Liverpool could equal an English top-flight record in grand fashion when their title assault takes them to a wounded Manchester United on Sunday.

The Premier League leaders are sure to target three points knowing victory against their bitter rivals would be the perfect way to level Manchester City's benchmark of 18 consecutive wins at this level.

Recent trips to Old Trafford have not been particularly profitable but the Red Devils, beaten 1-0 by Newcastle United last time out, look to be little more than a mid-table outfit at present.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men will not have won a match inside 90 minutes for a month in all competitions by the time the game kicks off, and the expected absence of David de Gea presents a further hurdle.

 

POTENTIAL BREAKTHROUGHS FOR KLOPP AND SALAH

Liverpool have won five Premier League matches at Old Trafford but none under Jurgen Klopp.

The German's three draws and single defeat in four attempts add up to his longest winless streak in away games against a Premier League opponent.

He might never have a better opportunity to halt the trend.

United are lurching from one bitter blow to another and have laboured in home games against Crystal Palace, Astana, Rochdale and Arsenal this season, losing to the Eagles.

Those subpar showings, coupled with Liverpool's own outstanding form, will have Klopp's men supremely confident of delivering victory for their manager.

But with the missed chance of last season's 0-0 draw still fresh in the memory, there will be pressure on the visitors to take the initiative in attack.

Mohamed Salah, who is recovering from an ankle injury, will hope to be fit as he, like Klopp, has something to prove in this fixture.

Though prolific since his arrival on Merseyside, the Egyptian has failed to either score or assist a single goal in each of his four Premier League appearances against United.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: SCOTT MCTOMINAY V FABINHO

Scott McTominay this week shared insights into his warm relationship with Jose Mourinho, and the Scotland international will hope to make his former manager proud in a key battle.

His opposite number, Fabinho, provides just the kind of shield United's defence will need if Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are to be kept quiet.

Liverpool's midfield anchor has won 12 tackles this term, five more than McTominay, at a success rate of 60 per cent.

McTominay's tackle success rate, at 44 per cent, is less impressive and, while the 22-year-old has certainly been one of United's best performers this season, his numbers lag behind Fabinho's in several departments.

The Brazilian has created three more scoring chances in 61 fewer minutes on the pitch and his passing accuracy of 87 per cent is comfortably superior to McTominay's 81 per cent.

FORM GUIDE

Liverpool's long Premier League winning streak dates back to March and includes away wins over Southampton, Burnley, Chelsea and Sheffield United this season.

James Milner's last-gasp penalty kept the run alive in a hard-earned 2-1 triumph over Leicester City at Anfield before the international break.

United, meanwhile, are searching for answers following a string of lacklustre performances since outmuscling Chelsea on the opening weekend.

The four goals scored that day hinted at a bright future but United have failed to net more than once in any of their subsequent 10 matches in all competitions.

HISTORY SAYS…

Victory will not come easily for Liverpool, who have not travelled to Old Trafford while top of the table since October 1996.

On that occasion, a David Beckham goal gave United a 1-0 win.

Results more recently have been similarly close, with four of the past six Premier League meetings ending level.

Liverpool, the heavy favourites, must snap a five-match winless streak in away games against United in order to preserve their perfect start in the league.

On October 16, 2004, Lionel Messi got his first taste of competitive senior football for Barcelona, coming on as a substitute for Deco against city rivals Espanyol.

Few watching at the time could have imagined quite what was to come from the Argentinian maestro, who has gone on to become arguably the greatest player of all time.

Messi's influence at Barca has become unrivalled, scoring 604 times to become their all-time leading scorer.

Fittingly, the 15th anniversary of his Barca debut comes on the same day he was presented with the European Golden Shoe for last season, and we have looked back at 10 of his very best goals in action for Barcelona.

Albacete (H): May 1, 2005

Even at 17, Messi had the confidence of a veteran. Having already had one goal wrongly ruled out for offside - an audacious chip from the edge of the box - Messi's focus was far from knocked and just a minute later he latched onto Ronaldinho's scooped pass before lobbing the ball over Albacete stopper Raul Valbuena from 16 yards. Some way to open your account for one of Europe's great clubs.

Getafe (H): April 18, 2007

In the 14 years since Messi first got on the scoresheet, one strike stands out as the best: his Diego Maradona-esque solo goal against Getafe. Messi picked up the ball in his own half and danced around two players before turning on the pace, beating two more defenders and going around the goalkeeper, capping it with a right-footed finish.

Real Zaragoza (A): March 21, 2010

Described by some as 'a defining goal' in his career, Messi's strike against Real Zaragoza seemed to take him from 'very good' into another class entirely. Messi displayed all he had to offer in this goal, which began when he won the ball from a tackle on halfway. From there, he shrugged off one challenge, raced towards the box and turned a defender inside out before drilling the ball into the far corner, leaving coach Pep Guardiola speechless.

Athletic Bilbao (A): April 27, 2013

Barca were in the midst of a Champions League semi-final shellacking from Bayern Munich when they arrived at San Mames. A goal down in a match that would eventually finish 2-2, Messi received possession from Thiago Alcantara, twisted past Mikel San Jose, Carlos Gurpegui and Ander Herrera with minimal space in which to operate before nonchalantly sidefooting home from just inside the penalty area.

Cordoba (H): December 20, 2014

Messi rounded off a 5-0 procession at Camp Nou with a frankly absurd piece of technique. Cordoba defender Jose Angel Crespo made glancing headed contact with Jordi Alba's searching cross from the left that might ordinarily have averted danger. But Barca's star man pulled the ball down with his left foot, swivelled 180 degrees and crashed right footed past Juan Carlos at the goalkeeper's near post.

Bayern Munich (H): May 6, 2015

Having already opened the scoring three minutes earlier to give Barca a 1-0 advantage over Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final, Messi doubled his tally with a sumptuous effort. Ivan Rakitic's pass sent Messi on his way, before the little maestro's trickery put Jerome Boateng on his backside and allowed the Argentine to casually lift the ball over the onrushing Manuel Neuer.

Athletic Bilbao (N): May 30, 2015

The second part of a treble-winning season for Barca came in the form of the Copa del Rey against Athletic Bilbao. With 20 minutes gone and the score deadlocked, Messi set off on a marauding run down the right wing and soon found himself trapped among three defenders. Naturally, Messi was able to float past the trio as if they were not there, before cutting into the box and beating Iago Herrerin at his near post.

