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The Observer Sport — January 14, 2018

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| Sunday 14 January 2018 | www.observer.co.uk/sport
HAIL THE CHIEFS
Exeter blitz Montpellier with five second-half
tries in 19 minutes to run out 41-10 winners P13
SPORT
SOUVENIR
EDITION
I’M READY
Slump still
ill
onta
haunts Konta
sh No1
but British
goes into the
an
Australian
ling
Open feeling
positive P15
■ PLUS ‘MORE PLAYERS HAVE FELT EMBOLDENED TO SPEAK OUT’ DANIEL TAYLOR, PAGE 9
Mourinho:
Too late to
buy the title
PREMIER
LEAGUE
SPURS 4
EVERTON 0
Paul Wilson
José Mourinho does not believe there is
any point in Manchester United throwing money around this month in an effort
to reinvigorate the title race – because
Manchester City are too far ahead.
The United manager was careful not
to rule out a possible move for Alexis
Sánchez – he said an exception to the
club’s normal policy of strengthening in
summer could be made if an outstanding
player became available – but he insists
it is too late for anyone to buy their way
into the title race this season.
“At this stage, I don’t think it’s about
the market,” Mourinho said. “City have
a very comfortable advantage and they
can sit on that; it is the sort of lead that
gives a lot of tranquillity and takes away
the pressure from the guy that comes
behind you. I have been in that situation.
“I don’t think any of the teams near the
top – Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and
ourselves – are thinking they can spend
money this January to close the gap. It’s
not about transfers. It’s about keeping on
winning, getting the maximum number
of points from the remaining games and
seeing what happens.”
United are understood to be willing to
top City’s offer of £20m for Sánchez, out
of contract at Arsenal at the end of the
season, though Pep Guardiola may no
longer be quite as determined to sign an
extra striker with the news that Gabriel
Jesus could be back by the end of the
month. United prefer to do business in
summer and, if Sánchez does end up at
Old Trafford in this window, it will only
mean there is no need to strengthen the
front end of the team in six months.
HARRY
HOTSPUR
Kane strikes twice to become Spurs’
record Premier League goalscorer P2
LUCKY MAN
Harry Kane grabs
his second goal
– but the striker
was fortunate his
first stood after
he appeared to
be offside. Alex
James/JMP/Rex/
Shutterstock
1 2 A
*
Vithushan Ehantharajah
Melbourne
Joe Root has issued a stark warning that
he will take a hard line on those England
players who do not shape up as he looks
to rebuild after relinquishing the Ashes.
Speaking for the first time since Australia
sealed an emphatic 4-0 series win at the
SCG, the Test captain stressed that he
and those around him need to recalibrate
how England can move forward.
Root also said he was prepared to
defy the wish of Trevor Bayliss, the head
coach, that he take a recuperative break
from the game. Root declined to rest for
the forthcoming T20i tri-series against
Australia and New Zealand and believes
that series and the Indian Premier League
are necessary for his development as a
multi-format batsman.
Root said: “I’ve got a period of time
going into the New Zealand series where
I want to get myself clear on how I want
to move forward, along with Trevor and
the support staff, and make sure when
we start that tour there is a clear indication of what direction we’re going to
be going in. If the lads aren’t prepared to
get on board with that then we’ve got to
go with someone different. But I’m sure
everyone will be absolutely 100% in the
same thinking.”
The 27-year-old has been recovering
from the gastroenteritis that kept him
up the night before the last day of the
Sydney Test. While he was able to bat in
the morning after a trip to hospital, he
had to retire on 58 at lunch. It meant his
series finished with 378 runs (the most
for England) and five half-centuries but
no three-figure score.
What time Root had on his sickbed
No rest: Joe Root will play in the T20s and
IPL against coach Trevor Bayliss’s advice
Rodriguez facing
FA investigation
after Bong claim
was spent plotting recovery, which
begins in May with two Tests against
New Zealand. By then, he will have more
clarity on how best to move on and has
urged his team-mates to follow his lead.
Four years ago, after a 5-0 whitewash,
Andy Flower was deposed as coach, Kevin
Pietersen was banished from international cricket and Graeme Swann retired
through injury. Root played the first three
Tests of the 2013-14 tour before being
dropped and is keen to heed the lessons of
this tumultuous period in English cricket.
“Four years ago, one of the big things
was that within two months of the end
of that tour, it was a completely different
team. There were a lot of new faces at the
start of the next Test match. One thing
we learned from that is how important
it is to stay together. You always learn
from experiences when it’s difficult. You
The West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez will
be reported to the Football Association
for a remark allegedly made to the
Brighton defender Gaëtan Bong. Neither
manager would comment on the nature of
Rodriguez’s alleged comment but it was
passed on to the referee, who is obliged to
include in it his report, meaning the matter
will be looked into by the FA.
The incident is thought to have taken
place during the second half of West
Brom’s 2-0 victory. The Brighton manager,
Chris Hughton, said: “Gaëtan Bong has
reported Jay Rodriguez for something that
has been said. The referee is aware of what
the allegations are.
“I am aware of the allegations. All I
can say is it was dealt with in the correct
manner and the nature of the allegations
the FA will deal with.”
Rodriguez denies the claims, according
to his manager, Alan Pardew. “There’s
been an allegation made by the Brighton
full-back,” he said. “I can only say on my
behalf, because I haven’t seen the incident,
knowing Jay Rodriguez I find it very difficult
to understand. Jay Rodriguez claims the
allegation is untrue.”
PA
Continued on page 14
Match report, page 4
Root: commit 100% to new ideas or face axe
Captain wants big
changes after Ashes
Threatens to ‘go with
someone different’
Saving his pennies:
José Mourinho is
not planning to
splash the cash in
the transfer
window, but may
make an exception
for Alexis Sánchez
* 14.01.18
2 | SPORT | Football | Premier League
Kane double sets new Spurs
TOTTENHAM
4
Son 26 Kane 47 59 Eriksen 81
EVERTON
0
Jacob Steinberg
Wembley.
Unfortunately for Cenk Tosun, his first
taste of English football will be remembered for all the wrong reasons from
Everton’s perspective. The Turkish
striker certainly did not disgrace himself
on his debut and his performance was
the only bright spot for Sam Allardyce.
Yet there was little that Tosun could do
about another hopeless away performance from Everton, who collapsed in
the second half, and it was not his fault
that he was reduced to playing second
fiddle to Harry Kane.
Having ended 2017 as Europe’s most
potent striker, Kane shattered yet
another statistic here, scoring twice to
break Teddy Sheringham’s record of 97
Premier League goals for Tottenham
Hotspur. In the process he took his tally
against Everton to four this season, helping his team move level with Liverpool
in fourth place and combining brilliantly
with the waspish Son Heung-min.
The early pattern was predictable.
Tottenham have strained to crack stubborn guests on several occasions this season and it did not come as a shock to find
that Everton were happy to keep men
behind the ball for long spells, allowing
their hosts to have the ball in unthreatening areas. Allardyce had instructed his
team to maintain a disciplined structure
and there was little to concern the visitors during the first 20 minutes, other
than the moment when Son skimmed
the top of the net with a glancing header
from Christian Eriksen’s free-kick.
However, Everton’s approach was
not limited to keeping Tottenham at
arm’s length. Failing to react after selling
Romelu Lukaku last summer has been a
major factor in their muddled campaign,
but the arrival of Tosun from Besiktas
has given them fresh hope. Allardyce
threw his £25m striker straight in at the
deep end, handing him the responsibility of leading the line on his own against
one of the division’s stingiest defences,
and Everton could certainly take encouragement from their new signing’s first
touches in a blue shirt.
Tosun’s speed and movement made
him an elusive opponent for Davinson
Sánchez and he linked dangerously
with Wayne Rooney at times, particularly when he held the ball up to create
a shooting opportunity for the former
England striker in the 16th minute.
Rooney’s strike was rushed, however,
and he was also half a yard offside when
Tosun found him unmarked with a nearpost flick from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s corner
midway through the half. Tottenham
were relieved to see the flag go up as
Rooney’s header flew into the roof of the
net and that scare woke them up. Immediately there was a greater intensity to
their play, with Kane testing Jordan
Pickford’s reflexes with a curling shot
from 18 yards, and they took the lead
with an impressive goal.
Everton had been open down their
left side, with Sigurdsson struggling to
track Serge Aurier’s raids from deep, and
Eriksen took note of that weakness, finding the buccaneering right-back with a
Danish delight: Christian Eriksen
scores Tottenham’s fourth goal to
complete Everton’s misery in a
dominant display by the home side.
Alex James/JMP/Rex/Shutterstock
OFFSIDE, REF? NO LUCK FOR ROONEY BUT KANE OK
22min Sigurdsson curls
a pass into the box, and
Tosun, level with the
right-hand post and 12
yards out, flicks it on.
Rooney, six yards out,
dabs it over Lloris and
into the net – but he’s
rightly flagged for offside.
47min Kane, in the
middle, slams a
sidefooted shot into the
net. It is given as a goal
by the same official,
linesman Lee Betts, but
Kane was a couple of
inches offside. The goal
should not have stood.
‘Bull of War’ Tosun gets sight of future
as he faces biggest battle of his career
Everton striker looks
the part despite having
a challenging debut,
writes Sachin Nakrani
As Cenk Tosun was substituted in the
62nd minute, no doubt disappointed
that his debut as an Everton player
was heading for a heavy defeat,he may
have taken a second to reflect on the
positives and, specifically, how so much
can change in five years. For it was in
February 2013 that Tosun was part of a
Turkey B side that faced England C – a
team made up of semi-professionals
drawn from clubs such as Ebbsfleet,
Welling and Braintree Town – in front
of a modest crowd at Princes Park in
Dartford. Turkey won 1-0 and Tosun
completed the contest but he was poor
and inconsequential. Nobody then
would have predicted he would become
a £27m Premier League forward.
But that is indeed what he became
this month and here he was, in the
colours of a club banking on the
26-year-old’s talents providing them
with a much-needed injection of
potency. Goals – Everton are desperate
for them and Tosun knows how to
get them; 41 in 96 appearances for
Besiktas; eight in 25 for his country’s
senior team. The man whose name
loosely translates as “Bull of War”
has undoubtedly battled his way to
prominence since that dire night in
Dartford.
But now comes arguably the
biggest challenge of Tosun’s career
– establishing himself in a league in
which few other Turkish players have
and for a club who are struggling for
an identity after the most turbulent
of seasons. He is viewed by many
Evertonians as the replacement for
Romelu Lukaku that they have been
craving ever since the Belgian joined
Manchester United in the summer and
who, now Tosun is here, could propel
the club upwards.
Given the expectation, he may
reasonably have hoped for
an easier first opponent.
Tottenham Hotspur arrived
here having won seven of
their past nine matches
and having conceded
just three times since
their 4-1 drubbing
at Manchester City on 16
December. The task facing
Everton’s new No14 was a
formidable one.
Tosun was deployed
by Sam Allardyce as the
lone forward in a 4-2-3-1
formation where he was
supported by an attacking
trio of Yannick Bolasie,
Wayne Rooney and Gylfi
Early exit: Cenk Tosun was
substituted after 62 minutes
superb crossfield pass. Aurier’s delivery
can be patchy but here he drove a low
centre into the middle, enabling Son to
creep between two defenders and emulate Jermain Defoe by becoming the
second Spurs player to score in five consecutive home Premier League games.
Son’s tap-in steadied Tottenham,
though Everton continued to press.
James McCarthy spurned a decent
chance after more good work from
Tosun and Allardyce had seen enough
to believe that his team had a realistic
shot of making it an awkward evening
for Mauricio Pochettino’s players.
Yet Everton’s hopes of reeling in Tottenham lay in tatters two minutes after
the restart. This time Son was the creator, demonstrating his skill and dribbling
ability by twirling away from Jonjoe
Sigurdsson. The same three
players had occupied the same
three roles in the FA Cup
defeat to Liverpool but
the difference now was
that they had a more
experienced focal
point than for the
trip to Anfield when
Dominic CalvertLewin showed great
endeavour but little
genuine threat.
The problem for Everton
at the outset is that they
could not get either the ball
or bodies in blue up to the
new man. Spurs dominated
possession and territory, forcing
their opponents into retreat.
Tosun’s first proper sighting
came on eight minutes when he ran
onto a through pass by Idrissa Gueye
but failed to control the ball and
subsequently fouled Davinson Sánchez.
14.01.18
*
Premier League | Football | SPORT | 3
goal record
Pellegrino dealt a bad
hand by lucky Hornets
WATFORD
2
CALL FOR VAR DOUCOURÉ’S HANDBALL
2
1
Gray 58 Doucouré 90
SOUTHAMPTON
Ward-Prowse 20 44
Amy Lawrence
Vicarage Road
Kenny, rendering the inexperienced
right-back an irrelevance as the move
unfolded. Mason Holgate was unable
to stop Son from fizzing the ball into
the middle, where Kane was waiting to
guide it past Pickford.
Everton had emerged early for the
second half, but how quickly and brutally they were forced to revert to damage limitation. They started to concede
possession with alarming regularity in
midfield, creating problems for themselves, and Allardyce was giving in to the
inevitable when he replaced Tosun with
Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Tottenham had already pulled further
clear by the time the Turkish forward
trudged towards the touchline. Eric
Dier advanced down the right, nobody
bothered to confront him and Everton’s
His commitment was total, however.
Often starting in a left-of-centre
position, Tosun regularly moved from
side to side, back and forth, in order
to disturb Tottenham’s back four and
help his team-mates gain a foothold in
proceedings.
It was on 15 minutes that he first
made a mark, neatly flicking Jordan
Pickford’s long kick into the path of
Rooney having backed into Sánchez
and given the Colombian nowhere to
go. There was another show of astute
strength on 32 minutes as Tosun gave
Serge Aurier a shove in order to create
the space from which to connect with
Jonjoe Kenny’s cross.
Tosun had also flicked Sigurdsson’s
corner towards Rooney whose header
beat Hugo Lloris before being correctly
ruled out for offside by the linesman
on the near side, and overall during
the first half there were signs of an
encouraging partnership developing
between the pair. More than anything,
defence stood still as the midfielder’s low
cross reached Kane, who has not made a
habit of missing from six yards out.
Rooney’s late booking for an ugly
chop on Jan Vertonghen encapsulated
Everton’s frustration and Tottenham
polished off a handsome win with a
stunning fourth goal, Dele Alli’s lovely
back-heel teeing up Eriksen to hammer
an emphatic shot past Pickford. Class
told in the end.
TOTTENHAM Lloris; Aurier, Sánchez, Vertonghen,
Davies; Dier (Wanyama 74), Dembélé (Sissoko 82);
Eriksen (Lamela 87), Alli, Son; Kane
Subs not used Vorm, Trippier, Walker-Peters, Llorente
EVERTON Pickford; Kenny, Holgate, Jagielka■, Martina;
Gueye, McCarthy (Schneiderlin 72); Bolasie (Lennon
57), Rooney■, Sigurdsson; Tosun (Calvert-Lewin 62)
Subs not used Robles, Williams, Lookman, Niasse
Wembley 76,251
Game rating |||||||||| Referee Craig Pawson
however, he looks like a genuine toplevel lone forward - muscular, hardworking, canny. Allardyce will hope
he starts to chip in with those much
needed goals sooner rather than later.
The manager finds himself in
a precarious position as far as his
prospects of remaining in charge
of Everton beyond this season are
concerned. He has done a fine job of
making the Merseysiders harder to beat
but the football under him has been less
than sparking. With a general shortage
of shots on goals since he took over
in November, and following this loss,
Everton’s fourth in a row, the prospect
of them being relegated cannot be fully
ruled out. In other words, Allardyce has
to do much more if he is to convince the
supporters and majority shareholder
Farhad Moshiri that he can be the
progressive, successful figure they are
looking for. Starting with West Brom on
Saturday, a contribution of goals from
Tosun would no doubt help his cause.
2
TONY O’BRIEN/ACTION IMAGES VIA REUTERS; DAVID KLEIN/REUTERS
Ladies and Gentlemen, take a moment to
observe Mauricio Pellegrino, a manager
on thin ice, trying to handle a 10-game
winless run, dealt an extremely harsh
hand when a precious away victory was
snatched away as Abdoulaye Doucouré
deftly batted in a late equaliser. In these
days of VAR trials, here was a perfect
example of the kind of decision that
would have been referred, the tap of the
hand easily spotted, the goal removed,
the points for Southampton retained.
It would have been understandable
had Pellegrino exploded, railed against
the officials, damned the system and spoken of injustice. But he didn’t. He even
managed to spare some sympathy for
the referee, Roger East, who evidently
missed the nature of the game’s decisive
and defining touch. “Even the referee
has pressure too,” Pellegrino reasoned.
“For everybody at this level the pressure
is to do your best every single day. I imagine the referee is not happy right now.”
It was a remarkably dignified response
under the circumstances.
“We have to support this person
because everybody makes mistakes. My
feeling is like all my players in the dressing room. We are a little bit sad,” he
added. “For me the level of refereeing is
good in the Premier League but this is
clear. Sometimes mistakes are for you,
sometimes against you, that’s part of our
job.” Unsurprisingly he is supportive of
the VAR trials but such are his thoughtful appraisals he probably would have
said the same had the handball been in
Southampton’s favour rather than Watford’s. “We have to try the technology.
Every single team sport, technology
helps us to make better decisions. Why
not football? We have to try and then
analyse.”
The other aspect Pellegrino wishes to
analyse is the improvement in his team,
particularly in a first half they dominated
in style. That gave them the platform
that should have helped them to a win
at Vicarage Road. The attacking linkup between waspish target man Shane
Long, stylish technician Dusan Tadic
and the positive James Ward-Prowse
was encouraging. They blended their
range of characteristics to try to change
the picture for the South Coast team.
Southampton scored midway through
the first half, with Long kickstarting the
move with a determined drive down the
right and when his pull back was flicked
into Ward-Prowse’s path, the midfielder
took a breath and picked his spot, steering the ball carefully into the far corner
of the net past Heurelho Gomes. The
second came just before half-time with
a smartly worked break, the ball swept
from one end of the pitch to the other
with pace and precision. Long chased
a clearance, and when he clipped a pass
to Tadic, the Serb had the composure to
present the ball to Ward-Prowse, who
was unerring once again in front of goal.
Jeers from the home support were
3
understandable, laced with genuine
concern about being dragged down
into trouble. Marco Silva duly set about
reshaping the team and revitalising their
effort levels at half time.
“We were really bad in the first half,”
he conceded. “We didn’t start strong like
we expected. We didn’t play with the
right mentality. It was clear for me we
were playing too easy. I told them what
all of us needs to be in that moment. You
cannot have a lack of the right mentality, a lack of confidence. It doesn’t make
sense to play scared – we are at home. Of
course I need to react. Then we played
with more risk, the right mentality,
played without fear in the second half. I
recognised our team in the second half.”
On came Troy Deeney, returning from
his latest suspension and chucked on to
lend his particular brand of character to
Watford’s plight. Silva later backed the
player to regain the fitness to make an
impact for 90 minutes.
Abdoulaye Doucouré secured
a 2-2 draw for the Hornets
with a blatant handball in the
final minute. The midfielder
stooped to nod Troy Deeney’s
header back across goal into
the net - but the ball missed
his head and he swept it home
with his hand, to the dismay
of Southampton. BBC pundit
Martin Keown said Doucouré
had ‘done a Maradona’.
Watford pushed up the pitch and suddenly Southampton were cramped back
in their own half, hassled by swarms of
yellow. Watford’s optimism surged back
when Daryl Janmaat’s shot was pushed
on to the crossbar and Andre Gray followed up to nod into the goal.
Watford continued to throw bodies
forward, but Southampton endeavoured
to take the sting out of the game. Their
keeper, Alex McCarthy, was booked for
time wasting. Redemption came late
when Deeney nodded on Pereyra’s cross
and Doucouré arrived ahead of McCarthy to have the controversial final say.
WATFORD Gomes; Janmaat, Wagué, Kabasele,
Zeegelaar; Doucouré, Cleverley (Pereyra 34), Watson
(Deeney 46); Carrillo, Gray (Okaka 72), Richarlison Subs
not used Karnezis, Prödl, Mariappa, Holebas
SOUTHAMPTON McCarthy■; Soares■, Stephens,
Hoedt, Bertrand; Romeu■, Højbjerg■; Ward-Prowse
(Sims 90), Tadic■ (Boufal 90), Davis (Lemina 61), Long
Subs not used Forster, Gabbiadini, Pied, Bednarek
Vicarage Road 20,018
Game rating |||||||||| Referee Roger East
NEXT WEEK
A NEW OBSERVER SPORT
Kevin Mitchell at the Australian
Open, Paul Wilson on the Premier
League, Paul Rees on rugby’s
Champions Cup, David Hills’s Said
& Done, Daniel Taylor’s column …
Small size, big writers
* 14.01.18
4 | SPORT | Football | Premier League
AT A GLANCE
HOW THEY STAND
Manchester City
Manchester United
Chelsea
Liverpool
Tottenham
Arsenal
Burnley
Leicester
Everton
Watford
West Ham
Crystal Palace
Huddersfield
Newcastle
Brighton
Southampton
Bournemouth
Stoke
West Brom
Swansea
P
22
22
23
22
23
22
23
23
23
23
23
23
23
23
23
23
22
22
23
23
W
20
14
14
12
13
11
9
8
7
7
6
6
6
6
5
4
5
5
3
4
D
2
5
5
8
5
6
7
7
6
5
7
7
6
5
8
9
6
5
10
5
L
0
3
4
2
5
5
7
8
10
11
10
10
11
12
10
10
11
12
10
14
F
64
45
41
50
46
40
19
34
25
33
29
21
19
21
17
23
22
23
18
14
A
13
16
16
25
21
28
20
32
38
42
41
33
39
31
29
34
34
47
30
35
Pts
62
47
47
44
44
39
34
31
27
26
25
25
24
23
23
21
21
20
19
17
THE FACTS
■ Leicester had 12 shots in the first half at Chelsea
– the most of any visiting team in a Premier League
first half at Stamford Bridge since 2003-04. They
managed just two after the break, though.
■ Palace have now kept consecutive home clean
sheets in the top flight, having managed just one in
their previous 14 at Selhurst Park. Meanwhile, only
Southampton (10) are on a longer winless run in
the division than Burnley (6).
■ West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic had a hand in three
goals in a single Premier League game for the first
time in his career (one goal, two assists). Opponents
Huddersfield have conceded seven in their last two
games, after conceding six across their previous six.
■ Newcastle have failed to win any of their last
seven home league games (D2 L5) – their longest
winless run since eight games in April 2009 under
Joe Kinnear and Alan Shearer. Visitors Swansea
have now won four points in their two away games
under Carlos Carvalhal – as many as they had won
in their previous nine in the top flight.
■ Watford have conceded 25 goals at Vicarage
Road, the most of any side in home games.
■ Alan Pardew picked up his first league win in
charge of West Brom. The victory over Brighton
was the club’s first win in the competition by more
than one goal since March 2017 (3-1 v Arsenal).
■ And Spurs secured their biggest margin of victory
against Everton since a 10-4 win in October 1958.
STILL TO COME
Arnautovic the middle man for
Moyes to sink Huddersfield
HUDDERSFIELD
1
Lolley 40
WEST HAM
4
Noble 25 Arnautovic 46 Lanzini 56 61
Paul Wilson
John Smith’s Stadium
David Moyes became only the fourth
manager to record 200 Premier League
wins with this resounding victory –
Ferguson, Wenger and Redknapp, since
you ask, and the first of that trio was
here to see it – though of greater significance to both clubs might be the fact
that West Ham leapfrogged Huddersfield in the table.
Town are considered to have been
enjoying a good season up till now,
punching above their weight since
that joyful win at Crystal Palace on day
one, while West Ham have been toiling grimly near the bottom. The Irons
have improved under Moyes, however,
and now they have moved towards midtable that should be more widely recognised, as should the overall contribution
of Marko Arnautovic. The Austrian was
close to unplayable here – at least Huddersfield found him so – his combination of strength, awareness and control
proving too much for the home defenders to deal with and contributing to all
four goals.
“He’s a handful when he runs at people, and maybe playing through the mid-
dle has freed him up,” Moyes said. “He’s
certainly grown in confidence.”
Huddersfield have been well beaten
before, though only by teams from the
top half of the table. This was a game
they felt they had a chance of winning,
yet it went away from them in the second
half in a manner that did not suggest the
solidity required for a relegation scrap.
Indeed, new signings Alex Pritchard and
Terence Kongolo, coming on as secondhalf substitutes with their side three
goals in arrears, must have wondered
what happened to the feisty battlers
described in the brochure.
Joe Lolley was hero and villain in the
first half, though not in that exact order.
It was his mistake that gifted West Ham
an opening goal, though the midfielder
could and did complain that Jonas Lossl
put him under pressure with a short pass
to the edge of the area. He had a point
but perhaps could have reacted more
decisively instead of letting first Arnautovic and then Mark Noble hustle him
off the ball.
Noble was quick to notice the Huddersfield player was in trouble and on
to the loose ball in a flash, breaking forward and beating Lossl with a crisp rising shot.
That left Huddersfield with work to
do, and at first it appeared they might
struggle to get back on terms. Tom Ince
fizzed a cross over from the left that Laurent Depoitre could not quite reach, then
Rajiv van La Parra hit a similar ball over
200 CLUB
A landmark for David Moyes:
his 200th win as a Premier
League manager, making
him only the fourth man to
achieve the feat after Sir
Alex Ferguson (528), Arsène
Wenger (468) and Harry
Redknapp (236). Since Moyes
arrived, West Ham have won
eight points in their last four
away league games (W2
D2 L0) – as many as in their
previous 15 combined.
Lolley’s head. The Terriers kept trying,
though, and four minutes from the interval gained their reward when Lolley
took a pass from Aaron Mooy to cut in
from the right and give Adrián no chance
with a curler from the angle of the area.
It was quite a goal, though the uplift
did not extend beyond the interval. Huddersfield fell behind again before they
had even touched the ball in the second
half. West Ham kicked off and launched
a long ball forward, Cheikhou Kouyaté
gained a flick-on and Arnautovic took it
away from Tommy Smith to find the net
before many supporters had returned to
their seats. If that was an unpromising
restart worse was to follow. Arnautovic
was again involved for the third goal,
occupying defenders on the edge of
the area before releasing a just-aboutonside Manuel Lanzini with a perfectly
weighted through pass.
A fourth goal arrived just four minutes later, Arnautovic this time running
directly at the heart of the Huddersfield defence and almost finding a way
through. He was eventually halted close
to the penalty spot, but there was so little
of the home defence left it was simple for
Lanzini to collect the loose ball and belt
it past Lossl.
Everyone has a soft spot for the Terriers, still homely enough to bring squad
players on to the pitch for the half-time
lottery and gently take the mickey out
of their dress sense, though this was a
sobering afternoon for a side without a
win in their last five games.
Huddersfield were not just overtaken
in the table, they were outclassed. “We
were below par, too many individual
mistakes,” their manager, David Wagner,
said. “We’ve had these moments two or
three times this season. It’s frustrating,
but at least the mistakes were so obvious
they should be easy to analyse and put
right.”
HUDDERSFIELD Lossl; Smith■ (Kongolo 70),
Jorgensen, Schindler, Malone; Hogg; Ince, Lolley
(Pritchard 64), Mooy, Van La Parra; Depoitre
Subs not used Coleman, Sabiri, Williams, Mounié, Hefele
WEST HAM Adrián; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna,
Cresswell■, Masuaku; Kouyaté, Obiang, Noble;
Lanzini (Rice 84), Arnautovic (Ayew 82)
Subs not used Hart, Hernández, Burke, Cullen
John Smith’s Stadium 24,105
Game rating |||||||||| Referee Jonathan Moss
Bournemouth v Arsenal
1.30pm SSPL
Liverpool v Manchester City
4pm SSPL
Manchester Utd v Swansea 8pm tomorrow SSPL
Beating the spread:
Jonas Lossl, the
Huddersfield
goalkeeper, is
unable to stop
Manuel Lanzini
scoring West
Ham’s third goal at
the John Smith’s
Stadium.
Gareth Copley/
Getty Images
SATURDAY
SUNDAE
MAN OF THE DAY
West Brom’s Jonny Evans:
upping his fee and taking his
Premier League goals total to
prilla.
nine – level with Faustino Asprilla.
