Kevin De Bruyne came back to haunt his old club as his fine strike handed Premier League leaders Manchester City a 1-0 win over Chelsea on Saturday.

Against no side has De Bruyne scored more Premier League goals than he has against the Blues (five), with this total the most against Chelsea by any player who has previously played for them in the competition.

Elsewhere, Manchester United threw away a two-goal lead at Aston Villa to draw 2-2, with Philippe Coutinho sealing a point on his debut following his loan move from Barcelona.

Wolves beat Southampton 3-1 and Norwich City piled the pressure on Rafael Benitez with a 2-1 win over Everton, while strugglers Newcastle United and Watford played out a 1-1 draw.

Here, Stats Perform unpacks the pick of the Opta data from another eventful day in the Premier League.

Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea: De Bruyne edges Guardiola's men closer to the title

City's seemingly unstoppable march towards the Premier League title continued with a 12th straight top-flight win.

It marked the ninth run of 12 or more victories in the competition's history, with Pep Guardiola's side now responsible for four of those.

The decisive goal came from Kevin De Bruyne, the Belgium international superbly whipping into the bottom-right corner from distance with 20 minutes remaining.

De Bruyne has scored 21 Premier League goals from outside the penalty area – the most of any player since his first season with City (2015-16), and the joint-most of any Citizens player in the competition's history (level with Sergio Aguero).

Chelsea scarcely landed a blow on their hosts, failing to register a single shot in the first half. Indeed, they had just seven touches in City's penalty area – their fewest in a single Premier League match since January 2015 (also seven vs Man City).

Aston Villa 2-2 Manchester United: Red Devils squander two-goal lead

A stirring late fight back from Villa meant United failed to win a Premier League away game in which they led by 2+ goals for the first time since January 2016 against Newcastle (3-3).

Bruno Fernandes' opener was the first Premier League goal United have scored from a set piece situation this season (excluding penalties), before the Portugal international doubled their advantage in the second period.  

Since making his United debut in February 2020, only Mohamed Salah (45) and Harry Kane (34) have scored more Premier League goals than Fernandes (33), while only James Ward-Prowse (seven) has scored more goals from outside the box in the competition during this period than the Portuguese (six).

Jacob Ramsey inspired a memorable comeback, though, the 20-year-old becoming the first Villa player to both score and assist against United in a single Premier League game since John Carew in April 2009, and the third-youngest player to do it against the Red Devils in the Premier League overall after Kelechi Iheanacho in September 2016 and Harry Kewell in November 1998.

Coutinho ensured the points were shared in what was his first Premier League appearance in 1477 days (for Liverpool vs Leicester City in December 2017).

Norwich City 2-1 Everton: Idah gets off the mark to put Benitez on the brink

The Canaries kick-started their bid for survival with a second win in six Premier League home games under Dean Smith – as many as they managed in their final 21 home games in the competition under previous manager Daniel Farke.

There were just 92 seconds between Michael Keane's own goal and Adam Idah's first Premier League strike, the hosts scoring as many times inside the opening 18 minutes as they had in their previous eight top-flight matches combined (one).

Idah's goal was his first in 27 Premier League appearances, while it was his first league goal since May 2021, when he scored in Norwich's final game of the Championship season.

The result meant Everton, who pulled one back through Richarlison, have won just 19 points from their 19 league games this season. Only twice previously have they had fewer at this stage of a Premier League campaign (17 in 1997-98 and 2005-06) and it looks as though Benitez's time may be up.

Wolves 3-1 Southampton: Traore off the mark as hosts' fine season continues

Wolves completed a top-flight double over Southampton for the first time since 1971-72, as well as winning three in a row against Saints in the top tier for the first time since October 1970.

Raul Jimenez and Conor Coady put them 2-0 up before the hour mark, with the latter's three Premier League goals coming from just four shots on target in 134 appearances.

Saints captain James Ward-Prowse scored his 12th direct free-kick goal in the Premier League to reduce the deficit – a haul bettered only by David Beckham (18).

