Madrid, Jan 14 (AP/UNB) — Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema had to be substituted at halftime of Sunday's Spanish league match at Real Betis after hurting his right hand.
Madrid coach Santiago Solari said Benzema had fractured his hand.
"He was in a lot of pain," Solari said.
Madrid was already without Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Marco Asensio, Mariano Diaz and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois due to injury.
Benzema needed to be attended by team doctors when he fell after a brush with a Betis defender in first-half stoppage time.
He was replaced by reserve-team player Cristo Gonzalez during the break.
Benzema leads Madrid in scoring with 12 goals in all competitions this season.
Australia, Jan 14 (AP/UNB) — Maria Sharapova has the second-best record among active players in first-round matches at the majors, and she gave an illustration of why that's the case with a ruthless 6-0, 6-0 win over Harriet Dart at the Australian Open.
The 2008 Australian Open champion got play started on Rod Laver Arena on Monday and needed only 63 minutes to advance.
In her 15th trip to Melbourne Park and her 55th Grand Slam tournament, she's acutely aware of the toll that the sun and long early matches can have on a player's title ambitions, so she gets straight to business.
The 22-year-old Dart, playing in the main draw of a major for only the second time after getting a wildcard to play last year at Wimbledon, only got a look at one break point in the match — when Sharapova served a double-fault in the second set. She got seven of her 29 points from Sharapova's double-faults.
That was the only real blemish in Sharapova's stats: She hit 20 winners and won five of her five points at the net.
Sharapova said she was still feeling pain in her right shoulder despite sitting out the end of last season after the U.S. Open.
Asked if she felt sorry for her young, beaten rival, Sharapova, who lost in the first round at Wimbledon last year, said: "There's no time for that when you're playing the first round of a Grand Slam."
Among players who've played at least 10 majors, only 23-time major winner Serena Williams (.986) started the tournament with a better ratio.
Up next for Sharapova is Rebecca Peterson, who beat Sorana Cirstea, 6-4, 6-1.
Among the other seeded players advancing were No. 11 Aryna Sabalenka, who beat Anna Kalinskaya 6-1, 6-4, No. 19 Caroline Garcia, No. 29 Donna Vekic and No. 31 Petra Martic.
Sharapova was one of five Australian Open titlists to play on Rod Laver Arena on Day 1. Rafael Nadal, who won his only Australian title in 2009, was set to play James Duckworth, followed by 2016 winner Angelique Kerber against Polona Hercog.
Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki was scheduled to play Alison Van Utyvanck to start the night session, followed by six-time Australian champion Roger Federer's match against Denis Istomin.
London, Jan 14 (AP/UNB) — There were too many saves for Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea to even remember.
Everyone else was certainly counting: Eleven. The most by any goalkeeper in a Premier League match this season. And they were all in the second half to thwart a Tottenham comeback.
The Spaniard's virtuoso goalkeeping performance protected a 1-0 victory in the Premier League on Sunday after Marcus Rashford's first-half strike, giving United a sixth successive victory in all competitions since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho.
"I said to David at halftime, 'You might have to make a save here, you have to keep your concentration,'" Solskjaer said. "He didn't have to keep his concentration because he was never allowed to relax. He is a fantastic goalkeeper. I think he's the best in the world."
Few would dispute that on Sunday as De Gea was masterful with his hands and feet — particularly frustrating efforts by Harry Kane and Dele Alli to equalize.
"I don't even remember some of them," De Gea said, when asked for his favorite save.
Rashford helped out his teammate.
"The near-post save from the corner was the best one," the striker said, alongside De Gea.
That was in the 70th minute when Christian Eriksen's corner was turned in at the near post by Toby Alderweireld and De Gea's instinctive reaction saw the ball cleared with his left foot.
"De Gea was unbelievable, and all credit to him," Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said. "We weren't clinical. And sometimes with less opportunities you score, but there's no complaints."