TREND OF THE DAY
Was fans drawing air rectangles after
tight decisions. Abdoulaye Doucouré’s
handball would have been a treat for VAR.
TOTAL FOOTBALL OF THE DAY
Came at Selhurst Park. Among the stats:
goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey made 36
passes, more than any other Palace player.
WAKE UP OF THE DAY
NBC’s coverage of Spurs versus Everton
in Hawaii was interrupted by an on-screen
“CIVIL DANGER ALERT” on 45 minutes,
telling surprised viewers about an
imminent “ballistic missile
strike”. It was a false alarm.
COOL HEAD OF THE DAY
AY
Y
Was Doncaster manager Darren Ferguson,
asked after their draw with Plymouth
for his view on the standard of League
One refereeing. “Disgusting, disgusting,
disgusting.” What should the FA do about
it? “Shoot them. That’d be a good idea.”
IGNOMINY OF THE DAY
League One bottom club Bury were given
a morale boost pre-match when Charlton
turned up with only three fit subs to put on
the bench. The visitors still won it 1-0.
CURIOSITY OF THE DAY
A kit clash at Forest: manager Aitor Karanka
made to change his black coat by the
fourth official due to it looking like Villa’s kit.
SONG OF THE DAY
Was at MK Dons v Wimbledon: a chance as
always for the away fans to sing their classic:
“Where were you when you were us?”
OBSERVATION OF THE DAY
Came from Sky’s Chris Kamara – getting
creative about Christian Benteke’s aerial
ability. “He jumps like a human kangaroo.”
FOOTBALL WEEKLY
Join Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning and
guests in the pod tomorrow as they
dissect the weekend’s action
theguardian.com/footballweekly
Evans scores to break Pardew’s West Brom duck
WEST BROM
2
Evans 4 Dawson 55
BRIGHTON
0
Sean Taylor
The Hawthorns
West Brom’s long wait for a Premier
League win finally ended as Brighton
were beaten 2-0 at The Hawthorns.
Jonny Evans’s early header set Albion
on their way to halting a 20-game run
stretching back to August, with fellow
defender Craig Dawson heading in a second goal at the start of the second half.
The only downside for the home side
was Jay Rodriguez being reported to the
Football Association for a remark allegedly made to Brighton defender Gaëtan
Bong. Yet the result itself was a weight
off Alan Pardew’s shoulders as it gave
him that elusive first league victory since
he took over as manager nine matches
ago at the start of December.
“The stadium was so brilliant for us,”
said Pardew post-match. “I’ve talked
about it and pleaded for it, but my goodness they gave it to me in bucket loads and
it helped us. We’ve got good, aggressive
players at set-plays and that’s going to be
massively important going forward.”
While it was not enough to lift West
Brom out of the relegation zone, Pardew
will hope it further raises confidence
with tough games against Liverpool,
Manchester City and Chelsea coming
up in the next month.
Meanwhile, Brighton’s woeful away
form continued to see them slide down
the table. Chris Hughton’s team are
now only three points clear of the
bottom three after a
sixth successive
goalless game
on the road, run
which includes
five defeats.
West Brom made
the best possible start as
Evans, who continues to be
linked with Manchester
City and Arsenal, scored
after just four minutes.
Dawson’s peak: Ahmed
Hegazi leaps on to
Craig Dawson after
the defender’s goal
Matt Phillips’ driven cross from a corner
was flicked on by Rodriguez and Evans
headed the ball in at the far post
With their noses in front, Pardew’s
men looked assured as they zipped
passes about and pressed high when
they did not have possession. The hosts maintained
their good early spell with
another couple of corners,
again driven in by Phillips, one of which
required a vital touch
from Lewis Dunk to
deny Evans the chance
of another goal.
West Brom felt they
should have had a penalty
midway through the first
half when a Phillips shot
was blocked by Glenn Murray but the appeals were
waved away by referee
Martin Atkinson, who
might now wish he had
the luxury of VAR at
his disposal as the
Brighton striker’s
arms were quite
high.
Brighton looked a danger on the break
and enjoyed their best spell as half-time
approached, but a crucial block by
Dawson deflected a Dunk shot over the
crossbar. At the other end of the pitch,
Dawson should have extended the lead
but he poked an effort straight at goalkeeper Mat Ryan from close range. He
made amends after 55 minutes. Another
driven corner, this time from Chris
Brunt, was met at the far post by Dawson
and his header into the ground bounced
up and over Anthony Knockaert on the
goalline and into the net.
Knockaert fired a shot over the crossbar when Brighton created a rare opening but Evans and Dawson, together
with Ahmed Hegazi, at the back for West
Brom were always in total control and
the hosts saw out the game comfortably
for a much-needed three points.
WEST BROM Foster; Dawson (Nyom 81), Hegazi, Evans
(McAuley 84), Gibbs; Phillips, Krychowiak, Barry, Brunt,
Rodriguez (Livermore 79); Rondón
Subs not used Robson-Kanu, Yacob, Myhill, McClean
BRIGHTON Ryan; Saltor, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert,
Stephens, Pröpper (Kayal 76), Izquierdo (March 45),
Gross (Baldock 66); Murray
Subs not used Hemed, Goldson, Schelotto, Krul
The Hawthorns 25,240
Game rating |||||||||| Referee Martin Atkinson
14.01.18
*
Premier League | Football | SPORT | 5
Mahrez dives but Chelsea dip goes on
CHELSEA
0
LEICESTER
0
Dominic Fifield
Stamford Bridge
Chelsea heaved in search of a winner
deep into stoppage time here, the locals
howling in exasperation as Kasper
Schmeichel turned Marcos Alonso’s
free-kick round a post, but plucking a
victory from this mess of a display would
have been an injustice. Too much of what
they had offered up was inadequate. Discontent is welling in these parts and, for
the first time, some of it is being directed
at the dugout.
There were boos when Eden Hazard,
for the fourth time in four starts, did not
see out the game, and another disgruntled chorus to greet the final whistle.
A third successive goalless draw represents a club record and underlines
that this team’s domestic campaign has
rather run aground. Leicester made
them feel so ineffective, of course, and
more than merited reward for a display
that verged on dominance until the last
half-hour. Yet the champions, even with
their cluttered schedule, should offer
more than this.
They have become too predictable,
too overreliant for comfort upon their
Belgi um forward and with too few
team-mates contributing at Hazard’s
side. Álvaro Morata is enduring a lull in
his first season in these parts and, one
dart to the byline aside, was anonymous
until booked three minutes from time,
but the striker’s crisis in confidence is
seeping into other areas of this collective. In the aftermath of Schmeichel’s
save, Victor Moses sliced a shot so wide
it almost drifted out for a throw-in. That,
or Antonio Rüdiger dawdling in possession to be robbed by Jamie Vardy inside
Chelsea’s penalty area, was more typical
of his team’s display.
Antonio Conte was apparently not
looking for excuses but cited the quick
turnaround from Wednesday’s draining draw against Arsenal as key to this
lethargic display. “I saw a lot of players
very tired, very tired,” he said. “We suffered a lot in the first half and at the start
of the second.” He cited fatigue for his
decision to remove Hazard and Cesc
Fàbregas just before the hour mark and
pointed to the burst of energy provided
by Pedro and Willian as key to a slightly
more acceptable last 20 minutes. “But
we must improve if we want to score and
to win.” There have been four successive
draws since the turn of the year.
The visitors might normally have been
satisfied having played the last 22 minutes with their number depleted after
the dismissal of Ben Chilwell, but the
better chances and more coherent play
had always been theirs. “If it had finished
Free fall: Riyad Mahrez throws himself over Andreas Christensen’s leg before the Chelsea defender shows his anger about the dive (inset). Leicester City via Getty Images
STUCK IN A RUT
Chelsea have now drawn
three consecutive games
0-0 in all competitions
for the first time in their
history, having also drawn
a blank against Arsenal
and Norwich. Antonio
Conte’s side had just
seven shots on target
against Leicester; only
twice since 2003-04
have they had more in
a league game in which
they failed to score
(nine against Newcastle
in November 2008
and West Ham in
January 2014).
11 versus 11, we would have got the win,”
offered Claude Puel. His own players,
their schedule less energy sapping and
recovery time awarded in midweek,
were sprightly in comparison and had
swarmed over their hosts for long
periods. No visiting team has
managed as many as Leicester’s 12 first-half attempts
since the first season of the
Roman Abramovich era in
south-west London.
It was profligacy, a lack
of “cutting edge” according to Puel, which saw
them survive. An experienced back three were
tormented by the pace
of Vardy and Riyad
Mahrez, who would
still blot his copybook
with a second-half dive
Shelvey’s petulance adds to the
growing tension at Newcastle
NEWCASTLE
1
Joselu 68
SWANSEA
1
Ayew 60
Louise Taylor
St James’ Park
As Rafael Benítez and Carlos Carvalhal
shook hands at the end, neither man
could disguise their disappointment.
A hard-fought point is all very well but
Carvalhal’s Swansea City stay bottom. As
for Newcastle, they remain far too close
to the relegation zone for comfort, have
gone seven home Premier League games
without a win and are far from ruthless
in front of goal. Benítez is doing a fine job
in testing circumstances but Mike Ashley’s transfer window parsimony threatens to undo much good work.
By way of exacerbating Geordie
misery, there were apparent tensions
between Benítez and Jonjo Shelvey, with
the clearly annoyed midfielder pushing
his manger’s outstretched hand away
when he was substituted. Even so, things
could have been worse for Newcastle
fans, with Mohamed Diamé fortunate to
escape both conceding a first-half penalty and collecting a red card following
an apparently deliberate handball.
“I don’t know if we’ve achieved one
point or lost two, there was a feeling we
should have won,” said Carvalhal, whose
smart decision to shift Nathan Dyer to a
wider, deeper midfield role in the second
half left Swansea less vulnerable to home
counterattacks.
During the opening half Newcastle
spurned several decent chances, while
the profligate Dwight Gayle rightly had
a headed goal disallowed for offside following a corner. Ayoze Pérez unnerved
Kyle Bartley before crossing for Gayle
to head wide, Lukasz Fabianski parried
Pérez’s shot following Matt Ritchie’s
clever, lobbed pass and Shelvey lifted a
free-kick just over the bar. Then there
was the moment when Christian Atsu
crossed low for Paul Dummett but the
left-back got the ball stuck beneath his
feet at the wrong moment and sent the
ball ballooning towards the Leazes End.
Bar an odd stellar pass from Shelvey
– up against his former employers – and
Swansea’s Sam Clucas, the watching
Gareth Southgate did not have too much
to get excited about. Perhaps tellingly, a
key sub-plot centred on Bartley’s duel
with Pérez, which, considering the centre-half was on a yellow card following a
tug on Gayle, guaranteed him a few panicky cameos.
Newcastle’s biggest fright featured
Swansea’s penalty appeal in the wake
over Andreas Christensen’s outstretched
leg in search of a penalty. Gary Cahill had
started ahead of the young Dane as the
back-line’s central pivot, though he was
left dizzied by a brutal first half-hour and
would eventually depart prematurely
clutching his right hamstring. It was telling that Christensen, rather than David
Luiz, was summoned as a replacement.
By then, the contest should have been
settled. Shinji Okazaki, poking awkwardly over the bar, and Vardy, who
guided a shot into the side-netting,
had both benefited from Chilwell’s fine
delivery early on. Wilfred Ndidi thought
he had registered at Mahrez’s deflected
corner only for Thibaut Courtois to conjure a save at full stretch, with a succession of centres fizzed across Chelsea’s
goalline somehow eluding Leicester’s
players. There would be further opportunities after the break, with Courtois
static and helpless as Mahrez’s shot catapulted off Christensen and dribbled just
beyond a post.
Rarely under Conte’s stewardship
has this side been so disjointed. Even
Hazard could not haul them from their
malaise, the Belgian overelaborating
in his desperation to make an impact.
Conte was asked post-match about José
Mourinho’s apparent “contempt” for
him but merely batted it back with: “I’m
not worried.” His team’s displays will be
causing him far more concern.
of Diamé’s handball as he endeavoured
to redirect Mike van der Hoorn’s goal
bound header, with the Senegal midfielder fortunate to get the benefit of the
doubt from the referee.
Ironically Diamé, deployed deep in
midfield alongside Shelvey, enjoyed one
of his better games in a Newcastle shirt.
“I must admit I didn’t see it at first,” said
Carvalhal of the penalty shout. “But it’s
the job of the referee to see it. I like him
[Graham Scott] he’s a good referee but he
made a mistake. If we’d had video technology to help him we would have had a
penalty and red card within 10 seconds.”
The Portuguese’s smile returned
when Jordan Ayew headed Swansea in
front. That goal began with an excellent
right wing cross from Van der Hoorn and
featured Karl Darlow making a fine onehanded save from Ayew’s initial header.
Fortune, though, did not frown on Newcastle’s keeper, who parried the ball
straight back towards Ayew and, within
a millisecond, that rebound nestled in
the back of the net.
Joselu is often less than incisive but,
having replaced Gayle, the Spanish
striker momentarily turned fox in the
box. When Pérez’s shot was deflected, a
twisting, turning Joselu nutmegged Alfie
Mawson before defying Fabianski from
a tight angle.
If Joselu could not hide his joy,
Shelvey’s petulant reaction to being
withdrawn did not impress. Having batted Benítez away he indulged in a bout
of head-shaking. Earlier there had been
similar dissent when he was passed evidently unwelcome managerial instructions over the execution of a free-kick.
“There are some things we have to
correct,” said a shrugging Benítez, who
was relieved to see DeAndre Yedlin clear
Wilfried Bony’s late shot off the line.
“But any player will be unhappy when
he’s substituted.”
CHELSEA Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill (Christensen
33), Rüdiger; Moses, Kanté■, Fàbregas (Willian 58),
Bakayoko, Alonso; Morata■, Hazard (Pedro 58) Subs
not used Caballero, Zappacosta, Batshuayi, David Luiz
LEICESTER Schmeichel; Amartey, Maguire, Dragovic,
Chilwell■; James■ (Iborra 90), Ndidi; Mahrez, Okazaki■
(Fuchs 73), Albrighton; Vardy (Gray 82).
Subs not used Hamer, Iheanacho, Slimani, Benalouane
Stamford Bridge 41,552
Game rating |||||||||| Referee Mike Jones
NEWCASTLE Darlow; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett;
Shelvey (Merino 82), Diamé; Ritchie, Pérez, Atsu; Gayle
(Joselu 64) Subs not used Elliot, Murphy, Hayden,
Manquillo, Haïdara
SWANSEA Fabianski; Van der Hoorn (Roberts 65),
Bartley■, Mawson■, Olsson; Ki; Dyer (Narsingh 85),
Clucas, Carroll, Ayew■; McBurnie (Bony 71)
Subs not used Nordfeldt, Fer, Fernández, Mesa
Rescue act: Joselu fires in Newcastle’s equaliser against bottom-placed Swansea four
minutes after Rafael Benítez sent him on as a substitute. Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
St James’ Park 51,444
Game rating |||||||||| Referee Graham Scott
* 14.01.18
6 | SPORT | Football | Premier League
Sako strikes to
give patched-up
Palace victory
CRYSTAL PALACE
1
Sako 21
BURNLEY
0
Paul MacInnes
Selhurst Park
It says something about the change Roy
Hodgson has effected on Crystal Palace
that it is difficult to imagine quite how
they could be relegated this season.
Make no mistake, Hodgson himself is
clear the challenge remains the same as
it was when he took over in September
and the club was rock bottom, breaking
all kinds of the wrong records.
“When I came, I said I was only concerned about the final day of May and
being one place above the relegation
zone,” he said. But after his scratch Palace side matched Sean Dyche’s Burnley
in the gritty part of the game, and won it
with the pretty side, their current position of 12th in the table would seem a
more likely outcome.
Bakary Sako scored the only goal of
the match midway through the first
half, drifting wide to collect Christian
Benteke’s looped pass before driving into
the box and punching a low shot through
Nick Pope. The forward is a symbol of
the Hodgson revival, the former Wolves
man finally delivering performances
that make the best of his combined skill,
speed and strength. His total of five goals
so far this season is Sako’s best return in
his three years in south London, and this
was just his second start.
“I don’t know quite how many
chances he’s had in the past, but he’s not
done well enough to force his way in,”
said Hodgson of Sako. “But he’s done
really well for us. He would have played
today given the injuries we had, but he
played on merit and chipped in with a
good goal.
“In the second half, he and Benteke
worked hard to disturb the centrehalves and help make sure we held on to
our lead.”
Palace were without at least seven
first-team players. Not only was Sako
summoned up front, but James McArthur – “outstanding again”, according to
Hodgson – was forced into an unfamiliar
position at left wing. In midfield, Frank
de Boer’s former Ajax protege Jaïro
Riedewald also made a rare appearance
and applied himself assiduously. There
were impressive performances all over
the park.
This was particularly the case in the
first half. The goal, celebrated with
a collective puffing out of the chest,
inspired Palace to kick on. A minute
after the restart, Charlie Taylor’s backpass header was seized upon by Wilfried Zaha, who spun it across an open
goal, only for Ben Mee to get his body in
front of it just in time. Benteke should
have scored shortly afterwards from a
Luka Milivojevic corner, but his header
looped on to the roof of the net. As the
period drew to a close, Zaha forced Pope
into a one-handed save with a cheeky
flick and the now purring Sako flashed
a left-foot volley inches past the far post
from Timothy Fosu-Mensah's cross.
Burnley were better in the second
half, upping the combativeness and the
crosses without ever quite finding the
imagination necessary to unpick Palace’s
well-drilled resolve. Their best opportunity arrived in the 83rd minute, when a
missed clearance by James Tomkins let
in Ashley Barnes, only for Wayne Hennessey to rush out and smother the shot
at his feet.
Sean Dyche knows there is no need
to be flustered, despite a run that means
Burnley are without a league win in six
matches. They are still in seventh place
in the table after all. “The second half
was at least decent,” he said afterwards.
“We probably deserved to scratch a
draw. The margins were tight earlier
in the season and they continue to be
tight now. But it’s clear that we’ve really
moved on from last season.”
Dyche was asked about his thoughts
on Hodgson’s achievements and did not
hold back in his praise of the 70-year-
old. “He’s doing terrific,” he said. “We
met for a coffee before the game. We
were chewing the fat over the realities
of the modern game. Sometimes Roy
gets mixed reviews, but the levels he’s
worked at, the things he’s achieved, he
gets nothing but respect from me.
“He’s settled it down nicely here, but
it’s not a surprise to me; it is down to Roy
and his staff putting in the work.“
Strong and steady:
Bakary Sako leaps
in celebration after
scoring the
winning goal
against Burnley,
while Roy
Hodgson watches
poker-faced from
the sidelines.
Sebastian Frej/
ProSports/Rex/
Shutterstock
CRYSTAL PALACE Hennessey; Fosu-Mensah, Kelly,
Tomkins, Van Aanholt; Zaha, Milivojevic, Riedewald,
McArthur; Benteke, Sako Subs not used Speroni,
Cabaye, Lee, Souare, KaiKai, Delaney, Wan Bissaka
BURNLEY Pope; Bardsley■, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor■;
Cork, Defour■; Gudmundsson (Wells 85), Hendrick
(Nkoudou 63), Barnes; Vokes Subs not used Lowton,
Westwood, Walters, Lindegaard, Long
Selhurst Park 24,696
Game rating |||||||||| Referee Michael Oliver
IN BRIEF
Diabaté joins Leicester
from Gazélec Ajaccio
Leicester have signed the versatile
forward Fousseni Diabaté on a fourand-a-half-year deal. The 22-year-old
Malian has joined the Foxes from
the French second-tier side Gazélec
Ajaccio for an undisclosed fee. Diabaté,
who can play as a central striker or on
the wing, moved to the Corsican club
after two seasons with Guingamp. PA
Sánchez Flores stays put
Stoke’s search for a new manager will
continue after the former Watford
coach Quique Sánchez Flores pledged
his commitment to Espanyol. Sánchez
Flores emerged as Stoke’s top target to
succeed Mark Hughes. It is understood
a Stoke delegation met Sánchez Flores
in Barcelona on Wednesday and it had
been reported that the 52-year-old
Spaniard had been offered a five-year
contract by the Premier League club.
However, speaking at a pre-match press
conference before yesterday’s La Liga
meeting with Athletic Bilbao, Sánchez
Flores said he was happy at Espanyol,
with whom he signed a three-year deal
PA
in the summer of 2016.
Zidane in real trouble
Villarreal piled the pressure on the
under-fire Real Madrid coach Zinedine
Zidane as they snatched a 1-0 win over
the struggling La Liga champions
at the Bernabéu. Real reached the
quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey
– where they will face Leganés – in
midweek, but started the day 16
points behind rivals Barcelona in the
league. And that gap remained intact
after a sublime finish from Pablo
Fornals finished off an 87th-minute
counterattack from the visitors, who
Real nice: Pablo Fornals celebrates after
Villarreal’s winning goal at the Bernabéu
had goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo to thank
for a number of vital saves. After Gareth
Bale saw his header correctly ruled
out for offside, Asenjo saved superbly
from Marcelo’s thunderous drive and
Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kick, before
also denying Ronaldo from close range
on the stroke of half-time.
Asenjo made a number of more
routine saves in the second period
before the visitors cleared a late Real
TALES FROM THE TABS
CONTE: LET’S SIGN SÁNCHEZ
Antonio Conte has urged Chelsea to
join both Manchester clubs in the race for
Alexis Sánchez. “It’s a good investment: a
top player available for a price not so high.”
AND THE REST
Tottenham are ready to ditch their interest in
£45m Bordeaux winger Malcom, clearing the
way for Arsenal. ■ Man United are ready to make
Real target David de Gea their highest paid
player. ■ Man City have firmed up their interest in
Shakhtar midfielder Fred. ■ Sunderland have told
Watford they must pay a loan fee to land Didier
Ndong, while Watford’s Troy Deeney says he’s
taking his future “day to day” with Newcastle
and West Brom keen. ■ Palace are in dispute
with Getafe over keeper Vicente Guaita’s buyout
clause. ■ And David Moyes says West Ham will
only sell Andy Carroll or Javier Hernández this
month for “an awful lot of money”.
corner and set Denis Cheryshev clear
down the left. The half-time substitute
found Enes Unal in the centre of the
penalty area and, although Unal’s shot
was blocked by the onrushing Keylor
Navas, it landed for Fornals to chip a
first-time shot over the goalkeeper.
Michael Olunga scored a 22-minute
hat-trick on an historic day for Girona
as they thrashed La Liga’s bottom club
Las Palmas 6-0 at Montilivi. Olunga,
who is on loan from the Chinese club
Guizhou Zhicheng, struck in the 57th,
70th and 79th minutes to become the
first player to record a top-flight treble
for Girona. Málaga have fired coach
Michel after the team’s fourth straight
defeat at Getafe on Friday. Málaga have
lost every game since a 2-0 win at Real
PA
Sociedad early in December.
Gómez lifts Stuttgart
Struggling Stuttgart ended a run of four
straight Bundesliga defeats with a 1-0
home win over Hertha Berlin. Mario
Gómez, who rejoined the Swabian
club this month from Wolfsburg, went
down in the area under a challenge
from Niklas Stark 12 minutes from
time and, while the Germany striker
was appealing for a penalty, Hertha
midfielder Stark somehow dispatched
a deft lob over his own goalkeeper for
the game’s only goal. The result at the
Mercedes-Benz Arena lifted Hannes
Wolf’s side four points clear of the
relegation zone.
Elsewhere, Hoffenheim missed
their chance to move back up to
third place in the Bundesliga after
drawing 1-1 at lowly Werder Bremen.
Hoffenheim, who had lost three of their
previous six league matches and were
looking for a winning start to the new
year, scored first through Benjamin
Huebner after 39 minutes Theodor
Gebre Selassie equalised for Bremen
PA
after 60 minutes.
14.01.18
*
Bournemouth v Arsenal, 1.30pm SSPL | Football | SPORT | 7
‘Frustrated’ Lacazette seeks scoring touch
Missed again:
Alexandre
Lacazette
reacts as
another chance
goes begging
for Arsenal.
John Sibley/
Action Images
Wenger claims not to be
worried but Arsenal’s
£52.7m striker seems
laboured and is eight
games without a goal,
writes David Hytner
A
lexandre Lacazette accepted
the pass from Danny
Welbeck, took one touch
to set himself and curled a
glorious right-footed shot
from the edge of the area into the
top corner. It was September of last
year and the screamer put Arsenal in
control against Bournemouth at the
Emirates. They would win 3-0.
Two Premier League games later,
Lacazette was on target again, scoring
twice in Arsenal’s 2-0 home victory
over West Brom. At that point, the
club’s record signing had four goals in
six league appearances, having marked
his debut in the competition with one
after two minutes in the 4-3 home win
over Leicester City. He was flying.
The France striker has now hit a lull
and it is a moment to test him. Since his
goals against West Brom, he has scored
only four times in 17 club matches and,
as he prepares to face Bournemouth
once more – this lunchtime at the
Vitality Stadium – he is in the throes of
an eight-game drought.
“This guy is used to scoring 30 goals
per year so, at the moment, even if he
says no, I am sure he is frustrated,”
Arsène Wenger says. “It certainly affects
him a little bit but I’m not worried. It
will come back and it’s in cycles. At the
moment, he’s going through a cycle that
is a bit more frustrating for him.”
Lacazette has been assaulted by
culture shock on every level since his
£52.7m transfer from Lyon last July.
Wenger spoke in August about how
the city of Lyon was a “special place”
and it produced players with “their
own mentality”. The Arsenal manager
continued: “They don’t like to move
away, usually. They produce their
own players, the players who grew
up around Lyon, like Fekir, Lacazette,
Gonalons. They usually like to stay
there. I did not know whether they
wanted to move or not. It is a very
specific French player at Lyon.”
The switch to England was always
going to present its challenges for
Lacazette – who moved relatively
late for a Ligue 1 star at the age of
26 – among them the language,
although he has been helped
by the presence of a handful
of compatriots including his
France team-mates Laurent
Koscielny and Olivier
Giroud. “It’s a difficult
period because the family
comes over and it’s a bit
less football-orientated,”
Wenger says. “I think the
fact he lives here with
529
MINUTES SINCE
LACAZETTE
LAST SCORED
IN THE
PREMIER LEAGUE
‘The physical
pressure on strikers
in England is now
absolutely massive
– it is much bigger
than in France’
was always likely to be a problem but
Wenger believes he is getting there.
“He has worked to cope with the
intensity of the challenges,” the
Arsenal manager says. “In France,
you go down and it’s a free-kick. In
England, you go down and it’s no
free-kick. That is much more difficult
for the striker to get used to. I think he
resists better.”
Where Lacazette has impressed is
with the sharpness of his movement,
particularly his spins inside the box,
his pace and his technique. Wenger
also referenced “the quality of his
understanding with the other players”.
What Lacazette needs now is another
goal against Bournemouth.
French players and can speak French
when needed, and that Lyon is not too
far, is OK. But the first six months are
always difficult.”
It is on the field where Lacazette has
been walloped. Had he stayed at Lyon,
he would have enjoyed two weeks off
over Christmas and New Year. Instead,
he started four Premier League fixtures.
Wenger admitted that Lacazette was
“not at his best” in physical terms before
Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final at
Chelsea and his performance was blunt.
He skied a good chance in the 0-0 draw
and was substituted midway through
the second half.
Lacazette was asked to plough a
lonely furrow at Stamford Bridge,
working to close down defenders,
and it has been a common theme
for him away from home – where
Arsenal have regularly failed to
impose themselves.
“The physical pressure on strikers
in England has become absolutely
massive,” Wenger says. “The physical
demands and the intensity in the
challenges is much bigger than in
France. In England, you play against
teams who are organised and can
physically cope with 90 minutes’
intensity. The defenders are much
quicker than before. They are all
athletes now at the back.
“As a striker, you have to provoke. At
the back, you respond. So that means
Spartak send racist tweet about own players
Spartak Moscow are at the centre of a
racism row after their official Twitter
account posted a video of three black
players in training alongside a caption
that translates as “See how chocolates
melt in the sun”.
The message was accompanied by
several emojis of laughing faces and
chocolate bars, above a 13-second clip
showing the players, reported to be the
Brazilian trio Fernando, Luiz Adriano
and Pedro Rocha, smiling while stretching in sunny conditions.