However, Adama Traore's first goal in 22 top-flight appearances ensured Wolves picked up 31 points from their first 20 games of the season – their best return at this stage of a top-flight campaign since 1979-80 (also 31 points) when they finished in sixth place.

Virat Kohl has helped India make "rapid strides in all formats", according to former star Sourav Ganguly.

Kohli, 33, announced his resignation as India Test captain on Saturday following a 2-1 series defeat to South Africa.

He had already called time on his reign as Twenty20 captain after the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in late 2021, with Rohit Sharma taking that role before also replacing his team-mate as ODI skipper.

Kohli was left disappointed by a lack of communication by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) before he was told he would be stood down as ODI captain, though Ganguly explained matters differently.

The BCCI president, by contrast, suggested he did not want Kohli to relinquish the T20 captaincy, while he stated India wanting only one white-ball captain as the reason for Kohli's removal as ODI skipper.

Nevertheless, Ganguly – who scored over 11,000 runs for India in ODIs – was quick to pay tribute to Kohli following his resignation.

"Under Virat's leadership Indian cricket has made rapid strides in all formats of the game," Ganguly wrote on Twitter. 

"His decision is a personal one and BCCI respects it immensely. He will be an important member to take this team to newer heights in the future. A great player, well done."

Kohli led India a record 68 times in the longest format after initially captaining the Test side for the first time in 2014 against Australia before landing the role permanently the following year after MS Dhoni's retirement.

Only Graeme Smith, Allan Border, Stephen Fleming, Ricky Ponting and Clive Lloyd captained their country more often in Test matches.

Kohli is India's most successful Test captain with 40 victories and averaged a mammoth 54.80 during his tenure, scoring 20 centuries and making 18 half-centuries as he managed 5,864 runs from 113 innings.

KL Rahul was recently named vice-captain so is among the favourites to take the captaincy next.

Philippe Coutinho scored a late equaliser on his debut as Aston Villa recovered from two down to draw 2-2 with Manchester United at Villa Park on Saturday.

United looked set to seal a morale-boosting and hard-fought victory thanks to Bruno Fernandes' brace, but Villa fought back in the final 13 minutes to secure an unlikely point.

There was undoubtedly a hint of fortune about United's opener, an Emiliano Martinez howler allowing Fernandes to score for only the second time in the Premier League since September, but the Portugal star's second was an emphatic effort.

That looked as though it would be enough for United, but Jacob Ramsey scored and then teed up new loan signing Coutinho to rescue a draw with a dream debut goal.

It took United – who were without Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford due to injury – just six minutes to score, though Martinez gave them more than a helping hand, inexplicably allowing Fernandes' long-range strike squirm through his legs.

Villa came to life towards the end of the half, but David de Gea was equal to Emi Buendia's near-post header and debutant Lucas Digne's controlled strike.

Chances continued to flow at either end after the restart, with Anthony Elanga going close twice and Ramsey forcing De Gea into a smart save.

But Fernandes was less wasteful, his drive clattering in off the crossbar after a Morgan Sanson error led to Fred feeding United's captain.

Villa rallied, however. Ramsey pulled one back with a well-taken left-footed finish inside the box before playing an inch-perfect pass across goal for Coutinho to smash home five minutes later.

Manuel Neuer described Robert Lewandowski as a "machine" after the striker reached 300 Bundesliga goals with a hat-trick in Bayern Munich's 4-0 win over Cologne.

The Poland star broke the deadlock on Saturday as Bayern became the first team in the history of the competition to score in 66 consecutive matches.

After Corentin Tolisso struck a fine second, Lewandowski delivered two more precise finishes following Leroy Sane throughballs to move the leaders six points clear.

The 33-year-old is just the second player in Bundesliga history to reach a treble century of goals, after Gerd Muller, who scored a record 365.

Last season, Lewandowski scored 42 times to break Muller's record for goals in a single Bundesliga season, and he could now have the outright leading tally in his sights.

"After the defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach, it was just important for us to get our first points of the year, and that's what we did," Neuer told Sky Sport.

