Sports News in Brief
MADRID - Real Madrid recorded their fourth consecutive home league victory with a 2-0 win over Rayo Vallecano on Sunday despite playing for 72 minutes with 10 men. Alvaro Morata and Sergio Ramos got the goals in the opening 12 minutes but Ramos' night took a turn for the worse just six minutes later when he saw two harsh yellow cards in quick succession. Despite their numerical advantage though Rayo failed to create too many clear-cut chances and their best effort was comically blocked by their own player as Leo Baptistao failed to evade Piti's driven shot towards goal.
The win allowed Real Madrid to cut the gap on Atletico Madrid in second place to four points with Barcelona a further 12 clear at the top.
SYDNEY - Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has delivered the news every Sharks fan has been desperate to hear all off-season - star playmaker Todd Carney will be ready to go for the NRL season-opener. Carney on Monday joined his teammates in running with the full Sharks squad for the first time since tearing his Achilles tendon in last year's finals series, Flanagan revealing the NSW Origin pivot was ahead of schedule. Off-contract at the end of the season, Carney was thought to be in danger of missing the early rounds of the competition, but Flanagan fully expects to have him available to face Gold Coast in March.
SYDNEY - The Brumbies are on guard for a mental collapse against Melbourne in Friday night's danger Super Rugby derby at AAMI Park. The ACT side, desperate to put last year's heartbreak behind them, spent an entire off-season building up for their round-one assignment against Queensland. It was mission accomplished against the Reds, in a bruising affair in Canberra, but the Brumbies coaching staff are wary of a lag in a back-to-back Australian derby clash with the Rebels. It's a match the Brumbies should win, but Melbourne showed in their first-up win over the Western Force that 2013 could be their year to make an impact.
PARIS - Paris Saint Germain clearly need the cool head and experience of David Beckham on the evidence of a careless showing Sunday at struggling Sochaux, where the French title hopefuls slid to a shock 3-2 loss. With the former England star set to make his grand entrance in next weekend's 'clasico' against bitter rivals Marseille, PSG, chasing a first league crown since 1994, had expected to cruise six points clear of Lyon who showed their own mettle earlier with a 4-0 thrashing of Bordeaux. Instead, the Parisians slid to their fourth league loss of the campaign to leave the race for the championship wide open. PSG now have 51 points from 25 matches for just a three-point lead over Lyon with Marseille just two points further back.
LOS ANGELES, California - Despite his high seeding, Adam Scott drew a tough first-round opponent in South African Tim Clark for this week's lucrative World Golf Championships Match Play in Tucson, Arizona.
Clark, a friend of Scott's and a fellow long putter user, finished in a tie for ninth in his last two starts at the head-to-head, knock-out event before missing the last two editions through injury.