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Category: Sport

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Jordan Spieth’s steady start at Tour Championship in pursuit of $10m bonus

• Texan not fully at ease with his game but finishes with 67
• Fellow American Kyle Stanley leads after first-round 64

Jordan Spieth can afford to ignore the multitude of arithmetic when calculating who will be the FedEx Cup winner. The Texan’s equation is simple; win the Tour Championship on Sunday and he will also leave Atlanta with the $10m (£7.35m) bonus pot for the second time in his career. It is about as straightforward as this complex play-off series ever gets.

Spieth made a solid start with this dual target in mind. His opening round of 67, three under par, was produced against the backdrop of the Open champion not looking particularly at ease with any aspect of his game. This was classic Spieth; he can score well in all scenarios. He is three behind the 18-hole lead.

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St Helens in prime spot for semi-finals after win over Salford

• Super 8s: Salford 4-30 St Helens
• Wigan would need huge win to deny neighbours

Whether it is Castleford on Thursday or Leeds 24 hours later in the semi-finals, it is increasingly clear that St Helens are in no mood to let this season peter out with a whimper.

When Justin Holbrook arrived on these shores in May and inherited a side whose fate appeared more likely to be in a battle to avoid the Qualifiers as opposed to the race for Old Trafford, few would have fancied St Helens being in this position.

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Gareth Barry aims to carry on after passing Ryan Giggs appearance record

West Bromwich Albion midfielder, who will play his 633rd Premier League game at Arsenal on Monday, has taken up yoga, shows no signs of slowing down and says he could still be playing at 40

If Gareth Barry was beginning to feel frazzled by a morning of media commitments at The Hawthorns, the message that popped up on Phil Neville’s iPad brought home the reason all this was happening. Neville was interviewing his former England team-mate for television and Barry was genuinely touched to be shown a recorded offer of congratulations from Ryan Giggs, who is only a vague acquaintance but had made contact to acknowledge the passing-on of his Premier League appearance record.

The handover will be formalised on Monday when Barry starts for West Bromwich Albion at Arsenal, making his 633rd top-flight outing and confirming his place in the modern history books. “I’m not going to argue with Ryan about trophies and things like that,” Barry says in response to some light ribbing from Giggs about the difficulty of their respective achievements. “It was lovely to hear from him. I’m aware he’s played in the old First Division before and collected a few more appearances than the 633. I’m also aware the Premier League started in 1992 and records existed before that too. I’m not here to say I’m top of the tree in English football history.”

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Mousa Dembélé’s playing time must be managed, says Mauricio Pochettino

• Tottenham player on bench in league recently despite recovery from surgery
• ‘He is a genius … it’s so important to manage him properly,’ says Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has said he still has to manage Mousa Dembélé’s playing minutes with the utmost care, despite the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder having undergone surgery at the end of last season in a bid to ease a long-standing foot problem.

Pochettino has referred to Dembélé as his “genius” and, ordinarily, the Belgian would be the first name on the Spurs team sheet. Virtually every Tottenham player would say Dembélé is the best player at the club but Pochettino has surprised some onlookers by naming the 30-year-old as a substitute in the Premier League for the past two weekends against Everton and Swansea City. Dembélé was not used against Swansea.

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Jürgen Klopp backs Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain despite dismal display

• Liverpool manager says criticism of £35m signing is premature
• ‘The way people are talking it’s like we’re the worst team in the country’

Jürgen Klopp remains convinced of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s ability despite the dismal performance by Liverpool’s £35m signing in his first start at Leicester.

Oxlade-Chamberlain missed an early chance and seemed nervous and error-prone thereafter, but Klopp felt his performance was not as bad as some critics have suggested.

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Lions manager John Spencer hits back at Sean O’Brien criticism of drawn series

• ‘I was surprised and disappointed; it was a tour when everyone stuck together’
• Disciplinary action ruled out over view about coaches on New Zealand tour

John Spencer, the manager of the British & Irish Lions in New Zealand this summer, said he was “surprised and disappointed” at the critical remarks made by the Ireland flanker Sean O’Brien about Warren Gatland and one of the head coach’s assistants, Rob Howley, but ruled out initiating disciplinary action against the player, who started all three Tests.

The tourists drew a series they were widely expected to lose, becoming only the second Lions party not to lose a rubber in New Zealand, but in a radio interview O’Brien said he was critical of the management because he felt “we should have won it comfortably”. He claimed the players were overtrained on the Thursday before the first Test and said Owen Farrell and Johnny Sexton took over the attack coaching for the second Test because Howley was struggling to get his message across.

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Lions manager John Spencer hits back at Sean O’Brien criticism of drawn series

• ‘I was surprised and disappointed; it was a tour when everyone stuck together’
• Disciplinary action ruled out over view about coaches on New Zealand tour

John Spencer, the manager of the British & Irish Lions in New Zealand this summer, said he was “surprised and disappointed” at the critical remarks made by the Ireland flanker Sean O’Brien about Warren Gatland and one of the head coach’s assistants, Rob Howley, but ruled out initiating disciplinary action against the player, who started all three Tests.

