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The Observer Sport — February 4, 2018

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Six Nations
Si
No half measures for
Wales as Halfpenny
rips Scotland apart
Sport
04.02.18
Pages 2-3
P
Premier League
Bundee Aki
embraces Johnny
Sexton after the
No 10?s monster
84th-minute
drop goal
THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/
GETTY IMAGES
Good Gunner
Aubameyang
on target in
5-1 mauling
of Everton
Drop
of
magic
Page 7
What a miss
Gudmundsson
pegs back City
after Sterling
fluffs open net
Page 11
Winter?s song
Lizzy Yarnold
feels tension
even as Games
champion
Page 24
Sexton breaks
French hearts
with last kick
of the game
Page 6
?
2
The Observer
04.02.18
Rugby union
NatWest Six Nations
Halfpenny
full value
Wales full-back
the scourge of
the Scots in a
match that saw
the visitors?
hopes ruthlessly
slapped down
34
WALES
7
SCOTLAND
Paul Rees
Principality Stadium
Scotland flew high in the autumn but
suffered a fall here. Their pre-tournament optimism was shredded by
a team who beat them at their own
handling game. On the 10th anniversary weekend of Warren Gatland?s
first match as the Wales coach, the
New Zealander showed again he has
few peers by shrugging off the loss of
10 players to mastermind the most
emphatic of victories.
Wales derailed Scotland with two
tries in the opening 11 minutes. If the
first, an interception by the scrumhalf Gareth Davies, was down to
quick thinking after he detected the
Scotland fly-half Finn Russell was on
the floor and that the first receiver,
Analysis
Townsend?s
gamble of
starting
with Price a
costly error
Andy
Bull
Principality Stadium
m
Jon Welsh, was standing too far away
from the ruck, the second showcased
Wales?s relish for movement.
It came from a scrum. The fly-half
Rhys Patchell broke the defence and
when Wales switched direction to
the right, the second-row forward
Cory Hill?s first thought was not to
stick his head down and charge ? as
he would not that long ago have been
encouraged to do ? but pass directly
behind him to Scott Williams who,
spotting that the defence was narrow, passed long to Leigh Halfpenny
to cross in the corner for the fullback?s first international try since
2013.
Patchell was playing only because
of injuries to Dan Biggar and Rhys
Priestland, starting an international
in his favoured fly-half position five
years after winning his first cap. He
had the calm assurance of a veteran,
never panicked into a decision, a scarlet weaver whose precision contrasted
with his more celebrated opposite
number, Russell, who had an erratic
match, his ridiculous moments heavily outnumbering the sublime.
Scotland had talked during the
week about basing their attack on
chaos but the noun applied to their
defence. Wales did not set out to stop
Scotland playing but the opposite.
They kept the ball in play, the length
of Patchell?s clearance kicks allowing the defensive wall to align and
restrict Stuart Hogg?s counterattacking options, and were as devastating
off turnover possession as Scotland
had been expected to be.
One move, in between Wales?s
opening two tries, would have been
an early contender for try of the tournament, Barbarian in its conception.
Aaron Shingler started it, breaking
from deep before linking with the
prop Rob Evans, who in turn found
Hill. Wales had signalled from the
outset their desire to keep the ball
alive, widening the point of attack by
passing rather than taking contact,
and as Hill approached the Scotland
22 with the defence scrambling desperately, he found his captain Alun
Wyn Jones in support.
Jones was in sight of the line when
he was eventually tackled. As he fell
to ground, he passed inside to Steff
Evans but was off balance. The ball
was slightly behind the eager wing
and was knocked on. It gave Scotland
a taste of what was to come and what
was notable about a performance
from Wales that never deviated in its
clarity or effectiveness was the contribution made by players who were
on the field only because others were
unavailable.
Patchell was far from the lone
example. Scott Williams, dropped
from the squad in the autumn
and restored because of injury to
Jonathan Davies, was immovable in
defence. Even when Scotland, who
struggled to get clean ball from the
lineout, were able to use runners
Optimism does not come easy
to the Scottish, not in the Six
Nations, where their team has
lost almost three times as many
games as they have won. Their
fans? faith has been worn thin by
all those fourth and fifth and sixth
place finishes since they won the
final Five Nations back in 1999.
This year looked set to be a little
different, though, after their fi ne
performances in the autumn. They
came to Cardiff with a slick team,
a sharp coach and high hopes.
These lasted 11 minutes, like some
brief glimpse of sunshine between
the clouds in a long, cold winter.
By that time, Wales were 14-0 up
and Scotland?s chances were long
gone.
Scotland lacked
ball-carriers and
there was none
of the polish
they showed in
the autumn
from deep to achieve width, Williams
read the plays and snuffed them out.
In the back row, Josh Navidi was
a replacement for the Lions? captain, Sam Warburton. His strength
over the ball earned his side penalties and turnovers and he made more
tackles than any other player ? but
he was as influential in attack, adding continuity to moves along with
Shingler, a player, like Patchell, who
has been on the fringes for years but
is now profiting from Wales playing
a more varied game: the hosts made
13 offloads to their opponents? seven.
Gatland predicted to the Welsh
Rugby Union chief executive, Martyn
Phillips, the day before the game that
Wales would win by 20 points but
it should have been by more. They
had taken an early 14-0 lead against
South Africa in their previous game,
in December but failed to build on it.
Scotland had 60% of the territory in
The opening exchanges of the
match ran something like the
famous scene in Raiders of the
Lost Ark, when, confronted by
a dazzling skilled swordsman,
Indiana Jones rolls his eyes,
whips爋ut his pistol and shoots
him dead.
In the first seven minutes
the Scotland backs ran through
their repertoire of jinks, dinks,
chips, flicks and other cunning
tricks. Stuart Hogg (right) was
up in the line, ducking, teasing
and spinning, and Finn Russell
sparking attacks this way and that,
throwing sleight of hand passes,
his eyes going one way while his
hands send the ball the other. It
was breathless stuff.
Wales reeled, rallied and ran in
two straightforward tries. They
did it through the simple ruse of
picking a hole in the defence
and charging through it.
Bang. Bang. The first came
from an interception, the
second was off the back
of a scrum on the
Scottish line. There was
some brilliant work
before it, mind, a fine,
buccaneering break by
Aaron Shingler, Cory Hill,
Rob Evans and Alun Wyn
Jones.
Wales were ruthlessly
direct in their attacking
play, in a way Scotland were
not. Wales have spent a long
time talking about how they want
to change the way they play. Now
they are finally starting to do it.
Cruel truth this, but Scotland?s
young scrum-half, Ali Price,
was largely to blame for both
those tries. Price had such
a rough 10 minutes. He
blew Scotland?s best
early chance when he
decided to cut left
towards the tryline
on his own, though
he had team-mates
outside him over on
the right.
Then he threw that
long, flat pass, telegraphed
so far in advance that Gareth
Davies had time to read it twice
?
The Observer
04.02.18
?Steff Evans, the Wales wing, evades
Scotland?s defence with a one-handed
finish for his team?s fourth try
DAVID ROGERS/GETTY IMAGES
How they rated
Wales
the opening half, but when they did
threaten the Wales line, as in Jonny
Gray?s early break when he handed
off Gareth Davies and was tackled
by Patchell at the moment he was a
ready to reach out for the line, they
were either turned over or made an
unforced error.
They lacked ball-carriers and there
was none of the polish they had
shown in the autumn. The expected
reaction after the interval was muted.
Two Halfpenny penalties, both conceded by the Scotland captain, John
Barclay, at the breakdown in the
opening eight minutes of the secondhalf, effectively settled the match.
Wales finished off their opponents by going direct, driving a
lineout before moving the ball quickly
right where Steff Evans?s flick freed
Halfpenny ? another example of how
a team who used to take comfort in
contact had moved on, and the bonus
point was secured after Navidi and
Shingler indulged in an orgy of offloading for the impressive Hadleigh
Parkes to free his regional colleague
and ensure Scarlets players supplied
all of Wales?s points.
and file a reply before he set off
upfield to score the first try. Then
Price gifted Wales possession
when he was penalised for a
wonky put-in at a crucial scrum,
after which Halfpenny scored.
All the talk before the match
had been about the selections
forced on both coaches, Gregor
Townsend and Warren Gatland, by
the injuries in their squads. In the
end, though, the most important
call may just have been one
Townsend chose to make. He left
Greig Laidlaw on the bench so he
could start Price instead. Laidlaw?s
a steady old hand who has made
a career out of doing the simple
things well. So it was a gamble,
given the magnitude of the match,
and it did not pay off. By the time
Laidlaw got on, five minutes after
half-time, his team were 20-0
down. No match hinges on the way
one man plays, but picking Price
cost Scotland plenty.
So a game which looked so finely
poised at the kick-off was settled
early and in the most emphatic
fashion. Wales will get better.
Gatland says that he expects to
get a couple of his injured players,
Dan Biggar and Liam Williams,
back before they play England at
Twickenham.
Scotland, meanwhile, will beat
a retreat to Murrayfield, where
they play France next Sunday. The
Scotland captain, John Barclay,
seemed utterly shell-shocked, at
a loss to even begin to explain
what had gone wrong. ?It?s hard to
speak after a defeat like that.?
Before the match Barclay
had described Scotland?s style
of play as organised chaos.
After it, that description seemed
half right. They made far too
many unnecessary mistakes. They
still have the makings of a good
side but this defeat will set them
back.
It takes a lot of confidence to
play with the kind of abandon
Townsend wants to encourage in
his players and their confidence
has just taken a hell of a knock.
The Welsh, meanwhile, have the
look of a team that could contend
for the Championship.
Wales
Scotland
Tries G Davies,
Halfpenny 2, S Evans
Cons Halfpenny 4
Pens Halfpenny 2
Try Horne
Con Russell
Referee Pascal Ga鼁鑢e (Fr) Attendance 74,169
Ian Malin
Scotland
6
Leigh Halfpenny
The full-back had not scored a try for
Wales for five years but crossed the
line after 11 minutes and again just
after the hour. Flawless place-kicking
and 24 points in total.
6
Stuart Hogg
The full-back was assured enough
but had few opportunities to display
his counter-attacking skills and had
to do a lot of defensive work to stop
Scotland being overrun.
7
Josh Adams
The Worcester wing has been a prolific
try-scorer for his club and, although
he will come under pressure from
George North for his place against
England, he made an assured debut.
6
Tommy Seymour
Seymour looked good with the ball
in hand but as the game wore on he
had too many defensive duties. The
Glasgow wing will hope the ball will
come his way more against France.
6
Scott Williams
A big impact but mainly in defence.
He forged a strong bond in midfield
with Parkes, particularly in the first
half when Huw Jones looked so
threatening. One of his best displays.
5
Chris Harris
May have been a surprise selection by
Gregor Townsend and he was picked
chiefly for his defensive work. His
second cap proved to be a lot more
difficult than the first.
7
Hadleigh Parkes
New Zealand-born centre scored
two tries on his debut against the
Springboks and continues to impress
in the absence of Jonathan Davies.
Made Steff Evans?s late try.
6
Huw Jones
Scotland?s main threat behind the
scrum which may not be saying much
but Jones had terrific acceleration and
was a threat in the first half. Made a
try-saving tackle on Wyn Jones.
7
Steff Evans
Almost scored in the frantic opening
period but couldn?t take a wayward
pass from his captain and was denied.
Evans kept Tommy Seymour honest
and took his try in spectacular style.
5
Byron McGuigan
The Sale wing was outstanding in the
autumn defeat of the Wallabies after
being drafted in at the last minute as
a replacement for Hogg but had few
chances to threaten the Wales line.
7
Rhys Patchell
Making a first Wales appearance in
the No� jersey after tremendous
form for Scarlets, the pressure was on
Patchell and he delivered. Controlled
the game and was strong in defence.
6
Finn Russell
A mixed bag from the fly-half whose
tactical kicking was good but who also
made mistakes. Struggled to impose
himself and the Wales back row
neutralised his attacking threat
7
Gareth Davies
Grabbed his opportunity in the
absence of Rhys Webb. Intercepted Ali
Price?s pass for his early try after a run
from inside his own half. His tenth for
Wales and a menace all game.
5
Ali Price
Chosen ahead of Greig Laidlaw to up
the tempo of Scotland?s game, the
scrum-half lost his head when he
gifted Gareth Davies his early try and
lasted only 48 minutes.
6
Rob Evans
The loosehead was mobile in open
play and very solid in the scrum. Evans
was replaced after 50 minutes by Wyn
Jones but not before making a big
impact in a one-sided first half.
6
Gordon Reid
Scotland were expected to struggle
in the front row and the pressure was
on the London Irish loosehead but he
gave a solid display for 48 minutes
before replacing Jamie Bhatti late on.
7
Ken Owens
The Lion now has no rivals for the
Wales No�shirt. His throwing was
accurate and very solid defensively.
Owens gave his opposite number
Stuart McInally a difficult afternoon.
5
Stuart McInally
It was not all his fault that Scotland?s
lineout went so awry so often and
McInally did well to help repel the
strong Welsh scrum but may not keep
his place next Sunday.
6
Samson Lee
Like Rob Evans he was hauled off 10
minutes into the second half but like
Evans made a massive contribution
to the Welsh pack which could make
England uncomfortable next weekend.
6
Jon Welsh
Making only his second Six Nations
start, the second Newcastle player in
Scotland?s lineup helped give his side
parity in the scrums. The tighthead is
a very solid scrummager.
6
Cory Hill
The Dragons lock justified his
selection and was particularly
impressive in open play. Second row is
not an area of strength for Wales but
he is sure to feature against England.
6
Ben Toolis
The lank-haired lock was impressive
on the charge but his lineout work will
be a worry for Gregor Townsend. He
worked hard defensively in a pack that
was eventually run off its feet.
7
Alun Wyn Jones
Wales?s captain is the man for the
big occasion and at 32 he seems to
improve every season. Got stronger as
the game wore on and was influential
in a lineout that Wales dominated.
6
Jonny Gray
The lock?s early bullocking run
threatened to take the wind out of
Wales?s sails but after that he had few
chances to make his mark. Some good
carries in the second half.
8
Aaron Shingler
Shingler has been outstanding in the
Scarlets European success and this
was by far his best game in a Wales
jersey. He was a massive physical
presence in a dominant back row.
6
John Barclay
The eleventh Scarlet in the starting
lineups, the captain had a frustrating
afternoon, compounded by the two
penalties he gave away. Worked hard
but made little impact.
7
Josh Navidi
Something of a surprise that he was
picked ahead of Justin Tipuric but
Navidi showed how strong he is at
the breakdown with some excellent
turnovers and fully justified selection.
5
Hamish Watson
The openside flanker was picked
for his jackal-like qualities at the
breakdown but he struggled to impose
himself in that area although he
looked stronger after the break.
7
Ross Moriarty
Warren Gatland badly needed him
to return to fitness after his back
problems and Moriarty made some
strong carries. Big contribution
despite his lack of recent rugby.
4
Cornell du Preez
The South African-born Du Preez was
supposed to be Scotland?s major
ball-carrier but he was anonymous
before being replaced by Ryan Wilson
after the break.
Man
of the
match
REPLACEMENTS
Wyn Jones (for Rob Jones, 50) 6 Denied a late try. Tomas
Francis (for Lee, 50) 6 Bradley Davies (for Hill, 55) 6 Good
carries. Elliot Dee (for Owens, 62) 5 Gareth Anscombe
(for Patchell, 62) 5 Missed chance. Justin Tipuric (for
Moriarty, 64) 5 Helped up tempo. Aled Davies (for Gareth
Davies, 6) 5 Owen Watkin (for Scott Williams, 70) 5
3
REPLACEMENTS
Jamie Bhatti (for Reid, 48) 5; Ryan Wilson (for Du Preez,
48) 6 Made a big impact; Greig Laidlaw, (for Price, 48)
6 The Clermont man should play against France. Grant
Gilchrist (for Toolis, 54) 5 Peter Horne (for Harris, 54)
6 Smart consolation try. Sean Maitland (for McGuigan,
54) 6 Murray McCallum (for Welsh, 62) 5
?
4
The Observer
04.02.18
Rugby union
NatWest Six Nations
Coach uses football?s intense training
methods to turn England into a side
with afterburners, writes Paul Rees
W
hen Conor
O?Shea
walked up the
driveway of
the hotel for
a dinner on
the eve of the Six Nations? launch
last month, a fox ran out in front
of him. The immediate thought of
the Italy head coach, which sums
up the suspicion that swirls in an
era when stories of spying and
surveillance are commonplace, was
that the animal had been released
by Eddie Jones as a joke to mark the
tactical ploy pulled by the Azzurri at
Twickenham last year.
Italy threw England out of their
stride by not contesting after a
tackle and so ensuring there was
no offside line. They called the
ruse the fox to signify its cunning.
O?Shea and his coaching team
will not be able to reheat it at the
Stadio Olimpico in Rome today
because World Rugby changed the
law, but Jones and his team can
expect another example of left-field
thinking from a team that have lost
their past 12 matches in the Six
Nations and only one of those by a
single-figure margin.
Neither side will be judged on the
outcome of a match that should, on
the scoreboard at least, result in a
healthy away win for England. The
average result between the sides in
Rome is 36-12, little different from
enham, and there
the 42-12 at Twickenham,
een them in the
are 12 places between
th England second
world rankings, with
and Italy 14th. Moree meaningful
battles for both lie ahead.
ip for O?Shea
The championship
ming more
is about Italy becoming
viso and Zebre
competitive, as Treviso
ng a foundation.
have been, and laying
For Jones it is about closing the gap
on New Zealand as next year?s
ver closer.
World Cup draws ever
As his side take theirr first
adium
step at a football stadium
edented
towards an unprecedented
tright
third successive outright
rt
title, it is to that sport
he continually turnss to
mine the extra 1% he
he
believes will make the
difference.
??Our aim is
to be the fittest
team in the
tournament,?
says Eddie Jones.
?One of the
reasons northern
hemisphere sides
have done so well
recently is that
they are fitter?
A feature of England?s two
campaigns under Jones is their
strong showing in the second half
of matches: they trailed Italy at the
break last year and were two points
ahead in Rome in 2016, only to win
by 21 and 31 points respectively. He
calls his eight players on the bench
finishers rather than replacements
and in the opening match last
year Ben Te?o scored the winning
try against France minutes after
replacing George Ford, finishing a
move started by another substitute,
Danny Care.
?I have studied football a lot and
probably learned more from it than
any other sport,? says Jones. ?They
have a methodology called tactical
periodisation that I started in my
second year coaching Japan. It was
only at the primitive stage then but
we have developed it significantly: it
has allowed us to play with greater
intensity and that has been shown
by our performances in the last 20
minutes of matches.
?I was one of those coaches where
the training went well but the team
did not play well. I could not work
it out and, having always loved
watching the Premier League, I asked
myself how the top teams played 45
matches a year consistently well.
?I started to investigate it and
talked to a few people. I went to Qatar
and spoke to a person there who
worked with Jos� Mourinho about
the concept because
bec
it originated
in Portugal. I to
took it from there.
W
ith the help of
o a number of people
With
we have developed
deve
the concept
further and our aim is to be the
fittest team in the tournament.
One of the reasons northern
hemispher
hemisphere sides have done well
[against tea
teams from the south]
recently is that
th they are fitter.?
England came from behind in
ha in their first three
the second half
matches in las
last year?s Six Nations.
t play in spurts, a
If they tended to
team that in th
the four years before
nis
Jones had finished
second in the
championship after a solitary defeat
each year, three times on points
foun ways of winning,
difference, found
m
being harder mentally
as well as
physically and more ruthless, until
AITOR ALCALDE/GETTY IMAGES
Jones?s fitter
finishers are
unrelenting
Today?s lineups
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
3pm ITV
ITALY
15 Matteo Minozzi
14 Tommaso Benvenuti
13 Tommaso Boni
12 Tommaso Castello
11 Mattia Bellini
10 Tommaso Allan
9 Marcello Violi
1 Andrea Lovotti
2 Leonardo Ghiraldini
3 Simone Ferrari
4 Alessandro Zanni
5 Dean Budd
6 Sebastian Negri
7 Renato Giammarioli
8 Sergio Parisse, capt
ENGLAND
15 Mike Brown
14 Anthony Watson
13 Ben Te?o
12 Owen Farrell
11 Jonny May
10 George Ford
9 Ben Youngs
1 Mako Vunipola
2 Dylan Hartley, capt
3 Dan Cole
4 Joe Launchbury
5 Maro Itoje
6 Courtney Lawes
7 Chris Robshaw
8 Sam Simmonds
Replacements
Bigi, Quaglio, Pasquali,
Biagi, Mbanda, Gori,
Canna, Hayward
Replacements
George, Hepburn, Kruis,
Williams, Underhill,
Care, Joseph, Nowell
Referee Mathieu Raynal (Fr)
they lost in Dublin having already
taken the title.
Jones?s first match, in Scotland
two years ago, seems an age away. It
was an underwhelming tournament,
as teams rebuilt after the failure to
supply a World Cup semi-finalist
the previous autumn. England won
all five matches but there was little
grand about their slam. Now the Six
Nations supply three of the top five
in the world, with Scotland looking
a force for the first time since they
won the old Five Nations in 1999.
?The standard has definitely
improved since 2016,? Jones says.
?That is going to make this Six
Nations more interesting. What I
want to see is the development of an
England style of play which is based
on having a consistent, ruthless set
?By shaping
an England side
with Ben Te?o
in the ranks
Jones is adding
a physical threat
to his team that
has been absent
in his two years
in燾harge
??
The Observer
04.02.18
5
Interview
?We were always
the nearly-guys?
Paul Rees
It did not take Eddie Jones long
after he took charge of England at
the end of 2015 to appreciate that
his assessment of Chris Robshaw
during that year?s World Cup as a
forward who did not have a point
of difference, was a club rather than
an international player and not an
openside flanker, was unfair.
Jones dropped Robshaw as
captain but picked him in his first
team, at blindside flanker, and has
come to increasingly rely on a player
whose unassuming qualities are
best appreciated inside the England
camp. Robshaw not only led the side
again against Samoa last November
but played at openside, where he
starts against Italy in England?s Six
Nations match in Rome ? proof that
while Jones has forceful opinions, he
is prepared for players to prove him
wrong.
Robshaw says: ?The difference
Eddie has made is on the mental
side. He gives you the confidence to
go out there and play well. A number
of coaches will tell you to go away
and work on 10 things and if you
do all 10 they will find something
else and you still won?t be in the
team. He will tell players to work
on two or three aspects and is very
to the point. He is bullish with his
approach and that has made this
side ballsy.
?I am enjoying playing for
Women?s Six Nations
Bern looks for
a golden age
Gerard Meagher
piece and then having a defence that
creates attacking opportunities.
?In 2003 England had great
leadership in the team so that when
situations were put in front of them
they worked them out quickly. That
is what we are striving to develop;
nothing too complicated.?
More big cat than fox, devouring
everything in its path. By including
Te?o, Jones is adding a physical
threat that has largely been absent
in his time in charge. But as well
as power it will be about speed,
not just out wide but how quickly
England recycle possession. Jones
has cranked it up in training in
the past couple of weeks and if the
champions start as they finish in the
coming weeks they will cast a longer
shadow on the All Blacks.
Sarah Bern was a young member of
England?s World Cup squad but such
has been her rise she is already considered one of the senior players of
Simon Middleton?s squad.
Bern is 20 but with many of the
squad who finished second in August?s
World Cup focusing on sevens, and
Middleton taking the opportunity to
blood a number of younger players
during the Six Nations, the tighthead
prop is already an old hand.
?I do get put into the old bracket a
lot, which is a bit of a shock,? she says.
?Just because some of the new players are a few years younger than me
doesn?t mean I?m old. I?m like, hold
on a minute.?
Bern is one of six survivors from
the World Cup final defeat by New
Zealand in the side to face Italy
today, with the 18-year-old full-back,
him. This week he told me I was
playing� ?Go well,? and that was
it. It makes no difference to me
because I have played there in half
my matches for Harlequins this
season. It does not matter to me
whether I play 6 or 7: I just go out
and do my bit. It is all about running
lines and defensive positions and it
comes together pretty naturally on
the爌itch.?
Robshaw led England in four Six
Nations campaigns from 2012. They
finished second every time but have
won the two since Jones has been in
charge, largely with the same group
of players.
?Eddie is the best man-manager
I have ever met,? Robshaw says.
?Every morning he will come in
and speak to every single person on
every table, giving you that personal
touch. He knows how to get the
best out of you whether he does it
through texting, a bit of shouting,
love that gives confidence or some
banter. He reads people extremely
well.
?I have a good relationship with
him. He will let me know if there
is an aspect of my game he wants
me to work on and if I am doing
something right he will let me
know. That is a side of coaching
that can get forgotten: it is easy
to put people down, but praise
generates confidence that can go a
long way.
?Don?t get me wrong, he works
Ellie Kildunne among the promising
youngsters also selected.
Despite the absence of Emily
Scarratt, Alex Matthews and Natasha
Hunt, Bern is relishing being part of
England?s Six Nations title defence,
having missed the autumn campaign
with a foot injury.
?It?s great because the young players bring so much creativity and some
new ideas. We have our senior players
who know the foundations of what
we want to do but we have the young
players who bring new ideas ? and
then I?m in the middle. We?re bringing a creativity to the Six Nations that
I don?t think has been seen before.?
Bern and the rest of the squad have
been preparing for their match in
Reggio Emilia and she revealed that
England have adopted novel training
methods in recent weeks, including
sessions against men?s teams, primarily from the army.
?It?s great to play against the men?s
side, it brings an extra physicality,?
Bern says. ?It makes us react quicker
? we have to be on our toes a lot more.
It?s a new aspect we haven?t had to
handle before.?
Italy v England, 5.30pm, SS Arena
?Chris
hris Robshaw:
and slams
?Grand
are special and
you have to work
dy hard to
bloody
ieve them?
achieve
DAVID ROGERS/GETTY IMAGES
us extremely hard but that is to
get the best out of us. We train at
high intensity, always pushing and
testing yourself, so when we get to
games, you are still thinking clearly
and making the correct decisions in
the final 10 or 15 minutes.?
A team that made history by
exiting the World Cup they were
hosting at the group stage are now,
19 months from the tournament in
Japan, second to New Zealand in the
world rankings. ?We were always
the nearly-guys before,? Robshaw
says. ?We had some great games but
we were not quite ruthless enough,
something Eddie has instilled in us.
