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Page 1

ROBIN JONES/GETTY IMAGES

thegame
All the action from the weekend

PAGES 4-5

Curtis Jones gets
his first Liverpool
league goal in 2-0
win over Villa

PAGES 10-11

Inside story of
Frank Lampard’s
first season as
Chelsea manager

Long
After 25 games, Che Adams

finally scores for Southampton
— and it’s a record-setting

39-yard lob to beat
Manchester City 1-0

PAGES 2-3

EVERY GOAL,
EVERY TABLE,

EVERY STAT
YOU NEED TO

KNOW

MONDAY JULY 6 2020

time
coming

Page 2

Match briefing

Oleksandr

Zinchenko lost the

ball in his own half

and the ball broke to

Che Adams, who

curled a stunning

chip past Ederson,

with the City

goalkeeper on the

edge of his penalty

area as the ball is

struck

30

Eric García chased a

ball back into his own

half, but Che Adams

intercepts his pass,

and Ederson raced off

his line to clear

before Adams could

shoot and add to his

earlier goal

68

KEY MOMENT

Two chances in quick

succession for

Manchester City as

Alex McCarthy saved

Raheem Sterling’s

effort, before

Fernandinho

smashed a shot

against the post after

Southampton failed

to clear.

16 mins

There have been many more
meaningful games since the restart
and yet none quite as emotionally
draining as Southampton, urged on
by their highly vocal manager,
blocked and chased and clawed their
way to victory against Pep Guardiola’s
team, their first win over Manchester
City since 2004. City produced wave
upon wave of attack but, buoyed by
Che Adams’s stunning early goal, the
home side maintained near
astonishing levels of concentration to
defy the onslaught.

Just maybe this performance was so
feisty, so full of character, that it will
provide the indelible memory of the
campaign instead of that 9-0 defeat to
Leicester City back in October.
Certainly, this victory underlines just
how much Ralph Hasenhüttl has
grafted since then to ensure Premier
League survival and integrity.

Guardiola delivered a wry smile at
the final whistle. He had a few days
earlier defeated the newly crowned
champions 4-0. Is there anything
much left to occupy the Catalan as he
waits to discover if his club’s appeal
against the two-year ban from
European competition is successful?

The hiatus must be at least slightly
irritating but the former Barcelona
manager does have a squad so packed
with ability that he can juggle his
resources with more in mind than the
mere resting of players. Most of us,
when opting to conjure a meal from
what we have left over in the
cupboard end up grating cheese on
top of pasta but Guardiola always has

far more varied and fascinating
options. His squad is the kitchen
cabinet equivalent of gazing upon jars
of saffron and truffle oil and so last
night he served up Fernandinho in
midfield for the first time this season
although the Brazilian drifted in and
out of defence so that occasionally
City were operating a back three,
again something that Guardiola has
shied away from of late, most recently
utilising a three-man defence against
Sheffield United in January when
they won 1-0.

A hint that we might be treated to a
wonder goal came when Oleksandr
Zinchenko attempted a wind assisted
free kick from inside his own half
which, given the conditions, was not

too bad an idea but the gusts were too
unpredictable for him to achieve any
accuracy. It was then a mistake by
Zinchenko, under pressure from
Stuart Armstrong, that gave
possession to Adams, who must have
noted the City defender’s audacity, for
he immediately chose to lob Ederson
— and pitched it beautifully to beat
the goalkeeper from 35 yards.

If you are going to wait until July to
score your first goal then you might
as well make it cinematic. Adams
joined Southampton from
Birmingham City last summer for
£15 million and his manager predicted
his first goal for the club could easily
come in this game such has been the
hard work put in by the 23-year-old.

City then began to glide with a snarl
and the last action before the first
drinks break was for João Cancelo to
whip in a cross that proved a tad too
firm for Gabriel Jesus at the far post.

Alex McCarthy blocked well from
Raheem Sterling, Fernandinho hit the
post and Sterling placed a follow up
strike just wide.

A through-ball from Bernardo Silva
to Jesus was almost superb but Alex
McCarthy was given time to smother
the chance.

The home team maintained just
enough concentration to make
headway now and again towards
the City goal. Nathan Redmond
ought to have at least tested
Ederson but delivered a wild
effort when he had time to be
more considered but then
City flooded forward
again and
Southampton
needed
McCarthy to
save from Riyad
Mahrez as
Hasenhüttl’s
expletives
echoed
around the
stadium.
Hasenhüttl’s
distinctive
voice was the
dominant
feature
throughout
and he
sounded as if

he was trying to choreograph every
run, every kick, every touch. His
relentlessness provided a neat
companion piece to Guardiola’s
manner, which was restrained while
peppered with ironic glances towards
his coaching staff.

It was almost unnerving to hear the
Austrian’s every thought. As
McCarthy tried to prevent a corner
by collecting a high clearance, his
manager yelled, “come on Alex, come
on.” It must have been like being told

how to breathe because there
was no way the goalkeeper
could have done more by
being urged to do so.

McCarthy was extremely
busy at the start of the second

period, dealing with dangerous
floating balls and biting corner

kicks as well as having to
track the increasingly

slick passing of the
visitors. Zinchenko’s
silky through-ball to
David Silva seemed
certain to deceive him
but McCarthy’s
reaction was just as
impressively smooth
and the Southampton
bench emitted a
collective gasp of
incredulity. He was
helped a good deal by
Jack Stephens who had

b

b
p

b
r
i

b

J

Guardiola looks on
in dismay as City
crash to defeat

1 0
Adams 16

26% 74%

POSSESSION

4 6

SHOTS ON TARGET

6 7

FOULS

RATINGSRATINGS

Southampton (4-4-2): A McCarthy 9 — K Walker-
Peters 7, J Bednarek 8, J Stephens 8, R Bertrand 7 —
S Armstrong 9 (W Smallbone, 90), J Ward-Prowse 7,
O Romeu 7, N Redmond 7 — D Ings 7, C Adams 8
(S Long, 70).
Booked Romeu.

