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» Romelu Lukaku criticises Man Utd over summer transfer and hints at Old Trafford 'leaks'
The Belgian forward joined Inter Milan in the summer following weeks of speculation linking him with a move
» Alexis Sanchez transfer to Inter Milan to leave Man Utd 'facing staggering pay-out'
Manchester United are ready to let Alexis Sanchez join Inter Milan on loan this summer with the option of a permanent deal
» Ryan Giggs defends Man Utd new boy Daniel James after diving incident
Wales boss Giggs has included Man Utd winger James in his squad for the must-win Euro 2020 qualifier with Azerbaijan
» Arsenal legend assesses their Premier League title chances after perfect start
The Gunners are second in the Premier League table after winning their opening two matches
» Eddie Nketiah lauded by Ian Wright after Arsenal loanee scores winner for Leeds
Eddie Nketiah found the net for the winner at Elland Road, much to the delight of the watching Ian Wright
» Liverpool fan wanted for police questioning after seven-year-old hit in face by gas canister
A seven-year-old Southampton supporter was injured by a gas canister which was allegedly thrown from the Liverpool end
» Rob Holding to continue Arsenal injury comeback by playing for Under-23s
The Gunners defender damaged his cruciate ligament against Manchester United in December
» Romelu Lukaku claims he was one of three Man Utd scapegoats
Romelu Lukaku left Manchester United for Inter Milan this summer after two seasons with the club
» Nuno Espirito Santo hits back at Torino for worrying over Portuguese referee for Wolves clash
Wolves travel to Turin for the first leg of their Europa League play-off on Thursday
» Bolton manager Phil Parkinson resigns from cash-strapped club
Bolton have been forced to play their youth players this season and had to postpone their midweek clash with Doncaster amid financial woes
» Man Utd and Tottenham face missing out on transfer target Dani Olmo
The Spain under-21 international was linked with both Premier League clubs earlier in summer
» Robin van Persie offers Alexis Sanchez advice with Man Utd set to make transfer decision
Alexis Sanchez could be on his way out of Old Trafford after a disastrous 18 months with the club
» Romelu Lukaku accused of taking aim at Anthony Martial following Man Utd exit
Romelu Lukaku has been critical of a number of players for celebrating France's World Cup victory last summer
» Man Utd 'lining up £100m January transfer for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho'
The England international has reportedly agreed a new long-term deal with the Bundesliga club
» Man Utd youngster rejected summer transfer to fight for Old Trafford place
Tahith Chong was offered the chance to return to Holland this summer but he wants to remain with United
» Ryder Cup winning golfer Thorbjorn Olesen denies sexual assault of woman on British Airways flight
The golfer was travelling on British Airways flight BA222 from Nashville to London when the alleged incidents are said to have taken place
» Torino sweating ahead of Wolves Europa League clash as all-Portuguese refereeing team appointed
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is also Portuguese and so are most of his backroom staff leaving Torino unimpressed
» How Tottenham are taking a leaf out of Man Utd's book to ease stadium debt
Spurs took out a £637million loan from various banks to help finance the development of their 62,062-seat ground
» Daniel Sturridge joins Trabzonspor on three-year deal after Liverpool exit
Daniel Sturridge was a free agent this summer after his contract with Liverpool came to an end
» What Dani Ceballos did in Arsenal training that impressed Joe Willock
Arsenal's new boy has made a big impact during his first few weeks at the club
» Adrian explains why he thinks Liverpool will win more silverware this season
The former West Ham goalkeeper saved the crucial penalty as the Reds beat Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup final
» Mesut Ozil pictured in Arsenal training for the first time since recent security threats
The German international is expected to return to first-team action in the near future
» Man Utd players' fantasy football league 'discovered' - and there are a few surprises
Several United players appear to be part of the mini-league in the Fantasy Premier League game
» Ian Holloway clarifies Brexit and handball comments amid widespread criticism
EXCLUSIVE: The ex-QPR boss came in for criticism after drawing parallels between the new handball law and Britain's exit from the EU

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Other sport news:

» Bury are an extension of family, losing them would devastate a community | James Bentley
Two bad owners have driven Bury to the brink, but a club is more than its owners and it should not be allowed to die

When my great‑grandfather, Thomas Watts, was captured during the first world war, I can only imagine what thoughts filled his head during his incarceration. Not yet married to my great‑grandmother, Sarah Pilling, he might have been dreaming of a pint in the magnificent Oak Room of the Old White Lion in Bury town centre or lounging in the summer sun in Kay Gardens a short walk away.

