European champions Barcelona overpowered Qatar’s Al Sadd 4-0 yesterday to reach the Club World Cup final, with Brazilian defender Adriano scoring twice in an embarrassingly one-sided contest.
The Spanish champions, bidding to win the seven-team competition for the second time in three years, face Brazil’s Santos in a mouth-watering final in Yokohama on Sunday.
The gloss was taken off an easy win in front of 66,000 spectators after Spain striker David Villa was rushed to hospital with a broken leg after going down awkwardly in the first half.
Barca took the lead in comical fashion after 25 minutes, Pedro’s cross bobbling off Al Sadd defender Nadir Belhadj and goalkeeper Mohamed Saqr’s panicked clearance crashing off Adriano’s shin into the back of the net.
Adriano scored his second two minutes before halftime, latching on to a pass from Thiago Alcantara to drive a powerful left-foot shot into the bottom corner.
Argentine wizard Lionel Messi brilliantly picked out Seydou Keita, who calmly flicked home Barca’s third in the 64th minute.
Substitute Maxwell added fourth in the 81st minute to complete the rout as Barca’s quick passing game befuddled Asian champions Al Sadd, who gave them less trouble than stadium security had on arriving for the match.
Messi and several Barcelona teammates looked confused at being held up by zealous Japanese security guards after getting off the bus for not having their accreditation visible.
Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Friday backed calls for the US to boycott the Winter Olympics in Beijing next year, saying that China’s “nasty” activity made it an inappropriate host. Pompeo, a vociferous critic of Beijing while he was former US president Donald Trump’s top diplomat, said that the previous administration had tried in its final months to persuade the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to move the Winter Games. “I hope that our athletes get a chance to participate in the Olympics,” Pompeo told radio host Hugh Hewitt. “They very much deserve that, but in the end, we cannot
Constructing intricate models with Lego has become an important part of preparation for French Open champion Iga Swiatek and the 19-year-old Pole is confident her game is shaping up for success on all kinds of surfaces. The 19-year-old Pole last year became the youngest woman to win the Roland Garros title since Monica Seles in 1992 and on Saturday she picked up the second trophy of her career at the Adelaide International. Swiatek has often attributed her success to her sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz, who has helped the Polish player improve her mental strength and process her thoughts during intense matches. Work on
Zion Williamson on Monday produced a dominant performance as the New Orleans Pelicans upset the league-leading Utah Jazz with a 129-124 victory. Pelicans prodigy Williamson finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to give New Orleans a deserved victory over the Western Conference-leading Jazz. It was the sort of display from the 20-year-old Williamson that made him one of the most coveted young players in years when he was snapped up by New Orleans two years ago with the No.1 pick in the draft. Against Utah on Monday, the 2m, 129kg powerhouse used his physique and skill to barrel through the
EYE ON UNITED: Pep Guardiola said the team’s focus was on their next game after the league leaders dominated Wolves, although the scores were level after an hour Manchester City on Tuesday equaled their club record of 28 games unbeaten, hammering Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-1 to open up a gaping 15-point lead at the top of the Premier League table. Pep Guardiola shuffled his pack at the Etihad Stadium against the team who did the league double against them last season as he maintained his club’s assault on an unprecedented quadruple. The champions-elect were made to sweat after Conor Coady canceled out an early own-goal from Leander Dendoncker, but two late goals from Gabriel Jesus and a Riyad Mahrez strike sealed the three points. City’s 28-match unbeaten run in all competitions equals