SPORT thesundaytimes.co.uk/sport January 7, 2018 WAR OF WORDS: CHELSEA BOSS CONTE SLAMS ‘LITTLE MAN’ MOURINHO PAGE 5 MARK HUGHES SACKED AS STOKE EXIT FA CUP PAGE 3 REX FEATURES The £142m Cashing in: Philippe Coutinho sealed a move to Barcelona from Liverpool which will make him the second most expensive player in history heist Coutinho in Spain to seal record move from Liverpool Murray could need double hip surgery Barry Flatman Tennis correspondent Concerns about the future of Andy Murray’s career are growing as it emerges that the British tennis star is suffering from pain in both his hips rather than just the right as was widely presumed. Murray, who has not played a competitive match since Wimbledon last summer and is now back in Britain after aborting his plans to contest the Australian Open, told former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash of his predicament when the pair met at an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi at the end of December. “I was talking to Andy in Abu Dhabi and told him I was getting pain in one of my hips and he told me his problems were in both hips,” said Cash, who was at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship as a tournament ambassador. “He was pretty open about it and I thought he was resigned to the fact.” Murray travelled to Abu Dhabi as a training stop-off en route to Australia. Murray: facing uncertain future of this season. With the player’s representatives meeting Manchester City to discuss a transfer, Barça were forced to add an £88.6m sweetener (paid over three years) to an after-tax annual salary of £31m. Messi’s pay rise is expected to spark further wage inflation. Cristiano Ronaldo has made clear to Real Madrid that he expects his pay to be increased to at least match his rival’s terms, or for him to be allowed to join a suitor such as Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester United. When Novak Djokovic withdrew from the exhibition event with renewed problems in his right elbow, the Scot agreed to stand in as a replacement in a one-set contest against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, losing 6-2. Murray then flew to Melbourne before deciding that trying to play 2018’s opening Grand Slam tournament was a futile exercise. Cash added: “Andy has been a great champion, but the way he has always played, in a style that relies so much on fitness and being stronger than the other guy, and the way he has punished his body, the end result was always going to be something like this.” Broadcaster Andrew Castle, who underwent surgery during and after his tennis career, said: “There is little chance of [Murray] challenging for major titles after hip surgery. If it is a full hip replacement, I cannot see any way he would be able to face Nadal, Dimitrov, Djokovic and Federer. When the ball comes to you, it is OK. But the ball doesn’t come to you when you are playing these guys.” OFFER THEY COULDN’T REFUSE, PAGE 7 FUTURE LOOKS HOPEFUL, PAGE 15 Coutinho, with wife Aine and their child, get ready to fly out to Barcelona last night Barca spending hits £360m as Messi pockets £90m bonus Duncan Castles Liverpool have accepted a £141.9m bid for Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona, with the player last night flying out to Spain to complete the move. The Brazilian is expected to be at Camp Nou for this afternoon’s game against Levante. A Barcelona statement said he would “sign a contract for the remainder of the season and five more, and will have a buyout clause of 400 million euros [£355m].” The fee, coupled with a £88.6m signing-on bonus for Lionel Messi, who agreed a new contract in November, and the huge transfer fee for Ousmane Dembele, signed in August, means that the Catalan club have now spent £360m since last summer. The payment for Coutinho is expected to be split into an initial guaranteed sum of £106.4m with a further £35.5m of obtainable bonuses. Last night Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: “It is no secret that Philippe has wanted this move to happen since July, when Barcelona first made their interest known. Philippe was insistent with me, the owners and even his teammates this was a move he was desperate to make happen. The club did everything within our means to convince Philippe that remaining part of Liverpool was as attractive as moving to Spain. It is with great reluctance that we — as a team and club — prepare to say farewell to a good friend, a wonderful person and a fantastic player.” The transfer fee would establish a record for a move in or out of Messi: paid nearly £90m sign-on fee by Barcelona the Premier League. Coutinho’s purchase will also reset the La Liga record fee Barcelona paid Borussia Dortmund for Dembele in August. The France international, 20, was secured for £93.1m plus £37m in bonuses. Barcelona’s readiness to spend so heavily on Coutinho is all the more remarkable given the bonus the club is understood to have paid Messi to secure his signature on a hugely improved fouryear deal in November. The Argentina international effectively held his employers to ransom by threatening to exercise his right to leave as a free agent at the end 2 SPORT FOOTBALL: EMIRATES FA CUP REX FEATURES Wagner happy with stand-ins 4-4-2 Boruc A Smith S Cook Ake B Smith Mahoney Hyndman Surman Fraser BOLTON WANDERERS Afobe Derik 64 Mousset HUDDERSFIELD TOWN Grigg Jacobs James Van La Parra 51, Williams 52 Massey Powell Power Morsy Burn Dunkley 4-2-3-1 Chris Brereton Macron stadium Byrne Walton 2 2 BOURNEMOUTH Mousset 55, S Cook 90+2 WIGAN ATHLETIC Grigg 4, Hyndman og 29 F Andrew Longmore Vitality stadium or the second year in succession, Bournemouth were facing an embarrassing exit from the FA Cup at the hands of a lower league club. Last year, Eddie Howe made 11 changes and his side were comprehensively beaten by Millwall; this time, the Bournemouth manager made eight changes from his last starting line-up and for all but the final minute were behind to a Wigan side who led 2-0 at half-time and, in terms of style and fluency, had more than matched their Premier League opponents for long periods. In a frantic finale, when Bournemouth were pushing hard for the equaliser, Ivan Toney broke away from the home defence only to be nudged off the ball just as he was about to round Artur Boruc and secure a win for the League One leaders. Toney went sprawling, referee Andy Madley waved away vigorous Wigan protests and a minute later Steve Cook headed home Marc Pugh’s beautifully curled cross to bring Bournemouth the lifeline of a replay. Paul Cook, the Wigan manager, vented his wrath on the fourth official and his assistant, Leam Richardson, was finally sent to the stands for prolonging the tirade, but when the dust had settled both managers felt the result was just. “Of course we thought it was a penalty,” said Cook. “If we get the penalty and we score, that’s the game over. It was a simple decision but I don’t think our lads could have done anything more.” Cook is beginning to build up quite a reputation not just for lifting teams but for doing so with attractive passing football. Having taken Chesterfield from the bottom of League Two into the League One playoffs, he guided Portsmouth to the League Two title before moving on to Wigan where he has taken no time to instil his philosophy of pass and move. Before the match, Howe had expressed his admiration for Wigan’s style, but he perhaps had not bargained on going a goal behind after just three minutes or on being outplayed for large chunks of the first half. Wigan’s opening goal, neatly fashioned by Reece James and Nick Powell and tucked away by Will Grigg, provided ample evidence of the visitors’ quality. Swap the shirts and no one could have told the difference between a side 16th in the Premier League and the League One leaders. To be fair, even when nowhere near their fluent best, Bournemouth still created enough good chances to be on level terms. But Christian Walton produced a series of fine saves in the Wigan goal, notably from Lys Mousset’s closerange header and a double save, initially from Mousset and then blocking Andrew Surman’s follow-up shot with his legs. When a free-kick by Powell looped off Emerson Hyndman and over a stranded Boruc to put Wigan two up on the halfhour, the locals were as restless as Howe. Cook thwarts Wigan “We were very slow out of the traps and when you concede that early it doesn’t help your confidence or the feeling in the stadium,” said Howe. “I thought in the second half we had a better balance and momentum.” Howe made a double change at halftime, taking off Connor Mahoney, an England Under-20 international making his debut, and Brad Smith. The arrival of FA CUP FOURTHH ROUND DRAW The FA Cup fourthround draw takes place ce at about 7.10pm tomorrow, before Brighton’s third-round d tie against Crystal Palace. e. The draw is televised live on BBC2 and BT Sport 2. Jordan Ibe and Pugh certainly lifted the home side, who took just 10 minutes to penetrate a retreating Wigan defence. Not for the first time this season, the frustratingly inconsistent Ibe was the provider while Mousset finally beat Walton with a powerful strike from 10 yards. For a while, Wigan were rocked, unable to find any outlet or to mount much in the way of a counterattack. “We knew that B Bournemouth’s quality would shine th through in the end and it did,” said Cook, w whose Portsmouth side had come close t knocking out Bournemouth in the to th round two seasons before. third Yet Wigan refused to buckle and B Bournemouth, despite the introduction o Callum Wilson for the ineffectual Benik of A Afobe, could not find a way past the in inspired Walton. Steve Cook’s header hit th bar, Dan Burn cleared a shot off the the li and the 2013 FA Cup winners began line t sense another famous victory. Max to P Power twice had chances to settle the outc come but blazed over and had another s shot blocked as Bournemouth’s defence Pardew enjoys win and tonic EXETER CITY WEST BROMWICH Rondon 2, Rodriguez 25 0 2 Rob Cole St James Park In his previous match in the FA Cup Alan Pardew hit the headlines for doing a dance on the touchline at Wembley when his Crystal Palace side took the lead against Manchester United in the 2016 final. He was not in dancing mode at St James Park two years on, but he was dancing for joy on the inside after recording his first win in charge at West Brom at the ninth attempt. In his own words, it was “a really professional job” and a result that provided him and his coaching staff “with a lot of relief.” Goals have been the 1 2 problem for Albion this season — only 16 in the Premier League and a mere four in the previous eight games under Pardew — and they got their first after only 70 seconds. Salomon Rondon’s terrific finish from the edge of the area proved to be the fastest goal of the season in all competitions. After Rondon’s early strike there should have been a hatful more in a game that turned into a training run for the first half at least. The second half, on a tricky pitch and a ground that had two sides wide open, was a tougher test. Rondon had a second goal ruled out for offside in the 26th minute, as did Ahmed Hegazi early in the second half, and Hal Robson-Kanu — who replaced the injured Kieran Gibbs in the 10th minute — missed a penalty. Quite why the Wales international took the spotkick was a mystery and Pardew pledged to get to the bottom of it to ensure “it never happens again”. By then, Albion had doubled their lead thanks to a Jay Rodriguez tap-in from five yards after the home team’s centre-backs, Troy ArchibaldHenville and Danny Seaborne, had failed for the second time to clear a Robson-Kanu cross from the right. While Christy Pym continued to perform his heroics in the home goal, opposite number Ben Foster only had one difficult moment when he fumbled a Liam McAlinden cross from the left at his near post at the end of the first half. That presented the FA Cup’s top scorer at the start of the third round, Jayden Stockley, with an open goal to shoot at, but he could only hit the post. Stockley then fired a free kick from the edge of the area just wide of Foster’s goal at the start of the second half, but that was as good as it got for the home side. They did at least give it a go in the second half, but by then the Premier inexplicably went missing. But it was left to Cook to rescue the Premier League side a minute from time with a firm header from Pugh’s cross. “He’s always had a knack of scoring important goals for us,” said Howe. A trip to the north west in between two critical Premier League fixtures, against Arsenal and West Ham, is hardly ideal for struggling Bournemouth. In the midst of their disappointment, Wigan can cling on to one good omen: in 2013 they, then of the Premier Leagaue, beat League One Bournemouth in a replay and went on to lift the cup. Wigan peer: Nathan Byrne holds off his Bournemouth rival Marc Pugh as the League One side earned a draw with the Premier League hosts Star man: Christian Walton (Wigan) Yellow cards: Bournemouth: A Smith Wigan: Massey, Power Referee: A Madley Attendance: 9,894 Bournemouth: Boruc 6, A Smith 6, S Cook 7, Ake 6, B Smith 5 (Pugh h-t, 7), Mahoney 6 (Ibe h-t, 7), Hyndman 7, Surman 6, Fraser 6, Afobe 5 (Wilson 71min, 6), Mousset 7 Substitutes: Federici, Gosling, Butcher, Simpson Wigan: Walton 8, Byrne 7, Dunkley 7, Burn 7, James 7, Morsy 6, Power 6, Massey 7 (Roberts 83min, 6), Powell 7 (Perkins 57min, 6), Jacobs 6, Grigg 7 (Toney 65min, 7) Substitutes: Sarkic, Elder, MacDonald, Hunt Huddersfield Town and their head coach David Wagner have defied expectation and convention more than almost any other team in the past 12 months. But not yesterday. Like every Premier League side in this era, Wagner seemingly picked up his Scrabble bag of player names before this match, threw it on his desk and picked whatever landed in his sight. Eight changes for the visitors and six for Bolton underlined where this tie lay in their respective priorities, and with an educated sixth sense, fans stayed away in their droves. The upper tiers on three sides of the echoing arena were not even open. Do the fans stay away because the clubs do not care for the FA Cup? Or do teams not care because their fans concern themselves more with league positions than Wembley glory? Whatever the answer is, and wherever the solution lies, the Football Association must be worried about it. Wagner claimed on Friday that he “loves this competition” and although he had a funny way of showing it, in mitigation Huddersfield had won just two of their previous 11 league matches so the opportunity to renew and refresh was one he would not surrender. Eventually his side repaid him with an anodyne win in an anodyne match. “We had five players who had very little training and minutes with the first team in the last month and if you have this in your mind, I’m very satisfied with the performance,” Wagner said. “Everybody knows how difficult it can be in the FA Cup when you play an opponent from the leagues below you. To be honest, I expected more difficulty today because we had so many players who had never played as a unit together. If you think about this, this was a very professional, very solid performance.” The plentiful changes had an inevitable impact on the quality of the occasion and when a foul throw by Sammy Ameobi is the only noteworthy moment in the opening stages, little else needs to be said. After 45 minutes of almost unbearable dreariness, Bolton’s Filipe Morais delivered the perfect cross for an unmarked Aaron Wilbraham just before halftime but his header from five yards out was almost laughably poor and missed Joel Coleman’s goal by some considerable distance. Huddersfield restarted after the interval with more vim as Abdelhamid Sabiri’s long-range effort wobbled towards Mark Howard, who watched it closely enough to turn it around for a corner. That raised hopes that the second half would erase memories of the first and, quite unexpectedly, it did. In no time at all Huddersfield were 2-0 up as Rajiv van La Parra — on for the injured Collin Quaner — turned in Sabiri’s corner from very close range after 51 minutes, before a hugely deflected long-range effort from Danny Williams 45 seconds later beat Howard and appeared to have killed off a tie that had never been alive in the first place. Williams’ goal came after a strong challenge by Sabiri on David Wheater that Phil Parkinson, the Bolton manager, labelled “a legbreaker” but referee Roger East missed the incident. Despite the deficit, that second goal re-energised Bolton and they ensured a nervy ending was in store for the visitors when Derik was left unmarked at the back post to head Morais’s cross comfortably past Coleman with 26 minutes to go. Michael Hefele, returning after a long achilles tendon lay-off, looked ponderous for Huddersfield and narrowly escaped a second yellow card as moments of panic infected the visitors near the end. But although Bolton finished as the stronger side, the touch of quality required to raise further cheer was absent. It summed up the day. Star man: Abdelhamid Sabiri (Huddersfield) Yellow cards: Bolton: Ameobi, Vela Huddersfield: Coleman, Hefele Referee: R East Attendance: 11,574 Bolton: Howard 6, Little 6 (Hall 85min, 5), Beevers 6, Wheater 7, Vela 6 (King 85min, 5), Le Fondre 6, Robinson 6, Derik 6, Wilbraham 6, Morais 7, Ameobi 5 (Noone 76min, 5) Substitutes: Taylor, Alnwick, Darby, Earing Huddersfield: Coleman 6, Smith 7, Hefele 6 (Whitehead 85min, 5), Kongolo 6, Malone 6, Sabiri 7, Hogg 6, Williams 6, Lolley 6 (Billing 76min, 6), Quaner 5 (Van La Parra 39min, 7), Depoitre 6 Substitutes: Mounie, Green, Hadergjonaj, O’Brien GRAHAM CROWTHER On target: Rajiv van La Parra, left, celebrates his goal Saints survive scare to end barren run FULHAM SOUTHAMPTON Ward-Prowse 29 Rondon: early opening goal League side were in cruise control and heading into the fourth round with a moraleboosting first victory since August. Star man: James McClean (West Brom) Yellow cards: Exeter: Sweeney, Archibald-Henville West Brom: Rodriguez Referee: L Mason Attendance: 5,638 Exeter: Pym 7, Sweeney 6, ArchibaldHenville 5, Seaborne 5, Moxey 5, Taylor 6, Boateng 5 (James 63min, 5), Tillson 7, Harley 6 (Jay 87min, 5), McAlinden 5 (Holmes 55min, 6), Stockley 5 Substitutes: Woodman, Simpson, Jones, Byrne West Brom: Foster 6, Nyom 7, McAuley 7, Hegazi 6, Gibbs 5 (Robson-Kanu 12min, 6), Krychowiak 6 (Livermore 85min, 5), Barry 6, Rodriguez 7 (Field 69min, 5), Brunt 7, McClean 8, Rondon 6 Substitutes: Myhill, Yacob, Burke, Leko 0 1 Brian Glanville Craven Cottage After nine matches without a win and having sold their star turn Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool for £75m, Southampton won at last against a Fulham team who surprisingly, and arguably expensively, omitted their captain Tom Cairney from the squad. The explanation was that he had played four games in a row and needed a rest. With Newcastle said to be keen on signing him during the transfer window, perhaps there was another explanation. Fulham largely malfunctioned without Cairney’s clever positioning and distribution in midfield. Southampton deserved their success against a Fulham team who provoked a solitary save from Alex McCarthy and also escaped in the second half when Jack Stephens headed against the bar. Having omitted Cairney with such negative effect Fulham’s head coach, Slavisa Jokanovic, hardly distinguished himself either with his formation or substitutions. For the whole of the first half, and some of the second, Fulham had only the ineffectual and indifferent Rui Fonte up front. It was 56 minutes before they at last belatedly brought on Neeskens Kebano; 66 minutes before they deployed Sheyi Ojo and 76 minutes before they introduced Aboubakar Kamara. These substitutions gave a lift and impetus to their play, but against a Southampton defence that largely competed and resisted well, there was but that single save for McCarthy to make. It came on the hour at his near post when he held an attempt by Stefan Johansen, who improved substantially when he dropped deeper after half-time. In the first half there was little to remember. A cross from James Ward-Prowse was missed by David Button but Shane Long headed wide. The decisive goal came 10 minutes later when Sofiane Boufal attempted a one-two with Long. The ball, however, hit Kevin McDonald and WardProwse, left-footed, struck the spinning ball past Button for the winner. Eight minutes into the second half from Long’s cross Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg forced a save from Button. In the 74th minute, from Ward-Prowse’s corner, Long flicked on and Stephens headed against the Fulham bar. Two minutes later Fulham could well have been level. A free kick by Oliver Norwood was dropped by McCarthy but Denis Odoi could do no better than shoot over the bar. Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon was largely subdued in this period but this was down to not receiving the ball. He was effective when he was given it and his run and cross on the 88th minute provided Norwood with a header at the back post, but he could not find the target. Star man: James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) Yellow card: Fulham: McDonald Southampton: Bednarek Referee: M Oliver Attendance: 17,327 Fulham: Button 6, Fredericks 6, Kalas 5 (Ojo 66min, 6), Ream 6, Odoi 6, Norwood 5, McDonald 6 (Kebano 56min, 6), Johansen 7, Piazon 5, Fonte 5 (Kamara 76min, 6), R Sessegnon 7 Substitutes: Djalo, De La Torre, S Sessegnon, Norman Southampton: McCarthy 6, Bednarek 6, Stephens 7, Yoshida 6, Bertrand 7, Romeu 6, Hojbjerg 6 (Lemina 80min, 6), Ward-Prowse 7, Davis 7, Boufal 7 (Redmond 70min, 6), Long 6 (Gabbiadini 86min, 5) Substitutes: Tadic, Targett, Sims, Forster 3 The Sunday Times January 7, 2018 Fleetwood come so close to an upset after Vardy sits it out ALAN MARTIN 0 0 FLEETWOOD TOWN LEICESTER CITY Mike Whalley Highbury stadium Rarely can a person have earned so much free pizza so easily. Fleetwood Town’s goalkeeper Chris Neal had been offered a year’s supply by a fast-food company if he kept a clean sheet yesterday. A much-changed Leicester City side did not threaten that prize, failing to register a shot on target. How the visitors missed Jamie Vardy. The return of Leicester’s leading scorer to his former club was the main point of interest when this tie was drawn out, but a groin injury prevented him from playing. Instead, the England forward watched from a box in the main stand, with his wife Rebekah and one-yearold son Finley Jaiden. Without Vardy, and in a team showing eight changes from their previous match, Leicester’s front line failed on a bumpy pitch. They might even have lost the match in stoppage time when Ashley Hunter attacked down the right and hit a shot that deflected off Yohan Benalouane and bounced off the post twice, the second time via a touch from goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic. “It was difficult to play on the floor,” Leicester manager Claude Puel said. “It was a good thing to keep a clean sheet but it was not enough to win the game. We got a bit lucky at the end when they hit the post.” Puel indicated that Vardy is likely to be fit for the replay. They may need him if they are to avoid the embarrassment of a third- round exit against League One opponents. The return of Riyad Mahrez would help too, after he was left out of the squad yesterday, but his future looks increasingly uncertain amid interest from Liverpool, despite Puel’s insistence that the winger is happy at the King Power stadium. Fleetwood manager Uwe Rosler, who guided Wigan to within a penalty shoot-out of the FA Cup final four years ago, could have been forgiven for thinking of what might have been. Instead, he chose to focus on the remarkable progress that has taken the club from the ninth tier of English football to League One in less than 15 years. This was their first competitive meeting with a Premier League club, and it almost ended with a place in the fourth round for the first time. “How can I be disappointed?” he said. “This was the biggest game in the club’s history, in front of a sell-out crowd, and the club is in the best position ever.” Perhaps the one disappointment for Rosler and Fleetwood was the absence of Andy Pilley, the owner whose funding has propelled the club to six promotions in 13 years. Pilley intended to return from a Caribbean cruise with his family for the game, but had to abandon the plan after becoming stranded in Haiti. Pilley’s team might have gone ahead in the first 10 minutes, as Leicester’s centre-back Aleksandar Dragovic overhit a back pass and Jakupovic had to scramble back to push it around the post. FOOTBALL RESULTS PAGE 14 Leicester had possession but little momentum. It was little wonder, given the number of changes their manager made. Up front they laboured. Islam Slimani miscued an early chance wide and was rarely involved after that, while Adrien Silva looked rusty as he made his long-awaited first start for the club. Kelechi Iheanacho, the striker for whom Leicester paid £25m five months ago, has seen his stock fall to such an extent that he was only deemed worthy of a 10minute appearance as a substitute. “I picked a team to win the game, and I had to judge it on the fitness levels of my players after four games in 10 days,” Puel said. “We had a good team on the pitch but it was not enough.” Leicester winger Harvey Barnes, whose father Paul once scored twice for York City in a League Cup win at Manchester United, had one Fleetwood grew in confidence; Devante Cole, whose father Andy won the FA Cup twice with Manchester United, just failed to connect with a free kick in the final five minutes. By that stage, Leicester would probably have settled for a replay. As it turned out, they only just got it. Fleetwood’s goalkeeper, meanwhile, could savour his pizza. “It’s an added bonus,” he said. “Financially, this was massive to the club and that will increase even more when we go back to their place.” Back to earth: Adrien Silva falls after a Kyle Dempsey tackle or two promising moments on his first start for the club, but he tired and was taken off shortly before the hour. In the first half, one Barnes cross found a way to Demarai Gray at the far post, for a shot that was blocked by Neal, while the winger later snatched at a chance and saw a shot deflected just wide. Silva’s chief memory of the match will probably be the fierce challenge from Fleetwood midfielder Markus Schwabl that left the midfielder in agony. At that moment, the glory of winning Euro 2016 with Portugal must have seemed a very long way away. As the match went on, Star man: Markus Schwabl (Fleetwood) Referee: S Hooper Attendance: 5,001 Fleetwood: Neal 6, Coyle 6, Bolger 7, Eastham 6 (Pond 15min, 6), Bell 7, Schwabl 8, Glendon 7, Dempsey 7, Burns 7 (McAleny 69min, 6), Cole 6, Hunter 7 Substitutes: Cairns, Jones, Biggins, Sowerby, Hiwula-Mayifuila Leicester: Jakupovic 6, Amartey 6, Dragovic 6, Benalouane 6, Chilwell 6, James 7, King 7, Gray 7, Silva 5 (Okazaki 57min, 6), Barnes 7 (Albrighton 57min, 6), Slimani 5 (Iheanacho 80min, 6) Substitutes: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Choudhury PETER WHYTE 4-4-2 O’Brien Grimmer Willis Davies Stokes MaguireDrew Bayliss Doyle Shipley Biamou McNulty Berahino Diouf Sobhi Adam Allen Ireland Wimmer Zouma Cameron Edwards 4-4-2 Heading for fame: Jordan Willis rises above Stoke’s defence to give Coventry an early lead over the Premier League club before Jack Grimmer, inset, hit the winner Butland COVENTRY CITY Willis 24, Grimmer 68 STOKE CITY Adam 54 pen 2 1 M Barry Flatman Ricoh Arena ark Hughes was sacked after Stoke City were knocked out of the FA Cup by League Two side Coventry. After the game finished, Hughes insisted that the defeat did not make his position any more precarious, but the Stoke board had other ideas. He was dismissed by chief executive Tony Scholes at the club’s training ground after the team had returned home after the defeat. Stoke are 18th in the Premier League and have endured a miserable run of results, but this proved to be the final straw. Hughes’ team played woeful football and the manager bore the expression of a man who had simply run out of ideas on how to reverse the trend as he arrived to explain another humiliation. He had become used to the feeling of late, but after seeing Jack Grimmer’s shot from the edge of the penalty area quell a Stoke comeback, the former Wales striker said: “This defeat is not a good one to take but I don’t know if it has changed the situation we found ourselves in after the league defeat to Newcastle United on New Year’s Day. Obviously we have again not got the result we wanted. But when we wake up on Monday morning, the reality has to be improving our situation in the Premier League and the fact we are out of the FA Cup just might help us.” The task of turning the club’s fortunes around will now fall to somebody else. “The frustrating part from my point of view is the same mistakes keep occurring,” Hughes said. “We need some clarity of thought in this situation to see where things are going wrong. We need to be good enough to nip them in the bud before they start.” Stoke dropped into the Premier League relegation zone by losing seven of their past 10 games. The shame of being Hughes sacked by Stoke well beaten by a side three divisions below them, and in such an inept manner, proved to be the final nail in the coffin. Chairman Peter Coates, who appointed Hughes to succeed Tony Pulis in 2013, decided to take drastic action immediately after the game and duly sacked his manager. This is Stoke’s worst season since 1984-85 in the old First Division, when Bill Asprey’s side were relegated and former England full-back Mick Mills was brought in as manager. After the defeat by Newcastle, fans had unfurled banners demanding Hughes be sacked. The Coventry fans took almost as much delight in Hughes’ plight as they did in their team registering an FA Cup victory that may not quite be as glorious as that revered win over Tottenham Hotspur at the old Wembley stadium in 1987. Wolves earn a second crack at Swansea Off day: the Swansea midfielder Leroy Fer reacts to being shown a red card for a cynical trip after 67 minutes WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS SWANSEA CITY For them it was still an afternoon to remember. “You’re getting sacked in the morning,” chanted thousands of Sky Blues supporters, many of whom remember their team being on a par with Stoke not too many years ago before the club fell apart lamentably. And it turned out that they were correct. Hughes, as proud a manager as any in the Premier League, stood firm in his technical area, determined not to be provoked into any response. Even before yesterday’s match, a poll in the Hughes: dismissed at training ground 0 0 Nick Townsend Molineux M Championship runaway leaders Wolves and Premier League basement club Swansea, both of whom could be said to have more pressing priorities, contrived to produce the one outcome that neither wanted. Frankly, another fixture in the schedule was not on the wanted list of either, but that was the consequence of an outstanding display by Swansea’s Swedish goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt, in for the rested Lukasz Fabianski, some indifferent finishing from the hosts, and the disruption caused by the dismissal of a player from both sides, Wolves’ Ruben Vinagre and Swansea’s Leroy Fer. Rarely can the FA Cup have thrown together two sides with such contrasting outlooks on life. Most arrived in the expectation of a scintillating Wolves triumph, even though Nuno Espirito Santo, their manager, made six changes, with the absentees including Ruben Neves, the Championship’s most expensive player, and Diogo Jota, the 21-year-old Portuguese winger on loan from Atletico Madrid, and team’s local newspaper, the Stoke Sentinel, declared with a banner headline: “Hughes is the luckiest man on earth to get a stay of execution.” And it did not take long to appreciate why the supporters were bereft of confidence after Coventry’s early forward thrusts, led by the lively Marc McNulty. Long crossfield passes from proven midfielders Joe Allen and Charlie Adam failed to find their target. The defence, minus club captain Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins scorer of 11 goals this season, as he took the opportunity to rest tired limbs and blood fresh talent. However, that didn’t entirely go to plan for Wolves, whose teenage full-back Vinagre was dismissed just before half-time and, as part of Nuno’s reorganisation, 17year-old Morgan GibbsWhite, making his first start of the season, was withdrawn to make way for substitute Barry Douglas. In the event, Wanderers rarely settled into their irresistible flowing style. Nuno’s Portuguese counterpart Carlos Carvalhal, who only arrived at the Liberty stadium 10 days ago, believes the club has already made positive moves. “I felt we progressed another step,” he said. “The commitment Indi, looked nervous every time Coventry attacked, and Stoke’s attack was toothless until Peter Crouch was introduced early in the second half. Coventry took an early lead when Grimmer flicked on a corner from on-loan debutant Jordan Maguire-Drew and Jordan Willis completed a clearly rehearsed set-piece move. Stoke levelled when Willis downed Ramadan Sobhi in the area and Adam slammed home the resultant penalty, only for Grimmer to seal victory a quarter of an hour later. Coventry manager Mark Robins, once an understudy to Hughes at Manchester United, enthused: “It was a hard-fought win, but a deserved one. I thought that we were magnificent and it’s a really proud day for me. We had to defend really well at times but if we’d have come and attitude were good. Part of the game we played with good quality against a strong team, with a good dynamic. They created problems for us, but we created problems for them also.” In the early minutes, Bright Enobakhare tested Nordfeldt as Nuno’s men cut City open. Nordfeldt had to be at his athletic best again as GibbsWhite seemed certain to score. Before the interval, Helder Costa unleashed a vicious attempt from the edge of the area and the keeper