feet. Italy’s Manfred Moelgg was third.
Balotelli secures Milan win
A late strike from Mario Balotelli was enough to secure a 2-1 victory for AC Milan over Parma and a jump up to fourth place in Italy’s Serie A on Friday. Milan took a 39th-minute lead when Argentine defender Gabriel Paletta put into his own net. Massimiliano Allegri’s side virtually secured all three points when Balotelli scored from a free-kick in the 78th minute. Parma came fighting back in the dying minutes and were rewarded when Nicola Sansone beat Cristian Abbiati in the Milan net from Biabiany’s delivery on the right. However it was too little too late for Roberto Donadoni’s men, who remain 10th.
Rennes slip up against Lille
Stade Rennais missed the chance to provisionally move into third in the French table and join the hunt for a Champions League place after losing 2-0 at LOSC Lille Metropole on Friday. Lille’s Dimitri Payet scored his eighth league goal of the season and Rennes’ Chris Mavinga put through his own net as Lille followed up last weekend’s win against Lyon to move into eighth place. Rennes are in fifth. Lille scored in the 24th minute when Ronny Rodelin sent in a cross and Mavinga turned the ball into his own net. Payet then headed home Salomon Kalou’s cross in the 61st.
Sevilla down Deportivo
Sevilla gave their bid to climb into the European qualification places a boost when Gary Medel scored twice in a 3-1 win at home to Deportivo de La Coruna in La Liga on Friday. Sevilla sacked coach Michel and replaced him with Unai Emery last month and have now won three of their five league games since he took charge. Ivan Rakitic headed the Andalusian side in front after five minutes although the ball appeared to brush Medel’s hand on its way into the net. He doubled the host’s lead in the 27th when he turned in a Jesus Navas cross before Riki pulled a goal back for Depor five minutes later. Medel clipped home his second goal in the 40th.
Froome retains red jersey
Chris Froome of Britain won the fifth stage of the Tour of Oman cycle race on Friday to retain the overall leader’s red jersey. At the end of the 144km stage from Muscat to Boshar, Sky rider Froome crossed the line half a wheel’s length ahead of Spain’s Alberto Contador, with another Spaniard, Joaquim Rodriguez, a close third. Australia’s Cadel Evans finished four seconds back in a group of six riders. In the overall standings, with one stage to go, Froome is 27 seconds ahead of Contador and 39 seconds clear of Evans, who dropped back to third.