Ellie Carpenter’s Lyon has four-year unbeaten domestic run ended by PSG


For the first time in almost four years, Lyon has tasted defeat in the French women’s first division, ending an 80-game unbeaten run.

Marie-Antoinette Katoto’s strike in the 11th minute earned Paris Saint-Germain a 1-0 home win over the reigning champions on Friday (local time) in Paris.

Matildas star Ellie Carpenter, who signed for the team earlier this year, started the game at right back for Lyon, but could not get back in time to stop Katoto’s strike from trickling in across the face of goal.

It was the reigning European champions first loss in the French first division since December 12, 2016 and just its third in the past 10 years.

The result put PSG on top of the standings with 25 points from nine games, one point ahead of Lyon.

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Lyon had not been beaten in any competitive match since the French Cup final in May 2018, when PSG were also the opponents.

Over the past few years, Lyon has developed a reputation as the strongest women’s team in the world.

The women’s team is treated on a par with the men’s team, sharing a training ground and other facilities — a rarity in the women’s game.

Lyon has won the past 14 Division 1 Féminine titles in a row and the past five women’s Champions League titles in a stunning era of success.

Lyon have won five-straight Champions League titles.(Pool via AP: Villar Lopez)

However, that is not the longest run of consecutive titles in the women’s game in Europe.

SFK 2000 Sarajevo holds the current record and is currently on an 18-year run of consecutive Bosnia and Herzegovina championships.

The longest unbeaten run of matches in women’s football is 101 games, by US college team North Carolina between 1990 and 1994.

Reuters/ABC



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Aston Villa unbeaten after Ross Barkley sinks Leicester City


Villa, who were on the back foot in the opening half, came forward with more purpose after the beak and went close in the 51st minute when central defender Ezri Konsa headed inches wide.

When the match appeared to be heading for a goalless stalemate, Barkley made sure Villa started the season with four league wins for the first time since 1930 after they narrowly avoided relegation from the top flight last season.

Ross Barkley celebrates scoring Aston Villa’s injury-time Premier League winner over Leicester City on Sunday.Credit:AP

Hammers spoil Bale’s welcome home party

Earlier, West Ham staged an astonishing comeback against Tottenham, scoring three goals in the final 10 minutes to draw 3-3.

In the day’s other games, Brighton scored a deflected 90th-minute equaliser to draw 1-1 at Crystal Palace and Sheffield United and Fulham shared the spoils, also one apiece.

Spurs were on track for an easy win after Son Heung-Min scored once and Harry Kane twice within the first 16 minutes, with the highlight expected to be Gareth Bale’s return to Tottenham after seven years in Madrid. West Ham’s determination and poor play by Spurs changed all that.

West Ham celebrate Manuel Lanzini's injury-time equaliser.

West Ham celebrate Manuel Lanzini’s injury-time equaliser. Credit:Getty Images

Welshman Bale, on loan from Real Madrid, came off the bench in the 71st minute, but instead of a glorious introduction, West Ham ripped up the script with a stupendous fight back.

Fabian Balbuena’s 82nd minute header and Davinson Sanchez’s own goal gave West Ham hope. Bale almost scored his side’s fourth, but West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini struck a wonder-goal deep in stoppage time to earn his side an unlikely point.

Draw for Brighton and Crystal Palace

At Selhurst Park, Argentine substitute Alexis Mac Allister’s shot from the edge of the area ricocheted off Palace defender Gary Cahill and into the corner of the net as Brighton’s pressure finally got its reward.

Brighton centreback Lewis Dunk was handed a straight red card in the third minute of stoppage time for a crude, two-footed lunge on Cahill in a penalty area melee, but Palace had no time to take advantage of its numerical advantage.

Indeed, the home side ended the game having had just one shot – and that was the contentiously awarded penalty converted by Wilfried Zaha in the 19th minute.

Palace striker Michy Batshuayi had his jersey pulled by Tariq Lamptey in the area – although contact appeared minimal – and Zaha stepped up to send goalkeeper Mathew Ryan the wrong way from the spot for his fourth goal of the season.

Brighton picked up only their fourth point of the season, having lost three of its first four games. Palace has seven points.

Fulham and Sheffield United draw

It was Fulham who took the lead in the 77th minute through Ademola Lookman, but United kept up the pressure and levelled the tie in the 85th from the penalty spot through Billy Sharp.

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha sends Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan the wrong way on Sunday.

