India’s fourth Test against Australia at Sydney, starting January 3, 2019, will be the team’s last assignment for six months and the BCCI is likely to prepare a road map for the longest format specialists.There is a possibility that some of the senior India players may play against England Lions (A team) when they tour India for a full-fledged series in end January-February.Once India finish their Test engagements against Australia, they will next play the five-day format in July, 2019 against the West Indies in a two-Test series as part of the World Test Championship.However, a few like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane might have precious little to do once the Ranji Trophy ends in the last week of January.”The fast bowlers workload management is a different issue but in case of some of the Test specialists, we might play them against England Lions. England Lions are coming for a full series where they will play four day Tests as well as List A and T20 matches,” a BCCI source privy to the development told PTI Saturday.It is learnt that the selectors might look at Pujara, Rahane and Prithvi Shaw (expected to be fully fit by then) to play the longer format matches.As of now, Pujara is expected to feature in the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals, starting January 15, as Saurashtra are currently on top of their group with 25 points.In case of Mumbai, the chances of qualification are bleak as they have only eight points from five games. Rahane, who is not a part of India’s limited overs scheme of things will next play the Mushtaq Ali Trophy followed by IPL for Rajasthan Royals.advertisementOnce Saurashtra’s Ranji engagements finish, Pujara will have nothing to do as he has not been picked by any IPL franchise. There is the Mushtaq Ali Trophy but with the IPL auctions over, it will not hold the same kind of importance like last edition.It’s not that Pujara will need to prove anything to anyone but there is a school of thought that serious match time won’t do any harm to him or for that matter Rahane.Also Read | Virat Kohli is the energy of this Indian team and the clear leader: Brad HoggAlso Read | India vs Australia: Australian journalist uses random video to ridicule Virat KohliAlso Read | Sanju Samson and Charulatha’s breathtaking Kovalam wedding: See photos
Veteran pacer Lasith Malinga was sacked as ODI skipper with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Wednesday naming Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne to lead the country at the 50 over World cup in England beginning May 30.The World cup squad will be announced Thursday, SLC said.”Karunaratne’s appointment was ratified by the Minister of Telecommunications, Foreign Employment and Sports Honorable Harin Fernando,” Sri Lanka Cricket said in a release.The 31-year-old Karunaratne, who didn’t play a single ODI since the 2015 World Cup, has only featured in 17 ODIs and averages 15.83 with a high score of 60.He will replace Malinga, who had captained the team during the 0-5 loss to South Africa in the ODI series.Malinga, who led Sri Lanka to a World T20 trophy in 2014, had personal disagreements with the team management and certain senior players, which also soured his stint as captain.Karunaratne, a Test opener, forced himself into the ODI captaincy following his success in the Test arena. He led Sri Lanka to a historic 2-0 Test triumph in South Africa and made Sri Lanka the only Asian side to win a Test series in South Africa.The other option was Angelo Mathews, who has been Sri Lanka’s ODI captain in two separate stints before. But Mathews is said to have declined the offer to captain citing his disagreements with coach Chandika Hathurusinghe.The news will come as a blow for Malinga, who had played a domestic match in Kandy, only 14 hours after playing an IPL match for his franchise Mumbai Indians in Mumbai, earlier this month.advertisementApart from Malinga and Mathews, Sri Lanka had also tried Dinesh Chandimal and Thisara Perera to lead the side at various stages over the past two years since the retirement of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in 2014.The team’s fortune dwindled as it slipped in ICC rankings in all formats since then.Also Read | Scared to bowl against Hardik Pandya at the World Cup: Lasith MalingaAlso Read | ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Pakistan squad to be announced on Thursday with two reservesAlso Read | England leave Jofra Archer out of preliminary 2019 ICC World Cup squad
In a first, all the 10 participating teams of the upcoming ODI World Cup will have a dedicated anti-corruption officer attached with it to deliver a corruption-free tournament, according to a report.The report in the ‘Daily Telegraph’ said the ICC will attach an anti-corruption official with each team starting from warm-up matches till the end of the tournament.”Previously, the International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption Unit had personnel deployed at each venue, meaning that teams would deal with a number of officials over the course of a tournament,” the report said.”Now, the same official will be assigned to a team from the warm-up matches to the end of the competition, staying in the same hotel as the players and travelling with them to training and matches.”It said the move was part of ICC Anti-Corruption Unit’s effort to deliver a fixing and corruption-free World Cup and also an effort to build better relations between players and the ACU.”By being with teams throughout the competition, it is also thought that anti-corruption officials will be better placed to spot any potential corruptors who lurk near players or back-room staff and so identify any behaviour that may be suspicious,” the report further stated.Also Read | Sunil Gavaskar picks transformed England as favourites to win World Cup
