Fulham Fan Dies After Cardiac Arrest During Blackpool Game

FulhamFC
Source: [email protected]

 

A Fulham supporter died on Saturday after suffering a cardiac arrest which led to the Championship game against Blackpool at Craven Cottage being halted for over 40 minutes.

“It is with immense sadness that we inform fans of the passing of supporter, Paul Parish,” Fulham said in a statement.

“Paul suffered a cardiac arrest and received treatment in the Hammersmith Stand at this afternoon’s match before being transferred to the hospital. He sadly passed away this evening.

“Our condolences and the thoughts of everyone at Fulham Football Club go out to Paul’s family, friends, and loved ones.”

READ ALSO: Adama Traore Rejoins Barca On Loan From Wolves

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored his 28th goal of the season to put Fulham ahead, but the match was stopped just after the quarter-hour mark as the supporter received medical treatment.

Blackpool equalised in the 57th minute through Josh Bowler after play resumed and it finished 1-1.

Blackburn remained second in the table following a goalless draw away to Luton.

The hosts came closest to scoring when Cameron Jerome struck the post in the 40th minute.

“It wasn’t a beauty contest, it was about digging in today, and not making the mistakes that would cost you a 1-0 defeat,” said Rovers manager Tony Mowbray.

Blackburn are now just one point clear of third-placed Bournemouth, having played a game more, after the Cherries won 1-0 away to basement club Barnsley thanks to Philip Billing’s header.

“Overall a big result for us, that was key,” said Bournemouth manager Scott Parker.

Elsewhere, Millwall beat promotion-chasing West Brom 2-0. It was the Lions’ first victory of 2022 but the result added to the pressure on opposing boss Valerien Ismael, whose side have won just one of their last seven matches.

Mason Bennett and Benik Afobe’s second-half goals sealed victory, with former England striker Andy Carroll making a losing debut for West Brom.

“It is, for us, very, very painful,” said Ismael, who watched angry Baggies fans throw a flare onto the pitch late in the game.

“I didn’t perform like I expected. I know myself, I am my biggest critic.”

Scotland striker Lyndon Dykes scored twice as QPR overwhelmed Reading 4-0.

The forward was on target with two first-half headers before team-mate Luke Amos’s shot made it 3-0.

Jimmy Dunne nodded in after the interval as QPR maintained their promotion push while inflicting Reading’s fifth straight league defeat.

In Saturday’s late kick-off, Sheffield United moved into the top half of the table with a 2-0 win at Peterborough, thanks to Billy Sharp’s 54th-minute opener and an own goal from substitute Callum Morton.

AFP

Championship: West Brom Go Top After Gritty Derby Win

Bolton Match Called Off After Players Threaten Strike
A file photo of a player kicking a football.

 

West Brom moved to the top of the English Championship on Friday after a second-half strike by Karlan Grant gave them a 1-0 win over local rivals Birmingham.

The Baggies lead the standings on goal difference from Bournemouth who can reclaim pole position by avoiding defeat at Bristol City on Saturday.

Grant’s powerful 75th-minute goal from a pass by Jake Livermore settled a gritty affair at The Hawthorns.

“Three points, a clean sheet, and a good goal for Karlan Grant. A lot of positives to take,” said West Brom coach Valerian Ismael.

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“It was a difficult game. But It was important that we stayed calm. We know we can score at any time – and it came.”

Birmingham are four points above the relegation zone and have not scored in 453 minutes.

Friday’s setback was their fifth defeat in six games.

“My only disappointment was the goal. We should have defended better. It was one lapse of concentration,” said Birmingham boss Lee Bowyer.

“But we can’t carry on missing chances. I think once we get one, they’ll start to go in.”

AFP

Rooney’s Derby Enter Administration, Deducted 12 Points

File photo:  Brighton’s English goalkeeper David Button (R) reacts after fumbling a save during the English FA Cup fifth round football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Derby County at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on February 16, 2019.
Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Wayne Rooney’s Derby County have been deducted 12 points by the English Football League after entering administration on Wednesday.

The second-tier side have taken 10 points from eight games this season but are now rooted at the foot of the Championship, six points adrift of second-bottom Nottingham Forest.

