European giants Real Madrid and AC Milan secured their progression to the Champions League semi-finals with wins over Chelsea and Napoli respectively. While defending champions Real Madrid beat Chelsea 4-0 on aggregate after a 2-0 win in the second leg, Milan drew 1-1 against Napoli to win 2-1 on aggregate.
Despite a lean run with the beat, veteran opener David Warner has made Australia’s squad for the Ashes in England.
World number two Carlos Alcaraz began his clay court season with a comfortable win in the second round of the Barcelona Open.
Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for 19 April, 2023:
Real Madrid reach Champions League semis
Rodrygo scored twice as Real Madrid cruised into the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday, completing an emphatic 4-0 aggregate win against Chelsea that ends a disastrous season for the London club.
The home team, with Frank Lampard back in the dugout for a second spell, came into the match at Stamford Bridge with form and history against them.
They started brightly but rued a number of huge missed chances that would have heaped pressure on the defending champions.
The Spanish giants made Chelsea pay for their profligacy when Rodrygo scored in the 58th minute after a speedy counter-attack and he made it 2-0 with 10 minutes to go.
Chelsea, the 2021 European champions, have now lost all four of their matches since Lampard returned to the club as caretaker boss earlier this month in place of the sacked Graham Potter.
Real Madrid will likely play Manchester City in the semi-finals, with Pep Guardiola’s team 3-0 up against Bayern Munich after the first leg of their last-eight tie.
Former Chelsea boss Ancelotti is chasing a record-extending fifth win as a coach in the tournament.
But Chelsea, used to winning silverware over the past two decades, are contemplating the final stretch of a horrendous campaign despite a staggering spend of more than £500 million ($621 million) in the first year of the club’s new ownership.
Trophyless this season, they are languishing in 11th in the Premier League and look unlikely to qualify for European football next season.
Giroud seals Milan’s passage into semis
AC Milan reached the semi-finals of the Champions League on Tuesday after Olivier Giroud struck the crucial goal in a 1-1 draw at Napoli which completed a 2-1 aggregate victory over their fellow Italians.
Giroud tapped in what turned out to be the decisive goal two minutes before the break after a blistering run from Rafael Leao, who was once again key as Milan beat Napoli for the third time this month.
The France striker’s 13th goal of the season saved his blushes after he missed a penalty midway through the first half.
Stefano Pioli’s side now have the prospect of a local derby in the last four as Inter Milan hold a two-goal lead ahead of their second leg with Benfica on Wednesday night.
Milan have not contested a Champions League semi-final since they were crowned kings of Europe for the seventh and most recent time in 2007.
Victor Osimhen scored in stoppage time but it was not enough for Napoli who are creaking as they come towards the end of what has been a phenomenal season.
Napoli are on the verge of their first league title since 1990, but after being placed on the easier side of the draw Tuesday’s exit was an underwhelming end to their European adventure.
Warner makes Australia’s Ashes squad
Under-pressure David Warner was Wednesday spared the axe and included in Australia’s squad for the first two Ashes Tests and the World Test Championship final, while all-rounder Mitchell Marsh earned a recall.
Veteran opener Warner is fighting to save his career after a lean run with the bat that had some questioning whether his time was over.
But the 36-year-old will head to England as part of a 17-man squad that also includes Josh Inglis as cover for wicketkeeper Alex Carey, and Marcus Harris and Matthew Renshaw as back-up batters.
There was no room for batsman Peter Handscomb, who featured on the recent Test tour of India and is currently playing county cricket in England.
Spinners Ashton Agar, Mitchell Swepson and Matt Kuhnemann, who also went to India, were similarly overlooked with Todd Murphy getting the nod as second spinner to Nathan Lyon.
Big-hitting Marsh, who has long battled injuries, returns as a likely replacement for Cameron Green should he pick up an injury.
Australia play India at The Oval in the World Test Championship final from June 7 followed by five Ashes Tests at Edgbaston, Lord’s, Headingley, Old Trafford and The Oval.
Bailey said selectors would evaluate the makeup of the squad following the first three matches.
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (capt), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner
Alcaraz wins in Barcelona
World number two Carlos Alcaraz began his belated build-up to the French Open with an emphatic second-round win over Nuno Borges at the Barcelona Open on Tuesday.
The Spanish teenager was back in action after hand and back problems forced him to pull out of last week’s 2023 debut on European clay at the Monte Carlo Masters.
The top seed swept aside the world number 79 from Portugal 6-3, 6-1 to set up an all Spanish last-16 clash with Roberto Bautista Agut after the 13th seed beat Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-2, 6-2.
Alcaraz pulled out of Monte Carlo with the injuries that had hampered his last appearance, in the semi-finals in Miami where he succumbed to Jannik Sinner.
Alcaraz arrived in Miami as the world number one after success at Indian Wells, but was knocked off the top of the ATP rankings by Novak Djokovic after the loss to Sinner.
Norway’s third seed Casper Ruud came through 6-2, 7-6 (7/1) against American Ben Shelton to set up a meeting with either Francesco Passaro or Francisco Cerundolo.
With text inputs from AFP
Updated through the day