Real Madrid (A): April 23, 2017

El Clasico rarely disappoints for football fans around the globe, and this edition was no different. Anything but a win would essentially hand Real Madrid the title and it looked to be headed for a 2-2 draw until Sergi Roberto's swashbuckling run in the 92nd minute gave Jordi Alba the chance to square it to Messi, who finished with aplomb from the edge of the area for his 500th Barcelona goal.

Real Sociedad (A): January 18, 2018

Over the past few years, Messi has really mastered the art of free-kick taking, with the skill being one of few to elude him in his younger days. This strike in a 4-2 LaLiga triumph at La Real last January showed just how far he has come, as he lined up a set-piece about 35 yards from goal and coolly curled it into the top-left corner, wrapping up victory for Barca, who had fallen 2-0 behind. 

Real Betis – March 17, 2019

We have become so accustomed to Messi's brilliance that he makes the extraordinary seem normal, but his hat-trick clincher in March's 4-1 win at Real Betis was pure genius. After receiving a cut-back from Ivan Rakitic, he caressed a first-time chipped effort over Pau Lopez and in off the crossbar from about 18 yards when shooting through a crowded penalty area looked an impossibility.

Manchester City's title defence has not started according to plan, with the champions already trailing Liverpool by eight points.

Jurgen Klopp's side have won eight from eight in the Premier League, while City headed into the international break on the back of a surprise home defeat to Wolves.

For Pep Guardiola, City's defence has to be a huge concern, even though the former Barcelona boss has insisted the club will not be looking to replace the injured Aymeric Laporte in January.

Laporte is set to miss the majority of the season after sustaining an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury in August, while Vincent Kompany has left a sizeable void in City's defence.

Nicolas Otamendi has been largely unconvincing, while John Stones has his own injury problems and Fernandinho – arguably the Premier League's best defensive midfielder – has had to fill in at the back.

Ahead of Saturday's trip to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace, we use Opta data to assess how Guardiola can patch up City's struggling defence.

 

RELIANCE ON OTAMENDI A CAUSE FOR CONCERN

Guardiola has not been helped by a spate of bad luck with injuries, especially with Laporte, who has been mightily impressive since his arrival from Athletic Bilbao in January 2018.

Stones, meanwhile, has been in and out of the side due to both injuries and form, with Kompany preferred for the run-in last season. Otamendi looked set to join Kompany in leaving the club in the off season, though has been a mainstay of City's back line, making seven league appearances and two more in the Champions League. 

The Argentine does boast a passing accuracy of 92.52 per cent, which is higher than Fernandinho or Laporte, while he has also lost possession 148 times fewer than the Frenchman.

While Otamendi has only featured in 25 Premier League matches since the start of last season, he does have a higher tackle, duel and aerial duel success rate than Laporte and only conceded 16 fouls.

However, the former Valencia man showed clear weaknesses in the defeat to Wolves, recklessly lunging in on Raul Jimenez in the build-up to the opener, while it was his mistake at Carrow Road which led to Norwich City's third goal in a 3-2 win for the Canaries.

Of the players who have played at the back for City since the start of 2018-19, only Otamendi (2) has made errors which directly resulted in a goal.

KOMPANY'S IMPACT UNDERESTIMATED?

City reportedly moved for Harry Maguire in the off season, only to baulk at Leicester City's asking price, which was eventually paid by cross-city rivals Manchester United.

However, the decision not to replace inspirational former captain Kompany, who scored a stunning goal against Leicester as he led City to the title last term, seemed a risky one.

City did not lose a single game in all competitions last season in which Kompany started, with the Belgian having been named in 13 Premier League line ups.

Kompany played 1,223 minutes in the top flight last term, making no errors resulting in a shot at goal, while managing an impressive pass accuracy of 93.07% behind only Stones in terms of City's defenders.

The 33-year-old lost possession 93 times, though, perhaps due to a lack of pace, did concede 17 fouls – more than Otamendi or Stones despite playing fewer games.

He was dribbled past by an opponent on only one occasion and, from the 18 matches he started in all competitions last season, City claimed 17 wins, conceding just 12 goals.

SETTLE ON STONES UNTIL JANUARY

The simple answer to City's problems is likely to get Laporte back fit and firing as soon as possible, given they have an 82 per cent win percentage with the 25-year-old starting in the Premier League since the start of last season, compared to 75% without.

However, for now Guardiola must find a defensive pairing he can stick with until January. Fernandinho and Otamendi have featured in the last three league matches, but against Wolves their lack of pace was exposed.

Stones should soon return to action and, though the England international's form has been criticised, his statistics make for promising reading.

The former Everton man has a tackle success rate of 75%, higher than any of City's other centre-backs, and has conceded just six fouls since the start of 2018-19.

If Stones can stay fit, he should be City's first-choice centre-back until the new year, with Otamendi and Fernandinho vying for the other spot.

If Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov needs any consolation, it had happened 699 times before.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 700th goal of a phenomenal career as Portugal suffered a setback in Euro 2020 qualifying on Tuesday.

Ronaldo reached his latest milestone when he converted a second-half penalty in Kiev, awarded after Taras Stepanenko handled the ball inside the box.

A hero at Manchester United, Real Madrid and now Juventus, a fair few of Ronaldo's incredible haul have been stone-cold classics. Here, we look back at 10 of his best goals.

 

Manchester United v Portsmouth: January 30, 2008

Perhaps the finest free-kick Ronaldo struck in his career.

The Portuguese developed his reputation as a set-piece master at United and he lashed a phenomenal 25-yard effort past David James as part of a double to send Alex Ferguson's side to the top of the Premier League.

His knuckleball technique sent the ball swirling into the top-right corner for one of his defining Old Trafford moments.

 

Porto v Manchester United: April 15, 2009

He had absolutely no right to score this one.

Back in his homeland for a Champions League quarter-final against Porto, Ronaldo picked up the ball in the middle of the opposition half, got it out of his feet and sent a searing strike flying past Helton to seal a 1-0 win at the Estadio do Dragao and a 3-2 aggregate triumph.

 

Almeria v Real Madrid: April 15, 2010

Ronaldo has developed into more of a penalty-box poacher in recent seasons, but this effort against Almeria was a reminder of how devastating he could be when starting with the ball outside the area.

