Championship Review: Stunning Norwich fightback stuns Millwall, Hugill off the mark

Millwall were left downbeat by Norwich City’s late fightback and Jordan Hugill finally scored in the Championship for Middlesbrough.

Norwich City produced a stunning late comeback to beat Millwall in a seven-goal thriller, while Jordan Hugill opened his Championship account for Middlesbrough in a comfortable win over Wigan Athletic.

It looked as though the Canaries were heading for a surprise home defeat having trailed 3-2, but injury-time goals from Teemu Pukki and Jordan Rhodes secured a breathless 4-3 win.

Daniel Farke’s side consequently go top of the table, although Leeds United will reclaim top spot if they take a point against West Brom in Saturday’s evening kick-off.

Boro also go, at least momentarily, into the top two, as they defeated Wigan 2-0, but Derby County suffered a heavy defeat at home to Aston Villa.

CANNY CANARIES SHOCK MILLWALL

Norwich, fresh from a 4-0 battering of Sheffield Wednesday last weekend, were leading with 11 minutes remaining at Carrow Road as goals from Pukki and Moritz Leitner cancelled Tom Elliott’s opener.

But the visitors appeared to be on the way to the points when Ryan Leonard and Jed Wallace scored in quick succession to put Millwall in front.

However, with the clock edging into additional time, Rhodes slotted home and more late drama was to come when Pukki converted his second of the game.

Hugill’s only goal for Boro this since joining on loan from West Ham had come in an EFL Cup tie against Rochdale in August, but he opened his account from the penalty spot after George Friend was felled and he then hammered home a second from Martin Braithwaite’s cross.

Derby – who were unbeaten in six league games – could have also gone above Leeds, but John McGinn, Tammy Abraham and Conor Hourihane all registered in a 10-minute second-half spree to earn Villa a third straight win.

FOREST HELD, GOALS GALORE AT THE CITY GROUND

Nottingham Forest failed to leapfrog rivals Derby County after playing out a goalless draw at home to Stoke City.

Barrie McKay’s stunner moved Swansea City up to seventh with a 1-0 win at Bolton Wanderers, while fellow play-off challengers Blackburn Rovers needed a Bradley Dack equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Rotherham United.

Che Adams’ hat-trick was not enough to earn the win for Birmingham City, who had to recover from a brilliant Hull City fightback in a 3-3 draw.

Adams had helped Garry Monk’s men to a 2-0 half-time lead, but Fraizer Campbell’s double and Kamil Grosicki’s strike put Hull in front before Adams had the last say six minutes from time.

There were plenty of goals at Loftus Road too, as QPR beat Brentford 3-2. The league’s top scorer Neal Maupay put the visitors ahead before later being taken from the field on a stretcher with an apparent head injury.

But Massimo Luongo, Joel Lynch and Nahki Wells put QPR in control by the hour and Henrik Dalsgaard’s goal proved a consolation.

Elsewhere, Preston were 1-0 winners at Bristol City and Reading played out a 2-2 draw with rock-bottom Ipswich Town.

It’s a joke! Furious Austin calls for VAR after disallowed goal

Charlie Austin believes Southampton were let down by a “ridiculous” offside call in their 1-1 draw with Watford.

Charlie Austin has called for VAR in the Premier League after criticising the “ridiculous” officiating in Southampton’s 1-1 draw with Watford.

Saints went ahead early on through Manolo Gabbiadini, but Watford levelled through Jose Holebas in the second half to increase the pressure on manager Mark Hughes.

Austin had been convinced he had secured the points prior to Holebas’ equaliser, but the goal was disallowed for an offside infringement from Maya Yoshida, despite the Southampton defender having not touched the ball.

And the striker hit out at the match officials after the match, insisting they need more assistance for such decisions.

“It’s ridiculous. Watford shouldn’t be in the game. We scored a perfectly good goal that was ruled out for offside,” an animated Austin told Sky Sports.

“The officials cost us two points. They said it was offside; that is a joke.