?We have picked up silverware
and gone unbeaten in series at
home and abroad. You always want
to win things: playing in finals and
Six Nations deciders and picking up
silverware are what you will look
back on and enjoy. You listen to
pundits and see the list of trophies
they won: you want those accolades
under your name and be part of
a team that has done that. Grand
slams are special and you have to
work bloody hard to achieve them.?
The Blindside
Man of the day
Johnny Sexton for
pulling the rabbit
out of the big Irish
green hat with his
last-gasp drop
goal to sink France.
?I just had a pop,? he told the
BBC, ?I almost got distracted.?
He also bagged all of Ireland?s 15
points.
Second sight of the day
Warren Gatland marked his 50th
victory as Wales coach ? and
knew the day before the big win
was coming. ?It was an afternoon
I was expecting ? I told the chief
executive [Martyn Phillips] that
I thought we would win by 20
points at the team run [on Friday]
and he was shocked. There was
de?nitely a quiet con?dence in
the squad.?
TV battle of the day
Into the third Six Nations shared
by the BBC and ITV and the
Beeb owned the opening day?s
matches in Wales and France.
How have they split the 15
games? Simple - home games
of countries beginning with a
consonant are on BBC; those
starting with a vowel on ITV. It
means the BBC has eight live
matches this year; ITV seven.
Mo of the day
A quirk of
camera angle
meant one
Irish player
seemingly
sported a
magni?cent
handlebar moustache.
False dawn of the day
So much for the pre-tournament
hype: Scotland were taken to the
cleaners by a Wales side missing
seven of their Lions. Unwanted
record: Scotland have never won
a Six Nations opener away from
Murray?eld. Wales have not lost
to Scotland on home soil since
2002.
?
6
The Observer
04.02.18
Rugby union
NatWest Six Nations
?Johnny Sexton
snatches victory
for Ireland in
Paris with a
sensational
drop goal
Women?s
Six Nations
?Sarah Bern
says fresh ideas
will be on view
against Italy
Bern looks for
a golden age
from England?s
new blend of
young and old
MIKE HEWITT/GETTY IMAGES
Gerard Meagher
Sexton?s late drop
of timely brilliance
Ireland fly-half
succeeds with
audacious
kick from
45 metres out
to rob France
of victory
13
FRANCE
15
IRELAND
Michael Aylwin
Stade de France
The sheer nerve. If Ireland
were wanting to brandish their
championship credentials, they did
so with an extraordinary win at the
death. For 70 minutes in the Parisian
drizzle the game seemed to be meandering to a drab victory for Irish
composure over French indiscipline,
when suddenly France struck with
a brilliant counterattacking try by
Teddy Thomas, which seemed to
have won the game.
B u t w i t h Mu n s t e r- e s q u e
relentlessness, Ireland worked 38
phases to afford Johnny Sexton a shot
at a drop goal from 45 metres out in
the third minute of overtime. The
maestro obliged to steal what ended
up an outrageous win.
We should have known he would
be the man. Most of the anticipation
before this match ? and there was a
considerable amount ? had centred
on France?s Matthieu Jalibert, the first
teenager to start a championship at
fly-half for 60 years. Alas, he was off
on the half-hour, his knee colliding
with Irish centre Bundee Aki?s knee.
France insisted he was off for a headinjury assessment. Images of the last
time we were here in the Six Nations
sprang to mind from that famous
100-minute victory over Wales, but
Jalibert was never to return.
The verdict remains out. His first
involvement was to be beaten on the
outside by Jacob Stockdale and in the
next phase France were caught offside for Sexton to register the first
points.
A little later, an ill-advised chip
turned over possession, but Jalibert
was growing into the match ? a dart
here, smart hands there ? before his
cruel removal. We will see him again,
no doubt.
After the pyrotechnics in Cardiff,
this was shaping into a meatier affair,
but Ireland held a clear advantage on
the composure front.
Sexton landed a second penalty
at the start of the second quarter
without Ireland having to play too
Standings
Wales
Ireland
France
England
Italy
Scotland
Results
Today
P W
1 1
1 1
1 0
0 0
0 0
1 0
D
0
0
0
0
0
0
L F A B Pts
0 34 7 1 5
0 15 13 0 4
1 13 15 1 1
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
1 7 34 0 0
Wales 34 Scotland 7
France 13 Ireland 15
Italy v England 3pm
much. Smart work by the excellent
Kevin Gourdon won France some
ball, and Guilhem Guirado won a
penalty, which Maxime Machenaud
converted to put the home side on
the board.
As the half wore on, France had
looked more comfortable, Virimi
Vakatawa, in particular, looking
a handful, but a typical moment
of madness just before the break
betrayed their lack of experience.
S閎astien Vahaamahina needlessly
charged in at the side to clatter Conor
Murray with his shoulder.
With any number of reasons there
to penalise him, he was lucky just to
concede the penalty by which Sexton
restored Ireland?s six-point lead at
half-time.
Vahaamahina could not help
himself. Twice more in the first
10 minutes of the second half, he
gave away needless and painfully
obvious penalties, the first of which
gave Sexton a simple fourth shot
at goal, the second requiring some
muscular work from Jefferson Poirot
to save France further issues on the
scoreboard.
But for their indiscipline France had
every chance. Machenaud?s clearance
kick from that Ireland attack set them
up in the other half for a while; this
time Vahaamahina fished for the ball
legally and Machenaud landed his
second penalty to pull France back
to within six.
Vahaamahina never quite shook off
his discipline problems, scuppering
another attack with recklessness at
a maul, but before that his captain,
Guilhem Guirado weighed in with
two consecutive penalty offences.
Only an rare scuff from the reliable
Sexton spared France another three
points to make up.
The game was meandering
horribly, but, as is always possible with
them, no matter how directionless
and undisciplined they may seem,
France bust into life in the 72nd
minute.
Vakatawa had been causing most
of the problems, but his friend on the
other wing was to break the game
open at last. From a quick throwin, a quick step and pass by Antoine
Dupont, set Thomas free down the
right, where he beat Murray, then
cut inside to beat three more on
the way to the line for a brilliant
counterattacking score.
Stade de France thought that was
enough. Ireland ? and Sexton ? had
other ideas.
France
Ireland
Palis; Thomas, Lamerat,
Chavancy, Vakatawa;
Jalibert (Belleau 30),
Machenaud (Dupont 67;
Machenaud 76); Poirot
(Priso 55), Guirado (capt),
Slimani (Gomes Sa 55),
Iturria (Gabrillagues 61),
Vahaamahina, Lauret
(Tauleigne 67), Camara,
Gourdon
Try Thomas Con Belleau
Pens Machenaud 2
R Kearney; Earls,
Henshaw,燗ki, Stockdale
(McFadden 75);
Sexton,燤urray; Healy
(McGrath 61), Best (capt;
Cronin 68), Furlong
(John燫yan 70),
Henderson, James Ryan
(Toner 68), O?Mahony,
Van燿er Flier (Leavy 37),
Stander
Pens Sexton 4
Drop goal Sexton
Referee Nigel Owens (Wal) Attendance 74,878
Sarah Bern was a young member
of England?s World Cup squad
but such has been her rise she
is already considered one of the
senior players of Simon Middleton?s
squad. Bern is still only 20 but with
a raft of the squad that finished
second in August?s World Cup
focusing on sevens, and Middleton
taking the opportunity to blood a
number of younger players during
the Six Nations, the tighthead prop
is already an old hand. ?I do get
put into the old bracket a lot, which
is a bit of a shock,? she says. ?Just
because some of the new players
are a few years younger than me
doesn?t mean I?m old. I?m like, hold
on a minute.?
Bern is one of six survivors
from the World Cup final defeat
by New Zealand in the side to face
Italy today, with the 18-year-old
full-back, Ellie Kildunne, who
is studying A-levels, among the
promising youngsters also selected.
Despite the absence of Emily
Scarratt, Alex Matthews and
Natasha Hunt, Bern is relishing
being part of England?s Six Nations
title defence, having missed the
autumn campaign with a foot
injury. ?It?s great because the young
players bring so much creativity
and some new ideas. We have
our senior players who know the
foundations of what we want to
do but we have the young players
who bring new ideas ? and then
I?m in the middle. We?re bringing a
creativity to the Six Nations that I
don?t think has been seen before.?
Bern and the rest of the squad
have been preparing for their match
in Reggio Emilia with an intensive
camp at Bisham Abbey and she
revealed that England have adopted
novel training methods in recent
weeks, including sessions against
men?s teams, primarily from the
Army. ?It?s great to play against
the men?s side, it brings an extra
physicality,? Bern says. ?It makes us
react quicker ? we have to be on our
toes a lot more. It?s a new aspect we
haven?t had to handle before.?
Italy v England, 5.30pm, SS Arena
??
Football
Premier League
?Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang clips
the ball over Jordan Pickford for a goal
on a dream debut in Arsenal?s romp
The Observer
04.02.18
7
Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan
herald new Arsenal era with
energy, excitement and fizz that
Everton are unable to handle
Ramsey
rampage
1
Ramsey 6 19 74, Koscielny
14, Aubameyang 37
Calvert-Lewin 64
ARSENAL
58%
EVERTON
Possession
42%
7
Shots on Target
2
15
Total Attempts
11
Barney Ronay
Emirates Stadium
Well, that didn?t take long. For Arsenal
this was an evening of instant ignition, a 5-1 win that scarcely reflected
their superiority against a meek and
muddled Everton.
Ars鑞e Wenger had enjoyed one
of his more frantic January transfer
windows, the doors of the Emirates
revolving like the barrels on a Las
Vegas slot machine. On a chilly north
London day the fruits of those toils
clicked beautifully into place. Most
notably Henrikh Mkhitaryan produced a wonderfully deft display
of attacking craft, creating three of
Arsenal?s goals, while Aaron Ramsey
rampaged unimpeded in central midfield and scored the first hat-trick of
his career.
There were riches all over the pitch.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored
on his debut and showed signs of
the supercharged speed he still has
in reserve, the kind of speed that
alters the entire feel of a game, and
which Arsenal have lacked in a centreforward since Thierry Henry left.
Behind Aubameyang the re-signed
Mesut 謟il played like he had just
woken up surrounded by the most
wonderful array of birthday presents.
Even before kick-off there were elements of the Premier League at its
brash, shopaholic best, with intriguing nuggets of rejig and relocation
shot through both sides. Eliaquim
Mangala made his debut for Everton
while his team-mate Theo Walcott
was applauded warmly on his return.
For Arsenal the new challenge of
finding the space to cram in all their
gal醕ticos saw Mkhitaryan and 謟il
providing a dreamy-looking creative fulcrum alongside the muscular
prompts of Alex Iwobi. It all fell into
Top of the table
Man City
Man Utd
Liverpool
Chelsea
Tottenham
Arsenal
Burnley
Leicester
Bournemouth
Everton
Watford
P
26
26
25
25
25
26
26
26
26
26
25
W
22
17
14
15
14
13
9
9
8
8
7
D
L
F
A
3
1 74 19
5
4 51 18
8
3 57 29
5
5 45 19
6
5 49 22
6
7 51 35
9
8 21 23
8
9 38 35
7 11 30 37
7 11 29 45
6 12 33 44
GD
+55
+33
+28
+26
+27
+16
-2
+3
-7
-16
-11
Pts
69
56
50
50
48
45
36
35
31
31
27
minutes gone Aubameyang had his
first sight of goal, his shot blocked by a
sprawling challenge. From 謟il?s corner Shkodran Mustafi flicked on and
Laurent Koscielny was free, almost on
the line, to dive and head爃ome.
Time and again Everton struggled
to track the movement of Arsenal?s
midfield and the runs of the forward
players into space behind the wingbacks. The third goal duly arrived
at the end of another lovely move.
謟il?s run and pass found Ramsey
with enough time to think for a bit,
scratch his ear and finally decide on
a sidefoot shot that found the top of
the net via a deflection off Mangala.
Shortly after there was a glimpse of
Aubameyang in full flight, scampering away into the open green spaces
and leaving four blue shirts for dead
before his low shot was well saved by
Jordan Pickford. His goal was coming. It duly arrived two minutes later.
Iwobi found Mkhitaryan, who turned
and played the perfect nudged pass
IAN KINGTON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
5
place. The first half in particular had
a sheen of quick-passing perfection
as Everton were repeatedly scythed
apart, albeit an Everton who seemed
to have forgotten not just how to
defend, but that defending existed as
a concept in the first place. Afterwards
Sam Allardyce described his team?s
performance as ?pathetic? and ?crap?,
complaining bitterly of the inability of
his players to follow a gameplan
Instead the traffic flowed one way,
beginning with a beautifully worked
goal after six minutes. 謟il played a
neat pass into Aubameyang, who laid
the ball out to Mkhitaryan on the right.
From his low cross Ramsey had space
to tuck the ball home at his leisure. It
was a goal that had some of that old
Arsenal ease about it, the high-speed
passing football Wenger is so keen to
return to. And so it went爋n.燱ith 13
into Aubameyang?s run. His dinked
finish on the move was a thing of
beauty, the ball hanging gently in
the north London air before nuzzling into the corner of the net with
Aubameyang already celebrating.
Everton began the second half with
a surge of Sam-driven energy. For a
while they swarmed over Arsenal?s
midfield as the home team looked
a little sleepy and sated. Oumar
Niasse hit a post but really should
have scored, sliding on to Walcott?s
low cross and colliding heavily with
Petr Cech. They deservedly pulled one
back, the substitute Dominic CalvertLewin planting a fine header past
Cech from Yannick Bolasie?s cross.
Cech went off shortly afterwards, suffering from his collision with Niasse.
Tom Davies and Morgan
Schneiderlin had been key for
Everton in that period, as the visitors finally began to compress the
spaces in central midfield. Ramsey
demonstrated the other side of this
Auba spoiler
Goal on debut
? but a mile offside
After 37 minutes Mkhitaryan
slips a pass down the insideleft channel and releases
Aubameyang into the box.
He draws Pickford, dinks the
ball over him, and there?s a
beautifully taken first goal for
Arsenal but he was well offside ?
a shocker from the linesman.
on 74 minutes, striding forward and
pinging a low shot past Pickford to
complete his hat-trick from another
perfectly weighted Mkhitaryan cross.
With the decks cleared of malcontents and an infusion of high-class
blood this felt like a fresh start to the
season for Arsenal.
Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang
in particular, so familiar from their
Dortmund days, performed like a
genuinely alluring bolt-on attacking
part. The question from here, with
ground to make up, is how far this
regeared team can ride that thrilling
early wave.
Arsenal
4-2-3-1
Everton
3-4-3
Pickford; Kenny, Mangala,
Cech (Ospina 70); Beller韓,
Williams, Keane (Davies
Koscielny?, Mustafi?,
ht), Martina; Walcott
Monreal (Kolasinac ht);
Xhaka, Ramsey (Wilshere
(Calvert-Lewin 81)
75); Iwobi, 謟il,
Schneiderlin, Gueye
Mkhitaryan; Aubameyang
Bolasie; Niasse (Tosun 78)
Subs not used Rooney,
Subs not used Lacazette,
Sigurdsson, Holgate,
Chambers, Maitland-Niles,
Robles
Elneny
Referee Neil Swarbrick Attendance 59,306
?
8
The Observer
04.02.18
Football
Premier League
?Alexis S醤chez puts his new team two
goals燾lear, slotting home the rebound after
his爌enalty was parried by Jonas L鰏sl
S醤chez
is quick to
make mark
Chilean enlivens
plodding United
with all-action
home燿ebut to send
Huddersfield into
perilous territory
2
0
MAN UNITED
HUDDERSFIELD
Lukaku 55, S醤chez 68
74%
Possession
26%
6
Shots on Target
1
5
Fouls
19
Paul Wilson
Old Trafford
The good news for Manchester United
is that Manchester City?s lead has
been cut to 13 points. The bad news,
apart from the fact that 13 points is
still a lot, is that this performance was
not a vast improvement on the one
against Tottenham at Wembley.
While Huddersfield were overcome in the end they were hardly put
to the sword, and now the optimism
of early season has evaporated they
look more like a Championship
outfit with every dispiriting result.
West Ham
feel heat of
angry fans
3
1
Murray 8, Izquierdo 59,
Gross 75
Hern醤dez 30
BRIGHTON
57%
WEST HAM
Possession
43%
5
Shots on Target
1
21
Total Attempts
4
Jacob Steinberg
Amex Stadium
And not a particularly impressive
Championship side either. Though the
points were welcome United will not
frighten any of their top-four rivals
playing like this and Jos� Mourinho
even expressed disappointment
with the atmosphere, describing Old
Trafford as ?a quiet爏tadium?.
It certainly was for this game.
Considering Mourinho believes he
has an unimprovable front line the
wow factor is taking its time to return
to Old Trafford. Long stretches of the
first half were positively stodgy, with
most of the game passing Romelu
Lukaku by and Juan Mata and Jesse
Lingard only occasionally looking
threatening.
While the one-man entertainment industry that is Alexis S醤chez
was eye-catching throughout, it was
not always in a good way. The way
he made space for a right-foot shot
from the edge of the penalty area that
forced a scrambling save from Jonas
L鰏sl was sublime, as were a couple
of his passes to Mata and Antonio
Valencia, yet he ended the first half
furious that the referee had not
awarded him a free-kick and he lost
his cool, booked for an unnecessary
foul on Florent Hadergjonaj.
Huddersfield were much more
solid than they had been in losing to
Liverpool, though were lucky to reach
the interval level after the referee,
Stuart Attwell, somehow failed to
see Terence Kongolo?s blatant barge
into Scott McTominay as a penalty.
McTominay hurt himself but managed to struggle on, as one might
?Old Trafford marked the 60th
anniversary of the Munich air
disaster with a minute?s silence
It had already been a bad week for
West Ham, featuring yet another
deflating conclusion to a transfer
window and the dismissal of
their head of player recruitment
following his remarks about African
footballers, and the atmosphere
surrounding them had descended
to new levels of toxicity once it was
over.
For David Sullivan and David
Gold, West Ham?s deeply unpopular
owners, the temptation to close
their eyes and stick their fingers
in their ears must have been
overwhelming long before the final
whistle of this damaging defeat.
?RIP WHU? was the message on
one banner in the away end, where
the travelling supporters needed
little encouragement to increase the
volume of their protests.
West Ham offered meek
opposition in the face of a robust
performance from Brighton, whose
first victory since 23 December
eased their relegation fears, and
it was a match when the visitors?
self-destructive tendencies in the
transfer market were ruthlessly
exposed.
David Moyes spent a dismal
second half turning to backroom
staff in despair. West Ham had
travelled to the Amex Stadium
hoping for some respite after
sacking Tony Henry, their transfer
chief, on Friday night.
With their messy efforts at
strengthening their squad still fresh
in the memory, the mood darkened
when Brighton scored after eight
minutes. Chris Hughton?s team
made a pulsating start and it was a
slick counterattack that culminated
in Glenn Murray beating a shoddy
offside trap.
The move developed at
impressive speed after a West Ham
attack fizzled out and Brighton were
grateful to Roger East, the referee,
for playing on when Aaron Cresswell
expect of a player selected ahead of
Paul Pogba.
It had looked as if the home side
might be in for an easy afternoon
when S醤chez helped send Lingard
clear after eight minutes to bring the
first save from L鰏sl, yet it was a false
impression. Huddersfield defended
well and United rarely summoned
that attacking fluency again.
They did take the lead early in the
second half, however, capitalising on
the visitors giving the ball away in
their own half. Nemanja Matic lost no
time in finding Mata in space on the
?Glenn Murray?s opener paves way
for Brighton?s win over West Ham
brought down Anthony Knockaert
with a poor tackle.
Unfortunately for Cresswell,
the ball was already nestling in
left and his cross gave Lukaku something to attack for the first time. The
striker was alert enough to seize his
opportunity, sticking out a foot to
beat Christopher Schindler to the ball
and send a shot into L鰏sl?s bottom
corner.
United breathed a little easier after
that with Mourinho feeling relaxed
enough to send on first Pogba and
then Marcus Rashford.
Between the substitutions the lead
was increased, S醤chez first winning
a penalty against Michael Hefele,
seeing his spot-kick saved but tucking
West Ham?s net by the time he
was booked. Pascal Gross released
Murray, who was played onside by
Declan Rice, and the striker slipped
the ball underneath Adri醤 to claim
his fifth goal in his past seven
matches. Both managers denied
any knowledge of Cresswell and
Knockaert clashing in the tunnel at
half-time.
West Ham were protecting a sixmatch unbeaten run in the Premier
League and they crept back into
the game, equalising through Javier
Hern醤dez in the 30th minute.
The Mexico forward retrieved
possession, Mark Noble fizzed
a pass into Jo鉶 M醨io and the
Portuguese midfielder?s deft flick
found Hern醤dez, who sidestepped
Lewis Dunk and Ga雝an Bong before
lifting his shot beyond Mathew
Ryan?s reach.
Brighton regained control after
the break and were rewarded for
their pressure when Jos� Izquierdo
?
The Observer
04.02.18
PAUL ELLIS/AFP
Jos� Mourinho has criticised
the atmosphere at Old Trafford
and said the noise made at
Portsmouth?s Fratton Park is
better. After Manchester United?s
2-0 win over Huddersfield,
Mourinho was initially asked
about the new signing Alexis
S醤chez, who scored his first
goal for the club.
?He played only three
[matches] and the first at Old
Trafford, and Old Trafford, in
spite of being a quiet stadium,
the pitch is big, the grass is nice
and obviously the players feel
very comfortable playing here,?
Mourinho said.
Asked to explain his
comments, a smiling Mourinho
replied: ?It?ss not
h. I remember
Portsmouth.
h ? such a
Portsmouth
um, the
small stadium,
atmospheree absolutely
incredible.
In here, the
atmospheree is
nd
a bit quiet and
there is not
very [much
m].
enthusiasm].
yers
But the players
like to play at
home.?
away the rebound to register his first
United goal on his home debut. The
Chilean deserved it, if only for the
number of times he was fouled.
Just about all of the Huddersfield
back line had a go and while there was
nothing especially nasty or dangerous
it was tediously repetitive. Anyone
who did not know better might have
concluded that S醤chez earns his
prodigious wages for constantly picking himself up off the grass.
?Old Trafford will suit him despite
it being a quiet stadium,? Mourinho
said. ?Alexis is a fantastic player but
he?s not a prima donna, he?s a humble guy. He came in for some attention
but he?s used to that, he never stopped
running. He was nearly dead at the
end but I think he enjoyed the game.?
stunned the visitors in the 59th
minute. West Ham failed to clear a
corner and the winger took a touch
before whipping a magnificent
effort into the far corner from the
left of the area. ?I knew we had to
raise our game again,? Hughton said.
?I thought the second half was close
to being as good as we?ve been this
season.?
Izquierdo celebrated wildly and
was booked for whipping off his
shirt. Brighton did not mind. Despite
introducing Michail Antonio, who
was dropped for last Tuesday?s draw
with Crystal Palace for arriving late
to a team meeting, West Ham lacked
guile without Marko Arnautovic
and Manuel Lanzini. They are
three points above the bottom
three ? Brighton trail them on goals
scored ? and are in danger of losing
momentum.
?We just never seemed to get a
grasp of the game,? Moyes said. ?It
was disappointing.?
Moyes, who denied that Henry?s
dismissal had distracted his
players, was preparing to give
Jordan Hugill his debut with 15
minutes left. But the striker?s jog up
the touchline merely granted him
a better view of Gross thumping a
superb shot past Adri醤 from 18
yards.
Brighton had failed to score in
nine of their previous 13 league
matches, yet they have scored six in
two games against West Ham.
?Where?s the money gone?? the
West Ham fans chanted. It was a
good question.
Manchester United
4-2-3-1
Huddersfield
4-5-1
L鰏sl; Smith?, Jorgensen,
Schindler (Hefele? 59),
Kongolo; Hogg?, Quaner,
Hadergjonaj; Billing?
(Mooy 33), Van La Parra
(Ince 69); Depoitre
Subs not used Malone,
Coleman, Pritchard,
Mounie
Referee Stuart Attwell Attendance 74,742
De Gea; Valencia, Rojo,
Smalling, Shaw; Matic,
McTominay; Mata?
(Rashford 71), Lingard
(Pogba 65), S醤chez?,
Lukaku (Martial 77)
Subs not used Lindel鰂,
Carrick, Young, Romero
Brighton
4-4-1-1
West Ham
3-5-1-1
Adri醤; Collins, Ogbonna,
Rice (Antonio 66); Byram
(Hugill 80), Kouyat�,
Zabaleta, Noble,
Cresswell?; M醨io;
Hern醤dez
Subs not used Hart, Reid,
Fonte, Haksabanovic,
Cullen
Referee Roger East Attendance 30,589
Ryan; Schelotto, Dunk?,
Duffy, Bong; Knockaert
(March 77), Pr鰌per,
Stephens?, Izquierdo?;
Gross (Kayal 83); Murray
(Ulloa 72)
Subs not used Krul, Bruno,
Goldson, Baldock
Howe happy
as Mousset
completes
comeback
2
1
King 70, Mousset 79
Shaqiri 5
BOURNEMOUTH
59%
STOKE
Possession
41%
13
Fouls
16
15
Total Attempts
13
Ed Elliot
Vitality Stadium
Josh King and Lys Mousset, who
both came on as substitutes, struck
second-half goals as in-form
Bournemouth came from behind to
inflict a first defeat on Stoke since
Paul Lambert became manager.
The struggling Potters looked on
course to make it seven points from
a possible nine under Lambert when
Xherdan Shaqiri headed them into
a deserved early lead at the Vitality
Stadium. But Bournemouth battled
back to score twice in the final
quarter of the match and secure
a 2-1 victory which extends their
Premier League unbeaten run to a
club record seven games and drops
City back into the bottom three.
Eddie Howe named an unchanged
side but Bournemouth did not
begin like a team who had won
so impressively at the champions,
Chelsea, in midweek.
They were given an early warning
when a powerful drive from
Shaqiri was blocked on the line by
the defender Steve Cook and the
Switzerland winger made them pay
moments later, calmly heading in
unmarked at the back post following
Football
in brief
Conte pleads for
patience from fans
Antonio Conte says Chelsea are
still laying the foundations of a
new side to challenge Manchester
City and has called for patience
over the assessment of his team?s
title defence. Chelsea are desperate
for a top-four finish while the
manager?s future beyond the
summer is in doubt after tensions
over transfer policy.
