April 19 (Reuters) - Reuters sports schedule at 0600 GMT on Thursday (times GMT)
LONDON - Didier Drogba scored late in the first half and Chelsea kept free-scoring Lionel Messi in check to secure a 1-0 win over holders Barcelona in their Champions League semi-final first leg. (SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/CHELSEA, moved, pix, 500 words)
Europa League semi-finals, first legs
Sporting v Athletic Bilbao (1905)
Atletico Madrid v Valencia (1905)
Portuguese club Sporting will try and gatecrash Spain’s Europa League party when they host Athletic Bilbao while two more La Liga sides in former winners Atletico Madrid and Valencia contest the other semi-final. (SOCCER-EUROPA/, expect by 2100, pix, 400 words)
Teetering on the brink of elimination, the Pittsburgh Penguins refused to surrender as they savaged the Philadelphia Flyers 10-3 to avoid a first round sweep out of the National Hockey League playoffs. (NHL-PLAYOFFS/, moved, pix, 350 words)
The Boston Celtics clinched the Atlantic Division title with a 102-98 win over the Orlando Magic with Paul Pierce nailing a crucial jump shot in the final seconds to seal the game. (NBA-CELTICS/, moved, pix, 250 words)
The Tampa Bay Rays turned their offense loose on Toronto on Wednesday, pounding the Blue Jays 12-2 on the back of four home runs including Luke Scott’s ninth inning grand slam. (BASEBALL-BLUEJAYS/, moved, pix, 200 words)
ATP: Monte Carlo Masters (to 22)
MONTE CARLO - World number four Andy Murray plays first in the Monte Carlo Masters third round against France’s Julien Benneteau, then top-seed Novak Djokovic faces Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov and seven times winner Rafa Nadal takes on qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin. (TENNIS-MEN/MONTECARLO, expect by 1700, pix, by Gregory Blachier, 400 words)
European Tour: China Open, Tianjin (to 22)
Copy on merit.
PGA Tour: Texas Open, San Antonio, Texas (to 22)
Copy on merit.