Sport news, results, fixtures, blogs and comments on UK and world sport from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2017
Not just from Mooney, but Wyatt as well. Duelling banjoes, duelling hundreds, and a pulsating finish to this series. Imagine England had won on Friday, and this game was for the whole bag of prizes?
Yes, it’s the Crazy 88 for Australia and England. The home side retains the Ashes, but it will have the slightly hollow feeling of a retention by the letter of the law rather than the spirit. This isn’t a win, and for England it might feel a bit more like one after coming back to win these last two games.
They should never have been in it tonight. Not remotely close, after an utter masterclass from Beth Mooney. England needed the highest ever T20I run chase in the women’s game... and they produced it.
Many of England’s squad have not played a Test in Australia but most have experience of conditions there and will be ready for the Ashes challenge
Back in 1949 John Arlott tried to work out exactly why the Ashes feels so much more special than England’s other Test series. He decided that it was not just that the rivalry had been running so long, or that Australia had so often been the better team, but because of their attitude towards the sport. “Australianism,” Arlott called it, “the single-minded determination to win – to win within the laws but, if necessary, to the last limit within them.”
The theory of collective intelligence is well-established. The “wisdom of the crowd” principle states that the averaged answer of a group of individuals outweighs that of a single expert on matters of spatial awareness, quantity estimation and general knowledge. It was first mooted by Aristotle, and has been continued by philosophers, statisticians and economists pretty much ever since. It is one good reason why juries and panels exist.
Without offending Aristotle, the Marquis de Condorcet and Francis Galton, Michael Laudrup’s lack of international recognition erodes confidence in the principle. Between 1989 and 1996, Denmark’s greatest ever player was European football’s finest footballer. Not only did European journalists fail to award Laudrup with France Football’s Ballon D’Or; he never even made the top three. That is an absolute travesty and Pep Guardiola agrees: “I just can’t believe he hasn’t won the title as best player in the world.”
As the trainer pointed out during a press visit to her Moone stables on Monday, recent Gold Cup winners have not defended their crown
In among the heady speculation at Jessica Harrington’s yard about what Sizing John might do this season, there was a moment of realism yesterday. It came when the trainer stated her baseline ambition for the horse.
Poor Tony Pulis. The former West Bromwich Albion manager had barely cleared his locker of chewing gum and club shop caps before a line of potential successors started forming at the Hawthorns. Right at the front, jostling to get a closer look at Claudio Yacob, is Derek McInnes. The Aberdeen manager has been linked with Rangers but used to captain West Brom, scoring this banger in the Battle of Bramall Lane.
Behind him, Nigel Pearson is acting as bouncer, keeping Alan Pardew, Sam Allardyce and both Martin and Michael O’Neill at arm’s length. But who’s this sneaking in at the back? Disgraced former Everton manager Ronald Koeman?! As if that wasn’t shameful enough, Pulis could be bundled straight down the M5/M4 to Swansea City, stopping for gum and hats at Magor services, if Paul Clement gets the boot.
Opening batsman says Stokes has let his team and country down
Australian suffers neck injury and appearance in first Ashes Test not assured
David Warner has accused Ben Stokes of letting England down through his Ashes absence. But the Australian opener has also seen his own participation in Thursday’s first Test thrown into doubt after suffering a neck injury during the host nation’s penultimate training session.
Warner, so important to Steve Smith’s team given his aggressive approach at the top of the order, suffered the knock when taking a high catch in practice at the Gabba and then aborted his subsequent net after just two balls when unable to get properly aligned at the crease.
Decision comes despite concerted campaign from umpires to ban bounce
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan also supports mid-year trade period
The AFL commission has voted to retain the traditional centre bounce, despite increasing calls from umpires to have it scrapped. AFL chairman Richard Goyder and football operations manager Steve Hocking said the bounce was a “unique” and “iconic” part of the game, speculating that fans would be happy with the decision. Goyder also snuffed out any suggestion that the decision was a short-term one, adding emphatically: “the bounce is here to stay”.
• Christie says he received abuse on Twitter after defeat by Denmark • FAI refers posts to Irish police as PFA Ireland condemns abuse
The Republic of Ireland defender Cyrus Christie has revealed that he has received racist abuse on Twitter following his country’s failure to qualify for the World Cup. In a statement posted on social mediaChristie highlighted “a number of racist comments” and said those responsible “do not belong in football or any other sport”.
James McClean drew attention to the issue while speaking at the PFA Ireland awards on Saturday, and the Football Association of Ireland has now referred a number of posts aimed at the defender to police in Ireland. PFA Ireland and the charity Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC) issued a joint statement on Monday night, condemning the abuse and referencing a tweet which they claim “urged him to go to Jamaica and boasted about wanting to lynch him”.
• J?rgen Klopp says it is key match in Champions League campaign so far • Point would take Reds into knock-out stage if Spartak Moscow lose to Maribor
With Liverpool revelling in what their manager, J?rgen Klopp, calls “the Mo Salah period”, their marked defensive improvement has been overlooked. The changes provoked by a demoralising defeat at Tottenham Hotspur have underpinned an emphatic reaction, however, and face the fiercest examination since Wembley on Tuesday against Sevilla.
Liverpool arrived in Andalusia in punishing form, flushing memories of Spurs out of the system by winning their last four games by an aggregate score of 13-1. A fifth consecutive victory would secure a place in the Champions League knock-out stage with a group game to spare. It would also be a significant statement, given that Sevilla have not lost at the Estadio Ram?n S?nchez Pizju?n since 22 November 2016 when they were beaten 3-1 by Juventus. “It has been a really interesting journey in the Champions League so far,” Klopp said. “But this is the game.”
• Midfielder was on a high after hat-trick fired Denmark to World Cup • Mauricio Pochettino likely to rotate squad with place in last 16 assured
It was the night when Christian Eriksen made one of the grandest statements of his career. Denmark needed him to perform in the World Cup play-off second leg against the Republic of Ireland – and how he answered the call.
The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder’s sumptuous hat-trick in Dublin fired a 5-1 win, qualification to the finals in Russia next summer and a wave of superlatives – the most headline-grabbing of which was from his manager, Age Hareide, who described him as one of the top 10 players in the world.
