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They said Carlo Ancelotti could only work with superstars but he’s proving them wrong at 61

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they said carlo ancelotti could only work with superstars but hes proving them wrong at 61

Carlo Ancelotti has already passed the manager’s equivalent of ‘Can he do it on a wet Tuesday night in Stoke?’

Sceptics felt the Italian might struggle at Goodison Park having been spoiled working alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrea Pirlo and other world-class stars at the biggest clubs in the world.

Yet, here we are. Everton have maximum points from their opening four league games for the first time since 1969. Seven wins out of seven in all competitions have yielded 24 goals.

Carlo Ancelotti's Everton have maximum points from their opening four league games

Carlo Ancelotti's Everton have maximum points from their opening four league games

Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton have maximum points from their opening four league games

Yes, the intricate skills of James Rodriguez, who scored twice on Saturday, have played a big part following his move from Real Madrid. But just as impressive, and important, is how Ancelotti has improved the Everton players he inherited.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has progressed into the England squad under the 61-year-old’s tutelage and set the ball rolling against Brighton with his ninth goal in six games.

Local lad Tom Davies, written off by many Evertonians, came in for the injured £30million Brazilian Allan and helped Everton dominate midfield with his passing, harrying and tackling.

The 22-year-old Davies had feared his prospects had gone at Goodison but found Ancelotti’s man-management skills worked just as well with him as they once did with Paolo Maldini, Frank Lampard and Arjen Robben.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin continued his incredible form after scoring the opener vs Brighton

Dominic Calvert-Lewin continued his incredible form after scoring the opener vs Brighton

Dominic Calvert-Lewin continued his incredible form after scoring the opener vs Brighton

James Rodriguez scored his second and third Everton goals as the hosts downed Brighton 4-2

James Rodriguez scored his second and third Everton goals as the hosts downed Brighton 4-2

James Rodriguez scored his second and third Everton goals as the hosts downed Brighton 4-2

‘I spoke to him and he said he didn’t want me to go on loan — he saw me as an important part of the squad,’ revealed Davies.

‘To hear that from him, it put my mind at ease. I’m grateful for the opportunity and have to keep working hard to keep myself in the manager’s thoughts.’

Nobody has benefited more than Calvert-Lewin, who has started the season with a bang and rose like his mentor Duncan Ferguson to head the opening goal after 16 minutes.

From being considered a raw talent before Ancelotti arrived, he is now earning comparisons with Harry Kane and could make his England debut against Wales this week.

‘The gaffer has worked with the best players and teams around. He knows what’s good for his players and it’s been proved with what he’s done here,’ added Davies.

‘It’s no surprise Dom is scoring. The quality he has, it was only a matter of time with the knowledge the manager has brought. I’m good mates with Dom and it is well deserved.’

The only cloud is the form of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford whose blunder gifted Neal Maupay a 41st-minute equaliser before Everton took control again with a Rodriguez brace and a Yerry Mina header, with Brighton scoring a late consolation from Yves Bissouma.

Brighton have endured a difficult fixture list, losing to Chelsea, Manchester United and now Everton. It was a surprise to see Adam Lallana only come on as a late substitute.

‘Adam is adapting to playing a lot more football,’ said manager Graham Potter about his summer signing from Liverpool. ‘Sometimes we can use him at the start, sometimes at the end. We are pleased with what he is doing.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Cristiano Ronaldo leads sports stars in tribute to Khabib Nurmagomedov after SHOCK retirement

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cristiano ronaldo leads sports stars in tribute to khabib nurmagomedov after shock retirement

Khabib Nurmagomedov left viewers stunned on Saturday night after announcing his retirement from MMA, with sports stars rushing to pay tribute to the fighter.

The Russian submitted Justin Gaethje with 20 seconds of the first round remaining in Abu Dhabi, moving to 29-0 with an emphatic performance. 

Nurmagomedov explained his decision to retire was due to his father’s death in May, with the 32-year-old unwilling to continue without his trainer and mentor.

Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his shock retirement from MMA on Saturday evening

Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his shock retirement from MMA on Saturday evening

The Russian beat Justin Gaethje with a first-round submission to end his career undefeated

The Russian beat Justin Gaethje with a first-round submission to end his career undefeated 

Having watched the unbeaten fighter’s incredible rise, peaking by mauling Conor McGregor in 2018, stars from across sport were quick to applaud. 

