Farce as Belenenses start game with nine men – including two keepers

Primeira Liga game with Benfica abandoned after chaotic start14 Belenenses players plus coach tested positive for CovidBelenenses’s Primeira Liga game with Benfica was abandoned early in the second half after a Covid outbreak had forced them to start the match with just nine men – two of them goalkeepers.Instead of postponing the game when news emerged that 14 players and three staff members had tested positive, Portuguese league authorities sanctioned it going ahead due to both clubs still being able to field the minimum required seven players. Continue reading...
Guardian - 27.11.2021 23:41

Cobham calling: Chelsea’s academy is colonising the Premier League | Jonathan Liew

Frank Lampard and now Thomas Tuchel have helped create perfect conditions for homegrown players to flourishThere was Josh McEachran and Ola Aina. There was Dominic Solanke and Gaël Kakuta. There was the season under Maurizio Sarri when he did not give a single debut to an academy player. There was the Chelsea manager who argued in a presentation to the technical director, Michael Emenalo, that the club should scrap or scale down its academy as it was costing too much and producing no tangible benefit to the first team.For all of them, and all of this, Chelsea’s third goal against Juventus on Tuesday night was an ornate kind of closure: Reece James peeling away towards the back post with his customary menace, Ruben Loftus-Cheek twisting and shuffling in the area, Callum Hudson-Odoi applying the finish. A goal made in Chelsea, conceived at Cobham: perhaps the fullest vindication to date of Roman Abramovich’s frequently ridiculed, frequently wasteful vision of a Chelsea first team brimmin...
Guardian - 27.11.2021 21:00

European roundup: Borussia Dortmund come from behind to beat Wolfsburg

Returning Erling Haaland seals 3-1 victory after early setbackDortmund go top ahead of Bayern Munich’s late kick-offErling Haaland scored on his return from injury to help Borussia Dortmund move top the Bundesliga with a 3-1 win at Wolfsburg. Defending champion Bayern Munich can restore their previous one-point lead with a win over Arminia Bielefeld in Saturday’s late match, a week before Dortmund hosts Bayern.Haaland hadn’t played in the Bundesliga since scoring twice in a 3-1 win at Mainz in October. Manager Marco Rose delighted Dortmund fans on Friday when he said Haaland may return sooner than originally thought and he followed through by bringing on the 21-year-old in the 72nd minute in Wolfsburg. Continue reading...
Guardian - 27.11.2021 18:17

Diogo Jota quick to spark Liverpool stroll past Southampton

The question was not whether Liverpool would score once again but how long Southampton would make a contest of their latest daunting assignment at Anfield. The answer was two minutes.When Diogo Jota converted at the end of Liverpool’s first meaningful attack it proved the cue for Jürgen Klopp’s team to deliver another procession on home soil and expose the vast gulf between the Premier League elite and those in their slipstream. Jota scored twice, Thiago Alcântara and Virgil van Dijk one apiece, as Liverpool made it 10 goals at Anfield without reply inside a week. In doing so, they became the first top-flight team to score at least twice in 17 consecutive matches since Sunderland in 1927. Continue reading...
Guardian - 27.11.2021 18:05

Steven Gerrard in dreamland with back-to-back wins at Aston Villa as John McGinn emulates his manager with long-range beauty in victory over Crystal Palace

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard was pumping his fists on the touchline once more as Matt Targett and John McGinn secured a 2-1 victory to end Crystal Palace’s seven-game unbeaten run. Targett’s clever 15th minute strike and McGinn’s Gerrard-esque long-range curler were enough to make it two wins from two since Gerrard took over from […]
TalkSport - 27.11.2021 18:03

Romelu Lukaku returns in Chelsea XI as Thomas Tuchel prepares to show Ralf Rangnick how much work is needed at Manchester United to catch rivals

Romelu Lukaku could be set to return to haunt Manchester United as he takes on an injury-hit backline at Stamford Bridge. United will travel south to London with Michael Carrick still on the touchline in a caretaker role, with the former midfielder set to be replaced by Ralf Rangnick on an interim basis. Carrick took […]
TalkSport - 27.11.2021 17:01

‘Wonderful’ Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli goals help Arsenal overcome Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s ‘miss of the season contender’ and condemn Eddie Howe to first Newcastle defeat

Arsenal condemned Eddie Howe to a miserable debut in the Newcastle dugout by beating his Magpies 2-0 at the Emirates. Second-half goals from Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli ensured Mikel Arteta’s men brushed off last week’s hammering at Liverpool, despite a horrendous miss from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Howe oversaw Newcastle’s 3-3 draw with Brentford from a […]
TalkSport - 27.11.2021 15:26

Arsenal v Newcastle: Premier League – live!