Brighton & Hove Albion twice came from behind to earn a draw at home to Stoke City and extend their unbeaten run to five matches with the home manager, Chris Hughton, grateful his team overcame the referee’s failure to award them a clear first-half penalty.
Pascal Gross and then Jos? Izquierdo replied to goals by Maxim Choupo-Moting and Kurt Zouma to leave both sides with a point on the south coast, on a night when Peter Crouch made history of an altogether different kind.
• England coach out of options for No7 shirt after Sam Underhill concussion • Itoje or Robshaw will be given role against Samoa at Twickenham on Saturday
England are considering entrusting their No7 jersey to either Maro Itoje or Chris Robshaw on Saturday in place of Bath’s Sam Underhill, who has been ruled out with concussion. The head coach, Eddie Jones, has previously said he does not see Robshaw as an openside flanker but is running out of specialists before the Test with Samoa on Saturday.
With Underhill stood down after he sustained his second concussion of the autumn, Tom Curry out having dislocated a wrist in training this month and James Haskell exiled from the squad, the other openside candidate currently in Bagshot is Exeter’s Sam Simmonds.
• Australia’s leading finger-spinner opens hostilities with tirade against Joe Root • ‘There’s a lot of scars for the English guys, especially with two bowling 150kph’
Australia’s pacemen will target Joe Root in the opening Ashes Test in an attempt to bring back memories of the bruising series whitewash four years ago when England’s batsmen were “scared” of Mitchell Johnson, according to Nathan Lyon.
Lyon on Monday celebrated his 30th birthday with a series of remarkable and seemingly pre-planned potshots at the tourists before the first Test begins at the Gabba on Thursday, saying England were frightened from No1 to No11 of Johnson’s barrage in 2013 and claiming how “I was at leg slip and I nearly had to push a couple of the guys back towards the stumps”.
• Paralympian Jody Cundy says claims would ‘muddy’ Bradley Wiggins’ name • British Cycling’s former technical director made comments in BBC documentary
British cyclists are disturbed that their former technical director Shane Sutton considered therapeutic use exemptions an acceptable way for athletes to find a marginal gain in their ability to compete.
Jody Cundy said he believed Sir Bradley Wiggins’s name had been “muddied” with the revelation that he had obtained therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs), in effect a doctor’s note to permit banned substances to be taken for the legitimate treatment of a medical condition, on three occasions. They allowed Wiggins to take the corticosteroid Kenacort, allegedly a performance enhancing substance, before the biggest road races of his career, including his 2012 Tour de France victory.
• Ashley wanted around ?400m when he went to market • Rafael Ben?tez’s future in doubt unless he gets January funds
Amanda Staveley’s Dubai-based financial advisory firm PCP Capital Partners has formally offered Mike Ashley a sum in the region of ?300m for Newcastle United after conducting preliminary due diligence on the club’s finances.
Newcastle’s owner, who wanted nearer ?400m, is pondering his next move and on Monday night was still to accept the bid in principle. Should the Sports Direct owner do so a period of exclusivity would be entered into during which specialist lawyers would undertake a period of formal due diligence. This process usually takes around a month, dictating that a final deal could theoretically still be negotiated and completed by Christmas, although a new?year completion seems more likely.
• Wu suspended last month but investigation set to be dropped • Franco Falcinelli, currentlyAiba’s senior vice-president, to take over
The suspended leader of amateur boxing’s governing body, Aiba, has announced he is stepping down amid allegations of financial mismanagement but remarkably will be named as the organisation’s honorary president.
Wu Ching-kuo’s resignation follows a divisive 11-year reign, characterised by a bitter power struggle in recent times. Last month Aiba’s disciplinary commission voted unanimously to suspend the 70-year-old. He was alleged to have accumulated debt of 15m Swiss francs for the organisation through poor financial management and auditing. He was also accused of trying to depose the members of the executive committee who challenged his leadership.
The manager did what he was asked to at first but after three years of dull football and a ?40m summer outlay fans and owners expected more than survival
The signs were ominous. The conspicuous presence of Guochuan Lai, West Bromwich Albion’s usually absent Chinese owner, for his team’s Premier League defeat at the hands of visiting Chelsea spoke volumes and the emphatic nature of the scoreline was enough to seal the fate of Tony Pulis. The Welshman, who took over in January 2015, had the air of a dead man walking in the wake of Saturday’s 4-0 gubbing. He was duly sacked on Monday and leaves the club a point and a place above the relegation zone.
Fans who have long been bored witlessby an unattractive brand of football that was no longer yielding the kind of results that led to finishes in 13th, 14th and 10th over the past three seasons have finally got what they wanted. The question now is whether they will regret the decision to sack the first man they would almost certainly approach with a view to extracting them from the current pickle if it was not he who had got them into it in the first place.
• City centre-back out for up to six weeks with hamstring injury • Eliaquim Mangala to play against Feyenoord in Champions League
Pep Guardiola believes the loss of John Stones will present Manchester City with a tough examination of their title credentials. Stones, whose outstanding form led him to play back-to-back 90-minute games for England against Germany and Brazil, now faces six weeks out with the hamstring injury sustained in the win at Leicester on Saturday.
The return of the captain, Vincent Kompany, after his own lay-off is timely but, given the Belgian’s patchy fitness record, the Premier League leaders appear short of cover in central defence. Nicol?s Otamendi is back after a one-game domestic ban but the only other specialist options are Eliaquim Mangala and the largely untried youngster Tosin Adarabioyo.
When Australia host England at the Adelaide Oval on 2 December it will be the first day-night Test in an Ashes series. But just what are day-night Tests all about and why do they use a pink ball? Here we reveal all
• Jake Ball expected to be fit to play in Brisbane after recovering from injury • Malan looking forward to Ashes debut against hosts’ pace trio
England were served the briefest injury scare on their day off as Stuart Broad was struck on the lower back by a wayward ball while on the putting green at Brisbane Golf Club. He earned a bruise, just as most players did when paintballing in Townsville last week, but nothing more. Broad is fine for the first Ashes Test on Thursday and so, happily, is his touring room-mate and county team-mate, Jake Ball, who has recovered from his ankle ligament strain and appears favourite to beat Craig Overton to the fourth seamer’s spot.
