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Hollie Doyle enjoys dream end to the season with first Group One victory on Champions Day at Ascot

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hollie doyle enjoys dream end to the season with first group one victory on champions day at ascot

British Champions Day at Ascot topped off a dream season for jockey Hollie Doyle when she won two of the six races including the first Group One victory of her career on Glen Shiel in the Champion Sprint Stakes.

Doyle also won the Group Two Long Distance Cup on Trueshan and was second in the Group One Fillies & Mares Stakes on Dame Malliot.

Her partner Tom Marquand put the seal on what has been a golden season for him, too, with a two-and-a-quarter-length win on Addeyybb in the feature Champion Stakes plus a two-and-a-quarter-length success on Jessica Harrington-trained Njord in the Balmoral Handicap.

Record-breaking jockey Hollie Doyle and Glen Shiel took the British Champions Sprint Stakes

Record-breaking jockey Hollie Doyle and Glen Shiel took the British Champions Sprint Stakes

Doyle cut out most of the running on Archie Watson-trained 16-1 shot Glen Shiel but had to galvanise him to find more after being headed in the final furlong by Oxted before holding off 80-1 Brando by a nose.

Doyle said: ‘I am in shock. It was too close for comfort. I am delighted I’ve done it on one of Archie’s horses because he has been a huge supporter.’

Reflecting on her dream season, Doyle added: ‘It’s been a bit of whirlwind. My aim at the start of the year was to ride a Group winner and I said a Group One would come one day. I didn’t think it would come this year.’ She joins Hayley Turner and Alex Greaves as British Group One-winning female Flat jockeys.

Tom Marquand triumphed in the day's big race, the Champion Stakes, on Addeybb

Tom Marquand triumphed in the day’s big race, the Champion Stakes, on Addeybb

Having also been signed up as the No 1 jockey for Derby-winning owner Imad Al Sagar, Doyle can look forward to more big opportunities.

She is the first female jockey to hold a genuine chance of becoming champion jockey. She stands fourth in the standings behind reigning champion Oisin Murphy and one place behind Marquand. He had to chase his girlfriend home until the William Haggas-trained Addeyybb struck. A real red-letter day for Doyle and Marquand but one to forget for the John Gosden-Frankie Dettori combo.

Stradivarius beat only one of the 13 starters in the Long Distance Cup, with Gosden saying he was unable to act in the testing Ascot going, and Mishriff was only eighth in the Champion Stakes.

Their odds-on favourite Palace Pier lost a shoe and his unbeaten record when beaten over three lengths in third in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes by The Revenant.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Mesut Ozil pins Arsenal exile on club’s links to China

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mesut ozil pins arsenal exile on clubs links to china

Mesut Ozil is convinced Arsenal‘s commercial interests in China influenced the club’s decision to omit him from their Premier League and Europa League squads.

The former Germany midfielder launched a scathing attack on his employers on Wednesday in which he accused Arsenal of disloyalty, before pointedly adding that he will continue to use his global profile to fight against inhumanity.

Ozil’s inflammatory statement is understood to have been a reference to his infamous Instagram post last December in which he condemned China’s alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang province, which despite being quickly disowned by Arsenal still had damaging commercial consequences for the club. 

Mesut Ozil accused Arsenal of disloyalty after he was left out of their Premier League squad

Mesut Ozil accused Arsenal of disloyalty after he was left out of their Premier League squad

Mesut Ozil accused Arsenal of disloyalty after he was left out of their Premier League squad

The midfielder has fallen out of favour since Mikel Arteta took over the reins last year

The midfielder has fallen out of favour since Mikel Arteta took over the reins last year

The midfielder has fallen out of favour since Mikel Arteta took over the reins last year

China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, responded by dropping coverage of Arsenal’s Premier League game against Manchester City the following day, while Ozil’s comments were condemned by the Chinese foreign ministry and the Chinese FA.

He was removed from Chinese editions of the Pro Evolution Soccer video game and his profile was erased from the social media platform Weibo, on which he had four million followers.

Arsenal retain a significant commercial presence in China, where the club own a restaurant chain and have an official lottery partner and vehicle provider, which has strengthened Ozil’s conviction that he has been singled out.

Ozil appeared at pains to avoid criticising coach Mikel Arteta, but was scathing towards the club. 

Ozil is convinced Arsenal's commercial interests in China influenced the decision to omit him

Ozil is convinced Arsenal's commercial interests in China influenced the decision to omit him

Ozil is convinced Arsenal’s commercial interests in China influenced the decision to omit him

Ozil condemned China's alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province last year

Ozil condemned China's alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province last year

Ozil condemned China’s alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province last year

An Ozil poster was brandished at a demonstration in Istanbul in support of Uighur Muslims

An Ozil poster was brandished at a demonstration in Istanbul in support of Uighur Muslims

An Ozil poster was brandished at a demonstration in Istanbul in support of Uighur Muslims

‘Upon signing my contract in 2018, I pledged my loyalty and allegiance to the club that I love, Arsenal, and it saddens me that this has not been reciprocated,’ Ozil said. ‘As I have just found out, loyalty is hard to come by nowadays. I can promise you that this hard decision won’t change anything in my mindset.’

