Benzema back-heel helps lift Real to top
MADRID • Karim Benzema delivered another moment of magic on Sunday, as Real Madrid took a two-point lead over Barcelona (69) at the top of La Liga by beating bottom-placed Espanyol.
The Frenchman’s volley against Valencia on June 18 could be the goal of the season and he might now have a claim to best assist too, after his brilliant back-heel teed up Casemiro to finish for a crucial 1-0 win.
Real’s advantage in the table, coming after Barca’s 2-2 draw away at Celta Vigo on Saturday, is their biggest since February and puts them within sight of their second league title in eight years.
Watford shakier after 3-1 loss to Saints
LONDON • Watford were dealt a major blow in their bid to avoid relegation as they suffered a 3-1 home defeat by Southampton, after a Danny Ings double and James Ward-Prowse’s stunning late free kick for the visitors in their Premier League game on Sunday.
The result took the Saints up to 13th place with 40 points, while Watford remain in 16th with 28 points, one point ahead of third-bottom Bournemouth, who have a game in hand.
Many against holding Olympics next year
TOKYO • Just over half of Tokyo’s residents do not think the postponed 2020 Olympics should be held next year, backing either a further delay or outright cancellation because of fears over the coronavirus, according to a poll published yesterday.
The survey, carried out by two Japanese news organisations Kyodo News and Tokyo MX television, found 51.7 per cent of 1,030 respondents hope the Games in 2021 are postponed again or cancelled, while 46.3 per cent want to see the rescheduled Olympics go ahead.
Up to 2,000 fans for Prague WTA event
PRAGUE • As many as 2,000 fans will be able to attend a new WTA event in Prague set to take place from Aug 10 to 15, the organisers said on Sunday.
One of the first WTA tournaments to take place after the coronavirus suspension, the Prague Open will be played on the Sparta Prague clay courts in the Czech capital.