The tourists drew a series they were widely expected to lose, becoming only the second Lions party not to lose a rubber in New Zealand, but in a radio interview O’Brien said he was critical of the management because he felt “we should have won it comfortably”. He claimed the players were overtrained on the Thursday before the first Test and said Owen Farrell and Johnny Sexton took over the attack coaching for the second Test because Howley was struggling to get his message across.

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Embarrassment for FA as Glenn contradicts lawyers about Sampson investigation

• Chief executive says a black woman was deliberately chosen
• FA lawyers had already sent letter to Guardian saying this was ‘plainly false’

Martin Glenn, the Football Association’s heavily criticised chief executive, faces further embarrassment after admitting the organisation deliberately chose a black woman to investigate the Mark Sampson race allegations – without apparently realising the FA’s lawyers had already sent a letter to the Guardian warning such a claim was “plainly false”.

Glenn, one of the executives most under scrutiny after Sampson’s sudden sacking on Wednesday, promised he would offer a personal apology to Eni Aluko and Drew Spence if the controversial and reopened independent inquiry found that the now‑deposed England women’s manager had made racial comments to the two players.

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Amazon and Facebook keen on Premier League rights, say Manchester United

• Tech companies’ interest will escalate financial boom for top clubs
• Ed Woodward announces record income made by United

The internet giants Amazon and Facebook are likely to bid for Premier League football streaming rights, which will further escalate the huge financial boom for England’s top clubs, the Manchester United vice-chairman has said.

In his quarterly call with bank executives who invest in United’s shares on the New York stock exchange, Ed Woodward said the technology companies were very interested in the last round of rights deals for 2016-19, which the Premier League sold primarily to BSkyB and BT for £8.4bn.

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There is irony in Diego Costa’s deal with Atlético but Chelsea saw the best of him | Dominic Fifield

In their last league game, Antonio Conte’s side missed how the forward would have driven Arsenal to distraction and the 28-year-old will depart Stamford Bridge having more than played his part in the successes

There is an irony that Diego Costa’s tortuous departure from Chelsea should be finalised, pending the results of a stringent medical, just after a fixture when his absence had been so keenly felt.

Not the Champions League stroll beyond Qarabag or even the midweek saunter past Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup. But, last Sunday, Arsenal ventured across the capital and earned a point, with Shkodran Mustafi, in most people’s eyes, emerging from the stalemate as man of the match. Even accepting that the centre-half is a Germany international and clearly a player of pedigree, it is hard to envisage he would have been quite so unruffled had Costa lined up for the hosts at Stamford Bridge.

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Martin Glenn’s next step after sacking Mark Sampson should be to resign | Barney Ronay

The holes in the FA’s version of events make a case for its chief executive to stand down on the Lady Bracknell principle of administrative bungling

The FA chief executive, Martin Glenn, has acted decisively – if confusingly and belatedly – in dismissing Mark Sampson from his post as manager of the England women’s team.

Glenn’s next step should be to offer his own resignation. Again this should be done promptly, and with an acceptance that the public expects more from the governing body of its national sport than bungled attempts at spin and reputation management, or moral principles that appear to bend with the weather vane of bad publicity.

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David Lappartient reaps wind of change blowing through cycling | William Fotheringham

French campaigner called a political machine benefits from anti-British backlash after scandals to easily defeat Brian Cookson in UCI presidential election

“A political machine,” wrote the respected French journalist Jean-François Quénet of his fellow countryman David Lappartient, a man who, it seems, has never lost an election, rising seamlessly through French local and two-wheeled politics to simultaneously hold positions of power in the Morbihan region of Brittany and world cycling. His victory over the incumbent Brian Cookson in the UCI presidential election on Thursday is, in that context, just the latest in a long list of political triumphs.

However, the scale by which he drubbed the Lancastrian – 37 votes to eight – points to a massive backlash against the former British Cycling head, who was elected in 2013 on a wave of disgust against the previous administration amid hopes of renewal. Back then Cookson came across as the technocrat who was needed to restore calm, order and integrity, but he has come under pressure from many sides over issues as diverse as the World Tour calendar, the UCI’s campaign against technological fraud and women’s racing. All of these were buttons Lappartient could press.

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Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham set to switch allegiances from England to Nigeria

• Nigeria claim striker on loan at Swansea has ‘begun process’ with Fifa
• ‘Clearly he stands a better chance playing for the Super Eagles’

England Under-21 striker Tammy Abraham is set to switch international allegiances to Nigeria in a bid to play at next year’s World Cup.

The Chelsea striker, who is on a season-long loan to Swansea, played for England at this summer’s European Under-21 Championships in Poland but remains eligible for the Super Eagles through his parents. Last week, Amaju Pinnick, the president of the Nigerian Football Federation, admitted that he was hopeful of persuading the 19-year-old to switch allegiances despite representing England at various youth levels thanks to his close relationship with his father, who is a childhood friend.

