The Los Angeles Dodgers had their six-game winning streak snapped by the Cincinnati Reds in MLB on Friday.

Already bound for the playoffs via at least a Wild Card berth, World Series champions the Dodgers were upstaged as the Reds won 3-1 in Cincinnati.

Luis Castillo outduelled Walker Buehler, striking out 10 batters, while he did not allow a runner past second base in 6.2 innings of work.

Castillo gave up five hits and two walks as Dodgers ace Buehler finished with three runs on six hits and two walks in six innings.

 

Yankees soar into Wild Card positions

The New York Yankees blanked the Cleveland Indians 8-0 behind two-time American League (AL) Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, who produced six scoreless innings. Joey Gallo homered as the Yankees (83-65) leapfrogged the Toronto Blue Jays (82-65) for the second AL Wild Card position. The Boston Red Sox (84-65) are first in the AL Wild Card race following their 7-1 rout of the Baltimore Orioles.

Jarred Kelenic (22 years and 63 days) became the youngest Seattle Mariners hitter with a multi-homer game since Alex Rodriguez in 1996. The Mariners topped the Kansas City Royals 6-2.

The Tampa Bay Rays were 7-4 winners against the Detroit Tigers. Austin Meadows recorded his 100th RBI to become the first Rays player with a century of RBIs in a season since Evan Longoria in 2010.

Brandon Crawford tied a career high with his 21st home run of the season to guide the San Francisco Giants past the Atlanta Braves 6-5.

 

A century of defeats

The Arizona Diamondbacks suffered their 100th loss of the season, a 4-3 defeat to the Houston Astros after 10 innings. Arizona's only other 100-loss season came in 2004 when the franchise tallied 111 defeats.

The Orioles also crashed to defeat number 100 for the season. Baltimore have lost at least 100 games in each of the last three 162-game campaigns.

 

Guerrero homers… again

The Blue Jays went down 7-3 to the Minnesota Twins but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. stayed hot as he reclaimed the homer lead. He homered in a losing effort, tying Joe DiMaggio for the second most home runs (46) in a season by a player aged 22 or younger. Guerrero only trails Eddie Matthews (47).

 

Friday's results 

Seattle Mariners 6-2 Kansas City Royals
New York Yankees 8-0 Cleveland Indians
Colorado Rockies 9-8 Washington Nationals
Minnesota Twins 7-3 Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox 7-1 Baltimore Orioles
Tampa Bay Rays 7-4 Detroit Tigers
Cincinnati Reds 3-1 Los Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 New York Mets
Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 Miami Marlins
Chicago White Sox 8-0 Texas Rangers
St Louis Cardinals 8-2 San Diego Padres
Houston Astros 4-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
Milwaukee Brewers 8-5 Chicago Cubs
Oakland Athletics 5-4 Los Angeles Angels
San Francisco Giants 6-5 Atlanta Braves

 

Dodgers at Reds

The Dodgers (94-54) will look to bounce back against the Reds (77-71) on Saturday. Dodgers ace Max Scherzer is set to start as the Reds send Sonny Gray to the mound.

Maverick McNealy soared to the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage of the Fortinet Championship, but John Rahm's PGA Tour season debut ended in the world number one missing the cut.

McNealy earned a two-stroke lead following the second round of the 2021-22 season opener at Silverado Country Club, where the 25-year-old American carded an eight-under-par 64.

It is McNealy's lowest opening 36-hole score (68-64) on the PGA Tour.

However, Spanish star Rahm failed to qualify for the weekend after back-to-back rounds in the 70s in Napa, California.

Tuning up for the Ryder Cup, Rahm – who missed Wednesday's pro-am due to a stomach ailment, having placed second in the FedEx Cup play-offs – never got going, an opening-round 72 followed by a 71 as he finished one under, below the three-under cut line.

"I get to rest a couple extra days and be able to figure out what's going on with my swing, which technically is not really anything bad," said Rahm, who recorded his 13th missed cut in his 113th PGA Tour start, with his last missed cut at this year's Wells Fargo Championship.

