Under-21 European Championship: Spain gain revenge on Germany in Udine for fifth title

30 Jun

Spain beat Germany to win their fifth Under-21 European Championship in Udine on Sunday night with a 2-1 win.

Player of the Tournament Fabian Ruiz opened the scoring for Spain with a surging run and 25-yard strike from Mikel Oyarzabal’s pass.

Fabian Ruiz celebrates scoring the opener in Udine
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Dani Olmo doubled the lead with a clever chip in the second half after Alexander Nubel fumbled Ruiz’s shot, before Nadiem Amiri’s late deflected consolation.

The game in Udine was a repeat of the 2017 final, which Germany won, and the two sides have now won five of the past six U21 Euros between them.

Golden Boot winner Luca Waldschmidt of Germany was unable to find an eighth goal to set a record for a single tournament.

The game could have been different had Spain defender Jesus Vallejo been sent off for a dangerous high tackle on Freiburg’s Waldschmidt in the first half.

Luca Waldschmidt could not inspire Germany
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The Real Madrid player was only shown a yellow card and a video assistant referee check determined not to send him off.

Germany improved after the break and Amiri’s swerving shot was parried by Antonio Sivera. But after Dinamo Zagreb’s Olmo scored, Spain looked in control.

AG2R La Mondiale change Tour de France line up after French nationals

30 Jun

Sunday's French national road race carried huge Tour de France consequences for the AG2R La Mondiale team after Warren Barguil (Arkea Samsic) took the title ahead of Cofidis riders Julien Simon and Damien Touze. A crash that involved AG2R's Tony Gallopin and Benoit Cosnefroy took the pair out of contention for the title and left the riders' Tour participation in question, while a lacklustre performance from Pierre Latour as he returns from injury caused the team to replace him on the roster with Alexis Vuillermoz.

"After talking with Pierre Latour, we decided that it was more reasonable to replace him for the next Tour de France," said Team Manager Vincent Lavenu. "He has been struggling since returning to the competition, and it would have been very risky to send him to a race like the Tour de France."

Latour said he was not disappointed with the team's decision.

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"It's better like this. I was not in a good enough condition during the Tour de Suisse, and that was confirmed today at the French championships," he said. "At the Tour, I would not be worth anything to the team. This absence will allow me to continue training well with the goal to be better at the end of the season and the Vuelta."

Vuillermoz was obviously excited about the opportunity to compete in his sixth Tour after finishing the Giro in May.

"After the Giro d'Italia, I started training quickly again," he said. "I did have being selected for the Tour team in mind, and I am very honoured that the team trusts me. During the month of June, I re-found great sensations that I have not had for a long time in training. I am going to the start in order to work for the team to the maximum, and hopefully to take my chances when the opportunity arises.”

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Marcus Rashford apologised to Arsenal star Rob Holding after suffering serious knee injury

30 Jun

Rob Holding has revealed the classy message Marcus Rashford sent him after details of his injury came out.

The Arsenal defender ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament back at Old Trafford in December and was ruled out for the rest of the season.

Marcus Rashford sent Rob Holding the text after learning of his injury
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Holding is slowly edging back to full fitness, but revealed the Manchester United striker got in touch to give him his best.

He told Arsenal Player: “Marcus text me when the injury came out of what I’d done.

“He just dropped me a text and just said ‘hi mate, I’m sorry to hear about the injury, I didn’t mean it in any malicious way’.

“I didn’t take it as a personal attack on me, it’s just football.

“So I just replied to him ‘yeah mate, don’t worry about it – it’s football.’

“’You didn’t even make a tackle you just sort of ran into me!’

“I’ve got nothing but respect for him and wished him the best for the season, as long as they don’t finish above Arsenal.”

All Elite Wrestling star Cody Rhodes requires 12 staples in his head after taking unprotected chair shot from Shawn Spears at Fyter Fest

30 Jun

All Elite Wrestling star Cody Rhodes was taken to hospital after being left bloodied following an unprotected chair shot to the head.

It opened up a considerable gash on the back of his head and, after being helped out of the ring, needed 12 stitches to shut.

Cody Rhodes was hit by an unprotected chair shot
All Elite Wrestling

After wrestling to an time-limit draw with  Darby Allin at Fyter Fest on Saturday evening, Shawn Spears, formerly Tye Dillinger of WWE, stepped into the ring and struck Rhodes over the head with a chair.

AEW’s owner Tony Khan issued a statement after the match and suggested it was a case of bad luck which left the son of Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes incapacitated.

