David Lafata scored a hat-trick as AC Sparta Praha came from behind twice to win a thrilling UEFA Champions League third qualifying round first leg against Malmö FF.

Although Lafata cancelled out Emil Forsberg’s opener, the visitors regained the lead before half-time thanks to Isaac Kiese Thelin. However, two goals in two minutes from Lafata and Radoslav Kováč put the Czech club ahead before the Sparta captain – on target five times against FC Levadia Tallinn in the previous round – sealed victory with his third.



Barcelona and Costa Brava by Shang Chen

My family visited Barcelona two years ago and I yearn to go back. I still remember the crunchiness of the pan con tomate (toast with tomato) and the feast of architectural richness in Antoni Gaudi’s work. Gaudi is Barcelona’s shining star, an architect whose work incorporates inspiration from both his religious beliefs and from nature. He left behind a legacy through beautiful private homes, a colorful park, and the crown jewel, Sagrada Família, a still unfinished cathedral being continued through his disciples and public funding.


ŠK Slovan Bratislava overcame the 61st-minute dismissal of Richard Lásik in securing a narrow UEFA Champions League third qualifying round first-leg victory against FC Sheriff.

Karol Mészáros’s late strike gave Slovan a lead to take into the return in Moldova next week following Ricardinho’s leveller for the visitors with 16 minutes remaining. Lásik’s foul on Radu Gînsari led to him seeing red and a penalty that Cadu had saved by Dušan Perniš, Slovan captain Igor Žofčák having put the Slovakian title holders ahead with a spot kick of his own.