Sports shorts: Second Ashes Test hit by rain, Ruiz Jr denies Saudi fight, Uefa Super Cup
A round up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on Wednesday 14 August
1. Chelsea keen on Super Cup
Liverpool face Chelsea in the Uefa Super Cup in Istanbul this evening, with Blues boss Frank Lampard bullish about his side’s chances, despite their 4-0 defeat to Man United on the opening day of the season. “It means something to us as a club because it is another trophy,” Lampard said. “For me, it would be a really nice start personally, but more than that it would be a really good feeling for the players with the season coming up to show that we can compete with Liverpool.” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said Chelsea would pose a threat: “They are really strong and young and fresh and everything is exciting.”
2. Second Test hit by rain
The first day of the second Ashes Test has been affected by rain. The start was delayed by wet weather and there were more showers forecast throughout the day. England are to give fast bowler Jofra Archer a debut as they seek to bounce back from defeat in the first Test at Edgbaston, where Australian batsman Steve Smith inspired his side with two centuries.
3. Celtic out of Champions League
Celtic were embarrassingly bundled out of the Champions League as they conceded four goals to Romanian side Cluj at Parkhead, much the fury of their fans. The visitors won 4-3 on the night at 5-4 on aggregate after what the Daily Telegraph calls a “sensational” game. Neil Lennon’s side went 1-0 down before scoring twice, only to be pegged back to 2-2. A third goal appeared to have won it for the home side, but the visitors scored again in the 80th minute and scored the winner in the 98th. The Scottish champions will now play in the Europa League.
4. Man City avoid transfer ban
Manchester City have been fined £315,000 but have escaped a Fifa transfer ban after admitting breaking the rules over the registration of young players – the same offence that earned Chelsea a two window ban. They appear to have “benefited from Fifa’s new disciplinary code, which came into force last month and offers the possibility of significantly reduced sanctions for accepting wrongdoing”, says The Times. But it adds: “Chelsea are certain to be furious to have been treated more harshly… Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have all previously had transfer bans for breaches of the rules in relation to minors.”
5. United desperate to offload Alexis Sanchez
Manchester United outcast Alexis Sanchez could be forced to train with the reserves if he is still at Old Trafford once the European transfer window shuts on September 2. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is “desperate” to get rid of £500,000-a-week flop who arrived from Arsenal in January 2018. Italian outfit Roma would like to sign Sanchez but they “refuse to pay his huge salary” and as a result says The Sun, United will have to put pressure on Sanchez to move in the next three weeks, or else face paying him another £8.6m in wages until they get shot of him in the January window.
6. Andy Murray regrets US Open decision
Andy Murray has said he regrets his decision not to play in the US Open, after recovering well after his comeback game against Richard Gasquet at the Cincinnati Masters. Although Murray lost, he felt no side effects and told the BBC that he now wishes he had put himself forward for qualifying for the event at Flushing Meadow. The Scot turned down the chance of a wildcard entry as he did not think he was ready for five-set tennis. But qualifying, which starts next week, is played over three sets. “I don’t know why we didn’t really think of it, but it just never crossed my mind until this morning,” he said. “When I woke up, I was like - I want to play three-set matches. I could maybe test myself there, and if I got through qualifying that might show that I’m ready to play there. But too late, unfortunately.”
7. Serena Williams pulls out of tournament
Serena Williams is also out of the Cincinnati Masters with a back problem, which also forced her to retire in the final of the Rogers Cup on Sunday. The 37-year-old has now pulled out of all five of her non-Grand Slam events this year. Williams now has two weeks to recover before the US Open, for which she was the favourite ahead of the latest injury problems. “I’ve had this before and it’s 24 to 36 hours where I'm in crazy spasm and then it’s gone,” she said. “That’s a frustrating for me because I know that I could play. I just can’t play today.”
8. Andy Ruiz Jr casts doubt on Saudi fight
Heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr has broken his silence on the rematch with Anthony Joshua, and has said that the fight will not be taking place in Saudi Arabia after all. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has insisted that the fight will go ahead in the Gulf on December 7, but Ruiz, talking on Instagram said: “We got the real news coming soon.” Asked about having the rematch in America, Ruiz said: “Of course. It’s going to be on my terms, our terms, we’re going to bring it back here in the United States.” The Mexican added that he had “no protection” in Saudi.
9. Forest vs Derby in Carabao Cup
Newcastle will face Premier League rivals Leicester and Nottingham Forest will host rivals Derby County in the second round of the Carabao Cup. The draw for the second round includes the 13 Premier League teams not involved in Europe. Newcastle vs Leicester is the only top-flight clash, but five Premier League teams have been drawn against opponents from League Two.
10. Minister hits out at 'crafty' Rooney deal
The sports minister Nigel Adams has warned Derby County over their “very crafty” deal to give Wayne Rooney the number 32 shirt when he joins the club in January, to boost the profile of their sponsor – an online casino. “Football needs to be mindful of the problem gambling has. The 32 shirt is a very crafty move by Derby,” he said. “It’s a matter for Derby but I would ask them to look within themselves and think about the impact that problem gambling can have on some in society, particularly vulnerable people and youngsters as well. They have got a social responsibility to be mature and grown up.”