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The sports wrap 29th October 2018

LanguedocLiving, Oct 28

Hamilton comes fourth in Mexico but takes fifth world title.

Britain’s Lewis Hamilton has won his fifth Formula One world championship after coming fourth in the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday, making him the joint second most successful driver of all time. The 33-year-old becomes only the third man in history to win five world titles. He matches the haul of the Argentine legend Juan Manuel Fangio and is two behind all-time record holder Michael Schumacher. Hamilton needed only to finish seventh even if Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel won the race to become champion, but the German could manage only second place behind the dominant Dutchman Max Verstappen despite a valiant and strong race. It was a difficult race for the Mercedes driver, who battled tyre problems throughout, but his finishing position in fourth just off the podium was more than enough to seal the biggest achievement of a stellar career. At the end of the race, Hamilton pushed his car through a series of celebratory "doughnut" spins in the track's stadium section, before waving to the capacity 135,000 crowd. Hamilton said: "It is a very strange feeling right now. This was won through a lot of hard work through a lot of races. I am so grateful for all the hard work, for everyone who has been a part of it.” Vettel broke off from his post-race interview to congratulate Hamilton, as the two men embraced at the conclusion of a titanic battle. Vettel said: "Well deserved. Congrats to him and his team. They did a superb job all year, we need to stand there and accept that, we would have loved to hang in there a bit longer but that wasn't the case."

Liverpool and Chelsea both win to go top of Premier League

Liverpool beat Cardiff 4-1 and Chelsea hammered Burnley 4-0 away from home as both sides remained unbeaten at the weekend and moved to the top of the English Premier League, ahead of defending champions Manchester City who play Tottenham Hotspur on Monday night. Liverpool are two points clear of Chelsea in second place as Sadio Mane scored two sublime goals while Mohamed Salah and substitute Xherdan Shaqiri also found the net at Anfield. The Reds’ eighth top-flight win in 10 games moved them on to 26 points - matching their best Premier League start from the 2008-09 campaign, when they finished second. Chelsea coped without injured Eden Hazard in an easy win at Burnley. Recalled England international Ross Barkley set up Alvaro Morata's 22nd-minute opener, sliding a wonderful through ball into the Spaniard's path to poke past Burnley keeper Joe Hart. The England midfielder then scored himself, sending a 25-metre shot into the bottom corner of Hart's net just before the hour mark. Five minutes later, he registered his second assist of the match, as he set up Willian, with the Brazilian cutting in on to his right foot and curling a shot past Hart into the same corner. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who scored a midweek hat-trick in the Europa League, added a fourth in injury time to seal the win. Arsenal remain in fourth place on the ladder but their run of 11 wins came to a halt with a 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace. Unfashionable Bournemouth continue to surprise, sitting in sixth place after an easy 3-0 win at lowly Fulham. In the Scottish League Cup, Lewis Ferguson's late header inflicted Rangers' fifth consecutive semi-final defeat and booked Aberdeen a final date with Celtic who had earlier beaten Hearts 3-0. Ferguson, the nephew of former Rangers captain Barry, rose to meet Niall McGinn's header with 11 minutes left.

Leicester City confirm Thai owner among dead in helicopter crash

The owner of Leicester City FC died when his helicopter crashed outside the club’s stadium on Saturday night, the club has confirmed. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, two members of his staff, the pilot and a passenger were killed when the aircraft came down after taking off from King Power Stadium following Leicester’s draw against West Ham United. Thousands of bouquets and scarves have already been left outside the pay tribute to the popular 61-year-old billionaire who bought the unheralded English Midlands side in 2010 and went on to stun the soccer world by beating odds of 5,000/1 to win the Premier League title in 2016 in what amounted to a sporting fairy tale.