He might, too, have longed for a small patch of land on Gigg Lane that the Earl of Derby had donated to Bury Football Club in 1885 and that was home to the 1900 and 1903 FA Cup winners. After he had emerged from the horror of the trenches, he would go on to take my dad, Graham, and my uncles to that same patch of land. In turn, my dad took me and for the past 31 years we have repeated the trek countless times.

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» Ivan Cavaleiro double leads ruthless Fulham’s romp against Millwall

This was the night Fulham bared their teeth back in the Championship. Their front three had always felt the envy of the division but in running amok so ruthlessly to dismantle a normally robust Millwall team they reminded fellow contenders of their pedigree. There may be no living with Aleksandar Mitrovic, Anthony Knockaert and Ivan Cavaleiro at this level.

The trio all scored in a lopsided contest with Fulham completing 934 passes and enjoyed 89% possession in the first half. To have clawed that back closer to 85% by the end – “Is that all?” said Millwall’s Neil Harris, jokingly – felt like a minor triumph for the crestfallen visitors but the passes figure still represented a record since Opta began collating such data in the second tier in 2013.

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» Phil Parkinson resigns as Bolton manager amid off-pitch chaos

• Bolton say ‘the matter is being considered’
• Club called off game against Doncaster on Tuesday

Bolton Wanderers are now without a manager after Phil Parkinson and his assistant, Steve Parkin, resigned from the beleaguered club.

Parkinson’s decision is the latest blow to Bolton, who have been in administration since May and postponed the visit of Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night due to concerns over safeguarding of younger players.

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» Championship roundup: Eddie Nketiah pounces to put Leeds back on top
• On-loan Arsenal striker strikes late to sink Brentford
• Swansea win again as Charlton are held by Forest

Eddie Nketiah is already making an impact at Leeds, the on-loan Arsenal striker scoring his second goal for the club to seal a 1-0 home win over Brentford and take them back to the top of the Championship. Brentford’s defence, featuring the former Leeds centre-half Pontus Jansson, had held firm until the 81st minute when Nketiah converted from close range following Hélder Costa’s cross.

Steve Cooper’s promising start to his tenure as Swansea manager, continued in a 3-1 win at Queens Park Rangers that lifted them to second place. Bersant Celina put the visitors ahead, firing home in the 29th minute after a swift counterattack. Jordan Hugill equalised on 66 minutes with a firm downward header but Swansea were swiftly back in front when Borja Bastón converted from the penalty spot after Yoann Barbet fouled Jordan Garrick. Sam Surridge’s headed third put the outcome beyond doubt.

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» Champions League roundup: Olympiakos thrash Krasnodar
  • Greek champions win 4-0, Dinamo Zagreb beat Rosenberg
  • Young Boys held by Red Star Belgrade

Olympiacos look set to reach the Champions League group stage after they beat Russian side Krasnodar 4-0. Miguel Ángel Guerrero opened the scoring, while Lazar Randelovic netted twice and Daniel Podence got the other to put the Greek side on the verge of progression after a year spent in the Europa League.

Dinamo Zagreb are right on track to make a first return to the group stage since 2016-17 following their 2-0 first-leg play-off win over Rosenborg. Bruno Petkovic put them ahead in the eighth minute from the penalty spot and then 20 minutes later Mislav Orvic doubled the lead. Barring any capitulation in Norway next week, the Croatian side will return to the European’s elite competition after two seasons away.

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» West Ham need Jack Wilshere to show his class and justify expensive gamble | Jacob Steinberg
Manuel Pellegrini has put faith in player who must rediscover spark and prove he can handle rigours of the Premier League

It did not take long for some people at West Ham to develop doubts about the wisdom of signing Jack Wilshere. The misplaced early optimism soon ebbed away and the grumbling began midway through last season, with the mood summed up by one figure muttering about how long was left on Wilshere’s contract and wondering whether West Ham should think about finding a way to part company with a player on a three-year deal worth close to £100,000 a week.

Wilshere was out with an ankle injury at the time and had made one brief substitute appearance since being substituted during the 1-0 home defeat by Wolves on 1 September, by which point the fanfare that greeted the midfielder’s arrival from Arsenal last summer was already starting to look a little overblown. The England international was a starter as West Ham lost their opening four league games and it spoke volumes that the team’s form improved only after he was sidelined, forcing Manuel Pellegrini to give his midfield a more robust feel.

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» Daniel Sturridge joins Trabzonspor on three-year deal after ban ends
• Striker opts for Turkish club after offers from US and China
• Sturridge had been banned for breaching FA betting rules

Daniel Sturridge has joined Trabzonspor after the former Liverpool and England striker served a short ban for breaching Football Association betting rules.

The 29-year-old was a free agent after his contract at Liverpool expired this summer and received offers from the US and China before opting for a move to Turkey.

