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Brendan Rodgers may jersey bemoan the luck of the draw

Brendan Rodgers may bemoan the luck of the draw. On the evidence of a harrowing evening for Celtic, facing a Paris Saint-Germain side determined to send a statement of intent to open the Champions League would always have been an insurmountable challenge.Some context for Rodgers and Celtic will arrive with what PSG do next. Celtic, though, need to banish this French canter from their minds in preparation for what has always looked a pivotal Group B fixture at Anderlecht in a fortnight.European football’s haves brutally exposed the have nots to the point where the win was secured by half-time. This matched the heaviest home defeat in Celtic’s 129-year history; Heart of Midlothian won 5-0 here in 1895. The intervening years surely have not witnessed mismatches such as this. Rodgers was riled by his team’s first‑half showing. “We played like under-12s,” he said. “We were too passive, didn’t press well enough and stood off.“I’m not worried about records. Tonight we were playing against world-class opponents but in the second half – it’s always easy to play at 0-3 – I want them to start like that.“At this level you have to make the ball work and you have to have that belief. In that opening period, there was too much space, the physicality wasn’t what it should have been. Whoever we were playing, it wasn’t what we would like.” PSG’s front three of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappé – anxious to announce themselves as collectively the best in Europe – helped themselves to goals. The final tally for the visitors just about explains an on- and off-field gulf. Too many of Celtic’s players did not perform to their capabilities – there were shortcomings in defence and the failure to retain possession elsewhere – but PSG’s play was a joy to behold. From their manager came a post-match warning to the rest of the Champions League.“I am very happy but it is a mixture of happiness and calmness,” Unai Emery, said. “I am really confident that we can continue on this journey we have set out on. “We know there will be more difficult times to come. This was a good step forward for those more difficult times.” Celtic’s shortage of defensive options meant a start for the 18-year-old Anthony Ralston at right-back. For all this will inevitably lead to carping regarding the lack of talent depth for an environment such as this, for Celtic to field an academy product in such a marquee fixture is testament to Rodgers’s fresh thinking. A wider debate concerns whether he should have been afforded better options. With Jozo Simunovic Celtic’s only fit and orthodox centre-half, Mikael Lustig stepped inside to allow Ralston his start. In direct opposition to the teenager? Neymar. It can only get easier from here. The harsh comment at the point of the opening goal would be to suggest Celtic did not heed a series of earlier warnings. Rodgers’s team had what looked a perfectly legitimate shout for a foul on Scott Sinclair as PSG stole midfield possession. As Celtic protested, PSG marauded forward. Adrien Rabiot Youth Nike Philadelphia Eagles #79 Brandon Brooks Elite Black Alternate NFL Jersey found himself goal side of Ralston, with the midfielder feeding Neymar. The Brazilian, already a pantomime villain in these parts after spats of the recent past, only angered the Celtic support even more with his composed finish over the onrushing Gordon.Celtic almost responded immediately by virtue of a weapon that Emery had identified before the match. Leigh Griffiths conjured up a wonderful free‑kick from more than 30 yards out, with Alphonse Areola leaping to supply a save of identical quality. It was to be Areola’s only meaningful action of the evening. PSG doubled their lead with a goal that involved each of their celebrated front three but in wholly unorthodox style. Neymar was unselfish in heading Marco Verratti’s cross back towards Cavani, who promptly took a fresh air swipe at the ball. The No9 was spared ignominy by Mbappé, who arrived to clip home. Cavani notched No3 from the penalty spot, five minutes before the break, after Simunovic pulled the same player’s shirt. PSG’s canter was all too much for one punter in a green scarf, who raced on to the pitch before trying to boot Mbappé.