Rafael van der Vaart won back possession in the Almeria half and the ball was worked to Ronaldo, who accelerated past two challenges, left a third defender for dead with a stepover, and drilled home with his left foot. The visitors would go on to win 2-1.

 

Sevilla v Real Madrid: December 17, 2011

Sevilla have grown sick of the sight of Ronaldo – he has scored 25 times against them, after all – but this strike in a 6-2 thrashing is perhaps the best of them all.

Collecting Karim Benzema's pass 30 yards out, Ronaldo took advantage of the time and space given to him by the defence to blast a shot into the top-right corner, the swerve on the ball making it totally unstoppable. It was one of three he scored that day at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

 

Real Madrid v Valencia: May 4, 2014

It was not enough to keep Madrid's title chase alive but this was another goal that showcased Ronaldo's killer instinct and dexterity.

In second-half injury time, with Valencia 2-1 ahead, Angel Di Maria volleyed over a cross from the left and Ronaldo swivelled to score a backheel volley and snatch a point.

 

Real Madrid v Espanyol: January 31, 2016

Although his game had become more refined from those buccaneering early days, Ronaldo showed here he was not quite done when it came to solo runs and spectacular finishes.

With Madrid already 3-0 up in what would prove to be a 6-0 thrashing, James Rodriguez's pass was deflected into Ronaldo's path and he did the rest, showing brilliant footwork to skip beyond three challenges before rifling home from the edge of the area with his left foot.

 

Hungary v Portugal: June 22, 2016

Portugal thrice fell behind to Hungary in Lyon during Euro 2016, and Ronaldo brought them level on the second occasion with a display of fine skill.

The captain added a deft flick with his trailing leg to Joao Mario's right-wing cross to make it 2-2, and he cancelled out Balazs Dzsudzsak's second with a double of his own. It was enough to send Portugal into the knockout stages and from there they claimed a maiden international title.

 

Juventus v Real Madrid: April 3, 2018

Arguably the finest goal Ronaldo has produced.

Moving away from goal as Dani Carvajal dug a cross towards the penalty spot from the right, the Portuguese lept into the air and connected with a marvellous overhead kick. His leg was at a right angle to his body as he struck with the sweetest of volleys that flew past an idle Gianluigi Buffon.

 

Portugal v Spain: June 15, 2018

Having twice given his side the lead, Ronaldo found Portugal 3-2 down to their Iberian neighbours in their thrilling opener at the 2018 World Cup.

The was a sense of inevitability when he stood over an 88th minute free-kick, but the execution was sheer perfection – power and dip combined to leave David de Gea with no chance.

 

Juventus v Manchester United: November 8, 2018

Another decorated Portuguese was celebrating at full-time when Jose Mourinho watched his Manchester United team complete a 2-1 comeback win.

But Ronaldo struck first with a sumptuous and technically brilliant strike, watching Leonardo Bonucci's raking ball over his shoulder to volley home.  

It was only a matter of time before Mercedes broke Ferrari's record by sealing a sixth consecutive Formula One constructors' titles.

The Silver Arrows were celebrating yet again after achieving that feat at the Japanese Grand Prix, where Valtteri Bottas took the chequered flag ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton finished third.

Mercedes have held the title since dethroning Red Bull in 2014, dominating the sport with Hamilton winning four titles during that time and standing on the brink of another this season.

We look back on the level of dominance the Brackley-based team have enjoyed.

 

2014 - A sign of things to come

Red Bull had taken the title for four years in a row before Mercedes ended that sequence in 2014.

Hamilton claimed his second world title - and his first for the team - ahead of colleague Nico Rosberg and the Silver Arrows duo amassed 701 points to win by a margin of 296.

They won 16 races and secured 31 podium finishes in a dominant season which was the sign of things to come.

 

2015 - More of the same with a marginal gain

Mercedes bettered their tally for the season by two points as Hamilton retained his title, Rosberg once again runner-up.

They matched the number of victories secured in 2014, as well as the incredible total of 18 poles for the campaign.

There was an additional podium finish for the back-to-back constructors' champions by 275 points ahead of Ferrari as rivals were left trailing in their wake.

 

2016 - Rosberg reigns as Mercedes move to another level

The Silver arrows took their dominance to another level in 2016, winning 19 of 21 races. 

While Mercedes were never in danger of losing their constructors' title, finishing 297 points better off than Red Bull, Hamilton and Rosberg fought it out in an enthralling battle for the drivers' crown.

It was Rosberg who came out on top on this occasion by just five points and the German retired after a season that saw Mercedes fail to secure pole only once and amass 33 podiums.

 

2017 - New line-up, no let-up

A new driver line-up did not stop Mercedes from adding another constructors' title to their haul two years ago.

Normal service was resumed as Hamilton regained the title, denying Vettel by 46 points with Bottas third in the standings after taking Rosberg's seat.

There were 12 wins, 15 poles and 26 podium finishes for Mercedes in 2017 as Ferrari were more competitive, although the Scuderia were still as many as 146 points adrift of the constructors' champions.

 

2018 - Ferrari close the gap, but Mercedes clean up again

A promising start for Vettel and Ferrari last season proved to be a false down as Hamilton claimed his fifth world title.

Ferrari finished with 84 points fewer than Mercedes as Hamilton and Bottas took the chequered flag 11 times between them.

Mercedes were not quite as prolific in qualifying, taking pole 13 times as their points tally was down at 655 from 668 12 months earlier.

 

2019 - Six of the best

With four races remaining Mercedes already have one title in the bag, with Hamilton closing in on another.

A win for Bottas in Suzuka and Hamilton's third place has the champions on 612 to Ferrari's 433.

Mercedes have only failed to win five of 17 races, which makes for grim reading for their rivals.

Liverpool's trip to Old Trafford on Sunday highlights the growing gap between the Premier League leaders and rivals Manchester United.

Alex Ferguson famously declared he would knock the Reds "off their perch", a goal he achieved in some style by leading United to a lengthy period of domestic dominance, but there is no doubt who is on top now.

Liverpool are yet to drop a point this season with their winning run in the Premier League standing at 17 games, building an eight-point cushion over defending champions Manchester City.

