Juventus reached the Europa League semi-finals as a 1-1 draw against Sporting CP at Estadio Jose Alvalade sealed a 2-1 aggregate triumph.

Buoyed by learning prior to Thursday's second leg that their 15-point deduction in Serie A for financial breaches had been suspended, Adrien Rabiot struck early on to double Juve's lead in the tie after Federico Gatti had given them a slender advantage in last week's reverse fixture at Allianz Stadium.

Marcus Edwards quickly pulled one back for Sporting from the penalty spot after Rabiot's foul on Manuel Ugarte, but resilient defending saw the Bianconeri through.

Juve will feature in a European semi-final for the first time since the 2016-17 campaign and will do battle with Sevilla for a place in the final after they knocked Manchester United out.

Juve took the lead after only nine minutes as Rabiot was first to a loose ball in the box from a corner and lashed into the bottom left-corner.

Sporting were offered a way back into the tie when Rabiot brought down Ugarte in the area, with referee Francois Letexier pointing to the spot and Edwards firing the ball straight down the middle as Wojciech Szczesny dived to his left.

The hosts nearly drew level on aggregate when Ousmane Diomande nodded just wide before half-time, and they nearly fell further behind after the interval when Dusan Vlahovic failed to get his header on target.

Sporting pressed for a goal that would force the game into extra-time and nearly found one when Ricardo Esgaio blazed just over the crossbar, but Massimiliano Allegri's men held on to reach the last four.

Carlos Alcaraz moved into the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open with a straight-sets defeat of Roberto Bautista Agut, but it was a miserable Thursday for Alexander Zverev on home soil.

Defending champion Alcaraz won an all-Spanish contest with Bautista Agut 6-3 7-5 on Pista Rafa Nadal.

Top seed Alcaraz will face another compatriot in the form of Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who saw off Emil Ruusuvuori, for a place in the last four in his homeland.

Eyeing a third title of the year, 19-year-old US Open champion Alcaraz was a break down at 3-2 in the opening set before winning six games in a row to take the opener.

Bautista Agut broke the teenager's serve twice midway through the second set, but the favourite reeled off nine points in a row to seal victory in an hour and 54 minutes.

Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Denis Shapovalov 6-3 6-2, and Jannik Sinner, the fourth seed, battled past Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1 4-6 6-3, but Casper Ruud was beaten by Francisco Cerundolo in straight sets.

Lorenzo Musetti and Dan Evans advanced at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899 along with Alex de Minaur, who went through with a walkover as Grigor Dimitrov withdrew due to injury.

Meanwhile, there will be no third BMW Open title for Zverev in Munich this week after he suffered a shock loss at the hands of world number 82 Christopher O'Connell.

Australian O'Connell saw off the third seed 7-6 (7-2) 6-4, while defending champion and top seed Holger Rune ousted Yannick Hanfmann 6-3 6-4, and Taylor Fritz got past Marton Fucsovics in three sets.

Lorenzo Sonego was another seed who bowed out, Cristian Garin beating the Italian 6-3 7-6 (7-3).

Iga Swiatek is through to the quarter-finals of the Stuttgart Open after easing to a 6-1 6-4 win over Zheng Qinwen on her return from a rib injury.

Swiatek had not played since sustaining the issue in the semi-finals of Indian Wells over a month ago, but advanced on Thursday despite stating that she felt "rusty".

The world number one won 84 per cent of points after landing her first serve in as she made up for lost time.

Swiatek also forced eight break points, winning four of them as she took just and hour and 26 minutes to set up a quarter-final with Karolina Pliskova, who bested Donna Vekic in a thriller.

Pliskova looked to be on her way to a routine win as she claimed the first set 6-2, only for the Croatian to take the second via a tie-break.

The decider also went the distance, with Pliskova able to finally put Vekic away 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-5) to book her clash with Swiatek.

Coco Gauff perhaps paid the price for taking almost three hours to beat Veronika Kudermetova on Wednesday, as the fifth seed fell to a straight-sets loss to Anastasia Potapova on Thursday, going down 6-2 6-3.

Fourth seed Caroline Garcia will go up against Potapova next after she defeated Tatjana Maria 7-6 (7-5) 6-4, while Paula Badosa had few problems seeing off fellow Spaniard Cristina Bucsa 6-1 6-2 and will face second seed Aryna Sabalenka in the last eight.

