Leipzig win after opposing keeper sent off in third minute

BERLIN Second-placed RB Leipzig brushed aside Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 in the Bundesliga on Saturday after opposing goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky was sent off after just three minutes.

Hradecky was one of two goalkeepers to be dismissed in the first half of Saturday's games after Werder Bremen's Jaroslav Droby was given his marching orders in his side's 2-1 home defeat by Borussia Dortmund.

Hoffenheim, the only team still unbeaten this season in any of Europe's big five leagues, continued their run with a 2-0 win at Augsburg.

Newcastle roar back to top of the Championship

LONDON Newcastle United roared back to the top of the English Championship with a 4-0 demolition of Rotherham on Saturday, although they were frustrated for 45 minutes by the bottom club.

Daryl Murphy opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time and when Matt Ritchie scored from close range soon after the restart the points were in the bag.

Ritchie struck again after Ayoze Perez got in on the act.

Rafa Benitez's Newcastle have 58 points from 27 games with Brighton and Hove Albion, who beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 on Friday, a point behind with a game in hand.

'Phenomenal' Ramos shows striker's instinct to fire Real to victory

By Richard Martin
| BARCELONA

BARCELONA Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos gave yet another demonstration of his attacking talents by grabbing both goals in his side's 2-1 win over Malaga on Saturday to notch up 50 career goals in La Liga.

The Spain international is famed for his late, decisive goals, including in the 2014 Champions League final, the 2016 UEFA Super Cup and against arch-rivals Barcelona last month, although against Malaga he made his mark in the first half.

Lady Luck smiles on Tottenham in draw at Man City

Second-placed Tottenham Hotspur rode their luck to battle back and earn an unlikely 2-2 Premier League draw at Manchester City on Saturday after mistakes by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had left them two goals down.

France keeper Lloris was guilty of two howlers as Leroy Sane and Kevin de Bruyne scored early in the second half to reward a vibrant City who had completely dominated before halftime against a rattled Tottenham.

Ghana beat Mali to reach last eight

By Mark Gleeson
| PORT GENTIL, Gabon

PORT GENTIL, Gabon Ghana became the second team at the African Nations Cup to book a quarter-final place after veteran striker Asamoah Gyan scored the only goal of the game against Mali in Group D on Saturday.

A second successive 1-0 win for Ghana ensured they progressed past the group stage for the sixth successive tournament, although they needed two late saves from goalkeeper Razak Brimah to make sure of the victory.

Allegri rounds on critics of table-topping Juventus

MILAN Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri, baffled by criticism of the league leaders, said that winning should never be considered routine and that a Serie A triumph should not be taken for granted.

"The Serie A title race has never been a foregone conclusion and never will be. It's not a routine thing to win it. It's something extraordinary," he told reporters.

"We should stop thinking that Juventus have to win every game 3-0. We need to suffer to win, just like the others."

Consistent Hatton inches ahead in Abu Dhabi

Briton Tyrrell Hatton hit a second successive four-under-par 68 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead after three rounds of a fiercely contested Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Just three shots separate the leading 16 players as they head into the final round.

Hatton, who has finished in the top 10 seven times in his last 11 events, recorded five birdies for the third round in succession and carded just a single bogey.

Liverpool title hopes dented, Rooney breaks Man United record

By Martyn Herman
| LONDON

LONDON Liverpool's defensive gremlins returned again as their Premier League title ambitions suffered a painful body blow in a 3-2 home defeat by relegation battlers Swansea City on Saturday.

Manchester United also dropped precious points in their top-four push, although Wayne Rooney celebrated breaking Bobby Charlton's all-time scoring record for the club with a superb last-gasp free kick to salvage a 1-1 draw at Stoke City.

Resurgent Ramos sinks Malaga as Real increase lead at top

By Richard Martin
| BARCELONA

BARCELONA Sergio Ramos made amends for his untimely own goal last week at Sevilla by scoring twice as Real Madrid bounced back from two successive defeats by beating Malaga 2-1 on Saturday to go four points clear at the top of La Liga.

The Real Madrid captain headed his side in front in the 35th minute by powering Toni Kroos' outswinging corner beyond Carlos Kameni and struck again in the 43rd by sliding in a free kick from his German team mate from close range to net his third goal in four games.

Coleman strikes late as Everton beat sliding Palace

- Sam Allardyce's anxious wait for a first Premier League win as Crystal Palace manager continued as his lacklustre side suffered a 1-0 home defeat by in-form Everton that left them stuck in the bottom three.

The pressure on Palace increased even before kickoff when Swansea City's shock win at Liverpool left the London club in the relegation places.

Had Christian Benteke's header found the net rather than the crossbar early on the jitters may have settled but Everton responded to dominate the game and took the points when Seamus Coleman fired the winner in the 87th minute.

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