FA executives to face jersey parliamentary inquiry over Mark

Senior executives at the Football Association are to be summoned to a parliamentary inquiry to face questions about the controversial investigations that have Wesley Woodyard Youth Jersey cleared Mark Sampson of making allegedly racial remarks to two of the England women’s players, the Guardian can reveal.Officials from football’s governing body will asked to explain the processes involved in the internal review that has been described by the Professional Footballers’ Association as “not a genuine search of the truth” and “a sham which was not designed to establish the truth but intended to protect Mark Sampson”. At the same time the FA will face questions about the three-month independent inquiry – carried out on behalf of the organisation by the barrister Katharine Newton – in the wake of Eni Aluko’s claims that both investigations were a “farce” and the calls from Kick It Out, the PFA and the shadow sports minister, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, for the FA to start again with an entirely new process. Aluko will be invited to give her version of events to the culture, media and sport select committee after her interview with the Guardian on 21 August when a player with 102 England caps alleged that Sampson had told her to make sure her Nigerian relatives did not bring Ebola to Wembley.Lianne Sanderson will also have the chance to air her grievances, as another of the longstanding England players who have questioned the culture under Sampson, and the FA will then be asked to respond to the various complaints and explain, for instance, why the two inquiries took place without speaking to the player, Drew Spence, who was at the centre of the first allegation. Spence, then 22, was on her first England call-up at the China Cup in October 2015 when, according to Aluko, Sampson left her “distressed” during a midfielders’ meeting by asking: “Haven’t you been arrested before? Four times isn’t it?” She has subsequently backed Aluko’s version of events in writing but was never asked to give evidence, which, in theory, could have played a huge part in shaping the findings of the inquiries.The FA is also facing new questions about who it did interview after sources within the England set-up revealed their information was that none of the players in the relevant meeting – not only Spence – were asked by either inquiry about what they had heard. The FA, presented with that evidence, has chosen not to deny it. In a controversy that is threatening to go to the top of the organisation, the FA has already Authentic Anthony Steen Youth Jersey opened itself to criticism by claiming it did not previously know Spence’s identity and blaming Aluko for “refusing” to help. Aluko, a qualified lawyer, supplied evidence that clearly states it was a mixed-raced midfielder who was raised in south London, played for Chelsea and on her first England camp. Spence was the only mixed-race midfielder on that trip.Sampson has insisted his “conscience is clear”, denying that he made either remark, and said last week that it was time to move on now the allegations had been “investigated thoroughly” but the select committee wants to form its own conclusions. “We’re very concerned about what we’ve seen,” Damian Collins, the committee chairman, told the Guardian. “When you look at the case of Eni, as well as the concerns that Lianne has raised, it would be impossible to believe that a male figure who was such a senior figure in the England team would have been treated in the way that Eni has been. There would have been a lot more serious investigation into the allegations that have been made.“We want to know why that’s been the case and we want to hear from the players themselves about the way in which the FA has dealt with them. There is a concern now that other players [potentially making similar allegations] would be less likely to come forward now because of the way that Eni has been treated.” A date is being arranged for mid-October and the FA is also likely to be asked why it gave Aluko an £80,000 settlement, including a confidentiality clause, when neither inquiry supported her complaint that she had been the victim of bullying and discrimination.Aluko says her 11-year England career effectively ended within two weeks of raising her complaints in the FA’s culture Women's Nike Philadelphia Eagles #76 Allen Barbre Game White NFL Jersey review but Sampson and the FA say the decision to remove last season’s Golden Boot winner from the squad was completely unrelated.Sampson’s only interview so far has been with two media outlets in what the FA has described as a controlled environment.

Second-half goals from jersey Pedro Obiang and André Ayew

Second-half goals from Pedro Obiang and André Ayew sealed West Ham’s first win of the season and alleviated the pressure on Slaven Bilic. The West Ham manager Ravens Jersey admitted the sacking of Frank de Boer by Crystal Palace earlier on Monday had been “in the back of my mind” before the match.A deflected strike from Pedro Obiang was followed by André Ayew’s six-yard finish as West Ham cracked open a tightly contested encounter in the final 20 minutes. The Huddersfield manager, David Wagner, was disappointed in his team, who were organised in defence but rarely threatened going forward.West Ham’s manager, meanwhile, was delighted. The game was scrappy and lacked quality but his team’s performance offered up half a dozen decent chances. On Bilic’s 49th birthday and after three consecutive demoralising defeats, this was a welcome gift. “They gave everything,” Bilic said. “It was a top performance from us, not in the sense we played beautiful football but in other aspects. Determination in executing the game plan, in stopping them from doing anything.“I’m 49 and I’ve been in serious football for 31 years,” Bilic added.“I know how it goes, especially today, and I’m not going to lie, [De Boer] was in the back of my mind. But I’ve come to the zone where I don’t care about that. I care about the team. I saw my team really focus, not just today but yesterday, the day before.” “It was a deserved defeat,” Wagner said. “Defensively we were OK, we were aware of the direct style. We got the flicks, we were good on the second balls but football is also an offensive game and offensively we weren’t good enough. We made so many unforced errors, bad decisions. It makes totally no sense to play without bravery and confidence especially after what the boys have done in the past. We haven’t shown what we are capable of.”Wagner’s criticisms could have been equally applicable to the hosts. West Ham were making their first home appearance of the season and had adopted a new formation. Bilic, acting to plug the leaks that had led to his team accruing a goal difference of minus eight, had shifted to a back three, with James Collins returning to the team. Up front there was room for both Javier Hernández and Andy Carroll, the England striker making his first start in five months. With Michail Antonio also in attack it was an unfamiliar and often uncertain formation, one held together by individual gumption. That said, it created chances Redskins Youth Jersey and West Ham could have been ahead after only two minutes. A floated cross from the right found Carroll at the back post. Instead of heading, however, he opted to drop off his man and took the ball on his chest. Carroll then Youth Nike Philadelphia Eagles #76 Allen Barbre Elite Black Alternate NFL Jersey flashed the ball across goal but a sliding Cheikhou Kouyaté could not turn it over the line even from inches away.Ten minutes later and another clear opportunity came the home side’s way. This time it was all of Antonio’s making as he powered past Chris Löwe and again managed to cut the ball back across the box. This time the cross skewed to Hernández but the Mexican poacher crashed his shot off the bar. With five minutes of the half remaining, they crafted another opportunity, Carroll forcing Mathias Jorgensen into a weak clearing header only for Kouyaté, standing on the penalty spot, to make a complete hash of his shot.For all that Wagner was down on his team for a lack of assertiveness, Huddersfield began to come into the game in the second half. They started to throw more numbers forward. Philip Billing forced Joe Hart into his first save in the 54th minute. On the hour they eked out their first corner. At the other end West Ham were starting to look ragged. Hernández in particular was struggling in an unusual position at inside-forward. He was trying his best and twice tried to slide in the hard running Antonio but neither opening resulted in a shot. With 25 minutes remaining he was removed in favour of Ayew and it turned out to be the spark that changed the game.In the 72nd minute the Ghana forward found Obiang just outside the penalty box. The midfielder unleashed a fierce, left-foot shot which hit Jorgensen, who had turned his back on it, and was deflected well over his goalkeeper Jonas Lössl and into the net. Five minutes later Ayew was on hand to force home another Aaron Cresswell corner. The relief in the stadium was palpable.

