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European tour resumes full international schedule in 2021.

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The European Tour on Tuesday released its global schedule for 2021, a slate of events featuring at least 42 tournaments in 24 countries.

The schedule reveal looks similar to the pre-pandemic version, with 18 returning tournaments that were either postponed or canceled because of the coronavirus.

Each of the Rolex Series events (now just four of them) will feature an increase in prize money and offer the same number of Race to Dubai points (8,000) as a World Golf Championship event. European Tour members can begin accruing points toward Ryder Cup qualification beginning in January, at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (Jan. 21-24).

The European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, will be held Sept. 9-12 – a week after the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship, and two weeks prior to the Ryder Cup in Wisconsin.

Learning from the reshuffling caused by the pandemic, the European Tour has once again grouped events together based on geographic proximity to create a more travel-friendly schedule.

“With the pursuit of Ryder Cup points beginning again in January for our European members; qualification spots now available for our Rolex Series events; a sustained pursuit of innovation; and our continued celebration of our wonderful heritage, it is understandable that our overarching narrative for this season is that ‘Every Week Counts,’” said European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.

Click here for the full 2021 schedule , with more specifics to be announced at a later date.

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Ranking the reasons behind Barcelona's downward spiral

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Back in the middle of December, Barcelona lost consecutive matches against Girona and Royal Antwerp . There was a time, not too long ago, when Barcelona would barely lose two games in a season , let alone two in a row to relative minnows like Girona and Royal Antwerp. That time, of course, was when Barcelona's current manager was still a Barcelona midfielder.

In response to the growing unrest about his team's performances, manager Xavi Hernandez took a defensive stance. "The media are not united but it is time for us to be more united than ever," he said then . "Alarm bells always ring when things are not going well, but we can still win four titles."

A month later, the alarm bells are ringing even louder and after Wednesday's 4-2 loss to Athletic Bilbao in the round of 16 in the Copa del Rey , Barcelona can only win two titles. "Can" should be understood in only the most literal terms: Per The Analyst 's projections, Barca have just a 3.2% chance of winning LaLiga. In the Champions League, ESPN Bet's odds give Xavi's team about a 7% chance of lifting another European Cup.

- Stream LaLiga live on ESPN+: Barca vs. Villarreal (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET)

Yes, Barca still can win two trophies, but when you take those two probabilities together, it means there's a less than 10% chance that they win any trophies.

So, what happened, and who -- or what -- is to blame? Like we did last month with Manchester United , let's analyze and rank -- from most blameworthy to least -- all the reasons for Barcelona's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad season.

ESPN Press Room U.S.

ESPN Kicks Off 140 Hours of Live UEFA EURO 2020 Coverage This Week

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  • 51 Matches Across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 Beginning with Turkey vs. Italy Opener, Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • ESPN+: Dynamic Multi-Feed Second-Screen Experience, Daily Studio Programming and Simulcasts of Semifinals and Final Matches
  • All-Star Team of Match and Studio Commentators, Hosts, Analysts and Reporters

ESPN networks and ABC will present all 51 matches and 140 combined hours of live coverage of the UEFA European Football Championship 2020, June 11 through July 11. Throughout the month-long tournament, ESPN+ will also offer a dynamic second-screen experience, daily studio programming and simulcasts of the semifinals and Final matches, among its first-ever European Championship offerings.

Coverage begins Wednesday, June 9, with a 30-minute tournament preview show (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2). On Friday, June 11, the opening match of EURO 2020 features Turkey vs. Italy from Stadio Olimpico in Rome (2:30 p.m., ESPN and ESPN App).

ESPN is presenting its fourth straight UEFA European Football Championship in the United States since 2008. Spain (2008 and 2012) and Portugal (2016) were previously crowned champions of football in Europe on ABC or ESPN networks.

Highlights of ESPN’s UEFA EURO 2020 presentation:

Live matches per network/platform:

  • ABC – five matches
  • ESPN – 40 matches
  • ESPN2 – six matches
  • ESPN+ – all 51 matches livestreamed via a second-screen experience of three simultaneous video feeds with audio from ESPN match commentators, as well as simulcasts of the semifinals and Final match telecasts
  • ESPN App – all ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+ matches will stream live on the ESPN App.

Studio Programming

All match telecasts for the UEFA European Football Championship will include pregame, halftime and postgame studio segments across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2.

  • EURO Today will air in-between matches throughout the tournament.
  • EURO Tonight will air on match-days after the last match on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2
  • Surround content: Leading up to and during the month-long competition, ESPN3 will showcase 12 EURO 2020 pre-tournament magazine shows.

SportsCenter

Throughout the tournament, all editions of ESPN’s flagship program SportsCenter will feature UEFA EURO 2020 content including up-to-date team news, match previews, highlights, analysis and opinion.

