FORMER England striker Gary Lineker has jumped to the defence of Mario Balotelli after the misfiring striker swapped shirts with defender Pepe at half time during Liverpool’s drubbing by Real Madrid on Wednesday.
MANCHESTER United boss Louis van Gaal could hand stricken goalkeeper Victor Valdes a permanent deal in January after allowing the ex-Barcelona stopper the chance to continue his recovery from a torn cruciate ligament at Old Trafford.
1999: Martin Johnson walks off after England crash out of the Rugby World Cup in Paris. England led 9-8, but a record five second-half drop-goals by South Africa fly-half Jannie de Beer left them stunned and 44-21 losers.
ANDERLECHT 1 ARSENAL 2
RELIEVED Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his team can still progress as group winners after two goals in the last two minutes earned a dramatic but vital Champions League victory at Anderlecht last night.
ENGLAND head coach Stuart Lancaster has backed Chris Robshaw to cast aside constant speculation over his role in international rugby and prove his pedigree after re-naming the Harlequins flanker as skipper for the autumn internationals.
ARSENAL boss Arsene Wenger insists he has no qualms about thrusting keeper Emiliano Martinez into the limelight and handing the rookie stopper his Champions League debut against Belgian champions Anderlecht in Brussels tonight.
STRICKEN Saracens hooker Schalk Brits faces a prolonged spell on the sidelines after suffering knee ligament damage during the club’s opening European Champions Cup fixture with French side Clermont Auvergne on Saturday.
EIGHTEEN-TIME grand slam winner Martina Navratilova has criticised the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for its failure to punish the Russian official who referred to Serena and Venus as the “Williams brothers”.
OLYMPIC champion Laura Trott retained her omnium title on the final day of the European Elite Track Cycling Championships in Guadeloupe yesterday, while Scotland’s Katie Archibald claimed victory in the 3km individual pursuit.
FRUSTRATED Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has laid the blame for the loss of star striker Diego Costa squarely at the feet of Spain head coach Vicente del Bosque as his side prepare to host NK Maribor in the Champions League tonight.
WASPS boss Dai Young has highlighted the importance of beating Harlequins in their next continental showdown after his side began their European Rugby Champions Cup campaign with a 25-20 defeat to three-time champions Leinster in Dublin yesterday.
STOKE CITY 2 SWANSEA CITY 1
STOKE boss Mark Hughes believes Swansea counterpart Garry Monk showed the hallmarks of inexperience after accusing Victor Moses of cheating during his side’s loss in the Potteries yesterday.