Overton has performed admirably, fulfilling many roles (although not managing to score a run), in the tour matches and appeared set to benefit from Ball’s injury, sustained in Adelaide 11 days ago. Ball’s recovery, though, has been swift and impressive, partly because England’s medical team were initially intentionally overzealous with their protection of him. “I’m 100% confident that I can get through a five-day Test,” Ball said. “From the second I did it, we’ve had a plan to be fit for the first Test and everything has gone to plan, if not better. I’m in a really good position.”
• Head coach fully expects more ribbing from New Zealand press • We weren’t trying to pull a fast one, he adds of the finale to Georgia match
As Warren Gatland prepares Wales to face his native New Zealand for perhaps the final time he says the flurry of blows landed by the local media before the Lions met the All Blacks last summer made him mentally tougher, although there were “one or two people” he would not mind getting into the corner of a room with.
Gatland, who was depicted as a clown by one New Zealand paper before the Lions rallied from 1-0 down to share the series, expects more demeaning caricatures this week but said anyone looking to turn Saturday’s encounter at the Principality Stadium into a feud between him and the All Blacks’ head coach, Steve Hansen, would be wasting time.
• New manager fired up by challenge of life on the ‘cliff edge’ • Faces tough first Championship assignment at Aston Villa on Tuesday
Chris Coleman stepped on to the stage, smiled at the television cameras and announced a manifesto for change centred on humility, honesty and hope.
Sunderland’s ninth manager in six years was unveiled at the Academy of Light, the club’s training ground, on Monday morning and looked genuinely thrilled to be confronted with the challenge of lifting his new team off the bottom of the Championship.
• Mislintat had recruited Lewandowski and Demb?l? for Bundesliga club • Chief scout Steve Rowley has stood down from his post after 25 years
Arsenal have secured Borussia Dortmund’s Sven Mislintat as their new head of recruitment. The Gunners have drafted in the highly rated 45-year-old, who will start in December. Steve Rowley has stood down as chief scout after 25 years with the north London club.
Starting with their leaders, Australia and England look like teams that have realised they’re better suited to another way
They look like a couple of nice boys. Wheatfield hair, slightly awkward smiles. Helpful at charity days, polite at press conferences, respectful about others in their field. Not quite with the cherubic aspect they had when beginning their current vocation, but hints of those chubby dimply faces remain.
Steve Smith and Joe Root, Ashes captains, don’t fit the mould. It’s supposed to be all tough guys and hard bastards, sledging and chuntering, flint-eyed glares and “ broken fucken arms”. Chappell, Border, Illingworth, Jardine, a legacy built on rough words and wads of brutalised chewing gum.
Pep Guardiola insists Feyenoord are ‘better than the results ‘ as Manchester City prepare to play the Dutch side in the Champions League. The Premier League leaders head Group F with four wins from four games, and are unbeaten in 18 games in all competitions this season. They must play 12 games in the final six weeks of 2017, something their manager describes as ‘a tough moment’
• Governing body looking into coach’s post-match comments at Twickenham • Cheika is expected to discover his fate on Tuesday
Michael Cheika’s conduct during Australia’s 30-6 defeat by England at Twickenham has been referred for investigation by World Rugby.
The Wallabies head coach was infuriated by a number of refereeing decisions and when a Michael Hooper try was disallowed in the first half, he appeared to mouth “fucking genius” in reference to the decision made by the referee Ben O’Keeffe.
Glenn caught Tom Brady’s first ever NFL touchdown pass
Wide receiver also played for Green Bay Packers during career
Terry Glenn, the wide receiver who caught Tom Brady’s first ever touchdown pass, has died at the age of 43. According to the Dallas County medical examiner’s office Glenn was killed in a “suspected motor vehicle accident” in the early hours of Monday morning.
Glenn was the seventh overall pick in the 1996 NFL draft after a brilliant final year of college football at Ohio State. He played six seasons for the Patriots before joining the Green Bay Packers in 2002, and spent the final years of his career with the Cowboys before retiring in 2007.
• Elliott says ?1m big-race hat-trick offer plays no part in Haydock decision • Jessica Harrington: ‘Sizing John’s as ready as we can get without having a race’
Outlander has become the second Irish-trained horse to be committed to Saturday’s Betfair Chase but the Jockey Club’s ?1m lure apparently played no part in the decision. “No, I don’t care about the million, to be honest,” said his trainer, Gordon Elliott, at his stables here in Ireland. “I won’t be getting it.”
The ?1m is on offer to any horse who wins the Betfair, the King George on Boxing Day and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March, a hat-trick that Kauto Star pulled off a decade ago. But Elliott denied having been told to go in pursuit of the pot by Outlander’s owner, who has famously made a fortune through his association with a budget airline. “I don’t think the million would interest Michael O’Leary too much,” Elliott said, wryly.
• Martin O’Neill also considered a potential candidate • Assistant coach Gary Megson to take temporary charge
West Bromwich Albion are prepared to take time to consider their options after Tony Pulis was relieved of his post on Monday following a poor run of results that culminated in the 4-0 home thrashing by Chelsea on Saturday, with Nigel Pearson, Alan Pardew and Martin O’Neill among the potential candidates to succeed him.
Gary Megson, who was manager between 2000 and 2004 and returned to the club in the summer as Pulis’s assistant, has been put in caretaker charge and is expected to take control for at least this weekend’s trip to face Tottenham at Wembley. But with West Brom currently only a point clear of the relegation zone after 13 matches, the club’s hierarchy are aware of the importance of making a swift appointment, with the home fixture against Newcastle United next Tuesday quickly followed by the visit of the bottom side, Crystal Palace.
• Haye suffered injury to biceps during training for 17 December bout • Promoters hoping to reschedule fight for 24 March or 5 May
David Haye has been forced to postpone his rematch with Tony Bellew after tearing his biceps during training. The injury?prone heavyweight, 37, has withdrawn from the match-up scheduled for 17 December at London’s O2 Arena but is not considering retirement and hopes to fight his rival on 24 March or 5 May instead.