Commentators

ESPN’s UEFA EURO 2020 commentators represent one of the top teams ever assembled by the company for coverage of a global soccer tournament, including World Cup winners from multiple countries – Alessandro Del Piero (Italy, 2006), Julie Foudy (USA, 1991 and 1999), Sami Khedira (Germany, 2014), ESPN FC ’s Frank Leboeuf (France, 1998). Other top voices include studio hosts Rece Davis and Kelly Cates , and match commentators Ian Darke and Jon Champion . Hosts/analysts/reporters . Match commentators .

Match commentator teams:

  • Ian Darke (play-by-play) and Stewart Robson (analyst)
  • Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman
  • Derek Rae and Efan Ekoku
  • Steve Cangialosi and Alejandro Moreno
  • Mark Donaldson and Matteo Bonetti .
  • Hosts: Rece Davis , Kelley Cates, Sebastian Salazar, Kay Murray and Dalen Cuff
  • Studio Analysts: Steve McManaman , Julie Foudy , Alessandro Del Piero , Sami Khedira , Chris Coleman , Kasey Keller , Tim Howard , Nedum Onuoha , Craig Burley , and officiating expert Matt Clattenburg
  • Reporters: Sam Borden, Martin Ainstein, Archie Rhind-Tutt and Alexis Nunes

UEFA EURO 2020 on ESPN+

All 51 matches during EURO 2020 will stream live on ESPN+ via a second-screen experience of three different feeds – an aerial cam and two team cams– complemented with audio from ESPN’s match commentators. Additional ESPN+ highlights:

  • Simulcasts of ESPN’s presentation of the UEFA EURO 2020 semifinals and final matches
  • UEFA EURO-branded studio programming will include a daily highlight show, review shows leading into the Round of 16 and quarterfinals, a tournament review and UEFA EURO 2020 Final preview show, and a special recap program immediately following the Final
  • A collection of classic UEFA European Football Championship matches will be available beginning Tuesday, June 8.

ESPN FC – Exclusively on ESPN+

A rotating panel of pundits – Shaka Hislop , Frank Leboeuf , Steve Nicol , Don Hutchison , Del Piero, Onuoha, Burley, Moreno and Keller – will join hosts Dan Thomas and Murray to review daily UEFA EURO 2020 matches and to discuss other global football news. Throughout the month, ESPN.com’s soccer journalists based in Europe (Gab Marcotti, Sid Lowe, Julien Laurens, Mark Ogden and Nunes) will report from some of the UEFA EURO 2020 host countries.

Leading up to and during the month-long competition, ESPN3 will showcase 12 pre-tournament magazine shows, studio review shows leading into the Round of 16 and quarterfinals, and a one-hour UEFA EURO 2020 Final preview show on Saturday, July 10.

Entre Copas on ESPN Deportes

Throughout the UEFA European Football Championship 2020, ESPN Deportes will air Entre Copas , a daily recap show at 11 p.m. ET (8 p.m. PT) beginning today (June 7) through August 1. Hosted by Carolina De Las Salas and Katia Castorena , Entre Copas will cover the goals, key plays, and offer the best debate by ESPN Deportes’ soccer experts, focusing on this summer’s three major international soccer tournaments – UEFA EURO 2020, Copa America 2021 and the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Soccer experts and reporters who will have recurring roles on Entre Copas include Jorge Ramos , Hernán Pereyra , Richard Méndez , Ricardo Ortiz , Andrés Agulla , Fernando Palomo , Martin Ainstein , Moises Llorens , Eduardo Abascal , Rodrigo Faez , José del Valle , Pilar Pérez , Stephanie Chaverri , Juanxo Villaverde , Jenny Fernández , Milton Melendez , Mauricio Rivas , Dionisio Estrada , Hérculez Gómez , Mauricio Pedroza and John Sutcliffe .

ESPN.com/Soccer

ESPN.com ’s global soccer reporters Gab Marcotti , Mark Ogden , James Olley , Julien Laurens , Rob Dawson and Tom Hamilton will lead the platform’s coverage of UEFA EURO 2020 with match reports, team updates, news and analysis. Highlights:

  • Tournament previews: “Red Zone at the Euros: Which players are in danger of burnout”; a look at how COVID-19 will impact the tournament; Cristiano Ronaldo’s race to the record for most international goals; top 10 Euro moments; and the Ultimate Preview fans’ guide to UEFA EURO 2020
  • Global correspondent Sam Borden , ESPN television’s UEFA EURO 2020 reporter, will contribute stories from across Europe, reporting from key matches, beginning Friday with the Turkey vs. Italy opening match in Rome
  • Marcotti and Laurens will host a podcast twice a week during the tournament.