"It's just I think a lot of those swings were made to look worse because of how tough it is out there."

Beau Hossler (64) and Mito Pereira (67) are tied for second and two shots adrift of McNealy heading into Saturday's third round, while Troy Merritt (68), Will Zalatoris (67) and Bronson Burgoon (67) are a stroke further back at nine under.

Rookie David Lipsky's second-round 64 was a nine-stroke improvement on his first round and a career-low round that included nine birdies, the most he has managed in a single round on Tour.

Lipsky is seven under through 36 holes, alongside the likes of Tom Hoge (66) and Peter Malnati (66), while Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama is a shot back following his three-under-par 69.

Six-time major champion Phil Mickelson posted a 69 to be tied for 24th and seven shots off the pace.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said Thiago Alcantara is "like a world-class golfer", while insisting there is much more to come from the Spaniard at Anfield.

Thiago joined Liverpool from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich amid plenty of fanfare ahead of the 2020-21 campaign but the Spain international experienced a mixed start to life on Merseyside, where injuries hampered his maiden season.

The 30-year-old midfielder has featured in three of Liverpool's opening four Premier League matches, starting once, while he came off the bench in Wednesday's Champions League victory over Milan.

A year on from his arrival, Klopp hailed Thiago ahead of Saturday's clash with Crystal Palace.

"The start was not perfect," Klopp told reporters during his pre-game news conference. "He got Covid, got injured early which of course makes things much more difficult. But he showed what kind of player he will be for us. There is much more to come of course.

"It has been a year, but if you want it is only half a year because of all the things which happened. Coming to a new club, in the most difficult period in all our lives, he settled really well. His family is here, he loves it here, he was in the middle of the team very quickly. He's a really good character, really good personality and obviously a world-class player. It is all fine!"

Klopp added: "He played more often at Munich in a double-six role, but for us it's a complex position; you have to be offensive, you have to be defensive, you have to be between the lines, you can drop into the last line to receive the ball, but not always. 

"But he is such a natural footballer it is not like we have to give him 15 or 16 different things to do in the game. I don't ask him for constant runs beyond the last line. He is a playmaker, obviously, who can sometimes be a little deeper, but he must be there in the two ‘interesting’ lines of the opponent as well.

"He has great vision and can change things with his passing. In a closed area with his passing he is really good, and he can chip balls into each area like a golfer, actually. A good golfer. A world class golfer! He does that without even thinking. 

"I love the way he plays. It's a complex position to be the number eight for us. We have different skill sets and we use different skill sets from time to time when we think a particular skill set makes more sense against a particular opponent."

Liverpool are on the longest current league unbeaten run in the top four tiers of English football, going 14 league games without defeat since a 1-0 home loss against Fulham in March (W11 D3).

Klopp's Liverpool have had more shots than any other Premier League side this season (100). Their 30 attempts against Leeds United last time out brought up their 100, making them just the second side since 2003-04 to have 100-plus shots in their first four games of a season, after Chelsea in 2009-10 (109).

The Los Angeles Clippers remain "optimistic" about their chances in 2021-22 despite Kawhi Leonard's injury after the NBA franchise unveiled the team's new arena.

Leonard signed a four-year contract extension with the Clippers in the offseason, but the two-time champion is expected to miss much of the 2021-22 campaign as he recovers from a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee.

It is a blow for the Clippers on the back of their first trip to the Western Conference Final last season, but owner Steve Ballmer is not prepared to take a backward step in Leonard's absence.

"Every year I want to win," Ballmer told ESPN. "Some people will talk about 'We're taking a step back' or 'We got an injured year.' No.

"Our fans can count on the fact that we are going to try to win as many ballgames as we can every year. Now, we took a little setback.

"We got to get Kawhi healthy. And when he's back, we're back at full strength."

Leonard suffered a serious knee injury during the 2020-21 playoffs, going down in the Western Conference Finals. Without him, the Clippers went on to lose the series 4-2 to the Phoenix Suns.