Delhi Capitals finally picked up their first win of the Indian Premier League season as they beat Kolkata Knight Riders by four wickets on Thursday.

The Capitals had previously come out on the wrong side of all five of their matches, but an impressive display with the ball edged them to a nervy win to alleviate their early-season struggles, while Kolkata have now lost three on the bounce.

After a rain delay, David Warner won the toss and put the Knight Riders into bat, a decision that quickly paid dividends as his bowlers tore through Kolkata's top order to leave them three wickets down in the powerplay, though opener Jason Roy hung in to add 43 from 39 balls before he was dismissed by Kuldeep Yadav.

Delhi's bowlers continued to dominate as the Knight Riders' innings crumbled, with Anrich Nortje (2-20) and Ishant Sharma (4-19) leading the charge as Kolkata were all out for just 127.

Warner reached his half-century off 33 balls to take Delhi to 93-4, before he was dismissed in a wicket maiden from Varun Chakravarthy in the 14th over, giving the Knight Riders some hope.

Those hopes were boosted as Delhi picked up just 23 for the loss of two wickets in the next five overs, but needing seven off the last, Axar Patel did just enough to get his team over the line.

Knight Riders' powerplay struggles continue

Kolkata lost three wickets within the first six overs to severely hamper their innings, and not for the first time, with the Knight Riders' 15 wickets lost in the powerplay in this season's IPL the highest of any team.

The target they set was just too small, despite a last-ditch effort from their bowlers, and Kolkata have work to do with the bat if they are to end this losing streak.

Warner plays a captain's innings

Warner's 57 runs off 41 balls means he is now the leading run scorer against Kolkata in IPL history, while he also moved to eight half-centuries against the Knight Riders, tied for the most alongside Suresh Raina.

The Australian went at a strike rate of 139 on his way to a fourth score of 50 or more in this year's IPL.

Wrexham will play Chelsea in a pre-season friendly on July 19 as part of their United States tour.

The National League leaders, who are owned by Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, will lock horns with the Premier League side at the University of North Carolina's Kenan Stadium.

It is the latest coup for Wrexham, who recently announced they will also play Manchester United in San Diego on July 25.

Chelsea were already scheduled to be in the US for the Premier League Summer Series, playing Brighton and Hove Albion on July 22 in Philadelphia, Newcastle United on July 26 in Atlanta and Fulham on July 30 near Washington D.C.

Wrexham boss Phil Parkinson told the club's official website: "Our tour of the United States will be an exciting part of the summer's build-up to the new season and something we will all be looking forward to in July.

"To have the opportunity to play a team of Chelsea's calibre at the Kenan Stadium, North Carolina, will be a terrific test for our players and form an important part of our preparations for the 2023-24 season.

"We're looking forward to meeting some of the fans who have supported us so passionately from afar this season at a renowned athletics stadium."

Wrexham are four points clear of second-placed Notts County with two games remaining in the National League and will secure promotion to League Two with victory over Boreham Wood on Saturday.

Mikel Arteta insisted Bukayo Saka will take Arsenal's next penalty, despite the England international failing from 12 yards in last weekend's 2-2 draw with West Ham United.

Saka, who had been successful from both his previous spot-kicks this season, shot wide at the London Stadium, with his miss proving costly as the title-chasing Gunners surrendered a 2-0 lead.

It was the 21-year-old's first failed attempt from 12 yards since Italy's Gianluigi Donnarumma infamously denied him in the Euro 2020 final 21 months earlier.

Nevertheless, Arteta was full of praise for Saka, who he is confident can use the setback to his advantage during the title run-in, which resumes against bottom side Southampton on Friday.

"He loves responsibility, but he puts a lot on his shoulders as well," the Spaniard said during his pre-match press conference.

"Again, if he had any doubt about how much people love him, respect him and admire him at the club, I think he had a very overwhelming reaction from everyone in the building and the club.

"In the end, I think it can be something very positive that can give him a big lift because everyone acted in an unbelievable way towards him. He deserves it because of the way he is."

When asked if Saka would step to the spot again, Arteta replied: "Yes. If not, I will go on the pitch and pass him the ball and make sure he takes the next one."

Arsenal are four points ahead of Manchester City, who have a game in hand, at the Premier League summit, with Saka playing an instrumental role in his side's season.