The anti-discrimination group Kick It
Out condemned the Russian club, writing a response on Twitter which said:
“This social media post from the official
account of Spartak Moscow only continues to highlight the prejudices towards
black people in Russia.
“It is a reminder that, along with the
whole of football, there is significant
work to do to eradicate racism of all
forms from the sport.”
Piara Powar, executive director of
Football Against Racism in Europe,
believes the message from Spartak is
troubling as Russia builds towards host-
the intensity and the problems for the
defender have to come always from you.
The defender can sometimes respond
to the situation with experience but the
striker has always to be provocative.
You need a lot of energy for that.”
Wenger noted how the frenetic
festive schedule was a surprise to
overseas players – “The body needs to
get used to it; the mind, as well,” he says
– and he estimated that most of them
needed a year to acclimatise to English
football, even the biggest names.
Paul Pogba’s travails at Manchester
United last season, after the France
midfielder’s transfer from Juventus,
were not lost on Wenger – and this was
a player who spent his formative years
at Old Trafford. “Pogba looks settled
now, he dominates physically,” Wenger
says. “In the first year, yes, you can
suffer a little bit.”
Lacazette’s ability to cope with the
physicality of the Premier League
Foot in mouth:
Spartak Moscow’s
tweet on a training
session said of the
club’s black
players: ‘See how
chocolates melt
in the sun’
‘Racism is
one of the
biggest
issues
Russia
faces at the
World Cup’
ing the World Cup later this year. He told
BBC Sport: “Racism is one of the biggest
issues Russia faces in the year they host
the World Cup. References like this
show how some minorities are seen by
some in the country.
“For Russia’s biggest club to tolerate
and then celebrate racist references of
this kind is wrong.”
The controversial Twitter post was
later deleted from Spartak’s official
page. It is the third time in a matter of
months Spartak have been embroiled in
a controversy over racism. They were
ordered to partially close their academy
stadium for one fixture by Uefa, which
found some of the club’s fans were guilty
of racist behaviour towards Liverpool
striker Bobby Adekanye during a Youth
League match in September. Last month,
Spartak defender Leonid Mironov was
charged with racially abusing Reds
striker Rhian Brewster after an incident
during the return Uefa Youth League
game between the sides at Prenton Park.
The controversial social media posting comes a day after Russia’s foreign
ministry accused the British media of
“conjuring up” government-led propaganda in the buildup to the World Cup.
Its spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, said:
“We learned that reporters from the
United Kingdom – not just one media
outlet, but a number of them – received,
in the truest sense of the word, a state
order to launch a smear campaign for
holding the World Cup in Russia.”
Zakharova then suggested that “stories, topics and approaches had been
already conjured up”. Staff and agencies
* 14.01.18
8 | SPORT | Football | Sky Bet Championship
Passion of
derby debut
a treat for
Luhukay
Coleman labels
his players soft
after thrashing
CARDIFF
4
Paterson 46 80 Ralls 55 Pilkington 90
SUNDERLAND
0
Ben Fisher
Cardiff City got their promotion push
firmly back on track after clinching a first
win in five matches by comfortably dispatching 10-man Sunderland on home
turf, courtesy of a second-half double
from Callum Paterson and a sweet Joe
Ralls strike before Anthony Pilkington
completed the rout in stoppage time.
For Chris Coleman, it was a miserable return to Wales. Coleman enjoyed
plenty of special moments at the Cardiff
City Stadium during a six-year reign as
Wales manager which ended when he
took over Sunderland in November.
Belgium, then ranked the second best
team in the world, were beaten at Cardiff
on Coleman’s watch. However, his battle
to prevent Sunderland sliding towards
relegation may prove an even bigger
task. It is now three straight league
defeats for his rock-bottom side, who
had midfielder Didier Ndong sent off.
“We have a soft mentality,” Coleman
said. “Toughness is not about physicality,
it’s not about nailing someone, it’s about
mentality. If we don’t toughen up, we are
going to stay where we are – it’s as simple as that.”
The teams went in level at the break
but the hosts opened the scoring inside
55 seconds of the restart when Paterson
climbed highest to nod home a corner.
Shortly after Ndong was given a straight
red card by the referee, Andy Madley, for
a tackle on Junior Hoilett four minutes
after the interval. The Cardiff winger
carried on but was replaced by Pilkington late on. There seemed no way
back for Sunderland and so it proved as
Cardiff then produced the best move of
the match.
Ralls rounded off a sweeping counterattack after good work by Kenneth
Zohore – who bullied Jake Clarke-Salter,
the Chelsea loanee making his debut –
before laying the ball on a plate for his
team-mate Ralls to slot home his eighth
goal this term. Sunderland came close
to a lifeline when Bruno Manga almost
sliced into his own net but Cardiff were
soon out of sight.
Ten minutes from time, Paterson
drove home an effort from an acute angle
after reacting quickest after Zohore’s
free-kick was blocked. Pilkington put
the icing on the cake from inside the box
after good work by Yanic Wildschut,
who arrived on loan from Norwich City
on Friday, condemning Coleman to his
heaviest defeat in charge of the club.
“We had 900 fans here today and
they’ve been on the road since 3am,”
Coleman added. “It’s tough on them,
again.”
Neil Warnock’s side had stuttered to a
stalemate at home to fourth-tier Mansfield Town in the FA Cup last weekend
and had lost their previous four Championship matches. However, this victory
saw them briefly return to second in the
table, before Derby’s win at Birmingham in the 3pm kick-offs pushed Cardiff
down to third. Warnock had not lost five
straight matches since 1995.
“Anybody can get up from the top
eight, it is such an even league, but we
just have to keep looking after our-
Rowett enjoys a happy
return to Birmingham
BIRMINGHAM
0
DERBY
3
Russell 19 Vydra 56 Weimann 89
Gary Rowett returned to haunt Birmingham again as Derby stayed second in the
table with a comprehensive win. Sacked
as the Birmingham manager 13 months
ago and replaced by Gianfranco Zola,
Rowett has moved on to build a team at
Derby who have promotion to the Premier League in their sights.
Goals from Johnny Russell, Matej
Vydra and Andreas Weimann did the
business as the visitors showed the clinical form that has helped them mount a
challenge near the top.
Rowett also guided Derby to victory
at St Andrew’s last April. This latest
result means Birmingham’s Steve Cotterill has not beaten Derby in 13 games as
a manager.
Early impressions were a little misleading, with Derby producing some
promising attacks but Birmingham were
the more positive team.
As early as the fourth minute, the Birmingham defender Jonathan Grounds
took advantage of a deflection to fire in
a bobbling shot which bounced against
Back in form: Right-back Callum Paterson celebrates the goal which set Cardiff on the
way to a first win in five league games. Gareth Everett/Huw Evans/Rex/Shutterstock
selves,” the Cardiff manager said. “We
needed that. You could see the nervousness in the first half, we just said: ‘we
have to get that first goal’ but we played
some good stuff in the second [half ]. We
have been like that all week in training.”
Next up for Cardiff is a third-round
replay at Mansfield on Tuesday before a
league trip to Sheffield Wednesday next
weekend while Sunderland, who have
won four games all season, have a huge
clash with fellow strugglers Hull City.
the post and back into play. Jérémie Boga
then made a clever run, cutting in before
pushing a cross into the path of Sam Gallagher who attempted to tee up the ball
instead of taking a first-time shot from
close range.
Derby survived the initial onslaught
and settled down to take a 19th-minute
lead. A long pass from Richard Keogh
down the right was collected by Russell.
He jinked his way inside and produced
what appeared to be a hopeful cross
which evaded everyone to creep into
the net and give his side a shock lead,
to the obvious delight of the travelling
fans. A brilliant save by Scott Carson to
keep out a 30-yard strike from Craig
Gardner kept Derby ahead in what was
a keen tussle.
Gardner, as usual, was Birmingham’s
driving force and the visitors were given
no respite, illustrated when Curtis
Davies resorted to a late tackle on Maikel Kieftenbeld which resulted in the
defender being shown a yellow card.
Derby, however, continued to be dangerous on the break. Their more open
play created openings with Vydra clipping the bar with a cross-shot.
The visitors effectively killed the contest with their second goal in the 56th
minute. The unmarked Vydra collected
a long ball from defence to race through
unchallenged to lash a left-footed shot
past David Stockdale to score his 16th
goal of the season.
One minute from time the substitute
Weimann sealed Birmingham’s fate with
a simple tap-in.
PA
Flying high: Gary
Rowett saw Derby
maintain their
promotion push
with a comfortable
victory against
his former club
Birmingham
SAID & DONE
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Martin Glenn – unsure about equality at his FA equality relaunch:
“I just think culturally what women will put up with is a bit
different from guys. I guess banter would be a case in point.”
■ His core message on the FA’s diversity culture, three months
after he called illegal racially discriminatory remarks made by Mark
Sampson “inappropriate banter”: “We’re there to set an example.”
ALSO STEPPING UP
Gianni Infantino: starting 2018 with a
pledge to keep a tight rein on executive
compensation, 12 days before leaked
details set out 2017’s Fifa wage bill:
37 executives paid $250,000 each to
attend three meetings a year, plus travel
expenses. Infantino’s broader aim for the
year: “To work hard on restoring the image
of Fifa, after all those scams and scandals.”
Also making headlines in the
week Fifa unveiled its new
“official luxury yacht partner”:
■ Austria FA president Leo Windtner,
dt
denying alleged “breach of trust and
corruption” over a $100,000 payment
made by Fifa to a charity project run by his
wife during Sepp Blatter’s 2015 re-election
campaign. Windtner: “I have done nothing
for which to reproach myself.”
■ Liberia FA head Musa Bility, blaming a
$600,000 hole in FA accounts on “unknown
persons” handing “unknown documents”
to auditors. Bility, who failed a Fifa electoral
integrity test in 2015, denies wrongdoing.
■ And Zimbabwe’s FA, denying breaches of
“good governance” after an audit showed
them paying $72,000 a year in rent to
their new landlord, FA president Philip
Chiyangwa. Vice-president Omega Sibanda:
“I can confirm that all is well in our football.”
AND STARTING OVER
Ex-Peru FA head Manuel Burga, returning to
his original profession after being acquitted of
racketeering in New York. Burga – censured
in court for making throat slashing gestures
at a key witness – told media: “My time in
football is over. Now I’ll go back to the law.”
OTHER NEWS: MORE BANTER
Also engaging on racism last week:
a) Serie A officials, assessing racist abuse
The new Sheffield Wednesday manager,
Jos Luhukay, enjoyed his first taste of
English football after his side claimed
a point at Sheffield United on Friday
despite finishing with 10 men.
The Dutchman, who has only ever
managed in Germany before, replaced
Carlos Carvalhal last week and his introduction to life in this country came in the
shape of a Steel City derby – the first man
to ever begin his managerial reign with
this match. His side overcame the second-half dismissal of the captain, Glenn
Loovens, to hold on for a goalless draw
and they might even have won it at the
end as the Blades’ Simon Moore made a
brilliant save to deny Adam Reach.
Luhukay, who had no complaints
about Loovens’ red card, said: “I enjoyed
it, I am very happy to be here. The game
was very hard for us but I must give my
team a compliment and I have respect
for the fight they gave me for 90 minutes.
The last 25 minutes was not so easy but
we did the defending as a team and at the
end we had two good chances.
“The atmosphere, the passion … this is
football, you live for football, you enjoy
football, I liked it very much. What they
did today gave me hope for the next
games. You feel it from the first minute
until the end. I am happy with that.”
The stalemate denied the Blades a
first derby double over their neighbours
since 2005-06 as the hosts were unable
to replicate their rousing performance in
a 4-2 win at Hillsborough in September.
They have now won only one of their last
10 Championship games.
Chris Wilder, though, was upbeat
about the status of a side who were promoted in May. The United manager said:
“It shows how far we have come, to take
four points from six from the other side
of the city. A draw was a fair result and
I congratulate the opposition because
they ran around and competed. But that
is a given for my side.
“I don’t want to be on the beach in
May. I want to be the ones that take second or gets in the play-offs. I don’t want
PA
to be finishing eighth or ninth.”
Something to shout about: Glenn Loovens
urges Wednesday on after his sending-off
David Hills
from Cagliari fans towards Juve’s Blaise
Matuidi. Cagliari apologised for the abuse;
Serie A ruled the club would face “no
punishment”, because “officials didn’t hear it”.
b) Spartak Moscow’s official
Twitter account posting a video
of black players training in hot
weather captioned: “See how
the chocolates melt in the sun.”
And c) Red Star Belgrade, appealing
li against
i t
Uefa imposing a one-game ground closure
after fans celebrated the work of ethnic
genocide convict Ratko Mladic with songs
and banners. Red Star director Zvezdan
Terzic: “Uefa behave in a draconian fashion.
Honestly, Uefa surprise us.”
ELSEWHERE: FAIR PLAY LATEST
2017: La Liga head Javier Tebas says PSG’s
Qatari financial doping “mocks financial fair
play”, “hurts other clubs” and is “destroying
the industry … PSG are peeing in the pool,
Neymar is peeing off the diving board.”
ard.
2018: Barcelona, backed by €171m
of Qatar state aid to 2016, take
their five-day spending to €172m.
@laliga: “Welcome Coutinho!”
■ How the move unfolded:
Jan 2017, Philippe Coutinho: “My football is
here. My heart is here. I don’t think about any
other club. Not at all. I know what Liverpool
means: I live it, I smell it. You define the
success of a player by his loyalty or his titles,
or both. I have much work to do.” Aug 2017:
Requests transfer. Jan 2018: Joins Barça.
BEST DEFENCE
Ipswich MD Ian Milne, confident that there’s
no conflict between the responsible gambling
message they helped push in November,
and having “exciting new real money online
casino Magical Vegas” as official shirt sponsor:
“I don’t think the logo is overly ‘gambling’.”
MANAGER NEWS: MOVING ON
31 Dec:
De Torino president Urbano
Cairo scorns pressure to sack
Ca
Sin
Sinisa Mihajlovic: “It’s not even
up for question. I support him,
like I’ve always supported him.
together here, all on the same boat
We’re togeth
to the same destination. Sinisa stays.”
4 Jan: Sinisa goes.
MOST DISTRESSED
M
S
Spain:
Third tier Toledo’s coach Onésimo
Sánchez
– fined for “losing his mind” after
S
his fourth expulsion in three seasons. “I’ve
had it up to my balls with this. Every time
they lie, every time they make me out as
the bad man, and every time I must pay for
it. It’s just another day for Onésimo.”
MOST CHASTENED
Germany: Bayer Leverkusen coach Heiko
Herrlich, fined €12,000 for diving when an
opposition player brushed his shoulder in
the technical area last month. “He touched
me slightly and I slipped – I wasn’t trying to
get him sent off. Did it look stupid? Yes it
did. I’ll pay the €12,000.”
BEST PHILOSOPHY
El Salvador: Alianza striker Rodolfo Zelaya,
relaxed after a design error on his new
Roman numeral clock tattoo went viral.
“They say it has the number six twice but
I don’t care what people say. I’ve never
been one to care what people say. What’s
important is how you feel inside.”
AND BEST POISE
Romania: Kayserispor coach
Marius Sumudica – filmed
leaning on a wire fence, falling
through
it,
g throug
gh it
gh
then trying to style it out. “I knew there
were cameras, so I folded my arms and sat
in the ditch for a while. People mock, but I
got a wet ass, and now I’m on antibiotics.”
14.01.18
*
Foo
Football | SPORT | 9
Daniel Taylor
SPORTS JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
FA stuck in credibility gap over challenges
thrown up by football’s new era of truth
Clarke and co lack trust
needed to tackle game’s
rising tide of allegations
of abuse and racism
I
t is flicking through the glossy pages
of the Chelsea programme, going
back a few years now, when you come
across the article name-checking
one of the club’s former youth-team
players and perhaps get a flavour of
how much has changed in such a short
space of time.
In particular, it’s the line
three-quarters of the way down that
jumps off the page with its description
of the player as a “black guy who
was the butt of a lot of jokes”. It is an
awkward choice of words at the best
of times – why mention the player’s
skin colour? – but particularly so
bearing in mind what we know now
and the fact it is referring to one of the
boys who now alleges his treatment
at Stamford Bridge went a long way
beyond innocent humour. According
to the author, that boy “was almost too
nice to make it in football”. The player
will argue it is not a case of being too
nice when there were people, two or
three times his age, who were allegedly
subjecting him to racial abuse.
It is certainly jarring, to say the
least, to hear the words that have been
alleged, the claims that black players
as young as 12 or 13 were treated like “a
race of fucking dogs” and the specific
allegations against Graham Rix and
against Gwyn Williams, a man who
gave over 25 years to Chelsea, that
have left one of England’s leading clubs
facing civil claims from three of their
old youth-team graduates.
At least Chelsea, to give them their
due, have recognised the seriousness of
the issue and I actually have a certain
amount of sympathy with the modernday club bearing in mind, more than 20
years since the alleged events took place,
it is a completely different regime at
Stamford Bridge now. Their statement
says they are “absolutely determined to
do the right thing, fully support those
affected, assist the authorities and
support their investigations” and the
club have offered at least one of the three
players in-house counselling. Chelsea,
I suspect, will be mortified about what is
being alleged.
It should be stressed that Rix and
Williams have denied the allegations,
saying they are fully cooperating with
the authorities and pointing out that
the police had already decided not to
involve the Crown Prosecution Service.
There is no wish here to prejudge
the civil action but it is also clear that
Chelsea need to start interviewing
players from the relevant era. Several
have indicated they have information
that would be useful and Chelsea – one
of the clubs to commission a QC-led
review into their involvement in the
sexual-abuse scandal, investigating as
far back as 1950 – have the means to
instigate a proper inquiry.
Yet there is also a much wider
story here bearing in mind the other
headlines in the last week about Peter
Beardsley fighting to keep his job
coaching Newcastle United Under-23s
because of allegations – denied by
Beardsley – from Yasin Ben El-Mhanni,
a 22-year-old reserve, about racism
and bullying.
Before that, there was the racial
discrimination that Eni Aluko and
Drew Spence experienced during
Mark Sampson’s time as England
Women’s manager. Add in what
Rhian Brewster had to say, when one
of the players from England’s World
Cup-winning under-17s chronicled his
Under fire: Graham Rix with Chelsea youth players in 1998. The allegations against him, which he denies, follow stories elsewhere of racism and bullying. Darren Walsh/Action Images
own experiences, and it is difficult to
think of another time in football when
more people have felt emboldened
to speak out.
That doesn’t make it an easy process
and it certainly wasn’t pleasant for
Aluko to experience the briefing
against her from inside the Football
Association, the victim-blaming from
one or two journalists and all the other
nonsense she had to endure after an
FA inquiry that, to recap, was summed
up by the Professional Footballers’
Association as a “sham” that was “not
a genuine search of the truth” but
“designed to close down the complaint
and absolve Mark Sampson”.
It cannot be much fun for
El-Mhanni, either, to be a fringe player
at Newcastle and taking on a man who
could rival Kevin Keegan’s status, as
Jack Charlton once put it, for being
the kind of guy who could fall into
the Tyne and come out with a salmon
in his mouth. Beardsley is a hero in
Newcastle, one of the greatest players
ever to wear those black and white
stripes and, without any idea of how
that case will conclude, the only thing
that can be said for now is that it is
terribly sad someone with his status
should find himself in this position,
with five other players apparently
backing El-Mhanni’s story.
Ultimately, though, it cannot be a
bad thing if football has moved into
a new age, or is getting closer to it
anyway, when footballers who feel
they have been victimised are far more
willing to come forward than they
would previously.
That was brought home after
the interview with Brewster, when
The culture was not to
say anything and go
by the mentality that
if you wanted to make
it in football you had
to go through this
a former player, with his own
experiences of enduring racism,
got in touch to say how glad he was
that a player of 17, still to make his
professional debut for Liverpool, had
felt able to come forward. In his day,
he explained, black players were given
the impression that it was a sign of
weakness, not strength, to complain.
We were talking about the 1980s, not
Victorian times, but the culture was
not to say anything, to suck it up and go
by the mentality that if you wanted to
make it in football it was something you
had to go through.
Herman Ouseley, the Kick it Out
chairman, summed it up when
he talked about how hard it once
was – and still is – for many players
to speak out. “Certainly anyone with
aspirations as a black person to play
professional football has kept their
heads down and tried to avoid taking
on the established status quo of
challenging the coach, the trainer or
the football manager. They have not
gone outside of that arena to try and get
redress because, when they have, they
have had their heads chopped off. That
has been the death of their careers.”
It is certainly a very difficult issue.
Frank Sinclair, another product of
Chelsea’s youth system, made the
point on Twitter that “we grew up in a
world of discrimination acceptance”
and said it was regarded as a test of
character. Sinclair has sided with Rix
and Williams and says the Chelsea he
remembers was a tough environment
where players of all shapes,
nationalities and backgrounds, not just
the black lads, got stick.
Yet, speaking generally, it is
strange if he thinks that, just because
someone accepted that culture back
then, they should not bring it up now,
and perhaps he would take a more
sympathetic view if he had seen the
evidence from one player about how
the alleged abuse – including, he
says, physical attacks from Rix and
one incident when a cup of hot coffee
was thrown in his face – had affected
his life, stripped his confidence and,
at times, left him wondering if he
has the symptoms of post-traumatic
stress disorder.
Perhaps Sinclair, who did not play in
the same team, might understand that,
by questioning that player’s version
of events, he is showing again – even
unintentionally – why people in that
position feel reticent about coming
forward because of the backlash. And
there is, always, a backlash, as Aluko,
Patrice Evra and many others, most
recently Mason Holgate, can all testify.
New procedures have just been
announced for whistle-blowing and
that at least is a start if the FA wants to
repair some of the damage caused by the
Aluko affair. Yet that raises other issues,
if you recall Greg Clarke’s mea culpa
last October when the FA chairman
admitted it had “failed”, lost the trust
of the public and been exposed for
“how out of step we are”. Clarke might
have apologised for his description of
institutional racism as “fluff ” but that
will probably always be the comment
that defines his time in office.
As for the rest of the organisation,
the FA’s own polls show that only 27%
of football fans think it is a competent
governing body. Even fewer, 24%,
have a positive perception of the
organisation and I’m not confident
those numbers will be improved by
the explanation why Dan Ashworth,
the FA’s technical director, has quietly
been taken off England Women duties.
Martin Glenn, the chief executive,
would like us to believe it has nothing
to do with Ashworth’s handling of the
Aluko inquiry. And pigs might fly.
Maybe one day it will be different
and the FA will no longer inspire this
kind of suspicion. I doubt, however, that
will be with this regime and that, in a
nutshell, is the problem when it comes
to encouraging people to trust the
authorities. The damage is done and it
feels very contradictory at a time when
more and more players have decided
that, no, they aren’t going to stay in that
world of acceptance any longer.
* 14.01.18
10 | SPORT | Football | Premier League
Klopp has the power
to keep Anfield express
going full steam ahead
Liverpool’s manager has built a thrilling side geared
ed
to absorb high-level departures such as Coutinho’s
’s
without losing momentum, writes Barney Ronay
T
here was an interesting moment
towards the start of Jürgen
Klopp’s time at Liverpool, back
in the days when he still felt
the need to apologise for his
already-excellent if amusingly sweary
English. Asked about transfer targets,
budgets and spending big on new players, Klopp didn’t really answer the question. Instead he grimaced and grumbled,
rubbing his eyes behind his glasses like
a weary, drink-sozzled chief inspector with a short fuse but a heart of gold
being told by one of his hair-gelled sergeants that there are no suspicious circumstances so should he close the case
on the mysterious death of Lord Sinister.
Klopp went on to talk about trusting
his existing players, about chemistry
and coaching and the moral obligation
to improve what he had rather than
team-build by numbers. Six months
later, more confident in his systems,
not to mention his command of English
metaphor, he came up with the train
analogy to describe his idea of a team
as something entirely collective, fired
by a shared momentum as opposed to
opportunist chop and change.
“If I spoke to a player and he told me:
‘If you were playing in the Champions
League next year then I would be really
interested,’ I would put the phone down.
That is what I would say to players. It is
about pushing the train, not jumping on
a running train.”
Liverpool supporters have had a week
to worry away at the question of how to
replace Philippe Coutinho, how to fill
the obvious gap his departing star quality will leave. But as the club adjusts to
losing its best player for the third time in
four years it is worth remembering that
there is a difference now.
From Dortmund to Liverpool, Klopp’s
notion of team-building is designed to
survive exactly this, the vicissitudes
of life as a selling club at the highest
level, of success always placing your
best players in the crosshairs of those
with bottomless funds and the promise of a kind of club football ultimacy
in Madrid or Barcelona. This is the way
Klopp’s Liverpool are geared to work.
Soft-shoed Brazilian playmakers will
come and go, but unlike Brendan-Luis,
or even Brendan-Raheem, the manager
is the real star here, the one irreplaceable
part around which all progress revolves.
The most important person at the
club is still in place. Klopp isn’t just in
the cab, shovelling his furnace, tooting
the whistle. He’s the guard, the engine,
the coal scuttle, the pressure gauge.
Klopp is the train. With this in mind, the
visit of Manchester City today is unexpectedly timely. In a way Pep Guardiola’s
league leaders are the ideal opponents.
City have crossed over into another
place in the last few weeks, the most
dominant leaders in any major league,
15 points clear of second place before
the weekend’s fixtures and with further
clear blue sky opening every week.
In effect City’s role right now is to act
as a kind of control experiment for the
rest of the league, a point against which
every other ambitious team must for
now measure itself. The interest for the
neutral lies in how each opponent will
try to cope with City’s width and fluency,
their mastery of the ball, as much as it
does in another frictionless demolition.
Klopp has an opportunity straight
away to demonstrate the reserves of
strength left in his squad, and also to
reaffirm his own capacities, that ability
to keep the train running whatever the
snags and jolts along the way.
There is already a sense that today
could be a game of fine details, or at least
something more refined than Liverpool’s
oddly flaccid 5-0 defeat at the Etihad in
September. Liverpool were already losing that game when Sadio Mané was sent
off but their subsequent collapse crystallised the idea of this team as defensively
flaky free-wheelers, City as a kind of
surging, pirouetting goal machine.
Things have changed a bit since then.
City’s run of form has narrowed. This is
a team marked out currently as much by
its control as its rapier attack. A defence
that was once widely snarked at has not
conceded more than one goal in its last
14 domestic matches, and has not conceded more than two in a domestic game
in exactly a year.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have been on
a wonderful run of their own, with
no defeat in 17 since the shellacking
by Spurs at Wembley. Coutinho was
involved in a quarter of their 54
goals in that time, despite playing
only 11 matches. But the team have
produced excellent results without
him. Coutinho didn’t play in the
defeat of Manchester City a year ago.
He didn’t play in the 4-0 devouring
of Arsenal this season.
It might seem odd to suggest
the departure of Liverpool’s best
player is a chance to show the progress made under Klopp. Those
who are innately hostile will point
to the absence of a title challenge, an
objection known as the no-betterthan-Brendan delusion. But Klopp
In pursuit: Jürgen
Klopp’s Liverpool
are unbeaten in 17
games in which
they have scored
54 goals, but still
trail Pep Guardiola
(below) and his
Manchester City
side by 18 points
Unlike
BrendanLuis, or
even
BrendanRaheem,
the most
important
person at
the club
is still in
place
has burnished his reputation, has pulled
together the seams, has shown he can call
a club to order. Liverpool are currently
en route to a second successive season in
the top four for the first time since 2009.
That fluent, fun, workaholic attack is a
genuinely notable creation. If it feels as
though the team are being built from the
front, then at least something is being
built. Best of all Anfield still seems energised by Klopp, at ease with itself, a place
the manager really does seem to fill and
feed off and nourish with his presence.
Klopp has kept his word, too, creating a team out of high-grade component parts rather than star signings.
Liverpool’s starting XI in their last Premier League game featured six players
Klopp inherited. There have been some
post-inflationary signings but under
Klopp £225m has been spent to date and
£270m raked back.
Right now, the biggest challenge is not so
much to replace Coutinho as to ensure
the aftermath is managed to Klopp’s
satisfaction, that their most valuable asset
remains settled. Christian Purslow might
not be everyone’s idea of an all-seeing
footballing sage but there is something
in the observation by the club’s former
managing director this week that Klopp
remains “absolutely A-list… the next
manager for one of those bigger clubs if
Liverpool do not fulfil his ambitions”.
