MESSI TOPS 300 GOALS IN VICTORY
MADRID — Lionel Messi scored his 300th and 301st goals in the Spanish league on Wednesday as Barcelona defeated Sporting Gijon 3-1 to open a six-point lead atop the standings.
Luis Suarez also scored for Barcelona in Gijon in a game postponed from December because of the Club World Cup. The win gave Barcelona 60 points, six more than Atletico Madrid and seven more than third-place Real Madrid after 24 rounds.
Messi opened the scoring with a well-struck low shot in the 25th minute and added his second from close range in the 31st, four minutes after Sporting equalized with striker Carlos Castro in a breakaway at the El Molinon Stadium.
Suarez missed a chance to add to his league-leading 24 goals when his 62nd-minute penalty was saved by Sporting goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar, but the Uruguay striker sealed the victory five minutes later after a nice move inside the area.
CHAMPIONS: Cristiano Ronaldo ended his away scoring drought with an impressive second-half goal as Real Madrid won 2-0 at Roma in the first leg of the Round of 16.
ROONEY OUT: England striker Wayne Rooney has a knee injury, and there is no timeframe for his return, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said.
Wawrinka barely advances
Top-seeded Stan Wawrinka hit 49 winners and saved two match points to reach the quarterfinals of the Open 13 with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (10-8) win over Sergiy Stakhovsky in Marseille, France.
RIO OPEN: Third-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lost 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 to Brazilian Thiago Monteiro in the first round.
Dubai Championships: Defending champion and top-seeded Simona Halep was ousted by Ana Ivanovic 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 in an opening match in the United Arab Emirates.
Four cities meet deadline for bids
The IOC praised the four cities bidding for the 2024 Games for relying heavily on existing and temporary facilities to cut costs and avoid white elephants. Los Angeles, Paris, Rome and Budapest, Hungary, delivered their first detailed bid files to the International Olympic Committee.
BASKETBALL: Tiago Splitter won't be able to play for the home team in Rio. The Hawks center said he will need eight months to recover from hip surgery, costing him a spot on the Brazilian national team this summer.
COLLEGES: Iowa athletic director Gary Barta reached a five-year contract extension last month that guarantees him $4.6 million in compensation through June 30, 2021.
SWIMMING: Dutch swimmer Inge Dekker, who won gold, silver and bronze in the women's 4x100-meter freestyle relay at the last three Olympics, was diagnosed with cervical cancer.
TRACK: Genzebe Dibaba set a world record in the indoor mile in Stockholm, beating a record that had stood for 26 years. The Ethiopian's time of 4 minutes, 13.31 seconds beat Doina Melinte's record set in East Rutherford, N.J., in 1990 by four seconds.