“People go on about VAR. They [the referees] clearly need help. If this is the best, most-watched league in the world then give them all the help they need. It is a joke.

“Sure, there are many positives. We worked hard, we deserved three points and we would have got that had we not been let down by the official.

“The performance was there, we can take that away and we should manage the game.”

Jimmy Butler discusses his trade request, turmoil with Timberwolves

In a wide-ranging interview with The Athletic, Butler discussed playing amid all the drama in Minnesota.

It’s no secret Jimmy Butler is frustrated with the Timberwolves. He has been vocal about his status with the team as he requested a trade during the offseason, and now he is irritated by the team’s play amid a 4-9 start.

After the Timberwolves’ 121-110 loss to the Kings on Friday, Butler opened up to The Athletic in a wide-ranging interview. Among the topics: his distaste for losing and some of his issues with the organization.

“I don’t like to lose, man,” Butler told The Athletic. “I think that’s where it starts for me. If we’re not winning games, then I don’t smile too often.

“I absolutely hate — hate to f—ing lose. And the way that we go about things sometimes isn’t the right way, myself included, and a lot of other people as well. I just think that, man, whenever you win, everything takes care of itself. But we’ve got to figure out a way to do that, man. No matter what, all I want to do is win. I don’t care what anybody says, any media outlet, anybody says as a person, the one thing they can’t say is that I don’t want to win.”

Butler then went into detail about what it has been like to play on a team in which he has made publicly clear he doesn’t want to be a part of the organization anymore, though he denied it has created any tension or has played a factor into the team’s poor start.

“I don’t change the way that I play. I love the game of basketball, man,” Butler said. “I ride with these guys in this locker room. They know that. If I’ve got something to say to them, I will say it. You may not like the way that it comes across. That’s fine. But that’s who I am.

“I mean, all and all, I don’t think about (the trade request situation). I don’t worry about it. I do the same thing every day. This sh— does not change. I’m in the gym in the night. I’m in there in the morning. I’m not worried about basketball. Basketball is going to come around.”

Butler explained that despite reports of him being unhappy with Minnesota, he will still do anything for his teammates.

“I’m not a bad dude. I’m not a bad teammate. I’d do anything for my guys, man,” Butler said. “If Thibs [coach Tom Thibodeau] is coming at somebody, I’m the first guy to be, like, ‘Leave him alone.’ Whether it’s KAT [Karl-Anthony Towns], whether it’s Wiggs [Andrew Wiggins], whether it’s Tyus [Jones], whether it’s Taj [Gibson].”

Butler also responded to some of the criticism he’s facing, though he isn’t concerned about it as he believes most of what’s out there isn’t the truth.

When asked whether any of the backlash of his situation has gotten to him, Butler said: “Hell no. For what? I know who I am. These guys know who I am. If you know me, then you know the truth. If you don’t, then you write something for people to read.”

He added, “If you didn’t talk to me to write something, you’re just making stuff up. You’re going by what you think, what you’re assuming. I leave it at that. Read it. Believe what you want. But at the end of the day, if you’ve got a real question then just come up and ask me and see who I am as a person.”

Butler, however, wasn’t as willing to answer questions about his minute restrictions — it was reported Friday he agreed with Minnesota on playing 32 minutes per game:

The Athletic: You played 41 minutes tonight…

Butler: That sh— has to stop.

The Athletic: Why?

Butler: We’ve got f—king 14 other guys.

Butler explained: “I want all my guys to be successful, man. I want all these guys to play. Is that a convo [with Thibodeau] that I’ve got to have? Yeah, and then everybody wants to talk about how the motherf—er’s not healthy [he said of himself]. Well God damn, we’re playing 41, 43, 44 [minutes per game], it takes a toll on top of all the work that I do that don’t nobody even see. We’ll fix it. We’ll do something. We’ll talk.”

Butler has played in 10 of the team’s 13 games and leads the Timberwolves in scoring at 21.3 points per game. He also is averaging 5.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists.

Southampton 1 Watford 1: Holebas cranks up pressure on Hughes

Southampton were denied just a second Premier League win of the season as Jose Holebas struck late for Watford.