was again well placed to block Alfred N’Diaye’s header. Enobakhare smashed the follow-up wide. For all Wolves’ domination, Martin Olsson could have scored an unlikely opener, only for his wickedly in at half-time 3-0 up I don’t think anybody would have complained.” Coventry look more than capable of winning promotion back to League One this season and Robins added: “The FA Cup is an extra for us, I can’t tell you how important it is for everybody. It brings everybody together and that is massive for us.” Star man: Michael Doyle (Coventry) Yellow cards: Stoke: Allen, Ireland Referee: M Atkinson Attendance: 14,199 Coventry: O’Brien 6, Grimmer 8, Willis 7, Davies 7, Stokes 6, Maguire-Drew 7 (Stevenson 63min, 6), Bayliss 6, Doyle 8, Shipley 8 (Haynes 85min, 6), Biamou 7, McNulty 8 Substitutes: Burge, Hyam, Maycock, Finn, Ponticelli Stoke: Butland 5, Edwards 6, Cameron 6 (Crouch 52min, 6), Zouma 6, Wimmer 5, Ireland 4 (ChoupoMoting 72min, 5), Allen 5, Adam 6 (Shaqiri 75min, 6), Sobhi 6, Diouf 6, Berahino 4 Substitutes: Grant, Afellay, Souttar, Fletcher, struck free kick to glance off the top of the bar. But six minutes before the break, the initiative shifted when Vinagre was dismissed for a poor challenge on Nathan Dyer. The Swans, who brought on an additional attacker, Jordan Ayew, early in the second half were buoyed by Vinagre’s departure. Wilfried Bony came close but was thwarted by Will Norris, in for John Ruddy. However, the complexion changed again when Fer was dismissed by the referee Anthony Taylor for a foul on Costa — though the offence, a cynical trip, arguably merited only a caution. Almost immediately, Kortney Hause should have capitalised when presented with a fine opportunity by substitute Ivan Cavaleiro’s free kick, but he inexcusably headed over. New signing Rafa Mir came on and could have endeared himself to the home crowd but headed narrowly wide. Star man: Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Swansea) Yellow cards: Swansea: Bartley, Bony Red cards: Wolves: Vinagre Swansea: Fer Referee: A Taylor Attendance: 22,976 Wolves: Norris 7, Bennett 6, Coady 6, Hause 7, Doherty 6, Gibbs-White 6 (Douglas 45min, 6), N’Diaye 6, Vinagre 5, Costa 7, Bonatini 6 (Mir 77min, 6), Enobakhare 7 (Cavaleiro 65min, 6) Substitutes: Burgoyne, Miranda, Goncalves, Buur Swansea: Nordfeldt 8, Roberts 7, van der Hoorn 6, Fernandez 6 (Ayew 56min, 6), Bartley 7, Olsson 7, Routledge 6, Sanches 6 (Carroll 34min, 6), Fer 6, Dyer 6, Bony 7 (Mesa 75min, 5) Substitutes: Narsingh, Mulder, Fulton, McBurnie 4 SPORT FOOTBALL: EMIRATES FA CUP Peterborough shock Villa with late goals Nick Lucy Villa Park Marriott: scored twice as Peterborough came from behind to win An FA Cup upset this may well have been but on the evidence of the match the final outcome was hardly a shock. Peterborough’s eventual margin of victory was no more than they deserved. Although it took a flurry of late goals, two of them from highly-rated striker Jack Marriott, the League One side created countless opportunities to turn the tie ASTON VILLA Davis 8 PETERBOROUGH Marriott 75, 90+3 Tafazolli 83 1 3 on its head after Villa had gained an early advantage when Keinan Davis fired them into an eighth-minute lead. Roared on by a following of almost 5,000 fans, Peterborough were very much in the mood to achieve some FA Cup glory at their Championship opponents’ expense and even that early setback could not disrupt an excellent overall performance. Eventually, their persistence paid off as Marriott took his tally to 23 goals in this breakthrough season with two close-range finishes either side of Ryan Tafazolli’s header. Grant McCann, Peterborough’s manager, was understandably proud of his players. “I thought they were outstanding. It was very harsh on us to be a goal down at half-time, but I said to them ‘keep playing and keep being brave’. “I felt the way we played and the chances we created, it was going to drop for us at some stage. The composure that the players showed throughout the game was excellent and credit to Jack for coming up with two more goals because he missed some chances in the first half.” He added: “I know Villa made ten changes, but they still had a hell of a lot of quality in their team. But our boys enjoyed the challenge and ensured they didn’t have any regrets.” It was no surprise that Steve Bruce, Villa’s manager, shouldered some of the blame for the disappointing exit, saying: “Maybe the combination of playing too many young players and having too many returning from injury was too much. But to be fair, Peterborough deserved to beat us on our own patch and that is very hard to take right now. The best team won by a country mile.” Bruce could hardly have seen what was coming, however, as Davis made the most of his early opportunity to put Villa in front. Further clear-cut chances fell the home side’s way to build up a comfortable advantage in the opening stages. But, urged on by their noisy following, Peterborough quickly showed that they were not going to lie down and Jed Steer was kept busy, making a number of crucial saves to deny Marriott and seeing a looping header from full-back Liam Shephard rattle the bar. Villa made a tactical switch at the break to try to stem the flow of Posh chances, but McCann’s side were having none of it as they continued to look threatening. When the impressive Chris Forrester picked out Danny Lloyd, his volley across goal from the left was headed home by Marriott to give Posh just reward for their endeavours. Even so, Villa could have regained their lead when Birkir Bjarnason hit the bar. That miss was to prove costly as Peterborough went in front seven minutes from time when Tafazolli headed a Marcus Maddison corner goalbound, his effort taking a deflection on its way in, though nobody was going to deny his claim to it. With Villa throwing caution to the wind in a desperate attempt to salvage a replay, they were caught by a Posh counterattack as Lloyd teed up a chance that left Marriott with a simple finish to crown their glorious cup triumph. Star man: Chris Forrester (Peterborough) Referee: R Jones Attendance: 21,677 Aston Villa: Steer 7, De Laet 6, Bree 5, Terry 6, Taylor 5, Onomah 6, Hourihane 7, Bjarnason 6 (Hepburn-Murphy 80min, 5), Green 5 (Lansbury 45min, 5) O’Hare 5 (Grealish 80min, 6), Davis 6 Substitutes: Bunn, Elphick, Elmohamady, Doyle-Hayes Peterborough United: Bond 6, Shephard 7, Tafazollli 7, Taylor 6, Hughes 7, Forrester 8, Grant 6, Maddison 7, Da Silva Lopes 6 (Morias 72min, 6), Marriot 7, Lloyd 7 Substitutes: O’Malley, Baldwin, Penny, Kanu, Doughty, Anderson VICTORIA HAYDN Danilo Stones FA CUP THIRD ROUND ROUND-UP 4-3-3 Bravo Otamendi Zinchenko Fernandinho Gundogan D Silva IPSWICH TOWN Sterling Aguero Sane SHEFFIELD UNITED Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, was ‘immensely’ pleased with his team’s victory over Ipswich. His opposite number, Mick McCarthy, experienced yet another defeat in the competition. He has not won a tie during his six seasons in charge at Portman Road. Ipswich never had a meaningful shot on target. The only goal of the game came from Nathan Thomas, inset, in the 25th Vokes Hendrick Barnes Westwood Taylor Cork Gudmundsson Long Mee 4-4-1-1 Lowton Pope 4 1 MANCHESTER CITY Aguero 56, 58, Sane 71, B Silva 82 BURNLEY Barnes 25 MILLWALL W David Walsh Chief sports writer, Etihad stadium hen Pep Guardiola came to speak about the game afterwards, his first two words were “so happy”. That is now his default reaction to City performances. By the end it was another emphatic win for the runway leaders in the Premier League but this FA Cup victory wasn’t as straightforward as the scoreline suggests. For about 55 minutes City looked like a team thinking they could actually lose a game. It all changed in the 56th minute. Burnley led 1-0 but had conceded a free kick, 40 yards from their goal. Central midfielder Ashley Westwood was five yards away, wondering if referee Graham Scott was going to blow his whistle when David Silva took it quickly and played the ball through to Sergio Aguero. City were back on level terms and the momentum was with them. A minute and a half later they were 2-1 up. Sean Dyche wasn’t moaning about Scott but he knew the referee could have seen it differently. “It [the first goal] was a contentious one. I’ve spoken to the ref, he said he doesn’t have to blow the whistle but when Ashley Westwood is standing five yards away, motioning, to say, ‘Are you going to blow the whistle’, and he’s the man who should be in the slot they’ve passed it to, I’m bound to be aggrieved by that. “I think sometimes in football, the rule might be the rule but there’s a common sense moment, especially from experienced refs when they think, ‘That is the player that has to be in that slot and I’ve just allowed it to be passed there when he’s five yards away from the free kick, motioning towards me, are you going to blow the whistle.’” As Aguero drilled his shot past Nick Pope, some Burnley players were still waiting for the free kick to be taken. They looked like the man whose pocket has been picked and they never recovered. Dyche thought they were still punch drunk when Aguero got the second goal 94 seconds later. City were then rampant, everyone enthusiastic again and eager to add to the lead. How different it had been through the 55 minutes that preceded the opening goal. Up to then City had played with the BARNSLEY Carrillo 37, Deeney 57 Capoue 85 BRISTOL CITY 3 0 John Aizlewood Vicarage Road Drizzly, windy and just above freezing, it was hardly the weather for a stroll, but Watford defied recent form to stroll past a second-string Bristol City and into round four, where they will surely face a sterner test. 4 1 Aiden O’Brien fired Millwall into the fourth round as his brace inspired Neil Harris’ side to victory over 10-man Barnsley. After the visitors had gone ahead early on, the game turned during a 20minute spell either side of half-time. O’Brien scored two goals and created another for Ben Thompson, while Joe Williams was sent off for a terrible late challenge on winger Jed BLACKBURN ROVERS HULL CITY Aguero turns it around Sharpshooter: Leroy Sane scores Manchester City’s third goal at the Etihad stadium hangdog weariness of a team fearing this might be the afternoon their unbeaten run ended. They had 10 shots in the first half but only one that asked Pope to make a save. Poor Leroy Sane, everything he touched turned to an overhit cross or a misplaced pass. John Stones didn’t have much to do and when Sam Vokes got his head to Pope’s clearance in the 25th minute, it wasn’t a situation that threatened danger. Stones was 45 yards from his own goal as the ball hopped towards him but he made a terrible mess of the clearance, the ball slicing off his left foot. Ashley Barnes was onto it, heading the ball on and then slashing it past Claudio Bravo. “The mistake is not important,” said Guardiola afterwards. “What is important is the reaction to it and Stones’ reaction was excellent.” The key players in City’s victory were the ones who played well when the team wasn’t performing. Fernandinho was his usual efficient self but Raheem Sterling’s performance was the most admirable. He played as he would in a Champions League tie, as if his life depended on the result. The second was the best of the four City goals. Burnley had chances to clear but didn’t and Aguero got on the ball 25 yards from goal. His pass found Ilkay Gundogan on the edge of the area and with his back to goal, Gundogan played an exquisite back heel between two defenders and into the path of Aguero. He went round Pope as if avoiding a lamp post. Danilo set up Sane for the third goal and then Sane turned provider for Bernardo Silva to get the fourth. Aguero thought it was Danilo’s best game for City and you wouldn’t argue with that. Once City got their noses in front, Guardiola sent on Kyle Walker, Kevin de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva which seemed his way of telling Burnley not to even consider a comeback. And to the City manager’s satisfaction, the game petered out after that. Star man: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) Yellow card: Manchester City: Danilo Burnley: Westwood , Cork Referee: G Scott Manchester City: Bravo 5, Danilo 7, Stones 6, Otamendi 6, Zinchenko 6 (Walker 72min, 6), Gundogan 7 (De Bruyne 76min, 6), Fernandinho 7, D Silva 6, Sterling 7, Aguero 7 (B Silva 79min, 6), Sane 5 Substitutes: Mangala, Ederson, Toure, Diaz Burnley: Pope 5, Lowton 5, Long 6, Mee 6, Taylor 6, Gudmundsson 5 (Walters 75min, 6), Cork 6 (Wells 69min, 6), Westwood 6, Barnes 7, Hendrick 6, Vokes 6 Substitutes: Marney, Defour, Ulvestad, Lindegaard, Bardsley Watford savour winning feeling against distracted Robins WATFORD 0 1 Ola Aina’s first senior goal gave Championship strugglers Hull a win at League One Blackburn. The on-loan Chelsea defender, inset, rose highest in the 58th minute to head home the goal which ended a five-match winless run. Paul Caddis hit the crossbar for the hosts and Danny Graham missed a gilt-edged chance. The first half was a dour DONCASTER ROVERS ROCHDALE “We respected ourselves and the competition,” noted Silva. “We had an obligation to qualify, we kept a clean sheet and the more we win, the more confidence we’ll have.” With Etienne Capoue in stringpulling mode and Roberto Pereyra having one of his more lively afternoons, Happy Hornet: Troy Deeney scored Watford’s second Watford swept forward with a certain elegance but their first goal owed more to efficiency than exuberance. Pereyra threaded into the penalty area, where he found Andre Carrillo. The Peruvian spun and slotted the ball neatly under Luke Steele. After the goal, it was as you were. Pereyra curled a 20-yarder against the bar and Steele hurtled off his line to deny Capoue. Fifty-seven minutes in, Tom Cleverley crossed from the right and Troy Deeney celebrated his return with a low header that sailed past Steele. With Watford in sauntering mode, bric-a-brac City never looked like emulating their Carabao Cup victory at Vicarage Road in August but they did craft a couple of chances; Matty Taylor headed Lloyd Kelly’s cross wide then Gustav Engvall also missed. When Deeney played a neat one-two with Capoue, the Frenchman’s first goal since August allowed the scoreline to more accurately reflect Watford’s dominance. Star man: Etienne Capoue (Watford) Yellow card: Watford: Kabasele Referee: C Pawson Attendance: 13,269 Watford: Gomes 6, Janmaat 7, Wague 6, Kabasele 6, Zeegelaar 6, Doucoure 7 (Watson 81min, 4), Carrillo 6 (Richarlison 69min, 5), Cleverley 7, Capoue 7, Deeney 7, Pereya 7 (Holebas 69min, 5) Substitutes: Karnezis, Prodl, Gray, Watson, Okaka Bristol City: Steele 7, Vyner 6, Flint 6, Magnusson 5, Kelly 6, Edwards 6, Lemonheigh-Evans 6, Smith 6 (Pack h-t, 5), Eliasson 6, Taylor 5 (Engvall 63min, 7), Woodrow 5 (Hinds 76min, 4) Substitutes: Fielding, Wright, Bakinson, Holden 0 1 Calvin Andrew’s first-half goal was enough to send Rochdale into the fourth round. Andrew headed home in the 18th minute as the visitors gained revenge on Doncaster for a 2-0 League One defeat at the Keepmoat stadium last Friday. It was Andrew’s fourth goal of the season as the striker glanced in Joseph Bunney’s free kick from the left. BIRMINGHAM CITY BURTON ALBION With 7,680 fans making the trip to the Carabao Cup semifinal at the Etihad on Tuesday and a promotion campaign that had the aura of a bullet train, City rested seven firstteamers. The game was lost before it had begun. “We’re all hurting,” sighed assistant head coach Dean Holden. “But there are no regrets: we chose the team for the right reasons and gave two players debuts. We won’t look back.” In contrast, Watford head coach Marco Silva saw the opportunity to staunch a dismal run and rested only Richarlison of his guaranteed, fit starters. 0 1 1 0 Sam Gallagher, inset, scored the only goal as Birmingham continued their recent revival. The Southampton loanee’s 57th-minute strike earned Birmingham a third successive victory without conceding a goal, having also toppled Leeds United and Reading to move off the bottom of the Championship table. Burton were in good form also, having picked up three wins and a draw in minute. His 25-yard strike flew into the right corner of Ipswich keeper Bartosz Bialkowski’s net. The result sent the 1,000strong visiting supporters home happy while the Ipswich faithful chanted ‘What a load of rubbish’ at the fulltime whistle. Wilder said: ‘The consistency of the attitude by my team pleased me immensely and I have really enjoyed today.’ McCarthy said: ‘I can only do my best to try to get my team to win games and if we do I guess we get cheered, and if we don’t I guess we get jeered.’ Wallace to remove any hope of a comeback. Fred Onyedinma added a fourth to make sure as Millwall ended a run of five straight defeats against Barnsley in emphatic fashion. Steve Morison and Jake Cooper both had chances to extend the lead, but Millwall largely seemed happy with what they had. Barnsley were the better side in the first half hour. They took the lead in the 11th minute when Adam Hammill’s floated cross sailed over the head of Tom Bradshaw and fell kindly to Brad Potts to fire in. affair but Caddis almost lit it up early on with a superb strike that cannoned off the crossbar. The visitors took the lead when Jon Toral’s deep corner was met by Aina, whose header evaded Jason Leutwiler in the Blackburn goal. Jarrod Bowen almost scored a carboncopy goal a minute later but hit the side netting. Graham should have equalised but missed the target with only goalkeeper David Marshall to beat as Blackburn’s 18match unbeaten run was ended. Doncaster were poor in the first half and rarely looked like getting back into the game, but it was a different story after the break. Only a miraculous save from Josh Lillis kept Rochdale in front as he brilliantly blocked Alfie Beestin’s effort from pointblank range before John Marquis hit a post in the 66th minute. The onslaught continued as Andy Butler headed wide. Tommy Rowe missed another chance when he blazed over from eight yards. their previous five games, and they felt they were unlucky to lose. Steve Cotterill, the Birmingham manager, revealed: ‘I had a long chat with Nigel Clough [the Burton manager] before the game. We both put out unchanged teams as we wanted to maintain our recent momentum and fortunately for us we were able to win.’ Clough said: ‘We looked solid and dangerous. Unfortunately, Birmingham scored with their only shot on target. We are disappointed to be out of the cup because we should have got through.’ 5 The Sunday Times January 7, 2018 REX FEATURES Perez at double for Newcastle NEWCASTLE UNITED Perez 30, 36, Shelvey 39 LUTON TOWN Hylton 49 3 1 Martin Hardy St James’ Park Conte fuels Mourinho row NORWICH CITY CHELSEA C 0 0 Paul Rowan Carrow Road Gunn Hanley Zimmermann Pinto Tettey Pritchard helsea stuttered on the pitch against Championship opponents but off it Antonio Conte delivered a devastating attack on Jose Mourinho, clearly stung that his Manchester United counterpart had raised the suspension which Conte served in Italy before being cleared of allegations relating to match-fixing. The Chelsea manager appeared to be calling his rival out before the sides meet at Old Trafford next month. “Before you make these type of comments you must pay great attention, otherwise for sure you are a little man,” he said . “I know him very well from the past. He was a little man in many circumstances, he is a little man in the present and for sure he will be a little man in the future. Also he wants to try to change his behaviour but you know him very well and the level is very low.” Conte picked out Mourinho’s mockery of former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri and then his change of mood when Ranieri was sacked by Leicester City, wearing a shirt bearing the initials “CR”. “When Ranieri was sacked he put on a shirt for Ranieri,” said Conte. “You are a fake. I think you have good consideration for a person or not. It doesn’t change your opinion to be more sympathetic. If you want to fight a person, you try to kill this person. And then after two years you try to help this person, because maybe it’s good for you, for your profile.” He added: “We are there, amnesia. When you become to be older, there is 3-4-3 Pedro Kenedy Trybull Maddison Batshuayi Lewis Murphy Willian Bakayoko Drinkwater Zappacosta Cahill 3-4-3 Klose Luiz Rudiger Caballero this type of risk. Also for me, and for you. For all. The problem is if you show this. It will be the opportunity in the game against United when we go to Old Trafford. Me and him face to face. I’m ready. I don’t know if he’s ready.” The row overshadowed this goalless draw, in which a second-half revival by Chelsea after a lethargic first 45 minutes was not enough to deny Norwich City a replay back in Stamford Bridge. The home side were neat and tidy in the first half, without really threatening goalkeeper Willy Caballero’s lack of competitive match practice. Chelsea looked to catch Norwich on the break but barely got a chance in the opening quarter. Norwich threatened when left wingback Jamal Lewis fed Josh Murphy, whose MOURINHO: WHINER, CHARMER David Walsh on the Premier League’s biggest draw, page 16 COSTA SCORES BUT THEN SEES RED Pantomime season has reopened in La Liga, and everybody’s favourite villain is back, writes Ian Hawkey in Madrid. Diego Costa, below, made the first start of his latest spell as Atletico Madrid’s chief snarling ridgeback yesterday, clocking up his first Liga goal since 2014 and in the space of seven minutes collecting two yellow cards. The offence which terminated his participation in the 2-0 home win over Getafe — Angel Correa had given them an 18thminute lead — was an overenthusiastic goal celebration. Having swept shot from an acute angle was saved by Caballero. David Luiz was then caught dawdling in his own penalty area by Alex Pritchard, but the ball ran away from the former Tottenham player. In playing from his own corner flag, Kenedy gave the ball away in a dangerous position and Pritchard managed to spin Gary Cahill, who had Davide Zappacosta to thank for covering the cross. Chelsea simply couldn’t match Norwich’s intensity, repeatedly conceding possession softly and failing to trouble Norwich’s back three. Still the home side could not capitalise, James Maddison skipping past Danny Drinkwater but firing well over from the edge of the box. That would be the last Norwich would see of the Chelsea goal for some time as the visitors emerged in the second half in more positive mood. Kenedy found some space on the left and his cross was headed goalwards by Zappacosta but Christoph Zimmermann hacked clear. Sime Vrsaljko’s cross past Getafe keeper Emiliano Martinez, Costa rounded the goal at the south end of the new Wanda Metropolitano stadium to seek out his old, loyal constituents. He leant over the barriers to feel their embrace. For that, he was cautioned: yellow, then red. Evidently, six months of inactivity since Chelsea, where he won two Premier League titles, waved him off have not visibly mellowed Costa, who was obliged, because Atletico were serving a transfer ban until last week, to wait half a season for his official comeback. Making a point: Antonio Conte gesticulates as Chelsea misfire in attack; after the match he was highly critical of Jose Mourinho in the wake of the latter’s recent comments about a match-fixing scandal in Italy Willian was also getting on the ball more often, finding little pockets of space in dangerous positions, and on 53 minutes he teed up Drinkwater, who was stretching as he shot wide. Caballero gave his side the jitters when he attempted to punch away a Norwich corner, but the ball landed at the feet of Murphy in the penalty area and his volley flashed wide. Only Conte was able to find the target, and we await now the rematch more keenly than the replay. The orange queues weaved their way down underneath the Milburn Stand and the cry was relentless: ‘Oh when the Town, go steaming in!’ For an afternoon, St James’ Park had a new colour, a different feel. The minibuses and coaches snaked up Barrack Road. Luton Town had an army for their march up to the north-east, more than 7,500 of them. Level 7 of the famous old ground was theirs, a famous old competition given a bit of life. Rob Lee, a man who captained Newcastle and played for the club 379 times, travelled with 30 members of his family on a bus from Hornchurch to watch his boys, Olly and Elliot, play against his old club. You did not want for romance on Tyneside, with even the home side, after a decade of indifference, boasting their strongest XI. It felt relevant. Rafa Benitez has spoken of his desire to win something. Not departing a competition at the first attempt is a start. Newcastle wanted to win a cup tie. To that end it felt, after 39 minutes, that the day could be done. There was a ruthlessness to everything the home side did. Lee Snr had warned that some players melt at St James’ Park through intimidation. Luton manager Nathan Jones, mimicking Joy Division’s Ian Curtis in his pomp with his pitchside movement, said his team forgot to turn up. Take no credit from Newcastle. They were consummate in their professionalism in that half. Luton were not given the opportunity to find a foothold, but still the opening goal will make painful viewing for Marek Stech. The goalkeeper could only fumble and let slip a 20-yard free kick from Dwight Gayle, straight into the path of Ayoze Perez, who prodded in from close range. Stech did better six minutes later, this time flying to his left to parry a Gayle header, but again Perez was there on the rebound. And when, a further three minutes later, a fine, flowing move from the home side ended with Gayle laying the ball into Jonjo Shelvey, who swept into the Luton goal, it looked for all the world that the game was over. The travelling support went flat. Something, however, stirred in that visiting dressing room at half-time. Jones got into his players, and his players got into the game. By the 49th minute they had scored. England Under-20 goalkeeper Freddie Woodman’s clearance was flicked on by Matt Ritchie, but it fell to Glen Rae. He found Danny Hylton and Woodman had not recovered position as the centre forward went round him and scored. Now it was a game. The best chances still fell to Benitez’s side. Perez and Gayle could both have added a fourth before the 59th minute, when Hylton cracked in what he thought was his second of the afternoon. The celebrations in Level 7 were real, and the player ran to the corner flag with his arms out wide. Even the PA heralded his ‘goal’. There had been a flag for offside that was contested hugely by Jones afterwards. “It was definitely onside,” he said. “We’re disappointed. We scored a perfectly legitimate goal that could have changed the pathway of the second half, it could have been different. We were excellent in the second half. We gave ourselves a mountain to climb in the first with three really poor goals.” It was as close as Luton would come to putting the real frighteners up their hosts. There was time for Elliot Lee, who did not start, unlike his brother, to crack the crossbar with a curling, 20-yard free kick, with 16 minutes remaining. That would have made some finish. Instead Newcastle were wasteful with chances for Ritchie, Jacob Murphy, Perez and Gayle. “I’m pleased with everything,” said Benitez. “I’m really pleased with the first half and the way we were managing the game, then maybe because we were three goals up we were a bit more relaxed. “They put us under pressure and it was more difficult. The fans enjoyed it. We wanted to go through and we did. It was an emotional day.” There was no denying that. Star man: Ayoze Perez (Newcastle United) Yellow card: Newcastle United: Dummett, Shelvey, Hayden Luton Town: Hylton Referee: N Swarbrick Attendance: 47,069 Newcastle United: Woodman 6, Manquillo 6, Lascelles 6 (Hayden 30min, 7), Clark 7, Dummett 6, Merino 7 (Saivet 80min, 4), Shelvey 7 (Diame 71min, 5), Murphy 7, Perez 8, Ritchie 6, Gayle 7 Substitutes: Aarons, Joselu, Haidara, Darlow Luton Town: Stech 6, Justin 6, Rea 7, Mullins 6, Potts 6, O Lee 7, Mpanzu 5 (Cornick 54min, 6), Berry 6, Shinnie 6 (Gambin 82min, 4), Collins 6 (E Lee 68min, 5), Hylton 7 Substitutes: Stacey, Cook, Shea, Famewo OWEN HUMPHREYS Star man: Josh Murphy (Norwich) Yellow cards: Norwich: Hanley, Tettey Chelsea: Luiz, Cahill Referee: S Atwell Attendance: 23,598 Norwich: Gunn 7, Hanley 7, Zimmermann 7, Klose 7, Pinto 6, Trybull 7, Tettey 7, Lewis 6, Pritchard 7 (Wildschut 88min, 5), Maddison 7, Murphy 7 (Oliveira 83min, 5) Substitutes: Husband, Vrancic, Watkins, Hoolahan Chelsea: Caballero 6, Rudiger 6, Luiz 6, Cahill 7, Zappacosta 7, Drinkwater 7, Bakayoko 6, Kenedy 5 (Musonda 77min, 5), Willian 7, Batshuayi 6 (Morata 74min, 5), Pedro 6 (Sterling 89min, 5) Substitutes: Clarke-Salter, Eduardo, Ampadu, Hudson-Odoi Breaking the deadlock: Ayoze Perez scores his first goal Nolan’s Notts County revival ends Brentford’s Cup hopes FA CUP ROUND-UP Peter Wilson Notts County’s revival under Kevin Nolan has moved from League Two to the FA Cup. They won 1-0 at Championship side Brentford thanks to a goal from another former top-flight player, Jon Stead. The former Blackburn and Sunderland striker scored his seventh goal of the season midway through the second half. Nolan, whose side are second in League Two, said the “special chemistry” at the club was behind their recent success. “I was delighted for the fans, who were behind us from start to finish,” he said. “There is a special chemistry at the club right now between the players, the fans and management, and all of that is working in our favour.” Ousseynou Cisse scored the winning goal as League One MK Dons knocked Championship side Queens Park Rangers out with a 1-0 victory at Loftus Road. Cisse scored on the hour mark after a misplaced pass from home midfielder Josh Scowen, who kept the ball in when it was heading out for a throw. QPR equalled Plymouth’s record of exiting the cup at the third-round stage on 49 occasions. Ian Holloway, the QPR manager, was not happy with Scowen’s mistake. “To play it square and then to keep it in when it’s going out, I can’t believe it,” he said. “That ball is a package. You give it to one of the QPR lads and tell him where you want it. You don’t ever take a package to the post office without putting a message on it where it’s got to go, do you? Unfortunately that’s cost us. It should have been 0-0, we’d still be in the cup and this would be a result.” League Two Carlisle earned a replay with a 0-0 draw against Championship side Sheffield Wednesday, whose new manager, Jos Luhukay, takes over tomorrow. Championship strugglers Reading went a seventh match without a victory after they were held to a 0-0 draw at League Two Stevenage. Darren Sarll, the Stevenage manager, said Reading were lucky to escape Hertfordshire with a replay. “There’s no disappointment from us,” he said. “Stevenage are the winners today: we won the game physically, psychologically, technically and financially. We may not have got the score we wanted but the players will go away thinking that they’re capable.” Mansfield, another League Two side, also earned a JOHN CLIFTON Winning strike: Stead celebrates his Notts County goal replay after a 0-0 draw in Wales with Championship team Cardiff. Steve Evans, the Mansfield manager, has promised a hostile atmosphere for the replay. “I think the people of Mansfield and the supporters will turn out in big numbers,” he said. “We want it to be a real hostile atmosphere.” Yeovil were unable to name a starting XI just 48 hours before kick-off against Bradford City, four loan signings coming to their rescue. One of them, Marcus Barnes, who arrived from Southampton, scored the opener in the League Two side’s 2-0 win against the League One promotion hopefuls. Jordan Green added the second for the lowest-ranked side still left in the cup. Rudy Gestede and Martin Braithwaite scored in the first half as Middlesbrough beat northeast rivals Sunderland 2-0 at the Riverside stadium. Chris Coleman, the Sunderland manager whose side are battling relegation from the Championship, said: “We’re in a dogfight and you don’t go into a dogfight with kittens, that’s for sure. I just need whoever is ready for it, and the boys today were ready.” Gestede took only 10 minutes to heap more misery on the Championship’s bottom club and Braithwaite’s effort just before the break effectively ensured the visitors’ sole remaining focus this season will be avoiding a second consecutive relegation. Josh Harrop and Alan Browne both scored twice as Preston won 5-1 at Wycombe. The visitors went in front after just 87 seconds when Harrop bent in a 25-yard free kick. They doubled their lead through Browne’s half-volley in the 38th minute. Wycombe came back into the game in first-half stoppage time when Luke O’Nien’s low cross went in via a deflection off Daryl Horgan. The Preston winger redeemed himself early in the second half. Browne made it four with a 78th-minute penalty after Paul Huntington was fouled, before Harrop headed in late on. IN TODAY’S SUNDAY TIMES Premier League clubs in betting controversy, News, page 7 6 SPORT FOOTBALL: EMIRATES FA CUP JON SUPER RICHARD STANTON. As two of his old clubs meet today, Viv Anderson says next manager at City Ground needs time. By Paul Rowan A s a former player who has done it all, seen it all and heard it all, Viv Anderson was in a good position to offer some timely advice to Arsène Wenger on the eve of the FA Cup third round tie between two of his old clubs, Nottingham Forest and Arsenal. Even for one who had to quickly develop a thick skin to survive some of the abuse thrown at him as a young black teenager in the 1970s, Anderson was somewhat taken aback at Wenger’s comments that he would have “committed suicide” had Chelsea scored a late winner at the Emirates stadium on Wednesday night in the Premier League game that ended in a 2-2 draw. “In the heat of the moment in a press conference, you say things that you don’t really mean. Suicide is a serious thing and you can’t be flippant in that respect. I would have thought that somebody of Arsène’s