FC Barcelona faces about seven to eight weeks without Lionel Messi after its standout forward tore a ligament in his left knee during the defending champion’s Spanish-league match against Las Palmas.

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European soccer

Messi suffers knee injury

Defending league champion FC Barcelona faces about two months without Lionel Messi after its standout forward tore a ligament in his left knee during a 2-1 Spanish-league victory over visiting Las Palmas on Saturday.

The team confirmed the injury after Messi had tests at a nearby Barcelona hospital. FC Barcelona officials said they expect Messi, who has a torn medial collateral ligament, to be out from seven to eight weeks.

Messi went down after colliding with Las Palmas defender Pedro Bigas in the third minute. He writhed on the ground in front of the Las Palmas goal before play was stopped. After getting medical attention, the Argentina star went back on, but two minutes later asked to be replaced after carefully trotting around and testing his leg with a pair of passes.

Messi, 28, walked off by himself as Munir El Haddadi replaced the four-time world player of the year in front of a subdued Camp Nou crowd of almost 75,000.

Spanish television showed images of Messi leaving the hospital with a limp as he got into a car.

Man U moves into lead

Manchester teams traded places at the top of the English Premier League.

Host Manchester United beat Sunderland 3-0 to move into first place and Manchester City slipped to second after being thrashed 4-1 at Tottenham.

Man U, with 16 points from seven matches, leads the league for the first time since August 2013. City, which opened with five straight victories but has lost its last two in the Premiership, has 15 points.

Defending champion Chelsea needed two late goals to tie host Newcastle 2-2.

Horse racing

Smooth Roller prevails

There were top-quality events on both coasts, with five Grade I races at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., and three more at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.

Smooth Roller beat Hoppertunity by 5¼ lengths in the $300,750 Awesome Again on dirt at Santa Anita. The 4-year-old gelding paid $13 to win.

The other Grade I races on dirt at Santa Anita, each with a $300,750 purse, belonged to overwhelming favorites.

Beholder ($2.20 to win), a 5-year-old mare, took the Zenyatta; Songbird ($2.40) led virtually all the way in the Chandelier for 2-year-old fillies; and colt Nyquist ($3) won the Frontrunner for 2-year-olds.

Photo Call ($19.40), a 4-year-old filly, won the $301,250 Rodeo Drive on the Santa Anita turf course.

At Belmont, 7-year-old ridgling Big Blue Kitten ($7) set a course record of 2 minutes, 23.39 seconds for 1½ miles on grass in winning the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.

Heavy favorites won Grade I dirt races earlier on the Belmont card, as 5-year-old mare Wedding Toast ($3.30) took the $400,000 Beldame and 4-year-old colt Rock Fall ($2.80) prevailed in the $400,000 Vosburgh.


Wilder improves to 35-0

Deontay Wilder used a flurry of head shots to finally subdue Johann Duhaupas, stopping him 55 seconds into the 11th round to successfully defend his WBC heavyweight title in Birmingham, Ala.

Wilder (35-0), fighting in his home state, hit Frenchman Duhaupas (32-3) with nine consecutive head shots early in the 11th round and the referee stopped the bout.

“He’s definitely got a nice chin,” Wilder said of Duhaupas. “I see why he’s never been (knocked out) before.”


Lizzie Armitstead of Britain edged Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands for the road-race title at the world cycling championships in Richmond, Va.

Megan Guarnier, a New York native, won the bronze medal — the first medal earned by a U.S. woman in the road race at worlds since Jeanne Golay finished third in 1994.

• Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook, 30, signed an eight-year, $55 million contract extension that goes through the 2023-24 NHL season.

• Former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia beat Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-0 to win the Guangzhou International tennis title.

• A high-school quarterback in New Jersey died after suffering an injury on the field Friday, school officials confirmed.

Evan Murray, 17, of Warren Hills Regional High School in Washington, N.J., died after he was hurt in a game against Summit High. Murray had been the team’s starting quarterback for three years.

People at the game said Murray walked off the field under his own power after taking a hit in the backfield late in the second quarter. A short time later, he apparently collapsed.

Murray tried reassuring teammates he would be fine as he was lifted on a gurney and taken to a hospital, witnesses told the New York Daily News.