Hot and Cold: Mbappé puts a marker down
Who’s up and who’s down after another action-packed week of sport?
It’s time for this week’s Hot and Cold…
Kylian Mbappé and James Forrest
You wait for a player to take a game by the scruff of the neck and score four goals in one half… and then two of them come along at once.
The PSG and Celtic stars showed no mercy on their opponents this weekend as they helped their sides to respective 5-0 and 6-0 routs. Mbappé’s side already look like title winners in waiting as they notched up a ninth successive victory, while Forrest’s flurry of goals helped Celtic put a difficult midweek trip to Austria behind them.
Speaking of Celtic, their sluggish run of form before an emphatic win this weekend has opened up a genuine title race in Scotland for the first time in years. With only seven points separating top spot and seventh place, could this be a season where the title race goes down to the wire?
Results this weekend suggest that could be the case. Hibs (6-0 vs Hamilton) and Rangers (3-1 vs Hearts) both put down an impressive marker to suggest this season will be anything but predictable in Scotland.
He may be 35 years old, but Farah literally shows no signs of slowing down in his quest to conquer new feats in the world of athletics. The Team GB great claimed his maiden marathon victory in Chicago in a new European record of 2:05.11.
It caps a great year for Farah on the road after breaking a British record in the London Marathon and claiming a fifth Great North Run title in a row.
The British driver has somehow turned an exciting title race earlier this summer into yet another procession – although that won’t worry him too much.
He now has a 67-point lead over his great rival Sebastian Vettel, and is potentially one win from a fifth Drivers’ Championship – overtaking the German driver’s haul in the process.
The evergreen Dettori made no mistake on odds-on favourite Enable to claim a second consecutive victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
It’s now six of the best for the Italian rider in the Arc, and perhaps fittingly, the win came in his 30th outing in Europe’s most prestigious race.
What a difference 12 months makes for the Chelsea star. Out in the cold under Antonio Conte, Barkley looks like a new signing for the Blues this season. Fit, firing and back in the England squad – could this be the season where he finally delivers on his early potential?
A golden chance for Rafa Benitez to change the negative atmosphere building at St James’ Park slipped agonisingly through the Spaniard’s fingertips on Saturday night as Newcastle chucked away a two-goal lead at Old Trafford to head home with nothing.
Newcastle are just one of three teams yet to register a Premier League victory and Rafa will be hoping the international break is a blessing in disguise as he heads back to the drawing board.
A real video nasty awaits any Hearts defenders forced to watch back their defending against Rangers this weekend – with the Gers given the freedom of Ibrox to walk the ball into the Jam Tarts’ net for their first goal.
Steven Gerrard’s side couldn’t believe their luck as Hearts’ kamikaze charge out of their own box to defend a free kick backfired spectacularly, leaving Rangers with three players in the clear with the Hearts’ defence stranded. Ryan Kent won’t score an easier goal in his career.
Has the annual Watford slide started even earlier this campaign? The Hornets’ 4-0 reverse at home to Bournemouth suggests early season optimism is quickly giving way to the familiar sinking feeling that arrives at Vicarage Road once the leaves start falling from the trees.
Kabasele’s reckless red card against the Cherries may be a defining moment in Watford’s season if their slide down the table continues over the next few months.
Golf can be a cruel old game. From the elation of helping Europe to a thumping Ryder Cup win in Paris last weekend, Hatton suffered every golfer’s nightmare at St Andrews just one week on – the dreaded yips.
Hatton was leading going into the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship but bogeyed four of the last nine holes to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and hand Lucas Bjerregarrd his second European Tour title.
The much-anticipated clash between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov in Vegas was ultimately marred by troubling scenes after the bout.
The UFC has never been short on controversy, but the fight itself won’t live long in the memory. For many watching fans worldwide, the aftermath will – for all the wrong reasons.
And finally one you might have missed…
For many a lower league fan, the fabled away trip to Carlisle is something of a rite of passage – the ultimate mark of a loyal supporter. Pity the coach-load of Stevenage fans last week, then, who made one of football’s epic journeys only for traffic issues to cause them to miss the game completely.
A wasted 10-hour journey it might have been, but there was some small consolation for those hardy travelling Boro fans – their side claimed all three points in a 1-0 victory.
All image sources from PA Images
What was your highlight of the sporting weekend?
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