Inter down Juventus
Substitute Alexis Sanchez scored with the last kick of the match on Wednesday to help Inter win the Supercoppa Italiana with a 2-1 victory over Juventus after extra-time. Sanchez’s goal, helped by an error from the Juventus defense, sparked scenes of wild celebration at the San Siro as almost every member of the Inter bench ran onto the field to embrace Sanchez in the far corner. Lautaro Martinez had converted a penalty in the first half to cancel out midfielder Weston McKennie’s opener.
Chelsea reach final
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel on Wednesday achieved a first after his team beat Tottenham Hotspur in the EFL Cup semi-finals, meaning he has reached every major final unlike any predecessor at the west London club. After victory in the Champions League final and a losing FA Cup final last season, Chelsea are to return to Wembley Stadium next month to contest the EFL Cup final after Antonio Rudiger’s header sealed a 1-0 victory against Tottenham to complete a 3-0 aggregate win.
West Ham defeat Norwich
Jarrod Bowen scored twice on Wednesday to send West Ham United back into the top four of the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Norwich City. Bowen’s seventh and eighth goals of the season secured a third straight Premier League win for the Hammers and left Norwich rooted to the bottom of the table. With eight assists as well, Bowen has now been directly involved in 16 goals this season — the most of any English player in the top flight. West Ham climbed two points above Arsenal into fourth place, although the Gunners have a game in hand. Norwich now have six successive defeats without scoring, equaling a club record in the Premier League.
Xavi proud despite loss
Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez was proud of his team even though they lost 3-2 on Wednesday to Real Madrid in a thrilling Supercopa de Espana semi-final in Saudi Arabia. Real beat Barca for the seventh time in eight Supercopa clashes, but Xavi said that his side deserved to win. “We had it in our hands,” Xavi told a news conference in Riyadh. “We dominated Madrid for most of the game, but we still lack experience, patience and effectiveness. We are close. We cornered Real. It is a pity.”
Referee ends game early
A major refereeing blunder overshadowed Wednesday’s games at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon. The referee in charge of the Mali-Tunisia game caused chaos by twice blowing the final whistle too early, incensing coaches on the losing team and causing a lengthy debate about whether the match would have to be restarted. Mali were ahead 1-0 when referee Janny Sikazwe of Zambia ended the game early in Limbe, but it was Tunisia who refused to come back out 30 minutes later when officials tried to restart the match, with the coach saying his players were already in their ice baths by then. In other games on Wednesday, the Gambia beat Mauritania 1-0 and Ivory Coast defeated Equatorial Guinea 1-0.
DJOKOVIC’S SHADOW: Djokovic landed in Dubai after his deportation, while Serbia’s president said that Australia had ‘harassed’ and ‘humiliated’ the world No. 1 player Rafael Nadal yesterday opened his Australian Open campaign in storming style, as the first Grand Slam of the year finally began after a chaotic buildup dominated by the visa saga engulfing world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Defending women’s champion Naomi Osaka breezed into the second round, as did world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, but teenager Coco Gauff was an early big name casualty. The American 17-year-old was dumped out in straight sets by China’s Wang Qiang, who is ranked outside the top 100. The only Australian Open champion in the men’s draw after nine-time winner Djokovic’s sensational deportation, Nadal started his quest
The NBA has once again found itself in a China-linked controversy after serial dealmaker Chamath Palihapitiya, a part owner of the Golden State Warriors, dismissed concerns over human rights abuses facing the Uighur minority in China. “Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uighurs, OK?” the Sri Lankan-born investor said during an episode of the All-In podcast on Saturday, reacting to a comment from cohost Jason Calacanis about the administration of US President Joe Biden’s “very strong” stance on the issue. “I’m telling you a very hard, ugly truth, OK? Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below
China’s freestyle skier Eileen Gu late on Tuesday announced her arrival in Beijing to her 1.3 million followers on Sina Weibo, as the 18-year-old prepares to take part in the Winter Olympic Games. The San Francisco native, who is also known in China by her Mandarin name Ailing and whose mother is from Beijing, is one of Team China’s best-known athletes. After starting her career competing for the US, she switched to represent China in 2019, winning a number of titles for the country over the past two years. As part of the Olympic bubble, Gu can skip the standard three-week quarantine and
NO FREE SPEECH: ‘There’s really not much protection that we believe is going to be afforded to athletes,’ Global Athlete director-general Rob Koehler said Athletes traveling to the Beijing Winter Olympics were on Tuesday warned about speaking up on human rights issues while in China for their own safety by speakers at a seminar hosted by Human Rights Watch. Rights groups have long criticized the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for awarding the Games to China, citing the treatment by the Chinese government of Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups, which the US has deemed “genocide.” China denies the allegations of human rights abuses. “There’s really not much protection that we believe is going to be afforded to athletes,” Global Athlete director-general Rob Koehler told the seminar. “Silence