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» Liverpool’s attacking verve will test validity of Arsenal’s positive start | Paul Wilson
The only sides to win both Premier League games so far meet on Saturday at Anfield, where Arsenal have a terrible recent record they can only improve on

Burnley should feel flattered. After giving their usual feisty performance at the Emirates last weekend and slipping to the inevitable narrow defeat, Sokratis Papastathopoulos suggested Arsenal’s next game against the Premier League leaders may be slightly easier.

Theoretically that should see Arsenal’s fans travelling to Anfield on Saturday in good spirits, though don’t bank on it. If Liverpool are easier to defend against than Sean Dyche’s bottom-half battlers you would never guess it from Arsenal’s recent results at Anfield.

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» Carli Lloyd deserves 'honest tryout' after drilling 55-yard field goal at NFL practice
  • Lloyd drills long field goals during visit to Eagles training camp
  • Hall of Fame scout Gil Brandt says Lloyd deserves ‘honest tryout’

World Cup champion Carli Lloyd showed off her leg during a visit to Philadelphia Eagles training camp on Tuesday, drilling a series of long field goals that caught the attention of at least one renowned NFL scout who said that she deserves an “honest tryout” with any team in search of a place-kicker.

Lloyd, a south New Jersey native and longtime Eagles fan, connected on several 40-yard attempts with room to spare before hitting from 55 yards after a joint practice between the Eagles and Baltimore Ravens in south Philadelphia, the team said.

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» Manchester United and Kick It Out to meet Twitter after racism incidents
• United want joint action after Paul Pogba targeted
• ‘We need to do more to protect our users,’ says Twitter

Manchester United and Kick It Out will meet representatives of Twitter regarding concerns over racism and other abuse aimed at footballers on the social media platform.

Paul Pogba became the third player in seven days to suffer racist comments on Twitter after he missed a penalty in United’s 1-1 draw at Wolves on Monday.

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» Transfer window 2019 – every summer deal from Europe's top five leagues

All the latest deals and club-by-club guides for the Premier League, La Liga, the Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A

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» Already loving VAR? Wait until the Premier League finds a sponsor for it | Marina Hyde
Despite the Premier League’s problems finding a new chief executive, rest assured the lucrative sponsorship of the new on-screen pregnant pause will be a far easier position to fill

How can it be that the Best/Most Exciting/Richest League in the World™ has still to avail itself of a chief executive, a full 14 months after Richard Scudamore announced he was standing down? Perhaps the Premier League’s tireless quest for superlative accolades means it is trying to outstrip Belgium, which famously went for 589 days without a government. It is now certainly the most Chief Executiveless League in the World, and we can only salute Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck – who is handling the process of filling the role – for his courage, his strength, and his indefatigability.

Having said that, the Premier League does have an acting chief executive in the form of Richard Masters, a man who has now been acting for so long that he is expected to receive a Bafta fellowship next year. The Premier League tell me that the search for Scudamore’s replacement is “an ongoing process, with no set time frame”, giving it the flavour of my intention to learn Mandarin, or sort out the top kitchen cupboards.

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» Why Wales' Jayne Ludlow is targeting three tournaments at the same time

The manager and her staff oversee all the age groups as well as the senior team, who start Euro 2021 qualifying full of belief

Praise from a former top defender was much appreciated by Jayne Ludlow, particularly given that the Wales Women’s manager and her staff are stretched across all the national team’s age groups.

Ludlow’s tactical nous was singled out by Danny Gabbidon, who won 49 caps for Wales and was the guest speaker at the launch of the Football Association of Wales’ new identity for women’s football, Be.Football. The former Cardiff and West Ham player also spoke of the enjoyment that following the women’s team had given him.

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» 'I'm not that stupid': Ian Holloway denies blaming EU for new handball rule
  • Holloway: ‘Brexit is nothing to do with football rules’
  • Former QPR manager claims he was making an analogy

Ian Holloway has hit back at suggestions that he holds the EU responsible for football’s new handball rules, saying “I’m not that stupid”.

On Tuesday, the former QPR manager said of the new rules: “I think that’s people telling us what we should do with our game. Now, they should stop doing that. I hope we get out of Brexit, because that’s what we all voted for, and sort that out, because you cannot have someone telling us how to do our own game.”

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» Franck Ribéry joins Fiorentina on free transfer after leaving Bayern Munich
  • 36-year-old moves to Serie A after 12 years at Bayern
  • Islam Slimani leaves Leicester to join Monaco on loan

Franck Ribéry has joined Fiorentina on a free transfer, after leaving Bayern Munich at the end of last season.

The Serie A side confirmed the French winger’s arrival on their official website, adding that Ribéry will be presented at a press conference on Thursday, before his official unveiling at the Stadio Artemio Franchi that evening.