“I am devastated to announce my much-anticipated rematch against Tony Bellew has been postponed until March 25 or May 5, subject to scheduling,” Haye said. “Despite the recent injury rumours, I was in perfect condition with an incredibly strong training camp, weighing lighter than I have for more than five years, I couldn’t wait to get back in the ring. I was ready to rewrite the ending of the Haye-Bellew saga.”
At first glance, Amiens do not seem equipped to be a Ligue 1 club. They have never won a major trophy; this is their first season in the top flight in 116 years; and their pokey Stade de la Licorne would not look out of place in League Two. Nevertheless, their upward trajectory has been close to vertical in recent times. They finished third in the Championnat National, France’s third division, in 2015-16 and earned their second successive promotion 12 months later by finishing as runners up in Ligue 2. Their latest triumph came on Friday night, when they drew 1-1 with the champions Monaco.
France’s third division is a true footballing backwater. Not even considered fully professional, nearly half of the league’s average gates have dropped into the hundreds this season. Unsurprisingly, stories of clubs ascending through the divisions – like Hull City in England or Paderborn in Germany – are rare. Amiens are the archetypal National club, provincial and comparatively sparsely supported.
Jana Novotna, who has died at the age of 49, ended her wait for SW19 glory in 1998. Writing in the Guardian that year, Stephen Bierley recalled a famous day
One of the most compelling images in tennis during the closing decade of this century was one born of loss. In the 1993 Wimbledon women’s singles final, and leading 4-1 in the third set, Jana Novotna dramatically crumpled to defeat against Steffi Graf and then, unable to contain her emotions, wept lingeringly on the shoulder of the Duchess of Kent.
Four years later Novotna was on Wimbledon’s Centre Court again, losing in three sets to the 16-year-old Swiss Martina Hingis. No tears this time, but playful resignation masking her disappointment as she snatched the silver rosewater dish away from Hingis and made as if to run off with it.
The New Orleans Saints stretched their winning streak to eight games in week 11 of the NFL, clawing back a 15-point deficit inside the final six minutes of regulation to defeat Washington 34-31. A superb catch from Roger Lewis Junior helped the New York Giants return to winning ways with an edgy 12-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs while Minnesota subdued the usually high-scoring LA Rams. Elsewhere in the NFL, there were wins for Philadelphia, New England, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Detroit Lions.
In truth, it will take a lot more than a week for a nation to digest its World Cup play-off defeat to Sweden. Gian Piero Ventura was fired as manager of the Azzurri last week, and the Football Federation president Carlo Tavecchio resigned on Monday amid reports that his support base had crumbled.
Max Kruse’s hat-trick brought relief at the Weserstadion, but questions over the club’s long-term – and even medium-term – plan remain
“It doesn’t matter who scores the goals,” said Max Kruse on Thursday, and it sounded like he believed it. Yet even if it doesn’t quite mean everything, it means a lot. That much was evident after he retired to the bench a few minutes from the end from Werder Bremen’s emphatic 4-0 win over Hannover on Sunday, their first of the season, having hit a hat-trick – his first goals of the season. Kruse goofed around, whooping and pulling faces at the television cameras. The supporters’ relief was palpable. Not just at the result, but at their star forward taking centre stage again.
Kruse reiterated that idea of the collective afterwards, saying he was “even happier about the team’s performance” than he was about his contribution, and the others certainly put in a shift. Nobody in the Bundesliga, for example, ran more than midfielder Maximilian Eggestein’s 13.4km this weekend, with Kicker labelling him the “Kilometer-K?nig”.
Nolito, who faces Liverpool with Sevilla on Tuesday, opens up on Pep Guardiola, explains how a joke about the English weather led to all sorts of trouble and reveals who he thinks is the best player at Manchester City
Nolito says he was “joking”, which he often is, as another cheeky grin sweeps across his face and he starts laughing again. “Bloody hell,” he says, which is something he says a lot – or its slightly ruder Spanish equivalent anyway. And then he continues: “But it was for real, eh! I had to give her vitamin D, the poor thing. We’d go outside but the sun just never came out. Even I ended up pale …” A quick glance up and he adds, giggling: “Just like you!” And just like his daughter Lola, aged nine, and one?year?old twins, Lara and Alegr?a.
Towards the end of his first season in England, by which time he knew it would be his last, the former Manchester City player, now back in Spain with Liverpool’s Champions League opponents Sevilla, said his daughter had changed colour. “She looks like she’s been living in a cave,” he said then. He says now: “It got misinterpreted. It was just a joke, a throwaway line. And it was true: there was no sun and the paediatrician said: ‘Try this …’
England coach’s pre-match charm offensive towards referee Ben O’Keeffe looks a canny move after five tight decisions against Australia favour his side
An hour after the match, Eddie Jones snapped. Four questions into his press conference, Jones was asked how he felt about the marginal calls made by the referee, Ben O’Keeffe, and whether he felt England had been lucky to get the better of them. It was a fair question, but it set off Jones’s hair-trigger temper. “Why do we have a referee? Why do we have TMOs? I don’t understand the question,” Jones said. “How were we lucky? Ten replays of the video and they make a decision. This is the best referee in the world for today, they have the best guys doing the TMO, and you’re saying we’re lucky because the decisions went our way. Sorry, sorry, sorry. I’m sorry we’re lucky.”
Jones’s acidic answer curdled the mood of the room. He is, they say, a hard man to work with, as prickly as a cactus, and he has a habit of picking on journalists in public. Since England are winning, he could rightly argue that it doesn’t matter a damn, and so long as they carry on that way it won’t cost him anything but amity. If he ever finds himself in need of a little goodwill, however, he may regret the way he is squandering some of it now. As the saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Which Jones knows – just look at the way he buttered up O’Keeffe before and after Saturday’s match.
Three decades have passed since England’s last win in Brisbane, and its unique hostility will provide an Ashes baptism of fire for Joe Root’s team
As England’s plane touched down in Brisbane on Sunday the Australia coach, Darren Lehmann, said: “We love playing here.” It is easy to see why, because Australians love winning and at the Gabba they almost always win. England last left victorious in 1986, and Australia lost against West Indies in 1988 but have not been defeated at the Gabba since. Just seven of those 29 Tests have been drawn, two of them by England.