experience would have thought long and hard before he made those comments. A lot of people have been down that road and his flippant comment doesn’t help,” Anderson says. Anderson chooses his words carefully, knowing that the boundaries of what constitutes unacceptable comment and behaviour are changing all the time. He also speaks as somebody who roomed with Justin Fashanu and saw at first hand his Nottingham Forest teammate’s personal anguish, years before Fashanu decided to take his own life in 1998. Anderson’s current work with Playon Pro, a company based in Greater Manchester that provides networking opportunities for top former professionals who want to continue playing football and socialising together, touches on some of these sensitive issues. “The statistics show that around two out of every five Premier League players who earn an average of around £40,000 per week face the threat of bankruptcy within five years of ending their careers. Divorce rates in that first year of retirement are incredibly high,” Anderson says. Wenger, who is today serving the first part of a three-match touchline ban for some other injudicious remarks, is in distinguished company. The greatest manager Anderson knew and played under, Brian Clough — he rates him marginally higher than another, Sir Alex Ferguson — pushed the boundaries of acceptable behaviour and comment continually and sometimes overstepped them. There was, however, method in most of what Clough did and said. Anderson remembers his second game playing for Forest, as a 17-year-old up at Carlisle United when Clough was starting out on his Nottingham adventure in the old second division. “I was sub and an hour into the game he looked down the line and says to me, ‘Anderson warm up’. So I warm up and come back and sit back down. He says, ‘I thought that I told you to warm up’. I said, ‘I have boss, but they are throwing all sorts at me; bananas, pears everything’. He says, ‘Get back out there and get me two pears and a banana’. So I went back out. “Clearly he did it for a reason but he would never explain why. Later on, he pulled me aside and said, ‘If you are going to listen to them, you are no good to me. I am going to pick somebody else ahead of you if you are going to let them dictate to you. You are here because you can play, but you are no good to me if you don’t go out there and play. Don’t worry about anything else and just concentrate on playing football’. I took that on board from a very early age and just got on with it.” The medals, the international caps — 30 of them — and the glory followed, though the FA Cup always remained an elusive target for Anderson. It was also the one cup that eluded Clough at Forest. Anderson reached the 1993 final as captain of Sheffield Wednesday, but was injured in the first drawn game against Arsenal and then absent when the Owls lost the replay. As Bryan Robson’s assistant at Middlesbrough in 1997, Anderson was still on the way out of the Rod Liddle The arrival of the video assistant is all about money — and it’s even more of an injustice to our beloved game than a dodgy penalty or a crass dive High hopes: Aristote Nsiala is thriving at Shrewsbury Town Moyes reject finds his feet Shrewsbury defender backs himself to keep Andy Carroll quiet — and do all he can to beat West Ham today John Aizlewood ANDERSON’S FOREST FIRE I took on board what Clough said about the abuse from a very early age and just got on with it When Brighton take on Crystal Palace in the FA Cup tomorrow evening, the game will be refereed by Andre Marriner, with Neil Swarbrick sitting in a small room somewhere near Heathrow poring over a video screen with the help of Peter Kirkup. Mr Marriner will be linked to Mr Swarbrick by means of a telephone headset. If he is required to make a difficult decision during the fixture — such as, did Wilfried Zaha take a dive just then (yes) or was it a penalty (no) — he will alert the man in the small room. And then Mr Marriner will pretend that it is Boxing Day and he is about to begin a game of charades with close members of his family. He will mime to the crowd a television screen, drawing the outline of a box with his hands. Then he will scamper over to the side of the pitch where a video screen for his own use will have been set up, and replay the incident while discussing the pros and cons with the man in the small room near Heathrow. At the end of this probably lengthy dressing room to the technical area when Roberto Di Matteo struck after 42 seconds and Chelsea went on to win 2-0. His experience as a Manchester United player in 1990 was perhaps the toughest, as he played throughout the competition right up until the semi-finals, but was then injured and did not receive a medal when Ferguson won his first trophy at the club in the fourth year of his tenure. That was the year when Mark Robins’ goal in the third round against Forest is believed to have saved Ferguson’s job. Anderson is adamant that Forest, in their current predicament — with a caretaker manager, Gary Brazil, in place after sacking Mark Warburton on New Year’s Eve — can learn from the patience shown by United to Ferguson all those years ago. “Forest have had a phenomenal amount of managers over the past 10 years,” he said. This is Brazil’s third stint as caretaker, and there have been 10 fulltime appointments since Colin Calderwood left on Boxing Day in 2008. “They have to carefully choose somebody and say, ‘Whatever happens you are going to be here for the next five years. You are going to build this football club back to where we want it to be’. “They have thrown money at certain people who have spent it badly and that is why they are in their current predicament. Also, they have too many kids in the team this season and the lack of experience means that they have suddenly hit a brick wall.” Anderson would like to see two stalwarts from the Clough era who still have roles behind the scenes at the club — John McGovern and Frank Clark — play a more active role in choosing the next manager. He mentions a couple more former players, Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane, the management team who are currently out of contract with the Republic of Ireland, as one possible solution when it comes to helping Forest rediscover their long-lost mojo. Despite being raised in Nottingham and having conquered Europe and the domestic English league with Forest, Anderson is a Manchester United supporter and sits on the fence when it comes to choosing a winner from this afternoon’s game at the City Ground between his old clubs. A draw would boost Forest’s coffers, he points out, at a time when the club need every bit of encouragement they can get. digression he will, hopefully, send Zaha off and the game can recommence. Ladies and gentleman, this will be the FA Cup debut of the Video Assistant Referee. Swarbrick is a senior figure from the world of refereedom, not just somebody who hates Crystal Palace, unfortunately. He is there as a kind of divine arbiter who must be invoked before he dispenses his advice. He cannot simply bellow into his own headset: “That was offside, Marriner, you clown,” as everybody in the stands will be doing. He has to be summoned up out of the ether. I think it would be more fun if Marriner had to stand in a pentacle while summoning this deity and deliver a demonic incantation, something like: “Ahn’tal Ah’tan’tel. Regrezitahl. Me Vaskalla Pert’ent’itzu”, which confers upon the person doing the incantation the status of being a living god. (I tried it once and it worked really well). Technology will not be held back — onwards, onwards into the future we go. England’s last friendly against Germany used the ectoplasmic video assistant referee and the whole thing has been tried in the Bundesliga, where the video assistant was kept in a small room near Cologne airport. Later this month — January 22 — a decision will be taken by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) as to whether the technology can be used in Premier League matches henceforth, and indeed at the World Cup in Russia in June. From there, it will surely percolate downwards and children playing football with jumpers for goalposts will nominate one of their peers to sit beside the pitch with a smartphone, ready to be called into action for a swift adjudication. Forgive my cynicism, please. I suppose I am a Luddite. But I have to say that I rather agree with the wonderful Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who has said that technology is making the game “ugly”. My primary worry — as I have mentioned here once or twice before — is that it is another attempt to impose science upon something which is valuable principally for its flawed humanity — flawed in the case of the players, flawed in the case of the referee. And that one should accept that these flaws exist and get on with the game. Football is not pristine, nor was it ever meant to be. Injustices happen and, in doing so, more closely reflect the lives the rest of us endure. That is a philosophical point and I accept that it cuts no ice in a game which these days is almost entirely about money. When such huge amounts of moolah are at stake you can see the WATCH FA CUP GOALS Experience counts: Viv Anderson wants John McGovern and Frank Clark to help choose next Forest boss ON TV TODAY Nottingham Forest v Arsenal 3.30pm BT Sport 2, Kick-off 4pm You can see video highlights from all this weekend’s ties on our tablet and smartphone editions IN NEWS Counsellors to help refs handle abuse — Page 7 In December 2009, Everton were hosting BATE Borisov in a dead rubber Europa League clash. With 15 minutes remaining, Tony Hibbert picked up a knock and the manager David Moyes plumped for untried Aristote Nsiala as a replacement. Terrified, the church-going, piano-playing teenager stripped off, only to discover his shinpads were missing. He was stood down. The boy born in Kinshasa, raised in Paris and settled in Anfield, where he was excluded from a school where he was the only black pupil, would never again get so close to Everton’s first team. Today, Nsiala, the meanest and most parsimonious of Shrewsbury Town’s mean, parsimonious defence, will face Moyes’ West Ham United in front of a sold-out crowd and the TV cameras in the FA Cup third round. “I hope the ball goes near him so I can do a sliding tackle and take him out,” he jokes. “At Everton I was so scared of him, I couldn’t look when he walked past. The main time I spoke to him was when he told me and Shane Duffy off because a dinner lady was upset we’d not said ‘thank you’.” He was released by Everton and joined Accrington Stanley, where he averaged more than one yellow card every two games. His football career was seemingly over. He also had to cope with his father Philip being paralysed from the waist down after suffering a spine tumour. “You can’t understand what it’s like to be released by a Premier League club, but what happened to my dad was so hard on my mum,” he says. “I was angry all the time. I had a year where I couldn’t get out of bed.” Nsiala found his way to Vietnam’s second tier. When the 6ft 4in foreigner took a tumble after bumping his head on the low ceiling of a KFC and the locals laughed loud and long, he booked a flight home the next day. Back home, he impressed the Grimsby Town manager Paul Hurst while at Southport and the traveller became a Mariner in 2014. The anxiety and anger were still there, but Hurst sent Nsiala to a psychologist, who taught him techniques to help find himself. “Tote just needs to attraction of presenting a game which is devoid of judicial error. Except, of course, that it won’t be. I do not think for a moment that the video assistant will eliminate controversy, doubt and injustice. You will have heard the pundits on Match of the Day and Sky arguing the toss about some decision made by a referee — and in most cases, failing to agree with one another even after having watched the incident endlessly, in slow motion. Ball to hand or deliberate handball? That lunge – did he mean to cripple his opponent, or was it simply badly timed? Was that a dive, or was there contact — and if there was contact how minimal was it? And slow-motion replays are not always the most accurate means of divining intent. The game is not played in slow-motion, unless you’re a fan of Middlesbrough or Manchester United. And then there are the breaks in the game to facilitate this new development. Fifa has been trying to work out ways in which supporters can be given more bang for their buck. There are suggestions that when the ball is out of play, the clock should be stopped. If that ever comes to pass, fans will be leaving the ground at around 7pm at the end of a game that kicked off at 3pm. But still, it’s coming, and there’s nothing much the rest of us can do about it. see he’s valued,” says Hurst, “and he certainly is.” Hurst sold him to Hartlepool United, but re-signed Nsiala for Shrewsbury a year ago. “He’s more friend than manager,” says Nsiala, a new father and DR Congo international. He has a £100 wager with the coaching staff that if Andy Carroll plays today he will not score and the defender will finish without a black eye and will win most of the headed duels. “This game is a massive building block for me. My downfall has always been self-doubt, but I want to prove myself against the best.” Shrewsbury will field their strongest line-up. “The league is the priority but this tie is reward, not distraction,” notes Hurst. “It makes me smirk when clubs who have all the resources in the world to get their players fresh complain about schedules.” After guiding Grimsby back into the Football League, Hurst moved to Shrewsbury in October 2016. He joined a club debt-free since 2007. Roland Wycherley, their chairman and majority shareholder for the past 21 years, is a local patriarch whose business empire began with a solitary vending machine. “I have to restrain him when his heart rules his head,” says CEO Brian Caldwell, who joined on the recommendation of Kenny Moyes, David’s agent and brother, with a brief to increase the visibility of Shropshire’s only league club in the community: “If we get one child from the school groups we give tickets to, that’s a season-ticket holder for 60 years.” Next month, they should become the first English club to have a designated safe-standing area. Shrewsbury were bottom of League One when Hurst arrived. “There was so much wrong,” he says. “A few days in, me and my assistant Chris Doig sat in my room in silence. If there had been speech bubbles, they’d have said, ‘We’ve messed up coming here’.” The board backed an extensive playing staff overhaul and built new training facilities. Slowly the tide turned: today they are second in League One. “To get to where we are is beyond the wildest dreams of myself, the chairman, players and fans. I’m not trying to be something I’m not: that’s important here,” says Hurst. ON TV TODAY Shrewsbury Town v West Ham United 1.40pm BBC1, Kick-off 2pm HOW VAR WILL WORK 6 Tomorrow’s cup tie between Brighton and Crystal Palace will be the first competitive club match in England to use Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology 6 The technology can only be used to review three ‘game-changing’ situations: goals, penalties and straight red cards. However, it can also be employed to correct instances when the referee may have mistaken the identity of an offender 6 It was first deployed in an official match in the United Kingdom when England played a friendly against Germany last November. That game ended goalless and it was not required by the referee 6 Since being used in the Club World Cup in December 2016, following its approval by the International Football Association Board for a twoyear trial, it has been adopted in domestic competitions such as the Bundesliga and Serie A, as well as the Confederations Cup. It will feature at the African Nations Championship later this month 7 The Sunday Times January 7, 2018 FA investigate racial abuse claims in Holgate-Firmino clash Liverpool, criticised for their handling of the Suarez-Evra affair, will fully co-operate with authorities Ian Whittell The Football Association is to launch an invesigation into whether Everton’s Mason Holgate was racially abused by Roberto Firmino in Friday night’s FA Cup Merseyside derby at Anfield. Whatever sense lip readers, linguists and referee Bobby Madley make of the allegations, Liverpool Football Club emerged with some credit, having learnt lessons of the past. The scars left by Luis Suarez’s eight-match suspension for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra still run deep at Liverpool, who were widely criticised for their handling of the 2011 affair. This time the Anfield club have moved quickly. “The club and the player will fully co-operate with the relevant authorities to ensure the facts are established in a thorough manner if deemed necessary or requested,” read a club statement. “While that process is ongoing we will not be making any further comment.” That was in stark contrast to the day, 24 hours after Suarez was found guilty in December 2011, when manager Kenny Dalglish and his players controversially wore T-shirts bearing Suarez’s face while warming up for a game at Wigan. Liverpool’s sensitivity to racial issues was demonstrated last month when the club facilitated an interview with forward Rhian Brewster in which he revealed he has already been on the receiving end of multiple cases of racist abuse during his young career. Even manager Jurgen Klopp, having initially done the wrong thing in criticising Holgate for his reaction towards Firmino, quickly backtracked when he learnt of the accusations. Unfortunately, making sense of the incident and allegations is likely to prove far less straightforward. Late in the first half, Holgate pushed Firmino into the front row of the main stand while the pair competed for a ball running out of play — an act that ANDREW POWELL In the red corner: Roberto Firmino has words with Mason Holgate in Anfield showdown COUTINHO brought no punishment from Madley but which could have led to the Everton defender being shown a red card for violent conduct. Firmino reacted angrily and, as Madley stepped in, was seen to hurl abuse at Holgate. Best efforts at lipreading suggested that Firmino, a Brazilian, shouted “Louco. Filho da puta,” in his native tongue — “Crazy. Son of a bitch.” But the cameras did not show all of Firmino’s words and, in response, Holgate was seen complaining to Madley that he had been racially abused, an accusation that the fourth official, with whom the referee spoke after the incident, confirmed to Klopp after the game. Holgate was escorted out of the ground by Everton staff later and both managers refused to comment in detail about the accusations. Thus it appears that Madley’s report, including any additional observations from his assistants and fourth official Jon Moss, will form the basis of the FA’s investigation before they decide whether to take any action against Firmino. The incident overshadowed an absorbing cup tie, one which featured an impressive debut from Liverpool’s £75m record signing Virgil van Dijk. The world’s most expensive defender turned in an accomplished performance at the back and scored the winning goal. It was a debut that left Klopp hugely encouraged and expecting even brighter things ahead from the Dutchman. “You don’t pay that amount of money for a player and think ‘OK, we can get another 80%’, but of course there is room for improvement,” said Klopp. “But the first improvement will be to adapt to the team, ANDREW POWELL FOOTBALL’S MOST EXPENSIVE TRANSFERS Neymar Barcelona L ess than six months after Liverpool were being proudly celebrated as the knights of a bold new English resolve against club football’s most predatory armada, another star of the Premier League heads towards La Liga. After Gareth Bale to Madrid, and Luis Suarez to Barcelona, now Philippe Coutinho, at a price that may end up as high as the Bale and Suarez fees combined. Barcelona expect to present Coutinho as the most expensive recruit in their history — and also Spanish football’s history — as early as tomorrow after an offer that could, with add-ons, rise to £142m resolved a transfer the Catalan club, and indeed the player, have been pursuing since the middle of last year. Coutinho did not join the Liverpool party travelling to Dubai this weekend for a warmweather training break and Barcelona have kept VIP seats free for him at Camp Nou for this afternoon’s Liga meeting with Levante. They expect to see him in the club’s distinctive stripes, and part of an attacking unit including Suarez, who joined from Liverpool in 2014, and Lionel Messi, for the remainder of what looks a comfortable progression to the Spanish league title, with Barcelona six points ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid and with a game in hand. The 25-year-old is understood to have been offered a contract until 2023. Given that Barcelona would not be able to use Coutinho for the rest of this season in the Champions League — for which he is cup-tied — the urgency of the last phase of the chase, with the winter transfer window not yet a week old and a full summer of business to come, stands in stark contrast to the impasse of last summer, when Liverpool turned down three Barcelona offers, the last of them worth £118m. Barcelona pushed quickly and hard until Liverpool said yes for several strategic reasons. First, to bring to an end a saga that had frustrated Barcelona’s Miedema forced to look on bright side Miedema: believes victory against Chelsea today could change Arsenal’s season executives, who were left reeling by the departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain last summer. After PSG met Neymar’s €220m release-clause and the Brazilian superstar agreed to join the ambitious Parisians, Barcelona sought Coutinho as something close to a like-forlike replacement and as the sort of recruit who would excite supporters. Despite Coutinho’s obvious enthusiasm for the switch, Liverpool stood firm until the window closed in September. Barcelona always intended to return and targeted a January conclusion, believing that to delay their next bid until the summer risked an auction against other heavyweight clubs, particularly were the player to enhance his reputation further with Brazil at the World Cup. While Barcelona remained persuaded of Coutinho’s commitment to furthering his club career with them, a successful rival bid may have politically damaged the club’s president, Josep Maria Bartomeu. Barcelona lost prestige with Neymar’s move to wealthy PSG; there is an awareness, too, that Real Madrid, the mirror by which Barcelona measure success and status, have been through three relatively quiet summers in the market and have earmarked large funds for recruitment this June. Barcelona spent a large tranche of their Neymar yield in August, but the £97m signing from Borussia Dortmund of Ousmane Dembele, the 20-year-old French international winger, was not intended to compensate for Coutinho’s non-arrival, or expected to satisfy the Barcelona electorate, the fans who vote for the club’s president. Many of them were jeering Bartomeu at the beginning of the season. Besides, Dembele sustained a hamstring injury in mid-September and has only just returned to full training. Barcelona then watched Liverpool, despite their free scoring, fall away from contention for the Premier League title. Once the English club splashed out a club-record £70m-plus on hiring Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton, Barcelona felt confident an offer that would shatter the record any Premier League club has received would be received more favourably than in August. Barcelona’s head coach, Ernesto Valverde, echoed Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, in refusing to give any updates on the Coutinho negotia- Ousmane Dembele Dortmund Barcelona, August 2017 Paul Pogba Juventus Man Utd, August 2016 tions until an official confirmation of the deal, but he did reference the Brazilian yesterday: “Coutinho is a great footballer,” he said. “There is speculation about great players everywhere but I prefer to focus on the great players that we have here.” Yesterday was Spain’s Reyes festival, when Christmas presents are traditionally given; Valverde smiled at the coincidence of that and a set of front pages in the Barcelona-based sports newspapers that declared a deal for Coutinho imminent. “I am not a Santa who can make great promises,” he said. “But what Barcelona fans want are great players and to see the team progressing.” ‘Pessimistic’ Arsenal striker faces Chelsea in vital clash today Rebecca Myers V Vivianne Miedema says she is a pessimist. Don’t expect much and you can only be pleasantly surprised. In the past four years, she has twice won the German league with Bayern Munich, the European Championship with Holland, and become a leading striker at Arsenal. Not bad for a 21-year-old. If any of it has taken her by surprise, she does not show it. Miedema is relaxed, exchanging jokes with staff at the Arsenal training centre. She joined the club last summer after three years at Bayern Munich and is now considering her club’s prospects for today’s game against Chelsea; the Gunners are third in the league, three points behind Chelsea and five behind Manchester City. “For me, they are the favourites, so we’ll just see how it goes down,” Miedema says. “We’ve got a great group, an amazing coach, we’ve got everything we need so it’s time to start showing that. If we win, everything is open again. I have got a good feeling that there’s going to be something good. We’re still in all the cups. You never know where it’s going to end.” Miedema grew up in a £m 198 142 136 89 Gareth Bale Tottenham Real Madrid, September 2013 85 Transfers do not include Kylian Mbappe’s loan move from Monaco to PSG which could become a £165m transfer Money talks: Liverpool resisted Barcelona’s move for Philippe Coutinho last summer but he was determined to leave Ruthless pursuit of Brazilian by Spanish giants was part of strategy to offer more rest to Messi and Iniesta Liverpool are now in a market where clubs know their spending power and can up prices PSG, August 2017 Philippe Coutinho Liverpool Barcelona, January 2018 How Barcelona made Liverpool an offer they couldn’t refuse IAN HAWKEY how we deal in different situations.” The elephant in the Anfield room was Philippe Coutinho, who was, according to reports, last night completing his move to Barcelona. Just as Klopp has addressed his team’s glaring defensive deficiencies in such aggressive fashion, he seems to have lost his best attacking, all-round player. For Everton, as they faced up to a disappointing cup exit, there was the consolation of possibly solving a glaring weakness of their own. On Friday the club completed the £27m signing of Turkish forward Cenk Tosun from Besiktas, a player manager Sam Allardyce described as the best in Europe at that price. Tosun has scored four Champions League goals this season. Valverde, in his first season in the job, sees plenty of progress in the league campaign and, after an unflustered group phase in the Champions League, will take on Chelsea in the last 16 of that competition next month. He will welcome the opportunity of reinforcements in the creative positions of Barcelona’s squad, and envisages Coutinho playing in a front three or in midfield. A Coutinho ineligible for European matches but able to play in La Liga allows Valverde to rest Messi more often at weekends ahead of Champions League dates and gives Andres Iniesta, the club captain who turns 34 in May, more recovery time between matches in the business end of the season. As for Liverpool, they are about to find themselves in a position Barcelona have come to know: in a market where their spending power is judged to be unusually elevated, so asking prices are set higher. What Liverpool do not have quite as much of as Barcelona is an allure for leading players, an attraction Coutinho never lost his appetite for through Liverpool’s stubborn, proud postponing of his departure. football-mad house and began playing aged five. “I just used to kick everything around in the house. If something was on the floor, it got a kick from me.” She had made a name for herself back home by the time the Euros arrived, but struggled in the first few games. “Everyone had an opinion about us, about me. They were like, ‘Kick Miedema out’. But I like that; I need it. I need that so much more than just playing a game where nobody cares. I like pressure.” When the knockout stages began, she came into her own, scoring four goals, including two in the final, when Holland beat Denmark 4-2. She was compared with Arjen Robben when she WHAT THE CLUBS SAID LAST NIGHT Shortly after the 2017 August transfer window when Liverpool successfully resisted Barcelona’s bid for Coutinho, Jurgen Klopp was asked about the club’s transfer policy. His response was clear: ‘I wasn’t manager when Suarez was sold, I wasn’t manager when Sterling was sold. I’m manager now, and we’re not selling Coutinho.’ Yesterday, Klopp, inset, said: ‘It is no secret that Philippe has wanted this move to happen since July, when Barcelona first made their interest known. Philippe was insistent with me, the owners and even his teammates this was a move he was desperate to make happen. The club did everything within our means to convince Philippe that remaining part of Liverpool was as attractive as moving to Spain. ‘It is with great reluctance that we — transferred to Bayern. She is disdainful of the comparison. She’s seen Robben around, they chat at parties. He is often there with his wife and children, “so it was more like comparing how different our lives actually are,” she says. After their triumph at the Euros, and the failure of the men’s team to qualify for this summer’s World Cup in Russia, Miedema and her teammate Lieke Martens led a successful call for better pay. “We’ve got a new deal and it’s a really good deal. Where we came from is a joke. If that came out, everybody would be like ‘what the ***’.” If she was looking for fellow trailblazers, she has found the perfect match. Arsenal made headlines when they rebranded from as a team and club — prepare to say farewell to a good friend, a wonderful person and a fantastic player’. Barcelona also released a statement saying that ‘the player will sign a contract for the remainder of the season and five more, and will have a buyout clause of €400m.’ It went on to say that he was arriving at the club ‘after demonstrating his class as a player with Liverpool and the Brazilian national side. Born on June 12, 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Phillipe Coutinho is one of the most talented midfielders in the world with the potential to get even better. ‘The Brazilian has shown his talent and class at the highest level with Premier League club Liverpool and with the Brazilian national side.’ Arsenal Ladies. “We will, wherever possible, refer to our women’s team as, simply, Arsenal, just as we do our men’s team,” the club announced. Miedema is frank on the subject of people who are negative about women’s football: “It’s OK for them to hate it but at least just accept that we’re coming. Just be open, give it a chance. If you still don’t like it, that’s fine, but just shut up and don’t say anything about it, you know what I mean?” She signed her first contract aged 14 but knows this story is a rare one in a world where many players are still scraping by with several jobs to prop up parttime contracts. “We’re not going to be like men’s football any time soon and to be honest I don’t want to be like men’s football — it’s a sick world. I don’t want a million a year, because I don’t need it. But it’s important that the girls can just play football, rather than having to work, study, and then play football. That is the next step.” So, multiple title winner, world’s best young striker, equal pay campaigner. “Yeah, I’m 21 and I’ve done quite a lot. I want to play the Olympics, I want to qualify for the World Cup and I want to win the Champions League once.” ON TV TODAY Chelsea Ladies v Arsenal 1.15pm BT Sport 2, kick-off 1.30pm 8 SPORT FOOTBALL Clubs reap benefits of going back to home front to develop talent DAN MULLAN Bristol City show what can be done when working with local players Jonathan Northcroft Football correspondent Joe Bryan, born in Bristol, raised in Bristol, was made at Bristol City, debuting as an 18year-old after emerging from their academy. Loans to the Blue Square Premier and League Two helped his development. Korey Smith, Bristol City’s other scorer in last month’s Carabao Cup humbling of Manchester United, came through at Norwich, in League One. Bristol City had four other club-developed players in their 18 for their Carabao Cup heroics and 16 of that number were English homegrown players: a fairytale team made the old-fashioned way. These are boom times in development in the Football League and Bristol City are an example of a trend, among its clubs, of moving back towards British and local talent. Of England’s Under-17 World Cup winning squad, 29% of the players were EFL registered, as were 20% of England’s Under-20 World Cup winning group, while 39% of England’s Under-19 European champions were EFL players. “If you look at the success we had as a nation in the summer, there were loads of headlines about Phil Foden and the other Manchester City and Liverpool players who starred,” said Dave Wetherall, the EFL’s head of youth development. “But a substantial number of those boys came through the EFL system. And in the senior England team are numerous examples who started at EFL clubs. “The back five in England’s last game [against Brazil] began their careers in the EFL and then there’s Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana, Dele Alli, Jamie Vardy, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.” Wetherall, the former Leeds and Bradford defender, was the first Premier League footballer to attain a firstclass honours degreewhile playing. He knows a bit about fulfilling potential, and helped bring in measures likely to further boost the development boom. From this season, each matchday 18 in the EFL must include a minimum seven homegrown players — those who, irrespective of nationality, were registered with an English or Welsh club for at least three years before turning 21 (or the end of the Local hero: Korey Smith, who scored against Man United, learnt his craft in League One CRYING FOUL season during which they turn 21). From next season there will be a further requirement: every team sheet will have to feature at least one player developed by the club itself. To qualify as the latter, a player must have been with the club for at least a year prior to the end of their under-19 season. It represents a small but significant change, enshrining in EFL rules the necessity for clubs to produce their own talent. No club can now simply import — even at youth level — players and no academy will be left to go about its work wondering if any of the boys it is developing will ever get near the first team. The Premier League could learn a lot. “We wanted to establish a pathway from academies to first teams, and young players can be assured somebody who has been in the club’s own system is going to be around the first team,” said Wetherall. “It empowers academies, but also puts them under pressure to produce, which is a good thing. The ‘seven homegrown’ criteria is a raising of the quota from what it was before, six. We wanted to draw a line in the sand. The clubs had to vote it in. They showed great commitment [to youth] in doing that.” About 85% of EFL teamsheets already feature home developed players, so clubs are moving in the right direction. A year ago an initiative called EFL Futures was launched, where a prize fund of £3m is shared prorata between clubs giving England-qualified under-21 players first team opportunities. The EFL are proud of some of the figures they’re achieving, such as that 45% of EFL scholars now win professional contracts. Through League Football Education, a partnership between the EFL and Professional Footballers Association, youngsters being released by clubs are given W ho would be a referee? I ask myself this whenever a debatable officiating decision has a major impact on a game. Who, I wonder, as I, the rest of the media, fans and managers pore over countless replays as a prelude to tearing apart the individual in question, would subject himself to such scrutiny and, sometimes, contempt? I know I couldn’t do it. Yet there are people who do and they are the ones we have to judge. That judgment has taken on an even more critical level of late because of several flashpoints over the Christmas period. Two of the most absurd occurred during the past week. First, we had the penalty awarded to West Brom against Arsenal after Calum Chambers was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. For once, Arsène Wenger’s anger was justified. If that was dubious, then words fail me on the spot kick that Chelsea won for Hector Bellerin’s challenge on Eden Hazard on Wednesday. The contact was minimal and made no difference to the play, but Hazard exaggerated its effect and Anthony Taylor fell for it. What worries me is that Taylor did not look at how the Belgian went down. This Rough justice: Chelsea were lucky to be awarded a penalty for Hector Bellerin’s challenge on Eden Hazard FOOTBALL SHORTS Jupp Heynckes said yesterday that Chelsea target Arturo Vidal would not be sold during the January transfer window. The Bayern Munich coach confirmed there had been no contact between the Bundesliga and Premier League champions over the 30-year-old Chile international. ‘It’s just speculation. Arturo Vidal is very motivated. He’s a top player and we need him at his very best if Bayern is to play well,’ Heynckes said at the Aspire Zone in Doha, where Bayern are on a winter training camp. YORKSHIRE GRANTED INTERNATIONAL STATUS Vidal: Bayern midfielder linked to Chelsea Yorkshire are the world’s newest international football team after their membership of the nonFifa Confederation of International Football Associations (Conifa) was ratified yesterday. The team, for whom only players born in the county are eligible, were formed in July and are set to make their debut with a friendly against the Isle of Man at Hemsworth on January 28. Conifa, which was established in 2013, describes itself as a Man City v Bristol City 7.30pm Sky Main Event, kick-off 7.45pm rics to win a penalty or free kick, or to ensure an opponent received a yellow or red card, were the norm and not the exception. I can put my hand on my heart and say that I never once adopted that approach. I had come from a culture where the physical was permitted, extolled even. I remember one game when I complained to a ref that a tackle against one of my teammates had been outrageous. “Well,” he replied, “you’ve got one go yourself, then.” That was typical of how the contact area was policed back then. Nobody wants to return to those days but the physical side of sport as much as the mental is what draws us to it. That’s why boxing is still popular and mixed martial arts has built an appeal. It also remains the Premier League’s point of difference from other continental leagues who look on enviously at its actionpacked drama and the popularity it enjoys domestically and globally. When Michel Platini was running the European game, it seemed as if he was trying to outlaw the very idea of going to ground in the tackle. It still strikes me that those running the game don’t under- The referee had a decent view when Bellerin went for the ball but he still made the wrong call is crucial in judging whether a player’s fall is natural or contrived. I don’t think you need to have played to a top level or have access to a video replay to make this distinction. To the trained eye, it should be obvious. It is also why I don’t view Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology as the solution to poor officiating. Taylor was on the spot and had a decent view as Bellerin went for the ball, but he still made the wrong call. It was the same on Friday when Liverpool won a penalty for a foul on Adam Lallana. Again, I looked at the way Lallana fell to the floor and it did not look natural. These incidents coupled with the failure to dismiss Jason Puncheon and Dele Alli for reckless challenges on Kevin de Bruyne in December have prompted a debate about the quality of Premier League referees. It’s difficult to say categorically that they are less fit or have deteriorated but you do worry when it looks like no English official will be at this summer’s World Cup. With Hazard, you can take the view that the Chelsea player is culpable for effectively conning the ref. I don’t because this is the culture of the Premier League. Besides, as one of the best dribblers around, Hazard has the scars to prove how often he has been the victim of genuine fouls. It’s worth noting, too, that another of today’s great dribblers, Lionel Messi, stays on his feet for as long as possible. Messi remains an outlier in a world when an attacker will respond to the slightest touch by reaching for the grass. I noticed this seeping into the Premier League when I was a manager but I had seen it first hand when I played in Italy. You couldn’t fail to be aware that theat- BAYERN’S HEYNCKES RULES OUT VIDAL MOVE TO CHELSEA ON TV TUESDAY MARC ASPLAND Referees have a tough job but some of their mistakes are a cause for concern GRAEME SOUNESS chances to continue their careers elsewhere — there is a placement programme with Swedish clubs where released EFL scholars can go to Sweden for extended trials and 33% of the lads involved have won contracts. But there’s nothing like having a standard-bearer and Bristol City, with Bryan, Smith, Josh Brownhill, Aden Flint, Bobby Reid, have emerged at the right time to showcase the direction the EFL wants to move in. Wetherall hopes the clubdeveloped quota may increase as the years go on. “There is financial sense in developing players,” said Wetherall, “and it helps root clubs in their communities. stand that a defender’s momentum makes it almost impossible not to follow through when making a proper tackle. All it needs is the trained eye of an official to distinguish between the reckless and the strong challenge. One man who fell on the wrong side of that distinction last month was Paul Pogba. His challenge on Bristol City’s Marlon Pack in the League Cup tie could have earned him another dismissal to go with the one he received against Arsenal. Such a lack of discipline may be related to the fact that Manchester United and the player himself have still not worked out where he would best be deployed. I have the impression Pogba sees himself as a playmaker in the mould of Andrea Pirlo. He is not. If he wants to become a central midfielder of that ilk, he should not be straying beyond the 18-yard line on either side of the pitch unless it is to shut down an attack. Too often, however, the Frenchman looks lost in that role. For the moment, he is much better when given licence to move into wide areas, usually on the left, where his dribbling skills and energy levels are best used. He did this to good effect against Everton on Monday. It is getting the best out of Pogba rather than the spending power of Manchester City or the thoughts of Paul Scholes that should be occupying Jose Mourinho’s thoughts. federation for international teams ’from nations, de-facto nations, regions, minority peoples and sports isolated territories’. Yorkshire join the likes of Somaliland, Greenland and Quebec as members of the organisation. AFC WIMBLEDON WILL ‘GIVE IT A GO’ ON WEMBLEY RETURN TO PLAY TOTTENHAM Neal Ardley, the AFC Wimbledon manager, said his side will ‘have a real go’ in their FA Cup third-round tie against Tottenham at Wembley today. The club return to the venue of the Dons’ 1988 FA Cup final victory over Liverpool and their more recent 2016 League Two playoff final success against Plymouth with no intention of sitting back. ‘Sometimes against Spurs having a real go will not be pressing them high up the pitch in the corner because they will pick you apart,’ said Ardley. ‘Having a real go is being diligent to stay in the game, giving the fans that excitement of being one set-piece or chance away from taking the lead or equalising. Being in the game is not getting overawed and getting picked off.’ MAZZARRI WINS ON TORINO DEBUT Walter Mazzarri, inset, the former Watford manager, won his first game since taking charge at Torino, 3-0 against Bologna, who had a second-half penalty saved. Former Inter Milan coach Mazzarri, who was manager at Watford last season, replaced the sacked Sinisa Mihajlovic on Thursday. Ciro Immobile scored four goals as Lazio won 5-2 at SPAL to move into fourth place in Serie A. League leaders Napoli won 2-0 against lowly Hellas Verona. PLYMOUTH REVIVAL CONTINUES WILSHERE IS TOP FLIGHT’S MOST FOULED PLAYER He may have only just returned to first-team action, but Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere, right, is already a target for over-zealous opponents Player Fouls won Minutes played Fouls won/90mins Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) 22 536 3.69 Javier Hernandez (West Ham) 37 981 3.39 Richarlison (Watford) 70 1,896 3.32 Ashley Barnes (Burnley) 33 898 3.31 Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 39 1,117 3.14 Dele Alli (Tottenham) 54 1,660 2.93 Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) 46 1,427 2.90 Ruben Loftus-Cheek (C Palace) 41 1,331 2.77 Hal Robson-Kanu (West Brom) 24 790 2.73 Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) 43 1,417 2.73 Plymouth beat bottom club Bury, who had Ryan Lowe sent off, to continue their revival with a seventh unbeaten match to move further away from the relegation places. Goals from Toumani Diagouraga, Graham Carey, from a rebound after his penalty was saved, and Antoni Sarcevic moved Derek Adams’ side closer to the playoff positions than the drop zone as Bury crashed to a sixth straight defeat. Arsenal loanee Stephy Mavididi started his second spell at Charlton with his first senior goal to give his side a 1-0 win against Oldham. Joe O’Toole gave the hosts the lead before Jason Demetriou’s penalty brought Southend level. Matt Grimes converted a spot kick early in the second half and substitute Alex Revell hit a late third. Jonathan Obika’s 80thminute goal gave Oxford United a 1-0 win over Blackpool. REVELL SECURES NORTHAMPTON VICTORY ACCRINGTON CRUISE INTO PLAYOFF SPOT Northampton gained a much-needed boost with the 3-1 defeat of Southend to edge closer to League One safety. John- Accrington moved back into the League Two playoff places with a 4-0 win against lowly Chesterfield, who returned to the relegation places after Rueben Reid’s debut goal, a day after signing from Exeter, gave Forest Green Rovers a 1-0 win against Port Vale. ODELUSI BACK TO HAUNT COLCHESTER Sanmi Odelusi, whom Cheltenham signed from Colchester on Friday, came back to haunt his former club, scoring the equaliser in his new side’s 4-1 away win, all their goals coming in the second half. Morecambe won 2-0 at Grimsby, who have gone six games without a win. 9 The Sunday Times January 7, 2018 AKIRA SUEMORI ‘There is no happy end with Parkinson’s. It is a one-way street’ IN TODAY’S SUNDAY TIMES MEET THE NEW WORLD CHAMPION OF DARTS Dave Clark refuses to feel sorry for himself despite living for seven years with condition that led to his father taking his own life. By David Walsh NEWS, PAGE 27 I n the kitchen of his home in south London Dave Clark is speaking about Parkinson’s, the degenerative disorder he was diagnosed with seven years ago. He talks without pity, his attitude to living with the disease, the early fears that he would lose his job as a Sky Sports presenter and his determination to keep battling it. Then, without changing tone or mood, he slips unsentimental reality into the conversation. “There is no happy ending with Parkinson’s, that is the problem,” he says. “At the moment it is a one-way street.” He would never say he walks this street with his head up and his chest out but this is nevertheless the case. The specialist who gave him the bad news on January 25, 2011, tried not to be too blunt about it. “Do you have a mortgage, kids?” he asked. Clark laughs at the memory, thinking the blunt route might have been better. Back then the prognosis was for Clark to have two years of life in front of the camera. Two, at most. That was seven years ago. Last week the 20-1 shot Rob Cross won the PDC world darts championship at the Alexandra Palace in north London that for 16 days Clark presented for Sky Sports. You could argue about whose was the greater achievement. With Parkinson’s there are days when it’s OK, days when it’s not. For more than two years after being diagnosed, Clark kept his battle private. “I was diagnosed in 2011. Two years later I was doing a Ricky Burns world title fight in Glasgow, the on-air clock was ticking down and I was desperately trying to do my buttons up but my hands weren’t working because my meds hadn’t kicked in. I just thought, ‘This is ridiculous’. There was no one to help me because I hadn’t told anyone. Not long after, I was interviewing Phil Taylor, who’d won the world title, and I could feel this internal shake which I thought was visible though it wasn’t. But I was thinking about my shaking, not the questions I was asking Taylor. I was afraid of being labelled disabled and losing my job. I had a wife, two kids and a mortgage.” Soon Clark told his boss at Sky he had Parkinson’s and he received more support than he’d imagined possible. He then went public with his story and was humbled by the degree to which people cared. His disease is degenerative and life in front of the camera gets harder, but he’s still doing it. “When I am on air sometimes I hold a pen,” he says. “That’s to stop me shaking. Sometimes during the world championship I had to jam my hand down the side of the chair just to stop it shaking. I am not embarrassed by it but I just think for the viewers it would be a distraction.” Though diagnosed at 44, Clark has lived with the implications of Parkinson’s for much of his life. At 17 and an A-level student at Ilkley near Leeds, he returned home from school one afternoon to find Fighting all the way: the Sky Sports presenter Dave Clark has helped to raise more than £500,000 for Parkinson’s UK When you are going to lose your ability to walk, every step becomes fantastic Target man: Dave Clark struggled to interview Phil Taylor in 2013 his dad Alan on the floor of the family home. Afflicted with Parkinson’s, he had taken an overdose with the intention of ending his life. “My dad used to be a paint salesman in Bradford,” he says. “A sales rep who people used to accuse of being drunk because his Parkinson’s made him unsteady. “He lost his job, lost all of his self-confidence, lost his driving licence. You know, terrible. Tried to kill himself. When I found him I carried him upstairs. Two weeks later he did kill himself.” Alan Clark hid his Parkinson’s from everyone except his wife and his older boy. Dave recalls playing football and rugby matches hoping that his dad wouldn’t come to watch, and that his friends wouldn’t see what Parkinson’s was doing to him. When Alan ended his life, the loss hit Dave hard. “At his inquest, the coroner said he did a brave thing. I thought, ‘It is not a brave thing.’ I had lost my Dad. I understand how the lack of dopamine causes Parkinson’s and brings with it depression. I know how Dad felt about what he’d lost but I couldn’t see what he did as brave. In a way, it’s helped me. Made me stronger. It is another reason why I try and do everything opposite to what he did. I’m open about it. I talk about it. This can affect people. “I was doing Premier League darts in Belfast last year and this guy came up to me and said, ‘Thanks for saving my uncle’. I said ‘what do you mean, saving your uncle?’ He said that after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s his uncle had given up, just sat on the sofa, shut himself off from the world. ‘He read your story and decided to get up and do something about it. Started walking, started going to the shops, started socialising.’” Jaguars find their claws at last AMERICAN FOOTBALL Tom Coughlin oversees change of fortunes for the whipping boys Nick Szczepanik The announcement back in 2012 that Jacksonville Jaguars would play a regular-season home game at Wembley every year until 2016 (now extended to 2020) hardly set pulses racing among British NFL fans. Jaguars were not one of the league’s heavyweights, but a smallmarket team with little pedigree. Winning seasons were the exception rather than the rule, while as for their playoff chances, the less said the better. Little changed over the course of their Wembley residency, until this year. The appointment 12 months ago of former New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin as executive vice-president of football operations turned around the fortunes of a team whose record over the previous five campaigns — 63 defeats and only 17 wins — was the worst in the NFL. They finished in first place in the AFC South for the first time and today London’sadopted team play their first playoff game for 10 years, and their first at home since 1999, when they host Buffalo Bills in the wild-card round. Coughlin, twice a Super Bowl winner when in charge of the Giants, signed a group of free agents rated the best in the team’s 23-year history, including three new cornerstones of a defence nicknamed “Sacksonville” — defensive end Calais Campbell, cornerback AJ Bouye and safety Barry Church. Coughlin also used the team’s first-round draft pick on running back Leonard Fournette, who has rushed for more than 1,000 yards — 100 of those and a touchdown on his debut — and given the team’s ground game a valuable boost. “What we lacked was football IQ,” said Shahid Khan, the team’s owner. “You want somebody [for whom] it’s not just a job, it’s a passion, emotion and a drive. Nobody personifies that better than Tom Coughlin.” The most controversial decision was to pass on a number of promising quarterbacks in the draft and instead take up a contract option on Blake Bortles, whose decision-making is often questioned and who tends to shine only in lowpressure situations. After a mid-season surge, he seems to be running back into poor form at the wrong time, throwing five interceptions in his past two games. “When his option was picked up, it was like, ‘What are these guys smoking?’” Khan admitted. “You’ve got to stay the course, but you have to have the agility and the flexibility. We are invested. We want him to be successful.” Khan’s long-term intentions for Jaguars in London are harder to read. Originally, St Louis Rams, owned by Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke, looked likeliest to take up the NFL’s invitation to become an annual visitor to Wembley. But Jaguars soon had a London football connection of their own when Khan bought Fulham. With the NFL admitting that it hopes one day to have a team permanently based in the UK, plenty of people have put two and two together and assumed that Jaguars would be that team, especially after the lowest home attendance under Khan’s ownership was recorded this season. Khan, though, has always denied it, claiming that the London project was aimed at Accepting that he was on a one-way street, Clark made changes to his life. He had been a go-to presenter at Sky, boxing one week, darts the next, football the one after that. Wherever he was needed. Sky understood the new need for a life more evenly shared between work and his family. Besides, he wanted to spend more time with his wife Carolyn and their two boys George and Harry. He is married to the right woman. “Carolyn was with me when we got the diagnosis,” he says. “She is a clinical psychologist so I am her case study. She has been brilliant, fantastic. Won’t let me slip downhill, gives me a kick up the backside anytime I’m feeling sorry for myself.” They have travelled as a family. To the Campbell River in British Columbia where they stayed on a floating hotel and watched bears pluck salmon from the SHREWSBURY V WEST HAM FA Cup 3rd Round commentary from 1pm NOTTINGHAM FOREST V ARSENAL FA Cup 3rd Round commentary from 3.30pm increasing the team’s profile beyond the northeast corner of Florida. Moreover, they have a long lease on their EverBank Field stadium. They are probably happy to preserve the status quo. Wembley has been a moneymaker, the crowd of 84,592 for this season’s game against Baltimore Ravens a record for the NFL’s overseas fixtures, and the team estimate that they make 15% of their annual local revenue (as opposed to league-wide profit-sharing) in the UK. But for once, a home game in Jacksonville is as much of a draw as a Wembley game. Even without the donation of 1,000 tickets to refugees from around the world, including Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria, today’s game is a rare sell-out. Previously closed areas have been reopened to increase capacity and tickets are changing hands for more than $150 on the secondary market. “Could you imagine the hottest ticket in football is right here, selling for five, six times face value?” Khan said. “Could you believe that happening in Jacksonville?” ON TV TODAY Jaguars v Bills 6.05pm Sky Sports Action; Sky Sports Main Event water. They swam with turtles on the Great Barrier Reef. They went to the Masai Mara in Kenya where the elephants, lions, leopards, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, buffalos and hippos roam freely. And Clark got to another Bruce Springsteen concert. And then another. “I am just living the moment a bit more. Amazing how well Bruce has kept going, a four-hour show and his optimism, his brilliance, still makes him the man. Positive energy makes me feel good. Gets the dopamine flowing, what little I have left. I go to a Bruce concert and I feel great for the next week. They reckon there is an addictive nature to the drugs I am on as well but my addiction to Bruce came long before the Parkinson’s.” Last year he walked from St Bees Head in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire, a 200-mile trek that enabled him and some friends to raise more than £200,000 for Parkinson’s UK. Between one thing and another, more than £500,000 has been handed over to Parkinson’s UK since he was sentenced seven years ago. He trained with an SAS operative for the coast-to-coast walk. Going up murderous Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons, the SAS man didn’t say a lot and revealed virtually nothing about himself. He did, though, tell the exhausted Clark to stop every once in a while and look down below, just to see how far he’d climbed. That became a metaphor for his life with Parkinson’s. He knows the journey ahead is going to be difficult, so he stops as he goes to consider again how far he’s come. At 14 he went to a local hospital in Leeds and asked to work for the hospital radio. That’s how much he wanted to be a broadcaster. Sports broadcasting took him to pretty much every event he’d dreamt of covering. Along the way he made a lot of friends. He met Gary Anderson recently and the darts player gave him £1,000 for Parkinson’s UK. People meet him in the street and hand him £10 or £20. Beyond “thank you” he doesn’t know what else to say. Though his battle with Parkinson’s has been intense and unforgiving, the disease has taught him things too. “It is a mad thing but when you are going to lose your ability to walk, every step becomes fantastic,” he says. “I walk every day now. It takes something to come along to make you appreciate things. You take things for granted, then something happens and every sunrise becomes a big one.” 1089/1053AM • DAB Radio • Mobile • talkSPORT.com HOW TO LISTEN: DOWNLOAD THE APP 10 SPORT CRICKET: THE ASHES ENGLAND FIRE BLANKS WILLIAM WEST Latest humiliation confirms that ECB cares more about success in one-day game SCOREBOARD England: First Innings SIMON WILDE A N Cook lbw b Hazlewood 39 M D Stoneman c Paine b Cummins 24 J M Vince c Paine b Cummins 25 *J E Root c M R Marsh b Starc 83 D J Malan c Smith b Starc 62 @J M Bairstow c Paine b Hazlewood T Cricket correspondent, Sydney o get the bald scoreline from the SCG yesterday out of the way first: Australia 286 runs, England two wickets. And if that sounds like a familiar tale of woe then that is because it is. On other occasions in this series, England managed one wicket for 346 on the corresponding day of the Perth Test and two for 160 on the final day in Melbourne, when Australia were intent on defence. This is a group of touring players for whom this Ashes series long since lost its novelty. They continue to travel, but without hope or expectation. And really, why should they? Their bowling lacks the pace and, in the spin department, lacks the guile — promising though the debutant Mason Crane has been. They are effectively firing blanks. Almost 12 months ago, Alastair Cook resigned the Test captaincy because he felt the team had not pushed on from the series win in South Africa. But his departure has changed nothing. England continue to be a force at home but remain impotent on the road. In fact, they are arguably getting worse. In Cook’s last series in India, which was lost 4-0 (a result that is likely to be replicated here) their collective bowling average was 49.69. At close of play yesterday, the figure for this series stood at 51.12. The only Ashes series since 1946-7 in which England’s wickets have proved more expensive is 2006-7, when they cost 52.77. Pre-series, there was talk of Australia’s batting being vulnerable beyond Steve Smith and David Warner. Well, Smith contributed only 39 to the run-tally yesterday, which was chiefly boosted by Usman Khawaja, who converted a maiden Ashes hundred into a 10-hour stay worth 171, and Shaun Marsh, who reached stumps on 98 not out, having posted an unbroken stand of 104 with his brother Mitch, whose average for the series (141.00) even exceeds that of Smith himself (137.40). In the final Test in Chennai last winter, India racked up 759 for seven declared but even there England’s attack (of which Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali are the only survivors) managed four wickets on the third day and three on the fourth. Karun Nair, who scored a triple-century, was dropped by India after only three more appearances. England are turning players with histories of struggling at international level into world-beaters. What is disconcerting is that there are no signs that the ECB much cares. With the bowling needing all the help it can get, the team has been without bowling coaches since the second Test of the series. Three young bowlers in Craig Overton, Tom Curran and Crane have made their debuts, and Moeen has endured a crisis of confidence, yet all have been left scrabbling for help where they can find it. Is the Ashes even a priority? Tom Harrison, the ECB’s chief executive, described 2017 as a good year for English cricket. When Andrew Strauss took over as managing director of England cricket three years ago, he said it was his aim to Crane proves he has the patience to thrive at Test level 5 M M Ali c Paine b Cummins 30 T K Curran c Bancroft b Cummins 39 S C J Broad c Smith b Lyon 31 M S Crane run out 4 J M Anderson not out 0 Extras (lb 2, w 2) Total (112.3 overs) 4 346 Fall: 1-28, 2-88, 3-95, 4-228, 5-233, 6-251, 7-294, 8-335, 9-346 Bowling: Starc 21-6-80-2; Hazlewood 23-4-65-2; Cummins 24.3-5-80-4; Lyon 37-5-86-1; M R Marsh 7 0 33 0 Australia: First Innings (o/nt 193-2) C T Bancroft b Broad U T Khawaja st Bairstow b Crane 171 *S P D Smith c and b Ali 83 S E Marsh not out 98 M R Marsh not out 63 Extras (b 2, lb 3, w 1, nb 2) 8 Total (4 wkts, 157 overs) 479 THE ASHES SERIES SO FAR THE ASHES IN NUMBERS No ordinary Mr Smith Most minutes batted in a Test series M Taylor (Aus) v Eng 1989 2,283 M Nazar (Pak) v Ind 1982-83 2,199 A Cook (Eng) v Aus 2010-11 2,151 S Smith (Aus) v Eng 2017-18 2,138 Highest batting average in Ashes series G Boycott D Bradman S Smith (Eng), 1977 (Aus), 1930 (Aus), 2017-18 Minimum 5 innings 56 To bat: @T D Paine, M A Starc, P J Cummins, J R Hazlewood and N M Lyon Fall: 1-1, 2-86, 3-274, 4-375 Bowling: Anderson 30-11-52-1; Broad 23-2-70-1; Ali 37-9-125-1; Curran 20-2-71-0; Crane 39-3-135-1; Root 8-3-21-0 Umpires: H D P K Dharmasena (Sri) and J S Wilson (WI) Wide of the mark: Australia captain Steve Smith ducks a bouncer from an England attack that had little success on the third day of the Sydney Test, taking just two wickets 147.33 139.14 0 D A Warner c Bairstow b Anderson 137.4 662-9 dec Australia’s first innings score in the Perth Test was the highest total in England-Australia matches in Australia 12 Number of players who took part in the series who had not previously played a Test in Australia Eng Aus 4 Number of tosses won by England All figures are up to the end of day three of the fifth Test Debutant had to wait for first wicket but showed plenty of promise MICHAEL ATHERTON You need patience in Test cricket, the longest and most challenging of games. Mason Sidney Crane, the newest member of the international leg-spinning fraternity (welcome, Mason), needed to be patient, for sure: he had to wait until his 184th legitimate ball for his first wicket. We were into the third session by this stage and Australia’s lead was growing. From the moment Crane had come into the attack in the 15th over, he had faced Usman Khawaja, now on 171. Khawaja charged; Crane dropped a little shorter and wider, deliberately so it seemed, and Jonny Bairstow did the rest. A first Test wicket. What 9 3 get England to the top of the Test rankings. They were fourth then and will slip to fifth should they lose 4-0 here. In fact, the ECB’s not-so-secret mission is to improve the white-ball teams, and win the 2019 World Cup; this is seen as the best way to secure the support of the younger generation. Trevor Bayliss, who won’t lose his job after this result, has lost more Tests than he has won as head coach but in white-ball games has a 42-22 win-loss record. Most questionable is the brain-drain towards Twenty20, which Strauss sees as the best arena in which to forge strong temperaments. But Jos Buttler (among others) seems lost to Test cricket at a time when his country may need him. Although England conjured 10 first-innings wickets in Melbourne, Joe Root seemed to have little faith in a swift repeat when play resumed yesterday with Australia 193 for two. That was obvious from him opening up with Moeen and waiting for the second new ball 13 overs away (not that that brought any fruit anyway). James Anderson went round the wicket to Smith with a packed off-side field. But that was about it in creativity terms. Smith looked a nailed-on certainty to join Herbert Sutcliffe, Wally Hammond and Don Bradman in scoring four hundreds in an Ashes series but having reached 83 in the penultimate over before lunch he skipped out to Moeen’s first delivery of a new spell and, driving against the spin, returned a low catch to relief and joy. For the next few overs Crane made the next man in, Mitchell Marsh, look clueless, as the ball fizzed in the air and gripped off the pitch, past the batsman’s groping defence. After a long wait, we were reminded again of the value of cricket’s most difficult art, and full of admiration for the 20-year-old bowling it. Not that Crane had bowled poorly until then. There were a couple of eye-popping bad balls — his first as a Test cricketer was a creaking longhop and there was one high full toss that Steve Smith thrashed to the leg-side boundary — but, by and large, his control of length and line was admirable. Especially for one so young. Arthur Mailey, that most whimsical of Australian legspinners, once said that bowling maidens was a “failure of imagination”, and he had the figures to prove it. In a Sheffield Shield match in 1926, when Victoria racked up 1,107, Mailey bowled 64 eight-ball overs, with figures of 4/362. There wasn’t a maiden among them. Leg-spinners are judged by the wickets they take. That Crane didn’t bowl his first Trevor Bayliss has lost more Tests than he has won as head coach but will not lose his job the bowler. Moeen, spared the axe by