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» Kevin MacDonald leaves Aston Villa following bullying investigation
• Coach’s behaviour probed after complaint from Gareth Farrelly
• Villa issue statement apologising to all former players affected

The Aston Villa youth coach Kevin MacDonald has left the club “with immediate effect” following an investigation into allegations of bullying made by a number of former young players. Villa apologised to the former players affected by the behaviour of MacDonald, who was a youth and reserve team coach in two spells over a 25-year period from the mid-1990s, and Villa said his conduct “would not be tolerated by the club today”.

The investigation, conducted by an independent barrister, Jack Mitchell, was initiated by the club’s chief executive, Christian Purslow, after the Guardian published an interview with the former Villa midfielder Gareth Farrelly in December.

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» Advert for gambling app banned for using young footballers

Football Index accepts it broke code by using players under 25 such as Jadon Sancho

A Facebook advert for a gambling app featuring young football players including Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho and Kylian Mbappé has been banned by the advertising regulator.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint against Football Index, a Jersey-based website that allows users to trade virtual shares in players on a platform modelled on the stock market.

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» Champions League roundup: Ajax hopes in balance after Apoel scare
  • Mazraoui sent off during edgy 0-0 draw in Nicosia
  • Slavia Prague and Club Brugge on course for group stage

Ajax face a fight to qualify for the Champions League group stage after they clung on for a tense 0-0 draw in searing heat away to Apoel Nicosia in the first leg of their play-off tie.

Last year’s semi-finalists have managed to keep the bulk of their team together, with Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong the only major departures, and fielded seven of the players who started the second leg of their dramatic semi-final against Tottenham in May.

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» Football League: Woodgate gets first Middlesbrough win while Derby lose

• Assombalonga sinks Wigan; Derby slip against Bristol City
• Sheffield Wednesday go top with win against Luton

Jonathan Woodgate said Middlesbrough remain “a work in progress” despite his first win as head coach against Wigan.

Britt Assombalonga’s 23rd-minute header was enough to seal Woodgate’s first three points since succeeding Tony Pulis in the summer. But the Middlesbrough manager, knowing his team were far from convincing, does not want anyone to get carried away and has warned that there will be peaks and troughs throughout his first season in charge.

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» Moya Dodd: ‘My role was to represent women’s football at the top table’ | Kieran Pender

The former Matildas vice captain opens up about her playing career, experiences on the Fifa Council and an enduring love of the game

The meeting rooms at law firm Gilbert + Tobin, high in the Barangaroo complex with expansive views across Sydney, are named after historically-significant locations. Basra, Melos, Worms – cities that have witnessed turning points in history.

It is an apt place to interview Moya Dodd, now a partner at the firm, who has been a firsthand observer of countless significant moments in football. From playing in the precursor to the first Women’s World Cup to becoming a trailblazing administrator, Dodd has made a vital contribution to the development of the female game.

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» West Brom’s Filip Krovinovic: ‘I like to steal things from how Modric plays’ | Ben Fisher
The Croatian midfielder, on loan from Benfica, on his family’s road trip with West Brom fans and his love of Harry Potter

Not for the first time Filip Krovinovic is smiling. It is bucketing down at West Bromwich Albion’s training base but after making light of the British climate and highlighting Luka Modric as his idol, the Croatian playmaker, whom Slaven Bilic made his first signing this summer, is describing how his older brother, Tomislav, and his family also became an instant hit with fans after joining them on a supporters’ coach for the opening-day win at Nottingham Forest.

“They loved it,” Krovinovic says. “They liked the atmosphere on the bus. They took some beers and some fans took a picture with my brother. They asked: ‘Where are you from?’ And my brother was like: ‘We are here visiting my brother.’ They said: ‘Ah, who is your brother?’ He went: ‘Fil.’ They were like: ‘No, show me your ID, show me your ID!’ And then I saw some photos in my Instagram messages of my brother with the fans.”

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» MLS and Antifa: America's top flight grapples with political signage ban

The lone major North American sports league to ban political statements inside stadiums is finding enforcement isn’t so simple

If you’ve attended a Major League Soccer match at some point over the past month or so there’s a good chance that you’ll have spotted a certain symbol. At first glance, it could be the iconography of a club or supporters group. Indeed, the circular crest which features three diagonally-pointed arrows doesn’t look so out of place in the setting of a soccer stadium, but MLS has a very different view on its appropriateness.

This is the symbol of the Iron Front and having been adopted by Antifa, the militant anti-fascism collective, the league sees its use by fans as a violation of its new fan code of conduct, implemented this season, that bans political displays at matches. Many argue that the Three Arrows symbol, used to oppose fascism and persecution since before the second world war, makes a human rights point, not a political one. MLS does not agree.