It is still early in the season but even a draw in the derby was not much use; Madrid and Atl?tico had to win. Only Barcelona did
FC Barcelona pulled out of Butarque on an angular blue and orange bus that looked like it had been borrowed from a school trip in the 90s a bit before seven on Saturday evening and headed 30 kilometres north up the M40 to the airport at Barajas, their work done. Half of it, anyway. Nearby, just about visible from the terminal, stood the Wanda Metropolitano, where the rest of it was done for them. Not long after Bar?a had set off, and a couple of hours after Alav?s had passed on their way north back up the A1 to Euskadi, Real Madrid embarked upon the shortest journey they’ve undertaken in La Liga, making the 10-minute trip from their HQ at Valdebebas to Atl?tico’s new home. It was a short trip, but when they returned a little before midnight, broken and bloodied, it felt like a long way back. For Barcelona, it had been a grand day out.
From the Coliseum across to Eleven Lions Avenue – yes, really – and up to Avenida Arcentales, there were three games in Madrid on Saturday and the third of them was the game: Getafe-Alav?s at 1pm, Legan?s-Barcelona at 4.15pm and then Atl?tico-Real at 8.45pm. As flight AEA938 climbed into the sky, the first Madrid derby at the Wanda hadn’t yet started and when it landed, just after nine, it hadn’t yet finished. There hadn’t been a goal yet, either – ?ngel Correa had missed the game’s best chance after three minutes, Diego Simeone looking like he was fighting back tears on the touchline, and Toni Kroos nudged one wide at the other end, but that was about it – and Barcelona’s players just about had time to get home for the second half. Those that wanted to, that is – and you might be surprised how few footballers bother.
Yado Mambo and the Ebbsfleet United No5 shirt offered a reminder of how the shirt number a player wears can affect how they are perceived
If the evidence presented in the opening week of the US Justice Department’s Fifa corruption trial was not grim enough, the recent sight of a footballer named Mambo not wearing No5 provided further evidence that the game is to all intents and purposes “gone”. During a televised National League match between his side and Leyton Orient, the Ebbsfleet United central defender Yado Mambo became an unlikely social media talking point when viewers noticed the 26-year-old’s club had missed a trick by failing to allocate him the obvious digit as an homage to that 1999 Lou Bega smash?hit dancefloor filler. “Imagine signing a player called Mambo and not giving him the No5 shirt,” mused one Twitter user under a screengrab of Mambo wearing No18. “Poor form from Ebbsfleet United.”
Speaking to Radio Kent at the height of his Warholian 15 minutes, Mambo revealed that he had in fact requested the shirt number in question before the season started, but had been turned down by spoilsport Ebbsfleet manager, Daryl McMahon. “I told my gaffer the same thing, but I don’t think he believed me until over this weekend, when it has just blown up all over social media,” he said. “Maybe now he’ll take it a bit more seriously and change the numbers next season. [Mambo No5] was one of my favourite songs at that age. At school a lot of kids used to sing it to me.”
• Essex police tweet message to disgruntled Hammers supporters • West Ham in relegation zone after defeat to Watford on Sunday
West Ham United fans have been warned to stop calling 999 to complain about their team. The side suffered a 2-0 defeat at Watford on Sunday in David Moyes’s first match in charge, with goals from Will Hughes and Richarlison settling the match at Vicarage Road.
Back after a six-week absence, Andy Carroll contributed little to the game other than fouls and was told he was not fit to wear West Ham’s shirt by fans
With seven seconds on the clock Andy Carroll rose to challenge Marvin Zeegelaar for a high ball and left the Watford debutant on the floor, his nose bleeding. It had not taken long for the forward to make an impression on his opponents.
In the starting lineup for the first time in six weeks, handed a new chance by a new manager, there could be no better time for Carroll to prove his worth. Perhaps with this performance he could make himself the toast of his team, acclaimed by his new coach. As it happened at half-time David Moyes sought him out for a chat, but instead of receiving a congratulatory handshake he was told that having fully considered the game and all its complexities his manager had decided that he only had another 10 minutes. By then he had been booked for tripping Richarlison – whose dramatic reaction hardly helped the situation – and had left a foot unnaturally high after falling over Christian Kabasele. “Half-time was a decision because I wasn’t sure if he was going to get himself sent off,” said Moyes. “I told him I wouldn’t take him off but I’d only give him 10 or 15 minutes of the second half.”
Hugo Lloris’s top-four focus for Spurs is telling, Callum Wilson is making up for lost time and can Paul Pogba yet be compared with Steven Gerrard?
After challenging for the title for the past couple of seasons, it was significant to hear Hugo Lloris contemplate looking over Tottenham Hotspur’s shoulder more than in front of them at the end of a derby defeat. “Oh, before we think about [the leaders] Man City it’s important to stay in the top four. This is the main target for our team,” he said. “We heard from outside that Tottenham play for the title, blah, blah, blah. The most important thing is to stay consistent in the league.” The difficulty imposing themselves on the most challenging away fixtures remains a sticking point. Having lost at Old Traffordand Arsenal in recent weeks, next month they visit the Premier League’s pace setters at the Etihad Stadium. Spurs found it hard to penetrate Arsenal’s defence, and when Mauricio Pochettino subbed off Harry Kane and Dele Alli neither could feel they had been at their most influential. “The spirit was good, we were in the fight and able to develop our game with the ball in the floor. But in the final third we need more aggression and movement,” Lloris said. “Now we need to carry on. It’s true that we wanted to do more against Manchester United and Arsenal. Unfortunately we couldn’t do that so now it’s important to have a run of victories because we need to keep our place at the top.” Amy Lawrence
The Bills quarterback started his first game after a solid appearance in relief ... and threw five picks. But some of the best struggled when they first stepped up
Terry Bradshaw won four Super Bowls as Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and it helped get him to the Hall of Fame. But no one would have guessed at his greatness after his first start, in which he completed just four passes.
