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Sports in brief

Lionel Messi, left, and Barcelona teammate Cristian Tello celebrate.

Associated Press

Lionel Messi, left, and Barcelona teammate Cristian Tello celebrate.


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VALLADOLID, Spain — Lionel Messi polished off his record year with his 91st and final goal of 2012 in Barcelona's 3-1 win against Valladolid on Saturday.

Messi scored in the 59th minute by dribbling between a defender's legs before making it 2-0. Xavi Hernandez opened the scoring two minutes before halftime, in a victory the team dedicated to ailing coach Tito Vilanova. Players from both teams wore T-shirts before the game with messages of support for Vilanova, who had throat surgery Thursday to remove a second tumor in two years from a saliva gland.

Vilanova, 44, was released from the hospital moments before the game and is expected to have about six weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Messi, 25, finished 2012 with 79 goals for Barcelona (59 in the Spanish league) and 12 for Argentina (five in World Cup qualifiers). He broke German great Gerd Mueller's 40-year-old milestone of 85 goals in a calendar year.

ENGLAND: Gareth Barry scored in the third minute of second-half stoppage time to give defending Premier League champion Manchester City a 1-0 win at home over last-place Reading. City is in second place, three points behind rival Manchester United, which plays today at Swansea City.

MLS: Toronto acquired the rights to American defender Gale Agbossoumonde in a weighted lottery. He spent last season with Carolina of the NASL.


Leagues, NCAA fight N.J. plans

Four major professional leagues and the NCAA are poised to move forward with their legal fight over New Jersey's plans to allow sports gambling. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp rejected arguments that the leagues couldn't prove they would be harmed if the state proceeds with the plans. He denied the state's request to dismiss the lawsuit by the NBA, NHL, NFL, Major League Baseball and the NCAA.


BOXING: Tomasz Adamek, his nose swollen and eyes circled with a little purple, beat Steve Cunningham by split decision in an IBF heavyweight title eliminator in Bethlehem, Pa. Adamek is 48-2.

NHL: On Day 98 of the lockout, deputy commissioner Bill Daly and players association special counsel Steve Fehr spoke on the telephone but still haven't made plans to meet face to face.

WINTER SPORTS: American freestyle skiers Bryon Wilson and Heather McPhie won a World Cup dual moguls event in Kreischberg, Austria. … JR Celski won the overall men's championship and Lana Gehring took the women's title at the U.S. short-track speed skating championships in Kearns, Utah.

SQUASH: Nicol David of Malaysia won her seventh Women's World Open title and fifth in a row, beating first-time finalist Laura Massaro of England 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 in Camana Bay, Cayman Islands.

Times wires

Sports in brief 12/22/12 [Last modified: Saturday, December 22, 2012 9:28pm]
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