Derby, twice English champions, had signalled their intention to appoint administrators last week, citing a failure to identify new owners and the continued financial impact of the coronavirus.

On Wednesday the club announced it had appointed three managing directors of business advisory firm Quantuma as joint administrators.

“We are in the early stages of assessing the options available to the club and would invite any interested parties to come forward,” said Quantuma managing director and joint administrator Andrew Hosking.

“Our immediate objectives are to ensure the club completes all its fixtures in the Championship this season and finding interested parties to safeguard the club and its employees.”

The English Football League (EFL) issued a statement confirming that a 12-point penalty had been immediately applied.

EFL chief executive Trevor Birch said: “I appreciate that this is a challenging and concerning period for everyone associated with the club, particularly the staff and supporters, and it is our intention to work proactively with the administrators and all relevant parties with the objective of securing a long-term and viable future for Derby County.”

Derby are already under a transfer embargo with potential for an additional points deduction for previously breaking the EFL’s financial rules.

Former Manchester United and England striker Rooney, in his first managerial role, has vowed to stick with the Midlands club.

“I’ve said a few times I’m committed to this club and to the group of players and the staff,” the 35-year-old said on Saturday. “I care about them, so I’ll keep doing everything I can to help us get through this.”

AFP

Bournemouth Move Level With West Brom At Top Of The Championship

The logo of Bournemouth.

 

Bournemouth moved into a share of the lead at the top of the Championship with a 2-1 win over QPR on Tuesday as West Brom were held 0-0 at home by Derby.

Bournemouth and QPR were two of three teams in the division still yet to lose prior to the encounter at the Vitality Stadium, but the visitors made a poor start on the south coast.

Jaidon Anthony robbed Tob Dickie and fired home after 12 minutes to open the scoring.

It was 2-0 before the break when Anthony picked out Dominic Solanke inside the area and the former Liverpool forward found the net.

Sam McCallum pulled one back after the interval for QPR but they could not find an equaliser as they fell to sixth.

“In the first half we were clinical but they put us under immense pressure in the second half and we had to show another side to us,” said Bournemouth boss Scott Parker.

“We have seen tonight that every game in this league is different and that sometimes you have to grind it out.”

West Brom also remain unbeaten and at the summit but with an identical record to Bournemouth after they were held to a goalless draw by Wayne Rooney’s Derby.

The Baggies had plenty of chances but could not find a way past Kelle Roos and may lose top spot if Fulham win at Birmingham on Wednesday.

Huddersfield leapfrogged QPR to sit fourth in the table after an excellent 3-0 win at Blackpool.

Josh Koroma got the ball rolling for the Terriers with a stunner early into the second half and Matty Pearson and Jonathan Hogg joined him on the scoresheet.

Blackpool have dropped into the bottom three after Reading beat Peterborough 3-1 score to move out of the relegation zone.

John Swift and Tom Dele-Bashiru struck in the space of three second-half minutes for the Royals.

Nathan Thompson pulled one back for Posh, but Dele-Bashiru added his second in stunning fashion with a powerful effort from outside the area to leave Peterborough second bottom.

Ben Brereton Diaz struck for the fourth time this season to inspire Blackburn to a 2-0 triumph over Hull at Ewood Park to move up to seventh.

Sheffield United were denied a second consecutive win after Emil Riis Jakobsen netted in the fifth minute of stoppage time to earn Preston a 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane.

AFP

FA Cup: Abraham’s Hat-trick Takes Heat Off Lampard As Chelsea Advance

Chelsea’s English striker Tammy Abraham (2nd L) celebrates with teammates after scoring his third goal, Chelsea’s third during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between Chelsea and Luton Town at Stamford Bridge in London on January 24, 2021.
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

Tammy Abraham eased the pressure on under-fire Frank Lampard as the Chelsea striker’s hat-trick sealed a 3-1 win against Luton in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday.

In just his second season in charge at Chelsea, Lampard is fighting to avoid the sack after a wretched run in the Premier League.

An embarrassing FA Cup exit against Championship opposition would have pushed Lampard closer to the axe, but Abraham’s clinical display gave his manager some much-needed breathing space.