United, meanwhile, sit two points above the relegation zone in 12th after losing 1-0 away to Newcastle United last time out, a result that increased the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Sunday's Manchester meeting offers Liverpool a chance to secure more bragging rights and their players dominate the Omnisport combined XI ahead of the game.


Goalkeeper: ALISSON

Injury has kept Alisson on the sidelines for most of the season so far, but he could return from a calf problem at Old Trafford. David de Gea has looked vulnerable at times this season and he probably should have saved Patrick van Aanholt's late winner for Crystal Palace in August. Alisson was named The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper in September and it is hard to argue with that assessment given the transformative impact his arrival from Roma has had on the Reds.


Right-back: TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has made a promising start to life at United but, while he is extremely strong in the tackle, Trent Alexander-Arnold offers much more in attack. The Liverpool right-back created the decisive goal in last season's Champions League comeback for the ages against Barcelona, his quick corner enabling Divock Origi to strike the final blow. Few players, let alone those just 21 years old, would have seen the opportunity or had the quality to pull it off.


Centre-back: JOEL MATIP

There is perhaps a case to be made for Harry Maguire, one of the few bright spots in United's campaign, but Joel Matip has taken his game to a new level this season. He is a key part of the tightest defence in the league this season, with Liverpool having only conceded six goals. And when Matip sat out the Champions League group game against Salzburg, Alisson's deputy Adrian was beaten three times.


Centre-back: VIRGIL VAN DIJK

There can be no arguments here, with Virgil van Dijk one of the first names on a combined XI team sheet. The Netherlands international cost a world-record fee for a defender when he eventually made the move from Southampton, but that £75million now looks like money well spent. Van Dijk has led Liverpool's defence to the Champions League title and a long-awaited Premier League crown could well follow this season.


Left-back: ANDY ROBERTSON

Similarly, Andy Robertson is a no-brainer at left-back despite Luke Shaw's improvement over the past year or so. The Scotland captain is arguably the finest player in Europe for his position now and was a superb bargain buy at just £8m from Hull City in 2017. His clash with Lionel Messi in the early stages of the Champions League semi-final at Anfield set the tone for the Reds' comeback.


Central midfield: FABINHO

It took time for Fabinho to settle after joining from Monaco, but the former right-back is now a key cog in Liverpool's relentless winning machine. It is impossible to leave him out of the combined XI given United's offerings as midfield protectors include mediocre options such as Fred and Scott McTominay.


Central midfield: PAUL POGBA

There is a spot for Paul Pogba, though, despite the World Cup winner remaining something of an enigma. Pogba was United's top scorer in the Premier League last season, also providing a team-high nine assists. He may not always hit top form, but at his best the ex-Juventus star remains an elite performer. Pogba could add an extra gear and more quality to Liverpool's occasionally one-paced midfield.


Central midfield: JORDAN HENDERSON

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson completes the midfield, providing experience and leadership. The England international is still underrated by some, but Henderson showed his importance to the Reds at the end of last season when he was utilised in a more advanced role by Jurgen Klopp. He displayed a fresh dimension to his game with creativity and incision in the final third.


Right wing: MOHAMED SALAH

Yet to hit top form this season, Mohamed Salah is another mandatory pick for Liverpool after his stunning goalscoring exploits since joining from Roma. The Egypt star has hit 77 goals in 116 appearances for the Reds, making Chelsea's decision to allow him to leave Stamford Bridge in 2016 look rather foolish. Salah's selfish streak may sometimes appear to annoy team-mates, but his individual brilliance can carry Liverpool through tight games.


Striker: ROBERTO FIRMINO

Leading the line is Roberto Firmino, with the Brazil forward's incredible energy, work rate and ability to operate between the lines giving Liverpool a platform to thrive. With Marcus Rashford having only scored once since the opening weekend it is impossible to argue for the United striker here, with the England international's confidence having looked very low of late.


Left wing: SADIO MANE

With eight goals in all competitions this term, Sadio Mane is Liverpool's top scorer in 2019-20 and he is another Red it is impossible to leave out of a combined XI. Senegal star Mane is one of the many ex-Southampton players to have flourished at Anfield and though Anthony Martial has sporadically impressed for United, he is not quite in the same league.


Substitutes

On the bench there is more room for United talent as De Gea and Maguire would be included. James Milner's versatility makes him a must, while the midfield drive offered by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Georginio Wijnaldum would see them be useful subs. If fit, Martial would join Champions League final hero Origi as forward options.

The Rugby World Cup is headed for the knockout rounds after a dramatic pool stage in which Scotland were the biggest casualties.

Eight teams remain from 20, with hosts Japan – who have four wins from four – progressing as winners of Pool A after defeating Gregor Townsend's men on Sunday.

Japan also stunned Ireland in the same group, but Joe Schmidt's side progressed into the quarters in second.

In Pool B, two-time defending champions New Zealand finished top, with an impressive South Africa side behind them. Italy were frustrated as the impact of Typhoon Hagibis ended their slim chances of progression.

Meanwhile, England topped Pool C with France in second place, with Wales and Australia completing the last-eight line-up.

Using Opta data, we look back at an enthralling tournament so far.

Pool A – Japan, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Russia

1 – Japan are into the knockout stage of a World Cup for the first time in their history, becoming the first non-tier one side to do so since Fiji in 2007.

5 – Kirill Golosnitskiy's scored in the fifth minute of the opening match as Russia took the lead against Japan. It is the quickest ever try in a World Cup opener.

2 – Scotland have failed to make it out of the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup for just the second time, after also doing so in 2011.

90 – Rob Kearney crossed for a try after just 90 seconds against Russia, Ireland's fastest World Cup try and the fastest of the tournament so far.

48 – Japan's Yu Tamura has scored 48 points so far, more than any other player. All of his points have come with the boot – 10 penalties and nine conversions.

Pool B – New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia, Canada

4 – Canada had Josh Larsen sent off versus South Africa and have had four players dismissed in the history of the World Cup, more than any other side. There have been seven dismissals so far this tournament – four was the previous highest total in both 1995 and 1999.

17 – New Zealand have won their last 17 World Cup matches, the longest run by any side in the tournament's history.

21 – Against Canada, South Africa's Cobus Reinach scored the earliest hat-trick in a World Cup match, crossing for his third try in the 21st minute.

142 – After featuring against South Africa, Italy captain Sergio Parisse surpassed Brian O'Driscoll (141) to become the outright second-most capped player in Test rugby history behind Richie McCaw, who played 148 times.