?We must be realistic and
understand what our level is,?
said Conte, who will have his
�m signing from Arsenal,
Olivier Giroud, and the returning
David Luiz available at Watford
tomorrow.
?Now we have to struggle to fight
PETER NICHOLLS/REUTERS
Pompey paean
Jos� Fratton makes
more noise than us
9
?Lys Mousset (third right) scores Bournemouth?s come-from-behind winner
a left-wing cross from the debutant
Badou Ndiaye.
The inclusion of Ndiaye, a �m
arrival from Galatasaray, was one of
three changes made by Lambert and
the 27-year-old was excelling in the
centre of midfield, although he did
drag a shot wide after being played
in by Peter Crouch.
Bournemouth were guilty of
some sloppy play, however they
went close to an equaliser when the
Stoke defender Erik Pieters slid in to
block Jordon Ibe?s goal-bound effort
following fine link-up play between
King and Junior Stanislas.
Stanislas then saw a stinging
free-kick beaten away by Jack
Butland in Stoke?s goal as the hosts
went in behind at the break. Stoke
continued to look dangerous in the
second half and Crouch was inches
away from doubling their advantage
in the 65th minute when he clipped
the top of the crossbar with a header
from a Shaqiri corner.
The Stoke forward Eric Maxim
Choupo-Moting was then perhaps
lucky to escape a red card for a
lunge on Ryan Fraser for which Paul
Tierney showed only a yellow.
for a Champions League place.
We must be realistic. We must
be strong to accept this type of
situation. Then, in the future, you
have to try to buy only two or three
players [to improve your team] ?
not eight. Last summer we brought
in seven or eight and spent a lot less
than other teams who bought only
two or three.
?I should underline what I said
previously: we are in a moment that
we have to create a base so we can
then build something important.
To do this, you must have 15 or 16
Dominic Fifield
players in place.?
Ben韙ez does not want
?a war? at Newcastle
Rafael Ben韙ez intends to initiate
an internal inquiry into the
deficiencies which undermined the
January transfer window activity
at Newcastle. Although he ended
King, who had earlier been
booked for an embarrassing
dive while under pressure from
Kurt Zouma, levelled the contest
following a defensive mix-up with
20 minutes to go. Zouma collided
with his team-mate Joe Allen just
inside Stoke?s penalty area and the
ball broke kindly for King to stroke
home his first goal since November.
Bournemouth?s first away win
of the league campaign had come
at燬toke in October and they
completed a double over their
opponents by claiming the winner
nine minutes later. Ibe swung
over a free-kick from the right and
Mousset, who replaced Stanislas in
the 59th minute, climbed unmarked
to nod home his first Premier
PA
League goal.
Bournemouth
3-4-2-1
Stoke
4-2-3-1
Begovic; Francis, S Cook
(King? 13), Ak� Fraser, L
Cook, Gosling?, Daniels;
Ibe (Pugh 90), Stanislas
(Mousset 59); C Wilson
Subs not used Boruc,
Surman, Arter, Simpson
Butland; Bauer, Shawcross,
Zouma, Pieters; Cameron,
Ndiaye? (Stafylidis 71);
Shaqiri?, Allen, ChoupoMoting? (Berahino 83);
Crouch (Diouf 83)
Subs not used Johnson,
Adam, Sobhi, Grant
Referee Paul Tierney Attendance 10,614
up with three loan signings ? the
Leicester striker Islam Slimani, the
Sparta Prague goalkeeper Martin
Dubravka and the Chelsea winger
Kenedy ?the first two were signed
just before Wednesday?s deadline
and much hard work appeared
wasted.
Asked if change, and increased
professionalism at board level,
were integral to his future, Ben韙ez
said: ?That?s another debate for the
future, an internal debate, we have
plenty of time to talk about those
things. There?s a time when you
have to say something.?
For the moment the former
Real Madrid manager intends to
concentrate on ?improving? his
squad but a reasoned debate, the
outcome of which could determine
whether he stays or leaves this
summer, is looming.
?We?re a little bit better than a
few days ago,? he said. ?I don?t want
Louise Taylor
to start a war?
?
Football
Premier League
MATT WATSON/GETTY IMAGES
10
The Observer
04.02.18
?James Ward-Prowse celebrates his free-kick that gave Southampton a 3-1 lead
Ward-Prowse the
free-kick king
2
3
Hegazi 4, Rond髇 72
Lemina 40, Stephens 43,
Ward-Prowse 55
WEST BROM
39%
SOUTHAMPTON
Possession
61%
3
Shots on Target
5
9
Total Attempts
13
Paul Doyle
The Hawthorns
Southampton produced a rare display
of efficiency to complement their
nimble play and deservedly prevail in
this battle of two beleaguered sides.
By coming from behind to claim a
first Premier League away win since
September, they climbed out of the
relegation zone, eased pressure on
Mauricio Pellegrino and plunged West
Brom into deeper bother.
The home team took an early lead
through Ahmed Hegazi but wound
up beaten. A smattering of boos at the
final whistle suggested many locals
found little consolation in the fact
this was entertaining fare. West Brom
Saturday
Sundae
were again more enterprising than
they had been under Tony Pulis but
the result means they have won only
one league match since Alan Pardew
took over in November. They were a
point above the relegation zone then;
this defeat leaves them four adrift at
the foot of the table.
With both teams in the bottom three before play began, the
Hawthorns might have been gripped
by tension but the atmosphere before
kick-off was quite different ? appreciative, almost joyful ? thanks to a
wonderful celebration of the life of
Cyrille Regis. It was suitably warm
and powerful.
After attention turned to the match,
West Brom fans leapt to rejoice at
Hegazi?s opening goal. The manner of
it seemed ominous for Southampton,
as the centre-back brushed easily past
Jack Stephens in the fourth minute to
head Chris Brunt?s corner into the net.
Southampton looked to be in
trouble and it was not long before
Pellegrino was targeted by a rendition of ?you?re getting sacked in the
morning?. But his team soon shut up
the singers, turning the tables with
two goals just before the break and a
third shortly after it.
Mario Lemina, integral to most
of resources, and still managing to
grind out a draw. A sympathetic Gary
Neville called it ?an absolute joke?.
Man of the day
Raheem Sterling, keeping the title
race alive (sort of). Twitter celebrated
with the Mr Men ?Mr Sitter? meme.
Plucky underdog of the day
Pep Guardiola, forced to name just
six subs at Burnley because of a lack
Southampton moves, struck their
first goal in the 40th minute, lashing into the net from 25 yards. Three
minutes later, Stephens atoned for his
earlier mistake by giving Hegazi the
slip at a corner and glancing James
Ward-Prowse?s delivery into the net.
When Southampton were awarded
a free-kick just outside the box in
the 55th minute, Sofiane Boufal
demanded to take it. But WardProwse refused to give him the ball
and the Moroccan was ushered away
by team-mates. Then Ward-Prowse
curled the ball beyond the West Brom
wall and into the net. Point proved.
?It?s good when you are positive
and want to do it,? said Pellegrino of
Boufal?s attempted usurpation. ?But
when you?re too ambitious, it?s not
too good. But all of them are young
and will learn and think to do what is
best for the team.?
The 3-1 scoreline reflected the play
in the first hour because, once they
came to terms with their rude awakening, Southampton were the better
side. Yet for all their fluent play, they
suffered for a while from a familiar
lack of edge. Even their record signing, Guido Carrillo, fluffed a couple
of early chances on his first start.
Gradually Southampton grew teeth.
Carrillo would have equalised around
the half-hour if not for an excellent
one-handed save by Ben Foster.
Daniel Sturridge fired a crossshot inches wide after a delightful
through-ball by Brunt. The Liverpool
loanee twinkled on his first start for
West Brom but faded before being
withdrawn in the 62nd minute. That
was probably down to a lack of fitness
and a dearth of regular service. West
Brom?s long injury list was a factor in
that and also, according to Pardew,
in the result. ?The squad was a little
light today and I think that showed,?
he said. ?Southampton looked a little fresher.?
Pardew threw on every available attacker as West Brom went in
search of a route back. Brunt found
one in the 72nd minute, curling a typically dangerous cross into the box for
Salom髇 Rond髇 to nod home.
Shane Long, booed on his return to
the club he left amid acrimony in 2014,
should have restored Southampton?s
cushion but headed over the bar after
a cross by C閐ric Soares. West Brom,
however, could not muster enough
quality to profit from that reprieve.
Was at Old Tra?ord, mocking the
Arsenal variants. Hudders?eld
chants of ?What a waste of money
1
1
Vardy 17
Fern醤dez 53
LEICESTER
SWANSEA
59%
Possession
41%
4
Shots on Target
1
13
Total Attempts
3
Stuart James
at King Power Stadium
Riyad Mahrez was nowhere to be
seen and it was hard to escape
the feeling that Leicester were
not the same team without their
talisman. The Algerian?s value is
clear ? Leicester have failed to win
the four Premier League matches
that Mahrez has missed since the
start of last season ? and Claude
Puel must curse that moment when
Manchester City came knocking
on their door just before transfer
deadline day.
Although Leicester started
brightly and took a deserved lead
through Jamie Vardy?s 13th goal of
the season, they lost their way in the
second half and lacked the creativity
and imagination to break down a
resolute Swansea side after Federico
Fern醤dez had punished some poor
defending to equalise.
Leicester resorted to pumping
long balls into the Swansea area
in the second half as frustration
grew among the home supporters and it was tempting to wonder
how much different life may have
been had Mahrez been weaving his
magic on the wing. The 26-yearold has not showed up for training
since last Monday, however, and it is
impossible for anyone to say when
he will be wearing a Leicester shirt
again. ?Riyad is not my preoccupation straight after the game,? Puel
said.
The Leicester manager was
clearly exasperated that his side
had allowed two points to slip
through their fingers at the end of
an extremely testing week. ?A big
frustration,? said Puel as he reflected
on the way that Leicester, who were
utterly dominant against Swansea
for the first half an hour, failed
to add a second goal before the
interval. ?We played very well but
without finding the clinical edge.?
Carlos Carvalhal, in contrast,
was delighted with the way that
Swansea recovered in the second
half to continue their upward path
and collect the precious point that
lifts them out of the relegation zone.
?A point is like gold for us at the
moment,? said Carvalhal, who has
lost one of his six league games in
charge.
The only bad news for Swansea
was the potentially serious Achilles
injury that caused Leroy Fer to leave
the pitch on a stretcher in the first
half. By that stage, Swansea were a
goal behind after Vardy, set up by
Kelechi Iheanacho, expertly opened
up his body to steer the ball beyond
Lukasz Fabianski.
Leicester should have had
a second 12 minutes later but
Fabianski repelled Fousseni
Diabat�s shot and Iheanacho?s
follow-up effort was blocked on the
line by Alfie Mawson.
That felt like a turning point,
especially when Fern醤dez got away
from Christian Fuchs to head home
Ki Sung-yueng?s corner and punish
the sort of slack marking on setpieces that has been a feature of
Leicester?s season.
Although Diabat� side-footed a
first-time effort narrowly wide later
on, after a nice exchange with Vardy,
that was a rare Leicester chance in
a second half when the home team
huffed and puffed without much
finesse.
West Brom
4-4-2
Southampton
4-2-3-1
Leicester
4-4-2
Foster; Nyom (McClean 77),
McAuley, Hegazi, Dawson;
Brunt, Barry?, Yacob
(Burke 62), Phillips?;
Rond髇, Sturridge
(Rodriguez 62)
Subs not used Myhill,
Jameson, Field, Harper
McCarthy; Soares, Stephens
Hoedt, Bertrand?; Lemina,
Romeu; Tadic (Redmond
88), Boufal (H鴍bjerg 85),
Ward-Prowse; Carrillo
(Long 75)
Subs not used Forster,
Yoshida, Davis, Gabbiadini
Fabianski; Naughton,
Schmeichel; Simpson
Van燿er Hoorn, Fern醤dez,
(Okazaki 80), Maguire,
Mawson, Olsson; Dyer
Dragovic, Fuchs;
(Bony 71), Fer (Carroll 36),
Diabat�, Silva (James
Ki, Clucas; Ayew
68), Ndidi, Albrighton;
(Routledge 90)
Vardy, Iheanacho (Gray 68)
Subs not used Nordfeldt,
Subs not used Hamer,
Abraham, Narsingh,
Chilwell, Iborra, ,
Bartley
Benalouane
Referee Anthony Taylor Attendance 31,179
Referee Michael Oliver Attendance 25,911
?Leicester goalscorer, Jamie Vardy,
and Federico Fern醤dez, who scored
Swansea?s equaliser, battle for the ball
didn?t have much e?ect, with Alexis
S醤chez scoring (eventually).
Thought
for the day
Intervention of the day
Pastiche of the day
Leicester
exposed by
lack of finesse
in absence
of Mahrez
Wesley Hoedt, who told So?ane
Boufal to allow dead-ball specialist
James Ward-Prowse to take a
free-kick at West Brom. Boufal
harrumphed, Ward-Prowse scored
and Southampton won a league game
for the ?rst time since November.
Chelsea?s Belgian
philosopher-striker
Michy Batshuayi
explaining to German
media how he chose
his loan destination: ?I love Borussia
Dortmund. Black and yellow are my
favourite colours, because I love
Batman and SpongeBob.?
Swansea
5-4-1
Recycled quote of the day
?I always felt defensively they are
weak,? said Sam Allardyce of Arsenal
on Friday. A day later, his Everton side
were 4-0 down at half-time.
False dawn of the day
Dover came from three down at home
to Leyton Orient in the FA Trophy to
level it in the 82nd minute. They shipped
a fourth two minutes into added time.
?
The Observer
04.02.18
11
What a miss
71min
De Bruyne
splits
Burnley into
pieces with
a stunning
pass down
the inside
right. Walker,
in the clear,
rolls a cross
through the
six-yard box.
All Sterling
has to do is
run it into
the net, but
he opens his
body and
squirts his
shot wide left
from a couple
of yards
JASON CAIRNDUFF/ACTION IMAGES VIA REUTERS
?It is a very
good point.
We have
lost to City
twice. We
stayed in it
and you have
to. Then we
grew into
the game?
Sean Dyche
Guardiola
defends City
winger after
open goal
blunder while
Dyche basks in
staying power
1
1
Gudmundsson 82
Danilo 22
BURNLEY
29%
MAN CITY
Possession
71%
3
Shots on Target
7
8
Total Attempts
20
Jamie Jackson
Turf Moor
Johann Berg Gudmundsson ensured
Manchester City rued their profligacy with a half-volley that grabbed
Burnley an impressive draw against
the champions-elect.
Raheem Sterling was City?s prime
culprit missing a series of easy
chances, the last of which came
inches out of an open goal, apparently
moving Pep Guardiola to replace him
for the final quarter.
The manager, though, said this
was not the reason. ?No, it is football.
Next day he is going to score. Today
he missed. That is football. That can
happen. We played so good, we just
missed the last moment to try to score
the second one and playing away in
the Premier League, in the last 10
minutes anything can happen. I?m
so happy for the performance, it was
outstanding overall.?
Ilkay G黱dogan, Sergio Ag黣ro and
Kevin De Bruyne were also guilty of
spurning chances, though given City?s
lead Guardiola is hardly concerned.
He will also be happy that after leading a City chorus of complaints about
dangerous tackles, none were meted
out here.
Guardiola had surprised by naming only six substitutes, his reasoning
being that as seven players were ill or
injured he did not have any more.
JASON CAIRNDUFF /ACTION IMAGES VIA REUTERS
Gudmundsson pounces
to leave Sterling sick
?Johann Berg Gudmundsson celebrates his late half-volley equaliser
This meant that despite the �0m
spend on the City Football Academy
Guardiola decided against taking an
elite development squad player as the
EDS side played on Friday. It seemed
odd, because the experience gained
of mixing with Ag黣ro and De Bruyne
would surely have been invaluable.
Asked if an under-23 player
might have joined up after playing, Guardiola said: ?Maybe but we
decided they are not going to play.?
Sean Dyche made two changes
from the midweek draw at Newcastle
United. Sam Vokes and Aaron Lennon
? making a full debut ? came in for
Scott Arfield and Ashley Westwood.
Guardiola brought in Vincent
Kompany for Aymeric Laporte,
Danilo for Oleksandr Zinchenko and
G黱dogan for the injured David Silva.
Danilo proved the sole City player
whose radar was not awry. Midway
through the first half, Bernardo Silva
?Next day he is
going to score.
Today he
missed. That is
football. That
can happen.
We played so
good, we just
missed the last
moment to try
to score the
second one?
Pep Guardiola
fed the left-back and he stepped
inside and let fly a 20-yard scorcher
that was always beating Nick Pope.
At this stage, Burnley may have
feared the kind of steamrollering City
can hand out. Twice Ag黣ro broke.
First, he took the wrong option in
shooting when Sterling was free.
Then the Argentinian did feed the
winger but his effort went straight
at Pope.
As the half-hour passed Burnley
finally troubled Ederson, the goalkeeper saving a Ben Mee effort. The
home captain had the next chance,
too, but he headed wide from a corner.
This succour for Dyche?s men faded
as City swept forward. Kevin Long was
booked for a challenge on G黱dogan
and moments later De Bruyne was in
prime position to pot City?s second
but could find only Pope, with Ag黣ro
unable to slot home the rebound.
De Bruyne then fashioned one of
his specials: a curving right-to-left
pass that sliced apart Burnley and
landed at Ag黣ro?s feet. The No�
should have added a 25th goal of the
season but got his feet wrong and the
danger faded.
Dyche brought on Matthew Lowton
for Phil Bardsley at half-time and the
right-back had an immediate impact,
pinging the ball towards Ashley
Barnes, Kompany stooping to clear.
At the other end Lowton was a saviour, too, his back ensuring Ag黣ro?s
attempt was deflected away. Three
corners followed but there was no
second City finish and Guardiola
was later left fuming at Sterling sailing the ball high with the goal at his
mercy.
Soon after came Sterling?s most
glaring miss, putting the ball wide.
Then, from Lowton?s free-kick
Gudmundsson equalised, to leave City
wondering what might have been.
A contented Dyche, whose side
had been beaten by three goals at the
Etihad in both the league and FA Cup,
said: ?It is a very good point. We have
lost to City twice. We stayed in it and
you have to. Then we grew into the
game.?
Burnley
4-4-2
Manchester City
4-1-4-1
Pope; Bardsley (Lowton ht),
Long?, Mee?, Taylor;
Gudmundsson, Cork?,
Hendrick, Lennon;
Barnes?, Vokes
Subs not used Lindegaard,
Nkoudou, Westwood,
Wells, Arfield, O?Neill
Ederson; Walker, Kompany,
Otamendi, Danilo;
Fernandinho; B Silva,
G黱dogan?, De Bruyne,
Sterling (Diaz 74); Ag黣ro
Subs not used Bravo,
Laporte, Adarabioyo,
Zinchenko, Tour�
Referee Martin Atkinson Attendance 21,658
?
12
The Observer
04.02.18
Football
Premier League
Spurs captain says aggression was
as
nts
the key to sinking United and wants
his team to hunt down Liverpool
with the same fearless intensity
Liverpool v Spurs
How they measure up
Lloris
driver
David
Hytner
Harry Kane started sprinting before
the first whistle in Tottenham
Hotspur?s 2-0 Wembley win over
Manchester United on Wednesday
night and, for Hugo Lloris, it was a
moment to symbolise the team. Kane
was not the only one. So did Dele Alli
and so did Christian Eriksen.
Kane got away with encroaching into the United half and, when
Jan Vertonghen launched a high ball
forward, the striker rose to win the
header. Alli arrived at pace and, when
the ball broke, there was Eriksen, on
the scene without checking his stride,
to shoot Tottenham into the lead after
11 seconds. United were shellshocked.
To Lloris it was a dramatic example
of everything Spurs have sought to do
under Mauricio Pochettino ? impose
themselves and play with intensity,
control and fearlessness.
The victory over United was one of
the most eye-catching performances
of the manager?s three-and-a-halfyear tenure in north London and it
has provided the template for today?s
visit to Liverpool. Tottenham are in
Liverpool v Tottenham
Today, Anfield, 4.30pm Sky Sports PL
Karius
Gomez
Matip
Van Dijk
Henderson
Oxlade-Chamberlain
Salah
Robertson
Can
Man�
Firmino
Kane
Alli
Son
Eriksen
Demb閘�
Davies
Dier
Vertonghen
S醤chez
Trippier
Lloris
Liverpool
Mignolet, AlexanderArnold, Wijnaldum,
Lallana, Lovren, Klavan,
Moreno, Milner, Solanke
Tottenham
Vorm, Alderweireld,
Aurier, Rose, Winks,
Wanyama, Sissoko,
Lucas, Lamela, Llorente
the throes of a punishing period
riod off
fixtures. After Anfield ? and an FA Cup
replay at home to Newport County
y
on Wednesday at Wembley ? they
y
entertain Arsenal in the derby before
first
travelling to Juventus for the fi
rst leg
-16 tie.
of the Champions League last-16
Overall Pochettino?s Spurs record
in away games against big six
x rivals
is poor. It reads: P18 W1 D6 L11. His
only reward at Liverpool was the 1-1
draw in April 2016.
But when Tottenham make the sort
of statement they did against United
? overwhelming them at the outset
and keeping the boot on theirr throat
throughout ? Lloris believes
es they
y
st anyought to be confident against
body. It does not matter to him
m that
they will be away from home.
?We will never change the
he way
y
we play; this is the mentality
y of the
manager,? the goalkeeper and captain
says. ?It is what he tries to teach
each us
every day ? to be brave and have no
fear of the opponent, even if Liverpool
verpool
is an aggressive team, too.
?We don?t really adapt the system
against the opponent. We try to get
control of the ball, get control of the
game and try to bring the intensity.
The key is aggression too because, if
you let teams like Manchester United
play, they have so much that they can
beat you easily.
?That?s why teamwork is very
important. Everyone knows what he
has to do on the pitch defensively and
offensively. Then, when you add the
talent with the right spirit, you can
make great things, like in the game of
Wednesday [against United].?
The fight for control at Anfield
promises to be intriguing, given
Liverpool?s high-energy style under
J黵gen Klopp. What stood out for
Tottenham against Manchester
United was what they did without the
ball, as much as what they did with it.
Pochettino?s players pressed in tightly
drilled packs of three and four and
they closed down United?s options.
One of the tributes to them was that
a Jos� Mourinho team came to look
devoid of structure.
?The manager sees football in
a simple way,? Lloris says of the
Argentinian. ?It?s just the way we
play ? trying to get the control, trying not to fear the opponent, trying
to be brave and working hard every
How Lloris compares
Hugo Lloris
Simon Mignolet
Games
played
Loris Karius
Saves*
19
23
6
Saves from
outside the box
48
2,070
1,710
540
Minutes
played
Goals
conceded
Saves from
inside the box
21
Goals
conceded
per game
5
24
0.91
1.26
1
3
36
0.83
4
*includes stopping own goals
day to be competitive. To always try
to push the limits.
?This is the professional side to
him and the human side is fantastic, too, because his door is always
open to the players. He always tries
to help, whether it is football or other
things in life like your family. He will
always give the chance to a player and
then it is up to the player. The manager?s passion is amazing ? for the
game and the work and, also, for the
human side.?
Pochettino is the fourth-longest
serving manager in the Premier
?We will never
change the way
we play ? to be
brave and have
no fear of the
opponent?
League and the connections he has
fostered between his players were
there for all to see in Eriksen?s goal
against United. The manager says:
?The belief and the run from Christian
were fantastic. There was no waiting.
He decided and anticipated. That is
one to show the academy players
on爒ideo.?
Pochettino is charged with evolving the blend and his January
deadline day signing of Lucas Moura
from Paris Saint-Germain was the
latest move. Lloris, the France captain, feels that the Brazilian winger
?
The Observer
04.02.18
Strong City
have raised
bar again,
rues Klopp
Liverpool
p
v Tottenham
25
Games played
25
14 Games won 14
8 Games drawn 6
3 Games lost 5
57 Goals 49
29
Goals conceded
22
Paul Wilson
162 Shots on target 145
Liverpool and Tottenham are
waiting for their first Premier
League title and J黵gen Klopp has
warned they might still be doing the
same next season, because he can
only see Manchester City becoming
even stronger.
?City are really good, there?s
no shadow of a doubt that they
are where they deserve to be,?
the Liverpool manager said.
?Unfortunately they can be even
better next season. I have to say that.
Everyone will be better next season,
70 Shots on target faced 75
14,917 Passes 14,173
83.8
59.8
14
15
83.9
Passing accuracy %
Possession %
61.8
Penalties faced
1
3
32
20
0
Penalties saved
0
1
0
Clean sheets
10 (43%)
7 (37%)
3 (50%)
Source: Opta
can bring a new dimension. ?I know
him, of course, as I follow the French
league and he has a different profile
which will help us,? Lloris says. ?It is
true that he hasn?t played often this
season with PSG but it is for different
reasons, not sporting reasons. He is a
great talent. He loves the space, is very
sharp and quick and is good technically. I think he is going to adapt very
quickly and very well in our system.?
How Lloris and Pochettino would
love a statement away win today
but, as the critics highlight the lack
of silverware, both are clear that
progress is being made. After 25
matches the team have 48 points; they
had 50 at the corresponding point of
last season but this time they have
advanced in the Champions League.
The Liverpool game has implications
for the push for a third consecutive
top-four finish.
?You always need to look at where
you have come from,? Lloris says. ?A
few seasons ago we were so far from
this. We are still a young team but
now we have team experience and
that is very important to win trophies.
Step by step it will hopefully come.?
the quality of all the teams will
not drop, but City are so far ahead
because they have good moments
even when they are not playing like
a dream.
?They have had their share of luck
along the way and that might not
happen every year, but as well as
quality they have the right mentality,
they are constantly greedy and that?s
why they won some of their games
with late goals. No team in the top
five has had a long run of wins
like City. All the rest of us can do is
keep爐rying.?
No one knows better than
Klopp that Liverpool are a club
built on repeated title success, or
that Bill Shankly used to insist
that second is nowhere, though
with the greatest respect to one
of his illustrious predecessors the
German would argue that times
have changed.
?He was a fantastic manager at
an outstanding club in a football
crazy city, but we cannot compare
those times with these times,?
Klopp said. ?People ask me would I
13
regard finishing in the top four as
a successful season. I have to ask
how could that not be the case? In a
league like this, to finish in the top
four you need 70-something points.