Cristiano Ronaldo led the tributes, writing on Instagram: ‘Congrats bro, your father is proud!’

Former two-weight world champion Daniel Cormier added: ‘Congratulations to the greatest champion in UFC history. 

Cristiano Ronaldo led the plaudits on Instagram having watched the spectacular performance

Cristiano Ronaldo led the plaudits on Instagram having watched the spectacular performance

‘What a career, we are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with you my brother. 29-0 undefeated and undisputed.’  

Jon Jones also chimed-in: ‘I want to congratulate Khabib for an outstanding career. 

‘I know he made his father along with millions of fans around the world incredibly proud today. May God continue to bless him on his journey.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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F1 Portuguese Grand Prix 2020: UK start time, live stream, TV channel, race schedule for the Algarve

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f1 portuguese grand prix 2020 uk start time live stream tv channel race schedule for the algarve scaled

LEWIS HAMILTON continues his quest for a seventh world title as F1 continues in Portugal this weekend.

The Brit star was back on top of the podium as he dominated at the Eifel Grand Prix, giving him a 69-point lead over teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Mercedes are hoping to dominate once again in Portugal

1

Mercedes are hoping to dominate once again in PortugalCredit: Reuters

Bottas was fastest in practice yesterday, with Hamilton back in eighth and Max Verstappen impressing in the Red Bull.

When is the F1 Portuguese Grand Prix?

  • The F1 Portuguese Grand Prix takes place on Sunday, October 25.
  • The race action will commence at 1.10pm.

What TV channel is the Portuguese Grand Prix on and can I live stream it?

  • You can catch all of the weekend’s drama live on Sky Sports F1.
  • Coverage of qualifying begins at 1pm.
  • If you’re not a Sky subscriber, grab a NOW TV pass to stream from just £9.99.
  • You can also catch qualifying highlights on Channel 4 at 5.30pm tonight,

Race schedule

Friday, October 23

  • Practice 1 – 11am to 12.30pm
  • Practice 2 – 3pm to 4.30pm

Saturday, October 24

  • Practice 3 – 11am to midday
  • Qualifying – 2pm to 3pm

Sunday, October 25

  • Race – 1.10pm

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Championship round up: Chris Mepham magic salvages draw for Bournemouth

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championship round up chris mepham magic salvages draw for bournemouth

Chris Mepham’s last-gasp goal ensured Bournemouth maintained their unbeaten Championship record at fellow high-flyers Watford.

Stipe Perica’s first goal in English football looked set to earn the hosts a third consecutive win thanks to a resilient defensive display, but they still move up to second and two points from top.

Both teams have made encouraging starts to life back in the second tier and appear to have allayed fears of a relegation hangover, sitting in third and fourth respectively before this game.

Chris Mepham's last-gasp goal saw him come to the rescue of Bournemouth away to Watford

Chris Mepham’s last-gasp goal saw him come to the rescue of Bournemouth away to Watford

Bournemouth are now unbeaten in seven league games with three victories, while Watford’s only loss was a 1-0 reverse at table-topping Reading.

Cherries boss Jason Tindall insisted his side were good value for their point. He said: ‘I felt we deserved it, I felt if we got nothing from today’s game that would have been very harsh because I felt we controlled pretty much the majority of the game. 

‘We created some good moments and thankfully for us the goal came. We were the dominant side in the second half.’

He admitted, however, that Lloyd Kelly could have seen red for a nasty foul on Ismaila Sarr after just two minutes, adding: ‘I’ve got to be honest, on another day it could have been a red card but all I do know is Lloyd is not that sort of character, not that type of player where he will go in with any malice.’

The opening period was marked by a series of strong challenges from both sides amid chilly conditions in Hertfordshire.

The opener came with barely 10 minutes played, Craig Cathcart finding the dangerous Sarr with a pinpoint ball from the back and the winger sent in a lovely low centre for Perica to slide home.

Bournemouth responded well to going behind, pinning the hosts back and forcing a succession of corners without truly threatening Ben Foster’s goal.

There were glimpses of some flowing football from Tindall’s men but they lacked a killer touch with Dominic Solanke firing their best chance straight at Foster after a smart turn.

Watford started the second period strongly as Asmir Begovic did well to block Sarr’s shot after a fine through-ball from Etienne Capoue, before the Senegalese was denied a penalty following a clash with Kelly inside the box.

