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Copa del Rey: nine man Athletic Bilbao beats Barcelona 2:1
Athletic Bilbao held on with nine-men to surprise Barcelona 2-1 in the first leg of their Copa del Rey tie on Thursday.

Aritz Aduriz and Inaki Williams had given the hosts a two-goal lead in the first half before Lionel Messi drew a goal back from a free kick just after the break.

But Athletic successfully defended their lead despite having Raul Garcia and Ander Iturraspe both dismissed after each picked up two yellow cards in the second half.

Aduriz opened the scoring on 25 minutes by heading home Raul Garcia’s cross on the counter-attack.

And it was 2-0 less than four minutes later when Aduriz played in Williams, who unleashed a rocket inside the near post from 14 yards that left Marc-Andre ter Stegen flat-footed.

There was a flashpoint before half-time when Aduriz appeared to lash out and catch Samuel Umtiti in the throat, and though the Barcelona player needed lengthy treatment, both players ended up with a yellow card for confronting each other after the incident.

Barcelona’s first goal came seven minutes into the second half on Messi’s remarkable free kick from about 25 yards out. Athletic goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz pushed it onto the crossbar and thought he had smothered the ball on the line, but the referee ruled that it had indeed crossed.

Garcia became the first Athletic player sent off in the 74th minute after he caught Neymar’s heel late.

Barcelona then had a good chance to equalise when Messi walked the ball through defenders in the box, and only a last-ditch sliding tackle prevented him from scoring.

Iturraspe was given his marching orders with 10 minutes to play — Neymar again drawing the foul after minimal contact.

Pressing for an equaliser with a two-man advantage, Barcelona had a corner deep into stoppage time and it fell to Messi, who uncharacteristically struck the inside of the post with the final play of the game.

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Lionel Messi welcomes Baby #3

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It's a Goal!!!: Lionel Messi & wife Antonella Roccuzzo expects third child

Lionel Messi welcomes Baby #3

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has again proved that he is a sharp shooter after he confirmed the birth of his third child.

The Argentine pulled out of the Barça squad due to face Malaga in La Liga on Saturday due to the big news.

Messi confirmed the arrival of Ciro on Instagram, publishing a photograph of the newborn holding his father’s hand and revealing that everything had gone well.

Lionel Messi welcomes Baby #3

“Welcome, Ciro!” Messi wrote. “Thanks to God, everything went perfectly. Mother and baby are doing really well. We are super happy.”

Barcelona announced that Messi had withdrawn from the game in Andalusia for “personal reasons” and it was later reported in the Catalan press that his wife, Antonella Roccuzzo, had given birth earlier in the day.

Messi and Antonella, who got married last summer in their native Rosario, already had two sons, Thiago, 5, and Mateo, 2.

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Football News

Mohamed Salah Hopes to Score against Manchester United

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Liverpool 0:0 Manchester United: Tight Affair at Anfield

Mohamed Salah Hopes to Score against Manchester United

Mohamed Salah would be looking forward to getting at least a goal against Manchester United when they meet this weekend.

If Salah will complete a remarkable record of scoring against all the top six sides in the English Premier League this season.

The Egyptian is the joint top scorer in the division with 24 goals, which include strikes against Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal, with the Red Devils the only side missing in the top-six list.

Sarah, 25, is willing to complete the haul in Saturday’s encounter at Old Trafford.

Recall that the summer signing fired blank against Jose Mourinho’s side when both sides clashed in October’s draw; a tie most remembered for David De Gea’s stunning save from a Joel Matip effort.

“I remember it [De Gea’s save]. I also missed an easy chance in that game, but he is great,” Salah told Sky Sports.

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Football News

Neymar Fractured Metatarsal & Sprained Ankle

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Neymar Fractured Metatarsal & Sprained Ankle

Neymar Fractured Metatarsal & Sprained Ankle

PSG forward Neymar will miss the Champions League last-16 second-leg tie against Real Madrid after being diagnosed with a fractured metatarsal and a sprained ankle.

The 26 year old Brazilian was injured during Sunday’s Ligue 1 win over Marseille. Statement from the club revealed that Neymar suffered “a sprain of the right ankle and fissure of the fifth metatarsal”.

However, how long he would be out wasn’t disclosed.

Neymar joined PSG for a world record £200m fee from Barcelona last August and has scored 29 goals in 30 games.

 

PSG are 14 points clear of second-placed Monaco in the league and on 6 March will host Champions League holders Real Madrid, trailing 3-1 from the first leg.

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