Today is another opportunity to show
that train is still running on, that this
is a team geared to absorb a high-level
departure without losing their head of
steam. There have been various tactical
offerings in the continuing mystery of
how to go about derailing this Manchester City machine. For a while in autumn
the idea of sitting deep and trying to disrupt the midfield fulcrum of Fernandinho and Ilkay Gündogan gained some
traction, although this always felt a bit
like placing your neck on the block and
waiting for the blade to fall.
Roy Hodgson’s approach at Selhurst
Park on New Year’s Eve was successful, as Crystal Palace succeeded for 45
minutes in applying genuine pressure to City’s weak points, pressing
h
hard in midfield and isolating City’s
defenders one on one against Wilfred Zaha. This is also the most natural approach for Klopp’s Liverpool,
with a mobile, powerful midfield and
a hard-pressing front three pushed
right up against City’s defenders.
The absence of Coutinho hardly
hampers this system.
Klopp might just feel this team,
with the midfield fury of Naby Keïta to
come from RB Leipzig, is a little closer
to a vision of the pure Klopp style. Either
way the Premier League could do with
at least one desperately fought top-ofthe-table match before the season turns
entirely Sky Blue. Today at Anfield could
yet be the moment.
LIVERPOOL
MA
Games played
22
Goals
50
25
2.27
goals per game
2.91
goa
13
Goals
conceded
Shots on target
Shots
144
163
393
Passes/
Game
585.5
Crosses from open play
7
286
318
Passing accuracy %
83.48
88.83
Possession %
59.52
72.22
Clean sheets
9
11
GRAPHIC: ALEXANDER BEUGE, PETE GUEST
SOURCE: OPTA PHOTOGRAPH: LFC VIA GETTY
Wijnaldum: the boss only gets angry with us if we’re nervou
nervo
Dutch midfielder has
bought into Klopp’s
stress on the collective,
writes Paul Wilson
Georginio Wijnaldum scored the
winning goal when Liverpool met
Manchester City at Anfield just over
a year ago and he remembers it well
because it was a header. “I was lucky,”
he says with a shrug. “It is a good
moment to look back on but we need to
be looking forward to the next match.
Every game is a new game and anything
can happen. I think City now have a
better team than they have had in the
past, so there’s no point looking back on
the history.”
The league table would appear
to suggest the same thing and
Liverpool’s Dutch midfielder believes
City have earned their place at the
top. “I think they have been more
consistent than anyone else this season
and also I think they have had a bit
more luck than we have,” Wijnaldum
says. “We have had a few good games
but at the end we didn’t get the result
we wanted. That has rarely happened
to City.
“It’s not luck that they have won with
a few late goals, it shows their quality.
They focus until the last minute of the
game because they know they can make
a goal. They have that confidence but I
think the biggest difference this season
on last is their consistency.
“Week in, week out they have good
performances and, even if they are not
quite at their best, they still manage to
win. They don’t give games away.”
Liverpool are ostensibly weakened at
the moment through the departure of
Philippe Coutinho for Barcelona, even
if they did use the January window to
bring in Wijnaldum’s compatriot Virgil
van Dijk for a record £75m. “I have
played with Virgil before and he is a
natural leader,” Wijnaldum says. “He
speaks a lot in the dressing room and
he talks to the players in front of him on
the pitch. He does that for the national
team as well. That’s why he was captain
of Southampton. We spoke a few times
when he was making up his mind about
his future. I told him how the club was
and everything. I said Liverpool is a great
club but I think he already knew that.”
Wijnaldum admits Liverpool will
miss Coutinho but argues any side
Glove story: Georginio Wijnaldum hopes
the Liverpool fans will be applauding today
would. “Every team would miss a
player of that quality. He was one of
the best players we had in the team but
as a person he was even better,” the
27-year-old says. “He wanted to go to
his dream club and as players we are
all happy for him because he is such a
good guy. He was never arrogant, you
never heard him say: ‘I am the best,’ or
anything like that. Phil was always a
guy who listened to the coaching and
worked with the team. We all enjoyed
playing with him. It is sad he didn’t stay,
because with Phil in the team of course
we were better, but in the end you have
to be happy that he made the move that
meant so much to him.”
The break-up of the Fab Four
may also offer an opportunity for
Wijnaldum, who has not been a regular
starter this season, though he insists
14.01.18
*
Liverpool v Man City, 4pm SSPL | Football | SPORT | 11
Guardiola’s Merseyside
misery a distant memory
ANCHESTER CITY
22
A 4-0 defeat to Everton
12 months ago, just after
a 1-0 at Anfield, ended
City’s title hopes. It has
been a remarkable year,
writes Paul Wilson
64
als per game
A
lmost exactly a year ago, Pep
Guardiola was on Merseyside conceding defeat in the
title race, a comprehensive
4-0 mauling at Everton having confirmed the widespread suspicion that Manchester City were not in
any shape to catch Chelsea at the top of
the table. A great deal can change in 12
months though. Just ask Everton, whose
day could scarcely have gone any better,
with Tom Davies grabbing his first goal
for the club and Ademola Lookman completing the rout by scoring on his debut.
Yet even that version of Everton, confident and compact, willing to soak up
pressure before striking on the break,
would have struggled to prevail against
the present incarnation of Manchester
City. The draw at the Etihad in August
turned out to be another false dawn.
While Ronald Koeman’s plans were disintegrating through autumn, Guardiola’s
players began stringing together a
record-breaking sequence of 18 consecutive wins, putting themselves in an
even stronger position than Chelsea had
occupied at the turn of the year.
How did Guardiola do that, exactly?
Was it just by spending striker-type
money on a new pair of full-backs, as
José Mourinho has alleged. Or was a
more radical overhaul involved? The
personnel at City does not appear at first
glance to have changed all that drastically in the last year – Kevin De Bruyne,
Sergio Agüero, David Silva and Raheem
Sterling were all present and correct at
Goodison – yet the support cast has been
subtly altered around the key figures.
Beginning with the goalkeeper –
Ederson is now one of the more reliable performers in the Premier League,
whereas Claudio Bravo was quite
the opposite – Guardiola has made
396
730.6
6
Guardiola had to
make his side more
effective against
opponents who used
long balls to negate
a pressing game
vous
ous or don’t perform
Jürgen Klopp is not the sort of manager
to ask him to step up his game. “He
does not put that kind of pressure on
players,” he says. “The only pressure
the manager puts on us is to give 100%
and try to use the quality we have.
The only time you see him upset is if
he thinks you are not giving 100%. If
you’re nervous or scared or you don’t
try to do the things you are good at,
that’s when he’ll get angry.
“The most important thing as far
as he is concerned is that we perform
well as a group. He’s always telling
us we can only win as a group, not as
individuals. It makes it easier if every
player performs but, if you do it well as
a group, you can reach more.”
Wijnaldum believes City were lucky
when beating Liverpool 5-0 at the
Etihad in September because they
were playing 10 men for most of the
time. “What Sadio [Mané] did was
an accident. Sometimes you see a red
card, sometimes a yellow,” he says of
the incident when the Senegal forward
caught Ederson with a boot in the face
as the City goalkeeper headed the ball
clear just outside his penalty area.
“There was a similar situation in a
game between Newcastle and Swansea
just afterwards and Matt Ritchie just
got a yellow, so to that extent we were
unlucky at City; from the moment Sadio
got a red card it was always going to
be difficult.
“But you can’t blame luck or a red
card for losing by five goals. We did
a few things wrong and City showed
their quality. Hopefully when we meet
at Anfield it will stay 11 v 11 and that
way we will have more of a chance.”
significant upgrades almost everywhere
on the pitch. Bacary Sagna and Gaël Clichy have now departed and City boast
a more aggressive full-back in Kyle
Walker, even if Fabian Delph has had to
fill in for the injured Benjamin Mendy on
the other side of the pitch.
John Stones and Nicolás Otamendi
remain City’s first-choice centre-backs,
just about, and though they can be errorprone, Eliaquim Mangala did not do a lot
against Bristol City in midweek to suggest he would be any better. This is one
area where City could still improve, and
should Jonny Evans arrive before the
end of the month one imagines he would
not go short of games. Pablo Zabaleta is
now at West Ham and Yaya Touré’s topflight games are strictly rationed, even
though, almost unbelievably, that was
the partnership Guardiola sent out to
anchor the midfield at Everton.
Gabriel Jesus was still to make his
debut a year ago and after a bright start
he would shortly be lost to injury, a similar situation to the one that applies at
present. Leroy Sané was at Goodison but
unused as a substitute. A year further on
in his English education the German is
now one of City’s most potent attackers.
Perhaps Sané’s example is the key
to understanding City’s success this
season. The list of players who have
improved under Guardiola’s tutelage is
extensive – basically everyone has got
better, not just Sterling and De Bruyne –
and it is highly likely it would have been
expecting too much to imagine everything would click into place from day
one. Guardiola, too, had to learn about
Knockout blow: Mason Holgate takes down Raheem Sterling during a defeat that led
Pep Guardiola to throw in the towel in the title race. Alex Livesey/Getty Images
English football, to make his side more
effective against opponents who would
try to bypass the midfield and use long
balls to negate a pressing game, and that
could only happen over a period of time.
The transformation has happened
now to the extent that there is talk of
City going through the league season unbeaten – premature in January,
perhaps, though legitimate when one
considers the number of goals scored
and the fact that only four points have
been dropped in 22 games – which gives
today’s fixture at Anfield a significance
even greater than usual.
Liverpool are not going for the league,
they are engaged in their usual pursuit
of a Champions League place for next
season while retaining an interest in
further European progress next month,
but as City have already played and won
at Chelsea and Manchester United, the
team in fourth have to be regarded as
the one most likely to interrupt the procession. “To win titles you have to win
games on these kind of stages,” Guardiola said. “This is an important game to
see if we are able to do big things.”
So was the meeting at the Etihad at
the start of the season, though Jürgen
Klopp’s side consider their 5-0 thrashing something of an injustice, due to four
of the goals coming after Sadio Mané had
been dismissed. It is Klopp’s theory that
Liverpool were holding their own until
they went down to 10 men – statistics
can even be found to prove it.
Yet it is also true that Mané’s absence
alone could not excuse some tired
defending as City ran amok in the second
half. Now that Virgil van Dijk has arrived
at considerable cost to help correct that
failing Liverpool ought to be in with a
chance at Anfield, although Guardiola is
unlikely to revert to three at the back to
leave space on the flanks for Mohamed
Salah and others to exploit.
Liverpool won 1-0 in the Anfield fixture last season but it was City’s fourth
defeat of the campaign and a fifth would
follow a fortnight later at Goodison. To
say Guardiola has straightened out a few
things since is quite an understatement.
Looking at Manchester City 12 months
ago already seems to be harking back to
a different era.
* 14.01.18
12 | SPORT | Rugby union | European Champions Cup
Wasps stung at the death as Chisholm caps rally
HARLEQUINS
33
WASPS
28
Gerard Meagher
Twickenham Stoop
James Haskell was sent off for a dangerous tackle as Wasps saw their hopes of
reaching the Champions Cup knockout
stages effectively come to an end after
a stunning comeback by Harlequins.
Marcus Smith played a key role for Harlequins, coming off the bench to inspire
their late rally but for Wasps it was a
dreadful way to let victory slip away.
In a thrilling finish, Haskell saw red
with four minutes to go for a swinging
arm on Jamie Roberts. By that stage
Smith had come on to play his part
in two Harlequins tries to bring his
side to within two points and James
Chisholm’s last-gasp try sealed victory
for the hosts.
It is a killer blow for Wasps, who led
21-0 after half an hour and by 16 points
with 15 minutes to go. For Haskell,
things may get worse. He will face disciplinary hearing this week and having been called into camp by England
recently, he could be banned for the
start of the Six Nations.
Smith came on for Mike Brown who
may yet prove an injury scare for England on the hour and had a hand in
two late Harlequins tries – converting
both – to bring his side to within just
two points. The 18-year-old signed a
bumper first professional contract this
week worth more than £200,000 a year
and this was just another example of
why.
After half an hour Wasps were cruising towards a bonus-point victory.
Three tries – all converted by Danny
Cipriani – gave them a commanding
lead with Harlequins barely able to get
out of first gear and reeling from the
loss of Charlie Walker to injury after
just five minutes.
In truth, it was a scrappy start but
Wasps were in the ascendancy when
Lewis Boyce, in at loosehead for Harlequins after Joe Marler’s suspension,
was shown a yellow card for a deliber-
Oh brother: Ross Chisholm crosses for
Quins; James Chisholm scored the winner
ate knock-on. Just two minutes later,
Wasps had their first try after a sharp
handling from Cipriani, Willie le Roux
and Thomas Young put Kyle Eastmond
clear.
With Boyce still in the sin-bin,
Nizaam Carr then scored a superb solo
try, running in from all of 50 metres
after more quick hands from Wasps –
Haskell providing the assist. Carr has
a considerable turn of speed but the
ease with which he shrugged off Mike
Brown’s tackle typified Harlequins’ listless start. Indeed, the home side turned
down a kickable penalty but Dave
Ward’s lineout throw was adjudged not
straight and soon after Wasps were over
for try No3 – Ashley Johnson the scorer
from a driving lineout.
Had Cipriani been aware that he had
team-mates around him on his own 22
when intercepting the ball, it would
most probably have been a fourth
for Wasps but instead he hacked on
and James Lang, evading two tackles,
kicked ahead for Ross Chisholm to get
Harlequins on the board.
Lang, a 22-year-old fly-half making
his Champions Cup debut missed the
conversion, but then stepped his way
over the try-line following a Harlequins
scrum near the Wasps line on the stroke
of half-time. Suddenly Harlequins were
in the game again.
They too do not do things the easy
way all the time and Harlequins were
staring down the barrel again when
Brendan Macken powered past Roberts after taking a well-timed pass from
Cipriani. Significantly, it gave Wasps
the bonus point they had targeted but
the visitors could not see it out. With
15 minutes to go, Danny Care sniped
over from close range after a concerted
period of Harlequins pressure and
Smith’s conversion brought he side to
within nine.
Smith was purring at this stage and
his long, floated pass to Elia Elia put
the replacement hooker away in the
corner. He nailed the tricky conversion
from the left-hand touchline for good
measure. Then came Haskell’s moment
of madness and James Chisholm’s killer
blow.
HARLEQUINS Brown (Smith 61); Walker (R Chisholm
5), Alofa, Roberts (Lewis 76), Visser; Lang, Care; Boyce
(Lambert 67), Ward (capt), Sinckler, Glynn, Merrick
(Matthews 58), Glynn, J Chisholm, White (Luamanu
58), Bothma (Elia 61) Sin-bin Boyce 15
Tries R Chisholm, Lang, Care, Elia, J Chisholm Cons
Lang, Smith 2
WASPS Le Roux; Wade, Macken, Eastmond (Armitage
55), Watson; Cipriani, Robson (Simpson 57); McIntyre
(Harris 71), Johnson (Cruse 55), Cooper-Woolley (Moore
61), Launchbury (capt), Gaskell (Myall 51), Haskell,
Young (Thompson 61), Carr Namexx (capt) Sent off
Haskell 76
Tries Eastmond, Carr, Johnson, Macken Cons Cipriani 4
Twickenham Stoop
Game rating |||||||||| Referee Romain Poite (Fr)
Leicester ring
changes as
Ford is given
fly-half spot
Andrew Baldock
Leicester will take a muchchanged team to Castres today as a
disappointing European Champions
Cup campaign heads towards a likely
early conclusion. The Tigers currently
prop up Pool Four, nine points behind
the leaders Munster, who will win the
group if they beat Racing 92 in Paris.
Back-to-back defeats against
Munster last month ended any realistic
hope of Leicester progressing from
a pool that suggested considerable
promise when they thumped Castres
54-29 at Welford Road in October.
Matt O’Connor, the Tigers head
coach, hands starts to players such as
full-back George Worth, centre Charlie
Thacker, fly-half Joe Ford, lock Harry
Wells and flanker Will Evans in a side
captained by the prop Greg Bateman.
England’s Manu Tuilagi, George
Ford, Ben Youngs and Dan Cole are
among Leicester’s absentees, while the
centre Matt Toomua also sits out the
Stade Pierre-Fabre encounter.
“We’ve had to make some changes
for this week with the England players
required to rest in the buildup to the
Six Nations, and guys like Logo
Mulipola, Manu Tuilagi and Matt
Toomua all coming back into a tough
schedule of games recently after
significant injury absences,” O’Connor
said. “Their absence provides an
opportunity for other players to go
out there, put in a performance and
stake their claim. It was good to get the
[Premiership] win against London Irish
last week but we were disappointed
with the performance and there is
plenty to work on.”
The Munster head coach, Johann
van Graan, makes four changes for the
Racing tie, with Billy Holland, Stephen
Archer, Peter O’Mahony and Chris
Cloete all featuring, while Munster’s
fellow Irish heavyweights after can
wrap up Pool Three by beating Glasgow
today.
The Lions flanker Sean O’Brien and
centre Garry Ringrose both miss out
for Leinster because of injury, but there
is a first Champions Cup start for the
exciting full-back prospect Jordan
Larmour, and the New Zealander
James Lowe features on the wing.
Newcastle can secure a place in the
European Challenge Cup last eight
by defeating the Russian champions
Enisei-STM, bottom of Pool One
with only one point, at Kingston Park.
The England Students flanker Simon
Uzokwe makes his European debut for
the Falcons, packing down in the back
row alongside Mark Wilson and Ryan
Burrows, while Toby Flood moves to
inside-centre and the prop Rob Vickers
will reach 250 Newcastle appearances
PA
if he features from the bench.
Down and in: Teimana Harrison will not be denied as he goes over for Northampton’s first try in their victory with Clermont Auvergne . Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Reinach try seals comeback
win as Saints see off Clermont
NORTHAMPTON
34
CLERMONT
21
Michael Aylwin
Franklin’s Gardens
The revival continues. Northampton’s
hopes in Europe have long gone, along
with most of the dignity they bore into
this season, but they have salvaged what
little of that they had left and made it
into a little more. Their realistic ambitions for the rest of this season may not
extend much beyond scrapping their
way back into this very competition for
next, but a scratchy, desperate win last
week has been followed up by this classy
effort against the French champions.
By the end, every collision and decision was going their way. Clermont still
have their destiny in their own hands – a
win next week at home to the Ospreys
will certainly see them through – but the
injury-ravaged Frenchmen here ended
up looking shaky, as they have proved in
domestic rugby this season, rather than
in the imperious form they have shown
in Europe.
Clermont may be meandering along in
10th in the Top 14 this season, but they
are dominating in Europe as if they have
not a care in the world. Their astonishing
dismantling of Saracens before Christmas still resonates and did not bode well
for Saints, given the dismantlings they’ve
suffered against the very same.
Sure enough, straight from the kickoff, Clermont idly worked through the
phases for a minute or so, before Benjamin Kayser suddenly worked Remi
Grosso clear down the left, and the
leggy winger showed himself to be long
of arm as well when he reached out of
Ahsee Tuala’s tackle for a try in the second minute.
They had a second, too, by the end of
the first quarter, even more extravagant.
Nick Abendanon combined with Peter
Betham down the right to put Isaiah
Toeava away. He won the race to the
corner. What is left of the Franklin’s Gardens faithful this season asked questions
of the last pass – as, quite passionately,
did Dylan Hartley – but the referee was
perfectly in line and invoked the law of
momentum.
It was an invigorating encounter, the
pressure pretty much off both teams,
albeit for diametrically different reasons, Northampton even deader to this
tournament than Clermont are sure
to qualify. The Saints replied smartly
to Clermont’s first try with a period of
pressure, which reached its climax when
Api Ratuniyarawa and Tom Wood broke
Clermont’s defence, before Nic Groom’s
long pass put Teimana Harrison into the
corner.
Northampton were struggling with
Clermont’s scrum, yielding a penalty
to it on the half-hour, but they handled
the visitors’ driven lineouts well enough
and struck with a second just before the
break. Ben Foden’s cross-kick bounced
nicely for Nafi Tuitavake, who stepped
Peter Betham for the try. Harry Mallinder hit the post with the conversion,
as he had the first time.
He hit the post a third time a couple
of minutes into the second half, but
this time it went in-off for three points
to reduce the deficit to two. And then
Northampton – or more specifically
their sweet-singing winger, Ben Foden –
hit their purest note yet. Foden pounced
on a loose ball on his 10-metre line and
was away, using Ken Pisi expertly as a
dummy runner. Sixty metres later he
was in at the corner, and Mallinder converted from the touchline.
Two Parra penalties had Clermont
back in the lead on the hour, but Mallinder was in the zone now. His crosskick was missed by Grosso, under pressure from Rob Horne, and Pisi was able
to scramble the loose ball over the line
to the TMO’s satisfaction. Mallinder, of
course, landed the conversion from out
wide.
The momentum was truly with the
Saints now – and, who knows, for maybe
the rest of the season. They saw off an
attacking Clermont scrum and within
seconds were pressing again in the right
corner. From a ruck a few metres out,
Cobus Reinach sniped over for their
fifth. Mallinder converted from the
touchline, and the result was sealed, if
not Clermont’s destiny.
NORTHAMPTON Tuala (Tuitavake 29); Pisi, Horne,
Stephenson, Foden; Mallinder, Groom (Reinach 59);
Ma’afu (Van Wyk 62), Hartley (capt; Haywood 62),
Brookes (Ford-Robinson 78), Ratuniyarawa (Paterson
75), Day, Lawes, Wood, Harrison (Eadie 78)
Tries Harrison, Tuitavake, Foden, Pisi, Reinach Cons
Mallinder 3 Pen Mallinder
CLERMONT Toeava; Abendanon, Betham, Lamerat,
Grosso; McAlister (Spedding 65), Parra (capt); Falgoux
(Chaume 65), Kayser (Behergaray 75), Slimani
(Zirakasvili 62), Van der Merwe (Itturia 56; Jedrasiak 67),
Vahaamahina, Chouly (Kolelishvili 62), Lapandry, Lee
Tries Grosso, Toeava Con Parra Pens Parra 3
Franklin’s Gardens 8,253
Game rating |||||||||| Referee George Clancy (Ire)
14.01.18
*
European Champions Cup | Rugby union | SPORT | 13
Ewers kickstarts six-try thrashing
EXETER
41
MONTPELLLIER
10
Robert Kitson
Sandy Park
It has not been a vintage European
season for the Premiership clubs but
English pride is not yet entirely extinguished. This convincing six-try thrashing of the current French league leaders
has certainly breathed fresh life into
Exeter’s prospects in Pool Three and the
revitalised Chiefs do not have the look
of a team who have given up on quarterfinal participation.
Everything will now depend on beating Glasgow in the final pool round with
the try bonus-point they earned on a
cool Devon evening having also boosted
their prospects. Aside from their backto-back defeats against the pool leaders,
Leinster, this has otherwise been a productive campaign for the English champions and, even without the injured Jack
Nowell, they reduced their visitors to a
wheezing pulp.
If the outstanding finishing of Olly
Woodburn, who scored two acrobatic
tries in the left corner, inevitably caught
the eye this was primarily a win fashioned by the home pack against opposite
numbers with far weightier reputations.
Sam Simmonds was outstanding, Luke
Cowan-Dickie was a constant nuisance
and the front five collectively enjoyed a
rewarding afternoon at scrum time. Last
week’s below-par defeat at Newcastle
has been forgotten already.
Strictly speaking this was not really
an Anglo-French affair at all. The visitors’ starting XV contained a mere three
Frenchmen and was significantly more
populated with South Africans and
Georgians. When the top club in the Top
14 are as cosmopolitan as this, it makes
the task facing the new French management team ahead of the Six Nations all
the harder.
As the Chiefs have delighted in proving, winning trophies is about rather
more than simply recruiting expensive
imports and Montpellier, even with
Aaron Cruden, Bismarck du Plessis,
François Steyn and Louis Picamoles in
their ranks, continue to be less than the
sum of their pricy parts.
The Chiefs, to their credit, even had
some joy at the set-piece and could have
had the game all but sewn up by halftime with a shade more precision with
ball in hand and more ruthlessness in
their opponents’ 22. Luke Cowan-Dickie
lost the ball as he stretched for the line
and a boot in touch ruled out a potential
chargedown try for Lachie Turner.
In between, however, Chiefs did manage one touchdown through Dave Ewers
after 28 minutes.
With a chilly breeze at their backs in
the second-half, a seven-point interval
lead felt a handier cushion than it looked
on the scoreboard.
The qualification maths, however,
remain straightforward. With Leinster
likely to clinch top place in Pool Three
against Glasgow with a round to spare,
In the pink: Sam Simmonds, scorer of one of Exeter’s six tries, repels all Montpellier challenges as he makes a break for the line. Alex Davidson/JMP/Rex/Shutterstock
As the Chiefs have
delighted in proving,
winning trophies is
about rather more
than recruiting
expensive imports
nothing less than another win at Scotstoun next Saturday will be enough to
maintain the Chiefs’ last-eight hopes.
Their only real moment of good fortune here came when Montpellier, after
an extended period of pressure, opted
merely to kick a 52nd-minute penalty
rather than go for the jugular with a
driven lineout. Up the other end surged
the Chiefs and the excellent Simmons
duly burrowed beneath a heap of bodies
to show the value of aiming higher.
Woodburn’s spectacular brace of
finishes in the left corner within seven
minutes of each other hammered home
a similar message, as well as seemingly
defying the laws of physics. Nic White
nipped down the blindside to score his
side’s fifth before Don Armand, ever reliable, poached a sixth. This was pretty
much exactly the script Exeter had
hoped for. Having already beaten their
opponents in the south of France, they
must now turn their attention to doing
something similar on the banks of the
River Clyde. At the very least they will
go down fighting.
EXETER Turner; Whitten, Slade, S Hill, Woodburn;
Steenson (capt; J Simmonds 70), White (Chudley 70);
Moon (Hepburn 55), Cowan-Dickie (Yeandle 55-70),
Williams (Francis 55), Lees, J Hill, Ewers (Kvesic 59),
Armand, S Simmonds (Salmon 70)
Tries Ewers, S Simmonds, Woodburn 2, White, Armand
Cons Steenson 3, J Simmonds Pen J Simmonds
MONTPELLIER Immelman; N’gandebe, Steyn,
Serfontein, Nadolo; Cruden, Aprasidze (Mogg 70);
Nariashvili (Fichten 46), B Du Plessis, Jonker (Haouas
ht), Van Rensburg, Mikautadze (Delannoy 63), Bardy,
Camara (Galletier 57), Picamoles (capt)
Try Nadolo Con Cruden Pen Cruden
20
LA ROCHELLE
13
Ulster knocked La Rochelle off top spot
in Pool One with a hard-fought 20-13
win over the French side at a wet and
windy Kingspan Stadium.
Rory Best – the captain and man of
the match – Jacob Stockdale and Nick
Timoney scored tries for Les Kiss’s
side, giving them a one-point lead at
the top of the group and a good position
to qualify for the quarter-finals for the
first time since 2014.
The Irish province can finish as pool
winners if they triumph with a bonus
point at Wasps in next weekend’s final
round of games. But Ulster’s failure
to gain a maximum-point triumph,
along with the French team managing
a losing bonus point – thanks to a try,
a conversion and two penalties from
the scrum-half Alexi Bales – meant La
Lineman: Jacob Stockdale runs in for Ulster’s second try against La Rochelle during
their European Champions Cup win in Belfast. Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty
Read our report from last
night’s Pool 2 match online
published in later editions of
Observer Sport
theguardian.com/sport
Sandy Park 11,427
Game rating |||||||||| Referee Nigel Owens (Wal)
Best exploits maul to help lift Ulster into top spot
but door left open for final-round frustration
ULSTER
OSPREYS v
SARACENS
Rochelle remained in the mix going into
their home game against Harlequins.
Bales opened the scoring with a
ninth-minute penalty after huge early
pressure from La Rochelle had nearly
put Vincent Rattez in from a Jérémy
Sinzelle cross-kick.
That became 6-0 on 16 minutes after
Ulster were penalised at a lineout and
Bales landed the kick. The visitors
were then reduced to 14 men when the
replacement winger Paul Jordaan was
shown a yellow card by Wayne Barnes
for hitting Charles Piutau in mid-air.
