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Updated: 53 min 47 sec ago

Early goals a worry for Adelaide coach after draw against Melbourne Victory

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 18:38

Marco Kurz says draw a fair result for both sides but laments Reds’ inability to secure a win after being ahead 2-1

Adelaide United coach Marco Kurz has lamented his side’s inability to kill off Melbourne Victory in their bruising 2-2 A-League draw at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.

The Reds were forced to come from behind after Besart Berisha’s 12th minute opener and found themselves 2-1 up just after the hour courtesy of two stunning strikes from midfielder Vince Lia.

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Ronald Koeman’s close shave shows he is not deaf to Goodison Park gripes

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 17:30
Everton manager demands more quality in home game against Arsenal to ease growing unhappiness at his expensive team’s performances

It is part of Ronald Koeman’s routine to tweet before and after a match but he does not dwell on the reactions among his 1.16m followers. “I don’t read the comments of fans, no,” the Everton manager claimed. “I want a quiet life.” He is in the wrong place in that case. Against Arsenal on Sunday opinions from inside Goodison Park may not be easily ignored.

Just when Everton thought their problems were confined to Koeman’s overpriced, underperforming team a knuckle-dragger emerges from the Gwladys Street stand, child in arm, to aim a blow at Lyon’s goalkeeper, Anthony Lopes. His actions have prompted a police investigation, a ban from the club and disciplinary action by Uefa, yet could not distract totally from another severe setback for the Everton manager on Thursday.

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Arsène Wenger says Arsenal regulars must reassert themselves at Everton

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 17:30
• ‘We have to show we can restart in the Premier League’ says manager
• Arsène Wenger outlines rotation policy for cup competitions

Arsène Wenger has challenged the first-team regulars he left at home for Arsenal’s Europa League win in Belgrade to pick up the pieces of their domestic season. “We have to show that we can restart in the Premier League as well,” he said.

After last weekend’s horror show at Watford, Arsenal face Everton – another club with high aspirations feeling the heat – at Goodison Park on Sunday and the manager is demanding a strong response. Last season it proved to be a pivotal – and painful – fixture for Wenger’s side, ending an unbeaten league run that stretched for almost four months. Top of the table at the time, that stumble on Merseyside prompted a steady slip out of the top four.

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Antonio Conte says stretched Chelsea are in a rebuilding phase

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 17:29
• Senior Chelsea players reportedly unhappy with training workload
• Conte: ‘The problem is having to play every game with the same players’

Antonio Conte will not drop the intensity of his training sessions at Chelsea despite the club’s draining schedule, and has claimed the champions are embroiled in a process of “rebuilding” even though they enjoyed startling success last season.

Chelsea host fourth-placed Watford on Saturday having lost their past two league games to slip nine points off the top. They have dropped eight points at Stamford Bridge this season, two more than over the entirety of the last campaign. Conte has publicly pointed to a lack of alternative options in his squad and, with injuries taking their toll, has only one senior midfielder, Cesc Fàbregas, fully fit following the midweek draw with Roma in the Champions League.

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Bath fly flag in Europe after Rhys Priestland puts boot into Scarlets

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 17:21
• Scarlets 13-18 Bath
• Fly-half Priestland lands six penalties

Even by the standards of these parts this was a wild, rain-lashed evening but Bath successfully rode the intense Friday night storm. Two wins from their opening two European games have set them up nicely in Pool 5 and their forwards ultimately proved too strong for a winless Scarlets side who now face an uphill struggle to qualify for the knockout stages.

It is not impossible for a team to qualify having lost their first two fixtures but, for the second successive week, Scarlets discovered that Europe is an unforgiving playground. Home defeats are grievous blows and six penalties from their former fly-half Rhys Priestland was enough to deliver Bath a sodden but quietly satisfying outcome. “We couldn’t argue on the day, they were the better side,” admitted the Scarlets’ head coach, Wayne Pivac.

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England’s women sunk in friendly by Viviane Asseyi’s late goal for France

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 17:09
• France 1-0 England
• Viviane Asseyi scores only goal in 89th minute

England may not be finding life after Mark Sampson that easy but they found a sanctuary of sorts on the pitch before succumbing to Viviane Asseyi’s late winner for France.

