FOOTBALL – Recent opening qualifying games for the 2016 European Championships saw Germany beat Scotland 2-1 and England beat Switzerland 2-0. This weekend it’s back to Premiership and Championship action, the top games being Arsenal-Manchester City, Liverpool-Aston Villa and Manchester United-QPR.
The list of the world’s highest paid footballers (annual salary) at September 1, 2014:
10 Neymar CF Barcelona £5.81m
9 Drogba Chelsea £6.38m
8 Rooney Manchester Utd. £6.54m
7* Iniesta Barcelona £6.66m
7* Xavi Barcelona £6.66m
6 Bale Real Madrid £7.81m
5 Messi Barcelona £8.75m
4 Thiago Silva Paris St Germain £10.1m
3 Falcao Monaco/Man Utd. £11.6m
2 Ronaldo Real Madrid £11.8m
1 Ibrahimovic P aris St Germain £12.1m
FORMULA 1 – Driving brilliantly and majestically after a poor start, Lewis Hamilton won last Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza in great style. His Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg was second with Felipe Massa third. Rosberg now leads the driver’s championship by 22 points from Hamilton.
• This weekend the drivers, crews and cars are in Misano for the San Marino Grand Prix.
TENNIS – And Roger Federer’s bold bid to win a sixth US Open failed at Flushing Meadows when he was k’od in the semi-finals by Marin Cilic who then beat Kei Nishikori, the first Asian ever to make a Grand Slam final, in three sets.
Serena Williams clinched her 18th Grand Slam title by beating Caroline Wozniacki in the women’s final while the Bryan twins won their 100th major doubles title.
ATHLETICS – Last Sunday, Mo Farah became the first Brit since 1985 to win the Great North Run with his colleague Mike Kigen second.
Mary Keitany was first and GB’s Gemma Steel second in the women’s race while Spain’s Jordi Madera won the wheelchair event.
GOLF – American Billy Horschel won the BMW championship in Denver by two shots from Bubba Watson…
Rory McIlroy had a bad third round and finished 8th. Don’t forget the Ryder Cup takes place at Gleneagles between the 27-30 of this month.
TRANSFER NEWS – Football’s summer transfer window closed on Monday, September 1, with a record £1 billion (€1.25 billion) exchanging hands (£630 was spent in 2013).
Premiership clubs alone spent £842.7 million on 163 players. After Luis Suarez’s bigmoney switch to Barcelona, other major deals during the ‘window’ included Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid to Man U, £59.7m/€75.4m); Radamel Falcoa (Monaco to Man U, £6m loan deal); Danny Welbeck (Man U to Arsenal £16m); Daley Blind (Ajax to Man U, £13.8m); Mario Balotelli (AC Milan to Liverpool, £17m); Loic Remy (QPR to Chelsea for £10.5m); Fernando Torres (Chelsea to AC Milan, loan); Javier Hernandez (Man U to Real Madrid, loan); Alex Song (Barcelona to West Ham); Alfredo Negado (Man C to Valencia); Ben Arfa (Newcastle to Hull), Sebastian Coates (Liverpool to Sunderland), Abel Hernandez (Palermo to Hull), Marco van Ginkel (Chelsea to AC Milan) and Karim El Ahmahdi (Aston Villa to Feyenoord).
* No more players can be signed until the New Year.
SPORTS SHORTS • Wembley is poised to host the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020.
• IBF Superheavyweight champion Carl Froch is set to fight James DeGale early next year at the Nottingham Forest football ground.
And in May there could also be a contest between Kell Brook (who was stabbed in Tenerife earlier this month) and Amir Khan at Wembley.
• After winning the Test series and losing the ODIs, England (180-7) beat India (177-5) by three runs in the recent 20/20 over game at Edgbaston.
• Yorkshire are on course to win the County Cricket title for the first time since 2001 while Worcestershire and Hampshire will replace Northants and Lancashire in the top flight, one of them coming up as Division 2 champions.
• This weekend, for horse racing fans, we have the St Leger from Doncaster.
• A crowd of 40,181 saw last Wednesday’s England- Norway international – the lowest at Wembley (old or new) for 30 years.
• And Colin Turkington won the latest BTCC race at Rockingham.
RUGBY UNION My forecast as to where the teams will finish in 2014/15: Bath will be disrupted by international calls (4th)…
Exeter have a fine crop of inexperienced tyros (10th)… Gloucester have a combative, welldrilled pack (6th)… Harlequins will miss their England stars (5th)… Leicester are hungry for success (3rd)… London Irish lack firepower (9th)… London Welsh await a survival battle (11th)… Newcastle will struggle in attack (12th)… Northampton’s international calls will derail their challenge (2nd)… Sale have lost many key players (7th)… Saracens have great depth and are well coached (champions)… Wasps will grind out wins, but how many? (8th).