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The Guardian


18/08/2019

Gloom, drizzle and little cricket but Lord’s neighbourly magic still crackles

From the darkness of a 5am late-summer Friday morning, a train charged down the spine of a country divided, past paddock and canal, wind turbine and sleeping houses. The only sound, as we passed from Manchester to the Midlands and beyond, was that of nothing at all, the lolling heads of grabbed sleep, the silent music of headphones. Even at Milton Keynes, where London workers piled on in ironed shirt sleeves and shift dresses, the train remained quiet. The silence of the railway carriage, it turns out, is a powerful thing. Just to the north-west of Euston station, where that...
17/08/2019

Gutsy Newbury win puts Technician back in frame for success in St Leger

Martyn Meade can dream once more of a first Classic success, having got Technician back on track with a surprise victory in the Geoffrey Freer. The 71-year-old trainer has tackled the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby with high hopes in recent seasons, only to see Advertise and Eminent come up short, but next month’s may provide him with a happier outcome. Technician was himself tried in a couple of Derby trials in the spring and fared respectably when runner-up to Bangkok at Sandown, but Saturday’s performance was a new career best as he outbattled the favourite, Morando, after a protracted...
17/08/2019

Smith and Archer hypnotise to leave second Test tantalisingly poised

A mid-afternoon duel between two contrasting, charismatic characters eclipsed the match situation at Lord’s for a while. For once the back-page headlines were trustworthy. The critical contest was between Jofra Archer, England’s newest and fastest paceman, and , the indomitable former Test captain of Australia returning to his cherished natural habitat in the middle order, and it had a full house spellbound. True pace bowling has always been a compelling spectacle and on the sort of balmy day when a post-prandial nap had its attractions Archer and Smith commanded the absolute attention of everyone. The rhythmic clapping of spectators in...

17/08/2019

Lucas Moura earns Spurs draw at Manchester City as VAR history repeats

It was an extraordinary finale and, amid all the drama and utter confusion, spare a thought perhaps for those supporters who had happily left the stadium, believing they had just seen their team score a dramatic and joyous stoppage-time winner. What they had not accounted for was VAR concluding, after what felt like an age, that the shot from Gabriel Jesus had been preceded by a handball from Aymeric Laporte. Jesus had danced in front of the supporters, wriggling his hips, samba-style. Pep Guardiola and Sergio Agüero, who had fallen out so publicly earlier in the second half, had made...
17/08/2019

Jofra Archer’s fire could be key to breaking Steve Smith’s dominance

At lunch Lord’s looked exactly as you picture it in the dark days of winter. The sun was out, the sky was blue and the bars were buzzing with happy chatter. You wouldn’t have guessed it, then, but there was a storm coming in. Australia were 103 runs behind, had five wickets in hand, and Steve Smith and Tim Paine were in the thick of a 50-run partnership. It felt as if England had 60 minutes left to win the Test. Then the tempest came. In the next hour , the best Test batsman of his generation, and Jofra Archer,...
17/08/2019

Brilliant Pat Cummins bamboozles Joe Root to steal limelight at Lord’s

There is a final day still to be negotiated in this Test match, one that is positively pregnant with possibilities, but it is safe to say that Joe Root the batsman will be glad to see the back of Lord’s for another year. During the World Cup there was little comfort to be found at the Home of Cricket. he was trapped lbw for eight by a beautiful in-swinger from Mitchell Starc. then witnessed what Root has since described as one of the worst innings of his life: ignominiously caught behind off Colin de Grandhomme’s dibbly-dobblers for a 30-ball seven...

17/08/2019

Harry Wilson goal edges Bournemouth past Aston Villa after early blitz

There was no mistaking the optimism around Villa Park before kick-off. This was the hosts’ first home match in more than three years and, with a revamped team guided by a manager and captain who both used to be regulars in the Holte End, the locals had much to be excited about. The players were roared on to the pitch and then … oops! Villa conceded a penalty after 46 seconds. Things soon got worse for the hosts. But even though they wound up with no points, Villa improved as the match progressed. Their fans need not abandon all that...
17/08/2019

Norwich brush aside Newcastle ragged thanks to Teemu Pukki hat-trick

Teemu Pukki scored 29 league goals for Norwich in the Championship last season but he never got a hat-trick. He has one in the at the second time of asking, which not only suggests the Finn is cut out for top- flight football but that Norwich are a team with the possibility to prosper too. “Of course this is one of the best games I’ve had in English football,” Pukki said. “A hat-trick in the Premier League I wouldn’t even have dreamt about a couple of years ago.” Daniel Farke was at pains to point out that a striker only...
17/08/2019

A rum sort of show: Sh!t Theatre turn bad news into art with alcohol

To try and win the lottery, Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole paid a witch to sell their soul to Satan. “It went really well,” Mothersole says drily as she lolls across the sofa in a room at Summerhall, their Edinburgh fringe venue, with a half-empty bottle of spiced Caribbean rum at her side. “We didn’t win, but she was great.” They offered Satan 25% of their audience applause. “She said that’s good,” Biscuit says, splayed on the other sofa with her dog, Nala, curled across her stomach, “she said he’ll like that.” Better known as intrepid live art company ,...

17/08/2019

Megan Rapinoe: 'We're everything Trump loves – except that we're powerful women'

It is two weeks since the US women’s football team shut down midtown Manhattan on their and Megan Rapinoe, the team’s co-captain and most visible member, is still trying to come down from the high. We are in Los Angeles, where the US national team is due to play a friendly against Ireland. Rapinoe – slight, sharp-eyed, perennially amused – is considering the past fortnight. “How long can we be drunk for?” she says, laughing. “To go through such a high – there is obviously a comedown and nobody really has the time to decompress. I think everyone feels in...
17/08/2019

‘Things are quite special here’: Union Berlin prepare for the Bundesliga

It counted as an emergency when, one day this summer, the Berlin district of Köpenick awoke to find itself daubed in blue. Overnight a group of Hertha fans had journeyed out here, to the German capital’s easternmost reaches, and made liberal application of their club colours. Such an affront required swift action. “It wasn’t good,” Marcel Smolka remembers. “Some of their ultras came down and put paint here, stickers there. But ours put it right with red and white when we saw what had happened. They made it better straight away.” Everyone knew that what appeared an act of mild...