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The sports wrap 3rd September 2018

LanguedocLiving, Sep 2

Hamilton wins Italian Grand Prix in Ferrari’s backyard.

Defending champion Lewis Hamilton took a thrilling and controversial victory in the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday after a first-lap clash with title rival Sebastian Vettel. The Mercedes driver fought a cat-and-mouse battle with Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen throughout the race and eventually passed him around the outside of the first corner with nine laps to go. Hamilton and Mercedes not only dashed Ferrari's hopes of a home win after their first front-row lock-out at Monza for 18 years but also extended the Briton's championship lead over Vettel, who finished fourth, to 30 points. That is more than a clear win, with seven races and a total of 175 points remaining in the season. It could not have come at a better time for Hamilton, who is facing a fight against an apparently faster car - at least in qualifying - and with Mercedes' bogey track, Singapore, next on the schedule. Ferrari's race began to unravel within four corners of the start, as Vettel spun trying to defend against an overtaking move by Hamilton at the second chicane on the first lap. Hamilton took the outside line and was slightly ahead as they turned into the corner, after the German had had a little look at a possible passing move on Raikkonen in the lead. Vettel's car slid into Hamilton's in the middle of the chicane and he spun in front of the pack, his front wing broken. The Ferrari driver complained over the radio, but the stewards judged it a racing incident not worthy of further action. Vettel was left to recover lost ground and eventually took fourth - partly thanks to a five-second penalty for Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who finished third on track but was demoted to fifth after crowding Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas off the track.

England wrap up Test series with 60-run win over India

England wrapped up a series victory over India with a 60-run win on a gripping fourth day of the fourth Test in Southampton. Set 245, India, ranked the No.1 Test side, looked beaten when they were reduced to 22 for three on an uneven pitch. Captain Virat Kohli could have been given out lbw to off-spinner Moeen Ali on nine, but survived to share a painstaking stand of 101 with Ajinkya Rahane. Even after Kohli was caught at short leg off Moeen for 58, Rahane dragged the runs required down below 100. However, Rahane and Rishabh Pant fell in successive Moeen overs, beginning a demise that saw India lose four wickets for 13 runs as they were eventually dismissed for 184. Man-of-the-match Moeen, on his recall to the side, ended with four wickets for 71 to complete match figures of nine for134 to go with 40 runs in England's first innings. The victory extends a run which has seen England lose only one home series since 2012. They take a 3-1 lead to the fifth and final Test, which begins on Friday at The Oval. Resuming on 260 for 8, England's first innings was wrapped up for the addition of only 11 runs and the game appeared to be set for a swift conclusion when Stuart Broad and James Anderson's stump-to-stump line ran through the India top three. India could have been as good as beaten by lunch. Third umpire Joel Wilson adjudged Kohli to have hit the ball, when contact looked to be bat on pad, to save him from being lbw to Moeen and Rahane also successfully overturned being leg before to Sam Curran on 12. The reprieved pair battled through the afternoon but just as India were getting on top, Moeen struck. In Belfast, Afghanistan cruised to an eight-wicket win over Ireland to clinch a 2-1 victory in the ODI series at Stormont. Ireland were 34 for one before three wickets fell for five runs to spark a collapse and Gary Wilson (23) top-scored as the hosts were dismissed for just 124. Rashid Khan took three for18 in a sun-kissed Belfast and opener Ihsanullah Janat hit an unbeaten 57 as the tourists cruised to 127for two with over 26 overs to spare. Afghanistan won the opener before the Irish levelled the series on Wednesday.

