Real Valladolid on Tuesday earned an important 3-1 victory over champions Barcelona to boost their La Liga survival hopes.
The hosts were good value for their victory and climbed to 17th, moving provisionally three points clear of the relegation zone.
Barcelona defender Andreas Christensen sent Valladolid on their way by heading into his own net in the second minute.
Canadian striker Cyle Larin added the second from the penalty spot after Eric Garcia tripped Gonzalo Plata in the area, with the Ecudoran winger scoring the third on the break.
La Liga’s top goalscorer Robert Lewandowski pulled one back for the Catalans in the final stages.
Barcelona winger Raphinha revealed a message of support for Real Madrid winger and Brazil compatriot Vinicius Junior in the second half when he was substituted.
Vinicius was racially abused by Valencia fans on Sunday at their Mestalla stadium.
“I didn’t know he was going to do it, but I think it’s a good message, because racism has to end,” Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong told DAZN, after Raphinha took his shirt off to show the message after being substituted.
Players from both sides held up a banner reading “racists out of football” before the game, as part of a La Liga and Royal Spanish Football Federation initiative following the abuse.
Young playmaker Pablo Torre started for the first time in La Liga for Barcelona and put in a bright performance, but his team were sluggish as a whole and fell to a second consecutive defeat.
“Pablo had a good game, he was good in his position, he played through a lot of good passes and linked up well with Robert,” Xavi told reporters.
Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is still chasing the La Liga clean sheet record of 26 — he has 25 with two matches remaining.
“In the first half we were not good, we let in two goals because of our own mistakes. We had an objective, we completed it, and that has caused a dip in concentration,” Xavi said.
“We have had a great season, but for our fans, and to say goodbye to [Sergio] Busquets, we have to do better,” he said.
Real Sociedad put one foot into next season’s Champions League with a 1-0 win over 10-man UD Almeria, while RC Celta de Vigo, 14th, were held to a 1-1 home draw by Girona and are five points above the relegation zone.
Taiwan’s Lin Chun-yi yesterday bowed out at the Malaysia Masters, defeated in the semi-finals a day after an epic quarter-final against the highest-ranked player left in the men’s singles draw. Lin lost to Weng Hongyang of China 21-13, 21-19 after a draining match against Japan’s Kodai Naraoka a day earlier in which the second game had 59 points. The 23-year-old left-hander had won his only previous BWF match against his Chinese opponent. However, Weng booked a place in today’s final after easing past the Taiwanese battler. He faces India’s H.S. Prannoy, who advanced when Indonesia’s Christian Adinata retired while trailing 19-17 in the
Kosovo Olympic authorities have asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to open disciplinary proceedings against Novak Djokovic, accusing the Serb of stirring up political tension by saying “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia” at the French Open. Djokovic wrote the message on a camera lens following his first-round win on Monday, the same day that 30 NATO peacekeeping troops were hurt in clashes with Serb protesters in the Kosovo town of Zvecan where Djokovic’s father grew up. “Kosovo is our cradle, our stronghold, center of the most important things for our country,” 36-year-old told Serbian media. Serbian authorities said 52 protesters were wounded
Unable to sleep the night before her first-round match at the French Open against second seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine checked her phone at 5am on Sunday and saw disturbing news back home in Kyiv. At least one person was killed when the capital of Kostyuk’s nation was subjected to the largest drone attack by Russia since the start of the war, launched with an invasion assisted by Belarus in February last year. “It’s something I cannot describe, probably. I try to put my emotions aside any time I go out on court. I think I’m better than
China has long been the sleeping giant of men’s tennis, but on Monday the giant stirred as Shanghai trailblazer Zhang Zhizhen advanced to the second round of Roland Garros. One of three Chinese men in the draw, Zhang became the first from the nation to win a main draw match at Roland Garros in 86 years after Serbian opponent Dusan Lajovic retired due to illness when trailing 6-1, 4-1. Compatriots Shang Juncheng and Wu Yibing bowed out in defeat, but 26-year-old Zhang has a big chance to go further when he takes on Argentine qualifier Thiago Agustin Tirante for a place in