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The Guardian (U.K.) 

Brendan Rodgers gives Mario Balotelli two months to prove his worth

Liverpool manager defends striker but casts doubt over future We will see come January what the team needsBalotellis half-time shirt swap leaves Rodgers fumingMadrid and Cristiano Ronaldo teach Liverpool a harsh lessonMario Balotelli at Liverpool: the story so farMario Balotelli has two months to prove he has a future at Liverpool or see Brendan Rodgers accept that his £16m gamble has no

Tottenham 5-1 Asteras Tripolis | Europa League match report

Even Bill Nicholson will not have witnessed many more remarkable games than this dizzying offering that ended with Harry Kane walking away with the match ball and the Tottenham goalkeepers gloves. But that was not even half the story given Erik Lamelas earlier wonder strike that set Spurs on their way to a first European victory of the campaign.It was a fitting tribute to Nicholson, the great

Everton 0-0 Lille | Europa League match report

Everton limped away from Lille with the events off the pitch arguably more noteworthy than any event during the game. In a match of few chances, the draw leaves them unbeaten and top of the group.The match kicked off against a backdrop of tension on the streets after hundreds of Everton fans in the main square were dispersed with tear gas by police. The incident, which appeared to be triggere

Víctor Valdés offered the chance to train with Manchester United

32-year-old had been linked with possible move to Liverpool Former Barça keeper recovering from cruciate ligament injury Ferguson: Moyess Uniteds failure not my faultManchester United have offered the former Barcelona goalkeeper Víctor Valdés the chance to complete his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury at Old Trafford.The 32-year-old, who has been linked with a possible move to Liv

Massive take-up of tickets for Rugby World Cup fuels touting fears

Nearly half of matches sold out after 5m applications Supporters warned against buying on secondary marketRugby World Cup organisers have issued a fresh warning against buying from unofficial sources after announcing record demand for next summers tournament, with more than 5m applications for tickets.England Rugby 2015s chief executive, Debbie Jevans, said she was thrilled with the resp

Philip Fenton found guilty of possessing anabolic steroids

Irish Turf Club to launch investigation after court case verdict Trainer had enough Nitrotain at stable for 250 doses in totalIrish racing was propelled into a doping crisis on Thursday afternoon by a verdict in a small County Tipperary courtroom, as Philip Fenton, a leading jumps trainer with multiple Grade One victories to his name, was found guilty of eight charges of possessing banned anim

Andy Murray fells Fabio Fognini to reach quarter-finals in Valencia

Murray seals routine 6-2, 6-4 win over the Italian Briton has now won 15 of his last 17 matches Murray beats Jürgen Melzer at Valencia OpenAndy Murray eased into the quarter-finals of the Valencia Open with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Fabio Fognini.The third seed made it 15 wins from his last 17 matches in his quest to qualify for the World Tour Finals in London and he next plays the South Afr

Pakistan v Australia | First Test match report day two

Pakistan 454; Australia 113 for 0 Warner will resume on 75 on day three Younis Khan hits 25th Test century against AustraliaDavid Warners aggressive half-century led Australia to a solid 113 without loss after Sarfraz Ahmeds belligerent century lifted Pakistan to 454 on the second day of the First Test in Dubai on Thursday.Warner raised his sixth consecutive 50-plus score in Tests and was

Wallabies star Israel Folau caps stellar season by winning John Eales Medal

Full-back is voted player of the year by his team-mates after only his second year in the 15-a-side code Israel Folaus huge value to rugby union has been underlined after he beat hot favourite and Wallabies captain Michael Hooper for the John Eales Medal.In just his second year in the 15-a-side code, the full-back has added to an impressive tally of rugby union awards by winning one voted

Caterhams F1 future in doubt as Tony Fernandes hits back at Engavest

QPR owner says consortium did not honour obligations Administrators lock out more than 200 factory staff Caterham threaten former owner Fernandes with legal actionThe Caterham Formula One teams future was in doubt on Thursday night with employees locked out of the factory while past and present management traded accusations over who was to blame.More than 200 staff at the Caterham F1 base

