IN FA Cup first round ties last weekend there were excellent wins for non-League clubs AFC Hereford, Boreham Wood, Maidstone and Oxford City.
Marseille have suspended ex-Manchester United player Patrice Evra who was red-card for ‘kicking’ a supporter of his own club in the head before a 1-0 Champions League defeat by Vitoria Guimaraes. In the same competition there were wins for Tottenham (3-1 v. Real Madrid), Liverpool (3-0 v Maribor), Manchester City (4-2 v. Napoli) and Manchester United (2-0 v. Benfica) but Chelsea lost (3-0 to Roma) while Celtic are out (beaten 2-1 by Bayern Munich). In the Europa League, Arsenal drew 0-0 with Red Star Belgrade but Everton were eliminated 3-0 by Lyon.
Manchester City, 3-1 winners over Arsenal, lead the PL by eights points from Manchester United, 1-0 losers at Chelsea (4th). Spurs (3rd) defeated Crystal Palace (bottom) and Liverpool (5th) whipped West Ham 4-1. Wolves remain top of the Championship and Celtic (4-0 winners at St Johnstone) are now unbeaten in 63 domestic matches, breaking a 100 year-old British record. And Lionel Messi’s 600th game for Barcelona ended in a 2-1 win over Sevilla.
England manager Gareth Southgate has three uncapped players in his squad for friendlies against Germany (Friday) and Brazil (next Tuesday). They are Joey Gomez, Tammy Abraham and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. He’s also recalled Ashley Young. And Northern Ireland met Switzerland (Thursday) and the Republic of Ireland visit Denmark (Saturday) in WC qualifying play-offs.
In their second Rugby League WC group games, New Zealand (with 14 tries) crushed Scotland 74-6, England beat Lebanon 29-10, Australia whipped France 52-6, Ireland lost 14-6 to Papua New Guinea and Wales were blitzed 72-6 by Fiji. It’s Scotland-Samoa (Saturday) and England-France and Ireland-Wales (Sunday). And three Scotland players, deemed to be drunk, were not allowed to board the plane to the next venue (Cairns).
Elsewhere, New Zealand beat the Barbarians 31-22 in a Union international at Twickenham.
On Sunday, Marc Marquez ‘will’ be crowned 2017 MotoGP champion in Valencia while F1 racing continues in Brazilian which will see Felipe Massa’s last drive on his home track before retiring. Meanwhile, Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne says that the team could quit F1 if they fail to agree on the directions implied by new owners Liberty Media.
Is Aidan O’Brien the greatest horse-race trainer ever? Last week he saddled his record-breaking 27th Group One winner of 2017 when Mendelssohn won the Juvenile Turf Trophy at California’s Breeder’s Cup meeting.
In tennis, unseeded Serbian Filip Krajinovic lost to American Jack Sock in the Paris Masters final and Martin Del Potro has failed to qualify for the end-of-season WTA finals in London.
Despite Alastair Cook’s second-ball duck, England’s cricketers began their Ashes Tour with a two-day ‘warm-up’ draw with a WACA XI in Perth. The first Test starts on 23 November. Meanwhile, England’s women are also in Ashes action down under.
Former Olympic sprinter Frankie Fredericks has been charged with money laundering and corruption by French authorities… GB golfer Justin Rose won back-to-back tournaments by claiming the Turkish Airlines Open … and congratulations to Houston Astros on their first-ever baseball series win.