PSG make it 11 straight wins to go eight points clear in Ligue 1

France’s World Cup star Kylian Mbappe scored his 10th league goal of the season as defending champions Paris Saint Germain continued their relentless surge towards another title with a 2-0 away victory over rivals Marseille. It was their 11th straight win and equalled Tottenham Hotspur’s winning record at the start of a league season. Mbappe showed lightning pace to run on to an Angel di Maria pass, get away from Boubacar Kamara and slot home. Julian Draxler scored an injury-time second from Neymar's off-target shot. PSG matched Spurs' record from 1960-61 of 11 wins at the start of a season in one of Europe's top five leagues. Mbappe, a second-half substitute for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, is the top scorer in the top five leagues this season with 10 goals. The 19-year-old has scored 12 goals in 10 games including the Champions League. Defending champions PSG are already eight points clear of second-placed Lille who beat Caen 1-0 to stay ahead of third-placed Montpellier who kept up their recent run of fine form with a 3-0 win at Toulouse. In the Spanish La Liga, Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick as Barcelona outclassed Real Madrid 5-1 to seal a stylish El Clasico home victory on and go back to the top of the league. Despite missing Lionel Messi through injury, champions Barca started and ended in unstoppable fashion, while Real for long periods chased shadows under the burden of a winless run that now stretches to five games in La Liga. The loss sent Real Madrid down to ninth position and raised further questions on the future of beleaguered manager Julen Lopetegui. Alaves are in second place after a 2-1 home win over Villareal. In the Italian Serie A, Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as defending champions Juventus came from behind to beat lowly Empoli 2-1 away and maintain their scorching pace at the top of the table. Juve have dropped only two points but that record looked under threat when Francesco Caputo gave Empoli a half-time lead. But Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot and his second, and seventh of the season, was much more spectacular as he sent a shot dipping and swerving past Ivan Provedel from outside the area in the 70th minute. In the German Bundesliga, English teenager Jadon Sancho scored twice for Borussia Dortmund but the league leaders were held to a 2-2 draw by Hertha Berlin. The 18-year-old has now scored four times in his past three games and has had a hand in a goal every 52 minutes this season - five goals and eight assists. A convincing display from last season’s champions Bayern Munich saw them come through 2-1 against the solid defence of a Mainz side and move them into second place after Werder Bremen slipped to fourth following an astonishing 6-2 home loss to Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Saracens keep 100 per cent record with Rugby Cup victory over Leicester

Premiership champions Saracens got off to a winning start in the newly reformed Premiership Rugby Cup as they beat Leicester 29-21 at Allianz Park. Other clubs to register wins were Gloucester, Northampton and Harlequins. Schalk Burger, Sione Vailanu and England youth international Joel Kpoku, on his debut, scored Sarries' three tries as they maintained their 100 per cent start to the season with a ninth straight win in all competitions. Max Malins kicked 14 points for the hosts, while David Fe'ao and Harry Wells got late tries for the Tigers, for whom Joe Ford added 11 points. Gloucester scored three tries in five first-half minutes en route to a 31-7 bonus-point win over Wasps, their second victory over Dai Young's men this season. Ben Vellacott, Lloyd Evans and Dom Coetzer all crossed in quick succession before Joe Mullins claimed the Cherry and Whites' bonus-point score five minutes from time. Wasps finally got on the scoresheet when Alfie Barbeary went over with the final play of the game, Sunny Jardine adding the extras. Lloyd Evans landed two of his three conversion attempts, while Charlie Chapman came off the bench to improve Mullins' bonus-point try. Northampton Saints ran in seven tries in a big 51-24 victory at home to Bristol Bears while Demetri Catrakilis contributed 14 points as Harlequins defeated Bath 27-19. Quins suffered disciplinary problems in the form of three yellow cards and were outscored by their visitors three tries to two. The new competition, replacing the Anglo-Welsh Cup, began on Friday with an emphatic 35-3 win for Worcester against Sale and ended with a dramatic 22-22 draw between Newcastle and Exeter.

Clermont Auvergne stun defending champions Castres and go top

Clermont Auvergne trounced defending champions Castres 41-6 to head the French Top 14 table on 30 points, three ahead of Stade Francaise who beat sixth-placed Montpellier Herault 25-20 on their home ground. Toulouse lie third after a 36-18 victory over league newcomers Perpignan who now lie rooted at the bottom of the Top 14 table without a win and only three bonus points to their name. Clermont Auvergne, champions in 2017, have put a dismal last season behind them by comfortably brushing aside Castres at Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin. Tries from Damian Penaud, Peter Betham, Alivereti Raka, Judicael Cancoriet and Peceli Yato proved far too much for Castres, who had only a pair of Rory Kockott penalties to show for their efforts. Sekou Macalou’s late try helped Stade Francais return to second place in the Top 14 table and keep the pressure on leaders Clermont following their narrow win over Montpellier. The Parisians have enjoyed an excellent season so far but they were tested by Vern Cotter’s men, despite the hosts going into an early 10-0 lead. Hapless Perpignan remain winless in the Top 14 after scrum-half Antoine Dupont’s hat-trick inspired Toulouse to a comfortable victory over the strugglers. The Catalans’ record now stands at eight consecutive domestic losses since their promotion to France’s top-tier and once again they were outplayed with Toulouse, winner of the most Top 14 titles, scoring five tries.