However, the hosts then required a flying save by Foster from Solanke’s effort to keep the scores level. The one-cap England striker also had another strike deflected behind for a corner but the Cherries found their attacking efforts increasingly stilted.

Substitute Domingos Quina then summoned up a moment of magic, skipping away from Lewis Cook in midfield before his swerving shot almost deceived Begovic, but the stopper managed to fend it away.

The Portuguese youngster came close with another vicious strike as Begovic desperately clawed it to safety again.

Deep into the seven minutes of injury time, Foster palmed over a looping King header. From the resulting corner Mepham deflected in Kelly’s goalbound shot to maintain Bournemouth’s unbeaten league record and ensure the home side have failed to win in the last 11 meetings between these two sides.

Watford boss Vladimir Ivic was left incensed by the timing of the final whistle, believing his team should have been allowed to complete a final counter-attack. He said: ‘I wanted to ask the referee if it is exactly seven minutes because he didn’t allow us to counter attack two-on-two. Something isn’t right for me. If he finishes it exactly on seven minutes I apologise, but I don’t think it is.

Ivic also admitted his side must defend set-pieces better after the late concession, adding: ‘We know set pieces are part of the game and we need to be there for them.’

Reading 3-0 Rotherham

Yakou Meite scored twice as leaders Reading stretched their unbeaten run since the start of season to seven games. 

Manager Veljko Paunovic said: ‘What we saw in our team was the consistency of getting the job done. 

You have to be patient, have a strong mentality and not get frustrated if our game plan is not working.

The hosts’ top scorer Lucas Joao notched his seventh goal of the season from the spot to give the scoreline more gloss.

But Rotherham manager Paul Warne, who returned to the touchline after a twogame absence as he selfisolated at home, thought it was harsh. ‘I thought that we played really well, especially in the first half,’ he said.

Millwall 1-1 Barnsley

Barnsley came away with a creditable draw in what was caretaker manager Adam Murray’s final game in charge.

The future of Murray following Valerian Ismael’s appointment as head coach remains to be seen but he was pleased with a battling display at The Den. 

‘I thought, for us, it was a real good away  performance,’ he said.

Both goals came at the end of an awful first half, with a stunning opener from Barnsley captain Alex Mowatt quickly cancelled out by Jake Cooper’s header. 

The hosts had assistant Adam Barrett in charge, following manager Gary Rowett’s positive coronavirus test, and Barrett said: ‘Obviously, it’s not ideal.’

Norwich 2-1 Wycombe

Super sub Mario Vrancic was the last-gasp hero for Norwich for the second game running as they made it three straight league wins.

Boss Daniel Farke said: ‘We kept going and finally got the win that I think we deserved.

Super sub Mario Vrancic was the last-gasp hero for Norwich for the second game running

Super sub Mario Vrancic was the last-gasp hero for Norwich for the second game running

‘That’s football – sometimes you just have to find a way.’ Teemu Pukki opening the scoring for the hosts early on, before Wycombe levelled through Scott Kashket, and Vrancic scored with a stunning curling free-kick.

Norwich sub Adam Idah saw red late on, but Gareth Ainsworth’s visitors had little time to take advantage of it.

The manager said: ‘Little old Wycombe don’t seem to be getting the decisions.’

Stoke 3-2 Brentford

Goals from Steve Fletcher, James McLean and Tyrese Campbell proved enough as Michael O’Neill’s impressive Stoke held on to stun promotion favourites Brentford.

O’Neill said: ‘You’d taken any win before the game regardless of the scoreline but when you’re 3-0 up we made it a lot more difficult than was necessary.’

Brentford substitute Marcus Forss pulled a goal back with 20 minutes remaining and bagged a second in stoppage time in a frantic finish to proceedings.

Their frustrated boss Thomas Frank said: ‘On the day we lost to a better team overall.

‘We started very slow in the first half, played with no initiative, no tempo and too many touches.

‘We got into the game, but gave ourselves a mountain to climb.’ 

QPR 0-0 Birmingham

Birmingham manager Aitor Karanka insists he is not worried about his side’s failure to score in open play this season.

A goalless draw at QPR extended a frustrating run for both teams, but Karanka believes there are positive signs.

‘I am not concerned at all,’ he said. ‘The main thing for me is to have a committed team on the pitch.’

QPR manager Mark Warburton was encouraged by his team’s second-half display but felt they could have been more direct. 

‘We didn’t move the ball with any real intensity,’ he said.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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