Manchester City (4-1-4-1): Ederson 7 — J Cancelo 6,
E García 6, A Laporte 6, O Zinchenko 6 —
Fernadinho 7 — R Mahrez 8 (P Foden, 59 6), B Silva
7, D Silva 7, R Sterling 7 (K De Bruyne, 59 6) —
G Jesus 7.
Booked Fernandinho, Jesus.
Referee A Marriner.

Southampton Manchester
City

ALYSON
RUDD

St Mary’s Stadium

2 2G G Monday July 6 2020 | the times

thegame

Southampton man the
barricades to repel City

1 Southampton manager
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s
philosophy is to force
opponents into mistakes high
up the pitch. Stuart
Armstrong dispossesses
Oleksandr Zinchenko on
halfway, leaving Manchester
City all at sea.

2 Armstrong’s tackle on
Zinchenko is the trigger for
Che Adams to press and the
forward flies towards the ball.

3 Hasenhüttl’s players are
well drilled but he also gives
them licence to think for
themselves when they regain
possession. Adams spots
Ederson well off his line and
instinctively shoots first time,
lobbing the goalkeeper from
39 yards.

Longest-range Premier
League goals, 2019-20

39.1 yards: Che Adams
(Southampton v Man City)
37.8 yards: Scott McTominay
(Man Utd v Man City)
31.2 yards: Ashley Westwood
(Burnley v Southampton)

1

2

3

HOW ADAMS
HIT SEASON’S
LONGEST GOAL

Armstrong

Adams

Armstrong

Adams

Adams

Zinchenko

Page 8

If there was any proof required of
Mason Greenwood’s progression from
boy to man, it came in a video of
Manchester United’s first full-contact
training session, which they posted on
social media last month.

It showed one passage of play in a
seven-a-side game at Carrington in
which Timothy Fosu-Mensah played
a pass down the right, which
Greenwood and Victor Lindelof
pursued with gusto. Lindelof got to
the ball first and looked certain to
clear his lines. “He’s going nowhere,
Vic,” said one member of the
coaching staff in an attempt to
encourage the 25-year-old centre half,
who is seven years older than
Greenwood.

It turned out to be a terrible call.
Greenwood brushed Lindelof off the
ball with his shoulder, turned inside,
took two steps to his left and fired a
low shot into the net.

This time last year, after
Greenwood had scored his first senior
goal for United against Leeds United
in Perth, Western Australia, Ole
Gunnar Solskjaer praised the then 17-
year-old but warned that physically
he was not quite ready for regular
first-team action. “He needs to build
his body to get ready for men’s
football,” Solskjaer said.

That is why lockdown has benefited
Greenwood so much. It gave him time
to hit the weights in his home gym
and bulk up to be ready for the
resumption of the season. The results
have been spectacular. He is said to
have gained three kilograms of
muscle after working on his triceps,
biceps and quadriceps. Now, thanks to
his time in the gym and his natural
growth, he is no longer a skinny, wiry
youngster. He has the body shape to
withstand the rigours of the Premier
League.

The plan, Solskjaer says, is for
Greenwood to keep bulking up.

“We’ll keep on building him up in
the gym and on the pitch,” the United
manager said. “He’s worked hard, you
can see his fitness is getting better.”

United are looking irresistible.
Bruno Fernandes has scored four
goals and set two more up since
football resumed and Anthony
Martial has found the net four times
in his past three starts. But arguably
the most exciting player in a United
shirt is Greenwood. He took his tally
to three goals in two matches with a
brace against Bournemouth.

The most devastating aspect of
Greenwood’s play is that he is just as
comfortable shooting with his left
foot as he is with his right. A full back
is always taught to put wingers on to
their weaker foot, but Greenwood
does not have one. When he had the
ball on the edge of the box in the
second half, one Bournemouth player
could be heard shouting, “Don’t let
him turn [inside]” to full back Adam

Smith, but it did not matter.
Greenwood did not have to turn
inside on to his left. He just let fly
with his right foot instead and the ball
hit the top corner.

Greenwood’s goals have come as no
surprise to Solskjaer. Last season the
first-team players were showing each
other clips of the striker scoring goals
for the youth teams. Greenwood
scored 30 goals in 29 games for the
under-23s, under-19s and under-18s
last term, and many of them were
spectacular. Just as important to
Solskjaer is that Greenwood, who
joined United’s academy aged six
after being spotted in Halifax, is that
he is a grounded individual. His
father Andrew, an engineer, acts as
his representative and likes his son to
be low-key. United have been
protective of him too.

Greenwood’s grounded nature will
please Gareth Southgate as well. The
England manager already has an
embarrassment of riches in attack —
Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling,
Harry Kane and Jadon Sancho
among others — but if Greenwood
keeps on scoring, he will surely get a
chance sooner rather than later.

On the FA’s website there is a clock
counting down to England’s next
match in September, a Nations
League game against Iceland.
Alongside it stands pictures of Kane
and Jesse Lingard. The latter seems to
be fading from the England picture —
he was not even on the bench on
Saturday — and Greenwood appears
to be the future.

“If you can handle playing for Man
Utd, then you can handle playing for
any team and Mason’s got the
qualities that not many others have,”
Solskjaer said.

Weights at
home made
a man of
Greenwood
PAUL HIRST Match details

RATINGS

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): D De Gea 5 —
A Wan Bissaka 7, V Lindelof 6 (E Bailly 45min, 5),
H Maguire 5, L Shaw 7 — N Matic 6 (Fred 67, 7),
P Pogba 7 — M Greenwood 9 (D James 75),
B Fernandes 9, M Rashford 7 (O Ighalo 80)
— A Martial 9 (J Mata 80).

Bournemouth (4-4-2): A Ramsdale 7 — A Smith 6
(J Stacey 77), L Kelly 5, N Aké 5, D Rico 5 —
D Brooks 5 (A Danjuma 45, 6), L Cook 5
(H Wilson 66, 5), J Lerma 6, J Stanislas 7 (D Gosling
66, 5) — J King 7, D Solanke 6 (P Billing 66, 5).
Booked Lerma.