Watford beat Tottenham to join Chelsea and Liverpool at the top

Unfashionable Watford shocked Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Vicarage Road on Sunday to join Liverpool and Chelsea at the top of the English Premier League table with four wins out of four. Liverpool, who edged Leicester 2-1, are top of the table on goal difference with Watford second and Chelsea third after beating Bournemouth 2-0. Watford came from behind to beat Tottenham. Both sides began the match with 100 per cent records but Craig Cathcart's second-half header edged a tight encounter. Captain Troy Deeney had drawn his side level seven minutes earlier, cancelling out Spurs' fortuitous opener as Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure bundled into his own net. Watford held on to win their opening four games of a league campaign for the first time in 30 years. At King Power Stadium, Liverpool looked on course for a comfortable win going 2-0 ahead in the first half against Leicester but a horrendous second-half goalkeeping error from record signing Alisson saw Liverpool happy to hear the final whistle. At Stamford Bridge, goals from substitute Pedro and Eden Hazard gave Chelsea victory over Bournemouth. Last season’s champions Manchester City lie in fourth place after a 2-1 home win over Newcastle. In the Scottish Premiership, former Liverpool great Steven Gerrard suffered his first defeat in 13 games as Rangers manager with Celtic dominating the first Old Firm game of the season. Rangers defended manfully but were undone just after the hour when Olivier Ntcham finished a stunning counter-attack for Brendan Rodgers' side. Celtic struck the woodwork four times as Rodgers extended his unbeaten Old Firm run to 12 games. The defeat leaves the Ibrox side seventh in the Scottish Premiership with just one win in four games, while Celtic move up to second - three points behind leaders Hearts.

PSG beat Ligue 1 newcomers Nimes to stay top

Neymar scored his fourth goal of the season for defending Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint Germain in a dramatic 4-2 victory away to Nimes - with Kylian Mbappe sent off late on. Neymar opened the scoring against the Ligue 1 newcomers and Angel di Maria then netted directly from a corner but Antonin Bobichon and Teji Savanier scored to make it 2-2. Mbappe and Edinson Cavani scored for PSG late in the second half but the teenager was then sent off. He reacted angrily to a tackle from Savanier - who was also dismissed - in injury time. His goal to put PSG ahead was brilliant, controlling Presnel Kimpembe's long ball before smashing the ball home. PSG, who have clinched four of the last five French league titles, have won their opening four Ligue 1. Sitting in second place three points behind are Dijon despite a 2-0 home loss to Caen while Toulouse are just behind on goal difference after a 2-1 victory at Guingamp. Montpellier have moved up to fifth place with a 1-0 win at Reims. In the Spanish La  Liga, Barcelona went to the top of the table on goal difference over arch rivals Real Madrid with an 8-2 Lionel Messi-inspired thrashing of newcomers Huesca The minnows took an early lead through Watford loanee Cucho Hernandez but Messi levelled with a shot off the post. The Argentine also hit the bar and added a second on the counter-attack, as well as assisting two goals. He could have had a hat-trick when Barca won a late penalty, but he let Suarez take it for his second goal. Real Madrid kept their 100 per cent record with a 4-1 win over Leganes. In the Italian Serie A, defending champions Juventus continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 2-1 victory at Parma. Mario Mandzukic opened the scoring for Juve after only two minutes. But Parma responded well and were level before the break when Gervinho marked his full debut with a close-range goal. Cristiano Ronaldo is still awaiting his first goal since joining Juve, but his side claimed the win and retained top spot in the league through Blaise Matuidi's second-half strike. In the German Bundesliga, Robert Lewandowski scored his sixth goal in four games as Bayern Munich continued their winning start under Niko Kovac with a 3-0 victory at Stuttgart. Leon Goretzka scored from the edge of the area on his first Bayern start before David Alaba hit a post. Lewandowski, who wanted to leave the German club this summer, doubled the lead with a 20-yard strike. He then flicked the ball on for Thomas Muller to add a third for Bayern, who have won the league six times in a row. Wolfsburg are second with a similar 100 per cent record after beating Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 away from home.

