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Barcelona takes command against Manchester City

Feeling they had a point to prove, FC Barcelona’s players delivered in style Tuesday — leaving Manchester City bitter and bruised.

The Spanish powerhouse put itself in solid position to advance to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals for the seventh straight year by winning 2-0 in Manchester, England, in the first leg of a home-and-home, total-goals series.

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Lionel Messi scored on a penalty kick in the 54th minute and Dani Alves added a goal in the 90th for Barcelona, which hosts the second leg March 12.

Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas felt confident enough to deliver a message to his team’s critics: “They will have to shut up for a few days.”

Messi scored after he was fouled by fellow Argentine Martin Demichelis, who received a red card and forced Manchester City to play a man down for the rest of the match.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini questioned the integrity of Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson.

In another first-leg match in the round of 16, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice to help Paris Saint-Germain dominate 4-0 at Bayer Leverkusen of Germany.

College football

Calhoun needs evidence before supporting change

The chairman of the NCAA Football Rules Committee said a proposal to prohibit snapping the ball until at least 10 seconds run off the 40-second play clock should not go forward if there is no hard evidence showing up-tempo offenses endanger defensive players.

Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, the committee chairman, said he has yet to see a medical study linking the rapid pace of an offense to potential health issues for defensive players.

“If there is nothing that arises that’s firm, there’s no way you want to enact a rule. That doesn’t make any sense,” he said.

This is a non-rules-change year for the NCAA, but exceptions can be made for rules that affect player safety.

Oregon State hires Garrett

John Garrett, a former NFL assistant coach, has been named offensive coordinator at Oregon State. He replaces Danny Langsdorf, who left the Beavers last month to become quarterbacks coach for the NFL New York Giants.

Garrett, who coached wide receivers for Tampa Bay last season, is the brother of Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.

Ole Miss players are sued

Mississippi players Denzel Nkemdiche and Robert Nkemdiche, who are brothers, are being sued for $2 million after allegedly beating a man at a 2013 fraternity party.

Georgia safety is dismissed

Georgia strong safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, who missed the Bulldogs’ Gator Bowl loss to Nebraska after his second suspension of the season, has been dismissed from the program.


Moore is in Match Play field

Ryan Moore of Puyallup is in the 64-man field for the Accenture Match Play Championship, a World Golf Championships event at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz.

Moore, seeded 26th overall, faces No. 39 Joost Luiten of the Netherlands in the first round Wednesday.

Henrik Stenson of Sweden is the top seed, Justin Rose of England is second and American Zach Johnson is No. 3.


Vijay Singh received a favorable ruling in his lawsuit against the PGA Tour when a New York State Supreme Court judge allowed his complaint he was treated differently from other players under the Tour’s anti-doping policy. Thus the case could be headed for trial.

The Tour announced a year ago Singh would be suspended for saying in a Sports Illustrated story he took deer antler spray, which was believed to contain the banned substance IGF-1. Late in the appeals process, the Tour dropped the case when the World Anti-Doping Agency said deer antler spray was no longer a concern.

• Top-ranked Rafael Nadal showed no signs of a tender back, defeating fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-3, 7-5 in the first round of the Rio Open tennis tournament in Brazil.

It was Nadal’s first match since Jan. 26.

• American Serena Williams, ranked No. 1 in the world, beat Russian Ekaterina Makarova 7-6 (10-8), 6-0 in the second round of the Dubai Championships.

Williams, who had a first-round bye, had been sidelined with a back injury since losing to Ana Ivanovic in the Australian Open last month.

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