Rugby league's international failure is spectacular

The Four Nations starts this weekend but the international game has paid the price for the codes administrative ineptitudeRugby league and its devotion to the international game has always promised big and nearly always under-delivered. If the game truly hopes to grow as those in charge of the purse strings and the big statements often likes to preach it must be through establishing, nurturin

Rugby league's international failure is spectacular | Nick Tedeschi

The Four Nations starts this weekend but the international game has paid the price for the codes administrative ineptitudeRugby league and its devotion to the international game has always promised big and nearly always under-delivered. If the game truly hopes to grow as those in charge of the purse strings and the big statements often likes to preach it must be through establishing, nurturin

Where are World Cup game-changers to stop England being flash in pan?

Sales Danny Cipriani has been desperate to shake off the erratic tag and would be picked if at a top-three club but Stuart Lancasters squad lacks replacements who can change a game Squad selected for autumn internationalsIs this it for the World Cup? If so, Stuart Lancaster is battening down the hatches a bit early and this England are not going to frighten too many of the big boys at the next

London Welsh 20-52 Bordeaux-Bègles | European Rugby Challenge Cup

London Welsh 20-52 Bordeaux-Bègles French side run in seven triesLondon Welsh fell to a comprehensive 52-20 home defeat by in-form Bordeaux-Bègles in Thursdays European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool Four match at the Kassam Stadium.Seb Jewell and Daniel Browne scored tries for the Aviva Premiership side, while Olly Barkley kicked two penalties and both conversions, as the Top 14 side ran in seve

England look to see off Samoan might with nous and class | Andy Wilson

Joe Westerman is among the four debutants hoping to avoid Four Nations disaster in first match of tournamentA narrow squeak for England against Papua New Guinea in Townsville at the 2008 World Cup was uncomfortable and a harbinger of grimmer times to come. Defeat by Italy in Salford this time last year was humiliating and the worst possible way to finalise preparations for another World Cup cam

Owen Farrell to return for Saracens in Champions Cup visit to Munster

Fly-half to make second start of season at Thomond Park Farrell has been suffering from a quad strainStuart Lancaster: no room for flashOwen Farrell will make his second start of the season when Saracens face Munster in the European Champions Cup at Thomond Park on Friday night.The fly-halfs return is timely with his next match, if he proves his fitness, for England against New Zealand at T

George Groves risks Anthony Dirrell date with Denis Douglin bout

Groves will fight American in Liverpool next month Douglin sees contest as big opportunityGeorge Groves has been added to the bumper undercard of the Nathan Cleverly-Tony Bellew rematch in Liverpool next month as he bids to strengthen his claims for another world title shot.The Londoner (20-2, 15KOs) bounced back from his two losses to the WBA and IBF champion Carl Froch by claiming a point

Michigan's green 'M' is tame compared to the best college sports pranks

Michigan State Spartans had some gentle fun at the expense of the Wolverines before this weekends game, here are some of the best college pranks*Spartans Mark Dantonio puts Batman in the shadeWith the big clash between the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans coming up this weekend, the Wolverines found themselves the victim of some gentle provocation from Spartans supporters. T

IOC president Thomas Bach promises to bring harmony to Olympic bids

Bach hoping to overhaul bidding process after December vote Changes will reduce the cost and make [process] clearerThe International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, has promised to overhaul the bidding process for the Games as part of a wide-ranging reform programme to be voted on in December.Bach, who succeeded Jacques Rogge as president last year, said that the process would be

Can vegetarianism help to solve NFL's problems with violence?

In a league whose players have racked up over 215 arrests for assault, domestic violence, murder, and gun charges since 2000 some are re-defining what it means to be a manThe controversy that has gripped the NFL over the past two months has centred on the violent actions of a handful of players and the leagues bumbling, almost permissive, response. But away from the spotlight, a second and mo

Horse racing tips: Friday 24 October

Champion jockey Richard Hughes can register another success with King To Be in the opener at NewburyNewbury1.35 King To Be (nap) 2.10 Firmament 2.45 Smart 3.20 Vegas Rebel 3.55 Dream Child 4.30 Santa Teresa 5.00 Court Room 5.30 Opera Buff Continue reading...