Abraham scored twice in the first half before Jordan Clark got one back for Luton after yet another blunder from Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Luton gave Lampard some nervous moments after that, before Abraham finally sent Chelsea through to a last 16 tie at second tier Barnsley.

Lampard will know that Chelsea, who were FA Cup runners-up last season, are still a long way from the finished article.

READ ALSO: Hurt And Heartbroken McGregor Ponders Future After Knockout Shock

One of his biggest headaches has been the poor form of Timo Werner and there was more bad news for the Germany striker as he missed a late penalty.

After notoriously demanding Blues owner Roman Abramovich bankrolled a £200 million spending spree in the close-season, Lampard was expected to mount a title challenge.

But a dismal run of five defeats in their last eight Premier League games has left Chelsea languishing in ninth place.

Amid talk that Lampard will be sacked if Chelsea don’t finish in the top four or fall completely out of contention, former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel and ex-Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri have been linked with his job.

– Clever Abraham –
Lampard insisted this week that he is a “fighter” capable of dragging Chelsea back into contention for the Champions League places.

But as snow blanketed west London, leaving the Stamford Bridge pitch with a white dusting at kick-off, the potentially treacherous conditions must have alarmed Lampard, who made seven changes from the midweek defeat at Leicester.

 

Chelsea’s English striker Tammy Abraham (2nd R) scores his and their third goal during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between Chelsea and Luton Town at Stamford Bridge in London on January 24, 2021. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

Standing huddled in a thick winter coat and hat on the touchline, Lampard’s fears were initially assuaged as Chelsea made the perfect start.

Abraham was denied by Luton keeper Simon Sluga and Kurt Zouma ahead over before Chelsea scored in the 11th minute.

A quick throw caught Luton napping, with Nathan Jones’ side complaining that two balls were briefly on the pitch at the same time.

Chelsea took advantage of Luton’s loss of concentration and Werner’s deflected cross reached Abraham, who slotted a composed low finish into the far corner from 10 yards.

Abraham’s movement was too clever for Luton and the striker netted again six minutes later.

Reece James hooked a cross into the Luton area and Abraham got in front of his marker to power an unstoppable header over Sluga for his 10th goal of the season.

Luton were gifted a lifeline in the 30th minute when James Bree crossed towards Clark and his scuffed shot crept past Kepa’s woeful attempted save.

Kepa’s howler sparked a prolonged period where Chelsea’s anxiety returned and their momentum disappeared.

Christian Pulisic, stretching to meet James’ cross, was denied by Sluga early in the second half.

Yet Lampard’s men remained nervous and Kepa had to make a good save to keep out Harry Cornick’s shot after Luton carved open the Blues defence.

Fortunately for Lampard, his decision to send on Callum Hudson-Odoi proved decisive.

Hudson-Odoi surged away down left, played a one-two with Billy Gilmour and crossed low for Abraham to complete his treble from a yard out in the 74th minute.

Werner had a chance to score just his second goal in 16 games when he was tripped by Clark, but his dreadful spell continued as his tame penalty was saved by Sluga.

AFP

Rooney Admits Derby ‘Deserved’ Defeat In His First Game As Manager

In this file photo taken on January 24, 2020 Derby County's English striker Wayne Rooney arrives for the English FA Cup fourth round football match between between Northampton Town and Derby County at the Sixfields Stadium in Northampton, central England. Adrian DENNIS / AFP
In this file photo taken on January 24, 2020 Derby County’s English striker Wayne Rooney arrives for the English FA Cup fourth round football match between between Northampton Town and Derby County at the Sixfields Stadium in Northampton, central England. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Wayne Rooney admitted Derby deserved a 1-0 defeat to Championship relegation rivals Rotherham in his first match in permanent charge at Pride Park.

Jamie Lindsay fired home four minutes from time as the Millers’ moved above Derby, who slip to second bottom of the table.

It was far from an ideal start to his reign for the former Manchester United and England captain, who gave an honest assessment of side’s underwhelming performance.

“Today Rotherham outfought us,” said Rooney.

“Our quality on the ball and our concentration levels weren’t where they should be.

“That’s the disappointing thing and, if I’m being honest, I don’t think we deserved anything from this game.”

At the other end of the table, Norwich remain well on course for an immediate return to the Premier League thanks to a fast start in a 2-1 win at Cardiff.