A five-time All-Star, Leonard has averaged 26.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists since joining the Clippers in 2019, arriving at the franchise after an impressive title-winning campaign with the Toronto Raptors.

The Clippers went 36-16 when Leonard was active in the regular season last term, outscoring their opponents by 9.0 points per outing. In the 20 games he missed, however, their record was 11-9 and they were outscored by 1.1 points on average.

In the playoffs, the Clippers have lost in the Conference semi-finals and Conference Finals respectively in the past two seasons.

"It was painful," Ballmer said. "Painful for Kawhi, painful for our team, painful for me and, most importantly, painful for our fans. But yeah, we gave it a go. We gave it a good go. We managed to push past Utah, even without Kawhi.

"I was proud of our guys. We were within a whisker or two of taking care of business in the Western Conference Finals, even without Kawhi. We'll see when we get him back, but we basically have most of the same team back for next year. ... I remain optimistic."

Ballmer was speaking as the Clippers introduced their future home – Intuit Dome – which is scheduled to open ahead of the 2024-25 season as they move away from Staples Center, where the Los Angeles Lakers and NHL franchise the Los Angeles Kings also play.

"I've never been in a place where you had two teams in a town," Ballmer said. "I grew up in Detroit. Everybody's a Pistons fan. And I think for enough years the Clippers were bad enough, everybody could just ignore the Clippers.

"We're good now, and we're going to be good year in and year out. We're going to build our own building, more of our own identity, more of our own personality. And I think some of the fans on the other side, if you will, it's like, 'What? You dare to question our supremacy?' No, we do.

"There's 30 teams in the league. There's 29 others. And we got one that happens to be based in L.A. And we got our fans. We use our expression, 'LA Our Way.' And we're building our own presence, identity. And if the other guys feel a little threatened -- the other guys' fans, I mean; the players are actually a little different deal -- but if they feel a little threatened, that's OK. It means we're doing good."

Brighton and Hove Albion star Yves Bissouma believes he is the best midfielder in the Premier League amid links with Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.

Bissouma has flourished in England since joining Brighton from Ligue 1 outfit Lille in 2018, attracting interest from a host of Premier League teams.

As his future continues to make headlines, the 25-year-old Mali international highlighted his ability.

"I don't want to be arrogant, but it's me because in my head I am working to be the best," Bissouma told BBC Sport.

"So I cannot say another name, I know in the Premier League there are so many good midfielders, but for me, it's me because that gives me the confidence and the energy to work hard to show people I am here and I am Bissouma.

"I just want to be focused on football, to play in every game, every week to be good, to help my team win and the rest we will see."

Last season, Brighton's Bissouma topped the Premier League list for tackles won among midfielder with 68 in 36 appearances.

Bissouma won possession on 271 occasions – a number only bettered by Tottenham's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (296), Southampton star James Ward-Prowse (288) and Manchester City's Rodri (285) among midfielders.

He also ranked fourth for duels won (227), behind West Ham's Tomas Soucek (364), Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (264) and former Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish (231).

His 64 interceptions were only eclipsed by Burnley midfielder Josh Brownhill (69) and Wolves star Ruben Neves (65) in 2020-21, while Bissouma had the fifth most recoveries (271).

Fikayo Tomori is not considering a Chelsea return as the Milan centre-back dreams of Champions League success with the Rossoneri.

Tomori has starred for Milan, who completed a permanent deal for the one-time England international in July following his initial loan move in 2020-21.

The 23-year-old emerged from Chelsea's academy in 2016 before eventually leaving his boyhood club, but he is not thinking about a Stamford Bridge comeback.

"I don't know, I love Milan, I love being here, Chelsea was a big part of my life, 15-16 years," Tomori told DAZN, with seven-time winners Milan back in the Champions League this season for the first time since 2014.

"I think I managed to have that dream. Play at Stamford Bridge, play in the Premier League and the Champions League. Right now I am really happy in Milan.

"We are back in the Champions League, everything is really positive, hopefully like Chelsea [who won the Champions League last season], we can win it."