Sameer Verma suffered a shocking straight-game loss in men’s singles on Tuesday as India were stunned 2-3 by a young Malaysian in a group 1D match to jeopardise their hopes of reaching the knockout stage of the Sudirman Cup mixed team championship here.Mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa produced a brilliant performance to outdo Malaysia’s Goh Soon Huat and Lai Shevon Jemie 16-21 21-17 24-22 in an hour and 10-minute opening match to give India a 1-0 lead.But India’s decision to field world no 13 Sameer instead of Kidambi Srikanth in men’s singles backfired as the former couldn’t get going against Lee Zii Jia, losing 13-21 15-21 in 48 minutes to allow Malaysia level the scores 1-1.Olympic and world championship silver medallist PV Sindhu then steamrolled Goh Jin Wei 21-12 21-8 in 35 minutes to bring India back on track but doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy lost narrowly 20-22 19-21 to Aaron Chia and Teo Ee Yi.With India and Malaysia level at 2-2, Ashwini once again took the court — two hours after her mixed doubles match — along with N Sikki Reddy but the women’s doubles pair couldn’t get across the world no 13 pair of Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean, losing 11-21 19-21.Eighth seeded India’s hopes will now rest on their next match when they take on the mighty China Wednesday.China boosts of All England champion Chen Yufei and world no 2 Shi Yuqi besides three formidable doubles pairs — all figuring the world’s top 10 and it will take a miraculous effort from India to overcome the 10-time champions.advertisementIndia had reached the quarterfinals in the 2011 and 2017 editions of the Sudirman Cup.Also Read | Sudirman Cup: India shuttlers take on Malaysia, eye knockout stageAlso Read | Sudirman Cup: Japan comeback from behind to defeat Russia 3-2Also See
Captain Eoin Morgan called compatriot Jason Roy an intimidating batsman to play against after the England opener hammered a characteristic 121-ball 153 to guide his side to a 106-run victory over Bangladesh, who knocked them out of the 2015 World Cup.Put in, England posted 386 for 6–their highest ever World Cup score-as Jason Roy purred into life, smashing 14 boundaries and 5 sixes to get his 9th ODI hundred and also the Player of the Match award at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, on Saturday.With the mammoth total, England also broke Australia’s 12-year-old record for the most number of successive 300-plus totals as they posted their 7th straight 300-plus ODI total.As the England batsman did a perfect job with the bat, the bowlers outshone in their department to all out Bangladesh for 280 in 48.5 overs with Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer finishing with the figures of 3/23 and 3/29 respectively.”The two boys at the top (openers) laid a solid platform as Jason (Roy) managed to get a significant score. It’s great to see. He’s very intimidating to play against and the impact he has against oppositions is significant,” Eoin Morgan said in a post match interview.”There’s something always that sides will throw at us. Whether it’s spin, swing, whatever – we are prepared. With Archer, Wood, Woakes, Stokes in the bowling, it’s outstanding. They’re wonderful to captain and today was no different.”England were toppled by Pakistan in their previous game but the they bounced back strong to register second win of the tournament.advertisement”I think more positives to take out from the game today. We took a lot of positives from the last game against Pakistan too. We knew we needed to improve in order to win against Bangladesh and we were outstanding with the bat,” Morgan said.Batting first, Bangladesh openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar departed cheaply but Shakib played a classy knock of 121, which included 12 boundaries and a six, from 119 balls. However, once Shakib left the crease, Bangladesh failed to keep their wickets together and handed a massive victory to England.Also See
Mohammad Anas bettered his own national record in men’s 400m race to bag a gold while Hima Das won the women’s 200m event for her third international triumph in 11 days at the Kladno Memorial Athletics Meet at Kladno, Czech Republic on Saturday.The 24-year-old Anas clocked 45.21 as he won an easy race, finishing nearly one second ahead of silver winner Omelko Rafal (46.19) of Poland.Anas’ earlier national record time stood at 45.24 seconds which he recorded last year.In the women’s 200m race, Hima clocked a much improved time of 23.43 seconds to win the gold. She has a personal best of 23.10 sec in 200m. This was her third international gold inside two weeks.In her first competitive 200m race of the year, the Assam runner had clocked 23.65 sec on her way to gold in the Poznan Athletics Grand Prix in Poland on July 2. After that, she won her second 200m gold at the Kutno Athletics Meet in Poland on Sunday with a time of 23.97 seconds.At Kladno, the Indian trio of Vipin Kasana, Abhishek Singh and Davinder Singh Kang took the top three spots in men’s javelin final with efforts of 82.51m, 77.32m and 76.58m respectively.In men’s shot put event, national record holder Tejinder Pal Singh Toor managed a creditable best throw of 20.36m to win the bronze. He holds the national record of 20.75m.In the women’s 400m race, VK Vismaya clocked her personal best of 52.54 seconds to win the ‘A’ race. Saritaben was third with 53.37.Meanwhile, in the XXII International Memorial Competition in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Indians also bagged 6 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze, with national record holder M Sreeshankar winning the long jump event with a creditable 7.97m.advertisementThe other gold winners are: Archana in 100m (11.74 sec), Harsh Kumar in 400m (46.76 sec), Lili Das in 1500m (4:19.05), Sahil Silwal in javelin throw (78.50m), women’s 4×100 relay (45.81 sec).ALSO READ | Poznan Athletics Grand Prix: Hima Das wins 200m gold in PolandALSO READ | India’s golden girl Dutee Chand finishes fifth in 200m final in World University GamesALSO WATCH:
The Sioux City Community School District has selected an elementary school educator as its teacher of the year.Luis Lemus is a dual language teacher at Irving Dual Language Elementary.At Irving, half of the day is taught in English and half the day is taught in Spanish, as there is a language learning curve for both native English speakers and native Spanish speakers.Lemus came to the United States as a young boy fluent in Spanish with limited English speaking abilities.During his early school years, he learned how to think and communicate in English, experience academic success, and flourish socially.Lemus wants to help his students do the same – while embracing the dual language benefits offered at Irving.Lemus has been with the Sioux City Community School District for 11 years.He has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in teaching, both from Morningside College.