ESPN Social Media

ESPN’s industry-leading social media team will be all over UEFA EURO 2020 coverage with top-notch highlights, insightful live shows, entertaining off-field moments, fan-generated content, custom edits, and more across Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. On Snapchat, ESPN will debut “EURO Now,” a show providing fans with a live-updating, one-stop-shop for everything you need to see throughout each match. As the tournament gets to semifinal and final stages, live digital preview shows will be available in the ESPN App, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. On TikTok, our ESPNFC account will launch a hashtag challenge to inspire futbol fans to share unique takes on their fandom. Social coverage will span a wide array of accounts across ESPN domestic and international social platforms such as ESPN, SportsCenter , ESPN Deportes, ESPN Mexico, ESPN Brazil and more.

ESPN Marketing

ESPN has collaborated with American DJ and record producer Steve Aoki and British producer and song writer Jungleboi to create ESPN’s anthem for UEFA EURO 2020, “Rubble to Gold ft. Sam Calver.” The track will be used across all marketing creative and featured throughout the production.

ESPN’s fan kit for UEFA EURO 2020 also includes:

  • Collaboration with artist and designer Andrew Thiele to create 24 team-specific posters and a UEFA EURO tournament poster
  • Virtual backgrounds for Microsoft Teams, supporting EURO 2020 and specific team backgrounds beginning in the quarterfinals
  • Fantasy Pick ‘Em game kicking off with the start of the tournament
  • UEFA EURO 2020 themed Spotify playlist with tracks to build hype for the tournament
  • TikTok #EURO challenge from June 11-13, where fans will be asked to “tell me you’re a fútbol fan without telling me you’re a fútbol fan”
  • Watch latest ESPN campaign spot for #UEFAEURO2020.

– 30 –

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European soccer news: Girona stumble, Real win Supercopa

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It was a fun Sunday across European soccer, with talking points galore in LaLiga 's title race, the Spanish Supercopa final and the Premier League . Girona stumbled to a scoreless draw at bottom-side Almeria but still reclaimed top spot, while Real Madrid thrashed their clasico rivals Barcelona 4-1 to win the first trophy of the year in Spain.

In England, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur battled to a 2-2 draw that doesn't really help either side in the Premier League race. Plus Paris Saint-Germain shrugged off Lens to cement their lead in Ligue 1 , and a pair of United States internationals impressed as Borussia Monchengladbach thumped VfB Stuttgart 3-1.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Bayer Leverkusen 's dramatic win showed their title credentials, Jadon Sancho marked his second debut for Borussia Dortmund with an assist, Chelsea defeated Fulham , and Manchester City fought from 2-1 down to win 3-2 at Newcastle United .

- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Here is your look back at yet another roller-coaster weekend in European football.

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SUNDAY REVIEW

The lead: girona stumble.

Girona's 0-0 draw at Almeria on Sunday was enough to put them top of LaLiga, but it wasn't the kind of performance you'd expect from a title-chasing team against a side that's on course for the worst season in the competition's history.

With Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid all involved in the Spanish Supercopa in Saudi Arabia this week -- and therefore idle in LaLiga -- Sunday's game was a chance for Girona to put some daylight between themselves and their title rivals. The opposition, on paper, were perfect candidates. Almeria had picked up just five points, and no wins, in the first half of the season. Keep that up and they'll take Sporting Gijon 's crown as the worst LaLiga team ever, eclipsing the 13 points they picked up in 1997-98.

Instead, it was Almeria who dominated the game from beginning to end at the Power Horse Stadium, creating 16 chances to Girona's three, and ending the match with an xG (expected goals) of 1.9 to Girona's 0.21. Girona missed flying winger Sávio , who was only fit enough to make the bench, while standout forward Artem Dovbyk was quiet, lacking service, and the introduction of the veteran Cristhian Stuani didn't change much.

Girona were forced to hang on with 10 men for the final 10 minutes, after captain Aleix García was sent off for bringing down Gonzalo Melero when through on goal. Only some poor Almeria finishing -- this was their third 0-0 draw in a row at home -- allowed them to escape with a point. Still, it's enough to edge ahead of Real Madrid at the top of the table, a point clear, having played a game more.

Girona will be hoping this was just a one-off, a bad day, and not a first sign of their title challenge running out of steam. Only time will tell. -- Kirkland

Sunday talking points around the leagues

More questions than answers for ratcliffe as ten hag's man united draw vs. spurs.