Referee M Dean.

Manchester Utd
5

Bournemouth
2

It seemed a bold decision to leave the
comfort of Chelsea for a Brighton &
Hove Albion side who were sitting
just above the relegation zone on the
last day of January. Three matches
into Tariq Lamptey’s new career on
the south coast and he has quickly
shown why Frank Lampard was said
to be shocked by his exit from
Chelsea. It can also be seen as the
latest example of a youngster moving
to a smaller club where he is given the
opportunity to develop.

There were many moments of pure
class from the 19-year-old at Carrow
Road on Saturday. Towards the end of

Humble Lamptey thriving
the game the speedy right back
pushed the ball to the left of Jamal
Lewis and burst past the defender
who is no slouch himself. Lamptey’s
touch was a shade heavy and he lost
the resulting duel but showed that he
had the confidence to drive Brighton
forward even though they were
protecting a precious and slender
lead.

He has a low centre of gravity and
his bold runs were complemented by
awareness of the cuter aspects of the
game. He nudged Onel Hernández to
the floor after the Norwich City
winger had spun round and was about
to get away. As a measure of how well
Lamptey played, he comfortably
outshone Max Aarons, the 20-year-

old Norwich full back being watched
by clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur.

The three-month break in football
benefited Brighton and helped
Lamptey, in particular, to settle in,
which Adam Webster, the centre half,
has noticed.

“He’s showing great maturity on
the pitch,” Webster said. “He’s done
amazing since he came in. He is
athletically so fast and strong. He
does not get beat in a one-versus-one.
Technically he is very good. The best
thing is he is a lovely kid and so
humble.”

Lamptey admitted that his heart
was racing when he was about to
make his Chelsea debut as a
substitute in late December, helping

GARY JACOB

8 2G G Monday July 6 2020 | the times

thegame

THREE RISING STARS WHO COU

A Ramsdale, 22
Bournemouth

ENGLAND NEXT GENERATION XI

Subs: C Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea, 19), R
James (Chelsea, 20), T Lamptey
(Brighton, 19), T Abraham (Chelsea,
22), D McNeil (Burnley, 20)

A Wan-
Bissaka, 22

Man Utd

P Foden, 20
Man City

J Sancho, 20
Dortmund

M Rashford, 22
Man Utd

M Mount, 21
Chelsea

T Alexander-
Arnold, 21
Liverpool

M Greenwood, 18
Man Utd

D Rice, 21
West Ham

F Tomori, 22
Chelsea

B Saka, 18
Arsenal

TARIQ LAMPTEY
(Brighton)

Weekend stats
Minutes 89

Chances created 1
Interceptions 5

Pass accuracy 87.1%

Bournemouth’s defenders were alert to

the danger of Mason Greenwood — as

BT Sport showed. Their microphones

picked up a player saying “don’t let him

turn” before Greenwood scored.

BOURNEMOUTH’S WARNING

Page 9

Technically superb
and a fighter: Saka
is just what Arteta
wants team to be

To best understand how far Arsenal
had fallen from English football’s elite,
a statistic: until this weekend, they
had not beaten a team above them in
the Premier League away from home
since Leicester City on September 26,
2015. Seventeen attempts, 17 failures.

Being eighth in the table helped to
end that record but Mikel Arteta went
to Champions League-chasing
Wolverhampton Wanderers knowing
it would be the clearest indication yet
of how far his team had progressed.
The 2-0 result was emphatic. Here is
the story of how they did it:

SAKA A SHINING EXAMPLE
After a week in which Bukayo Saka
signed a lucrative new long-term deal,
his trip to Molineux threatened to put
a dampener on it. Saka had been
singled out by Wolves, with packs of
two and three surrounding him every
time he picked up the ball. Their
physicality forced him into errors.

But Saka represents what Arteta
wants Arsenal to be. His resilience
and fight is a welcome sign in a side
that has increasingly shown mental
and physical fragility over recent
years. Saka was struggling but never
gave in and ended up producing the
moment of technical brilliance that
tilted the game in Arsenal’s direction,
adjusting his body as the ball bounced
high before hooking it past Rui
Patricio by swivelling his hips.

It was a fourth win in a row for
Arteta, and vindication of his
continued exile of Mesut Özil and
Matteo Guendouzi. Özil’s artistry is
well known but Arsenal are often left
exposed when he plays. Saka is a
symbol of the Arsenal Arteta aims for:
a gifted talent, and a team player.

DISCIPLINED DISPLAY
Like many managers, Arteta is
enjoying one benefit of empty
stadiums: his players can hear him
now. And there is plenty to hear as
the Spaniard barks out orders in
multiple languages. David Luiz was
constantly ordered to organise the
defence, Arteta demanded his
midfield press and instructed Eddie
Nketiah on holding the ball up. Saka
and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
tucked in and Arsenal swamped the
middle of the pitch.

Under Arteta, they have become
harder to beat. That is partly down to
the 3-4-3 formation he introduced,
but Arsenal were disciplined in
retaining the shape, making it difficult
for Wolves to break them down.
Nuno Espírito Santo’s team were
limited to one shot on target. Another
sign of progress: this was the first time
since 2017 that Arsenal had kept three
consecutive league clean sheets.

COMPETITION FOR PLACES
Özil cannot get in the squad,
Alexandre Lacazette and Héctor
Bellerin started on the bench, and
either Saka or Nicolas Pépé would
have also watched on from the

sidelines had the Ivorian’s wife not
gone into labour on Saturday.

There are no longer guarantees for
places under Arteta, and the impact is
clear. Saka has taken his chance in
the team, and took his only chance at
Molineux. Fellow teenager Nketiah
had one glimpse of goal and came
close to scoring, forcing Patricio into a
fine save that still required the
support of the post. Lacazette, Arteta
said, was ready to come on within
three seconds of being summoned,
and then scored three minutes later.
Competition has produced hunger.