A late Jose Holebas goal secured a 1-1 Premier League draw for Watford against Southampton to crank up the pressure on Saints’ boss Mark Hughes.

The Welshman has picked up just one win in the league this season and further questions will be asked over his suitability for the role during the upcoming international break.

Manolo Gabbiadini’s first goal of the season had looked like relieving the pressure on Hughes on Saturday, but Watford – enjoying their best start to a top-flight season – struck a decisive late blow.

Holebas’ effort was deflected past Alex McCarthy to give the Hornets a share of the spoils and extend the Saints’ winless run to eight league games.

Watford were punished for some early misses after 20 minutes when Danny Ings picked Roberto Pereyra’s pocket from a corner, the loose ball falling to Gabbiadini to slide past Ben Foster from 12 yards.

Gerard Deulofeu was denied by McCarthy from an acute angle just after the half-hour mark before Foster made a superb stop with his foot to keep out Stuart Armstrong’s low effort from 10 yards.

Watford should have had a penalty just before the hour when Nathaniel Chalobah was brought down inside the area by Ryan Bertrand, but Austin was convinced he had put the result beyond doubt 20 minutes from full-time, only for his deflected effort to be ruled out after Maya Yoshida – who made no contact with the ball – had strayed into an offside position.

The importance of that decision was brought into sharp focus eight minutes from time when Holebas’ strike deflected past McCarthy off Cedric Soares to draw Watford level.

It could have been even worse for Southampton – and Hughes – but McCarthy’s wayward punch from a corner bounced away to safety off the crossbar in the closing stages, meaning they remain outside the bottom three by virtue of goal difference.

What does it mean? Hughes under serious pressure

Southampton’s dismissal of vice chairman Les Reed this week cranked the pressure up on Hughes. Failure to hold on for a second Premier League win of the season could mean the former Stoke City boss is no longer in the hot seat following the international break. Watford’s impressive start to the season continues, meanwhile, and Javi Gracia will be disappointed they did not snatch all three points in the closing stages.

Gabbiadini grabs his chance

Making just his second Premier League start of the season, the 26-year-old showed a cool head to slot underneath Foster for what was so close to being the decisive goal for his side.

Deulofeu’s wastefulness almost proves costly

He was lively in the opening stages but will rue two opportunities when he fired straight at McCarthy. Had he scored either, the Hornets could well have taken all three points back to Hertfordshire.

What’s next? 

Southampton will look to bounce back from this late blow when they visit fellow strugglers Fulham after the international break, while Gracia’s side welcome Liverpool to Vicarage Road.

Newcastle United 2 Bournemouth 1: Rondon double earns second straight win

Newcastle United made it two straight Premier League wins for the first time since April, beating Bournemouth thanks to Salomon Rondon.

Salomon Rondon scored his first Premier League goals for Newcastle United to seal an impressive 2-1 home victory over Bournemouth.

The Newcastle striker followed up an early strike with a thumping header and, although Jefferson Lerma netted his maiden Bournemouth goal in first-half stoppage time, the visitors could not recover.

After failing to win their first 10 games, Newcastle have now won back-to-back matches to kickstart their campaign, while sixth-placed Bournemouth have lost two in a row, Manchester United having defeated them in heart-breaking fashion last time out.

It took only seven minutes for Newcastle to move in front as DeAndre Yedlin raced clear down the right and fed Rondon, whose initial strike was well saved by Asmir Begovic, only for the striker to stab in the rebound from six yards with an effort that squirmed through the goalkeeper.

Bournemouth had a penalty claim denied when Federico Fernandez appeared to make contact with David Brooks, and saw Adam Smith taken off on a stretcher due to a bizarre but serious knee injury sustained as he took a set piece deep in his own half.

Newcastle then doubled their lead five minutes before the break, Kenedy curling in a wonderful cross from the left and Rondon’s emphatic diving header finding the top corner.

In a frantic eight minutes of first-half stoppage time, key Begovic saves kept out Kenedy and a potential Callum Wilson own goal, interventions that grew in significance when Lerma’s header from Ryan Fraser’s corner crept in at the other end.

