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Mourinho fumes over VAR as Spurs held, Ings keeps Golden Boot bid alive

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Tottenham’s Harry Kane was denied a penalty after being pushed by Bournemouth’s Josh King © POOL/AFP / Richard Heathcote

London, United Kingdom, Jul 9 – Tottenham suffered fresh VAR frustration as Harry Kane was denied a clear penalty in their damaging 0-0 draw at Bournemouth, while Danny Ings boosted his bid for the Premier League’s golden boot in Southampton’s 1-1 draw at Everton on Thursday.

Jose Mourinho’s side have won just once in their last three games and are in danger of missing out on European competition for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

Tottenham were off-key for long periods, but could feel hard done by after Josh King’s push on Kane in the penalty area went unpushed despite a VAR review in the first half.

“The same referee who did the VAR decision against Sheffield United, Michael Oliver. Opinions matter, It’s not only mine. Everybody knows that’s a penalty and when I say everybody, I mean everybody,” Mourinho said.

“The game has the most important moment and I don’t want to say any more in relation to that. Everybody knows.”

On course for their lowest points total since 2011, this has been a season to forget for Tottenham, who have yet to see any significant improvement since Mourinho replaced the sacked Mauricio Pochettino in November.

Just a year after reaching the Champions League final, they sit in ninth place in the Premier League, 10 points off the top four and far from certain to make next season’s Europa League.

Sunday’s north London derby against Arsenal, who are one point and one place above Tottenham, looms as a last chance to save their season.

“The performance was not good enough. There was a lack of sharpness in the attacking areas,” Mourinho said.

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“I think the changes I made helped to improve the game in the last half but we didn’t score.”

Bournemouth moved up one place after ending a five-match losing streak, but it is 159 days and nine games since they last won.

Eddie Howe’s men are three points from safety with just four games to avoid relegation.

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Kane had scored seven times in his previous seven Premier League appearances against Bournemouth, but VAR rejected his strong appeal for a penalty in the opening moments.

Just a week after Tottenham were the victims of a harsh VAR decision in their loss at Sheffield United, they could claim to be harshly treated again and Mourinho was visibly frustrated on the touchline.

Tottenham were struggling to find any rhythm and Erik Lamela’s woeful drive over the bar summed up their lethargic first half display.

Mourinho responded by sending on Son Heung-min and Tanguy Ndombele at the interval.

Struggling Bournemouth’s problems mounted when Adam Smith was injured in a clash of heads with Ben Davies.

Smith was stretchered off after an eight-minute delay while he was examined on the pitch.

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With Tottenham running out of ideas, Bournemouth thought they had won it in stoppage-time.

But Callum Wilson’s overhead kick clearly hit King’s hand on its way past Hugo Lloris and their celebrations were short-lived as VAR intervened.

Everton striker Richarlison celebrates after scoring against Southampton © POOL/AFP / Peter Byrne

At Goodison Park, Southampton extended their unbeaten run to three games and dented Everton’s bid to reach the Europa League.

Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse won a penalty in the 28th minute when he was tripped by Andre Gomes, but the midfielder blazed his spot-kick against the crossbar.

Three minutes after that miscue, Ings put Southampton ahead.

Stuart Armstrong miscued his shot into Ings’ path and the striker rounded Jordan Pickford to claim his 19th league goal of the season, three behind the top-flight’s current leading scorer Jamie Vardy.

Richarlison equalised for Everton in the 43rd minute, the Brazilian taking Lucas Digne’s superb long pass in his stride before guiding a clinical finish over Alex McCarthy for his 14th goal of the season.

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‘Unicorn’ Hamilton bows head, raises fist to celebrate Styrian triumph

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SPIELBERG, Austria, Jul 12Lewis Hamilton raised a podium fist to salute the global anti-racism protests on Sunday as he celebrated his first win this season and the 85th of his career at the Styrian Grand Prix in a performance so dazzling that his Mercedes team boss described him as a “unicorn”.

In a gesture that recalled the action of Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympic Games, Hamilton delivered an image and message that transcended the pre-race muddle offered by his sport when at least four drivers remained standing while others took a knee and some were absent.

For the second consecutive weekend, Hamilton had taken a knee wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt accompanied by others in ‘End Racism’ t-shirts.

However, television coverage of the drivers’ symbolic act of support for his sport’s anti-racism stance lasted only two seconds.

Instead of showing the drivers, the direction switched broadcast attention to a pre-planned aerial demonstration while, with a global audience tuning in, confusion reigned.