MUSTAFI’S REINVENTION
There is a video on YouTube titled
‘Shkodran Mustafi Worst Mistakes!!!’
It lasts little over a minute and is a
tragic-comic compilation of the
German defender being outwitted
and outmuscled, slipping and sliding,
lunging recklessly and, ultimately,
costing Arsenal frequently. It is a
damning representation of his four
years in north London, but not of his
performance at Molineux.

This was a mature Mustafi. Up
against the league’s most lethal
combination of Adama Traoré and
Raúl Jiménez, he was assured and
calm, a reliable presence in defence.
When Nketiah hit the post, it was
thanks to Mustafi nicking the ball
from Traoré and starting the attack.
He has benefited from the support of
a back three in the new formation,
constantly organising alongside Luiz.
Continue this way and Mustafi may
be one of Arteta’s great projects.

SOLID GRANIT XHAKA
Watching Granit Xhaka marshal the
midfield at Molineux and chase down
the ball which almost set up a third
goal, it seemed inconceivable that this
could be the same season in which he
was booed off the field by Arsenal
fans. It was only October last year
that the Swiss was stripped of the
captaincy and, it seemed, on his way
out of the Emirates for good.

Arteta’s clean slate included Xhaka.
His has been a story of redemption
this season, and at Molineux he and
Dani Ceballos showed a renewed grit
in midfield up against the talent of
Rúben Neves and João Moutinho.
Xhaka has helped strengthen the core
of Arteta’s team, which is beginning to
become pretty impressive.

TOM RODDY Match details

RATINGS

Wolverhampton Wanderers (3-5-2): R Patricio 7 —
W Boly 6, C Coady 6, R Saïss 6 — M Doherty 5
(P Neto 72min), L Dendoncker 6 (D Jota 55, 7),
R Neves 6, J Moutinho 6 (M Gibbs-White 88),
J Otto 7 — A Traoré 7, R Jimenez 6. Booked Coady,
Saïss.

Arsenal (3-4-3): E Martinez 7 — S Mustafi 7, D Luiz
7, S Kolasinac 6 — Cedric 6 (H Bellerin 75),
D Ceballos 7 (L Torreira 83), G Xhaka 6, P Tierney 7
(A Maitland-Niles 57, 6) — B Saka 8 (J Willock 75),
E Nketiah 7 (A Lacazette 83), P-E Aubameyang 6.
Booked Luiz, Torreira, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles.

Referee M Oliver.

Wolves
0

Arsenal
2

outside his comfort zone
them come from behind to beat
Arsenal. Although he had been at the
club from the age of eight and played
for England youth sides, his
immediate chances were likely to be
restricted by three other players,
including Reece James.

His contract was up at the end of
this season and in those 30 minutes at
Emirates Stadium he came to wider
attention. “I remember watching him
on his debut and thinking, ‘This guy’s
a player,’ ” Webster said. “It was a
brave decision. He could have signed
a new contract for Chelsea and
maybe not played many games. But
he stepped out of his comfort zone.
Ever since he’s come in, every day in
training he works so hard. You can

see the ability he’s got. He’s kept his
head down. We’re really lucky to have
him.”

Oddly the first thing to notice
about him is his superstition. He hops
just once on each foot before he
comes on for reasons that even he
cannot remember. “I do it every time
before I get on the pitch,” Lamptey
said. “It is a bit of a weird one.”

Lewis and Aarons are among the
youngsters who could leave Norwich
if, as is likely, they go down. There are
questions over whether Daniel Farke
will stay as head coach and he
seemed to be putting pressure on the
club to talk about their intentions
after he said he had received offers to
leave this season.

Match briefing

RATINGS

Norwich City (4-2-3-1): T Krul 6 — M Aarons 6,
B Godfrey 6, T Klose 4, J Lewis 5 — A Tettey 5
(M Vrancic 78min), K McLean 5 — E Buendía 6,
O Duda 5 (A Idah 67, 6), O Hernández 4
(T Cantwell 67, 5) — J Drmic 5 (T Pukki 67, 5).
Booked Lewis, Cantwell.

Brighton & Hove Albion (4-2-2-2): M Ryan 6
— T Lamptey 7 (S Duffy 90+4), A Webster 6,
L Dunk 6, D Burn 6 — D Pröpper 6, Y Bissouma 7
(D Stephens, 79) — A Mooy 6 (Bernardo 72 6),
L Trossard 6 (A Mac Allister 79) — A Connolly 6
(P Gross, 72 5), N Maupay 6. Booked Lamptey,
Gross.

Referee S Attwell.

Norwich City
0

Brighton
1

the times | Monday July 6 2020 2G G 9

thegame

ULD BE FUTURE FOR ENGLAND

MASON GREENWOOD
(Man Utd)

Weekend stats
Minutes 75

Goals 2
Shots on target 2

Pass accuracy 91.3%

BUKAYO SAKA
(Arsenal)

Weekend stats
Minutes 76

Goals 1
Shots on target 1

Tackles 3
Pass accuracy 87.1%

Page 15

the times | Monday July 6 2020 2G G 15the times | Monday July 6 2020 2G G 15

thegame

Premier League
HOME AWAY

P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts

1 Liverpool (c).................................33 17 0 0 46 12 12 2 2 26 13 47 89
2 Man City........................................33 12 2 2 45 12 9 1 7 36 22 47 66
3 Leicester.......................................33 10 4 3 33 15 7 3 6 30 16 32 58
4 Chelsea.........................................33 9 3 5 27 16 8 3 5 33 28 16 57
5 Man United..................................33 10 5 2 37 14 5 5 6 19 19 23 55
6 Wolves..........................................33 6 7 4 22 19 7 6 3 23 17 9 52
7 Arsenal..........................................33 8 5 3 30 20 4 8 5 19 21 8 49
8 Sheffield United..........................33 8 3 5 20 14 4 9 4 14 19 1 48
9 Burnley.........................................33 8 3 6 22 20 5 4 7 15 26 -9 46

