Thursday 24 January 2019

Balotelli own goal with Man United tweet

Mario Balotelli was among the first to publicly laugh at Manchester United following their shock 5-3 defeat by Leicester City.

But with Liverpool training four League places behind Leicester, who also have a better goal average, Anfield boss Brendan Rogers may well be inviting his enigmatic Italian striker, who has yet to score a Premier League goal for the club, to concentrate more on goal-scoring than tweeting.

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Friday morning 7.35 is the tee-off time for the first fourball in this year's Ryder Cup. Europe has won five of the last six events, including a wildly dramatic last day recovery to win at Medinah in 2012.

Team USA captain Tom Watson has never been on the losing side in any of the four events he played in or when he captained the side in 1993.

While we're unlikely to witness the jingoistic excesses of 1991, when the American crowd became quite raucous and some Team USA players wore army-like camouflage hats, Rickie Fowler has had USA shaved on his head.

Reminding us that Europe are favourites, Watson says he believes beating Rory McIlroy is the key to winning the event. If he fails Watson will receive flak for not having picked in-form rookies Chris Kirk, who memorably outplayed Rory McIlroy in the Deutsche Bank Cup, and Billy Horschel, who lifted the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus from under the nose of McIlroy.

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The most ominous words heard in sport this week were those uttered on a stage in Tralee on Monday evening. They are words that will reverberate around the country, from Togher to Crossmaglen, Donnycarney to Castlebar, Glenties to Clontibret, until next summer.

They were spoken by Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice, who promised legions of the faithful in the Kingdom, "We're only getting started."

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The incident-packed Singapore Grand Prix has raised further issues about a ban next season to stop messages regarding car performance being added to the recently introduced ban on coaching advice.

But the dramatic loss of control of steering, clutch and gear control in Nico Rosberg's Mercedes has highlighted the need to be able to communicate with drivers. And McLaren have protested that Red Bull bosses were assisting Daniel Ricciardo with coded messages, telling him to avoid crossing the kerbs.

Red Bull claim it was technical advice to prevent battery damage. This row is likely to crackle on.

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