“It’s obviously really regrettable what happened,” stated Khan, per Cageside Seats.

“I don’t know if this is the time to go into detail about what happened but we had taken precautions in this situation, in that specific situation, and a doctor was available.

Replays show the sickening moment of impact on Rhodes’ skull
All Elite Wrestling

“Cody does not have a concussion – he has staples – and we’re all very grateful for that.

”All I’m going to say to you guys on it right now, and I will talk about it more in detail, but you could build the safest airplane in the world and if there’s pilot error there’s pilot error. That was not good.”

Head shots with weapons are extinct from virtually all wrestling promotions, with the WWE banning chair shots to the head in January 2010, following an amendment in the Talent Wellness Program.

Several former wrestlers have been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), such as Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka, Balls Mahoney and more recently Andrew ‘Test’ Martin.

WWE GOSSIP COLUMN: SUPERSTAR WORKING INJURED

An autopsy on Chris Benoit by neurosurgeons discovered a multitude of concussions was a hugely contributing factor to his double-murder and suicide.

The Canadian’s brain was said to have resembled that of ‘an 85-year-old’s with Alzheimer’s’ according to several doctors. Benoit was one of the only superstars to regularly take chair shots to the back of the head.

England keep Cricket World Cup hopes alive after beating India by 31 runs at Edgbaston

30 Jun

England kept their World Cup dreams alive with a stirring victory over India, Jonny Bairstow letting his bat do the talking with a match-winning century at Edgbaston.

The stakes were incredibly high for the hosts after back-to-back defeats but Eoin Morgan’s side held their nerve in a 31-run success, ending India’s undefeated streak and reclaiming their own place in the top four.

Man of the match Jonny Bairstow salutes the Edgbaston crowd
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Bairstow’s suggestion that critics were ‘waiting for us to fail‘ had been poorly received during the week but he repaid any lingering debt in style, striking 111 to set up an imposing 337 for seven.

Bairstow did not go into battle alone, fit-again opening partner Jason Roy setting the tone with an aggressive 66 and Ben Stokes making it three half-centuries in a row with his bustling 79, but his knock did the heaviest lifting.

Roared on by a hugely partisan crowd which flipped home advantage on its head, India needed luck and skill if they were to make a record World Cup chase and Rohit Sharma had both.

Dropped at slip by Joe Root with just four to his name, he went on to make 102.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma gave India a fighting chance against England
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Liam Plunkett took three wickets during the vital win
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But despite that England’s attack showed their mettle, Chris Woakes taking two wickets and a glorious boundary catch while Liam Plunkett justified his recall in place of Moeen Ali with three for 55 – including master batsman Virat Kohli.

England may not need to see off New Zealand at Chester-le-Street to seal a semi-final place but they go into their last group game knowing nobody can stop them if they do.

Austrian Grand Prix: Late heartbreak for Charles Leclerc as Max Verstappen overtakes Ferrari driver with just two laps remaining to seal incredible comeback

30 Jun

Max Verstappen produced a sensational display in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix to deny Charles Leclerc a first win of his career – passing the young Ferrari driver with just two laps to go.

The victory will go down as one of the most incredible comebacks in Formula One history, with the Red Bull driver reigning triumphant in a sweltering Spielberg.

Max Verstappen celebrates his sensational victory as an inconsolable Charles Leclerc looks on
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Just like in Saturday’s qualifying there was another controversial incident, with Verstappen’s winning incident angering Leclerc – with the former stating it was merely ‘hard racing’.

“What the hell is that?” Leclerc yelled over the team radio following the Dutchman’s move. Verstappen protested his innocence.

“It is hard racing, otherwise we have to stay at home,” said Verstappen when informed he was under investigation.

“If those things are not allowed in racing, then what is the point in being in Formula One?”

Leclerc said: “I will let the stewards decide. I was on the outside of the corner the lap before.

“He left the space, but he didn’t on the next lap. I had to go wide and didn’t have a chance to come back at him.”

Verstappen is sprayed with champagne after his thrilling victory – where he overtook the Ferrari driver with two laps remaining
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After a prolonged period of deliberation the FIA upheld the the result with no penalty.

Verstappen began alongside Leclerc on the front row but dropped to seventh following a torrid start.

The Dutch driver was then running in fourth place with 20 laps to run, but passed Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas and finally Leclerc in a stunning end to the race.