10 Tottenham...................................32 9 3 4 30 16 3 6 7 21 28 7 45
11 Everton.........................................32 8 5 3 21 16 4 3 9 19 31 -7 44
12 Newcastle.....................................33 6 8 3 18 15 5 2 9 17 30 -10 43
13 Southampton..............................33 5 2 10 17 33 8 2 6 25 22 -13 43
14 Crystal Palace..............................33 6 4 6 12 14 5 5 7 16 26 -12 42
15 Brighton........................................33 5 6 5 19 19 3 6 8 16 25 -9 36
16 West Ham.....................................33 5 3 8 26 30 3 4 10 14 28 -18 31
17 Watford.........................................33 4 6 6 18 21 2 4 11 11 31 -23 28
18 Aston Villa....................................33 5 3 8 19 27 2 3 12 17 35 -26 27
19 Bournemouth..............................33 4 5 7 18 27 3 1 13 14 32 -27 27
20 Norwich........................................33 4 3 10 19 31 1 3 12 6 30 -36 21

Sky Bet Championship

HOME AWAY

P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts

W 1 Leeds...........................41 12 5 3 30 14 11 4 6 33 20 29 78
W 2 West Brom..................41 9 8 3 40 25 12 6 3 31 15 31 77
W 3 Brentford....................41 12 5 3 40 15 9 4 8 33 18 40 72
Y 4 Fulham........................41 13 2 6 33 23 7 8 5 22 21 11 70
Z 5 Nottingham Forest...41 10 4 6 24 20 8 10 3 30 21 13 68
W 6 Cardiff..........................41 9 9 2 28 17 7 7 7 30 34 7 64
W 7 Derby...........................41 11 8 2 31 15 5 5 10 25 38 3 61
W 8 Swansea......................41 9 5 7 26 22 6 10 4 26 26 4 60
Y 9 Millwall........................41 8 8 4 28 22 6 9 6 20 22 4 59
Z10 Preston........................41 11 3 7 36 28 5 7 8 16 22 2 58
Z11 Blackburn...................41 9 8 4 28 20 6 3 11 28 33 3 56
W12 Bristol City..................41 7 5 8 26 30 8 5 8 27 30 -7 55
Y13 QPR..............................41 8 5 8 38 36 7 3 10 22 30 -6 53
Y14 Reading...................... 41 7 3 10 24 28 7 7 7 29 20 5 52
Z15 Sheffield Wed 41 7 6 7 17 25 7 4 10 33 31 -6 52
Z16 Wigan..........................41 8 6 6 23 22 5 5 11 22 31 -8 50
W17 Birmingham...............41 6 6 8 30 35 6 7 8 21 29 -13 49
Y18 Stoke............................41 9 3 9 33 26 4 4 12 21 35 -7 46
Z19 Charlton......................41 8 5 8 26 24 4 5 11 20 31 -9 46
W20 Huddersfield..............41 7 6 8 24 27 5 4 11 25 36 -14 46
Z21 Hull...............................41 7 3 11 29 35 5 6 9 27 37 -16 45
Z22 Middlesbrough..........41 6 8 7 18 23 4 6 10 22 30 -13 44
W23 Barnsley......................41 6 8 7 28 33 4 3 13 17 33 -21 41
W24 Luton Town................41 7 5 8 28 33 4 2 15 18 45 -32 40

League One and Europe

Fixtures
Kick-off 7.45 unless stated
Tonight
Barclays Premier League
Tottenham v Everton (8.0)
(Sky Sports Main Event)
League One play-off semi-finals
Oxford United (1) v Portsmouth
(1) (5.0) (Sky Sports Main Event);
Wycombe (4) v Fleetwood Town
(1) (7.30) (Sky Sports Football)

Tomorrow
Barclays Premier League
Crystal Palace v Chelsea (6.0)
(Sky Sports Main Event); Wat-
ford v Norwich City (6.0) (Sky
One/Sky Sports Arena); Arsenal
v Leicester City (8.15) (Sky Sports
Premier League)
Sky Bet Championship
Nottingham Forest v Fulham
(5.0) (Sky Sports Football);
Brentford v Charlton (6.0);
Luton Town v Barnsley (6.0);
Reading v Huddersfield (6.0);
Cardiff v Blackburn

Wednesday
Barclays Premier League
Manchester City v Newcastle
(6.0) (BT Sport 1); West Ham v
Burnley (6.0) (BT Sport 2); Shef-
field United v Wolves (6.0) (Sky
Sports Main Event); Brighton &
Hove Albion v Liverpool (8.15)
(Sky Sports Premier League)
Sky Bet Championship
West Brom V Derby County (5.0)
(Sky Sports Football)
Millwall v Middlesbrough (3.0);
Birmingham v Swansea (6.0);
Bristol City v Hull (6.0); Wigan v
QPR (6.0); Sheffield Wednesday
v Preston

Thursday
Barclays Premier League
Everton v Southampton (6.0)
(Amazon Prime); Bournemouth
v Tottenham Hotspur (6.0) (Sky
One/Sky Sports Main Event);
Aston Villa v Manchester United
(8.15) (Sky Sports Main Event)
Sky Bet Championship
Leeds United v Stoke City (5.0)
(Sky Sports Football)

Friday
Sky Bet Championship
Huddersfield v Luton (6.0) (Sky
Sports Football); Fulham v Car-
diff (8.15) (Sky Sports Main
Event)

Saturday
Barclays Premier League
Norwich v West Ham (12.30) (BT
Sport 1); Watford v Newcastle
(12.30) (Amazon Prime); Liver-
pool v Burnley (3.0) (BT Sport 1);
Sheffield United v Chelsea (5.30)
(Sky Sports Main Event); Brigh-
ton v Manchester City (8.0) (Sky
Sports Main Event)
Sky Bet Championship
Derby County v Brentford
(12.30) (Sky Sports Football);
Charlton v Reading (12.30); Barn-
sley v Wigan (3.0); Blackburn v
West Brom (3.0); Hull v Millwall
(3.0); Middlesbrough v Bristol
City (3.0); Preston v Nottm For-
est (3.0); QPR v Sheff Wed (3.0)