Erik ten Hag knows he is now in the survival phase of his career as Manchester United manager and his reaction to Scott McTominay 's miss against Tottenham, deep into stoppage time, was proof of his vulnerability in front of the man who will soon be his boss, Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Ten Hag threw his hands in the air, and then put his head in them. McTominay was unmarked, 6 yards out, as he jumped to head Alejandro Garnacho 's cross into the net to make it 3-2. But the Scotland midfielder didn't make it 3-2. He sent his effort high over Guglielmo Vicario 's crossbar, and the win that Ten Hag desperately needed evaporated, leaving United with one point from a game in which they had twice taken the lead.

Janusz Michallik reacts to Marcus Rashford's performance in Man United's 2-2 draw vs. Tottenham.

United and Ten Hag have had plenty of setbacks this season, of course. That's why they sit in seventh position in the Premier League , eight points adrift of the top four. They are 13 points behind leaders Liverpool.

But while all of the previous stumbles were played out to a backdrop of uncertainty about the club's ownership and a punishing injury list, Sunday marked a change of direction for United and Ten Hag. -- Tyler

Read more here from Mark Ogden on Sunday's 2-2 draw .

Women's FA Cup holders, Chelsea, through after extra time stress

No one said life without Sam Kerr would be easy for Chelsea , but the Blues created their own problems against West Ham United in a 3-1 win that puts them into the Round of 16.

Opting to play Lauren James in a false-nine role, Emma Hayes' adjustments left the usually incisive team looking uncharacteristically blunt in attack. Unable to get their own forward momentum in the early exchanges, West Ham took the lead through Viviane Asseyi 's well-struck first-half effort, and Chelsea were forced to toil until the hour mark, when the introduction of Mia Fishel , Nathalie Björn and Melanie Leupolz helped turn the tide.

With Fishel occupying a clearer role as the focus up front, the Blues found some cohesion and sure enough, the U.S. international's smart turn-and-shoot pulled them level with 20 minutes remaining. Yet Chelsea again fell flat and the game lumbered into extra time, where the Irons weariness began to show. The hosts took advantage, scoring twice through Erin Cuthbert and Sjoeke Nüsken in the first half of extra time, leaving no return for the battling Hammers.

Getting the job done despite being far from their best, Chelsea will need to rethink their approach ahead of a taxing test vs. Man United at Stamford Bridge next Sunday. Meanwhile, there will be clear positives for West Ham, though coach Rehanne Skinner will know that had her team been more cutthroat with their modest chances, they could have pulled off one of the shocks of the round. -- Lawson

Vinicius, Real Madrid rout hapless Barcelona

Sunday's Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Spanish Supercopa final offered the potential for high drama, but Carlo Ancelotti's side romped to a 4-1 win over their rivals that will give Xavi & Co. even more headaches to contend with over the remainder of the season.

Read the reaction here from Alex Kirkland (Real Madrid) and Sam Marsden (Barcelona).

PSG extend their lead at the top

Games between Lens and PSG have become quite iconic in Ligue 1 over the past few years. Last season, after two epic encounters, only one point separated them with the Parisians taking the title, and while in this campaign the gap is much bigger -- right now, 17 points separate PSG in first and Lens in eighth -- their clash at the Stade Bollaert on Sunday night didn't disappoint as PSG ran out 2-0 winners.

Bradley Barcola again showed his class, scoring his side's first goal and drawing the foul from Jonathan Gradit for which the Lens defender was sent off just before half-time. There was also a goal for Kylian Mbappé , his 19th of the season (in 17 games), though Lens did play with a lot of heart, courage and talent. They missed a penalty at 0-0 and created some good opportunities even down to 10 men in the second half, with Mbappé's goal not coming until the 89th minute.

All in all, It was a perfect weekend for PSG boss Luis Enrique and his players, another one this season. The Parisians are now eight points clear of Nice in second place, after their defeat at Rennes , and nine above Brest , who overtook Monaco in third place.

Even if the champions still look complacent at times when they lead and don't display the full control that their manager would love them to show, they will definitely be the team to beat in 2024. -- Laurens

Americans abroad: Scally, Pefok feature as Gladbach thumps Stuttgart

Sunday's Bundesliga clash at Borussia-Park was a surprisingly smooth one for a Gladbach side that's struggled to achieve this season. With seven defeats in 16 games heading into their first game after the winter break, setting the tone was important and, in fairness, they hit that mark, winning 3-1 in a game that saw great performances from the club's pair of U.S. internationals.

After Robin Hack converted inside 20 seconds and then curled one home in the 20th minute to give the hosts a two-goal cushion, Joe Scally turned in a strong shift at right-back, tidying up danger and looking composed in possession. Forward Jordan Pefok entered as a second-half sub and put the game beyond doubt in the 91st minute, reflexively converting a rebound after Manu Kone smacked a shot off the post.

