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Diego Costa: Chelsea agree terms with Atletico Madrid

Chelsea have agreed terms with Atletico Madrid for the transfer of striker Diego Costa back to the Spanish club.The move, which will be completed in January, is subject to the agreement of personal terms and a medical.Atletico said the 28-year-old, who…

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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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Soccer – Zidane calls for Real calm

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane says there is no need for panic despite watching his side fall seven points behind Barcelona in the title race after a shock 1-0 home loss to Real Betis.

Los Blancos are now 7/4 with bet365 to retain their Spanish crown after losing to an injury-time Antonio Sanabria goal on Wednesday night.
The defeat extended a poor start to the season for Real, who are yet to win at the Bernabeu in Primera Liga in three attempts.
With Barcelona having won five out of five, Real already find themselves some way behind their rivals in the early stages of the title race.
Zidane is refusing to panic in the face of his team’s slow start and says there is plenty of time to close the gap.
“We have lost points, but there are also many matches left. All the work we have done is not going to be thrown in the trash because of three bad games at home,” said the Frenchman.
“We have not been successful in the shots on goal. I am the coach of this team and what we need is calm, rest and to think about the next game.”

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Soccer – Zidane calls for Real calm

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane says there is no need for panic despite watching his side fall seven points behind Barcelona in the title race after a shock 1-0 home loss to Real Betis.

Los Blancos are now 7/4 with bet365 to retain their Spanish crown after losing to an injury-time Antonio Sanabria goal on Wednesday night.
The defeat extended a poor start to the season for Real, who are yet to win at the Bernabeu in Primera Liga in three attempts.
With Barcelona having won five out of five, Real already find themselves some way behind their rivals in the early stages of the title race.
Zidane is refusing to panic in the face of his team’s slow start and says there is plenty of time to close the gap.
“We have lost points, but there are also many matches left. All the work we have done is not going to be thrown in the trash because of three bad games at home,” said the Frenchman.
“We have not been successful in the shots on goal. I am the coach of this team and what we need is calm, rest and to think about the next game.”

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Soccer – Koeman seeks to end Everton troubles

Everton boss Ronald Koeman hopes Wednesday’s 3-0 EFL Cup win over Sunderland marks the end of a difficult spell for his team.

The Toffees, who are 25/1 with bet365 to finish in the top four this season, came in to the third round tie on the back of four successive defeats, all without scoring.
However, a brace from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and a rare strike from Oumar Niasse set up a fourth round clash with Chelsea, and Koeman hopes the cup win marks a turning point in the campaign.
“Everybody knows we’re in a difficult moment and scoring goals and winning games is the best medicine to get our confidence back. Let’s hope it is a boost for the coming Saturday,” said the Dutchman.

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Soccer – Koeman seeks to end Everton troubles

Everton boss Ronald Koeman hopes Wednesday’s 3-0 EFL Cup win over Sunderland marks the end of a difficult spell for his team.

The Toffees, who are 25/1 with bet365 to finish in the top four this season, came in to the third round tie on the back of four successive defeats, all without scoring.
However, a brace from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and a rare strike from Oumar Niasse set up a fourth round clash with Chelsea, and Koeman hopes the cup win marks a turning point in the campaign.
“Everybody knows we’re in a difficult moment and scoring goals and winning games is the best medicine to get our confidence back. Let’s hope it is a boost for the coming Saturday,” said the Dutchman.

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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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Soccer – Guardiola plays down Gundogan injury

Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City will not be without Ilkay Gundogan for long after he limped out of Wednesday’s win over West Brom.

City ran out 2-1 winners at the Hawthorns to make it through to the fourth round of the EFL Cup and are now 7/2 with bet365 to lift the trophy at Wembley next year.
However, the victory was somewhat tainted by Gundogan limping off in the second half with a knee injury, having been named in the starting line-up for the first time since last December.
The German midfielder has had terrible luck with injuries but Guardiola believes this one is not serious, claiming he will not be out for long.
He said: “I think it’s not serious, it’s not eight months, but a little injury. Unfortunately the action is tough. He will be back soon hopefully. Thursday we will make a test. The physio and doctor told me it’s not big issue.”