"We're happy and grateful that we have Robert. He's a machine up front."

 

There was a curious moment after the match, when Neuer exchanged his shirt for the flat cap of Cologne head coach Steffen Baumgart.

"His cap is legendary!" he said.

The game was Bayern's first since it was confirmed that full-back Alphonso Davies will have to sit out training after being diagnosed with inflammation of the heart.

Coach Julian Nagelsmann said the Canada international will be out of action for at least the next month.

"It could be that it goes away quickly, but it's at least four weeks – and everything is possible for an indefinite amount of time," he said prior to the match.

"If you suffer from something like this, you usually don't notice it. You only notice that you're not 100 per cent when you move.

"[It is important] that we do the examinations meticulously, and that's how we diagnosed it. It's important for him to heal, but it's a shape because Alphonso had just come back."

Nigeria confirmed their place in the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations with a routine 3-1 win over Sudan in Group D.

First-half goals from Samuel Chukwueze and Taiwo Awoniyi put the Super Eagles on their way, before Moses Simon added a third after the break.

Nigeria shipped a consolation goal, courtesy of Walieldin Khidir's penalty, but could now be crowned Group D winners with a match to spare, depending on Egypt's result against Guinea-Bissau.

Nigeria took less than five minutes to make the breakthrough, with Chukwueze finishing coolly after a long throw was hurled into the Sudan penalty area before Union Berlin forward Awoniyi deflected in a rebound from Kelechi Iheanacho's free-kick.

Having flown out of the traps in the first half, Nigeria did likewise in the second, with Nantes attacker Simon, who was lively throughout, volleying home.

Khidir fired home from the spot after a VAR check penalised Ola Aina's clumsy challenge on Mustafa Karshoum.

After beating Mohammed Salah's Egypt in their opening game, Nigeria have now won their opening two matches at two consecutive Cup of Nations tournaments for the first time ever, while Sudan have won just one of their last 15 Africa Cup of Nations games, a run stretching back to 1972.

Inter have been linked with Juventus star Paulo Dybala, but Simone Inzaghi instead focused on his delight with the recent form of Alexis Sanchez.

Dybala is out of contract at Juve at the end of the campaign and recent reports have suggested that the Nerazzurri will move to add him to their ranks ahead of next season.

But speaking at a news conference ahead of Inter's trip to Atalanta on Sunday, Inzaghi refused to comment on the possibility of moving for the Argentine, who has scored nine goals and registered four assists in 20 games in all competitions for the Old Lady this season.

"I've read and heard things but I don't like talking about players from other teams, I'm proud of the ones I have," he told reporters.

One of the players the former Lazio manager is proud of is Sanchez, who scored the winning goal in the last minute of extra time as Inter beat Juve 2-1 in the Supercoppa Italiana on Wednesday.

"Sanchez has been decisive and I am happy to coach him," Inzaghi added. "For a coach, to see the action that determined the match, with the four players who came on during the match and [Arturo] Vidal was also decisive with his entrance, is a great satisfaction.

"Sanchez is a great asset, but I'll evaluate him for the game against Atalanta.

"I've already said it, Sanchez is a champion who always wants to learn. He didn't need the goal against Juve, he's already settled down for two months."

Inzaghi also had words of praise for Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini, who once again has the Bergamo side in the top four of Serie A, three points ahead of Juve in fifth with a game in hand, with only Inter (51) and Milan (46) having scored more goals in the league than Atalanta's 44.

"Gasperini has been doing well for many years at Atalanta," he said. "Football has evolved over the years and occupying space at the right time is increasingly important.

"It's going to be a good, physical game, one to be experienced. Like the first game [2-2 at San Siro in September], with a very high tempo."

Despite being eight points behind Inter heading into the game, when asked if Sunday's opponents are a part of the race for the Scudetto, Inzaghi insisted: "Absolutely. Atalanta are in fourth place and they're improving all the time. It's a title race match."