In 2021-22, Tomori has tallied 15 recoveries, 11 duels won, 12 possessions won in the defensive third, eight clearances, six interceptions, three headed clearances and six aerials won, while boasting an 87.6 passing accuracy to help Milan win their opening three Serie A fixtures.

Tomori has formed a key partnership with Simon Kjaer at the heart of Milan's defence – the Italian giants have kept the most clean sheets in the top-five European leagues (seven in 8 matches) since May.

Milan have only conceded one goal in three games, keeping two clean sheets in the league this term.

Tomori and Milan travel to rivals Juventus on Sunday, aiming to make it four victories from four games to open the season.

In the era of three points per win, Milan have won each of their first four Serie A seasonal games only twice – in 1995-96 under Fabio Capello and in 2020-21 under Stefano Pioli.

Going into the 2021 season, few observers had the Philadelphia Eagles as NFC East favourites. After they dispatched the Atlanta Falcons 32-6 in Week 1, it is fair to wonder whether the last team to beat Tom Brady in a Super Bowl were underestimated. 

Yet Philadelphia's second game under new head coach Nick Sirianni is likely to be significantly tougher than their first, which came against a Falcons team caught in transition with Atlanta fighting the prospect of a rebuild staring them in the face. 

In Week 2, the Eagles face the San Francisco 49ers, seen by many as Super Bowl contenders, a status vindicated by the first 55 minutes of their performance in a victory on the road against the Detroit Lions. 

The Niners led 38-10 and 41-17 at Ford Field, but the final margin of victory was a much tighter 41-33 as the Lions staged a late rally after San Francisco had brought in its backups on defense with the game seemingly in hand. 

Philadelphia may see that as a reason to be confident they can move the ball on San Francisco. However, the Eagles' defense must be wary of a Niners offense that exploded for 8.04 yards per play in the opener, exploiting a weakness that was all too apparent in the Atlanta game. 

While the Eagles' defensive line dominated matters when it came to rushing the passer, it was consistently moved off the ball in the run game, the Falcons averaging 4.77 yards per carry, the eighth-best mark in the NFL in Week 1. 

San Francisco was slightly behind that average with 4.68 as the Kyle Shanahan offense, notoriously ultra-friendly to running backs, allowed sixth-round rookie Elijah Mitchell to rush for 104 yards and a touchdown after starter Raheem Mostert went down with a knee injury. 

The ground game is pivotal to the 49ers' success on offense as it sets up a play-action passing attack that arguably does a better job of opening the middle of the field than any other in the NFL. 

Atlanta found early success against Philadelphia in that area too, as the Eagles linebackers played aggressively in getting downhill to guard the threat of the run, and it is fair to assume Shanahan and the Niners will do a far superior job of taking advantage of such openings than the Falcons did during their dismal showing. 

Mostert is now out for the season having elected to undergo surgery on his knee but that does not lessen the need for the Eagles to slow down Mitchell, whose yards after contact per attempt average of 3.15 was second only to his team-mate's 7.5 on two carries in Week 1. Rookie third-round back Trey Sermon will be active for Week 2; his 2.77 yards after contact per attempt for Ohio State were sixth in the Power 5 last year. 

By the same token, San Francisco must have a keen focus on stopping Philadelphia's ground game, which was third in the league with 5.58 yards per carry last week, after the 49ers' run defense put on a disappointing display versus Detroit. 

Indeed, the Lions averaged 4.83 yards per attempt (seventh-most in the league) as the absence of Javon Kinlaw from the defensive line proved telling for the 49ers. 

Kinlaw has practiced in a limited capacity this week and his presence as a defender who can soak up double teams on the interior of the line should serve as a boost to DeMeco Ryans' group. 

Yet there will still need to be improvements from the players behind the line for San Francisco to stiffen its run defense, the Niners' linebackers having had clear issues plugging the wrong gaps in the win over the Lions. 

