Sports World: Super-sub Messi keeps Barcelona atop LaLiga

Super-sub Messi keeps Barcelona atop LaLiga

BARCELONA • Lionel Messi came off the bench to inspire Barcelona to a 3-1 win over Leganes on Sunday, creating one goal and scoring another to keep the Spanish football champions five points clear at the top of LaLiga ahead of Atletico Madrid.

Messi, left out of the starting line-up for only the second time this season when fit, was called on in the 64th minute with the game poised at 1-1 after Leganes forward Martin Braithwaite had cancelled out Ousmane Dembele's first-half opener.

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez then pounced to stab home a rebound from a Messi shot, and the Argentinian subsequently made sure of victory in stoppage time with his 18th league goal of the season.


Southgate not keen on Old Trafford hot seat

LONDON • Gareth Southgate insisted on Sunday his work as England football manager was far from done as he indicated he had no interest in taking charge at Manchester United.

A report in Britain's Sunday Telegraph said Southgate was on a shortlist being drawn up by Old Trafford chiefs as they sought a permanent replacement for the sacked Jose Mourinho. Southgate, however, said he is looking forward to further progress with England.


Rookie pips Mickelson to Desert Classic title

LOS ANGELES • Rookie Adam Long birdied the last hole in the final round to edge Phil Mickelson and Adam Hadwin by a stroke to collect his first PGA Tour golf victory at the Desert Classic in southern California on Sunday.

The trio had been tied before Long sank a 14-foot putt to shoot a seven-under 65 and prevail with a 26-under 262 total in his sixth appearance on the PGA Tour. Mickelson (69), who had led the first three rounds at La Quinta Country Club, and Canadian Hadwin (67) finished at 25 under.


Ball joins James on Lakers' injured list

LOS ANGELES • Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball is expected to be out of action for four to six weeks with a sprained left ankle, the National Basketball Association team said on Sunday.

Ball was carried off the court in the third quarter of the Lakers' 138-134 overtime loss to the Rockets in Houston on Saturday. He had turned his ankle in a collision with Houston's James Ennis.

The Lakers said in a statement that an MRI exam revealed a grade three sprain. It was another injury blow for a team still awaiting superstar LeBron James' return from a groin injury suffered on Christmas Day.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 22, 2019, with the headline 'Sports World: Super-sub Messi keeps Barcelona atop LaLiga'. Print Edition | Subscribe