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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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Arsène Wenger denies making example of Alexis Sánchez after failed move

• Chile forward has yet to start in the Premier League since Man City interest
• Wenger says he believes Sánchez is happy at Arsenal

Arsène Wenger has insisted he is not seeking to make any sort of point to Alexis Sánchez over his selections of him so far this season.

Sánchez tried and failed to force a move to Manchester City before the closure of the summer transfer window and Wenger has used him of late as a starter in the Europa League and Carabao Cup but only as a substitute in the Premier League.

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County cricket: Middlesex v Lancashire, Surrey v Somerset and more – live!

10.29am BST

Two huge play and misses outside off in the first three balls of the day from Livi…

10.28am BST

Starting on time at Headingley, which is good. But not at the Ageas, because of bad light. I’m convinced Essex won’t lose that game.

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The London Monarchs, weigh-in shenanigans and underarm serves | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features pre-Sky Jeff Stelling, Kasper Schmeichel as a toddler and a dog stealing the show

1) Now in its 10th season, the NFL International Series bandwagon rolls back into London for the first of its four-game run on Sunday. Before the annual helping of Jacksonville Jaguars, UK gridiron fans had to make do with NFL Europe and its predecessor the World League of American Football. The Union Jags have a long way to go before they are afforded the affection of the UK’s original franchise, the 1991 World Bowl champions London Monarchs. It is hard to understand why they were such a monumental flop based on their wonderfully 1990s series of TV ads. The Monarchs also provided Jeff Stelling a break as a jobbing sports reporter for Channel 4 and played host to the American football career of outspoken NBA dad Lavar Ball. Perhaps the biggest success story of NFL Europe is former Amsterdam Admirals quarterback, and collector of bizarre weaponry, Kurt Warner. A year later he was Superbowl XXXIV MVP and the star of the Greatest Show on Turf but Classic YouTube is sure the 1998 season, where Warner led NFL Europe in passing yards and touchdowns as the Admirals fell short of the World Bowl, is what he dreams about at night. Meanwhile, from more recent times in the NFL, this from Tod Gurley is quite the hurdle, and here is an example of the peril that cheerleaders subject themselves to.

2) Billy Joe Saunders defended his WBO middleweight belt against Wille Monroe Jnr last weekend but it was Saunders’ son who got in the first dig at the weigh-in, delivering a low blow to Willie. Pre-fight shenanigans are nothing new of course and back when he was still fighting other boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr was a master. This clip from before his 2007 superfight with Oscar de la Hoya makes you wonder how Conor McGregor would have reacted to a live chicken. MMA’s creep into boxing’s territory is partially fuelled by its ability for pre-fight promotion. If Sean O’Connell was half as good a fighter as he is an entertainer he’d be a superstar. Sadly, with a UFC record of 2-5, he’s not.

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Mark Sampson: England manager sacked – MP says FA systems 'flawed'

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The Football Association has been heavily criticised after the sacking of England women’s manager Mark Sampson.

MP Damian Collins has questioned why it took so long to look into evidence of Sampson’s “inappropriate and unacceptable” behaviour with female players in a previous role.

“The system is flawed,” said Collins, who chairs the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Ex-England captain Karen Walker said: “They have made a right mess of it.”

The FA says it was made aware last week of the full details of safeguarding allegations made against Sampson in 2014 relating to his time as Bristol Academy manager.

A 2015 FA assessment found Sampson did not pose a risk.

The 34-year-old Welshman was also cleared this year of wrongdoing following discrimination allegations made by England players, including Chelsea and England striker Eniola Aluko.

Mark Sampson<!–

Call for independent review

Senior FA executives were already set to face questions next month from the committee headed by Collins, after Aluko initially raised a “bullying and harassment” grievance against Sampson in response to an internal cultural review.

Sampson, who denied Aluko’s claims, became England head coach in December 2013 after leaving top-flight side Bristol Academy, now renamed Bristol City Women.