Updates from the 12.30pm GMT kick-off at the EmiratesPremier League: 10 things to look out for this weekendGet in touch! You can email Scott hereLove is love, one and all. The Premier League does its bit for Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign this week, as clubs link arms to show their support for all LGBT+ people both in the world of football and beyond. Rainbow armbands, pin badges, ball plinths, substitute boards, LED perimeter boards, and of course laces, ahoy! More details of a celebration of solidarity, inclusion and love can be found here.Just one change for Arsenal from the 4-0 thumping by Liverpool. Martin Odegaard comes in for the benched Alexandre Lacazette. No starting spot for Kieran Tierney as he returns from injury, so Nuno Tavares, who had an absolute shocker at Anfield, retains his place. Continue reading...
Guardian - 27.11.2021 12:55

England v Austria: Women’s World Cup qualifier – live!

Follow the 12.30pm GMT kick-off at the Stadium of LightDefence, laughter and records: key England talking pointsGet in touch! You can email Luke here or tweet himMillie Bright has said she is “humbled and honoured” to have been asked to captain England for the World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Latvia.England have cruised through World Cup qualifying thus far, winning 8-0 against North Macedonia, 10-0 against Luxembourg, 4-0 against Northern Ireland and 10-0 against Latvia. Today’s home encounter against Austria in Sunderland doesn’t look so straightforward: the visitors have won three out of four, along with a draw against Northern Ireland, scoring 21 goals and conceding three. Continue reading...
Guardian - 27.11.2021 12:48

Neymar’s once joyful talent risks being mangled by the PSG project | Barney Ronay

Brazilian is the world’s longest-serving next-best footballer but his moments of genius are increasingly rareWho weeps for Neymar? Not many people. Except perhaps Neymar himself, who cries a lot and not always out of sadness. A quick internet search of “Neymar tears” reveals 4.73 million hits, from Brazil tears to Barça tears, to brave tears, sad tears, tears as Neymar greets [insert celebrity friend], to full, cinematic hot salty snot-washing tears. So, so many tears.The good news is you can also get a more cheering 18 million hits for “Neymar happy”: cue for a series of wonderful beaming grins and winks and million-dollar smiles. Some people have that glow about them. I once saw a woman faint in an airport departure hall after coming unexpectedly face to face with Bill Clinton – please, no comments – who has the same sense of human event glamour. Clinton just kind of giggled, a laugh of recognition – yes siree, ma’am, that’s what I do – as his victim was led away. Continue reading...
Guardian - 27.11.2021 09:00

Great expectations, no guarantees as USWNT expose Matildas frailties

A record crowd pointed to a bright future, but the same old problems remain for the MatildasAlmost as soon as it was locked in, Saturday afternoon’s meeting between Australia and the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) was positioned as a celebration of the present and future of Australian women’s football. But in downing the Matildas 3-0 the United States provided another potent reminder to Australian football that, despite the great expectations it holds with a home World Cup on the horizon, the future is never guaranteed.As 36,109 fans watched on - the highest ever crowd for a women’s football match in Australia - the United States proved quite happy to spoil their hosts’ party, proving to be simply the better team in the moments when it counted; taking advantage of some calamitous errors and naivety in approach to claim a clinical win behind goals from Ashley Hatch, Rose Lavelle and Lindsey Horan (who made good on her goal of “shutting up” a hostile home crowd). Continue re...
Guardian - 27.11.2021 08:01

Mikel Arteta has faith Nicolas Pepé can rediscover form at Arsenal

£72m Ivorian played five minutes of past four top-flight fixturesManager says next few seasons will show if he is value for moneyMikel Arteta has admitted Arsenal are yet to see whether Nicolas Pépé will deliver on his £72m transfer fee but believes the out-of-favour forward can come good over the rest of his contract.Hopes were high that Pépé would make a quick start this season after he finished 2020-21 strongly, scoring five times in the club’s final three games, but he has been unable to replicate that form. The Ivorian has played only five minutes of Arsenal’s past four top-flight fixtures, starting one of their past seven, and is yet to break his duck in the league. It means the overall picture since his arrival from Lille in August 2019 is one of frustrating inconsistency; Arteta said time would tell when it comes to assessing Pépé’s worth and that the team’s overall performance would be a factor. Continue reading...
Guardian - 26.11.2021 23:30