Steve Parish had taken jersey to Twitter on Sunday night

Steve Parish had taken to Twitter on Sunday night on the way back from Burnley and his Authentic Flyers Youth Jersey team’s latest scoreless defeat. There were irate supporters to address and plenty of disgruntled fans pointing fingers at a board who, up to now, have been relatively immune to criticism given their achievements in hoisting Crystal Palace from the second tier. The chairman’s responses verged on the defiant, from “football teams lose games” to “we know we are better than this”. In among the series of tweets, too, was one suggesting “we have to stick together”.As it transpired that call for unity, echoed by first-team players on social media, did not extend to the relationship between hierarchy and manager. After a night contemplating what happens next, Palace confirmed Frank de Boer’s tenure would not extend beyond the 11-week mark, provoking an understandable wave of bewilderment from those on the outside looking in. Why sack De Boer for managing like De Boer? Surely he needed proper time, and more investment, to instigate the change in style even Parish had acknowledged was desirable? Did the improved performance at Turf Moor, where 23 chances were created but none taken, not demand a stay of execution at least until Saturday’s visit of Southampton?Parish and the club’s American major shareholders, David Blitzer and Josh Harris, who were in attendance in Lancashire, would acknowledge that logic. They would surely concede, too, that mistakes have been made. Embarrassing errors that damn all the due diligence conducted over that month-long summer recruitment process following Sam Allardyce’s surprise resignation. The chairman, it should not be forgotten, had admitted “every time a manager fails at this club, I fail, so if Frank fails it is my failure too”. There is no hiding from this fiasco, whether or not talk of fans’ protests is followed through on Saturday lunchtime, or even if Palace rouse themselves under Roy Hodgson to clamber clear of trouble. The fact remains that it was always unreasonable to expect a manager schooled in one clear footballing way to be parachuted into a club and an unfamiliar league and successfully change everything overnight. He is even less likely to succeed if his squad are bolstered by only two young loanees and a £7.9m signing from Ajax. There was a splurge on Mamadou Sakho, a talismanic figure for Allardyce’s side last term, on deadline day but, by then, De Boer’s influence on transfer policy had all but evaporated. Looking back, what chance did he realistically have? Not that the owners will have Authentic Grant Fuhr Womens Jersey warmed to the idea of Palace becoming a laughing stock. There is nothing to celebrate in a club emulating a 93-year record for dismal top-flight starts one day, then casting the manager adrift after the fewest number of games in charge the next. But at some stage, for all the desire to develop on the pitch, fear kicks in. Palace cannot afford to drop out of this division. This is a fifth year at elite level, the longest in their history, and their wage bill has never been higher. The owners – it is safe to assume the American investors, in particular – cannot contemplate slipping into the Championship. Once Elite Paul Hornung Youth Home Green Nike Jersey - #5 NFL Green Bay Packers De Boer offered no clear plan as to how he would kickstart the team’s season in a meeting with Parish and the sporting director, Dougie Freedman, on the last Monday in August, the writing was on the wall.Given the schism that had developed behind the scenes, the surprise was not that the axe fell after four games but that the manager had still been in charge for the trip to Burnley. This relationship had fractured beyond repair after the defeat by Swansea last month when a manager who had pledged for most of the week to revert to a more comfortable system had ended up reverting to type just before kick-off in selection and tactics. The sight of the Dutchman bemoaning his players’ lack of “courage” on the ball in his post-match observations was too much for the owners to accept. One would have hoped the interview process might have highlighted any potential personality clash but clearly something had been lost in translation mid-summer. De Boer had apparently pledged “evolution, not revolution” but his approach suggested otherwise. Parish might argue some of the Dutchman’s tactics were evidence he had been hoodwinked.Christian Benteke kicks the post after missing a chance at Burnley. Crystal Palace did not score a Premier League goal in Frank de Boer’s four-match tenure.