RESULTS

23

LEADING SCORERS
23 Watkins (Brentford), right
23 Mitrovic (Fulham)
19 Grabban (Nottm Forest)
18 Grant (Huddersfield)
16 Bowen (Hull)
16 Wells (Bristol City)

TOP ASSISTS

TOP SAVES

13 Pereira (West Brom)
12 Eliasson (Bristol City)
10 Wallace (Millwall)
10 Swift (Reading)
9 Tomlin (Cardiff)
8 Benrahma (Brentford)

135 Phillips (Charlton)
134 Cabral (Reading
125 Bialkowski (Millwall)
115 Bentley (Bristol City)
111 Walton (Blackburn)
107 Long (Hull City)

17

Burnley (1) 1 Sheffield United (0) 1

Tarkowski 43 Egan 80

Chelsea (2) 3 Watford (0) 0

Giroud 28, Willian 43
(pen),Barkley 90+2

Leicester (0) 3 Crystal Palace (0) 0

Iheanacho 49
Vardy 77, 90+4

Liverpool (0) 2 Aston Villa (0) 0

Mané 71, Jones 89

Man United (3) 5 Bournemouth (1) 2

Greenwood 29, 54
Rashford 35 (pen)
Martial 45+2
Fernandes 59

Stanislas 15
King 49 (pen)

Newcastle (1) 2 West Ham (1) 2

Almirón 17
Shelvey 67

Antonio 4
Soucek 65

Norwich (0) 0 Brighton (1) 1

Trossard 25

Southampton (1) 1 Man City (0) 0

Adams 16

Wolves (0) 0 Arsenal (1) 2

Saka 43, Lacazette 86

Blackburn 1 Leeds 3
Armstrong 48 Bamford 7,

Phillips 40,
Klich 53

Brentford 3 Wigan 0
Benrahma 19,
57, 66

Bristol City 0 Cardiff City 1
Ward 85

Derby County
1

Nottingham
Forest 1

Martin 90+7 Lolley 12

Fulham 1 Birmingham 0
Onomah 90+5

Huddersfield
0

Preston
North End 0

Luton 0 Reading 5
Méïté 17, 18,
35, 62, Puscas
57

M’brough 0 QPR 1
Hugill 32

Stoke City 4 Barnsley 0
Campbell 10,
38, Vokes 8,
Ince 87

Swansea 2 Sheff Wed 1
Brewster 52,
Ayew 66 (pen)

Nuhiu 90+4

West Brom 4 Hull City 2
Austin 4,
Hegazi 37,
Grosicki 49,
Diangana 76

Stewart 24,
Wilks 48

TOP SCORERS

TOP ASSISTS

TOP SAVES

21 Vardy (Leicester City)
19 Aubameyang (Arsenal)
18 Ings (Southampton)
17 Salah (Liverpool)
16 Aguero (Man City)
16 Mane (Liverpool)

17 De Bruyne (Man City), below
12 Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
9 Son (Tottenham Hotspur)
9 Traore (Wolves)
8 Barnes (Leicester City)
8 Mahrez (Man City)

124 Dubravka (Newcastle)
113 Leno (Arsenal)
113 Ramsdale (Bournemouth)
111 Krul (Norwich City)
103 Foster (Watford)
103 Ryan (Brighton)

TONIGHT
Tottenham Hotspur v Everton,
Premier League, Sky Sports
Premier League/Main Event, 8pm
A battle between two teams still
adjusting to new managers.
Tottenham go into the game in
tenth, one point ahead of Everton.

TOMORROW
Arsenal v Leicester City,
Sky Sports Premier League/
Main Event, 8.15pm
Off the back of three straight wins,
Arsenal will be looking to close in
on the Champions League places.

WEDNESDAY
Sheffield United v
Wolverhampton Wanderers,
Sky Sports Premier League/Main
Event, 6pm
Bramall Lane will host two of the
surprise packages of the season so
far, both with European ambitions.

TV HIGHLIGHTS
WITH BILL EDGAR

League One

P W D L F A GD Pts
Coventry .....................34 18 13 3 48 30 18 67
Rotherham..................35 18 8 9 61 38 23 62
Wycombe....................34 17 8 9 45 40 5 59
Oxford Utd..................35 17 9 9 61 37 24 60
Portsmouth.................35 17 9 9 53 36 17 60
Fleetwood Town........35 16 12 7 51 38 13 60
Peterboro....................35 17 8 10 68 40 28 59
Sunderland.................36 16 11 9 48 32 16 59
Doncaster ................... 34 15 9 10 51 33 18 54
Gillingham...................35 12 15 8 42 34 8 51
Ipswich........................36 14 10 12 46 36 10 52
Burton..........................35 12 12 11 50 50 0 48
Blackpool ....................35 11 12 12 44 43 1 45
Bristol R.......................35 12 9 14 38 49 -11 45
Shrewsbury ................34 10 11 13 31 42 -11 41
Lincoln City.................35 12 6 17 44 46 -2 42
Accrington Stanley....35 10 10 15 47 53 -6 40
Rochdale.....................34 10 6 18 39 57 -18 36
MK Dons......................35 10 7 18 36 47 -11 37
AFC Wimbledon.........35 8 11 16 39 52 -13 35
Tranmere....................34 8 8 18 36 60 -24 32
Southend.....................35 4 7 24 39 85 -46 19
Bolton ..........................34 5 11 18 27 66 -39 14

League One play-off first legs: Portsmouth 1 Oxford
United 1; Fleetwood Town 1 Wycombe Wanderers 4

League One play-off second legs: Tonight Oxford
United v Portsmouth (17.00); Wycombe v Fleetwood
Town (19.30)