Pool C – England, France, Argentina, Tonga, USA

20 – Against Argentina, Romain Ntamack, aged 20 years and 143 days, became the youngest player to feature for France in a World Cup match.

88 – Agustin Creevy won his 88th cap for Argentina when he played against England, overtaking Felipe Contepomi as Los Puma's most capped player.

6 – George Ford has been involved in six tries for England, more than any other player, scoring two and providing a tournament-high four assists.

Pool D – Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Uruguay

62 – Fiji's Semi Radradra topped the charts for carries (62), metres (400) and defenders beaten (29) in the pool stage.

94 – James Slipper scored his first try for Australia in his 94th Test when the Wallabies faced Uruguay. No player from any nation has played more matches before scoring their first try.

130 – By playing in Wales' win over Australia, Alun Wyn Jones overtook Gethin Jenkins (129) as the most capped Welshman, going on to make his 131st appearance against Fiji.

35 – At the age of 35 years and 186 days, Adam Ashley-Cooper is the oldest Australia player to make a World Cup appearance. He subsequently became their oldest try scorer in World Cup history, and their oldest in any match since 1966.

100 – Warren Gatland's side have won 100 per cent of their matches so far. It is the first time Wales have won all of their pool games since 1987.

Prior to the 2019 NFL season, Cam Newton and Jameis Winston appeared in contrasting situations with their respective teams. 

The unquestionable starter in Carolina, Newton and the Panthers had lofty expectations. In Tampa Bay, meanwhile, the Buccaneers had placed Winston on notice. By taking up his fifth-year option rather than signing him to a long-term deal, the message was clear - prove you deserve to get paid. 

Both quarterbacks were selected with the first overall pick in their respective drafts by teams hoping they would be able to fulfil their obvious potential and blossom after college careers that included winning the Heisman Trophy. 

But, as William Shakespeare once wrote, the course of true love never did run smooth.

Heading into a Week 6 meeting between the teams in London, the Bucs and Winston were still trying to work things out in their off-again, on-again relationship. 

As for Newton, he had not even made the plane trip over, his seemingly rock-solid alliance with the Panthers suddenly becoming complicated by a foot injury. Carolina had appeared tied to the 30-year-old for the long run, having fallen head over heels from their early days together. If there were any doubters after his selection in 2011, they were silenced when he set record for passing yards for a rookie on his NFL debut – then surpassed that number a week later.

Yet familiarity breeds contempt and, with the face of the franchise in the background, the Panthers have had their heads turned by the new guy, Kyle Allen.

Newton was given a new five-year deal in June 2015, just before an MVP season that climaxed with a trip to Super Bowl 50. He threw a career-high 35 touchdowns and ran for 10 more as he led his team to a 15-1 record, though they came up short against the Denver Broncos.

Four years after Newton entered the league, the Bucs selected Winston hoping he would end their merry-go-round at a key position.  

Their pact did not quite have the same initial spark from the outset, the former Florida State star throwing 22 touchdowns and 15 interceptions as a rookie – numbers that hinted at obvious promise as a passer, yet also highlighted a turnover issue that has been his Achilles heal in the pros.

He provided a microcosm of his career at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, starting both halves by tossing an interception, while there was a crucial fumble to kill an opportunity to add further points before the end of the second quarter when he held onto the ball for too long. There were also occasional flashes of his quality, including a deep bomb to Mike Evans that the receiver just failed to reel in.

The unpredictable Winston is still likely to get paid when he signs his next deal - it just may not be forthcoming from his current employers.

If a divorce between the Bucs and Winston happens, they can cite irreconcilable differences. He is by no means the only issue for this Tampa Bay team, but it may well be best for all parties to go in different directions and start afresh. 

"I'm not looking to the future. I'm not looking to the past," Winston said after committing six turnovers in a 37-26 defeat, before adding: "Today was not a good day, but there will be better days."

These bad days happen too often, though. Bruce Arians - Winston's third head coach in the NFL - told the media he never thought of benching his starter despite his struggles against Carolina, though admitted the 25-year-old "has a habit of trying to be Superman".

When the final whistle was blown on an emotional night in Yokohama, it was evident from the joy on the players' faces that magnificent Japan's history-making triumph over Scotland was about more than rugby.

Typhoon Hagibis left a trail of death and mass destruction with ferocious winds and record-breaking rainfall after hitting landfall south of Tokyo on Saturday.

There was uncertainty over whether the decisive Pool A showdown between the host nation and Scotland would go ahead on Sunday, but the green light was given following a safety inspection on the morning of the game at Yokohama International Stadium.

What followed was 80 minutes of thrilling action as Japan reached the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals for the first time.

Scottish Rugby had talked of taking legal action if the blockbuster contest was cancelled, given they needed a victory to have any chance of being consigned to an early exit.

Instead they may be launching an internal inquest after Gregor Townsend's side went down 28-21 in a pulsating battle.

The stadium was not damaged by the biggest typhoon to hit the Asian nation for decades and a raucous sold-out crowd cheered their team to glorious new ground.

Jamie Joseph's side played with incredible intensity from start to finish, defended stoically and showed their class with ball in hand to set up a meeting with South Africa in Tokyo next Sunday.

The Brave Blossoms waded through knee-high waters to train on the eve of a match that they were not sure would go ahead and although Scotland fought back in the second half, they could not prevent the hosts from advancing.

Japan were relentless after Finn Russell's early try, Kotaro Matsushima whipping their exuberant supporters into frenzy with his fifth try of the tournament.

Keita Inagaki raised the decibels even higher by putting them in front and Scotland looked to be out on their feet after the lethal Kenki Fukuoka - scorer of the only try against Ireland - touched down either side of half-time.

Scotland were struggling to cope with their opponents' expansive style of play; the power, speed and skill of Japan leaving their hopes of qualifying hanging by a thread.

Yet two tries in the space of five minutes from WP Nel and Zander Ferguson threatened to spoil the party, Russell pulling the strings as the tension mounted.

The hosts laid it all on the line as Scotland threw everything at them in an attempt to tear up the script and break Japan hearts.

Joseph's men were not to be denied, though, holding on to make it four wins out of four and secure top spot on a weekend that will be remembered for such contrasting reasons.