Saracens open Premiership campaign with victory over Newcastle

Saracens began the defence of their Premiership crown with a 32-21 victory over a brave Newcastle Falcons side on Sunday. First-half tries from Jamie George and Alex Lewington in response to three Toby Flood penalties gave Mark McCall's side a 17-9 half-time lead. Mark Wilson crossed twice, either side of Saracens debutant Lewington's second, to give the Falcons belief. Yet with Sarries down to 14, Nick Tompkins' score was enough for an extra point, denying the Falcons a bonus. Exeter Chiefs began their campaign with a commanding 40-6 bonus-point home victory over Leicester Tigers. Two penalties from England fly-half George Ford gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead. But Exeter, beaten by Saracens in last season's Premiership final, hit back to lead with tries from Olly Woodburn and Sam Simmonds. Exeter suffocated Leicester of possession after the break and romped clear through Luke Cowan-Dickie, Henry Slade, Matt Kvesic and Ian Whitten. Controversial England fly-half Danny Cipriani showed his undoubted quality to help steer Gloucester to a 27-16 opening weekend win against Northampton at Kingsholm. Cipriani delivered a sublime cut-out-ball to put Charlie Sharples in out wide, adding to James Hanson's rumble across the stripe. Northampton matched the hosts for tries thanks to Piers Francis and Courtney Lawes, plus two Dan Biggar penalties. In the end, Billy Twelvetrees' 17-point haul from the tee proved crucial.

Clermont Auvergne look menacing after thrashing Racing 92

Clermont Auvergne displayed their Top 14 title credentials by gaining their second victory of the season following an outstanding 40-17 away triumph over Racing 92. Franck Azema’s men were the better side from start to finish and scored three tries via Wesley Fofana, Peter Betham and Damian Penaud, but it was the performances of Greig Laidlaw and Camille Lopez which made a significant difference. Laidlaw kicked five penalties and a conversion while Lopez added a drop-goal and controlled matters expertly as they eased to a comfortable win. Les Jaunards appear to be rejuvenated this season having struggled in 2017/18. Last season’s Top 14 champions Castres also made it two wins out of two following up last week’s victory over Montpellier with a hard-fought 19-16 home win over Lyon. Castres did it the hard way as they were trailing 16-3 at the break following a try from Lyon hooker Jeremie Maurouard, with Jonathan Wisniewski firing over 11 points to stun Stade Pierre-Fabre. But shortly after the break a brace from centre Thomas Combezou brought Castres back into the match, with penalties from Scott Spedding and replacement Rory Kockott completing the comeback. Montpellier bounced back from last week’s loss to Castres by beating La Rochelle in a comfortable 36-14 win at Altrad Stadium on Saturday. Leading 19-0 at half-time, the home side held a healthy lead but could not go on to claim a bonus-point as La Rochelle rallied either side of the hour. Yvan Reilhac and Vincent Martin went over for Montpellier in the first-half while Paul Willemse and Romain Ruffenach crossed in the second.

Catalans Dragons thrashed by Castleford after Challenge Cup win

Catalans Dragons got a rude awakening a week on from the club's stunning Challenge Cup victory at Wembley, going down to Castleford Tigers 36-4. Greg Eden led the way with a hat-trick as Castleford eased to a six-try victory and a second straight Super 8s win to lift themselves back above Warrington Wolves into third in the table. Michael Shenton, Jake Trueman and Oliver Holmes, after a classic defence-to-attack move, also crossed. Luke Gale also kicked six goals on his return after four months out. The England playmaker, who had been missing with a fractured knee-cap, showed some of his best touches as Daryl Powell's side enjoyed their second big home win over Catalans this season, having also 41-0 back in April. The Catalans, who were without four of their Wembley heroes from last weekend's victory over Warrington, scored their only try through centre Brayden Wiliame, who was then yellow carded late on for indiscipline. Castleford, chasing a top-two finish and subsequent home semi-final, are now back to within three points of Wigan Warriors who shocked table leaders St Helens 30-10 in the local derby. Wigan denied St Helens the chance to secure the League Leaders' Shield running in six tries to lead throughout despite losing influential full-back Sam Tomkins to a knee injury in the warm-up. Dan Sarginson's double and John Bateman's try before Tommy Makinson's reply put them 14-4 ahead at the break. Further scores after the interval from Tom Davies, Oliver Gildart and Sean O'Loughlin put the gloss on a big win. The Dragons are in eighth spot on the Super 8s ladder while Warrington are fourth despite inflicting an 80-10 massacre of Hull FC