The FA statement said: “The full report of that [2014] investigation was only brought to the attention of the current FA leadership last week.

“It is our judgement that it revealed clear evidence of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour by a coach. It is on this basis that we have acted quickly to agree a termination of Mark’s contract.”

Collins told BBC Radio 5 live: “Why was it only last week this came to light? You have to look at the Football Association and say its systems are not working.

“The system is flawed and I think it needs a wider, independent assessment not just of who knew what and when in the Mark Sampson case and why it took people so long to come forward and action to be taken.”

Former centre-forward Walker, who was capped 83 times between 1988 and 2003, said the treatment of Sampson had been unfair.

“It does seem like a bit of a witchhunt to bring up something from how many years ago that’s already been looked at. It doesn’t seem right,” she said.

Women In Sport announced Sampson had been removed as patron of the charity following the FA decision.

What the FA chief said

FA chief executive Martin Glenn, speaking to BBC Sport’s Richard Conway

Why have you taken this decision today?

In 2014 there were concerns raised about Mark’s time at Bristol Academy. These were investigated by the FA’s safeguarding unit and Mark was cleared in terms of his suitability to continue in football in early 2015.

Let’s be clear, Mark is not deemed to be a safeguarding threat in football. The problem is that when I read the full report of that just last week, the issue became one of Mark’s conduct and it’s really around the boundaries between a player and a coach.

On reading that report, I felt that what I saw was incompatible with the standards that we’d expect for someone to work at the FA.

Many people will look at this and perhaps think this is a convenient way to get rid of Mark Sampson given the ongoing scrutiny he is under over Eni Aluko’s allegations – what do you say to that?

I can understand why people would say that but they are two very different things.

The concerns Eni Aluko raised were about perceived bullying and perceived racism. We have investigated those properly, there have been two separate investigations actually which have broadly concluded there’s no systematic evidence for that.

This is a different issue, this is about his conduct before his time at the FA which we judge just isn’t consistent with the standards that an FA employee needs to show.

Is Mark Sampson fit to work as a coach in football generally in your opinion?

Mark Sampson is absolutely clear to work as a coach in football.

But you don’t think it’s appropriate to work as the England coach when he can work elsewhere?

I think that’s for other people to make their mind up. In terms of the standards we set at the FA and what we know about what happened, we are very clear about our decision.

Reaction to Sampson’s sacking

A spokesman for Bristol Academy said: “In 2014 the club was made aware of the FA’s investigation into allegations surrounding Mark Sampson.

“Bristol Academy Women co-operated fully with that investigation, which found that Mark Sampson did not pose a safeguarding risk working in the game. The club has had no further contact from the FA on this subject in the intervening years.”

Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch said: “This situation is a mess and raises very serious questions about whether the historic processes that the FA had in place around the recruitment of coaches were appropriate, for something like this to have been missed.

“The FA are right to have taken action but reassurance is needed to make sure this does not happen again at any level of coaching.”

Sampson’s England side beat Russia 6-0 in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday and he led the Lionesses to successive semi-finals at major tournaments.

Last year Sampson signed a new contract to remain in charge until 2019. He has had his contract paid up in full by the FA.

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How we did we get here?

December 2013: Sampson becomes England manager having left Bristol Academy

Early 2014: Complaint against Sampson made relating to his time at Bristol

March 2015: FA safeguarding review panel concludes investigation and in October 2015 he is cleared to continue working in football.

May 2016: England forward Eniola Aluko is asked to participate in a cultural review of all England teams by the FA’s technical director Dan Ashworth.

December 2016: An independent investigation, led by barrister Katharine Newton, hears Aluko’s claims that during a meeting in 2015, Sampson made a “highly inappropriate remark”.

March 2017: The independent review clears Sampson and his staff of wrongdoing but it is understood that Aluko was paid £80,000 in a confidentiality agreement.

13 September 2017: FA says it received the full safeguarding review panel report on the allegations against Sampson.

14 September 2017: The FA says it could re-open its investigation into racism claims against Sampson after further evidence is submitted.