?That is unbelievable because
you have to win everywhere. You
can only lose maybe four games all
season. In any other league in the
world, with just four defeats, you
finish first or second. In England
you could be fifth.?
Klopp regrets never having met
the manager who brought Liverpool
out of the Second Division and
turned them into a force in the
land, but he believes Shankly would
have adapted his philosophy to the
Champions League era. ?If you could
bring Bill back to the club he might
not be happy with fourth either, but
because he was a fantastic manager
he would have seen this is the only
way we can go.
?We want to be in a position to
win something one day, but just
wanting it more desperately than
other clubs doesn?t make it more
likely to happen. That?s how it is.?
??
14
The Observer
04.02.18
Football
Sky Bet Championship
How they stand
CHRIS RADBURN/PA WIRE
Wolves
Derby
Aston Villa
Cardiff
Fulham
Bristol City
Preston
Sheff Utd
Middlesbrough
Leeds
Brentford
Ipswich
Norwich
Millwall
QPR
Nottm Forest
Sheff Wed
Reading
Birmingham
Bolton
Barnsley
Hull
Sunderland
Burton Albion
?Diogo Jota scores Wolves? second goal during a win against Sheffield United that keeps them 11 points clear at the top
Jinking Jota and Cavaleiro
keep Wolves flying highest
3
0
WOLVES
SHEFFIELD UTD
Neves 5, Jota 30,
Cavaleiro 76
52%
Possession
48%
3
Shots on Target
1
13
Total Attempts
6
Paul MacInnes
Molineux
Two goals of a quality befitting a higher division gave Wolves
victory over Sheffield United as the
hosts stamped their authority on
yet燼nother Championship promotion contender.
A long-range beauty from R鷅en
Neves and a team move finished by
Diogo Jota gave Wolves a comfortable half-time lead. The dismissal of
the United goalkeeper, Simon Moore,
followed by a third goal from the
resultant free-kick, merely rubbed
salt into the visitors? wounds. They
were game but the Blades were thoroughly outclassed.
There was a big-match atmosphere inside Molineux led by a
raucous Sir Jack Hayward stand
and Wolves immediately rose to the
occasion. In the fifth minute Conor
Coady played a pass from centre-half
that found Ivan Cavaleiro on the left
wing. He cut inside, forcing George
Baldock into a blocking challenge,
and the loose ball rolled to a waiting Neves. The Portugal midfielder
promptly wrapped his cultured right
boot around it and curled a perfect
shot into the top right corner of
the爊et.
It was a goal of real quality and yet
At a glance
3
0
3
1
4
Huddlestone 30,
Jerome 34, Vydra 90pen
Lucas Jo鉶 54
Davis 8, Jota 21 45
Bamba 54og
Paterson 9, Hoilett 41,
Morrison 45, Pilkington 88
The Brentford manager, Dean
Smith, accused Derby?s players
of helping to get Sergi Can髎
sent off in his side?s defeat at
Pride Park. The midfielder was
shown a straight red card for a
challenge on Marcus Olsson in the
21st minute when the game was
goalless and Smith claims Derby?s
reaction influenced Peter Bankes.
It certainly changed the contest as
Derby took advantage by scoring
twice in five minutes. ?The scoreline
is reflective of the referee?s decision
which, for me, was very harsh,? said
Smith. ?The reason [Can髎] is sent
off was because of the reaction of
the Derby players ... Four or five go
straight round him, which makes
PA
his mind爑p.?
Steve Cotterill believes his
Birmingham side got the luck they
deserved as they punished Sheffield
Wednesday?s mistakes. Cotterill
said: ?All in all, we?ve had some
things go against us this season.
Maybe in the second half of the
season those things are going to be
on our side.?
The Wednesday manager, Jos
Luhukay, who had Marco Matias
and Daniel Pudil sent off, said: ?It
goes wrong, whatever can go wrong
today in the first half. We went two
goals behind where we made very
big mistakes. After that we also had
the red card. I don?t know what the
referee has seen. From my position
it was just a hot moment between
PA
two players.?
BRENTFORD
W
21
16
16
16
14
14
12
14
13
13
11
13
12
9
9
11
7
8
8
7
6
5
5
6
D
5
9
8
6
9
9
12
4
6
5
10
4
7
11
9
2
12
8
6
8
9
11
10
6
L
4
5
6
7
7
7
6
12
11
12
9
13
11
10
12
17
11
14
16
14
15
14
15
18
F
54
47
46
44
51
42
37
42
38
41
42
43
30
35
32
35
31
33
22
27
29
40
31
24
A
22
23
27
26
35
33
29
36
28
37
39
41
33
33
42
48
37
39
41
46
44
47
52
58
GD
+32
+24
+19
+18
+16
+9
+8
+6
+10
+4
+3
+2
-3
+2
-10
-13
-6
-6
-19
-19
-15
-7
-21
-34
Pts
68
57
56
54
51
51
48
46
45
44
43
43
43
38
36
35
33
32
30
29
27
26
25
24
on the half-hour, Wolves trumped it.
Again the move involved Cavaleiro,
the winger driving on the ball
through the centre of the field before
playing it to the right. A short series
of passes ended with Matt Doherty
picking his cross, low to Jota on the
penalty spot. The forward feigned
to shoot, instead hit a cheeky short
pass to Cavaleiro, advanced on to the
return ball and tucked home his 12th
league goal of the season. It was a
bit tasty.
?It was a good performance, a
good result and a good crowd,? said
the Wolves manager, Nuno Esp韗ito
Santo. ?The boys enjoyed the game.
We were able to control them, play
football. It?s a good result and a
good crowd. The second goal put
us ahead in the game. It was important to achieve that, the production
of the team needed a goal to finish
the game and that?s why I was happy
about it.?
United had kicked off in a 3-5-2
formation, with the 30-year-old
Ricky燞olmes ? making his debut at
this level after his move from Charlton
? playing in the hole. At half-time,
Chris Wilder shook up his formation
to 4-4-2, with Chris Basham stepping
into midfield and Holmes pulling
Wolves
3-4-3
Sheffield United
3-5-2
Ruddy; Bennett, Coady,
Boly; Doherty, Neves,
N?Diaye, Douglas; Costa
(Bonatini 65), Jota (GibbsWhite 81), Cavaleiro
(Afobe 77)
Subs not used Norris,
Batth, Enobakhare, Hause
Moore?; Basham (Leonard
71), Stearman, O?Connell;
Baldock, Evans, Holmes
(Donaldson 71), Fleck,
Stevens, Wilson (Eastwood
76), Clarke
Subs not used Lundstrom,
Sharp, Duffy, Lafferty
Referee Darren Bond Attendance 29,311
Roundup
1
DERBY
P
30
30
30
29
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
29
30
30
30
30
wide. It brought them back into the
game in terms of possession but
also back into the familiar position
of pushing at Wolves without seeing
any rewards for their endeavour.
Wilder said it was his intention to
stay in the match but with a quarter of an hour remaining, it slipped
away from United. Diogo, chasing
down a long ball, was clumped with
a high foot by an onrushing Moore.
The goalkeeper was swiftly dismissed
and the first thing his replacement,
Jake Eastwood, had to do was pick
Cavaleiro?s deflected free-kick out of
the net.
The scorer was then promptly
substituted, replaced by Benik Afobe
making his second debut for the
club after his loan move back from
Bournemouth.
?No doubt about it we were beaten
by the better side,? Wilder said. ?The
quality of the first goal set a marker
for the match. They?re a fantastic side
and they?ve done that to other teams
just as much as they?ve done it to us.
?You look at the quality on the
field and the quality they have on
the bench and it?s not surprising. But
for us, we were told this was going
to happen to us every week when we
came up. But this is 3 February and it?s
the first time it?s happened.?
With Derby winning 3-0 at
home to Brentford, Wolves remain
11 points clear at the top of the
Championship but in reality they
are as far away爁rom their competition as Manchester City are in the
division above them. The quality of
their football and plethora of attacking options suggest Nuno?s team will
not be frightened if ? and almost certainly when ? they make the step to
the top flight.
SHEFF WED
BIRMINGHAM
LEEDS
CARDIFF
Thomas Christiansen said Gaetano
Berardi should have shown more
intelligence after he was sent off.
Berardi received his second yellow
for a second poor challenge on Gary
Madine. Three first-half goals from
Callum Paterson, Junior Hoilett
and Sean Morrison put Cardiff in
control and Anthony Pilkington
added the fourth. Souleymane
Bamba?s own goal put Leeds on
the board. The Leeds manager
said: ?I?m disappointed with it. He
should have been more intelligent.?
Neil Warnock insisted that Cardiff
are still chasing a top-two place.
?We don?t have the finances of
Derby and Aston Villa, but we?ll
give this [automatic promotion]
PA
a go.?
Mick McCarthy insisted there
was no room for sentiment
as he plunged his former club
Sunderland deeper into the
relegation mire with Ipswich?s 2-0
win at the Stadium of Light.
McCarthy enjoyed some of the
best days of his career at Sunderland
but the Ipswich manager said: ?I
have no sympathy for anybody. I
am sad to see the plight this club is
in and I know how hard it is to turn
around. I had it myself when I was
here. It?s like trying to turn round
an oil tanker with a canoe paddle in
your hand.?
Aston Villa survived a nervous
performance to narrowly defeat
Burton 3-2. Villa twice built a
two-goal lead but the bottom-ofthe-table side kept snapping away
only to concede a narrow defeat.
Villa?s assistant manager, Colin
Calderwood said: ?We are very
happy with the win although we
were a little nervy near the end.?
Alex Neil praised Preston?s
resilience as they ground out a
hard-fought 2-1 home win over
Hull. He said: ?At this stage of the
season, winning the game is more
important than performances at
times. The good thing that we have
as a team and a club is that we are
really resilient. We never give in.?
Tony Pulis was unhappy with
Rudy Gestede?s sending off after
Middlesbrough lost 1-0 at Norwich.
Gestede was shown a straight
red card in the 28th minute for a
mistimed tackle on Grant Hanley,
having already been booked for
catching Alex Tettey with a high boot.
?For the first one I don?t think
it was a booking at all,? Pulis said.
?Rudy couldn?t see their player
and there was absolutely no intent.
For the second one I have seen
challenges in the Premier League
this week that were 10 times worse
than that and the players haven?t
been sent off.?
?
The Observer
04.02.18
Football
Europe
Battle of
the tyros
Resist the temptation to scoff on
hearing that today?s showdown
between Monaco and Lyon is
being described as a ?six-pointer?
for automatic Champions League
qualification, but the duel of the
Ligue 1 clubs is about even more
than that. What promises to be a
thrilling clash on the night is also,
ultimately, about topping France?s
alternative league, the one that
Italy?s brightest young star, Pietro
Pellegri, alluded to this week when
explaining why he chose to join
Monaco above many other suitors.
Pellegri said the two main factors
in his decision were Monaco?s
?magnificent campaign? in last
season?s Champions League and the
club?s glowing record of hothousing
young talent on the highest stage.
Those factors are, of course, linked.
To enable youngsters to shine at
the top, a team must take part in
Europe?s elite competition. And if
Bundesliga
Rib閞y sets Bayern
on way as they
extend lead at top
European
tables and
results
?Lyon?s Tanguy
Ndombele has
progressed so
rapidly since
signing on loan
from Amiens
there are calls
for him to start
ahead of Paul
Pogba for France
at the World Cup
MANUEL BLONDEAU/ICON SPORT VIA GETTY IMAGES
Monaco and
Lyon ? two
clubs cultivating
French youth
? parade their
talents today,
says Paul Doyle
the youngsters blossom there, the
club can continue to attract the
cream of the continent?s youth,
accepting they may eventually
have to be sold, at a big profit. That
is a precious cycle for clubs who
cannot expect to compete regularly
on the same terms as Qatar?s
representative in France, Paris
Saint-Germain.
Which is why Monaco, sensational
champions last season but 12
points behind PSG befor this
weekend, agreed to pay Genoa more
than �m for Pellegri, a onceunthinkable sum for a 16-year-old.
It will be interesting to see whether
Pellegri makes his debut against
Lyon, who stand a point above
Monaco, threatening to beat them
not only to a second-place finish ?
and thus automatic entry to next
season?s Champions League ? but
also in the argument over which
club is the country?s best incubator
of young talent. It is a never-ending
argument but worth taking a lead in.
Marseille could pip both to second
place but lag behind each of them in
the youth development stakes.
Lyon finished 28 points behind
Monaco last season. The gap has
vanished not simply because of
the departures from Monaco in the
summer ? Kylian Mbapp�, Benjamin
Mendy, Bernardo Silva, et al ? but
also thanks to the brilliant recent
form of young Lyon players. Two
who are likely to influence today?s
result are Tanguy Ndombele and
Houssem Aouar.
Ndombele was 20 when Lyon
15
in effect been downgraded from
marquee signing to supersub.
And then there is Nabil Fekir. At
24 he belongs in a class above ?hot
prospect? but it is only this season
that he is truly blazing back from a
knee injury suffered in 2015. That
is in spite of the fact that Ligue 1
defenders have shown him no mercy:
he has been the most fouled player
in the league this season, targeted
even more often than Neymar. When
Angers assigned the not-so-saintly
Baptiste Santamaria to man-mark
him in January, Fekir was fouled
more times in a single match than
any other player in the past 10 years
in Ligue 1. But he scored his team?s
goal in the 1-1 draw.
Fekir, a marvellous dribbler and
creator behind Lyon?s main striker,
Mariano D韆z, is also an expert
finisher. He has struck 16 goals
in 20 league matches this season,
including one from his own half
against Bordeaux. He has swaggered
to the fore in the biggest games,
scoring masterful free-kicks against
Marseille and PSG and also in the
fifth minute of stoppage time when
Lyon beat Monaco 3-2 at home in
October. Lyon won by the same
scoreline when the sides met at
the Stade Louis II in the cup two
weeks ago. That hints at another
intriguing angle to today?s match:
Lyon have been the best travellers
in Ligue�this season, and Monaco
the most fearsome hosts after PSG.
Something has to give.
signed him from Amiens in August
but he has progressed at such a rate
that there are calls for him to be in
France?s World Cup squad ? and
perhaps even for him to start instead
of Paul Pogba. The chances of Didier
Deschamps making such a call seem
remote but one can understand
why it has been mooted. Ndombele,
powerful and precise, has shown
a quality, consistency and wiliness
that belie his years. Any player who
can school Marco Verratti, as he did
during Lyon?s victory over PSG last
month, is a gem. Ndombele has
gleamed all爏eason.
So has Aouar, who, at 19, is even
younger and has spent much of
the campaign out wide despite
preferring central midfield. At
Lyon since the age of 11, Aouar has
paraded the qualities that make him
versatile ? intelligence and exquisite
technique ? on such a regular
basis that Memphis Depay, a �m
recruit from Manchester United, has
Bayern Munich continued their
march to a record-extending
sixth consecutive Bundesliga title
with a 2-0 win at Mainz. Secondplaced Bayer Leverkusen were
held 0-0 at Freiburg, while Schalke
lost 2-1 at home to relegationthreatened Werder Bremen, as
Bayern increased their already
commanding lead to 18 points after
21 games.
Franck Rib閞y scored with
Bayern?s first effort on goal after
half an hour when Mats Hummels
and Sandro Wagner made way to
allow his shot from a half-cleared
corner fly inside the post. The
winger, whose contract is up at the
end of the season, was mobbed by
team-mates. James Rodr韌uez (left)
made it 2-0 before the break, taking
Corentin Tolisso?s cross on his
chest and sending the ball inside
the right post.
Another win ensured the Bayern
manager, Jupp Heynckes, improved
his record to 18 wins in 19 games in
all competitions since returning for
a fourth spell in charge in October.
Hertha Berlin drew with
Hoffenheim 1-1, while Tayfun
Korkut?s debut as the Stuttgart
manager also ended in a 1-1 draw,
AP
at Wolfsburg.
La Liga
Orellana at the
double as Eibar
sweep aside Sevilla
Eibar hammered Sevilla 5-1 to move
within a point of their opponents.
Sevilla, with one eye on their King?s
Cup semi-final, second leg on
Wednesday, were far from their best.
Eibar took 38 seconds to go
ahead through Kike Garcia. Fabi醤
Orellana stabbed home the second
goal in the 17th minute before Pablo
Sarabia pulled one back with a
penalty. Ivan R醡is restored Eibar?s
two-goal lead with a towering
header from a corner, Orellana
grabbed his second after the break
and Anaitz Arbilla (second left)
curled home a free-kick to complete
REUTERS
the rout.
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
(top eight)
P W D
L
F
A GD Pts
Barcelona
21 18
3
0 59 10 +49 57
Atl閠ico Madrid
21 13
7
1 32
9 +23 46
Valencia
21 12
4
5 42 25 +17 40
Real Madrid
20 11
5
4 43 19 +24 38
Villarreal
22 11
4
7 33 26 +7 37
Sevilla
22 10
3
9 28 34 -6 33
Eibar
22
9
5
8 31 34 -3 32
Celta Vigo
21
9
4
8 38 30 +8 31
Results Alav閟 L Celta Vigo L; Eibar 5 Sevilla 1; Levante L
Real Madrid L; Real Betis 2 Villarreal 1
(top nine)
P W D
L
F
A GD Pts
Napoli
22 18
3
1 48 14 +34 57
Juventus
22 18
2
2 52 15 +37 56
Lazio
22 14
4
4 57 27 +30 46
Internazionale
22 12
8
2 37 17 +20 44
Roma
22 12
5
5 32 17 +15 41
Sampdoria
22 11
4
7 41 31 +10 37
Milan
22 10
4
8 29 29
0 34
Atalanta
22
9
6
7 34 27 +13 33
Udinese
22 10
2 10 35 31 +4 32
Results Internazionale L Crotone L;Sampdoria L Torino L
(top seven)
P W D
L
F
A GD Pts
Bayern Munich
21 17
2
2 51 16 +35 53
Bayer Leverkusen 21
9
8
4 41 27 +14 35
Borussia Dortmund 21
9
7
5 45 29 +16 34
Schalke
21
9
7
5 33 27 +6 34
Eintracht Frankfurt 20
9
6
5 26 20 +6 33
RB Leipzig
20
9
5
6 32 29 +3 32
B M?gladbach
20
9
4
7 30 32 -2 31
Results B M?gladbach L RB Leipzig L; Freiburg 0 Bayer
Leverkusen 0; H Berlin 1 Hoffenheim 1; Mainz 0 B Munich 2;
Schalke 1 W Bremen 2; Wolfsburg 1 VfB Stuttgart 1
(top seven)
P W D
L
F
A GD Pts
PSG
23 19
2
2 72 17 +55 59
Marseille
24 15
6
3 53 27 +26 51
Lyon
23 14
6
3 52 25 +27 48
Monaco
23 14
5
4 53 24 +29 47
Nantes
23 11
4
8 22 21 +1 37
Nice
23 10
4
9 29 33 -4 34
Montpellier
23
7 10
6 20 19 +1 31
Results Amiens L St-蓆ienne L; Lille L Paris Saint-Germain L;
Montpellier L Angers L; Nice L Toulouse L; Strasbourg L
Bordeaux L
Monaco v Lyon, 8pm, BT Sport 1
16
The Observer
04.02.18
Football
The next generation
With Cristiano Ronaldo 33 tomorrow and
Lionel Messi the wrong side of 30, who
are the bright prospects shaping up to be
inheritors of the Ballon d?Or duopolists?
s?
st
crown? Ed Aarons selects five of the best
Heirs
to the
throne
Kylian
Kylia
li Mbapp�
Age
A
ge 19
Nation
Nationality French
Club Paris
P
ain
Saint-Germain
Posit
Position Forward
Cap (goals) 10 (1)
Caps
Hei
Height 1.78m (5ft 10in)
Mba
Mbapp�
is expected to become
the third-most expensive player
h
in history
when the 19-year-old
com
completes
his move to PSG
fro
from Monaco, having spent
thi
this season on loan in the
Fre
French capital after they saw
off competition from Real.
An in
initial fee of ?145m with
up to ?35m due in bonuses,
includin
including up to ?20m if he wins
Ball d?Or, is an indication of
the Ballon
enor
his enormous
talent. The son of
Alger
an Algerian
former handball star
Ca
and a Cameroonian
father scored
26 goals in all competitions in his
first full season at senior club level.
It has no
not been such plain sailing
h
since, however,
with Mbapp� shown
the first red card of his career in
midwee during the French League
midweek
Cup sem
semi-final victory over Rennes
fe murmurs that his 13
and a few
goals so far are not quite the return
expecte for such an outlay. Yet
expected
with a ttrip to the Bernab閡 to face
with
Ronaldo and co in the first leg
of the C
Champions League last 16
next week,
we he will relish the
opportu
opportunity
to show the hype has
jus ed.
been justifi
2
?Ousmane
Demb閘� has
great pace and
balance but
his efforts to
replace Neymar
at Barcelona
have been
hampered
by injury
Ousmane Demb閘�
Age 20
Nationality French
Club Barcelona
Position Forward
Caps (goals) 7 (1)
Height 1.78m (5ft 10in)
Five months after Demb閘� moved
to the Camp Nou for an initial
�m the Barcelona jury is still
out on him. Much was expected
of the player with mixed Malian
and Mauritanian heritage who
grew up in the Normandy town of
蓈reux and started his career with
Rennes before moving to Borussia
Dortmund. But he suffered a
ruptured thigh muscle on his full
debut in September and another
injury ? a hamstring tear during
the victory over Real Sociedad last
month, only his seventh appearance
for Bar鏰 ? meant a further wait
to discover whether he is capable
of filling the void left by Neymar?s
move to PSG. Demb閘� certainly
has all the attributes to live up to
his price tag: explosive pace, the
ability to beat opponents with either
foot and exceptional balance. The
question is whether he has the
temperament to succeed in such
a high-pressure environment in
what is only his third season as a
professional, although the presence
of Lionel Messi should certainly
lighten the load for a few years yet.
?
Jadon
d Sancho
don
S
h
Agee 17
tionalityy English
Nationality
b Borussia Dortmund
Club
sition Winger
Position
der-19 Caps 3
Under-19
ght 1.80m (5ft 11in)
Height
When
n Dortmund reserved their
nt No 7 shirt for a 17-year-old
vacant
m south London after the
from
arture of Demb閘� last summer,
departure
mostt supporters of the German club
umed it was a grand gesture
presumed
but one very much with an eye on
the future. They have already been
proved wrong. Voted player of the
tournament as England were beaten
by Spain in the final of the Under-17
European Championship in May,
Sancho was denied the chance
to become a world champion in
October when he was recalled by
Dortmund after scoring three goals
in the group stages of the Under-17
World Cup in South Korea. He has
since made five appearances in the
Bundesliga and recorded a first
assist in the 1-1 draw with Hertha
Berlin last month. While Cristiano
Ronaldo may have singled out
Manchester United?s 20-year-old
Marcus Rashford as the English
player to watch, it is Sancho?s
generation ? which includes
Fulham?s Ryan Sessegnon and
Sancho?s former Manchester City
team-mate Phil Foden ? who could
become the real contenders.
3
?
American football
Super Bowl LII
4
The Observer
04.02.18
17
Gabriel Jesus
G
MATT ROURKE/AP
Age 20
A
N
Nationality Brazilian
C
Club Manchester City
P
Position Forward
C
Caps (goals) 13 (8)
H
Height 1.75m (5ft 9in)
While Neymar remains the
W
undoubted leader of a rejuvenated
un
Br
Brazil side that qualified for the
W
World Cup with ease, it was the
ex
exciting 20-year-old who finished
as the Sele玢o?s highest scorer with
se
seven goals in 10 matches. Jesus
w
was quick to adapt to the rigours of
th
the Premier League following his
ar
arrival from Palmeiras in 2016 for
��m and had found the net eight
tim
times this season before suffering
a knee injury that is expected to
ke
keep him out for another month at
le
least. The attempts to sign Alexis
S�
S醤chez and Riyad Mahrez last
m
month were a measure of how
hi
highly he is rated by Pep Guardiola
an
and he is also expected to play a big
ro
role for his country this summer.
Th
The World Cup may come too soon
fo
for his compatriot Vin韈ius J鷑ior,
ho
however. The 17-year-old signed by
Re
Real Madrid last season for �m
and subsequently loaned back to
Flamengo is not expected to move to
Spain until the end of the year but is
certainly a name to keep an eye on.
Marco Asensio
Age 22
Nationality Spanish
Club Real Madrid
Position Midfielder
Caps (goals) 8 (0)
Height 1.80m (5ft 11in)
But for the intervention of a certain
Rafael Nadal, Asensio could have
ended up playing for Barcelona
rather than in the famous all-white
strip of the reigning European
champions. Back in the summer of
2015 the Real president, Florentino
P閞ez, called the 16-times tennis
grand slam winner and asked for
his help in signing a player who had
suffered from chronic knee injuries
in his youth but was by then starring
for Nadal?s hometown team,
Mallorca. ?He behaved perfectly and
we closed the deal quickly,? recalled
P閞ez in an interview last year. It
has proved a shrewd acquisition.
Having spent a season on loan
with Espanyol, Asensio has settled
quickly into Zinedine Zidane?s
squad and scored eight goals in his
first full season, mainly with his
wand-like left foot. More superb
performances for Spain at the
European Under-21 Championship
last summer confirmed his promise,
although a lack of opportunities as
Zidane?s side have struggled this
season have cast doubt on his place
at this summer?s World Cup finals.
5
?Jay Ajayi is a key player for the Eagles four months after Miami ditched him
British-born Ajayi primed
to keep ball from Brady
Paolo Bandini
Minneapolis
?Marco Asensio
?
Asensi
almost joined
Barcelona from
M
allorca but
Mallorca
an intervention
by Rafael Nada
Nadal
helped Real
M
adrid win
Madrid
his signature
From Manor House to Minneapolis,
via Miami, Jay Ajayi has charted an
improbable path to the Super Bowl.
Born in London, he moved to the
United States with his family aged
seven but it was not until a decade
later that he committed to pursuing
a career in American football, and
left association football behind.
He could hardly regret that
decision now. Ajayi is not the
first Briton to play in the NFL?s
championship game but he is the
first to feature in a ball-handling
role. He will alternate with
LeGarrette Blount at running back
for the Philadelphia Eagles as they
seek today to upset a New England
Patriots team that have won two of
the past three Super Bowls, and five
of 16 since Tom Brady became their
starting quarterback.
Ajayi could not have imagined this
scenario at the start of the season.
