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Author Archive for John Ashdown

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The Forgotten Story of … when Diego Maradona ‘signed’ for Dundee

With Claudio Caniggia at Dens Park and matches being screened live in Argentina, ambitious owners tried to seal the ultimate coup for the clubDiego Maradona’s road to Dundee began, in a way, in Luton. Ivano Bonetti had played in a European Cup final wi…

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Sheffield United held to goalless draw by Wednesday in Steel City derby

Jos Luhukay made a moderately successful start to his tenure at Sheffield Wednesday, with his struggling Owls side holding on for a 0-0 draw at their Steel City neighbours United, despite being reduced to 10 men midway through the second half.The forme…

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Celtic v Rangers: Scottish Premiership – live!

All the action from the Old Firm derbyEmail John or send him a tweet: @John_Ashdown 11.10am GMT Celtic (4-1-2-3) Gordon; Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney; Brown; McGregor, Armstrong; Forrest, Dembélé, Sinclair. Subs: De Vries, Simunovic, Bitton, Griffiths…

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Aden Flint’s late strike helps Bristol City pull away from Sheffield United

Bristol City closed the gap on the Championship’s top two with a remarkable win over Sheffield United, sealed by Aden Flint’s 91st-minute winner.The Blades hit the woodwork four times in an entertaining contest between third and fourth and had dominate…

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Has any striker had a more prolific month than Harry Kane? | The Knowledge

Plus mascots honoured on shirts; players with multiple statues; unlikely gigs at grounds (3); and John Hartson: sheep thief. Send your questions and answers to knowledge@theguardian.com or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

“Harry Kane has just scored 13 goals in September. That’s a lot. What’s the record for the most goals scored in a calendar month by a professional footballer?” asks Gregg Bakowski.

Evan Rye points out that Robert Lewandowski managed 14 in September 2015. “He started off with a goal and a double in Euro 2016 qualification matches against Germany and Gibraltar respectively, before scoring one against Augsburg in the Bundesliga. He failed to score against Olympiakos in the Champions League but bounced back with his famous five goals within nine minutes against Wolfsburg , another double against Mainz and a hat-trick in the Champions League against Dinamo Zagreb.”

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France, Portugal and Holland in World Cup 2018 qualifying action – live!

Updates from the World Cup qualifiers in groups A, B and HLive scores: all the goals as they go in around EuropeEmail john.ashdown@theguardian.com. Tweet @John_Ashdown 8.10pm BST Unhappy scenes coming through from Tallinn as Bosnia-Herzegovina support…

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The Fiver | Pat-on-the-head patronisation and lazy cultural stereotyping

In today’s Fiver: Iceland, Adrian ‘Aidy’ Boothroyd and much more

Break out the thunderclaps, crank up the Sigur Rós and/or Bjork, prepare yourself for the never tiresome challenge of finding new and interesting ways to describe how small the place is, and get ready for that dreamy blend of pat-on-the-head patronisation and lazy cultural stereotyping that may or may not involve Sigur Rós and/or Bjork: Iceland – a country so small that it’s not even the first result on a Google search despite being an actual country – are going to the World Cup! CLAP!

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Women’s Super League: Manchester City trounce Arsenal in thriller

  • City make it two wins from two to start season with 5-2 victory
  • Stanway, Christiansen and Scott score late to seal points

Manchester City maintained their 100% start and took their goal tally for the season to nine in two games with a thrilling 5-2 victory over Arsenal at the Academy Stadium.

Jane Ross opened the scoring six minutes before half-time with a clever near-post volley to turn home Abbie McManus’s cross.

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French Open semi-final: Jelena Ostapenko v Timea Bacsinszky – live!

2.15pm BST

First set: Ostapenko 0-1 Bacsinszky* (* denotes server) Ostapenko made a slow start against Wozniacki in the last round (going 5-0 down in the opening set) and her radar is a touch askew in this opening game here. She nets a routine forehand and Bacsinszky holds to 15.

2.12pm BST

Tok, tok, tok … the players are warmed up and we’re about ready to go. No sign of that threatened shower around Roland Garros. Glorious sunshine is the order of the day.

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French Open: Nadal, Wozniacki and Djokovic in quarter-final action – live!

3.35pm BST

John will be here shortly. In the meantime you can read Kevin Mitchell’s report of Andy Murray’s crushing last-16 win against Karen Khachanov …

Related: Andy Murray marches into French Open quarter-finals after smooth success

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Why are Sheffield United so desperate to re-sign Ched Evans? | John Ashdown

Ched Evans, who was acquitted of raping a 19-year-old woman, remains a hugely divisive figure among Sheffield United fans and it is questionable whether he is any better than the strikers already at the clubOn 14 April 2012 Sheffield United beat Leyton…

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Why are Sheffield United so desperate to re-sign Ched Evans? | John Ashdown

Ched Evans, who was acquitted of raping a 19-year-old woman, remains a hugely divisive figure among Sheffield United fans and it is questionable whether he is any better than the strikers already at the clubOn 14 April 2012 Sheffield United beat Leyton…

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Why are Sheffield United so desperate to re-sign Ched Evans? | John Ashdown

Ched Evans, who was acquitted of raping a 19-year-old woman, remains a hugely divisive figure among Sheffield United fans and it is questionable whether he is any better than the strikers already at the clubOn 14 April 2012 Sheffield United beat Leyton…

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Middlesbrough v Arsenal: Premier League – live!