Defending champion Nadal moves into US Open quarter-final

World No.1 Rafael Nadal made it through to the US Open quarter-finals on Sunday but it was far from easy as he needed four tough sets to beat unseeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili. The 32-year-old defending champion led by two sets to love before Basilashvili, ranked 37th in the world, recovered to take a third-set tie-break. But the top seed broke twice as Basilashvili faded physically in the fourth to win 6-3 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-4. The Spaniard now faces ninth seed Austrian Dominic Thiem who knocked out South African fifth seed Kevin Anderson - the man who lost in the Flushing Meadows final to Nadal last year - in three sets earlier on Sunday. It is the first time Thiem has reached the last eight in New York. Both second seed Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are through to the last 16, the Swiss five-time champion beating Australian Nick Kyrgios in straight sets, while the Serbian sixth seed beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet in three sets. In the women’s singles, six-time winner Serena Williams won through to the quarter-finals with a 6-0 4-6 6-3 victory over Kaia Kanepi. Williams, 36, who beat sister Venus in straight sets in the previous round, took the first set in only 18 minutes as she converted all three break points she earned and did not drop a point on her first serve. But Estonia's Kanepi responded, displaying some of the shot-making that helped her beat world No.1 Simona Halep in the first round. Williams broke early in the third set as she completed her win in 97 minutes. The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion will now play Czech eighth seed Karolina Pliskova. Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber bowed out to Slovak 29th seed Dominika Cibulkova, while Maria Sharapova made it through to the last 16 with a straight sets victory over Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko.

Britain’s Yates takes overall lead in La Vuelta a Espana

Britain's Simon Yates took the overall lead as American Benjamin King produced a second win of La Vuelta a Espana on Stage 9. Yates placed ninth on a day where an 11-strong break-away group built a lead before King broke clear to land a win for which he said he "suffered". The Team Dimension Data rider, 29, beat Trek-Segafredo rider Bauke Mollema by 48 seconds on the mountain finish. BMC Racing's Dylan Teuns was third, two minutes and 38 seconds behind King. The American sat exhausted after his gutsy win on the 200.8km mountain stage from Talavera de la Reina to La Covatilla, where the closing 20km contains gradients of up to 16.3 per cent. The Virginia-born rider had never won a Grand Tour stage going into the Vuelta but now has two victories having also won Stage 4, the only other mountain stage to date. He timed his push expertly, with 19km remaining he broke away from a group which had built a lead of over nine minutes on the peloton with 32km to go. Mitchelton-Scott rider Yates was two minutes and 49 seconds down on King but now has the general classification lead, albeit just a second ahead of Spain’s Alejandro Valverde and 14 ahead of Colombia’s Nairo Quintana.

Wallace wins Made in Denmark tournament in four-way play-off

Matt Wallace won the Made in Denmark event on Sunday with victory in four-way, all-English play-off in Silkeborg. Wallace, 28, birdied five of the last six holes in a five-under 67 to finish 19 under and force his way into the play-off - then birdied the 18th twice. Lee Westwood and Jonathan Thomson went out at the first play-off hole, with Steven Brown succumbing at the second. Wallace's victory came three days before Europe captain Thomas Bjorn names his Ryder Cup wildcard picks. He said it would mean "everything" to be part of the team at Le Golf National in Paris from 28-30 September. Dane Thorbjorn Olesen secured the final automatic qualification spot in the European team as Matt Fitzpatrick failed to overhaul him. Englishman Fitzpatrick needed to win the event but finished three shots off the pace.

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

Calendar Keynotes - 3-9 September

Monday, 3 September

Tennis: US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York (till 9 September).