Back then he was still playing for
the team that drafted him, the
Miami Dolphins, in New England?s
division. He had no reason to believe
he would be leaving any time soon.
In 2016, his second year as a pro, he
had rushed for 1,272 yards and been
chosen for the Pro Bowl.
But the Dolphins struggled and
Ajayi became a scapegoat. He was
traded to Philadelphia at the end of
October with accusations that he
had become a disruptive influence.
Ajayi never saw it coming. ?I didn?t
have a clue,? he says. ?I was going
into work like a normal day and I got
called into the office and was told:
?We?re moving you to Philly.? I was
on a plane within about two, three
hours of that phone call.?
He had no real say in the matter:
players can be swapped between
teams without their consent.
Was there not some resentment
regarding this lack of autonomy?
?You learn that you can only control
what you can control,? he says. ?You
learn that the NFL is a business. But
I got traded into the best possible
situation that anyone could get
traded into.?
That is undeniable. The Eagles
had already won eight of their first
nine games. They lost their starting
quarterback, Carson Wentz, to injury
in early December but still finished
as the top seed in their conference
and steamrollered their way into the
Super Bowl with a 38-7 blowout of
the Minnesota Vikings.
Ajayi has played a prominent
role ? rushing for 408 yards in the
final seven weeks of the regular
season and leading Philadelphia
with 127 in their two play-off games.
The Eagles? running backs coach,
Duce Staley, has seen no trace of the
selfishness that Ajayi was accused of
in Miami but he is only too happy to
use old criticisms as a motivational
tool. ?When you walk into our
running backs? room, as soon as you
open the door, I have quotes from
different newspapers, or quotes that
I?ve found, and they?re written down
under each player?s number,? says
ON OTHER PAGES
Kaepernick: From taking the knee
to leading a social movement
Main section, Focus, page 40
Staley. ?So if it?s Jay Ajayi, you?ve got
No 36, and you?ve got all the shit
they said about him. He reads it
every day. It?s fuel.?
That approach suits Ajayi, a man
who speaks proudly of the chip on
his shoulder. It works, too, for an
Eagles team that have embraced
their underdog status and for
Philadelphia the city. ?It?s a hardnosed town, gritty, resilient,? says
Ajayi. ?The fans are tough. But, you
know, when they love you, they love
you hard.?
Those fans have never seen their
team win a Super Bowl. The Eagles
have lost their two previous games
at this stage, most recently to New
England, in 2004. Brady walked
off with the game?s most valuable
player award and is the only
remaining player on either roster.
Any hope of a different outcome
this time will rely on Philadelphia
slowing him down. Easier said
than done against the most
successful quarterback of all time.
The Eagles can help themselves,
though, by keeping the ball out of
his hands as much as possible: a
task that typically relies on a heavy
involvement from the running backs.
It could be quite a day for Ajayi.
Super Bowl LII kicks off at 11.30pm
on BBC One and Sky Sports Action
?
Sport
Subhead Here
Cricket
Morgan has
fears over
lack of time
before start
of Tri-series
Vithushan Ehantharajah
Hobart
A quick game is a good game, and
never is that club cricket adage
more appropriate than when
applied to an exhibition match on
an Australian tour entering its fifth
month. In making light work of
the Prime Minister?s XI on Friday
in Canberra, England?s Twenty20
side granted themselves an extra
hour?s rest, which came in handy for
the two flights needed to get here.
On Wednesday, they begin their
Trans-Tasman Tri-series campaign
against燗ustralia.
What awaits Eoin Morgan?s side
Tri-series fixtures
Wed Australia
Australia
Sat
13 Feb New Zealand
18 Feb New Zealand
21 Feb Final
Hobart
Melbourne
Wellington
g
Hamilton
Auckland
8.40am
8.20am
6am
6am
6am
?T20
T20 captain
Eoin
oin Morgan
gan
concer
cerned
is concerned
hatt so
s much
that
rav
avel will
travel
ause injuries
cause
Racing
Faugheen
defeat the
only blot
on great day
for Mullins
Greg Wood
Leopardstown
is a tournament shoehorned into
an already crammed schedule.
They will play Australia a second
time in Melbourne next Saturday
before finally leaving the country
the day after, jumping across to New
Zealand to play them twice, with the
final on 21 February in Auckland
between the top two teams.
Australia opened their account
yesterday with a seven-wicket win
over New Zealand at the Sydney
Cricket Ground, Chris Lynn and
Glenn Maxwell?s partnership of 77
ensuring a crushing victory.
England have rested Joe Root,
Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes and
Morgan confirmed they could be
without Liam Plunkett (hamstring)
and Jason Roy (back spasm) for
their opening match. Both were
absent from the PM?s XI win, along
with Chris Jordan and Alex Hales.
As a result, David Willey stepped
up to open and cracked 79 off 36
balls, including 34 off one over from
Nathan Lyon. ?We could have done
with more time,? said Morgan. ?The
injuries have been niggly. We travel
so much in the series that we might
have to think about not training as
much to limit injuries.?
Australia?s imminent Test tour to
South Africa means they are without
some high-profile names. As a
result, they have had to cannibalise
the Big Bash League for bodies,
though sense has been seen to allow
D?Arcy Short (Hobart Hurricanes),
Travis Head and Alex Carey (both
Adelaide Strikers) to play in today?s
final in Adelaide.
Much as in England?s T20 series
against South Africa last summer,
changes will be made throughout.
Part of that will be down to the
options at Morgan?s disposal and the
variety of grounds they will play at
in both countries. Morgan, therefore,
does not expect to a settled side in
the sense of a predictable XI. ?I see
us getting to every ground with
different dimensions and applying
it accordingly,? the captain said.
?We can?t go in with any set plans
or attack. Our batting will stay
very similar. It?ll come into play in
New Zealand. And even over here:
Melbourne is pretty short straight;
Hobart is long straight. It?ll vary as
and when we get there and we?ll try
and make the right call.?
?We?ll have to keep carrying on,? Rich
Ricci, the owner of Faugheen, said as
he pointed his horse towards next
month?s Champion Hurdle despite
a two-and-a-quarter length defeat
behind Supasundae in the Irish
equivalent. ?Hopefully, he?s got one
last good one in him,? he said, but the
tone was that of a man who knows he
may well be grasping at straws.
Faugheen was one of the outstanding Champion Hurdle winners of the
past quarter-century when he took
the race in 2015. His latest race was an
improvement on his dismal run here
at Christmas, yet the brilliance that
set him apart in his prime has gone,
quite possibly for good.
No horse has reclaimed the
Champion Hurdle after a threeyear gap and Faugheen is now out
to 8-1 to be the first. Buveur D?Air,
the reigning champion and an easy
High five Stanlake shines in opener
Rugby league
World Cup
weary leave
McNamara
facing slow
Dragons start
Aaron Bower
CRAIG GOLDING/AAP
18
The Observer
04.02.18
Australia cruised to a
seven-wicket victory
against New Zealand
in a rain-hit Twenty20
match in Sydney.
The hosts were set a
revised total of 95 from
15 overs following New
Zealand?s score of 117
and reached it with 21
balls to spare despite
losing David Warner
and D?Arcy Short inside
the opening three
overs. Chris Lynn (44)
and Glenn Maxwell
(40 not out) put on a
partnership of 77 to
seal a crushing win.
Earlier Billy Stanlake,
winner of the Contenders Hurdle at
Sandown, is now 2-5 for a repeat,
while Supasundae, a brave winner of
Ireland?s most prestigious two-mile
hurdle, is expected to run instead in
the three-mile Stayers? Hurdle.
?Paul [Townend] said he never
really picked up like he can,? Ricci said.
?When he winged the second-last,
you?d expect him to go
o on and
win his race, and for whatever
hatever
reason, he didn?t. We?ll
ll carry
on to Cheltenham, there?s
ere?s
nothing else for him to do.
He was brilliant first time
out, so we?ll try to recapture
capture
that.?
Faugheen?s defeat was the
?Rich Ricci said he hopes
his star hurdler Faugheen
has one last good run in him
in the Cheltenham Hurdle
(above, right) in his
fourth international,
had taken the scalps
of Colin Munro and
Martin Guptill with
consecutive balls,
before removing
Tom Bruce and ending
with impressive ?gures
PA
of three for 15.
only major setback for Willie Mullins,
his trainer, on the first day of the new
Dublin Racing Festival. Mullins took
four of the seven races, making significant progress towards Gordon
Elliott in defence of his trainer?s title
as he did so and three of his winners
are likely to be serious contenders for
races at Cheltenham next month.
Min set up a possible head-tohead with Altio
Altior in the Champion
Chase with an easy success in the
Grade Two Coral Dublin Chase,
while Blackbow,
Black
who took the
valuable National
Natio
Hunt Flat race,
seems sure to be part of Mullins?s
team fo
for the Champion
Bumper.
Bum
The deepest
iimpression, though,
was left by Footpad,
whose polished,
front-running
Steve McNamara has suggested it
may be a while before his new-look
Catalans side show their best, as they
prepare to begin their campaign today.
The Dragons came perilously close
to relegation last September, surviving only via the Million Pound Game
at the expense of Leigh Centurions.
McNamara, whose side kick off the
new season at Widnes, believes
the downside of having so many
representatives at the World Cup ?
including the bulk of the France team
? means his side may struggle in the
opening rounds.
?We?ve had 15 players at the World
Cup, so we?ve not done much training
together,? he says. ?Our pre-season
started in the first week of January.?
The former England coach has
recruited shrewdly for his first full
season, notably in the shape of the
hooker Michael McIlorum from
Wigan, and McNamara says the challenge of coaching the Perpignan side
still excites him as much as it did
when he joined in June. ?It?s still so
attractive for me. I believe it?s the biggest challenge in rugby league. You?ve
got to find different ways of connecting with the players with language
barriers and things like that, but it?s
incredibly rewarding.?
McNamara is expecting an emotionally charged afternoon at Widnes,
following the death last month of the
Papua New Guinea international Kato
Ottio, who had only just signed for the
Vikings. McNamara, who coaches two
of Ottio?s fellow countrymen, David
Mead and Paul Aiton, says: ?We were
all shocked and saddened by that: it
was horrible. Rugby league is a small
world and regardless of whether we
knew him or not, he?s one of ours.?
performance to win the Arkle Novice
Chase was that of a future champion,
and pushed his price to win the Arkle
Trophy at the Festival to odds-on.
?A lead probably wouldn?t do him
any harm, but as long as he can keep
winning like that, I?m happy enough,?
Mullins said.
?The first day he jumped, he
showed me that he was electric over
them, and when you can jump like
that, you can go any trip.?
Mullins also reported that Douvan,
the 2016 Arkle Trophy winner, is
?answering the questions that we are
asking him? at exercise, but would not
be drawn on a recent suggestion by
Ricci that the two-miler is ?50-50?
to run in the Champion Chase. ?He
worked nicely in the week, but as far
as anything else goes, I don?t know,?
Mullins said. ?There?s a good way to
go yet.?
??
Tennis
Davis Cup
The Observer
04.02.18
?Dom Inglot reaches for the ball as
Jamie Murray looks on during the
British pair?s loss to Spain?s Pablo
Carre駉 Busta and Feliciano L髉ez
19
JORGE GUERRERO/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Alpine skiing
Vonn wins her
third World Cup
race of the season
GB in SOS call to Edmund
after doubles pair slip up
Phil Casey
Kyle Edmund, the Australian Open
semi-finalist, will have the final say
over his participation in the Davis
Cup tie with Spain as Great Britain
face a daunting task to avoid defeat
in Marbella.
Cameron Norrie?s heroics in
Friday?s second singles rubber had
levelled the World Group first round
tie at 1-1 and given GB a chance to pull
off a shock result and claim a place in
the quarter-finals.
Results
Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot
never threatened to maintain the
momentum as the untested Spain pair
of Pablo Carre駉 Busta and Feliciano
L髉ez ran out 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (4) winners
in two hours and 28 minutes.
In today?s reverse singles Norrie is
scheduled to take on Albert Ramos
Vi駉las and Liam Broady due to face
Roberto Bautista Agut, although both
teams are allowed to make changes.
Edmund, who has been struggling
with a hip injury, could be drafted into
the GB lineup and was put through
his paces on court after yesterday?s
doubles rubber.
Leon Smith, the GB captain, said
he would have a ?good conversation?
with Edmund following his practice
session and told BBC Sport: ?First
and foremost, it?s got to be his decision because he?s coming back from
an injury. Then the medical team will
have their say and if he?s ready to go
then he should go out and give it a
go.?
One break of serve in each of the
first two sets was enough to give
Cricket
M Fucsovics (Hun) bt R Bemelmans (Bel) & J De Loore (Bel)
6-3 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 4-6 7-5. Belgium lead Hungary 2-1.
Serbia v USA: Doubles: Match 3: R Harrison (US)
& S Johnson (US) bt N Milojevic (Ser) & M Zekic (Ser)
6-7 (3-7) 6-2 7-5 6-4. USA lead Serbia 3-0.
WTA ST PETERSBURG TROPHY (Russia)
Semi-Finals: P Kvitova (Cz) bt J Goerges (Ger) 7-5 4-6
6-2; K Mladenovic (Fr) bt D Kasatkina (Rus) 3-6 6-3 6-2.
WTA TAIWAN OPEN (Taipei City)
Semi-Finals: K Kozlova (Ukr) bt S Lisicki (Ger) 7-5 6-4;
T Babos (Hun) bt Yafan Wang (Chn) 6-3 6-4.
TRI-NATION SERIES
Australia v New Zealand
Sydney Australia won by seven wickets (DLS method)
New Zealand 117-9 (C de Grandhomme 38no; Tye 4-23)
Australia 96-3 (CA Lynn, GJ Maxwell 40no)
FIRST TEST MATCH (fourth day of five)
Bangladesh v Sri Lanka
Rugby union
NATWEST SIX NATIONS
Results and table on p.6
ANGLO-WELSH CUP
Exeter 43 Saracens 20; Newcastle 31 Gloucester 19.
BRITISH & IRISH CUP
Pool 5: Cornish Pirates 41 Hartpury RFC 0
NATWEST WOMEN?S SIX NATIONS
France Women L Ireland Women L
BT SCOTTISH PREMIERSHIP
Boroughmuir 47 Stirling County 5; Glasgow Hawks 12
Currie 25; Marr 0 Melrose 43; Watsonians 59 Hawick 5.
Rugby league
KINGSTONE PRESS CHAMPIONSHIP
Toulouse 46 Swinton 14
LADBROKES CHALLENGE CUP FIRST ROUND
Shaw Cross Sharks 18 Beverley 0
Chittagong Bangladesh 513 (Mominul Haque 176;
Mushfiqur Rahim 92; Mohammad Mahmudullah 83 no;
Tamim Iqbal 52) & 81-3. Sri Lanka 713-9 dec
(BKG Mendis 196; DM de Silva 173; ARS Silva 109;
LD Chandimal 87; DPDN Dickwella 62; Taijul Islam 4-219).
Tennis
DAVIS CUP WORLD GROUP ROUND ONE
Australia v Germany: Doubles: Match 3: T Puetz (Ger) &
J-L Struff (Ger) bt M Ebden (Aus) & J Peers (Aus) 6-4 6-7
(1-7) 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-4. Germany leads Australia 2-1.
Japan v Italy: Doubles: Match 3: S Bolelli (It) & F Fognini
(It) bt B McLachlan (Jpn) & Y Uchiyama (Jpn) 7-5 6-7 (4-7)
7-6 (7-3) 7-5. Italy lead Japan 2-1.
Kazakhstan v Switzerland: Doubles: Match 3:
T Khabibulin (Kaz) & A Nedovyesov (Kaz) bt M-A Huesler
(Swi) & L Margaroli (Swi) 6-4 6-4 3-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-3.
Kazakhstan lead Switzerland 3-0.
Croatia v Canada: Doubles: Match 3:
M Cilic (Cro) & I Dodig (Cro) bt D Nestor (Can) & V Pospisil
(Can) 2-6 3-6 6-4 7-5 6-2. Croatia lead Canada 2-1.
France v Netherlands: Doubles: Match 3: P-H Herbert (Fr)
& N Mahut (Fr) bt R Haase (Neth) & J-J Rojer (Neth) 7-6 (86) 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-2). France lead Netherlands 2-1.
Belgium v Hungary: Doubles: Match 3: A Balazs (Hun) &
Golf
MAYBANK CHAMPIONSHIP (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Third round (GB & Ire unless stated, par 72) 201 J燙ampillo
(Sp) 69 66 66; D燜rittelli (SA) 69 66 66. 202 K燡oshi (Ind) 67
70 65; B燞enson (US) 69 68 65. 203 P燢hongwatmai (Tha)
68 65 70; R營shikawa (Jpn) 74 66 63; M燱arren 68 66 69;
P燤arksaeng (Tha) 71 65 67; N燘ertasio (It) 68 65 70;
H燭anihara (Jpn) 71 64 68.
Snooker
GERMAN MASTERS (Tempodrom, Berlin)
Semi-Finals: G Dott (Sco) bt S Murphy (Eng) 6-4;
M Williams (Wal) bt J Trump (Eng) 6-1.
Racing
SANDOWN
12.40: 1燙ountister (5-6 Fav), B燡燝eraghty (NJ Henderson);
2燗rthington (11-1); 3燚esiremoi D?authie (50-1). 6 ran.
1.15: 1燝ino Trail (7-2), J燛燤oore (Kerry Lee); 2燚olos
(7-2); 3燙epage (7-2). 10-3 Fav Top Gamble. 6 ran.
1.50: 1燘uveur D?Air (1-16 Fav), BJ燝eraghty (NJ
Henderson); 2燡ohn Constable (10-1); 3燙ap?n (100-1). 3 ran.
2.25: 1燭errefort (15-8 Fav), DA燡acob (NJ Henderson);
2燙yrname (9-4); 3燦o Comment (8-1). 5 ran.
3.00: 1燭opofthegame (11-2 Fav), Sam燭wiston-Davies
Carre駉 Busta and L髉ez a commanding lead, with the GB pair
unable to convert the sole break point
they were able to create.
Murray and Inglot dug deep to save
two break points in the 11th game of
the third set but quickly fell 5-1 down
in the tie-break and their opponents
closed out the match.
?The Spanish guys played an awful
lot better than ours, it?s as simple as
that,? Smith said. ?The court definitely
favoured them but they also played
well.
?We would have needed to make
an awful lot more returns to try to
make some inroads into their service games but they were holding so
quickly and we never really got any
momentum.?
L髉ez told the Davis Cup website:
?We are very happy. We played a great
match overall, very consistent.? PA
(P F Nicholls); 2燝olan Fortune (9-1); 3燤elrose Boy (7-1);
4燜olsom Blue (14-1). 17 ran. NR: Theligny.
3.35: 1燘allydine (4-1 Fav), Sean燘owen (C E Longsdon);
2燞olly Bush Henry (6-1); 3燣oose Chips (25-1). 12 ran.
4.10: 1燣andin (7-1), J燤cGrath (J W Mullins);
2燞oldbacktheriver (10-1); 3燩almers Hill (3-1 Fav). 7 ran.
MUSSELBURGH
12.55: 1燙oup De Pinceau (11-10 Fav) (PF Nicholls);
2燗nother Stowaway (6-4); 3燭okaramore (33-1). 4 ran.
1.30: 1燘arney Dwan (10-11 Fav), B燞ughes (F O?Brien);
2燗lzammaar (18-1); 3燤artiloo (66-1). 5 ran.
2.05: 1燚ear Sire (15-2), W燭燢ennedy (D McCain Jnr);
2燜orth Bridge (14-1); 3燗mour de Nuit (9-5).
13-8 Fav Sir Chauvelin. 5 ran.
2.45: 1燤arracudja (15-8 Fav), B燜rost (PF Nicholls); 2燘aby
King (5-2); 3燙ontre Tous (8-1). 6 ran. NR: Chain Of Beacons.
3.15: 1燜ull Jack (10-1), R燤cDonald (AM Thomson); 2燤issed
Approach (7-2 Fav); 3燫elentless Dreamer (18-1). 12 ran.
3.45: 1燢elpies Myth (13-2), D燫燜ox (Miss Lucinda V
Russell); 2燦inepointsixthree (16-1); 3燤orning With Ivan
(5-1 Jt Fav). 5-1 Jt Fav Kalaniti. 13 ran. NR: Jamacho.
4.20: 1燱onderful Charm (30-100 Fav), Mr燬燱aley-Cohen
(P F Nicholls); 2燱inged Crusader (12-1);
3燝allery Exhibition (11-2). 6 ran.
WETHERBY
1.00: 1燬hambra (6-5 Fav), Maxime燭issier (L Wadham);
2燦orthern Beau (5-1); 3燞ijran (20-1). 6 ran.
1.35: 1燤ercian Prince (7-2), J燪uinlan (A Murphy);
2燩ain Au Chocolat (33-1); 3燢ayf Blanco (11-4 Fav). 8 ran.
2.10: 1燫obin Waters (4-9 Fav), Harry燬kelton (D Skelton);
2燙oningsby (9-4); 3燨nly Orvieto (20-1). 4 ran.
2.40: 1燘allyoptic (5-2 Jt Fav), Thomas燘ellamy
(N A Twiston-Davies); 2燰intage Clouds (5-2 Jt Fav);
3燬hades Of Midnight (9-1). 6 ran.
3.20: 1燫ed Rising (10-11 Fav), Harry燬kelton (D Skelton);
2燘ryden Boy (18-1); 3燜lorrie Knox (5-2). 7 ran.
Lindsey Vonn provided another
timely reminder that she will still
be a force to be reckoned with at the
Pyeongchang Olympics by winning
a shortened downhill at Garmisch,
the 80th World Cup win of her
career. The four-times overall World
Cup winner pipped the Italian
Sofia Goggia by 0.02sec to win her
third World Cup race of the season.
Austria?s Cornelia H黷ter was third,
0.13 behind Vonn.
It was a second successive
downhill win for the 33-year-old
American ? gold medallist in the
event at the Vancouver Games in
2010 ? after Cortina two weeks ago.
Vonn?s compatriot Jacqueline
Wiles was taken to hospital by
helicopter after a nasty crash and
there was no immediate news on
her condition. Laurenne Ross,
another American, crashed into a
flag but got up and walked away,
Bad weather forced the Thursday
and Friday training sessions to be
cancelled and as downhills cannot
be held without training, organisers
decided to stage a practice run
early爕esterday, followed by a
Reuters
single-leg race.
Awards nominations
Daniel Taylor, whose column
returns later this month, is one
of six Guardian and Observer
journalists to have secured
nominations for the Sports
Journalism Awards. Taylor is
among the runners for Football
Journalist of the Year and Sports
Scoop of the Year. Martha
Kelner, Sean Ingle, David Conn,
Donald McRae and Ben Fisher
are also in line for awards, and
theGuardian.com is nominated
for sport website of the year. The
winners will be announced on
26燜ebruary.
3.55: 1燝alway Jack (1-7 Fav), Mr燭A燤cClorey (G Bailey);
2燗uldthunder (5-1). 2 ran.
4.30: 1燘lack Pirate (9-2), C燨?Farrell (J Ewart);
2燙ourt Master (13-2); 3燭upolev (10-3 Fav). 12 ran.
LINGFIELD
12.50: 1燰ice Marshal (7-2), S燚onohoe (C Fellowes);
2燜elisa (12-1); 3燩aparazzi (3-1). 5-2 Fav Rose Tinted
Spirit. 8 ran. NR: Austin Powers.
1.25: 1燗uthor?s Dream (9-4), M燞arley (W J Knight);
2燙ity Dreamer (6-4 Fav); 3燗rdamir (7-1). 8 ran.
2.00: 1燢achy (6-4 Fav), R燢ingscote (Tom Dascombe);
2燢imberella (10-1); 3燙aspian Prince (20-1). 12 ran.
2.35: 1燝eorge Dryden (5-2 Fav), Jason燱atson (C Wallis);
2燘rother Tiger (7-2); 3燯nion Rose (20-1). 6 ran.
3.05: 1燯tmost (5-1), R燞avlin (J H M Gosden); 2燰ictory
Bond (11-10 Fav); 3燘attle Of Marathon (66-1). 9 ran.
3.40: 1燗iya (11-10 Fav), Oisin燤urphy (A M 4Balding);
2燬otomayor (12-1); 3燤ouchee (8-1). 6 ran.
4.15: 1燗merican Gigolo (7-4), Fran燘erry (H Fry);
2燤aster Archer (5-4 Fav); 3燝ive Him Time (14-1). 10 ran.
Greg Wood?s tips
MUSSELBURGH 12.50 Boagrius 1.25 We Have A
Dream 2.00 Claimantakinforgan 2.35 Mr Whipped
3.10 Jump For Dough 3.45 Royale Django
4.20 Chanceanotherfive
TAUNTON 1.05 Grand Sancy 1.40 Camron De
Chaillac 2.15 Broughtons Rhythm (nb) 2.50
Mahlervous (nap) 3.25 Royalraise 4.00 Mr Lando
??
20
The Observer
04.02.18
Football
Results
Full
Time
Premier League
Watford
25
3
4
5 16 25
4
2
7 17 19
-11 27 WLLDLD
Raheem Sterling
misses sitter to put
City out of sight at
Burnley as United
trim lead to 13
West Ham
26
4
4
4 14 17
2
5
7 18 29
-14 27 DWDWDD
Brighton
26
4
6
3 15 19
2
3
8
6 16
-14 27 LDDLLD
Southampton
26
3
6
5 16 19
2
5
5 12 19
-10 26 LDLDDD
Crystal Palace
25
4
4
4 15 18
2
4
7
8 20
-15 26 LDWWLD
Newcastle
25
3
4
6 11 15
3
2
7 12 20
-12 24 LDWDLD
Swansea
26
4
2
7 10 18
2
4
7
-18 24 LWLDWW
Stoke
26
5
3
5 15 20
1
3
9 11 32
Huddersfield
26
4
4
5 11 19
2
2
9
8 27
-27 24 DDLLLL
West Brom
26
2
7
4 14 18
1
4
8
7 19
-16 20 DDLWDL
P
W
A
W
AWAY
D L F
A
GD Pts Form
Manchester City
26 12
1
0 45
9 10
2
1 29 10 +55 69 DWLWWD
Manchester Utd
26 10
2
1 29
5
7
3
3 22 13 +33 56 DDWWWL
Liverpool
25
7
5
0 25
7
7
3
3 32 22 +28 50 WWWWLW
Chelsea
25
8
2
3 21 10
7
3
2 24
Tottenham Hotspur
25
8
4
1 28
9
6
2
4 21 13 +27 48 WWDWDW
Arsenal
26 10
2
1 36 14
3
4
6 15 21 +16 45 DDLWLW
Burnley
26
5
3
5
9 10
4
6
3 12 13
-2 36 DLLLDD
Leicester
26
6
3
4 19 15
3
5
5 19 20
+3 35 LLWDWL
Bournemouth
26
5
3
5 18 19
3
4
6 12 18
Everton
26
7
2
4 20 17
1
5
7
9 28
-16 31 LLLDWL
9 +26 50 WWDDWL
9 19
-7 31 DWDWDW
-26 24 DLLLWD
Bournemouth (0) 2 Stoke
(1) 1
King 70, Mousset 79
Shaqiri 5
Att 10,614. Ref Paul Tierney (Lancashire).