20 September 2017: Sampson sacked by FA

FA investigation

Last week, the FA announced it was to re-open its investigation into separate discrimination claims against Sampson, first made in 2016.

Sampson was alleged to have asked mixed race England midfielder Drew Spence whether she had been arrested during a tournament in 2015, a claim which he denied.

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The claim was first made by Spence’s England and Chelsea team-mate Aluko, and Spence has now submitted written evidence to support it.

In a further separate allegation, Aluko said Sampson told her to make sure her Nigerian relatives did not “bring Ebola” to an England game at Wembley in 2014.

Two investigations – one internal FA inquiry and one independent review led by barrister Katharine Newton – cleared Sampson of any wrongdoing.

Aluko, who has 102 caps and is a qualified lawyer, and fellow England forward Lianne Sanderson have been invited to give evidence to the select committee hearing planned for mid-October.

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Eniola Aluko<!–

Support for ousted manager

England captain Steph Houghton came out in support of her head coach earlier in September but said the allegations had “hit the squad very hard”.

“Since Mark has been in charge I’ve enjoyed every moment,” Houghton, 29, told BBC Sport.

Meanwhile, on the eve of England’s opening World Cup qualifier against Russia, striker Jodie Taylor said the squad had been brought “together” by the allegations.

Former England women defender Alex Scott told BBC Radio 5 live that Sampson had “the most open-door policy” she has ever experienced.

Scott, who is of mixed race and played 140 times for England, added: “If anyone ever had a problem he was open to new ideas.”

Who’s next to coach England?

Tom Garry, BBC Sport

Not only for his recent success at Manchester City, but for his desire to bring through English players, Nick Cushing will be a strong candidate, having won the WSL title in 2016 and the Women’s FA Cup in May with a squad built largely with Lionesses.

Chelsea Ladies boss Emma Hayes is the most successful current female boss in the WSL, winning the double in 2015 and the Spring Series in June, but she can be outspoken and may not see eye-to-eye with all at the FA.

Reading boss Kelly Chambers is popular with many current Lionesses, while former Arsenal boss Laura Harvey – currently head coach of Seattle Reign – would be viable, along with ex-Leeds boss Gemma Grainger – part of Sampson’s coaching team.

Alternatives include the current Canada women national team boss John Herdman – from County Durham – who has earned good credit for lifting Canada up to fifth in the world, while Englishman Colin Bell won the 2014-15 Champions League with Frankfurt.

You can now add WSL 1 alerts for goals and results in the BBC Sport app.

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

  • Live updates from the match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata
  • Get in touch with Sam on email or via Twitter @sjjperry

9.10am BST

1st over: India 5-0 (Rahane 3, Sharma 2)

It’s Coulter-Nile from the other end, and he’s sporting a shaved head; very much in keeping with the late-90s, early 2000s style in these Asian parts. Whereas Cummins is whippy and all fast-arm action, Coulter-Nile bustles and muscles in, using girthy shoulders to propel a heavy ball down the wicket. On Sunday he bowled very full and searched for swing. Here he hits the wicket hard, back of a length, and tight enough to restrict Rahane and Sharma to a single each via glides to third man.

I totally love that Pat Cummins is now Australia’s fittest and most reliable fast bowler. #INDvAUS

9.05am BST

1st over: India 3-0 (Rahane 2, Sharma 1)

Cummins needs no loosener, the ball carrying through to Wade’s head from the off. Rahane brings the first roar of the day, moving onto his tippy toes to glide Cummins down to third man to bring the first run of the day. “He just wants to get to the other end,” says Brett Lee. Sharma finds a quick single to the on-side, before Cummins nearly beats the inside of Rahane’s bat – an inside edge coupled with rooted feet giving Cummins cause to throw his hands up in the air in exasperation. Rahane gets one for it all the same. Cummins always seems to start well.

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Fifa investigates Man City and Chelsea over youth signings

Chelsea flag at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea and Manchester City are being investigated by Fifa over their recruitment of young players.