Ulster took advantage of their
numerical superiority and, after
Christian Lealiifano – the 30-year-old
playing his final home game for Ulster
– put a penalty into the corner, the
lineout was secured and Best got on the
back of an irresistible maul to score on
28 minutes. John Cooney missed the
conversion, leaving Ulster trailing by
a point, which was how it stayed until
Jordaan’s return.
Ulster got their noses in front five
minutes before half-time. After some
good approach work from their pack,
the ball was thrown wide, with Louis
Ludik’s scoop allowing Stockdale to
pick up and charge over in the right
corner after swatting three defenders.
Cooney again failed to add the extras
following the Ireland winger’s score
but the home side took their 10-6
advantage into the interval.
The game erupted into life with two
tries in three minutes – one for each
team – early in the second period. First,
Bales scored near the posts after Victor
Vito’s break had carved Ulster open to
take the visitors back into the lead, with
the scrum-half’s conversion of his own
try making it 13-10 to La Rochelle.
But Ulster immediately hit back
when the replacement Darren Cave
latched on to a spilled ball in La
Rochelle’s 22 to put Timoney in space
and the No8 did well to drive over after
45 minutes.
Cooney’s conversion put Ulster
17-13 up and that became 20-13 when
the scrum-half added a 49th-minute
penalty. The remainder of the game
was mostly dominated by Ulster, but
neither side managed any further
PA
scores.
* 14.01.18
14 | SPORT | Cricket | One-day series
Morgan in better,
calmer place
after chaos of
four years ago
Captain happy to focus
on World Cup buildup
in contrast to England’s
dire tour of 2013-14
Vithushan Ehantharajah
Melbourne
On a Melbourne February morning in
2014, Eoin Morgan was perched on a
bench outside the England team hotel
nursing a coffee. He looked refreshed,
though in that typical Morgan way,
where gauging his mood would be
a fool’s lot. Morgan sat, supped and
watched the world go by while, within
the walls behind him, English cricket
was falling over itself.
The night before, England were
thumped by eight wickets in a Twenty20
at the MCG – the penultimate match of
the 2013-14 tour that eventually saw
them register only one competitive win
(the fourth ODI at Perth) in 13 attempts.
An hour after play, news filtered
through that Andy Flower – who had
returned home after the Test series and
handed the reins to Ashley Giles, the
limited-overs coach at the time – was
to be sacked. The next 10 hours were
as chaotic as they come for the ECB. It
had announced the news to pre-empt
a scoop only to expose how underprepared it was for such a bombshell.
At a sharply arranged 8am press conference in a spare hotel suite, which had
to be filled with a variety of chairs by the
ECB’s media manager who hadn’t slept
a wink, the chairman, Giles Clarke, read
from a hastily prepared statement with
all the enthusiasm of a man tasked with
reading a list of his partner’s former
lovers. He did not refuse questions but
certainly did his utmost not to answer
any. The tour finished a few days later in
Sydney in predictably disastrous fashion.
This time around, Morgan as ODI and
T20 captain knows how important it is to
separate the red and white ball portions
of the tour. To avoid running the same
fate as a TV series that doesn’t quite nail
‘I can’t see how
going to the IPL
could hamper me’
Continued from page 1
matters in its opening burst and quickly
descends into farce by the second season, when story arcs are abandoned and
characters killed off in an attempt to
bring a change for the better.
Sure enough, this is what Morgan was
asked to address in the lead-up to today’s
ODI opener at the Melbourne Cricket
Ground: how will he ensure what comes
next is not defined by the Ashes thrashing? But he distanced himself from the
simplistic notion that avenging earlier
defeats will be the main driver of one-
SCHEDULE
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Today
Fri
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1st ODI
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all 3:20am
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7 Feb 1st T20 Hobart
8:40am
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Follow all the action with our over-by-over
commentary: theguardian.com/sport
day success. It is probably the last thing
many of them want to reflect on.
“A lot of the guys who have come
into the squad who haven’t been here a
great deal or come from various places
around the world bring a lot of energy to
the group,” he said. “We’re trying to do
two different things as a Test team and
a white-ball group. I certainly think the
mentality within the groups can have a
different effect.”
For what it is worth England’s ODI
record on Australian soil is not particularly flash. They have won only five of
the last 20 ODIs played here, a period
which includes the cringeworthy 2015
World Cup campaign. The overall headto-head over the past five years is 21-14 in
the hosts’ favour.
That World Cup comfortably goes
down as the nadir of England’s shorter
form travails. Remember when Morgan was pushed into the captaincy after
Alastair Cook was pushed out on the
One day at a time: Eoin Morgan hopes England’s ODI side can be successful in Australia
as they progress towards their main goal, the 2019 World Cup. Ellen Smith/EPA
‘I’m sure Australia
will throw up some
different wickets –
they’re not all going
to be as flat
as a pancake’
cusp of the tournament? Or James Taylor batting No3 in the warm-ups before
getting shunted down the order when
the tournament began? Then defeat to
Bangladesh to knock them out of the
competition? There was literally a book
written about how bad it all was. Then
came the overhaul. And it worked.
“A line was drawn in the sand and we
were given clear directives that the goal
was the 2019 World Cup,” Morgan said.
“To bridge the gap between where we
were and, say, being in the semi-final or
the final. That was the first port of the
call. Bridging that gap came quicker than
we ever thought it would. We’ve got a
huge amount of confidence from the
selectors. Andrew Strauss, our director
of cricket, gave absolute clarity in what
we wanted. I think, as a captain and
backroom staff, we certainly thrived on
that. It’s not often you get free rein and
ambition to be adventurous as you like.”
With such ambition and adventure
has come a few stumbles. In last year’s
Champions Trophy semi-final – England’s to win, so they said – they had a
dart at 400 when 300 would have been
plenty on a tacky Cardiff wicket. Pakistan picked off their target of 211 with
have to make sure that they make you
stronger and go the other way.”
Root also confirmed he will enter the
IPL auction, despite the protestations
of Bayliss. “The schedule is full on. I’ve
always said I put playing for England
first and if it means resting from things
like the IPL, which I’ve done in the past,
I’ll happily do that. For however long my
international career lasts it’s going to be
focused about as giving as much as I can
for this team and playing for England.
“But one thing I’ve been very aware of
for the past two years is the lack of T20
cricket. When that World Cup does come
around, this is probably the best window
of opportunity for me to develop that
white-ball side of my game. You’ve seen
how quickly one-day cricket has moved
forward in the last three or four years.
“As someone involved in the Test
side I don’t want to be missing whiteball cricket and falling behind. I want
to make sure I’m keeping my place and
setting the standards in this team.
“The IPL is a great opportunity. It may
be that I don’t have a great IPL but the
best thing would be the exposure to different players and different ways of looking at the game, being under pressure. I
can’t see how that could hamper my game
or be detrimental to my England career.”
Root will be one of 26 England players
to enter this year’s IPL auction, which
takes place on 27 and 28 January. The
tournament itself is scheduled to run
from 4 April to 31 May, meaning Root’s
availability will be only partial given his
international commitments, with the
second Test against New Zealand scheduled to finish on 3 April and the first Test
of the English summer (against Pakistan
at Lord’s) starting on 24 May.
ease before taking the trophy in the final
against India. Lesson learned.
“We’ve tempered our aggression
with some smart cricket,” Morgan said.
“Par for the course for this series will be
bringing out the positive aggressive style
with the bat while adapting to the wicket.
We did it a little bit in India playing on
very good wickets, in the West Indies we
played on stodgy wickets and managed
to adapt. I’m sure Australia will throw up
some different wickets – they’re not all
going to be as flat as a pancake.”
Preparing for an English World Cup
with an Australian series might not seem
like natural bedfellows. But Morgan is
aware that overcoming the challenges
in the next month will put his side in
good stead for 2019. He has seen enough
to know that leaving here without falling
into disarray will go a long way.
Five things to consider before the next Ashes
Move Cook to No3 and look beyond Branderson
1
Find a No3
The search for Alastair Cook’s
opening partner has overshadowed
an even greater need to fill
the most important batting
position of all. James Vince,
for all his seductive talent, is
the antonym of a Test No3.
There will be more calls for
Joe Root to move up, though
m
few captains have had long-term
ti
success in that position – Ricky P
Ponting
is a spectacular exception – and there’s
a reason why Steve Smith and Virat
Kohli bat No4. Dawid Malan has the
temperament and adaptability, though
exposing him to high-class new-ball
bowling might kill the golden goose.
Should the chosen No3 struggle in
New Zealand, England might consider
moving Cook (right) down the order for
the summer series against Pakistan and
India. It would give him the stimulation
of a fresh challenge and England a
bridge between the openers and the
middle order. Haseeb Hameed or Keaton
Jennings could then come in alongside
Mark Stoneman. And if nothing else,
it would be a creative way to end the
search for Cook’s opening partner.
2
Pick a specialist spinner
Moeen Ali is a role model in
need of a role. He was picked as
a temporary solution to England’s
spin-bowling problems in 2014 and is
still doing the job. Unless England are
to embrace a more flexible approach
selection, which would allow
to sele
Moe
Moeen (left) to be a priceless
uti
utility player whose role and
sel
selection would depend on
con
conditions and confidence,
the
they surely need to clarify his
posit
position. All things being equal,
England should consider him as
b t
a batsman
who bowls – even if that
means he doesn’t make it into the
first XI in New Zealand – and pick a
specialist spinner.
The situation is complicated by
the absence of a must-pick spinner
and the wild fluctuations in Moeen’s
performance levels: he was England’s
best player last summer and their worst
this winter. It also depends on other
decisions. If Malan moves to No3, say,
Moeen has a much greater chance of
staying in the team as a middle-order
batsman. For most of his Test career
he has been an adorable but often
insubstantial loose cannon down the
order; a glorified bits-and-pieces player.
It’s not his fault, but Moeen has become
a symbol of a short-term thinking that
probably needs to stop.
3
Prepare for life without Branderson
In the next few years England will
lose two bowlers with around 1,000
Test wickets and a combined
ombined bowling
IQ approaching 300.. Though Jimmy
Anderson is 35 and Stuart Broad 31,
recent performancess suggest
ill be
it’s unlikely there will
four years between their
retirements. Losing two
ck
great bowlers in quick
ntold
succession can do untold
damage, as Australiaa
d
(Glenn McGrath and
Shane Warne) and West
brose
Indies (Curtley Ambrose
h)
and Courtney Walsh)
found out. And whilee fast
bowlers’ bodies do not give
a solitary hoot aboutt bestlaid plans, England should
at least try to staggerr the
o prepare
retirements – and to
ns giving
for them. That means
Chris Woakes, Toby Roland-Jones
and others as much experience as
any Test matches
possible. With so many
n the next two
squashed together in
ht do well
years, England might
erson and
to think less of Anderson
Broad and more of Anderson
or Broad.
4
Prioritise Test cricket
ricket
English Test cricket
cket
could really use
a hug right now. It’s
severely homesick,
down in the dumps and, for the
first time since it became a
big brother on 5 January 1971
with the birth of one-day
it not even
internationals, it’s
the most popular sibling in
the family. All an
anyone keeps
talking about is how dynamic
and successful tthe white-ball
twins have beco
have become.
It would have been naive of
the England and W
Wales Cricket
Board chiefs to thin
think they could
on
improve England’s one-day
cricket so spectacularl
spectacularly
without a knock-on effect
on the Test team. Yet the
extent and speed o
of
that impact mu
must
have surprised
surpris
them. There are a few
potential so
solutions tto
consider, both
shortb
term (specialist
coaches
(spec
for the re
red- and whiteball teams,
team even before
Trevor B
Bayliss’s
departure
departu in 2019)
and pa
particularly
long-term
lo
(playing
(
the
t County
Championship at the hei
height of summer
on flatter pitches; using a Kookaburra
ball; giving a long run in tthe side to
potential stars such as Mason Crane,
Hameed, Liam Livingstone and Sam
Curran). But with the Ashes and the
World Cup in 2019, it could be a while
before Test cricket emerges from the
shadow of its younger siblings.
5
Find an X-factor bowler
“Raw Pace and Mystery Spin”
would be a good title for an
existential play about a series of
England captains tormented unto
madness by recurring dreams of 82mph
right-a
right-arm seamers. If England are
to co
compete overseas they need to
inv in some players with more
invest
tra
transfer
able skills, whether it
t leg-spin of Crane (or a
is the
high-class
finger spinner such as
hig
Graeme
Grae Swann and Nathan Lyon),
the pace of Mark Wood (left), Jamie
Overton
O
t or Olly Stone, or even the
left-handedness of Sam Curran.
They could even have an unofficial
quota system: every Test XI or squad
would have to include at one least
wildcard. It’s radical, and would
invite ridicule; but then so does losing
consecutive away series 4-0.
If England don’t do something
to ensure the recent promises of
long-term change are more than idle
new year’s resolutions, we will be
having the same conversation in four
Rob Smyth
years’ time.
14.01.18
*
Australian Open | Tennis | SPORT | 15
Djokovic takes big gamble to regain
crown from injury-hit opposition
KEVIN
L
MITCHELL
MELBOURNE
N
ovak Djokovic handed out
sugar-free sweets to the media
dia
ngg
again yesterday, spreading
love and good health in equal
ual
measure, but no amount off
bonhomie could disguise that the sixixtime winner of the Australian Open iss in
for the toughest fortnight of any of his
dozen Melbourne visits.
He is gambling on his suspect elbow
ow
holding up with the help of a restructured
red
service action and admitted before his
is
first match – against the flickeringlyy
dangerous American Donald Young on
n
Tuesday – that his injury, which did not
ot
require surgery, is still not 100%.
“Right now it’s at the level where I can
compete, and every day is getting better,”
he said. “You know, I’m hoping that it can
be 100% at the start of the tournament.
Throughout the tournament, I don’t
know how it’s going to behave. Even if
it’s 100% healed, after six months of
ow how
no competition, you never know
you’re going to react.
an do.
“There’s not much more I can
r, with
I’ve done everything in my power,
a team of people around me, to enable
ys and
me to be here in front of you guys
en.”
to compete in the Australian Open.”
It was always going to be an approchedule,
priate target for his comeback schedule,
given his success here, and the support
of fans who mobbed him thee day he
rat Safin
arrived. It is 12 years since Marat
bagelled the young Serbian on his debut
ee games
in Melbourne, allowing him three
st-round
in an embarrassingly quick, first-round
three-setter, but he has gone on to establish himself as the king of thiss tournament with some breathtakingg performances in recent years.
agement
However, the rules of engagement
ic’s “serhave changed. So has Djokovic’s
runcated
vice motion”, as he calls it: truncated
ain in his
and more efficient to ease the pain
im
right elbow that has dogged him
h
for nearly three years and which
cut short his season after thee
x
quarter-finals at Wimbledon six
months ago.
ation has
From dominance to trepidation
one who
been a jolting journey for someone
f. He has
has come to exude self-belief.
mixed that super-confidence with an
adherence to new-age values over the
past couple of years and has a gentler
mien. Like Andy Murray, who joined
him at the exit gate at Wimbledon before
his own enforced sabbatical, Djokovic
misses tennis terribly. That is why the
14th seed is taking a qualified risk here,
hoping his body does not collapse on
him again. It does not make him an altogether backable proposition, even in an
open field.
The winner, though, is more likely to
come from another quarter. It almost
FIVE TO WATCH JACOB STEINBERG’S PICK OF THE MEN’S
MEN S DRAW
NICK KYRGIOS
Tipping the young Aus
Australian is always
Many good judges
a dangerous game. Ma
more from Alex
will expect to see far m
Zverev, the world
No4, w
who is widely
regarded
as the
regar
brightest
prodigy in
brigh
the men’s
game. Yet
m
idea of Kyrgios
the ide
fulfilling his potential
remains tantalising.
Naturally
Naturall there is every
chance the
t world No17
disappoint again at
could disap
tournament but
his home tou
winning Bris
Brisbane was an
encouraging step in the
encouragi
right direction
for the
direc
22-year-old.
22-yea
Tennis is the pain game, as players keep
saying, and Johanna Konta admitted
before her first match at the 2018
Australian Open, against the American
Madison Brengle on Tuesday, that she
is still managing a damaged foot and
sore hip.
The foot injury wrecked her finish to
2017 after a blazing summer of success
and a steady rise through the rankings,
and the hip went on her in Brisbane
recently, forcing the world No10 to quit
when 3-2 down in the third set against
Elina Svitolina. Neither was serious
enough to stop her playing in Sydney,
where she lost in three tight sets to
Agnieszka Radwanska on Tuesday, and
Dominic Thiem and David Goffi
offin will
believe this could be their time,
me, while
Marin Cilic is always a threat.
t. But
Del Potro is a good outside bet. The
lovable Argentinian is free from
rom injury
problems at the moment and
nd his
victory over Roger Federer at Flushing
Meadows last year proved that
hat his
game remains explosive enough
ough to
inconvenience the best. The world
No12 is a terrifying proposition
ion
on his day.
y But can he last the
he
course over a fortnight?
GRIGOR DIMITROV
RAFAEL NADAL
With Andy Murray recovering from
hip surgery, Kei Nishikori sidelined
and uncertainty hanging over Novak
Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka, an open
field offers a chance for Dimitrov, who
has crept up to No3 in the rankings, to
produce something of substance. A
semi-finalist last year, the Bulgarian
has to build on winning the ATP
World Tour Finals. But trusting the
inconsistent 26-year-old is hard.
Part of what made Roger Federer’s renaissance
so thrilling was the resumption of his rivalry with
Nadal, who also climbed off the canvas to enjoy a
successful year. The Spaniard lost to his old friend
in a classic Australian Open
final but he completed La
Décima
a at the French
Open, strolled to the
US Open title and
finished the year
as the world No1.
The 31-year-old’s
troublesome knees
flared up at the ATP
World Tour Finals,
however, and his fitness is a concern.
Comeback: Novak Djokovic is competing
at Melbourne after a serious elbow injury
ROGER
RO
OGER FEDERER
A ye
year ago time seemed to be
running out for the Swiss great.
runn
reat.
Instead, Federer roared back
Inste
k
win his fifth Australian
to w
Open title before regaining
Ope
Wimbledon crown.
his W
Now, with so many of his
Now
rivals wounded or absent,
rival
defending champion
the d
starts as the favourite. Yet the
star
36-year-old’s quarter-finall exit at the US
36-y
Open reminded him that he must manage
Ope
body carefully; his hopess of winning
his b
20th major will be in doubtt if his back
a 20
plays up.
play
certainly will not be the former champion, Stan Wawrinka, who is in his
quarter and who conceded yesterday
that he, too, is gambling on a suspect
knee surviving the examination he is
about to give it, starting with a relatively
easy match on Tuesday against Ricardas Berankis. “It’s been six months,” the
Swiss said of his time away from court
after two surgical incisions into his left
knee. “It’s been tough, really tough. But
I’m feeling better.”
Konta determined to rise
again after ‘hitting a wall’
Kevin Mitchell
Melbourne
JUAN MARTÍN DEL POTRO
her concerns would seem to have eased
considerably.
“I irritated my sural nerve in my foot
in February last year,” she said. “It’s a
sharp pain through [the edge of her
left foot]. The sural nerve is really close
to the surface and you can feel it by
brushing along. It’s still active but not
painful. I’m managing it. I still wear a
desensitising patch during matches to
put it even more out of my mind.”
Konta revealed for the first time
that she “hit a wall” last year, before
rediscovering some of her best form
in recent weeks. “Besides the physical
struggles I was having with my foot –
which definitely hindered my ability
to stay as present and as focused as I
wanted to on court – the worries, and
everything, that all kind of snowballed
and accumulated.
He has to get past the Italian Thomas
Fabbi
Fabbiano
in the first round, and Mischa is
pitted against the talented Korean Hyeon
Chun Both are tricky propositions.
Chung.
Kyle Edmund, meanwhile, has drawn
Ky
e
an extremely
difficult opponent in the
20 US Open finalist, Kevin Ander2017
so The South African (Anderson, not
son.
Ed
Edmund)
won in five competitive sets
whe they last met, at the 2017 French
when
Open
Open, and Britain’s lone representative
in the men’s draw here takes heart from
that. He says he is over the rolled ankle
that struck
s
him down towards the end of
his th
three-setter against Grigor Dimitrov
in Brisbane
Bri
a week ago, and is looking forward to the challenge of trading big shots
with Anderson, one of the fastest servers
in the game.
“H
“He had a good run at the end of last
year, played well at the start of the year.
So it’l
it’ll be a tough match, but what do you
expe
expect with grand slams? You’re going
Better than awful is not great, but
Wawrinka is one of the toughest and
strongest competitors on the circuit and
he could at least make a move through
the early rounds, with the likelihood of
playing Djokovic in the quarter-finals –
unless the fifth seed, Dominic Thiem,
finds some form, or Mischa Zverev
repeats his giant-killing of 2017, when
he put Murray out of the tournament.
However, the older Zverev would have
to beat his younger brother, Alexander,
to do that – and they are scheduled to
meet in the second round. Alexander,
No4 in the world, brings more attitude
than his brother, and said: “I think it’s
going to be a very special moment for all
of us. I mean, two brothers playing at a
grand slam together and playing each
other is something you won’t see very
often. If it happens, of course I will want
to win. I think he will want to win. It
will be a happy moment for, I think, the
whole family.”
“It was also a case of my tolerance as a
person. I kind of hit a wall. I wasn’t able
to roll with the punches any more. It was
a bit overwhelming. I couldn’t find that
head space you need to find when you’re
ut.”
being tested day in, day out.”
er
The foot did not bother
her in Brisbane – but, forr the
p
first time, she felt a sharp
at,
pain in her right hip. That,
ontrol.
too, seems to be under control.
“It’s settled down nicely,”” she
ood
said. “I am generally in good
shape. I’ve been workingg
my body to the max to tryy
and withstand as many
matches as possible
but I’ve also got to give
my body an adaptation
process in a competitive
environment. No matter
how much you train
you can’t replicate
the stresses that the
body takes when it’s in a
competitive environment.”
nt.”
When she was struggling to get past
150 in the rankings years ago, she was
aware that mental stress played a big
part in stifling her tennis. There have
been brief “panic” momen
moments since
then, she says, but she is fa
far better at
recognising the danger si
signals.
“It’s really easy to catastrophise
cat
everything. I’d like to th
think as
I’ve gotten older I do a bit better
with that. Again, if I don’t take
enough time, if II’m not
aware enough of where I am
mentally and emotionally,
don’t pick u
up on those
moments w
where I’m
going to take
ta a day here,
it can be overwhelming.
ov
“I’m still
sti on that
learning curve. I
learned a lot last
year. I’d like to
think when
I’m
w
creeping towards
creep
hitting
hitt my limit,
I know
kn I need to
take
tak maybe an
af
afternoon
off,
an we won’t
and
Shaping up: Johanna Konta
a says
her injuries are under control
trol
to be playing tough players
players. If you want
to do well, you’re going to have to beat
them at some point. Tha
That’s the way it
goes. You always hav
have the chance
of drawing a seed like Kevin.”
He said of the Roland Garros match: “I play
played well. Very
small margins. Apart
Ap from the
fourth set, most of tthe sets were
nip and tuck. I’ve worked on stuff, have
to get better, learning fro
from that eight
months on, or somethi
something like that.
I’d like to say I’m a bit m
more experithen Hopefully I
enced than I was then.
a do better.
can learn from that and
“My serve has improved,
bringing some mo
more balls into
play on my returns – that’s definitely going to be a good one for me
against Kevin. It depends o
on the condiw him. It’s
tions, how the match goes with
a bit up and down at the mi
minute.
“I’ve only played one tournament but
that one was good for me: beat two good
players – doesn’t matter about the players, it’s the type of matches. They were
close and I came through, both winning
the first set and losing the first set. I was
happy with that. Even the one I lost I
was playing well against a top player.
I’m happy with how I’ve been playing.
The year’s so long, there’s always ups
and downs. It’s important to look at the
ups and see what works for you and try
to carry that on.”
BROADY MISSES OUT
Naomi Broady’s long wait to play her secondround qualifying match at the Australian Open
ended in disappointment. The British No3 was
scheduled to face Bibiane Schoofs on Friday
afternoon but play was eventually called off
following persistent rain. But after further
rain delays Broady lost to the Dutch player
7-6 (5), 6-2. Broady’s defeat means Johanna
Konta, Heather Watson and Kyle Edmund are
Britain’s only representatives in the singles
main draws.
PA
get to a point where I need to take a
long time off.”
Testing her resolve in the first round
will be Brengle, whom she lost to in
2015 but beat handily a year later in
their only other meeting. “She’s a
tricky player,” Konta said. “She has
beaten some great players. You never
underestimate her. She is incredibly
tough in the way she competes, the
amount of balls she’s able to get back.
I’m preparing for a tough match.”
In the pain game, every day is tough.
Some are just more enjoyable than
others.
* 14.01.18
16 | SPORT | Racing
Frost in Grand National picture
after her skills work like a charm
Chris Cook
Warwick
This was the latest big day for the enormously popular young jockey Bryony
Frost, who won another major Saturday
race and simultaneously bagged herself
a Grand National ride. She and Milansbar had their rivals in trouble a long way
from home with an attacking approach
to the Classic Chase, coming home 11
lengths clear despite odds of 12-1.
It was Frost’s first ride on the horse
and she evidently made the right impression on the winning owner, 80-year-old
Robert Bothway, enjoying his biggest
moment in the sport after more than
half a century of owning racehorses. He
described her work here as “brilliant,
absolutely first-class”, adding that he
would be delighted if Frost were able to
take the mount again at Aintree in April.
Milansbar was quietly fancied for the
Welsh Grand National last weekend but
turned in a most unpromising display,
being pushed along from an early stage
before unseating Trevor Whelan at the
12th. Connections felt he had sulked
after being crowded in the mad dash
to the first bend that day but the result
was that his trainer, Neil King, went for
a day’s shooting rather than coming here
to see the sequel.
He was immediately on the phone to
Bothway with the rallying cry: “Aintree,
here we come!” Indeed, Milansbar may
not run again before the big day if King
thinks he can keep him fresh enough
Off pat: Bryony Frost and Milansbar head
into the Warwick winner’s enclosure
with a couple of days’ hunting. He does
not wish to wear out the effect of the
blinkers which worked so well when
fitted for the first time here.
A 40-1 shot for the National last night,
Milansbar has obviously not convinced
everybody he is the right type for that
test but last year’s National hero, One
For Arthur, also won this race en route.
If Frost takes the ride, Milansbar will
surely be a warm order with the betting
public and those charged with promoting the sport may require oxygen at the
prospect of her getting a first ride in the
race on a horse with half a chance.
“He’s turned into Pegasus!” Frost
told reporters, once more showing the
unforced enthusiasm and volubility
which, along with her riding skills, got
her voted “jockey of the month” for both
November and December. Explaining
IN BRIEF
ATHLETICS
Muir leads mixed relay
to cross-country title
how she was able to save a bit of her
horse’s energy, so that he was not a
spent force on the run-in, she said: “He’s
pulled up, still thinking he’s God. He’ll be
going home, having lovely dreams about
winging over those fences.”
Even in victory, many jockeys are
cautious in conversation with reporters. Frost may be the first in the game’s
300 years to greet the press pack with
the words: “Hey guys! How are we all
doing?” Asked about her recent successes, she said: “Life’s good. The crowd
are awesome.”
Perhaps her agent or her main
employer, Paul Nicholls, are safeguarding the 5lb claim she can take off the
backs of her horses until she rides her
40th winner. Still, it is a surprise to see
that this was just her fourth ride of the
year and her only one on the card.
She makes no such complaint herself,
saying of this first booking for King: “It
fills you with confidence because people
are obviously seeing the way that you
ride and saying: ‘You know what, I think
she’d get on with my horse, I’m going to
put her up and see what happens.’” More
trainers should be thinking that way.
A good day was also had by Nicky
Henderson, who was getting married
in Scotland while four of his horses
won races, including William Henry
in Kempton’s Lanzarote. North Yorkshire’s Malcolm Jefferson had a double,
including a most impressive success
by Waiting Patiently, who will surely
have a big chance in a Grade One at the
Cheltenham Festival.