The facts
?Manchester City failed to win
a league game after scoring
?rst for the ?rst time in 26
matches, since a 2-2 draw with
Arsenal in April 2017. Burnley
have gone nine league games
without a victory (D5, L4),
their longest winless run since
November 2014 (10 games).
?Javier Hern醤dez (right)
scored his 43rd Premier
League goal, all of which
have come from inside
the penalty area. Only
Tim Cahill has scored more
with 100% of them coming
from inside the area (56).
?Bournemouth enjoyed
their ?rst league double over
Stoke in their 13th season of
meeting the Potters in league
The week
ahead
?Spurs?
Lucas Moura
could make his
debut against
Newport
Today (2pm unless stated)
Premier League
Crystal Palace v Newcastle (2.15pm)
SSPL; Liverpool v Tottenham (4.30pm) SSPL
FA Women?s Cup
Fourth round TNS v Chichester (noon); Durham
v Sheffield (1pm); Liverpool v Watford (1pm);
Plymouth v Leicester (1.30pm); Aston Villa v
Middlesbrough; Millwall v Coventry (3pm);
Blackburn v Charlton; Brighton v Man City;
Cardiff v Oxford Utd; Everton v Bristol City;
Keynsham v Lewes; London Bees v Chelsea;
Reading v Birmingham; Sunderland v Brighouse;
Tottenham v Doncaster; Yeovil Town v Arsenal
La Liga
Atl閠ico Madrid v Valencia (7.45pm) SSF;
Espanyol v Barcelona (3.15pm) SSF; Getafe v
Legan閟 (11am) SSF; Girona v Athletic Bilbao
(5.30pm) SSF
Serie A
Atalanta v Chievo; Benevento v Napoli
(7.45pm) BTS3; Bologna v Fiorentina; Cagliari
v Spal; Juventus v Sassuolo BTS3; Udinese v
Milan; Verona v Roma (11.30am) BTS3
Tomorrow
Sky Bet Championship
HOME
D L F
Premier League
Watford v Chelsea (8pm) SSPL
La Liga
Las Palmas v M醠aga (8pm) Sky Sports Football
Serie A
Lazio v Geona (7.45pm) BT Sport 1
competition. The opening
goal was a ?rst-ever
headed goal in Europe?s
big-?ve leagues for
Xherdan Shaqiri (above)
in his 139th appearance (24
goals in total).
?Arsenal are only the second
team to lead by four or more
goals at half-time in
consecutive Premier
League home games,
after Manchester United
in November 1997.
?On alphabetical grounds,
Brighton?s home win against
West Ham will go down as the
10,000th game in the Premier
League. Brighton registered
their ?rst win in their last seven
Premier League games.
Tuesday (7.45pm unless stated)
Emirates FA Cup
Fourth-round replays Birmingham v
Huddersfield; Rochdale v Millwall; Swansea v
Notts County (8.05pm) BBC One
Sky Bet League One
Bury v AFC Wimbledon; Rochdale v MK Dons
Sky Bet League Two
Accrington Stanley v Swindon
Checkatrade Trophy
Fourth round Yeovil v Fleetwood Sky Sports
Football Semi-final Lincoln City v Chelsea U21
Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
Motherwell v St Johnstone; Partick v Rangers
Ladbrokes Scottish Championship
Falkirk v Brechin
Ladbrokes Scottish League One
Raith v Albion
Wednesday
Emirates FA Cup
Fourth-round replays Tottenham v
Newport County (7.45pm) BT Sport 2
FA Women?s Super League
Liverpool v Arsenal (7pm)
Copa del Rey
Semi-final: Second leg Sevilla (1) v Legan閟 (1)
(8.30pm)
Thursday
Copa del Rey
Semi-final: Second leg Valencia (0) v Barcelona
(1) (8.30pm)
Friday
Sky Bet Championship
Millwall v Cardiff (7.45pm) Sky Sports Football
Sky Bet League Two
Cambridge v Lincoln (7.45pm)
La Liga
Athletic Bilbao v Las Palmas (8pm) Sky Sports
Football red button
Serie A
Fiorentina v Juventus (7.45pm) BT Sport 3
Saturday (3pm unless stated)
Premier League
Everton v Crystal Palace; Manchester City v
?West Ham have
lost four Premier
League games against
promoted sides in a
single season for the
second time (twice v
Brighton, twice v Newcastle),
after also doing so in 2006-07.
?Manchester United kept a
15th clean sheet in the Premier
League, more than any other
side this season. Hudders?eld
failed to score for the 10th time
in Premier League away games
this season, more than any
other side in the competition.
Arsenal
(4) 5 Everton
(0) 1
Ramsey 6 19 74
Calvert-Lewin 64
Koscielny 14
Aubameyang 37
Att 59,306. Ref Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire).
Brighton
(1) 3 West Ham
Murray 8
Hern醤dez 30
Izquierdo 59, Gross 75
Att 30,589. Ref Roger East (Wiltshire).
(1) 1
Burnley
(0) 1 Man City
(1) 1
Gudmundsson 82
Danilo 22
Att 21,658. Ref Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).
Leicester
(1) 1 Swansea
(0) 1
Vardy 17
Fern醤dez 53
Att 31,179. Ref Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).
Man Utd
(0) 2 Huddersfield
(0) 0
Lukaku 55, S醤chez 68
Att 74,742. Ref Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire).
West Brom
(1) 2
Hegazi 4, Rond髇 72
Southampton
(2) 3
Lemina 40, Stephens 43
Ward-Prowse 55
Att 25,911. Ref M Oliver (Northumberland).
Top scorers
League
21
19
17
11
14
12
Total
30
26
24
19
19
19
?West Brom have picked
up one win from their past
24 league games (D11, L12).
Southampton secured a ?rst
league win in 13 attempts.
Kane Tottenham
Salah Liverpool
Ag黣ro Manchester City
Firmino Liverpool
Sterling Manchester City
Lukaku Manchester Utd
Leicester (5.30pm) Sky Sports Premier League;
Stoke v Brighton; Swansea v Burnley; Tottenham
v Arsenal (12.30pm) BT Sport 1; West Ham v
Watford
Sky Bet Championship
Barnsley v Sheffield Wed (12.30pm); Bolton v
Fulham; Brentford v Preston; Bristol City v
Sunderland; Derby v Norwich; Ipswich v Burton
Albion; Middlesbrough v Reading; Nottm Forest v
Hull; Sheffield Utd v Leeds (12.30pm) Sky Sports
Football; Wolverhampton v QPR
Sky Bet League One
AFC Wimbledon v Northampton; Blackburn v
Oldham; Blackpool v Walsall; Bradford v Bury;
Doncaster v Charlton; Gillingham v
Peterborough; MK Dons v Portsmouth; Oxford
Utd v Bristol Rovers; Rochdale v Fleetwood Town;
Scunthorpe v Rotherham; Shrewsbury v
Plymouth; Southend v Wigan
Sky Bet League Two
Barnet v Notts County; Carlisle v Colchester;
Cheltenham v Port Vale; Coventry v Accrington
Stanley; Crawley Town v Grimsby; Crewe v Yeovil;
Exeter v Wycombe; Morecambe v Chesterfield;
Newport County v Forest Green; Stevenage v
Luton; Swindon v Mansfield
Vanarama National League
Barrow v Hartlepool; Bromley v Maidstone Utd;
Dag & Red v Aldershot (5.30pm) BT Sport 1;
Dover v Sutton Utd; Eastleigh v Boreham Wood;
Ebbsfleet United v Solihull Moors; Gateshead v
AFC Fylde; Leyton Orient v Tranmere; Macclesfield
v Guiseley; Maidenhead Utd v Torquay; Woking v
Chester FC; Wrexham v FC Halifax
William Hill Scottish Cup
Fifth round Celtic v Partick (12.15pm) BBC One
Scotland; Dundee v Motherwell; Cove Rangers v
Falkirk; Hearts v St Johnstone; Kilmarnock v
Brora; Morton v Dumbarton
Ladbrokes Scottish League One
Albion v Ayr; Alloa v Forfar; East Fife v Queen?s
Park; Raith v Airdrieonians; Stranraer v Arbroath
Ladbrokes Scottish League Two
Berwick v Clyde; Cowdenbeath v Stirling;
Edinburgh City v Peterhead; Elgin v Annan
Athletic; Montrose v Stenhousemuir
FA Women?s Super League
Birmingham v Chelsea (2pm); Bristol City v
Sunderland (5.30pm)
La Liga
Legan閟 v Eibar (5.30pm) Sky Sports Football;
M醠aga v Atl閠ico Madrid (3.15pm); Real
Madrid v Real Sociedad (7.45pm) Sky Sports
Football; Villarreal v Alav閟 (noon) Sky Sports
Football red button
Serie A
Crotone v Atalanta (5pm); Napoli v Lazio
(7.45pm) BT Sport 1; Spal v Milan (2pm)
Sunday (2pm unless stated)
Premier League
Huddersfield v Bournemouth (noon)
BT Sport 1; Newcastle v Manchester Utd
(2.15pm) Sky Sports Premier League;
Southampton v Liverpool (4.30pm) Sky Sports
Premier League
Sky Bet Championship
Aston Villa v Birmingham (noon)
Sky Sports Football
William Hill Scottish Cup
Fifth round Aberdeen v Dundee Utd (4.30pm)
Sky Sports Football; Ayr v Rangers (2.30pm)
Sky Sports Football
FA Women?s Super League
Arsenal v Yeovil; Everton v Reading;
Manchester City v Liverpool
FA Women?s Super League 2
Aston Villa v Millwall; Brighton v London Bees;
Durham v Doncaster (noon); Tottenham v
Oxford Utd; Watford v Sheffield FC
La Liga
Barcelona v Getafe (3.15pm) Sky Sports Mix;
Celta Vigo v Espanyol (5.30pm) Sky Sports
Mix; Sevilla v Girona (11am) Sky Sports
Football red button; Valencia v Levante
(7.45pm) Sky Sports Football
Serie A
Chievo v Geona; Internazionale v
Bologna BT Sport 3; Roma v Benevento
(7.45pm) BT Sport 1; Sampdoria v
Verona; Sassuolo v Cagliari (11.30am);
Torino v Udinese
Monday
Premier League
Chelsea v West Brom (8pm) Sky Sports
Premier League
La Liga
Deportivo v Real Betis (8pm) Sky Sports
Football
Wolves
Derby
Aston Villa
Cardiff
Fulham
Bristol City
Preston
Sheffield Utd
Middlesbrough
Leeds
Brentford
Ipswich
Norwich
Millwall
QPR
Nottingham Forest
Sheffield Wed
Reading
Birmingham
Bolton
Barnsley
Hull
Sunderland
Burton Albion
P W
30 11
30 9
30 9
29 9
30 7
30 8
30 6
30 8
30 7
30 6
30 6
30 8
30 5
30 7
30 7
30 7
30 4
30 3
30 6
29 6
30 3
30 4
30 2
30 2
HOME
D L F
2 2 31
3 3 25
5 1 28
3 2 26
6 2 25
3 4 22
6 3 18
2 5 23
3 5 15
4 5 21
7 2 24
2 5 24
5 5 16
5 3 23
4 4 20
0 8 17
6 5 19
4 8 14
2 7 11
3 6 18
5 7 13
6 5 30
5 8 14
2 11 13
Aston Villa
(1) 3 Burton Albion
(0) 2
Hogan 33
Elmohamady 71og
Adomah 65
Boyce 90
Grealish 88
Aston Villa Johnstone, Elmohamady?, Chester,
Terry, Hutton, Bjarnason, Snodgrass? (Tuanzebe
67), Hourihane (Jedinak 83), Grealish?, Adomah
(Onomah 68), Hogan. Subs not used Neil Taylor,
Whelan, Bunn, Davis.
Burton Albion Bywater, Brayford, McFadzean?,
Turner (Boyce 72), Flanagan (Murphy? 28),
Davenport, Sordell, Naylor?, Akpan, Dyer,
Akins?, Murphy? (Allen 46). Subs not used
Buxton, Campbell, Barker, Sbarra.
Att 33,022. Ref David Coote (Nottinghamshire).
Derby
(2) 3 Brentford
(0) 0
Huddlestone 30
Jerome 34
Vydra 90pen
Derby Carson, Wisdom, Keogh, Davies, Olsson?,
Huddlestone, Thorne (Ledley 79), Lawrence,
Vydra, Anya (Palmer 90), Jerome? (Winnall 63).
Subs not used Baird, Roos, Nugent, Forsyth.
Brentford Bentley, Dalsgaard, Mepham,
Bjelland?, Barbet, Mokotjo (Judge 76), Woods?
(Yennaris 62), Jozefzoon (Marcondes 62),
Sawyers, CanosRed, Watkins. Subs not used
McEachran, Egan, Daniels, Maupay.
Att 25,938. Ref Peter Bankes (Merseyside).
Fulham
(0) 2 Nottm Forest
(0) 0
Piazon 68
Johansen 90
Fulham Bettinelli, Fredericks, Kalas, Ream,
Targett (Odoi 90), Norwood, McDonald?, Piazon
(Ayite 88), Johansen, Ryan Sessegnon, Rui Fonte
(Mitrovic 55). Subs not used Kebano, Christie,
Button, Kamara.
Nottm Forest Pantilimon, Lichaj, Worrall,
Mancienne?, Fox, Guedioura (Dejagah 76),
Colback, Cash, Osborn, Dowell? (Tomlin 70),
Brereton (Vellios 81). Subs not used Tobias
Figueiredo, Vaughan, Darikwa, Smith.
Leeds
Bamba 54og
(0) 1
Cardiff
(3) 4
Paterson 9
Hoilett 41
Morrison 45
Pilkington 88
Leeds Wiedwald, Berardi?, Pennington, Jansson
(Dallas 30), De Bock, Forshaw, Ronaldo Vieira
(Grot 86), Alioski, Roofe, Hernandez, Lasogga
(Sacko 74). Subs not used Lonergan, Anita,
Romario Vieira, Pearce.
Cardiff Etheridge, Ecuele Manga, Morrison,
Bamba, Paterson, Grujic? (Halford 82), Ralls?,
Traore, Wildschut (Pilkington? 55), Hoilett,
Madine? (Zohore 72). Subs not used Jamie
Ward, Feeney, Damour, Murphy.
Att 30,534. Ref Graham Scott (Oxfordshire).
Norwich
(1) 1 Middlesbrough (0) 0
Trybull 44
Norwich Gunn, Hanley, Zimmermann, Klose,
Reed, Tettey?, Trybull? (Leitner 60), Lewis,
Maddison (Vrancic 72), Oliveira, Murphy
(Hernandez 86).
Subs not used Watkins, Stiepermann, Srbeny,
McGovern.
Middlesbrough Randolph, Shotton, Ayala,
Gibson, Friend, Clayton (Assombalonga 82),
Leadbitter?, Downing, Traore, Gestede?,
Bamford (Howson 63).
Subs not used Konstantopoulos, Cranie, Fry,
Harrison, Besic.
Att 25,960. Ref Michael Jones (Chester).
Preston
(2) 2 Hull
(1) 1
Cunningham 36
Bowen 29
Browne 45pen
Preston North End Rudd, Fisher, Clarke,
Huntington, Cunningham, Pearson? (Harrop
76), Gallagher (Johnson 70), Bodin?, Browne,
Barkhuizen, Robinson (Moult 79).
Subs not used Horgan, Spurr, Maxwell, Earl.
Hull McGregor, Aina, Hector, MacDonald,
Clark?, Bowen, Meyler (Evandro 69), Larsson,
Irvine, Campbell (Wilson 69), Dicko (Keane 74).
Subs not used Marshall, Diomande, Tomori,
Stewart.
QPR
(0) 1 Barnsley
(0) 0
Scowen 48
QPR Smithies, Perch, Onuoha, Lynch, Wszolek,
A W
12 10
9 7
13 7
10 7
13 7
14 6
14 6
14 6
11 6
17 7
16 5
15 5
16 7
15 2
19 2
21 4
21 3
20 5
17 2
20 1
20 3
23 1
23 3
33 4
D
3
6
3
3
3
6
6
2
3
1
3
2
2
6
5
2
6
4
4
5
4
5
5
4
AWAY
L F
2 23
2 22
5 18
5 18
5 26
3 20
3 19
7 19
6 23
7 20
7 18
8 19
6 14
7 12
8 12
9 18
6 12
6 19
9 11
8 9
8 16
9 10
7 17
7 11
A
10
14
14
16
22
19
15
22
17
20
23
26
17
18
23
27
16
19
24
26
24
24
29
25
GD
+32
+24
+19
+18
+16
+9
+8
+6
+10
+4
+3
+2
-3
+2
-10
-13
-6
-6
-19
-19
-15
-7
-21
-34
Pts
68
57
56
54
51
51
48
46
45
44
43
43
43
38
36
35
33
32
30
29
27
26
25
24
Form
WWDLWW
WDWDDW
WWWWWW
LLLWDW
DWWWWW
LLLDWL
WLDDWW
LDDWLL
LWLWDL
LDLLDL
WLWWLL
LLWDLW
DWWLWW
WLDWDW
LWWLLW
LDLWLL
LLDDDL
DLDLWL
WWLDWW
LWWLDW
DWDLLL
DLDLDL
WLLWLL
DWLLLL
Cousins? (Manning? 67), Scowen, Freeman,
Robinson?, Smith (Samuel 79), Washington
(Bidwell 90). Subs not used Ingram, Baptiste,
Eze, Oteh.
Barnsley Townsend, Yiadom, Mills, Lindsay,
Pinillos (Mahoney 80), Moncur, Gardner?, Joe
Williams, Hammill (Hedges 68), Bradshaw,
Moore (McBurnie 68). Subs not used Davies,
Mallan, Pearson, Thiam.
Att 12,413. Ref Tony Harrington (Cleveland).
Reading
(0) 0
Millwall
(0) 2
Bacuna 70og
Gregory 73
Reading Mannone, Tiago Ilori?,
Moore, Elphick (Blackett 32), Gunter,
Edwards?, van den Berg, Bacuna?, Barrow,
Kermorgant (Martin 68), Bodvarsson, Blackett
(McCleary 80). Subs not used Evans, Aluko,
Clement, Jaakkola.
Millwall Archer, McLaughlin? (Romeo 61),
Hutchinson, Cooper?, Meredith, Wallace?
(Ferguson 76), Williams, Saville, Onyedinma,
Gregory (Shackell 87), Morison.
Subs not used Martin, Tunnicliffe, Elliott,
Marshall.
Att 17,282. Ref Andy Davies (Hampshire).
Sheff Wed
Lucas Joao 54
(0) 1
Sunderland
(0) 0
Birmingham
(3) 3
Davis 8
Jota 21 45
Sheff Wed Wildsmith, Frederico Venancio,
Loovens (Lucas Joao 26), Pudil?,
Palmer, Butterfield (Thorniley 71),
Pelupessy, Reach, Fox, Marco Matias?,
Nuhiu? (Boyd 73). Subs not used Hunt, Jones,
Dawson, Wallace.
Birmingham Stockdale?, Colin, Roberts,
Dean, Grounds (Bramall 33), N?Doye?,
Kieftenbeld (Gardner 75), Jota, Davis? (Lowe
84), Boga, Gallagher.
Subs not used Jutkiewicz, Adams, Morrison,
Trueman.
Att 25,648. Ref Scott Duncan (Tyne & Wear).
Ipswich
(2) 2
Garner 35
Matthews 45og
Sunderland Camp, Jones, O?Shea, Browning,
Matthews (McGeady 70), Ejaria, Cattermole,
Robson (Honeyman 58), Oviedo, Asoro?
(LuaLua 58), Fletcher.
Subs not used Maja, Love, Ruiter, Gooch.
Ipswich Bialkowski, Spence, Carter-Vickers,
Chambers, Knudsen, Skuse (Hyam 85),
Connolly, Ward (Gleeson 74),
Waghorn, Sears, Garner? (Webster 90).
Subs not used Iorfa, Celina, Crowe, Carayol.
Att 27,909. Ref Darren England (South
Yorkshire).
Wolves
(2) 3 Sheffield Utd
(0) 0
Neves 5
Jota 30
Cavaleiro 77
Wolves Ruddy, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Doherty,
N?Diaye, Neves, Douglas, Helder Costa (Leo
Bonatini 65), Jota (White 81), Ivan Cavaleiro
(Afobe 77). Subs not used Batth, Enobakhare,
Hause, Norris.
Sheff Utd Moore?, Basham (Leonard 71),
Stearman, O?Connell, Baldock, Lee Evans, Holmes
(Donaldson 71), Fleck, Stevens, Clarke, Wilson
(Eastwood 76). Subs not used Lundstram,
Sharp, Duffy, Lafferty.
Att 29,311. Ref Darren Bond (Lancashire).
Top scorers
Vydra Derby
Clarke Sheffield Utd
Reid Bristol City
Adomah Aston Villa
Bowen Hull
Assombalonga Middlesbrough
Grabban Aston Villa
Jota Wolves
Bonatini Wolves
Hooper Sheffield Wed
Roofe Leeds
League
16
15
12
12
12
12
12
11
12
10
8
Total
17
15
14
13
13
12
12
12
12
11
11
?
The Observer
04.02.18
Sky Bet League One
Wigan
Shrewsbury
Blackburn
Scunthorpe
Rotherham
Bradford
Charlton
Peterborough
Portsmouth
Oxford Utd
Plymouth
Gillingham
Bristol Rovers
Doncaster
Southend
Walsall
Fleetwood Town
AFC Wimbledon
Blackpool
Northampton
Oldham
MK Dons
Rochdale
Bury
P W
28 9
29 10
30 9
31 7
30 10
31 6
29 8
29 8
30 9
30 6
31 7
30 4
30 9
31 5
30 7
29 6
30 4
29 5
30 5
31 6
31 6
29 4
27 4
29 4
HOME
D L F
5 1 23
2 1 20
4 2 29
5 3 19
2 4 33
1 8 19
4 4 24
1 6 23
3 4 24
4 5 26
2 7 21
7 4 19
0 6 27
6 4 21
5 3 22
6 3 21
4 7 22
3 6 15
4 5 20
2 8 14
3 7 26
7 3 15
5 3 13
2 8 11
Bristol Rovers (0) 1 Shrewsbury
(0) 2
Partington 65
Beckles 62, Rodman 88
Bristol Rovers Smith, Partington, Broadbent,
Craig, Bola (Nichols 90), Lines?, Ollie Clarke
(Bennett 56), Sercombe, Sinclair, Gaffney
(Mensah 79), Harrison. Subs not used Slocombe,
Brown, Sweeney, Telford.
Shrewsbury MacGillivray, Bolton, Nsiala, Sadler,
Beckles, Godfrey, Whalley (Jones 83), Ogogo,
Nolan, Thomas (Rodman 74), Carlton Morris
(Payne? 74). Subs not used Lowe, John-Lewis,
Bryn Morris, Rowley.
Att 9,380. Ref Trevor Kettle (Rutland).
Bury
(0) 1 Blackpool
(0) 1
Miller 83
Longstaff 53
Bury Ripley, Edwards?, Cameron?, Clarke?,
Leigh, Ismail (Bunn 72), Dawson, Danns? (Styles
86), Mayor, Maguire (Miller 57), Hanson. Subs
not used Murphy, Tutte, Thompson, Ince.
Blackpool Lumley, Mellor, Robertson, Tilt,
Turton, Cooke, Spearing, Longstaff, SolomonOtabor, Vassell? (Gnanduillet 69), Delfouneso
(Daniel 77). Subs not used Aimson, Ryan,
Philliskirk, Agyei, Mafoumbi.
Att 4,089. Ref Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire).
Charlton
(0) 2 Oxford Utd
(0) 3
Kashi 63
Henry 76
Magennis 78
Kane 89, Ledson 90
Charlton Amos, Solly, Konsa, Lennon?, Dasilva,
Kashi, Forster-Caskey, Marshall (Zyro 70), Fosu
(Aribo 87), Mavididi (KaiKai 69), Magennis.
Subs not used Jackson, Bauer, Reeves, Phillips.
Oxford Utd Eastwood, Martin, Ledson?,
Mousinho, Kane, Mowatt (Henry 70), Ruffels,
Rothwell (Ricardinho 78), Smith-Brown,
Buckley-Rickett, Obika (Napa 35). Subs not used
Shearer, Dickie, Carroll.
Att 11,747. Ref Keith Stroud (Hampshire).
Fleetwood
(1) 2 Scunthorpe
(2) 3
Hunter 45
Morris 25 42pen
Grant 67
Toney 78
Fleetwood Town Neal, Coyle, Eastham?,
Pond?, O?Connor?, Dempsey, Glendon (Grant
32), Diagouraga (Hiwula 80), Hunter, Madden?,
McAleny (Oliver 44). Subs not used Burns,
Jones, Cairns, Schwabl.
Scunthorpe Gilks, Vermijl (Sutton 82), Wallace,
McArdle, Townsend, Holmes, Bishop, Ojo, Morris,
Toney (Yates 90), Hopper (Novak 69). Subs not
used Adelakun, Goode, McGeehan, Watson.
Att 2,901. Ref Mark Heywood (Cheshire).
Northampton
(0) 0 Rochdale
(0) 1
Andrew 53
Northampton O?Donnell, Facey (Poole? 36),
Taylor, Turnbull, Bunney, Crooks?, Grimes,
Hildeberto (van Veen 57), O?Toole (Ariyibi 72),
Foley, Long?. Subs not used Cornell, Buchanan,
Hoskins, Shaun McWilliams.