Troy Aikman, another Hall of Famer with multiple Super Bowl wins, completed only seven passes in the first game of a first season in which he lost all 11 of his starts.
In an extract from his book of Ashes quotations, Rob Smyth tells how it is sometimes Australian spectators who deliver the hardest lines to England sides
“Don’t give the bastard a drink. Let him die of thirst.”
Douglas Jardine’s mission was almost complete. England were about to complete a crushing series victory over Australia with a win in the fifth Test at Sydney in the famous Bodyline series of 1932-33. Jardine was at the crease, savouring the moment, when play stopped for a drinks break. The chivalrous Australian captain Bill Woodfull was about to hand Jardine some water when a lone voice suggested that it might be better to let his opposite number’s dehydration become terminal. Jardine, who had spent the entire series disparaging all things Australian, quietly enjoyed that particular bit of barracking. He later called it “one of the few humorous remarks which we were privileged to hear on this tour”.
Australian rugby union has an image problem, and Cheika’s behaviour harms Wallabies’ World Cup 2019 chances
The Wallabies are in danger of gaining a reputation as the ugly Australians.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika’s incandescent rage against the refereeing in Australia’s record 30-6 loss to England at Twickenham on Sunday morning was an unpleasant, but recurring, feature of the game. The Wallabies have now lost five straight Tests against England, including four defeats last year. Cheika has heavily criticised the refereeing after each loss.
Skill at ‘seeing space and putting ball over the top’ is his finest attribute and he could make his case with Eddie Jones in Saturday’s game against Samoa
Danny Care is one of the best running scrum?halves in the world but I was really pleased with how he contributed in different ways against Australia. He is obviously a good mate of mine. I played alongside him for a long time and now coach him at Harlequins and what we saw at Twickenham were the fruits of Danny maturing as a player as he has got older.
He has worked really hard on seeing the space in behind and when the opportunities are there in the big games, he really nails it. A recent Premiership match against Sale stands out in my mind – he was spot-on at identifying that space. He has that ability to put the ball over the top and put it on the money, as we saw at Twickenham.
Grigor Dimitrov beats David Goffin in a dramatic final at the O2 Arena on Sunday. The Bulgarian recorded the biggest win of his career by a score of 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in a two-and-a-half-hour epic. As a result of the win, Dimitrov moves up to world No3 to end the year
England still not the finished article while TMO controversy continues; gap between New Zealand and rest is closing, and the second tier show improvement
England will finish the year on a winning note unless Samoa, vanquished by Romania in Bucharest on Saturday, produce the result of the decade. Unbeaten in their first year under Eddie Jones, they have lost only against Ireland in 2017 without, Scotland at home apart, producing an entirely compelling performance. Jones will not mind, counting down as he is to the 2019 World Cup; he is completing a jigsaw puzzle, adding pieces each game. Against Argentina, England were largely on the front foot, building patiently, if unspectacularly, almost rigid in their approach. On Saturday, they played more off the back foot, absorbing pressure and feeding off mistakes. Performances should be looked at collectively rather than in isolation: in the past two weeks England have shown defensive resilience and opportunism in attack, buoyed against Australia by the return of Maro Itoje, a multi-faceted player whose decision?making is invariably spot-on. He had been on the field only a few seconds when he spotted a run by Kurtley Beale and hauled down the full?back before he had got into his stride. For all their strength in depth they have no one to match him.
In an extract from his exclusive Wisden Cricket Monthly interview, Steve Smith talks about his journey from chilled Bondi surfie to the Australia captaincy and his hopes of one day joining the greats
When England ram-raided the Australians in 2010-11, it was the home side’s lowest mark in a quarter of a century. The obliteration resulted in a full-scale review of the elite game in the country. “It reads like the school report of an idiot child,” opined Gideon Haigh of the finished product. The Ashes debacle had essentially knocked off the national captain, coach and chairman of selectors.
The public’s response was just as brutal and Steve Smith’s involvement became emblematic of all that was purported to be wrong. He wasn’t helped at all by the instructions given to him when brought into the side for the third Test of the series. “I’ve been told that I’ve got to come into the side and be fun,” he said before the match at Perth. “It’s about having energy in the field and making sure I’m having fun and making sure everyone else around is having fun, whether it be telling a joke or something like that.”
Little sign of the hoped-for spirit of openness can been seen following British Cycling’s plunge into notoriety
There was always a more than even chance that the affair nicknamed Jiffy bag-gate would never arrive at a definitive ending. The investigating UK Anti-Doping agency has limited powers, the events in question hark back five years and more into the past, the allegations were vague – that triamcinolone had been in a certain bag delivered at a certain time to be administered to Bradley Wiggins, who has stated via Instagram that the bag “was never delivered to me” – and the key witness, Dr Richard Freeman, appeared unwilling to engage fully with the inquiry.
As a result, Wednesday’s statement from Ukad confirming that no charges would be brought against any of the parties involved because the contents of the bag could not be defined one way or the other prompted little more than a resigned shrug of the shoulders in many quarters. Wiggins and Team Sky have consistently stated that there was no wrongdoing on their part and both have stated that the verdict backs this up; their critics feel that a lack of definitive evidence is just that.
Thirty-five years ago the England all-rounder Vic Marks and Guardian cricket correspondent Matthew Engel went on their first Ashes tour. As Marks prepares to travel to Australia again, now doing Engel’s former job, they swap stories
Matthew Engel I was so naive about Australia I remember thinking hard whether I needed to pack a sweater or not. I never realised how cold Australia could be when the wind blows the wrong way.
Vic Marks I pitched up at Lord’s to set off on this adventure with my great big bag and ran into Geoff Miller. And apart from all the actual regalia, which went separately, he just had this tiny little bag with all his possessions. I was so impressed with that.