Double European indoor champion
Laura Muir anchored Great Britain
to victory in the mixed team relay
event in the Great Edinburgh Cross
Country. Muir took the baton in third
place behind Europe and Belgium but
wasted no time in hitting the front and
powered away to a comfortable win
around the 4x1km Holyrood Course.
The British quartet of Tom Marshall,
Alexandra Bell, Adam Clarke and Muir
finished in 11min 33sec, seven seconds
ahead of Belgium.
PA
European Champions Cup
Pool 2: Clermont Auvergne v Ospreys (3.15pm); Saracens
v Northampton (3.15pm). Pool 3: Glasgow v Exeter (1pm);
Montpellier v Leinster (1pm). Pool 5: Benetton Treviso v
Bath (5.30pm); Scarlets v Toulon (5.30pm).
European Challenge Cup
Pool 1: Enisei-STM v Newcastle (10am); Newport Gwent
D’gons v Bordeaux. Pool 2: Lyon v Cardiff Blues (5pm);
Toulouse v Sale (5pm). Pool 3: Zebre v Agen (2pm).
Pool 4: Krasny Yar v London Irish (1pm). Stade Francais
v Edinburgh (8pm). Pool 5: Brive v Worcester (2.30pm);
Connacht v Oyonnax (2.30pm).
British & Irish Cup
Pool 1: Bedford v Nottingham (2pm). Pool 2: Leinster
A v Doncaster (2pm). Pool 3: Newport Gwent D’gons
Premiership (2pm); Yorkshire Carnegie v Jersey (2pm).
Pool 4: Richmond v Ealing Trailfinders (2pm).
National League One
Ampthill & District v Bishop’s Stortford (2.15pm);
Birmingham Moseley v Old Albanians; Caldy v Darlington
Mowden Park (2pm); Coventry v Esher; Hull Ionians v
Blackheath (2pm); Old Elthamians v Cambridge (2pm);
Plymouth Albion v Loughborough Students; Rosslyn Park
v Fylde.
BT Scottish Premiership
Ayr v Marr (2pm); Boroughmuir v Heriot’s Rugby Club;
Glasgow Hawks v Currie; Melrose v Stirling County (2pm);
Watsonians v Hawick.
SUNDAY (3.15pm unless stated)
European Champions Cup
Pool 1: La Rochelle v Harlequins; Wasps v Ulster.
Pool 4: Leicester v Racing 92; Munster v Castres.
GOLF
EurAsia Cup, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Fourball results: T Fleetwood & H Stenson (Eng/Swe) bt
SSP Chawrasia & Anirban Lahiri (Ind) 3 & 2; P Casey & T Hatton
bt An B-h & K Aphibarnrat (Kor/Tha) 2 & 1; G Green & Y Ikeda
(Mal/Jap) bt R Cabrera-Bello & A Levy (Sp/Fr) 1 down;
M Fitzpatrick & T Pieters (Eng/Bel) bt Kang S-h & P Saksansin
(Kor/Tha) 3 & 2; H Tanihara & P Khongwatmai (Jpn/Tha) bt
P Dunne & A Noren (Ire/Swe) 2 & 1; N Fung & Li H-t bt R Fisher
& B Wiesberger (Eng/Aut) 3 & 1.
Sony Open, Waialae CC, Honolulu, Hawaii
Leading second-round scores (US unless stated)
127 B Harman 64 63. 130 T Gooch 64 66; C Kirk 63 67;
Z Johnson 63 67; J Peterson 66 64; T Hoge 65 65.
131 K Stanley 64 67; O Schniederjans 66 65; P Kizzire 67 64.
132 X Schauffele 68 64; K Kisner 68 64. 133 J Kelly 66 67;
B Stuard 67 66; C Smith (Aus) 66 67; R Knox (Sco) 69 64;
D Kataoka (Jpn) 65 68. 134 J Dufner 69 65; H Swafford 68
66; G Woodland 67 67; S Saunders 67 67; S Cink 70 64.
CRICKET
Markram on the rise
Aiden Markram fell six runs short of
a third century in only his fifth Test
before South Africa’s strong start
against India was checked by late
wickets in Centurion. The 23-year-old
has now scored at least 90 in four of his
five appearances and his efforts were
boosted by 82 from Hashim Amla as
the hosts ended day one of the second
Test on 269 for six. But having been 246
for three, the Proteas were left ruing
three late wickets as they look to secure
a series victory in a meeting of the two
top-ranked sides in Test cricket.
PA
Twin tons fire up Irish
Centuries from the captain William
Porterfield and Andrew Balbirnie
helped Ireland beat the UAE for the
second time in three days in their TriSeries match, comprehensive victors by
67 runs in Dubai.
PA
Carrying the baton: Laura Muir anchors
Britain’s mixed relay team to victory
TENNIS
Kerber posts warning
Angelique Kerber won her first title
since claiming the US Open crown
in 2016 with victory over Ashleigh
Barty at the Sydney International. The
German has been a different player at
the start of this season to the one who
struggled so badly in 2017 and goes into
the Australian Open as a real contender
to reclaim the title she won two years
ago. Barty was looking for her first
WTA Tour title on home soil but it was
Kerber who seized the initiative in the
match and went on to win 6-4, 6-4. PA
GOLF
Paisley powers up
England’s Chris Paisley will take a oneshot lead into the final day of the South
Africa Open, but Branden Grace is hot
on his heels. Chasing his first European
Tour title, Paisley carded a third round
of 70 at Glendower Golf Club to finish
15 under par, with Grace only a shot
PA
behind after a 66.
RESULTS
RUGBY UNION
European Champions Cup
Pool 1
P W D
L
F
A
T
B Pts
Ulster
5
4
0
1 125
92 14
1 17
La Rochelle
5
3
0
2 140 114 16
4 16
Wasps
4
2
0
2 100
81 13
2 10
Harlequins
4
0
0
4 66 144
9
2
2
(Table not including Harlequins v Wasps)
Harlequins L Wasps L (result and match report on p12);
Ulster 20 La Rochelle 13.
Pool 2
P W D
L
F
A
T
B Pts
C Auvergne
4
4
0
0 120
63 12
2 18
Ospreys
4
2
0
2 130 109 17
5 13
Saracens
4
2
0
2 128 117 17
3 11
Northampton
4
0
0
4 67 156
9
1
1
(Table not including Northampton v Clermont Auvergne)
Northampton L Clermont Auvergne L (result and match
report on p12); Ospreys L Saracens L.
Pool 3
P W D
L
F
A
T
B Pts
Leinster
4
4
0
0 98
60 11
2 18
Exeter
5
3
0
2 117
89 14
2 14
Montpellier
5
2
0
3 116 150 16
5 13
Glasgow
4
0
0
4 81 123 11
2
2
Exeter 41 Montpellier 10
European Challenge Cup
Pool 1: Bordeaux-Begles L Newport G D’gons L. Pool 2: Sale 15
Lyon 13. Pool 3: Pau L Zebre L. Pool 4: London Irish 47 Krasny
Yar 17. Pool 5: Oyonnax L Brive L; Worcester 24 Connacht 24.
Guinness Pro14
Southern Kings 21 Cheetahs 45
British & Irish Cup
Pool 2: Cardiff Blues PS 27 Leinster 41: Doncaster 32 Bristol 27.
Pool 3: London Scottish 29 Yorkshire Carnegie 19.
Pool 4: Ealing Trailfinders 78 Connacht A 12; Rotherham 31
Richmond 10. Pool 5: Hartpury RFC 41 Scarlets 24.
National League One
Bishop’s Stortford L Rosslyn Park L; Blackheath 61
Coventry 29; Cambridge P Caldy P; Darlington Mowden
Park L Birmingham L; Esher L Ampthill & District L; Fylde
L Plymouth Albion L; Loughborough Students L Old
Elthamians L; Old Albanians L Hull Ionians L.
BT Scottish Premiership
Currie 24 Melrose 15; Hawick 14 Glasgow Hawks 12;
Heriot’s Rugby Club 17 Watsonians 46; Marr 12
Boroughmuir 20; Stirling County 16 Ayr 25.
TODAY (3pm unless stated)
European Champions Cup
Pool 3: Leinster v Glasgow (1pm). Pool 4: Castres v
Leicester (5.30pm); Racing 92 v Munster (3.15pm).
Pool 5: Toulon v Benetton Treviso (1pm).
European Challenge Cup
Pool 1: Newcastle v Enisei-STM. Pool 2: Cardiff Blues v
Toulouse (5.30pm).
FRIDAY (7.45pm unless stated)
European Challenge Cup
Pool 3: Gloucester v Pau
British & Irish Cup
Pool 1: Munster A v Ospreys. Pool 2: Bristol v Cardiff Blues.
Pool 4: Connacht A v Rotherham Titans (7pm).
SATURDAY (3pm unless stated)
Guinness Pro14
Cheetahs v Southern Kings (3pm)
CHRIS COOK’S
SELECTIONS
KELSO
12.40 Knockrobin
1.10 Booyakasha
1.40 Dexcite (nap)
2.15 Ramonex
2.45 Minella Suite
3.15 Lough Derg Jewel
3.45 Cultram Abbey
SOUTHWELL
1.20 Good Impression
1.55 Kripke
2.25 Pearl Acclaim
2.55 Snowy Winter (nb)
3.25 Spun Gold
3.55 Mr Coco Bean
CRICKET
Second Test (first day of five)
SOUTH AFRICA v INDIA
Centurion South Africa elected to bat.
SOUTH AFRICA – First Innings
D Elgar c Vijay b Ashwin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31
DK Markram c Patel b Ashwin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94
HM Amla run out (Pandya). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82
AB de Villiers b Sharma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
*F du Plessis not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
†Q de Kock c Kohli b Ashwin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0
VD Philander run out (Patel/Pandya) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0
KA Maharaj not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Extras (lb7, nb1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Total (for 6, 90 overs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .269
Fall of wickets: 1-85 2-148 3-199 4-246 5-250 6-251
To Bat: L Ngidi, K Rabada, M Morkel.
Bowling: Bumrah 18-4-57-0; Shami 11-2-46-0; I Sharma
16-3-32-1; Pandya 14-4-37-0; Ashwin 31-8-90-3.
INDIA – KL Rahul, M Vijay, CA Pujara, *V Kohli, RG Sharma,
HH Pandya, †PA Patel, R Ashwin, Mohammad Shami,
JJ Bumrah, I Sharma.
Third One-Day International
Dunedin New Zealand 257 (KS Williamson 73,
LRPL Taylor 52). Pakistan 74 (TA Boult 5-17). New Zealand
won by 183 runs.
Tri-Nation Series
Dubai Ireland 301-5 (WTS Porterfield 139, A Balbirnie 102).
UAE 234 (Rameez Shahzad 50; KJ O’Brien 4-41). Ireland
won by 67 runs.
Men’s Big Bash League
Alice Springs Adelaide 112 (AC Agar 3-19).
Perth 114-4 (HWR Cartwright 47no).
Perth won by six wickets.
TENNIS
ATP/WTA Sydney International, Australia
Men: Final: D Medvedev (Rus) bt A De Minaur (Aus) 1-6
6-4 7-5.
Women: Final: A Kerber (Ger) bt A Barty (Aus) 6-4 6-4.
ATP ASB Classic, Auckland, New Zealand
Final: R Bautista Agut (Sp) bt J Martín del Potro (Arg) 6-1
4-6 7-5.
WTA Hobart International, Australia
Final: E Mertens (Bel) bt M Buzarnescu (Rom) 6-1 4-6 6-3.
Australian Open, Melbourne
Men: Second qualifying round: E Escobedo (US) bt
A Giannessi (It) 6-3 6-2; Lee D-h (Kor) bt F Dancevic (Can)
4-6 7-6 (8) 6-3; M Bachinger (Ger) bt J Duckworth (Aus) 6-4
6-4; R Bemelmans (Bel) bt V Galovic (Cro) 5-7 6-3 7-5;
M Bourgue (Fr) bt T Fritz (US) 7-6 (3) 0-6 6-4; C Ruud (Nor)
bt D Popko (Kaz) 7-5 6-3; A Gonzalez (Col) bt C Hemery (Fr)
6-3 6-4; L Sonego (It) bt M Safwat (Egy) 6-3 7-6 (5);
B Tomic (Aus) bt T Paul (US) 6-0 6-7 (5) 7-6 (4); S Caruso
(It) bt N Gombos (Svk) 3-6 6-3 6-3; R Ramanathan (Ind) bt
G Sakharaov (Fr) 6-4 7-6 (10); V Pospisil (Can) bt
S Napolitano (It) 6-1 6-7 (5) 7-5.
Women: Second qualifying round: M Frech (Pol) bt S Zhuk
(Rus) 6-3 4-6 6-2; A Blinkova (Rus) bt A Lottner (Ger) 5-7
6-4 7-5; I Falconi (It) bt P Monova (Rus) 6-2 7-6 (2);
A Schmiedlova (Svk) bt A Abanda (Can) 4-6 6-2 6-4;
D Collins (US) bt D Kovinic (Mon) 4-6 6-2 7-5; S Vögele
(Swi) bt V Lapko (Blr) 6-3 7-5; A Dulgheru (Rom) bt
D Yastremska (Ukr) 7-6 (6) 6-0; D Alertova (Cz) bt
E Kostova (Bul) 7-6 (5) 6-2; L Kerkhove (Neth) 6-4 6-2;
M Kostyuk (Ukr) bt D Seguel (Chi) 1-6 6-4 6-2; K Day (US)
bt Han X-y (Chn) 7-6 (5) 6-0; V Golubic (Swi) bt S SolerEspinosa (Sp) 6-1 6-1; B Pera (US) bt M Bara Irina (Rom)
4-6 6-2 6-3; I Jorovic (Ser) bt Y Bonaventure (Bel) 6-4 7-6
(6); Zhu Lin (Chn) bt V Grammatikopoulou (Gre) 4-6 6-2
6-3; V Kuzmova (Svk) bt C Dolehide (US) 6-2 6-4; B Schoofs
(Neth) bt N Broady (GB) 7-6 (5) 6-2; M Bouzkova (Cz) bt
M Imanishi (Jpn) 6-4 6-1.
DARTS
BDO Lakeside World Championships, Frimley Green
Women: Final: L Ashton (Eng) bt A Dobromyslova (Rus) 3-1.
Men: Semi-finals: G Durrant (Eng) bt S Waites (Eng) 6-2.
RACING
LINGFIELD
12.15: 1, Every Chance, DC Costello (1-7 Fav); 2, Fanoulpifer
(6-1); 3, Reason To Believe (33-1) (JA Osborne). 7 ran.
NR: Epicurious; Sandacres.
12.50: 1, Lady Perignon, Jason Watson (2-1 Fav); 2, Mississippi
Miss (9-1); 3, Narjes (11-2) (AM Balding). 8 ran.
1.25: 1, Reflektor, M Harley (25-1); 2, Boom The Groom (7-1);
3=, Kasbah (9-2); 3=, Upavon (33-1) (Tom Dascombe). 9 ran.
2.00: 1, Goring, Charles Bishop (7-4 Fav); 2, Surrey Hope
(4-1); 3, Sacred Act (5-1) (Eve Johnson Houghton). 7 ran.
NR: Mr Scaramanga.
2.35: 1, Cliffs Of Capri, D C Costello (7-4); 2, Medici Banchiere
(10-1); 3, Lost At Sea (20-1) (J A Osborne). 4 ran .
3.10: 1, Karam Albaari, M Harley (9-2); 2, Presence Process
(10-1); 3, Avocet (8-1) (JR Jenkins). 13 ran. NR: Fairy Mist.
3.40: 1, Betsalottie, Mitch Godwin (4-1); 2, Nicky Baby (8-1);
3, Stringybark Creek (14-1) (JJ Bridger). 11 ran. NR: Idol
Deputy; Ixelles Diamond; Outrath.
KEMPTON
12.20: 1, Redicean, Wayne Hutchinson (8-13 Fav); 2, Vaziani
(15-2); 3, Kapdad (11-4) (A King). 7 ran.
12.55: 1, Chef Des Obeaux, ND Fehily (11-8); 2, Secret
Investor (6-5 Fav); 3, The Devils Drop (12-1) (NJ Henderson).
6 ran.
1.30: 1, Mercian Prince, Jack Quinlan (11-4 Fav); 2, Rothman
(9-2); 3, Minella Tweet (20-1) (Miss Amy Murphy). 7 ran.
NR: Exitas.
2.05: 1, Waiting Patiently, B Hughes (13-8 Fav); 2, Art
Mauresque (16-1); 3, God’s Own (5-2) (JM Jefferson). 6 ran.
2.40: 1, William Henry, James Bowen (7-1); 2, Spiritofthegames
(16-1); 3, Red Indian (8-1); 4, Topofthegame (11-1)
(NJ Henderson). 16 ran.
3.15: 1, Fountains Windfall, Aidan Coleman (10-11 Fav); 2,
Ballykan (5-1); 3, The Young Master (8-1) (AJ Honeyball). 6 ran.
3.45: 1, Jenkins, David Bass (7-2); 2, Don Bersy (5-1);
3, Hurricane Hollow (33-1) (NJ Henderson). 9 ran.
WARWICK
12.40: 1, Vado Forte, RT Dunne (14-1); 2, Peppay Le Pugh (14-1);
3, Shroughmore Lass (9-1); 4, Stuccodor (33-1) (Tom Lacey).
17 ran. NR: Stonecoldsoba.
1.15: 1, Big Jim, Harry Bannister (5-2 Jt Fav); 2, Imjoeking
(6-1); 3, Vivaccio (11-2) (AM Hales). 6 ran. NR: Red Riverman.
1.50: 1, Ms Parfois, Sean Bowen (9-4); 2, Duel At Dawn
(15-8 Fav); 3, Big River (15-2) (AJ Honeyball). 5 ran.
2.25: 1, Black Ivory, Jamie Hamilton (5-1); 2, Sykes (12-1);
3, Tobefair (16-1) (JM Jefferson). 12 ran.
3.00: 1, Mr Whipped, Nico de Boinville (6-4 Fav); 2, Paisley
Park (9-2); 3, Knight In Dubai (16-1) (NJ Henderson). 6 ran.
3.35: 1, Milansbar, Bryony Frost (12-1); 2, Cogry (14-1);
3, Missed Approach (9-2 Fav) (NB King). 13 ran.
NR: Emperor’s Choice; Itstimeforapint.
4.05: 1, Thebannerkingrebel, G Sheehan (4-1); 2, Brigadier
Bob (8-1); 3, Baby Ted (2-1 Fav) (Jamie Snowden). 8 ran.
NR: Allonok.
WETHERBY
12.30: 1, Noble Robin, R Johnson (5-2); 2, Silva Eclipse (7-2);
3, Leskinfere (20-1) (Jonjo O’Neill). 9 ran.
1.05: 1, Hogan’s Height, R Johnson (4-1); 2, De Dollar Man (4-5
Fav); 3, Quietly (6-1) (Jamie Snowden). 6 ran. NR: Dark Valley.
1.40: 1, Gran Maestro, Ryan Winks (9-2); 2, Walsingham
Grange (7-2); 3, Notebook (17-2) (P Winks). 9 ran.
2.15: 1, Positively Dylan, LP Aspell (9-1); 2, Kayf Blanco
(11-4); 3, Bun Doran (5-4 Fav) (Evan Williams). 5 ran.
2.50: 1, Westend Story, R Johnson (2-1 Fav); 2, Craggaknock
(8-1); 3, Slanelough (9-2) (PJ Hobbs). 11 ran.
3.25: 1, Newberry New, R Johnson (11-4 Fav); 2, Crown Hill (4-1);
3, Granville Island (3-1) (Harriet Bethell). 6 ran. NR: Hargam.
3.55: 1, Maebh, Kevin Jones (13-2); 2, So Lonely (11-8 Fav);
3, Fforbidden Love (5-1) (JW Mullins). 8 ran.
FOOTBALL FIXTURES
TODAY (3pm unless stated)
Premier League
AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal (1.30pm, SSPL);
Liverpool v Man City (4pm, SSPL).
FA Women’s Super League
Birmingham Ladies v Bristol City Women (2pm)
TOMORROW (7.45pm unless stated)
Premier League
Man Utd v Stoke (8pm, SSPL)
TUESDAY (7.45pm unless stated)
Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay
Leicester v Fleetwood Town (BT Sport 2);
Mansfield v Cardiff; Reading v Stevenage (8pm);
Sheff Wed v Carlisle; West Ham v Shrewsbury.
Vanarama National League North
AFC Telford v York
WEDNESDAY (7.45pm unless stated)
Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay
Chelsea v Norwich (BBC1); Swansea v Wolves;
Wigan v AFC Bournemouth.
FRIDAY (7.45pm unless stated)
Sky Bet Championship
Derby v Bristol City (SSF)
League Two
Newport County v Crawley Town
William Hill Scottish Cup Fourth Round
Formartine United v Cove Rangers (8pm)
SATURDAY (3pm unless stated)
Premier League
Arsenal v Crystal Palace; Brighton v Chelsea
(12.30pm, SSPL); Burnley v Man Utd; Everton
v West Brom; Leicester v Watford; Man City v
Newcastle (5.30pm, BTS1); Stoke v Huddersfield;
West Ham v Bournemouth.
Sky Bet Championship
Aston Villa v Barnsley; Bolton v Ipswich; Fulham
v Burton Albion; Leeds v Millwall; Norwich v
Sheff Utd; Preston North End v Birmingham; QPR
v Middlesbrough; Reading v Brentford; Sheff
Wed v Cardiff (5.30pm, SSF); Sunderland v Hull;
Wolverhampton v Nottm Forest.
League One
AFC Wimbledon v Blackpool; Bristol Rovers v
Bradford; Charlton v Walsall; Fleetwood Town v
Blackburn; Northampton v Milton Keynes Dons;
Oxford Utd v Bury; Peterborough v Oldham;
Plymouth v Wigan; Rochdale v Southend;
Rotherham v Portsmouth; Scunthorpe v
Gillingham; Shrewsbury v Doncaster.
League Two
Accrington Stanley v Port Vale; Barnet v Lincoln
City; Colchester v Grimsby; Coventry v Swindon;
Crewe v Wycombe; Forest Green v Cambridge Utd;
Luton v Morecambe; Mansfield v Cheltenham;
Notts County v Exeter; Stevenage v Carlisle; Yeovil
v Chesterfield.
William Hill Scottish Cup Fourth Round
Aberdeen v St Mirren (12.15pm, BBC1 Scotland);
Albion v St Johnstone; Alloa v Dundee Utd; Ayr
v Arbroath; Celtic v Brechin; Dundee v Inverness
CT; Dunfermline v Morton; East Fife v Brora;
Kilmarnock v Ross County; Livingston v Falkirk;
Motherwell v Hamilton; Peterhead v Dumbarton;
Queen of South v Partick.
Ladbrokes Scottish League 1
Stranraer v Raith
Ladbrokes Scottish League 2
Berwick v Elgin; Montrose v Clyde; Stenhousemuir
v Cowdenbeath; Stirling v Edinburgh City.
Vanarama National League
AFC Fylde v Macclesfield; Aldershot v Ebbsfleet
United; Boreham Wood v Dover; Chester FC v
Gateshead; FC Halifax v Leyton Orient; Guiseley v
Barrow; Hartlepool v Wrexham; Maidstone Utd v
Eastleigh; Solihull Moors v Woking; Sutton Utd v
Dag & Red (12.30pm, BTS1); Torquay v Bromley;
Tranmere v Maidenhead Utd.
Vanarama National League North
AFC Telford v Nuneaton; Alfreton Town v
Leamington; Blyth Spartans v FC United of
Manchester; Bradford P A v Gainsborough; Curzon
Ashton v Kidderminster; Darlington v Chorley;
North Ferriby Utd v Boston Utd;
Salford City v Harrogate Town; Southport v
Stockport County; Tamworth v Brackley; York v
Spennymoor Town.
Vanarama National League South
Bath City v Concord Rangers; Bognor Regis Town v
Wealdstone; Braintree Town v Hemel Hempstead;
Chippenham v Dartford; East Thurrock v Oxford
City; Eastbourne Borough v St Albans; Hampton
& Richmond v Hungerford Town; Havant and W v
Gloucester; Poole Town v Welling; Weston-S-Mare
v Chelmsford; Whitehawk v Truro City.
SUNDAY (3pm unless stated)
Premier League
Southampton v Tottenham (4pm, SSPL)
William Hill Scottish Cup Fourth Round
Fraserburgh v Rangers (midday, SSF); Hearts v
Hibernian (2.05pm, SSF).
MONDAY (7.45pm unless stated)
Premier League
Swansea v Liverpool (8pm, SPL)
14.01.18
*
Football results | SPORT | 17
CHAMPIONSHIP
PREMIER LEAGUE
HOME
P
W
D
HOME
AWAY
L
F
A
Man City
22 10 1 0 39
Man Utd
22
Chelsea
Liverpool
W
D
L
F
A
8 10 1 0 25
8 2 1 24
5
6 3 2 21 11 29 47
23
8 2 2 21
7
6 3 2 20
22
6 5 0 21
4
6 3 2 29 21 25 44
Tottenham
23
7 4 1 26
9
6 1 4 20 12 25 44
Arsenal
22
8 2 1 27 12
3 4 4 13 16 12 39
Burnley
23
5 2 4
8
4 5 3 11 12
-1 34
Leicester
23
5 2 4 16 14
3 5 4 18 18
2 31
Everton
23
6 1 4 17 15
1 5 6
Watford
23
3 4 5 16 25
4 1 6 17 17
West Ham
23
4 2 4 12 15
2 5 6 17 26 -12 25
Crystal Palace 23
4 4 4 15 18
2 3 6
6 15 -12 25
Huddersfield
23
4 4 4 11 16
2 2 7
8 23 -20 24
Newcastle
23
3 3 6 10 14
3 2 6 11 17 -10 23
Brighton
8
9 25 47
8 23 -13 27
-9 26
23
3 6 2 12 14
2 2 8
5 15 -12 23
Southampton 23
3 4 5 14 17
1 5 5
9 17 -11 21
Bournemouth 22
3 3 5 14 17
2 3 6
8 17 -12 21
Stoke
22
4 2 5 13 20
1 3 7 10 27 -24 20
West Brom
23
2 7 3 12 15
1 3 7
6 15 -12 19
Swansea
23
2 2 7
2 3 7
8 18 -21 17
CHELSEA
(0) 0
6 17
TOTTENHAM
LEICESTER CITY
(0) 0
EVERTON
(1) 1
WATFORD
(0) 0
SOUTHAMPTON
Sako 21
(0) 2
Gray 58; Doucouré 90
BURNLEY
(2) 2
Ward-Prowse 20, 44
Att 24,696 Ref Michael Oliver
Att 20,018 Ref Roger East
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN
(1) 1
WEST BROM
(1) 4
BRIGHTON
Lolley 40
(1) 2
Evans 4; Dawson 55
WEST HAM UNITED
(0) 0
Noble 25; Arnautovic 46; Lanzini 56, 61
Att 24,105 Ref Jonathan Moss
W
D
HOME
AWAY
L
F
A
27 10 2 1 28 10
27 8 2 3 22 9
27 9 3 2 26 10
27 7 5 1 22 10
27 7 3 4 20 14
27 8 2 4 23 13
27 6 4 3 17 9
27 5 6 2 17 13
27 7 2 5 15 11
27 5 5 3 15 12
27 6 7 1 24 15
27 8 2 4 24 14
27 4 5 4 14 14
27 6 4 3 19 16
27 7 0 7 17 18
27 7 4 3 23 15
27 4 5 4 18 18
27 3 4 6 14 17
27 3 5 6 12 17
27 4 5 5 30 23
27 5 2 6 16 19
27 2 2 10 12 30
27 5 2 7 8 16
27 1 5 7 13 21
W
D
L
F
A
3
5
2
3
5
2
0
3
3
6
3
1
2
5
2
6
5
4
4
5
5
4
3
5
2
2
5
5
2
6
7
5
5
3
6
8
6
7
8
7
6
6
6
7
8
5
9
6
22
22
14
17
20
17
20
23
20
16
17
16
13
12
16
6
12
16
15
9
9
9
7
16
10
14
15
14
18
18
20
21
16
15
20
25
17
21
25
15
16
18
20
21
26
16
22
26
9
7
6
6
6
5
7
6
5
5
4
4
6
2
3
0
3
4
3
1
1
4
1
3
62
52
50
47
47
43
43
42
41
41
40
39
37
33
32
31
31
29
27
25
25
24
23
22
(0) 1
TODAY
(0) 1
Bournemouth v Arsenal, 1.30pm, SSPL
Liverpool v Manchester City, 4pm, SSPL
Joselu 68
SWANSEA CITY
Manchester Utd v Stoke, 8pm, SSPL
■ Line-ups with match reports, p2-6
TOP SCORERS
League
Kane Tottenham
20
Salah Liverpool (right) 17
Sterling Man City
14
Agüero Man City
13
Lukaku Man Utd
10
Morata Chelsea
10
Rooney Everton
10
Firmino Liverpool
9
Total
28
23
18
19
16
12
11
16
BARNSLEY
(0) 0
HULL CITY
(0) 0
BLACKBURN ROVERS
WOLVES
(0) 0
READING
(0) 0
SHREWSBURY TOWN
Possession %
72.22
62.57
62.38
59.52
56.19
53.70
52.73
49.70
Chances created (including assists)
De Bruyne Man City
69
Fàbregas Chelsea
63
Özil Arsenal
62
Eriksen Tottenham
52
Sánchez Arsenal
51
Gross Brighton
48
Shaqiri Stoke
46
D Silva Man City
41
FRANCE
F
48
28
38
32
26
23
24
A Pts
7 48
8 42
18 37
17 32
21 31
27 29
31 27
Girona 6 Las Palmas 0
Real Madrid 0 Villarreal 1
Eibar 0 Atlético Madrid 1
Deportivo L Valencia L
TODAY
Levante v Celta Vigo (11am);
Alavés v Sevilla (3.15pm);
Espanyol v Athletic Bilbao (5.30pm);
Real Sociedad v Barcelona (7.45pm)
TOMORROW
Real Betis v Leganés (8pm)
GERMANY
TOP SEVEN
TOP SEVEN
PSG
Monaco
Lyon
Marseille
Nantes
Guingamp
Nice
PW
19 16
19 13
19 12
20 12
19 10
20 8
19 8
D
2
2
5
5
3
5
3
1
4
2
3
6
7
8
L F APts
58 15 50
46 19 41
46 20 41
41 22 41
18 18 33
23 24 29
24 29 27
Rennes 0 Marseille 3
Caen L Lille L
Dijon L Metz L
Montpellier L Monaco L
Nice L Amiens L
Troyes L Bordeaux L
D
2
4
6
4
7
4
6
L
2
5
4
5
4
5
5
F
40
30
29
39
35
27
28
A Pts
12 44
26 31
24 30
24 28
26 28
28 28
23 27
Augsburg 1 Hamburg 0
Eintracht Frankfurt 1 Freiburg 1
Hannover 3 Mainz 2
RB Leipzig 3 Schalke 1
Stuttgart 1 Hertha Berlin 0
Werder Bremen 1 Hoffenheim 1
TODAY
Cologne v Borussia Mönchengladbach
(2.30pm); Borussia Dortmund v
Wolfsburg (5pm).
