Uphill task for Copa holders Barca, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Uphill task for Copa holders Barca

Sevilla defeated Barcelona 2-0 in their Copa del Rey quarter-final, first leg yesterday morning (Singapore time), leaving the holders with an uphill task in next week's return leg at Nou Camp.

Second-half strikes from Pablo Sarabia and Wissam Ben Yedder stunned the Catalan side, who earlier in the day announced the signing of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax Amsterdam.

Yet Barca coach Ernesto Valverde, who handed a debut to on-loan forward Kevin-Prince Boateng, said he does not regret resting his star Lionel Messi.- REUTERS

Neymar doubtful for United game

Neymar is doubtful for next month's Champions League clash against Manchester United after a recurrence of the metatarsal injury in his right foot during their 2-0 French Cup win over Strasbourg yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Brazilian, 26, left the pitch after his injury. The club said there's "reactivation of the lesion of the fifth right metatarsal", adding that treatment would depend on how the injury heals in the next few days.

PSG face United at Old Trafford for the first leg of the Champions League last-16 clash on Feb 12.- REUTERS

Betis’ Inui joins Alaves on loan

Japan international Takashi Inui has switched from Real Betis to fellow La Liga side Alaves on loan for the remainder of the season.

The midfielder, 30, has spent the last four seasons in the Spanish top flight, first signing for Eibar in August 2015 before leaving on a free transfer to Betis last season. He failed to score in his eight league games for Betis.

Inui, who has 32 caps for Japan, joins an Alaves side, sitting fifth in La Liga on 32 points, one behind Sevilla in fourth and with hopes of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time. - REUTERS