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34679654 8865145 image a 6 1603312123730

The £42m signing started Arteta’s first 10 Premier League matches in charge last season, but has not played since May 7 and will now train with the Under 23s after being omitted from Arsenal’s first-team squads. ‘I will continue to train as best as I can and wherever possible use my voice against inhumanity and for justice,’ he added.

Arteta said: ‘What I can say from my side is that it is a football decision. My conscience is very calm because I have been really fair with him.

‘I have to be the one getting the best out of the players. It is my responsibility. It is nothing related to any behaviour or, like I read, the pay cuts.

‘It’s my decision. If someone has to (be blamed) blame me. Here I feel at the moment that I have failed.’  

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Bayern Munich 4-0 Atletico Madrid: German giants ease to victory

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bayern munich 4 0 atletico madrid german giants ease to victory

The man who scored the last goal of last season’s Champions League got the first of holders Bayern Munich’s new campaign as they brushed aside Atletico Madrid with ominous efficiency.

Kingsley Coman scored and assisted as Hans-Dieter Flick’s team took a 2-0 first half lead and, in unplayable form, he got the fourth as they ran out 4-0 winners.

Atletico will play a lot worse this season and come away with a win. But ruthless Bayern punished their every lapse.

Kingsley Coman scored twice as Bayern Munich thrashed Atletico Madrid at the Allianz Arena

Kingsley Coman scored twice as Bayern Munich thrashed Atletico Madrid at the Allianz Arena

Kingsley Coman scored twice as Bayern Munich thrashed Atletico Madrid at the Allianz Arena

Coman scored and assisted as Bayern took a 2-0 first half lead and then got the fourth goal

Coman scored and assisted as Bayern took a 2-0 first half lead and then got the fourth goal

Coman scored and assisted as Bayern took a 2-0 first half lead and then got the fourth goal

Leon Goretzka added a second for the reigning Champions League winners on home soil

Leon Goretzka added a second for the reigning Champions League winners on home soil

Leon Goretzka added a second for the reigning Champions League winners on home soil

MATCH FACTS 

Bayern: Neuer, Pavard (Sarr 73), Sule, Alaba, Hernandez, Kimmich, Goretzka (Martinez 83), Muller (Davies 83) Tolisso, Coman (Costa 73), Lewandowski (Choupo-Moting 83).

Subs not used: Zirkzee, Boateng, Roca, Nubel, Musiala.

Goals: Coman 28 and 72, Goretzka 41, Tolisso 66.

Booked: Alaba, Muller

Atletico: Oblak, Trippier, Savic, Felipe, Lodi, Llorente (Lemar 79), Herrera, Koke (Torreira 79), Carrasco (Vitolo 76), Felix, Suarez (Correa 76).

Subs not used: Grbic, Saponjic, Hermoso, Roman, Sanabria.

Goals: None

Booked: Torreira, Lodi, Koke, Herrera 

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The warning signs were there early on as Jan Oblak saved from the Koman but the Atletico keeper could do nothing on 28 minutes when Joao Felix was caught napping in midfield and Joshua Kimmich clipped a pass over the top of Atletico’s defence.

Koman ghosted in behind Kieran Trippier and he beat the keeper with a precise finish.

Diego Simeone was furious with Felix for his sloppy midfield play but the Atletico coach was almost celebrating as Luis Suarez had the chance to level only to send a cross from the impressive Yannick Carasco wide.

Koman made the second, when gifted possession by Hector Herrera he crossed and Leon Goretzka lashed the ball into the far corner past Oblak.

The first half had passed Joao Felix by but at the start of the second it looked as if he had pulled a goal back. His shot from the edge of the area beat Manuel Neuer but Suaerz and Herrera were offside and judged to have been blocking the keeper’s view.

There was more hope when Felix found Carrasco but the Belgian winger sliced his shot into the side netting. Atletico did not fold but at the start of the second period but many of their forward forays were under-manned – the fear maybe that leaving space behind they would suffer Barcelona’s 8-2 Champions League fate.

A drubbing was coming all the same. Corentin Tolisso’s shot from 30 yards out whistled past Oblak and into the top corner to make it 3-0 and Koman still had another rabbit in his hat to make it four.

Corentin Tolisso’s shot whistled past Jan Oblak and into the top corner to make it 3-0

Corentin Tolisso’s shot whistled past Jan Oblak and into the top corner to make it 3-0

Corentin Tolisso’s shot whistled past Jan Oblak and into the top corner to make it 3-0

Diego Simeone was powerless on the touchline as Bayern proved too good for his Atletico side

Diego Simeone was powerless on the touchline as Bayern proved too good for his Atletico side

Diego Simeone was powerless on the touchline as Bayern proved too good for his Atletico side

Luis Suarez suffered a second humiliating loss to Bayern this year after Barcelona's 8-2 defeat

Luis Suarez suffered a second humiliating loss to Bayern this year after Barcelona's 8-2 defeat

Luis Suarez suffered a second humiliating loss to Bayern this year after Barcelona’s 8-2 defeat

With Atletico’s defence for once parked on the halfway line a ball over the top sent him clear and having turned Felipe one way and then the other he scored past Oblak.