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» Yakou Méïté: ‘People think they can say what they want, even if it’s racist’

The Reading striker was racially abused on social media after missing a penalty – and decided to publish the messages

Even 24 hours on Yakou Méïté is struggling to comprehend the events of Sunday afternoon. “I was happy because we had won but personally I was a bit upset after missing the penalty,” the Reading striker says of his side’s 3-0 win over Cardiff.

“To see that message when I checked my phone afterwards made me very sad – it’s the first time I’ve ever experienced anything like that. To be honest for the first 30 minutes I think I was in a little bit of shock but then I realised it’s not everyone who is like this. Unfortunately there are some bad people who like sending messages like that but it’s important not to let it affect you.”

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» David Squires on … handball and the Premier League

Our cartoonist looks back at the latest action in the English top flight as handball and VAR again took centre stage

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» Goal start: Sporting under-17s score opener without touching the ball – video

A bizarre moment from a Portuguese under-17s match saw hosts Sporting go 1-0 up after just 13 seconds – without even touching the ball. Opponents União Almeirim played the ball back from kick-off and it eventually found their goalkeeper, who failed to make contact with his clearance, letting the ball roll embarrassingly into an empty net. There was no way back from there for União, who lost the game 4-0.

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» 'Come off social media': Phil Neville calls for boycott to combat racism – video

Phil Neville has called for the football community to boycott social media in an attempt to combat racist abuse received by players. 'I’ve lost total faith in whoever runs these social media departments, so I just wonder whether now as a football community, in terms of really sending a powerful message, is: come off social media,' said the England women’s manager. Manchester United's Paul Pogba is the third player to have suffered online racist abuse in a week, after Tammy Abraham and Yakou Méïté received similar levels of abuse

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» Solskjær to keep faith in Paul Pogba despite penalty miss – video

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has no desire to stop Paul Pogba from being his designated penalty taker despite the midfielder missing from the spot in the 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanders. The Frenchman won a penalty in the 67th minute after being tripped by Conor Coady; Pogba insisted on taking it himself despite Marcus Rashford volunteering. Rashford scored from the spot in the previous match against Chelsea. Gary Neville, commentating for Sky Sports, suggested that the incident showed there was a lack of leadership in the United team

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» Philippe Coutinho wants to win the Champions League with Bayern Munich – video

Philippe Coutinho has joined the Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on loan for one year, with the German club having an option to buy … for £109.8m. The 27-year-old moved to Barcelona from Liverpool in January 2018 but he has struggled to cement himself in the starting lineup in Spain

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» Frank Lampard admits he was happier after 4-0 United defeat than Leicester draw – video

Frank Lampard's wait for his first victory as Chelsea manager continues as his side were held to a 1-1 draw by Leicester. After a promising start Chelsea took the lead with a strike from Mason Mount, who spent last season on loan with Lampard at Derby County. Brendan Rodgers side came back into the match, with a towering header from Wilfred Ndidi levelling the scores halfway through the second half securing a point.

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» 'The mentality giants are in town': Klopp reflects on beating Southampton – video

Liverpool beat Southampton 2-1 and secured an 11th successive top-flight victory to equal their best-ever Premier League winning run on Saturday. 

Jürgen Klopp hailed his team as 'mentality giants' after his team won the game on the back of their Super Cup win against Chelsea on Wednesday. 

But it was a nervy finish at the St Mary's stadium - the European champions were leading 2-0 until goalkeeper Adrían cleared the ball against Danny Ings to gift Southampton a late goal

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» Sylvinho has revived Lyon so will Ligue 1 have a title race after all?

Lyon have won both of their games so far this season and look like a team reborn under their young Brazilian manager

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

“I didn’t think he would be a coach,” explained Gilles Grimandi. “I thought he would be disappointed – that he wouldn’t understand why some people don’t have the same spirit as him, invest as much or work as hard. He has such a passion for football that it takes precedence over everything else.” Despite the concerns of his former Arsenal teammate, his minimal experience, little understanding of French, the sales of key players and a volatile fanbase, Sylvinho looks better suited to coaching than Grimandi expected.

Lyon are only two games into the season and Sylvinho is rightly cautious about heightened expectation, but the manager has a pair of meaningful victories to his name. Previous incumbent Bruno Génésio suffered through a toxic atmosphere at Parc OL, incessant pressure from fans and media alike, and widespread criticism of his tactical nous. Under Génésio, Lyon repeatedly struggled for inspiration against the more conservative tactics of weaker Ligue 1 sides, while Europa League collapses horribly punctuated his tenure. Lyon often lacked ideas and cohesion, but that has already started to change under Sylvinho.