The winger has been directly involved in 22 goals (scored 12, assisted 10) with only Gabriel Martinelli (14) netting more for the Gunners, while Kevin De Bruyne (15) is the only player to provide more assists in the English top flight.

Juventus' 15-point deduction has been suspended, but Fabio Paratici has had his ban from football upheld.

Serie A giants Juve were handed the punishment in January after an investigation into a capital gains case, with the club found guilty of alleged breaches in relation to historical transfer dealings.

Former chairman Andrea Agnelli, ex-director Pavel Nedved and managing director Fabio Paratici, who joined Tottenham in 2021, were all suspended from football by the Italian Football Federation (FICG), along with eight other individuals.

However, Juve's initial appeal to have the deduction revoked has proved successful, with the Collegio di Garanzia referring the case back to the FIGC.

That will mean the Bianconeri rise to third in Serie A, back into the Champions League places, though the FIGC Federal Court of Appeal must re-evaluate the case, meaning Juve may yet still face punishment.

While Nedved, along with some of Juve's other former board members, have been cleared, Paratici and Agnelli have had their suspensions upheld.

It is bad news for Tottenham, with Paratici's 30-month ban from Italian football having been extended worldwide by FIFA in March.

Paratici stepped back from his duties with Spurs, though has not officially left the club.

The news came ahead of Juve's Europa League clash with Sporting CP on Thursday, while Massimiliano Allegri's team face Serie A leaders Napoli on Sunday.

Edin Terzic wants his Borussia Dortmund players to capitalise on their position in the Bundesliga title race, saying they are "closer than ever".

Since Dortmund claimed two successive league titles between 2010 and 2012, rivals Bayern Munich have dominated, lifting the trophy for 10 straight campaigns.

However, an excellent run of form since the start of 2023 in which they have lost just one Bundesliga game, against Bayern, means Dortmund sit just two points behind the Bavarian side with six matches to play.

With a real chance of finally ending Bayern's string of titles, Terzic hopes his team can take advantage, telling reporters ahead of Saturday's game against Eintracht Frankfurt: "We're closer than ever to the championship trophy, and we don't want to miss this chance.

"We should start grabbing this chance with everything we have as soon as possible, to make it come true.

"If we want to be successful, we all have to be willing to go the extra mile. We have to invest everything to take advantage of our starting position. To do that, we need a home win on Saturday."

Dortmund would be level on points with Bayern if not for conceding a 97th-minute equaliser away at 10-man Stuttgart last time out, and Terzic feels his players are heading into the final stretches of the campaign "with a portion of anger".

Terzic also revealed there was a "question mark" over the availability of Niklas Sule, Nico Schlotterbeck and Anthony Modeste for the clash with European-chasing Frankfurt, though he said: "They were already able to increase the intensity in training, so we have to wait and see."

Fabinho and Alisson were impressed by Trent Alexander-Arnold's performance in a new role for Liverpool against Leeds United.

The Reds routed their relegation-threatened opponents 6-1 at Elland Road on Monday, with Alexander-Arnold pulling the strings.

The 24-year-old has been much-maligned this season for his defending, but showcased his impressive passing range as he regularly stepped into midfield alongside Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Jordan Henderson, while also covering right-back in defensive phases.

Speaking to Liverpool's official website, Fabinho explained it is not that much of a change for his team-mate, who often found himself drifting into the midfield from right-back anyway.

"Trent is somebody [who is] really good on the ball, with his quality of pass and finding players in behind," the Brazil international said. "We can really use this.

"In this position, of course he will have less time to think, but I think he's a little bit used to being in this position. Even when he played right-back, he likes to drop a little bit and go to the middle. We can really use his quality of pass.

"In the last game [v Leeds], he gave two assists and was really good – not just with his passing, but his reaction was good as well. I think in the academy he played as a midfielder, so he knows a little bit about this role and it was not hard for him."

 

Alexander-Arnold claimed two assists on Monday, becoming just the fourth player to do so in a Premier League game while also completing 100+ passes and maintaining a pass accuracy over 90 per cent since records began in 2003-04 (after Santi Cazorla v West Bromwich Albion in 2015, David Silva v Newcastle United in 2020, and Paul Pogba v Newcastle in 2021).

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson added: "This game was a really good example of [Liverpool's counter-pressing] – the way that we react.

"Not only Trent going from the midfield and then going to the side, but other players knowing that we need to have a good reaction on the counter-press or getting back to their position, buying time.

