Mercedes tribute to ‘exceptional’ Lewis Hamilton after F1 constructors’ title win

12-11-2018

• Toto Wolff thanks driver after fifth constructors’ title in a row• Hamilton salutes ‘best moment I’ve had with this team’The Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, has said that without Lewis Hamilton they would not have enjoyed the remarkable success that culminated in a record-equalling fifth constructors’ championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Hamilton’s win at Interlagos, having already secured his fifth drivers’ title, ensured Mercedes continued its complete dominance as a manufacturer, unbeaten since the turbo-hybrid era began in 2014.Since then, the team has won five consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championship doubles. Hamilton has four with Nico Rosberg taking one in 2016. Victory in Brazil ensured they have equalled Ferrari’s record, achieved with Michael Schumacher between 2000 and 2004. One more constructors’ championship will match Ferrari’s six, the Scuderia having also taken the team title in 2009. Continue reading...



The Fiver | A contemptuous disregard for simplistic gauges of a team's success

12-11-2018

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!When José Mourinho faced the ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth Estate in the wake of his side’s humiliation at Manchester City on Sunday evening, The Fiver was curious to see how he’d spin the horrors of what he’d just seen unfold. It being too soon after the game for him to have gone full White House press secretary and show doctored footage that made it look as if Manchester United had actually won, Mourinho was left with little option but to rubbish the lack of knowledge of those rat-a-tatting statistics his way, by pointing out that things like match results and league positions don’t really amount to much in the cosmic scheme of things. Continue reading...



Steph Houghton: England captain can win 70 more caps says Phil Neville

12-11-2018

Captain Steph Houghton will win another 50-70 caps for England says head coach Phil Neville, after she made her 100th appearance on Sunday.



The NFL has tipped everything in favour of offense and the results are divine

12-11-2018

We have reached a point at which the league almost seems unfair to defensive players. But who cares when it’s this much fun?Scoring is up across the NFL. And, at times, it all looks a little too easy. While the organized disorder being run by the Saints, Rams and Chiefs is too much for anyone in the league to handle, even average quarterbacks seem able to ruin opposing defenses. We had Nick Mullens exploding in his first career start last week, while on Sunday, Matt Barkley – yes, Matt Barkley! – rolled into New York and bludgeoned the Jets. He had only joined the team on Monday. As for what good quarterbacks can do, look no further than Patrick Mahomes, who is on course to throw more than 50 touchdowns in his first full-year as a starter.Everything in the modern game is tipped in the favor of the offense. The rules. The schemes. The talent. We have reached a high-point in offensive evolution. Teams are blending speed, power, efficiency, and explosiveness in one package – typically from the same grouping. Whereas teams used to pick a couple and call it their “identity” now they’re hoarding all four. Continue reading...



Boca Juniors and River Plate draw 2-2 in Copa Libertadores final first leg

12-11-2018

Carlos Izquierdoz own goal ensures River escape with drawRamón Ábila and Darío Benedetto on target for Boca 9.30pm GMT Boca Juniors and River Plate played out a thrilling 2-2 draw on Sunday in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores final that took place a day later than scheduled due to heavy rain in Argentina. Ramon Abila put Boca ahead after 34 minutes before Lucas Pratto equalised for the visitors less than two minutes later. Dario Benedetto put Boca ahead again just seconds before halftime but Carlos Izquierdoz put through his own goal after 61 minutes to leave the tie all square. 9.06pm GMT Anyway ... thanks for joining me. It was a pretty exciting game with a stunning atmosphere and the results was the right one, in my opinion.Until we meet again. Continue reading...



Football’s collective voice must be mobilised to rid the streets of knives | Richard Williams

12-11-2018

Top players, the FA and the Premier League need to devote time, energy and influence to persuading teenagers to ‘drop the knife and save a life’Like many 10-year-old boys throughout Britain in the year 2000, Damilola Taylor was a fan of Manchester United, happily in thrall to the team of Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Andy Cole. He loved playing the game, too. Today, 18 years after he bled to death in the stairwell of a Peckham housing estate, his name is on the youth centre where he practised his skills.Beyond the fact he had left Lagos for south London a few months earlier with his mother and a sister who needed specialised treatment for epilepsy, a love of football was among the few things that could be used to build a picture of Damilola when the news of his death made headlines in a Britain that could still be shocked by the idea of children killing each other. Now the connection is made all the time in reports of boys dying by violence on the streets. An involvement in rap music is often mentioned. But football is the interest that, by providing the victims with a sense of aspiration, most frequently gives us a clue to who they were. Continue reading...



England’s tactical superiority shows All Blacks’ rivals are closing the gap | Nick Evans

12-11-2018

The precision of Eddie Jones’s side put New Zealand on the back foot, making them look defensively vulnerable and reliant on individual creativityNew Zealand are not a very good wet‑weather team so grinding out this victory, having got themselves in a hole against a spirited England side, will do wonders for their confidence. But there will also be a wariness about the All Blacks because England were tactically superior on the day and it can clearly be said that, with less than a year to go until the World Cup, their rivals are closing the gap.Ireland will be a huge test on Saturday, at the end of a long season for New Zealand, and England have showed that the All Blacks’ rivals are working out where they can be pressurised. Sam Underhill had a fantastic game and he, along with Mark Wilson and Brad Shields, was able to slow New Zealand’s ball down and force them backwards. The All Blacks’ first thought is always to create but when they were pushed back Beauden Barrett had to kick off the back foot. England, on the other hand, were so much more precise, allowing Ben Youngs and Owen Farrell to kick on the front foot and that made a big difference. Continue reading...



