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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Brazilian Firmino drilled home the winner in the ninth minute of extra time to secure victory for Juergen Klopp’s European champions and Premier League leaders. It is the first time Liverpool have won the competition, which features each continent’s champions, and they became only the second English team to lift the trophy after Manchester United in 2008.

* Kylian Mbappe scored two sublime goals and found time to sign an autograph for a young fan as Paris St Germain crushed Amiens 4-1 on Saturday to go into the Ligue 1 Christmas break seven points clear of Olympique de Marseille with a game in hand. Wissam Ben Yedder struck twice in the second half as Monaco came back from a goal down to thrash Lille 5-1, a defeat which sent the visitors down to fourth in the table after Rennes beat visiting Girondins Bordeaux 1-0.

* Manchester City ended Leicester City’s nine-match unbeaten run in the Premier League with a 3-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday after Jamie Vardy had given the visitors the lead. The champions remain 11 points behind leaders Liverpool in third place, having also played a game more than Liverpool. Leicester, who had won eight and drawn won of their previous nine games, are a point better off.

* Romelu Lukaku scored twice to lead Inter Milan to a comfortable 4-0 win over lowly Genoa on Saturday as they rejoined Juventus at the top of Serie A on Saturday. Roberto Gagliardini and 17-year-old Sebastiano Esposito were also on target as Inter pulled level with Juventus on 42 points from 17 games.

* Wolverhampton Wanderers got back to winning ways as they punished relegation-threatened Norwich City with a second-half comeback to win 2-1 in the Premier League on Saturday. Defeat left Norwich second from bottom, six points below the safety zone while Wolves climbed to sixth, two points off fourth-placed Chelsea who face Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

* Oliver McBurnie scored the only goal of the game as Sheffield United extended their superb unbeaten away record in this season’s Premier League with a 1-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday. The win, Sheffield’s third in a row in the league, lifted the Blades to fifth in the table on 28 points, one behind Chelsea, who play Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Brighton remain in 13th on 20 points.

* Miguel Almiron’s late goal sealed a 1-0 victory for Newcastle United in a poor game at St James’ Park on Saturday. Victory saw Newcastle leapfrog Palace into the top-half of the table with 25 points from 18 games.

* A last-gasp goal from Jay Rodriguez helped Burnley snatch a 1-0 away victory over Bournemouth in a scrappy Premier League contest at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday. The result helped Burnley move into the top half of the league table, while Bournemouth remained 14th after 18 matches.

* Two goals from in-form striker Danny Ings helped Southampton to a 3-1 win at Aston Villa on Saturday and lifted them out of the Premier League relegation zone. The home supporters were left frustrated at Villa Park with another timid performance as the hosts suffered their fourth consecutive league defeat to replace Southampton in the bottom three.

* Lionel Messi racked up 50 goals for the sixth year in a row while fellow forwards Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were also on target as Barcelona turned on the style to beat Alaves 4-1 on Saturday and ensure they will end 2019 top of La Liga. The win keeps Barca top of the standings on 39 points from 18 games, three clear of second-placed Real Madrid who host Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. Sevilla are third on 34 after winning 2-0 at Real Mallorca.

* Bayern Munich’s Joshua Zirkzee and Serge Gnabry scored late goals to give them a 2-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg at the start of the winter break on Saturday as RB Leipzig went top of the table with a comeback win over Augsburg.

* Former Yugoslavia midfielder Dejan Stankovic was given his first full-time job as a head coach after he took over at Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade on Saturday. Stankovic, who had a brief stint as Andrea Stramaccioni’s assistant at Serie A side Udinese, replaced Vladan Milojevic who guided Red Star to two successive league titles and Champions League group stage berths before he stepped down on Thursday.

* Bosnia have named former Yugoslavia striker Dusan Bajevic as their new head coach in a bid to reach the Euro 2020 finals, the Balkan nation’s Football Association (NFSBIH) said on Saturday.

* Sprinting great Usain Bolt ran on the track at Tokyo’s newly-completed National Stadium on Saturday during an event to celebrate the opening of the venue set to be the centrepiece of next year’s Olympics. Bolt, the eight-times Olympic gold medallist, jogged around the track as part of a relay race in front of an audience of approximately 60,000 people, who were the first members of the public to watch an event in the National Stadium. Work on the stadium, built at a cost of 156.9 billion yen (US$1.44 billion), was finished in November, nine months before it hosts the Olympics’ opening ceremony on Jul 24.

* Everton were held to a 0-0 home draw by Arsenal on Saturday in a dull Premier League clash, which took a back seat to both clubs naming new managers in a bid to revive their fortunes. Carlo Ancelotti, named as the new Everton manager barely an hour before the kickoff, got a first glimpse of the Toffees from the directors’ box as did Arsenal’s new head coach Mikel Arteta who was appointed by the Gunners on Friday.

* Fiorentina sacked coach Vincenzo Montella on Saturday as the club’s new owners finally lost patience after a 4-1 home defeat by AS Roma the previous evening extended their winless league run to seven matches. The 43-year-old’s second stint at the Serie A club lasted only eight months and produced a modest record of six wins, seven draws and 14 defeats in 27 matches in all competitions. Two of those wins were in the Coppa Italia against lower-division sides.

* Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says he is ready to return to management quickly, showing no interest in an extended break from the game. The Argentine, who led Spurs to the Champions League final last season, was sacked by the north London club last month and replaced by Jose Mourinho.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News