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» The US team’s dispute over pay is a fight for women all over the world | Suzanne Wrack

The US Women’s National Team remains embroiled in a bitter row with US Soccer. The final outcome will affect every woman

When discussing the breakdown in pay and compensation talks between US Soccer and the US Women’s National Team, the presenter on ABC’s Good Morning America said to Megan Rapinoe and Christen Press: “What if you lose? Do you have a plan?” Quick as a flash, Press quipped: “I think you’re asking the wrong people ‘what if we lose?’” Boom. Dropped mic.

Prior to that, Press had said their equal pay talks were “actually about women everywhere being treated respectfully in the workplace”, later adding: “When we show up to a game that we get compensated the same way that a man would for showing up to the same game because on this issue, there is no social equality for women without financial equality.”

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» David Beckham's MLS stadium site contaminated by arsenic, says report
  • Soil samples found barium and lead levels above legal limits
  • Findings could hike cleanup costs to $50m at proposed site

An environmental report poses a new problem for the proposed site of David Beckham’s Major League Soccer stadium in Miami: Tests show the soil is far more toxic than expected.

According to the Miami Herald, the analysis found arsenic contamination reaching more than twice the legal limit and hazardous debris in surface-level soil samples at the Melreese golf course, where people have played for more than 50 years. The 131-acre site is being considered for a sprawling $1bn commercial and stadium complex that would be home ground for Beckham’s MLS team, Inter Miami.

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» Bayern stumble into Coutinho quandary but Dortmund set stall early | Andy Brassell

Hertha Berlin held the champions on the Bundesliga’s opening night but Borussia Dortmund crushed Augsburg

It is hard to think of a more definitive response to an opening weekend setback. Minutes after Bayern Munich dropped their first points of the season against Hertha Berlin in Friday night’s now-traditional home opener, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic was confirming to ZDF that Philippe Coutinho was on his way from Barcelona to Bavaria.

Related: Bayern loan Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona for £7.8m with option to buy

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» European roundup: Rennes shock PSG, Trippier impresses for Atlético
  • Niang and Del Castillo score in Rennes comeback win
  • Trippier sets up winner in opening day victory

Paris Saint-Germain suffered an early first defeat of the new Ligue 1 campaign after Rennes came from behind to win 2-1 at Roazhon Park.

Edinson Cavani had given the visitors the lead in the 36th minute when he capitalised on a stray pass in the penalty area from Rennes captain Damien Da Silva. However, the hosts were level just before half-time through a fine shot on the turn by M’Baye Niang. Romain Del Castillo headed the home side in front soon after the restart and they could have added another when Jeremy Morel’s volley came back off the post.

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» Bayern sign Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona for £7.8m

• ‘Like Bayern, I have big ambitions,’ says Coutinho
• Bayern would have to pay £109.8m to make deal permanent

Barcelona have loaned Philippe Coutinho to Bayern Munich for the season. The deal will cost Bayern £7.8m plus wages and the agreement also includes an option to buy fixed at £109.8m.

Related: Bayern stumble into Coutinho quandary but Dortmund set stall early | Andy Brassell

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» Toni Kroos scores stunning goal as Real Madrid get off to a flyer at Celta Vigo

Real Madrid got off to a flying start in La Liga with a comfortable win away from home on Saturday with the help of a magnificent long-range strike from Toni Kroos, although they had Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric sent off for a straight red card offence.

Karim Benzema put Madrid ahead in the 12th minute after a superb piece of wing play from Gareth Bale, who had earned a surprise starting berth because of an injury to Eden Hazard after a close season period of uncertainty over his future.

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» Aritz Aduriz’s late acrobatics for Athletic Bilbao stun Barcelona

Aritz Aduriz is 38 and a half. He has already announced that this will be the final season of a career that stretches back to last century, aware that his time is up. It was the opening day. He was given two minutes, sent on in the 88th minute. And he was up against FC Barcelona, the defending league champions.

And? The Athletic Club striker had been on the pitch 65 seconds when he leapt into the area, turned his body sideways and, with his first touch, smashed an absurd acrobatic volley into the net to defeat Barcelona. Bilbao was barely able to believe what it had just seen.

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» Alex Morgan says pay-to-play is hurting soccer in the US. Is she right?

The USA striker thinks the model for young players in America is broken. But figures such as MLS commissioner Don Garber disagree

Don Garber was utterly convinced Alex Morgan was wrong. While basking in the glory of another World Cup triumph, the US striker went on the offensive. She suggested the American soccer production line was in need of major repair, accusing US Soccer’s heavily criticized pay-to-play youth model of being “detrimental” to the future of the game.