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha sends Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan the wrong way on Sunday.Credit:Getty Images

“Disappointed not to take all three points,” Fulham boss Scott Parker told reporters. “To get your noses in front with 10 to go you should see the game out. It wasn’t meant to be but there are some real positives.

“We had a lot of pace in the team and we caused United a lot of problems. We should have scored a second.”

The Blades had numerous opportunities to score in the first half and their best chance came when Oli McBurnie connected with a cross at the edge of the six-yard box, only to see Alphonse Areola make a fantastic reflex save.

Sheffield United's Billy Sharp after scoring his side's opening goal from the penalty spot against Fulham at Bramall Lane on Sunday.

Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp after scoring his side’s opening goal from the penalty spot against Fulham at Bramall Lane on Sunday.Credit:Getty Images

The home side thought they had taken the lead minutes later when Sander Berge’s cross was deflected into Fulham’s net by Tosin Adarabioyo but the goal was chalked off for an offside in the buildup.

Fulham had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the second from the penalty spot when Jack Robinson was found to have handled the ball in the area. But Aleksandar Mitrovic thumped the ball onto the crossbar and over.

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The visitors went ahead when Lookman dribbled past two defenders before smashing the ball past goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale for his first Premier League goal.

However, the Blades won a penalty following a VAR review after Mitrovic kicked Robinson while competing for a high ball, and substitute Sharp made no mistake to beat Areola in the Fulham goal.

Mitrovic nearly settled the contest in stoppage time when he rose above the United defence to get to Lookman’s cross, but his header sailed inches wide of the near post.

AP, Reuters

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Manly knock off Warringah as unbeaten Gordon roll on


Manly triumphed in the battle of the northern beaches on Saturday with a 39-19 victory over arch-rivals Warringah.

After a sluggish start to the year, Manly registered win No.3 of the season in a tight tussle before the Marlins pulled away to put on a show for their home crowd.

Manly and Warringah squared off in round eight of the Shute Shield.

Manly and Warringah squared off in round eight of the Shute Shield. Credit:Adam MacDonald

James Hilterbrand, Harry Bergelin, Harley Attwater, Jed Ibbotson and Daniel Alley all got on the scoresheet for Manly, who now find themselves in eighth on the ladder.

Meanwhile, Gordon are now the only undefeated side in the competition after they put away Randwick 42-15 at Coogee Oval.



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Djokovic primed to extend unbeaten 2020 streak in New York



FILE PHOTO: Aug 26, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Novak Djokovic (SRB) hits the ball against Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) during the Western & Southern Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

August 27, 2020

By Sudipto Ganguly

(Reuters) – The men’s draw at a Grand Slam has seldom had such an overwhelming a favourite in recent times as Novak Djokovic at this year’s U.S. Open, with lot more at stake for the world number one than just his 18th major title.

It took the COVID-19 pandemic to put a brake on Djokovic’s 18-match unbeaten run in 2020, as he won the ATP Cup with Serbia, an eighth Australian Open title and a fifth Dubai Tennis Championships before the season came to a halt in early March.

If there were doubts over the 33-year-old Serb’s ability to regain that momentum after the shutdown, they were quickly dispelled this week as Djokovic returned to court for the U.S. Open tune-up at the Western & Southern Open in New York.

He struggled a bit with a neck issue in his opening win over Ricardas Berankis but normal service resumed in his next outings against Tennys Sandgren and German Jan-Lennard Struff.

“Everything is going in the right direction, I’m feeling very good,” declared Djokovic, also not discounting the possibility of going undefeated during the year.

The lengthy COVID-19 break possibly presented more challenges for the Serb than any other opponent on court.

During that period, the 33-year-old organised the ill-fated Adria Tour, an exhibition tournament in the Balkan region during which he and three other players contracted COVID-19.

The event, which was played in front of fans and lacked social-distancing measures, was heavily criticised leading Djokovic to complain of being subjected to a “witch-hunt”.

He initially voiced apprehension about the protocols in the New York bio-secure bubble put in place by the organisers but took a late call to travel to the U.S.

His long-time rival Rafa Nadal, however, chose to stay at home and, with Roger Federer also missing after undergoing knee surgery, Djokovic has been left as the only representative of the ‘Big Three’ in New York.

SLAM WINNERS

The magnitude of Nadal’s and Federer’s absence can be gauged by the fact that the triumvirate have shared the last 13 Grand Slam titles between them and the onus will solely be on the Serb to add to that number.