There was still time for Ayoze Perez to fire off-target with a glorious chance just before the break, after which Bournemouth emerged without an injured Lerma, Dan Gosling replacing him.

Martin Dubravka had made impressive saves from Fraser and Steve Cook in the first half, but was not troubled in the second until he made a superb sprawling stop to deny Nathan Ake with five minutes left, Gosling ruled offside as he bundled in the rebound. Jordon Ibe missed the visitors’ only other key chance.

What does it mean? Newcastle have momentum

Newcastle now have back-to-back league wins for the first time since April, this result seeing them surge up to 14th place. The bottom area of the table remains congested, but morale is completely different now than it was a fortnight ago.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, have had the sting taken out of their stunning start to the season and could be caught by Manchester United and Everton – who both play on Sunday – before the next matchday arrives.

Resplendent Rondon gives Newcastle what they need

Newcastle only had seven goals in 11 top-flight games coming into the match, not helped by Rondon’s struggles in front of goal.

But the Venezuela international was superb in this one, firing home the opener, scoring a superb header for number two and posing a constant aerial threat throughout the game.

He racked up eight attempts at goal, constantly troubling the away defence, and should have had a hat-trick when he had a shot saved at the death.

More of the same could help his side move away from trouble.

Not the England celebration Wilson hoped for

Wilson was called up to the England squad for the first time on Thursday after scoring six Premier League goals in a brilliant start to the season.

But he struggled to make a positive impact here, almost scoring an own goal when he forced a great save from Begovic while trying to head clear a free-kick. That was the closest he came to troubling the scorers.

He had only one shot at the other end, and created zero chances for his team-mates, registering the fewest touches of anyone from either team who completed the 90 minutes.

Key Opta facts:

– Bournmeouth lost their first away game in all competitions against Newcastle since Feburary 1990 (0-3), having won two and drawn one before this.
– Eddie Howe’s men have lost their last two Premier League games having lost just two of their previous 12 (W8 D2 L2).
– Rondon has scored more than once in a Premier League game for just the second time in his career (scored three versus Swansea in December 2016).
– Bournemouth’s Lerma scored for the first time in his last 57 appearances in Europe’s big five leagues, since netting for Levante against Espanyol in LaLiga (December 2015).

What’s next?

Newcastle will hope to continue their momentum on November 26, away to a Burnley team who now sit below them in the table. A day before that, Bournemouth are at home to in-form Arsenal – not the ideal fixture as they look to get back on track.

Huddersfield Town 1 West Ham 1: Felipe Anderson comes to Hammers rescue

Alex Pritchard’s sixth-minute opener was cancelled out by Felipe Anderson as West Ham earned a point at Huddersfield Town.

Felipe Anderson’s 74th-minute equaliser salvaged a point for West Ham as Huddersfield Town’s resurgence hit a slight hurdle in a 1-1 home draw on Saturday.

Alex Pritchard looked to have given David Wagner’s men a second successive victory when his sixth-minute goal, the first from a Huddersfield player at home since April, established a lead they held for over an hour.

However, an improved second half from the Hammers eventually ensured they stretched their unbeaten streak to three top-flight fixtures.

Felipe Anderson, a scorer in last weekend’s 4-2 win over Burnley, was the hero as he drove home amid a goalmouth scramble.

An eventful opening 45 minutes for Lukasz Fabianski began with an expert early save from Steve Mounie’s close-range header.

His reflexes were less impressive for the opener, Pritchard creeping a seemingly innocuous low shot inside the near post.

Philip Billing almost caught out the goalkeeper a second time when his misdirected cross looped against the far upright and back across the face.

The Poland international redeemed himself with another denial of Mounie in a one-on-one, before the Terriers’ encouraging half ended with Chris Lowe being taken off on a stretcher after landing awkwardly on his shoulder.

Javier Hernandez’s introduction at the interval should have quickly brought about an equaliser, only for the striker to nod over a point-blank rebound from Jonas Lossl’s initial save.

