Newcastle struck twice in the final two minutes through Callum Wilson and Joelinton to beat Crystal Palace 2-0 and move into the top half of the Premier League on Friday.
Both sides seemed set to settle for a point with few chances at either end until the Magpies’ late show, which took them up above Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal into 10th.
The visitors’ front two combined for the opener as Joelinton put Wilson through and he slotted home for his seventh goal since a move from AFC Bournemouth.
There was still time for Newcastle to grab a second when Sean Longstaff passed into Joelinton’s path, who cut inside Scott Dann and saw his effort deflect in off Gary Cahill for his first league goal since June.
Palace badly missed Wilfried Zaha due to a positive COVID-19 test as a second consecutive defeat for Roy Hodgson’s men sees them fall behind Newcastle down to 13th.
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce said after the game that hopefully Joelinton is beginning to find his feet on Tyneside.
“It doesn’t matter about price tag and where you come from, sometimes you need time,” Bruce said. “In Joe’s case, the price tag and number nine shirt meant he struggled at times, but the kid wants to do well.”
“We are starting to see him now with his strength,” he said.
AP and AFP,
MADRID and BARCELONA, Spain
Real Valladolid conceded a late penalty-kick in drawing with Levante UD 1-1 on Friday, missing a chance to win their third in a row after a winless start in La Liga.
It was the fifth consecutive 1-1 result for Levante, who have not won in eight matches and remain at the bottom of the table.
Marcos Andre put Valladolid ahead in the 57th minute and Jose Campana equalized for the visitors by converting an 83rd-minute penalty.
Valladolid, owned by Brazil great Ronaldo, were winless in their first eight matches before pulling off consecutive victories against Athletic Bilbao and Granada. They are in 17th.
Levante, who had lost three consecutive matches before their series of draws, are in 18th.
Meanwhile, Barcelona were close to securing an agreement for a 122 million euros (US$145 million) cut in players’ salaries this season to help offset the financial hole left by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The deal, announced in a statement by the club, must now be ratified by the players “in the coming days.”
The reduction in their wage bill represents a welcome financial lifeline for Barca, hit hard by the loss of gate receipts at Camp Nou and other effects of COVID-19 prevention measures.
Barca’s acting president Carles Tusquets has described the financial situation as “not dramatic, but very worrying.”
Tusquets assumed temporary control following Josep Maria Bartomeu’s resignation last month.
Restoring Barca’s finances will be one of the items on the top of the new president’s in-tray with the election for Bartomeu’s successor to be held on Jan. 24.
A new candidate entered the race for the job on Friday in Joan Laporta, who occupied the position from 2003 to 2010 and led the club to 12 major titles.
AP, WOLFSBURG, Germany
VfL Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen on Friday played an eight-goal thriller as Wolfsburg won their Bundesliga game 5-3 after paying tribute to Diego Maradona.
The teams held a moment’s silence for the Argentina great, who died on Wednesday, before producing uncharacteristic efficiency in a show of attacking soccer.
Wout Weghorst scored twice to help unbeaten Wolfsburg climb to fifth place at the start of the ninth round.
Both sides had the fewest goals in the Bundesliga, just 14 in eight games involving Wolfsburg, while Bremen had the second fewest at 20.
Bremen drew their previous five games 1-1 and would have set a Bundesliga record for the most consecutive games with that score if they had managed another.
Leonardo Bittencourt got the visitors off the mark in the 13th minute, but recently capped Germany defender Ridle Baku and American defender John Brooks struck back for Wolfsburg in the 22nd and 25th minute.
Kevin Mohwald equalized in the 35th, less than two minutes before Weghorst got his first goal.
The unfortunate Brooks’ own-goal drew Bremen level two minutes after the break when he tried to cut out Milot Rashica’s cross.
However, Weghorst’s second goal in the 76th put Wolfsburg on course for their fourth win of the season. Mohwald’s sending off with his second yellow card made Bremen’s task harder.
Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels denied Ludwig Augustinsson a late equalizer and Bartosz Bialek made sure of the points in the fifth minute of injury time.
Bremen dropped to 10th after their first defeat since the opening round.
Stade Rennais substitute Adrien Hunou scored an equalizer and then missed a late chance as Rennes drew against struggling RC Strasbourg Alsace 1-1 in Ligue 1 on Friday.
Rennes were an early frontrunner in the league, but have won only once in their past 11 games overall, dropping to sixth place.
Next-to-last Strasbourg took the lead midway through the first half when midfielder Adrien Thomasson turned in rightback Kenny Lala’s cross.
However, the Alsace side’s hopes were dented when influential centerback Stefan Mitrovic was sent off five minutes before halftime for fouling striker Serhou Guirassy as he ran through on goal.
Guirassy limped off with an ankle injury and was replaced by Hunou moments before the break.
Hunou headed home from a cross in the 60th and nodded against the post in the 84th, after inspired veteran Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima made two saves in between.
SWEEP THE LEG: Poirier, determined to best McGregor, after losing to him in 2014, used low calf kicks to throw ‘Notorious’ off his stand-up game, before dropping him American underdog Dustin Poirier yesterday shook up the world of mixed martial arts, beating up the legs of Irish superstar Conor McGregor before knocking him out at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi. “I’m happy, but I’m not surprised. I put in the work,” Poirier said, after the referee stepped in after 2 minutes, 32 seconds of the second round to save McGregor from further damage, after he was dropped by a fierce combination of punches. The 32-year-old Poirier was ranked second in the flyweight division going into the fight, but still rated a heavy underdog by bookmakers to beat his fourth-ranked opponent,
LOOKING TO REPEAT: World No. 7 Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin advanced to the round-of-16 at the Toyota Thailand Open, after winning the Yonex Thailand Open on Sunday Taiwan’s world No. 7 duo yesterday eased past the US’ world No. 37 pairing at the Toyota Thailand Open to reach the round-of-16 in Bangkok. Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin beat Phillip Chew and Ryan Chew 21-14, 21-11 in just 24 minutes. Lee and Wang, who won the men’s doubles title at the Yonex Thailand Open on Sunday, next face the world No. 34 pairing, Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-Shue and Nyl Yakura. In men’s singles, Taiwan’s world No. 2 Chou Tien-chen again beat Thailand’s world No. 45 Suppanyu Avihingsanon, after edging past the Thai player in the opening round of the Yonex
HOLDING STEADY: Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying pushed past Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung to advance to a quarter-finals match against world No. 10 Michelle Li Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen and Wang Tzu-wei yesterday defeated their respective opponents in the second round of the Toyota Thailand Open, setting them up to face each other today in the quarter-finals. In an early match, world No. 12 Wang took 45 minutes to defeat Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka-long 21-13, 21-11. Last week, the world No. 8 ousted Wang from the Yonex tournament before defeating Chou in the semi-finals. Chou, world No. 2, defeated France’s Brice Leverdez in 48 minutes 21-19, 21-16. In other men’s singles matches, Indonesia’s fifth seed Anthony Ginting suffered an unexpected defeat to Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk-yiu, who moved into
MARIN REMATCH: Tai Tzu-ying saved six game points in her semi-final against Ratchanok Intanon, who went into the match with a superior head-to-head record Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying reached the final of badminton’s Thailand Open yesterday with a three-set win over Ratchanok Intanon, setting up a rematch against Carolina Marin. Tai won 12-21, 21-12, 23-21 in 59 minutes to set up her second final against Marin in two weeks, while Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin advanced to the final in the men’s doubles. However, Chou Tien-chen was eliminated in the semi-finals of the men’s singles. Tai saved six game points in the win against her Thai opponent Intanon, who went into the match with a superior head-to-head record against the Taiwanese world No. 1. Tai’s best streak was a