"We dealt really well with the chances that the opponent had for counter-attacks – we stopped them so often in the game. As Fab said, this always gives you a good feeling on the pitch. That's something that we want to keep with us."

Jurgen Klopp's men host Nottingham Forest on Saturday as they look to make a late run for the European spots, currently sitting in eighth place, nine points behind Newcastle in fourth with eight games remaining.

"Football is quick," Alisson added. "We have a different opponent now in front of us. They have their goals, they need to reach their targets. We have ours as well. We come from a game where we found our way back and they come from a game they lost [2-0 at home to Manchester United].

"They want to show a response, for sure, for their supporters, for themselves. But we are focused on things that we need to do and prepare as best as we can to get on the pitch. It's a home game, it's always good to play [there], to have your supporters there helping you.

"I hope Anfield will be on fire on Saturday afternoon."

Pope Francis beamed with delight as he was presented with a Manchester United shirt belonging to his Argentine compatriot Lisandro Martinez on Thursday.

The gift was handed to the pontiff when an interfaith group from Manchester paid a visit to the Vatican, receiving an audience with the leader of the Catholic Church.

World Cup winner Martinez is resting up after surgery on a season-ending foot injury, but he sent a personal message with the delegation.

The shirt was handed over to Buenos Aires-born Pope Francis by Manchester's mayor, Andy Burnham, drawing a smile from the 86-year-old.

Argentina's World Cup final victory against France in December was described by the Vatican's news service at the time as "a truly herculean, titanic and historic example of the absolutely sublime athletic skill, reaching for the stars by the stars".

The United shirt received by Pope Francis was signed by Martinez and featured alongside pictures of him lifting trophies with United and Argentina, and a message – "Your holiness, with much love, LM".

At the meeting with the Manchester group, the pope spoke of the need to ensure "the environmental and social crises of our time are not two separate crises but one".

He said: "Your united witness is particularly eloquent, since the history of your city is closely linked to the industrial revolution, with its legacy of immense technical and economic progress, together with an admittedly negative impact on the human and natural environment."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner expects the team's Formula One rivals to close the gap this season.

A superb start to their title defence has already seen Red Bull open a 58-point lead in the constructors' championship over closest competitors Aston Martin.

However, due to the "cultural change" within F1 in recent seasons, referencing the budget cap, Horner believes his team will be unable to maintain their advantage.

As defending champions, Red Bull were allocated the least time in the wind tunnel for this season, with their time reduced further by penalties issued by the FIA for breaching the cap in the 2021 season.

For that reason, Horner is predicting Red Bull's rivals will be hot on their heels later in the season.

"I think it will be very tough for us to develop this car, because when you look at the amount of percentage time less we have compared to some of our rivals, it's significant," he said, quoted on the F1 website.

"But it is what it is. We just have to do the best we can with what we've got, be efficient, effective, and selective in what we choose to develop, and how we apportion our time.

"It's been a total cultural change over the last couple of years. It's a new challenge in Formula 1, how you apply your resources. It used to be a sprint in terms of developing a car as quickly as you could with whatever budget you can rustle up.

"Now it's a question of how and where do you apply your resources, and of course there are so many variables like crash damage, accident damage in there that can have a massive effect on your potential to develop. It's going to be interesting to see how it pans out this year."

Southampton are "running out of time" in their bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League, so says Ruben Selles.

Saints sit bottom of the table, four points from safety, ahead of a meeting with league leaders Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on Friday.

Selles took over from Nathan Jones earlier in 2023 and, after initially managing an upturn in fortunes, has now seen his side go winless in their last six games.

"It has been desperate from the very first second," Selles told reporters. "The only thing is we are running out of time and the games are less and less.

"We had some good performances but we didn't transform those into points and hopefully we can change and then start to get some points together with some good performances.

"If we play our game and put in the performance that we need, we have options to win the game.

"We have a good team in front [of us] but almost every week we have good teams in front."

 

Arsenal threw away a two-goal lead against West Ham last time out, drawing 2-2, with Manchester City now just four points behind the Gunners with a game in hand.

Bukayo Saka missed a penalty just before West Ham's equaliser, but Mikel Arteta believes the England international can turn that into a positive situation.

Arteta said: "That's the way he is and he loves responsibility, but he puts a lot on his shoulders.