It was instead left to Felipe Anderson to drag the visitors level with the Brazilian rifling home following a succession of blocked efforts in the box.

And Manuel Pellegrini’s men might count themselves unfortunate not to have pocketed three points in the end, with Aaron Mooy to thank for blocking an Issa Diop header on the line moments after parity was restored.

What does it mean? Hope building for Huddersfield

They might have been pegged back in the end, but four points from two matches remains a confidence-boosting return for Huddersfield heading into the international break.

Lossl hit with unlucky equaliser

There was little more Lossl could do in his scrambling attempts to deny West Ham a goal that was harsh on the Terriers goalkeeper, who had been impeccable until that point.

Diop endures battles on the ball

West Ham’s Diop was twice involved in turning over possession in dangerous areas during the first half. He was punished from the first, and the match did not get a whole lot better for the defender.

What’s next?

Huddersfield’s first assignment after the international break is a trip to Wolves, while West Ham have a fortnight to formulate a plan for Manchester City’s visit.

Leicester City 0 Burnley 0: Foxes held on emotional return to King Power Stadium

Leicester City fans pay tribute to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

An emotional day at the King Power Stadium saw Leicester City held by Burnley, in the hosts’ first home match since their owner died.

Leicester City were held to a 0-0 draw by Burnley on an emotional return to action at the King Power Stadium for the first time since chairman and owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha died in a helicopter crash near the ground two weeks ago.

Fans and players alike paid tribute before the match to Srivaddhanaprabha and the four others who lost their lives on October 27, but Leicester were unable to claim the points.

It certainly was not for a lack of trying, as the home side controlled most of the match and crafted some good chances, but Rachid Ghezzal was denied by the crossbar and Joe Hart impressed in the Burnley goal.

Claude Puel’s men generally dominated the second period as well, yet Burnley – who had lost three straight games – made a marked improvement and left with a much-needed point.

Leicester looked up for the occasion early on and went desperately close to the opener in the 15th minute, but Matt Lowton blocked Jamie Vardy’s goal-bound effort on the line.

The frame of the goal then came to Burnley’s rescue soon after, denying Ghezzal’s stooping header from a pin-point Marc Albrighton cross.

Demarai Gray was the next to go close – Hart brilliantly thwarting the winger in a one-on-one situation just prior to the half-hour mark.

Leicester looked bright again at the start of the second half, but Albrighton shot straight at Hart from about 12 yards.

Burnley should have capitalised on Leicester’s profligacy 17 minutes from the end when former Leicester striker Chris Wood sliced a volley over inside the penalty area.

Leicester’s late surges lacked direction, and in the end Burnley had little difficulty holding on.

What does it mean? Burnley stop the rot

Having conceded 13 goals in their past three Premier League outings, Burnley were there for the taking. However, they managed to dig deep and claim a commendable point, to end their losing run.

Ghezzal stakes his claim

By no means a regular starter, an injury to James Maddison handed Ghezzal an opportunity and he certainly did not look out of place. He was bright in possession, offered a little craft in the final third and generally caught the eye.

Vardy struggles to make impact

Aside from an early shot that was cleared off the line, Vardy had very little influence on proceedings, as Leicester had little success trying to play him in behind the deep Burnley defence.

What’s next?

Leicester travel to Brighton and Hove Albion after the international break, while Burnley host Newcastle United.

Srivaddhanaprabha-owned Donjuan Triumphant secures emotional Doncaster win

On the day Leicester City honoured their late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, his horse Donjuan Triumphant won at Doncaster.

Donjuan Triumphant, owned by the late Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, delivered an emotional victory on the final day of the flat turf calendar at Doncaster on Saturday.

Srivaddhanaprabha was one of five people who died when his private helicopter crashed outside the King Power Stadium last month.

And on the day Leicester honoured Srivaddhanaprabha against Burnley, their first home game since his death, Donjuan Triumphant secured a poignant win in the Wentworth Stakes.

The five-year-old edged out Hey Jonesy to earn a first win in the blue and white colours of King Power Racing since Srivaddhanaprabha’s passing.

