Barca wins La Liga title with Suarez hat-trick

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Barca wins La Liga title with Suarez hat-trick

Barcelona is once again the La Liga champions after winning 3-0 against relegated Granada thanks to a Luis Suarez hat-trick.

The Uruguayan scored his last with just four minutes left to play. At the final whistle, he, Messi and Neymar embraced, along with the rest of the side and their supporters, who sprinted on to the pitch to join in the festivities.

The victory allows the Catalans to claim the club’s 24th Spanish top division title, also their sixth in eight years. But Barca still had their work cut out for them in their match, needing a win to get clear of Real Madrid.

Indeed, Cristiano Ronaldo was able pull Real ahead in the table against Deportivo with a slot in. But as Suarez scored a brace in the first half and Ronaldo is pulled out ahead of the Champions League final against Atletico, Barca fans finally dared to sing “campeones” for the first time.

With 35 goals this season, Ronaldo was also dethroned from his Trofeo Pichichi throne as Suarez completes the game against with his third goal – the first time the top scorer has not been either Ronaldo or Messi since 2009.

They had been unbeaten in 39 games and nine points clear on top of the table before 2 April. They threatened with talent and swagger in every competition, threatening to become the first team ever to defend a Champions League tittle.

And then a 2-1 defeat by Real Madrid at the Nou Camp sparked a dramatic fall for the Catalan club. Within 15 days, they were out of Europe and only top of La Liga by virtue of head-to-head difference after three successive defeats.

Somehow, they responded by massacring Deportivo 8-0, and then went ahead ti win their last five La Liga games after each other, scoring 24 goals and conceding none – proving their mettle and sheer ability, and that they could win when it mattered.

Murray defeats Djokovic on wet clay to win Italian Open

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Murray defeats Djokovic on wet clay to win Italian Open

Andy Murray took the honour of winning his first ever Italian Open title with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over arch-rival Novak Djokovic.

It was a fitting birthday present for Murray, as he broke serves once in the first set and twice in the second in Rome to win the tournament as well as his place in the world rankings – returning to second right before the Roland Garros.

A drop shot sees Murray take the opening set with ease amidst drizzles. He then fought back from break point down to hold serve in the second set, before staving off another two in his next service game.

Pressure mounting, the Serb double faulted to hand Murray match point and the Scot duly closed out the win with a fantastic backhand winner from well out of court.

The match lasted an hour and 35 minutes but Djokovic looked significantly tamed after a three-hour semi-final against Kei Nishikori the night before. Fatigue plays it part just as the Serb self-inflicted a bruise on his left foot towards the end of the match as he tried to loosen dirt from his shoe.

“It’s hard coming back from a long match the night before,” he said, acknowledging Djokovic. “And he fought hard all the way to the end.”

The world number one had also begged the chair umpire, Damian Steiner of Argentina, to suspend play “for five minutes” to clean up a surface. Djokovic had nearly tumbled heavily three times on the rain-soaked clay of Foro Italico, which had been unreliable all week after numerous downpours.

But Steiner turned him down as Murray kept quiet.

Match conditions notwithstanding, his was a first win on clay for Murray over Djokovic in five attempts. It was also a rare victory, as the Scotsman had only won twice in 14 matches since winning the 2013 Wimbledon title.

It was also a feather to be added to Murray’s cap; the British player was the first to win in Rome since the Open Era began. The last British player who managed to won here was one George Patrick Hughes back in 1931, after he had prevailed against French legend Henri Cochet for a quick 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory.

West Ham and Liverpool might play for Europa League spot

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West Ham and Liverpool might play for Europa League spot

Liverpool and West Ham met 4 times this season; West Ham came out on top in 3 of them.

West Ham and Liverpool could play a match to decide the takers of a place in next season’s Europa League.

The Reds will play Sevilla in the Europa League Final which may secure a Champions League place, while the Hammers lie sixth in the Premier League before the last top division game.

But should both teams must qualify for Europe through the league, there is a scenario that has both clubs level on points, goal difference and goals scored.

A Premier League spokesperson confirmed an extra game could take place, although the likelihood is small; a date or venue had thus not been chosen as of yet.

The League rules state:

If at the end of the season either the league champions or the clubs to be relegated or the question of qualification for other competitions cannot be determined because two or more clubs are equal on points, goal difference and goals scored, the clubs concerned shall play off one or more deciding league matches on neutral grounds, the format, venue and timing of which shall be determined by the board.”

There are ultimately many permutations of scorelines that allow this scenario after a full 38-game Premier League season, but in this case, it is necessary for West Ham to maintain its current position and for Sevilla to win in the final next week.

Manchester City has a confirmed Europa League spot after defeating Liverpool with penalties to win the League Cup. Should they finish in the top four this season, that place in the Europa League third qualifying round will pass to the sixth-placed team.

The same will happen if they secure a place in the Europa League group stage by finishing fifth. However, their goal difference provides enough protection for them to avoid finish lower than fifth.

Serena Williams wins, even after eating dog food

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Serena Williams wins, even after eating dog food

Serena Williams, pictured here with Chip, her Yorkshire Terrier.

Serena Williams made herself sick after experimenting with dog food, just a few hours before beating fellow American Christina McHale in straight sets and progressing through in the Italian Open.

Williams took the need for athletes to have special diets a little too seriously as she took to sampling her pet dog’s dinner.

In a video posted hours before the third round of the tournament, the world number one tried a tempting salmon and rice dish, offered on a ‘doggy menu’ at her hotel.

She told fans on Snapchat: “I ate a spoonful. Don’t judge me.”

However, Williams found it disgusting almost instantly after the bite.

“It did taste weird,” she said. “I force-swallowed it. It tasted kind of like house cleaner. I don’t know what they put in these dog foods, but Chip liked it.”

“I don’t think it’s consumable for humans. They should have wrote that!” noted Williams, who followed up the experiment with an urgent trip to the toilet a few hours later. “So now I feel really sick. It was just a spoonful but I don’t feel so good.”

But the incident did not once broke Williams’s stride in the tournament. However, she did appear to slow down a little against in the first set against McHale, before eventually blitzing through in the second, wrapping things up at 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.

Her performance earns her a place at the quarter-finals in Rome. She will play Svetlana Kuznetsova, who also progressed through by defeating fellow Russian Daria Gavrilova.