Photo Attribution:Emily NielsenI believe the kids these days refer to it as “stacking paper” and Gundy is about to be doing a lot of it.Bill Haisten reported late on Sunday that contract negotiations were underway between Jimmy Sexton (Gundy’s representation) and Oklahoma State for a revised contract (Haisten pointed out he’s currently in year three of a seven year deal that pays significantly less than Travis Ford’s deal.To me that’s where most of Gundy’s leverage lies. He can point to Gene Chizik and his one conference championship and laugh at the $3.5M he’s making. Or he can curve his visor towards Norman and peer in at the $4.08 Bob Stoops is being paid to finish in the top five of the Big 12. But all he really needs to do is jerk his thumb a few hundred yards to the east and ask, “how much am I worth compared to that guy?”Ford is in year three of a ten year deal that pays him, on average, $2.03M per year to coach what has been, at best, a mediocre basketball team. Gundy’s current salary says that he is paid $2.1M per year.The most staggering stat in that Haisten article is that home revenue for each football game has increased from $1.2M in 2005 to $3.2M this year, a 166% increase over that time. Obviously that has as much to do with Dez and Zac and Weeden and Blackmon as it has to do with the head ball coach, but just like somebody has to be the fall guy when things go badly, somebody has to get the credit when things go well.College football’s upper echelon pay for head coaches is basically broken down into these three tiers.The $4.5M+ RangeMack Brown – $5.1MNick Saban – $4.8MThe $3.5M to $4M RangeBob Stoops – $4.08MLes Miles – $3.89MKirk Ferentz – $3.79MBobby Petrino – $3.64MGene Chizik – $3.5MThe $2.5M to $3.5M RangeBrady Hoke – $3.25MWill Muschamp – $3.22MMark Richt – $2.94MSteve Spurrier – $2.83M (not sure what the Augusta membership is worth)Chip Kelly – $2.8MBo Pelini – $2.78MJimbo Fisher – $2.75MGary Pinkel – $2.7MBret Bielema – $2.6MDan Mullen – $2.5MThen it falls off and you start getting into coaches who run the option and all kinds of weird stuff.So where does Gundy fit in? It’s pretty hard to imagine little ‘ol #12 making more money coaching college football than Mark Richt and Steve Spurrier but it’s probably about to happen.He has more wins than Farentz over the last the last five years, the same number of conference titles as Richt and Spurrier combined (1-1), and is 4-2 against coaches on this list since the beginning of last year.He has become a premier coach in a big-time conference at one of the most unlikely destinations in the nation.I think he probably falls at the top of list #3 in the $3.25M range because, let’s face it, this ain’t the SEC where the money flows like corruption from the mouth of Craig James. Boone’s money comes when Boone’s money comes, but you have to operate within the budgeted framework you were handed at the beginning of the year.That’s one of the more fascinating things to me too. What is Boone’s role in all of this? Is he backing up the Brink’s truck to Gundy’s house off of Range Road? Is he texting Holder cryptic things like “that pond on #12 at Karsten sure is deep, Mike. Do the right thing xoxoxo”? Is he involved at all? Does he want to be involved all?If I could step foot inside the situation for just a moment, I would want to know if Boone is there and what he’s doing.It’s mildly troublesome that nothing has been inked and finalized yet, especially with Haisten reporting that Gundy wanted something done by the time bowl practice starts tomorrow. As the good fellas over at Cowboys Ride For Free pointed out today though, Holder has inexplicably backed himself into a corner that he didn’t need to go to and because of that (and the fact that he just took the Big 12 away from the Texas/OU juggernaut for the first time since 2003) Gundy will get what he deserves.He might not get what somebody else in his position would get (because he loses leverage when he says things like “New York Yankees” and “I only want to coach 15 more years“) but I’m also not sure he really cares about what other people want.The thing about Gundy from day 1 of his tenure at OSU has been that he’s never said “hey Texas is doing this, we should too” or “hmm USC does things this way, I think I’m going to start that.” He has very much built a culture that he (and OSU) can call his own.One that has been curated and crafted into a cashflowing extravaganza disguised as an amateur athletics operation.He knows this.Holder knows this.Boone knows this.We know this.Just pay the man his money.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
You could see it in the faces of everybody in OSU’s locker room after the game: We can do this. We can win the freaking Big 12.JW Walsh referenced it when talking about the FSU secondary on Monday. “They are a very good defense,” he said. “To open up the season with them and to be able to face guys like that will help our offense be a much better team this year because of it.”Nobody says the words “good” or “defense” in reference to Savannah State — or Lamar for that matter. But then again, playing FSU in AT&T Stadium couldn’t possibly be any farther away from playing Savannah State in Stillwater on the “this is beneficial for our team” spectrum.[1. As long as Emmaunel Ogbah doesn’t Bill Gramatica himself which, thankfully, he didn’t.]Hopefully Gundy remembers this next time Mike Holder and Boone Pickens come to him with a proposal.Totally Tickets is your source for Oklahoma State football tickets. It’s easy for me to say this now given that nobody got hurt but what exactly did OSU give up on Saturday by playing the defending champs and getting beat by six points?There’s absolutely no difference in what you can accomplish this season between a loss to FSU and a win over Savannah State — especially with the new playoff.If you run the table now (which…I don’t think they will but IF you do) and go 11-1 with wins over Baylor and OU and your only loss is an August 30 game by six points to a team that’s probably going to win 10 or 11 games…yeah, you’re getting into the four-team playoff.A win against a cupcake means you’re 1-0 but it means little else. Your fan base hates it, I would imagine your players don’t love it, and it gets zero attention.But the FSU game perpetuates in this team a confidence that 84-0 wins do not perpetuate. You just banged with the champs with everybody in the country watching and now that game in Manhattan and that one in Waco don’t seem as monumental.Plus it’s a lubricant for a team to slide head first into its schedule. The preceding nine months? Not as intense if you’re opening with the SWAC champs instead of the BCS ones.Maybe I’m overvaluing the experience but I kind of don’t think so. Even if the players don’t realize it, the coaches do.“So, as a coach, then what we’re instilling in them is working, in my opinion,” said Mike Gundy on Saturday night. “The challenge for our guys is tomorrow they got to go back to work to get ready for the next game.”That next game is already on the minds of OSU starters:#okstate OSU’s next four games all at Boone Pickens Stadium. Center Paul Lewis: “It’s showtime now. We’re at home.”— Bill Haisten ?? (@billhaisten) September 1, 2014 If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
Arabian Gulf League Arabian Gulf League gears up for tenth season Goal Last updated 2 years ago 04:27 15/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Al Ain FC Arabian Gulf League The new Arabian Gulf League season will see 12 teams battle for top honours. The Arabian Gulf League is back this weekend for a tenth season.The new campaign kicks-off following the success of last season when the league was named Asia’s top domestic competition twice, while the Pro League Committee looks ahead to more progress this season with new development initiatives and marketing projects aimed at raising the value of the competition and enhancing its brand.This year will see 12 teams instead of 14 battling for glory, following club mergers. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing The inaugural matchweek takes place on September 15 and 16 with three matches on each day.The competition gets underway in Ras Al Khaima where Emirates host Al Dhafra at 17:30.Al Jazira welcome Ajman to Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium at 17:40 while Al Nasr travel to Sharjah for the 20:30 kick-off.Day two sees Shabab Al Ahli Dubai’s first league match against Hatta at Rashid Stadium at 17:35.Al Wahda face Dibba at 17:40 and the matchweek concludes by a heavyweight clash between Al Ain and Al Wasl at 20:30 at Al Ain’s Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium.