Today’s fluff won’t let hard times stand in our way
Having been one of the mainstays of Chelsea’s title-winning campaign last season, this season David Luiz played all but three minutes of the first eight league games for which he was available (there was also a two-match suspension), then got dropped once and suddenly he’s ready to flounce out of the club altogether. He is, report the Star in their back-page exclusive, “said to be extremely unhappy following his bust-up with Antonio Conte” and also “frustrated that the club’s hierarchy have not backed him” and therefore “could be set for a reunion with Jos? Mourinho”. That’s right, the grumpy Portuguese tactician “is ready to step in” and whisk the centre-back to Manchester, caring not a hoot that Chelsea are “sure to want at least the ?34m they paid” for the frizz-faced ace. And Luiz is happy to work once again with Mourinho, who sidelined him at Chelsea, played him out of position or more frequently not at all, and then shipped him out to Paris.
Meanwhile it’s a hearty welcome back to the Mill for our old friend Virgil van Dijk, who is set to be the subject of yet another couple of months of interminable speculation. Yesterday his current manager, Mauricio Pellegrino, was asked if he could guarantee that there would be no move for the centre-back in the January transfer window and responded by starting to squirm. “I don’t know. I can’t control the market. You never know, because when we talk about money everybody has got a price,” he squeaked. “I can’t decide about that. This is a question for our owners.” Thus Van Dijk appears on the back page of the Mirror, who assert in loudest, brightest, largest headline fonts that as far as Liverpool and J?rgen Klopp are concerned he could be “yours for ?70m”, and that Pellegrino’s response amounts to “a green light to make a January bid”.
From Cleveland’s collapse to Ferrari’s lowest ebb and Doncaster Rovers’ destruction amid fire and fury, we look back on six calamitous campaigns
Ten years before he made his name as the inscrutable, hooded overlord of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick was handed his first chance as an NFL head coach by the Cleveland Browns, a historic franchise wounded by years of failure.
Thousands take to the streets of Lima on Wednesday night to celebrate Peru’s qualification for next year’s World Cup. Peru defeated New Zealand 2-0 on aggregate in a play-off to secure their place in Russia. It is the first time in 36 years they have reached the finals
This week’s roundup also features a horrific wipeout in Portugal, car crash television at San Siro and a Roger Federer masterclass
1) To the Lithuanian city of Siauliai, where not one, but three Gintra Universitetas players missed an open goal against Barcelona in the Women’s Champions League last Wednesday. Bar?a ran out 6-0 winners. It did, at least, provide an excuse to recall some of the most haunting misses of all time. We’re looking at you, Ryan Giggs (2003), Freddie Ljungberg (2005), Chris Iwulemo (2008), Fernando Torres (2011) and Philipp Hofmann (2014).
“On Saturday 4 November at Stoke City’s 2–2 draw with Leicester, Stoke’s two goals were scored by Xherdan Shaqiri and Peter Crouch,” writes Robin Wiles. “Has there ever been a greater disparity in the heights of players scoring goals for the same team in the same match?”
Not only is it not the biggest height difference to happen ever, it is not even the greatest this season. Nor is it the largest disparity to take place for Stoke this season, as Chai points out: “According to reliable sources (Wikipedia), Peter Crouch’s height is 2.01m (6ft 7in) and Xherdan Shaqiri is 1.69m (5ft 6in), a difference of 32cm. When Stoke won 4-0 against Rochdale in the Carabao Cup on 24 August this season, the height difference between two scorers was a whopping 33cm. Peter Crouch (again) towered over Stoke’s captain for the day, the 1.68m (5ft 5in) Joe Allen.” A reminder that every centimetre counts.
Sweden players interrupt a live television broadcast as they celebrate qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. Presenters on Eurosport are caught up in the post-match party on the San Siro pitch following the goalless draw with Italy on Tuesday night, which sent Sweden to the finals in Russia
Washington wide receiver Maurice Harris makes a spectacular one-handed touchdown grab on Sunday in what is being called the ‘catch of the year’. The 36-yard play was originally ruled incomplete but then changed to a touchdown after Washington challenged the call. Minnesota would go on to win the matchup 38-30. Elsewhere in the NFL, there were wins for Atlanta, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and New England
The away-day experience for thousands of football fans is becoming increasingly difficult due to the number of games that are rescheduled for television. Some kick-off times require fans to take time off work and broadcasters only need to provide six weeks' notice when moving fixtures, leaving some supporters unable to book cheap travel and hotels. We follow three sets of travelling fans to gain an insight into away days in the age of televised football
The week in football – also featuring: Karren Brady, Colombia and timid, tiny puppies
Karl Oyston: found to have“ illegitimately stripped” Blackpool of ?26.77m. The ruling came 10 months after he called fans protesting about asset-stripping “a busted flush … I’m sure they’ll get bored in time. You can only go on so long trotting out the same tired rhetoric. They’re naive, child-like … I pity them.”
British surfer Andrew Cotton broke his back after falling off his board while riding a huge wave. Dramatic footage shows Cotton being thrown into the air as a mass of white water slammed into him in Nazar?, Portugal. He was rescued by a team of local lifeguards, immobilised and taken by ambulance to hospital, from where he thanked everyone involved in his rescue
Italy face a play-off to reach the 2018 World Cup. The four-times winners have only failed to qualify for one World Cup, in 1958. Who hosted it?
Why will Scotland captain Danny Brough not be in the team when they play Samoa in their final group game at the Rugby League World Cup this weekend?
He injured himself in the shower
He was knocked out by a team-mate and didn’t pass a concussion test
He was sent home after being too drunk to board a flight
He accepted an offer to play for their rugby union team against Samoa
Peter Shilton played 125 times for England; Paul Bastock owns a window cleaning business. But which record do they share?
They both saved three penalties in one game for Leyton Orient
They have both made 1,249 appearances in club football
They are the only British goalkeepers to have been awarded OBEs
They have gone for 10 matches at the start of a season without conceding a goal
Complete this quote from Sergio Ramos: “Real Madrid could sign Neymar but we'd have to negotiate …”?
“… who takes free-kicks and penalties“
“… a way of paying no taxes”
“… his sister's birthday”
“… a sensible salary”
Celtic broke their own 100-year-old British record on Saturday by going 63 games without defeat in domestic competitions. Which side holds the European record, having gone 119 games without losing in the 1980s?
Who told whom to “get fit, you fat fuck”?