Garber wasn’t impressed. “I don’t agree with that,” the MLS commissioner told the Guardian earlier this month. “Maybe that’s the case in the women’s game but not with the men. We are investing over $100m a year outside of our senior rosters and that’s not even including what we have invested in facilities. That is exponentially more than what it was three or four years ago.”

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» Pep Guardiola’s quest for control at Manchester City undermined by VAR
Football’s occasional ability to provide a wrinkle frustrates Guardiola’s dreams of order despite a dominant performance

Football remains a magnificently capricious sport. You can crush its competitiveness with a self-perpetuating structure that leads to a radically unequal distribution of resources. You can pack the heft of oligarchs and emirates behind clubs. You can record and analyse. You can use technology as far as possible to eliminate human error. You can invest and think and strive to bring it under rein and still, every now and again, it can turn up games like Saturday’s at the Etihad, when one side has 30 shots to the other’s three (or, in modern parlance, depending whose model you prefer an xG of around 3.00 to around 0.2) and it ends in a draw. And not only that, it will add a self-knowing twist at the end. Football will not be tamed.

Related: Pep Guardiola says VAR decisions could do with ‘a little more consistency’

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» I'm Nicky Bandini – and I'm still a sports writer

For 13 years I have written under a different name. Today I am coming out as transgender, but my love of storytelling remains

I have always loved to write. When I was little, I remember thinking that English exams were a treat: an opportunity to sit down and play with words, to tip my imagination on to paper.

As an adult, I have had the privilege to write for some of the biggest media outlets in the world, starting with this one. I was 23 years old and fresh from a 20-week journalism course when the Guardian’s online sports desk took a chance on me in 2006. I like to tell myself they never regretted it.

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» Russell Crowe, Kalvin Phillips’ gran and hope – Leeds documentary has it all (apart from Bielsa)
The first two episodes of Take Us Home are slightly sanitised but they show why the club’s fans are believing again

The Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips is leaning against a table with his family. His gran pipes up. “Bielsa,” she says with a beaming smile. “Oooooh, I think he’s lovely … He walks around Wetherby sometimes. I heard he goes into Costa. I’d love to bump into him and say I’m Kalvin’s gran.”

After watching the first two episodes of Amazon Prime’s Leeds documentary, Take Us Home, you get the sense you would also get more time with Marcelo Bielsa if you wandered around the cafes of Wetherby – Phillips’s gran is in it more than the Argentinian and nice as she is, At Home with Kalvin Phillips’s Gran is a different show.

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» Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 top scorers 2019-20

Keep up with the top scorers in European football’s leading five leagues, updated throughout the season

4 Teemu Pukki (Norwich)
4 Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

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» The Fiver | This whole sorry saga at Bury

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It’s been an eventful start to the season for Bury, despite nothing much happening around the club at all. Unbeaten in their first four league games due in no small part to the fact that they haven’t been allowed or able to play any of them, the Shakers will extend that run to five against Tranmere Rovers on Saturday now it’s been announced that particular fixture has become the latest to be postponed. Sadly, by then the club may well have gone the way of the dinosaurs, the dodo and the woolly mammoth, forced into extinction by their owner, Steve Dale, who has until Friday to provide evidence he has enough money in the kitty to keep the club above water or else get cast out of the Football League.

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» Which team had the first away following in football? | The Knowledge

Plus: scoring in all four divisions, recent British and Irish XIs and where did Jack Taylor’s 1974 World Cup final coin come from?

“Which team had the first away following in football?” tweets @djgcfum.

Here’s Alasdair Brooks with quite an answer: “This is difficult, given the lack of verifiable records for the formative period of football, and the difficulty of deciding what constitutes ‘football’ (assuming that the question means ‘association football’) before the formal codification of a single set of rules, and deciding what constitutes an ‘away following’ in the 19th century.

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» Football transfer rumours: Juventus to sign Ivan Rakitic from Barcelona?

Today’s fluff is slowly gathering pace

Is this the endgame for Alexis Sánchez at Old Trafford? Manchester United have been trying to offload the striker almost ever since he joined from Arsenal in January last year and, although the idea of the Stretford End seeing the back of him permanently seems a little premature, Sánchez could be out of sight and out of mind by the time the European transfer window closes on 2 September. Internazionale are happy to stump up a fair whack of Sánchez’s extortionate wages, believed to be in the region of £300,000 per week, and hope to get a season’s loan deal over the line for a player whose last contribution was at Huddersfield in May.