The news that Crystal jersey Palace will turn to Roy Hodgson

Welcome back, then, Roy. And rejoice Croydon, for he has returned. The news that Crystal Radim Vrbata Youth Jersey Palace will turn to Roy Hodgson to replace the departed Frank de Boer is perhaps unsurprising given the background noises of the past few months. For all that there will still be a tendency to roll the eyes, to mock the sudden shift in footballing direction – from the Ajax Way to Purley Way – and to point out that Hodgson is 70 and hasn’t had a club job in five years.This is undoubtedly a little unfair. In isolation Hodgson to Palace makes plenty of short-term sense. Plus it would be foolish to underestimate Hodgson’s determination to prove a point, his popularity with players and his vast experience. And yet there is no escaping the wider sense of dissonance here. Even in a league defined by its habit of vacillating comically between methodologies and personnel, the lurch from De Boer to Hodgson is one of the more bizarrely abrupt about-turns in Premier League history. History will now record that the era of Total Croydon, Palace’s attempt to transform the club into an Amsterdam of the A23, lasted exactly 77 days and 450 minutes of competitive football. De Boer had promised his Palace team would “dominate with and without the ball”. Steve Parish had talked quite a bit at De Boer’s unveiling about footballing DNA, a more technical, sustainable Palace style and assorted other things that have now been thrown out of the window in favour of a man from around the corner who knows how to rig up a four-man defence.It did always seem possible Palace hadn’t read all the small print on De Boer’s connection to the Ajax tradition. One of the great defensive players of his generation, as a coach De Boer has seemed to take most from the Van Gaal end of things, concerned more with control than attacking rhythms. His Ajax teams were invariably the league’s best defenders. Some fans felt the football was stodgy and over-thought. It is painfully obvious that attempting to impose this imprint on a group of Palace players with just one significant addition from last season would involve a fair amount of thrashing around in the wrong gear. And so it came to pass. Four league games was all it took in the end. But then, for all the fine talk the only revolution any Premier League club is really interested in is one that banks enough points, sharpish, to keep the gravy train rolling.And so on to Roy. Hodgson was last seen looking frazzled and wired after a sleepless night in Chantilly, sweating and swaying at his lectern and telling the world “I’m not really sure what I’m doing here”, a quote that has since become his “Hit Les”, his multicoloured golfing umbrella. England had lost horribly to Iceland the day before, outplayed by opponents Hodgson had chosen Authentic Jonathan Toews Womens Jersey not to scout in person in order to take Ray Lewington on a boat trip down the Seine (“Ray had never seen Paris”). It was an ignoble end for a good man and Youth Nike Philadelphia Eagles #76 Allen Barbre White Vapor Untouchable Limited Player NFL Jersey a fine, experienced manager, who like so many others found himself bent out of shape by the job in his final few months. And this is the real question when it comes to Hodgson at Palace. Which Roy will they be getting?It seems clear what the club need now is West Brom Roy, and Fulham Roy before that; the man who successfully implemented his own traditionally English defensive strengths to take Fulham to the Europa League final and West Brom to 10th in the Premier League. Hodgson has often been cast as an overly rigid manager, perhaps unfairly. But he was also the future once, a manager with a fully implemented footballing revolution of his own on his CV during the hip young gunslinger years at Malmo. Albeit the direct football imprint introduced into Swedish football in the 1980s is rather different to De Boer’s possession-centred Ajax schooling. Either way Hodgson’s best spells in club football have been characterised by well‑drilled defending and simple attacking lines. And so it was with England, too. Hodgson’s best period with England was arguably his opening five months as a quick-fix replacement for Fabio Capello, when his agreeable manner and agreeably simple demands of the players saw England through Euro 2012 without too many bruises. Oddly his worst moments – the stalled 2014 World Cup, the horrors of the last Euros – came when Hodgson attempted something more.