Robert Lewandowski hit a hat-trick as Bayern Munich set a Bundesliga record in Saturday's 4-0 away win over Cologne.

The Poland striker's ninth-minute opener meant the champions scored in a record 66 consecutive league games, a feat never before achieved in Germany's top tier.

Corentin Tolisso scored a fine second before two more Lewandowski goals in the second half secured a ninth league win in a row over Steffen Baumgart's side.

Fittingly, it was Lewandowski who set Bayern's latest goalscoring record, the striker side-footing past Marvin Schwabe from Thomas Muller's pass and a VAR check overruling the offside call.

The visitors doubled their lead in spectacular fashion, Tolisso controlling Muller's lay-off before rifling left-footed into the top-right corner from the edge of the box.

Cologne thought they had pulled a goal back through Mark Uth, but another VAR check showed an offside, and the hosts finished the half without another shot on target.

Marcel Sabitzer had an effort saved and Jamal Musiala's turn and shot clipped the outside of the post as Bayern stepped up their pressure after the interval.

Cologne offered a slight threat of a comeback with a good period of pressure, but it was promptly Lewandowski quelled 62 minutes in, Lewandowski drilling home his 22nd Bundesliga goal of the season after being played through by Leroy Sane.

The pair combined again for Bayern's fourth, Muller releasing Sane on a zig-zagging run before he prodded through for Lewandowski to finish with aplomb.

 

What does it mean? Bayern respond to Dortmund pressure

You have to go back to February 9, 2020, and a goalless draw with RB Leipzig, to find the last occasion in which Bayern played a league game without scoring a goal.

Their latest two helped them to a comfortable win that stretched their lead at the top back to six points, Borussia Dortmund having closed the gap with a 5-1 thumping of Freiburg on Friday.

Cologne sit eighth in the table, but just two points off the top four.

 

Magnificent Muller

Lewandowski's goalscoring exploits can often overshadow Muller, but two assists and four chances created here were a reminder of his importance to Bayern.

The Germany star has now directly set up 150 Bundesliga goals since his debut back in August 2008. In that time, only Lionel Messi (180) has made more assists in Europe's top five leagues.

No sniff of a Cologne goal

Cologne managed only one shot on target throughout and starting strikers Uth and Anthony Modeste were substituted even before Lewandowski netted Bayern's fourth.

They had promising moments in the final third but this was a surprisingly toothless performance from a side whose 28 points from their first 18 games was their second-best return this century.

What's next?

Bayern are back in action next Sunday away to Hertha Berlin. Cologne host Hamburg in the DFB-Pokal on Tuesday before resuming league duties at Bochum four days later.

Thomas Tuchel was unimpressed by the performance of Romelu Lukaku after Chelsea lost 1-0 to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

A stunning goal from Kevin De Bruyne sent Pep Guardiola's City 13 points clear of Chelsea in the Premier League table, with the Blues having won just four of their last 12 league games.

Lukaku cut a lone figure for much of Saturday's game, having just 21 touches – the fewest of any starting player for either team – while completing just seven out of 12 passes, and he did not win any of his seven aerial duels.

He also saw a shot saved by City goalkeeper Ederson when through one-on-one at the start of the second half, a chance that Opta measured with an xG (expected goals) score of 0.365, meaning that he would be expected to score at least one in three times from that position.

The £97million signing from Inter recently apologised to the club and the fans after giving an interview in Italy where he appeared to criticise Blues boss Tuchel for not playing to his strengths.

Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Tuchel explained his frustration with the Belgian striker's display, saying: "He had many ball losses without any pressure, many ball losses in very promising circumstances. He had a huge chance.

"We want to serve him, but he is part of the team, and the performance up front, particularly in the first half, we can do much, much better."

Apart from Lukaku, Tuchel was reluctant to fault his team at the post-match news conference despite the defeat, and praised their attitude and commitment in the game, saying to reporters: "I think we lost on individual performance and on one situation today. In terms of attitude, commitment, defensive-wise, I am happy.

"We did not allow too many big chances, kept them to a minimum, and we were aware and active with our defending.