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Harder to miss: striker in Romania fails to score from two yards – video

Salim Cissé, striker for Romanian side Politehnica Iasi, can’t believe his bad luck in managing to miss a chance from two yards out in the Liga I meeting with Botosani on Wednesday night. With his team 3-2 down late on, Cissé looks certain to score but the ball hits his thigh and balloons over the crossbar. Much to his relief Politehnica Iasi salvaged an equaliser shortly after and the game ended 3-3

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Chelsea confirm agreement to sell Diego Costa to Atlético Madrid

• Spain striker set for medical ahead of return to La Liga
• Costa has not played for Chelsea this season

Chelsea have confirmed that they have reached agreement with Atlético Madrid over the sale of Diego Costa, with the Spain striker now expected to complete his return to La Liga subject to the agreement of personal terms and a medical.

The Spain striker has yet to feature for the Premier League champions this season after being told he was not part of Antonio Conte’s plans. But despite Atlético currently being subjected to a transfer ban, a statement from Chelsea on Thursday confirmed that the 28-year-old is set to rejoin the club three years after he moved to London for £32m.

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Real Betis keep their heads to leave Real Madrid assessing early-season damage | Sid Lowe

Thirty-five different teams over 73 games stretching back almost 18 months had tried and failed to stop Real Madrid scoring. Real Betis went one better

Manchester United couldn’t do it, Manchester City couldn’t do it and Bayern Munich couldn’t do it. Juventus couldn’t do it either. Nor could Borussia Dortmund, Napoli or Sporting Lisbon. The other Sporting, from Gijón, couldn’t do it. They came from Mexico, Japan, Poland and Cyprus and failed too. Barcelona tried four times but they couldn’t do it. Sevilla and Atlético had five goes each. Nope, no good. Along came Valencia, Deportivo and Celta, Osasuna, Espanyol and Villarreal, but they couldn’t do it and nor could Las Palmas, Eibar, Athletic, Cultural, Granada, Málaga, Alavés or Leganés. Real Betis, on the other hand, could. In fact, on Wednesday night they only went and did something even better.

Thirty-five different teams from eight different countries had tried over 73 games and six competitions stretching back almost 18 months and none of them had stopped Real Madrid scoring, but Betis were almost there. There was still time for it to slip away, especially against the team with a thing for agonising late goals and they were nervous but they were near. It was 11.47pm and the scoreboard at the Santiago Bernabéu, like scoreboards everywhere, had stopped on 90 minutes – information denied when it’s most needed. Alongside, it read: Madrid 0-0 Betis. The board went up: five minutes, one last bugle call, a record awaiting, fans screaming at them to pour forward.

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Jake LaMotta was not a great champion but one of the toughest, a boxing beast | Kevin Mitchell

The fine details of his brief reign as world middleweight champion are not always absorbed in recollections of his career, mainly because one of the greatest films of all time painted him in classically Shakespearean mode

Jake LaMotta should have been in Las Vegas to watch Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Álvarez, two distinguished middleweights pitched together to echo the deeds of the division’s glorious past, a fight reckoned to restore boxing’s faltering image. LaMotta, who knew a lot about the game’s sullied reputation, would have given it a wry smile.

The fight did not quite do its job. It was a terrific rather than a truly great contest and dreadful misjudgment by one of the officials overwhelmingly in favour of Álvarez returned a split draw, drowning out all other post-fight sentiments. So, unfairly but inevitably, Golovkin-Álvarez will be remembered only slightly more fondly than the theatrical crossover fight in the same ring three weeks earlier between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.

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Carlos Tevez: Chinese players ‘not skilled’ and can’t compete, ‘even in 50 years’

• Shanghai Shenhua forward hits back after chairman suggested he was unfit
• Tevez has so far scored just three goals in 13 CSL appearances

Carlos Tevez has hit back at suggestions from Shanghai Shenhua’s chairman that he is unfit to play, describing Chinese players as “not naturally skilled” and doubting whether they will be able to compete with the best nations “even in 50 years”.

Related: Carlos Tevez’s big-money move to China has proved an expensive mistake

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Women’s Super League: our team-by-team guide to the 2017-18 season

From Arsenal to Yeovil, we assess the contenders and likely strugglers for the maiden winter campaign – as Manchester City look to maintain their supremacy

Once the dominant force in women’s football, Arsenal have slipped behind Chelsea and Manchester City in recent years and have not lifted the title since 2012. Not that they should be taken lightly – they were the only team to remain unbeaten in the Spring Series. However finishing third highlighted the need for greater efficiency.

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England v West Indies: second one-day international – live!

12.02pm BST

That’s a straightforward decision given the weather forecast. England would have done the same.

11.59am BST

The weather forecast has improved in the last few hours, so there’s every chance we’ll start on time. The toss is imminent. Meantime, Australia have scrapped their way back into the game against India in Kolkata.

Related: India v Australia: second one-day international – live!

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