Chris Wood seals victory jersey for Burnley to leave Crystal

A manager on the brink rarely speaks optimistically of the future but Crystal Palace hired Frank de Boer to be different. He responded to what may yet prove Authentic Alex Bregman Womens Jersey his last game in charge by casting his thoughts forward. A man who displayed great on-field eloquence in his playing days, courtesy of his wonderful left foot, showed another kind in a reaction to a fourth consecutive league defeat. The result seemed to render his own position more precarious. He insisted the display did not.“I am not disappointed about the performance and it gives me a lot of hope for the future,” the Dutchman insisted, though it remains a moot point if his own is at Selhurst Park. A manager who has failed to beat Huddersfield, Liverpool, Swansea and now Burnley is in a private battle with himself. He lasted 85 days at Internazionale. He is up to 76 at Palace now. De Boer’s afternoon at Turf Moor was bookended by displays of schadenfreude, taunts that he would be “sacked in the morning” following both Burnley’s third-minute winner and the final whistle. If so, the newly-hired sporting director, Dougie Freedman, would step in while they looked for an 11th permanent manager since 2010. De Boer himself shrugged off suggestions he had been given an ultimatum: win at Burnley or else. His June appointment was described by the chairman Steve Parish as an “amazing milestone”. He is charged with determining if the Dutchman, four league games into a three-year contract, is now a millstone.“They have to decide,” De Boer said. “When I’m still the manager of Palace, I will give 100%. I just focus on what I can do. We are still with the project and we know where we come from and what we want to achieve. I’m convinced we are going to achieve it.” He was recruited to implement change and it is undeniable he has had an impact. The Eagles have made their worst start to a season for 92 years and stand alone among the 92 Premier and Football League clubs: everyone else has mustered at least one league goal. “The only thing we didn’t do was score,” the former Ajax manager rued, his irritation increased by the knowledge Palace had furnished Burnley with the decider. The Authentic William Karlsson Womens Jersey London club have reached a statistical low in his tenure, but other numbers offered him encouragement: they had 23 attempts at goal. Burnley had four.“I will sign for this every game if we create that amount of chances against any opponent,” De Boer said. “This is what I want to see from any team I manage. We played with courage. That gives me a lot of hope. It was quite dynamic.” Dann headed wide, though, and he had been denied by twin goal-line clearances from Matthew Lowton and the excellent James Tarkowski. Christian Benteke had other opportunities. His radar Men's Adidas Detroit Red Wings #25 Mike Green Premier Black 1917-2017 100th Anniversary NHL Jersey was for once awry. When it functioned correctly, he met unexpected obduracy in the shape of Burnley’s reserve goalkeeper Nick Pope. Yet the damning element for Palace was that they rarely troubled a Premier League debutant.“Technically, a fantastic save,” Dyche said after the deputy was summoned when Tom Heaton landed awkwardly catching a cross. The England goalkeeper has a suspected dislocated shoulder. “If it is, it is not weeks [out], more like months,” Dyche said. He had “empathy, not sympathy” with De Boer, seeking out his counterpart for a consoling word.“I thought they were the better side,” he said. “I told him so. They were very good. They played with more freedom.” He attributed that to De Boer’s decision to jettison his favoured 3-4-3 formation for a more familiar 4-3-3. A winner could afford to be magnanimous. While Palace wrestle with an identity crisis, Burnley know who they are and what they have to do. “We had to fight for every inch,” Dyche said. But a goal came gift-wrapped. Criticised for sideways passing under De Boer, Palace were quick to supply a defence-splitting ball. Sadly for the recalled Lee Chung-yong, the defence he bisected was his own. Brought in to supply Benteke, he instead picked out Chris Wood with a misguided attempt to find the goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey. Burnley’s record signing provided an assured finish to vindicate Dyche, who promoted the £15m forward, the scorer of a late leveller against Tottenham last time out, to the starting 11.“We gave a very sloppy goal away,” said De Boer. If it suggested his players were eager to hasten his exit, they responded. “We showed spirit,”