Incidentally, the last time someone outside the trio won a Grand Slam was at the U.S. Open when Swiss Stan Wawrinka beat Djokovic in 2016.

But Wawrinka also decided against travelling to New York leaving former champions Andy Murray and Marin Cilic as the only other Grand Slam winners besides Djokovic in the draw.

Djokovic has previously said he could win the most Grand Slam titles and become the longest-reigning world number one by the time he retires.

A victory on Sept. 13 at the Arthur Ashe stadium will give him his 18th Grand Slam crown and leave him one short of Nadal’s tally while Federer leads with 20.

The Swiss also holds the record of 310 weeks at number one but Djokovic is steadily progressing towards eclipsing him and has already topped the world rankings for 282 weeks.

Djokovic has said it will, however, be disrespectful to discount the chances of other players in the draw.

“Anyone can win, even more after six months without the tour,” he said last week. “We don’t really know how we’re going to feel on the court.”

Dominic Thiem has had three attempts at ending the Grand Slam hegemony of the Big Three but lost the previous two French Open finals to Nadal while going down to Djokovic in this year’s Australian Open title clash.

The third-ranked Austrian’s preparations suffered a jolt when he crashed out of the Western & Southern Open in straight sets to Filip Krajinovic in his first match.

Last year’s U.S. Open finalist Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas have had some big wins in their careers but not many will bet on them prevailing against Djokovic’s machine-like precision on hardcourts.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Murray is currently ranked 134th after undergoing two hip surgeries but a win against a top-10 player is not beyond him as Zverev found out this week.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by Ken Ferris)





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Northern Suburbs continue unbeaten streak with win over Manly


“We started well and, to be honest, just our own errors let them back in the game,” said Norths No.12 Harry Burey, who scored a try in the second half. “A lot of shit penalties really put ourselves under pressure. We got away with it in the end.

Both sides pack down at Manly Oval.

Both sides pack down at Manly Oval. Credit:Karen Watson

“The intensity went up from the first couple of games. I think the boys had pencilled this one in since the draw came out.”

A couple of big wins against West Harbour (32-3) and Penrith (53-3) helped clear the cobwebs but Norths have now passed their first real test of the year.

Manly were desperate to bounce back from a 10-6 loss to Sydney University last week and will be upset that Sinclair’s drop goal ensured they came away without a losing bonus point.

Norths winger Reece Mau’u made something out of nothing down the left wing early on by palming off a couple of Marlins defenders for a terrific try.

His brilliance was about as short-lived as you can get. Straight from the restart, Sinclair’s clearing kick was charged down by Jack Veitch, who swooped and planted the ball down for a five-pointer to ultimately level scores 7-7.

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Norths edged ahead with a couple of penalties and, despite a try to Manly’s Max Douglas in the 32nd minute, the visitors led 18-12 at the break thanks to a fine finish in the right corner from Kepu Lokotui.

James Margan was unlucky to be denied a try early in the second half for Norths and Manly made them pay when Hutana Coffin had a clear run to the line to make it 25-19.

Marlins winger Yool Yool was dangerous with ball in hand but missed a couple of easy penalties that would have levelled the scores. He made a late break to bring the local crowd to their feet but couldn’t get a potential match-winning pass away to his winger.

In other games, Sydney University registered another big win, this time a 59-10 romp against the Hunter Wildfires. Wildfires are improving but yet to see any real pay on the scoreboard from three outings. It could have been uglier given Uni led 47-5 at the break.

Penrith are also yet to chalk up a win in their return to the competition after they were beaten 29-14 by Southern Districts.

Randwick thumped Western Sydney Two Blues 42-0, Eastwood beat West Harbour 42-10, while Warringah prevailed by three points over Eastern Suburbs.

Shute Shield round three results

Manly 19-28 Norths
Warringah 31-28 Easts
Eastwood 42-10 West Harbour
Two Blues 0-42 Randwick
Penrith 14-29 Southern Districts
Hunter Wildfires 10-59 Sydney University

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Queensland Reds stay unbeaten in Super Rugby AU with 31-24 win over Western Force

Queensland’s unblemished get started to Super Rugby AU has continued after keeping out the Western Force 31-24 in a thrilling contest at Brisbane’s Lang Park.

A fall intention in the 78th moment by Reds five-eighth James O’Connor gave the hosts some respiration house, with the Pressure not able to uncover a converted try to consider the match into Tremendous Time.

