Two drug dealers were surprised by police as they opened their front door to find armed officers poised to raid their flat in Birmingham
Two drug dealers were surprised by police as they opened their front door to find armed officers poised to raid their flat in Birmingham
Known as Canada's hockey dad, Walter Gretzky died Thursday at age 82.
Watching Rasmus Ristolainen race Mat Barzal to a loose puck and then try to defend him 1-on-1 must be pure nightmare fuel for Sabres fans.
Adam Silver is playing the strict dean in Atlanta this weekend.
Follow all the action from UFC 259 as three title fights headline the 15-fight card at Apex in Las Vegas.
Jake Odorizzi is coming off an injury-riddled 2020 season.
Adam Silver said the NBA will not mandate players receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
After 14 years in the NBA, Mike Conley is an All-Star.
Mark Pavelich had been committed to a mental health treatment center after assaulting a friend in 2019.
Kevin De Bruyne has won every domestic honour on offer with Manchester City but Europe's biggest prize still eludes the Belgian midfielder maestro.
OCALA, Fla. — Jennifer Kupcho made a 12-foot eagle putt on the final hole to cut Austin Ernst's lead to a stroke Saturday in the LPGA Tour’s Drive On Championship. Kupcho shot a 2-under 70 at rainy Golden Ocala, setting up the eagle with a fairway wood from 215 yards that just cleared the rocks and water fronting the green on the par-5 18th. “I actually was like standing on the tee and I was like, `I feel an eagle coming on.' So, it was pretty cool to do it,” Kupcho said. “But when I got down there to the fairway I definitely didn’t think it would be possible to get it close and I was not aiming anywhere close to where my ball went, but it happened to go right at the pin and carried by a couple yards, carried the water by a couple yards, and ended up in a good spot. I was able to just make the putt.” Ernst parred the last six holes in a 69. “I didn’t quite have it ball-striking-wise today,” Ernst said. “I hit a few good shots, but then kind of sprayed a few drives and kind of had to work a little bit harder that I have had to work the last couple days.” The two-time LPGA Tour winner chipped in for birdie on the par-4 ninth. She was at 13-under 203. “I know I need to go play well.” Ernst said. “I can’t not play well and win, so it’s going to be the same type stuff. Obviously, sleeping on the lead the last two days I know what to expect. I’ve slept really well.” Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., and Jaclyn Lee of Calgary are both tied for 43rd place after Saturday's action. Both golfers are at 1-over par. Kupcho is winless on the tour. The former Wake Forest star from Colorado won the 2018 NCAA title and the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2019. She overcame a slow start Saturday to remain close. “It was just a tough start,” Kupcho said. “The greens were really slow when it was raining and I ended up three-putting the second hole.” Albane Valenzuela (66), Patty Tavatanakit (69) and Jenny Coleman (70) were tied for third at 7 under. Nelly Korda had a 76 to drop to 3 under. She won the Gainbridge LPGA last week at Lake Nona after sister Jessica Korda took the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. Laura Davies, the 57-year-old Hall of Famer who rebounded from an opening 75 with a 69 on Friday to advance to the weekend at even par, was 4 over after a 76. She's playing on a World Golf Hall of Fame exemption. Ernst and Kupcho are in position to give the United States three straight victories to open a season for the first time since 2007. The Associated Press
ORLANDO, Fla. — Lee Westwood isn't just killing time waiting to become old enough to compete against guys his own age. He might not be able to contemplate driving a par 5 — that sideshow Saturday at Bay Hill belonged to Bryson DeChambeau. Westwood is more graybeard than flat belly. He also showed at the Arnold Palmer Invitational he can hang with players nearly half his age, posting his lowest score ever at Bay Hill with a 7-under 65 that gave him a one-shot lead over DeChambeau and Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont. Conners, who started the third round with a one-shot lead, could only manage a 71 on a cool, breezy day at Bay Hill with only