F
A
2
3
2
3
2
5
8
6
4
6
6
7
5
5
6
6
9
10
8
7
8
6
9
10
29
16
23
21
24
15
12
17
23
18
19
10
12
12
13
14
13
13
13
17
13
9
13
9
8
14
12
14
15
17
22
19
19
18
21
14
14
14
18
17
25
33
22
28
27
14
26
25
GD Pts
38
16
24
15
7
2
3
9
6
2
-3
1
-5
-1
-2
-4
-7
-15
-10
-10
-23
-9
-11
-23
57
54
52
50
48
43
42
41
40
38
36
35
35
34
33
33
33
31
30
29
29
28
22
17
P
Luton
Notts County
Accrington
Wycombe
Exeter
Lincoln City
Mansfield
Coventry
Swindon
Newport Co
Colchester
Cambridge
Carlisle
Crawley
Stevenage
Cheltenham
Grimsby
Port Vale
Morecambe
Crewe
Yeovil
Chesterfield
Forest Green
Barnet
W
D
AWAY
L
BELGIUM First Division B: KFCO
Beerschot-Wilrijk L Cercle Brugge L.
PORTUGAL Paços de Ferreira L
Marítimo L; Braga L Benfica L.
GREECE Xanthi 3 Platanias 2;
Apollon Smirnis 1 Panionios 1;
Levadiakos L Panathinaikos L.
FRIENDLIES B Leverkusen 1
Sportfreunde Lotte 1; AGF 4 Aarhus
Fremad 0; Bröndby 4 Roskilde 1;
Nordsjaelland 3 Helsingoer 2; HJK 3
Hammarby 4; Randers 0 AaB 1; Ajax
5 Lyngby 1; W Neustadt 2 Austria
Wien 6; Rapid Wien 1 Zlin 1; Hearts
0 Nürnberg 5; Groningen 0 Dynamo
Dresden 3; Feyenoord 2 Luzern 1;
Fenerbahce 2 Kukesi 2;
Rangers L Corinthians L.
Celtic
22 15 6 1 48 15 33 51
22 13 4 5 33 24 9 43
Rangers
22 12 4 6 41 25 16 40
Hibernian
22
Hearts
9 8 5 31 27 4 35
22
7 9 6 21 19 2 30
Kilmarnock 21
6 8 7 25 28 -3 26
St Johnstn
21
7 5 9 21 30 -9 26
Motherwell 21
7 3 11 26 32 -6 24
Hamilton
6 5 10 30 34 -4 23
Dundee
22
6 4 12 23 32 -9 22
Partick
22
5 5 12 19 37-18 20
Ross County 22
4 5 13 21 36-15 17
League
Sinclair Celtic
8
Murray Hibernian
6
Morelos Rangers
10
Boyd Kilmarnock
9
Forrest Celtic
7
Lafferty Hearts
7
Stokes Hibernian
7
Griffiths Celtic
6
Curran Ross County
5
Dembélé Celtic
4
Moussa Dundee
3
Gonçalves Hearts
6
Total
16
14
12
12
12
11
11
10
9
8
8
7
LEAGUE ONE
Trouten Albion
Shankland Ayr
Moore Ayr
Total
16
16
13
L
F
A
5
5
2
4
3
3
6
3
0
4
3
5
2
4
2
4
2
3
5
0
3
3
3
2
3
4
5
4
6
5
4
6
3
5
6
6
5
4
9
7
6
7
6
10
9
10
8
10
21
20
21
19
16
15
15
12
24
20
15
7
18
14
10
18
14
13
12
10
18
12
11
15
14
18
18
17
21
15
16
12
10
20
20
20
21
17
24
24
19
17
18
21
34
32
24
25
MK DONS
(0) 0
CAMBRIDGE UNITED
(0) 0
GRIMSBY TOWN
AFC WIMBLEDON
(0) 0
MANSFIELD TOWN
(0) 0
NEWPORT COUNTY
GD Pts
54
51
46
46
45
44
44
44
44
42
41
38
37
36
34
34
34
32
29
29
28
24
23
20
35
18
14
13
4
11
9
9
5
6
3
-6
1
-4
-3
-4
-11
-6
-10
-13
-11
-23
-22
-15
(0) 1
Matt 80
(1) 2
Willmott 19; Nouble 56
Shrewsbury Henderson, Bolton, Nsiala,
Sadler, Beckles■ (Lowe 73), Godfrey
(Payne 75), Whalley, Ogogo, Nolan,
Rodman, Carlton Morris (John-Lewis 81).
Subs not used Dodds, MacGillivray, Bryn
Morris, Hendrie.
Att 13,579 Ref John Brooks
Wimbledon McDonnell, Fuller, Oshilaja,
Charles■, Francomb (Meades 71), Abdou,
Trotter, Soares, Barcham, McDonald
(Forrester 76), Taylor. Subs not used
Nightingale, Kaja, Kennedy, Tzanev,
Hartigan.
Att 9,504 Ref Paul Tierney
Mansfield Logan, Anderson (SterlingJames 81), Bennett, Pearce, Benning,
Potter (White 64), MacDonald■, Mellis
(Atkinson 88), Hamilton, Angol■, Rose.
Subs not used Digby, Olejnik, Spencer,
Byrom.
Att 4,324 Ref Trevor Kettle
Newport Co Day, Pipe, Demetriou,
White■, Butler, Dolan (Tozer 79),
Labadie■ (Reid 84), Bennett, Nouble■,
Amond, Willmott (McCoulsky 85).
Subs not used Bittner, Sheehan, Hayes,
Aaron Collins.
Att 3,397 Ref Graham Salisbury
BIRMINGHAM CITY
(0) 0
IPSWICH TOWN
(0) 1
BLACKPOOL
(0) 0
OLDHAM ATHLETIC
(1) 1
CARLISLE UNITED
(0) 1
LINCOLN CITY
DERBY COUNTY
(1) 3
LEEDS UNITED
(0) 0
BRISTOL ROVERS
(0) 0
ROTHERHAM UNITED
(1) 1
CREWE ALEXANDRA
(0) 0
NOTTS COUNTY
Davies 31
Russell 19; Vydra 56; Weimann 89
Cosgrove 76
(1) 2
Frecklington 37; Green 67
Williams 7
(1) 2
Stead 35; Grant 76
Birmingham City Stockdale, Colin,
Roberts, Dean, Grounds, Gardner,
Kieftenbeld■, Maghoma, Davis (Adams
66), Boga (Jota 83), Gallagher.
Subs not used Jutkiewicz, N’Doye, DacresCogley, Morrison, Trueman
Ipswich Gerken, Iorfa■, Chambers,
Knudsen, Kenlock, Skuse (Hyam 76),
Connolly■, McGoldrick, Waghorn, Celina,
Garner.
Subs not used Sears, Crowe, Drinan, Bru,
McDonnell, Chris Smith
Blackpool Lumley, Turton, Mellor, Aimson,
Robertson, Daniel, Spearing, Ryan
(Philliskirk 81), D’Almeida (Gnanduillet
64), Longstaff, Delfouneso (Roache 81).
Subs not used McAlister, Anderton, Cooke,
Mafoumbi
Oldham Placide, Dummigan (Nepomuceno
85), Gerrard, Sam Edmundson, Brian
Wilson, Benyu (Holloway 74), Gardner
(McLaughlin 70), Fane, Pringle■, Davies,
Obadeyi. Subs not used Duffus, Sheridan,
Haymer, Maouche
Carlisle Bonham, Liddle, Hill, Parkes,
Brown (Joyce 46), Lambe (O’Sullivan 46),
Jones, Devitt, Grainger, Hope (Bennett■
63), Cosgrove.
Subs not used Nabi, Ellis, Shaun Miller,
Bacon
Lincoln City Farman, Eardley, Waterfall■,
Bostwick, Habergham, Rowe (Arnold
72), Frecklington, Woodyard, Williams■
(Whitehouse 84), Rhead■ (Palmer 79),
Green. Subs not used Wilson, Long,
Vickers, Stewart
Derby County Carson, Wisdom, Keogh,
Davies■, Forsyth, Huddlestone, Thorne,
Russell■, Vydra (Martin 87), Lawrence
(Weimann■ 78), Winnall (Nugent 69).
Subs not used Pearce, Hanson, Mitchell,
Baird.
Att 22,121 Ref Lee Probert
Leeds Wiedwald, Berardi, Jansson■,
Cooper, Anita (Lasogga 78), O’Kane■,
Phillips■, Cibicki (Sacko 29), Hernandez,
Alioski (Shaughnessy 46), Roofe.
Subs not used Lonergan, Grot, Dallas,
Klich.
Att 18,638 Ref Robert Jones
Bristol Rovers Smith, Partington, Lockyer,
Sweeney, Bola, Lines, Sercombe (Telford
87), Ollie Clarke■, Sinclair, Gaffney,
Harrison (Nichols 74).
Subs not used Mensah, Slocombe, Brown,
Broadbent, Moore.
Att 4,001 Ref Martin Coy
Rotherham Rodak, Emmanuel, Ajayi,
Wood, Mattock, Forde, Vaulks■, Towell,
Williams (Newell 83), Yates (Smith 66),
Ball (Clarke-Harris 86).
Subs not used Taylor, Price, Ihiekwe,
Cummings.
Att 4,775 Ref Rob Lewis
Crewe Garratt, Nolan, Raynes■,
Bakayogo, Ainley (Kirk 78), Lowery
(Finney 83), Walker■, Green, Cooper,
Dagnall, Bowery (Reilly 83).
Subs not used Richards, Wintle, Pickering,
Lundstram.
Att 4,467 Ref Christopher Sarginson
Notts County Fitzsimons■, Tootle, Brisley
(Smith 90), Duffy, Jones, Hawkridge■
(Ameobi 75), Hewitt, Virtue (Noble 59),
Grant■, Stead, Alessandra■.
Subs not used Pindroch, Forte, Hunt,
Walker.
Att 9,603 Ref Ross Joyce
BRENTFORD
(1) 2
MIDDLESBROUGH
(0) 0
BRADFORD CITY
(0) 1
PORTSMOUTH
(1) 1
CHESTERFIELD
(2) 2
MORECAMBE
(0) 0
FULHAM
(0) 1
NORTHAMPTON TOWN
(1) 2
SCUNTHORPE UNITED
(0) 1
LUTON TOWN
(0) 0
STEVENAGE
Taylor 90
Lowe 15
O’Toole 43; Long 62
Rowley 19; McCourt 25 pen
(1) 1
Ellison 23
van Veen 53
(0) 1
Franks 89
Brentford Bentley, Yennaris, Mepham,
Bjelland, Barbet, Woods, Mokotjo,
Jozefzoon (Canos 77), Sawyers, Watkins,
Vibe (Maupay 86).
Subs not used Macleod, McEachran,
Marcondes, Clarke, Daniels
Middlesbrough Randolph, Shotton, Ayala,
Gibson, Friend■, Howson■, Leadbitter■,
Downing, Traore (Johnson 82), Gestede
(Assombalonga 63), Braithwaite (Clayton■
82). Subs not used Konstantopoulos,
Bamford, Fletcher, Christie
Bradford Raeder, Hanson (Guy 66),
Kilgallon, Knight-Percival, Robinson,
Gilliead, Dieng, Vincelot, Law, Taylor■,
McCartan (Poleon 72).
Subs not used Reeves, Sattelmaier, Pybus,
Devine, Gibson
Portsmouth McGee, Hawkins■, Burgess,
Clarke■, Lowe, Thompson, Ronan
(Kennedy 71), Close, Donohue (May 71),
Pitman, Naismith.
Subs not used Chaplin, Bennett,
Deslandes, Casey, Bass
Chesterfield Ramsdale, Weir, Nelson,
Maguire■, Talbot, Reed, McCourt (Dimaio
90), Rowley, Kay■, Hines (BinnomWilliams 82), O’Grady.
Subs not used Wakefield, De Girolamo,
Kellett, Parkin, Ofoegbu
Morecambe Roche, Lavelle, Muller, Old■,
McGowan, Kenyon, Rose■ (Fleming
68), Conlan, Lang (Wildig■ 46), Oliver
(McGurk 87), Ellison.
Subs not used Thompson, Campbell,
Lund, Maher
Bolton Alnwick, Little■ (Wilbraham 84),
Wheater■, Beevers, Robinson■, Vela,
Osede, Ameobi■, Charsley (Buckley 55),
Morais (Le Fondre 68), Madine■.
Subs not used Andrew Taylor, Karacan,
Darby, Howard.
Att 9,507 Ref Andy Davies
Fulham Bettinelli, Fredericks■, Odoi■,
Ream, Ryan Sessegnon, Norwood,
McDonald, Johansen■, Ojo (Kalas 52),
Kamara (Rui Fonte 58), Piazon (Kebano
85). Subs not used Cairney, Button, Edun,
Steven Sessegnon.
Att 23,850 Ref Geoff Eltringham
Northampton O’Donnell, Facey■, Poole,
Taylor, Turnbull, Grimes■, Crooks,
Hoskins■ (Powell 76), O’Toole (Hildeberto
88), Foley■, Long (Revell 86).
Subs not used Cornell, Moloney, Buchanan,
Shaun McWilliams.
Att 19,343 Ref Craig Hicks
Scunthorpe Watson, Goode, Burgess,
Wallace, Holmes, Bishop■, Ojo, Morris,
Adelakun■, van Veen, Hopper
(Novak 84). Subs not used Townsend,
Toney, Sutton, McArdle, McGeehan,
Kelsey.
Att 17,741 Ref Charles Breakspear
Luton Stech, Justin■, Mullins, Famewo,
Potts, Rea, Olly Lee (Cornick 29), Berry,
Shinnie (Ruddock 83), Collins (Cook 83),
Elliot Lee■.
Subs not used Stacey, Senior, D’Ath,
Shea.
Att 5,715 Ref Carl Boyeson
Stevenage Tom King, Henry, Wilmot, Jack
King, Martin, Kennedy, Jonathan Smith■
(Franks 82), Gorman (Conlon 66), Pett,
Newton■ (Gray 69), Godden.
Subs not used Fryer, Wilkinson,
Vancooten, Georgiou.
Att 1,268 Ref Tom Nield
BRISTOL CITY
(0) 0
MILLWALL
(1) 1
BURY
(0) 0
SOUTHEND UNITED
(0) 1
CHELTENHAM
(0) 0
PORT VALE
NORWICH CITY
(0) 1
PRESTON NORTH END
(0) 1
CHARLTON ATHLETIC
(0) 1
FLEETWOOD
(0) 2
ACCRINGTON STANLEY
(1) 2
YEOVIL
Kightly 86
Robinson 80
Marshall 63
(0) 1
Pope 86 pen
Diagouraga 57; Madden 62
Kee 22; Jackson 63
(1) 1
Zoko 11
Bristol City Fielding, Wright, Flint,
Baker■, Bryan, Pack, Smith, Brownhill,
Walsh (Kent 69), Paterson (Taylor 76),
Reid (Magnusson 89). Subs not used
Steele, Woodrow, Eliasson, Vyner
Millwall Archer, Romeo, Hutchinson,
Cooper, Meredith, Wallace (Onyedinma
88), Tunnicliffe, Saville, O’Brien, Morison,
Gregory■ (Williams 88). Subs not used
McLaughlin, Craig, Thompson, Martin, Elliott
Bury Ripley, Cameron, Clarke, Skarz
(Cooney 75), Ismail (Dai 75), Dawson,
Laurent, Leigh, Bunn (Maguire 85),
Hanson, Mayor■. Subs not used Murphy,
Tutte, Edwards, Danns
Southend Oxley, White, Turner (Hendrie
24), Ferdinand (Fortune 65), Coker,
Demetriou, Timlin, Kightly, McGlashan,
Cox (Pitoula-Wabo 69), McLaughlin. Subs
not used Ba, Bishop, Kyprianou, Bwomono
Cheltenham Flinders, Moore (Pell 67),
Grimes, Onariase, Winchester, Dawson,
Atangana, Morrell, Sellars, Adebayo
(Graham 67), Eisa. Subs not used Wright,
Bower, Thomas, Lovett, Lloyd
Port Vale Boot, Davis, Anderson■, Smith,
Pugh, Harness (Worrall 66), Kay, Tonge,
Montano (Gibbons 46), Whitfield (Wilson
46), Pope. Subs not used Lainton, Barnett,
Forrester, Angus
Norwich Gunn, Hanley, Zimmermann,
Klose, Pinto■, Tettey■, Vrancic, Lewis■,
Maddison■ (Reed 90), Oliveira■ (Raggett
90), Murphy (Stiepermann 89). Subs not used
Husband, Hoolahan, McGovern, Cantwell.
Att 21,282 Ref Simon Hooper
Preston Maxwell, Browne, Clarke, Davies,
Cunningham, Pearson■ (Johnson 77),
Gallagher, Bodin (Barkhuizen 46), Harrop
(Horgan 70), Robinson, Hugill■. Subs not
used Rudd, Andrew Boyle, Welsh, O’Connor.
Att 11,751 Ref Jeremy Simpson
Charlton Amos■, Dijksteel■, Konsa,
Lennon, Dasilva, Kashi, Aribo (Jackson
90), Marshall, Mavididi (Forster-Caskey
88), Reeves (Hackett-Fairchild 85),
Magennis. Subs not used Phillips, Solly.
Att 3,295 Ref Michael Salisbury
Fleetwood Neal, Coyle■ (Jones 84),
Bolger, Pond, Bell, Diagouraga■, Schwabl,
Dempsey, Burns (Madden 56), Cole
(McAleny 75), Hunter. Subs not used
Hiwula, Grant, Cairns, Sowerby.
Att 6,489 Ref Antony Coggins
Accrington Chapman, Johnson■ (Dunne 53),
Richards-Everton, Hughes, Donacien, Clark,
Nolan, Brown■, McConville■, Jackson
(Zanzala 90), Kee. Subs not used Williams,
Leacock-McLeod, Stryjek, Rowan, Francis.
Att 2,893 Ref Kevin Johnson
Yeovil Krysiak, James, Sowunmi, Nathan
Smith, Dickson, Green (Wing 74),
Bird, Gray (Whelan 90), Khan, Zoko■,
Surridge■ (Barnes 59). Subs not used
Mugabi, Connor Smith, Maddison, Santos.
Att 4,120 Ref David Webb
BURTON
(1) 1
NOTTINGHAM FOREST
(0) 0
DONCASTER ROVERS
(1) 1
WALSALL
(1) 2
CRAWLEY TOWN
(0) 2
SWINDON TOWN
(1) 3
ASTON VILLA
(1) 1
PLYMOUTH ARGYLE
(0) 1
OXFORD UNITED
(0) 1
BARNET
(0) 0
FOREST GREEN
Beestin 37
Hogan 18
Bakayoko 33; Oztumer 48
Edwards 74
Boldewijn 75, 86
(0) 1
Norris 79
(0) 0
Mowatt 70
Burton Bywater, Brayford, McFadzean■
(Allen 60), Buxton■, Turner, Flanagan,
Miller (Sbarra 41), Naylor, Murphy■
(Sordell 80), Dyer, Akins.
Subs not used Warnock, Akpan, Campbell,
Barker
Nottm Forest Smith, Lichaj■, Mills,
Mancienne, Traore, Vaughan (Bridcutt 81),
Osborn, Cash■ (Ward 81), Dowell, Clough
(McKay 64), Brereton.
Subs not used Darikwa, Henderson,
Bouchalakis, Walker
Doncaster Lawlor, Blair, Baudry■, Butler,
Mason, Houghton, Kongolo (Whiteman
65), Rowe■, Coppinger, Beestin (May■
65), Marquis.
Subs not used Marosi, Mandeville, Wright,
Garrett, Ben Khemis
Walsall Liam Roberts, Kinsella■, Kory
Roberts, Guthrie, Leahy, Oztumer (Tyler
Roberts 85), Chambers, Dobson (Cuvelier
77), Flanagan (Morris 46), Edwards,
Bakayoko. Subs not used Gillespie, Devlin,
Jackson, Kouhyar
Crawley Morris, Lelan, Connolly■,
Yorwerth, Young (Camara 89), Randall■
(Sanoh 59), Bulman (McNerney 71), Evina,
Smith, Roberts, Boldewijn.
Subs not used Doherty, Mersin, Tajbakhsh,
Verheijdt
Swindon Charles-Cook, Lancashire,
Robertson, Preston, Knoyle (Mullin■ 77),
Dunne■, Banks, Anderson■ (Purkiss 83),
Iandolo, Norris, Woolery (Gordon 76).
Subs not used Goddard, Brophy, Henry,
Taylor
QPR Smithies, Onuoha, Lynch■,
Robinson, Furlong, Luongo, Scowen■,
Freeman (Manning 89), Bidwell,
Washington, Oteh (Smith 74). Subs not
used Ingram, Wszolek, Perch, Eze, Sylla.
Att 4,264 Ref Stephen Martin
A Villa Johnstone, Elmohamady■, Chester,
Terry■, Hutton, Whelan (Bjarnason 46),
Snodgrass, Grealish, Hourihane, Adomah
(Neil Taylor 90), Hogan (Davis 83). Subs not
used Lansbury, Onomah, Elphick, Bunn.
Att 25,433 Ref James Linington
Plymouth Matthews, Threlkeld, Edwards,
Bradley, Sawyer, Ness, Fox, Sarcevic,
Lameiras (Ainsworth 71), Taylor, Carey.
Subs not used Miller, Songo’o, Jervis,
Grant, Wylde.
Att 7,494 Ref Andy Haines
Oxford Utd Eastwood, Carroll■, Martin■,
Mousinho, Tiendalli, Henry (Van Kessel
79), Mowatt, Ruffels, Payne (Napa 68),
Thomas (Mehmeti 75), Obika. Subs not used
Williamson, Shearer, Dickie, Fernandez Codina.
Att 4,569 Ref Brett Huxtable
Barnet Ross, Brindley, Santos, Nelson,
Blackman, Weston (Sule 59), Clough■ (Kyei
85), Coulthirst■, J Taylor, Campbell-Ryce
(Nicholls 89), Akinde. Subs not used Watson,
Tutonda, Fonguck, R McKenzie-Lyle.
Att 1,874 Ref Nicholas Kinseley
Forest Green B Collins, Rawson (Laird 28),
Gunning■, Monthe, Hollis, Grubb■ (MarshBrown 74), Osbourne, Lee Collins, Wishart■
(Whittle 88), Reid■, Doidge. Subs not used
Brown, Simpson, Pickering, Hendy.
Att 7,062 Ref Dean Whitestone
GILLINGHAM
(1) 2
WIGAN ATHLETIC
(0) 0
EXETER CITY
(1) 1
WYCOMBE WANDERERS
(1) 1
PETERBOROUGH UTD
(0) 0
COVENTRY CITY
(0) 0
COLCHESTER UNITED
CARDIFF CITY
(0) 4
Paterson 46, 80; Ralls 55; Pilkington 90
SUNDERLAND
TOP SCORERS
Garmston 41; Martin 63
(0) 0
Cardiff Etheridge, Ecuele Manga,
Morrison■, Bamba, Richards, MendezLaing (Wildschut 59), Paterson, Ralls,
Bennett, Hoilett (Feeney 81), Zohore
(Pilkington 82). Subs not used Tomlin,
Halford, Damour, Murphy
Sunderland Ruiter, Jones, Browning,
O’Shea, Clarke-Salter, Oviedo■, Gooch■
(Asoro 60), Ndong■, Wilson (Cattermole
46), Honeyman, Maja (McManaman 78).
Subs not used Steele, Matthews, Love,
Robson.
Att 17,703 Ref Andrew Madley
ROCHDALE
League
Vydra Derby
15
Clarke Sheffield Utd
15
Reid Bristol City
12
Assombalonga M’brough 12
Grabban Sunderland
12
Bonatini Wolves
12
Adomah Aston Villa
11
Bowen Hull
11
Jota Wolves
11
Hooper Sheffield Wed
10
Waghorn Ipswich
10
Total
16
15
14
12
12
12
12
11
11
11
10
Harley 7
P W
D
L F
A GD Pts
LEAGUE TWO P W
D
L F
A GD Pts
Cannon 27
Exeter Pym, Sweeney, Seaborne
(Woodman 46), Archibald-Henville, Moxey,
Holmes (Boateng 79), Tillson, James■,
Harley, Taylor, Stockley.
Subs not used Simpson, Jones, McAlinden,
Jay, Wilson
Wycombe Brown, Moore, McGinley,
Scarr■, Jacobson, Saunders (Bean
84), O’Nien■, Bloomfield, MackailSmith, Akinfenwa, Cowan-Hall (Tyson
70). Subs not used Gape, Kashket,
Makabu-Makalamby
Rochdale Lillis, Daniels, McNulty, Ntlhe■
(Knott 70), Cannon■, Camps■, Kitching,
Bunney (McGahey 84), Henderson, Done
(Inman 71), Andrew.
Subs not used Rafferty, Rathbone, Moore,
Adshead.
Att 4,352 Ref Lee Swabey
Peterborough Bond, Shephard, Taylor,
Tafazolli, Hughes, Grant, Lloyd■ (Morias
68), Forrester■, Doughty (Ward 68),
Maddison, Marriott.
Subs not used Baldwin, Penny, Kanu,
Anderson, O’Malley.
Att 8,602 Ref Eddie Ilderton
Coventry Burge, Grimmer, Davies, Willis,
Stokes■, Maguire-Drew (Stevenson
82), Bayliss, Doyle, Shipley (Barrett 77),
McNulty, Biamou (Ponticelli 68).
