22 Jan 2021

Today's sports news: What you need to know

1:14 pm on 22 January 2021

Latest - Defending champions Liverpool have suffered a shock 1-nil defeat to lowly Burnley, ending their 68 match unbeaten home record in the Premier League as their title defence continues to fade.

An 83rd minute penalty from Ashley Barnes, after he was brought down by goalkeeper Alisson Becker, decided the contest after Juergen Klopp's side failed to score for the fourth straight league match.

Liverpool have not won for five games in the league and trail leaders Manchester United by six points, in fourth place.

All Whites striker Chris Wood (centre) was part of Burnley first win over Liverpool in more than 40 years.

All Whites striker Chris Wood (centre) was part of Burnley first win over Liverpool in more than 40 years. Photo: Photosport

It was Burnley's first victory at Anfield since a 1-nil win in September, 1974 and Sean Dyche's side were rewarded for a superb defensive display.

Divock Origi had struck the bar for Liverpool in the first half, with only Burnley keeper Nick Pope to beat and Roberto Firmino missed a good chance after the break.

But for all their pressure and 73% possession, Liverpool struggled to create real openings with Ben Mee and James Tarkowski outstanding in the centre of Burnley's defence.

The Clarets, who made a poor start to the season, move up to 16th place on 19 points.


McIlroy in front

World number six Rory McIlroy took a one-shot lead in the first round of the HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi after carding an error-free 64 to finish at eight-under before bad light stopped play.

Irish golfer Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

After fog delayed the opening of play by nearly three hours, McIlroy was among the early starters and began on the back nine.

Northern Irishman McIlroy carded eight birdies to finish one shot ahead of England's Tyrrell Hatton, who recorded eagles on the par-five 10th and 18th.

McIlroy has finished in the top five eight times at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club but is still in the hunt for his first title.

Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti was third, two shots behind McIlroy, with nearly half the field yet to finish the first round which will resume tonight.


Badosa first player to confirm COVID-positive in Australian Open quarantine

Paula Badosa became the first player entered for next month's Australian Open to confirm a positive test for COVID-19 while in quarantine in Melbourne, with the Spaniard saying she had symptoms.

As many as 72 players are confined to their hotel rooms for two weeks and are unable to train for the Feb. 8-21 Grand Slam after some passengers on three charter flights ferrying them to Australia tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Badosa, 23, arrived in Melbourne after playing in Abu Dhabi earlier this month and was on her seventh day in quarantine when she said her test came back positive.

"I'm feeling unwell and have symptoms, but I'll try to recover as soon as possible listening to the doctors. I've been taken to a health hotel to self isolate and be monitored," the world number 67 wrote on Twitter.

On Wednesday, 10 people associated with the Grand Slam -- including four players -- had tested positive for the virus.

However, there has been confusion over the exact numbers, with several test results later reclassified by authorities as "viral shedding" from previous infections.

The strict protocols have taken a toll on several frustrated players who have complained in recent days but South Africa's Kevin Anderson has appealed to them to show more respect for the local community's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.


World No.1 Barty joins elite field for Adelaide exhibition

Tennis world number one Ash Barty will join Serena Williams, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic in playing a pre-Australian Open exhibition event in Adelaide at the end of the month.

U.S. Open winners Dominic Thiem and Naomi Osaka and women's No. 2 Simona Halep will be part of the eight-player field, which also includes 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner.

The Adelaide event, dubbed "A Day at the Drive", will launch Australia's summer of tennis and take place at the city's Memorial Drive Tennis Centre on Jan. 29.

Barty, 24, has not played a competitive match since February, opting not to defend her French Open title and skipping the U.S. Open in New York amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam, has been delayed until Feb. 8 this year. The Melbourne Park venue will also host warm-up events from Jan. 31.

Hundreds of other players and their entourages are undergoing mandatory 14-day quarantine in Melbourne.

Tennis Australia Chief Executive Craig Tiley said earlier in the week that the top players were sent to Adelaide to ensure organisers did not exceed the limit set by the authorities for people quarantining in Melbourne.

That decision prompted claims from some of those isolating in Melbourne that the big names were receiving better treatment.

Tiley did not disagree.


Stokes, Archer return to England test squad for India series

England all-rounder Ben Stokes and fast bowler Jofra Archer will return for the four-test series in India next month as the country's cricket board (ECB) named on Thursday the squad for the first two matches.

Batsman Rory Burns also returns to the side after he skipped the Sri Lanka tour to stay at home for the birth of his first child but Ollie Pope has yet to recover from a shoulder injury and will be added to the squad only when he passes a fitness test.

England are currently playing a two-test series in Sri Lanka where they lead 1-0 going into Friday's final match while India returned from a successful tour of Australia where they retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a 2-1 series win.

England's selectors have decided to rest Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran and Mark Wood, who are currently in Sri Lanka while Craig Overton will also return home after the second test in the island nation.

The India series is scheduled to begin on Feb. 5, with the first two matches to be played in Chennai before they travel to Ahmedabad for the last two games.


Man City's Aguero confirms COVID-19 positive test

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero confirmed that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

"After a close contact, I've been self-isolating and the latest test I took was positive for COVID 19," he said on Twitter. "I had some symptoms and I'm following doctor's orders for recovery. Take care, everyone!"

Aguero, City's record scorer, has missed their last four games, including Wednesday's victory over Aston Villa.

"We need Aguero, we miss him. The numbers speak for themselves, the best striker in our history," manager Pep Guardiola said ahead of the Villa game.

City face fourth-tier Cheltenham Town in the FA Cup fourth round this weekend.