The race for survival in the Premier League has become just as intense as the race for the top spot. Everton’s comprehensive win over Brighton takes the Merseyside club out of the relegation zone, while 2015-16 season winners Leicester City are increasingly facing the threat of going down to the Championship.
In France, Lionel Messi has returned to training with Paris Saint-Germain, after the club had suspended the Argentina star for taking an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia.
Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for 9 May, 2023:
Everton move out of relegation zone
Everton moved out of the Premier League relegation zone with a ruthless 5-1 win at Brighton on Monday, while Leicester’s hopes of survival are hanging by a thread after a 5-3 defeat at Fulham.
Nottingham Forest also pulled themselves clear of the bottom three as they beat fellow strugglers Southampton 4-3.
Brighton are in the hunt to qualify for Europe for the first time in the club’s history, but a heavy schedule appeared to have taken its toll on Roberto De Zerbi’s men as they were torn apart by an Everton side that had not won away since October.
Leicester boss Dean Smith admitted his players are struggling with the pressures of a relegation battle after a disastrous defensive display at Craven Cottage.
The Foxes, who won the Premier League in stunning fashion in 2016 and lifted the FA Cup two years ago, are staring relegation in the face.
Victories for Everton and Forest pushed Leicester into the relegation zone and they also face a tough run-in with Champions League-chasing Liverpool and Newcastle to come before ending the season at home to West Ham.
Only Leeds and Bournemouth have conceded more goals than Leicester in the Premier League and defensive deficiencies were again their undoing at Craven Cottage.
Messi resumes training with PSG
Lionel Messi returned to training with Paris Saint-Germain on Monday six days after Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain was suspended for going on an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia.
“Leo Messi returns to training Monday morning,” tweeted the club along with a photo of the 35-year-old in action.
His return makes it likely he will feature in PSG’s home match with relegation-threatened Ajaccio next Saturday.
He was suspended by the Qatar-owned club after failing to turn up for training last Monday.
Instead, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner travelled to Saudi Arabia without PSG’s permission to fulfil commitments as part of a contract with the country’s tourist office.
Messi subsequently apologised in a video posted on Instagram to his 458 million followers.
“I had organised this trip to Saudi Arabia having cancelled it previously. This time I couldn’t cancel it. I am sorry for what I did and I wait to see what the club decides to do.”
The affair has made it increasingly unlikely that Messi will remain at PSG beyond this season, when his two-year contract with the club expires.
With text inputs from AFP
Updated through the day