Barcelona Success and the Latest of FIFA Scandal in the Best of the Week

  • Barça, FIFA & More
    1/13 The magic MSN game against Celta, the latest in the FIFA scandal and the latest PSG news stood out this week in sports world.
  • FIFA bans ex-General Secretary Jerome Valcke for 12 years
    2/13 FIFA bans ex-General Secretary Jerome Valcke for 12 years: Former FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke has been banned from soccer activities for 12 years. The adjudicatory chamber of FIFA's Ethics Committee removed the 55-year-old from his position last month as a formal investigation was opened into allegations of misconduct. Though Valcke denied the claims, the investigatory chamber has found him guilty of several breaches of FIFA regulations, including general rules of conduct, confidentiality and the offering and accepting of gifts.
  • Barcelona 6-1 Celta
    3/13 Barcelona 6-1 Celta: Suarez nets hat-trick as MSN combine in comfortable win: Barcelona restored their three-point lead at the top of La Liga with a stunning 6-1 victory over Celta Vigo. Lionel Messi was in inspired form as he got the hosts off the mark with a beautifully measured free-kick before John Guidetti levelled from the spot. Messi and Luis Suarez combined wonderfully for Barca's second prior to Suarez completing his double, which came about after clever play from Messi to set up Neymar's assist. When Messi was fouled for an 81st-minute penalty, he elected to lay the ball off for Suarez's hat-trick, with Ivan Rakitic's clever lob and Neymar's calm finish capping a stunning period of attacking football from Luis Enrique's men.
  • Valencia 1-1 Barcelona (agg 1-8)
    4/13 Valencia 1-1 Barcelona (agg 1-8): Neville denied rare win as Barça break record: Barcelona left it late to set a new club record unbeaten run with a 1-1 draw at Valencia, which saw them into the Copa del Rey final with an 8-1 aggregate victory. The hosts' efforts amounted to a single Alvaro Negredo strike before half-time, although their attacking endeavour arguably merited more. There were plenty of positives for Neville, who is yet to register a Liga win as Valencia boss, but Wilfrid Kaptoum scored his first Barcelona goal six minutes from time to make it 29 unbeaten in all competitions, breaking a Barca record set by Pep Guardiola's 2010-11 vintage.
  • Celta Vigo 2-2 Sevilla (2-6 agg)
    5/13 Celta Vigo 2-2 Sevilla (2-6 agg): Aspas brace in vain as Emery's men reach final: Sevilla reached their first Copa del Rey final since 2010 following a 2-2 second-leg draw with Celta Vigo in a helter-skelter semi-final at Balaidos. Sevilla were always hot favourites to set up a final showdown against holders Barcelona, but found themselves 2-0 down just after half-time thanks to a brace from their former striker Iago Aspas. Ever Banega's effort left Celta needing to score four more goals in the final half-hour, however, and, when John Guidetti missed a penalty moments later, home hopes subsided. Yevhen Konoplyanka tapped home a late equaliser for the visitors.
  • Juventus 1-0 Napoli
    6/13 Juventus 1-0 Napoli: Late Zaza strike sends champions top: Simone Zaza's late strike earned Juventus a dramatic 1-0 victory over Napoli in Turin that saw them go top of the table for the first time this season, extending the reigning champions' winning streak in Serie A to 15 games. The hosts were unable to break down the Napoli defence right until Zaza netted in the 88th minute with what could be a crucial goal in the title race.
  • Serge Aurier suspended by PSG for derogatory remarks
    7/13 Serge Aurier suspended by PSG for derogatory remarks: Serge Aurier has been suspended by Paris Saint-Germain following offensive remarks made in a video on social media. The Ivory Coast international posted a video responding to questions from supporters in which he appeared to make controversial comments about head coach Laurent Blanc and certain PSG team-mates, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic. PSG have since issued a statement to confirm they have provisionally suspended the former Toulouse defender.
  • Laurent Blanc signs new PSG deal
    8/13 Laurent Blanc signs new PSG deal: Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc has signed a two-year contract extension, the French champions have confirmed. PSG made the announcement, with Blanc - the club's most decorated coach - set to stay in the capital until June 2018. It is just reward for Blanc, who has guided PSG to back-to-back Ligue 1 titles following his appointment in 2013.
  • 6 Nations: Jonathan Joseph hat-trick seals England win over Italy
    9/13 6 Nations: Jonathan Joseph hat-trick seals England win over Italy: Jonathan Joseph scored a second-half hat-trick to help England maintain their perfect record against Italy in the Six Nations with a 40-9 victory in Rome. England have now won all 17 of their matches against Italy in the competition, although the latest was far from certain until two lapses in concentration from the home defence at Stadio Olimpico.
  • 6 Nations: France scrap for victory as Ireland's injury woes mount
    10/13 6 Nations: France scrap for victory as Ireland's injury woes mount: France were rewarded for a sustained spell of late pressure as they triumphed 10-9 against an Ireland side who were left counting the cost of more injuries. Jonathan Sexton's boot had kicked Ireland into a 9-3 lead in a scrappy, error-strewn encounter at a wet and windy Stade de France. But France, who had struggled for possession in the opening hour in Paris, bombarded the Irish try line and Guy Noves made it two from two as France head coach when Maxime Medard scored the only try in the 69th minute.
  • 6 Nations: Wales come on strong to inflict further misery on Scotland
    11/13 6 Nations: Wales come on strong to inflict further misery on Scotland: Wales were made to work hard as they maintained their excellent Six Nations record against Scotland with a 27-23 victory at the Principality Stadium. Vern Cotter's men improved on their performance in defeat against England in round one, but nevertheless remain without a win in Cardiff since 2002 and have now lost their last nine matches in this competition.
  • Two tennis officials banned in match fixing scandal
    12/13 Two tennis officials banned in match fixing scandal: Two tennis officials have been banned on match-fixing charges and a further four are currently under investigation by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The ITF said in a statement that Kazakh official Kirill Parfenov was "decertified for life" in February 2015 after attempting to manipulate the scoring of matches by contacting another official of Facebook. Croatian Denis Pitner was also given a 12-month ban on August 1 for providing information on the fitness of a player to a coach while a tournament was ongoing.
  • Kobe Bryant gets win in final NBA All-Star Game
    13/13 Kobe Bryant gets win in final NBA All-Star Game: Finally, Kobe Bryant claimed victory in his final NBA All-Star appearance as the Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference 196-173. The high-scoring game broke the record for most combined points in an All-Star contest with 369, while it was also the highest total by winning and losing sides respectively. Russell Westbrook led the scoring for the West with 31 points, which included seven three-pointers as well as totalling eight rebounds and five assists.