The only goal came in the 44th minute at Wembley Stadium after Tottenham defender Kieran Trippier gave the ball away. Paul Pogba sent a long, high diagonal pass to Rashford who controlled the ball with one touch and then sent it low beyond goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Lloris, though, produced a trio of fine saves himself at the start of the second half against Pogba.
"We played so well. I think we created enough chances to score goals and win the game," Pochettino said. "I think, for me, it was one of the best performances that I have seen for 4 1/2 years at Tottenham. The best 45 minutes."
But not enough to collect any points or prevent a sixth league loss of the season.
By passing his first significant test, Solskjaer strengthened his bid to keep the manager's job into next season. In particular, he got the better of Pochettino, who has been considered the favorite to be hired as Mourinho's permanent successor.
Although still third in the standings, Tottenham has now lost back-to-back league home games.
United is yet to rise from sixth under Solskjaer but the record 20-time English champion is now only behind Arsenal on goal difference and six points adrift of Chelsea in the fourth and final Champions League place.
And the mood has been transformed at United since Mourinho was fired and former fans' favorite Solskjaer was brought in on loan from Norwegian side Molde.
"The manager brought some happiness, the players are playing well and the team is very strong now," De Gea said. "This is the real Manchester United."
As De Gea was embraced by his teammates at the final whistle, it was a picture of agony for Tottenham as Kane was clutching his left knee in agony. With Tottenham losing Son Heung-min for South Korea duty at the Asian Cup, losing Kane for a lengthy period could harm the attempts to stay in the top four.
"He suffered a big tackle (from Phil Jones) and twisted his ankle," Pochettino said, "and now we need to assess him over the next few days, hoping that it is not a big issue."
Spain, Jan 14 (AP/UNB) — Lionel Messi took his all-time Spanish league scoring record to 400 goals on Sunday after contributing to a 3-0 win over Eibar to keep defending champion Barcelona comfortably at the top.
Messi scored Barcelona's second goal shortly after halftime to reach a milestone in the competition after 435 league matches. Former Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo is second all-time in La Liga with 311 goals.
In all competitions, Barcelona says the 31-year-old Messi has scored an astonishing 575 goals in 658 appearances.
"He is from another galaxy," Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. "They are incredible numbers. But he does much more than score goals, he also does so much to generate scoring chances for others."
Barcelona's all-time top scorer got the landmark goal in the 53rd minute after Luis Suarez passed to him inside Eibar's area. The Argentine did the rest by opening an angle around a defender and driving in a low left-footed shot.
It was also Messi's league-leading 17th league goal and his 23rd goal overall this season.
"He should be proud," said Suarez, who scored Barcelona's other two goals. "Game after game he shows what a great player he is. I am happy for him and for the history that he is writing for this club."
Barcelona stayed five points ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid, which edged Levante 1-0 thanks to a penalty from Antoine Griezmann, as the league reached its midway point.
Real Madrid lost Karim Benzema to a right-hand injury in a 2-1 win at Real Betis to stay 10 points back in fourth place.
After 90-plus minutes of prowling the sideline, yelling at his players and stoking his fans, Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone normally hurries off the pitch when the final whistle sounds.
But after the victory over Levante, Simeone took time to embrace each of his players — a show of appreciation for their efforts that kept Atletico in the title chase.
"I felt the need to hug them," Simeone said. "I congratulated them because they maintained the same level of play throughout the entire match."
Despite only scoring one goal, Simeone called it "one of, if not our best, performances of the season."
True to Simeone's defense-first approach, Atletico stifled a Levante attack that is among the best in the league.
Griezmann did the rest, scoring his team-leading ninth league goal of the season when he fired a spot kick over Levante goalkeeper Oier Olazabal in the 57th minute following a handball by defender Nikola Vukcevic.
Ceballos to the rescue
Dani Ceballos was greeted with jeers when he went on as a late Real Madrid substitute to face his former club, Real Betis.