Atlanta Falcons prepare for clash against Detroit Lions at Wembley video

The Atlanta Falcons train at London Colney on Wednesday ahead of their NFL game against the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Wembley. It will be the 10th NFL match held at the London stadium since September's game between the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders. The UK government recently said it would back a London-based NFL team following the popularity of the fixtures Continue reading...

Serena Williams bounces back to crush Eugenie Bouchard at WTA Finals

Williams triumphs 6-1, 6-1 to keep hopes alive Wozniacki claims second win over Radwanska Williams suffers embarrassing loss to Halep Sharapovas world No1 hopes hit by WozniackiSerena Williams bounced back from her embarrassing loss to Simona Halep by beating Eugenie Bouchard in comprehensive fashion at the WTA Finals.The world No1 suffered her worst defeat for 16 years in Singapore on We

Justin Williams hoping for a Stanley Cup three-peat with LA Kings

The NHLs best player over the past five years according to the Corsi Tied stat is feeling ready for another short summerJustin Williams, the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy holder and three-time Stanley Cup champion, possesses a sort of serene confidence. Dressed in gray shorts, matching shirt and flip flops the day after the Los Angeles Kings first win of the new season, he seems totally at ease

Mike Ford: Jonathan Joseph has pace and durability for England centrepiece

Baths head coach believes JJ could provide the perfect combination with club-mate Eastmond against New Zealand Manu Tuilagi out for at least a month The BreakdownWith Manu Tuilagi out of the autumn Tests, Englands midfield alternatives continue to polarise opinion. Stuart Lancaster has indicated that Brad Barritt and Kyle Eastmond are under consideration to play together against New Zealand n

Sam Burgess leaves rugby league for union with superstar status | Andy Wilson

The 25-year-olds code switch from South Sydney to Bath will inevitably reduce his standing among the all-time greats but he has been a towering figure before moving to the dark side First Englishman to win international player of year Facial injury delays debutThe best-laid plans, and all that. Sam Burgess should be in Bath by now, learning how to bind in line-outs and recycle possession in r

Michigan State's superhero coach Mark Dantonio puts Batman in shade

Dantonio led the Spartans to the Rose Bowl this year but its his unwillingness to put winning above all else that has cemented his reputation among peers and playersEast Lansing has just concluded its role as a location for the forthcoming Ben Affleck Batman film, and it is entirely appropriate in the sporting confines of the buzzing Michigan city. Not only is the futuristic Broad Art Museum

Brian ODriscoll is as adept in broadcasting as he was on rugby field | Paul Rees

Irelands most-capped player has been signed up by BT Sport for the European Champions Cup and is a naturalBrian ODriscoll has taken the not uncommon path from player to pundit. Irelands most-capped player and one of the greatest centres of any era has been signed up by BT Sport for the nine rounds of European club competition this season.He was in their Stratford studio on Monday for the 90-

Tottenham Hotspur v Asteras Tripoli: Europa League live!

*Europa League updates as Spurs take on Asteras Tripoli*Click here for the rest of the nights live scores*Send any thoughts to ian.mccourt@theguardian.com*Or get in touch over on the Twitter @ianmccourt 8.47pm BST 41 mins Asteras get one corner. And another. Lloris claims the second one with ease. 8.46pm BST 40 mins Townsend gets the ball about 30 yards out. He takes one touch

Lille v Everton: Europa League as it happened

Everton settled for a hard-fought point in France after a match low on excitement 7.53pm BST Everton will take that point. It keeps them top of their group on five points, with Wolfsburg in second place with four points after they beat Krasnodar 4-2 earlier. Thanks for reading. Bye. 7.50pm BST A brilliant performance from James McCarthy. 7.50pm BST 90 min+2: Ross Barkley off,

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