So, it's job done for Gladbach and while they're still frustratingly rooted in mid-table, this victory denotes progress and gives them something on which to build. They'll need it, too: their next three opponents are Leipzig (home), league leaders Leverkusen (away) and Bayern Munich (away). -- Tyler

News of the day

And finally on sunday ....

In a weekend when many contenders for a top-four finish in Serie A lost points, AC Milan got a very important win against Jose Mourinho's AS Roma . It was very much a French party at the San Siro, too, with the Rossoneri's 3-1 win coming thanks to goals from three Bleus stars Yacine Adli , Olivier Giroud and Theo Hernández .

After scoring the second of his team, Giroud also turned provider with the assist of the weekend for Theo, with a back heel amid a lovely one-two between the two France internationals. Adli has never been called up by Didier Deschamps yet, but he is certainly convincing Stefano Pioli to use him more in this No. 6 midfielder position. From being a fringe squad player to a starter, the Paris-born starlet has transformed his season completely.

Milan, who need to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season in order to help their finances, are now solidly positioned in third place, eight points clear of Fiorentina in fourth. They won't catch Juventus or Internazionale , who will battle for the title, but they will probably be happy with a third-place finish, especially if they can go on a great run in the Europa League at the same time.

For Roma and Mourinho, however, the outlook isn't as good. They are ninth in the table, five points adrift from fourth place. They have won only two of their past seven games in all competitions. Despite a good reaction in the second half after the introduction of Lorenzo Pellegrini -- why did he not start? -- they were not good enough again. It has been the case too often already this season. -- Laurens

SATURDAY REVIEW

After the recent round of domestic cup matches across Europe, league soccer returns with exciting performances and surprise results happening in the Premier League , Serie A , LaLiga , Bundesliga and Ligue 1 .

On Saturday, we saw Chelsea edge Fulham 1-0 after Cole Palmer put away a penalty while Manchester City delivered a 3-2 comeback victory against Newcastle United . Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen beat Augsburg to retain their hold at the top of the German league.

Meanwhile in the Women's FA Cup , Aston Villa 's woes continued after suffering a 3-0 defeat to Everton . And finally, in Italy, Napoli won their first game since Dec. 16 and are a far cry from their title-winning heroics last season.

Here's what you missed in European soccer on Saturday.

The lead: Leverkusen win ugly and stay top

The old adage is you need to win ugly in order to win championships. And league leaders Bayer Leverkusen snatched a last-gasp win at FC Augsburg on their return after the Bundesliga restart, retaining their four-point lead over perennial champions Bayern Munich and staying undefeated across all competitions this season.

Leverkusen had received a potentially crushing blow a few days before the resumption with the news that star striker Victor Boniface had suffered a serious adductor injury. Initially expected to be absent for only a few weeks to play at the Africa Cup of Nations , the Nigerian, who has scored 10 goals in 16 league games, will now likely remain on the sidelines until early April.

BAYER LEVERKUSEN WIN IT IN STOPPAGE TIME 😱 THEIR INCREDIBLE SEASON CONTINUES 👏 pic.twitter.com/g0ANSklJnq — ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 13, 2024

Manager Xabi Alonso opted for a two-man strikeforce with Czech internationals Patrik Schick and Adam Hložek , while Florian Wirtz remained on the bench until the 62nd minute because of a niggly injury. Following Bayern Munich's comfortable 3-0 win against TSG Hoffenheim on Friday evening, Leverkusen aimed to replicate their success but struggled to find the net despite numerous chances. In the second half, a resolute FC Augsburg nearly capitalized on a break, but Augsburg captain Ermedin Demirović missed a crucial opportunity that could have handed Leverkusen their first loss of the season.

Instead, in the fourth minute of added time, Alejandro Grimaldo found Exequiel Palacios in the box. Palacios, an uncommon presence in that area, capitalized on being unmarked, taking enough time to shift the ball onto his left foot and slot a precious winner past goalkeeper Finn Dahmen . The resounding cheers from the Leverkusen players echoed through Augsburg's WWK Stadion. Alonso's unwavering emphasis on his team's need to perform at their peak to stay atop the Bundesliga table was unquestionably validated by their hard-fought victory in Augsburg. -- Constantin Eckner

Saturday talking points around the leagues

Where would chelsea be without cole palmer.

Chelsea secured their third consecutive Premier League victory on Saturday with an unconvincing 1-0 win over Fulham at Stamford Bridge. No prizes for guessing who made the difference. Cole Palmer 's stoppage-time penalty is his 18th goal involvement (11 goals, seven assists) in all competitions this season, the third-highest tally for a player 21 or younger across Europe's top five leagues. Only Real Madrid 's Jude Bellingham (22) and Bayer Leverkusen's Wirtz (20) have had a greater influence.