But he silenced the crowd, and saved his current club from another setback, when he sent a free kick through a gap in the defensive wall to grab the win with two minutes remaining.
"I was eager to show what I can do," Ceballos said.
Luka Modric struck from distance to open the scoring for Madrid, only for Sergio Canales to equalize in the second half.
Sevilla lost 2-0 at Athletic Bilbao, ending its unbeaten run in nine rounds.
Bilbao forward Inaki Williams scored both goals for the hosts to help lift them out of the relegation zone.
Sevilla remained in third place, level on points with Madrid.
Sevilla had won 3-1 at Bilbao's San Mames Stadium in the Copa del Rey on Thursday. They will meet again on Wednesday in Seville in the return leg of their round-of-16 game.
Dhaka, Jan 13 (UNB) - Chittagong Vikings captain Mushfiqur Rahim smashed a tremendous 75 off 41 balls on Sunday evening against Comilla Victorians to overshadow Thisara Perera’s unbeaten 74 to register the second successive win for his team in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
In the last five overs, the Vikings needed to score at an average of 12.8. Mushfiqur accomplished it with style scoring 75 off 41 balls with seven fours and four sixes.
In the first innings of the match, Thisara struck 74 off 26 balls to propel the Victorians to a challenging total of 184/5. But at the end of the match, Thisara finished being in the losing side.
The Vikings started the biggest successful chase of BPL’s sixth season so far with a 58-run opening stand between Cameron Delport and Mohammad Shahzad. Delport departed scoring 13 as the first dismissed batsman of the Vikings. But, Shahzad ended up with an explosive 46 off 27 balls. The Afghan batsman put up the ideal platform for the Vikings.
Mushfiqur Rahim came to the middle after the dismissal of two wickets and departed with seven runs needed to win in the last over. Liam Dawson came to bowl the last over and ended up conceding eight runs in four balls. Robbie Frylinck, the South African recruit of the Vikings, hit Dawson for a six and ensured an imperious win for the Vikings.
This is the third win of Chittagong Vikings in four matches, and Comilla’s second loss in four matches as well.
Earlier in the match, Thisara grabbed the limelight of BPL hitting a 20-ball fifty in his first appearance this season.
Thisara joined the Victorians just this morning and took the field. He added 98 runs along with Mohammad Saifuddin in the sixth wicket stand off 40 balls to post a challenging total of 185 runs.
Chittagong Vikings won the toss and decided to bowl first. Their decision seemed to be a right one until Saifuddin and Perera stood up in the sixth wicket stand.
The Victorians lost their star batsman Tamim Iqbal without posting a single run on the board. Tamim got dismissed by a Robbie Frylinck delivery podding a catch to the wicketkeeper.
In the second wicket stand, Anamul Haque and Evin Lewis added 21 runs. Anamul managed 10 off 10 before falling to Abu Jayed Rahi. Imrul Kayes came into the middle and spread some hope scoring 24 off 21 balls. But he failed to maintain his good start.
After the dismissal of Imrul Kayes, Comilla suffered an abrupt blow when Evin Lewis has been stretchered out due to a leg injury. He scored 38 runs off 34 balls with six fours.
Comilla lost five wickets in 86 runs in 13.2 overs. And right after that, Saifuddin and Perera made that unbelievable stand of 98 runs.
Perera completed his fifty in 20 balls. After hitting the fifty, he attacked Robbie Frylinck in the 19th over to hit 30 runs with four sixes and one four.
He remained unbeaten for 74 and Saifuddin companied him with another unbeaten innings of 26 off 19 balls.
Khaled Ahmed, the right-arm pacer of Bangladesh, took three wickets for the Vikings while Robbie Frylinck and Abu Jayed Rahi took one wicket each.
Comilla Victorians will face off Sylhet Sixers in their home - Sylhet International Stadium — on January 15 at 6:30pm while Chittagong Vikings will lock horns against Khulna Titans on January 19 at 6:30pm at the same venue.