AUSTRALIA´S cricketers comfortably won the first Ashes Test at Brisbane’s Gabba by ten wickets, scoring 328 & 173-0 against England’s 302 & 195. The second Test (a day-night game) starts tomorrow in Adelaide.
Onto football, all there were Champions League wins last week for Chelsea (4-0 v. Karabaq), Manchester City (1-0 v. Feyenoord), Real Madrid (6-0 v. Apoel) and Tottenham (2-1 v. Dortmund). Liverpool squandered a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 in Sevilla; PSG thumped Celtic 7-1 and Manchester United, who lost 1-0 in Basle, need something from their last group game against CSKA Moscow to reach the knockout stage.
In the Europa League, Arsenal succumbed 1-0 in Koln and Everton’s lowest home crowd since 1999 – 17,431 – saw them belted 5-1 by Atalanta.
Manchester City, 2-1 winners at Huddersfield, are eight points clear of rivals neighbours United (lucky 1-0 victors over Brighton) at the top of the PL; Chelsea (3rd) drew 1-1 at Liverpool. Wolves lead the Championship by four points from Cardiff; Luton and Notts County top Leagues 1 & 2 respectively and Celtic, after beating Motherwell 2-0 in the SLC final, are now unbeaten in 65 domestic matches.
In Germany, Dortmund, 4-0 up, drew 4-4 with Schalke and Borussia Monchengladbach ended Bayern Munich’s 30-game unbeaten run, winning 2-1. Inter Milan top Serie ‘A’ and Lionel Messi has signed a new contract with La Liga leaders Barcelona with a £625m/€700m buy-out clause! And right now, the average weekly wage for a PL footballer is £50,000.
The draw for next year’s World Cup groups takes place in Russia today (4pm Spanish time). England are number 3, Spain number 10.
Brazilian Robinho, ex-Manchester City, AC Milan and Real Madrid, has been jailed for nine years after being found guilty of sexual assault in Italy in 2013.
Felipe Massa finished 10th in his 268th and final F1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi last Sunday. The winner was Valterri Bottas with world champion Lewis Hamilton second. After the race, Poland’s Robert Kubicki, seriously injured in 2010, test drove a Williams car and could return to F1 next year. And Fernando Alonso has had his first drive in a Le Mans 24-hour proto-type car.
Australian Wade Ormsby won the Hong Kong Open golf title and in tennis,
France beat Belgium in the Davis Cup final.
In Rugby Union, Scotland thumped Australia by a record 53-24; England made it 14 Twickenham wins in a row by beating Samoa 48-14; Ireland defeated Argentina 28-19 but Wales lost 33-12 to New Zealand.
PL games this weekend include Arsenal-Manchester United, Brighton-Liverpool, Chelsea-Newcastle, Manchester City-West Ham and Watford-Spurs; it’s Birmingham-Wolves, Cardiff-Norwich in the Championship and Celtic-Motherwell in the SPL.
There are also 20 second round FA Cup-ties with ten non-League teams hoping to join the ‘big boys’ in the next round, and Champions League/Europa League action continues on Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday.
The Mauritius Open, the Australian PGA (Gold Coast) and the Heroes Challenge (Bahamas) golf tournaments are underway and tomorrow Australia play England in Rugby League’s World Cup final.
In Rugby Union, Wales play South Africa tomorrow while in the Aviva PL, Leaders Exeter Chiefs meet Bath while second-placed Saracens play Harlequins.
Ten days ago, with his wife Steph in labour, Ryan Colclough was substituted after scoring his second goal in Wigan’s 3-0 win over Doncaster. Still kitted out, he reached the hospital just in time to see his son born, completing a unique hat-trick for the winger!