Speaking after the race, trainer Andrew Balding said in quotes reported by Racing UK: “It puts horse racing and the triviality of other things in life into perspective.

“It was a huge loss not just to his family and families of other people involved in the crash, but to the whole King Power family.

“He was a tremendous guy, as has been well recorded and reported, and will be sadly missed.”

F1 Raceweek: Vettel and Ferrari eye Interlagos lift – Brazilian GP in numbers

Ferrari need at least 13 points more than Mercedes at Interlagos to take the battle for the constructors’ title to Abu Dhabi.

Sebastian Vettel will be able to draw on fond memories of last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix when Ferrari attempt to keep the battle for the constructors’ title alive this weekend.

Vettel’s slim hopes of being crowned world champion ended when Lewis Hamilton finished fourth in Mexico, allowing the Briton to claim a fifth Formula One title.

Scuderia duo Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen crossed the line in second and third place respectively, cutting Mercedes’ advantage to 55 points with two races remaining.

Ferrari must secure at least 13 points more than the Silver Arrows to take the duel for the constructors’ crown to the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi.

Vettel won at Interlagos last year and has earned more points at the Brazilian Grand Prix than any other driver in the history of the race.

With the help of Opta, we look at some of the key numbers around the penultimate weekend of the 2018 campaign.

2 – Hamilton has failed to win the race following both title victories that have come before the end of a season (2015 and 2017). He was second in Mexico in 2015 and then fourth in Brazil last year.

4 – Mercedes have taken pole position at the last four editions of the race – Nico Rosberg (two), Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Only Williams (six from 1992-1997) have managed more consecutively at this race.

146 – Vettel has earned 146 points in Brazil, more than any other driver. Fernando Alonso is a distant second on the list, managing 112.

3 – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has set the fastest lap at the last two races in Brazil, only Michael Schumacher has done so three times in a row (1993-1995).

5 – If Mercedes win the constructors’ title for a fifth time, the German team will break out of a tie with Red Bull on the all-time list. However, Ferrari lead the way with 16, ahead of Williams (9), McLaren (8) and Lotus (7).

1 – Red Bull head into this race after recording their first front-row lock down in the hybrid era (since 2014) – they last achieved the feat in the United States during the 2013 season.

99 – Mercedes need just one more pole position to bring up their century, a milestone only previously achieved by Ferrari (219), McLaren (155), Williams (128) and Lotus (107).

Gattuso still in the dark over AC Milan future

Arsene Wenger dismissed reports he could take charge of AC Milan as “fake news”, but Gennaro Gattuso remains unsure over his future.

Gennaro Gattuso says he does not know whether he will be retained as AC Milan coach amid continued speculation over his future.

Arsene Wenger dismissed reports he could take charge of the Rossoneri as “fake news” this week, with former Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis having switched to San Siro.

Gattuso’s position has appeared insecure ever since his appointment but Milan have found form of late, winning five of their last six Serie A games to climb to fourth in the league.

Milan host leaders Juventus on Sunday with on-loan striker Gonzalo Higuain facing a race to be passed fit to face his parent club.

And Gattuso said questions about his Milan future should instead be directed towards sporting director Leonardo, but he feels the team is backing him to continue.

“You have to ask Leonardo as per this aspect,” Gattuso told a news conference. “The club will make their decisions when it is time.

“I was always the last to know their decisions this summer season and it’s only fair that those who are in charge make their necessary decisions.

“All the injuries and problems we had made the team come together and regroup, now my boys do everything I ask, I see the fire in their eyes that I like, the cohesion and the desire to be together.”

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored five goals in his last six appearances for the Serie A champions but Gattuso backed Franck Kessie to help keep the superstar quiet at San Siro on Sunday.

“I think we have Kessie in our team, he can stop Cristiano,” Gattuso added. “You can stop him with good organisation. They also have [Juan] Cuadrado so we will have a lot of work on our hands.

