Daily Briefing

Sports shorts: Klopp vs Guardiola heats up, Melbourne Cup drama

Ten things from the world of sport on Tuesday 5 November

1. Klopp vs Guardiola in war of words

A war of words has exploded between Liverpool and Manchester City ahead of their season-defining clash on Sunday and “this weekend’s Premier League showdown between the title rivals has all the makings of an epic grudge match,” says the Daily Telegraph.

The spat began when City boss Pep Guardiola fired a barb at Liverpool star Sadio Mane, and accused him of diving. That drew a sharp response from Reds manager Jurgen Klopp, who has questioned City’s reputation for “tactical fouls” and said he was bemused by what he sees as Guardiola’s fixation with Liverpool.

“Guardiola has set the agenda for the week with his comment on diving and it looks like a mistake and not least because of the way it will fire an opposition and, even more so, their fans who do not need such provocation. Klopp's pointed response on Monday was that of a man who knows he has the moral high-ground on this occasion and the inference was clear: if a war of words develops Guardiola only has himself to blame,” writes Jason Burt also in the Telegraph.

2. Gomes surgery 'goes well'

Andre Gomes has had successful surgery on the sickening ankle dislocation and fracture of his right leg that he suffered against Spurs on Sunday, but Everton have put no timeframe on his return from the injury.

Support for the Portuguese midfielder has continued to pour in after the horrific incident, with team mates, fans and other players urging him to stay strong.

The Liverpool Echo reports that Gomes is likely to need psychological help to overcome fear anxiety after the injury.

Meanwhile Spurs player Son Heung-min, whose tackle on Gomes led to the accident, could miss this week’s Champions League game against Belgrade because he is was so upset by the incident.

“The South Korean star was visibly distraught by Gomes' injury and Tottenham have offered him counselling to help him get over the trauma,” reports the Daily Mirror.  

3. Managers discuss VAR

Premier League managers are to meet Mike Riley, the head of referees’ organistion PGMOL this week to discuss VAR, which has become a major bug bear for Premier League fans.

There were several more controversies this weekend, as Liverpool had a goal ruled out and Everton were denied a penalty after a three-minute delay to check for a foul.

Managers, fans and pundits are growing ever more frustrated by the system and there have been calls for it to be changed.

“The meetings had been planned months ago, it is understood, but following the latest VAR controversies the meeting on Thursday will include discussion of whether match officials should be allowed to consult pitchside monitors. Referees in all other competitions that currently use the VAR system are allowed to consult these monitors but those taking charge of Premier League matches are not,” reports The Guardian.

4. England lose to NZ

An England batting collapse cost them dear as New Zealand won the third T20 international in Nelson to take a 2-1 series lead. Colin de Grandhomme top scored for the home side with 55 as they posted 180-7. England appeared to be cruising to victory on 139-2 in the 15th over, but then lost 5-10 in 18 balls and finished 14 runs short of their total.

There were some positives for England however as spinner Matt Parkinson took 1-14 on debut, and another debutant, Tom Banton, showed promise at the top of the batting order with 18 off ten balls before the wheels fell off.

5. Dettori ban after Melbourne Cup drama 

Vow And Declare became the first Australian-bred winner of the Melbourne Cup since 2009 in a dramatic race that saw Frankie Dettori's ride Master Of Reality demoted to fourth after a stewards' inquiry.

In a thrilling finish Vow and Declare, ridden by Craig Williams, won by a nose with Dettori initially finishing as runner up. But after the race stewards ruled that Dettori, riding for Irish trainer Joseph O'Brien, had impeded fourth-placed Il Paradiso.

As a result Il Paradiso was promoted to third, with British hope Prince Of Arran second.

Dettori, 48, who has never won the Melbourne Cup, known as ‘the race that stops a nation’ was later banned for eight racing days in Victoria. He later told reporters: “I feel like crying”.

6. Farah blood could be retested

Mo Farah’s association with banned Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar continues to haunt him as The Times reports that his old blood samples could be retested by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

The paper reports that doping bans for Salazar and the training group’s consultant physician, Dr Jeffrey Brown, “will now be followed by a detailed inquiry into the athletes who worked under their guidance at Nike’s Beaverton headquarters.

“Wada, with the assistance of testing agencies around the world, could now retest any sample given by an Oregon Project athlete over the past ten years, which will have been frozen and stored at a Wada-accredited laboratory.”

Farah and other athletes who worked with Salazar have consistently denied any wrongdoing.

7. Wenger or Mourinho set for Bayern job?

The rivalry between Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho could be back on, even though neither is currently managing a team. Both men are being touted as candidates for the Bayern Munich manager’s job after the German giants fired Niko Kovac at the weekend. The Sun says Wenger is “is on a four-man shortlist” for the job, although it does not feature Mourinho.

The Mirror, however, says Bayern have “identified Jose Mourinho as their top target”.

8. Japan to join Six Nations?

The Rugby World Cup in Japan was such a success that the host nation could be offered the chance to join the Six Nations tournament, reports the Daily Mail.

“No formal discussions have taken place but World Rugby are aware that, given the growing popularity of rugby in Japan, key figures within the Six Nations organisation have expressed an interest in creating a tournament that stretches 6,000 miles to the Far East,” says the paper.

Rugby administrators are anxious to capitalise on rugby’s growing popularity in Japan and there are concerns that admission to the Rugby Championship – which features Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina – could take years.

9. Arise Sir Lewis

There have been calls to give Lewis Hamilton a knighthood after he secured a sixth Formula 1 world title on Sunday.

The Mercedes driver “polarises opinion like no other sportsman or woman on the planet”, says The Sun. “Some love him, some don't, but one thing we can all surely agree on is he is hugely successful and for that, he deserves to be knighted.

“While the likes of Alastair Cook and Andy Murray have been rewarded for their services to their respective sports of cricket and tennis, Hamilton's achievements in motorsport have gone unrewarded by Her Majesty, despite having won the world title SIX times.”

10. Cat stops NFL match

A black cat is supposed to bring luck, but it did not work for NFL side the New York Giants as they were beaten 37-18 by the Dallas Cowboys despite the appearance of a feline on the pitch in the second quarter of the game. The stray, which some suggested had showed up late for Halloween, held up play for two minutes before disappearing into a tunnel. The Giants promised to take the cat to a vet if they managed to track it down.

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