All Blacks seal Bledisloe Cup clean sweep with a Wallaby hammering

All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett scored 17 points as New Zealand completed a Bledisloe Cup clean sweep with a 37-20 win over Australia on Saturday at the venue in Yokohama for the 2019 World Cup final. Flanker Liam Squire and captain Kieran Read crossed before the break to put the All Blacks in a commanding position and the world champions piled on the points in the closing stages when Australia were a man down. Australia replacement hooker Tolu Latu was sinbinned for striking his New Zealand counterpart Codie Taylor on 66 minutes and tries from outside backs Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane completed an emphatic victory. New Zealand had won the first two tests between the trans-Tasman Sea rivals in the Rugby Championship in August to be assured of retaining the Bledisloe Cup for the 16th straight year.

Gildart try wins 1st RL Test for England over New Zealand

Oliver Gildart scored a match-winning debut try as England's three-match series against New Zealand got off to an ideal start with a tense 18-16 win. Sam Tomkins' converted try gave England a 6-0 lead at Hull's KCom Stadium before Esan Marsters levelled. It was 12-6 to the Kiwis when Dallin Watene-Zelezniak dived over before England were awarded a penalty try as Jake Connor was illegally tackled. Two more penalties gave New Zealand a 16-12 lead before Gildart's score. The 22-year-old centre, who helped Wigan to Grand Final success earlier this month, described his feat as "an unbelievable feeling". The second Test is on Sunday 4 November at Anfield, Liverpool, with the final Test to be played on Sunday 11 November in Leeds. New Zealand had been favourites, despite being beaten by England in the summer. The Kiwis came into this contest on the back of a brilliant 26-24 win over world champions Australia.

England beat Sri Lanka by 30 runs in T20 international

Kent part-time spinner Joe Denly took four wickets in his first England match in eight years as the tourists beat Sri Lanka by 30 runs in the sole Twenty20 international to follow their 3-1 victory in the ODI series. Denly opened the bowling and removed both Sri Lanka openers Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Mendis as the hosts chased 188 for victory. Adil Rashid claimed three for 11 to stifle Sri Lanka before Denly returned with two wickets in the final over as the home side were bowled out for 157 off 20 overs. Jason Roy hit an eventful 69 off 36 balls as England posted 187 for eight. The England opener was dropped four times and ran out captain Eoin Morgan but also hit six sixes in a brutal display of power. The tourists reached 113 for four off 11.2 overs before rain caused the match to be delayed for an hour, but no overs were lost in Colombo. Sri Lanka did well to restrict their opponents at the death but never got on top in the chase, despite 57 off 31 balls from captain Thisara Perera, with Denly returning four for 19 - the best figures by an England spinner in T20 history. England next face Sri Lanka in a three-Test series, starting in Galle on 6 November.

Federer wins 99th career title in front of home crowd

Tennis great Roger Federer beat Romanian qualifier Marius Copil 7-6(5) 6-4 to win the Swiss Indoors on Sunday and claim his 99th career title in front of his home crowd in Basel. The world No.3 began the year by winning the Australian Open and his ninth Basel title was his fourth of the season but the first since his victory in Stuttgart in June. The Swiss top seed was made to work hard by the fearless Copil, whose path to the final included wins over world No.6 Marin Cilic and no.5 Alexander Zverev. The 28-year-old broke Federer’s serve early in the match but the Swiss recovered to force a tiebreak that he needed every bit of his vast experience to win. Copil raced into a 3-0 lead in the second set before Federer got on the scoreboard, but the Swiss kept a level head to reel his opponent back in before breaking serve to take a 5-4 lead in the second set. He closed out the victory in one hour, 34 minutes for his fourth consecutive title in Basel. In the WTA Finals in Singapore, Elina Svitolina beat American Sloane Stephens to claim the biggest title of her career. The first Ukrainian to be crowned champion, Svitolina recovered from a difficult start to win 3-6 6-2 6-2. Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion and world No.6, controlled the first set but Svitolina broke three times in the second. The 24-year-old then repeated the feat in the decider to become the first player to go unbeaten at the tournament since Serena Williams in 2013. Svitolina has won her past nine finals on the WTA Tour and not lost one in the last two seasons.