“Who says that there is a fixed lineup? It is true that I have used the same players lately, but this moment has strengthened us even more. We need the perfect performance in order to beat Juventus tomorrow.

“Juventus are full of champions, they are very strong in all aspects. Manchester United had to play at their maximum to beat them, together with Barcelona the Bianconeri are among the top teams in Europe. Ronaldo is an added value for them.”

Gattuso was asked about the controversial celebrations of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho at the end of his side’s Champions League victory over Juventus.

Inter coach Luciano Spalletti has defended Mourinho, who won the treble during his time in charge of the Nerazzurri, and Gattuso also backed the Portuguese.

“I have done even worse, imagine if now I start to say what Mourinho can or cannot do,” Gattuso said.

“Spalletti is right in this aspect, don’t disturb the sleeping lion. We all receive offenses, it is not for me to judge.”

Pogba’s relationship with Mourinho has been mended – Raiola

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba has been linked with moves due to his relationship with Jose Mourinho, but Mino Raiola says they are fine.

Paul Pogba’s relationship with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been mended but the midfielder still has Juventus “in his heart”, according to agent Mino Raiola.

World Cup-winner Pogba has endured a turbulent time at United under Mourinho, with the pair seemingly at odds on occasion.

Mourinho made a habit of making an example of Pogba last season, dropping him numerous times for erratic performances, leading to links with a move to Barcelona.

Pogba was then told this term he would not captain United again due to not having the characteristics required by Mourinho for such a role.

Nevertheless, the Frenchman has generally remained an important part of United’s team and Raiola understands the pair have fixed their relationship.

“Paul has mended his relationship with Mourinho,” the agent told Rai Sport. “He is calmer because he feels important in Manchester, even if Turin has remained in his heart.”

Raiola also reiterated that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could make a return to AC Milan on loan when the season ends in MLS.

“I confirm what has already been said to you,” he added. “The relations with the new Milan management are excellent, so all the roads are open.”

Maguire and Leicester players join Srivaddhanaprabha tribute march

Tributes to owner and chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha will be paid before Leicester City’s Premier League game at home to Burnley.

Harry Maguire joined Leicester City players on a tribute march to the club’s late owner and chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

Leicester host Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday, their first home game since the death of Srivaddhanaprabha last month.

Srivaddhanaprabha, who oversaw the Foxes’ remarkable Premier League title triumph in 2015-16, was one of five people killed when his private helicopter crashed outside the King Power Stadium.

Maguire, who misses the Burnley game due to injury, joined thousands of Leicester fans in marching to the stadium as part of a series of planned tributes to Srivaddhanaprabha.

“Just finished the #WalkForVichai,” England defender Maguire wrote on Twitter. “Unbelievable support. A special day for an amazing man.”

Leicester players have also laid their shirts to join the tributes around the pitch at the King Power Stadium.

Ahead of kick-off, a video tribute to Srivaddhanaprabha will be shown on the stadium’s big screen, while a two-minutes silence will also be observed.

Supporters will be given a free match programme, as well as pin badges, while a special tribute flag to Srivaddhanaprabha will be displayed in the stands.

Leicester have also confirmed plans are under way to build a memorial statue to commemorate Srivaddhanaprabha.

Cardiff City 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 1: Bamba the hero as Bluebirds break down 10 men

Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock celebrates the dramatic win over Brighton

Cardiff City left it late but recorded their second Premier League win of the season against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Sol Bamba’s late strike fired Cardiff City to a valuable 2-1 Premier League home win against 10-man Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

Neil Warnock’s 100th game in charge of the Bluebirds looked set to end in disappointment after a hugely frustrating second half saw struggling Cardiff fail to break down their outnumbered visitors for long periods.

Brighton led early through Lewis Dunk’s header but were pegged back by a Callum Paterson equaliser and soon had Dale Stephens sent off, leaving Chris Hughton’s men to play the final hour a man down.

The Seagulls still looked as though they would emerge from the match with a hard-earned point until Bamba – at fault for Dunk’s opener – scrambled the ball into the net in the 90th minute for a potentially vital winner, lifting Cardiff out of the relegation zone.

