Osasuna 0-2 Barcelona: Messi the provider as Blaugrana close the gap

By Sports Desk March 06, 2021

Lionel Messi provided two assists as goals from Jordi Alba and Ilaix Moriba saw off Osasuna 2-0 to propel Barcelona to within two points of LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid.

With Atleti going head-to-head with Real Madrid on Sunday, Barca took the chance to apply pressure to their title rivals by claiming an eighth successive away win in LaLiga.

Messi played an integral role, teeing up Alba to break the deadlock with a sublime pass – eight of the full-back's last 16 club goals have been assisted by Barca's number 10.

His second assist was more subtle, with a gentle lay off setting the stage for Ilaix to thump in his maiden Barca goal, and Koeman can now tune into the Madrid derby with his team in a strong position.

 

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    Filippo Ganna came up with the goods for Italy when it mattered most with a stunning display of power in the final laps of the men's team pursuit final.

    Italy clinched their sixth gold of the Tokyo Olympics by overcoming favourites Denmark in a thrilling race at the Izu Cycling Centre on Wednesday.

    Ganna, the reigning world time trial champion, proved decisive as he hit the front in the final 1,000 metres, with Italy gaining a second on Denmark to cross the line in 3:42.032 and claim their eighth Olympic title in the event.

    It marks a new world record and clocked in at almost eight seconds faster than Great Britain's winning time in Rio five years ago.

    Denmark had looked well set to prove their favourites credentials after a superb opening three kilometres, but they failed to replicate the power shown by Ganna in the final laps and lost by 0.166s.

    The Danes had overcome Team GB on Tuesday to make the final, albeit in contentious fashion, with lead rider Frederik Madsen crashing into the back of Charlie Tanfield.


    FINISHING WITH A FLOURISH

    Team GB had ultimately fallen foul of a somewhat controversial judging call, which meant they had to face off against Switzerland for a seventh-place finish.

    However, the outgoing champions recovered to cruise to victory, setting the fastest Olympic time by a British quartet in the process.

    "I wouldn't say a point to prove, we just wanted to go out on a positive note, not be disappointed because we had disappointment over the last few days and we wanted to overcome that, go out on a high and look forward to Paris," Oliver Wood told BBC Sport.

    There was drama in the bronze medal race too, as Australia triumphed in a trans-Tasman tussle with New Zealand, who had to forfeit when one of their riders fell as a consequence of an overlapping wheel.

    Australia have now won eight medals in the last 10 Olympic Games in the men's team pursuit, more than any other nation.


    SPRINTING THROUGH

    Team GB were able to get over their team disappointment with some fine individual showings from Jack Carlin and Jason Kenny in the men's sprint.

    Carlin set a new Olympic record in his first heat, only to qualify as the third fastest, and though he had to survive a wobble in his second race, he progressed safely through to the quarter-finals.

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    The women's Keirin heats also took place, with the major favourites all making it through.

    Katy Marchant – a bronze medallist in Rio – had to do it the hard way, however, after she was relegated for an infringement in her first heat. The 28-year-old atoned in the repechage to take her place in the quarter-finals.

  • Real Madrid midfielder Kroos set for spell on the sidelines Real Madrid midfielder Kroos set for spell on the sidelines

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    Madrid confirmed on Tuesday that Kroos, who retired from international football following Germany's disappointing showing at Euro 2020, had been diagnosed with a pubalgia – a strain or tear of the soft tissue in the groin.

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    Miguel Cabrera moved closer to his 500th career home run with number 498 in the Detroit Tigers' 4-2 win against the Boston Red Sox.

    The 38-year-old designated hitter sent Garrett Richards over the fence at right-field with the Tigers trailing 2-0 in the second inning.

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    Gregory Polanco robbed Eduardo Escobar of a walk-off homer in the ninth inning before the Pittsburgh Pirates on 8-5 over the Milwaukee Brewers.

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    Tuesday's results 

    Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 Washington Nationals
    New York Yankees 13-1 Baltimore Orioles
    Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 Cleveland Indians
    Detroit Tigers 4-2 Boston Red Sox
    Minnesota Twins 7-5 Cincinnati Reds
    Miami Marlins 5-4 New York Mets
    Seattle Mariners 4-2 Tampa Bay Rays 
    Los Angeles Angels 11-3 Texas Rangers
    Pittsburgh Pirates 8-5 Milwaukee Brewers
    Chicago White Sox 7-1 Kansas City Royals
    Atlanta Braves 6-1 St Louis Cardinals
    Colorado Rockies 13-6 Chicago Cubs
    Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 San Francisco Giants
    San Diego Padres 8-1 Oakland Athletics
    Houston Astros 3-0 Los Angeles Dodgers

     

    Padres at Athletics

    The San Diego Padres (62-47) continue their series against the Oakland Athletics (60-48).

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