a few drops of rain. “It's nice to still be playing in these tournaments. You've got to be top 50 in the world,” Westwood said. “And if you would have said to me 20 years ago will you still be top 50 in the world at 48 I might have been slightly skeptical. "And it just shows that I’m still capable of playing well in these tournaments with all the good young players around me and obviously contending, because that’s what I’m doing this week.” DeChambeau, who shot a 68, was entertaining. Only one of his six birdies got all the attention, mainly because the U.S. Open champion has teased all week about taking all the water on the right-to-left bending par-5 sixth. The fans began cheering. Out came the driver. DeChambeau gave it a rip and raised his arms, a scene right out of the World Long Drive Championship, and then thrust both arms in the air again when he saw the shot clear the water, run through the fairway and into the rough, 70 yards from the hole. “Oh, man, I felt like a kid again, for sure,” DeChambeau said. “It was exciting, especially when you pull it off. It was almost like winning a tournament. It’s kind of the feeling I had. It was like, ‘Oh, I did it.’ I got the same chills and feeling when I saw it clear and there was no splash. I gave the fans what they wanted.” That might not have been the shot of the day. Jordan Spieth made a hole-in-one with a 5-iron from 222 yards on the second hole. Jazz Janewattanond made an ace on the 212-yard 14th hole. Keegan Bradley shot a 64, the low round of the week. All of them were in the mix, meaning there should be plenty of entertainment on Sunday. Westwood, who turns 48 next month, won against the strongest field of regular European Tour events last year in Abu Dhabi and he ended the year as No. 1 in Europe for the third time by winning the Race to Dubai. He grabbed the lead by holing a 30-foot eagle putt on the 16th hole (DeChambeau made birdie) and a 30-foot birdie putt on the closing hole (DeChambeau made par) to reach 11-under 205. Sunday was shaping up as another thriller at Bay Hill. Spieth opened with a birdie and a hole-in-one, took the lead by holing a bunker shot on the par-3 seventh, saved par after a tee shot into the water and shot 68 with the kind of round he'd rather do without. Spieth prefers boring golf, and this was anything but that. He was two shots behind, tied with Bradley. This is the fourth straight tournament Spieth has gone into the final round within five shots of the lead — twice he was leading or tied — as he tries to end more than three years without winning. Janewattananond's ace carried him to a 69, leaving him four shots behind in a group that included Rory McIlroy, who bogeyed the last hole for a 72. Despite such a pedestrian round, McIlroy was very much in contention. “I’m not too far away, so if I can get off to a decent start, be maybe a couple under through 5, I feel like I’ll have a decent chance,” McIlroy said. Westwood had only six pars. He had eight birdies and the eagle on the 16th hole, along with a pair of three-putt bogeys. Westwood has five victories since turning 40, including last year in Abu Dhabi. So this didn't surprise him, especially on a course that fits his eye, even though he has only one finish in the top 10. “I haven’t lost any of my length and I haven’t lost any of my enthusiasm to go and work and work in the gym,” Westwood said. “My nerves are still intact, I still get into contention and enjoy it rather than kind of back off.” Spieth is getting used to being in contention, too. He had chances in Phoenix and Pebble Beach, and he was in the peripheral of contention at Riviera. Starting four shots behind, he made up ground quickly with an 18-foot birdie on the first hole and then hit a 5-iron that rolled up the right side of the green, turned toward the cup and dropped for an ace. “That was obviously a really cool moment,” Spieth said. He will play Sunday with Tommy Fleetwood, who had a 68 and was three behind. Spieth had to play as a single most of Saturday when Justin Rose, who made a 9 on the third hole, withdrew soon thereafter citing back spasms. Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press
As they were grappling on the floor near the end of the second round, a bizarre conversation ensued between them which may explain why Elliott wanted the fight.