Chris Woakes’ injury, deserved the wicket for the greater accuracy he had shown, the product of some coaching from Stuart MacGill, the former Australia leg-spinner who assisted Crane last winter when Crane was playing grade cricket in Sydney and who joined him in the lead-up to the game. However, Moeen late in the day took some punishment from Mitchell Marsh, who having taken 33 balls over his first five runs added 45 from his next 31 as English limbs flagged in the heat. Crane had an eventful day, not bowling a maiden until his 23rd over and waiting until his 31st to pick up his first wicket. He would have had Khawaja lbw on 132 had he not overstepped by a few millimetres. The arc of his heel was behind the line but the part of his shoe that was grounded was not. This was the third time in the series an England bowler had lost a maiden until his 23rd over was not a big deal, but he hadn’t taken a wicket, which was. It was not for lack of trying. On the second day, during a lengthy 10-over spell after tea, he found the edge of Khawaja’s bat, only for the ball to engineer its way at catchable height between Bairstow and Joe Root. During the last over before lunch on the third day, Crane was twice close to getting off the mark, agonisingly so. First, a bat-pad from an advancing Khawaja looped up, only to fall fractionally short of Crane’s dive; second, a leg-before decision, against Khawaja again, would have been given out on review, had his foot not landed on instead of behind the front line. Momentarily, he looked as though he could have cried. As all old leg-spinners know, bowling wrist-spin is a hard game, and you need a thick skin to prosper. Time and again, Crane pulled out in his delivery stride so that the crowd began to jeer and goad him. He didn’t seem bothered in the slightest. In fact, Stuart Broad-like, he seemed to revel in the attention. Capped at this famous ground for New South Wales and England, he has now become part of a long and beautiful thread: you can recount almost the entire history of wrist-spin through a historical lens focused on the Sydney Cricket Ground. There must be something in the air, or more likely the soil, as many of Australia’s most well-known leg-spinners have played their cricket here: Bill “Tiger” O’Reilly, under whose stand Crane received his cap on the first morning, and who was the best of the New South Welshmen; Richie Benaud, Stuart MacGill and Mailey. That’s 699 Test wickets right there for starters. Nine wickets fewer than Shane Warne, the greatest of them all, of course, and even though Warne is from Victoria, it was here, at the SCG, that he made his debut for Australia in January 1992. His figures supply a cautionary tale for those imagining that Crane’s inclusion would bring immediate dividend, but an optimistic one for the future: in 45 overs, Warne took one wicket and conceded 150 runs. Benaud took a solitary wicket on debut in 1952, also wicket to a no-ball. As if they can afford the luxury. Shortly after tea, Crane fired the ball past Khawaja’s outside edge as he sashayed down the wicket and Jonny Bairstow completed the stumping. He subsequently bowled some good balls on an increasingly responsive surface. As on the previous day, Crane continued to pull out of his delivery if he did not feel comfortable, to the regular jeers of the crowd. Crane’s appetite for the fray is encouraging but England’s relationship with legspinners is a shaky one. There was no 400th Test wicket for Broad who, in a pathetic echo of Australia’s tactics of hammering out 90mph bouncers when the ball isn’t moving, managed once to hit Khawaja on the shoulder with a short ball. It must have felt like a slap in the face with a hanky. And lastly, has there been a weaker third seamer for England than Curran? He generated a little swing but at such gentle pace as to pose no real threat. Were they not injured or suspended, there are nine bowlers who would have played here ahead of him. Someone who could have done is Liam Plunkett, but Bayliss is keeping him tucked away for the one-dayers. Need more be said? ON TV TODAY Australia v England fifth Test highlights BT Sport 2, 11.45am here at the SCG. Clarrie Grimmett, a great leg-spinner who played for South Australia, bucked the trend, taking 11 wickets on debut, also at the SCG against England in 1925. At the other end of the scale came John Watkins, a nervy leg-spinner from Sydney, who played one Test here in 1973 and never played again. Other New South Welshmen to have bowled this noble art include the recently departed Bob Holland, Colin McCool, Kerry O’Keefe and the man who was the first of the line and who introduced leg-spinners and googlies to Australia, HV “Ranji” Hordern. Leg-spin has rich and fascinating history and it is here in Sydney that you feel closest to it. It’s early days, but a suspicion is that, despite the long wait for his first wicket, Crane will be more than just a footnote in its continuation. Of the three England debutants in this series, he is likely to play more Test cricket than the others. Forget the figures: for a 20year-old, it was, in its way, a remarkably mature performance. First Test (Brisbane): Australia won by 10 wickets (England 302 and 195; Australia 328 and 173 for 0) Second Test (Adelaide): Australia won by 120 runs (Australia 442 for eight declared and 138; England 227 and 233) Third Test (Perth): Australia won by an innings and 41 runs (England 403 and 218; Australia 662 for nine declared) Fourth Test (Melbourne): Match drawn (Australia 327 and 263 for four declared; England 491) SOUTH AFRICA AHEAD Hardik Pandya hit 93 runs off 95 balls to keep India within sight of South Africa on the second day of the first Test in Cape Town. South Africa, who scored 286 in their first innings, had India 92-7 before Pandya’s heroics took the visitors to 209 all out. South Africa battled to 62 for two in their second innings, extending their advantage to 142 runs HOW DID ENGLAND FARE? For a report and analysis on the fourth day go to THESUNDAYTIMES.CO.UK/SPORT HOW LEG SPINNERS HAVE PERFORMED ON THEIR DEBUTS England’s Mason Crane took one wicket for 135 runs on the second day of his Test debut. He need not worry. Some of the great leg spinners of Test cricket have had mixed fortunes at the start of their careers SHANE WARNE v INDIA, SYDNEY, 1992 Overs 45 Figures 1-150 Career 708 wkts @ 25.41 RICHIE BENAUD v WEST INDIES, SYDNEY, 1952 Overs 4.3 Figures 1-14 Career 248 wkts @ 27.03 CLARRIE GRIMMETT v ENGLAND, SYDNEY, 1925 Overs 31.3 Figures 11-82 Career 216 wkts @ 24.21 BILL O’REILLY v SOUTH AFRICA, ADELAIDE, 1932 Overs 81.4 Figures 4-155 Career 144 wkts @ 22.59 11 The Sunday Times January 7, 2018 RYAN PIERSE Mason Crane must be given chance to develop his skills, especially in light of problems experienced by Moeen Ali GRAEME SWANN T his is a match that has gone from England’s to win to England’s to save. The pitch at Sydney has been the best of the five because it has been good to bat on — sadly, the tourists did not post a big enough first innings total — but as the Test has progressed it has offered assistance to the spinners. That is as it should be, and it neatly brings me on to Mason Crane. I like what I have seen from the 20-year-old. The ball is coming out of his hand nicely and his body language reflects a player who is comfortable on the international stage. Naturally there were some bad deliveries, but Shane Warne is the only leg-spinner I know who managed to eliminate the rank ball from his repertoire. It was a shame then that some of the SCG crowd — despite all the goodwill associated with Jane McGrath Day — thought it a good idea to boo Crane when he pulled out of his run-up on a few occasions. I know where this trait has come from. Stuart MacGill, who has coached Crane, was a fine leggie but one who could mix jaffas with junk. Late in his career, the Australian realised that the bad deliveries invariably came when he wasn’t comfortable as he neared release. So he did what was logical: stopped, returned to his mark and went again. Crane has adopted the same approach. My advice to him is to ignore the boos of spectators and carry on. I know full well that if it had been an Australian spinner doing the same at Edgbaston our fans would have given him the same treatment. That would be just as bad. I say this not because Crane is young and should be treated with kid gloves but because world cricket needs a great legspinner. Can Crane become that? The signs are good but he needs the selectors to show faith. That means that he must play in the Tests in New Zealand in March and April. If he doesn’t, the Ashes experience will be wasted, he will probably miss the Tests of the early summer and we will be back to square one. I’m not saying he has to play every match but Crane should be in the squad for every Test over the next two years. He is worth that investment. This is especially pertinent with the current malaise of Moeen Ali. I fear Mo is trapped in a vicious circle. Whether he is excelling or failing, he doesn’t like to be at the centre of attention. Unfortunately, his faltering form with bat and ball mean his technique and confidence are under the spotlight like never before. That only accentuates his problems. The other big issue for England’s immediate future is the captaincy of Joe Root. My thoughts on the downside of appointing him skipper are well documented. If, however, Andrew Strauss is to stick with him in the role then he must be given the team he wants. At the moment he looks like he is trying to be a Michael Vaughan-type leader in charge of Alastair Cook’s side. That needs to change. It is not surprising that he should try to emulate Vaughan, a mentor at Yorkshire and one of the best England captains, but he is not as good a communicator as Vaughan. Root will only be true to himself as a leader and batsman when he has the team he wants. Are the England management willing to grant him that authority? However much say Root has in selection, I would like to think that Mark Stoneman, James Vince and Tom Curran would be part of his team. With one innings left here, Stoneman only averages 29, but in his debut series he has acquitted himself well against one of the best Australia pace attacks of recent years. He will never have faced such a going over before and it will probably be a while before he does so again. Knowing PLAYER RATINGS by Simon Wilde ED SMITH FAITH AND HOPE Bright future: Mason Crane can play an important role for England, but cannot afford to bowl no balls, inset, as he did in Sydney MOEEN ALI Big hundreds are standard fare in Australia, so four scores between 51 and 83 are a failure for someone of his quality. Looked like an inexperienced leader on a formidable assignment him as I do, I’m sure he will work hard to eradicate the dismissals against the shortpitched ball we have seen over the past two months. Vince, meanwhile, has fallen victim to “pretty 30” syndrome. Whether it’s consulting a psyschologist or taking guard again when he gets to 25, he needs to find a way through this because he is as skilful a batsman as there is in county cricket. If the selectors afford him the opportunity to realise the talent that lies within then he will be England’s most effective No 3 since Jonathan Trott. As for Curran, I would simply say: carry on as you are. It is impossible to exaggerate how important self-belief is in the Test arena and a team that included him and Ben Stokes would not be short of personality and pep. When he has a moment, Vince might look at how the Australians have batted in this match, which has been watchful and based on the steady accumulation of runs. Strange as it might seem, though, I would be concerned about their batting 3/10 JAKE BALL Miserable tour and in line to be dropped for Sydney had Chris Woakes not been injured. Was tormented by Nathan Lyon’s wicket-towicket line, and side and finger injuries meant he never got going with the ball JAMES ANDERSON JOE ROOT CAPTAIN 6/10 ‘Losing well’ in Ashes damages Test cricket JONNY BAIRSTOW Average Econ rate Moeen Ali Wickets Average Econ rate Mason Crane Wickets Average Econ rate 18 31.1 2.48 4 132.5 3.34 1 Moeen has been dismissed 135 6 times in 8 3.46 innings by Lyon Figures up until day three of fifth Test 4/10 CRAIG OVERTON 5.5/10 5.5 Showed the character but not quite the class needed, often dashing to 20, slowing down and then finding ways to get himself out. Less assured after brutal working-over on day one in Perth 7.5/10 JAMES VINCE The batting success of the tour. Unlike Stoneman and Vince, Malan dealt with the short ball well and knows how to go about building a long innings. May be an option to move up to No 3 The list of ‘if onlys’ is a long one but does not bear scrutiny 25 Tests on Australian soil. All of which makes me reconsider my previous contention that England’s management did not have a strategy for this Ashes series. Perhaps they did. It is called acceptance. Roll out an established side. Keep that side essentially unchanged. Keep the show on the road. Avoid internal splits and external leaks. Develop a narrative of unity and common purpose in the media. Lose well, basically. And they have. England have tried, even when they have not competed. The wheels have not fallen off. Rows have not spilt into the public domain. So far, all the Tests have made it into a fifth day, for the first time since 1994-5. Whether you think that is good enough will be a personal matter. A counterintuitive question follows. If you are uncritical of England’s low-risk approach, what does that imply about your prognosis for the future of Test cricket? Yes, a hammering in Australia, allegedly the showpiece of the format. But were the grounds not packed, the newspaper coverage copious, the coffers full? For now, I would add. For now. Where the Ashes are concerned, it is not just England’s management that is too prepared to keep the show on the road — or, put differently, to kick the can down the street. It’s all of us. 5/10 CHRIS WOAKES Gutsy debut in Adelaide, where he dismissed Smith and scored unbeaten 41, and looked the most dangerous bowler in Perth, but may have promised more than he can deliver. Cracked rib cut short his seriess 2/10 2 MARK STONEMAN Called up as replacement for the injured Steven Finn but even in English conditions he is no more than fourth seamer; that he is the third seamer in Sydney tells of a tour gone wrong 5/10 DAWID MALAN One great series apart, he has struggled against Australia, and was surprisingly ineffectual in the Tests that mattered. A Melbourne marathon confirmed his game is still up to it on slow pitches, but elsewhere? THE SPINNERS COMPARED Nathan Lyon Wickets Even given England’s meagre resources, it is hard to believe that at 20 he is one of the two best spinners in the country. But he showed good temperament on his debut and will get further opportunities 4/10 TOM CURRAN Like Cook, failed to perform in the three games that mattered and faced calls to be axed. Came back with a strong all-round performance in Melbourne but this tour could yet prove to be beginning of the end 7/10 7 ALASTAIR COOK Appeared to be distracted in the first Test by fallout of ‘head-butt’ incident but recovered well to score superb 119 in Perth. Otherwise he failed to convert several good starts. Has kept wicket well 1/10 MASON CRANE The worst of the three players to be tried in the spot that would have been filled by Ben Stokes. So disappointing in Brisbane that he was never tried again, being overtaken by Overton and Curran 7.5/10 7 STUART BROAD Confounded predictions that this might be a tour too far with some brilliant spells, despite conditions giving him nothing outside Adelaide. Never leaked runs and caused Smith more problems that anyone line-up if I was an Australian fan. If you were picking a best Australia XI from the past decade, who from their current top order, other than the superlative Steve Smith, on whom they have been heavily reliant, would come into contention? David Warner certainly, though he has not been at his best. Beyond that, Shaun Marsh is the only other name that comes to mind. Adam Gilchrist, who knows him through his Western Australia connection, was full of praise for him at the start of the series and I was sceptical. I’m a believer now. But his brother Mitchell, Bancroft, Handscomb, Khawaja? I’m not convinced. Mitchell Marsh finished well yesterday but he was in all sorts of bother against the turning ball when he first came in. Khawaja’s struggles against the spinners are known too and while he went big yesterday, he still hasn’t quite dispelled my doubts. That said, I take nothing away from the hosts, who have won the crucial moments. Still, I would not put money on them winning in England in 2019. Superficially — and it is an attractive idea for coaches to indulge — England have “competed well for sessions” during this series. If only they could cut out the awful quarter-hours, so the argument runs, they would have been within striking distance of Australia. Not so much a chasm, then, but a matter of tightening up those little lapses of concentration. This Sydney Test almost fits this narrative. Joe Root and Dawid Malan made batting look easy deep into the final session of day one. If only Root had been more conservative against a new ball, if only a nightwatchman had protected Jonny Bairstow. Over a 25-day series, the list of “if onlys” is extensive. Sadly, the “nearly there” theory does not bear much critical scrutiny. First, the ability to play well for a long time is a definition of Test cricket. If Test teams are judged on their ability to play well briefly, Test cricket is dead. Secondly, all elite sports create the illusion that the weaker team or player has inexplicably buckled during an otherwise balanced contest. Beneath the surface, however, a wider gap is revealed. When the contest is poised in apparent equilibrium, the stronger team breathe more easily. Simultaneously, the weaker team are burning through mental and physical energy. The collapse, when it comes, is not a series of isolated mistakes, rather the accumulation of a gradual process. Imagine racing against a fitter running partner. He is cruising, you’re suffering. Your opponent’s kick for the victory line is an illusion: the winner holds a steady pace, you just hit the wall. That is why the central question, over a long series, is which team has a higher cruising speed. That superiority manifests itself, very often, suddenly and dramatically. But it was there all along. As a Wales rugby union fan, I have extensive experience of watching this phenomenon during matches against the All Blacks. Wales have suffered a 29-match losing streak. In many of those matches, Wales competed hard and well for periods, especially during the first half — fiercely contested scrums, brave tackles, total commitment, a push towards destiny. Not much between the teams. But bitter experience has taught me to resist that sneaking emotion. For in the second half, two different stories emerge: one on the scoreboard, the second in your own mind, as you recalibrate a hasty firsthalf assessment. The tries, when they come, arrive in depressing clusters. The arm-wrestle, having briefly wobbled in the balance, thuds to an emphatic conclusion. In the final of the Australian Open three years ago, Andy Murray pushed himself to the limit during two gripping sets against Novak Djokovic: 7-6, 6-7, one set all. An even match? It turned out to be an illusion. An emotional first two sets depleted Murray much more than Djokovic. Murray lost the fourth and final set 6-0, smashing three rackets as a summary of events. An intriguing example is goal scoring at World Cups. In every World Cup, as the football writer Simon Kuper has demonstrated, most goals are scored in the second half. It is no surprise because scoring chances are more common when defences tire and accumulated superiority begins to tell. England are an exception to the rule: 29 of their past 49 goals in major tournaments came in the first half. In critical matches, the pattern is even clearer. In the matches that end in their elimination, nine of England’s 10 goals came in the first half. “England perform like a cheap battery,” Kuper concluded. Anxious teams find it harder to remain patient, and for good reason. Conversely, superior teams know how quickly they can convert apparent equality into dominance. This is often described as “selfbelief ” or “determination”. In fact, more rational forces are often at play. A better team, correctly appraising their own superior attributes, can stay relatively calm, even when they are being tested. An England defeat here in Sydney will complete a bleak pattern: 19 defeats in 5/10 Wins prize for the biggest tease, playing beautifully at times before nicking off to balls he had previously put away. Batting him at No 3 was always a gamble, and it has failed to come off 4/10 An English-style cricketer who failed to adapt to alien conditions. Take out his performance in the day-night game in Adelaide (41 runs, five wickets) and he averaged 14 with bat and 75 with ball TREVOR BAYLISS COACH 5/10 The impression grows that he has what it takes to shape teams for white-ball cricket but not Tests. Reluctant to wield the disciplinary stick, which unfortunately became a necessary aspect of the tour 12 SPORT RUGBY UNION: AVIVA PREMIERSHIP De Klerk puts the boot into plucky Quins after Marler sees red SALE SHARKS HARLEQUINS 30 29 Chris Jones AJ Bell stadium Joe Marler looks certain to miss the start of England’s bid for a third successive Six Nations title after being sent off for driving his shoulder into the head of Sale flanker TJ Ioane at a ruck. He faces a second disciplinary hearing this season. Marler was banned for four weeks — reduced to three — earlier this season and missed the Autumn test against Argentina after being cited for striking Wasps’ Will Rowland with his elbow. With England starting their title defence against Italy in Rome on February 4, coach Eddie Jones will be looking for TIM WILLIAMS another loose head to back up Mako Vunipola as Matt Mullan and Ellis Genge are injured. The loss of Marler in the 57th minute dramatically changed the momentum of this match, allowing Sale to regain their composure and grab the win thanks to Faf de Klerk’s late penalty. He took over the kicking after outside half Alan MacGinty suffered a serious knee injury. Steve Diamond, Sale’s director of rugby, is preparing to bring in temporary cover if the scan confirms a lengthy recovery period. Even after De Klerk had regained the lead for Sale, Quins believed they had won the game at the death with Jamie Roberts crashing over for what would have been his second try. But TMO Keith Lewis decided after a ridiculously long period of replays that Chris Robshaw had made contact with the touchline in the build up. Coupled with the Marler sending off, it was another body blow for John Kingston to accept and the Quins director of rugby said, “ Joe will be unbelievably disappointed and upset about the whole thing. This wasn’t an isolated punch or a stamp — it is a clear-out that isn’t legal. He has taken someone out without his arms, dropped his shoulder and in a physical game a lot of people do that. The team did their absolute utmost to bring the thing home and Joe was having an unbelievable game. His form this week and last has been outstanding. “The TMO decision went backwards and forwards for five minutes and it came down to an interpretation. The sending-off clearly had an impact on the game because you are playing 14 versus 15 for 20 minutes. But what unbelievable energy and effort from the boys to score a fourth try and then at the end we go up the pitch and — in inverted commas — Fast start: Byron McGuigan slides in to score Sale’s first try score, then it gets taken away from us.” In a pulsating first half, Sale found themselves with a healthy 14-0 lead after just 11 minutes as first Byron McGuigan on the left wing and then Rohan Janse Van Rensburg crossed for tries. Quins were fast off the mark with their line speed but were undone by quick hands and some bad luck. For the second try MacGinty got a hand in the way of an attempted pass by David Ward. The TMO decided it had not gone forward, with Van Rensburg barging his way over, and McGinty added a second conversion. Quins responded with a sustained attack featuring bullocking charges from their pack, only for the good work to be ruined by Tim Visser, who pulled De Klerk to the ground by the neck of his jersey to give away a penalty on the Sale line. Visser made amends with a strong run and after Roberts had kicked through, Alofa Alofa forced his way over. MacGinty kicked a penalty to keep Sale ahead but then Diamond saw his players start acting like “rock stars” and move away from the hard graft that put them in front. Quins capitalised and after good defence, No 8 Mat Luamanu kicked upfield and wing Charlie Walker showed his pace by outstripping the defence to collect and race over for Marcus Smith to convert. Great footwork by Alofa then opened the way for Ross Chisholm to score and Smith’s conversion and penalty gave the visitors a 22-17 lead at half-time. Despite Marler’s sending-off, Quins bounced back from a MacGintry penalty to put Roberts in for the try, and Smith converted. But Sale fought back with another Van Rensburg try, which De Klerk converted. He then won a remarkable game, with his penalty leaving Quins beaten but with two bonus points. Star man: Rohan Janse Van Rensburg (Sale Sharks) Sale Sharks: Tries: McGuigan 6, Van Rensburg 10, 67 Cons: MacGinty (2), De Klerk Pens: MacGinty (2), De Klerk Harlequins: Tries: Alofa 19, Walker 28, Chisholm 34, Roberts 63 Cons: Smith (3) Pen: Smith Red card: Harlequins: Marler Referee: M Carley (RFU) Attendance: 7,242 Sale Sharks: O’Connor (Haley 51min); Solomona, James, Van Rensburg, McGuigan; MacGinty (Charnley 64min), De Klerk; Harrison, Webber (Jones 51min), John (Aulika 69min), Evans, Ostrikov, Neild (Ioane 51min), Curry, Ross (capt) Harlequins: R Chisholm; Walker (Cheeseman 73min), Alofa, Roberts, Visser; Smith (Lang 73min), Care; Marler, Ward (capt), Sinckler, Merrick (Matthews 62min), Glynn, J Chisholm (Bothma 69min), Robshaw, Luamanu (Boyce 59min) DAVID ROGERS NORTHAMPTON SAINTS GLOUCESTER 22 19 Stephen Jones Rugby correspondent Franklin’s Gardens F orm is temporary, even class can be a matter of opinion. The only certainty at great rugby clubs is passion. Northampton had lost 11 games in succession in all competitions, and a dire eight in succession in the Aviva Premiership. They have rocketed downwards. And yet at a freezing Franklin’s Gardens, the fervour in the way the team played and the endless passion from the crowd got them back on the winning trail, by the skin of their gritted teeth, as they took the lead with a dramatic penalty try in a hairraising attack that ended in success with only 54 seconds remaining. Gloucester will always tell themselves, probably correctly, that they threw it away. But some things are deeper than errors and technical foibles. Northampton have weaknesses, not all of them caused by a long injury list. They are too small in their forwards, where Gloucester had a significant edge. But their ability to keep playing was excellent. It was typified by Harry Mallinder at fly-half. There is absolutely no way that Northampton can plod their way out of the mess, all they can do is play their way out — and that is where Mallinder came in. He simply refused to hide, to pass the buck and the ball to someone else. He made mistakes but he never stopped being optimistic and attacking. Once or twice the crowd murmured at him when his kicks did not come off. Was he downhearted? Deep in the second half, with Saints on their own line and unable to escape, Mallinder executed an extraordinary kick sideways across the face of his own posts, almost across his own goal-line. It took a crate of bottle, it could have gone horribly wrong but as Northampton fans found their hearts in their mouths, it almost came off. Even after that, Mallinder had to kick to touch from just inside his own half. He needed to take it near the Gloucester fivemetre line but had no angle. So he opted for an outrageous banana kick, which again did not quite come off. And he drilled a final kick into touch five metres from the line on the other touchline when Henry Trinder had been penalised for sneaking round offside as Nic Groom tried to get the ball away with the clock ticking almost into the last minute. Tom Wood took the lineout, 13 of the Saints went marching up to drive the maul. It lumbered forward and Mike Haywood, who had been superlative as replacement for Dylan Hartley, did cross the line underneath a ton of bodies. The referee judged that he had crawled over illegally but that previous offside play by Andy Symons had prevented a try that probably would otherwise have been scored. Mr Tempest refereed really well, and he had the courage to make this final and horribly difficult call. The seven points took Northampton home. Tigers send Irish one step closer to relegation trapdoor Over the line: Ken Pisi of Northampton dives to score the first try of the game against Gloucester Saints grab dramatic late winner Northampton still have ground to cover, and they could do with two big forwards up front. But the likes of Mallinder, Pisi and Ben Foden kept them churning, their bench burned brightly and kept them fighting and kept them hoping. Gloucester are in the packed race for the top four, which at least is better than fumbling around in the lower half. James Hanson and his front row looked and carried themselves like Gloucester forwards, and the combination in the second row of the powerhouse Ed Slater and the elastic Mariano Galarza dovetailed well. They have real quality behind the scrum with smashing talent in Tom Mar- LEICESTER TIGERS LONDON IRISH 19 15 David Hands Welford Road One of these clubs, at least, was due to start the new year with a win after a run of defeats that marred the ending of the old year. That it turned out to be Leicester should have been no great surprise, save for the feeling that as time added on stretched longer and longer, the possibility of London Irish snatching a win grew ever stronger. It would have meant so much to them too, marooned as they are at the foot of the Aviva Premiership, but they lacked the precision required, even against a Leicester side short of confidence. Indeed, had AVIVA PREMIERSHIP Exeter Saracens Wasps Gloucester Bath Sale Leicester Newcastle Harlequins Northampton Worcester London Irish P 12 12 12 13 13 13 13 12 13 13 13 13 W 10 8 8 8 7 6 7 7 6 5 3 1 Leicester seen victory slip away, they could have blamed only themselves: in the first quarter they were far too ambitious in their own 22. In the third quarter they turned down penalty kicks at goal in favour of close-range lineouts from which, by and large this season, they have failed to score tries. Three times here they tried and failed to break a determined Irish defence, looking for a try bonus point even before they had made sure of victory. “You always think ‘win the game first’ but with the momentum in the game, we needed to be a bit more aggressive in our calls,” George Ford, Leicester’s captain, said. “Sometimes you have to be a bit more courageous with those calls. We went to 19-8 and had 11 minutes to get a bonus point. Unfortunately we weren’t good enough to get it.” D 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 L 2 4 4 5 6 7 6 5 7 8 10 12 B 10 8 7 6 9 9 4 4 8 6 7 6 Pts 50 40 39 38 37 33 32 32 32 26 19 10 shall and in the back three, even on this day when they rested a few tired players. Northampton came out looking businesslike, and a lovely flowing move brought an early try from Pisi. But Gloucester came back powerfully. They were awarded a penalty try when Api Ratuniyarawa collapsed a maul as Gloucester were driving definitively for the score. Not long afterwards, Gloucester had another attacking lineout; this time the ball went loose. Mallinder did kick a penalty to put Northampton into the lead but a pedigree Gloucester try scored by Hanson took the visitors to 14-8 at half-time. It seemed all over when a lovely break Not that Tigers could preserve that 11-point advantage for more than two minutes. From the restart former Welford Road employee Alex Lewington beat two defenders to score the second Irish try and give his side more than a sniff of their second Premiership win four months after the first. “It was a game we could have won, we felt really good at half-time, good energy but there were little errors at crucial times,” Nick Kennedy, the Exiles’s director of rugby, said. “We’re chipping away with a little rock hammer at the moment, we need to change to a sledge hammer.” Leicester move up the table to seventh, six points behind Gloucester who currently occupy the fourth play-off position, and they took heart from another 80 May: scored his 11th try in all competitions and pass by Williams set up a try for the charging John Afoa and it was suddenly 19-8. But no one in the green was daunted, wherever they were playing or standing. Groom made a determined finishing burst to bring it back to 15-19 and with optimism now running rampant, Northampton surged for the final score, and won. Relief came in waves big enough for surfing. Star man: Ken Pisi (Northampton Saints) Northampton Saints: Tries: Pisi 11, Groom 56, penalty try 80 Con: Mallinder Pen: Mallinder Gloucester: Tries: Penalty try 15, Hanson 31, Afoa 53 Con: Williams minutes played by Manu Tuilagi in what could be the most productive of centre pairings with Matt Toomua. Both, as it happened, scored tries — Toomua his first for the club, Tuilagi with an athletic leap over a ruck to mark his 100th appearance. Irish took the lead through Joe Cokanasiga, only to concede it four minutes before the interval when Nick Malouf twisted away from a defender and fed Toomua for his score. Leicester extended their lead shortly after the break when Jonny May crossed for his 11th try in all competitions this season. But they made hard work of it from then on. Greig Tonks kicked a penalty for Irish. Then Tuilagi was held on the line before he hurdled a pile of Referee: I Tempest (RFU) Attendance: 13,131 Northampton Saints: Tuala; Foden, Horne, Burrell (Stephenson 49min), Pisi; Mallinder, Groom (Reinach 73min); Ma’afu (Van Wyk 64min), Hartley (capt) (Haywood 55min) , Ford-Robinson (Brookes 47min), Ratuniyarawa (Harrison 73min), Lawes, Wood, Gibson, Harrison (Paterson 63min) Gloucester: Marshall; Woodward, Trinder, Symons, Halaifonua (Sharples 73min); Williams (Twelvetrees 66min), Heinz (capt) (Vellacott 61min); Hohneck (Orr 73min), Hanson (Matu’u 69min), Afoa (Balmain 13min, Afoa 22min, Balmain 69min); Slater, Galarza (Savage 69min); Ackermann, Polledri, Morgan (Ludlow 61min) IN TODAY’S SUNDAY TIMES The joys of watching French rugby Travel, pages 10-11 bodies to score. Lewington’s late intervention ensured a nervous finish for the hosts. It is an indication of the absence of shape that pervades Leicester and which must be overcome if they are to take up residence in the top half once more. Star man: Mike Williams (Leicester Tigers) Leicester Tigers: Tries: Toomua 36, May 42, Tuilagi 72 Cons: Ford (2) London Irish: Tries: Cokanasiga 21, Lewington 74 Con: Tonks Pen: Tonks Referee: K Dickson (RFU) Attendance: 20,845 Leicester Tigers: May (Tait 75min); Malouf, Tuilagi, Toomua, Thompstone; Ford (capt), Youngs (Harrison 73min); Mulipola (Bateman 57min), Polota-Nau (Thacker 57min), Cole (Bateman 57min), Fitzgerald, Kitchener, M Williams (Mapapalangi 57min), O’Connor, Kalamafoni London Irish: Tonks; Cokanasiga, Fowlie (Tikoirotuma 75min), J Williams (Brophy Clews 75min), Lewington; Marshall, Steele (McKibbin 66min); Reid (Franks 49min), Fainga’a (Woolstencroft 64min), Du Plessis (Hoskins 49min), Van der Merwe, Paulo (De Chaves 64min), Coman (capt), Cowan (Northcote-Green 49min), Treviranus WEBB DOUBLE IN OSPREYS WIN Rhys Webb scored two tries as Ospreys earned only their fourth Pro14 win of the season, 29-28 against Cardiff Blues. Blues, who scored two late tries, led 8-0 when Nick Williams went over but Ospreys replied with two tries in four minutes and never looked back. Glasgow Warriors made it 12 wins from 13 games with a comfortable 40-20 victory in Italy against Zebre. Epalahame Faiva came off the bench for Benetton Treviso in the 40th minute and scored two second-half tries in a 27-21 victory over Cheetahs. 