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Guardiola Coach Hails 'One-Off' Iniesta

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola hailed Andres Iniesta as a 'one-off' talent in a side dominated by Lionel Messi after the Spanish giants' 2-0 Champions League win over Viktoria Plzen.

Iniesta put Barca ahead after 10 minutes, following an excellent interchange with Messi which cut open the Czech defense, with the second goal coming eight minutes from time when David Villa seized on a loose ball.

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Torres Has Confidence Back Says Villas-Boas

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas believes Fernando Torres has finally rediscovered his confidence after the Spain striker scored twice in a 5-0 demolition of Genk.

Torres had gone 875 minutes without scoring in the Champions League, a miserable run that dated back to April 2009 when he scored for Liverpool against Chelsea.

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Wenger Thrilled by Cool-Hand Ramsey

Arsene Wenger lauded the sang-froid of match-winner Aaron Ramsey after the substitute gave Arsenal a precious Champions League victory with an injury-time winner at Marseille on Wednesday.

Ramsey's goal, two minutes into injury time, came at the end of a dreary encounter that had been drifting towards a goalless draw that would have kept OM two points clear of the Gunners ahead of the return fixture on November 1.

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U.S. Open Could Make Monday Finish Permanent

After four consecutive years of rain-postponed men’s finals, the U.S. Open is looking into changing its schedule as soon as next year and could become the first Grand Slam tennis tournament to switch permanently to a Monday finish.

Tournament director Jim Curley told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday that the U.S. Tennis Association started discussions last month with broadcaster CBS about finding a way to heed top players’ calls for a day off between the men’s semifinals and final.

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Bologna Still Working on Deal for Kobe Bryant

The Italian club Virtus Bologna says “unexpected engagements” have made it impossible to sign Kobe Bryant(notes) this month, but both sides will keep working toward a deal in November.

Bologna President Claudio Sabatini told The Associated Press this month he had reached a tentative deal with Bryant’s agent or a 10-game contract worth more than $3 million.

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Schalke Goalkeeper Faehrmann Out for Three Months

Bundesliga giants Schalke 04 will be without goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann for the rest of the year after he suffered a major knee injury which is expected to keep him out for up to three months.

The 23-year-old, who replaced Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in the Schalke goal after his departure to Bayern Munich, badly damaged knee ligaments in the 2-1 home defeat to Kaiserslautern last Saturday.

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Loss-Making Korea GP 'Under Threat'

Korean Grand Prix organizers have warned that the loss-making event is under threat of closure unless Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone gives them a cheaper contract, a report said.

Promoter Park Won-Hwa said the grand prix, held at Yeongam in rural South Jeolla, had made a "big financial loss" and was unpopular with the local community since joining the glitzy Formula One circuit last year.

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NBA: Owners, Players Silent after 16 Hours of Talks

NBA owners and locked-out players met with a federal mediator for more than 16 hours before the longest contract negotiating session of the bitter money dispute ended Wednesday with no public comments.

The first two weeks of the 2011-2012 NBA season have already been wiped out and NBA commissioner David Stern said that more games could be lost if the two sides, widely split on how to divide revenues, could not make progress Tuesday.

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Asia Swing Safe, Say Tennis Chiefs

Tennis chiefs have played down fears that the Asian swing will become the perennial victim of player pull-outs at the end of the grueling season after high-profile absentees at the Shanghai Masters.

The question of burnout was bubbling away again in Shanghai, missing a clutch of top 20 players including marquee names Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, taking some of the shine off the high-profile tournament which finished Sunday.

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Champions League: Manchester Clubs Win at Last, French Clubs Suffer

Both the Manchester clubs finally got their first wins of the Champions League campaign on Tuesday with United beating Romania minnows Otelul Galati 2-0 and City edging Villarreal 2-1.

However, both were not pretty affairs, United relying on two Wayne Rooney second-half penalties - making him the highest ever scoring Englishman in the competition with 26 goals - in a match where both sides ended with 10 men.

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