Grant Hanley put the leaders in front after just four minutes, nodding in at the far post after a flick-on from a corner.

READ ALSO: Rooney Loses First Game In Charge Of Derby

And it was 2-0 after 20 minutes as Todd Cantwell rounded off a slick counter-attack by slotting into an empty net following a smart save from Alex Smithies.

Joe Ralls gave Cardiff hope by thumping into the bottom corner from 12 yards after 65 minutes but the hosts were reduced to 10 men five minutes later when Marlon Pack was shown a second yellow card and slipped to a fourth successive defeat.

 

Rooney left Manchester United in 2017. Photo: [email protected] County.

 

Swansea remain four points behind the leaders in second thanks to a comfortable 2-0 win at Barnsley

Ben Cabango opened the scoring just before half-time before Jamal Lowe doubled the Swans advantage with his 10th goal of the season.

Bournemouth are now four points off the automatic promotion places after a 1-0 loss at home to Luton.

The Cherries’ task was made more difficult when Jefferson Lerma was shown a straight red card after 26 minutes for catching Tom Lockyer in the face with a stray arm while competing for a header.

Bournemouth pushed to overcome their numerical disadvantage but Luton capitalised as the hosts tired when Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall curled the winner into the bottom corner 23 minutes from time.

Watford returned to the playoff places with a 2-0 win over Huddersfield.

Tom Cleverley gave Watford a 54th-minute lead by capitalising on indecisive defending from Huddersfield.

Alex Vallejo attempted to pass the ball back to Ryan Schofield, who hesitated as Cleverley closed in and beat the goalkeeper to the ball to slide in from six yards.

Joao Pedro made sure of the points 10 minutes later, tapping in at the far post from Kiko Femenia’s cross.

Sammy Ameobi struck twice as Nottingham Forest secured back-to-back wins for only the second time this season with a 3-1 victory against Millwall.

Birmingham manager Aitor Karanka enjoyed a successful return to the Riverside as Scott Hogan struck to earn the Blues a 1-0 win and prevent Middlesbrough from moving into the play-off places.

A 1-1 draw did little to aid Stoke and Blackburn’s playoff hopes.

AFP

 

LeBron Leads Lakers To NBA West Finals With Rout Of Rockets

ORLANDO, FL – SEPTEMBER 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers brings the ball up court against the Houston Rockets during Game Five of the Western Conference SemiFinals of the NBA Playoffs on September 12, 2020 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

 

LeBron James had 29 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists as the Los Angeles Lakers advanced to their first NBA Western Conference final in a decade with a 119-96 blowout win over the Houston Rockets on Saturday.

Anthony Davis tallied 13 points and 11 rebounds, Kyle Kuzma had 17 and Markieff Morris finished with 16 for the Lakers, who eliminated the Rockets in five games in the quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida.

Los Angeles advanced to their first NBA final four since the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers beat Phoenix for the conference title and then defeated Boston for the 2010 NBA championship, the last time they won.

“It’s the reason I wanted to be a part of this franchise is to take them back to a place they were accustomed to being. And that’s competing for a championship,” said James.

“It’s an honour for me to wear the purple and gold and for us to just try to continue the legacy and just play great basketball for our fans.”

This will be James’s 11th career conference finals but when asked by reporters how it feels, he changed the subject to talk about the group as a whole.

“Every game is a learning experience for us. Every game is another opportunity for us to get better. We want to continue to build,” said James.

They will face either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Denver Nuggets in the next playoff round. The Clippers lead that series 3-2.

The Lakers got off to their best start of the series, dominating the opening plays to take a 35-20 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Their only lull of the game came in the start of the second quarter when Houston briefly woke from their slumber and cut the lead to seven, 38-31.

But the Lakers outscored the Rockets 33-18 in the third to take full command.

They drained 19 three-pointers and shot 52 percent from the floor.

With the game in hand, the Lakers sat three-time NBA champion James and Davis for much of the fourth quarter.

“Everything is falling into place. When I got here the goal was to win a championship and now we are eight wins away,” said Davis.

– ‘A piece away’ –

Once again the James Harden-led Rockets put up little resistance as Houston, after surprising the Lakers in game one of the series, lost their fourth straight and their third in a row by more than 10 points.