Hamilton, the sport’s only black race winner and champion, who had drawn attention to F1’s need for a smarter and more unified demonstration as with football and other sports, was not surprised or perturbed.

Instead, he heaped praise on his Mercedes team –Valtteri Bottas had finished second behind him in a solid one-two – for their on- and off-track excellence as they seek to add to their six-year dominance as champions and focus on developing diversity.

“The easiest thing is to lose focus, to ease up and lose determination,” he said after the race.

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“I don’t see this happening with this team. We are so united.

“You can see this on grid when all the team took a knee. I didn’t see it. I was told just before the race that they were going to do it.

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“It’s not something I asked for, but it was a beautiful thing. It doesn’t take a lot to do and maybe its not changing the world, but it is hopefully changing perceptions and shifting ideals.”

After his masterful demonstration of wet weather driving in Saturday’s rain-hit qualifying session, Hamilton delivered a measured message on Sunday to drive within six wins of Michael Schumacher’s record and make his wider point.

“When he is in that space, he is just unbeatable,” said his Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in top-class motor racing. It’s like seeing a unicorn.”

Wolff added that the Mercedes team had all taken a knee, but none wished to judge others who did not.

“The team did it, but I think we have to be non-judgmental. None of the drivers standing are racist. We have to respect each point of view and I don’t want to judge what other people do.”

Hamilton attributed his victory to the team and hard work in preparation following the previous week’s disappointments at the Austrian Grand Prix.

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“Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” he said.

“Last weekend was psychologically challenging. To have the penalties and be called to the stewards on the Sunday morning, just before the race, and to get a penalty there and then another one in the race. Its never easy.”

“But there’s nothing you can do about the past. All you can do is focus and channel your energy to the future.”

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Spurs leave it late to beat Arsenal, Villa boost survival bid

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LONDON, United Kingdom, Jul 12Toby Alderweireld gave Tottenham a late 2-1 win over Arsenal as Jose Mourinho’s men climbed above their north London rivals, while Aston Villa boosted their Premier League survival hopes with a 2-0 victory against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Mourinho had endured a barrage of criticism as Tottenham slipped out of the race to qualify for the Champions League with just one win in three games.

But thanks to Alderweireld’s winner with nine minutes left, Tottenham took the local bragging rights and got back in contention for a place in next season’s Europa League.

Tottenham are eighth, two points above ninth placed Arsenal and two behind Sheffield United as they try to avoid missing out on European action for the first time since 2009-10.

“We are happy because we made the fans happy, we are happy because we are still in the fight to win a Europa League position,” Mourinho said.

“To be honest, Mikel (Arteta) found a way for them to play, to be stable and to improve. We felt that we should adapt slightly to them and we did it very well.

“Arsenal had 48 hours more than us to rest, so it was hard but it came from their hearts, this effort, this battle.”

In the first north London derby at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Alexandre Lacazette put Arsenal ahead in the 16th minute with a stunning strike.

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The French striker dispossessed Serge Aurier outside the Spurs area before unleashing an unstoppable effort inside the top near corner of the goal.

Arsenal’s lead lasted just three minutes as Sead Kolasinac’s sloppy pass gifted Son Heung-min the ball.

Son easily eluded David Luiz before chipping over onrushing keeper Emiliano Martinez.

It was the South Korean forward’s 17th goal of the season and his first since the coronavirus hiatus.

In the 82nd minute, Belgian defender Alderweireld rose above a cluster of Arsenal players to meet Son’s corner and plant his header past Martinez.

Aston Villa’s Trezeguet (C) scored twice against Crystal Palace © POOL/AFP / Tim Keeton

At Villa Park, Dean Smith’s side kicked off languishing seven points from safety, but Egypt winger Trezeguet scored twice to keep them in with a chance of avoiding relegation.

Villa’s first win in 11 league games lifted them into 18th, within four points of fourth-from-bottom Watford with three games left.

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Second-bottom Bournemouth will go one point above Villa if they beat Leicester later on Sunday.

“We said to the players, ‘It’s like a semi-final today’. It was the first leg of the semi-final we needed to go and win and we have done that with a good performance,” Smith said.

“We need to give ourselves a big chance. Watford and West Ham play each other next so they both can’t take three points but we have to concentrate on ourselves and hopefully get a result at Everton.”

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Smith’s men got an early stroke of luck when Palace defender Mamadou Sakho had a goal ruled out by VAR for handball

Villa snatched the lead in first half stoppage-time when Conor Hourihane’s free-kick picked out Trezeguet, who side-footed home at the far post.

– Violent conduct –

Trezeguet got Villa’s crucial second goal in the 58th minute, finishing clinically after Hourihane nodded the ball forward.