eSports FIFA 18 web & companion app: How to get an early start on your Ultimate Team Oli Platt Last updated 2 years ago 02:44 22/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) ultimateteam.co.uk eSports Gaming WTF Free packs and gifts will be available to players who begin collecting coins and constructing squads before this year’s game is officially released FIFA fans can begin building their Ultimate Team squads for FIFA 18 now thanks to EA Sports’ web app.Ultimate Team is FIFA’s most popular game mode – and, indeed, the most popular mode of any football game on the market – and has become hugely competitive in recent years, with rival players vying for valuable items and coins and facing off in matches.For those unfamiliar with Ultimate Team, the feature allows you to collect players from around the world and build squads that can be used in online FIFA games and tournaments. Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Players can be obtained by spending FIFA coins to open packs or by trading in a huge market of buyers and sellers of individual items.For any serious Ultimate Team players, logging on to the web app has become an essential part of getting a head start on the competition and setting yourself up for instant success on release day.Here is our full guide to using the web app and making the most of the opportunity.WHAT IS THE FIFA WEB APP?The FIFA web app is an online application which allows FIFA players to manage their Ultimate Team away from their console.Users can access their squads, consumables and club items as well as the FUT store, transfer market and leaderboards. Essentially, you can buy and sell players, open packs and manage your squad without having to switch on your PS4 or Xbox.You’ll have to pick up a controller to actually play games with your teams, of course.The web app has become particularly popular because it is launched shortly before each year’s FIFA is released, allowing players to get a head start in the Ultimate Team market. EA Sports often roll out daily gifts for those who sign up, including returning player packs and starter packs.HOW CAN I ACCESS THE WEB APP?The web app can be accessed on EA Sports’ website at this link.You’ll need to have signed up for an EA account that is linked to your FIFA profile, which you can then use to log in and access your Ultimate Team squads.WHEN IS IT AVAILABLE FOR FIFA 18?The web app is now live, 36 hours before the game becomes available for EA Access and Origin members.FIFA 18’s full release will come 10 days later, on Friday, September 29. You can get your hands on the game earlier by pre-ordering the special Ronaldo or Icon editions, however, which will be available to play on Tuesday, September 26.CAN I USE IT ON MY PHONE?The web app is designed for desktop and laptop use, but EA Sports has also release a companion app for smartphones to ensure you can access Ultimate Team on the go.You can download that for iPhone and Android now by following those links on your device.You can do pretty much everything on the companion app, from managing your squad and completing squad-building challenges to making bids in the transfer market and accessing the FUT store to open packs and other items.Simply log in with the same credentials you use on the web app and you’ll be good to go.HOW CAN I MAKE THE MOST OF THE WEB APP?Ultimate Team has some great tips in terms of making the most of the window in which the FIFA 18 web app is available before the full game is released.One of their most important bits of advice is to resist the urge to open expensive packs and instead collect as many coins as you can to focus on trading. Shop for bargain items you can flip for a quick profit and to make longer-term investments in players and consumables that will rise in value when the game comes out.Building up a good bank balance and collection of assets for release day can give you a huge head start on the competition.As fun as opening packs is, coins are hard to come by during this initial window and should be treasured and used wisely. The only exception is the strategy of buying 400-coin bronze packs and selling the contents for an overall profit, which some players have had success with.Beyond that, make sure you are online to open all of the daily gifts and sell off anything in returning user and starter packs that are not likely to rise in value on release day onwards.Ultimate Team also say that rare silver players – look for skill moves, weak-foot rating and speed – can often be picked up more cheaply than usual during the webstart period, so watch out for potential purchases there.WHEN IS FIFA 18 RELEASED?FIFA 18 will be released worldwide on Friday, September 29. There are two ways, however, to get your hands on the game early.The first is to pre-order the ‘Ronaldo Edition’ or ‘Icon Edition’, priced at £79.99 ($79.99) and £89.99 ($99.99) respectively and packed with bonus Ultimate Team content. They will be available to play on Tuesday, September 26, which is in line with EA’s knack for going live on a late Tuesday in September.If that’s not soon enough you’ll need to sign up to EA Access (Xbox One) or Origin Access (PC), both of which cost either £3.99 ($4.99) a month or £19.99 ($29.99) a year. That will get you 10 hours of trial play time from Thursday, September 21.If you’re a PlayStation 4 player, the September 26 date is the earliest you will be able to play.FIFA web app images courtesy of Ultimate Team.