Bottas finished third for Mercedes, while Vettel fought his way past Lewis Hamilton on the penultimate lap to take fourth.

Hamilton will head to his home race at Silverstone in a fortnight’s time, 31 points clear of Bottas in the championship.

British teenager Lando Norris finished sixth for McLaren, equalling his career best.

Verstappen had phenomenal support at the Austrian Grand Prix
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Leclerc did not put a foot wrong, and his initial cause was aided by troubles for his rivals.

As Leclerc roared down to the first corner, Verstappen, who started alongside the Ferrari driver on the front row, staggered away from his marks, losing five places to seventh.

Vettel made up five spots, and was running in fourth when he made his first stop, but his Ferrari crew were not ready for him.

As the mechanics came running out from the garage with Vettel’s tyres, one almost got mowed down by Bottas’ Mercedes.

He stayed on his feet, but the stop took three times longer than it should have, and the German fell down the order to eighth.

The 21-year-old prepares to crosses the line and take the chequered flag
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Then, with Hamilton mounting a charge, he ran off the road, damaging his wing.

That left Leclerc leading from Bottas, Vettel, Verstappen and Hamilton at the midway stage.

Verstappen, at Red Bull’s home race, then began to make amends for his slow getaway.

Turning on the style, he roared past Vettel on lap 50. Five laps later he dived underneath Bottas to take second place, with Leclerc five seconds up the road.

Surely, he couldn’t do the unthinkable?

But by this stage, Verstappen was one second faster than Leclerc, and with a handful of laps to go was crawling all over the back of the Monegasque’s gearbox.

The two 21-year-olds went wheel-to-wheel in a brilliant finale, before Verstappen’s contentious move at the right-handed Turn 3 on lap 69 of 71.

Leclerc felt Verstappen did not leave him enough room, the pair banging wheels on the exit, Leclerc falling off the circuit.

The stewards immediately noted the decision with both Verstappen and Leclerc now to report to the stewards – the Dutchman’s fine win in doubt.

Junior dos Santos releases statement after first round KO loss to Francis Ngannou at UFC Minneapolis

30 Jun

Junior dos Santos has spoken out after he suffered a devastating first round KO at the hands of Francis Ngannou.

The former heavyweight champion was seeking to get back into title contention at UFC Minneapolis against the Cameroonian.

But his night was to end prematurely as ‘The Predator’ caught Dos Santos cold and secured a knockout victory after just 71 seconds.

Francis Ngannou sent the former UFC heavyweight champion crashing to the canvas
BT SPORT

Hours after the fastest defeat of his MMA career, “Cigano” released a statement on Instagram congratulating his opponent and regretting how a ‘millisecond mistake’ cost him the bout.

“Guys, first of all I want to thank everybody for your support. I’m sorry the show was short this time, and without a great result for us.

“I’ve been on top of this sport and weight class for over a decade, and I plan to be here for a long time still.

“I love fighting, I love my life, and I’m really grateful for every opportunity I have to grow and evolve.

‘The Predator’ pounced on the fallen Dos Santos to finish the fight
BT SPORT

“The climb is tough and long, as you all know and sometimes — like tonight — months of perfect preparation and strategy are overshadowed by a millisecond mistake.

“There isn’t much to say now other than to congratulate Francis Ngannou for capitalizing so effectively on my mistake.”

While the Brazilian is perhaps unclear what lies in store for him next, Ngannou wants another shot at the heavyweight title. Daniel Cormier is set to rematch Stipe Miocic on August 17 in Anaheim, California.

WWE gossip column: Braun Strowman working injured, Tony Khan on ‘regrettable’ AEW Fyter Fest botch

30 Jun

With AEW Fyter Fest in the books, WWE have the chance to impress with this week’s Raw and SmackDown Live shows.

There is a first-time ever match planned for Raw as we edge closer to Extreme Rules.

Cody Rhodes was hit by an unprotected chair shot at AEW Fyter Fest
All Elite Wrestling

Below, talkSPORT give you the latest gossip and rumours from the wrestling world.

Braun Strowman hurt

The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer says Strowman is currently working injured.

The Monster Among Men is believed to be suffering from a suspected knee problem.

Despite his injury fears, Strowman is set to take on Bobby Lashley in a Falls Count Anywhere match on Raw this week.

Tony Khan on ‘regrettable’ chair botch at Fyter Fest

After a gruelling 20-minute match with Darby Allin, Cody Rhodes took an unprotected chair shot to the head from Shawn Spears.

