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Sancho, Haaland score again as Dortmund climb into 2nd (video)

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DORTMUND, Germany — Erling Haaland scored his ninth goal in six games for Borussia Dortmund as they swept past Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0 in the Bundesliga on Friday.

[ MORE: Man City banned from European action ]

Achraf Hakimi ran the game from right back for Dortmund, cuing up Lukasz Piszczek to score the opening goal. Jadon Sancho made it 2-0 with a solo goal before he and Hakimi combined in the buildup to Haaland’s third.

Dortmund overtook Leipzig for second place in the league with the win and was just one point off leader Bayern Munich, which plays Cologne on Sunday.

Six days after the defense allowed two late goals in a 4-3 loss to Bayer Leverkusen, Dortmund’s back line looked much improved against Frankfurt, which had few clear chances in its biggest defeat of the season. Next up is Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday.

“It’s really important, especially that we gave up few chances. I think they had one shot,” Dortmund defender Mats Hummels said. “We were very concentrated and switched on in every position.”

[ MORE: Report: Man City facing possible PL points deduction ]

A Europa League semifinalist last season, Frankfurt is having an underwhelming Bundesliga campaign in ninth but has specialized in beating Germany’s top clubs. It hammered Bayern 5-1 in November and has defeated Leipzig twice.

“We were just too harmless up front,” Frankfurt midfielder Sebastian Rode said.

Dortmund nearly took the lead early on when Raphael Guerreiro hit the post.

The breakthrough came in the 33rd when Hakimi, on loan from Real Madrid, controlled a loose ball and spotted Piszczek arriving on the edge of the box. Piszczek picked up Hakimi’s pass and blasted the ball low between two defenders in the bottom corner, for the 34-year-old Pole’s first league goal since November 2018.

Sancho dribbled in from the left flank and dodged two defenders before scoring his 13th goal of the season shortly after the break.

Four minutes later it was Haaland’s time to score, applying a simple finish after Hakimi played a one-two with Sancho and fed the 19-year-old Norwegian striker with a low cross.

Guerreiro added the fourth in the 74th after Frankfurt’s defense dispossessed Haaland but failed to clear properly.

Fernandes scores first goal, says Ronaldo backed Manchester United move

Bruno Fernandes Ronaldo
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It’s probably not a surprise that a young Portuguese player would fancy Manchester United given the heroics of Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford early his career.

Bruno Fernandes admits that those images danced through his head well before he signed with the Red Devils in January.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

It’s also not a shock that United would turn to their former player for a take on the playmaker before buying him from Sporting Lisbon.

Fernandes says he’s grateful that CR7 endorsed BF18. From Sky Sports:

“I know some people asked Cristiano what he thought of me and what I was like as a player and a person,” Fernandes said. “I know he spoke highly of me and gave me a good reference, so I sent him a message after to thank him for his kind words.”

Fernandes has 19 caps and two goals for Portugal, while Ronaldo has a few more with 164 and 99.

He now has a goal and an assist in four appearances for United. Ronaldo finished with 118 goals and 69 assists in 292 appearances for the Red Devils.

Here’s the finish:

Eden Hazard suffers fracture ahead of Man City in UCL, El Clasico

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Eden Hazard is set to miss the Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League first leg against Man City with a broken fibula.

Hazard had only returned to the lineup for two matches following a three-month absence with an ankle injury.

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The 29-year-old has made just 15 appearances for Real since arriving in a big-money move from Chelsea, scoring once with five assists.

He has never appeared in less than 30 league matches over the course of his career, five times missing one or zero matches.

Of course, all of his absences show that Real is very comfortable playing and winning without Hazard. Zinedine Zidane’s men lost Sunday to drop behind Barcelona in La Liga, but that was just its second loss of the league season.

Real will be taxed in depth like its rivals, with Wednesday’s visit from Man City followed by anΒ El Clasico at the Bernabeu on March 1. Barcelona hosts Napoli on Tuesday.

Whether you like the playmaker or despise him, there must be some sense of sympathy for his latest ailments (even if Man City and Barca fans will likely offer a Jerry Seinfeld-esque, “That’s a shame”).

Watch Live: Manchester United, Wolves host bottom three battlers

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A pair of Premier League basement dwellers face stiff tests in their bids to win another season in the top flight.

Manchester United hosts Watford on NBCSN while Wolves welcome Norwich City on CNBC as both home sides aim to improve the health of their top four hopes in 9 a.m. ET kickoffs.

[ WATCH: Man Utd-Watford | Wolves-Norwich ]

Lineups notes from both matches:

LINEUPS

Manchester United

Watford


Wolves

Norwich City

Three Serie A matches suspended due to virus deaths in Italy

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ROME (AP) Three Serie A soccer matches scheduled for Sunday in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto were suspended late Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the virus from China.

On orders from the Italian government, the games called off were: Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria, Atalanta vs. Sassuolo and Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari.

Three other matches in Genoa, Turin and Rome on Sunday are going ahead as scheduled.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

A dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown on Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the coronavirus from China, and a growing cluster of cases with no direct links to the origin of the outbreak abroad.

“The government is working on urgent measures to decisively confront and contain the cases of coronavirus contagion,” read a letter from Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora to Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago shortly before midnight local time on Saturday. “Those measures also include the sports world in order to prevent risks and to better take care of the health of those involved in the events and competition.

“Following measures taken by the cabinet for protective reasons and maximum precaution, on orders of the government I’m asking you to suspend all sports events of every level and discipline planned for the Lombardy and Veneto regions on Sunday.”

The secondary contagions prompted local authorities in the Lombardy and Veneto regions to close schools, businesses and restaurants and to cancel sporting events and Masses.

The mayor of Milan, Italy’s business capital and the regional capital of Lombardy, shuttered public offices.

A 78-year-old man infected with the virus died in Veneto. A postmortem on a 77-year-old woman in Lombardy came back positive, though it wasn’t clear if illness from the virus caused her death.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Andrew Dampf on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf