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Updated: 54 min 1 sec ago

Flying start for Michael Appleton as Leicester edge past Swansea

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 12:12

For the second time this year the Leicester City players responded to the news that their manager had been sacked by picking up three points and producing the sort of performance that suggests there is not much that needs fine-tuning whenever Craig Shakespeare’s successor takes over. Who that will be remains to be seen but this was a display to give plenty of encouragement to anyone mulling over whether to take the plunge.

Shinji Okazaki justified his return to the side with his fifth goal of the season but it was Riyad Mahrez, whose form has been so indifferent ever since Leicester won the Premier League title, who was the standout performer. It was Mahrez’s cross that Federico Fernández headed into his own net to give Leicester a fully deserved lead and the winger also set up the second for Okazaki with a lovely cushioned pass.

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Manchester City’s Sergio Agüero equals scoring mark in win against Burnley

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 12:08

Manchester City remain on top of the Premier League, Sergio Agüero is now their joint top all-time goalscorer, but this workmanlike victory over a predictably solid Burnley side refuted the theory that Saturday afternoons at the Etihad are going to be one long carnival of fantasy football.

This was just football. Burnley made City work for the points and that was exactly what they did, only securing victory in the final quarter and playing impressively without putting on a show. It was entertaining enough on a wet and windy day, and as most people in the crowd were following the score in Manchester United’s game, absolutely no one was complaining.

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Southampton v West Brom: Premier League – live!

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 11:30

4.00pm BST

With Ben Foster recently suffering a knee problem during a back garden kickabout with his son, here’s a look back at some other freak injuries:

Related: Football's freak injuries

3.24pm BST

Good afternoon. This is my first Guardian MBM, so you can all send your constructive feedback to the above email address. I will need something to pass the time, as the prospect of Southampton v West Brom doesn’t give anyone much hope of constant action for 90 minutes, so filler will be required.

Southampton and scoring have not been great friends in 2017, but two entire goals against Newcastle last week might be the boost they need to go on a run. However, considering West Brom’s defensive prowess, it could be another tricky one for the Saints. Mauricio Pellegrino has only won one home league game since taking charge in the summer, so will be keen to find a second or will be looking over his shoulder, waiting for Nigel Adkins’ triumphant return.

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Cracksman and Frankie Dettori win Champion Stakes in brilliant style

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 11:25
• The John Gosden-trained favourite was an easy winner
• Italian jockey wins first Champion Stakes at Ascot

Cracksman lived up to the hype with a stunning display in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.

Plenty was written and said about connections deciding to skip the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and shunning a clash with John Gosden-trained stablemate Enable, who eventually won in great style. And while the decision to drop back to 10 furlongs did not look sure to suit the son of Frankel, he absolutely blitzed a classy field.

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Can Formula One's American takeover fuel a long-awaited US expansion?

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 10:20

Liberty Media’s $8bn acquisition of Formula One in January has given rise to fresh questions about the series’ intentions in the United States

About an hour’s drive from where I live, in the coastal hinterlands of South Carolina, lies the city of Savannah, Georgia. And every so often I’ll cross the border for a taste of the big city.

On one such excursion a few months back, while walking through a neighborhood on the fringe of Savannah’s tourist district, I found myself doubling back to examine a historical marker for something called the American Grand Prize. What’s its connection to Sunday’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas? Well, it’s the granddaddy, an early milepost on the way to Formula One as we know it today.

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Chelsea’s César Azpilicueta makes Watford pay for misses in thriller

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 09:39

“That’s why we’re champions,” crowed the Matthew Harding Stand after César Azpilicueta, awkwardly but decisively, nudged in the goal that in effect settled a breathless affair. In truth Chelsea had also showed plenty of reasons why a repeat of last season’s feat looks a long shot but that analysis will come later: this was, ultimately, a triumph of guts and class on an afternoon when Marco Silva’s fine Watford side had threatened to overrun them. The visitors had overturned Pedro’s opener to lead 2-1 and missed chances to exacerbate a troubled October for Antonio Conte; that they were overcome owed plenty to two goals from the substitute Michy Batshuayi and a reserve of quality that has not always come to the fore in recent months.

Given Chelsea’s recent toils, they would hardly have felt placed to choose between a stroke of luck or piece of early brilliance. Pedro’s goal turned out to be the direct result of both. Chelsea should not have been awarded a corner when Eden Hazard, in reasonable proximity to the assistant referee, got his feet in a muddle near the corner flag and ran the ball out of play, but they took advantage spectacularly. Hazard was far brighter in working the set piece to Pedro who, running around the ball five yards beyond the penalty area, whipped a sumptuous shot beyond Heurelho Gomes and off the far post. The goalkeeper, beaten by the pace and right-to-left curl on the shot, could not even offer a dive.