Palace striker Christian Benteke was sent off for violent conduct after the final whistle.

At Molineux, Wolves stayed in the Champions League hunt with a 3-0 win against woeful Everton.

Raul Jimenez’s penalty and Leander Dendoncker’s header a minute either side of half-time put the game out of Everton’s reach.

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had another difficult afternoon, conceding three times at Wolves, including the final goal by Diogo Jota © POOL/AFP / Ben STANSALL

Diogo Jota beat Jordan Pickford at his near post 16 minutes from time to round off another performance that will see the England number one scrutinised.

Victory lifts Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves back ahead of Sheffield United into sixth and within four points of fourth-placed Leicester.

Fifth could also be good enough for the riches of Champions League football next season should Manchester City’s appeal against a two-season ban from European competitions fail when the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s verdict is revealed on Monday.

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Blackwood stars as West Indies beat England by four wickets

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SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom, Jul 12Jermaine Blackwood made a superb 95 as the West Indies beat England by four wickets in the first Test at Southampton on Sunday.

The West Indies, set 200 to win on the last day, were reeling at 27-3 after England fast bowler Jofra Archer’s early double strike.

Blackwood, however, held firm until, in sight of just his second Test century, he drove England stand-in captain Ben Stokes to James Anderson at mid-off, with the visitors needing just 11 more runs to win.

But John Campbell, forced to retire hurt on one after being struck on the toe by Archer, returned to hit the winning runs.

West Indies captain Jason Holder, the world’s top-ranked Test all-rounder ahead of Stokes, was 14 not out.

The match was a personal and tactical triumph for Holder, who took a Test-best 6-42 in England’s lowly first innings 204 after Stokes, leading the side in the absence of Joe Root, won the toss and batted.

Although they hold the Wisden Trophy, the West Indies have not won a Test series in England for 32 years.

But this victory put them 1-0 up with two to play in a behind closed doors series ahead of next week’s second Test at Old Trafford.

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It was a thoroughly deserved success for the West Indies, who went ahead with their tour despite more than 44,000 deaths in Britain from the coronavirus during the pandemic.

“It is right up there with the best victories we’ve had as a group,” Holder told Sky Sports.

Holder sparked a collapse that saw England lose five wickets for 30 runs late Saturday when he dismissed Stokes.

– ‘Best day I’ve had in Tests’ –

Congratulations: England’s Ben Stokes congratulates West Indies’ Jason Holder © POOL/AFP / Mike Hewitt

“To me, yesterday was probably the best day I’ve had in Test cricket,” said Holder.

“It was a hard, long toil and the bowlers really put it in. Every time I asked a bowler to come up and give a spell, they came up and gave a massive effort.”

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Stokes, while relieved to be back in action, said England’s first innings had been the key to the game.

“First and foremost it is great that we’ve been able to get back onto the park and play some international cricket,” he said. “It was a bit strange.

“Ideally we would have liked to have got a lot more runs in the first innings.

“We got ourselves into some great positions at times with the bat and unfortunately we weren’t ruthless enough to make our innings count.”

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Windies spearhead fast bowler Shannon Gabriel was named man-of-the-match following combined figures of 9-137, including 5-75 in the second innings.

“I’m still a bit stiff but thankfully there is a couple of days to recover before the next Test match,” said Gabriel.

“Coming here, the guys were confident after playing them back in the Caribbean. We knew we could get the job done.”

But it might have been a different story for England on Sunday had they not given Blackwood several reprieves.

The 28-year-old Jamaican had made just five when he edged off-spinner Dom Bess only for Stokes, moving at slip, to drop the chance.

And he had moved on to 20 when wicketkeeper Jos Buttler floored a one-handed catch off Stokes.

Leg-byes were signalled but Blackwood would have been out on review had Buttler held on.

England then squandered a possible run-out chance when Zak Crawley fumbled.

But with West Indies needing exactly 100 more for victory, Barbados-born quick Archer defied a docile pitch to produce a rearing 90 mph delivery that Roston Chase, on 37, could only divert to Buttler via his glove and helmet.

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It was the end of a valuable stand of 73.

The diminutive Blackwood pressed on, cover-driving both Bess and Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker, for two of his dozen boundaries in a 154-ball innings.

Archer had earlier made a useful 23 before he was last man out in England’s second innings 313.

He then reduced West Indies to 7-2, having gone wicketless in the first innings after being selected ahead of dropped veteran Stuart Broad.

Archer got Kraigg Brathwaite to play on and had Shamarh Brooks lbw for a duck.

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