The big news: Neymar shines as Barcelona end 10-year jinx

Barcelona finally snapped their 10-year winless run at Real Sociedad with a 1-0 victory in the first-leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final on Thursday, reported The Guardian. Brazilian striker Neymar converted a first-half penalty kick to give Barcelona the win at the Anoeta Stadium for the first time since 2007. In the process, they also ended an eight-game winless streak.

Neymar scored from the spot after being brought down inside the area in the 21st minute, to give Barcelona the advantage going into the return leg at the Camp Nou next week. It was also Neymar’s second goal in two matches following an 11-match drought. Barcelona had lost five and drawn three of their previous eight visits to Anoeta.


  • Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen will be out for nearly six weeks because of an ankle ligament injury, according to his manager Mauricio Pochettino. Vertonghen turned his left ankle during the second half of last Saturday’s 4-0 win over West Brom.
  • Manchester City have been cleared to play 19-year-old Brazilian winger Gabriel Jesus against Tottenham on Saturday. Jesus completed his £27 million move from Palmeiras in a five-year deal with City.      


  • England fell short by 15 runs in an improbable chase of 382 against India in the second One-Day International in Cuttack. India thereby took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. Centuries from Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni in the first innings powered India to a thrilling win. 
  • Australia led the five-match One-day International series against Pakistan 2-1 after Steve Smith smashed an unbeaten 108. The hosts chased down the target of 264 set by Pakistan in Perth.
  • A new look South African team play Sri Lanka in a Twenty20 International at Centurion Park. The three match-series will see Farhaan Behardien lead the side, which also see six debutants take the field on Friday.


  • Britain’s Jamie Murray and Brazilian partner Bruno Soares, who won the Australian Open last year, were knocked out in the men’s doubles first round by Sam Querrey and Donald Young. The second seeds lost 6-3, 7-6 (5) on Thursday.
  • Former world No.1 Rafael Nadal beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 to march into the third round of the Australian Open. 
  • Former world No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic was stunned by world No. 117 Denis Istomin in a five-set thriller in the second round of the Australian Open. Djokovic lost 7-6 (8), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 in four hours and 48 minutes.
  • Leander Paes and Brazil’s Andre Sa crashed out of the men’s doubles event of the Australian Open. The Indo-Brazilian pair lost 6-4, 6-7, 4-6 to Max Mirnyi and Treat Huey in the first round.


  • Punjab Royals clinched the Pro Wrestling League crown as they beat Haryana Hammers 5-4 in a nail-biting final in Delhi on Thursday.