Stefano Pioli has become the latest head coach to lead both Inter and city rivals AC Milan. 

Former Inter boss Pioli joins an exclusive club after replacing Marco Giampaolo at Milan, who finally lost faith just seven Serie A games into his tenure.

Pioli is no stranger to San Siro, having spent a season on the blue side of Milan in 2016-17.

Inter had won 12 of their first 16 Serie A matches under Pioli before a run of five losses and two draws prior to his sacking in May two years ago.

As Pioli prepares to take the reins amid backlash from Milan fans and the hashtag "#PioliOut", we look at the coaches to have worked on both sides of the divide in a fierce rivalry dating back to 1909.

 

JOZSEF VIOLA

Viola was the first man to coach both Inter and Milan. Inter, then known as Societa Sportiva Ambrosiana, appointed the 32-year-old Hungarian for the 1928-29 season.

After three years at Atalanta, Viola made a switch to Milan for a brief stint in 1933-34. Known for his work as a player and a coach with Juventus, the one-cap Hungary international returned to the Rossoneri from 1939 to 1940.

GIUSEPPE BIGOGNO

A stalwart at Fiorentina, Bigogno left Florence for the red side of Milan in 1946. The Italian led Milan to a second-placed finish in 1947-48 prior to leaving a year later.

Bigogno's coaching career took him to Torino, Lazio and Udinese before ending up at Inter, where he only lasted half a season in 1958.

LUIGI RADICE

A member of Italy's 1962 World Cup squad, former Milan full-back Radice took charge of his boyhood club in 1981 after stints with Monza, Treviso, Cesena, Fiorentina, Cagliari, Torino and Bologna. Radice, who survived a car accident in 1979 which killed two men before passing away in 2018, was replaced by Italo Galbiati halfway through the season as Milan were eventually relegated.

Radice then joined Inter in 1983 - the Nerazzurri finished fourth in his sole season.

ILARIO CASTAGNER

A rare exception, Castagner went straight from Milan to Inter. Castagner guided Milan to promotion at the end of the 1982-83 season, winning the Serie B title. However, he was sacked in March 1984.

Castagner quickly found his feet, crossing the divide to Inter, where he oversaw a third-placed finish in Serie A and runs to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup and Coppa Italia. He was surprisingly replaced by Mario Corso in November 1985.

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI

Having represented Milan as a player between 1959 and 71 - winning the Scudetto and European Cup twice, among other honours - Trapattoni began coaching the club at youth level. Considered the most successful club coach in Serie A history, he was named caretaker for a brief spell in 1974, later serving as first team coach.

After six Serie A titles with Juventus, Trapattoni controversially returned to San Siro but as Inter boss from 1986 to 1991. During his time at Inter, he won the Scudetto (1988-89), Supercoppa Italiana (1989) and UEFA Cup (1990-91).

ALBERTO ZACCHERONI

Milan went from Fabio Capello to Zaccheroni in 1998. The new man made an immediate impact, winning Serie A by one point ahead of Lazio in his first season at the helm. Almost two campaigns followed before Zaccheroni was sacked in March 2001.

Inter turned to him in the middle of the 2003-04 season following Hector Cuper's exit. Despite guiding Inter to fourth place and securing Champions League qualification, Zaccheroni's tenure was brief as president Massimo Moratti replaced him with Roberto Mancini.

LEONARDO

Now sporting director of Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, Leonardo was the last coach to represent both Milan and Inter.

A member of the Milan squad that won the 1998-99 Scudetto, the Brazilian was tasked with following in the footsteps of successful coach Carlo Ancelotti, who left for Chelsea in 2009, despite lacking the required coaching badges. Stepping up from his role as technical director, Leonardo's start to life as coach was difficult following a shock 4-0 loss to Inter. Results showed signs of improvement but Leonardo eventually departed by mutual agreement at season's end.

In December 2010, Leonardo replaced Rafael Benitez at Inter on an 18-month contract. He set a Serie A record by collecting 33 points in 13 games and oversaw a memorable Champions League win over Bayern Munich. However, Leonardo - who ended his spell with Coppa Italia glory - eventually resigned in June after the club's failed title bid.

Marco Giampaolo has become the latest AC Milan head coach to see his time at San Siro cut unceremoniously short.

Appointed in June on an initial two-year contract, the 52-year-old oversaw just seven Serie A matches before becoming the seventh Rossoneri boss to be sacked since Massimiliano Allegri left in January 2014.

Four defeats and only six goals scored in those seven league games underlines the difficult start to the season Milan have made, even if they did battle to a decent win over Genoa on Saturday.

Still, sacking a coach so soon in a season is remarkably impatient and short-sighted, surely? Well, Opta data paints something of a different picture...


1 - This is the first team a Milan head coach has been sacked after the first seven matchdays of a Serie A season.

5 - There are actually only five coaches, including Giampaolo, who did not reach 10 games in all competitions in charge. The others are Arrigo Morselli (nine games, September to November 1953); Cristian Brocchi (seven games, April to May 2016); Bruno Arcari (six games, May to June 1956); and Paolo Barison (five games, June 1976).

4 - Giampaolo is the first Milan boss to lose four of his first six Serie A games since Italo Galbiati back in 1982. Giampaolo lost to Udinese, Inter, Torino and Fiorentina. In fact, the last Milan coach to lose three games in a row in the league was Vincenzo Montella in October 2017.

100 - Giampaolo's record in Serie A is an average of 1.17 points per game from 315 matches in total. Of the current coaches in Serie A to have taken charge of 100 or more matches, only Cagliari's Rolando Maran has a lower average (1.15 from 246 games). The next lowest is Sinisa Mihajlovic, another former Milan boss, who averages 1.4 points per game from 269 in total.

- Giampaolo is the second coach to be sacked in Serie A after the first seven matchdays - Giuseppe Iachini with Udinese was the first in 2016-17. The other? Giampaolo's successor at Sampdoria, Eusebio Di Francesco, also lasted just seven games this season before being dismissed on Monday.

First Alec Stewart was seen as the leading candidate. Then Gary Kirsten became the front-runner for the job. In the end, though, Chris Silverwood came up on the rails to become England's new head coach.

The 44-year-old nicknamed 'Spoons' may not be a top-drawer name in comparison to others linked with the high-profile vacancy, but he has undoubtedly earned his opportunity.