7.03pm BST

Here’s how #Boro will line up to face @Arsenal this evening #UTB pic.twitter.com/h0Djbdxmzy

Time for our team news – this is how we line up for #MFCvAFC pic.twitter.com/7cZ9eHxeTM

2.19pm BST

Hello everyone. First of all, and not to get off on the wrong foot, but you lot should be ashamed of yourselves, you heartless rubberneckers you. Can’t you just leave them in peace? These two teams have enough problems without being subjected to your morbid curiosity. Two teams enduring car-crash seasons (if you ignore clubs like Leyton Orient, Blackpool and Nottingham Forest who have real problems) meet at the Riverside this Monday evening in search of three vital points and for the losers things will begin to look very bleak indeed.

Arsenal have picked up just seven points from their last eight games, a tally of which Boro can only dream – they’ve collected just three points in the same period. Over the past two and a half months – going back to 31 January – the Gunners have the 16th best points-per-game average in the Premier League. Fortunately for Arsène Wenger, this evening they’re playing one of the four teams in the division who have been worse.

Related: Middlesbrough v Arsenal: match preview

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Middlesbrough v Arsenal: Premier League – live!

7.03pm BST

Here’s how #Boro will line up to face @Arsenal this evening #UTB pic.twitter.com/h0Djbdxmzy

Time for our team news – this is how we line up for #MFCvAFC pic.twitter.com/7cZ9eHxeTM

2.19pm BST

Hello everyone. First of all, and not to get off on the wrong foot, but you lot should be ashamed of yourselves, you heartless rubberneckers you. Can’t you just leave them in peace? These two teams have enough problems without being subjected to your morbid curiosity. Two teams enduring car-crash seasons (if you ignore clubs like Leyton Orient, Blackpool and Nottingham Forest who have real problems) meet at the Riverside this Monday evening in search of three vital points and for the losers things will begin to look very bleak indeed.

Arsenal have picked up just seven points from their last eight games, a tally of which Boro can only dream – they’ve collected just three points in the same period. Over the past two and a half months – going back to 31 January – the Gunners have the 16th best points-per-game average in the Premier League. Fortunately for Arsène Wenger, this evening they’re playing one of the four teams in the division who have been worse.

Related: Middlesbrough v Arsenal: match preview

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Alastair Cook: ‘My relationship with Joe Root is absolutely fine’

The former England captain insists there will be no problems playing alongside his successor come the South Africa series in July and for now is focusing purely on doing well for Essex in the County Championship

Given this is the first time since 2012 that Alastair Cook has approached an English season without the burden of the England captaincy, and the first time since his international debut in 2006 that the Test summer does not start until July, one might expect him to be discomfited by the novelty.

But a little under two months since relinquishing the leadership of the national side Cook says the buildup to the campaign has been little different from the norm. There has been no sense of a great weight lifting from the shoulders. The decision to leave the captaincy behind “wasn’t based on how I felt day to day”, he says, and familiar faces at Essex have eased what might have been a tricky transition.

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Newcastle edge closer to promotion but Rotherham are relegated to League One

Newcastle and Brighton benefited from Burton’s surprise win over Huddersfield, while it was a bad day for Leyton Orient and a terrible one for Rotherham

• After three games without a victory Newcastle United returned to winning ways with a 2-1 home victory over Wigan Athletic thanks to Matt Ritchie’s second-half header. United stay top despite second-placed Brighton’s win over Blackburn and the top two were given a further boost when Burton Albion’s Jackson Irvine scored a 96th minute winner at Huddersfield. That goal means Newcastle move 10 points clear of the third-placed Terriers.

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Which footballers have roads named after them in unusual places? | The Knowledge

Plus: tables forming words; family connections; and the curious case of George Best’s disappearing beard. Send your questions and answers to knowledge@theguardian.com or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

“In north London there is a 200m stretch of road named Bobby Moore Way,” wrote Andy Kelly last week. “There are no houses on the road as its only purpose appears to be a slip road on to the North Circular (A406). It seems strange that such a nondescript road with no apparent geographical link is named after the England World Cup-winning captain. Does anyone know why it was named after him? How about other unusually placed roads named after footballers?”

The reasons for Bobby Moore Way to be so named remain a mystery, though perhaps the five-a-side centre which is pretty much the only property on the road has or had something to do with it.

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Which footballers have roads named after them in unusual places? | The Knowledge

Plus: tables forming words; family connections; and the curious case of George Best’s disappearing beard. Send your questions and answers to knowledge@theguardian.com or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

“In north London there is a 200m stretch of road named Bobby Moore Way,” wrote Andy Kelly last week. “There are no houses on the road as its only purpose appears to be a slip road on to the North Circular (A406). It seems strange that such a nondescript road with no apparent geographical link is named after the England World Cup-winning captain. Does anyone know why it was named after him? How about other unusually placed roads named after footballers?”

The reasons for Bobby Moore Way to be so named remain a mystery, though perhaps the five-a-side centre which is pretty much the only property on the road has or had something to do with it.

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Australian Open 2017 day nine: Roger Federer v Mischa Zverev – live!

• Updates from day nine at Melbourne Park
• Email John Ashdown on john.ashdown@theguardian.com or tweet him

7.41am GMT

The bad news for Zverev: In the last 13 Australian Opens, Federer has reached 12 semi-finals.

And on both occasions these players have previously met, Federer has won in straight sets.

7.31am GMT

Related: Australian Open 2017: day nine – in pictures

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