Chris Froome made history jersey in Madrid on Sunday night

Chris Froome made history in Madrid on Sunday night when he became the first rider to win the Vuelta a España and Tour de France in the same year since Bernard Authentic Matt Moore Womens Jersey Hinault in 1978.He also became the first Briton to win the event, the first Briton to win a major Tour other than the Tour de France, and the first cyclist to take the double since the Vuelta was moved to late season in 1995. Froome’s fifth Grand Tour victory – he has won the Tour de France four times – puts him among the sport’s greats and the 32-year-old has admitted he is now contemplating a possible tilt at the world time trial championship in Norway later this month. He will then wait to see the routes for next year’s Grand Tours before any putative attempt at a truly unique grand slam of Tour, Vuelta and Giro d’Italia within 12 months.Asked on Saturday if he felt that all this might be enough to earn him a place on the short list for the BBC’s sports personality of the year, from which he was absent in 2016 even after joining the exclusive club who have won three Tours de France, he replied that he was “not holding my breath”. He is second favourite with bookmakers for the BBC award behind the boxer Anthony Joshua but the shortlist has not yet been announced. Froome was confirmed as the winner when the Vuelta finished on Madrid’s Paseo della Castellana, with a bunch sprint won by Matteo Trentin of Quick-Step. Froome finished 2mins 15sec ahead of Vincenzo Nibali on the general classification. Froome’s 11th-place finish on the final stage meant he also won the green points jersey and the “all-rounders” white jersey. Reflecting on his achievement, Froome said that he felt the 2017 Vuelta, with its plethora of mountain-top finishes and constant tension, had been a tougher race than this year’s Tour. “Not even the Tour was like this. There were a couple of transition days in the Tour when it was more relaxed but here it’s just felt like everyone is on that physical limit. Every day someone has gone full gas” – most often Alberto Contador in search of a valedictory stage win and podium place - “and they did expose me at las Muchacos.”On Wednesday’s tough goat-track finish in Asturias, the eventual winner conceded he had been “very vulnerable. I was flat from the [previous day’s] time trial. I’d spent a lot there. Not having so many time splits I was really worried and pushed harder than I should have, and the next day I was flat, empty.” In the immediate future, Froome is likely to fly to Norway for next week’s world road race championships in Bergen. The chance of his riding the team time trial Johan Franzen Youth Jersey for Sky is “extremely high” although a decision is to be taken on his participation in the individual time trial most probably on Wednesday or Thursday. “It depends on how I am feeling. I’ve not looked Men's Adidas Miami Heat #32 Shaquille O'Neal Swingman Black Road NBA Jersey at the course up close. It’s mainly flat, then up a steep ramp to finish. It’s a profile I like, which gives me a bit of hope.”As for 2018, there is speculation that he may attempt a “grand slam” of all three major Tours by racing the Giro d’Italia, but it is something that he is keen to play down due to the risk of compromising his bid to win a fifth Tour de France. “It’s a difficult balance, a trade off. If we look at how we managed this year, Tour and Vuelta with less than four weeks between the two that’s a massive challenge. “I’ve felt stronger on the climbs in the Vuelta than I felt in the Tour so that does give me hope that it might be possible. It is a risk because [in] the second Grand Tour you are always going to be on a knife-edge physically. It’s something I’ll have to cross when we get the routes. To win a fifth Tour would be the golden prize for me.”Froome added that he knew before he attacked his rival Nibali in the final kilometres of Saturday’s stage finish on the Alto de Angliru that his Vuelta title was as good as in the bag. “As soon as I saw Nibali fighting it a little bit, those emotions started – ‘I’ve got this now unless something drastic happens’ – and then we didn’t want to stop there.”In the rainy conditions on Saturday, he said he had been more nervous about the risk of crashing on the greasy descents than he had of losing time on the Angliru. “It doesn’t get much worse than the Angliru [but] I was more afraid of the descent before given I wasn’t prepared to take risks. On the second descent Alberto [Contador] and [Jarlinson] Pantano started pushing it. Nibali tried accelerating after them, he slipped out and went under a barrier. I was like, in the position I’m in I’d rather give them 30 seconds, save the team around me. We knew there was a lot of headwind on the climb so having a team on the lower slopes was beneficial.”Froome’s Sunday in the red Vuelta leader’s jersey in Madrid concluded 17 stages defending the lead in the race, following closely on from 15 days in the yellow jersey at the Tour de France.

Sloane Stephens’jersey win over Madison Keys warms hearts

Modern professional sport does not throw up that many genuinely heartwarming moments. Too Jason Kelce Youth Jersey often victory and defeat come wrapped in angst and controversy, the supposed integrity of the occasion diluted by greed or skulduggery.However, it is difficult to remember a major sporting event that so disappointed while it was unfolding but somehow left everyone present feeling irresistibly warm inside afterwards as Sloane Stephens’ 61-minute destruction of her friend Madison Keys in the 2017 US Open women’s singles final on the Arthur Ashe Court here on Saturday afternoon.It was, frankly, one of the poorest matches of the tournament – or the year, even. The 24-year-old winner did little wrong but was rarely stretched, and the 22-year-old loser endured a public nightmare, her nerves in a tangle, her own demolition of her other compatriot, CoCo Vandeweghe, in the second of the two all-American semi-finals only two days earlier no more than a memory. Yet, when Stephens (who had beaten the fourth American, Venus Williams, in her semi-final) went over to console Keys after winning 6-3, 6-0 and they sat, chatted and laughed while the officials went through the tedious post-match rituals, the stadium and game was reminded that this was, after all, just a game of tennis.It was not a gesture, a pre-prepared or staged celebration. There were no intrusive on-court interviewers trying to eke out platitudes from them – for that interlude, anyway. It was two fine young athletes and friends taking time to close out the rest of the world for a few minutes and talk and joke about what they had just been through: their first grand slam final.As Keys said later: “We have known each other for so long and we have been through so much that we wanted to share that moment with each other. To be able to share my first slam experience with a really close friend when it’s also her first slam is a really special moment. “The fact that she had all that time off, to then come and kind of go on this streak that she’s gone on is really unbelievable. But Sloane has always had the talent. I think not being on the tennis court for so long really helped her realise how much she loves the game.”Others over the past fortnight probably Greg Olsen Youth Jersey had better claims and more realistic ambitions of being on this stage. Some, such as Maria Sharapova, arrived in a fanfare of over-optimism and left disillusioned. There was chilling disappointment for Britain’s Johanna Konta beaten again in the first round of a major by a rank outsider. The defending champion, Angelique Kerber, did not get out of the first round. The world No2, Simona Halep, joined her in an early goodbye.Stephens and Keys were the last Men's Reebok Detroit Red Wings #33 Kris Draper Authentic White 2017 Centennial Classic NHL Jersey two left standing. And, despite the fact they did not deliver anything like a classic contest, they enjoyed it for what it was. Afterwards Keys made sure she was going to tack herself on to the winner’s Saturday night celebrations in New York – and Stephens had no problem with that. Both were familiar with recent physical struggles. Neither made a big deal of it but answered queries candidly.“I had surgery,” Stephens said. “I was non-weight-bearing for 16 weeks, so I couldn’t walk, put no pressure on my foot. I had on a peg leg, on crutches. There is no positive to not being able to walk and not being on one leg. That’s not fun for anyone.” Keys, who has also missed chunks of the season, played with her leg strapped, but said later: “I don’t think I was moving perfectly but I’m not going to take anything away from Sloane. She played really well. I didn’t play great. That’s a combination for a disaster.”Not that she was not desperate to win. But a combination of Stephens’ wicked ground strokes and pin-point serving, as well as a willingness to hunt down every lost cause, was too much for her.Stephens added later: “At the beginning of the tournament, I could have never said, ‘Oh, yeah, I think I’m going to win the US Open?’ That sounds ridiculous. At this point, where I am and the comeback, it sounds crazy. I have had a lot of ups and a lot of downs and some really low downs. And throughout that my mom has been there a hundred per cent with me. I’m still working my way back. I’m just going to keep going, and ride that wave for as long as I can.” She admitted she had a serious attack of nerves and boredom the night before the match.