Related: England Women’s goalkeeping coach Lee Kendall sent home from France

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‘Leicester’s Matt Toomua: ‘My mind is firmly here, I want a few good years here’

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 17:01
The Australian centre talks about a year on the sidelines, being apart from his cricketer wife Ellyse Perry and why he is putting Leicester before his country

Midweek in Leicester and Australian accents are everywhere. Heading up the operation this season is Matt O’Connor, fluent Strine speaker with extensive coaching experience in both hemispheres. Finally fit again after a frustrating nine-month absence is the Wallaby centre Matt Toomua, perhaps the Premiership’s most creative overseas back now Kurtley Beale has gone home. Short of signing Dame Edna Everage and swapping to green and gold jerseys, the Tigers have every Australian base covered.

Toomua, in an effort to make himself useful while recovering from a major knee operation, has even assumed the role of in-house barista, serving up flat whites so good that the entire squad form an orderly queue. “When I was injured, training would be done by about 10.30am so I thought: ‘I’ve got to do something for the guys,’” he says. “We got a commercial espresso machine installed in the club, I started making coffees for everyone and it kind of took off.

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Saracens’ Alex Goode: ‘I’ll be here as long as they’ll have me’

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 17:00
The full-back may now be facing more competition for his place but has no intention of leaving the ‘happy environment’ at the only club he has played for

It would be no great surprise if the sense of adventure Alex Goode has always displayed on the field gave rise to some wanderlust off it. Out of the England picture and having won all there is to win with Saracens, at the age of 29 he would be forgiven for seeking to broaden his horizons – not least after the arrival of the British & Irish Lions’ first-choice full-back for competition over the summer.

Not a bit of it. It is 11 years since Goode joined the club’s academy, making him the longest serving member of the first-team squad, but he has no intention of following his close friend Chris Ashton across the Channel any time soon. Indeed, it is due to the very fact that he no longer features in Eddie Jones’s England plans that Goode is determined to add further silverware to Saracens’ bulging trophy cabinet.

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Glenn Murray’s double for Brighton puts West Ham’s Slaven Bilic on the rack

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 16:57

For Slaven Bilic, it was a form of torture. For Brighton & Hove Albion, however, the anger that started to rain down from the home sections as the final whistle approached was music to their ears. They have waited a long time to experience the feeling of winning away in the top flight again – 34 years to be precise – and how they cherished putting that statistic to bed at the London Stadium.

It was March 1983 when Brighton won 2-1 away to Swansea City in the old First Division. The scoreline was far more emphatic here. Brighton executed Chris Hughton’s plan to perfection, with two goals from Glenn Murray and a fine effort from José Izquierdo moving them into the top half, and the taunts from the away end spoke volumes for their dominance over West Ham, who could be back in the bottom three by the end of the weekend. Bilic will be a worried man after this capitulation.

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England Women’s goalkeeping coach Lee Kendall sent home

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 15:28
• Kendall accused of ‘unacceptable behaviour’ towards striker Eni Aluko
• Tim Dittmer, of the men’s under-21 side, flown out to Valenciennes

If England had hoped to leave their troubles behind after arriving in northern France for Friday night’s friendly against Les Bleues in Valenciennes they were badly mistaken.

Related: FA’s Greg Clarke under further pressure after John Amaechi’s equality claims

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Leonard Barden on Chess

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 15:15
He led the US to victory in the student Olympiad at Leningrad, beating Boris Spassky in the process, as his his country recorded their only team victory against the Soviet Union

William Lombardy, who has died aged 79, was a chess legend who in 1957 won the junior (under-20) world title with 11 out of 11, a 100% score which remains a record for this prestigious event whose later champions include Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Vishy Anand.

In 1972 Lombardy became even more famous as Bobby Fischer’s second against Boris Spassky at Reykjavik, a role recreated in the 2014 film Pawn Sacrifice.

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Pochettino says Liverpool should prepare to be surprised by Spurs tactics

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 15:13
• ‘Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t work,’ says Spurs manager
• Pochettino not beaten Liverpool in seven games as manager

Mauricio Pochettino has suggested Jürgen Klopp and his players should be prepared to come up against a surprise change in formation and tactics when Liverpool face Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on Sunday, with the manager emboldened by the success he enjoyed in changing Spurs’ approach against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

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

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Papa Massata Diack ‘tried to lock African votes’ to take 2020 Olympics to Tokyo

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 15:03
• Son of Lamine Diack accused of trying to fix bidding for 2020 games
• Massata Diack said to be on the run from Interpol in Senegal

Papa Massata Diack, the man accused of being at the heart of the corruption racket to fix the bidding for Tokyo to win the 2020 Olympics, is reported to have sent an email on the day of the vote warning of the need to “lock” African votes to prevent them going to Madrid instead.