Promoted from his role as bowling coach under previous coach Trevor Bayliss, Silverwood made clear his focus in the statement confirming his appointment: "I aim to continue the great work that has been done over the past five years and build on our future, especially in the Test arena."

So, who is the man now in charge of the England team? We take a look at his career path to the job, as well as highlighting some of the key issues he faces at the start of his reign.

 

Playing days and coaching success

Born in Pontefract, Yorkshireman Silverwood spent the majority of his playing career at his home county before finishing up at Middlesex. A lively pace bowler, he played six Tests and seven one-day games for England but never truly established himself at international level.

His reputation as a coach was forged at domestic level with Essex, first working with the county's bowlers before taking over in charge of the first team in 2016.

He immediately led them to promotion from Division Two and then, the following year, they were crowned county champions for the first time in 25 years.

Their success was spearheaded by a Kolpak recruit in Simon Harmer, yet the team also contained plenty of homegrown talent.  He helped seamer Jamie Porter rise to become one of the most consistent wicket-takers in first-class cricket, while batsman Tom Westley also earned international recognition during his watch.

Crucially for Essex, the foundations were laid for future success. This year, under the guidance of Silverwood's former assistant Anthony McGrath, a familiar-looking squad has won both the Vitality Blast and the County Championship again. 

"In his time with Essex, his outstanding leadership and interpersonal skills were a major factor in taking our cricket to the next level," John Faragher, Essex chairman, told the county's official website.

 

Moving on up

Silverwood's work with Essex unsurprisingly led to a job with England, as he was appointed bowling coach in 2017.

Working as part of Bayliss' staff, he was involved in the successful Cricket World Cup campaign on home soil earlier this year, with the tournament hosts aided by the emergence of Jofra Archer.

However, Silverwood has remained very much in the background, rarely talking to the media. Still, his work – and his words – were enough to convince the powers that be when it came to the main job.

"Chris demonstrated in his interview a clear understanding and strategy of how both the red and white ball teams need to evolve. He has some detailed thoughts on what it will take to win the Ashes in Australia and win major ICC white-ball tournaments," Ashley Giles, managing director of the England team, said in a statement.

"Over the past couple of years, he has been an integral member of developing the teams’ culture and emerging a cohesive relationship across the team's management group."

Giles' quotes contained two key words - "Ashes" and "culture".

England have undoubtedly prioritised white-ball cricket in recent years – and with great success, too – but a failure to beat Australia on home soil in Bayliss' final Test series in charge has shifted the longer format back into focus.

When it comes to culture, England's hierarchy have gone with a homegrown option. Australian Bayliss admitted he did not pay too much attention to county cricket – that will not be the case with Silverwood, who has a wealth of experience as both a player and a coach.

Yet Silverwood has also seen what exactly is required to prosper in the international game. To that extent, he also has an advantage in knowing how both Joe Root - who will work alongside his fellow Yorkshireman with the Test team - and white-ball specialist Eoin Morgan tick, having been part of the inner sanctum for a couple of years.

 

Planning for the future

A busy schedule, that’s what. International cricket is a non-stop treadmill, though the grind of games all-year round is nothing new to Silverwood.

While there is a Twenty20 World Cup coming up next year, England are a well-oiled machine in white-ball cricket. There may be players who emerge in the coming months to force their way in - just as Archer did once he was available - but the bulk of the group is already known, and Morgan is an experienced leader with clear plans on how his team should play.

So, as Silverwood said himself, Test cricket is to be the main focus.  In the near future, there are tours to New Zealand and South Africa coming up, but the long-term aim is winning the Ashes Down Under in 2021-22.

Archer has added some much-needed pace to go alongside England's leading two wicket-takers in James Anderson (fitness permitting) and Stuart Broad. On their last visit to Australia, the attack was distinctly lacking in terms of speed, such a crucial factor in conditions where swing is less of a factor.

The batting, though, requires serious work - less of a cosmetic job and more a case of knocking it down and starting again.

Silverwood needs to begin the rebuild at the top, with England desperately needing to establish a regular top three. Root looks set to return to four, while the talk from national selector Ed Smith after Jonny Bairstow was dropped for the New Zealand series suggests he should concentrate just on batting, rather than continuing behind the stumps.

Ben Stokes is a certainty in the middle order, but Silverwood has to be careful with overburdening the all-rounder.

As with others who play all formats, workload management will be key for Stokes. Being England coach is often about spinning plates, but the complexities of the job are nothing new for Silverwood, the quiet man who now gets the chance to set the tone after stepping out from the background.

Inter's 100 per cent start to the Serie A season came to a crashing halt on Sunday as champions Juventus returned to the top of the table with a significant win at San Siro.

Gonzalo Higuain's late strike sealed a 2-1 win for Maurizio Sarri's side as they inflicted a first domestic defeat on Antonio Conte since he joined the Nerazzurri ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

There is a two-week break now for international action before the sides return to domestic duties on the weekend of October 19/20.

Here, Omnisport predicts how both clubs could fare in their first five fixtures upon the resumption of Serie A and how the table might look come mid-November.

 

FAVOURABLE RUN FOR CONTE'S MEN

Predictions for next five fixtures:

- Sassuolo 0-3 Inter

- Inter 2-1 Parma

- Brescia 0-2 Inter

- Bologna 1-3 Inter

- Inter 3-0 Hellas Verona

Inter will be targeting a maximum points return from their five games and there is little reason they cannot achieve that, given the mediocrity of their opponents. They do not face a team that is currently positioned higher than 10th, which should have Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez licking their lips.

Given three of the games are away from home, Conte might remain cautious but there is a great chance to crank up the pressure on Juve.

TRICKY DOUBLE-HEADER AWAITS CHAMPIONS

Juventus 3-1 Bologna

Lecce 0-2 Juventus

Juventus 3-0 Genoa

Torino 1-1 Juventus

Juventus 2-2 AC Milan

Like Inter, Juventus take on a string of sides who have started the season in less than stellar fashion. They should have few problems in their first three games, given two of those sides currently languish in the relegation zone, but it is the games against Torino and AC Milan that could prove tricky.

With speculation mounting that Marco Giampaolo could lose his job at Milan, the Rossoneri might well be under new leadership by the time that fixture rolls around, while Torino will be fired up to get one over on their city rivals. Those factors could be enough to see Sarri's side drop points and hand the title advantage to Inter. 

