Sports News Roundup: Soccer-Atletico Madrid secure Champions League spot with 2-0 Elche win; Soccer-Dazzling De Bruyne propels Man City closer to Premier League title and more
With two games left and Real Madrid already crowned champions, Atletico climbed to third place on 67 points, six ahead of Real Betis in fifth and with a better head-to-head record. Soccer-Dazzling De Bruyne propels Man City closer to Premier League title Manchester City's midfield genius Kevin De Bruyne scored four goals on Wednesday in a 5-1 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers to put his team in a commanding position to retain the Premier League with two games remaining.
Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Matheus Cunha and Rodrigo de Paul scored with close-range strikes to earn Atletico Madrid a 2-0 win at Elche on Wednesday, securing Diego Simeone's side a top-four LaLiga finish and Champions League qualification for the 10th straight season. With two games left and Real Madrid already crowned champions, Atletico climbed to third place on 67 points, six ahead of Real Betis in fifth, and with a better head-to-head record.
Manchester City's midfield genius Kevin De Bruyne scored four goals on Wednesday in a 5-1 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers to put his team in a commanding position to retain the Premier League with two games remaining. The Belgian put the game to bed with a hat-trick in a devastating 18-minute spell in the first half, before notching a fourth after the break as the away fans alternated between chanting "Kevin De Bruyne" and "Champions of England".
Sport-Messi tops Forbes' highest-paid athlete's list
Lionel Messi was the world's highest-paid athlete over the last year, according to the annual Forbes https://www.forbes.com list released on Wednesday that had the Paris Saint-Germain forward ahead of the NBA's LeBron James and Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi earned $130 million, a figure which includes $55 million of endorsements, during the 12-month period ended May 1, 2022, to sit atop the list of the 10 highest-paid athletes a year after finishing second to Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor.
Soccer-Leeds was beaten by Chelsea as relegation fears heighten
Leeds United edged closer to Premier League relegation after goals from Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku earned Chelsea a comfortable 3-0 victory over the 10-man hosts on Wednesday. The fixture was important for both teams, with Chelsea needing five more points to be sure of a top-four finish prior to their trip north, while Leeds' top-flight status remains in the balance.
Tennis-Osaka breaks from IMG to start its own sports agency
Four-times major winner Naomi Osaka is breaking away from IMG to launch her own sports agency with longtime agent Stuart Duguid. Duguid and Osaka began discussing the venture at the Tokyo Olympics last year, Duguid told Reuters via email, adding that the firm, called Evolve, will operate as a "small boutique and bespoke agency."
Defending champion Rafa Nadal began his Italian Open campaign with an emphatic 6-3 6-1 victory over big-serving American John Isner to move into the last-16 on Wednesday while Stefanos Tsitsipas saved two match points to advance. Nadal, who returned from a rib injury this month and fell at the quarter-final hurdle in Madrid last week, dominated Isner who struggled to find answers once the Spaniard, seeking his 11th title at Rome's Foro Italico, hit his stride.
Soccer-Watford end horror home run in the goalless draw with Everton
Relegated Watford ended a run of 11 straight home defeats when they held Everton to a goalless draw in a poor Premier League encounter at Vicarage Road on Wednesday, denying the visitors the chance to move further away from the relegation zone. The best chance of the game fell to Everton's Demarai Grey, who skewed his shot wide from eight yards with the goal at his mercy as Watford kept a first home clean-sheet this season.
Soccer-Ukraine return to action with a friendly win against Gladbach
Oleksandr Pikhalionok scored the winner as Ukraine beat Bundesliga side Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1 in a friendly on Wednesday in the national team's first game since the country was invaded by Russia. The match at Borussia Park was attended by over 20,000 spectators, with all proceeds going towards relief efforts in Ukraine. Players from both teams held up a "Stop War" banner before kick-off.
NBA-Denver Nuggets Jokic wins back-to-back MVP titles
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic has won the NBA's Most Valuable Player award for the second straight year, the league announced on Wednesday. The Serbian big man received 65 first-place votes from a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters, comfortably beating out Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, who finished second, and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was third.
Golf-Canadian Open canary in the coal mine as it goes head-to-head with new series
The Canadian Open returns to the PGA Tour schedule next month for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and while it goes up against the launch of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series tournament, organizers are mostly unconcerned. Still, the June 9-12 Canadian Open in Toronto will serve as a canary in the coal mine given it will go head-to-head with an event that offers super-sized prize money. The first of LIV's eight events will take place that same week at Centurion Golf Club outside of London.
(With inputs from agencies.)