Bayern flexed their squad-depth muscle bringing on Alphonso Davies – the last thing Trippier wanted to see having been tormented by Koman in the first period.

Joao Felix sent a late free-kick sailing over Neuer’s bar as Atletico looked for a goal. As they traipsed off at the end the consolation was that having forced 16 chances Bayern might have scored more.

‘We have been beaten by perhaps the best team in the world,’ said Herrera at the end. Surely no need for the ‘perhaps’ there. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Rio Ferdinand revels in Fabinho’s sublime display in the heart of Liverpool’s defence

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rio ferdinand revels in fabinhos sublime display in the heart of liverpools defence

Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on Fabinho after the Brazilian flawlessly filled in at centre-back for Liverpool in their 1-0 Champions League win at Ajax.

Fabinho – naturally a deep-lying midfielder – stepped in for expected long-term absentee Virgil van Dijk and saved a certain goal with a stunning piece of defending to ensure Liverpool’s lead in Amsterdam – gained through a Nicolas Tagliafico own goal – was preserved.

Van Dijk could yet miss the rest of the season after suffering anterior cruciate ligament injury, and former United defender Ferdinand insisted Fabinho must form a solid partnership with Joe Gomez if Liverpool are to cope without their star defender. 

Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on Fabinho (left) for his defending in Liverpool's win at Ajax

Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on Fabinho (left) for his defending in Liverpool's win at Ajax

Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on Fabinho (left) for his defending in Liverpool’s win at Ajax

The Brazilian made a spectacular clearance as the Reds claimed a key victory in Amsterdam

The Brazilian made a spectacular clearance as the Reds claimed a key victory in Amsterdam

The Brazilian made a spectacular clearance as the Reds claimed a key victory in Amsterdam

‘He’s been the best player when he plays there, Ferdinand told BT Sport.

‘This guy is a top operator and he played right back at Monaco as well so he knows how to defend. 

‘But he’ll be judged on it now because he’ll have a chance to play there for a sustained period. He has read the game really well today. It’s about him starting to establish a relationship with Joe Gomez. 

‘The problem he has got is he is filling the boots of the best defender in the world and Gomez as well, there will be pressure on both of them and if they can do it. 

And Ferdinand admitted he was impressed with the natural deep-lying midfielder's display

And Ferdinand admitted he was impressed with the natural deep-lying midfielder's display

And Ferdinand admitted he was impressed with the natural deep-lying midfielder’s display

Ferdinand however insisted he must strike up a solid partnership with Joe Gomez in defence

Ferdinand however insisted he must strike up a solid partnership with Joe Gomez in defence

Ferdinand however insisted he must strike up a solid partnership with Joe Gomez in defence

‘After the week they’ve had with injuries, it was just what the doctor ordered. Three points and a clean sheet, Klopp will be going back a happy man.’

Fabinho’s team-mate James Milner was also complimentary of the Brazilian’s versatility and paid tribute to his spectacular clearance off the line.

Ajax almost equalised just minutes before the interval when Dusan Tadic was sent clear through and looped a finish over Adrian, but fortunately for Liverpool, Fabinho’s defensive instincts had kicked in and he got back to spectacularly clear the ball just in the nick of time.

‘He’s (Fabinho) a top player and top players can adapt,’ veteran Milner said.

Liverpool could yet be without star defender Virgil van Dijk for the rest of the current season

Liverpool could yet be without star defender Virgil van Dijk for the rest of the current season

Liverpool could yet be without star defender Virgil van Dijk for the rest of the current season

‘He’s played there before and done well and it was a fabulous clearance as well.

‘It’s a big clean sheet, especially with the changes we made. It was almost like an old-fashioned England game, at times we couldn’t find that final pass on the counter attack but in the end the own goal was enough for us.’

Jamie Carragher – who earlier this week criticised the club for their defensive recruitment – was also glowing in his praise of the defence, tweeting: ‘Huge win for @LFC in Amsterdam, back 4 excellent especially Fabinho & the 3 attacking subs very good also!’

Liverpool did win the game thanks to a Tagliafico own goal, with the left-back diverting Sadio Mane’s deflected cross into his own net. 

James Milner was also full of praise for Fabinho and in particular his spectacular clearance

James Milner was also full of praise for Fabinho and in particular his spectacular clearance

James Milner was also full of praise for Fabinho and in particular his spectacular clearance

Liverpool were victorious in Amsterdam thanks to a Nicolas Tagliafico own goal in the first half

Liverpool were victorious in Amsterdam thanks to a Nicolas Tagliafico own goal in the first half

Liverpool were victorious in Amsterdam thanks to a Nicolas Tagliafico own goal in the first half

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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