Should they fail to make those strides, that will make life harder on a defense that has historically struggled to contain mobile quarterbacks on the zone-read plays that Jalen Hurts and the Eagles will look to attack them with on Sunday. 

It's a passing league and two fearsome sets of pass rushers and a collection of exciting receiving options will surely have plenty of bearing on how this intriguing NFC matchup plays out. But, in the end, it is a game that may come down to which defense can stem the tide on the ground

Thomas Tuchel expected Harry Kane to sign for Manchester City before the transfer window closed but finds it "nice" that the striker ended up staying at Tottenham.  

Blues boss Tuchel stated late last season that he would relish the chance to work with Kane as speculation over the England captain's future rumbled on.  

Kane opted to remain at Spurs after it had appeared the prolific striker would be on his way to Premier League champions City at one stage, while Chelsea smashed their transfer record to bring back Romelu Lukaku. 

Chelsea travel to Tottenham for a London derby on Sunday and, ahead of the fixture, Tuchel made clear how he never pushed for Kane's arrival at Stamford Bridge. 

Asked how far down the line the European champions got in making a move for the player, the Chelsea boss replied: "I never had a list with his name and I never went to Marina [Granovskaia, Chelsea director] to tell her to buy him.  

"But I think the club sorted out the situations. There are many people around players; there are agents and advisors and people in between, so we had some information from these people, but it was never that close that we had to experience the rivalry.  

"We know about the rivalry, but I have a feeling it was never that far."

Tuchel says he would not have been worried if Kane had ended up joining City, as Chelsea do not fear any of their rivals in the Premier League. 

"I thought that it was going to happen [Kane joining City] and I was not scared, but if it would have happened, I would have been very interested how it would have maybe changed City's style of play," said the German. 

"We are not afraid of anybody; we accept any other team. Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, they are the teams with strong, strong squads and these are the guys [such as Kane] you want to compete and it's normal they fight for the best players. 

"I thought this was going to happen. On one side, I was happy he stayed because it's nice it exists in football that players play for one club only. 

"I have absolutely nothing to do with Tottenham obviously, but if you think about Tottenham you think about Harry Kane, if you think about [Lionel] Messi you think straight away about Barcelona. 

"It's very hard that he plays for another club and that's the same with Harry Kane. From that side I like it and part of my personality is still a fan, so from that point I like it and I also think it's nice that Romelu is back at Chelsea. Some things are a good fit and should not be changed." 

Top seed Belinda Bencic crashed out of the Luxembourg Open with a straight-sets defeat to Liudmila Samsonova.

Bencic, the Olympic champion, had designs on winning her first WTA title of 2021 having lost in the final in Adelaide and Berlin during the calendar year.

However, there was more frustration for the Swiss, beaten in the quarter-finals of the US Open by champion Emma Raducanu, as she was swept aside 6-1 6-4 by Samsonova.

It is the second-best win of Samsonova's career by ranking, the Russian having defeated Kiki Bertens, then world number 11, back in March in Miami.

She will face Jelena Ostapenko for a place in the final after the former French Open champion saw off Alize Cornet 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.

Marketa Vondrousova twice trailed by a break in the first set against Elise Mertens but battled back to see off the second seed 7-5 6-2. She now faces a semi-final with Clara Tauson, the teenager having breezed past Maria Bouzkova 6-3 6-2 as she seeks her third title of the year.

At the Zavarovalnica Sava Portoroz, Kaja Juvan will face Alison Riske after the Slovenian won two matches on Friday. Jasmine Paolini will meet Yulia Putintseva in the other last-four clash.

 

The Green Bay Packers will be without edge rusher Za'Darius Smith for at least three weeks as he is set to be placed on injured reserve. 

Smith has been dealing with a lingering back injury and played only 18 of Green Bay's 60 defensive snaps in their 38-3 Week 1 loss to the New Orleans Saints. 

"Unfortunately, we're going to have to shut him down for a while," Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said on Friday. 

"It's a matter of just, do you keep him in a limited role? Or do you shut him down for a while, try to get him healthy and then get him up to the snap count that we'd like him to be, just like he's been in the past, because he's such an impact player. So, that's just the route that we thought was best long term." 

