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Covid-19: Barcelona and Real Madrid players undergo virus testing


Covid-19: Barcelona and Real Madrid players undergo virus testing

Barcelona and Real Madrid players are said to have started undergoing coronavirus (covid-19) testing on Wednesday.

Barca captain Lionel Messi and France international Antoine Griezmann were among players pictured arriving one by one in their cars at the club’s training centre early Wednesday morning.

Players at Madrid, including Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema, also underwent health checks at Real’s training base on the outskirts of the city.

Results from the coronavirus tests are typically known within 48 hours. The testing is part of the league’s strict medical protocol with which teams must comply before a return to training.

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Atletico Madrid, who will also carry out tests Wednesday, are aiming to resume training immediately once the results are known if all goes to plan.

The first of a four-phase de-escalation programme announced by the Spanish government last week would allow players to initially train alone, with a maximum of six players allowed on the pitch.

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Players will be expected to arrive on club premises already in their kit and wear a mask and gloves when not training.

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After each session, they will be given a bag with clothes for the next day. La Liga’s programme will then permit training in small groups before a return to larger team sessions.

In the fourth and final phase, scheduled for early June, the government have said outside events can go ahead when attended by fewer than 400 people.

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La Liga is proposing to complete its season behind closed doors, with games starting again in the middle of June.

“People’s health is paramount, so we have a comprehensive protocol to safeguard the health of everyone involved as we work to restart La Liga,” league president Javier Tebas said on Monday.

“Circumstances are unprecedented, but we hope to start playing again in June and finish our 19/20 season this summer.”




Salah keeps Liverpool’s record chase on track




Liverpool remained on course for a Premier League record points tally thanks to two goals from Mohamed Salah to win 3-1 at Brighton on Wednesday.

The English champions move onto 92 points with three wins from their final four games enough to break Manchester City’s record of 100 points from two seasons ago.

Jurgen Klopp’s men were quick off the mark with two goals in the first eight minutes to end a run of five games without a goal away from home either side of the coronavirus shutdown.

Brighton’s desire to play out from the back has been one of the hallmarks of Graham Potter’s first season in charge and the Seagulls look certain to meet their target of staying in the division with a nine-point cushion over the bottom three.

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But the hosts were twice caught out by Liverpool’s press to leave themselves too much to do despite another promising performance.

Salah remained in the hunt for a third Golden Boot in as many seasons as a Liverpool player as he slotted home Naby Keita’s cross to open the scoring.

Two minutes later the Reds robbed possession again in the Brighton half and after Salah was held up, Henderson curled home a brilliant shot into the far corner for a rare goal in an inspirational season for the Liverpool captain.

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Rather than letting the floodgates open, Brighton showed impressive resolve to then take the game to their illustrious visitors.

Neco Williams made a brilliant block on his first Premier League start to deny Leandro Trossard a quick reply before Alisson Becker saved from Neal Maupay.

Brighton got their reward just before half-time when Trossard connected sweetly with Tariq Lamptey’s cross to halve the deficit.

Dan Burn wasted a huge opportunity to bring the hosts level after the break as he failed to hit the target with the goal gaping.

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Salah was more clinical when he headed home Andy Robertson’s cross at the near post for his 19th Premier League goal of the season to move within three of Jamie Vardy in the race for the Golden Boot.

But the Egyptian then missed two big chances in stoppage time for his third Liverpool hat-trick and to further cut Vardy’s lead at the top of the scoring charts as Mat Ryan flicked his first effort over the bar before Salah headed over with the final touch of the game.









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Gabriel Jesus ends goal drought as Man City crush Newcastle



Gabriel Jesus ended his Manchester City goal drought as the Brazil striker netted for the first time in 10 games to spark a 5-0 rout of Newcastle on Wednesday, Jul 8.

With City’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero a long-term absentee after knee surgery, Pep Guardiola needs Jesus to start firing on all cylinders.

Jesus finally stepped up to the plate with a first-half strike at the Etihad Stadium.

It was Jesus’s 19th goal of the season, but just his second in his last 12 Premier League matches, banishing a nine-game barren run in all competitions.

Riyad Mahrez increased City’s lead and Federico Fernandez’s own goal was followed by David Silva’s free-kick and a late Raheem Sterling strike.