The impact saw blood pour from Rhodes’ head as he had to be carried backstage.

AEW president Khan confirmed the former WWE star had not suffered a concussion.

He said: “Obviously, it was really regrettable what happened.

“I don’t know if this is the time to go into what happened.

“We had taken precautions in that specific situation and a doctor was available and Cody does not have a concussion, and he has staples and we’re all very grateful for that.”

A never seen before match to take place on Raw

On Saturday, WWE announced The New Day will face the Viking Raiders in a first-time ever bout.

The Viking Raiders have been booked strongly since being called up to the main roster and are bound to have a title run in the future.

A win over The New Day would only enhance their growing reputation.

Boozed up Premier League stars, including Phil Bardsley, involved in brawl at five-star Ibiza hotel

30 Jun

Phil Bardsley and his football agent brother, Josh, were involved in a mass brawl at a plush Ibiza hotel in the early hours of Wednesday morning, according to reports.

The Sun have revealed that the Burnley defender, 33, had to be forcefully restrained in footage which showed chairs being hurled across the room, glasses smashed and punches exchanged.

Footage shows the moment a brawl broke out in a plush Ibiza hotel
The Sun
Chairs, among other objects, were thrown during the melee at the exclusive four star Hotel ME venue
The Sun

The row took place after a wedding party at the exclusive five-star Hotel ME, which costs guests a whopping £2,300-a-night to stay in.

Bardsley’s younger brother, Josh, was hit over the head with what appeared to be a pair of beach shoes by a furious blonde lady.

He was later punched in the face, as rival groups squared up to one another on the video footage roaring: “Come on then”.

The Sun
Wags at the venue are pulled towards safety[/caption]

Kilmarnock defender Alex Bruce, who played for Hull in the Premier League and is the son of Sheffield Wednesday boss Steve, acted as the peacemaker during the brawl as he is seen trying to calm the melee down.

The defender can be heard telling a bride to be, who watched the violence unfold just hours before her wedding day: “Sorry, it’s just grown up men getting drunk.”

Tom Cleverley, who was thrown a surprise 30th birthday party earlier in the day, led a bloodied Josh away from the violence.

The Watford midfielder was forced to restrain him as he tried to return to the scene of the fight.

Hotel security quickly rushed to the scene and the bar was duly shut down for the night.

Wedding guests later reportedly complained to hotel management about the behaviour of the football stars during their stay.

Tyson Fury makes Michelle Joy Phelps down a bottle of beer to the delight of crowd in Glasgow

30 Jun

Tyson Fury was at his hilarious best on Saturday night, forcing Michelle Joy Phelps to down a beer on stage with him.

The ‘Gypsy King‘ is taking part in a series of tour dates across the UK, with his latest event in Glasgow.

Tyson Fury made Michelle Phelps see off a beer on stage
@MichellePhelps

‘Behind the Gloves’ presenter Phelps was about to interview the lineal heavyweight champion of the world but, ever the crowd-pleaser, Fury wanted to kick things off a little differently.

He shouted into the microphone: “You might be an American, but we are in Scotland!”

At which point he encouraged the entire arena to chant ‘Down it’ and made sure the California-native finished off her drink.

Sure enough, the 1,000 fans in attendance gleefully joined in with the 30-year-old, before erupting into rapturous applause once Phelps had finished.

The American saw off her beer in front of 1,000 people in Glasgow
@MichellePhelps

Fury is currently basking in his latest victory, with the undefeated switch-hitter knocking out Tom Schwarz in two rounds at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

However, he has since admitted he defied the orders of coach Ben Davison during that fight by going for an early knockout.

Speaking to iFL TV , Fury said: “Do you want to know the truth from that boxing match? I didn’t do a thing Ben told me to do.

“Ben wanted me to go out and box for six or seven rounds and let him tire. I didn’t, I didn’t want to. I wanted a knockout in America.

Fury made sure to wow the Las Vegas crowd at every possible opportunity
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“If I’ve ever gone out to look for a knockout in my mind, I’ve never not got one.

“But for some reason I wanted to knock Schwarz out and make a statement in America, and put on a show because that’s what they like.

“The Americans love a knockout. They don’t care how, when, or why, but they love a knockout.

“Everyone was telling me they love a knockout, and there’s me thinking ‘I don’t have that knockout style’.

“So I said I am going to get him out of there quick. I said it’s going to be either him or me because this is America and everyone wants to see an explosive performance.

“I got a good victory and my plan worked. Job done, in and out.”