It means Smith is poised to miss not only Monday's home game with the Detroit Lions, but also difficult clashes with the San Francisco 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Signed as a free agent in 2019, Smith racked up 13.5 sacks in his first season before registering 12.5 last year, with the Packers reaching the NFC Championship Game in each of those campaigns. 

However, his overall pressure rate tailed off from 27.4 per cent, fourth among edge rushers, in 2019 to 16.5 per cent in 2020. 

With Smith on the sideline, the onus will be on his namesake Preston Smith (10 per cent pressure rate in 2020) and Rashan Gary (19.1 per cent) to provide the pass rush and help the Packers prevent their opening-game disappointment stretching into the coming weeks as they aim to go one better than in the previous two seasons. 

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao have announced they will continue to challenge LaLiga's agreement with CVC Capital Partners. 

LaLiga last month struck a €2.7billion (£2.3bn) deal with CVC that will see the private equity firm acquire 10 per cent of the commercial business. The other 90 per cent of the investment was earmarked to boost cash-strapped clubs in the top two tiers of Spanish football as they deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Madrid and Barca allege the agreement impacts all clubs' audiovisual rights for the next 50 years, with Los Blancos announcing legal action, including against LaLiga president Javier Tebas, last month. 

The deal was overwhelmingly passed by the LaLiga assembly on August 12, yet Barca, Madrid and Athletic still refuse to accept it, while the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) labelled the agreement as "totally illegal". 

In a statement released on Friday, the trio of top-flight clubs made clear their intentions to contest the resolution, following what they describe as a "highly irregular and disrespectful process". 

The statement read: "Barcelona, Athletic Club and Real Madrid announce that they have challenged the agreement adopted by the LaLiga assembly on August 12, 2021, relating to the operation between LaLiga and CVC, as it being an agreement that infringes the applicable rules set out (and in particular, amongst others, the Royal Decree Law 5/2015), and it was adopted as part of an highly irregular and disrespectful process toward with the minimum guarantees required to those purposes, especially faced with an operation of such importance and longevity." 

LaLiga boss Tebas claimed that Barca would have been able to keep Lionel Messi had they agreed to sign up. Due to the club's serious financial issues, the Argentina superstar was unable to sign a new contract and instead joined Paris Saint-Germain. 

Tebas also insisted CVC are investing to develop the league, rather than salvage the finances of Spanish clubs. 

"CVC were interested because of how we have developed, without help from Madrid or Barca. CVC have not come here to bail us out - they are not here because of the pandemic," he said. 

"Only 15 per cent of the money can be used to pay off debts, 70 per cent is for investment in infrastructure. So they are not here to bail out Spanish football, but to help build a stronger league."

The St. Lucia Boxing Association (SLBA) recently received boxing equipment worth just over US$45,000, thanks to the generosity of the International Boxing Association (AIBA). The equipment includes punching bags, headgear, gloves, hand wraps, mouth guards, uniforms, and skipping ropes.

SLBA President David “Shakes” Christopher said the new batch of equipment will enhance the SLBA’s boxing programmes as the association continues to build awareness and attract new boxers to the globally popular sport.

“It will also help us immensely as we continue to decentralize our progammes,” Christopher said. “Right now, we can focus on programmes for the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF), Boys Training Centre (BTC), our school programmes, and our chapters in Soufriere, Vieux Fort, Laborie, and Dennery.”

The equipment follows a commitment made by AIBA’s president, Umar Kremlev, a year ago to support the local boxing association by way of providing much-needed equipment. Christopher said this week’s receipt of the new equipment proves that building relationships among associations is essential.

“We’re very grateful to AIBA, especially president Umar Kremlev, for keeping to a promise he made last year in Panama,” said Christopher. “We intend to manage this equipment in the best way as we continue to create more champions and better citizens through boxing.”

Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, the International Boxing Association, or AIBA (originally the Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur), is a sports organization that sanctions amateur (Olympic-style) boxing matches and awards world and subordinate championships. 

Christopher said one of the major challenges the Association now faces relates to the heavy workload being carried by its National Head Coach, Conrad Fredericks. He noted that it’s a daunting task for Fredericks, who desperately needs extra hands to undertake the Association’s many programmes.

“We appeal to past boxers to give back to the programme. We’ve noticed that in other fields of sport, athletes would pay it forward by becoming coaches and administrative representatives. However, for boxing, that seems to be lacking,” the SLBA president explained.

Meanwhile, Coach Conrad Fredericks noted that the new batch of equipment came at the right time as the Association plans to open other boxing gyms across the island. He also added his voice to the president’s appeal for more coaches to come on board.

Since the pandemic began, the boxing gym at Vigie has had to be closed at various times as the COVID-19 protocols were adjusted. However, Coach Fredericks emphasized that during the periods the gym does open, the necessary safety precautions are enforced.

“We’re pleased to share that since the pandemic began, no case of COVID-19 has ever been recorded at the gym,” he said. “We try our utmost to follow all the relevant COVID-19 protocols. However, we find that as the number of cases increases nationally, many boxers are staying away from the gym. After all, boxing is a contact sport, so we do understand their concern.”

Juventus revealed annual losses of €209.9million as the Italian giants defended their involvement at the forefront of the failed European Super League project.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic saw income plummet for the Serie A club during the 2020-21 financial year, Juventus said on Friday.

Juventus said it had covered the losses with its share premium reserve, meaning the club's overall net debt stood at €389.2million, just €4million higher than at the end of the previous year.

The Turin club had reported annual losses of €89.7million for 2019-20, and the club said it estimated "direct and indirect adverse effects" of the pandemic from March 2020 to June 2022 to amount to €320milion, based on an assumption that economic normality would steadily resume.

Juventus, who expect to post " a significant loss" for 2021-22, said the club's board had "decided to start the process for a capital increase of up to €400million, including any share premium, to be offered to the company’s shareholders".

Since the end of the last financial year, Juventus have allowed star forward Cristiano Ronaldo to leave the club for Manchester United, collecting a transfer fee and saving significant sums on his salary.

Together with Barcelona and Real Madrid, Juventus have continued to back proposals for a Super League, despite widespread opposition to the scheme when it was revealed in April.

Where most clubs backed away from the project within days amid a wave of criticism, including the six English Premier League clubs involved, Juventus remain apparently keen for it to get off the ground.

Club chairman Andrea Agnelli was a prime figure behind bringing the concept together and Juventus included a section in their financial statement, in which they stood by their belief in the "legitmacy" of such a league.

The club described the Super League as an "alternative to the UEFA competitions but not to national leagues and cups".

The Juventus statement said: "As at today, it is not possible to predict with certainty the outcome and future development of the Super League project, of the legitimacy of which Juventus remains confident."

Nine men were arrested following clashes between Leicester City and Napoli fans ahead of Thursday's Europa League game at the King Power Stadium. 

Trouble flared both in and outside the ground, with eight of those arrested by Leicestershire Police identified as fans of Serie A club Napoli.  

It was also confirmed on Friday that a man from Leicester was detained on suspicion of violent disorder.

"Nine men were arrested yesterday evening (Thursday, September 16) following a report of football-related violence in Leicester," a Leicestershire Police statement said. 

"Shortly before 6pm, police received a report of a fight taking place in Millstone Lane involving fans of Napoli and Leicester City. 

"Eight men, identified as Napoli fans, were arrested at the scene in connection with the incident. Following further enquiries, a 27-year-old man from Leicester was later arrested on suspicion of violent disorder. 

"All men remain in custody at this time. 

"Prior to the match taking place, a report was received that a taxi driver had been racially abused. A 39-year-old man from Italy was subsequently arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence. He has been dealt with by way of a community resolution." 

Leicester and Napoli fans also threw objects at each other towards the end of a game that finished 2-2. 

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