Verstappen shoves 'idiot' Ocon in clash following Hamilton's Brazil win

12-11-2018

• Verstappen pushes Esteban Ocon in post-race incident• Hamilton win earns Mercedes the constructors’ titleWith his fifth title already secured, Lewis Hamilton had been explicit he wanted to end the season strongly. Yet while he did win the Brazilian Grand Prix this was an almost unexpected victory that had turned on a moment. Max Verstappen had put in a superb drive only to be denied the top step after a clash left his chances spiralling away as Hamilton swept into the lead to ensure Mercedes clinched their fifth consecutive world constructors’ championship.The win was far from one of the relentless dominance Hamilton has displayed in the second half of the season but he and the team did not allow it to dampen their ardour for a remarkable achievement. Continue reading...



Jordan Pickford and resolute Everton frustrate Chelsea in stalemate

12-11-2018

Maurizio Sarri eventually broke away from bemoaning his team’s latest sloppy start and their new-found lack of ruthlessness to address a rare positive amid the frustration. The extension of his unbeaten start as Chelsea’s head coach to 12 matches established a Premier League record here, eclipsing Frank Clark’s achievement with Nottingham Forest 24 years ago. The Italian spoke of pride and thanked his new club, his players and his staff. “But, of course, I’d have preferred the three points,” came the sting in the tail.This was a fractious and fiercely fought contest, and one which left Chelsea hugely dissatisfied going into the last international window of the autumn. Undefeated they may be, but ground has been surrendered in the fledgling title race, with Jordan Pickford’s excellence and Everton’s clear improvement under Marco Silva having rendered them blunt. Ross Barkley was flung on for the final eight minutes in the hope the script might have him conjuring some late drama against his former club, Eden Hazard having been required to play the full game, but nothing the home side attempted came off. Continue reading...



Confusion over Owen Farrell’s tackle is widespread and understandable | The Breakdown

12-11-2018

Kurtley Beale’s expression said it all when he was asked about the controversial hit, and his incredulity is shared by manyWhen Kurtley Beale was asked this week about Owen Farrell’s challenge on André Esterhuizen, his first thought was to glance in the direction of Australia’s media officer. The Wallabies’ playmaker clearly had a view, but with Twickenham their final destination this month, it needed to be placed in a diplomatic bag.Beale, like other players, coaches and fans, was confused. He pointed out that a few years ago Farrell’s tackle was unlikely to have been deemed fair as the outside-half led with his shoulder and made a cursory effort at best to wrap his left arm around the Springbok replacement. It would have merited a penalty at least with a card of either colour an option. Continue reading...



World Chess Championship, Game 3: Magnus Carlsen v Fabiano Caruana – live

12-11-2018

Carlsen and Caruana meet in Game 3 of their championship matchResurgent Caruana draws in Game 2 (full move-by-move recap)Tweet Bryan at @BryanAGraham or email him 5.22pm GMT Caruana goes with 22. Bc3, opening a possible exchange of queens if Carlsen wants to force it. Instead he goes with 22. ... Qa2. Here’s a look at the board. Seems like Caruana has no alternative than 23. Qb2, but he’s got more than 38 minutes (and counting). 5.14pm GMT Carlsen responds with 21. ... Qa7 and he appears to be clear of danger with the rooks off the board and an equal position. But an easy draw from here is not the consensus, Hungarian-born grandmaster Dénes Boros says.I'm still not convinced with the idea that it's an easy draw, still some choices to make for both players! #CarlsenCaruana,#CarlsenCaruana2018 Continue reading...



José Mourinho: People who don't understand football analyse with statistics – video

12-11-2018

Manchester United manager José Mourinho has blamed exertions for his side's 3-1 derby defeat to Premier League leaders Manchester City.United fought back for a 2-1 victory against the Italian champions Juventus in Turin on Wednesday while City cruised through a home game against Ukrainians Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0.'Everybody has to agree - it is one thing to go to Juventus and play against one of the best teams in the world for 90 minutes and another thing to beat Shakhtar Donetsk at home 6-0 and be very relaxed. We arrived in different circumstances,' said the Portuguese coach. But in contrast with some defeats this season, Mourinho was unwilling to criticise his team's attitude and effort, saying 'for me zero words against my players, everything is positive. I am with them and they are with me.'Sportblog: Would Pep Guardiola win the title with this Manchester United squad? Continue reading...



Talking Horses: jockeys avoid disaster as people stray on to tracks

12-11-2018

Incidents at Navan and Fontwell over the weekend have highlighted how riders are being exposed to unnecessary risksTwice in the last four days, jump jockeys have had to contend with people wandering about on the track in front of them. On Sunday at Navan, it was their fellow rider Evan Daly who got in the way while jogging round the track with headphones on. On Friday at Fontwell, the culprits were a couple of members of groundstaff, who had seemingly forgotten that the race required three laps of the track rather than two.The Navan incident came closer to disaster. Daly, a conditional jockey in his second season, doesn’t seem to have realised there was a race on until the horses were alongside him. He was cautioned by the stewards, which shows a likeable degree of understanding for a young lad who made a mistake. Continue reading...