Klopp urges Mané to ‘pay back with football’ when opponents provoke him

Liverpool manager believes striker has long been a targetKlopp: ‘Sadio is now much better at dealing with that’Jürgen Klopp has told Sadio Mané to control his emotions when provoked by opponents and “pay them back with football”. The Liverpool manager believes opposition players regularly attempt to antagonise the striker, and was embroiled in a furious row with Mikel Arteta last weekend after the Arsenal bench appealed for a card when Mané caught Takehiro Tomiyasu.Klopp admits he has spoken to the Senegal international about not rising to the bait, and is confident the advice has been heeded. “It has been a thing for much longer,” said Klopp. “Even when it was not obvious to the outside. You can see it in games that they go for him because they want to wind him up. Continue reading...
Guardian - 26.11.2021 23:30


Kazakhstan Edges Sweden

Following Alexander Bublik's victory, Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov completed the comeback for Kazakhstan Saturday at the Davis Cup Finals, defeating Andre Goransson and Robert Lindstedt 6-3, 6-3 to seal a 2-1 win against Sweden. The pair won 87 per cent (26/30) of their first-serve points and did not face a break point to triumph after 69 minutes. In the opening match of the day in Madrid, Elias Ymer overcame Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 7-6(4) to put Sweden on the brink of qualification, after the former champions won their opening Group B tie against Canada Thursday. Ymer hit nine aces and blasted 26 winners in his one-hour, 53-minute win. However, his brother, Mikael Ymer, was unable to win the tie, falling to Alexander Bublik 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 in one hour and 37 minutes. Bublik broke four times and won the last eight games to bring Kazakhstan level.
ATP - 27.11.2021 17:54

Stars In Action At Champions Tennis Event

The second day of the ATP Champions Tour’s Champions Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall has concluded, with two more days of competitive tennis still to come from some of the world’s greatest players in the iconic British venue. Friday's afternoon session saw Mark Philippoussis defeat Thomas Enqvist 4-3, 4-3, while David Ferrer beat Tomas Berdych 3-4, 4-2, 4-1. In the doubles match, Nicolas Almagro and Mikhail Youzhny overcame Fernando Gonzalez and Xavier Malisse 4-3, 4-3. In the evening session, Radek Stepanek beat Malisse 4-3, 4-3, while Tommy Haas defeated Gonzalez 3-4, 4-1, 4-2. In the doubles match, Mark Philippoussis and Berdych overcame Baghdatis and Greg Rusedski 3-4, 4-1, 4-2. Champions Tennis sees players who have held the World No. 1 ranking, reached a Grand Slam singles final or been a singles player in a victorious Davis Cup team, compete in a mixture of team and individual events in both singles and doubles. Across the four days some of the biggest legends of the...
ATP - 27.11.2021 16:21

Sonego Fires Italy Ahead

Lorenzo Sonego delivered Friday on his Davis Cup Finals debut to give Italy a 1-0 lead over the United States, defeating Reilly Opelka 6-3, 7-6(4) at the Pala Alpitour in Turin. The 26-year-old, who triumphed on home soil in Cagliari this season, was strong on serve, winning 90 per cent (38/42) of points behind his first delivery and saving the one break point he faced to secure victory in one hour and 31 minutes. “It was not easy,” Sonego said. “I was the first time for me competing at the Davis Cup and I am really happy about the match. Thank you everyone.” The World No. 10 Jannik Sinner will play John Isner in the next match of the tie. See all Davis Cup results
ATP - 26.11.2021 17:56

Lleyton Hewitt slams organisers for ‘selling soul’ of Davis Cup

Abu Dhabi move would ‘kill’ competition says former world No 1Great Britain look to advance to the knockout roundsLleyton Hewitt has expressed his dismay at the state of the Davis Cup following the news the tournament could be held in Abu Dhabi from 2022. Hewitt, the captain of the Australian team, said that the current format is “not what Davis Cup is about,” an event that he believes once stood as the pinnacle of the sport.“Davis Cup was held in the highest regard because it was up there with the pinnacle of our sport in men’s tennis, which was five sets. Grand slams and Davis Cup, they are the only ones that played five sets. We threw that out the door, and now we are throwing the home and away out the door, as well,” said Hewitt. Continue reading...
Guardian - 26.11.2021 17:47

‘I’m sure he wants to get to 10’: Australian Open boss weighs in on Novak Djokovic speculation

Craig Tiley reiterates Victoria’s strict vaccination mandateATP Cup returns to Sydney to headline warm-up eventsAustralian Open director Craig Tiley expects up to 95% of players will be vaccinated against Covid-19 in time for the January tournament but is unsure whether Novak Djokovic will be among them despite the world No 1’s hunt for a record 21st grand slam title.Tiley said Victoria state’s strict vaccination mandate had motivated players to get their shots before Melbourne Park, where fans and staff will also be banned if unvaccinated. Continue reading...
Guardian - 25.11.2021 09:26