13 The Sunday Times January 7, 2018 Bath fly the flag as English clubs suffer meltdown in Europe Champions Cup sees Premiership clubs struggle to escape pools STUART BARNES Two years ago Bath were the only English club to miss out on the European Champions Cup knockout stages. It was a vintage year for Premiership clubs — four pool winners, five quarter-finalists, three semi-finalists and in Saracens, the champions. As we head into the final two rounds of the 2017-18 tournament, Bath are the only English club heading their pool. There’s not even another English club in the top half of the pools. Three of them prop up their respective tables. Harlequins are without a win. Northampton, the tournament’s whipping boys. In rounds three and four, the English clubs were beaten 6-0 by their Irish counterparts. In 14 games played, Aviva clubs managed two wins, Bath at home to Toulon, Wasps in Coventry against a weakened La Rochelle. This weekend, the key cross-border derbies are Anglo-Welsh. Bath, an inconsistent Premiership outfit, kick off proceedings with a crucial home game against Scarlets. The reigning Pro 12 rugby champions have a goodlooking win-loss record in their conference but the results are not a reflection of the team. They are a shadow of the side that romped to Pro 12 rugby glory with wins against Munster and Leinster in the semi-final and final stages of last season’s domestic campaign. The departure of Liam Williams has not been countered by the arrival of Leigh Halfpenny. The Welsh No 15 has turfed the Kiwi, Johnny McNicholl, from the full-back position where he caused such damage last season. A long-term injury to Jonathan Davies has been another serious blow. They won their Christmas derbies against Ospreys and Blues but were not fluent. Scarlets are at their best in warmer spring weather. Bath tackled them to a standstill in the torrential rain of the round two fixture. Scarlets played a substantial part in their own downfall by trying JUAN to play running rugby on one of those nights when you wouldn’t want your worst enemy’s dog to be caught out in the open. A memorable Welsh try, the exception to the rule of territory, only convinced them to continue down their suicidal tactical running route. Yet with a losing bonus point gained in Toulon and 10 against Benetton, they are still in contention. The Recreation Ground and Bath will not frighten them. If the weather is set fair, Bath could be in for a game. The West Country team were magnificent against Toulon. Magnificent but not immaculate. It was an error-ridden epic. On their day, Friday’s visitors pose a greater threat than the giants from the south of France. Bath’s scrum has been a weapon of late but this is the Watson: in sparkling form for Bath one area of Scarlets’ game that has improved from last season. If the Bath pack is held and conditions allow running rugby, this pool might make it to round six as one of the tightest in European history. Bath have 13 points, the same as Toulon (who face Benetton at home) and one more than Friday’s opponents. In round six, Bath, with their in-form wing Anthony Watson, have a tricky trip to Italy but with a crucial one-point superiority in the head to head against Toulon and the French away in West Wales, any Bath victory leaves them favourites to qualify, probably the fifth-ranked side. An away tie is not ideal. All four quarter-finals were won by home sides last season. In the past four years there have SWNS Stephen Jones Springbok makes impression for Wasps and believes his country will soon do same on world stage STEPHEN JONES D Rugby correspondent Driving force: Juan de Jongh can be pivotal for Wasps today as they face a Saracens side bolstered by the return of Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje ON TV TODAY Wasps v Saracens 2.30pm BT Sport 2, kick-off 3pm culture. To understand the person makes it easier for me to understand why he gets cross when things don’t go his way. “In a rugby team if you tell yourself you’re just coming to work with the group it’s not going to be fun, it is just going to be effort. You want the team culture to be effortless, and to see enjoyment and smiles every day on the faces of the guys.” You wonder how such a proud Springbok will cope without a South African jersey, which he has worn 19 times, notwithstanding his commitment to new surroundings. Their rule is that only Boks with 30 caps or more will be chosen if they play overseas. Heyneke Meyer, the coach who departed after the most recent World Cup, is said to have deemed De Jongh too small — this is the man whose tackles have their own online segment. “It was a tough period, four years when I didn’t play too much. To play for the Springboks is special, I scored a try on my debut against Wales and it’s not something you do every day. You play with guys who were childhood heroes, such as Ricky Januarie, Victor Matfield and John Smit. They were photos in my homework book. And you never forget playing the All Blacks.” He had a warm relationship with Meyer’s successor, Allister Coetzee, but decided to move. “Allister told me he didn’t want to stand in the way of what I wanted to achieve and it is one of the best decisions I have made.” Will he ever play for his country again? South Africa are in a dire situation by their standards, with nearly 250 professionals playing outside the country, and even if you deduct those who have defected to other nations, you still have at least 40 who would be powerful candidates for any South Africa squad. Surely it must change. “I understand what you are saying but to make rules then take them away is not how you should work. I believe they can use more experience but if you don’t have 30 caps SEASONS OF TWO HALVES Games won/lost Sept-Oct Saracens W L F A Points for/against Wasps 8 1 346 157 Nov-Present Saracens 84 85 228 8 214 8 Wasps 2 7 215 252 87 82 8 296 8 215 that’s just how it is. That’s why it’s important to close the door on the chapter.” De Jongh is more positive on the process of transformation, ensuring the racial mix of the Boks is more representative of the country itself. It has seen players of colour drafted in earlier than they might otherwise have been. “It is good to see these changes,” he says. “There will be a delay in the result. You can’t put people there just for the face, you can’t just have a face looking beautiful on somebody who does not play beautifully, so it’s important for transformation selections to be really good players. We will soon be back to No 1 or 2 in the world when it all comes together and then whoever gets picked will be the best in their position.” And what of South African politics? Surely he is always dissecting the situation regarding the bitter controversies of the Jacob Zuma years? “Wherever you go there’s political stuff going on. Everyone’s got their problems. We’re having a few speed bumps now but once we clear that up the country is still the same, the nature is still the same, the wonderful part of the country is still the same.” Today, Saracens come to the Ricoh with Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje restored. “It’s going to be a cracker, it is a game you watch and hopefully we can make it a special one.” De Jongh is impressive. It is more than his rugby talents, however, it’s a wish to use such talents as part of a life force. For team balance, Young has chosen well. Europe they gave Saracens a scare, going down 36-34 in Barnet. They played with a lot of control against Clermont too. Against Northampton they cut loose. Ospreys are driven by Alun Wyn Jones while the Welsh half-backs, Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar — both heading for richer pickings next season — will surely start in a game they too must win to keep their hopes alive. The Welsh team will relish the challenge of the champions in a weekend where the old-fashioned Anglo-Welsh rivalry grabs the headlines at the heart of England’s European salvage operation. ON TV FRIDAY Bath v Scarlets 7pm BT Sport, Kick-off 7.45pm Jones suffers tunnel vision England coach insists Dylan Hartley is good enough to captain his country, but does anybody else agree? TO WATCH avid Young, Wasps’ director of rugby, is a hefty figure to be walking a tightrope, but that is one of his current tasks. His team at their best are the most compelling attacking outfit since Jack Rowell’s Bath teams of the late 1980s and 1990s. Young has helped let loose so much glorious attacking talent — Messrs Wade, Daly, Gopperth, Cipriani, Le Roux, Bassett, Robson, Simpson, Lovobalavu. But part of the genie might need to go back in the bottle. Maybe they sometimes play too wide and bold. “Our first reaction is always to play and I don’t want to curb that. I don’t want to stop them playing because we’ve got such talent,” Young says. “But with five minutes to go and five points ahead as we were at Bath, do we really need to be still attacking? It is all a balancing act.” There was a rueful smile. “It’s a battle that I can’t say I’m winning.” Enter Juan de Jongh, 29, a Springbok from Wellington, not far from Stellenbosch, in the Western Cape. He went to Huguenot High in Wellington. He is a hero of Western Province from Currie Cup campaigns and played nearly 10 years for Stormers in Super Rugby, so probably has enough air miles to fly to Jupiter. For two seasons he captained the Stormers. He and Simone, his girlfriend, just spent their first Christmas away from Wellington. “It’s a normal town in the area, farming and wine. In the summer it gets up to 45C, which is crazy.” And so why, as driving sleet swept the training ground last week, did he sound so at home? Young tends not to be effusive about individuals but he makes an exception when discussing De Jongh, comparing him with arguably the greatest unsung great in Wasps history. “You look at the Wasps teams of the past and somebody like Fraser Waters. He was making all the headlines for England but he was very fundamental, he was the glue. Juan has really helped our defence, he defends high, makes a lot of tackles, distributes really well. He doesn’t do huge stand-out moments but keeps the team together. He will be a big part of us.” De Jongh’s rugby culture and commitment delves far deeper than his role as an anchor on the field. He wanted the Wasps contract for the wholelife experience it offered. “When I was captain at Stormers we had coloureds in the squad, also whites, Muslims, blacks. We had all the different races with one common goal so there was a lot of ground to cover in terms of the team, and the social group. “It was always good to go to the mosque with the Muslim lads, to understand their traditions; and then maybe go to a traditional black gathering, and share the different types of food and been only two away wins, and both times it was Saracens. If they are to make it a hat-trick of titles, that is the route they again will have to take. But first they must escape their pool, one in which Clermont are in firm control with 18 points. Saracens lie third with 11 points. Anything less than two wins and the chances of them making it three away quarter-final wins will be nonexistent. They are Swansea-bound for an awkward fixture against Ospreys. Going into this weekend, Saracens were second in the Premiership and Ospreys bottom of their conference. A recent victory against Newport Dragons is not proof of recovery, but this remains a threatening test for Saracens. Ospreys have been the disappointment of their domestic league but in Whenever the figure in the woolly hat appeared on the big screens, they cheered. The affection shown towards Eddie Jones by the Twickenham crowd last Saturday was appropriate, after one England defeat in 23 games. There are those of us who insist that victory is everything, that a 3-0 win after a dire performance in a gruesome game is to be heralded way louder than any kind of defeat. It would be churlish to go too far into the theory that never in the history of international rugby, with South Africa, Australia, France, Italy, Argentina, Samoa and, until recently, Scotland either poor or downright pathetic — and no fixtures against New Zealand — has it been easier to be dominant. Eddie Jones has timed his reign splendidly. But not everybody is with him all the way. The evidence is that he has little support for insisting Dylan Hartley must be his captain. Is it still a measured rugby call, or an entrenched position he does not wish to reverse out of? Last week, it seemed almost that the job is Hartley’s in perpetuity, like some kind of feudal lord of the manor. “He will be a fine captain for us,” Jones said, as if he meant to add the words “no matter what.” Many beg to differ. Lawrence Dallaglio launched a fervent attack on the choice last weekend, and Will Greenwood and others have weighed in. A social media poll with a heavy response came out with only 22% in favour of the Jones choice of Hartley, with 78% against — and there were no “don’t knows”. Jones referred to players often praised in the newspapers as “media favourites”, as if widespread opinion must cause you to react against it. At the moment it seems that we are almost on track for an active form of non-playing captain. “He’s got a clear role with England and that’s to be captain and leader, he understands that and his value to us is as captain,” says Jones of Hartley. No mention of playing talent. He also mentioned Northampton’s problems. “When you are captain of a club that is struggling, a club that has just sacked their coach, it becomes a difficult time. That has been reflective of his play but as the very good players do, they compar tmenta lise things. And he has done Hartley: the Northampton hooker is still Eddie Jones’ preferred choice as England captain that well, come in and led with effervescence.” Hartley’s problems in terms of discipline, leadership and playing quality began way before Northampton’s decline. He does not have the presence, power and biting quotability of Martin Johnson, Dallaglio or Brian O’Driscoll; or the quiet aura of Sam Warburton, or the menace of Sean Fitzpatrick or, indeed, the follow-me exuberance on the field of Rory Best. And what happened to the theory that all teams need 15 leaders? The idea that one man should be so responsible for the leadership of a team that a lack of form can be overlooked is a sorry comment on the rest of this England squad. In what might be called the tabloid end of the market on Friday, there was strong support for the blizzard of Jones’ selection philosophies, which can intrigue, bewilder and annoy. Sorry, but a record of played 23, won 22 does make every proclamation the acme of wisdom. It is harder to follow when you see the transcript of Jones on his match-watching ethos. “I don’t watch club rugby to assess how somebody plays at clubs. I watch club rugby to assess how they are going to play at international level, which is Hartley is a decent bloke, but he is neither a great player nor a great captain completely different.” We can leave aside that ferocious non-sequitur. “Some guys can be outstanding club players and poor at international level,” Jones says. Indeed they can. “Some guys can be poor club players and outstanding international players,” he also says. I don’t agree. Are the clubs meant to suck it up when their players come back after the interminable international sessions and games, and hardly perform for them? For Dallaglio, the measure of a great player was not how he played for his country. It was how he reacted when he took his stardom back to his club. Dallaglio was a one-club man, good enough and arrogant enough and humble enough to inspire country and club, and he has a perfect right to disagree with the assertion that a mediocre club player can be a great Test player. Dylan Hartley is by all accounts a decent bloke with a wide streak of humanity. He is neither a great player nor a great captain. One day, England will need him to be both, and they will lose. 14 The Sunday Times January 7, 2018 SPORT FOOTBALL RESULTS Newcastle Utd Southampton Stoke Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham 5/5 2-2 20/1 3/2 5-0 4-3 3-3 25/2 1-3 1-0 7/4 31/3 2-1 2-0 10/3 2-0 21/4 2-1 1-2 0-1 7/4 2-1 4-0 0-0 0-4 1-2 21/4 24/2 1-1 3/2 5/5 10/3 0-2 17/3 3-3 0-0 20/1 0-0 1-1 7/4 31/3 1-5 0-2 5/5 1-0 1-1 2-2 24/2 21/4 1-0 3-1 3/2 17/3 1-0 3/3 0-0 14/4 1-2 3/2 20/1 1-0 24/2 1-0 2-0 0-3 1-0 0-1 1-1 10/3 2-0 21/4 13/1 5/5 0-1 1-0 3-1 1-0 5-0 1-0 31/3 4-2 12/2 7/4 2-2 0-3 28/4 31/3 0-0 3/3 4/2 0-1 2-1 0-2 26/2 2-1 13/5 2-2 2-0 31/1 7/4 31/3 0-2 21/4 5/5 1-0 3-1 0-3 3-2 20/1 4-0 1-1 30/1 1-2 2-1 1-0 0-0 1-1 10/3 0-4 14/4 1-0 13/1 2-3 0-2 2-2 7/4 21/4 24/2 3/2 2-1 20/1 1-1 5/5 14/1 0-0 3/3 3-0 28/4 5-0 4/2 17/3 0-0 24/2 7/4 20/1 2-1 7-2 21/4 4-1 3-1 31/1 2-1 4-1 0-0 15/1 31/3 1-0 13/5 14/4 4-0 2-1 13/1 0-2 0-3 28/4 3-0 3/3 0-0 21/1 0-2 1-0 3-2 2-1 7/4 31/1 3-1 0-3 1-2 1-0 3/3 28/4 1-1 1-1 3/3 2-0 Leicester 1 Man City 22 20 2 0 64 13 11 10 1 0 39 8 11 10 1 0 25 5 2 Man Utd 22 14 5 3 45 16 11 8 2 1 24 5 11 6 3 2 21 11 +29 47 3 Chelsea 22 14 4 4 41 16 11 8 1 2 21 7 11 6 3 2 20 9 Bournemouth 14/1 4 Liverpool 22 12 8 2 50 25 11 6 5 0 21 4 11 6 3 2 29 21 +25 44 Brighton 3/3 2-2 5 Tottenham 22 12 5 5 42 21 11 6 4 1 22 9 11 6 1 4 20 12 +21 41 Burnley 0-1 13/5 28/4 6 Arsenal 22 11 6 5 40 28 11 8 2 1 27 12 11 3 4 4 13 16 +12 39 Chelsea 0-0 31/1 2-0 2-3 7 Burnley 22 9 7 6 19 19 11 5 2 4 8 8 11 4 5 2 11 11 0 34 Crystal Palace 2-3 2-2 14/4 13/1 2-1 8 Leicester 22 8 6 8 34 32 11 5 2 4 16 14 11 3 4 4 18 18 +2 30 Everton 2-5 2-1 10/3 0-1 0-0 10/2 9 Everton 22 7 6 9 25 34 11 6 1 4 17 15 11 1 5 5 8 19 -9 27 Huddersfield 13/5 11/2 2-0 0-0 1-3 17/3 28/4 10 Watford 22 7 4 11 31 40 11 3 3 5 14 23 11 4 1 6 17 17 -9 25 Leicester 17/3 3/3 2-0 1-0 1-2 0-3 2-0 3-0 11 Huddersfield 22 6 6 10 18 35 11 4 4 3 10 12 11 2 2 7 8 23 -17 24 Liverpool 4-0 14/4 13/5 1-1 1-1 1-0 1-1 3-0 2-1 Man City 3-1 4-0 17/3 3-0 3/3 5-0 1-1 5/5 10/2 5-0 Man Utd 28/4 1-0 1-0 2-2 25/2 4-0 4-0 3/2 2-0 10/3 Newcastle Utd 14/4 0-1 0-0 31/1 13/5 1-0 0-1 31/3 2-3 1-1 0-1 11/2 Southampton 1-1 28/4 31/1 0-1 14/4 1-2 4-1 1-1 1-4 11/2 13/5 0-1 2-2 12 1 5 6 13 25 -15 22 Stoke 1-0 1-2 10/2 21/4 0-4 5/5 17/3 20/1 2-2 0-3 10/3 2-2 0-1 2-1 +25 46 12 Brighton 22 5 8 9 17 27 11 3 6 2 12 14 11 2 2 7 5 13 -10 23 13 Newcastle 22 6 4 12 20 30 11 3 2 6 9 13 11 3 2 6 11 17 -10 22 14 C Palace 22 5 7 10 20 33 11 3 4 4 14 18 11 2 3 6 6 15 -13 22 15 West Ham 22 5 7 10 25 40 10 4 2 4 12 15 TV Matches Arsenal 1-2 10/3 Swansea Man City 2-0 Man Utd Liverpool 3-0 Huddersfield Everton +51 62 Crystal Palace Away P W D L F A GDPts Chelsea Home P W D L F A Burnley HT: 1-0 Att: 21,677 Aston Villa: Steer, de Laet, Bree, Terry, Neil Taylor, Onomah, Hourihane, Bjarnason (Hepburn-Murphy 80), Green (Lansbury 46), Davis, O’Hare (Grealish 80). Subs not used: Elphick, Elmohamady, Bunn, Doyle-Hayes Peterborough: Bond, Shephard, Tafazolli, Taylor, Hughes, Forrester, Grant, Maddison, Da Silva Lopes (Morias 72), Lloyd, Marriott. Subs not used: Baldwin, Penny, Kanu, Doughty, Anderson, O’Malley. Booked: Da Silva Lopes Referee: R Jones (Merseyside) BIRMINGHAM 1 BURTON ALB 0 Gallagher 56 HT: 0-0 Att: 7,623 Birmingham: Stockdale, Colin, Roberts, Dean, Grounds, Gardner, Kieftenbeld, Maghoma (N’Doye 88), Davis, Boga (Dacres-Cogley 80), Gallagher. Subs not used: Jutkiewicz, Adams, Jota, Morrison, Trueman. Booked: Kieftenbeld, Grounds, Davis Burton Alb: Bywater, Turner, Buxton, McFadzean, Brayford (Sordell 74), Murphy (Akpan 86), Naylor, Flanagan, Miller (Sbarra 46), Akins, Dyer. Subs not used: Warnock, Allen, Campbell, Barker. Booked: Brayford, Turner, Sordell Referee: J Simpson (Lancashire) BLACKBURN 0 HULL 1 Aina 58 HT: 0-0 Att: 6,777 Blackburn: Leutwiler, Caddis, Nyambe, Mulgrew, Williams, Bennett, Tomlinson (Dack 61), Evans (Travis 43), Conway, Nuttall (Graham 61), Samuel. Subs not used: Raya, Hart, Downing, Wharton. Booked: Williams, Tomlinson Hull: Marshall, Aina, Hector, Tomori, Clark, Henriksen, Stewart (Meyler 80), Bowen, Evandro (Irvine 61), Toral, Diomande (Campbell 76). Subs not used: McGregor, Dicko, Clackstone, Hamilton. Booked: Aina Referee: O Langford (W Midlands) BOLTON 1 HUDDERSFIELD 2 Osede 64 Van La Parra 51 Williams 52 HT: 0-0 Att: 11,574 Bolton: Howard, Little (Hall 85), Beevers, Osede, Wheater, Robinson, Ameobi (Noone 76), Vela (Jeff King 85), Morais, Le Fondre, Wilbraham. Subs not used: Andrew Taylor, Alnwick, Darby, Earing. Booked: Vela, Ameobi Huddersfield: Coleman, Smith, Kongolo, Hefele (Whitehead 85), Malone, Lolley (Billing 76), Hogg, Williams, Sabiri, Depoitre , Quaner (van La Parra 39). Subs not used: Mounie, Green, Hadergjonaj, O’Brien. Booked: Hefele, Coleman Referee: R East (Wiltshire) BOURNEMOUTH 2 WIGAN 2 Mousset 55 Grigg 4 Steve Cook +2 Hyndman 29 (og) HT: 0-2 Att: 9,894 Bournemouth: Boruc, A Smith, S Cook, Ake, B Smith (Pugh 46), Mahoney (Ibe 46), Hyndman, Surman, Fraser, Afobe (Callum Wilson 71), Mousset. Subs not used: Gosling, Federici, Butcher, Simpson. Booked: A Smith Wigan: Walton, Byrne, Dunkley, Burn, James, Morsy, Power, Jacobs, Powell (Perkins 57), Massey (Gary Roberts 83), Grigg (Toney 65). Subs not used: Elder, MacDonald, Hunt, Sarkic. Booked: Massey, Power Referee: A Madley (West Yorkshire) BRENTFORD 0 NOTTS CO 1 Stead 65 HT: 0-0 Att: 6,935 Brentford: Daniels, Clarke, Mepham, Barbet, Chatzitheodoridis (Canos 77), Jozefzoon, Mokotjo (Watkins 63), Macleod (Judge 70), McEachran, Marcondes, Maupay. Subs not used: Yennaris, Sawyers, Sorensen, Balcombe Notts Co: Fitzsimons, Tootle, Brisley, Duffy, Jones, Grant (Walker 90+3), Yates, Hewitt, Hawkridge (Noble 74), Stead (Smith 81), Alessandra. Subs not used: Dickinson, Pindroch, Forte, Hunt. Booked: Tootle, Duffy, Jones, Noble Referee: T Robinson (West Sussex) CARDIFF 0 MANSFIELD 0 HT: 0-0 Att: 6,378 Cardiff: Murphy, Richards, Morrison (Damour 75), Ecuele Manga, Bennett, Paterson, Halford, Tomlin, Mendez-Laing, Zohore (Pilkington 80), Healey (Hoilett 77). Subs not used: Feeney, Etheridge, Bogle, Mark Harris Mansfield: Logan, Anderson, Pearce, Bennett, Benning, Potter, Mellis (Atkinson 90+2), MacDonald, Hamilton, Hemmings (Spencer ), Angol (Sterling-James 75). Subs not used: Digby, Olejnik, White, Butcher Referee: L Probert (Wiltshire) CARLISLE 0 SHEFF WED 0 HT: 0-0 Att: 7,793 Carlisle: Bonham, Liddle, Hill, Parkes, Brown, Lambe (O’Sullivan 86), Jones, Devitt, Grainger, Cosgrove (Bennett 78), Hope (Shaun Miller 78). Subs not used: Tom Miller, Nabi, Ellis, Bacon. Booked: Cosgrove Sheff Wed: Wildsmith, Palmer, Frederico Venancio, Loovens, Fox, Jones, Wallace, Boyd (Rhodes 68), Reach, Nuhiu (Marco Matias 79), Lucas Joao. Subs not used: Butterfield, Baker, Dawson, Pudil, O’Grady Referee: D Webb (Co Durham) COVENTRY 2 STOKE 1 Willis 24 Adam 54 (pen) Grimmer 68 HT: 1-0 Att: 14,199 Coventry: O’Brien, Grimmer, Willis, Davies, Stokes, Maguire-Drew (Stevenson 63), Bayliss, Doyle, Shipley (Haynes 85), Biamou, McNulty. Subs not used: Burge, Hyam, Maycock, Finn, Ponticelli Stoke: Butland, Zouma, Cameron (Crouch 52), Wimmer, Edwards, Allen, Ireland (ChoupoMoting 73), Adam (Shaqiri 75), Sobhi, Berahino, Diouf. Subs not used: Afellay, Fletcher, Grant, Soutar. Booked: Ireland, Allen Referee: M Atkinson (W Yorkshire) DONCASTER 0 ROCHDALE 1 Andrew 18 HT: 0-1 Att: 4,513 Doncaster: Lawlor, Blair, Butler, Baudry, Mason (Garrett 79), Houghton, Kongolo, Rowe, Beestin (Coppinger 64), Marquis, May (Mandeville 88). Subs not used: Alcock, Marosi, Wright, Ben Khemis. Booked: Marquis Rochdale: Lillis, Daniels, McNulty, Ntlhe, Cannon (McGahey 90+5), Adshead (Keane 64), Henderson, Kitching, Bunney (Jordan Williams 69), Andrew, Done. Subs not used: Rathbone, Thompson, Inman, Moore. Booked: McNulty, Daniels Referee: A Woolmer (Northamptonshire) EXETER 0 WEST BROM 2 Rondon 2 Rodriguez 25 HT: 0-2 Att: 5,638 Exeter: Pym, Sweeney, Archibald-Henville, Seaborne, Moxey, Taylor, Boateng (James 63), Tillson, Harley (Jay 87), McAlinden (Holmes 55), Stockley. Subs not used: Jones, Woodman, Simpson, Byrne. Booked: Sweeney, Archibald-Henville West Brom: Foster, Nyom, McAuley, Hegazi, Gibbs (Robson-Kanu 12), Brunt, Krychowiak (Livermore 85), Barry, McClean, Rodriguez (Field 69), Rondon. Subs not used: Yacob, Myhill, Burke, Leko. Booked: Rodriguez Referee: L Mason (Lancashire) FLEETWOOD TN 0 LEICESTER 0 HT: 0-0 Att: 5,001 Fleetwood Tn: Neal, Coyle, Bolger, Eastham (Pond 15), Bell, Glendon, Schwabl, Dempsey, Burns (McAleny 69), Cole, Hunter. Subs not used: Jones, Hiwula, Cairns, Biggins, Sowerby Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Chilwell, Adrien Silva (Okazaki 57), King, James, Gray, Slimani (Iheanacho 80), Barnes (Albrighton 57). Subs not used: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Choudhury Referee: S Hooper (Wiltshire) FULHAM 0 SOUTHAMPTON 1 Ward-Prowse 29 HT: 0-1 Att: 17,327 Fulham: Button, Fredericks, Kalas (Ojo 66), Ream, Odoi, Norwood, McDonald (Kebano 56), Johansen, Piazon, Rui Fonte (Kamara 76), Ryan Sessegnon. Subs not used: Djalo, De La Torre, Steven Sessegnon, Norman. Booked: McDonald Total P W D L F A Brighton Davis 8 PETERBOROUGH 3 Marriott 75, +3 Tafazolli 83 Bournemouth ASTON VILLA 1 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal EMIRATES FA CUP THIRD ROUND 16 Bournemouth 22 5 6 11 22 34 11 3 3 5 14 17 11 2 3 6 8 17 -12 21 Swansea 30/1 0-0 0-1 10/2 28/4 1-1 14/4 2-0 1-2 22/1 0-4 0-4 0-1 17/3 13/5 17 Southampton 22 4 8 10 21 32 12 3 4 5 14 17 10 1 4 5 7 15 -11 20 Tottenham 10/2 1-0 2-0 1-1 1-2 1-0 13/1 3/3 13/5 4-1 14/4 31/1 17/3 5-2 5-1 0-0 18 Stoke 22 5 5 12 23 47 11 4 2 5 13 20 11 1 3 7 10 27 -24 20 Watford 2-1 31/3 0-0 7/4 5/2 21/4 24/2 1-4 2-1 3-3 0-6 2-4 5/5 13/1 0-1 1-2 19 West Brom 22 2 10 10 16 30 11 1 7 3 10 15 11 1 3 7 6 15 -14 16 West Brom 1-1 1-0 13/1 31/3 0-4 0-0 0-0 24/2 10/3 21/4 2-3 1-2 2-2 3/2 1-1 7/4 5/5 2-2 20 Swansea 11 2 2 7 6 17 11 2 2 7 7 17 -21 16 West Ham 0-0 20/1 0- 3 10/3 1-0 30/1 13/5 2-0 1-1 1-4 28/4 17/3 2-3 31/3 14/4 1-0 2-3 10/2 22 4 4 14 13 34 SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP SKY BET LEAGUE ONE 0-2 1-1 0-0 2-1 SKY BET LEAGUE TWO Total Home Away P W D L F A P W D L F A P W D L F A GD Pts Total Home Away P W D L F A P W D L F A P W D L F A 25 17 5 3 50 12 13 8 4 1 21 4 12 9 1 2 29 8 +38 56 GD Pts 1 Luton 26 16 6 4 62 25 13 10 1 2 41 13 13 6 5 2 21 12 +37 54 25 16 6 3 33 15 12 10 1 1 18 4 13 6 5 2 15 11 25 14 7 4 45 23 12 7 3 2 22 11 13 7 4 2 23 12 +18 54 2 Notts Co 26 14 8 4 44 26 13 9 4 0 26 10 13 5 4 4 18 16 +18 50 +22 49 3 Coventry 26 13 5 8 28 18 13 8 2 3 16 7 13 5 3 5 12 11 +10 44 13 7 4 2 17 9 13 7 3 3 20 13 +15 49 4 Accrington 25 13 4 8 42 30 13 6 1 6 18 19 13 9 2 2 24 15 +8 48 5 Wycombe 26 12 7 7 46 35 12 7 2 3 23 12 13 6 2 5 19 18 +12 43 13 7 3 3 27 18 13 5 4 4 19 17 26 13 2 11 33 30 13 9 1 3 21 8 13 4 1 8 12 22 +3 41 6 Lincoln C 26 12 7 7 35 24 +11 43 13 7 4 2 20 9 13 5 3 5 15 15 7 Rotherham 26 12 4 10 44 35 13 7 2 4 28 17 13 5 2 6 16 18 +9 40 7 Mansfield +11 43 26 11 10 5 38 29 13 7 5 1 23 13 13 4 5 4 15 16 +9 41 8 Charlton 26 11 7 8 33 32 14 7 4 3 19 15 12 4 3 5 14 17 +1 40 +9 43 8 Exeter 25 13 3 9 35 32 12 9 0 3 19 11 13 4 3 6 16 21 13 5 5 3 15 14 +4 40 9 Peterborough 26 11 6 9 43 37 13 7 1 5 20 18 13 4 5 4 23 19 +3 42 +6 39 9 Colchester 27 11 8 8 36 31 14 6 5 3 22 14 13 5 3 5 14 17 13 5 3 5 22 21 +5 39 10 Oxford Utd 27 10 8 9 42 39 14 6 4 4 25 23 13 4 4 5 17 16 +5 41 +3 38 10 Swindon 25 13 2 10 38 34 13 4 2 7 14 24 12 9 0 3 24 10 +4 41 13 5 7 1 22 15 13 4 3 6 17 20 +4 37 11 Doncaster 26 9 7 10 29 28 13 5 5 3 19 14 13 7 2 4 23 14 13 4 1 8 16 25 0 12 Plymouth 27 9 7 11 29 34 14 6 2 6 18 21 13 4 2 7 10 14 +1 34 11 Newport Co 26 10 9 7 35 30 12 5 5 2 17 11 14 5 4 5 18 19 +5 39 13 3 5 5 11 13 -5 34 12 Cambridge Utd 26 10 7 9 25 31 13 8 2 3 18 11 13 2 5 6 7 20 26 9 7 10 26 31 13 4 5 4 14 14 13 5 2 6 12 17 -5 34 13 Fleetwood Tn 26 9 6 11 36 40 13 4 4 5 19 20 -6 37 13 5 2 6 17 20 -4 33 13 Carlisle 26 9 7 10 37 37 13 3 5 5 19 16 13 6 2 5 18 21 14 Nottm Forest 26 10 2 14 33 42 13 7 0 6 17 17 13 3 2 8 16 25 -9 32 14 Blackpool 27 8 8 11 34 38 0 13 5 3 5 20 21 14 3 5 6 14 17 -4 32 14 Cheltenham 27 9 7 11 37 39 13 6 3 4 19 15 14 3 4 7 18 24 -2 34 15 Millwall 26 7 9 10 28 29 13 7 3 3 22 14 13 0 6 7 6 15 -1 30 15 Bristol Rov 16 Sheff Wed 26 7 9 10 30 34 13 4 5 4 18 18 13 3 4 6 12 16 -4 30 16 Gillingham 26 10 2 14 36 43 13 8 0 5 23 18 13 2 2 9 13 25 -7 32 15 Grimsby 27 9 7 11 26 36 14 4 5 5 12 17 13 5 2 6 14 19 -10 34 26 7 10 9 27 29 13 2 7 4 15 15 13 5 3 5 12 14 -2 31 16 Stevenage 26 9 6 11 36 39 13 6 5 2 27 16 13 3 1 9 9 23 17 QPR 26 7 9 10 28 36 13 6 4 3 19 16 13 1 5 7 9 20 -8 30 17 Southend -3 33 27 8 7 12 31 45 13 6 5 2 18 12 14 2 2 10 13 33 -14 31 17 Crawley Tn 26 9 6 11 25 31 13 4 2 7 11 14 13 5 4 4 14 17 -6 33 18 Reading 26 7 7 12 30 35 13 3 4 6 14 17 13 4 3 6 16 18 -5 28 19 Barnsley 26 6 8 12 27 37 13 3 4 6 12 17 13 3 4 6 15 20 -10 26 18 Walsall 25 7 9 9 31 34 13 4 6 3 18 16 12 3 3 6 13 18 -3 30 18 Port Vale 27 9 4 14 29 35 13 5 1 7 16 18 14 4 3 7 13 17 -6 31 19 MK Dons 26 7 8 11 28 38 13 4 6 3 15 16 13 3 2 8 13 22 -10 29 19 Crewe 26 9 2 15 29 41 14 6 2 6 19 21 12 3 0 9 10 20 -12 29 20 Bolton 26 6 7 13 25 43 13 5 2 6 16 19 13 1 5 7 9 24 21 Hull 26 5 9 12 39 44 13 4 4 5 30 23 13 1 5 7 9 21 -18 25 20 Oldham 27 7 7 13 39 49 13 5 2 6 22 21 14 2 5 7 17 28 -10 28 20 Morecambe 26 7 7 12 26 36 13 5 2 6 14 18 13 2 5 6 12 18 -10 28 -5 24 21 AFC Wimbledon 25 7 6 12 22 31 13 4 3 6 13 17 12 3 3 6 9 14 -9 27 21 Yeovil 26 7 6 13 36 47 13 5 4 4 19 14 13 2 2 9 17 33 22 Burton Alb 26 6 6 14 20 43 13 2 2 9 11 27 -11 27 13 4 4 5 9 16 -23 24 22 Northampton 27 7 5 15 23 47 14 5 2 7 12 21 13 2 3 8 11 26 -24 26 22 Forest Green 26 6 5 15 26 47 14 4 2 8 15 24 12 2 3 7 11 23 -21 23 23 Birmingham 26 6 5 15 15 35 24 Sunderland 26 4 10 12 29 43 13 5 2 6 8 13 13 1 3 9 7 22 -20 23 23 Rochdale 25 4 10 11 25 35 12 4 5 3 13 11 13 0 5 8 12 24 -10 22 23 Chesterfield 27 5 6 16 26 51 13 4 3 6 14 19 14 1 3 10 12 32 -25 21 13 1 5 7 13 21 13 3 5 5 16 22 -14 22 24 Bury 26 4 5 17 19 41 12 4 1 7 10 16 14 0 4 10 9 25 -22 17 24 Barnet 26 5 5 16 26 39 13 3 3 7 11 16 13 2 2 9 15 23 -13 20 Total Home Away P W D L F A P W D L F A P W D L F A GD Pts 1 Wolves 26 19 4 3 50 20 13 10 2 1 28 10 13 9 2 2 22 10 +30 61 2 Derby 26 14 7 5 41 23 13 8 2 3 22 9 13 6 5 2 19 14 +18 49 2 Shrewsbury 3 Cardiff 26 14 5 7 36 25 13 8 3 2 22 10 13 6 2 5 14 15 +11 47 3 Blackburn 4 Bristol C 26 13 8 5 40 31 13 7 3 3 20 13 13 6 5 2 20 18 +9 47 4 Scunthorpe 26 14 7 5 37 22 5 Aston Villa 26 12 8 6 38 24 13 7 5 1 22 10 13 5 3 5 16 14 +14 44 5 Bradford C 26 15 3 8 42 34 6 Leeds Utd 26 13 4 9 37 28 13 6 4 3 17 9 13 7 0 6 20 19 +9 43 6 Portsmouth 7 Sheff Utd 26 13 3 10 40 31 13 8 1 4 23 13 13 5 2 6 17 18 +9 42 8 Middlesbrough 26 12 5 9 35 26 13 7 2 4 15 10 13 5 3 5 20 16 9 Preston 26 10 10 6 30 26 13 5 5 3 15 12 10 Fulham 26 10 9 7 39 34 13 5 6 2 17 13 11 Brentford 26 9 10 7 39 35 12 Ipswich 26 11 3 12 39 39 13 Norwich 36 1 Wigan 34 Leading goalscorers: 15: Clarke (Sheff Utd). 14: Vydra (Derby). 12: Assombalonga (Middlesbrough); Bonatini (Wolves); Grabban (Sunderland); Reid (Bristol C). 11: Adomah (Aston Villa); Bowen (Hull); Jota (Wolves). 10: Hooper (Sheff Wed); Waghorn (Ipswich). 9: Madine (Bolton). 8: Dowell (Nottm Forest); Garner (Ipswich); Hugill (Preston); Sharp (Sheff Utd) Leading goalscorers: 17: Marriott (Peterborough). 13: Moore (Ipswich); Pitman (Portsmouth). 12: Doyle (Preston). 11: Powell (Wigan); Wyke (Bradford C). 10: Cole (Fleetwood Tn); Dack (Blackburn). 9: Bodin (Preston); Davies (Oldham); Eaves (Gillingham); Mulgrew (Blackburn); Oztumer (Walsall); Thomas (Oxford Utd). 8: Beckford (Bury); Payne (Shrewsbury); Taylor (AFC Wimbledon); Vassell (Blackpool) Leading goalscorers: 15: Hylton (Luton). 14: Kee (Accrington). 13: Grant (Notts Co). 12: Akinfenwa (Wycombe); Dennis (Chesterfield); Doidge (Forest Green). 11: Collins (Luton); Eisa (Cheltenham); Pope (Port Vale); Szmodics (Colchester). 10: Norris (Swindon); Rose (Mansfield). 