Guardiola’s side have only pride to play for in the remainder of the Premier League season after Liverpool took the title.

But second-placed City, who gained the League Cup in March, nonetheless have silverware of their sights as they await the results of their enchantment towards a two-season ban from European competitors.

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They face an FA Cup semi-final towards Arsenal on July 18 and the second leg of their Champions League final 16 tie towards Real Madrid in August, with City holding a 2-1 lead.

After shedding two of their final three league video games, Guardiola had warned his gamers to chop out the errors which have blighted their season.

With that in thoughts, Guardiola will likely be inspired by the ruthless means they put Newcastle to the sword.

Having overwhelmed Newcastle of their final 10 conferences in Manchester, whereas additionally knocking them out of the FA Cup quarter-finals on Tyneside not too long ago, City may need hand-picked the Magpies as their superb opponents to get again on observe.

Guardiola made five modifications to the facet overwhelmed at Southampton as Kevin De Bruyne returned to the beginning line-up, whereas John Stones began for the primary time because the coronavirus hiatus.

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City have been rapidly on prime and Mahrez reduce inside to check Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka with a low drive from the sting of the realm.

Guardiola insisted this week that Jesus had produced “one of his best performances of this season” in Sunday’s defeat at Southampton.

The 23-year-old repaid Guardiola’s religion within the 10th minute, assembly Silva’s go with a close-range end for his first goal since netting at Real Madrid in February.

City midfielder Phil Foden dragged his shot large from a good angle after a harmful burst into the Newcastle space.

Guardiola’s males have been in full management and doubled their lead within the 21st minute.

Foden despatched De Bruyne away down the left facet of the Newcastle space and the Belgian’s cut-back was slotted house by Mahrez for his 12th goal of the season.

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De Bruyne’s 18th league help of the season was testomony to the outstanding consistency that makes him a contender for Player of the Year honours.

Foden ought to have made it three, however the 20-year-old shot large from six yards out earlier than lacking with a close-range header from De Bruyne’s cross.

City’s relentless strain produced a 3rd goal within the 58th minute when Jesus’s raid panicked Matt Ritchie right into a determined clearance that cannoned off Fernandez into his personal web.

In the ultimate months of his final season with City, Silva stays a category act and the Spanish playmaker made it 4 with a positive free-kick that left Dubravka rooted to the spot within the 65th minute.

Sterling’s 90th minute tap-in made it 17 targets for City of their 4 house video games because the restart.

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Suarez scores as Barca condemn neighbours Espanyol to relegation



 FC Barcelona kept up their pursuit of leaders Real Madrid in the La Liga title race by beating city rivals Espanyol 1-0 at home on Wednesday.

The slim win also condemned their neighbours to relegation from the top flight.

Luis Suarez struck the only goal in the 56th minute, lashing a loose ball into the net.

This was shortly after both sides had been reduced to 10 men each in a frantic start to the second half.

Barca’s teenage forward Ansu Fati was sent off for a reckless tackle five minutes after coming off the bench.

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But Espanyol’s numerical advantage lasted only three minutes as Pol Lozano was dismissed, also following a VAR review.

Barca, chasing a third consecutive Spanish title, are on 76 points after 35 games while Real Madrid is top with 77.

The leaders can restore their four-point advantage when they host Alaves on Friday.

Espanyol, one of Spain’s most prestigious clubs, were relegated for the first time since winning promotion back to La Liga in 1994.

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They are bottom of the table on 24 points after 35 games.

Barca had produced one of their best performances of the season by hammering Villarreal 4-1 away on Sunday.

But they looked sluggish at an empty Camp Nou, which normally would have been in full voice on derby day.

Espanyol frustrated their more illustrious neighbours in the first half with a five-man defence and created the better chances.

Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen had to be aware to prevent his teammate Clement Lenglet from scoring an own goal just before half-time.

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Espanyol’s Didac Vila fired the loose ball against the post.

Ter Stegen had also come to Barca’s rescue earlier, spreading his body and keeping out a low strike from Adri Embarba with his leg.

Barca found a way through with the help of their three forwards.

Antoine Griezmann raced to the byline and passed to Lionel Messi whose shot deflected into the path of Suarez and the Uruguayan made no mistake.

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