Cardiff started on the front foot but paid the price for some lax defending from Brighton’s first attack as Dunk was left with time and space to nod Solly March’s free-kick into the net.

But another header had Cardiff level before the half-hour, the game turning as Paterson profited from a deflected cross that took out two defenders and dropped kindly in front of goal.

The visitors were soon down to 10 men when Stephens careered into Greg Cunningham after a loose touch and the Bluebirds assumed complete control of the contest, hitting the bar through Kadeem Harris after the restart.

Jose Izquierdo threatened to steal the points on the break as Neil Etheridge made a smart stop, before a frantic finale saw Brighton defending on their own goal line.

An initial scramble broke clear but Cardiff attacked again and, when the ball bounced away off the post and Justin Hoilett miscued, Bamba was waiting to smash into the roof of the net.

What does it mean? A big, big Bluebirds win

Having drawn 0-0 against 10 men when facing relegation rivals Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town, it was imperative Cardiff did not let another opportunity slip. That they almost did matters little now as Warnock’s men are lifted out of the bottom three and potentially able to carry some momentum forward. This must be a building block.

Bamba from zero to hero

Cardiff struggle to score goals and so Bamba’s early error – allowing Dunk to ghost in and score – looked as though it would prove costly. But after seeing his team-mates fail to find a second-half breakthrough, Bamba made amends. More forward-thinking Cardiff players squandered big chances in the build-up, before the defender rifled home.

Red costs Hughton’s men

Stephens’ red card will be debated long and hard by supporters of both sides, but there was certainly an argument to be made for it, the midfielder out of control after winning a prior challenge. It was a tackle Stephens did not need to make and it cost Brighton. They had been the better side until that stage and were condemned to a desperate defensive effort.

Key Opta Facts

– This is the second time a Neil Warnock side have won in the 90th minute of a Premier League game, the first occurrence coming in September 2006 when Phil Jagielka scored for Sheffield Utd vs Middlesbrough.
– Brighton have won just one of their last 20 Premier League matches away from home (D5 L14), with that victory coming against Newcastle last month.
– Cardiff have conceded the first goal of the game on more occasions than any other team in the Premier League this season (9).
– Eleven of Lewis Dunk’s 13 league goals for Brighton have been headers

What’s next?

Cardiff will now hope to build on this big win at Everton. Brighton welcome Leicester City after the international break.

Valverde: No risk over Messi inclusion

Barcelona star Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is back for Barcelona after a broken arm and Ernesto Valverde insists he has no fears over his star forward’s fitness.

Ernesto Valverde insists he is not taking a risk by including Lionel Messi in Barcelona’s squad to face Real Betis.

LaLiga leaders Barca have received a double injury boost for the clash at Camp Nou with both Messi and centre-back Samuel Umtiti fit to play.

Messi, who broke his arm after falling awkwardly during a collision with Sevilla’s Franco Vazquez in a 4-2 win last month, was included in the squad for the midweek Champions League draw against Inter but did not play after failing to receive the medical all clear.

Umtiti has not been involved since September due to a knee problem, but Valverde is confident both players are now ready to be involved.

“We understand that any player theoretically can play the game, but of course there is always a period where you need to be careful,” he said.

“The other day we also knew there was a risk but the fact they’ve been training with the squad I don’t think there’s a major risk [now].”

On Messi specifically, he added: “We’ll find out tomorrow if I decide he can play 90 minutes or not.

“I think he’s lost his fear of taking a fall and provoking further injury, that’s out of his head. It does affect you mentally.

“You can’t be thinking ‘I can’t do some strange gesture that causes me pain’. I think he can play, he’s pretty assured, I think he’ll be okay.”

Valverde also confirmed goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is fine to play, despite having been omitted from Germany’s squad for the upcoming international window to rest a minor shoulder injury.

“That’s what’s been decided with the national team. We are keeping a close eye on Marc at the moment, but he is able to play tomorrow,” Valverde said.

“He doesn’t have any problems, but we’ll keep a close eye on him like we have the last few weeks.”