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Moussa Dembélé and Mickael Lustig power Celtic past Hibs to Cup Final

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 09:28

By the very definition of the term, a Hibernian League Cup semi-final win over Celtic would not have represented a shock. After all, you need not have searched far in recent days to discover the theory that Celtic – supposedly weary and wounded from a midweek defeat in Munich – might encounter serious problems against a team who held them to a draw on 30 September. In truth, this belied Celtic’s recent capacity to play well in the immediate aftermath of European encounters.

The only element of shock as visible at Hampden Park resonated in the identity of the man who sent Celtic on the way to yet another domestic victory. If Brendan Rodgers’s reinvigoration of players at his disposal when he arrived at Celtic has been more impressive than his recruitment, and there is logic behind that sense, Mikael Lustig represents case in point. And yet, the Swedish full-back his never been regarded as a potent threat when in an opposition penalty area.

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Huddersfield v Manchester United, Manchester City v Burnley and more – live!

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 09:27

2.27pm BST

Hibernian 2-4 Celtic: Celtic’s unbeaten domestic run continues. Having got a trimming from Bayern Munich in the Champions League dueing the week, Brendan Rodgers’s side has returned to winning ways in the Betfred Scottish League Cup semi-final at Hampden Park.

2.26pm BST

Having been two goals down against a Watford side that squandered several opportunities to wrap up the game, Chelsea have just triumphed 4-2 at Stamford Bridge. Michy Batshuayi came off the bench to make it 2-2, before Cesar Azpilicueta headed Chelsea into the lead. Batshuayi popped up again deep in injury time to give Chelsea a two-goal winning margin that looked most unlikely 30 minutes ago.

Related: Chelsea v Watford: Premier League – live!

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Champions Day 2017: Flat racing finale at Ascot – live!

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 08:30

1.30pm BST

1 Order Of St George (R L Moore) 4-5 Fav
2 Torcedor (C O’Donoghue) 25-1
3 Stradivarius (L Dettori) 4-1
13 ran

1.25pm BST

And they’re off ... Cap’n (having first ever run incredibly) very slow into stride ... but Big Orange leads ... Mount Moriah and Stars Over The Sea are prominent with Order of St George and Dartmouth in midfield ... Stars Over The Sea has lost his position ... Order Of St George has made nice progress ... Big Orange goes backwards ... as they turn for home ... Mount Moriah leads with Order Of St George back in third ... Torcedor takes the lead ... Order Of St George fights back in the final half furlong to win.

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Reece Hodge inspires Australia to tense Bledisloe Cup win over New Zealand

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 07:43
• Australia 23-18 New Zealand
• Wallabies end their seven-game losing run against All Blacks

Fittingly it was a drenched Brisbane that saw the Wallabies end the most worrying drought in Australian sport.

Reece Hodge was the toast of the crowd, scoring the opening try and then, after taking kicking duties from Bernard Foley, booming two late penalties, the second from inside his own half, to provide the difference between the sides.

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Beyond the warm hug, Pochettino and Klopp embrace total reboots | Barney Ronay

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 07:00

Tottenham and Liverpool are well-matched in skill and ambition and their managers are seeking to construct futures that will end obsession with the past

Mauricio Pochettino loves a hug. The pre-match handshake may be no more than a glazed formality for most Premier League managers. But not for Pochettino who, when he gives himself, gives himself completely and who has taken the Poch-hug to new and ever-manlier levels in his four years in England, from simple chest-bump to full-blown neck-fondling embrace. What seems certain is that Jürgen Klopp will get something from the most fraternal end of the scale when Tottenham and Liverpool meet at Wembley on Sunday.

Related: Tottenham reaping rewards of Pochettino’s vision, on and off the pitch | David Hytner

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Everton have lost their identity and need to get back to basics against Arsenal | Paul Wilson

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 07:00

Ronald Koeman has presided over a difficult start to a season in which his team of too many No10s seems to lack purpose following the loss Romelu Lukaku

Midway through the Europa League defeat by Lyon at Goodison on Thursday, just before the fighting broke out in fact, the chap in the next seat turned to me and said he wouldn’t mind sticking £100 on Everton to beat Arsenal at the weekend. “They are clearly concentrating on that game,” he argued, pointing to the fact that Wayne Rooney, Leighton Baines and a couple of other regulars had been left out of the side to face Lyon. “And come on, Everton always beat Arsenal.”

Not true, actually. If you look back over the past five years there have been just two home league wins over Arsène Wenger’s side. There was the one last season, when a late goal from Ashley Williams sealed a 2-1 victory that ended a sequence of five winless games and put a little momentum back into Everton’s league campaign, and a tidy 3-0 trouncing in Roberto Martínez’s first season that the manager described as “tactically perfect”.

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Australia v New Zealand: third Bledisloe Cup Test – live!