"We had big counter chances, big offensive transition chances we wasted. With the same performance we have won games against Man City, and we could draw this game, and, of course, lose this."

Chelsea managed just four shots and one on target, all of which came in the second half, and Tuchel acknowledged that the European champions did not create enough, only having seven touches in the City box compared to the hosts who had 31 in the Chelsea penalty area.

"We did not have enough chances for the ball wins and the movements we could have had," Tuchel added. "We could have had more chances if we played with better timing, better precision. It's simply like this.

"We had eight or nine transition chances and out of them we did not have a touch in the box. This is what I am critical about. If we miss chances, I am not critical. Everyone wants to score big chances, and we do not get a lot of them in big games.

"We could have had many more chances, that is what I am critical about. The decision-making and timing wasn't at the level we need."

Tuchel was also asked for his reaction to the Premier League's decision to postpone Sunday's north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham after the Gunners made a request on Friday, due to having a number of players out through injury, suspension, COVID-19 or at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The former Borussia Dortmund manager has recently expressed frustration with the league for postponing some games and not others, including rejecting Chelsea's request to cancel their visit to Wolves in December.

"It's much better for me not to answer the question. Much, much better," the German said.

Chelsea already knew the odds were slim. No team that has been clear by at least 10 points at the top of the Premier League after 21 matches has ever failed to lift the trophy.

The Blues travelled to leaders Manchester City on Saturday exactly 10 adrift and desperate to improve on their showing against Pep Guardiola's men from earlier in the season.

But a familiar foe once again brought their downfall as City sealed a 1-0 win that further increases their lead at the summit and probably has them over the horizon in the title race – at least as far as Chelsea are concerned.

Thomas Tuchel spoke with great clarity and assuredness as he addressed the media on Friday, accepting Chelsea were far too negative in their 1-0 defeat to City at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season.

We say "defeat", but in reality it was as close to a 1-0 battering as they come. City tallied three times as many shots as Chelsea (15 to five), and it was a similar story in terms of touches in the opposition's box (34 to 11).

But there was little sign of a major improvement here. Tuchel flailed and flapped like a headless chicken on the touchline, his instructions ultimately powerless against a City side that smothered Chelsea with a high press that just seemed to suffocate them more as the game went on.

Initially, as much as anything, Chelsea just looked confused. Their bravery in playing out from the back was to be commended in some instances, but that mentality seemed to be completely at odds with almost everything else they did.

They would get into the midfield but then launch long balls out wide or to Christian Pulisic in the hole rather than for Romelu Lukaku to run onto. The moves would go nowhere.

 

There was no period of sustained pressure from Chelsea at all in the first half – in fact, they got to the interval without registering a single shot, the first time that's happened in a league game under Tuchel.

Lukaku, bar one early instance where he rolled John Stones before mucking up the final pass, cut a frustrated figure up top. While Chelsea's play in the build-up largely seemed unlikely to get the best out of him, his team-mates might have expected more attempts to run in behind the City defence.

The second half was just a few minutes old when such a situation did present itself, with Lukaku able to do what he's best at: running on to throughballs rather than acting as a target man.

Ederson produced a fine save to block Lukaku's effort, but it was the clearest evidence yet of how Chelsea were likely to hurt City – not that it was necessarily a sign of things to come for the visitors.

 

If anything, it served as a jolt for City, a reminder that, as good as they are, they weren't going to be able to sleepwalk to a win here.

City allowed Chelsea more of the ball, but Guardiola's men upped the intensity significantly with their pressing – the Blues started to find passing through the midfield rather trickier.

Eight of the nine times City won possession in the final third (Chelsea only did so once in the whole game) came in the second half, which was not only evidence of how they were able to impressively dig deep physically, but also highlighted how a team can take the game to an opponent even without the ball.

Of course, City relied on a moment of pure inspiration, which was somewhat predictably delivered by Kevin De Bruyne, who strode away from N'Golo Kante and saw his gorgeous curling effort find the bottom-right corner from 25 yards.