9: Godden (Stevenage); Ikpeazu (Cambridge Utd); McNulty (Coventry); Newton (Stevenage) Southampton: McCarthy, Bednarek, Stephens, Yoshida, Bertrand, Romeu, Hojbjerg (Lemina 80), Ward-Prowse, Davis, Boufal (Redmond 70), Long (Gabbiadini 86). Subs not used: Tadic, Targett, Sims, Forster. Booked: Bednarek Referee: M Oliver (Northumberland) IPSWICH 0 SHEFF UTD 1 Thomas 25 HT: 0-1 Att: 12,057 Ipswich: Bialkowski, Iorfa, Chambers, Knudsen, Kenlock, Connolly, Hyam (Waghorn 61), Sears, Bru, Celina, McGoldrick. Subs not used: Skuse, Garner, Crowe, McLoughlin, Webber, Drinan. Booked: Chambers Sheff Utd: Blackman, Carter-Vickers, Stearman, Wright, Baldock, Carruthers, Thomas (Slater 46), Basham, Lafferty, Sharp (Fleck 88), Lavery (Donaldson 72). Subs not used: Moore, Stevens, O’Connell, Norrington-Davies. Booked: Basham, Wright, Carter-Vickers Referee: M Jones (Cheshire) MAN CITY 4 BURNLEY 1 Aguero 56, 58 Barnes 25 Sane 71 Bernardo Silva 82 HT: 0-1 Man City: Bravo, Danilo, Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko (Walker 72), Gundogan (De Bruyne 76), Fernandinho, Silva, Sterling, Aguero (Bernardo Silva 79), Sane. Subs not used: Mangala, Ederson, Toure, Diaz. Booked: Danilo Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Long, Mee, Taylor, Gudmundsson (Walters 75), Cork (Wells 69), Westwood, Barnes, Hendrick, Vokes. Subs not used: Marney, Defour, Ulvestad, Lindegaard, Bardsley. Booked: Westwood, Cork Referee: G Scott (Oxfordshire) MIDDLESBROUGH 2 SUNDERLAND 0 Gestede 10 Braithwaite 42 HT: 2-0 Att: 26,399 Middlesbrough: Randolph, Shotton, Ayala, Gibson, Friend (Christie 90), Leadbitter, Howson, Traore (Johnson 81), Braithwaite (Clayton 65), Downing, Gestede. Subs not used: Konstantopoulos, Assombalonga, Fletcher, Forshaw. Booked: Leadbitter, Traore Sunderland: Steele, Jones, Browning, O’Shea, Wilson, Oviedo, Honeyman, Love, Robson (Embleton 81), McManaman (Asoro 53), Maja (Vaughan 74). Subs not used: Galloway, Ruiter, Beadling, Gamble. Booked: Honeyman, Love Referee: C Kavanagh (Lancashire) MILLWALL 4 BARNSLEY 1 O’Brien 35, 56 Potts 11 Thompson 47 Onyedinma 61 HT: 1-1 Att: 5,319 Sent off: Joe Williams (Millwall) 52 Millwall: Martin, McLaughlin, Hutchinson, Cooper, Craig, Wallace (Twardek 75), Thompson, Williams, Onyedinma (Romeo 85), Morison (Gregory 72), O’Brien. Subs not used: Archer, Meredith, Tunnicliffe, Saville Barnsley: Davies, Cavare, Pinnock, Lindsay, McCarthy, Gardner, Joe Williams, Potts (Mallan 73), Isgrove (Moncur 64), Bradshaw, Hammill (Thiam 64). Subs not used: Townsend, Brown, Ben Williams, Smith. Booked: Cavare, Gardner Referee: D Bond (Lancashire) NEWCASTLE UTD 3 LUTON 1 Perez 30, 36 Hylton 49 Shelvey 39 HT: 3-0 Att: 47,069 Newcastle Utd: Woodman, Manquillo, Lascelles (Hayden 31), Clark, Dummett, Shelvey (Diame 71), Merino (Saivet 80), Murphy, Perez , Ritchie, Gayle. Subs not used: Aarons, Joselu, Haidara, Darlow. Booked: Dummett, Shelvey, Hayden Luton: Stech, Justin, Mullins, Rea, Potts, Olly Lee, Ruddock (Cornick 54), Berry, Shinnie (Gambin 82), Collins (Elliot Lee 68), Hylton. Subs not used: Stacey, Cook, Shea, Famewo. Booked: Hylton Referee: N Swarbrick (Lancashire) NORWICH 0 CHELSEA 0 HT: 0-0 Att: 23,598 Norwich: Gunn, Zimmermann, Hanley, Klose, Ivo Pinto, Trybull, Tettey, Lewis, Pritchard (Wildschut 87), Maddison, Murphy (Oliveira 83). Subs not used: Husband, Vrancic, Watkins, Hoolahan, McGovern. Booked: Hanley, Tettey Chelsea: Caballero, Luiz, Cahill, Rudiger, Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Bakayoko, Kenedy (Musonda 78), Willian, Batshuayi (Morata 74), Pedro (Sterling 89). Subs not used: ClarkeSalter, Eduardo, Ampadu, Hudson-Odoi. Booked: Luiz, Cahill Referee: S Attwell (Warwicks) QPR 0 MK DONS 1 Cisse 60 HT: 0-0 Att: 6,314 CHARLTON 1 ACCRINGTON 4 QPR: Smithies, Baptiste (Hall 11), Onuoha, Robinson, Cousins (Wszolek 46), Chair (Eze 61), Scowen, Freeman, Bidwell, Smyth, Smith. Subs not used: Lynch, Lumley, Samuel, Oteh. Booked: Freeman MK Dons: Nicholls, B Williams, Walsh, Cisse, Wootton, Brittain (Ebanks-Landell 80), McGrandles, Upson, Muirhead (Agard 77), Aneke, Ugbo (Thomas-Asante 90+1). Subs not used: Sietsma, Seager, Nombe, Kasumu. Booked: Muirhead, McGrandles, Wootton, Nicholls Referee: J Linington (Isle of Wight) STEVENAGE 0 READING 0 HT: 0-0 Att: 3,877 Stevenage: Tom King, Henry, Jack King, Wilmot (Franks 89), Martin, Pett, Jonathan Smith, McKee, Kennedy (Samuel 73), Godden, Newton. Subs not used: Fryer, Wilkinson, Whelpdale, Gorman, Gray. Booked: Newton, Pett Reading: Jaakkola, Bacuna (Gunter 90+3), Richards, McShane, Tiago Ilori, van den Berg, Evans, Edwards (Swift 81), Kelly, McCleary (Kermorgant 65), Barrow. Subs not used: Mannone, Aluko, Clement, Blackett. Booked: Richards, Bacuna Referee: B Toner (Lancashire) WATFORD 3 BRISTOL C 0 Carrillo 37, Deeney 57, Capoue 85 HT: 1-0 Att: 13,269 Watford: Gomes, Janmaat, Wague, Kabasele, Zeegelaar, Pereyra (Holebas 69), Capoue, Cleverley, Doucoure (Watson 81), Carrillo (Richarlison 69), Deeney. Subs not used: Prodl, Gray, Karnezis, Okaka. Booked: Kabasele Bristol C: Steele, Vyner, Magnusson, Flint, Kelly, Eliasson, Smith (Pack 46), Edwards, Lemonheigh-Evans, Woodrow (Hinds 77), Taylor (Engvall 62). Subs not used: Fielding, Wright, Bakinson, Holden Referee: C Pawson (South Yorkshire) WOLVES 0 SWANSEA 0 HT: 0-0 Att: 22,976 Sent off: Vinagre (Wolves) 40; Fer (Swansea) 67 Wolves: Norris, Bennett, Coady, Hause, Doherty, White (Douglas 45+1), N’Diaye, Vinagre, Helder Costa, Leo Bonatini (Mir 77), Enobakhare (Ivan Cavaleiro 65). Subs not used: Burgoyne, Roderick Miranda, Goncalves, Buur Swansea: Nordfeldt, Roberts, Fernandez (Ayew 56), Van der Hoorn, Bartley, Dyer, Fer, Sanches (Carroll 34), Olsson, Routledge, Bony (Roque 75). Subs not used: Narsingh, Mulder, Fulton, McBurnie. Booked: Bartley, Dyer Referee: A Taylor (Cheshire) WYCOMBE 1 PRESTON 5 O’Nien 45+1 Harrop 2, 85 Browne 38, 78 (pen), Horgan 50 HT: 1-2 Att: 4,928 Wycombe: Brown, Bean, Scarr, El-Abd, Jacobson (Cowan-Hall 79), Saunders (De Havilland 46), O’Nien, Bloomfield (Kashket 71), Freeman, Akinfenwa, Tyson. Subs not used: Gape, Southwell, Mackail-Smith, MakabuMakalamby Preston: Rudd, Woods (Andrew Boyle 79), Clarke, Huntington, Cunningham, Browne, Welsh, Harrop, Horgan, Robinson (Gallagher 84), Bodin (Johnson 79). Subs not used: Vermijl, O’Connor, Hudson, Barkhuizen. Booked: Andrew Boyle Referee: P Bankes (Merseyside) YEOVIL 2 BRADFORD C 0 Barnes 61, Green 76 HT: 0-0 Att: 3,040 Yeovil: Krysiak, James, Mugabi, Nathan Smith, Dickson, Gray, Green, Bird (Wing 78), Khan (Santos 90+4), Zoko, Barnes (Whelan 85). Subs not used: Maddison, Golubickas. Booked: Bird Bradford C: Raeder, Hanson, Kilgallon (Thompson 46), Vincelot, Robinson, Gilliead, Law, Dieng (Devine 70), McCartan (Poleon 75), Wyke, Taylor. Subs not used: Gibson, Patrick, Sykes-Kenworthy. Booked: Vincelot, Robinson, Dieng Referee: J Brooks (Leics) Played Friday LIVERPOOL 2 Milner 35 (pen) Van Dijk 84 HT: 1-0 Att: 52,513 MAN UTD 2 Lingard 84, Lukaku 90 HT: 0-0 Att: 73,899 EVERTON 1 Sigurdsson 67 DERBY 0 Replay dates Kick-off 7.45pm unless stated Jan 16: Chelsea v Norwich; Leicester v Fleetwood Tn; Mansfield v Cardiff; Reading v Stevenage (8pm); Sheff Wed v Carlisle; Swansea v Wolves. Jan 17: Wigan v Bournemouth OLDHAM 0 Mavididi 27 HT: 1-0 Att: 9,972 Charlton: Amos, Konsa, Bauer, Lennon, Dasilva, Kashi, Aribo, Marshall, Mavididi (Ahearne-Grant 81), Holmes (Jackson 90), Magennis. Subs not used: Reeves, Phillips, Sarr, Dijksteel, Hackett-Fairchild. Booked: Mavididi, Bauer, Konsa Oldham: Placide, Dummigan, Gerrard, Brian Wilson, Hunt (Maouche 80), Gardner (Obadeyi 54), Green, Fane (Duffus 89), Nepomuceno, Davies, Holloway. Subs not used: Kyeremeh, Sam Edmundson, Omrani, Banks. Booked: Green, Nepomuceno, Placide Referee: L Swabey (Devon) NORTHAMPTON 3 SOUTHEND 1 O'Toole 19, Grimes 49 (pen) Demetriou 26 (pen) Revell 90 HT: 1-1 Att: 5,267 Northampton: Ingram, Facey (Moloney 90), Poole, Taylor, Buchanan, Crooks, Grimes, Hoskins, O’Toole, Foley (Hildeberto 64), Long (Revell 87). Subs not used: Cornell, Waters, Richards, S McWilliams. Booked: Crooks Southend: Oxley, Demetriou, Turner, Kyprianou, Coker, Kightly (McGlashan 61), Yearwood (Timlin 61), Wordsworth, McLaughlin, Cox (Pitoula-Wabo 74), Fortune. Subs not used: Ba, Bishop, Robinson, Bwomono Referee: M Salisbury (Lancashire) OXFORD UTD 1 BLACKPOOL 0 Obika 80 HT: 0-0 Att: 6,775 Oxford Utd: Eastwood, Carroll, Mousinho (Williamson 66), Martin, Tiendalli, Payne (Mowatt 79), Ledson, Ruffels, Van Kessel (Henry 86), Obika, Thomas. Subs not used: Dickie, Shearer, Fernandez Codina, Napa. Booked: Tiendalli Blackpool: Mafoumbi, Mellor, Robertson, Tilt, Turton (Philliskirk 83), D’Almeida (Cooke 67), Spearing, Longstaff, Solomon-Otabor, Delfouneso (Quigley 88), Daniel. Subs not used: Aimson, Anderton, Ryan, Allsop. Booked: Mellor, Tilt Referee: K Johnson (Somerset) PLYMOUTH 3 BURY 0 Diagouraga 14, Carey 42, Sarcevic 78 HT: 2-0 Att: 9,139 Sent off: Lowe (Bury) 60 Plymouth: Matthews, Threlkeld (Miller 88), Edwards, Bradley, Sawyer, Sarcevic, Fox (Wylde 88), Diagouraga, Carey, Taylor, Lameiras (Jervis 87). Subs not used: Songo’o, Ainsworth, Grant, Cooper. Booked: Diagouraga, Fox Bury: Ripley, Jones (Edwards 59), Cameron, Clarke, Leigh, Ismail (Lowe 30), Dawson, Danns, Mayor, Bunn, Hanson. Subs not used: O’Connell, Reilly, Laurent, Smith, Fasan. Booked: Danns Referee: T Kettle (Rutland) CHESTERFIELD 0 Hughes 19, McConville 32 Ramsdale (og) 47, Kee 89 HT: 2-0 Att: 1,655 Accrington: Chapman, Johnson, Hughes, RichardsEverton, Donacien (Dunne 52), Clark, Nolan, Brown, McConville, Kee (Sykes 90), Jackson (Leacock-McLeod 75). Subs not used: Stryjek, Ogle, Hmami, Watson. Booked: Jackson, Johnson, Richards-Everton Chesterfield: Ramsdale, Talbot, Maguire, Nelson, Binnom-Williams (McCourt 46), Rowley (Kellett 70), Reed, Weir, Kay (German 80), Hines, Dennis. Subs not used: Dimaio, De Girolamo, Parkin, Ofoegbu. Booked: Maguire, Hines, German Referee: C Sarginson (Staffordshire) COLCHESTER 1 Guthrie 40 CHELTENHAM 4 Odelusi 57, Atangana 70 Sellars 79, Eisa 83 90), Wright (Odelusi 46), Eisa (Lloyd 89). Subs not used: Boyle, Bower, Graham, Lovett. Booked: Sellars, Atangana Referee: S Oldham (Lancashire) FOREST GREEN 1 PORT VALE 0 Reid 61 HT: 0-0 Att: 2,437 Forest Green: Bradley Collins, Monthe, Gunning, Rawson, Laird, Lee Collins, Osbourne, Wishart, Brown (Grubb 62), Doidge, Reid. Subs not used: Whittle, Marsh-Brown, Simpson, Pickering, James, Stevens Port Vale: Boot, Gibbons, Smith, Davis, Pugh, Kay (Barnett 63), Tonge, Worrall, Whitfield (Montano 46), Harness (Angus 75), Pope. Subs not used: Lainton, Forrester, Regis, Kelly. Booked: Pope Referee: K Stroud (Hampshire) GRIMSBY 0 MORECAMBE 2 HT: 1-0 Att: 2,886 Sent off: Reid (Colchester) 44 Colchester: Walker, Jackson, Eastman, Kent, VincentYoung (Kpekawa 46), Drey Wright, Lapslie, Comley (Loft 68), Reid, Guthrie, Mandron (Hanlan 74). Subs not used: Ogedi-Uzokwe, Szmodics, Murray, Gilmartin. Booked: Eastman, Lapslie Cheltenham: Flinders, Moore, Onariase, Grimes, Winchester, Dawson, Atangana, Morrell, Sellars (Storer Ellison 10, Old 41 HT: 0-2 Att: 3,104 Grimsby: Kean, Mills, Clarke, Collins, B Davies, Dembele, M Rose (Jaiyesimi 83), Summerfield, Woolford, Jones (Hooper 61), Matt (Vernon 76). Subs not used: Dixon, Berrett, Osborne, Killip. Booked: Summerfield Morecambe: Roche, Lavelle, Muller, Old, McGowan, Kenyon, Rose, Conlan, Lang (Wildig 61), Oliver, Ellison (Thompson 90). Subs not used: Brough, Campbell, Lund, Maher, McGurk. Booked: Lavelle, Kenyon Referee: A Backhouse (Cumbria) Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership Women’s Super League One Next fixtures (7.45pm): Jan 23: Partick Thistle v Celtic. Jan 24: Dundee v Hibernian; Hamilton v Hearts; Kilmarnock v St Johnstone; Motherwell v Ross Co; Rangers v Aberdeen Top six P W D L F A GD Pts Celtic 22 15 6 1 48 15 33 51 Aberdeen 22 13 4 5 33 24 9 43 Rangers 22 12 4 6 41 25 16 40 Hibernian 22 9 8 5 31 27 4 35 Hearts 22 7 9 6 21 19 2 30 Kilmarnock 21 6 8 7 25 28 -3 26 First round: Bristol C 2 Everton 1; Liverpool 8 Yeovil 0; Sunderland 3 Birmingham 0 0 All other matches postponed OTHER FOOTBALL Vanarama National League BARROW 1 Harrison 5 (pen) HT: 1-0 Att: 1,470 BROMLEY 0 TRANMERE 1 Norwood 90+3 AFC FYLDE 1 Muldoon 28 HT: 0-1 Att: 1,239 DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE 4 HARTLEPOOL 2 Sparkes 39, 81, Cheek 65 Woods 59, 84 Okenabirhie 79 HT: 1-0 Att: 1,290 DOVER ATH 1 ALDERSHOT 2 Parry 45+1 Kellerman 45, Kabamba 67 HT: 1-1 Att: 1,237 EASTLEIGH 4 GUISELEY 2 Miley 2, Zebroski 36 Liburd 18, Roberts 79 Yeates 58, Howe 65 HT: 2-1 Att: 2,001 EBBSFLEET UTD 0 CHESTER 1 White 20 HT: 0-1 Att: 1,389 Sent off: Bubb (Ebbsfleet Utd) 85 GATESHEAD 0 SUTTON UTD 2 Wright 74, 81 HT: 0-0 Att: 493 LEYTON ORIENT 0 BOREHAM WOOD 0 HT: 0-0 Att: 4,094 MACCLESFIELD 0 SOLIHULL MOORS 0 HT: 0-0 Att: 1,771 MAIDENHEAD UTD 0 HALIFAX TN 0 HT: 0-0 Att: 1,229 WOKING 4 MAIDSTONE UTD 4 Ferdinand 21 Lewis 25, 53 Effiong 34 Reason 41 (pen) Carter 50 Pigott 42 Banton 60 HT: 2-3 Att: 1,874 WREXHAM 4 TORQUAY 0 Holroyd 9, 37, 89 E Smith 30 HT: 3-0 Att: 4,242 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 Sutton Utd 29 14 7 8 42 34 8 49 Wrexham 28 13 9 6 31 22 9 48 Dover Ath 29 11 12 6 38 23 15 45 Dagenham & R 28 12 9 7 44 32 12 45 Tranmere 28 12 8 8 42 26 16 44 Boreham Wood 28 11 11 6 37 27 10 44 Bromley 29 12 8 9 46 37 9 44 Ebbsfleet Utd 28 9 12 7 39 32 7 39 AFC Fylde 26 10 8 8 42 36 6 38 Maidenhead Utd 29 9 11 9 37 40 -3 38 Maidstone Utd 27 9 11 7 34 38 -4 38 Woking 27 10 5 12 38 43 -5 35 Eastleigh 28 7 13 8 40 42 -2 34 Halifax Tn 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 Leyton Orient 29 8 8 13 35 42 -7 32 Barrow Chester Solihull Moors Guiseley Torquay 29 27 29 27 28 7 10 12 36 40 -4 5 10 12 24 43 -19 6 6 17 26 45 -19 4 10 13 25 50 -25 4 8 16 23 45 -22 31 25 24 22 20 North Blyth Spartans 4 Gainsborough 0; Boston Utd 3 Tamworth 1; Bradford PA 1 Spennymoor Tn 2; Chorley 0 Harrogate Tn 1; Darlington 1 York 2; Leamington 1 Kidderminster 1; North Ferriby Utd 0 Alfreton Tn 3; Nuneaton 0 Brackley 2; Stockport Co 2 Salford C 2. Leading standings: 1 Salford C 24-52; 2 Harrogate Tn 24-50; 3 Brackley 25-48; 4 Spennymoor Tn 24-44; 5 Blyth Spartans 24-42; 6 Kidderminster 24-39 South Bath C 0 Truro C 0; Braintree Tn 4 East Thurrock 0; Concord Rgrs 1 Dartford 1; Gloucester 1 Weston-sMare 3; Hampton & Richmond 0 Hemel Hempstead 0; Hungerford Tn 1 Oxford C 2; St Albans 2 Chelmsford 1; Welling 3 Eastbourne Boro 0; Whitehawk 2 Bognor Regis Tn 2. Leading standings: 1 Dartford 25-46; 2 Braintree Tn 25-44; 3 Hampton & Richmond 25-44; 4 Havant & Waterlooville 23-43; 5 Truro C 25-43; 6 Chelmsford 24-41 Evo-Stik League Northern Premier Division: Ashton Utd 3 Marine 0; Coalville Tn 4 Sutton Coldfield Tn 2; Farsley Celtic 0 Altrincham 1; Halesowen 1 Grantham 3; Matlock Tn 0 Barwell 2; Nantwich Tn 1 Hednesford 5; Stourbridge 1 Mickleover Sports 1; Warrington Tn 1 Buxton 0; Whitby 0 Lancaster C 5 Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division: Banbury 1 Hitchin 0; Basingstoke 3 Kettering 2; Biggleswade 1 Frome 1; Kings Langley 0 St Ives Tn 3; Kings Lynn 3 Dorchester 0; Redditch 7 Farnborough 1; Royston 5 Gosport Boro 0; Slough 2 Hereford 2; St Neots Tn 2 Stratford Tn 2; Tiverton 1 Chesham 2; Weymouth 1 Bishop’s Stortford 1 Bostik League Premier Division: Billericay 1 Margate 1; Dulwich 4 Folkestone Invicta 3; Harlow 2 Tooting & Mitcham 1; Harrow Boro 3 Needham Market 2; Kingstonian 0 Thurrock 1; Leiston 1 Leatherhead 2; Met Police 1 Brightlingsea 1; Staines Tn 3 Burgess Hill Tn 1; Tonbridge 2 Lowestoft Tn 2; Worthing 2 Enfield Tn 2 FA Vase Fourth round: Blackfield & Langley 3 Bracknell Tn 2; Cogenhoe Utd 2 Wolverhampton Sporting Community 3; Desborough Tn 2 Stourport Swifts 4; Eastbourne Tn 1 Windsor 3; Horley Tn 1 Chichester C 2; Leighton 5 Norwich CBS 2; Melksham Tn 2 Crowborough Ath 1; Newcastle Benfield 1 Coleshill Tn 1; Stockton Tn 2 West Auckland Tn 1; Thatcham Tn 2 Biggleswade Tn 1; Tring Ath 5 Hullbridge Sports 1; Westfields 1 Hamble Club 4; Wisbech Tn 1 Bromsgrove Sporting 3. Today: 1874 Northwich v Pontefract Collieries. Jan 13: Marske Utd v Hinckley; Newport (IoW) v Bradford Tn. Replay: Jan 9: Bracknell Tn v Blackfield & Langley Spain Brechin 1 Morton 1; Dumbarton 0 Dunfermline 1; Falkirk 6 Dundee Utd 1; Livingston 0 Queen of South 1; St Mirren 1 Inverness CT 0. Leading standings: 1 St Mirren 21-45; 2 Dundee Utd 20-39; 3 Dunfermline 20-32; 4 Queen of South 20-30; 5 Livingston 19-30; 6 Morton 19-28 Atletico Madrid 2 Getafe 0; Las Palmas 1 Eibar 2; Sevilla 3 Real Betis 5; Valencia 2 Girona 1. Today: Athletic Bilbao v Alaves (5.30pm); Barcelona v Levante (3.15pm); Celta Vigo v Real Madrid (7.45pm); Leganes v Real Sociedad (11am); Villarreal v Deportivo de La Coruna (5.30pm). Tomorrow: Malaga v Espanyol (8pm) Top six P W D L F A GD Pts Barcelona 17 14 3 0 45 7 38 45 Atletico Madrid 18 11 6 1 27 8 19 39 Valencia 18 11 4 3 38 18 20 37 Real Madrid 16 9 4 3 30 14 16 31 Sevilla 18 9 2 7 23 27 -4 29 Villarreal 17 8 3 6 24 20 4 27 League One Italy Airdrieonians 0 East Fife 0; Alloa 3 Albion 1; Ayr 1 Arbroath 2; Queen’s Park 2 Stranraer 2; Raith 2 Forfar 1. Leading standings: 1 Raith 19-45; 2 Ayr 2144; 3 Alloa 19-31; 4 Arbroath 19-30; 5 Stranraer 2026; 6 Airdrieonians 20-25 AC Milan 1 Crotone 0; Benevento 3 Sampdoria 2; Cagliari 0 Juventus 1; Genoa 1 Sassuolo 0; Napoli 2 Verona 0; Roma 1 Atalanta 2; SPAL 2 Lazio 5; Torino 3 Bologna 0. Played Friday: Chievo 1 Udinese 1; Fiorentina 1 Inter Milan 1 Top six P W D L F A GD Pts Napoli 20 16 3 1 44 13 31 51 Juventus 20 16 2 2 49 15 34 50 Inter Milan 20 12 6 2 35 15 20 42 Lazio 19 12 4 3 48 24 24 40 Roma 19 12 3 4 30 14 16 39 Sampdoria 19 9 3 7 36 29 7 30 Ladbrokes Scottish Championship League Two Annan Ath 0 Montrose 1; Cowdenbeath 0 Edinburgh C 2; Elgin 2 Clyde 1; Stenhousemuir 1 Peterhead 4; Stirling Alb 2 Berwick 0. Leading standings: 1 Montrose 20-41; 2 Peterhead 18-40; 3 Stenhousemuir 19-32; 4 Stirling Alb 18-30; 5 Annan Ath 20-28; 6 Elgin 19-27 Press & Journal Highland League Buckie Thistle 2 Brora 2; Fraserburgh 7 Fort William 0 Ferrari Packaging Lowland League Cumbernauld Colts 2 Edinburgh Univ 1; Dalbeattie Star 0 East Kilbride 2; Gala Fairydean 1 Selkirk 2; Gretna 2008 0 Edusport 3; Spartans 1 Civil Service 0 JD Welsh Premier League Cardiff Met 1 Aberystwyth 1; Carmarthen 0 Cefn Druids 1; Connah’s Quay 3 Barry 0; Llandudno 1 Bala 1 Tennent’s Irish Cup Fifth round: Ards 4 Crumlin Star 1; Ballinamallard Utd 4 Immaculata 2; Ballymena 4 Moyola Park 0; Carrick 1 Glenavon 3 (aet); Cliftonville 4 Warrenpoint Tn 3 (aet); Coleraine 7 Lisburn Distillery 0; Crusaders 2 Maiden C 0; Dungannon 4 Limavady 0; Knockbreda 0 Institute 2; Larne 3 Dergview 0; Linfield 5 Glebe Rgrs 0; Loughgall 4 PSNI 1; Lurgan 1 Glentoran 2; Newry 2 H&W Welders 0; Portadown 1 Ballyclare 2 (aet); Queen’s Univ 0 Dundela 1 Southern Amateur League First Division: Wilsonians 2 Alleyn Boys 0; Winchmore Hill 2 Owens 0. Second Division: Ibis Eagles 2 Alexandra Park 2; Norsemen 3 Finchleians 6. Third Division: Blues 1 Broomfield 0; Weirside 2 South Bank Cuaco 1 Germany 0 Winter break until Friday Top six P W Bayern Munich 17 13 Schalke 17 8 Borussia Dortmund 17 8 Bayer Leverkusen 17 7 Leipzig 17 8 Borussia M’gladbach 17 8 D 2 6 4 7 4 4 L 2 3 5 3 5 5 F 37 28 39 34 27 27 A 11 21 24 23 25 28 GD Pts 26 41 7 30 15 28 11 28 2 28 -1 28 D 2 2 5 5 3 3 L 1 4 2 3 6 8 F 58 46 46 38 18 24 A 15 19 20 22 18 29 GD Pts 43 50 27 41 26 41 16 38 0 33 -5 27 D 1 2 2 6 5 4 L 2 3 4 3 3 5 F 49 54 34 26 37 27 A 21 17 19 21 16 28 GD Pts 28 46 37 41 15 38 5 33 21 32 -1 28 France 0 Winter break until Friday Top six P W Paris Saint-Germain 19 16 Monaco 19 13 Lyon 19 12 Marseille 19 11 Nantes 19 10 Nice 19 8 Holland 0 Winter break until Jan 19 Top six P W PSV Eindhoven 18 15 Ajax 18 13 AZ Alkmaar 18 12 PEC Zwolle 18 9 Feyenoord 17 9 Utrecht 17 8 FIXTURES Today Kick-off 7.45pm unless stated FA Cup: Third round: Newport Co v Leeds Utd (noon); Nottm Forest v Arsenal (4pm); Shrewsbury v West Ham (2pm); Tottenham v AFC Wimbledon FA Cup: Third round: Brighton v C Palace FA Women’s Cup: Third round (1pm unless stated): Blackburn v Portsmouth (2pm); Cardiff v Burnley; Chichester v Luton; C Palace v Coventry (2pm); Derby v Brighouse; Fylde v Plymouth (2pm); Huddersfield v Lewes; Ipswich v Charlton; Keynsham v Brislington; Leicester v Bradford; Middlesbrough v Liverpool; Newcastle v The New Saints Women’s Super League One: Chelsea v Arsenal (1.30pm); Reading v Man C (4pm). League Two (2pm unless stated): Aston Villa v London Bees; Millwall v Sheffield; Oxford Utd v Durham (noon); Tottenham v Brighton; Watford v Doncaster (3pm) Women’s Premier (2pm) North: West Brom v Nottm Forest. South: Swindon v QPR; West Ham v Gillingham Tomorrow Tuesday Carabao Cup: Semi-final: First leg: Man City v Bristol C Vanarama National League: AFC Fylde v Chester; Dagenham & Redbridge v Boreham Wood; Guiseley v Gateshead; Maidstone Utd v Ebbsfleet Utd Ladbrokes Scottish Championship: Inverness CT v Falkirk Wednesday Carabao Cup: Semi-final: First leg: Chelsea v Arsenal (8pm) Friday Sky Bet Championship: Sheff Utd v Sheff Wed Kick-off 3pm unless stated Saturday Premier League: C Palace v Burnley; Chelsea v Leicester; Huddersfield v West Ham; Newcastle v Swansea; Tottenham v Everton (5.30pm); Watford v Southampton; West Brom v Brighton Sky Bet Championship: Barnsley v Wolves; Birmingham v Derby; Brentford v Bolton; Bristol C v Norwich; Burton Alb v QPR; Cardiff v Sunderland (12.30pm); Hull v Reading; Ipswich v Leeds Utd; Middlesbrough v Fulham; Millwall v Preston; Nottm Forest v Aston Villa (5.30pm). League One: Blackburn v Shrewsbury; Blackpool v Bristol Rov; Bradford C v Northampton; Bury v Charlton; Doncaster v Plymouth; Gillingham v Rochdale; MK Dons v AFC Wimbledon; Oldham v Rotherham; Portsmouth v Scunthorpe; Southend v Fleetwood Tn; Walsall v Oxford Utd; Wigan v Peterborough. League Two: Cambridge Utd v Mansfield; Carlisle v Crewe; Cheltenham v Accrington St; Chesterfield v Luton; Crawley Tn v Barnet; Exeter v Coventry; Grimsby v Newport Co; Lincoln C v Notts Co; Morecambe v Stevenage; Port Vale v Yeovil; Swindon v Forest Green; Wycombe v Colchester Vanarama National League: AFC Fylde v Guiseley; Torquay v Eastleigh; Woking v Tranmere Ladbrokes Scottish Championship: Brechin v Livingston; Dumbarton v St Mirren; Dunfermline Ath v Dundee Utd; Inverness CT v Queen of South; Morton v Falkirk. League One: Arbroath v Queen’s Park; East Fife v Alloa; Forfar v Albion Rov; Raith Rov v Ayr; Stranraer v Airdrieonians. League Two: Berwick v Annan Ath; Clyde v Stenhousemuir; Edinburgh C v Montrose; Elgin v Cowdenbeath; Peterhead v Stirling Alb Sunday Premier League: Bournemouth v Arsenal (1.30pm); Liverpool v Man City (4pm) 15 The Sunday Times January 7, 2018 SPORT TENNIS Life after Murray? Loffhagen is GB’s best hope McHugh: one of three young British tennis players being tipped for the top PHIL SHEPHARD-LEWIS British tennis has a group of youngsters who could eventually make their mark in the Grand Slams W Barry Flatman Tennis Correspondent orld-class British tennis players with the potential to win Grand Slams do not simply come off a production line. Filling the void left by Andy Murray will never be an immediate process. After all, there was a 70-year gap between the era of the Scot and those sepia-tinted images of Fred Perry, clad in long trousers, hurdling the net in triumph. Yet there is no reason to extinguish all optimism. While it would be crass to suggest another Wimbledon or US Open champion may be just around the corner, there is no harm speculating on who might step up as a British star in years to come. Later this month at the Australian Open, three British juniors will look to emulate the exploits, 25 years ago, of James Baily, who surprised himself when he came back with the boys’ title. According to several who know a thing or two about developing top-flight players, the trio of George Loffhagen, Jack Draper and Aidan McHugh have sufficient skill and determination to convince British tennis fans that there are more reasons to look to the future than simply Kyle Edmund and Johanna Konta. ON TV TODAY ATP tennis 8am Eurosport 2 TODAY’S RACING Flemenskill 57 (H) 5 320-0 W Greatrex6-11-2.......................R Johnson Game On 29 6 0/4-42 Mrs L Wadham6-11-2.....................L Aspell Glen Rocco 31 (S) 7 P/1-65 N Gifford7-11-2...........................T Cannon I Am Sam 29 (H) 8 P3-P00 Miss E Lavelle7-11-2 ................ N Scholfield Larry 40 (S) 9 10-6U4 G L Moore5-11-2.........................J E Moore Neyja Blue 20 1036-3P6 C Gordon6-11-2..........................D Noonan Going: Heavy NOVICES’ HURDLE £5,393: 1M 7F 195Y (14) Marley Firth 30 (D,G,S) D Skelton6-11-11.........................H Skelton Abbey Street 37 2 3-2F00 Paul Henderson7-11-5..................T O’Brien Age Of Wisdom 84F (P) 3 G L Moore5-11-5 ...................... Josh Moore Cassivellaunus 12 4 4/0-00 D Steele6-11-5........................M Batchelor Cockney Seagull 34 (V) 5 60 Mrs L Jewell5-11-5...................T Garner (3) Havisham 20 (H,T) 6 56 J Snowden6-11-5......................G Sheehan Hier Encore 271F 7 N Dunger6-11-5 ........................... R Dunne Jaisalmer 30 8 62U-44 M Bradstock6-11-5................N De Boinville Lost History 18 9 30 J Spearing5-11-5 ........................ J E Moore Mr Magill 193F (H) 10 Nick Mitchell6-11-5 ................. N Scholfield Paddy’s Poem 20 1103-03 N Gifford7-11-5.............................L Aspell Rebel Collins 20 12022/00 N Mulholland7-11-5 ....................... N Fehily Miss Adventure 17 (H) 1332-25 P Middleton6-10-12...............D Sansom (7) Miss Tynte 24 (T) 1424-04 D Pipe6-10-12.......................T Scudamore 1 1-14 Betting: EvensHarefield, 11-4 Game On, 8-1 Larry, 10-1 Flemenskill, 12-1 Cintex, 14-1 Glen Rocco, 33-1 Ballintara, I Am Sam, 66-1 Bigdeal, Neyja Blue 2.05 Stolberg 29 (T,S) Dai Williams10-11-12 .................... D Crosse Project Mars 27 (P) 2 -F5062 N Gifford6-11-12 ................... M Bastyan (5) Tzar De L’Elfe 33 (T) 3 P04-3F R Rowe8-11-11.....................A Glassonbury Champion Chase 95 (BF) 4 335-40 M Bosley6-11-11.........................J Nixon (7) Clondaw Westie 27 (T,P,S) 5 /005-3 Mrs L Hill7-11-8.........................A Coleman Snippetydoodah 49 (H,T,CD,S) 6 2P12-0 Michael Roberts10-11-8 ............... T O’Brien Jully Les Buxy 603 7 432/0Nick Mitchell8-11-8 ................. N Scholfield Bact To Black 17 (BF) 8 6-U00 R Walford6-11-7...............................J Best Heluvagood 17 (T) 9 006-P4 V Dartnall6-11-5 .................. C Gethings (3) Cafe Au Lait 20 (T,P,BF,S) 101230-3 D Skelton8-11-4 ......................... H Skelton Yukon Delta 12 (V,CD,G,S) 112-0564 G L Moore11-11-2......................Josh Moore Majingilane 16 (P) 12000U-0 W Greatrex6-11-0 ..................... G Sheehan Chivers 35 13040-0P D Steele7-10-12 ......................M Batchelor Breaking Ground 24 (T,P) 14600050 R Ford6-10-12............................D Noonan NOVICES’ CHASE £7,343: 2M 214Y (4) Rather Be 17 (D,G,S) N Henderson7-11-5.....................J McGrath Hab Sab 34 Mrs L Jewell6-11-0......................T Cannon Gregarious 30 (H,T,D,S) 3 110-P4 Mrs L Wadham5-10-10...................L Aspell San Pedro De Senam 34 (T,D,S) 4 62-023 G L Moore5-10-10....................Josh Moore 1 2U10-1 2 402-50 Betting: 11-4 Cafe Au Lait, 9-2 Clondaw Westie, 6-1 Bact To Black, 8-1 Project Mars, 9-1 Tzar De L’Elfe, 10-1 Champion Chase, 14-1 Heluvagood, Stolberg, Yukon Delta, 16-1 Majingilane, Snippetydoodah, 25-1 Jully Les Buxy, 33-1 Chivers, 50-1 Breaking Ground Betting: 1-4 Rather Be, 11-2 Gregarious, 8-1 San Pedro De Senam, 66-1 Hab Sab 1.35 HANDICAP HURDLE £3,119: 2M 4F 114Y (14) 1 00-000 Betting: 4-7 Marley Firth, 5-1 Jaisalmer, 10-1 Lost History, Miss Adventure, 14-1 Miss Tynte, 16-1 Age Of Wisdom, 20-1 Paddy’s Poem, 33-1 Havisham, Rebel Collins, 50-1 Abbey Street, 66-1 Hier Encore, 100-1 others 1.05 IN TODAY’S SUNDAY TIMES MURRAY’S TORMENT NEWS, PAGES 26-27 Djokovic. I work with him on court and watch him in action and there’s so much that is exciting. “He’s so fast across the court but he has also got control. He not only defends well but can develop a point, knowing when to attack. As he has grown, his serve has become more of a weapon and he’s got a real class backhand that can hurt opponents, either coming low up the line or going crosscourt. “Of course he is still very young. There’s a few things temperament-wise that I would like to see George improve, and in some ways he is still extremely immature. He is rather inclined to sulk if things are not going well for him but the good thing is that he’s a perfectionist and, as we have seen with Andy Murray through his great years, that is no bad thing.” The strength of British men’s tennis had suffered of late, with Aljaz Bedene returning to represent Slovenia and Dan Evans remaining suspended for the use of cocaine until late April. But with the trio of Loffhagen, Draper and McHugh all determined to fill the gap there are good reasons not be too downhearted by the sad news of Murray’s battle to regain full fitness. RACING RESULTS Plumpton (Jackpot meeting) 12.30 Loffhagen, 16, is the name that really sparks the imagination, by virtue of a massive surge up the junior rankings in the past year from a place close to the 1,000 mark to his current position of world No 24. Last summer at Wimbledon, Rafael Nadal asked Tim Henman to suggest a British junior who might serve as a worthwhile practice partner and without too much hesitation, Loffhagen was put forward. “I’m not just saying this to exaggerate but this kid could turn into something very, very special,” said Alan Jones, the man who was first tasked with coaching Loffhagen when the youngster was only eight years old. This year will be Jones’ 50th as a coach at Wimbledon and in that time he has seen many British youngsters fail to fulfil their promise, while others have overachieved. But Jones, who Loffhagen: world juniors No 24 ‘could be very, very special’ says respected coach Alan Jones guided Jo Durie to the world’s top five 34 years ago, is convinced that Loffhagen has the quality to become Britain’s best. “He’s got so many things going for him,” said Jones. “He’s a phenomenal athlete who puts me in mind of the French player Gael Monfils. He hits the ball very hard off both forehand and backhand and he’s got considerably stronger and bigger in the last year or so.” Loffhagen comes from Ealing, the same West London suburb where Stockport-born Perry lived when he won his three Wimbledon titles, before he turned professional and moved to the United States, lured by the glamour and riches of Hollywood. Loffhagen’s father is a senior lawyer with IMG, so he might easily have ended up at the company’s revered Nick Bollettieri tennis academy in Bradenton, Florida, where the likes of Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Jim Courier and Maria Sharapova hit their formative strokes. Instead, due to the influence of Jones, he joined JTC, an independent academy based at Chiswick and Northwood in Middlesex, which is fronted by Henman’s former coach and LTA performance director David Felgate. Since last summer, Jones’ son Ryan has taken over the role of coach after previously working with a couple of top 50 players, the Croatian Borna Coric and Edmund. The pair, along with regular JTC practice partner Draper, flew to Australia on Friday. The younger Jones has high hopes for the trip that begins on Monday next week in the Victorian country town of Traralgon before heading to Melbourne. “George is the obvious one to look at and having spent the past five months with him, it’s very clear he has so many very good attributes,” said the coach. “Dad talks about him being like Monfils but I’d go a step higher and compare many aspects of his game to that of Novak 2.35 NOVICES’ HURDLE (QUALIFIER) £6,498: 2M 4F 114Y (10) HANDICAP CHASE £18,134: 3M 4F 102Y (13) Henri Parry Morgan 43 (T,P,F,G,S) P Bowen10-12-0..........................S Bowen Milansbar 29 (P,S) 2 PPP-63 N King11-11-12......................W Hutchinson Clondaw Cian 15 (P,S) 3 0-322P Miss S Smith8-11-12..................G Sheehan Rathlin Rose 29 (B,G,S) 4 11P-3P D Pipe10-11-8.........................Non-Runner Shotgun Paddy 8 (V,D,S) 5 3P-55P Miss E Lavelle11-11-6......................J Banks 1 060-2U Harefield 46 (S) A King5-11-8........................W Hutchinson Ballintara 54 2 F30-0 Mrs D Grissell6-11-2.................M Goldstein Bigdeal 18 3 00U G L Moore5-11-2 ...................... Josh Moore Cintex 20 4 2-3620 N Mulholland6-11-2.......................N Fehily 1 24-41 Shanroe Santos 23 (B,G,S) 6 -633U2 Mrs L Wadham9-11-5.....................L Aspell Vinnie Lewis 40 (S) 7 42-341 H Whittington7-11-5.................H Bannister Leo Luna 27 (P,G,S) 8 P/02-3 G L Moore9-11-0 ........................ J E Moore Bears Rails 20 (B,S) 9 0P-P22 C Tizzard8-10-10........................H Cobden Big Meadow 29 (P,S) 1023-462 N King7-10-9..............................T Whelan Coolking 30 (B,C,D,F,G,S) 1111P-PP G L Moore11-10-7 .....................Josh Moore Bindon Mill 30 (S) 1214-40F V Dartnall9-10-7 .....................N Scholfield Frank N Fair 20 (C,G,S) 13-P2U11 Miss Z Davison10-10-0 .......... T Dowling (5) Betting: 7-2 Henri Parry Morgan, 11-2 Shanroe Santos, 13-2 Milansbar, 7-1 Frank N Fair, Vinnie Lewis, 9-1 Big Meadow, 14-1 Bears Rails, Clondaw Cian, Leo Luna, Shotgun Paddy, 16-1 Coolking, 20-1 Bindon Mill 3.10 Going: Heavy 12.30 (2m 3f 100yd hdle) 1 Diablo De Rouhet (M D Grant, 33-1); 2 Just Don’t Ask (8-1); 3 Jaunty Flyer (9-2). Also ran: Jammin Masters 15-8 fav. 16 ran. 3l, 2¾l. J Hughes. Tote: £54.40; £9.50, £2.70, £1.80. Exacta: £695.10. CSF: £271.76. Trifecta: £1,356.90 1.00 (2m 7f 131yd ch) 1 Another Venture (M Hamill, 13-8 fav); 2 Souriyan (9-1); 3 Socksy (51). 6 ran. 2¼l, sh hd. K C Bailey. Tote: £2.30; £1.40, £4.30. Exacta: £16.10. CSF: £15.24. Trifecta: £63.80 1.35 (2m 11yd hdle) 1 We Have A Dream (D A Jacob, 8-11 fav); 2 Sussex Ranger (3-1); 3 Mercenaire (10-1). 5 ran. 1½l, 11l. N J Henderson. Tote: £1.60; £1.20, £1.40. Exacta: £3.00. CSF: £3.42. Trifecta: £9.00 2.05 (3m 5f 110yd ch) 1 Raz De Maree (James Bowen, 16-1); 2 Alfie Spinner (33-1); 3 Final Nudge (12-1); 4 Vintage Clouds (7-1 fav). 