Karim Benzema scored a hat-trick against Barcelona as Real Madrid overcame a first-leg deficit to reach the Copa Del Rey final.
In England, Marcus Rashford scored the winner for Manchester United against Bournemouth, as Newcastle United beat West Ham to stay in third spot in the Premier League table.
Meanwhile, Frank Lampard has been appointed as interim manager at Chelsea as the club searches for a new permanent manager after sacking Graham Potter.
Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for 6 April, 2023:
Pakistan names Nida Dar as captain
Pakistan appointed allrounder Nida Dar as captain of the women’s national team on Thursday and brought back New Zealander Mark Coles as head coach ahead of a hectic year-long programme.
Dar, 36, replaces Bismah Maroof, who stepped down after Pakistan’s disappointing performance in the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in February, where they lost three of their four matches.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also brought Coles back for his second stint as women’s head coach.
“The appointments – Dar as captain and Coles as coach – have been made in light of the PCB’s vision and strategy to invest further into women’s cricket,” it said in a news release.
The PCB hopes the appointments will lift the team as they host South Africa in September and October and then on tours to Bangladesh and New Zealand between October and December.
Pakistan will also feature in the 2024 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh and the eight-team ICC Women’s World Cup in India in 2025.
Dar was a member of the Pakistan sides that won Asian Games gold in Guangzhou in 2010 and Incheon in 2014.
“I am honoured to have been appointed as the captain of the Pakistan women’s cricket team,” Dar said.
“It is a huge responsibility, and I am excited to lead the team.”
Coles was Pakistan’s head coach from 2017 to 2019.
“We have a lot of potential in the team, and I look forward to helping the players to give their best and achieve success on the international stage,” Coles was quoted as saying in the PCB release.
Lampard appointed Chelsea interim manager
Chelsea appointed former boss Frank Lampard as their caretaker manager until the end of the season on Thursday.
Owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali said they were “delighted to welcome Frank back to Stamford Bridge”, days after the sacking of Graham Potter.
Lampard, who was sacked earlier this season by Everton, was dismissed by Chelsea in 2021 after 18 months in charge.
Chelsea sacked Graham Potter on Sunday after a disastrous run of form that has left the club 11th in the Premier League despite spending over £500 million ($623 million) on new players in their first season under new owners.
However, they are through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and travel to defending champions Real Madrid for the first leg of their last-eight tie in seven days’ time.
Lampard was in attendance for Chelsea’s 0-0 draw at home to Liverpool on Tuesday and is the man the club’s American owners have turned to in hope of inspiring a short-term turnaround.
In 13 years as a Chelsea player, Lampard won three Premier League titles, the Champions League and remains the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.
The 44-year-old led Chelsea to fourth in the Premier League and the FA Cup final in his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge.
But he was sacked midway through his second season and Chelsea went on to win the Champions League that year under Thomas Tuchel.
Benzema stars in Clasico
Karim Benzema struck a hat-trick as Real Madrid hammered Barcelona 4-0 at Camp Nou to reach the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday, progressing 4-1 on aggregate.
Vinicius Junior opened the scoring just before the break as Carlo Ancelotti’s side mounted a spectacular comeback from their one-goal semi-final first leg deficit, with Benzema adding a second-half treble.
After netting three at the weekend against Real Valladolid in La Liga, Benzema repeated the trick to humiliate Barcelona on a painful night for coach Xavi Hernandez in front of almost 95,000 distraught fans.
Los Blancos trail their arch-rivals by 12 points in La Liga and were beaten by Barca in the Spanish Super Cup final in January, but triumphed here to reach the Copa final for the first time since 2014, where they will face Osasuna.
“It was a complete game – when you play a complete game, you win 4-0 like that,” said Ancelotti.
“This is the most important moment of the season and when we’re at the right temperature (like this), we’re good.”
Madrid turfed out the record 31-time cup winners with a muscular performance on a spiky night in Barcelona, where they also ended a demoralising run of three consecutive Clasico defeats.
Barcelona’s Sergi Roberto said letting in Vinicius’ goal on the stroke of half-time was a huge blow.
“Their goal at the end of the first half killed us, we didn’t deserve to let in that goal. I think we were better in the first half,” the midfielder told RTVE.
“We created more chances that we didn’t put away, and that goal hurt our morale. In the second half they scored the second and we couldn’t play our game.”
The Catalan said defeat would not damage Barcelona’s title bid in the final weeks of the season.
“Now we have a considerable points distance, it will not affect us, we have to continue and go for the league,” he added.
Rashford scores in Man United win
Marcus Rashford sent Manchester United back into the Premier League top four with the winner as the Red Devils beat Brentford 1-0 on Wednesday, while Newcastle won 5-1 at West Ham to stay third.
Callum Wilson and Joelinton each scored twice for the Magpies, who remain above United on goal difference.
Both sides now have a three-point lead over Tottenham and a game in hand on Spurs in the race for a place in next season’s Champions League.
United had slipped to fifth after a run of three league games without a win and cup commitments that meant they had not registered a Premier League win since mid-February.
Erik ten Hag’s men also had a score to settle with the Bees after a humiliating 4-0 defeat when the sides last met in August.
The Dutch coach was stinging in his criticism of his players’ attitude and desire in losing 2-0 to Newcastle on Sunday and got the response he was looking for.
“Hopefully we can build on that and get back to where we were a couple of weeks ago,” said Rashford. “Everyone’s clear on the fact that we’re not going to play our best football every week, but we have to maintain our standards.”
Rashford started through the middle as Ten Hag’s patience with Wout Weghorst finally ran out and that decision bore fruit when the England international was perfectly placed to side-foot home Marcel Sabitzer’s knockdown for his 28th goal of the season.
Meanwhile, a fourth consecutive win edged Newcastle closer to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.
With text inputs from AFP
Updated through the day