Rafael Nadal silences jersey Juan Martin del Potro

Rafael Nadal, a veteran of big nights and spectacular wins, will play the 31-year-old South African debutant Kevin Anderson in the final of the US Open on Sunday Authentic Adidas Milan Lucic Womens Jersey after a commanding four-set win over Juan Martin del Potro on Friday night.The two-time champion took two and a half hours to win 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2, and told fans on Arthur Ashe Court, “After a couple of years with injuries, some troubles, a very emotional time, it is amazing to be back, very important for me. I played a couple of matches so-so, but the last three matches have been very positive, and this one was the best one for me. I have the passion to play with full energy, and to come back here many years.” Earlier, Anderson continued his outstanding run here by beating the in-form Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 in just under three hours.Nadal said of Anderson, “He is a huge player, with unbelievable serve. And he plays so well on this surface. He had some injuries but was able to back and play the best tennis of his career. I have known him since we were 12 years. Great to see him in the final.”Nadal was the first to crack, in the fifth game, and Del Potro consolidated on his booming serve – which was hitting the spot with ominous accuracy and speed - to tighten his grip on the set. The last time Nadal lost in the semi-final of a slam was here in 2009 – to Del Potro. Since then, he has progressed to the final 15 times when reach the penultimate round. That is some record. Eight years ago, their match lasted a reasonably short two hours and 20 minutes, and Del Potro allowed Nadal just six games, before going on to beat Roger Federer in the final. The Spaniard had caught Del Potro at his nascent best.Here, he was attempting that rare back-to-back double the other way around – and he was doing it on slower legs and carrying a lot of psychic baggage after his struggles with injury in recent years.Five players have beaten those two enduring maestros in the same tournament, but only Del Potro and Novak Djokovic have done it in a slam. The others are Andy Murray, in Toronto seven years ago, David Nalbandian and Nikolay Davydenko. Djokovic had by some way the greatest slam strike rate against them. He did it Montreal in 2007, Indian Wells and here in 2011, at the 2013 ATP World Tour Finals in London, and there again two years ago. It is a pity Djokovic, runner-up last year, was unable to finish his season, and it looks as if Murray Authentic Adidas Kyle Palmieri Youth Jersey will not be back until next year either, along with the 2016 US Open champion, Stan Wawrinka. What a brutal game this is.History favoured Del Potro in more ways than one: Nadal is only 5-8 here when losing the first set. But history can make a fool of Men's Adidas Miami Heat #15 Mario Chalmers Swingman Red Alternate NBA Jersey the wisest man. There were other distractions: on the fourth point of the 10th game, a ballboy, to much jeering and cheering, went to retrieve a stray moth on the court – and completed the task by putting his foot on it. Three points later, Del Potro metaphorically did the same to Nadal, driving a perfect forehand into the ad corner to take the set after 50 minutes.Nadal’s uncle, Toni, who is in his last slam as his coach, told ESPN courtside before the start of the second set, “Our forehand is not enough good [to del Potro’s backhand]. In my opinion, Rafa has to give more power in every shot, and go some times to the net. He has got to [attack] the ball more. He is giving it too much spin.” As Nadal said later, “I was not playing bad in the first set but too much against his backhand. He was waiting for me there. At the beginning of the second I moved him, was a little bit more unpredictable.”Nadal did have more obvious intent behind his serve when they resumed. The challenge for del Potro was to continue hitting his rediscovered backhand (it came properly to life for the first time here against Federer) with full force. Since his wrist surgeries, that has been his glaring weakness, although he compensated by developing an top-class slice.However, his first double fault gave Nadal encouragement in the second game, and, helped by an idiot in the crowd who shouted out mid-serve, he broke to begin a withering stretch of dominance. From 3-0 up, Nadal was invigorated and bright-eyed again. Uncle Toni’s message had got through, perhaps by telepathy. He had soaked up four aces and had come back with three of his own. This was whizzbang tennis of the highest order.Del Potro pretty much realised the second set was gone, and went for the lines without caution - not that it did him any good. Nadal was rushing through the points and he bageled his woebegone opponent, who won only eight points in the set, one of them an ace.

