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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

* Barcelona captain Lionel Messi scored four goals as his side crushed Eibar 5-0 at home in La Liga on Saturday (Feb 22). The win took Barca back to the top of La Liga on 55 points, two ahead of Real Madrid.

* Real Madrid fell to a 1-0 defeat at Levante on Saturday, dropping off the top of the La Liga standings, and their problems deepened as Eden Hazard limped off the pitch four days before their Champions League showdown with Manchester City.

* Gabriel Jesus came off the bench to secure Manchester City a 1-0 Premier League victory at Leicester City after yet another penalty miss by Pep Guardiola’s side on Saturday (Feb 22).

* Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso returned to the starting lineup with stunning effect by grabbing a goal apiece in a crucial 2-1 home win over Tottenham Hotspur in the battle between the London rivals for fourth place on Saturday.

* A poacher’s goal from Neal Maupay cancelled out a peach of a strike from Enda Stevens as Sheffield United drew 1-1 with Brighton & Hove Albion, with the Blades missing the chance to go fifth in the Premier League on Saturday.

* Southampton continued their surge from the Premier League’s bottom half towards mid-table after opportunist goals from Shane Long and Stuart Arsmtrong gave them a 2-0 home win over Aston Villa on Saturday (Feb 22).

* Burnley moved up to eighth in the Premier League with a 3-0 win over struggling Bournemouth thanks to goals from Matej Vydra, Jay Rodriguez with a penalty and Dwight McNeil in a game which saw a dramatic three-goal swing due to VAR on Saturday (Feb 22).

* Second-placed Olympique de Marseille slumped to a 3-1 home defeat against Nantes as their 14-game unbeaten run in Ligue 1 ended after almost four months on Saturday.

* RB Leipzig stayed within a point of Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga after a 5-0 thrashing of Schalke on Saturday (Feb 22), while Erling Braut Haaland scored his 40th goal of the season in Borussia Dortmund’s 2-0 win at Werder Bremen.

* Defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas will face Felix Auger-Aliassime in the Marseille final after cruising to a dominant 7-5, 6-3 win over Alexander Bublik on Saturday (Feb 22). The Greek star will play Auger-Aliassime on Sunday after the Canadian teenager edged out Gilles Simon 7-5, 7-6 (7/2).

* Top seed Simona Halep came back from a set down for the third time in the tournament to beat Kazakhstan’s rising star Elena Rybakina 3-6 6-3 7-6(5) to win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the second time on Saturday (Feb 22).

* World number four Dominic Thiem of Austria missed a chance to reach a career-best third in the ATP rankings with a Rio Open quarter-final loss Saturday (Feb 22) to Italy’s Gianluca Mager. Mager, a 128th-ranked qualifier playing in only his eighth career tour-level match, defeated 2017 Rio champion Thiem 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 in a match that was halted Friday by rain.

* Malaysia Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) unveiled its new stadium on Saturday evening (Feb 22) with a spectacular lights and fireworks display. The state-of-the-art sporting venue, which cost RM200 million (US$47.74 million) to build, can hold up to 40,000 spectators and is situated in the Iskandar Puteri region.

* Italian authorities have ordered the postponement of three Serie A football matches between title-chasing Inter Milan and Sampdoria, Atalanta against Sassuolo and Hellas Verona versus Cagliari, in the Lombardy and Veneto region on Sunday (Feb 23) over coronavirus fears in northern Italy.

* Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has indicated that he is open to extending his stay at the Premier League champions beyond 2021 when his current contract ends even though the club faces a potential two-year Champions League suspension

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News