Bundesliga

P W D L F A GD Pts
Bayern Munich (c).....34 26 4 4 100 32 68 82
Borussia Dortmund...34 21 6 7 84 41 43 69
RB Leipzig...................34 18 12 4 81 37 44 66
B Mönchengladbach.34 20 5 9 66 40 26 65
Bayer Leverkusen .....34 19 6 9 61 44 17 63
Hoffenheim.................34 15 7 12 53 53 0 52
Wolfsburg...................34 13 10 11 48 46 2 49
SC Freiburg.................34 13 9 12 48 47 1 48
Eintracht Frankfurt ...34 13 6 15 59 60 -1 45
Hertha BSC..................34 11 8 15 48 59 -11 41
Union Berlin................34 12 5 17 41 58 -17 41
FC Schalke 04 ............34 9 12 13 38 58 -20 39
Mainz 05 .....................34 11 4 19 44 65 -21 37
FC Köln........................34 10 6 18 51 69 -18 36
Augsburg....................34 9 9 16 45 63 -18 36
Werder Bremen .........34 8 7 19 42 69 -27 31
Fortuna Düsseldorf...34 6 12 16 36 67 -31 30
SC Paderborn .............34 4 8 22 37 74 -37 20

Serie A

P W D L F A GD Pts
Juventus.....................30 24 3 3 63 26 37 75
Lazio............................30 21 5 4 66 31 35 68
Inter Milan..................30 19 7 4 63 31 32 64
Atalanta ......................30 19 6 5 83 39 44 63
Roma...........................30 14 6 10 54 42 12 48
Napoli..........................30 14 6 10 48 40 8 48
AC Milan......................30 13 7 10 39 37 2 46
Verona ........................30 11 9 10 37 36 1 42
Bologna.......................30 11 8 11 43 47 -4 41
Sassuolo......................30 11 7 12 55 52 3 40
Cagliari........................30 10 9 11 48 46 2 39
Parma..........................30 11 6 13 41 40 1 39
Fiorentina...................30 8 10 12 37 43 -6 34
Sampdoria..................30 9 5 16 36 51 -15 32
Udinese.......................30 8 8 14 27 43 -16 32
Torino..........................30 9 4 17 34 56 -22 31
Genoa..........................30 6 9 15 37 58 -21 27
Lecce ...........................30 6 7 17 38 70 -32 25
Brescia ........................ 30 5 6 19 27 58 -31 21
SPAL ............................30 5 4 21 23 53 -30 19

Brescia (0) 2 Verona (0) 0
Papetti 52
Donnarumma 90+6

Cagliari (0) 0 Atalanta (1) 1

sent off: Carboni 27 Muriel (pen) 27

Inter Milan (1) 1 Bologna (0) 2

Lukaku 22
Sent off: Bastoni 77

Juwaru 74,
Barrow 80
Sent off: Soriano 57

Juventus (2) 4 Torino (1) 1

Dybala 3
Cuadrado 29
Ronaldo 61
Djidji 87 (og)

Belotti 45+6 (pen)

Lazio (0) 0 AC Milan (2) 3

Calhanoglu 23
Ibrahimovic 34 (pen)
Rebic 59

Napoli (0) 2 Roma (0) 1

Callejon 55, Insigne 82 Mkhitaryan 60

Parma (0) 1 Fiorentina (2) 2

Kucka 49 (pen) Pulgar 19 (pen), 31 (pen)

Sampdoria (3) 3 SPAL (0) 0

Linetty 11, 45+3
Gabbiadini 45

Sassuolo (1) 4 Lecce (1) 2
Caputo 5
Berardi 63 (pen)
Boga 78, Müldür 83

Lucioni 27
Mancosu 67 (pen)

Udinese (1) 2 Genoa (0) 2

Fofana 44
Lasagna 73

Pandev 81
Pinamonti 90+7

La Liga
P W D L F A GD Pts

Real Madrid ................34 23 8 3 62 21 41 77
Barcelona....................34 22 7 5 77 36 41 73
Atletico Madrid..........34 16 14 4 47 25 22 62

Seville ..........................33 15 12 6 48 33 15 57
Villarreal......................33 16 6 12 54 44 10 54
Getafe..........................34 14 11 9 42 31 11 53
Real Sociedad.............33 15 5 13 50 42 8 50
Athletic Bilbao............34 12 12 10 38 29 9 48
Valencia ..................... 34 12 11 11 43 50 -7 47
Granada ......................34 13 8 13 42 40 2 47
Osasuna ......................34 11 12 11 40 47 -7 45
Levante........................33 12 6 15 41 46 -5 42
Real Valladolid...........34 8 15 11 28 37 -9 39
Real Betis ....................34 9 11 14 44 55 -11 38
Alavés..........................34 9 8 17 32 51 -19 35
Celta Vigo ...................34 7 14 13 33 43 -10 35
Eibar.............................33 9 8 16 34 50 -16 35
Mallorca ......................34 8 5 21 35 59 -24 29
Leganés.......................34 6 10 18 25 49 -24 28
Espanyol ..................... 34 5 9 20 27 54 -27 24

Athletic Bilbao (0) 0 Real Madrid (0) 1

Ramos 73 (pen)

Celta Vigo (1) 1 Real Betis (0) 1
Nolito 22 Feddal 79

Espanyol (0) 0 Leganés (0) 1

Sent off: Calleri 88 Silva 53

Granada (0) 2 Valencia (0) 2
Fernández 61 (pen)
Vico Villegas 86

Vallejo Galván 63
Ganchinho Guedes 68

Osasuna (0) 0 Getafe (0) 0

Real Valladolid (0) 1 Alavés (0) 0
Fernández 88

Villarreal (1) 1 Barcelona (3) 4

Moreno 14 Torres 3 (og), Suarez 20,
Griezmann 45, Fati 86

Portuguese Primeira Liga

Benfica 3 Boavista 1; FC Porto 5 Belenenses 0; Gil Vi-
cente 1 Rio Ave 0; Portimonense 0 Vitória Guimarães
1; Sporting Braga 4 Desportivo Aves 0; Tondela 0 FC
Famalicão 1; Vitória Setúbal 2 Paços de Ferreira 3

Top four
P W D L F A GD Pts

FC Porto......................30 23 4 3 62 18 44 73
Benfica ........................30 21 4 5 62 24 38 67
Sporting CP ................ 29 17 4 8 47 30 17 55
Sporting Braga ..........30 16 5 9 53 36 17 53

Portsmouth’s Ryan Williams is tackled by Oxford’s Josh Ruffels during Friday’s
first leg of the League One play-off semi-final. The second leg is this evening

JAMES MARSH/BPI/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Page 16

For his 700th goal in top-flight football, Lionel
Messi did a Tommy Cooper on it, a trick to
entertain us, a flourish of magic to leave his
adoring audience beaming with delight.