This is the third time football’s world governing body has looked at Chelsea, and in 2009 they were banned from making signings for two years.

In May, the Premier League fined City £300,000 and banned them from signing academy players for two years.

Fifa has stringent rules in place for signing players under the age of 18 to prevent exploitation and trafficking.

When asked by BBC Sport about Chelsea and Manchester City, it confirmed an investigation was “ongoing”.

City are adamant they have done nothing wrong, while Chelsea insist they “comply with all Fifa statutes and regulations when recruiting players”.

In 2009, Chelsea were banned from signing players after being found guilty of inducing Gael Kakuta to break his contract with Lens, though the sanction was lifted on appeal.

They were also scrutinised last year for the 2014 signing of Bertrand Traore from Association Jeunes Espoirs De Bobo-Dioulasso.

City’s punishment, meanwhile, came after they were found to have approached the family of two young players who were registered with other clubs.

In January last year both Real Madrid and city rivals Atletico were banned from signing players for two transfer windows after breaching Fifa rules relating to the signing of minors.

Real had the sanction halved on appeal but Atletico had theirs upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Fifa’s rules on the transfer of under-18s

Fifa bans the transfer of under-18s to different countries unless they meet strict criteria. It brought in the rules to help protect children from exploitation and trafficking.

Under-18s can only be transferred abroad if:

  • The player’s parents move to the country in which the new club is located for non-footballing reasons.
  • Both clubs are in the European Union or European Economic Area and the player is aged between 16 and 18. Even then, the buying club must meet more criteria relating to education, training, living conditions and support.
  • They live within 100km of the club.

Analysis – ‘This won’t be the last time’

BBC Sport’s Simon Stone

Chelsea and Manchester City are adamant they have done nothing wrong, but in merely admitting investigations are ongoing, Fifa is again shining a light on the recruitment of young players.

Chelsea and City have established themselves as having the best young players in England. Chelsea have won the past four FA Youth Cups, beating City in the past three finals.

But it would be naive to think outstanding young players arrive at those clubs by chance.

Huge amounts of time and resource are put into recruitment, both at home and abroad.

As the cases of City and Liverpool proved when they were fined by the Premier League last season, clubs do not always play by the rules. And English clubs are not operating in a vacuum.

As the professional desire and financial incentives for winning increase, even if Fifa’s latest probe unearths nothing, it is fair to assume it won’t be the last time they will feel the need to make sure regulations are not being broken.

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'Could English football survive without Carabao Cup? Maybe'

English clubs in Europe could benefit by not playing in the Carabao Cup, says Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.The Portuguese manager made nine changes but still fielded a strong side as the holders beat Championship side Burton 4-1 on Wednesday ni…

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Nervous Arsenal scrape past Doncaster after Theo Walcott’s neat finish

The circumstances might have been low-key compared to Wenger-Ferguson duels of old, but the second generation of a legendary footballing family did his upmost to ensure it was an edgy, vehemently competed affair as Arsenal squeaked past Doncaster Rovers. Darren Ferguson’s team gave Arsenal a fright as a contest that looked relatively comfortable in the first half turned into a nail-biter.

The Carabao Cup might not be a priority – the lowest recorded crowd since Arsenal moved to the Emirates of 44,064 attested to a certain lack of enthusiasm in north London – but Doncaster and their merry followers were able to admire a battling performance that belied their position in the lower reaches of League One.

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Michy Batshuayi hits treble and Charly Musonda excels as Chelsea rout Forest

Charly Musonda Jnr had waited five years for his opportunity and, even on his compatriot Eden Hazard’s long-awaited return to the starting line-up, he was not to be upstaged.

The baby-faced forward spent last season on loan at Real Betis but has been forced to wait patiently for his Chelsea debut ever since arriving at the club as a 15-year-old in 2012. A brilliant performance capped by the third goal as Michy Batshuayi also scored a hat-trick in this thrashing of a poor visiting side ensured it was worth the wait.

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