Related: Transfer window 2019 – every summer deal from Europe's top five leagues

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» Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Ljungberg and Trossard make instant impact, Wilson has Liverpool quality and Rodgers leaves ‘young Frank’ on back foot

The inclusion of Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson against Burnley a week after they became the first pair of teenagers to start a Premier League game for Arsenal since Paolo Vernazza and Matthew Upson in 1998, was more evidence of Unai Emery beginning to trust his young players. That may have something to do with the promotion of the former under-23s coach Freddie Ljungberg to become the Spaniard’s assistant, with Willock particularly impressive alongside Matteo Guendouzi in midfield. The 19-year-old played in a more advanced role in the opening day win over Newcastle and shows how Emery is tapping into the former Sweden midfielder’s knowledge bank since he stepped up in the summer. “[Ljungberg] worked last year with the under-23s and we were very close, speaking about the young players,” he said. “It’s perfect and he helps me a lot. He has an advantage with the young players because he knows them very well.” Ed Aarons

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» The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

Faceplants, lookalikes and handbags in this week’s roundup of the best top-flight pictures

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» The Joy of Six: football and the outside of the boot | Rob Smyth

From Brazilian screamers to an extravagant shank via Peruvian insouciance, we celebrate one of football’s most difficult skills

NB: The point of the Joy of Six is not to rank things, only to enjoy them

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» The forgotten story of ... Ray Freeman, the ‘madman’ manager and trailblazer

The British coach enjoyed such success in Norway with Brann in the 1970s that he was awarded honorary citizen status

SK Brann’s Europa League campaign ended on Thursday with a 2-1 defeat by Shamrock Rovers in Dublin, just down the road from where their very first continental adventure foundered 46 years ago at the hands of the Belfast side Glentoran. Decades of competition in Europe for the Norwegian club began under the guidance of an intrepid Englishman, Ray Freeman, who died this year and is remembered with great fondness.

Brann fans used to call him the Madman of Bergen because of his touchline gesticulations and hollering. But his method and personality won such admiration that within two years of his arrival he became the first person to be awarded honorary citizen status in Norway’s second-biggest city. He inspired Brann to their first Norwegian Cup triumph for 47 years. Which was some going for a man who took the job when he was only 27 and just after Brann’s star player, Roald Jensen, had been banned for kicking a referee up the backside.

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» Megan Rapinoe: 'We're everything Trump loves – except that we're powerful women'

Fresh from World Cup victory, the US football star on politics, pay and the power of calling out injustice

It is two weeks since the US women’s football team shut down midtown Manhattan on their World Cup victory parade and Megan Rapinoe, the team’s co-captain and most visible member, is still trying to come down from the high. We are in Los Angeles, where the US national team is due to play a friendly against Ireland. Rapinoe – slight, sharp-eyed, perennially amused – is considering the past fortnight. “How long can we be drunk for?” she says, laughing. “To go through such a high – there is obviously a comedown and nobody really has the time to decompress. I think everyone feels in this state of ‘Yes, this is awesome.’ But I’m also struggling to get back to normal.”

The sense of unreality is particularly acute for Rapinoe, whose profile over the course of the tournament shot from mid-level sporting celebrity to something much bigger, thanks to, as she puts it with some understatement, “one of those general cultural events that happen”. This is a reference not only to her public spat with Donald Trump – in a video recorded before the World Cup that went viral during the tournament, she said: “I’m not going to the fucking White House,” when asked whether she was looking forward to a victorious visit – but to her demeanour in general.

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» How Hungary’s stars left their football mark with Olympic success | Jonathan Wilson
In an extract from a new book Jonathan Wilson recalls the journey of Hungary’s Golden Squad, inspired by Ferenc Puskás, to glory in 1952

It would be wrong to assume that Ferenc Puskás, just because he was cheery and relaxed, did not think about the game or was merely a turner of tricks blessed with an extraordinary left foot.

He was exceptionally technically gifted, of course, but what made him quite so important to the Aranycsapat [Hungary’s Golden Squad] was his tactical brain. “If a good player has the ball, he should have the vision to spot three options,” the right-back Jenő Buzánszky said. “Puskás always saw at least five.”

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» Xabi Alonso: 'When I finished playing, I could not leave football behind'

As he prepares for his managerial debut, Alonso looks back on special times at Real Sociedad, Liverpool and Real Madrid

By The Coaches’ Voice for the Guardian Sport Network

I knew about Liverpool, but I didn’t know that much. I didn’t know about the magic of Anfield. The energy and the passion of the Kop. The beauty of a night where the whole stadium is rocking. All of that, and so much more, was going to be new for me. It was a big step to take at the age of 22. But I was ready for the challenge – I was ready to absorb and to learn as quickly as possible.

Learning fast was something I was used to. At my first professional club, Real Sociedad, I never played in the cadets, or even the youth team – instead, I went straight into the reserve team.

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