What’s that piece of advice Little League coaches always tell their kids -- keep your eye on the ball, right? Trevor Bauer provided a new twist on that idea. Eager to challenge himself in a spring training start, the new Los Angeles Dodgers ace kept his right eye closed while pitching out of a first-inning jam Saturday. He even pointed to the eye as he walked off the mound. “I like making myself uncomfortable and throwing different stuff my way and trying to find a solution for it,” the NL Cy Young Award winner told Los Angeles media. “I think that’s how you improve. Find a way to make yourself uncomfortable and get comfortable with it and then do it again,” he said. After giving up a single to San Diego leadoff man Jurickson Profar and then walking Tommy Pham, Bauer posted a shutout. Eye closed, he retired the next three batters. Bauer wound up pitching three scoreless innings with the creative approach, striking out three while allowing two hits and a walk. “I figured if they can’t score off me with one eye open, it’s going to be difficult to score off me with two eyes open,” Bauer said. “Just having a little bit of fun.” Earlier in the week, fresh off signing a $102 million, three-year contract after leaving the Cincinnati Reds, he threw two shutout innings in his exhibition debut. Known for speaking his mind and going his own way, Bauer said he regularly shuts one eye during bullpen sessions and other workouts. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts saw it first-hand this time. “I did notice. It was the right eye closed on a handful of pitches,” he said. “I guess when he can’t get his command that kind of recalibrates him. I think there might have been one curveball I think he did with both eyes closed.” ___ PADRES 2, DODGERS 1 (7 INNINGS) Chris Paddack allowed two hits in two scoreless innings in his second start for San Diego. Keone Kela worked a perfect fifth inning, striking out the side. Matt Davidson doubled and singled for the Dodgers. METS 6, ASTROS 1 (6) Jacob deGrom pitched two scoreless innings in his spring debut, striking out three and allowing one hit. The two-time NL Cy Young Award also got the word, not that there was any doubt, that he'd start on opening April 1 at Washington. Pete Alonso hit an RBI double off Houston starter Zack Greinke. James McCann doubled and singled and Dominic Smith homered for New York. Closer Edwin Diaz followed deGrom, pitching a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout in his first outing. Greinke gave up two hits in his only inning. NATIONALS 5, MARLINS 3 (6) Patrick Corbin made his first start for Washington, pitching two innings and allowing a run on two hits while striking out three. Yan Gomes and Andrew Stevenson had RBI singles for the Nats. Sandy Alcantara made his second start for Miami, striking out six in 2 1/3 innings. He gave up two hits and two walks. Garrett Cooper homered and Jesus Aguilar had an RBI single. BLUE JAYS 7, PHILLIES 1 (7) Newcomer Tanner Roark made his first start for Toronto, allowing one hit in two scoreless innings. George Springer singled, stole second and scored on Bo Bichette's single. Odúbel Herrera singled, took third on Alex Bohm's double and scored on a wild pitch for Philadelphia's only run. PIRATES 3, YANKEES 2 (7) New York manager Aaron Boone returned to the dugout, three days after surgery to have a pacemaker inserted. Boone, who turns 48 in a few days, returned to camp after clearing COVID-19 protocols and said he felt great. Jameson Taillon made his first start for the Yankees, pitching against the team that traded him to New York this winter. He struck out four over two scoreless innings. Jay Bruce and Clint Frazier homered. Gregory Polanco homered and had three hits for Pittsburgh. He already has eight RBIs in exhibition play. Cody Ponce, competing for the final spot in the rotation, made his first start. Ponce worked an inning, surrendering Bruce's home run and walking two. WHITE SOX 7, INDIANS 0 (7) Reynaldo Lopez retired all six batters he faced in the start for the White Sox. Five pitchers combined to shut out the Indians on three hits. Scott Moss started for Cleveland and allowed two runs on three hits and a walk over two innings. Bryan Shaw walked two and allowed two runs on two hits, but struck out three over two innings. ROYALS 8, GIANTS 6 Mike Minor retired all six batters he faced in his two-inning start for Kansas City, fanning three. Bobby Witt Jr., the second pick of the 2019 minor league draft, homered and singled. San Francisco starter Johnny Cueto struck out four of the seven batters he faced in his two innings. Evan Longoria doubled and drove in three runs and Donovan Solano homered for the Giants. CUBS 3, BREWERS 1 (7) Shelby Miller struck out three in the two-inning start for the Cubs and Joc Pederson hit his second homer of the spring. Brett Anderson walked one and struck out two in the one-inning start for Milwaukee and Josh Lindblom followed with two solid innings of relief, striking out three and allowing one hit. Brewers infielder Luis Urías has a hamstring issue and won't play in the next game. “We’ll have him run around the field, most likely run and then take a day of batting practice and groundballs,” manager Craig Counsell said. “But I feel confident. I mean, right now, we’re just going to make him day to day." Urías batted .239 with 11 RBIs and a .308 on-base percentage in 41 games last season while playing mostly third base but also making appearances at second base and shortstop. The