Rochdale Lillis, Rafferty, Wiseman, McNulty,
Delaney, Done, Camps? (Humphrys 86),
Cannon, Kitching, Andrew, Henderson. Subs not
used McGahey, Rathbone, Moore, Knott, Hart,
Alexandru Dobre.
Att 5,475. Ref John Busby (Oxfordshire).
Oldham
(1) 2 Bradford
(0) 1
Dummigan 12
Gibson 88
Holloway 86
Oldham Placide, Dummigan?, Gerrard, Bryan,
Moimbe, Fane, Gardner (McLaughlin 67), Pringle,
Jack Byrne? (Obadeyi 73), Davies, Nazon
(Holloway 62). Subs not used De la Paz, Wilson,
Benyu, Nepomuceno.
Bradford Doyle, McGowan, Kilgallon, Warnock,
McMahon, Vincelot (Poleon 73), Lund?
(Dieng? 62), Guy, Chicksen?, McCartan (Gibson
80), Wyke. Subs not used Brunker, KnightPercival, Raeder, Grodowski.
Att 5,526. Ref Anthony Backhouse (Cumbria).
Southend
(1) 1
Demetriou 7pen
Peterborough Bond?, Shephard?, Taylor,
Tafazolli?, Hughes, Forrester (Morias 71),
Grant, Cooper (Lloyd 71), Maddison, Marriott,
Bogle (Da Silva Lopes 80). Subs not used
Baldwin, Ward, Anderson, O?Malley.
Southend Oxley, Demetriou, Turner, White
(Ferdinand 54), Coker, McLaughlin?, Timlin,
Yearwood?, Kightly, Fortune (Ladapo 75), Cox.
A W
4 10
6 8
14 8
13 8
17 5
25 9
19 5
19 4
12 4
25 5
24 4
17 6
21 3
18 4
16 3
17 3
25 6
17 4
21 3
23 3
25 2
16 3
11 1
18 1
Sky Bet League Two
AWAY
D L F
1 2 32
5 3 19
4 3 25
4 4 26
3 6 17
2 5 26
3 5 15
6 4 23
1 9 12
4 6 21
6 5 14
3 6 15
3 9 16
5 7 15
2 10 14
3 8 15
2 7 20
4 7 13
6 7 15
4 8 14
5 8 17
2 10 14
5 9 14
4 10 11
A
9
15
15
19
19
22
17
19
23
20
15
17
26
19
33
24
23
16
20
28
31
25
26
26
GD
+42
+18
+25
+13
+14
-2
+3
+8
+1
+2
-4
0
-4
-1
-13
-5
-6
-5
-6
-23
-13
-12
-10
-22
Pts
63
61
59
54
50
48
46
43
43
41
41
40
39
38
37
36
36
34
34
33
32
30
25
21
Form
DDWDWW
WWLDWW
DWWDWL
WDLDLW
WDDWWW
WLLLLL
DLWWWL
WLDDWL
WLDLLD
LWWLLW
WWDLWW
DWWWWL
DWDWWL
DDDDLD
LLLLWW
LLWLLW
WLWLLL
DWDWWL
DWLDLD
LWWWDL
LLDLLW
LWLDLL
DLLLLW
LLLLWD
Subs not used Bishop, McGlashan, Klass,
Harrison, Kyprianou.
Att 5,114. Ref Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire).
Plymouth
(2) 2 Blackburn
(0) 0
Lameiras 25, Taylor 37
Plymouth Matthews, Threlkeld, Vyner, Bradley,
Sawyer, Sarcevic, Fox (Songo?o 70), Ness, Carey
(Grant 88), Taylor, Lameiras (Taylor-Sinclair 70).
Subs not used Ainsworth, Church, Makasi, Cooper.
Blackburn Raya, Nyambe, Downing, Williams,
Bell, Bennett?, Smallwood (Evans 58), Conway
(Nuttall 58), Dack?, Armstrong, Graham
(Samuel? 46). Subs not used Leutwiler, Caddis,
Payne, Travis.
Att 11,801. Ref Charles Breakspear (Surrey).
Portsmouth
(1) 2 Doncaster
(1) 2
Walkes 19
Coppinger 4
Pitman 81
Marquis 63
Portsmouth Henderson, Walkes, Burgess?,
Clarke, Donohue?, Kennedy (Naismith 72),
Close, Thompson, Ronan, Evans (Lowe 72),
Hawkins (Pitman 59). Subs not used McGee,
Chaplin, Deslandes, Widdrington.
Doncaster Lawlor, Blair, Boyle, Anderson?,
Garrett (McCullough 60), Whiteman, Houghton,
Coppinger (Kongolo 73), Rowe, Marquis?,
Beestin (Kiwomya 59). Subs not used Alcock,
Mason, Marosi, May.
Att 17,364. Ref Graham Salisbury (Lancashire).
Rotherham
(1) 2 AFC Wimbledon (0) 0
Smith 14, Ball 90
Rotherham Rodak, Emmanuel, Ajayi, Wood,
Mattock, Forde (Taylor 68), Palmer, Vaulks,
Newell (Williams 84), Smith (Lavery 67), Ball.
Subs not used Price, Ihiekwe, Yates, Cummings.
AFC Wimbledon Long, Robinson (Meades 74),
Oshilaja, Charles, Francomb, Trotter, Abdou,
Soares? (Pigott 63), Barcham, Taylor, McDonald
(Forrester 63). Subs not used Kaja, Kennedy,
McDonnell, Hartigan.
Att 8,330. Ref Michael Salisbury (Lancashire).
Walsall
(0) 1 MK Dons
(0) 0
Ngoy 70
Walsall Liam Roberts, Kinsella, Fitzwater,
Guthrie, Leahy, Edwards, Chambers, Dobson,
Morris, Oztumer (Ngoy 66), Bakayoko (Shaibu
66). Subs not used Gillespie, Cuvelier, Flanagan,
Kory Roberts, Kouhyar.
MK Dons Nicholls, B Williams, Wootton, Ward,
Lewington, Upson, Gilbey, Tavernier (Tymon 81),
McGrandles (Ugbo 73), Sow (Muirhead 51),
Agard. Subs not used Cisse, Sietsma, EbanksLandell, Brittain.
Att 4,009. Ref Christopher Sarginson
(Staffordshire).
Wigan
(2) 2 Gillingham
(0) 0
Grigg 10, Powell 34
Wigan Walton, Byrne, Dunkley, Burn, James,
Power, Morsy, Colclough (Walker 55), Powell
(Fulton 83), Jacobs, Grigg (Vaughan 65). Subs
not used Elder, Bruce, Gary Roberts, Jones.
Gillingham Holy, O?Neill, Ehmer?, Zakuani,
Garmston?, Hessenthaler, Martin (Moussa 72),
Byrne, Reilly, Eaves? (Wilkinson 84), Parker
(List 59). Subs not used Ogilvie, Nugent, Nash,
Hadler.
Att 8,384. Ref Nicholas Kinseley (Essex).
Luton
Wycombe
Notts County
Exeter
Coventry
Mansfield
Swindon
Accrington Stanley
Lincoln City
Newport County
Colchester
Crawley Town
Carlisle
Stevenage
Cambridge Utd
Cheltenham
Grimsby
Port Vale
Yeovil
Morecambe
Crewe
Chesterfield
Forest Green
Barnet
P W
30 11
29 8
29 9
28 11
29 10
29 8
29 6
28 8
29 8
30 6
30 6
30 6
29 5
30 6
29 8
30 6
31 4
30 5
29 6
30 5
29 6
30 5
30 5
29 3
HOME
D L F
1 3 44
3 3 30
4 2 28
0 3 22
2 3 22
5 1 26
2 7 19
2 3 26
5 2 25
6 2 20
6 3 23
2 7 15
5 5 21
6 3 27
3 3 18
4 5 20
5 7 13
3 7 19
4 5 23
3 7 16
2 7 21
3 7 16
2 8 20
4 7 12
A W
16 7
19 7
14 5
11 5
9 5
15 5
27 10
14 7
12 5
13 6
15 5
15 6
16 6
17 4
11 2
18 3
20 5
21 4
16 2
21 2
24 3
20 2
26 2
17 2
Scottish Premiership
AWAY
D L F
5 3 22
4 4 25
5 4 20
3 6 18
3 6 12
6 4 17
0 4 26
2 6 22
4 5 16
4 6 21
4 6 17
4 5 17
3 5 18
2 9 11
5 8 10
4 8 20
3 7 15
3 8 15
3 9 18
6 7 13
0 11 13
3 10 14
3 10 11
3 10 16
A
14
21
18
22
12
17
13
20
16
23
22
20
21
24
28
27
23
20
34
20
25
33
27
26
GD
+36
+15
+16
+7
+13
+11
+5
+14
+13
+5
+3
-3
+2
-3
-11
-5
-15
-7
-9
-12
-15
-23
-22
-15
Pts
60
52
51
51
50
50
50
49
48
46
43
42
41
38
38
35
35
33
31
30
29
27
26
22
Form
LWLWWL
WLWWWW
WLWDLL
LWLWWW
LWWLWW
DWWDWW
WWWLWW
LWWWWL
WWLDDW
DWWWDL
DDLLDD
WWWLWW
WLLWDW
LWDDWL
WWDDLL
DLWLLD
LLLDLL
WLLDLD
WLLDLW
WWDLDL
WLWLLL
DLLWWL
LWLWLL
LLLLDD
Accrington
(1) 3 Stevenage
(2) 2
McConville 45 78
Godden 14
Kee 70
McKee 38
Accrington Stanley Chapman, Dunne?,
Rodgers (Sousa 59), Hughes, Donacien, Johnson,
Nolan, Brown, McConville?, Jackson, Kee. Subs
not used Richards-Everton, Zanzala, Williams,
Maxted, Rowan, Conneely.
Stevenage Tom King, Franks, Jack King?,
Wilmot?, Vancooten?, Amos, Jonathan Smith
(Bowditch 84), McKee, Goddard (Kennedy 74),
Revell, Godden (Newton 74). Subs not used
Fryer, Wilkinson, Conlon, Lokko.
Att 1,324. Ref John Brooks (Leicestershire).
Lincoln City
(1) 2 Swindon
(2) 2
Frecklington 23pen
Richards 35
Bostwick 90
Banks 38
Lincoln City Farman, Habergham, Wilson,
Waterfall (Palmer 89), Eardley, Woodyard?
(Rhead 46), Bostwick, Frecklington, Anderson
(Pett 61), Green, Rowe. Subs not used Long,
Wharton, Williams, Allsop.
Swindon Charles-Cook, Taylor?, PrestonRed,
Lancashire?, Purkiss, Anderson (Robertson 89),
Elsnik, Banks, Gordon (Mullin 57), Norris
(Menayese 24), Richards. Subs not used Dunne,
Iandolo, Woolery, Moore.
Att 8,909. Ref Antony Coggins (Oxfordshire).
Chesterfield
Reed 18
Luton
(1) 1 Exeter
(0) 0
Cornick 38
Luton Stech, Stacey, Potts, Downes, Rea, Berry,
Sheehan, Olly Lee, Collins, Jervis (Hylton 77),
Cornick (Lloyd Jones 83). Subs not used Justin,
Shinnie, Ruddock, D?Ath, Shea.
Exeter Pym, Wilson, Storey, Seaborne
(McAlinden 71), Moxey, Tillson, James (Holmes
55), Boateng, Taylor, Stockley, Edwards
(Simpson 85). Subs not used Sweeney, Jones,
Jay, Byrne.
Att 8,788. Ref Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire).
(1) 1
Crawley Town
(0) 2
Ahearne-Grant 57
Young 90
Chesterfield Ramsdale, Weir, Nelson, Maguire,
Whitmore, Kay? (Hines 70), Reed, McCourt,
Mottley-Henry (Rowley 70), Dodds (O?Grady 79),
Dennis. Subs not used Binnom-Williams, Barry,
Parkin, Brown.
Crawley Town Morris, Young, Yorwerth,
Connolly (Lelan 79), Doherty, Bulman, Smith,
Ahearne-Grant (Evina 86), Randall?, Boldewijn
(Tajbakhsh 90), Verheijdt. Subs not used Payne,
McNerney, Mersin, Sanoh.
Att 5,159. Ref Ross Joyce (Cleveland).
Colchester
(0) 2 Newport County (0) 0
Stevenson 59
Eastman 80
Colchester Walker, Eastman, Kent, Prosser,
Jackson, Comley, Murray (Stevenson 49),
Vincent-Young, Guthrie (Ogedi-Uzokwe 88),
Senior (Szmodics 74), Mandron. Subs not used
Lapslie, Drey Wright, Mandeville, Gilmartin.
Newport County Day, Reid (Osadebe 74),
O?Brien?, Demetriou, Butler, Tozer, Labadie,
Dolan (McCoulsky 62), Willmott, Amond
(Hayes? 58), Nouble. Subs not used Pipe,
Bennett, Bittner, Sheehan.
Att 2,874. Ref Lee Collins (Surrey).
Forest Green (1) 2 Coventry
(0) 1
Bray 39
McNulty 59pen
L Collins 65
Forest Green Bradley Collins, Bennett, Gunning,
Rawson, Hollis, Bray (Wishart 73), Osbourne
(Clements 63), Lee Collins, Grubb, Doidge, Reid
(Campbell 82). Subs not used Laird, Brown,
Simpson, Belford.
Coventry Burge, Grimmer (McDonald 31), Willis,
Davies (Haynes 70), Stokes, Bayliss, Doyle, Kelly?,
Barrett, Biamou (Clarke-Harris 64), McNulty. Subs
not used Vincenti, O?Brien, Beavon, Shipley.
Att 3,623. Ref Darren Handley (Lancashire).
Grimsby
(1) 1 Cheltenham
(0) 1
Jackson 3
Boyle 77
Grimsby Killip, Mills, Collins (Hall-Johnson?
32), Clarke, Dixon, Berrett, Summerfield,
Jackson, Wilks (Jaiyesimi 89), Matt, Vernam
(Dembele 66). Subs not used Hooper, Vernon,
Woolford, Warrington.
Cheltenham Flinders, Graham? (Adebayo 62),
Grimes, Boyle?, Dawson, Morrell, Winchester,
Joe Rodon, Joe Rodon, Chatzitheodoridis (Sellars
62), Pell, Eisa (Odelusi 62). Subs not used
Atangana, Bower, Lovett, Onariase.
Att 3,352. Ref David Webb (County Durham).
Peterborough (0) 0
?Dion Dublin and Jason Roberts remember Cyrille Regis before
West Brom?s game against Southampton at the Hawthorns
21
Mansfield
(1) 3 Barnet
(0) 1
MacDonald 42
Akinola 87
Atkinson 55, Rose 70
Mansfield Logan, Anderson, Bennett, Pearce,
Benning, MacDonald, Atkinson (Potter 90),
Byrom, Hamilton, Hemmings (Miller 85), Rose
(Spencer 83). Subs not used Digby, Olejnik,
King, Penney.
Barnet Ross, Brindley, Santos, Clough, Tutonda,
Weston (Nicholson 75), Watson, Nicholls (Jack
Taylor 79), Ruben Bover, Akinde, Coulthirst
(Akinola 59). Subs not used Legg, Plavotic,
Vilhete, Sule.
Att 3,795. Ref Scott Oldham (Lancashire).
Notts County (2) 4 Crewe
(1) 1
Husin 15, Hewitt 41 60 Miller 8
Bennett 89
Notts County Collin, Hunt, Duffy, Brisley, Jones,
Alessandra, Husin? (Noble 78), Hewitt, Grant,
Stead (Smith 88), Ameobi (Bennett 61). Subs
not used Pindroch, Walker, Milsom, Hall.
Crewe Garratt, Nolan?, Raynes, Walker (Kirk
73), Pickering (McKirdy 61), Sterry, Lowery
(Barlaser 53), Green, Ainley, Bowery, Miller. Subs
not used Ray, Finney, Reilly, Jaaskelainen.
Att 17,274. Ref Kevin Johnson (Somerset).
Port Vale
(0) 0 Morecambe
(0) 0
Port Vale Lainton, Gibbons, Raglan, Smith, Jules
(Pugh 51), Kay? (Wilson 78), Tonge, Worrall,
Hannant, Whitfield (Forrester 46), Pope. Subs
not used Howe, Davis, Harness, Boot.
Morecambe Nizic, Lavelle, Kenyon, Winnard,
McGowan, Fleming (Wildig 83), Thompson
(McGurk 83), Rose, Brough, Wylde, Oliver
(Ellison 74). Subs not used Campbell, Lund,
Maher, Hedley.
Att 3,968. Ref Ben Toner (Lancashire).
Wycombe
(2) 4 Carlisle
(0) 3
Bloomfield 28
Grainger 49pen
O?Nien 31
Devitt 68
Bean 90
Stockton 70
Cowan-Hall 90
Wycombe Brown, Gape (McGinley 82), El-Abd,
Scarr, Jacobson (Mackail-Smith 82), Bean,
O?Nien?, Bloomfield, Cowan-Hall, Akinfenwa,
Tyson (Kashket 74). Subs not used De Havilland,
Freeman, Thompson, Makabu-Makalamby.
Carlisle Bonham?, Brown, Hill (Campbell-Ryce
46), Parkes?, Liddle, Grainger, Twardek? (Hope
78), Devitt, Jones, Joyce (Etuhu 34), Stockton.
Subs not used Bennett, Gray, Lambe, Nadesan.
Yeovil
(0) 2 Cambridge Utd (0) 0
Smith 54, Fisher 84
Yeovil Krysiak, James?, Sowunmi, Nathan
Smith, Dickson, Gray, Santos, Wing, Green
(Browne 70), Zoko (Fisher 84), Surridge (Seager
61). Subs not used Bird, Maddison, Whelan,
Donnellan.
Cambridge Utd Forde, Halliday, Taft, Taylor,
Dunk, Jevani Brown, O?Neil (Maris 67), Deegan,
Phillips (Carroll 67), Waters, Ikpeazu. Subs not
used Azeez, Mitov, Lewis, Davies, Darling.
Att 2,569. Ref Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire).
P W D L F A GD Pts
Celtic
26 18 6 2 54 18 +36 60
Aberdeen
26 16 4 6 43 29 +14 52
Rangers
25 14 4 7 46 28 +18 46
Hibernian
26 12 8 6 36 30 +6 44
Hearts
26 9 10 7 27 23 +4 37
Kilmarnock
23 7 8 8 27 31 -4 29
Motherwell
25 8 5 12 31 36 -5 29
St Johnstone
23 7 5 11 22 34 -12 26
Dundee
25 7 4 14 26 38 -12 25
Partick
25 6 6 13 24 41 -17 24
Hamilton
24 6 5 13 31 42 -11 23
Ross County
26 5 5 16 28 45 -17 20
Aberdeen
(1) 3 Hamilton
(0) 0
Considine 24 87
McGinn 80
Aberdeen Woodman, Logan, O?Connor,
McKenna, Considine, McLean, Shinnie (Ball 86),
McGinn, Christie, Mackay-Steven (Nwakali 63),
Rooney (Maynard 82). Subs not used Reynolds,
Stewart, Arnason, Rogers.
Hamilton Woods, Gogic, Tomas, Want, Skondras
(Hughes 84), Lyon, Sarris?, Redmond (Cunningham
61), McMann, Ferguson, Ogboe (Rojano 69). Subs
not used Miller, Scott, Fulton, Tierney.
Att 13,531. Ref Euan Anderson (Scotland).
Dundee
(0) 1 Ross County
(0) 4
Waddell 57
Keillor-Dunn 49
Schalk 61 64, Chow 90
Dundee Parish, Kerr, Waddell, O?Dea, Holt (El
Bakhtaoui 90), O?Hara, McGowan, Kamara (Deacon
78), Leitch-Smith, Haber (Spence 54), Murray. Subs
not used Lambert, Malherbe, Aurtenetxe, Kusunga.
Ross County Fox, Naismith, Soutar?, Fontaine,
Fraser, Kait, O?Brien (Chow 71), Routis, KeillorDunn, Ngog (Curran 78), Schalk (McKay 82). Subs
not used Gardyne, Dow, McCarey, Melbourne.
Att 4,971. Ref John Beaton (Scotland).
Hearts
(0) 1 St Johnstone
(0) 0
Milinkovic 46
Hearts McLaughlin, Randall (Michael Smith?
46), Souttar?, Berra, Mitchell?, Adao?
(Buaben 65), Amankwaa (McDonald 71), Djoum,
Naismith, Milinkovic, Lafferty. Subs not used
Irving, Hughes, Hamilton, Henderson.
St Johnstone Mannus, Shaughnessy, Anderson
(Alston 66), Kerr?, Foster, Davidson, Willock
(Craig 74), Wotherspoon?, Tanser, Johnstone
(MacLean 77), Kane. Subs not used McClean,
Scougall, Watson, Hurst.
Att 16,197. Ref Andrew Dallas (Scotland).
Kilmarnock
(0) 1 Celtic
(0) 0
Mulumbu 70
Kilmarnock MacDonald, O?Donnell, Broadfoot?,
Greer?, Taylor, McKenzie, Dicker, Mulumbu?,
Jones (Findlay 90), Brophy? (Erwin 81), Kris
Boyd (Tshibola 65). Subs not used Fasan,
Simpson, Kiltie, Frizzell.
Celtic De Vries, Hendry?, Boyata (Bitton 11), Ajer
(Sinclair 35), Eboue? (Edouard 70), Brown?,
Forrest, Ntcham, Musonda, Tierney, Demb閘�.
Subs not used Gamboa, Bain, McGregor, Miller.
Att 10,702. Ref Kevin Clancy (Scotland).
Motherwell
(0) 1 Partick
(0) 1
Ciftci 79
Doolan 53
Motherwell Carson, Kipre, Aldred, Dunne,
Cadden (Petravicius 88), McHugh?, Campbell,
Hendrie (Tait? 46), Tanner (Frear 55), Main, Ciftci.
Subs not used Grimshaw, Bigirimana, Griffiths, Rose.
Partick Cerny, Dumbuya?, Keown, Cargill,
McGinn?, Woods, Osman?, Barton, Edwards?,
Storey, Doolan (Spittal 84). Subs not used
Erskine, Scully, Devine, Penrice, McCarthy.
Att 4,607. Ref Nick Walsh (Scotland).
Rangers
Goss 73
(0) 1
Hibernian
(1) 2
McGinn 41
Maclaren 75pen
Rangers Foderingham, Tavernier, Bates, Martin,
John, Holt (Cummings? 71), Goss, Candeias?
(Docherty 71), Windass, Murphy, Morelos?.
Subs not used Fabio Cardoso, Dodoo, Herrera,
Hodson, Alnwick.
Hibernian Marciano, Bartley?, Porteous?,
Ambrose?, Stevenson?, Boyle, Allan (Shaw
78), McGinn?, McGeouch, Barker (Maclaren 7),
Kamberi?, Maclaren (Swanson 90). Subs not
used Bell, Rherras, Murray, Mackie.
Att 49,986. Ref William Collum (Scotland).
Championship
P W D L F A GD Pts
St Mirren
24 17 3 4 45 24 +21 54
Dundee Utd
22 12 4 6 30 26 +4 40
Livingston
22 11 6 5 36 25 +11 39
Morton
22 9 7 6 32 22 +10 34
Dunfermline
23 9 6 8 39 28 +11 33
Queen of South 23 9 6 8 37 33 +4 33
Inverness CT
23 8 6 9 30 28 +2 30
Falkirk
23 5 8 10 24 38 -14 23
Dumbarton
22 4 8 10 15 30 -15 20
Brechin
22 0 4 18 17 51 -34 4
Dumbarton P Brechin P; Falkirk 1 Livingston 3;
Morton 2 Dunfermline 1; Inverness P Dundee Utd
P; St Mirren 2 Queen of the South 0
League One
P W D L F A GD Pts
Raith
23 15 5 3 46 19 +27 50
Ayr
24 15 3 6 64 32 +32 48
Arbroath
22 11 4 7 42 30 +12 37
Alloa
22 10 5 7 34 27 +7 35
Stranraer
24 10 5 9 39 41 -2 35
East Fife
24 9 3 12 36 42 -6 30
Airdrieonians
23 7 8 8 31 39 -8 29
Albion
22 6 4 12 44 53 -9 22
Forfar
24 6 3 15 25 51 -26 21
Queen?s Park
24 4 6 14 26 53 -27 18
Arbroath 1 Albion 0; Ayr 1 Alloa 2; Forfar 0
Airdrieonians 1; Queen?s Park 1 Raith 3;
Stranraer 0 East Fife 2
League Two
P W D L F A GD Pts
Montrose
24 15 5 4 35 24 +11 50
Peterhead
22 15 1 6 56 27 +29 46
Stenhousemuir 22 11 5 6 39 27 +12 38
Stirling
22 11 3 8 42 29 +13 36
Elgin
22 10 3 9 36 39 -3 33
Annan Athletic 23 8 8 7 28 21 +7 32
Berwick
22 7 3 12 19 41 -22 24
Clyde
21 5 8 8 27 35 -8 23
Edinburgh City 22 5 3 14 20 37 -17 18
Cowdenbeath
22 1 7 14 12 34 -22 10
Annan Athletic 1 Cowdenbeath 1; Clyde 3
Edinburgh City 2; Peterhead 0 Montrose 1;
Stenhousemuir 4 Berwick 0; Stirling 3 Elgin 1
Non League
Vanarama National League
Top eight
P W D L F A GD Pts
Wrexham
32 15 11 6 37 24 +13 56
Macclesfield
31 16 8 7 39 33 +6 56
Aldershot
31 15 10 6 49 32 +17 55
Tranmere
32 15 9 8 51 30 +21 54
Sutton Utd
30 15 7 8 44 35 +9 52
Dover
31 13 12 6 43 26 +17 51
Bromley
31 14 8 9 53 37 +16 50
Boreham Wood 31 13 11 7 45 32 +13 50
AFC Fylde 2 Eastleigh 2; Aldershot P Gateshead P;
Boreham Wood P Maidenhead Utd P; Chester FC P
Dover P; FC Halifax P Dag & Red P; Guiseley 0
Wrexham 2; Hartlepool P Leyton Orient P;
Maidstone Utd P Macclesfield P; Solihull Moors P
Bromley P; Sutton Utd P Woking P; Torquay 3
Barrow 1; Tranmere 3 Ebbsfleet United 0.