When Palmer misfires, as he did in midweek against Middlesbrough, Chelsea tend to struggle. Here, he was the brightest spark in another largely laborious display which ended with some frantic defending against a team that had not won at Chelsea since 1979. There will be some concern over how reliant the Blues currently are on a 21-year-old, but at the same time, he provides hope a team can yet emerge from Chelsea's expensively-assembled parts.

The game was also notable for a bizarre PR stunt in which seven identically dressed men stood up at various times near the dugout to either read a book, clean their teeth or check their watches. It was all designed to help promote a film involving a company connected to Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly, who was in attendance to watch such strange activity taking place a few yards away from Pochettino. The Chelsea boss afterwards said he was aware of the incident but it didn't detract from the performance. In fact, he wants an invite to the premiere. The lead actor will do well to replicate Palmer's star quality. -- James Olley

Mauricio Pochettino says Chelsea are "one of the better teams" in the Premier League over the last month following their 1-0 win over Fulham.

Everton first into the hat for fifth-round FA Cup draw

With 9 and 11 points in the Women's Super League respectively, both Aston Villa and Everton welcomed the FA Cup as a much-needed distraction from poor league form, but for hosts Villa it was more of the same sub-standard football. As for the Toffees, who were buoyed with the morning announcements of a loan deal for Arsenal 's Katherine Kühl and the signing of Rikke Madsen , there were more reasons to be optimistic coming into the clash.

On the pitch, Villa faded early on, and Everton began to dictate the tie, although they had little to show for it come the deadlocked half-time whistle. After the break, the visitors managed to make their better play count and, just before the hour, Karoline Olesen gave them the lead with a hammered effort off the bar. A seven-minute brace from Katja Snoeijs wrapped up Everton's progression into the fifth round with relative ease and will give Brian Sørensen's team more to build on when the Women's Super League recommences next weekend.

For Villa, it was more disappointment and underwhelming football from a team that rode so high last season and has not just failed to build this campaign, but also has regressed and routinely fallen into a disconnect on the pitch, raising questions about the suitability of its favoured but easily bypassed 4-3-3. -- Sophie Lawson

Napoli clinch late winner win to end dismal run

The Italian champions have had a rotten season so far and for 95 minutes in the derby against Salernitana at the Diego Maradona Stadium, it looked likely it would continue to be a bad one for Napoli . And then out of nowhere Amir Rrahmani scored the winner deep in injury time to gift his team its first win in five matches!

They needed a victory so badly and the celebrations showed it. For now, they won't worry that they were a goal down against the worst team in the league so far. They won't mind that they are still playing pretty average football under Walter Mazzarri whose run before this win was one of the worst in the club's history.

For now, it is all about Saturday's result, which takes them to sixth place in the table for now before Sunday's games. After the humiliation in the Italian Cup against Frosinone (4-0), the battering by Torino last weekend (3-0), Rrahmani is one of the rare sources of joy Napoli can smile about this season.

After four losses (Inter Milan, Juventus , Roma and Torino) and a draw (0-0 against Monza ), this is only the Neapolitans' second win in Serie A in their last seven matches! They will gladly take it considering they are without star striker Victor Osimhen who is at the African Cup of Nations. Let's see if they can continue winning when they face Fiorentina in the Italian Super Cup on Thursday in Riyadh and then Lazio in the league on Jan. 28. -- Julien Laurens

Americans abroad: Balogun and Reyna struggle as Dest notches assist

Both Folarin Balogun and Gio Reyna came on as substitutes for their respective sides this weekend, but without making an impact.

Balogun has scored four goals this season for AS Monaco in 15 appearances, an underwhelming sum compared to his 21-goal tally last season for Stade de Reims. The 22-year-old came on for Monaco in the 46th minute on Saturday, but was unable to make an impact as his side lost to Reims 3-1.

In the Bundesliga, Reyna has struggled for minutes this season at Dortmund and came on in the 88th minute, only to come away with a yellow card in his team's 3-0 victory. Reyna is yet to score and assist this season, and a move elsewhere in the January transfer window could be his best option to get into top form before this summer's Copa America .

Finally, Sergiño Dest continues to deliver for PSV, who sit 13 points ahead of second-place Feyenoord in the league, after assisting Luuk de Jong in a 3-1 win over Excelsior . Dest has been brilliant this season for PSV in defence, and has a goal and three assists in 19 appearances.

Pep Guardiola hailed Kevin De Bruyne as a "legend" after the midfielder registered a goal and an assist on his Premier League return to help Manchester City to a dramatic 3-2 win over Newcastle United . "He is a legend," said Guardiola. "I had the feeling he is not ready for 90 minutes after five months so we have that situation, impact in the last minutes.The goal and the assist, he is loved by our people and hopefully in the last months he can help us be there to the end."