Jim Mallinder jersey despite Northampton’s opening-day

Northampton’s director of rugby, Jim Mallinder, believes his squad can still win the Premiership but has confessed to enduring sleepless nights as he seeks Authentic Blake Bortles Youth Jersey to resurrect Saints as genuine title challengers. He also acknowledges his side cannot afford another limp display against their local rivals Leicesteron Saturday having shipped nine tries in their opener against Saracens.Under Mallinder, Saints were crowned champions in 2014 but finished seventh last season, losing four of their last five league games, and were hammered 55-24 by Saracens at Twickenham last weekend. Supporters are growing impatient and another defeat to the Tigers, who lost at home to Bath on the opening weekend, would scarcely improve the mood. “There are various issues and fans are not happy but that is the sport we live in,” said Mallinder, who has been in charge at Franklin’s Gardens for a decade. “I won’t deny last Saturday’s game did not worry me – I would be stupid to say that – but I think we have got a good squad which can get into that top four and win silverware.“It has been a difficult week. It should be after a performance like that. We were terrible. It is hard to put your finger on it. Preparation went well and we played some really good rugby in our pre-season games. The week leading up to it went well – then suddenly we were hit and we came off a poor second. “Professional rugby is all about winning and if you are not winning then the pressure comes on you. We are aware of that but that is why we are all involved. We like that challenge. There is a bit of madness in it. It does stop you sleeping at night … but if I didn’t like that challenge I would have stayed being a teacher.”Mallinder has responded by making five changes, with the Australia centre Rob Horne making his debut and George North and Teimana Harrison returning. “I will be so disappointed if the players don’t react,” said Mallinder. “Leicester focuses your mind without a doubt but we need, and we will see, a reaction.“I have been involved in 20-odd derbies and you never get a dull game. I am really looking forward to it. I can’t worry about what the fans are thinking. We know it is going to be difficult and there are no guarantees. “You do look back and think: ‘Why were we successful [in 2014]? Why are we not doing quite Authentic Michael Brantley Womens Jersey as well at the moment?’ Looking at our squad, and the new people we have brought in, we have got that firepower.”The flanker Tom Wood is out with a shoulder problem but has called on Saints to show some “blood and guts” and respond forcefully to their Saracens disappointment. “There’s got to be some of that because I think we lacked that last weekend,” he said. “There does have to be some blood and guts about it. There always is with Leicester derbies so hopefully we won’t be found wanting there. It’s got to be a concerted team effort, everybody can’t just go crazy and start beating their chests.“Defence has been a big focus this week because our defence was woeful. Leicester will be wounded as well. If an east Midlands derby needed any extra edge it’s going to have it this weekend, I’d imagine. It is painful to be where we are now knowing what the Men's Adidas Miami Heat #10 Tim Hardaway Authentic Black Road Finals Patch NBA Jersey good times feel like. We’ve had no choice but to have a hard look at ourselves, look each other in the eye and say: ‘That’s the last time that happens.’”. Saracens have included the Wales and Lions back Liam Williams on the bench for their game at Bath on Saturday while Marcus Watson, brother of Anthony, makes a first league start for Wasps at Worcester on Sunday in place of Christian Wade, who has a hamstring injury.Steve Diamond’s men played the better rugby in the opening period but a combination of the visitors’ stubborn resistance and their own frailties at the lineout meant Sale went into the break with only a 3-0 advantage courtesy of fly-half AJ MacGinty’s penalty. Sonatane Takulua hit back for Newcastle at the start of the second half, and MacGinty and Takulua then traded three-pointers. Sale soon moved into a 12-6 lead via the boot of their stand-off, but there was a late sting in the tail when referee Andrew Jackson awarded Newcastle a penalty try Captain Will Addison was the early spark, sprinting fully 60 metres before offloading to Byron McGuigan to scurry clear. Although the wing was brought to ground, several phases later McGuigan picked up the ball again and appeared to have touched down, only for the television match official to rule otherwise.If the precise figures are not readily available the suspicion is that Broad himself could reveal chapter and verse.