Barcelona No Ballon d’Or but Messi & Barcelona are the best in La Liga right now Ben Hayward Spanish Football Correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 06:20 12/11/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(80) Jose Jordan Barcelona Primera División Villarreal v Barcelona Villarreal Lionel Messi Opinion The Argentine helped the Blaugrana to another vital victory, this time at Villarreal, as the Catalans continue to dominate in the Primera Division The Ballon d’Or has hogged the sports headlines over the past few days. Cristiano Ronaldo won the prestigious prize on Thursday and presented his five golden balls to the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday ahead of Real Madrid’s 5-0 win over Sevilla.Los Blancos were the best team in Spain and also in Europe last season, led by their prolific Portuguese, who netted 10 goals from the quarter-finals onwards to help Zinedine Zidane’s retain the Champions League.Real flew out to Abu Dhabi on Sunday for the Club World Cup and are big favourites to claim a trophy that will crown them officially as world champions. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Right now, however, they are not the best team in Spain. In fact, if La Liga is anything to go by, they are only the fourth best, although that is likely to change. What looks unlikely to change, though, is Barca’s status at the top of the table. After back-to-back draws against Valencia and Celta Vigo, Ernesto Valverde’s side faced another tough test on Sunday with the trip to Villarreal and the Catalans could not afford to drop more points as Valencia, Atletico and Madrid had all previously won this weekend.In the pre-match press conference, Valverde was asked about the Ballon d’Or and said: “They can state it publicly or not if they don’t like to, but for me the best players are here at Barcelona, starting with Lionel Messi and followed by everyone else.”Always diplomatic and respectful, Valverde gave his honest opinion and it is difficult to argue with his assessment. In La Liga, Barca are out on their own (five points clear of Valencia), led from the front by Messi, and with Madrid away at the Club World Cup, the Catalans could open up an 11-point gap on their rivals (albeit having played one more game) by the time the Clasico comes around on December 23.After an indifferent first 45 minutes against Villarreal in which Marc-Andre ter Stegen made two fine saves, Barca took control of this game in the second half – although Raba’s red card for a violent tackle on Sergio Busquets gave the visitors more space to cause damage.Messi started a marvellous move for the first goal, which was culminated as Luis Suarez rounded returning goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo (back in the Villarreal goal after recovering from his fourth cruciate ligament injury).And the Argentine made sure of all three points by beating Asenjo in the closing stages, leaving two defenders on the turf in the process after a fine ball by Busquets. That strike also saw the 30-year-old draw level with Gerd Muller on 525 goals for a single club in the top European leagues.There will be many more to come and with another clean sheet kept, Thomas Vermaelen impressive again, Paco Alcacer producing another great cameo and Suarez scoring, there was plenty to celebrate for the league leaders here.So, while there were may have been no Ballons d’Or this week for the Catalan club, Messi and Barca are the best in La Liga right now. The rest are playing catch-up.
Ligue 1 Lille sack Bielsa to end failed experiment Dom Farrell 01:50 12/16/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Ligue 1 Lille Following a period of suspension that began more than three weeks ago, the Ligue 1 club have finally parted company with the maverick Argentine coach Lille have called time on Marcelo Bielsa’s ill-fated spell in charge of the Ligue 1 club.The 62-year-old former Argentina, Chile and Athletic Bilbao coach, who is acclaimed by the likes of Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino and Jorge Sampaoli as a coaching visionary, was appointed by Lille amid great fanfare this May.Biesla was installed as head coach as Les Dogues underwent a huge squad overhaul, with former Barcelona vice-president Marc Ingla and ex-Monaco technical director Luis Campos brought on to the board by ambitious new owner Gerard Lopez. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player But a 3-0 victory over Nantes on the opening weekend of the Ligue 1 season proved to be a false dawn as Lille took three points from nine subsequent winless matches.Back-to-back wins against Metz and Saint-Etienne followed, although Bielsa was suspended by the club two days on from a 3-0 loss at Amiens.A week later, the coach was summoned to a meeting with Lille officials for “an interview prior to a possible dismissal”.Bielsa’s lawyer confirmed his client did not attend that meeting and the club finally confirmed his departure via a brief statement on their Twitter page on Friday.Having come to the end of proceedings against Marcelo Bielsa, LOSC announces that it has terminated the contract with the coach. pic.twitter.com/2d3ursj0Ux— LOSC Lille EN (@LOSC_EN) December 15, 2017″Having come to an end of proceedings against Marcelo Bielsa, LOSC announces that it has terminated the contract with the coach,” the statement read.Following Bielsa’s initial suspension, Lille appointed a four-man “technical coaching unit” of Fernando Da Cruz, Joao Sacramento, Benoit Delaval and Franck Mantaux.They have won two and lost two of four Ligue 1 games in charge, remaining in the relegation zone, and were knocked out of the Coupe de la Ligue on penalties by Nice in midweek.
Topics Share on Twitter Read more Share via Email Sign up to the Breakdown for the latest rugby union news Eddie Jones could lose Mike Brown for England’s autumn internationals after the Harlequins director of rugby, John Kingston, conceded he is in the dark over the extent of the full-back’s ankle injury.Brown underwent a scan on the ankle on Wednesday after reaggravating the problem, first suffered 10 days ago, against Leicester on Saturday. Kingston confirmed Brown required a protective boot following Harlequins’ loss against the Tigers and that he will miss out at Northampton on Saturday. Share on WhatsApp Harlequins England rugby union team It is a potential headache for Jones, with Anthony Watson also among the eight players unable to take full part in England training in Oxford on Monday due to the knee injury that forced him out of Bath’s defeat by Newcastle.“We have got a scan being on done on him having realised he is not quite right,” Kingston said. “He has been away with England for two or three days and they have done some treatment on it. He is not fit to play this weekend. It’s clearly something that’s not quite right and therefore, after he’s reaggravated it, it’s better to leave it a bit and give it some more time.”Brown is 32, and while he has started all but one of England’s matches under Jones, the Australian has for a while hinted at giving Watson or Elliot Daly a run at full-back. But Kingston added: “Mike Brown is the first-choice full-back for England in my book and people will always say ‘who are the competitors?’ – that is the nature of the business. He wants to play well for England, he wants to be involved in the World Cup – and there’s no reason he can’t be. It would be a big mistake to write him off.”Joe Marler (ribs) and Dylan Hartley, who has a hand injury, were also part of the eight unable to train fully during England’s three-day camp in Oxford, though the outlook for both is brighter. The England captainadded his voice to that of Brown, Marler, Ben Youngs and Billy Vunipola in expressing histhe concerns about Premiership Rugby’s plans for a 10-month season – 11 for international players – but said it had not been discussed in Oxford.Asked if there is a need for players to formulate a collective response, he said: “I think we need to do that. I can’t obviously speak for every player, but the general feeling is that an extended season is not welcome. This is not just about England players, this is about all the players in the Premiership. It’s not on me, as England captain, to make a call on this or lead things. Share on Facebook The Premiership’s injury price tag is mounting and attitudes need to change Share on Pinterest Rugby union … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Read more Reuse this content “I don’t know much about it, but I know my voice will carry so I need to educate myself on the issue, but I don’t know where to get the information from. I have a responsibility as a player to voice my opinion but are there formal talks? I don’t know what’s going on with it.“ There has been talk about rotation and bigger squads, so maybe we would end up playing less games. Until I’ve seen the structure and how they propose to do it, I can’t comment any further. But initially I think if they are talking about playing more games then player welfare is going to go on the back-burner.”England Women’s autumn fixtures have been confirmed, with three games against Canada in November. The first game will be at Allianz Park on Friday 17November, the second at The Stoop on Tuesday 21 November and the third at Twickenham on Saturday 25 November , with free entry after the men’s game against Samoa. Since you’re here… news Share on LinkedIn Share on Messenger Support The Guardian
Share on LinkedIn Members of the England football team play with inflatable unicorns in their Russian hotel, June 2018. Photograph: Eddie Keogh for FA/Rex/Shutterstock letters Pinterest Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter Twitter World Cup Jeremy Hunt Motoring Psychology Share on Facebook Although a respected sports scientist accompanied England manager Bobby Robson to Italia 90, the Football Association was not so attuned then to the psychology of winning matches at this level (Get your head in the game, G2, 11 July). When Robson’s successor, Graham Taylor, recruited a sports psychologist, the chairman of the FA international committee (who also chaired a not notably successful club then) repeatedly complained: “How much is this psychiatrist costing us?”Graham KellyFA chief executive, 1988-98 Facebook Share via Email • I took my first driving test in Boston, Massachusetts, in the late 1950s in my dad’s Morris Minor (imported, second hand, grey, red soft top, bucket seats, divided screen) (Letters, passim). The inspector was entranced by the little foreign car, couldn’t get over the little white signal flaps – and, having told me I’d passed, asked if I’d mind if he drove it around the block. Reader, I married him.Marcia HeinemannLondon• In the late 1960s my late wife commuted down Interstate 5 to her job at an advertising agency in San Diego in her green Morris Minor convertible (yes, a practical proposition in dry, sunny Southern California). It was known to family, friends, colleagues and local mechanics as the Morris Minus on the grounds that it was perennially minus a part.Adrian TuckSheringham, Norfolk• May I take this opportunity to wish the NHS a full and speedy recovery following the removal of the clot that had previously been threatening its continued wellbeing (Jeremy Hunt: Ambitious lawyer takes foreign brief, 10 July).Austen LynchGarstang, Lancashire• Puffins “making plans” (Letters page photo, 10 July)? As Eddie Izzard once asked about the best-laid plans of mice, does it involve a flip chart?Liz MeerabeauNew Malden, Surrey• Join the debate – email email@example.com• Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters Topics Brief letters Share on Pinterest Reuse this content
Pinterest 23 Shaw Read more 60 40 14 Lingard Share on Messenger 15 Boly Share on Twitter Having contained United in the first half, Wolves grew bolder in the second. United began to flail. In the 53rd minute Jiménez, as strong as he is lithe and canny, held off Victor Lindelöf to connect with a corner by João Moutinho. The striker’s header from eight yards was en route to the net until Romero tipped it on to the crossbar.Romero was forced into action again a few minutes later to push away a 20-yard shot from Moutinho. Now Wolves were seizing the upper hand. In midfield, Moutinho, Neves and Dendoncker started to flit between Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Herrera like artful dodgers confronted by dull bouncers.Solskjær needed to make a change but he did not react quickly enough. In the 70th minute Moutinho wriggled his way into the box and slipped a low pass through to Jiménez, who held off Lindelöf and Pogba before turning and firing low past Romero.Now Solskjær replaced Herrera with Andreas Pereira. But Wolves scented blood and soon finished off their visitors. The killer blow came six minutes after the first. After clearing a corner Wolves overwhelmed United with a counterattack, Jota concluding it by outfighting and outwitting Luke Shaw before thrashing a shot into the net.United’s woes deepened moments later when Lindelöf was dismissed for sliding through Jota to win the ball, but the referee downgraded the red card to a yellow after consultation with the video assistant referee. That was the only reprieve United got.Wolves’ fans, meanwhile, hailed Nuno for guiding the club into an era that is reviving memories of their glorious past. “It means a lot,” said the manager. “As I walked by the stands there were people saying they saw the 1950s and 1960s and are still coming to the stadium. To see this joy as they leave the stadium – with a lot of beer, of course – is great.” 16 Coady Possession MNU WOL Solskjær said this was United’s worst performance on his watch. “We lacked urgency and quality on the ball,” he said. He was right to add “but don’t take anything away from Wolves”, because Nuno Espírito Santo’s team were excellent. This was the latest in a series of fine displays that makes it hard to believe the men from Molineux were in the second tier this time last year.