Barcelona were playing Atletico Madrid at a
deserted Nou Camp last Tuesday. The god of
small things was about to reach another
statistical landmark in a career that has
rampaged its way through the record books.
The chance came from the penalty spot and
perhaps he decided that the moment required
a splash of flamboyance.

Messi runs up, the goalkeeper Jan Oblak
dives left and the ball almost waves to him as it
floats past him on the other side. It could have
been stopped by a child.

The Panenka penalty is a subversive act in
this highly serious, risk-averse business. It is
the impudent raspberry to every rule in the
book. It is the classic comedy set-up whereby
an authority figure representing law and order
is undone by a joker. Oblak has just been
pranked by the ultimate artful dodger.

In the absence of a crowd, Messi heads
straight for a TV camera positioned behind the
goal. He has another piece of stagecraft stored
up his sleeve. He stops, stands still, raises his
right arm and snaps his fingers, like a magician
summoning a puff of smoke. There, that’s how
you pull a rabbit out of a hat — just like that.
He throws in a conspiratorial wink too, and a
smile and a kiss. It goes viral online and again
he has his global fanbase eating out of the
palm of his hand.

Titans of sport, such as Michael Jordan and
Tiger Woods, tend to induce awe and
admiration more than warmth and affection.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s glories have come wrapped
in a diva’s narcissism.

Messi is beloved as well as admired. Seven
career hundreds is a lot of heavy lifting; rarely
has such epochal mastery been so lightly worn.
He is a bringer of joy as well as wonder. His
deeds have prompted giggles of mirth as well
as gasps of astonishment.

He turned 33 two weeks ago. It seems like an
age has passed since he walked out of the
pages of a comic book, a boy wizard brought to
life in front of our eyes. Because it was only in
cartoons that these things were possible.

Human beings
have a bone
structure
that makes
our
movement
rigid. We are
bound by the
laws of
physical
locomotion. But
here is a human
whose bones seem
to be made of
rubber. He has no
perceptible turning
circle. He can
switch direction with
an invisible shuffle of
his feet. He is heading
right and suddenly he is
heading left. He can go
from 0 to 60 in a flash; he
can go from 60 to 0 in a
flash too. Top defenders can
match him for speed but they
cannot match him for brake
power. Even the most finely
balanced of them need at least a
metre to decelerate, by which
time he has gone again.

And of course he is doing all
this with a ball at his feet. It is
only in comic books that a
player can slalom around
defenders like they are
made of wood. In reality
they need only to get a
nick on the ball to ruin
the dribble. Every touch
of the ball provides a
window of opportunity to
intercept it. Messi’s touches are
ghost notes, feather jabs,
micro-prods that nudge it
forward while protecting it from
lunging legs. The defender thinks

it’s available but it’s an illusion, a three-card
trick, a sleight of foot by this mesmerising ball
whisperer. It is no fun for them, getting
suckered repeatedly into thinking the ball is
there, only to find they have tackled air again.

Meanwhile he is skipping away, just like that.
It is fun for us. Olé! Every opponent who tries
and fails is an authority figure left hapless by

this dancing sprite who has infiltrated the
world of grown-ups and wreaked havoc

among them.
Obviously, he is no anarchist,
for he is much too polite and

disciplined and devoted to
his vocation. And the

statistics confirm that
he is one of the

deadliest
assassins ever to
walk on to a
football field.

His talent for
entertainment is
worthy of
preservation by
Unesco but he
has been an
utterly ruthless
plunderer of
goals and
trophies. His
appetite for
winning is
every bit the
equal of
Woods, or
Jordan in his

prime.
But still one

cannot divorce him
from the image, the

projection in our minds of
a mischief-maker, an imp who

can suspend reality in an
environment of such unforgiving

realness. Elite sport is the laboratory
of Darwinian competition, a Petri dish

for the fittest, the fastest, the strongest.
And out of Rosario, Argentina, came

someone who would always remain

boy-sized, 5ft 6½in, carrying a superpower for
the world’s most popular game. His story has a
folkloric quality.

At least part of his universal appeal is rooted
in the vulnerability conveyed by his diminutive
stature. It should have been his kryptonite,
indeed for the years of his youth it threatened
to be so. But in adulthood it became his
protection, a centre of gravity so low that it
became his shield against the baddies trying to
thwart him.

If nature robbed him of the normal
adolescent growth spurts, it compensated by
gifting him with a special harmony for this
child’s toy. There is a ball of some sort within
reach of most children in the world. But placed
at their feet, it becomes an elusive, capricious
instrument. By all accounts Messi had a
oneness with it from the time he could walk.
His left foot could tame it into easy
companionship.

They grew up together the best of pals, this
boy and his football. And even if he didn’t get
to grow very tall, he became a giant anyhow,
the tiny leviathan of the grass arena.

TOMMY
CONLON

He is only 18 but he is ready for lift-off, is
Mason Greenwood, after his fabulous double
for Manchester United against Bournemouth
on Saturday. That he used both barrels has
impressed the judges even more. And the fact
that it has generated so much praise raises
again the old chestnut about one-sided
footballers. As in, what do they do all day, if
they never get round to improving the other
foot? As Greenwood emphatically
demonstrated, having two strong feet widens a
player’s horizons on the field; his range of
options expands; he can see more, he can do
more, he can be more. Whether he had it
naturally or acquired it through hours of
repetitive practice, the teenager has arrived
into the big time equipped already with a
major competitive advantage over his
mono-footed contemporaries. It is surely one
good reason why he has arrived so soon.

Why two strings is key

Just like that, Messi keeps weaving his magic

Messi fittingly marked his
700th goal with a Panenka

16 2G G Monday July 6 2020 | the times

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