Briefs

Wed, Nov 21, 2012, 00:00

A round-up of today's other stories in brief

Messi's double leaves him five short of Muller's record 85 goals

Lionel Messi moved to within five goals of Gerd Müller’s scoring record as Barcelona qualified for the knockout stages with victory over Spartak Moscow last night.

The Argentinian scored twice to go to 80 goals so far in 2012, just five behind Müller’s record number of goals scored in a calendar year from 1972.

Barcelona went ahead in the 16th minute through Danny Alves when he struck a volley cleanly past the goalkeeper after the ball was laid off by Messi at the edge of the area.

The visitors then wasted a great chance to equalise when Emmanuel Emenike’s cross from the right found Marek Suchy who had got ahead of his marker but he did not even get a shot on target from less than 12 yards, instead ballooning the ball over.

They were left to rue that when shortly afterwards Barca took a two-goal lead.

Andres Iniesta’s shot from a narrow angle brought a parry from the goalkeeper but Messi pounced on the rebound. His second came when he timed his run perfectly and latched on to Pedro’s superbly weighted pass, got ahead of the defence and rounded the keeper before slotting the ball home.

Bayern and Valencia both go through after 1-1 draw

Bayern Munich joined Group F rivals Valencia in the last 16 after the 2001 finalists played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Mestalla last night.

Lille’s 2-0 win at BATE Borisov in the earlier kick-off had put the Spanish club through and Bayern, last year’s runners-up, also progressed despite failing to make their numerical advantage count against 10-man Valencia.

The hosts had right back Antonio Barragan sent off for a wild tackle in the 33rd minute but, roared on by their fans, produced a battling performance.

Sofiane Feghouli’s deflected shot put them ahead in the 77th minute before Thomas Müller levelled with a scuffed effort five minutes later.

In Group E, a hat-trick by Luiz Adriano helped Shakhtar Donetsk qualify for the last 16 as they beat Nordsjaelland 5-2 away.

Paris St Germain favourites to be Beckham's final challenge

Paris St Germain are front-runners to sign David Beckham for his “final challenge” but there has also been interest from Brazil, China and Russia.

Beckham (37) has announced he will leave the Los Angeles Galaxy after next month’s MLS Cup and is looking for one last club with which to bring the curtain down on his career.

PSG, bankrolled by Qatar, made an offer to the player a year ago and the presence of head coach Carlo Ancelotti and sporting director Leonardo, both of whom Beckham knows from his spells at AC Milan, could prove the clincher.

Beckham will spend the next month making his decision with his choice likely to be announced in mid-December after the Galaxy’s title defence against the Houston Dynamo on December 1st and subsequent tour.

Sterling interviewed over complaint

Liverpool and England player Raheem Sterling has been interviewed by police over an alleged attack on a woman.

Sterling (17) was questioned under caution after Merseyside Police received a complaint of assault.

He was not arrested and attended the police station by prior appointment, Merseyside Police said.

The 27-year-old alleged victim, who is known to the footballer, suffered “slight” facial injuries during an incident in Toxteth, Liverpool, earlier this month.

A police spokeswoman said: “Merseyside Police can confirm that a 17-year-old male from the Woolton area was interviewed under caution following a report of an assault on Friday, November 2nd”.

Ukraine turn their search to Redknapp

Harry Redknapp’s agent has confirmed the Football Federation of Ukraine have made contact as they look to appoint a new manager.

The FFU revealed in a statement this afternoon they would seek to initiate talks with Redknapp after identifying the 65-year-old as their primary target to succeed Oleg Blokhin.

Redknapp’s agent, Paul Stretford of Triple Sports and Entertainment Group, revealed contact had since been made with the former Tottenham boss.

According to the FFU statement Redknapp’s name was agreed as their first choice – after Andriy Shevchenko turned down the role yesterday – following a recommendation from former Arsenal defender Oleg Luzhny.

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