“It’s down to talent based on organisation,” explained Nuno as if it were easy. Not only do his team stand seventh in the Premier League, with a semi-final at Wembley to come, they can realistically dream of winning a first major trophy since the 1980 League Cup. They are obviously not favourites for this competition – not with Manchester City around – but it would be folly to dismiss them.United also wanted to win it. Nothing about their approach here suggested they took this tournament or their opponents lightly. Solskjær deployed his strongest available side, other than replacing David de Gea with Romero as per previous cup ties. He cast Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Ander Herrera straight back into the starting lineup after recent injuries.Nor was there anything to indicate that United’s confidence had been dented by last week’s reverse at Arsenal, their first domestic defeat under Solskjær. They made a good start, popping the ball about with promising intent. But Wolves are savvy operators and, though deprived of the ball for most of the opening quarter, they kept the visitors out of range. The home team’s goalkeeper, John Ruddy, did not have to make a save until the 13th minute. It amounted to little more than a warm-up, Rashford’s effort from long range never likely to reach the net.Wolves were comfortable until the 26th minute when United opened them up with a cute one-touch move around the box before Lingard fizzed a low cross into the danger zone. Martial would have had a chance to score from six yards if not for an excellent tackle by Leander Dendoncker.Wolves soon threatened at the other end, Romero having to make saves from Rúben Neves and Jota. In a taut contest any misstep could prove costly. Both teams had appeals for penalties turned down before the break, and then Chris Smalling got himself in trouble in midfield and Neves pierced the remains of United’s defence with a surgical pass from deep. Jota, however, was less precise, curling his shot too close to the advancing Romero, who batted it away. Man Utd 10 Helder Costa 1 de Gea Corners 15 Andreas Pereira 21 Ruddy 8 Neves Lineups FA Cup Sergio Agüero puts Man City into semi-final after fightback against Swansea 32 Dendoncker 8 Mata 5 Bennett 17 Fred 2 Doherty 21 Ander Herrera 28 Joao Moutinho (s 86′) match reports 18 Jota Substitutes Fouls 10 Wolves Off target 9 Man Utd 7 Wolves On target 2 Man Utd 22 Romero (s 71′) 31 Norris Twitter 7 Ivan Cavaleiro 37 Traore (s 90′) Topics 27 Saiss 17 Gibbs-White 12 Smalling 12 5 Facebook Share on Pinterest (s 87′) 16 Rojo 2 Lindelof Share via Email 11 Martial Wolves Raul Jiménez (right) celebrates his opener. Photograph: Sam Bagnall/AMA/Getty Images 4 Jones 19 Jonny 6 Pogba Share on LinkedIn 29 Ruben Vinagre 20 Dalot Wolves, elegant and fierce, advanced to the FA Cup semi-final for the first time in 21 years and Manchester United could do nothing to stop them. First Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men were frustrated by their hosts, then they were taken apart. Goals from Raúl Jiménez and Diogo Jota confirmed Wolves’ superiority over their illustrious visitors.Marcus Rashford’s strike in stoppage time changed nothing other than inconsequential statistics, halving Wolves’ margin of victory and doubling United’s tally of shots on target from a match in which they had a lot of the ball but were never in control. Wolves created the clearest opportunities and might have inflicted a truly embarrassing scoreline if not for some terrific saves by United’s goalkeeper Sergio Romero. 10 Rashford Goal attempts MNU60WOL40% 10 6 Reuse this content 39 McTominay Manchester United 9 Jimenez Share on Facebook Match stats Substitutes (s 86′) Share on WhatsApp 31 Matic Wolverhampton Wanderers The Observer
Share on Facebook England beat South Africa by 104 runs to win Cricket World Cup opener – as it happened Was this helpful? … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share via Email The Spin: sign up and get our weekly cricket email. Share on Messenger Topics Share on LinkedIn Prompted by a potent opening spell from Jofra Archer and some moments of magic in the field, England began their World Cup campaign with a comfortable 104‑run win against South Africa.No team can be guaranteed to defend 311 in this era but Archer’s opening spell of five overs set England on course. His first intervention was to deliver a bouncer, which struck the head of Hashim Amla – who was compelled to retire and undergo extensive examinations – though he was fit enough to come back later. Photograph: Tom Jenkins Stokes then took what will almost certainly be the catch of the tournament on the same boundary, sticking out his right hand as the ball appeared to be sailing over his head after a mighty thwack from Andile Phehlukwayo off Adil Rashid. Somehow the ball stayed in Stokes’s hand as he fell to earth, producing the first victim in World Cup history for an English wrist-spinner.South Africa’s resistance with the bat came primarily from Quinton de Kock, who had the good fortune of witnessing a delivery from Rashid hitting the base of his stumps without removing the zing bails; they lit up but did not fall. There was a blemish from Jos Buttler behind the stumps when he dropped Van der Dussen off Moeen but otherwise England sparkled in the field. That was not quite the case when they batted after Du Plessis won the toss – which, contrary to expectation, gave his side little or no advantage. Cricket World Cup 2019 Pinterest Twitter Ben Stokes Eoin Morgan England’s innings was not the cavalier romp which has become almost customary and there were good reasons for that. The pitch was not an absolute belter; the light green grass hid a dry surface on which the ball sometimes stuck thereby hindering carefree strokeplay. Moreover this was a World Cup match, not the first outing in a five-/seven-match series. And England did lose a wicket to the second ball of the day, delivered by the wrist spinner Imran Tahir. Jonny Bairstow pushed forward, edged to the keeper and tucked his bat under his arm almost as swiftly as Alec Stewart used to do as he made the long trip back to the pavilion with a golden duck to his name. Share on Twitter Facebook Share on WhatsApp Hide Cricket World Cup 2019: final group stage standings Ben Stokes’s feat joins a long list of contenders for the title. Among English cricket’s other finest recent catches:Paul Collingwood England v Australia, third ODI, Jun 2005As Matthew Hayden produces a powerful cut, Collingwood soars high, arched back, and holds the ball tight. Hailed as one of the best catches of all time. Andrew StraussEngland v Australia, fourth Test, Aug 2005 Adam Gilchrist pushes at an Andrew Flintoff delivery, Strauss flings himself to his left and clings on. England win by three wickets and edge a stunning series 2-1. Sarah TaylorEngland v Australia, third ODI, Aug 2013 Wicketkeeper Taylor spots Jodie Fields attempting to reverse-sweep Dani Hazell and moves to right, sticking out a glove at full-stretch. A stunning take. Chris JordanWest Indies v England, first Test, April 2015 Having already taken one fine catch, Jordan throws himself to his right to take another off Darren Bravo when it appeared the ball had gone past him. Ben StokesEngland v Australia, fourth Test, Aug 2015 The moment that created the social media meme #Broadface. Stokes soars almost in slow motion to take a stunner. Bowler Stuart Broad is left astounded. James TaylorSouth Africa v England, third Test, Jan 2016Hashim Amla flicks a leg glance towards short-leg and Taylor, staying low, clings on just before the ball hits the ground. He takes another fine catch later on. Ben FoakesSri Lanka v England, second Test, Nov 2017 Short-leg Keaton Jennings anticipates batsman Adil Rashid’s flick behind square, dives to meet it one‑handed and parries it back towards Foakes. Jofra Archer looked completely at home in England’s World Cup opener. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian Ben Stokes flies through the air after taking a spectacular catch on England’s boundary. Photograph: Stu Forster-IDI/IDI via Getty Images Soon afterwards Archer found the edge of Aiden Markram’s bat – the batsman was caught at slip – and then he induced Faf du Plessis to mishook a bouncer to Moeen Ali at long-leg. For good measure his second spell was also productive, dispatching Rassie van der Dussen during the first maiden over of the day.It is not just Archer’s pace that brings an added dimension to this side; it is his command of line which offers batsmen no width. It may also help that he is unfamiliar to a fair number of international players, who may be surprised that he can conjure pace with such an easy, effortless action.Moreover he looks so comfortable out there. Any notion that his presence might disrupt the unity of the team has long since vanished. Eoin Morgan has acquired another high-value trump card who will also be of considerable interest to Joe Root, the Test captain, later in the summer. Read more Thank you for your feedback. Support The Guardian Read more The magic in the field came from Ben Stokes, who had been England’s main contributor with the bat earlier in the day. First there was a howitzer throw from the boundary, which surprised Dwaine Pretorius who was run out by a couple of inches. Root and Jason Roy calmly restored England’s equilibrium, batting as smoothly as any pair throughout the day with some silky smooth strokes that brought them 106 together over the next 18 overs. But within four deliveries both were back in the pavilion: Roy miscuing to mid-off and Root slicing to cover.Another rebuilding exercise was required and Morgan and Stokes provided it. The England captain played the more memorable shots in another 106-run partnership. In the 26th over of the innings he hit the first six of the tournament over long-off off the bowling of Lungi Ngidi; next ball he hit another over long-leg. Later England’s solitary six-hitter would pop a Markram off-break over the rope before seeking another off Tahir. This time the timing was not perfect and Du Plessis held a superb diving catch at long-on, an example of the excellent out-cricket produced by South Africa. Facebook Buttler only flickered so that it was left to Stokes to glue the innings together. After Root he is now the sensible man in the middle order who bats pragmatically, quite a change in style from the younger Stokes, and on this occasion England were very grateful for his pragmatism.Seventy-nine runs came from the last 10 overs of England’s innings, which hardly qualifies as carnage in this era, and it included a sweetly timed boundary from the first ball that Archer had received in a proper international match. But it was his bowling that will have the England camp salivating at what he might be able to contribute in this tournament – and beyond. Show Cricket Quick guide Catch of the day Twitter England cricket team Pinterest Since you’re here… Share on Pinterest South Africa cricket team match reports Reuse this content
Ole Gunnar Solskjær needs more time and respect at Manchester United Women’s football Topics The Manchester City manager, Nick Cushing, was relaxed after a late strike from Charlyn Corral earned Atlético Madrid a precious away goal, and a draw.“The away goal means zero because we had it last year and got beat,” he said. “It’s the Champions League and it’s competitive. We need to try not to concede goals and score. I think the away goals only really matter if you score again in the second leg.” Twitter Share on Messenger Manchester City Women Janine Beckie scores Manchester City’s opener. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. match reports Women’s Champions League Share on WhatsApp Read more Read more “The performance we put in, the injuries we have got, the week we have had, it was a positive performance from us all. We haven’t seen the best from Atlético but we are near the top of the table and competing in the Champions League.”City too are a very different side. Further into the season they are fitter and fresher than against Atlético last year. But it was the Spanish side who pushed for an equaliser on the break in the second half. Share on Facebook At half-time Cushing would have been significantly happier with his team’s relaxed but assured performance compared with their showing against the La Liga champions here last year. In the round of 32 a valuable away goal in Madrid, tempered by Kenti Robles’s 89th-minute leveller, was thrown away within four minutes in Manchester. Atlético then doubled their lead and City found no way back. Struggling to break through City’s commanding backline, which had conceded only once in seven games, Maria Santos tried to catch Roebuck out from distance but could only loop the ball over the bar.Hemp should have doubled City’s lead after a burst into the box from the left but Laia Aleixandri threw her body in the way. In the end the hosts were punished.Ludmila Silva surged down the right, shoulder to shoulder with Stokes, and having got the better of the full-back passed into the middle for Corral to poke in the late equaliser. City now have a testing run, with away trips to Manchester United, Arsenal and Madrid. “I never think we won’t get a goal so we are just looking forward to that game now,” said Scott. “I’d rather play Arsenal every week. These are the games that I was like an excited kid waiting for. These runs excite the team.” Pinterest Read more Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema hits four in Champions League win at Slavia Prague England Women poised for attendance record after Wembley sell-out Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn The hosts took the lead through Janine Beckie before Corral, who scored 86 goals in 117 appearances for Levante before joining Atlético, ensured City face a tough return leg.The most alluring tie of the round did not quite live up to that billing. But in Lauren Hemp, who was making her third appearance of the season after a spell out with a shoulder injury, City had the brightest player on the pitch. The 19-year-old ran Carmen Menayo and Aïssatou Tounkara ragged, and it was her shot that led to their goal. Hemp’s low effort was saved by the Netherlands goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal but a poor clearance enabled Keira Walsh to play a ball through the middle. The pass took a deflection but ran kindly for Beckie, who powered it coolly into the roof of the net with her first touch. It was her fifth goal of the season and all have come in the Champions League.City were ahead but Atlético could have punished them in the opening minutes. A free-kick from the edge of the box was swung towards goal only for Ellie Roebuck to acrobatically palm the ball away. It fell to Toni Duggan in the six-yard box but the former City forward could only direct the follow-up over the bar. Rather than spurring the visiting side on though, it would be their only real chance of the half, with City dominating possession and whipping the ball around. The England right-back Demi Stokes returned to the starting lineup for City and combined smartly with Hemp, with shades of the Lucy Bronze and Nikita Parris partnership to their link-up play and Jill Scott characteristically supporting the flank play from inside. Share via Email Share on Pinterest This time round they were facing a very different Atlético side, one that was turned over 6-1 by Barcelona in their second game of the season and with a new manager, Pablo López.“It was tough. We knew it would be difficult,” said Duggan, whose attitude was praised by López as “extraordinary”.“We lost our coach which is always difficult. We had a tough game on Saturday then had to travel here. I am so proud of the team. It means so much to us. Reuse this content