Eddie Jones to Mike Tindall
David Haye to Tony Bellew
Anthony Joshua to Tyson Fury
Slaven Bilic to Andy Carroll
Chelsea’s longest-serving player, Matej Delac, has announced he is planning to leave the club after seven years of service. How many competitive matches did he make for the club?
How did Rino Gattuso compare himself with his former team-mate, Andrea Pirlo?
Like “Buckfast and Beaujolais”
Like “two brothers from different mothers”
Like a “water carrier and a fine glass of wine”
Like “Nutella and shit”
Which of these trophies did Pirlo not win in his playing career?
Who said this about West Ham’s decision to appoint David Moyes as their new manager: “I think it’s a good gamble and I think if I was a West Ham chairman I would certainly consider David Moyes as manager, that’s for sure”?
The South African apprentice jockey Dylan Caboche has apologised for punching a horse before a race in Australia on Wednesday. 'I want to genuinely, sincerely and unreservedly apologise to everyone for my actions yesterday,' he said. Caboche was suspended for two weeks over the incident which happened in Port Lincoln, South Australia
Supporters disillusioned with modern sport have built enormously popular online teams whose followers are now filling real-life stadiums
A curious thing happened in our corner of south east London last month. Normally quiet side streets were rammed with double parked cars, the babble of excited young fans with accents from around the country filled the air and the sold out signs went up at The Valley for the first time in many years.
Since the absentee owner Roland Duch?telet began his one man war against Charlton Athletic’s fanbase, it has often been hard to tell when there is a home match in SE7 as a dispirited, desperate and dwindling band continue their estimable protest against an owner who has hollowed out their proud club.
eSports can be the spark for the International Olympic Committee to update the Olympic Games and reach a larger, more diverse audience
If we have learned anything from the previous few Olympics, it is that the Games are going through an identity crisis. Rocked by a doping scandal and with an older audience than ever, the International Olympic Committee is attempting to rehabilitate its image by appealing to a uninterested youth.
With sports such as BMX freestyle and baseball taking their place alongside archaic remnants from the age of imperialism, like modern pentathlon and dressage, it is difficult to know what or who the Olympics represent anymore. If the IOC is serious about joining the brave new world that seems to have passed it by and more importantly if it wants to keep its sponsors happy, it needs to make serious changes – starting with introducing eSports.
If you had been away from the planet for the past quarter of a century, one of the few things you might find comfortingly familiar on your return is the world of sport. While the digital revolution has transformed the way we shop, chat, date, do politics and consume culture, sport looks largely unchanged. From football to cricket to golf, it’s still the same old staples, hitting a ball into a hole or goal or over a boundary. There hasn’t been a major new sport invented for more than a century. Or has there?
In the East End of London, Sam Mathews is holding court at Fnatic’s HQ, otherwise known as the Bunkr. A pop-up shop that opened last December, it is marketed as the “world’s first eSports concept store” and is as knowingly hip as its Shoreditch surroundings. Here at the Bunkr, you can buy eSports equipment, meet players, view streamed events and even watch matches live.
What exactly are eSports and just how fast are they growing? In our final Sport 2.0 film, we ask why thousands of people have begun to attend eSport events across the globe and look at how problems such as corruption and cheating may affect sport’s digital counterpart just as much as they do in the real world
Emphasis on simulator work in motor sport means more drivers will emerge from the gaming scene – if they can conquer problems over the lack of ‘fear of death’
When Lewis Hamilton looked to his future in Formula One in 2012 and decided to leave McLaren, the team with whom he had grown up and won his first world championship, the decision was roundly questioned. After securing two further titles for Mercedes, the move was regarded as inspired but predicting what is round the corner in motor racing has never been easy and, with F1 having just begun the process of reinvention under its new owners, the future is very much on the agenda.
Many sports have faced new challenges and opportunities because of the extraordinary changes technological advances have wrought in the past two decades. But that is true of F1 perhaps more than most, the sport having stuck with a long outdated model that has increasingly failed to engage with a younger audience. If F1 and motor racing in general are to survive, doing so is crucial and it seems it is at the crossroads between the virtual world and the real that it is most likely to happen.
With its own dedicated fromagerie, microbrewery and Michelin-calibre restaurant, it might be easy to forget you have come to watch the football when you are reclining in one of the premium lounges of Tottenham Hotspur’s new ?750m stadium. The 61,000-seat behemoth will feature the longest bar in the country, heated seats with built-in USB ports, a glass-walled tunnel so you can see the players before the game and even a “sky walk” allowing fans to clamber over the roof of the arena.
“It will be the most technically advanced stadium in the world,” says Christopher Lee, an architect with Populous, the sports and entertainment giant behind the design of the new-look White Hart Lane. “It has to provide a reason for people to get off their sofas and leave their 50-inch flatscreen TVs.”
Motor sport, and F1 especially, has always sought to explore new technologies and the latest innovations but how will these advances impact sport in the future? In the third of our Sport 2.0 films, we enter the world of driving simulators and drone racing. We also explore the concept of stadium holograms which could be used to replicate attending live sport
In a scruffy prefab at West Ham United’s training ground a bunch of unlikely lads are being primped and primed for a glamorous photo shoot. They are trying out three new kits, sponsored by Umbro, in preparation for a tour of the US. Midfielder James Stevens has lost around 50lb over the past year – he’s only 17 stone now.
Skinny balding winger Faisal Manji, who works as an investment adviser, has become something of a sex symbol in recent months. Faisal and James play for a team called Hashtag United, which is basically a bunch of old schoolmates, some of whom couldn’t get in their local Sunday League teams, with a few luxury add-ons (two ageing semi-professionals).
From AFC Wimbledon to Manchester City via Hashtag United, Tom Jenkins explores the changing face of football and asks how the world’s most popular sport is adapting in the digital age. The second film in our Sport 2.0 series sees the real and virtual sporting worlds getting more and more entwined
Sport knows it has a problem. The self-inflicted crises that have occurred over the last few years mean that those in charge of sport are desperately trying to rebuild trust while at the same time increase its appeal to younger fans. In this first film of our Sport 2.0 series, Tom Jenkins explores how athletics and golf are adapting to overcome the challenges they face. Later, we explore the future of football, motor-racing and eSports
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