Struggling SPAL sack Semplici

Italian club SPAL have sacked coach Leonardo Semplici, the Serie A basement club confirmed on Monday.

The announcement comes after the Ferrara-based team lost 2-1 at home against Sassuolo on Sunday.

Semplici,
52, took over in December 2014 leading the club from Serie C up to the
top flight for the first time in 49 years for the 2017-2018 campaign.

Everton’s Pickford hits out at pundits over criticism

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford says his role as England’s number one has made him the target of unfair criticism.

Pickford
let Christian Benteke’s equaliser slip under him in Everton’s 3-1 win
over Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.

Former
defender and television pundit Gary Neville slammed Pickford in
September for laughing when Everton were 3-1 down against Manchester
City, while others have highlighted his patchy form over the last 18
months.

Eagles move top Zambia Super League, Zesco get vital win

Champions Zesco United returned to winning
ways and Green Eagles climbed to the top of the Zambia Super League in
another big weekend of action in the race for the title.

Zesco
left it late but two goals in the final three minutes secured a 2-0
victory over bottom side Mufulira Wanderers for what would have been a
stunning draw.

Winston Kalengo finally broke the deadlock, before
Kenyan forward John Makwatta scored on debut to seal the points for the
away side.

Barca beat Betis to keep pace with Real Madrid

Lionel Messi gave a hat-trick of assists on
Sunday as Barcelona ended their turbulent week with a thrilling 3-2
victory over Real Betis to stay in touch with Real Madrid at the top of
La Liga.

Madrid’s 4-1 win away at Osasna earlier in the day put
pressure on Barca to respond, only for Betis to twice lead at the Benito
Villamarin through a penalty from Sergio Canales and brilliant solo
effort from Nabil Fekir.