Harden led the Rockets with 30 points and Russell Westbrook scored just 10 in the loss.

Harden had a disappointing series, delivering another series of fourth-quarter playoff disappearing acts that have pockmarked his career.

“Tough season for us. Obviously it didn’t end the way we wanted it to. So, we just got to figure it out,” he said.

In the past five years, Harden has shot less than 25 percent from beyond the arc in post-season fourth quarters and overtime. He finished two-of-eight from three-point range on Saturday.

Harden said Saturday all they need to become great is to add one more piece to the puzzle.

“It’s very, very frustrating. Especially the amount of work individually I put in,” he said. “But I’ve got to keep chipping away. I’ve got to keep going and keep going until I can’t go anymore.

“I feel like we’re a piece away and we’ve just got keep trying to figure it out. Keep trying to put the pieces around me and Russ to get us where we want to go,” said Harden.

Tempers flared in the fourth quarter both on and off the floor. The brother of Lakers Rajon Rondo now has the dubious honour of being the first fan thrown out of a bubble game after he exchanged words with Houston’s Westbrook.

The public is not allowed in the arena because of the coronavirus pandemic but players are allowed to invite a limited number of family and friends to watch the games in person.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, whose contract expires at the end of the season, couldn’t say whether he will be back.

“We’ll see what happens. I had four years. Hopefully it keeps going, but you just never know,” he said.

AFP

Nigeria’s Ajayi Humbled To Be Included In Championship Team

Super Eagles defender, Semi Ajayi

 

Super Eagles defender, Semi Ajayi, has described his inclusion in the English Football League Championship Team of the Season as humbling.

The Nigerian who plays for West Brom only teamed up with Slaven Bilic’s men last summer from Rotherham but has been a regular for the side, featuring in 35 domestic league outings this season.

Semi was included in the FIFA 20’s Ultimate Team, Championship Team of the Season alongside Super Eagles prospect, Ebere Eze who plays for Queens Park Rangers (QPR).

Semi who narrowly missed out of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) where Nigeria clinched the bronze medal, took to his Instagram handle to celebrate the feat.

“Humbled to have been included in the EFL Team of The Season So Far Thank you for all of your support this season,” the Baggies defender wrote on the social media platform.

The 26-year-old Nigerian netted five times for Bilic’s men this term before the halting of football activities in England due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

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Championship: Rooney To Debut In Derby Clash Against Barnsley

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United speaks at the 2011 MLS All-Star Game press conference at All-Star HUB in New York City.  AFP

 

England’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney will make his debut for second-tier Derby against Barnsley on Thursday, the club’s manager Phillip Cocu confirmed.

Rooney, 34, joined Derby as a player-coach from MLS side DC United but has been ineligible to play for his new side until January.

“If a player with the qualities, career and the experience of Rooney (is available) you have to be very happy and glad he is here,” said Cocu after Monday’s 2-1 home win over Charlton in the Championship.

“He’s fit, he can start but he will need a few games. Expectation will be high when he starts playing but we have to give him a few games to build up his minutes and get in the team.

“So maybe not perfect from the start but it’s important he will get in the team as soon as possible so we get a certain shape in our team.”

Rooney’s debut can’t come soon enough for Derby.

Their win on Monday moved them into 17th place in English football’s second-tier.

However, they are still nine points shy of the play-off spots and 21 behind the two automatic promotion places.

On Monday, teenage midfielder Jason Knight scored his first goals in professional football to give Derby the three points, ending a run of seven games without a win.

Victory came despite the Rams playing most of the match a man down after Krystian Bielik was sent off for a crude challenge on Conor Gallagher.

Knight put Derby ahead in the 10th minute at Pride Park when he forced the ball in at the back post only for Bielik to see red soon afterwards.

But 10-man Derby still doubled their lead 13 minutes from time when Knight scored his second following a cross from Max Bird.

Charlton ensured a nervous finish for the home side when the south London club pulled a goal back seven minutes from time thanks to Lyle Taylor’s successful penalty, awarded after Curtis Davies brought down Gallagher in the box.