The Force all over again bought off to a traveling start, repeating their energy against the Waratahs previous 7 days by dashing out to a 14- guide.

Young comprehensive-again Jack McGregor was 1st throughout, just before one more previous Queensland schoolboy, Byron Ralston, scored the initial of two tries for the night.

But three attempts inside of 20 minutes received the Reds again in the struggle.

O’Connor uncovered Reds hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa lurking out broad to get their rating ticking around in the 18th minute.

Whole-again Jock Campbell designed the most of a Hunter Paisami break and then prop Taniela Tupou rumbled above from a lineout after an O’Connor 50-22 kick.

That gave the Reds a 21-14 direct, an benefit they appeared like they would get into half-time, right before Ralston intercepted and ran 80 metres to contact down in the 38th minute.

Daugunu crossed five minutes into the second half but Paisami was then yellow-carded for a idea tackle to depart the Reds a player down.

The Power took advantage, with Andrew Completely ready crossing in the 69th moment to set up a nail-biting finish but they yet again fell limited.

The Reds now have two wins and a draw right after 3 rounds.

They conquer the Waratahs in the opening Super Rugby AU match at Lang Park a fortnight ago and drew with the Rebels at Brookvale Oval last Friday night.

AAP



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St Kilda beats Richmond by 26 points, Power defeat West Coast Eagles to continue unbeaten start to AFL season


Dustin Martin’s return failed to spark Richmond, as its AFL premiership defence took another hit in a 26-point defeat to St Kilda at Docklands.

The Brownlow medallist collected 19 disposals after a week off with bruised ribs but did not have a major influence as the Saints finished full of running in a 15.3 (93) to 10.7 (67) win.

Jack Billings (25 disposals) and Jack Steele (21) starred through the middle as Jake Carlisle marshalled the Saints’ defence superbly.

Trade period recruit Dan Butler — brought in from the Tigers last October — kicked three goals in his first match against his old side.

Tim Membrey also kicked three majors as Jack Lonie, Rowan Marshall and Dean Kent chipped in with two apiece to spread the load.

A suspected hamstring injury to Zak Jones was the only sour note for St Kilda, who stuck to their task with a run-and-gun game style and kicked their highest score of the season to date.

The result left Richmond sitting outside the top eight with two losses and a draw since the season restart.

Richmond got off to the hottest of starts when Shane Edwards ran in to kick the first goal after just 10 seconds.

But many of the same issues that have plagued them since the season resumption were evident again as they failed to match their opponents’ speed and intensity around the ball.

St Kilda burnt the Tigers with their fast ball movement and led by as much as 19 points on multiple occasions before half-time.

Butler was an ever-present danger and Bradley Hill (19 disposals, one goal) racked up touches at will on the wing until a rolled ankle sent a brief scare through the Saints’ camp during the second term.

Richmond challenged in the third quarter but never got closer than 10 points after the main break and the Saints kicked three goals to one with the match on the line in the final term.

Dixon kicks six to down Eagles

Charlie Dixon dominated up forward to help Port Adelaide continue its unbeaten start to the season with a convincing 48-point defeat of West Coast.

Dixon took six contested marks and kicked six goals, as the Power registered a 13.11 (89) to 6.5 (41) win in Carrara.

The Power now holds a 4-0 win-loss record, while the defeat extended the Eagles’ wait for a victory in their Queensland hub.

Dixon, who made his AFL debut for Gold Coast, enjoyed the familiar confines at the Suns’ home ground, marking strongly and kicking straight as the Power’s midfield peppered his area in a dominant first half.

Power forward Charlie Dixon (right) enjoyed a day out, with six goals against the Eagles.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

The Power’s defence caused their opponents grief too, as the Eagles struggled to go forward or even sideways until a three-goal run in the third term brought the margin on the scoreboard back to 11 points.

But Dixon’s fourth, another booming set shot from 50 metres out, was the first of four in an emphatic reply.

Will Schofield then appeared to headbutt Zak Butters as Power players celebrated the goal, a lack of discipline not missed by Eagles coach Adam Simpson.

Butters missed the shot for goal from the ensuing penalty but Todd Marshall made no mistake for the Power when the Eagles again kicked the ball away.

A West Coast AFL player pushes against a Port Adelaide opponent as they look up at the ball in a contest.
West Coast and Port Adelaide have experienced contrasting fortunes in the Queensland hub.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

Karl Amon then drilled a left-footed goal to make it a 37-point match approaching the final term.