According to the French newspaper Le Monde, Diack emailed his father Lamine, an influential figure in the International Olympic Committee, to warn him: “Information coming from your African colleague, it seems that Sheikh Ahmad is doing all he can to get the Africans to vote for Madrid! We need to lock this before the pause.”

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Wheelchair access at Premier League grounds improved after campaigning

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 15:03
• Fourteen of 20 stadiums now comply with guidelines
• Target met after legal action was threatened by fans

Fourteen of the 20 Premier League clubs have now built enough wheelchair spaces to meet official guidelines, having undertaken substantial development work in response to a relentless campaign by disabled supporters’ representatives and threats of legal action.

In 2015, only two clubs provided the recommended access for disabled people in proportion to their stadium capacity, set out in the Accessible Stadia guide, which the clubs agreed to implement almost 20 years ago. That September, the Premier League clubs pledged they would meet the guidance within two years, given the £8.4bn 2016-19 windfall from TV rights.

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West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion: Premier League – live!

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 15:02

8.02pm BST

2 min: West Ham, as expected, are controlling possession early on. But they’re not making any inroads into a well organised Brighton defence.

8.00pm BST

1 min: We have kickoff!

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FA’s Greg Clarke under further pressure after John Amaechi’s equality claims

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 14:31
• Clarke allegedly said he would not risk ‘getting fucking fired for equality’
• Amaechi is one of Britain’s highest-profile openly gay sportsmen

Greg Clarke’s position as chairman of the Football Association is set to come under further scrutiny after it was alleged he told John Amaechi, one of Britain’s highest-profile openly gay sportsmen, that he would not risk “getting fucking fired for equality”.

Clarke is already in hot water over the FA’s handling of allegations of discrimination made by Eni Aluko. At a parliamentary hearing this week, which exposed deep flaws in the way the organisation investigated the former England Women’s manager Mark Sampson, Clarke dismissed the idea of institutional racism as “fluff”, although he swiftly attempted to retract his words.

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A decade after Indy joy Lewis Hamilton is looking for another US win

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 14:23
The suggestion of joining NFL’s kneeling protests at the Grand Prix in Austin is of little interest to the title-chasing Mercedes driver

Lewis Hamilton may have the numerical advantage heading into this weekend’s US Grand Prix but one thing is clear: he has no intention of allowing mere figures to influence his charge to a fourth world championship.

Related: Lewis Hamilton wins Japanese GP to take big step towards F1 title

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Swansea City v Leicester City: match preview

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 13:43

With Leicester City winless in six games, 18th in the league and without a manager this is a huge opportunity for Swansea City to capitalise and record their third win of the season. In-form Tammy Abraham should relish going up against a Leicester defence that has conceded nine in their barren run. It is likely to be an uphill struggle for Leicester with the players reportedly unhappy about Craig Shakespeare’s sacking. Robin Sargeson

Kick-off Saturday 3pm

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Southampton v West Bromwich Albion: match preview

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 13:23

These two sides are sitting in mid-table but may feel under pressure by kick-off, when all but one of the teams below them will have played. Southampton have won only once at St Mary’s this season, while West Bromwich Albion are winless in their past six league games. Mauricio Pellegrino will be looking for a repeat performance from the inconsistent Manolo Gabbiadini after his double against Newcastle, while goalkeepers Ben Foster and Boaz Myhill both face late fitness tests for the visitors. Niall McVeigh

Kick-off Saturday 5.30pm

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The good ship Lionel Messi feels too massive to be moved | Barney Ronay

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 13:15
The prospect of Lionel Messi, and the entire machinery built around him, leaving Barcelona would create such a frenzy it is difficult to imagine it being possible

We all have our favourite Victorian engineering folly. Mine is the SS Great Eastern, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s super-ship powered by a hundred furnaces, a vessel so vast it could carry 10,000 passengers, so vast it became a symbol of grandiose, stovepipe-hatted ambition, and so vast that it turned out it couldn’t actually sail anywhere.

Completed in November 1857, the Great Eastern stayed moored at Millwall on the Thames for two months, unable to move because of its own mind-boggling size. Several times a launch was attempted and then abandoned. Eventually the Great Eastern left its dock with the help of an unusually powerful tide and from there set off on its ill-fated shortened lifespan.

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