AFP

West Brom Suffer Late Penalty Pain As Leeds Held In Championship

 

Ten-man West Brom missed the chance to extend their lead in the Championship as Charlton forced a dramatic 2-2 draw in stoppage time at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

The Baggies went ahead in the 10th minute through midfielder Matt Phillips but Charlton equalised on the hour from Macauley Bonne’s header.

In the 67th minute, West Brom saw defender Nathan Ferguson shown a straight red card for a foul on Chris Solly.

Substitute Hal Robson-Kanu then looked to have secured the hosts’ victory with just nine minutes left but Charlton were awarded a penalty deep into stoppage time and Josh Cullen kept his cool from the spot.

Earlier, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds both spurned the opportunity to move to the top of the table.

The Yorkshire rivals had to settle for a point from a 0-0 draw at rain-soaked Hillsborough.

Preston took advantage to move up into second place after coming from 2-0 down to beat Blackburn with a late goal from Tom Barkhuizen.

Rovers had taken the lead inside the opening minute when Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd spilled Sam Gallagher’s header. The forward then curled home a second.

Barkhuizen’s header reduced the deficit early in the second half following a mistake by Rovers keeper Christian Walton.

Preston were level in the 65th minute through a penalty from Dan Johnson after Elliott Bennett had fouled Alan Browne.

Barkhuizen completed the turnaround when he curled in a shot from the edge of the penalty area to send Preston above Leeds on goal difference.

At the other end of the table, Huddersfield moved out of the bottom three with a 2-1 win over struggling Barnsley.

New Millwall boss Gary Rowett got his first win with a 2-0 defeat of former club Stoke and Birmingham beat Luton 2-1 with a late goal from Lukas Jutkiewicz.

In-form forward Jarrod Bowen scored both goals as Hull beat Derby 2-0.

Middlesbrough dropped into the bottom three after a goalless draw at home to Fulham.

Nottingham Forest’s home game against Reading was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

AFP

West Brom Slump To Defeat On Championship Return

Wolves Seal Premier League Promotion With Birmingham Win
Photo: LLUIS GENE / AFP

 

Bromwich Albion suffered a blow in their bid to bounce straight back to the Premier League on Saturday, conceding late to slip to defeat against Bolton as fancied Middlesbrough scored a last-gasp equaliser against Millwall.

Bolton nearly slipped back into League One last season but they were able to celebrate a 2-1 victory at The Hawthorns on the opening weekend of the season.

Josh Magennis’ opener was cancelled out on the stroke of half-time by Harvey Barnes, and Magennis looked like he might have missed Bolton’s chance to win it.

But Yanic Wildschut, making his debut after signing on loan from Norwich, scored the winner in the 89th minute, and Bolton survived a late onslaught from West Brom, which included Ahmed Hegazi heading against the bar.

Middlesbrough staged a late fightback to claim a 2-2 draw with Millwall, who dominated much of the match and led through goals from Aiden O’Brien and Lee Gregory.

But Martin Braithwaite pulled one back in the 87th minute and there was still time for George Friend to level up in the 97th minute.

There were mixed fortunes for Championship new boys Wigan, Blackburn and Rotherham.

Wigan were promoted back to the second tier as League One champions and made a winning start with a 3-2 victory against Sheffield Wednesday.

Michael Jacobs scored twice in the first half for Paul Cook’s men, with Atdhe Nuhiu, who was later sent off, briefly equalising for the visitors. Jacobs then created a third for Nick Powell on the hour mark and, although Fernando Forestieri pulled one back, Wednesday could not find an equaliser.

Blackburn pushed Wigan all the way in League One last season but they had to settle for a point at Portman Road after debutant Tayo Edun’s late equaliser in a 2-2 draw.

Winger Gwion Edwards scored five minutes into his Ipswich debut but goals from Danny Graham and Bradley Dack put Rovers ahead inside half an hour.

Rotherham also bounced back at the first time of asking but, after their struggles of 2016-17, when they managed just 23 points, they endured a sobering first match against Brentford, which ended in a 5-1 loss.

There was late drama at St Andrew’s, where Birmingham drew 2-2 with Norwich.

Jacques Maghoma put the Blues ahead in the 56th minute but his goal was cancelled out by Onel Hernandez seven minutes from time. Viv Solomon-Otabor looked to have won it for Birmingham only for Hernandez to grab a stoppage-time equaliser.