Dixon capped his day with a fifth and six from another two strong marks in the final quarter, giving him 11 from three matches this season.

Josh Kennedy (four goals) made the most of his chances up front for the Eagles, while Tim Kelly and Liam Ryan both battled hard.

Brad Ebert kicked two goals for the Power and along with Hamish Hartlett was among the best in his 250th AFL match.

ABC/AAP



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Latrell Mitchell leads South Sydney to 32-12 win over Titans, Newcastle’s unbeaten run ends in 26-12 loss to Storm


Latrell Mitchell is enjoying his footy again — a delight for NRL fans, but a nightmare for the Gold Coast Titans.

Mitchell starred for South Sydney as the Rabbitohs brought the Titans back to reality, after they last week ended a year-long losing streak.

The Rabbitohs, meanwhile, were making amends for their performance a week ago, when they made about every mistake possible in a 22-8 loss to the Melbourne Storm.

While Mitchell was solid in that outing, he had his best game in Rabbitohs colours as they trounced the Titans 32-12.

Mitchell scored a try and set up three others — one with a kick, one with a crafty tap-on and one with some fancy footwork — on Saturday afternoon, also cleaning up well at the back in his role as Souths’ custodian.

Mitchell’s effort can be attributed to the 15th-ranked opposition or the return of playmaker Cody Walker in the halves, but perhaps the biggest difference is playing with some joy.

After a difficult few months — including relentless racist abuse on social media, contract speculation in traditional media, and a serious mistake in social distancing that attracted the attention of NSW Police — Mitchell is back on the footy field and is, as he simply put it, “happy”.

Latrell Mitchell has made some mistakes but has attracted a disproportionate level of criticism.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga asked Mitchell on Fox Sports about how he was gelling with the Souths system and how he was “feeling about life in general”.

“Look, I’m happy. Not too many things have been going my way the last four to five months, but it’s only upon me,” he said.

“I’ve seen in the media, everyone’s got an opinion and just for myself, it’s up to me to change that.

“[Then] I can come and do my job and enjoy my footy.”

Mitchell signalled his intent early at Central Coast Stadium, bursting over for the opening try in the fourth minute off a Damien Cook short ball despite a fumble.

He then tapped a pass for winger Dane Gagai to score while under pressure from on-rushing Titans defence, and a few minutes later grubbered through for centre Braidon Burns to score after Anthony Don failed to handle.

Then, with the game effectively decided in the 75th minute, Mitchell bamboozled Jai Arrow with a stutter step to create an overlap and send Gagai over for his second try of the night.

Mitchell has attracted disproportionate criticism for some of his mistakes and having one of the NRL’s greatest players happy and healthy was a sight to behold.

Dubious penalty helps Storm end Knights’ unbeaten run

The Parramatta Eels are the only undefeated team in the NRL this season after Melbourne handed Newcastle its first loss of the year.

The Storm jumped out to an 18-0 lead in the first half before the Knights got to within a converted try, only for the Storm to get handed two decisive points with a questionable penalty right in front in the closing stages.

Brandon Smith and Cameron Smith shout as they hug during the Melbourne Storm's NRL win over the Newcastle Knights.
Brandon and Cameron Smith orchestrated the Knights’ first loss of the year.(AAP: Darren Pateman)

A try to Brandon Smith in 76th minute pushed the lead out to a comprehensive 26-12, but the penalty a few minutes earlier had already put the game to bed.

Despite trailing 18-12, the Knights had the momentum in the 73rd minute as the Storm were attacking inside the 10-metre area.

A standard fifth-tackle play appeared to end in a penalty for the Knights for an illegal collision between Josh Addo-Carr and Hymel Hunt, but the play was called back to the middle of the field.

Officials said Knights prop David Klemmer hit Dale Finucane illegally off the ball while the Storm back rower was running a decoy line on a block play.

He ran straight into Klemmer, who made what seemed an innocuous tackle, but referee Ben Cummins awarded a penalty and Cameron Smith, who played one of his best games of the season, potted two points to push the lead out to eight points.

The win allowed the Storm to leapfrog the Knights for second spot on ladder with four wins from five games, while the Knights fell to third spot with three wins, a draw and a loss.

But that only lasted for a couple of hours, with Canberra beating the Tigers 14-6 on Saturday night to jump to second spot.



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