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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Lille went top of Group H with seven points, one ahead of Milan who suffered their first defeat since losing 2-1 at home to Genoa on March 8.

* MotoGP great Valentino Rossi was cleared to travel to Spain on Thursday ahead of the weekend’s European Grand Prix in Valencia after his latest COVID-19 test was negative, his Yamaha team said. The Italian, who missed two races at Spain’s MotorLand Aragon circuit because of the virus, will take another test on Friday and only if he passes that will he be allowed to rejoin his team and compete.

* Harry Kane netted his 200th goal in his 300th game for Tottenham Hotspur as they won 3-1 at Ludogorets and Andrija Zivkovi scored twice as PAOK pulled off a surprise 4-1 win over PSV Eindhoven in Thursday’s early Europa League games.

England’s Leicester City took control of Group G with their third win in three games, thrashing second-placed Braga 4-0, while AEK Athens beat FC Zorya of Ukraine 4-1 to stay third.

Arsenal also notched a third successive win, 4-1 over Molde, helped by two own goals from the Norwegians. The London side lead Group B on nine points, three ahead of Molde and six clear of Rapid Vienna who beat bottom side Dundalk 4-3.

In Greece, PAOK bounced back from a goal down with four second-half strikes to defeat Dutch visitors PSV Eindhoven 4-1 and go second in the table on five points, two behind Granada, who won 2-0 at bottom side Omonia Nicosia.

AS Roma put in their most impressive performance of the Group A campaign with a 5-0 drubbing of Romania’s CFR Cluj, Borja Mayoral netting twice for the Italians. They top Group A ahead of Swiss side Young Boys who downed CSKA Sofia 3-0.

A stoppage-time goal by Darwin Nunez snatched a 3-3 draw for 10-man Benfica at home to Scottish side Rangers in Group D. Rangers lead the group on goal difference from Benfica.

There were goals galore in Group C with leaders Slavia Prague beating French side Nice 3-2 while second-placed Bayer Leverkusen came back from a goal down to win 4-2 at bottom side Hapoel Beer Sheva.

Group F remains tight with AZ Alkmaar top on goal difference despite losing 1-0 to Real Sociedad. Alkmaar, Sociedad and Italian side Napoli, who won 2-1 at Rijeka, all have six points.

* Top seed Rafa Nadal was forced to save a set point before overcoming Australian Jordan Thompson 6-1 7-6(3) on Thursday to reach the Paris Masters quarter-finals. Earlier, sixth seed Diego Schwartzman eased past Spanish qualifier Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-1 6-1 and is now one victory away from qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals for the first time in his career.

* England have recalled Phil Foden for their friendly against Ireland and Nations League meetings with Belgium and Iceland, while Mason Greenwood was left out of the 29-man squad.

* Saudi Arabia will host a Formula One grand prix for the first time next year with a night race on the streets of the country’s second city Jeddah, the sport and organisers announced on Thursday. The November race – along Jeddah’s corniche facing the Red Sea – will be the third in the Middle East with Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, subject to confirmation of a 2021 calendar that has yet to be published.

* Borussia Moenchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram, son of France’s 1998 World Cup winner Lilian, earned his first call-up to the French national team when coach Didier Deschamps named a 26-man squad on Thursday for three international games this month. Thuram has scored three goals in 10 games for the Bundesliga club in all competitions this season, including a double in their 2-2 Champions League draw against Real Madrid last month.

* UEFA has overseen 61,859 COVID-19 tests since August, allowing more than 500 European matches to be played and making soccer one of the safest environments in the world, it said on Thursday. The European soccer body, which has been criticised by some media for pressing ahead with international football during the pandemic, said that only 340 of those tests had been positive – 0.55% of the total – and only 3% of matches had been cancelled.

* Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey has withdrawn from the squad for their three international games this month due to a thigh injury, the Football Association of Wales said on Thursday. Ramsey, 29, was named in Wales’ 29-man squad earlier on Thursday, but pulled out after a scan confirmed an injury he sustained during his club Juventus’ 4-1 Champions League win at Ferencvaros on Wednesday.

* Six iconic velodromes will host the inaugural UCI Track Champions League next year as part of cycling’s governing body the UCI’s revamp of the season. First announced in March as a World League taking place in 2021 and 2022, the new format will instead be staged over six successive weekends at the end of next year.

* KTM Tech3 MotoGP rider Iker Lecuona will miss this weekend’s European Grand Prix in Spain after his brother and assistant tested positive for COVID-19, the team said on Thursday. Lecuona, who lives together with his brother in Andorra, tested negative for the coronavirus on Tuesday but has been forced into quarantine for the next 10 days in line with the guidelines in the country.

* British rider Ian Stannard has been forced to retire from professional cycling because of rheumatoid arthritis, the Ineos Grenadiers team said on Thursday.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News