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 06:33
  • Live updates as the Wallabies take on the All Blacks in Brisbane
  • Get in touch with Kieran on email or via Twitter @KieranPender

11.33am BST

56 min: And the gamble pays off! Israel Folau with another try in the corner - advantage Australia!

11.32am BST

55 min: Australia are on the Kiwi 40 metre line and gradually moving their way forward. Will Genia takes a quick tap from a penalty, and finds some space. Advantage to Australia for an offside, but the Wallabies swing wide with Tevita Kuridrani. He puts the ball down, and proceedings are called back for the penalty. The green and gold kick for touch, a bold call given they are right in front and one point down.

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Chelsea v Watford: Premier League – live!

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 06:30

10.54am BST

Hello. Meet Chelsea, a debonair playboy from, erm, Chelsea. No matter how hard he tries, or how much money he spends, he just can’t settle down. In the last decade he’s had a string of briefly euphoric yet ultimately poisonous relationships. It doesn’t matter how exciting the relationships are in the beginning. After a while little things just start to grate on Chelsea: the training sessions, the man-management or HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU, THE 2 UNLIMITED CDS SHOULD BE FILED UNDER ‘T’, NOT BEFORE ‘A’. Now, it seems, his tumultuous fling with Antonio Conte is coming towards the end.

How the flip has it come to this? It’s barely five months since Chelsea completed a monstrously impressive title win yet they are in a familiar mess, with stories being leaked to the press about the usual. It would be wrong to accuse modern footballers of stabbing managers in the back; they have somebody else to do that for them.

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Simona Halep rules roost before WTA Finals but Serena is being missed | Jacob Steinberg

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 05:01

World No1 spot has changed hands a few times this year, with Halep the latest holder after Garbiñe Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova’s turns at the top

Sometimes it is not the quality of the competition that matters to an audience but the possibility of witnessing new and exciting narratives. For proof that a contest can be compelling without being entertaining, look no further than the US Open final last month between Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys. It was a stinker. Keys froze and Stephens needed only 61 minutes to beat her friend 6-3, 6-0.

That there have been more memorable finals was indisputable, but that was unimportant. Instead of griping about the level of the tennis, fans and pundits revelled in a stirring comeback tale featuring a character who had just returned from 11 months out with a foot injury. The point of the story was how, in the space of six weeks, Stephens rose from the depths of 957th in the world rankings to become one of the unlikeliest of grand slam champions. This was sport at its most human. It was also ammunition for those who believe that women’s tennis is on the slide.

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Melbourne City v Wellington, Boom Time wins Caulfield Cup and more: sportwatch – live!

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 04:29

9.29am BST

90+2 min: The pattern of scrappy midfield turnovers resumes, and it suits City with plenty of stoppages milking time off the clock.

9.27am BST

90 min: City really hanging on now, failing to clear their lines convincingly and just handing possession back to Wellington. The Nix don’t seem to have the craft to unpick such a massed, deep defence though. They’re trying their luck with crosses but there are too many big blue bodies to allow a clear header on goal.

Three minutes of stoppage time to be played.

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Everton v Arsenal: match preview

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 04:00

Beating Arsenal at home last season was a turning point for Everton, who went into that 2-1 victory on the back of one win in 11 matches. Ronald Koeman’s side enter the corresponding fixture having won twice in 12 games and with their manager under intense pressure, though it is hard to envisage the repeat that Koeman desperately needs when looking at the attacking options at his disposal. Arsenal require a reaction of their own having been bullied into submission yet again at Watford last weekend. Andy Hunter

Kick-off Sunday 1.30pm

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Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool: match preview

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 04:00

After last week’s bore draw against Manchester United it was important for Liverpool to get a good result in the Champions League and they will look to carry this momentum forward against Spurs. Mauricio Pochettino is happy with Tottenham’s performances, as there were many positives from their draw with Real Madrid at the Bernabéu. It will be tough for Liverpool to beat Spurs, who are undefeated in their past six games. Robin Sargeson

Kick-off Sunday 4pm

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Footballer whose hero is Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 02:00

Eniola Aluko is a striker with 102 England caps – and now also a whistleblower – who had to turn to the law to make a living

Eniola Aluko has been trailblazing since she was in primary school, first for her brother Sone who became an international footballer like his older sister. “She was always a couple of steps ahead,” he said. “She went before me, she gave me the belief.”

Related: Eniola Aluko: ‘I won’t be paid the same as Wayne Rooney, because I’m not Wayne Rooney’

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Talking Horses: Big finish in store for Frankie Dettori and John Gosden

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 20:34

Cracksman looks the right favourite for the Champion Stakes but Beat The Bank can turn over Ribchester in the QEII

Another stellar year for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori should be capped off with victory in the feature race on British Champions Day, to be provided by Cracksman (3.50). This robust-looking son of Frankel was on the edge of becoming disappointing in the first half of the year, when beaten by unglamorous rivals in both the Derby and the Irish Derby, but things look rosier now.

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