Cycling: La Vuelta a Espana, Spain – rest day (till 16 September) 

Tuesday, 4 September

Tennis: US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York (till 9 September).

Cycling: La Vuelta a Espana, Spain (till 16 September).

Football: Women’s World Cup Qualifying – Kazakhstan Women v England Women, Faroe Islands Women v Germany Women, Belgium Women v Italy Women, Spain Women v Serbia Women 

Wednesday, 5 September

Tennis: US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York (till 9 September).

Cycling: La Vuelta a Espana, Spain (till 16 September). 

Thursday, 6 September

Football: UEFA Nations League – League A - Germany v France, League B – Czech Republic v Ukraine, Wales v Ireland, international friendlies – Austria v Sweden, Netherlands v Peru, Portugal v Croatia

Tennis: US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York (till 9 September).

Rugby League: Super League Super 8s – Wigan Warriors v Wakefield Trinity.

Golf: BMW Championship. Aronimink Golf Club, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, US (till 9 September).

Cycling: La Vuelta a Espana, Spain (till 16 September). 

Friday, 7 September

Football: UEFA Nations League – League A – Italy v Poland, League B – Turkey v Russia, international friendlies – Scotland v Belgium.

Tennis: US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York (till 9 September).

Cricket: England v India 5th Test, The Oval, London (England have 3-1 winning lead)

Rugby Union: Gallagher Championship – Northampton v Harlequins.

Rugby League: Super League Super 8s – Hull FC v Castleford Tigers, Warrington Wolves v Huddersfield Giants.

Golf: BMW Championship. Aronimink Golf Club, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, US (till 9 September).

Cycling: La Vuelta a Espana, Spain (till 16 September). 

Motorcycling: MotoGP Rd 13, San Marino Grand Prix, Rimini, San Marino (till 9 September). 

Saturday, 8 September

Football: UEFA Nations League – League A – Switzerland v Iceland, England v Spain, League B – Northern Ireland v Bosnia and Herzegovnia, international friendlies – USA v Brazil, Mexico v Uruguay, Argentina v Guatemala.

Tennis: US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York (till 9 September).

Cricket: England v India 5th Test, The Oval, London (England have 3-1 winning lead)

Rugby Union: The Rugby Championship – New Zealand v Argentina, Australia v South Africa, Gallagher Championship – Wasps v Exeter, Leicester v Newcastle, Saracens V Bristol, Bath v Gloucester, French Top 14 – Bordeaux Begles v Montpellier, Toulous v La Rochelle, Perpignan v Lyon, Racing 92 v Agen, Clermont Auvergne v Stade Francais.

Rugby League: Super League Super 8s –.Catalans Dragons v St Helens, Super 8s qualifiers – Salford Red Devils v Toronto Wolfpack.

Golf: BMW Championship. Aronimink Golf Club, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, US (till 9 September).

Cycling: La Vuelta a Espana, Spain (till 16 September). 

Motorcycling: MotoGP Rd 13, San Marino Grand Prix, Rimini, San Marino (till 9 September).

Sunday, 9 September

Tennis: US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York (final day).

Cricket: England v India 5th Test, The Oval, London (England have 3-1 winning lead)

Football: International friendlies – Germany v Peru.

Golf: BMW Championship. Aronimink Golf Club, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, US (final day).

Rugby Union: Gallagher Premiership – Sale v Worcester, French Top 14 – Grenoble v Pau, Toulon v Castres.

Rugby League: Super 8s qualifiers – Hull KR v Halifax, London Broncos v Toulouse, Widnes Vikings v Leeds Rhinos.

Golf: BMW Championship. Aronimink Golf Club, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, US (till 9 September).

Cycling: La Vuelta a Espana, Spain (till 16 September).

Athletics: Great North Run, Newcastle, UK.

Motorcycling: MotoGP Rd 13, San Marino Grand Prix, Rimini, San Marino (race day).



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