American Schauffele wins US$10 million WGC-HSBC Champions

American Xander Schauffele beat Tony Finau in a play-off to win the US$10 million WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai at the Sheshan International Course on Sunday. Finau, one of the few stars for the United States team at the Ryder Cup, took a three-shot lead into the final day but Schauffele birdied the final two holes to force a play-off. The 25-year-old went on to birdie the sudden-death par-five 18th to claim his third PGA title. Britain's defending champion Justin Rose was third after final-round 72. Schaufelle, the 2017 PGA Tour rookie-of-year, picked up birdies on the last two holes of his final round to join Finau on 14-under-par and sank a birdie putt on his second trip to the 18th green before watching Finau come up short with a longer effort. Rose shot a 72 to finish four shots behind the leading pair in third place, which was just not enough for him to replace Brooks Koepka as world No.1. It was a third victory on the PGA Tour for Schauffele after his wins at the Greenbrier Classic and Tour Championship in 2017. Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat (71) shared fourth with American Andrew Putnam (72) at eight-under - an impressive feat for both in an exclusive field featuring all three 2018 major winners as well as five of the top six golfers in the world.

Spaniard Vinales wins first MotoGP of season in Australia

Spaniard Maverick Vinales claimed his first MotoGP win of the season in the Australian round at Phillip Island, Victoria, on Sunday. The 23-year-old, who was second in qualifying, crossed the line more than 1.5 seconds ahead of the Italians Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso. Spanish champion Marc Marquez began on pole but was forced to retire after a high-speed collision with Johann Zarco on lap six. Meanwhile, Briton Cal Crutchlow has had surgery after breaking his ankle in Friday's second practice. Marquez, 25, sealed his fifth world title in Japan a week ago but now has the bizarre record now of failing to finish in Australia on three occasions after winning the world title in Asia.

Red Sox beat Dodgers 5-1 to wrap up baseball World Series

Boston Red Sox put the wraps on a dominating season with a 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday in Game 5 of the World Series to give them a 4-1 overall victory in the best-of-seven series. The Red Sox secured their first title since 2013 and fourth in 15 years. Boston has now won nine titles in franchise history, tied for third-most of all big league teams. The Red Sox beat teams in every possible way this season, and in the clincher Boston used the long ball to finish the Dodgers for good. Steve Pearce hit a two-run homer in the first inning and added a solo shot in the eighth. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martine added solo shots in the sixth and seventh. The 2018 Red Sox have stated a pretty solid case as being the best team in franchise history. Their 108 wins set a team record. Their plus-229 run differential matched the 1949 Red Sox, who didn't win a title, for the second-best in team history.

For full reports on all the weekend sporting events go to:,,,,,

Calendar Keynotes: 29 October – 4 November 

Monday, 29 October

Football: English Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City, Italian Serie A – Lazio v Inter Milan.

Tennis: ATP BNP Paribas Masters, Paris (till 4 November), WTA Elite Trophy, Zhuhai, China (till 4 November).

Gymnastics: World Gymnastics Championships, Doha, Qatar - men’s team finals (till 3 November). 

Tuesday, 30 October

Football: EFL up (major clubs) – AFC Bournemouth v Norwich City, Leicester City v Southampton, Spanish Copa del Rey (major clubs): Ebro v Valencia, Sant Andreu v Atletico Madrid, German DFB Cup (major clubs) – Darmstadt 98 v Hertha Berlin, FC Augsburg v Mainz 05, SV Rodinghausen v Bayern Munich.

Tennis: ATP BNP Paribas Masters, Paris (till 4 November), WTA Elite Trophy, Zhuhai, China (till 4 November).

Gymnastics: World Gymnastics Championships, Doha, Qatar – women’s team finals (till 3 November).

Wednesday, 31 October

Football: EFL Cup (major clubs) – Arsenal v Blackpool, Chelsea v Derby County, West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur, Scottish Premiership – Aberdeen v Hamilton Academical, Dundee v Celtic, Hearts v Hibs, Rangers v Kilmarnock, Spanish Copa del Rey (major clubs) – Melilla v Real Madrid, Alaves v Girona, Mallorca v Real Valladolid, Cultural Leonesa v Barcelona, German DFB Cup (major clubs) – 1 FC Koln v FC Schalke 04, Borussia Dortmund v 1. FC Union Berlin, SC Weiche Flensburg 08 v Werder Bremen, Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Holstein Kiel v SC Freiburg, RB Leipzig v 1899 Hoffenheim.

Tennis: ATP BNP Paribas Masters, Paris (till 4 November), WTA Elite Trophy, Zhuhai, China (till 4 November).

Gymnastics: World Gymnastics Championships, Doha, Qatar – men’s all-around final (till 3 November).

Thursday, 1 November

Football: EFL Cup – Manchester City v Fulham, Spanish Copa del Rey (major clubs) – Celta Vigo v Real Sociedad, Villanovense v Sevilla, Almeria v Villareal.