And finally on Saturday ...

On loan from Manchester United , Jadon Sancho -- on his second debut for Borussia Dortmund -- made an assist in BVB's 3-0 victory over Darmstadt 98. The 23-year-old spent four seasons in the Bundesliga from 2017 to 2021, and after announcing his return to the club with a nod to Michael Jordan , Sancho's start is a happy one after a sour spell at Old Trafford and a public row with manager Erik ten Hag.

Sancho sets up Reus in his return to Borussia Dortmund

Wearing the No. 10 shirt, Sancho came on in the 55th minute before squaring a ball from the right flank for Marco Reus to tap in for the team's second goal after 77 minutes. Will we see more of the Sancho from his prior stint at Dortmund?

Sources: Anthony Kim in talks with PGA Tour, LIV about return

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Anthony Kim , who blazed a red-hot trail on the PGA Tour for four seasons and then disappeared from public view after injuries derailed his career nearly a dozen years ago, has been in discussions with the PGA Tour and the LIV Golf League about returning to professional golf, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday.

Kim, 38, made his last start on the PGA Tour when he withdrew after the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship in May 2012. He underwent surgery to repair an Achilles tendon injury in his left leg the next month. He hasn't played in a professional tournament since.

Golf.com first reported Thursday that Kim is mulling the possibility of a comeback. Sources confirmed to ESPN that Kim has been ramping up his training in recent weeks.

According to sources, Kim is eyeing a potential return to pro tournaments sometime this spring. A sticking point in his comeback is that he collected at least part of a disability insurance policy that was reportedly worth $10 million to $20 million. He would probably be required to pay back a large portion, if not all, of the settlement he has collected.

Kim could play in non-signature events as a past champion or through exemptions on the PGA Tour.

Golf.com reported that the LIV Golf League wasn't initially interested in signing Kim to a contract but that commissioner Greg Norman called him to begin negotiations on a potential one-year deal.

Even though Kim hasn't played in more than a decade, he has still been the subject of great interest by golf fans. The former Oklahoma star turned pro in 2006 and tied for second while playing on a sponsor's exemption at the Valero Texas Open in his first start.

Kim's breakthrough came during the 2008 season, when he captured his first PGA Tour victory at the Wachovia Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. He won again at the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, about two months later.

Kim was ranked as high as sixth in the world at the height of his career.

Kim is perhaps best known for his performance as a rookie in the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. He walloped Spain's Sergio Garcia 5 and 4 in the opening match of Sunday singles, helping lead the U.S. to a 16½-11½ victory that ended Europe's streak of three straight victories in the international event.

Kim made 122 starts on the PGA Tour, making about $12.2 million in on-course earnings. His last victory came when he defeated Vaughn Taylor in a playoff at the 2010 Shell Open. A week later, he carded a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Masters and finished third, 4 strokes behind winner Phil Mickelson .

Along with the Achilles tendon injury, Kim was plagued by tendinitis in his left arm and a left thumb injury during his career.

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Australian Open 2024 tennis quarter-finals preview: Schedule and how to watch live

Discover the last eight players standing in the singles draws in Melbourne, when they will play their quarter-finals, and how to watch them. Can Novak Djokovic continue his quest for an 11th Australian Open title? 

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates against Adrian Mannarino of France during the 2024 Australian Open

The 2024 Australian Open tennis major is already in the quarter-final stages in Melbourne.

Across Tuesday and Wednesday (23-24 January), the last eight in each of the five senior categories will duke it out for a spot in the semi-finals of the first Grand Slam of the year.

While the men's singles quarter-finals feature eight seeded players, the women's singles last eight is wide open, with 12th seed Zheng Qinwen of People's Republic of China the highest-ranked player left in the top half of the draw.

Men's world No.1 Novak Djokovic , who masterminded a one-sided thrashing of Adrian Mannarino of France in the fourth round 6-0 6-0 6-3, faces a test against 12th seed Taylor Fritz of the United States. Fritz saw off seventh-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in four sets in the last round, but is winless in eight ATP meetings against the Serbian top seed, looking for a record-breaking 25th Grand Slam title.

Spain's Wimbledon champion and second seed Carlos Alcaraz faces Olympic champion Alexander Zverev of Germany in arguably the pick of the last-eight ties. Zverev narrowly holds the upper hand in their seven previous ATP matchups, but was made to work hard in the fourth round by Britain's Cameron Norrie , who forced the German to a fifth-set tiebreak before Zverev triumphed 10-3.

Fourth and fifth seeds Jannik Sinner and Andrey Rublev are also pitted against each other, while the fourth quarter-final sees Hubert Hurkacz take on Daniil Medvedev .

Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka is one of just four seeds left standing in the women's draw, and she also on paper has the toughest draw in the quarter-finals. The second seed faces Czech ninth seed Barbora Krejcikova , who needed three sets to overcome teenage upstart Mirra Andreeva in the fourth round.

US Open champion Coco Gauff , the fourth seed, is also in the same half of the draw, and faces Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk .

The top half of the women's singles draw is anyone's guess to predict, with all four women having never reached a Grand Slam final. Zheng will play unseeded Anna Kalinskaya , while Czechia's Linda Noskova takes on qualifier Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine, the first qualifier to reach this stage of a Grand Slam since Emma Raducanu won the 2021 US Open.

Coco Gauff: Top things you might not know about the American tennis ace

Australian open 2024: quarter-finals schedule, men's and women's singles.

All times are Australian Eastern Daylight Time (UTC +11 hours).

Singles – Rod Laver Arena – 23 January

Not before 13:00 - Marta Kostyuk (UKR) v [4] Coco Gauff (USA)

Not before 14:30 - [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) v [12] Taylor Fritz (USA)

19:00 - [9] Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) v [2] Aryna Sabalenka

Followed by [4] Jannik Sinner (ITA) v [5] Andrey Rublev

Singles – 24 January

Times, courts, and order of play to be announced

[9] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) v [3] Daniil Medvedev

[6] Alexander Zverev (GER) v [2] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP)

Linda Noskova (CZE) v [Q] Dayana Yastremska (UKR)

Anna Kalinskaya v [12] Zheng Qinwen (CHN)

Australian Open 2024: How to watch live

Channel 9 airs the action in Australia, with ESPN carrying first ball to last in the U.S.

A full list of broadcasters can be found here , with some of select territories listed below:

  • Canada - TSN
  • China - CCTV ( among others )
  • France, Germany, Italy, Serbia & U.K. - Eurosport
  • India - Sony Sports
  • Japan - WOWOW
  • Mexico - ESPN International
  • Tunisia - beIN Sports

Coco GAUFF

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World Surf League nets ESPN coverage for 2024 Champions Tour

T he World Surf League (WSL) has announced a new rights deal with international sports broadcasting heavyweight ESPN covering its Champions Tour events in 2024.

The deal will see the broadcaster air all 10 Champions Tour events during the year, starting with the Lexus Pipe Pro in Hawaii, running from January 29 to February 10, as well as the WSL qualifying event - the US Open of Surfing - on its streaming service ESPN+.

As part of its package, the broadcaster will also air 11 episodes of WSL: Inside Pro Surfing , a Champions Tour-focused docuseries, on its ESPN2 linear channel.

Tim Reed, ESPN vice president of programming and acquisitions, said: “Distributing the WSL Champions Tour live events rights on ESPN+ provides our audiences full access to the premier surf tour, where the top men and women will compete for the championship crown at legendary surf spots all over the world.

“The WSL CT is a great addition to the platform and live competitive surfing will fit well alongside an already significant content offering. We look forward to kicking off the season in Hawaii next week.”

The new rights deal comes as the sport looks to widen its audience in the US after securing its first betting data deal with ALT Sports Data last April and entering into a partnership with the highly regarded Box to Box Films  production company to create its ‘Make or Break’ docuseries on AppleTV+.

Cherie Cohen, WSL chief revenue officer, said: “Working with ESPN this season is a fantastic opportunity to bring the sport to more viewers and new audiences across different platforms in the United States.

“They are the biggest name in sports content in the USA, and this agreement offers us the opportunity to share surfing with the millions of subscribers across their digital properties as well as on linear television.”

Along with ESPN, WSL has secured wide coverage worldwide for the coming season through two major rights deals.

Earlier this month, WSL expanded its broadcast partnership with major Australian pay-TV network Foxtel, which will air the entirety of the 2024 WSL season, which runs intermittently from January 29 through to September 14 on its main channel, as well as on the Kayo Sports streaming service, which Foxtel owns.

All events will also be aired in Australia free-to-air through a deal with commercial broadcaster Seven.

Brazilian TV network Globo will also cover WSL events as part of a three-year deal struck in 2021, while Warner Bros. Discovery will air the Inside Pro Surfing docuseries on its Eurosport pan-European broadcaster and livestream all Championship Tour events on its Discovery+ streaming service.

"World Surf League nets ESPN coverage for 2024 Champions Tour" was originally created and published by Sportcal , a GlobalData owned brand.

The information on this site has been included in good faith for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely, and we give no representation, warranty or guarantee, whether express or implied as to its accuracy or completeness. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on our site.

World Surf League nets ESPN coverage for 2024 Champions Tour

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