20 ran. 6l, 9l. G P Cromwell. Tote: £17.40; £3.40, £6.50, £2.80, £2.30. Exacta: £631.10. CSF: £474.15. Tricast: £6,430.19. Trifecta: £6,139.00 HANDICAP CHASE £5,289: 2M 3F 164Y (6) Bramble Brook 78 (T,BF) C Tizzard8-12-1..........................H Cobden Ramore Will 30 (H,CD,F,G,S) 2 211344 C Gordon7-11-12.........................D Noonan Whispering Harry 18 (S) 3 6P-0F6 H Oliver9-11-11 .......................... R Johnson Spock 22 (CD,F,G,S) 4 064021 Lady Brooke13-11-0..........Miss L Brooke (7) Sir Hubert 40 5 2643-3 R Rowe8-10-10....................A Glassonbury Finnegan’s Garden 20 (CD,S) 6 31-521 Miss Z Davison9-10-0............T Dowling (5) 1 5P-223 Betting: 15-8 Finnegan’s Garden, 5-2 Bramble Brook, 11-2 Spock, 13-2 Sir Hubert, 7-1 Ramore Will, 15-2 Whispering Harry 3.45 Chepstow 2.45 (2m 7f 131yd hdle) 1 Flemcara (Patrick Cowley, 11-2); 2 Shantou Bob (4-1); 3 Eminent Poet (6-1). Also ran: Court Frontier 3-1 fav. 8 ran. NR: Kris Spin, Zeroeshadesofgrey. ½l, 7l. Miss E C Lavelle. Tote: £5.70; £1.90, £1.40, £1.80. Exacta: £21.10. CSF: £27.72. Tricast: £135.28. Trifecta: £74.80 3.20 (2m 3f 98yd ch) 1 Pressurize (Charlie Deutsch, 4-1); 2 Templehills (8-1); 3 Rock On Rocky (11-4). Also ran: Play The Ace 9-4 fav. 6 ran. NR: Kayf Adventure. 15l, 14l. Miss V Williams. Tote: £5.20; £2.50, £4.40. Exacta: £37.60. CSF: £30.79. Trifecta: £131.40. Jackpot: Not won - pool of £4,794.37 c/f to Plumpton today 3.55 (2m 11yd) 1 Good Boy Bobby (Sam Twiston-Davies, 11-10 fav); 2 Gwalia (3-1); 3 Mount Rushmoore (4-1). 8 ran. 9l, 6l. N A Twiston-Davies. Tote: £2.00; £1.10, £1.40, £1.30. Exacta: £5.60. CSF: £4.85. Trifecta: £10.30 HANDICAP HURDLE £5,289: 1M 7F 195Y (9) Placepot: £471.80 Tara Bridge 300 (S) C Gordon10-12-2................Paul O’Brien (5) Atlantic Storm 8 (H,T,D,S) 2 14-6F0 D Skelton6-12-0.........................H Skelton Not Never 215 (D,BF,G) 3 4061-2 G L Moore6-11-12........................J E Moore Soulsaver 38 (T,BF,S) 4 52-312 A Honeyball6-11-5.....................A Coleman Hold The Bucks 748 (CD,S) 5 104PP/ D Steele12-11-4....................T Greatrex (7) Briac 34 (P) 6 0/20-4 M Pattinson7-11-4 ................ S Houlihan (7) Tee It Up Tommo 25F (T) 7 0P/00D Steele9-10-11 ...................... M Batchelor Landscape 20 (T,P,D,S) 8 324-P2 D Steele10-10-10.......................R Johnson Sixties Idol 27 (B,T) 9 506025 Sheena West5-10-3.................M Goldstein 1 363F1- Quadpot: £40.50 Lingfield Park 2.55 (5f 6yd) 1 Galloway Hills (S M Levey, 11-8 fav); 2 Nomorecalls (3-1); 3 Queen Of Desire (21). 6 ran. ¾l, 2½l. D R C Elsworth. Tote: £2.40; £1.10, £2.00. Exacta: £4.50. CSF: £5.94. Trifecta: £8.90 3.30 (1m 2f) 1 Miss Minuty (Jason Watson, 5-1); 2 Nurse Nightingale (11-4 jt-fav); 3 Assanilka (11-4 jt-fav). 10 ran. 1¼l, nk. J Scott. Tote: £5.50; £2.30, £1.60, £1.10. Exacta: £24.90. CSF: £19.50. Tricast: £46.02. Trifecta: £53.70 Placepot: £109.90 Quadpot: £27.20 Sandown Park 12.15 (1m 7f 216yd hdle) 1 Crucial Moment (Sean Houlihan, 3-1); 2 Mister Chow (11-4); 3 Glorvina (12-1). Also ran: Echo Watt 6-4 fav. 5 ran. NR: We Have A Dream. 2¾l, 27l. W G M Turner. Tote: £3.40; £1.60, £1.80. Exacta: £11.80. CSF: £11.51. Trifecta: £32.80 2.10 (2m 5f 82yd hdle) 1 Dashing Perk (Harry Cobden, 6-4); 2 Criq Rock (4-1); 3 Big Time Frank (100-1). Also ran: Rhaegar evens fav. 4 ran. 22l, 15l. Dr R D P Newland. Tote: £2.30. Exacta: £11.00. CSF: £7.60. Trifecta: £27.50 2.40 (2m 4f 35yd ch) 1 Kayf Adventure (T J O’Brien, 15-8); 2 O Maonlai (6-1); 3 Uhlan Bute (8-1). Also ran: Antartica De Thaix evens fav. 4 ran. NR: Play The Ace, Pressurize. 7l, 3¼l. P J Hobbs. Tote: £3.20. Exacta: £13.40. CSF: £11.38. Trifecta: £29.40 3.45 (2m 5f 82yd hdle) 1 Head To The Stars (Mr H F Nugent, 8-1); 2 Daytime Ahead (8-1); 3 Zeroeshadesofgrey (16-1). Also ran: Edvardo 4-1 fav. 12 ran. NR: Dubawi Island. 1¼l, 1½l. H D Daly. Tote: £8.90; £3.20, £2.30, £5.40. Exacta: £88.40. CSF: £71.02. Tricast: £1,009.58. Trifecta: £1,042.90 12.45 (2m 3f 173yd hdle) 1 Poppy Kay (R Johnson, 15-8 fav); 2 Midnight Jazz (9-2); 3 Hitherjacques Lady (3-1). 4 ran. NR: Dusky Legend. ½l, 8l. P J Hobbs. Tote: £2.20. Exacta: £7.70. CSF: £9.72. Trifecta: £10.90 Placepot: £668.10 Quadpot: £76.50 Kempton Park 1.20 (2m 4f 10yd ch) 1 Chef D’Equipe (Mr D Maxwell, 7-1); 2 Masterplan (7-1); 3 Never Up (14-1). Also ran: Perfect Pirate 5-2 fav. 11 ran. Nk, 3¼l. P J Hobbs. Tote: £8.40; £2.60, £2.00, £3.70. Exacta: £51.10. CSF: £51.72. Tricast: £666.32. Trifecta: £458.20 Going: Standard 5.45 (7f) 1 Morning Has Broken (Hollie Doyle, 7-2); 2 Sweet Symphony (11-4 jt-fav); 3 Mrs Benson (8-1). Also ran: Short Head 11-4 jt-fav. 11 ran. 6l, ½l. D Elsworth. Tote: £3.80; £1.10, £1.50, £3.00. Exacta: £15.50. CSF: £13.29. Trifecta: £70.70 1.50 (1m 7f 119yd ch) 1 Speredek (Sean Bowen, 10-11 fav); 2 Gino Trail (3-1); 3 Overtown Express (4-1). 4 ran. NR: Rock On Rocky. 8l, 11l. N J Hawke. Tote: £1.90. Exacta: £4.50. CSF: £3.94. Trifecta: £4.90 6.15 (7f) 1 Sayf Shamal (Tom Marquand, 11-4); 2 Be My Angel (5-1); 3 Lulu Star (33-1). 8 ran. NR: Cosmic Love, Peace Terms. 5l, 1¾l. C Appleby. Tote: £3.10; £1.10, £1.20, £12.50. Exacta: £17.60. CSF: £18.59. Trifecta: £271.10 2.25 (1m 7f 216yd hdle) 1 Summerville Boy (N D Fehily, 8-1); 2 Kalashnikov (2-1); 3 Mont Des Avaloirs (4-1). Also ran: Western Ryder 7-4 fav. 5 ran. NR: Sussex Ranger. 4l, 9l. T R George. Tote: £8.90; £2.50, £1.70. Exacta: £24.20. CSF: £24.59. Trifecta: £131.10 6.45 (1m) 1 Dor’s Law (Rob Hornby, 7-2 fav); 2 Living Leader (6-1); 3 Tarseekh (12-1). 13 ran. NR: Satchville Flyer. 1l, 1½l. D K Ivory. Tote: £3.50; £1.50, £1.40, £3.50. Exacta: £21.40. CSF: £22.83. Tricast: £230.15. Trifecta: £152.50 12.05 (1m 1yd) 1 Rusper (D C Costello, 5-2); 2 Joe’s Spirit (12-1); 3 Zalshah (9-4 fav). 5 ran. ½l, ¾l. J A Osborne. Tote: £2.80; £1.50, £3.40. Exacta: £18.20. CSF: £25.98. Trifecta: £101.60 12.40 (1m 1yd) 1 Hasanoanda (R Havlin, 11-4); 2 Ambient (13-2); 3 Craving (evens fav). 11 ran. Nk, 1l. J H M Gosden. Tote: £3.70; £1.10, £1.30, £1.10. Exacta: £18.00. CSF: £22.20. Trifecta: £33.00 3.35 (1m 7f 216yd) 1 Call Me Lord (Nico de Boinville, 5-2 fav); 2 Our Merlin (7-2); 3 Gassin Golf (7-1). 10 ran. 3¼l, 3l. N J Henderson. Tote: £3.30; £1.60, £1.60, £2.50. Exacta: £12.60. CSF: £12.35. Tricast: £54.87. Trifecta: £115.30 1.15 (7f 1yd) 1 Toriano (Tom Marquand, 7-2); 2 Varsovian (6-1); 3 Samarmadi (5-1). Also ran: Presumido 2-1 fav. 9 ran. Hd, 2l. N P Littmoden. Tote: £4.30; £1.10, £1.90, £2.30. Exacta: £30.00. CSF: £23.79. Tricast: £105.92. Trifecta: £157.10 Placepot: £473.50 Going: Standard 1.40 (3m 1f 30yd ch) 1 Crank Em Up (David Bass, 7-1); 2 Bobonyx (14-1); 3 Goosen Maverick (9-2). Also ran: Cucklington 11-4 fav. 9 ran. NR: Goodnightirene. 2l, 13l. David Dennis. Tote: £7.60; £2.40, £2.20, £2.00. Exacta: £66.70. CSF: £85.53. Tricast: £486.31. Trifecta: £447.90 3.15 (2m 4f 35yd ch) 1 Le Boizelo (James Best, 7-4 fav); 2 Bill And Barn (9-4); 3 Walt (100-30). 5 ran. 10l, 1¾l. R Walford. Tote: £2.60; £1.40, £1.40. Exacta: £7.50. CSF: £6.10. Trifecta: £15.50 Going: Heavy (soft in places) 3.00 (3m 37yd ch) 1 Buywise (L P Aspell, 121); 2 Pete The Feat (12-1); 3 Gas Line Boy (11-2). Also ran: Houblon Des Obeaux 5-1 fav. 14 ran. NR: O’Faolains Boy. 2l, 3l. Evan Williams. Tote: £10.30; £3.40, £4.00, £2.40. Exacta: £159.20. CSF: £150.07. Tricast: £896.46. Trifecta: £1,491.20 1.45 (1m 2f) 1 Easy Tiger (L P Keniry, 7-1); 2 Eltezam (12-1); 3 General Hazard (7-2). Also ran: Towerlands Park 5-2 fav. 7 ran. Nk, nk. M S Saunders. Tote: £7.40; £2.60, £4.40. Exacta: £61.10. CSF: £83.40. Trifecta: £193.90 Betting: 100-30 Soulsaver, 4-1 Landscape, 9-2 Not Never, Tara Bridge, 8-1 Atlantic Storm, Sixties Idol, 12-1 Briac, 20-1 Tee It Up Tommo, 25-1 Hold The Bucks 2.20 (1m 1yd) 1 Arcanada (M Harley, 4-6 fav); 2 Gabrial (11-2); 3 In The Red (100-1). 6 ran. 1¾l, 1½l. Tom Dascombe. Tote: £1.50; £1.10, £2.40. Exacta: £4.40. CSF: £4.98. Trifecta: £126.80 7.15 (1m) 1 Sheriff (A Kirby, 5-2); 2 Carp Kid (6-4 fav); 3 Golden Image (7-1). 6 ran. NR: Black Medusa. 6l, 1l. M L W Bell. Tote: £4.00; £1.90, £1.40. Exacta: £9.80. CSF: £6.84. Trifecta: £24.70 7.45 (1m) 1 Titan Goddess (Nicola Currie, 8-1); 2 Ventura Blues (5-1); 3 Hidden Steps (152). 6 ran. 4l, ¾l. M Murphy. Tote: £7.90; £2.80, £2.40. Exacta: £37.90. CSF: £42.46. Trifecta: £233.90 Going: Heavy 8.15 (1m 7f 218yd) 1 Lord George (Daniel Muscutt, 5-2 fav); 2 Haines (20-1); 3 Sunblazer (4-1). 9 ran. NR: Gwafa. 2½l, nk. J R Fanshawe. Tote: £3.30; £1.40, £5.80, £1.50. Exacta: £44.70. CSF: £55.47. Tricast: £193.04. Trifecta: £211.30 1.05 (1m 7f 65yd hdle) 1 Rainy Day Dylan (T J O’Brien, 5-2 jt-fav); 2 Irondale Express (10-1); 3 Run Don’t Hide (12-1). Also ran: Jaune Et Bleue 5-2 jt-fav. 6 ran. 7l, 1½l. N P Mulholland. Tote: £3.60; £1.70, £3.20. Exacta: £21.50. CSF: £24.37. Trifecta: £166.00 8.45 (6f) 1 Choice Encounter (Cameron Noble, 5-4 fav); 2 Our Man In Havana (7-1); 3 Mother of Dragons (25-1). 5 ran. NR: Musical Theatre. 1¼l, 2¼l. M L W Bell. Tote: £2.30; £1.20, £2.60. Exacta: £5.70. CSF: £10.22. Trifecta: £63.90 Quadpot: £64.30 Wincanton 9.15 (1m 2f 219yd) 1 Thaqaffa (M Harley, 5-1); 2 Conkering Hero (6-1); 3 Bogardus (16-1). 13 ran. NR: The Gay Cavalier. 2½l, nk. Miss Amy Murphy. Tote: £5.80; £1.70, £3.00, £5.60. Exacta: £48.80. CSF: £37.01. Trifecta: £1,131.30 Placepot: £178.50 Quadpot: £27.20 Cork Going: Heavy 12.20 (2m hdle) 1 Chatham Street Lad (L P Dempsey, 15-8 fav); 2 Wait Here (5-2); 3 Ale Ambrosio (7-2). 5 ran. NR: All Good Things. 3¾l, 4½l. Michael Winters. Tote: €3.10; €1.20, €1.70. Exacta: €10.50. CSF: €7.07. Trio: €11.70 12.50 (2m hdle) 1 Schindlers Ark (J W Kennedy, 6-1); 2 Galtymore (10-1); 3 Tildas Icon (25-1). Also ran: Aldawayfornothing 3-1 fav. 14 ran. NR: Deal With It. Hd, 1¾l. Gordon Elliott. Tote: €5.10; €2.10, €2.60, €5.90. Exacta: €48.20. CSF: €64.54 1.25 (3m hdle) 1 Guided By You (J M Moore, 11-4); 2 Therellalwaysbeone (12-1); 3 Stoneford (15-8). Also ran: Pearl Dragon 7-4 fav. 7 ran. 3l, 4½l. Noel Meade. Tote: €3.10; €1.20, €3.50. Exacta: €24.00. CSF: €30.01. Trio: €88.50 1.55 (2m 4f hdle) 1 Lite Duties (M A Enright, 25-1); 2 Indian Monsoon (10-1); 3 Montys Meadow (4-1). Also ran: Westerner Point 7-2 fav. 12 ran. 1¾l, ½l. C Byrnes. Tote: €46.30; €9.60, €3.60, €1.80. Exacta: €750.20. CSF: €259.94. Tricast: €1,228.25. Trio: €836.70 2.30 (2m 4f ch) 1 Livelovelaugh (P Townend, 4-7 fav); 2 Drumconnor Lad (14-1); 3 Burgas (100-30). 10 ran. 3l, 18l. W P Mullins. Tote: €1.50; €1.02, €2.80, €1.40. Exacta: €12.10. CSF: €11.07. Trio: €37.90 3.05 (2m 4f ch) 1 Smokey Joe Joe (D F O’Regan, 9-1); 2 Routes Choice (13-2); 3 Inch Rise (4-1 jt-fav). Also ran: Consharon Boy 4-1 jtfav. 9 ran. 7½l, 2¾l. S J Mahon. Tote: €7.30; €2.50, €1.90, €1.50. Exacta: €29.80. CSF: €65.91. Tricast: €272.66. Trio: €468.90 3.40 (2m) 1 Squadron Commander (P W Mullins, 4-6 fav); 2 Love N’ Peace (7-1); 3 Buck A Trend (8-1). 9 ran. 4¼l, 2¼l. W P Mullins. Tote: €1.40; €1.02, €2.20, €2.10. Exacta: €6.10. CSF: €6.56. Trio: €34.60 This week Today: Plumpton (12.30pm); Naas (12.40pm). Abandoned: Newcastle Tomorrow: Fontwell Park (1.15pm, inspection 8am today); Hereford (1.30pm); Wolverhampton (A/W, 4.15pm) Tuesday: Doncaster (12.25pm); Southwell (A/W, 12.15pm); Taunton (12.35pm) Wednesday: Ayr (1pm); Kempton Park (A/W, 4.15pm); Lingfield Park (A/W, 1.10pm); Ludlow (1.20pm) Thursday: Catterick Bridge (12.30pm); Leicester (12.45pm); Newcastle (A/W, 1.55pm); Chelmsford City (A/W, 6.30pm); Clonmel (12.35pm) Friday: Huntingdon (1.30pm); Lingfield Park (A/W, 12.50pm); Newcastle (A/W, 5.45pm); Sedgefield (1.10pm); Dundalk (5.30pm) Saturday: Kempton Park (12.20pm); Lingfield Park (A/W, 12.50pm); Warwick (12.40pm); Wetherby (12.30pm); Wolverhampton (A/W, 5.45pm); Punchestown (12.25pm) Flat meetings in bold RUGBY UNION RESULTS Aviva Premiership Leicester Northampton Sale Exeter Saracens Wasps Gloucester Bath Sale Leicester Newcastle Harlequins Northampton Worcester London Irish Guinness Pro14 19 22 30 P W 12 10 12 8 12 8 13 8 13 7 13 6 13 7 12 7 13 6 13 5 13 3 13 1 London Irish Gloucester Harlequins D 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 L 2 4 4 5 6 7 6 5 7 8 10 12 F 345 382 347 294 341 326 296 226 354 297 252 219 A 196 221 283 320 307 295 306 278 349 362 379 383 15 19 29 B 10 8 7 6 9 9 4 4 8 6 7 6 Pts 50 40 39 38 37 33 32 32 32 26 19 10 Greene King IPA Championship Bristol Ealing Trailfinders Yorkshire Carnegie Bedford Doncaster Nottingham Cornish Pirates Jersey Richmond London Scottish Hartpury Rotherham Titans P W 13 13 13 11 13 8 13 6 13 5 13 6 13 5 13 6 13 6 13 4 13 4 13 0 D 0 0 1 2 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 L 0 2 4 5 7 6 8 6 7 8 8 13 F 583 479 321 408 339 338 372 246 279 320 250 228 A 257 264 335 348 352 343 369 260 393 417 310 515 B 12 11 6 11 12 7 11 3 5 9 8 3 Pts 64 55 40 39 34 33 31 29 29 27 26 3 National League Division One: Caldy 71 Loughborough Students 14; Hull Ionians 13 Birmingham Moseley 29; Old Elthamians 55 Fylde 10; Ampthill & District 21 Blackheath 14; Coventry 52 Old Albanians 5; Rosslyn Park 44 Esher 37. Division Two: North: Blaydon 34 Macclesfield 52; Leicester Lions 0 Hinckley 27; Sheffield Tigers 16 Sale 27; Wharfedale 34 Luctonians 15; Sedgley Park 26 South Leicester 21; Chester 22 Otley 21; Huddersfield 29 Tynedale 20; Stourbridge 41 Sheffield 17. South: Barnstaple 12 Taunton Titans 53; Old Redcliffians 24 Bury St Edmunds 14; Redingensians 39 Worthing 26; Tonbridge Juddians 17 Clifton 10; Wimbledon 33 Redruth 28; Broadstreet 12 Canterbury 7; Cinderford 34 Henley 6; Chinnor 20 London Irish Wild Geese 35 Benetton Treviso Ospreys Zebre Leinster Munster 27 29 20 38 39 Cheetahs Cardiff Blues Glasgow Ulster Connacht 21 28 40 7 13 Conference A Glasgow Munster Cheetahs Cardiff Blues Connacht Ospreys Zebre P W 13 12 13 8 11 6 13 5 13 4 13 4 13 3 D 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 L 1 5 5 8 9 9 10 F 407 389 320 281 260 211 271 A 192 239 312 328 285 327 367 B 10 11 6 5 8 5 5 Pts 58 43 30 25 24 21 17 Conference B Scarlets Leinster Ulster Edinburgh Benetton Treviso NG Dragons Southern Kings P W 13 11 13 11 13 8 13 8 13 6 13 2 11 0 D 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 L 2 2 4 5 7 10 11 F 379 399 336 286 232 239 170 A 216 213 327 230 272 444 428 B Pts 9 53 7 51 6 40 5 37 5 29 4 14 4 4 SSE Swalec Welsh National League: Division One East: Abertillery B G 26 Croesyceiliog 27; Brecon 16 Dowlais 6; Brynmawr 52 Ynysybwl 0; Nelson 19 Risca 28; Pontypool 39 Caerleon 8. West: Aberystwyth 14 Gowerton 19; Gorseinon 22 Crymych 15; Penclawdd 10 Tenby 21. North: Bethesda 19 Bro Ffestiniog 7; Caernarfon 6 Llangefni 13; Dolgellau 13 Bala 19; Nant Conwy 71 Mold 15; Ruthin 85 Colwyn Bay 0 BT Scottish Premiership Melrose Currie Hawick Watsonians 12 41 24 64 Ayr Boroughmuir Heriot’s Marr 20 7 23 5 Scottish National League Division One: Edinburgh Acads 85 Musselburgh 17; GHA 31 Jed-Forest 38; Selkirk 22 Dundee HSFP 25; Stewart’s Melville FP 15 Cartha QP 46; Gala 38 Falkirk 12; Kelso 14 Aberdeen Grammar 12. MOTORS Division Two: Dumfries 33 Lasswade 0; GHK 43 Preston Lodge FP 20; Howe of Fife 17 Hamilton 11; Whitecraigs 15 West of Scotland 21; Peebles 10 Biggar 15 Division Three: Ardrossan Acads 21 Perthshire 13; Glasgow Acads 60 Hillhead Jordanhill 0; Gordonians 36 Haddington 12; Highland 39 Murrayfield Wanderers 5; St Boswells 39 Dalziel 5 Registration Numbers 51 OW Ulster Bank Division One Section A Cork Constitution Dublin University Lansdowne UCD Buccaneers St Mary’s College Clontarf Terenure College 0 10 8 31 25 28 18 15 Naas Ballymena Banbridge UL Bohemians 3 13 15 17 Section B Shannon Ballynahinch Old Belvedere Old Wesley 30000 o.n.o. 07552231124 ASTON MARTIN DB11 V12 1YV 1YV • 2017 DB11 V12 Launch Edition 2door Touchtronic Auto; 800 miles only; as new including distinguishing extras. Price call email@example.com 26 25 38 26 79,950 07769657755 0 All other matches postponed Fixtures Today Aviva Premiership: (3pm) Newcastle v Exeter; Wasps v Saracens Friday Champions Cup: Pool Five: Bath v Scarlets (7.45pm) Challenge Cup: Agen v Gloucester (6.30pm); Edinburgh v Stade Francais (7.35pm) British & Irish Cup: Ospreys v Bedford (7.30pm); Nottingham v Munster A (7:45pm); Ulster A v Cornish Pirates (5pm) Jersey v Newport Dragons (7.45pm) Saturday Champions Cup: Pool One: Ulster v Atlantique Stade Rochelais (1pm); Harlequins v Wasps (5.30pm). Pool Two: Northampton v Clermont Auvergne (5.30pm); Ospreys v Saracens (7.45pm). Pool Three: Exeter v Montpellier (3.15pm) Challenge Cup: Pool One: Bordeaux Begles v Dragons (8pm). Pool Two: Sale v Lyon (3pm). Pool Three: Pau v Zebre (5pm). Pool Four: London Irish v Krasny Yar (3pm). Pool Five: Worcester v Connacht (3pm); Oyonnax v Brive (6.30pm) Guinness Pro14: Southern Kings v Cheetahs (3pm) Aston Martin firstname.lastname@example.org 07836 605520 Mercedes NEW MERCEDES Save up to £25,000 Burlington Motor Co. www.newmercs.com 020 8500 5588 email@example.com Registration Numbers Book your advertisement now at: thesundaytimes.co.uk/ advertise 16 The Sunday Times January 7, 2018 SPORT COMMENT David Walsh DAVID DAVIES Jose Mourinho’s bitter spat with Chelsea’s Antonio Conte is par for the course for the enigmatic Portuguese, who is a whiner but also a charmer I JOHN PETERS f this were a Shakespearean tragedy, and goodness knows it may well be, there would be a couple of sentences in italics setting the scene. Friday night, late. Media conference room at Old Trafford. The room is two-thirds full. Jose Mourinho takes his seat at the centre of a long desk, facing those who have come to hear his words. He seems calm, relaxed almost. Earlier in the day Antonio Conte had been asked about Mourinho’s comment that the Portuguese no longer danced like a clown on the touchline, suggesting that others (Conte) do. When it was dangled in front of him, Conte grabbed the bait with open mouth, saying that Mourinho had senile dementia and might be suffering from amnesia. What is certain is that when this to-and-fro begins, journalists will keep it going for as long as they can because there is nothing like personal animosity to offer a view beneath the veneer of mutual admiration. If the right button is pressed, they sometimes tell us what is real. Those who listened to Conte at Chelsea’s training ground understood like never before that the Italian does not have a lot of time for Mourinho. That impression was enhanced yesterday when Conte described Mourinho as a “little man” and a “fake” in an extraordinary tirade after Chelsea’s goalless draw with Norwich City. This isn’t a position that causes Conte to feel isolated. Mourinho was always going to react to the accusation that such a young, handsome and successful manager as himself could be losing his marbles. It was the second question. Into that room at Old Trafford Mourinho had walked like Clint Eastwood silently brushing through the doors of a saloon in one of those old spaghetti westerns. Eastwood would order a whiskey and sip it without so much as looking over his shoulder. That meant he had come to end someone’s life. The victim had about two minutes to enjoy the rest of his life. Mourinho just poured himself a water, smiling benignly before dealing with the first question, something about whether he was confident that his team would eventually get the goals that dispatched Derby County from the FA Cup. You never really know, he said, recalling the Southampton game where his team had plenty of chances but could not get a goal. When the second question came, he was ready: How did he react to Antonio Conte’s disparaging comments? He chose his words with care. We reprint them precisely as he uttered them. “Look, I don’t blame him, honestly I don’t blame him. I think the press should apologise to him and to me because the question that comes to him is completely wrong and because of that he had that out-of-control reaction. But I don’t blame him at all. I was asked about my passion and you know, because you were in my press conference, I was speaking about myself and then the question to the Chelsea manager was like I told that he behaves likes a clown. Probably the journalist wants to say that but doesn’t have the courage to say that, so he told that Mourinho say you behave Teenage dream: James Bowen shows off the silverware National glory for 16-year-old jockey Bowen RACING Youngster lands Welsh marathon aboard veteran Raz De Maree David Parsons Centre stage: no matter how many times you try to work Jose Mourinho out, no truth emerges like a clown, so I don’t blame the Chelsea manager and I understand his reaction. “I was speaking about myself, I was saying I don’t need to behave like a clown to show passion, that I control my emotions in a better way. Everybody knows I don’t need the Chelsea manager to say I made mistakes in the past, and I will make in the future hopefully, I know that I celebrate goals running 50 metres, I celebrate goals sliding on my knees, I got celebrations jumping to the crowd. I am not free of that, especially if we score a winning goal in a specific moment. I am not free of having an out-of-control reaction, but what I was trying to say was that I behaved bad a few times and in this moment I behave much better. Doesn’t mean that my passion is not the same. So wrong question and obviously a strong answer but I don’t blame him. “The only thing I want to say to end the story is that yes, I made mistakes in the past on the touchline, yes I will make less but I will still make a few. What never happened to me, and will never happen, is to be suspended for matchfixing.” Reading Mourinho’s words you will have no sense of how his tone changed when he uttered the sentence “What never happened to me, and will never happen, is to be suspended for matchfixing.” His delivery slowed, became more deliberate, you could actually hear him putting every word in capitals. encountered some difficulty in their attempts to make him an effective team player. Too often Barkley gave the ball away at the wrong moment and put his team in trouble. At times Koeman seemed exasperated. It would be easy to say that Barkley’s future depends solely on the player himself. But that presumes he has the wherewithal to develop into the complete player that Conte says he now is. By the way, the Chelsea manager also says Barkley will need some time to adapt to his new club, the suggestion being that he won’t be starting a lot of first-team games during the second half of this season. I watched Danny Drinkwater’s early days at Chelsea and remain unconvinced that he will ever be a regular firstteamer. It won’t be any easier for Barkley but good luck to him. Raz De Maree, runner up to Native River in last season’s Coral Welsh Grand National, went one place better under teenage jockey James Bowen in yesterday’s renewal at Chepstow. The 13-year-old, trained in Co Meath, Ireland, by Gavin Cromwell, is only three years younger than his rider and the pair proved the perfect combination to land the marathon chase, which was rescheduled from Dec 27. Raz De Maree had failed to complete the course in tilts at the English, Scottish and Irish Grand Nationals, but this three and three-quarter mile slog in the mud was just his cup of tea. He became the oldest winner of the race since it was first run at Chepstow in 1949 and on a good day for the old-timers, he was followed home by another 13-year-old, Alfie Spinner. There was a scare for Bowen at the first fence when Emperor’s Choice fell in front of him but 16-1 chance Raz De Maree gradually warmed to his task on the second circuit and, after taking command at the second-last fence, he stayed on doggedly for a sixlength success. Alfie Spinner, who belied his 33-1 odds with a bold run, finished nine lengths clear of Final Nudge in third with the gambled-on 7-1 favourite Vintage Clouds a remote fourth. In a gruelling contest, 13 of the 20 starters failed to finish, with perhaps the unluckiest being Wild West Wind, who appeared to be travelling strongly in the lead when taking a crashing fall at the 12th of the 18 fences. Bowen, who is in his first season riding under rules, said: “It’s amazing, you grow up watching these races and it’s great just to be a part of it. I would have been happy to get round, but he’s still in love with the game and did it well. “It wasn’t the plan to be that far back, but you can’t use him up too early and once he started passing horses he got better and better.” Cromwell was naturally delighted to have booked the services of Bowen, who claimed a valuable 5lb off Raz De Maree’s back. “He gave him a peach of a ride,” he said. “He was flat to the an advantage’. Man City, Arsenal and Chelsea have two-legged EFL cup semifinals in January. Spurs have three games in six days. The top six had European games in December. Stoke’s festive schedule was pretty benign. Nicholas Binns, Wirksworth I was flabbergasted to read Stephen Jones’ comparisons of Bernard Laporte to Papa Doc Duvalier (last week). Duvalier was responsible for the deaths of more than 60,000 Haitians and it is ridiculous to draw any parallels with the president of the French rugby federation. Daniel Adams,via email time I have seen him carry out similar tackles in the past year, with no penalty. My concern rose when I heard commentators the next day say ‘Roberts had a good game with two big hits.’ If rugby is serious about dealing with head injuries, something must be done about this type of tackle. Peter Lee, via email I was horrified to see the Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts produce a front-on crash tackle against Northampton, resulting in a concussion injury to his opponent. This is the third In response to Dave Read’s views about refereeing in rugby and football (letters, last week), let’s see football mic-up referees as rugby has done. Nick Derbyshire, via email On rare occasions Mourinho can seduce you into seeing him as a likeable bloke Arising out of an Italian investigation into match-fixing, Conte was initially suspended but later exonerated of all wrongdoing. Mourinho was not explicitly linking his rival to matchfixing. He’s more subtle than that, but not much more. “OK, any more questions on the game?” said United’s press officer Karen Shotbolt as she tried to hurry the conversation into safer places. Shotbolt, that’s a good name for someone working with the current manager of Manchester United. Mourinho has always been and continues to be an enigma. No matter how many times you try to work him out, no absolute truth emerges. He is a whiner but also a charmer. There have been times when I have thought him a crass narcissist, other times when I’ve marvelled at how he infuses his players with his will-to-win. He is a proven winner, which is admirable, but his need to constantly remind us of his record is wearying and reflects insecurities that lie at the core of his effectiveness as a manager. There have been other occasions, admittedly not that often, when he seduces you into seeing him as a likeable bloke. Speaking of Shakespearean tragedies, what a critic once said of Hamlet is equally true of Mourinho. The difficulty is that every time we look at him, he is different. Our perceptions depend on what we bring to our inquiry and our relationship to him changes each time we visit him. “Hamlet,” wrote the critic, “never ceases to surprise us. Therein lies the secret to the enduring love affair audiences have with him. They never tire of the intrigue.” Could not the same be said of Mourinho? He came to that press conference feeling as Hamlet felt on the night the life of Claudius was ended. Antonius became Claudius and the Chelsea manager understood he was messing with the wrong man. They say Mourinho might not stay more than three seasons at Manchester United. If I were Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League, I’d be tempted to do a deal with the Portuguese. For every season after the third, an extra £10m. We are talking here of the Premier League’s top drawing card. There will be a movie about his time at Old Trafford. The difficulty will be that no one could play Mourinho as well as Jose. Barkley has it all to do to prove he is ‘complete player’ Last May Everton football club valued Ross Barkley at £50m. They weren’t rushed off their feet by clubs stampeding to take the attacking midfield off their hands. Tottenham, Arsenal and finally Chelsea were reported to be interested. Towards the end of the summer Chelsea offered £35m, and that deal would have gone through had the player not got injured. Last week Chelsea got their man for £15m. You LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Send your letters to: The Sports Editor, The Sunday Times, 1 London Bridge St London SE1 9GF email: sportletters @sunday-times.co.uk could say the injury cost Everton £20m but my preference is for suggesting that it saved Chelsea £20m. The reason Everton had to accept a knockdown fee for Barkley is that he will be a free agent at the end of the current season and £15m now was better than nothing later. So far, Barkley has promised more than he’s delivered. He has the ability to beat a man, which is important. He’s also got Is it time to start penalising footballers who go down as if they have been shot after a fair tackle, only to get up and rejoin play when they realise no action has been taken by the referee? Rowan Gorrie, Ramsbottom Jonathan Northcroft highlighted improvements made at Arsenal (last week). Many fans will look at a squad that lacks quality in depth and scoff at the appointments. Any sustained improvement will come well after this year. It is vital that those with proven track records, such as Sven good acceleration, he is strong on the ball and will occasionally score. Antonio Conte welcomed him to Chelsea by hailing him as “a complete player”. You could accuse Barkley of many things but not that. He is 24 now and the move south is the fork in his career. There is no certainty that the change will work for him. Previous managers, especially David Moyes and Ronald Koeman, were well aware of his talent but Mislintat and Raul Sanllehi, stay after Arsène Wenger goes to ensure continuity. David Rimmer, Hertford Heath I would have sympathy for Arsène Wenger’s anger with Mike Dean after West Brom’s generous penalty if I heard him complain on one of the many occasions bad decisions have benefited his team. Damien Mackinney, Stourbridge Has anyone else noticed that it appears Arsène Wenger has hated every minute of Barkley: career crossroads every one of his recordbreaking 811 games in the Premier League? David James, Crewe Recently two horrendous fouls were committed on Manchester City players. Each offender was shown a yellow card, preventing further action by the FA. Lesser offenders, shown no card, were suspended after retrospective action. This rule makes the FA look an ass and should be amended Hans Eirew, Manchester Mark Hughes said the TV schedules ‘give bigger clubs The most heartwarming part of the holiday games was seeing Pep Guardiola and Roy Hodgson sharing a joke. The difference between Manchester City and Manchester United is that one manager has class – and the other is Jose Mourinho. Philip Moger, West Sussex boards down the back but he didn’t panic and stayed on. “Last year if you had taken Native River out of it he would have been an impressive winner. But being a year older and a pound up at the weights against a horse who was eight, it was a huge ask. “Once he jumped the last two, because he stays so well, there was nothing going to get by him at that stage. He won’t stop. If anything, maybe he got there a bit too soon.” Earlier in the Coral Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle, We Have A Dream was made to work hard by Sussex Ranger before landing odds of 8-11 by a length and a half. He was not entered in the original race due to be run two days after Christmas, which was abandoned due to waterlogging. Connections took advantage of its rescheduling and picked up a Grade One in the process. Jockey Daryl Jacob reported: “The ground is hard work, it’s dead and we didn’t go quick. He likes a nice, even gallop, he jumps better when they go a stride quicker but we wanted to teach him something today, winning at the same time. He’s got to learn his trade and what happened today was perfect.” The winner was trimmed to 7-1 from 8s by Paddy Power for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in March. At Sandown, Summerville Boy sprang a minor surprise in the 32Red Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle when turning earlier Cheltenham tables on Western Ryder. Tom George’s six-year-old seemed to relish the strong gallop set by Mont Des Avaloirs, and despite a sketchy jump at the last, Noel Fehily was able to gather his mount up and keep the 8-1 shot going for a four-length win. Kalashnikov stuck on gamely for second, with Mont Des Avaloirs back in third. The disappointment of the race was Western Ryder, the 7-4 favourite who was being ridden along before the home straight and was beaten at the second-last flight. “At Cheltenham it was a false-run race and he was very free,” said Fehily, explaining the reversal in form with Western Ryder. “It was an even gallop today and that suited him. I was hoping no one would notice I lost an iron at the last, he got into the bottom of it, but luckily he won really well. “I think he’ll get further, but he’s a big baby. Tom has been minding him and the reason he’s been running in good races is to keep him as a novice for next year if he didn’t win.” I took umbrage at Richard Husband linking Australia’s use of bouncers with Phillip Hughes’ untimely death (letters). It smacked of being a poor loser at a time when England would be better off rallying and continuing to salvage pride from the lost series. Tim Gill, via email If cricket boards are serious about keeping Test cricket at the forefront of the game, they must agree suitable preparation matches for all tours worldwide and address the issue of drop-in pitches. David Wythe, Bray © TIMES NEWSPAPERS LIMITED, 2018. Published and licensed for distribution in electronic and all other derivative forms by Times Newspapers Ltd, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF. Printed by Newsprinters (Broxbourne) Ltd, Great Cambridge Road, Waltham Cross, EN8 8DY, Kitling Rd, Prescot, Merseyside L34 9HN, Newsprinters (Eurocentral) Ltd, Byramsmuir Road, Holytown, Motherwell, ML1 4WH and TF Print SA, Edificio Multiusos, Poligono Industrial Los Majuelos, 38108 La Laguna Sta. 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