"If he had any doubt about how much people love, respect and admire him at the club, he had a very warm reaction from everybody. In the end it could be something very positive, everyone acted in an unbelievable way towards him because he deserves it.

"I'll make sure he takes the next one."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Arsenal – Gabriel Jesus

Gabriel Jesus has scored nine Premier League goals this season – with Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli and Saka already each scoring 10+, this could be just the second season to see four players reach double figures for the Gunners in the competition, after 2012-13 (Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott).

Southampton – James Ward-Prowse

Ward-Prowse has scored nine goals in all competitions for Southampton this season and could reach double figures for the second time in his career following his 11 last term. Six of his nine goals this season have come away from home, with four of those strikes coming in London.

 

MATCH PREDICTION: ARSENAL WIN

Arsenal have never lost in 23 Premier League home games against Southampton (W16 D7), the most one side has hosted another without ever losing in the competition.

The Gunners are also unbeaten in their last 27 home league games against Southampton (W19 D8) – in their league history, only against Fulham (current run of 30) have they had a longer unbeaten home run.

The side bottom of the table has won just four of their 38 Premier League meetings with the league leaders (D6 L28), losing 14 of their 15 such games away from home (D1). 

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Arsenal – 67.3 per cent

Southampton – 12 per cent

Draw – 20.7 per cent 

Barcelona legend Josep Maria Fuste has died, the club announced on Thursday.

The former midfielder was 82.

Fuste played 406 times for the Blaugrana over a 12-year spell at the club from 1960 until 1972, scoring 117 times.

A product of the club's academy, he enjoyed a loan spell with Osasuna – which coincided with doing military service in Pamplona – during the early 1960s before establishing himself as a fixture in the Barca team.

Known for his speed, technical ability and ferocious shot, Fuste was a Barca great in his era and helped them to three Copa del Rey crowns, plus one Fairs Cup title.

He was later a pre-candidate in the Barcelona presidential elections in 1989 and then served as an advisor to the club's board from 2010.

"Barca fans everywhere will always remember you. Rest in peace," said a tweet from Barcelona's official Twitter page.

Fuste was also a part of the Spain team who won the 1964 European Championship, a success Barca made no reference to in their announcement.

Clasico rivals Real Madrid did acknowledge that achievement as they also paid tribute to Fuste, however.

"Real Madrid, its President and its board of directors are deeply saddened by the death of Josep Maria Fuste, a legend of Barcelona and Spanish football, who was a member of the Spanish national team that lifted the 1964 European Championship," a spokesperson said,

"Real Madrid would like to express its condolences and affection to all his relatives, team-mates, clubs and all his loved ones."

 

The Oakland Athletics have secured land near the Las Vegas strip and intend to move to Nevada by 2027.

Team president Dave Kaval confirmed the development, bringing an end to a tense number of years for the Major League Baseball franchise and seemingly ending prospects of staying in Oakland at a new waterfront home.

Kaval told MLB.com: "We know this is a really difficult day for our fans in Oakland and the Oakland community. We put an incredible six-year effort into trying to get this waterfront vision for a stadium approved.

"At the end of the day, the progress has not been fast enough. We're still maybe seven or eight years away from being even able to open a stadium [in Oakland] with the lawsuits and referendums and timing challenges.

"We have a pact in Las Vegas that we think can work and has the support from the league, so we are really putting all our focus in Las Vegas and the efforts there."

The A's are set to become the first MLB franchise to relocate since the Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals in 2004.

A move would also bring an end to professional sport in Oakland, who previously lost the NFL's Raiders, also to Las Vegas, in 2020 and saw the Golden State Warriors return to San Francisco three seasons ago.

The news sparked an angry reaction in Oakland, with mayor Sheng Thao saying the city would no longer negotiate with the team.

"The city has gone above and beyond in our attempts to arrive at mutually beneficial terms to keep the A's in Oakland. In the last three months, we've made significant strides to close the deal," she said in a statement.

"Yet, it is clear to me that the A's have no intention of staying in Oakland and have simply been using this process to try to extract a better deal out of Las Vegas.

"I am not interested in continuing to play that game – the fans and our residents deserve better."

The Athletics moved to Oakland in 1968, winning three consecutive World Series from 1972 to 1974, then earning fame in the 2002 season following Billy Beane's 'moneyball' approach that saw the franchise set a record for most consecutive wins.

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