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Di Maria defends ‘scapegoat’ Messi

The Real Madrid forward believes the media have unfairly singled out his compatriot following Barcelona’s recent struggles in the league and cup competitions

Angel Di Maria has defended Lionel Messi and claimed his fellow Argentine is often made the scapegoat for Barcelona’s failings.

Messi has been widely criticised for his performances in recent weeks with Barca’s hopes of silverware taking a major hit.

The four-time Ballon d’Or winner was a peripheral figure as the Catalans lost 2-1 to Di Maria’s Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday night.

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Niners table contract talks with Colin Kaepernick

Contract talks between the San Francisco 49ers and Colin Kaepernick are on hold.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday on NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” that the 49ers have tabled negotiations while police investigate an incident earlier this month at a Miami hotel.

The Miami Police Department confirmed last week that Kaepernick, Niners wide receiver Quinton Patton and Seattle Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette were named as persons involved in an incident report filed April 4. A public information officer said last Thursday that the investigation was in “the early stages.”

The goal for the Niners and Kaepernick remains getting a new deal done before the start of the 2014 season. According to Rapoport, negotiations were not going well and the sides are not close on a monster deal that is expected to exceed $ 18 million per year.

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Sharks dominate Kings in Game 1

 Sharks dominate Kings in Game 1

The Sharks’ relentless forecheck did not make it an easy night for Jonathan Quick. (Nick Lust/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Jon Lester, Chris Sale take no-hitters into sixth inning in Red Sox win over White Sox

Posted April 17, 2014

 Jon Lester, Chris Sale take no hitters into sixth inning in Red Sox win over White Sox

Xander Bogaerts’ solo shot in the sixth inning broke up Chris Sale’s no-hit bid. (Paul Beaty/AP)

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Mavericks not equipped to match up with Spurs

After falling just seconds short of a title last year, Tim Duncan and the Spurs are back as a No. 1 seed.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images Sport

Matchup: No. 1 San Antonio Spurs (62-20) vs. No. 8 Dallas Mavericks (49-33)

Season Series: Spurs won 4-0

Efficiency Rankings: San Antonio (6th offense, 4th defense), Dallas (3rd offense, 22nd defense)

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Tottenham’s record signing has no more part to play

Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood announced that record signing Erik Lamela will not feature in any of the clubs remaining games, with the player still needing to prove his worth to both himself and the club.

Spurs acquired the Argentinian midfielder for £30 million last summer, but has yet to see the player perform at a level that is acceptable with his hefty price tag.

Lamela’s debut campaign was halted by a back injury which saw him start only three Premier League fixtures, while grabbing only one goal which was in the Europa League.

Despite his high expectations, the Spurs manager has stated that their record signing will most likely miss the rest of this season with Lamela’s back injury yet to heal properly.

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Top 14 Preview: Round 25

Clermont s French hooker Benoit Cabello score 3040280 Top 14 Preview: Round 25

Rematch: Clermont face Racing for the fourth time this season

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