Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Messi scores in 700th match as Barca ease into last-16
Lionel Messi scored in his 700th match for Barcelona and also set up goals for Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann as the Catalans beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 on Wednesday to seal a spot in the Champions League knockout stages as Group F winners. Messi set up Suarez to put Barca ahead at a packed Camp Nou in the 29th minute before the Uruguayan returned the compliment for the Argentine to establish another Champions League record on his landmark night four minutes later.
Esports: Change is needed for women to feel welcome, says Vitality boss
Female representation in esports is in a 'terrible state' and attitudes must change for women gamers to feel more welcome, according to Team Vitality co-founder and chief executive Nicolas Maurer. The Frenchman, whose esports company ranks in the top three in Europe and partners Renault in the Formula One esports pro series, said audiences needed to be educated and gender stereotypes confronted.
Esports: Renault harnesses real F1 resources for virtual success
Jarno Opmeer once trained in the Renault team gym as a junior academy driver and now the Dutch racer is back at the factory facility, preparing for a Formula One esports title showdown that he still hopes to win. The 19-year-old has given up on the neck exercises, of little benefit when competing in virtual races without g-forces. Extreme temperatures and dehydration are not concerns either.
Motor racing: Hamilton can sign off in style at Abu Dhabi finale
Lewis Hamilton will be making a milestone 250th Formula One start as he seeks to sign off his championship-winning campaign in style in Sunday's Abu Dhabi season-ender. The Briton, who became only the second driver to win a sixth title at the U.S. Grand Prix earlier this month, is already the most successful driver at the floodlit Yas Marina track with four wins.
NHL roundup: Blackhawks halt Stars' record-tying run
Corey Crawford made 32 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated visiting Dallas 3-0 Tuesday night, preventing the Stars breaking the record for longest winning streak in team history. Brandon Saad, Patrick Kane and Connor Murphy scored as Chicago snapped the Dallas' franchise-record-tying, seven-game winning streak and 12-game point streak (11-0-1).
FC Dallas acquires Picault, extends Hedges' contract
FC Dallas acquired forward Fafa Picault from the Philadelphia Union in exchange for $300,000 of 2020 General Allocation Money and also signed defensive stalwart Matt Hedges to a three-year contract extension. Philadelphia could receive up to $75,000 in additional GAM for 2021 if Picault meets performance metrics.
Euro 2020 matches in Russia not affected by sanctions: WADA
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Wednesday that a recommendation to bar Russia from hosting major sporting events will not affect the Euro 2020 soccer championships or the 2021 Champions League final. A WADA committee this week recommended Russia be handed a four-year ban from the Olympics and world championships in a number of sports and be barred from hosting major events.
MotoGP champion Marquez has shoulder surgery
Six times MotoGP champion Marc Marquez underwent shoulder surgery in Barcelona on Wednesday, his Honda team said in a statement. The MotoGP season finished at Spain's Valencia circuit on Nov. 17, with Marquez taking his 12th victory of a dominant campaign.
NFL notebook: Steelers make move to Hodges at QB
After rallying the Pittsburgh Steelers to a victory this past weekend, Devlin Hodges was named starting quarterback for Sunday's home game against the Cleveland Browns. Hodges came on in relief of Mason Rudolph in the third quarter last Sunday with the Bengals leading 7-3. On his second pass attempt of the game, he hit James Washington for a 79-yard touchdown and Pittsburgh never trailed again.
Bruins sign Coyle, Wagner to contract extensions
Boston Bruins forwards Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner signed multi-year contract extensions on Wednesday. Coyle, 27, inked a six-year contract extension through the 2025-26 season with an annual NHL cap hit of $5.25 million.