Sports World: Koeman hints at ‘more defensive’ Barca

Sports World: Koeman hints at ‘more defensive’ Barca

Koeman hints at ‘more defensive’ Barca

BARCELONA • Captain Lionel Messi made his first appearance since withdrawing his request to leave the La Liga side as Barcelona beat Gimnastic de Tarragona 3-1 in a friendly on Saturday.

Afterwards, new coach Ronald Koeman hinted that his side would play a style of football the Nou Camp faithful are not accustomed to when their league campaign kicks off on Sept 27 against Villarreal.

He told the club’s TV channel that the Catalan giants would be “more defensive” as evident by their 4-2-3-1 system, a shape rarely used by Barca coaches in the past.


Simeone tests positive for Covid-19

MADRID • Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has tested positive for Covid-19, the La Liga club said in a statement on Saturday, meaning they might not have anyone in the dugout when their football campaign starts in two weeks’ time.

The Argentinian is asymptomatic and currently isolating in his home after undergoing a test on Friday during the team’s pre-season training camp.

Atletico play their first league game of the season at home to Granada on Sept 27.


Henderson joins Korda atop ANA field

LOS ANGELES • Brooke Henderson fired an eagle and six birdies in a seven-under 65 on Saturday to join Nelly Korda atop the third-round leader board of the ANA Inspiration, the second women’s golf Major of the year.

The Canadian’s sizzling effort in the Californian desert heat gave her a 12-under total of 204, where she was joined by American Korda who signed for a one-under 71.

The pair were two strokes in front of Australian Katherine Kirk (67), South Korean Lee Mi-rim (71) and American Lexi Thompson (69).


Three in the lead at PGA opening event

SAN FRANCISCO • Brian Stuard birdied his final hole on Saturday to join fellow American golfer James Hahn and Australian Cameron Percy at the top of the leader board heading into the final round of the PGA Tour’s season-opening Safeway Open.

Stuard returned an error-free six-under 66 at the Napa Valley Silverado Resort to move into contention alongside Hahn, who shot a bogey-free 67.

Percy carded a 68 for a 16-under 200 total after three rounds.