If our predictions are correct, Inter will hold a three-point lead over Juve by the middle of November. Clearly, the race for the title will be far from over but it might just allow Conte and his men to dream about ending the Bianconeri's eight-year stranglehold on the scudetto.

There was supposed to be a deafening rendition of 'Return of the Mack' in London on Sunday, but Josh Jacobs and the Oakland Raiders' offensive line found the mute button.

All the build-up to the first NFL game at Tottenham between Oakland and the Chicago Bears centred around star pass rusher Khalil Mack - who was shipped to the Windy City just over a year ago - and his reunion with the franchise that let him go rather than paying him the $141million he received across six years from his current team.

Great pass rushers are, according to Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, "hard to find" and yet he had Mack, the man who came into this contest as analytics website PFF's top-ranked edge rusher in 2019. Since he was acquired, the Chicago defense had led the league in takeaways and sacks and conceded the fewest points.

Gruden had done his best to ignore 'Return of the Mack' all week, telling reporters he had no desire to discuss it, but his game-planning showed it was lodged firmly in his head, like that annoying song on the radio that lingers throughout the day.

Mack was double-teamed constantly, running plays were directed away from him and quarterback Derek Carr got the ball out quickly or rolled to the opposite side of the field to negate his threat.

By half-time, the Raiders were 17-0 up and threatening a beatdown having accumulated 208 yards of offense on a much-vaunted defense.

No one could hear 'Return of the Mack'. Instead it was running back Jacobs, the man selected with one of the picks Oakland acquired in the Mack trade, who was making all the noise having scored the first touchdown.

Then came the key change from Oakland's second offensive play of the second half. Carr's toss to Jacobs failed to find its intended target and a mad scramble for the ball ensued. Who came up with it? Khalil Mack. You knew that he'd be back.

The man who had been compared to NBA superstar LeBron James by team-mate Prince Amukamara for his ability to raise the game of those around him had provided a spark.

Suddenly the Bears were alive - Allen Robinson caught two touchdown passes and made another obscene catch, Tarik Cohen took a punt return 71 yards and Sherrick McManis forced a turnover by punching the ball out on the goalline. With less than eight minutes to go, Chicago were 21-17 ahead.

However, the most important series of the night was still to come. A 13-play, 97-yard drive dominated by who else but Jacobs, who reached out to score what proved to be the winning score in a 24-21 success.

Mack finished with three tackles, one quarterback hit, one fumble recovery and no sacks. Jacobs, meanwhile, had 26 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns.

It was music to the ears of Gruden.

The serial winner looking to topple the dynasty he established versus the idealist who must show he can string together results as he does cigarettes. No two men could ever be bigger than Inter versus Juventus, but Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri and their sharply contrasting ideologies loomed large over the latest instalment of this historic clash.

Inter's 100 per cent start in Serie A and Juve's comparatively tentative first steps under Sarri – alongside the respective esteem in which each coach was held while at Chelsea – meant the script felt somewhat set as the teams emerged at an expectant San Siro.

Juventus' flying start suggested otherwise, as they followed Sarri's way line by line and to the syllable.

Inter answered in kind – Diego Godin splattering his old Madrid derby foe Cristiano Ronaldo on the turf in a case of Sarrismo meeting machismo – but insufficiently, as Miralem Pjanic's immaculate pass carved enough space for Paulo Dybala to lash a shot through Samir Handanovic's hands.

Ronaldo was alternately playing to the gallery and the gameplan, and the deft footwork that ended with him planting an effort against the crossbar cut an uncomfortable contrast with the hosts' most convincing early foray, when Romelu Lukaku ploughed towards Leonardo Bonucci in a straight line and was dispossessed.

Wojciech Szczesny passing a ball out for a throw-in near his own byline in the 13th minute showed a Bianconeri still coming to terms with Sarri's preferred means of building play. Alex Sandro was booked for trying to delay the restart and Inter seized on momentary uncertainty to apply judicious pressure.

It was typical of a Conte team, clinically sensing their moment. His wing-backs pushed on, Matthijs de Ligt headed a Danilo D'Ambrosio delivery away under pressure, but erred the next time he was called upon by Nicolo Barella at the near post.

Lautaro Martinez made himself enough of a nuisance for De Ligt to handball. Up stepped the Argentina striker to make it 1-1. By the time he got the better of Bonucci to test Szczesny in the 28th minute, Inter were in the ascendancy.

Juve needed to settle back into their work, with some lovely touches from Pjanic, Sami Khedira and Ronaldo played out before an uncompromising and unmoving back five.

Makeshift full-back Juan Cuadrado started their next attack with an audacious pass around Martinez near his own goal-line. Conte's men stood off and Sarri's side were rewarded for trusting their method.

The Bianconeri were back on the front foot and another delicious Pjanic pass met a Dybala lay-off. Ronaldo finished and tore off inimitably, only for VAR to fractionally and cruelly rule against his strike partner.

A touchline skirmish at the interval – "brawl" would be overstating the case – seemed to be instigated by Inter, although De Ligt's crunching challenge on Martinez early in the second half showed Juve were not here to be pushed around while they looked pretty.

Following Pjanic's prompting it was Khedria's turn, in a midfield alliance that sometimes purred like the Jorginho and Allan pairing under Sarri at Napoli, to unpick Inter. Dybala was onside this time, but Handanovic was out sharply.

For all that, the visitors had not managed to shake the Nerazzurri and a live Conte team is a dangerous one. Lukaku was enduring one of his clumsier outings but drove at De Ligt to force an inch-perfect challenge in the area before tumbling under Bonucci's attentions and appealing in vain for a penalty.

De Ligt's mixed showing continued when he turned his back on a drive from substitute Matias Vecino, deflecting it against the post with Szczesny rooted.

Inter were again rumbling their way on top, but Sarri showed there was room for pragmatism within the high-spec masterplan. On came Emre Can for Dybala to add some midfield ballast before his other two replacements – Rodrigo Bentancur and Gonzalo Higuain – combined to send Juventus back to the top of the table.

Like Sarri, Higuain was a hero in Naples and derided at Stamford Bridge. There could be no more fitting matchwinner on a night Sarri faced down the doubters and gave the most compelling demonstration yet that his widescreen vision can be a winning one.

Page 1 of 30
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.