Brewers are giving him a chance to compete for the starting shortstop job this spring. ROCKIES 8, ANGELS 2 (7) Jose Quintana started for Los Angeles and struck out four of the seven batters he faced over two hitless innings. Dereck Rodriguez worked three innings in the start for the Rockies, giving up a two-run homer to Jo Adell. ATHLETICS 1, MARINERS 1 (7) Tony Kemp hit a home run for Oakland. Seattle announced before the game that outfielder Jarred Kelenic, one of the top prospects in baseball, will be sidelined due to a strained adductor muscle in his left knee. No timeline was given for his return. RANGERS 7, DIAMONDBACKS 6 Ronald Guzman hit a solo home run and Rougned Odor had a two-run double for Texas. Zac Gallen worked three strong innings in the start for Arizona, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out three. Ketel Marte doubled twice and scored a run. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Forge FC owner Bob Young says the Canadian Premier League champions will be playing the Canadian Championship final against Toronto FC at a disadvantage. In an open letter on social media, Young says Canada Soccer has proposed a date for the game "that worked for one team but ignored the situation of the other." While Young does not reference the date in his letter, March 20 has been talked about. At issue for Young is the preparation time for both teams. "Why would Canada Soccer propose a date to play this game where one of the teams had more than a month to practise and prepare for the game and, due to COVID restrictions, the other team only a week?" he wrote. "They are proposing a date that, according to leading Canadian soccer coaches and medical personnel I've spoken to, would put one team's athletes at risk of injury, and would certainly give the team that had been practising an obvious and significant advantage." Toronto FC was granted permission by MLS to open camp early, on Feb. 17 to prepare for the Canadian Championship final. Most other teams started March 1. In an interview, Young said Forge had only just received permission from the Ontario government to train. "My complaint is not with any of the individuals at Canada Soccer. It is with the decision that they've reached on this topic," he said. The winner of the Canadian Championship final earns a berth in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, CONCACAF's flagship club competition. The victor will meet Mexico's Club Leon in a two-legged round-of-16 matchup scheduled for April 7 and 14. The MLS season kicks off April 17. Young said the game could be played the first week of April. Forge booked its ticket to the Canadian Championship final by winning the Island Games in 2020. TFC made it by posting the best record in the all-Canadian portion of the pandemic-disrupted 2020 MLS season. Young, who also owns the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats, said he wrote the open letter because "Canada Soccer won't respond to me." Canada Soccer, which runs the Canadian Championship, has yet to confirm the date or venue for the final. It has only said the game will take place in the first quarter of 2021. Time is running short. There is a FIFA international window March 22-28 during which World Cup and Olympic qualifying matches are scheduled. Canada Soccer did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Young's letter. --- Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
CALGARY — When Wayne Middaugh first joined Glenn Howard's team as a fifth, a utilityman role was planned: a veteran backup who could help strategize, provide guidance and have a little playing time mixed in. It turns out he'll be much more than a traditional alternate at the Canadian men's curling championship. With Howard still nursing sore ribs after a recent snowmobile accident, Middaugh has been thrust into the skip role for the Ontario-based Wild Card Three team. In his first competitive game in over five years, the Canadian Curling Hall of Famer delivered on Saturday at the WinSport Arena. Middaugh made clutch draws on demand in a 9-5 win over Greg Skauge of the Northwest Territories in the opening game for both teams. "This is the difference between Wayne Middaugh and anybody else," Howard said. "He hasn't played in a competitive game in five years and yet he goes out there and draws to the four-foot (ring) when he needs to. "That's what we expected and that's what we got from him today." Middaugh threw at 85 per cent in his first Tim Hortons Brier appearance since 2013. With Howard watching from the bench, his good friend led teammates Tim March, Scott Howard and David Mathers to victory. "It's awesome, it's unbelievable," Middaugh said. "You play your whole life as a kid to get to play in the Brier and here I am. I don't know how I got here but here I am." A broken leg derailed Middaugh’s competitive playing career in 2016 when he was Howard's vice. Middaugh, who has won Brier and world titles at three different positions, later turned to coaching. He still plays regular local league games with Howard. Elsewhere in Draw 2 action, New Brunswick's James Grattan defeated Mike McEwen's Wild Card One 6-3, Northern Ontario's Brad Jacobs dumped Yukon's Dustin Mikkelsen 11-3 and Alberta's Brendan Bottcher dropped a 5-4 decision to Manitoba's Jason Gunnlaugson. Two of the event favourites were pushed hard in the afternoon draw. Wild Card Two's Kevin Koe edged Greg Smith of Newfoundland and Labrador 7-6 and Canada's Brad Gushue scored three in the ninth