Tennis: ATP BNP Paribas Masters, Paris (till 4 November), WTA Elite Trophy, Zhuhai, China (till 4 November).

Golf: Turkish Airlines Open, Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, Belek Antalya, Turkey (till 4 November), USPGA Tour, Shriners Hospital for Children Open, TPC Summerlin, Los Vegas, Nevada (till 4 November).

Gymnastics: World Gymnastics Championships, Doha, Qatar – women’s all-around final (till 3 November). 

Friday, 2 November

Football: French Ligue 1 – Paris Saint Germain v Lille, Italian Serie A – Napoli v Empoli.

Rugby Union: Premiership Rugby Cup, Round 1 – Bristol v Gloucester, Sale v Saracens.

Rugby League: European Cup – Scotland v Wales.

Tennis: ATP BNP Paribas Masters, Paris (till 4 November), WTA Elite Trophy, Zhuhai, China (till 4 November).

Golf: Turkish Airlines Open, Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, Belek Antalya, Turkey (till 4 November), USPGA Tour, Shriners Hospital for Children Open, TPC Summerlin, Los Vegas, Nevada (till 4 November).

Motorcycling: MotoGP rd 18, Malaysian Grand Prix, Kuala Lumpur (till 4 November).

Gymnastics: World Gymnastics Championships, Doha, Qatar – men’s floor, pommel horse and rings final, women’s vault and uneven bars finals (till 3 November).

Saturday, 3 November

Football: English Premier League – AFC Bournemouth v Manchester United, Arsenal v Liverpool, Wolverhampton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur, Scottish Premiership – St Mirren v Rangers, Celtic v Hearts, Hamilton Academical v Livingston, Hibernian v St Johnstone, French Ligue 1 – Lyon v Bordeaux, Dijon v Nimes, Nice v Amiens, Reims v Monaco, Strasbourg v Toulouse, Spanish La Liga – Leganes v Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid v Real Valladolid, Rayo Vallecano v Barcelona, Italian Serie A – Inter Milan v Genoa, Fiorentina v Roma, Juventus v Cagliari, German Bundesliga – Bayern Munich v SC Freiburg, VfL Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund, Hertha Berlin v RB Leipzig.

Rugby Union: Internationals – Japan v New Zealand, Wales v Scotland, England v South Africa, Ireland v Italy, Premiership Rugby Cup, Round 1 – Exeter v Bath, Leicester v Worcester, French Top 14 – Grenoble v Clermont Auvergne, Castres v Pau, Toulon v Perpignan, Toulouse v Bordeaux Begles,

Rugby League: European Cup – Ireland v France.

Tennis: ATP BNP Paribas Masters, Paris (till 4 November), WTA Elite Trophy, Zhuhai, China (till 4 November).

Golf:Turkish Airlines Open, Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, Belek Antalya, Turkey (till 4 November), USPGA Tour, Shriners Hospital for Children Open, TPC Summerlin, Los Vegas, Nevada (till 4 November).

Motorcycling: MotoGP rd 18, Malaysian Grand Prix, Kuala Lumpur (till 4 November).

Gymnastics: World Gymnastics Championships, Doha, Qatar – men’s vault, parallel bars and horizontal bars finals, women’s beam and floor finals (final day). 

Sunday, 4 November

Football: English Premier League – Manchester City v Southampton, Chelsea v Crystal Palace, Scottish Premiership – Kilmarnock v Aberdeen, French Ligue 1 – Montpellier v Montpellier, Spanish La Liga – Alabar v Alaves, Real Sociedad v Sevilla, Italian Serie A – Lazio v SPAL, Sampdoria v Torino, German Bundesliga – Borussia Monchengladbach v Fortuna Dusseldorf, Mainz 05 v Werder Bremen.

Rugby Union: Premiership Rugby Cup, Round 1 – Harlequins v Newcastle, WQasps v Northampton, French Top 14 – Lyon v Stade Francais, Montpellier v Racing 92.

Rugby League: England v New Zealand, 2nd Test.

Tennis: ATP BNP Paribas Masters, Paris (final day), WTA Elite Trophy, Zhuhai, China (final day).

Golf: Turkish Airlines Open, Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, Belek Antalya, Turkey (final day), USPGA Tour, Shriners Hospital for Children Open, TPC Summerlin, Los Vegas, Nevada (final day).

Athletics: New York Marathon, New York.

Motorcycling: MotoGP rd 18, Malaysian Grand Prix, Kuala Lumpur (race day).




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