Subs not used McDonald, O’Brien, Beavon,
Haynes.
Att 4,219 Ref Ben Toner
Colchester Walker, Jackson, Eastman,
Kent, Inniss (Prosser 74), Drey Wright■,
Murray, Szmodics, Comley (Senior 76),
Guthrie, Mandron (Hanlan 82).
Subs not used Lapslie, Loft, Kpekawa,
Gilmartin.
Att 4,386 Ref John Busby
NATIONAL LEAGUE
Dundee Utd 21 12 4 5 30 23 7 40
Peterhead
19 14 1 4 53 23 30 43
Dunfermline 21
9 6 6 37 24 13 33
Stenhsmr
20 10 5 5 35 25 10 35
Livingston
20
9 6 5 31 24 7 33
Annan Ath
21
8 7 6 25 17 8 31
Sutton Utd 29 14 7 8 42 34 8 49
Queen Sth
P W D L F
A GD Pts
Macclesfield 29 16 7 6 38 26 12 55
Aldershot
29 14 9 6 46 30 16 51
21
8 6 7 34 30 4 30
Stirling Alb 19
9 3 7 37 26 11 30
Wrexham
28 13 9 6 31 22 9 48
Inverness CT 22
8 6 8 29 25 4 30
Elgin
20
9 3 8 33 36 -3 30
Tranmere
29 13 8 8 43 26 17 47
Morton
20
7 7 6 27 21 6 28
Berwick
19
6 3 10 14 33-19 21
Boreham W 29 12 11 6 40 29 11 47
Dumbarton 21
4 8 9 15 28-13 20
Edinburgh C 20
4 3 13 15 32-17 15
Dover
29 11 12 6 38 23 15 45
Falkirk
21
4 8 9 20 34-14 20
Clyde
18
2 8 8 20 32-12 14
Dagenham
29 12 9 8 46 35 11 45
Brechin
21
0 4 17 16 48-32 4
Cowdnbth
19
1 6 12 10 29-19 9
Bromley
29 12 8 9 46 37 9 44
Ebbsfleet
29 10 12 7 41 33 8 42
Brechin City 0 Livingston 2
Dumbarton 0 St Mirren 2
Dunfermline Ath 0 Dundee United 0
Inverness CT 3 Queen of the South 1
Morton 0 Falkirk 1
Berwick Rangers 0 Annan Ath 2
Clyde 0 Stenhousemuir 3
Edinburgh City 0 Montrose 2
Elgin 1 Cowdenbeath 0
Peterhead 4 Stirling Alb 3
Maidenhead 29
9 11 9 37 40 -3 38
Maidstone
28
9 11 8 35 40 -5 38
LEAGUE ONE
PRESS & JOURNAL HIGHLAND LEAGUE
Eastleigh
29
L F
A GD Pts
20 14 4 2 43 17 26 46
Ayr
22 14 3 5 59 29 30 45
Arbroath
20 10 3 7 41 30 11 33
Alloa
20
Stranraer
21
8 5 8 35 38 -3 29
East Fife
22
8 3 11 33 40 -7 27
9 4 7 32 26 6 31
League
16
16
12
Total
24
18
18
Airdrieonians 21
6 7 8 30 39 -9 25
Albion
6 4 10 43 49 -6 22
LEAGUE TWO
League
McAllister Peterhead
16
Smith Stirling
17
McGuigan Sten’muir
17
Total
26
20
18
Arbroath 2 Queen’s Park 1
East Fife 2 Alloa 1
Forfar Athletic 4 Albion Rovers 2
Raith 1 Ayr United 1
Stranraer 3 Airdrieonians 2
20
Queens Pk
22
4 6 12 24 46-22 18
Forfar
22
5 3 14 23 49-26 18
Fort William 1 Forres Mechanics 9
Huntly 1 Buckie Thistle 2
Inverurie Loco Works 2 Fraserburgh 2
Lossiemouth 0 Formartine United 6
Turriff United 0 Cove Rangers 4
Wick Academy 2 Keith 0
Clachnacuddin P Brora Rangers P
Nairn County P Rothes P
Strathspey Thistle P Deveronvale P
(matches postponed due to
frozen pitches)
FERRARI PACKAGING LOWLAND LEAGUE
BSC Glasgow 0 Spartans FC 0
Civil Service S 0 Whitehill Welfare 2
East Kilbride 4 Gretna 2008 0
Edinburgh Uni 1 East Stirlingshire 2
Edusport Academy 1 Dalbeattie Star 1
Selkirk 5 Hawick Royal Albert 0
Stirling Uni 2 Cumbernauld Colts 0
Vale of Leithen 5 Gala Fairydean 1
AFC Fylde
28 11 9 8 45 38 7 42
8 13 8 42 43 -1 37
Woking
28 10 5 13 38 44 -6 35
FC Halifax
29
8 10 11 31 38 -7 34
Hartlepool
28
8 9 11 31 38 -7 33
Gateshead
26
7 11 8 32 28 4 32
L Orient
29
8 8 13 35 42 -7 32
Barrow
29
7 10 12 36 40 -4 31
Chester
28
5 11 12 25 44-19 26
Solihull M
29
6 6 17 26 45-19 24
Guiseley
28
4 10 14 26 52-26 22
Torquay
29
4 8 17 24 47-23 20
AFC Fylde 2 Guiseley 1
Torquay Utd 1 Eastleigh 2
Woking 0 Tranmere Rovers 1
OTHER GAMES
NORTH TOP EIGHT
21 13 5 3 31 20 11 44
D
(0) 1
Szmodics 78
Wigan Walton, Byrne, Dunkley, Burn,
James, Morsy, Power, Jacobs (Elder 86),
Powell, Massey (Colclough 63), Grigg
(Vaughan 63).
Subs not used Perkins, Bruce, Gary
Roberts, Jones
Montrose
P W
(2) 3
Akinfenwa 14; Cowan-Hall 24; O’Nien 74
Gillingham Holy, O’Neill, Ehmer, Zakuani,
Garmston (Ogilvie 70), Byrne, Wagstaff
(List 46), Hessenthaler, Martin, Eaves■,
Parker.
Subs not used Nelson, Lacey, Wilkinson,
Nugent, Oldaker
22 15 3 4 41 23 18 48
Raith
CHAMPIONSHIP
League
Dobbie Queen of South 11
Reilly St Mirren
9
Morgan St Mirren
9
D
Reading Mannone, Gunter, McShane
(Tiago Ilori 30), Moore, Richards, van
den Berg, Evans, McCleary (Bacuna 77),
Swift (Aluko 26), Barrow, Kermorgant.
Subs not used Bodvarsson, Blackett,
Jaakkola, Kelly.
Att 14,300 Ref Darren England
St Mirren
TOP SCORERS
TOP SCORERS
6
5
7
5
4
5
4
5
9
6
5
2
6
5
3
3
5
4
2
3
2
1
2
2
Wolves Ruddy, Bennett, Coady, Boly,
Doherty, Saiss■, Neves (N’Diaye 90),
Douglas, Helder Costa (Ivan Cavaleiro 65),
Leo Bonatini (Mir 73), Jota■.
Subs not used White, Enobakhare, Hause,
Norris.
Att 16,050 Ref Keith Stroud
CHAMP
Shots on target
Stokes Hibernian
30
Sinclair Celtic
26
Boyd Kilmarnock
23
Morelos Rangers
21
Murray Hibernian
19
El Bakhtaoui Dundee
18
Moult Motherwell
18
Gonçalves Hearts
18
Windass Rangers
17
Griffiths Celtic
17
Armstrong Celtic
15
Walker Hearts
15
W
(1) 1
VANARAMA NATIONAL
SHARP SHOOTERS
A
Grimsby Kean, Mills, Clarke■, Osborne,
Ben Davies (Jones 90), Dembele,
Summerfield, Berrett, Woolford
(Jaiyesimi 67), Vernon (Matt■ 67),
Vernam. Subs not used Dixon, Collins,
Mitchell Rose, Killip
Oteh 32; Washington 74; Luongo 87
TODAY Saint-Étienne v Toulouse
(2pm); Lyon v Angers (4pm);
Nantes v PSG (8pm)
F
27 10 1 2 41 13
27 9 4 0 26 10
26 7 2 3 23 12
27 8 3 3 30 19
26 10 0 3 20 11
27 7 5 2 22 11
27 7 5 1 23 13
27 8 2 3 16 7
26 5 2 7 15 24
27 5 5 2 17 11
28 6 5 3 22 14
27 8 3 3 18 11
27 4 5 5 20 16
27 5 2 7 13 14
27 6 5 2 27 16
28 6 3 5 19 17
28 4 5 6 13 19
28 5 2 7 17 19
27 5 3 6 15 19
27 6 2 6 19 21
27 5 4 4 19 14
28 5 3 6 16 19
27 4 2 8 15 24
27 3 3 7 11 16
Cambridge Forde, Halliday, Taylor, Darling,
Carroll, Deegan, Phillips (Amoo 65), Maris,
Jevani Brown, Waters (Corr 79), Ikpeazu,
Amoo (Dunk 74).
Subs not used Mitov, O’Neil, Elito, D
avies
Dyer 34
A GD Pts
Aberdeen
21
L
1
5
4
4
2
3
1
3
6
4
2
2
6
3
3
5
3
2
2
5
3
4
5
4
MK Dons Nicholls, Brittain, Wootton,
Ebanks-Landell, B Williams, McGrandles
(Pawlett■ 65), Cisse, Gilbey, Muirhead
(Nombe 65), Agard (Thomas-Asante 80),
Aneke. Subs not used Upson, Sietsma,
Seager, Kasumu
SCOTTISH PREMIERSHIP
P W D L F
HOME
D
9
6
7
7
9
5
4
5
4
4
6
4
3
5
3
3
2
2
3
2
3
3
0
0
Nolan 35 pen
QPR
OTHERS
P W
18 14
18 9
18 8
17 8
18 7
17 8
18 7
W
Blackburn Raya■, Nyambe, Downing,
Mulgrew, Williams, Bennett, Smallwood,
Dack, Conway (Armstrong 62), Samuel
(Travis 86), Graham (Nuttall 82).
Subs not used Leutwiler, Ward, Caddis,
Tomlinson
Maddison 79
L
0
1
3
4
6
7
8
A
(1) 3
O’Brien 43
D
3
6
4
5
4
2
3
F
Hull McGregor, Tomori, Dawson, Hector,
Aina, Meyler (Henriksen 71), Larsson■,
Toral, Irvine (Evandro 65), Bowen, Dicko
(Campbell 65).
Subs not used Marshall, Diomande, Clark,
Stewart
Jozefzoon 40; Maupay 90
PULLING THE STRINGS
SPAIN
Bayern Munich
RB Leipzig
Schalke
B Dortmund
B Leverkusen
B M’gladbach
Hoffenheim
AWAY
L
Barnsley Davies, Cavare, Pinnock, Lindsay,
Yiadom, Gardner, Isgrove (Moncur 46),
Mallan■ (Thiam 87), Potts, Hammill,
Bradshaw (Moore 66).
Subs not used McCarthy, Townsend,
Pearson, Brown
BOLTON WANDERERS
EUROPE
P W
18 15
19 12
18 11
18 9
19 9
18 9
19 8
D
Mulgrew 14, 70; Graham 60
Norwood 90 pen
IN CONTROL
TOP SEVEN
W
26 8 5 1 21 4
26 10 1 1 18 4
26 8 3 2 25 12
27 7 4 2 17 9
27 6 1 7 19 21
27 7 4 3 19 15
27 9 2 3 22 9
27 7 2 4 28 17
27 7 1 5 20 18
28 6 4 4 25 23
27 4 4 5 19 20
27 5 6 3 20 15
28 6 2 6 18 21
27 3 7 4 17 16
26 5 6 3 20 17
28 5 4 5 20 21
27 8 0 5 23 18
28 6 5 3 19 14
27 4 7 3 15 16
28 5 3 6 23 22
28 5 2 7 12 21
26 4 3 6 13 17
26 4 5 3 13 11
27 4 1 8 10 17
Celina 67
TOMORROW
Ayew 60
Att 51,444 Ref Graham Scott
Barcelona
Atlético Madrid
Valencia
Real Madrid
Villarreal
Sevilla
Eibar
Wigan
Shrewsbury
Blackburn
Scunthorpe
Bradford
Charlton
Portsmouth
Rotherham
Peterborough
Oxford Utd
Fleetwood
Doncaster
Plymouth
Gillingham
Walsall
Blackpool
Bristol Rovers
Southend
MK Dons
Oldham
Northampton
Wimbledon
Rochdale
Bury
Att 25,240 Ref Martin Atkinson
NEWCASTLE UNITED
Manchester City
Arsenal
Tottenham
Liverpool
Chelsea
Manchester United
Southampton
Watford
P
GD Pts
30
21
15
15
8
9
8
6
8
4
6
1
-4
-6
-10
-1
-4
-5
-10
-5
-20
-25
-23
-18
(0) 0
Att 76,251 Ref Craig Pawson
CRYSTAL PALACE
Wolves
Derby County
Cardiff
Aston Villa
Bristol City
Sheffield Utd
Leeds
Fulham
Middlesbrough
Preston
Brentford
Ipswich
Norwich
QPR
Nottm Forest
Millwall
Sheffield Wed
Reading
Barnsley
Hull
Bolton
Burton
Birmingham
Sunderland
(1) 4
Son 26; Kane 47, 59; Eriksen 81
Att 41,552 Ref Michael Jones
P
GD PTS
5 51 62
LEAGUE TWO
LEAGUE ONE
P W D L F
Salford City 26
Harrogate 25
Brackley
25
Spennymoor 24
B Spartans 24
York
25
18
15
13
13
14
12
4
5
9
5
0
5
4
5
3
6
10
8
47
59
45
49
56
46
A GD Pts
25
31
22
38
42
35
22 58
28 50
23 48
11 44
14 42
11 41
Kid’minster 25 10 10 5 42 29 13 40
Bradford PA 26 11 6 9 43 33 10 39
Brackley 0 N Ferriby U 0; Gainsborough
0 Nuneaton B 1; Kid’minster 2 Utd of
Man 2; Southport 2 Leamington 0;
Spennymoor U 2 Boston U 0; Tamworth
P B Spartans P; York C 2 Bradford PA
1; Alfreton Tn 1 Darlington 1; Curzon
Ashton 0 Chorley 2; Harrogate P Stockport Co P; Salford C 3 AFC Telford 0.
SOUTH TOP EIGHT
P W D L F
14
12
13
12
12
11
A GD Pts
Dartford
Hampton
Havant
Braintree Tn
Truro City
Chelmsford
26
26
25
26
25
25
Hemel H
St Albans
25 11 8 6 40 28 12 41
25 11 7 7 39 32 7 40
7
11
7
9
7
9
5
3
5
5
6
5
53
37
43
52
44
39
28
21
22
35
30
24
25 49
16 47
21 46
17 45
14 43
15 42
Chelmsford 1 Bath C 1; Chippenham 1
Braintree Tn 1; Eastbourne 1 Hampton
2; E Thurrock P Poole Tn P; Oxford
City 0 Whitehawk 1; Weston-SM P
St Albans P; Bognor Regis P Welling
Utd P; Dartford 1 Havant 0; Hemel H 1
Hungerford Tn 2; Truro City P Concord
Rangers P; Wealdstone P Gloucester P.
THE FA TROPHY SECOND ROUND
Billericay 3 Stourbridge 2
Blyth Spartans 1 Bromley 4
Bognor Regis Town 1
Leyton Orient 1
Brackley 0 Barrow 0
Dover 4 Marine 3
East Thurrock 1 Chester FC 0
Ebbsfleet United 1 Warrington
Town 1
Gateshead 3 Boreham Wood 3
Kidderminster 2 Stockport County 2
Maidstone Utd 2 Heybridge 1
St Albans 1 Harrogate Town 1
Sutton Utd 3 Hendon 0
Wealdstone 1 Hereford FC 0
Weston-S-Mare 1 Workington 1
FC Halifax 1 Maidenhead Utd 4
Spennymoor Town 2 Solihull
Moors 0
THE FA VASE FOURTH ROUND
Marske Utd 5 Hinckley AFC 0
Newport (IOW) 0 Bradford Town 1
BOSTIK PREMIER
Brightlingsea Regent 3 Worthing 0
Burgess Hill Town 2 Harrow
Borough 3
Enfield Town 2 Merstham 2
Leatherhead 1 Tonbridge Angels 0
Lowestoft Town 0 Dorking
Wanderers 0
Margate 1 Dulwich 0
Needham Market 1 Kingstonian 2
Thurrock 0 Staines Town 2
Tooting & Mitcham 0 Met Police 2
Wingate & Finchley 2 Harlow 0
EVO-STIK NORTHERN PREMIER
Buxton 2 Stalybridge 2
Grantham 2 Farsley Celtic 2
Halesowen 0 Nantwich Town 1
Hednesford 1 Coalville Town 1
Lancaster City 1 Barwell 1
Mickleover Sports 2 Matlock
Town 0
Shaw Lane 0 Whitby 0
Sutton Coldfield Tn 3 Rushall
Olympic 4
Witton Albion 1 Ashton Utd 1
Stafford Rangers 0 Altrincham 2
EVO-STIK SOUTHERN PREMIER
Bishop’s Stortford 0 Banbury 5
Chesham 4 Basingstoke 1
Dorchester 1 Redditch 0
Dunstable 0 Royston Town 5
Farnborough 2 Merthyr Town 2
Frome Town 0 Kings Lynn Town 0
Gosport Borough 0 Tiverton 5
Hitchin 0 Biggleswade Town 1
Kettering 1 Kings Langley 1
St Ives Town P Slough P
(postponed due to
waterlogged pitch)
Stratford Town 0 Weymouth 0
DANSKE BANK PREMIERSHIP
Ballinamallard Utd 2 Glentoran 2
Ballymena 3 Carrick 0
Crusaders 1 Ards 0
Dungannon Swifts 0 Coleraine 1
Glenavon 1 Cliftonville 1
Warrenpoint Town P Linfield P
(postponed due to waterlogged
pitch)
JD WELSH PREMIER LEAGUE
Aberystwyth Town 4 Gap Connah’s
Quay 2
Barry Town 0 Bala Town 1
Carmarthen Town 0 Cardiff MU 2
Cefn Druids 0 Llandudno FC 0
Newtown 3 Prest atyn Town 0
The New Saints 2 Bangor City 1
* 14.01.18
18 | SPORT | Netball
Pitman blooms
as English Rose
after learning
to love herself
Walking away from
Australia and a failing
marriage has been the
making of netball star,
the 29-year-old tells
Barry Glendenning
L
ast summer, Chelsea Pitman
posted a message on Instagram
announcing some of the life
lessons she had learned in 2017.
It was raw, searingly honest
and heartfelt, apparently confirming
rumours the Australian-born England
netball international had walked
away from her marriage to her fellow
professional athlete Kevin Locke. A
rugby league international from New
Zealand who had a short spell at the
Super League side Wakefield Trinity
Wildcats, Locke has had depression
and alcohol problems that mean his
playing career has been persistently
dogged by off-field issues.
Without mentioning her husband
directly, Pitman wrote of her
“self-loathing at the person I had
become” and explained how she had
felt compelled to “find a way to love
myself”. She said she was “thankful for
the good times and the lesson I have
learnt” and signed off by saying: “This
isn’t finger-pointing because in the
end we both failed.” It seemed a fairly
unambiguous declaration and five
months later she confirms as much.
“Obviously it wasn’t an easy decision
and it wasn’t great timing, but I don’t
think there’s ever going to be good
timing,” she says. “I guess it taught me
resilience and gave me strength I didn’t
know I had inside myself to be able to –
pardon my French – leave my shit at the
door, walk into training and train, then
pick my shit back up on the way out.
“I had to do that a lot last year but it
made me a better, stronger person and
I’ve grown from that. I’m extremely
happy right now in terms of where I
am and the person I’ve become. I made
that decision 12 or 14 months ago and
I’m happy. My family are beautiful
and I’ve got a lovely other half now, so
everything is good.”
Aged 29, Pitman won the 2011 world
championships with Australia but then
switched her allegiance to the England
Roses, for whom she qualifies through
her Dorset-born father, following
an approach from the head coach,
Tracey Neville.
Having spent the 2015 season
playing the club game with Manchester
Thunder, Pitman returned to England
just over a year ago to join her new
international team-mates for the first
time. “I was extremely excited and
honoured that I had this opportunity
to play for England and to play at
international level again,” she says. “I
was extremely nervous as well, coming
into an environment that I’d never been
part of and I’m sure the girls had their
questions or their reservations as to
why I was choosing to do that.”
Questions and reservations were
few and far between. A versatile and
extremely talented player, Pitman
already knew some of the Roses
from her time in Manchester, while
she had encountered others in
Australia’s elite Suncorp Super Netball
2018 QUAD SERIES
Copper Box Arena, London
Sat: South Africa v Australia
3.30pm
England v New Zealand
6.30pm
Mon 22 Jan: England v Australia
7.45pm
Johannesburg, South Africa
Thurs 25 Jan: South Africa v New Zealand 5pm
Sun 28 Jan: Australia v New Zealand
10am
South Africa v England
12:30pm
All times GMT
league, in which she played for the
Adelaide Thunderbirds alongside her
international team-mates Ama Agbeze
and Jade Clarke last year.
Back in England, with April’s
Commonwealth Games in
Queensland’s Gold Coast looming,
she has no regrets about a decision to
switch countries she says generated
little resentment in her native Australia
beyond a few barbed comments from
angry strangers on social media. “I am
extremely humbled and honoured to
have this opportunity to call myself a
Rose,” she says. “I have such a sense of
pride because the group has accepted
me. When we come up against
Australia I think, as much as anything,
I even want to beat them more than
anyone else. I haven’t succeeded in
doing that since I’ve been here, but
hopefully we do it when it counts and
Standing tall: ‘It taught me resilience and
gave me strength I didn’t know I had,’
says Chelsea Pitman after a difficult 2017.
Dave Rowland/Getty Images
‘I have such a sense
of pride because the
group has accepted
me. I want to beat
Australia more
than anyone else’
THE AGENDA
COMING THIS WEEK
A CATALAN DERBY
Never mind all the FA
Cup replays this week,
what of Spanish
football’s Copa del
Rey? The holders
Barcelona, who have
won the King’s Cup
for the past three
years and a record 29 times overall, are in
action against local rivals Espanyol in the
quarter-finals. Real Madrid, who defeated
Numancia 5-2 on aggregate to reach the
last eight, will face Leganés, while Atlético
Madrid are set to take on Sevilla. Last
season’s runners-up, Alavés, will need
to overcome a strong Valencia side, who
despite their recent dip in form are third
in La Liga. The first legs of the quarterfinals will take place on Wednesday and
Thursday, with the return legs scheduled
for next week.
ROETHLISBERGER’S REVENGE?
NFL’s divisional playoffs are under way and
today Pittsburgh Steelers host Jacksonville
Jaguars (6.05pm) and Minnesota Vikings
play New Orleans Saints (9.40pm). In
the former American football set-to, the
Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger has a point
to prove after the quarterback suffered his
worst day at the office when throwing five
interceptions as the Jaguars won 30-9 at
Heinz Field back in October.
BIKE HIKES
Bethany Crumpton (pictured) is on a
roll after securing her first Cyclo-Cross
National Trophy at Ipswich’s Trinity Park
last week and today competes against
some of the sport’s biggest riders in the
National Cyclo-Cross Championships at
Sunderland’s Hetton
Lyons Country Park.
The elite women’s
race takes place at
1.15pm and the Storey
Racing rider will face
tough competition
from World Cup top-10
regulars such as Nikki
Brammeier and Helen
Wyman. In the elite
men’s race later, Ian
Field will be looking to
secure a sixth national
cyclo-cross.
get a Commonwealth Games or World
Cup medal around our necks.”
Third in the world rankings behind
Australia and New Zealand, England
will get a better sense of where they
are as a team in the buildup to the
Commonwealth Games when they take
on both countries and South Africa
in this month’s Quad Series, which
begins in London’s Copper Box Arena
on Saturday before concluding in
Johannesburg just over a week later.
Pitman has nothing but praise for her
coach, who seems to be as forthright as
her famously opinionated footballing
brothers, Gary and Phil. “What I think
is amazing about Tracey is you always
know what she’s thinking and where
she stands,” says Pitman. “You know
her direction and vision and where she
wants the team to go. There’s no frothy
business and she’s extremely direct.
That’s why, I think, she’s so good at what
she does because there’s no grey areas.”
Having learned to love herself
again, Pitman seems content with her
peripatetic, globe-trotting existence,
even if the English winter is not always
to her liking. “I completely forgot that
you wake up in the dark and you do
whatever you need to do and it’s sort
of sunny outside, but before you’ve
finished your day it’s completely
dark again,” she laughs. “In Australia
it’s sunny and there’s the beach and
cafe lifestyle. Here, it’s the complete
opposite, but my brother lives in
Manchester with his wife and two dogs,
so I have a sense of home.”
A sense of home and – assuming
both dogs are house-trained – nothing
unseemly left at the door.
LOOK OUT FOR…
VARDY PARTY HEADLINES
THE ROCKET
CHASES HENDRY
Ronnie O’Sullivan begins
his defence of snooker’s
Masters against Marco Fu on Tuesday
(1pm). O’Sullivan won a record seventh
Masters with a 10-7 victory over Joe
Perry in the final at London’s Alexandra
Palace last year and the 42-year-old
will be seeking his third title in a row after
stirring up a hornets’ nest of controversy
in the buildup by suggesting the world
championships at the Crucible is “boring”.
Still, the Rocket is rocking after claiming
the English Open in October, the Shanghai
Masters in November and the UK
Championships last month to move to
31 ranking titles – five behind Stephen
Hendry’s all-time record.
GOODBYE TO ALL THIS
And, finally, we reach the end of the line for
the Berliner-sized Observer Sport section,
going strong on any given Sunday since
January 2006. On your newsstands a week
today, a brand new tabloid Observer Sport.
It’s so much more than a makeover; we’re
sure you’ll approve.
Andy Martin
Again?
Yes, again. There were lots last weekend
before the striker’s FA Cup return to old club
Fleetwood, including Marca’s “Party en casa
de Vardy”. There were more when he wasn’t
named in the squad (“No Vardy, No Party”,
and so on). And there’ll be more on Tuesday
for the replay (7.45pm, BT Sport 2).
So he’ll be playing this time?
Fans will hope so. The first game certainly
missed his energy. Near the end of the 0-0, as
Vardy nursed a niggle in the corporate seats,
the away end sang: “We’re Leicester City,
we’ve come for the draw.” BBC commentator
Jonathan Pearce, meanwhile, filled the dead
air with subjects including his memories of
going to watch speedway in Bristol and his
views on the merits of WhatsApp.
What does he think of WhatsApp?
“I’ve no idea what WhatsApp is,” he said.
Kevin Kilbane had to explain it to him.
So this replay – not worth watching, then?
Just because it was dry first time round,
doesn’t mean it will be again. The Cod Army
have plenty going for them. They nearly
won the first game – Ashley Hunter’s late
effort kept out by the post, then hitting
keeper Eldin Jakupovic’s face, then the
post again. And several Fleetwood players
will be looking to impress mid-transfer
window, with Devante Cole, son of Andy,
and Amari’i Bell, among those expected
to be sold. “We’ve had bids already,”
says manager Uwe Rösler. “But it’s not
a problem: we embrace that. My job here
isn’t to win promotion, it’s to develop
players to be sold on and to win games.”
Anyone else to keep an eye on?
Keeper Chris Neal won a year’s supply
of pizza from a sponsor for keeping a
clean sheet first time around, so his
performance could depend on how much
he’s already got through. And, if the game
follows the Magic of the Cup™ script,
Fleetwood’s late winner will come from
the original captain, leader, legend Nathan
Pond, who has played for them in seven
divisions, winning six promotions.
What’s at stake?
A shot at beating Peterborough away.
The other TV replay this week is Chelsea
v Norwich (Wednesday 7.45pm, BBC1).
Norwich’s last win at Stamford Bridge
was in 1993: 2-1 in the Premier League,
with goals from Chris Sutton and Ruel
Fox. They’re 16-1 to do it again.
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