Alan Browne’s 50th-minute effort earned Preston a 1-0 win over QPR while Bristol City drew 1-1 with Nottingham Forest.

Frank Lampard’s Derby County beat Reading 2-1 on Friday.

AFP

Hamilton Wins In Hungary To Build Championship Lead

Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton reacts ahead of the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix race at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod near Budapest, Hungary, on July 29, 2018. Andrej ISAKOVIC / AFP

 

Lewis Hamilton strengthened his push for a fifth world title by increasing his championship lead to 24 points on Sunday as he claimed a convincing victory for Mercedes in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The defending world champion came home 17.123 seconds ahead of title rival and fellow four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari after the German had survived a collision with Valtteri Bottas, in the second Mercedes.

That came on lap 65, of the 70, when Vettel finally passed Bottas, the Finn’s right front wing touching his rear left tyre under braking, wrecking Mercedes’ hopes of a one-two finish.

Kimi Raikkonen finished third, his fifth podium finish in a row, in the second Ferrari ahead of Daniel Ricciardo who surged from 12th on the grid to fourth for Red Bull ahead of Bottas, who finished fifth after a late pit stop.

It was Hamilton’s record sixth win in Hungary, his fifth this season and the 67th of his career.

“We came here knowing that the Ferrari would be really quick this weekend,” said Hamilton. “But to come out with these points, we’ll definitely take as a bonus. What a beautiful day and a great crowd – and a great job from the team.”

Hamilton now has 213 points to Vettel’s 189 after the 12th of 21 races this year and before the championship takes a European summer break.

Frenchman Pierre Gasly came home sixth for Toro Rosso ahead of Kevin Magnussen of Haas, Fernando Alonso of McLaren, on his 37th birthday, fellow-Spaniard Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso and Romain Grosjean in the second Haas.

“P2 is not what we really wanted, but the maximum we could get today,” said Vettel.

The race, preceded by a minute’s silence for former Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne, began in sweltering conditions with a track temperature of 57 degrees Celsius and air at 34.

After Saturday’s rain-lashed qualifying, the teams had a free choice of tyres, which saw Ferrari split their strategy – Vettel, like Sainz, choosing softs, while Raikkonen and the rest started on ultra-softs.

Verstappen forced out 

The Mercedes men made perfect getaways, Hamilton streaking clear and Bottas staying close to resist attacks as Vettel swept inside into third.

Verstappen, who had moved up to fifth, made an early exit, his Renault engine grumbling into retirement on lap six.

After one lap under Virtual Safety Car (VSC) conditions, Hamilton resumed his charge. He was 4.5 seconds clear of Bottas by lap 10 and 5.7 by lap 14 when Raikkonen pitted, followed immediately by Bottas, both switching to softs.

This left Vettel in pursuit of Hamilton, but despite some swift laps, he remained seven seconds adrift of Hamilton before the champion pitted after 25 laps. He rejoined second between the German and Bottas.

In clear air, Vettel pushed to extend his lead to more than 12 seconds by lap 36, with Bottas further adrift and, in turn, ahead of Raikkonen by just 1.2 seconds.

Held by traffic and still on his original worn softs, Vettel began to struggle and his lead tumbled to 9.5sec by lap 39 when he pitted. A slow stop cost him two seconds and he emerged third behind Bottas.

Raikkonen had pitted a lap earlier, falling to fifth behind Ricciardo, who had yet to stop. For Ferrari, it was not an encouraging position given their raw speed advantage in practice. The Australian pitted, finally, after 44 laps, switching to ultras.

By lap 45, Hamilton led Bottas by 10 seconds with Vettel a further three seconds adrift and making little impact, despite fresher tyres.

On lap 51, Stoffel Vandoorne slowed and retired from an encouraging ninth at Turn One. A VSC was deployed. On resumption, Vettel closed to within a second of Bottas, but despite tyres that were 24 laps younger, he was unable to find a pass as Raikkonen closed in.

For Hamilton, it was a dream scenario and, with 10 laps to go, he was 18 seconds clear of the unyielding Bottas, who had both Ferraris bottled up behind him, within a second, until Vettel lunged by with five laps to go.

AFP