end of an 11-7 victory over Quebec's Michael Fournier. "There's going to be misses," Gushue said. "We're just trying to get something out of every shot. I think that's the goal that we have." The Alberta-based Koe, who's hoping to win a record fifth career Brier title as skip, improved to 2-0. "We've been fooled a bit but I love where we're at," he said. "I think we're going to keep getting better, which is good, which we'll need to do." Ontario's John Epping doubled Matt Dunstone of Saskatchewan 6-3 and Nova Scotia's Scott McDonald defeated Eddie MacKenzie of Prince Edward Island 11-4. Draw 4 was scheduled for Saturday night at the Markin MacPhail Centre on the grounds of Canada Olympic Park. The preliminary round continues through Thursday night. The top four teams in each nine-team pool will advance to the two-day championship round starting Friday. A three-team playoff is set for March 14. The champion will represent Canada at the world men's curling championship next month at the same venue. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter. The Canadian Press
The Professional Women's Hockey Players Association kicked off the second week of its Dream Gap Tour event on Saturday. After splitting last week's opening round of games in New York – including one at Madison Square Garden – the barnstorming series took centre stage at yet another fabled NHL rink, the United Center in Chicago, where Minnesota thumped New Hampshire 4-1. Made up of the top women's hockey players in the world, the Dream Gap tour aims to promote the establishment of a new North American women's league—preferably in partnership with the NHL. Once again, the action remained high pace, with Minnesota's Abby Roque adding two goals to bring her league-leading tally to five. WATCH | Abby Roque keeps on scoring to lead Minnesota past New Hampshire: The afternoon, however, belonged to Nicole Hensley. The 26-year-old goaltender saved 33-of-34 shots to backstop Minnesota to victory. Her shutout spoiled, in the dying seconds, by a last-gasp New Hampshire rush. After a series of slick passes, Brianna Decker finally got New Hampshire on the board after going unmarked at the back post. Despite the goal, Hensley appeared to share the joy on the faces of the New Hampshire players. Having foiled them all game, she couldn't help but look up at the remaining 10 seconds on the clock and smile. Maddie Rolfes and Kendall Coyne Schofield also scored for Minnesota. This year's edition of the Dream Gap Tour features a unique scoring system: in addition to two points for a win, teams are also awarded points for hat tricks, shutouts and for scoring five or more goals. Although PWHPA players are currently training out of five hubs: Minnesota, New Hampshire, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal, the two American teams are the only ones currently in action due to COVID-19 related restrictions. Both Minnesota and New Hampshire will return to the ice on Sunday for the second of their back-to-back series in Chicago. Action from Fifth Third Bank Stadium will be live streamed on CBC Sports beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET.
Receiving $100 million appears to have done very little to change Trevor Bauer.
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday: ENGLAND Already a huge favourite to win the Premier League, Manchester City can virtually ensure a procession to the title in the final weeks of the season by beating Manchester United in the derby at Etihad Stadium. City has a 14-point lead over third-place United — and 12 points more than second-place Leicester — and is on a remarkable 21-match winning run in all competitions. United has won just two of its last eight games in the league, dropping out of realistic contention for the title and maybe seeing its place in the top four threatened. United is unbeaten in 21 away games stretching back to January last year. Liverpool is on a five-match losing streak at home ahead of the visit to Anfield of Fulham, which is looking to climb out of the relegation zone. Fellow relegation rivals West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle meet, while Tottenham hosts Crystal Palace. SPAIN Atlético Madrid hosts Real Madrid in a Spanish capital derby that will leave its mark on the title chase. Atlético leads the league and is aiming to leave its city rival eight points adrift in third place with a victory. However, a win by defending champion Madrid would keep it a three-team race with Barcelona in second place at just two points behind Atlético. Karim Benzema has returned to Madrid’s squad after an injury but coach Zinedine Zidane has not revealed if his striker is ready to start. Also, Athletic Bilbao hosts Granada hoping to build on its win over Levante this week that put it into the final of the Copa del Rey for a second consecutive season. Real Sociedad welcomes Levante with the hosts unbeaten in six rounds and seeking to close in on fourth-place Sevilla. ITALY A hip problem has added Ante Rebic to a long injury list for second-place AC Milan ahead of its visit to Hellas Verona. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mario Mandzukic and Hakan Calhanoglu already unavailable, the Rossoneri will need to find new scoring sources in order to revive its title hopes. After failing to win three of its last four games, Milan is desperate for a victory to put pressure on city rival Inter Milan, which tops the table and is six points ahead. Inter plays Atalanta on Monday. Fifth-place Roma hosts Genoa looking to get back into the top four and the Champions League spots, while Napoli hosts Bologna. GERMANY Arminia Bielefeld’s quest for Bundesliga survival under new coach Frank Kramer begins with a visit from Union Berlin. Bielefeld’s decision to fire Kramer’s predecessor, Uwe Neuhaus, surprised many. But Bielefeld hasn’t won any of its last five games and conceded at least three goals in each of them. Kramer’s first task will be to address Bielefeld’s leaky defence, a job made harder by Max Kruse’s return for Union. The former Germany striker scored a penalty on his return in Union’s 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim last weekend. Two of Bielefeld’s relegation rivals, Cologne and Bremen, meet earlier Sunday. FRANCE Lille clinched a remarkable league and French Cup double 10 years ago with Belgium star Eden Hazard in the side, beating Paris Saint-Germain in the Cup final. The following month PSG was bought by Qatari investors and it has dominated almost every domestic season since. But this year Lille has surged back into contention under inspirational coach Christophe Galtier, whose ultra-consistent side tops the French league from PSG and is on course for another double providing it wins at fourth-tier Corsican side GFC Ajaccio. Marseille is also trying to reach the last 16 of the competition and visits another fourth-tier side in Canet-en-Roussillon. Goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and winger Florian Thauvin have been rested for the match. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
BARCELONA, Spain — Lionel Messi linked up with two generations of teammates to ensure that Barcelona will gain ground on at least one of its two Spanish league title rivals this weekend. Barcelona won 2-0 at Osasuna on Saturday as Messi undid the hosts' disciplined defence on the half-hour mark when he repeated a pass that has led to plenty of goals over his career — sending the ball behind the defensive line to meet a darting run by Jordi Alba. The 31-year-old left back, who has made a career of returning that initial through-ball back to Messi, this time sought his own shot and drilled a powerful strike right past the head of goalkeeper Sergio Herrera. Messi then fast-forwarded to Barcelona’s future with seven minutes left in the match when he served as the link between two of the team’s 18-year-old talents. After receiving the ball from Pedri González, Messi quickly laid it off for substitute Ilaix Moriba to cut back to his left foot and curl a shot into the corner of the net. Barcelona extended its undefeated run to 16 league matches to keep the pressure on Atlético a day before it hosts third-place Real Madrid in a Spanish capital derby. Atlético will also have one more game to play after this round. Ilaix thanked Messi for the pass, and coach Ronald Koeman for the chance to play, after scoring his first goal for the team two weeks after his debut. “From the first game, Koeman told me to look to score and that is what I did,” said Ilaix. “Messi gave me the pass and I don’t know how I cut back ... but I shot and it went in. I will never forget this. I will take this to my grave.” Koeman arrived last summer to overhaul a team that had looked old and worn out when it finished the season without a title and capitulating 8-2 to Bayern Munich. Instead of promising immediate titles, he lowered expectations and focused on rejuvenating the team for years to come. And that he has done. Ilaix is the latest of a number of young players that Koeman has nurtured along, including Pedri, the injured Ansu Fati, Frenkie de Jong, Ousmane Dembele, Ronald Araújo, Óscar Mingueza, and Sergiño Dest. “We are proud to give opportunities to the young players” Koeman said. “They are demanding a chance because they are the future of the club. It is important to bring some fresh air into the team. Playing for Barcelona, you are obligated to win, but if we can do so while introducing young players and the changes we are making, then even better.” The win comes before Barcelona’s club members vote on Sunday for a new president, who will inherit a club with a ballooning debt and the task of convincing Messi to stay on when his contract expires this summer. Barcelona’s good form in Spain will face an extremely tough test on Wednesday when it visits Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. PSG won 4-1 in the first leg of the round of 16 with a hat trick by Kylian Mbappe at Camp Nou. Before kickoff at El Sadar Stadium, Barcelona’s players wore shirts with “8M” to commemorate International Women’s Day on Monday 8 March. SEVILLA SLIPS After losing both games of its league-cup doubleheader against Barcelona in the last week, Sevilla was upset 2-1 by Elche. Raúl Guti and Guido Carrillo scored for Elche in the 70th and 76th minutes, before Luk de Jong pulled one back for Sevilla. Sevilla remained in fourth place and in control of Spain’s last Champions League spot. Elche escaped the relegation zone. “I am angry with our game,” Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui said. “We were completely out of the match. We lacked heart. (But) there is no need to search for someone to blame. When a team is not playing well, the first one to blame is the coach.” LONG-AWAITED WINS Valladolid beat Getafe 2-1 to end an eight-round winless streak, while Cádiz edged Eibar 1-0 to end a seven-round winless run. Eibar’s loss left it in in the relegation zone. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press