Vanarama North
Top eight
P W D L F A GD Pts
Salford City
28 19 4 5 50 28 +22 61
Harrogate Town 28 17 5 6 66 35 +31 56
Brackley
27 14 10 3 48 24 +24 52
Spennymoor Town26 14 6 6 52 40 +12 48
Kidderminster 27 12 10 5 49 29 +20 46
York
29 13 7 9 54 43 +11 46
Blyth Spartans 28 14 1 13 58 49 +9 43
Bradford P A
27 11 7 9 43 33 +10 40
Brackley P Boston Utd P; Chorley P Spennymoor
Town P; Curzon Ashton P Gainsborough P;
Darlington 3 Blyth Spartans 0; Harrogate Town P
Alfreton Town P; Kid?minster P Stockport County
P; N Ferriby Utd 1 Leamington 1; Nuneaton 1 Utd
of Man 0; Salford City P Bradford PA P; Southport
P AFC Telford P; Tamworth 1 York 1.
Vanarama South
Top eight
Dartford
Hampton & R
Havant and W
St Albans
Hemel H
Braintree Town
Chelmsford
Truro City
P
29
28
26
28
28
29
28
26
W D
15 8
13 11
13 8
13 8
13 8
12 10
12 9
12 7
L
6
4
5
7
7
7
7
7
F
58
39
43
51
45
53
43
46
A GD Pts
35 +23 53
24 +15 50
22 +21 47
35 +16 47
31 +14 47
40 +13 46
29 +14 45
33 +13 43
Bath C 2 Hampton & R 0; Bognor Regis L Truro C L;
Chelmsford 2 Chip?ham 0; Concord Rs 2 Oxford C
1; Eastbourne B 4 Hungerford 1; Gloucester 2
Poole T 2; Havant and W 0 Braintree Tn 0; St Albans
4 Dartford 0; Wealdstone P Welling P; Whitehawk 5
Weston-S-Mare 1.
Other football
THE FA TROPHY THIRD ROUND
Brackley 3 Sutton Utd 1; Dover 3 Leyton Orient 4;
Harrogate Tn 2 Billericay 2; Maidenhead Utd 1
Stockport Co 1; Maidstone Utd 2 Gateshead 2;
Spennymoor Town 1 East Thurrock 1; Wealdstone
2 Warrington Tn 1; Workington 1 Bromley 1.
EVO-STIK SOUTHERN PREMIER
Banbury 5 Gosport B 0; Biggleswade Tn 1
Basingstoke 2; Bishop?s Stortford 4 St Ives Tn 3;
Dorchester 1 Kings Langley 0; Farnborough 2
Hereford 4; Kings Lynn Tn 5 Dunstable 0; Merthyr
Tn 0 Weymouth 3; Redditch 2 Hitchin 2; Royston
Tn 4 Kettering 3; St Neots Tn 3 Chesham 1;
Stratford Tn 1 Frome Tn 2; Tiverton 3 Slough 0.
BOSTIK PREMIER
Billericay P Harlow P; Burgess Hill Tn 2 Hendon 4;
Dorking Wanderers P Harrow Borough P; Dulwich
0 Met Police 0; Folkestone Invicta 3 Brightlingsea
Regent 2; Kingstonian 0 Tooting & Mitcham 1;
Leiston 2 Worthing 3; Margate 1 Lowestoft Town
0; Needham Market 4 Tonbridge Angels 2;
Staines Town 4 Merstham 2; Thurrock 3 Enfield
Town 1; Wingate & Finchley 3 Leatherhead 1.
EVO-STIK NORTHERN PREMIER
Altrincham P Mickleover Sports P; Barwell 2
Buxton 1; Coalville Town 0 Nantwich Tn 3;
Farsley Celtic 1 Hednesford 3; Grantham 1 Witton
Albion 1; Marine 1 Stafford Rs 1; Matlock Town 4
Lancaster City 3; Rushall Olympic P Ashton Utd P;
Stalybridge 1 Sutton Coldfield Tn 1; Whitby 5
Halesowen 0; Stourbridge 1 Shaw Lane 1.
PRESS & JOURNAL HIGHLAND LEAGUE
Cove Rangers 3 Formartine Utd 2; Deveronvale 1
Fraserburgh 4; Fort William 1 Clachnacuddin 1;
Huntly 2 Nairn County 3; Rothes 3 Keith 2; Turriff
Utd 1 Strathspey Th 2; Buckie Th 1 Wick Ac 3.
FERRARI PACKAGING LOWLAND LEAGUE
BSC Glasgow 2 Vale Of Leithen 0; Edinburgh Univ
2 Dalbeattie Star 2; Edusport Academy P Stirling
University P; Gala Fairydean L East Stirling L;
Gretna 2008 L Whitehill Welfare L; Hawick Royal
Albert L Civil Service L; Spartans L E Kilbride L.
?
22
The Observer
04.02.18
Sport
Extra Time
Programme Notes
POPPERFOTO/GETTY IMAGES
?The
Manchester
United team
prepare to board
their plane at
Manchester?s
Ringway airport
for the journey
to Belgrade in
February 1958.
The trip ended
tragically when
the plane crashed
at Munich on the
return flight
How the Munich disaster
changed football writing
Roger Domeneghetti
recalls the eight
reporters who died
that tragic night
60 years ago
Look out for
Newport?s
ground
hopper
Other than going to a game
newspapers were emphatically still
the place for fans to get their football
fix, something demonstrated by
the fact there were 11 pressmen on
Manchester United?s fateful flight
from Belgrade in February 1958.
Print journalists accounted for a
quarter of the 44 passengers and
crew when the plane crashed in
Munich.
In the 1950s Manchester was
the Other Fleet Street, the national
press?s gateway to the north of
England, Scotland and Ireland.
prestigious sporting venues. Ten
years ago he played cricket at Lord?s.
Mickey Demetriou, who?s he?
A Newport County defender who is
on course to complete a rare double.
How did Demetriou wind up playing
cricket at Lord?s? Security must have
been lax that night.
Not at all. He was an all-rounder for
his local Sussex team, Findon, who
reached the ?nal of the National Village
Cup. He did not bat and his team lost
by six wickets to the Yorkshire club
Woodhouse Grange ? but he did bowl a
few overs on the hallowed ground.
Whisky with a custard chaser?
Ha, clever, no. Demetriou is set to
play at Wembley on Wednesday
when his team contest their FA
Cup fourth-round replay against
Tottenham. By doing so he will have
performed an unlikely double by
playing at two of England?s most
He?s a modern-day CB Fry!
That?s going a bit far; Fry never got to
play at Wembley. He did play football
for England in 1901, adding that feat
to his Test centuries and his world
long jump record, and he also turned
out for Southampton in the 1902
FA Cup ?nal. But his timing was all
With the league champions on their
doorstep, journalists in the city were
eager to travel with United as they
tried to improve on their run to
the European Cup semi-finals the
previous season.
Just as United lost eight players
in the crash, the Manchester press
corps lost eight journalists. They
were Alf Clarke of the Manchester
Evening Chronicle, Donny Davies of
the Manchester Guardian, George
Follows of the Daily Herald, Tom
Jackson of the Manchester Evening
News, Archie Ledbrooke of the Daily
Mirror, Henry Rose of the Daily
Express, Eric Thompson of the Daily
Mail and Frank Swift of the News of
the World.
The three surviving newspaper
men were Ted Ellyard and Peter
Howard, the Daily Mail?s telegraphist
wrong. Wembley, the original, was not
built until 1923 and Fry?s ?nal was at
Crystal Palace.
So Demetriou?s achievement will be
unique?
Rare, not unique. Several others
have done it, notably Les and Dennis
Compton, who, on top of illustrious
cricket careers that included winning
the 1947 County Championship
with Middlesex were part of the
Arsenal side that beat Liverpool in
the 1950 FA Cup ?nal. Indeed, Les?s
performance at Wembley that day
even earned him an England call-up,
leading to him making his international
debut at the age of 38.
At only 27 Demetriou could still rise
higher, then.
Of course. He has already surpassed
and photographer respectively, and
Frank Taylor, who was severely
injured but eventually went back to
work at the News Chronicle. In his
book The Day a Team Died Taylor
recalled how before take-off he
turned to the other writers to tell
them there were plenty of seats at
the front where he was sitting but
they stayed at the back where most
of the fatalities爋ccurred.
The Busby Babes had achieved
much before they were decimated
and it?s likely they would have
achieved considerably more;
their best years were still ahead.
The journalists who died were
cut down in their prime, giants
of a competitive but close-knit
profession with decades of
experience between them.
Contemporaries talk of HD Davies
in the same breath as the legendary
cricket writer Neville Cardus, who
like Davies wrote for the Manchester
Guardian. But the doyen was Rose,
the most-read football writer the
Daily Express ever had.
When he reported on a game the
paper would put up placards around
the ground saying: ?Henry Rose is
here today,? to advertise the fact. It
meant it was the biggest match of
the day and in Manchester the crowd
would chant those words and greet
Rose?s arrival with cheers. Taylor
acknowledged Rose was not the
Rose was not
the greatest
of writers but
?he knew what
the man in the
four-ale bar
was angry about?
the expectations of those who
saw him toiling as a striker for
non-league Bognor Regis Town in his
early football career. After that he
went to Glenn Hoddle?s academy in
Spain and converted into a defender
before returning to England and
working his way up the pyramid, from
?Mickey Demetriou played at Lord?s
in 2007 and on Wednesday faces Spurs
greatest of writers but ?he knew what
the man in the four-ale bar was angry
about and that?s what he gave them?.
Rose picked up on a mood and wrote
it through football, an approach that
would serve those who followed well.
After the crash Manchester came
together to grieve, yet it was not
one of the players? funerals that
drew the most mourners but Rose?s.
Four thousand people attended and
Manchester?s 1,000-strong force of
taxis, none of their meters running,
drove them along the six-mile
procession route from the Daily
Express building on Great Ancoats
Street to Manchester?s Southern
Cemetery. Crowds 10 deep lined the
way to watch the cortege pass.
The aftermath also had an impact
on the approach to reporting
football. The tragedy occupied front
pages for days, becoming the first
story to persuade news editors sport
could have genuine news value.
The disaster also indirectly led
to quotes becoming a key part of
match reports. News reporters
such as David Meek, the Manchester
Evening News? political leader writer,
were switched to sport. They treated
matches like they would any other
event and began to ask experts, such
as managers, for quotes to add to
their pieces. This innovation stuck
and was accelerated, first in the
early 1960s by Match of the Day and
then by the tabloid revolution that
swept through Fleet Street at the
end of the 1960s.
Yet despite these innovations
this was a human tragedy. As well
as being devastating for United,
6 February 1958 was the day that
football writing lost most of its star
players, too.
An edited extract from Roger
Domeneghetti?s From the Back Page
to the Front Room: Football?s Journey
Through the English Media
Eastbourne Borough to Shrewsbury
Town, Kidderminster Harriers and
now Newport.
These seem to be boom times for
graduates of Hoddles? academy.
Yes. Sam Clucas scored two goals in
Swansea?s victory over Arsenal on
Monday and Jordan Hugill has just
joined West Ham from Preston.
Pity that Spurs are going to ruin the
fairy tale by thrashing Newport.
Folk said something similar before
the ?rst match at Rodney Parade but
the League Two team gave Spurs a
real jolt. Even Mauricio Pochettino
conceded he was thankful to escape
with a 1-1 draw. Demetriou subdued
Harry Kane for most of that match
until the England striker snatched a
late equaliser.
?
?Brian Clough conducts proceedings
with the help of a badminton racket
as � man Trevor Francis looks on
The Observer
04.02.18
23
From the Archive
9 February 1979
Forest sign
Britain's
first �
footballer
Trevor Francis and his Welsh wife,
Helen, live quietly in a luxurious
house in Balsall Common, in the
Warwickshire countryside. His chief
pleasures are listening to his 250 LP
records, going to the occasional rock
concert and playing snooker: he
has a regular weekly match with his
friend Jeff Lynn, of the Electric Light
Orchestra band. He drives a Jaguar
XJ6. Although he is a modest, quietly
spoken and unassuming man, he
is a hard bargainer when it comes
to money, as he showed when he
forced Brian Clough to back down
and allow him to play in the United
States during the summer.
The contrast between his social
habits and those of other earlier
stars, such as George Best, was a
substantial attraction for Clough,
the manager of Nottingham Forest,
who believes that genius is fine so
long as it is subservient to his own.
?Trevor Francis needs me,? Clough
told the Daily Express modestly
during the week, ?as much as an
astronaut needs oxygen.?
Nevertheless, Clough has had
to relent in one way to capture
PA ARCHIVE
Hugh McIlvanney and Ronald Atkin
Francis: modifying his strong views
on American football. During a
televised awards night last spring
Clough told Francis: ?You?d be far
better off sunbathing and relaxing
in Spain than you would be playing
in America.? On Friday, however,
Francis revealed: ?If I want to go to
America I am free to do so. It will be
up to me to make the decision but it
is there whenever I want it.?
Clough refused to discuss the
speculation that he has done a deal
with Jimmy Hill?s Detroit Express.
By allowing Francis to go to Detroit,
with whom he spent last summer,
Clough would satisfy the player?s
ambitions and doubtless Forest
would be generously compensated.
The cash would go towards
meeting Francis?s wages ? although
it is thought his wages will not be
much more than the �0 a week he
was getting at Birmingham. The jam
on his bread and butter will come
from the initial �,000 he is due
as 5% of the transfer fee, and also
from Forest?s lavish bonus system,
reputed to offer about �000 per
player per point over 50 in the First
Division. Last season they finished
with 64 points in winning the
title. With bonuses for three cup
Agenda
?Keira Walsh
of Manchester
City Ladies (left)
and Chelsea
Ladies? Crystal
Dunn turn from
the WSL to the
Women?s FA Cup
The week ahead
The big guns of women?s football
join the SSE Women?s FA Cup fray
today for the fourth round, with the
holders and WSL 1 frontrunners,
Manchester City, starting their
defence of the Cup with a visit to
second-tier Brighton?s Culver Road
ground. Other highlights include
Arsenal ? 14-times winners ?
heading west to Yeovil, while the
2015 winners, Chelsea, are in a
crosstown derby at London Bees.
City?s match may again provide a
chance to shine for their 18-year-old
goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck, who
played such a pivotal role in the
goalless draw in midweek against
Chelsea. Her big moment came
just爐hree minutes into that match
when Karen Bardsley had to go
off with an injured shoulder.
Roebuck pulled off a string of saves,
including a match-saving stop to
deny Drew Spence. The Sheffieldborn stopper爏igned professional
JUSTIN SETTERFIELD/GETTY IMAGES
Women?s FA Cup
Roebuck back in action
forms for City only last week and
even made her Champions League
debut爀arlier in the campaign.
Munich 1958
The rebuilding of United
There are contrasting, albeit timely,
documentaries on the BBC this
week. Daniel Taylor wrote about the
Munich disaster?s long shadow in
these pages last week and, opposite,
we look at the effect on the media,
in the short and long term. But in
the immediate aftermath, as they
coped with tragedy, Manchester
United also had to return to playing
football, starting with a 3-0 FA Cup
win against Sheffield Wednesday
a fortnight after the crash. A BBC
Radio Five documentary, After
Munich: How They Rebuilt United
(tomorrow, 9pm), tells the story after
the tragedy, with Mark Chapman
delving into the archives and
hearing from the unsung heroes
involved in rebuilding the club.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the
Six Nations justifies another outing
for Shane: For the Love of the Game,
a look at how the former Wales and
Lions wing Shane Williams has
been spending his retirement. After
91 Tests and 60 tries, he was after
a break ? but, as the programme
discovers, the more he attempts to
competitions available as well, there
is little doubt that Francis will be the
biggest earner in British soccer.
In May 1979 Francis scored the only
goal as Forest beat Malm� to win the
European Cup, then spent the summer
with Detroit. He joined Manchester
City for �2m in September 1981
Said & Done returns next week
get away from rugby the more it
pulls him back in. The programme
is on BBC One from 11.15pm,
depending on your location.
Winter Olympics
Korean relations warm up
The Winter Olympics are previewed
elsewhere in Observer Sport, but
perhaps it is worth noting here a
heartening moment set for Friday?s
opening ceremony in Pyeongchang
when North and South Korea are
planning to march together under
a unified flag. Considering the
disturbing escalation of
nuclear tensions across the
demilitarised zone of late,
this promises to be a distinct
thawing of hostilities
between the爊eighbours
who will compete with a joint
women?s ice hockey team.
They will have to wrap up,
though, since the ceremony takes
place in the new 35,000-seat
Olympic Stadium, which has no roof
and might be too cold to endure.
Temperatures could plummet to
minus 14C and there are fears of
hypothermia among spectators and
paraders. North and South Korea
could end up fighting the cold
instead of each other. Andy Martin
?
24
The Observer
04.02.18
Winter Olympics
Pyeongchang 2018
?I?d often cry in
training whereas
now I?m more
able to recognise
what it will take
emotionally to
get through?
Lizzy Yarnold still
feels the tension
even as a champion,
she tells Sean Ingle
Sometimes when Lizzy Yarnold is
hurtling down a skeleton track at
85mph her mind wanders ever so
slightly and she notices the smells
wafting from the stands or a flag
in her peripheral vision, even as
the corners loom and then whoosh
past at frightening speeds. Almost
always, something else happens,
too: her jaw locks with tension.
?My mouth becomes fixed and
open almost like in a scare mask,?
she says, laughing. ?It?s really weird.
And then I have to tell myself after
about three corners: ?OK, Lizzy, you
can relax, it?s fine ? it?s OK.? There?s a
lot of self-talk going on.?
Years ago Yarnold would try to
eat a protein chocolate bar at the
end of each run, only to find herself
unable to chew it properly because
her jaw was so sore. ?I couldn?t work
out why for ages,? she says. ?Then
suddenly I understood. I guess it
is because I?m so focused, looking
through my eyebrows with my eyes
right down.?
Yarnold knows all about tension.
Four years ago in Sochi she had
the nation?s expectations on her
shoulders but produced four
impeccable runs to win Britain?s
ON OTHER PAGES
North and South Korea give peace
a chance at the Winter Games
Main section, page 46
Cycling
UCI chief
calls on
Team Sky
to suspend
Froome
Martha Kelner
only gold medal. This time she has
the weight of history on her back,
too, as she seeks to become the first
Briton to retain a Winter Olympic
title. Already the self-talk is kicking
in. Relax, she tells herself. You?ve
got爐his.
On the surface the 28-year-old
has not enjoyed the smoothest of
seasons and is ranked ninth in the
World Cup standings. A third-place
finish in her last race in K鰊igsee
a fortnight ago has given her the
confidence to think everything is
coming together just at the right
time. ?I?m absolutely going full
force towards Pyeongchang and I
can?t wait to get out there,? she says,
before pointing out that she is lifting
heavier weights in the gym than
four years ago and feeling mentally
stronger, too.
?In the past I would often cry in
a training session, whereas now
I?m much more able to recognise
what it will take emotionally and
physically to get through and ?
more importantly ? peak at the right
point,? she says.
Mental toughness matters. ?I?ve
slept in my own bed at home I
think three times since 1 October,?
she says. ?So it?s about stamina,
enjoying it, and bringing my A game
when it counts.?
It helps that Yarnold has form
at the Pyeongchang track, having
finished fourth in the test event last
year ? but she is expecting a much
harder challenge compared with
Sochi. ?It?s definitely more technical,?
she says. ?In Sochi you would do a
corner then you could relax on the
next one, focus on the next corner,
relax. Whereas in Pyeongchang
there?s no time to rest.?
While Yarnold believes she
Chris Froome could yet be
provisionally suspended by the UCI,
the sport?s world governing body, as
prominent figures for a swift resolution to his anti-doping case.
The UCI retains the right to immediately suspend the four-times Tour
de France winner from riding despite
comments from the governing
body?s president, David Lappartient,
suggesting that the UCI had not considered the option.
The Frenchman called on Team Sky
to suspend Froome, who failed an
anti-doping test during the Vuelta a
Espa馻 last September, where he was
found to have double the permitted
level of the asthma drug salbutamol
in his system.
He suggested the action to avoid
Froome?s presence overshadowing
upcoming races. The 32-year-old
plans to compete this month for the
ALEX LIVESEY/GETTY IMAGES
?My jaw locks
? it looks like
a scare mask?
?Skeleton queen Lizzy Yarnold says it?s about bringing her ?A game? when it counts
Winter?s coming A quick guide
When do the Games
start? O?cially on
Friday, although
some events begin on
Thursday, including
the USA v Olympic
Athletes from Russia in
the mixed curling.
How many athletes are
Britain sending? 59,
making it Team GB?s
largest Winter Olympic
squad.
How many medals are
Team GB hoping for?
Five, the same as in
Sochi four years ago.
But if all goes well UK
Sport believes they can
win as many as 10.
Which Brits should
we watch out for?
Elise Christie, a world
champion short track
speed skater, has
strong chances in the
500m, 1,000m and
1500m. The women?s
curlers, led by Eve
Muirhead, are well
touted. Then there?s
Lizzy Yarnold (see
above) and Laura Daes
in the skeleton and
first time since an investigation by the
Guardian and the French newspaper
Le Monde revealed his failed test.
Team Sky have no intention of
suspending Froome and according
to the UCI?s own rules it can impose a
provisional ban when there has been
an adverse analytical finding.
However, there is no precedent for
the UCI taking this course of action
in a salbutamol case or one involving
any other specified substance.
Froome, who denies any
wrongdoing, won a bronze medal for
Great Britain at the World Time Trial
Championships last year, after he was
made aware of his adverse finding.
He has already stated his intention
to ride in the Giro d?Italia and go for a
fifth Tour de France title. His training
has continued and in the next few
days he will decide whether to ride
the Ruta del Sol in Spain or Portugal?s
snowboarders James
Woods and Izzy Atkins.
What else is worth
watching? The
18-year-old Russian
?gure skater Evgenia
Medvedeva should
delight crowds, while
US skier Lindsey
Vonn, who returns
after multiple injuries,
will attract plenty of
attention.
Where can I watch
the action? The BBC is
showing 200 hours of
live coverage.
?Chris Froome failed a drug test last
September but is aiming to race in
Spain or Portugal this month
has kicked on from Sochi, others
have, too ? and at a faster rate. Her
team-mate, Laura Daes, in her first
Olympics, is ranked seventh in the
world, while the brilliant German,
Jacqueline L鰈ling, who turns 23 this
week, is a strong favourite for gold.
?The field has completely changed,?
says Yarnold. ?People have realised
how important that first explosion
of velocity is at the start.?
There is also the potential of a
late wildcard contender as Elena
Nikitina, who took bronze in Sochi,
was one of the 28 Russians who had
a lifetime Olympic ban overturned
by the court of arbitration for
sport on Thursday. She could
yet appeal to the International
Olympic Committee to get a place in
Pyeongchang.
Yarnold has been one of the
strongest advocates for a ban on
Russians implicated in doping in
Sochi, but for now there can be no
distractions: her entire focus is on
her first run on Friday week. As she
makes her final preparations, she
coyly suggests that some behindthe-scenes innovations by the
English Institute of Sport could yet
help her get back on the podium.
?We don?t get hold of the technical
innovations until the Olympics and
as soon as we finish competing it all
disappears into someone?s bag and
is taken away,? she says. ?But that
innovation on the equipment side is
where we can make massive gains.?
So is it a bit like James Bond,
with you meeting a Q-like figure
who says if you press this button,
the German sled in front blows up?
?Yeah, it?s kind of a bit like that,?
she says, laughing away. ?I can?t say
anything more because I?d have to
kill you.?
Volta ao Algarve, which both start on
14 February.
But prominent riders and race
organisers have voiced their displeasure at the case dragging on.
At the same time, Team Sky and
Froome are seeking to explain the
finding through laboratory testing that they hope will show a
legitimate physiological reason for
the failed爐est.
The Giro d?Italia race director,
Mauro Vegni, called for clarity. ?On
the Froome case we await the next
steps of the UCI, especially the
application presented by Team Sky,?
he said.
?As the organisers of the Giro
d?Italia, we don?t want to stick our
noses in, but we want a certification
by the UCI that will allow the
rider to be at the start of the next
Giro燿?Italia.?
xthree (16-1); 3燤orning With Ivan
(5-1 Jt Fav). 5-1 Jt Fav Kalaniti. 13 ran. NR: Jamacho.
4.20: 1燱onderful Charm (30-100 Fav), Mr燬燱aley-Cohen
(P F Nicholls); 2燱inged Crusader (12-1);
3燝allery Exhibition (11-2). 6 ran.
WETHERBY
1.00: 1燬hambra (6-5 Fav), Maxime燭issier (L Wadham);
2燦orthern Beau (5-1); 3燞ijran (20-1). 6 ran.
1.35: 1燤ercian Prince (7-2), J燪uinlan (A Murphy);
2燩ain Au Chocolat (33-1); 3燢ayf Blanco (11-4 Fav). 8 ran.
2.10: 1燫obin Waters (4-9 Fav), Harry燬kelton (D Skelton);
2燙oningsby (9-4); 3燨nly Orvieto (20-1). 4 ran.
2.40: 1燘allyoptic (5-2 Jt Fav), Thomas燘ellamy
(N A Twiston-Davies); 2燰intage Clouds (5-2 Jt Fav);
3燬hades Of Midnight (9-1). 6 ran.
3.20: 1燫ed Rising (10-11 Fav), Harry燬kelton (D Skelton);
2燘ryden Boy (18-1); 3燜lorrie Knox (5-2). 7 ran.
Lindsey Vonn provided another
timely reminder that she will still
be a force to be reckoned with at the
Pyeongchang Olympics by winning
a shortened downhill at Garmisch,
the 80th World Cup win of her
career. The four-times overall World
Cup winner pipped the Italian
Sofia Goggia by 0.02sec to win her
third World Cup race of the season.
Austria?s Cornelia H黷ter was third,
0.13 behind Vonn.
It was a second successive
downhill win for the 33-year-old
American ? gold medallist in the
event at the Vancouver Games in
2010 ? after Cortina two weeks ago.
Vonn?s compatriot Jacqueline
Wiles was taken to hospital by
helicopter after a nasty crash and
there was no immediate news on
her condition. Laurenne Ross,
another American, crashed into a
flag but got up and walked away,
Bad weather forced the Thursday
and Friday training sessions to be
cancelled and as downhills cannot
be held without training, organisers
decided to stage a practice run
early爕esterday, followed by a
Reuters
single-leg race.
Awards nominations
Daniel Taylor, whose column
returns later this month, is one
of six Guardian and Observer
journalists to have secured
nominations for the Sports
Journalism Awards. Ta
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