 

It was his fifth Premier League goal against Chelsea, making his old club his favourite opposition in that regard, and a figure bettered by no other former Blue in the competition.

In the context of the match, it also highlighted the differing fortunes of players with comparable pasts: both De Bruyne and Lukaku joined Chelsea as youngsters and ultimately failed to make an impression.

The midfielder now regularly lights up the Premier League, but his international colleague is back at Stamford Bridge and struggling again, albeit for different reasons.

But the fact of the matter is, Lukaku was brought back to turn Chelsea into title contenders – that now looks impossible thanks to another familiar face.

Kevin De Bruyne hit a scorching winner as Manchester City extended their Premier League lead to 13 points with a 1-0 victory against second-placed Chelsea.

A tightly contested game at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday came to life 20 minutes from time as De Bruyne intervened decisively.

Chelsea did not see much of the ball but had their chances to get on the scoresheet too, with Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech particularly wasteful on the counter-attack.

Pep Guardiola's City have now won 12 league games on the bounce, and it is difficult to see how they can be denied making it back-to-back titles in May.

City dominated much of the first half but were grateful for poor decision-making and execution from Lukaku and Ziyech on two occasions as Chelsea looked to counter early on.

The best chance for the hosts in the opening 45 minutes came when an effective high press set Jack Grealish through on goal, but Kepa Arrizabalaga deflected the £100million man's shot behind with his left leg.

The visitors should have taken the lead two minutes into the second half when Lukaku was sent clear by Mateo Kovacic, but Ederson palmed his shot away before Ziyech lifted the rebound over the bar.

The league leaders finally broke the deadlock in the 70th minute when former Chelsea man De Bruyne cut in from the left side before expertly firing past the despairing dive of Arrizabalaga from 22 yards.

The Blues tried to find an equaliser, but City showed their solid side to clinch the three points, moving a significant step closer to lifting the Premier League trophy once more.

Sequels, necessary or otherwise, tend to be widely popular. Whether it's in the world of boxing or on the big screen, audiences are consistently drawn in by the prospect of a second act.

But they are not quite as keenly anticipated in the NFL playoffs.

When it gets to January, there is a desire to see matchups that have not been witnessed in the regular season. That is a small part of the allure of the postseason.

Yet the opening day of 'Super Wild Card Weekend' will serve up one sequel and the third and final act of an AFC East trilogy.

Even though the first playoff games of the 2021 campaign are repeats, there is reason to believe they will be compelling. Here Stats Perform previews Saturday's action.

Las Vegas Raiders @ Cincinnati Bengals

The Raiders' visit to Cincinnati sees a matchup of two quarterbacks playing in their first postseason game, albeit at markedly different stages of their careers.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr helped a team then based in Oakland to reach the playoffs in 2016, only for him to then miss out on their Wild Card defeat to the Houston Texans due to injury. Carr has made 127 career regular-season starts. Only two quarterbacks have ever had more prior to their first playoff start: Fran Tarkenton (174) and John Brodie (134).

Meanwhile, Joe Burrow led the Bengals to the playoffs in just his second season in the NFL and goes into his postseason debut in red-hot form. He has 971 passing yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions over his last two games. This is the 49th instance of a player having at least eight TD passes and no INTs over a two-game span. Burrow has the most passing yards of those 49 instances, over 100 yards more than the next closest (Ben Roethlisberger, 862 in 2014).

Burrow was the most accurate quarterback in the NFL by well-thrown percentage (min. 200 attempts) in the regular season. He delivered an accurate well-thrown ball on 86.5 per cent of attempts, though in Carr he must outduel the man third on that same list (82.1 per cent).

Should he do so, Burrow will give the Bengals their first playoff win since the 1990 campaign. They have lost eight straight playoff games, while their span without a playoff win is the longest active streak in the NFL, and the fifth-longest streak in NFL history. Only one team ever lost nine straight playoff games: the Detroit Lions, who have lost their last nine postseason games.

New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills

The Patriots and the Bills playing for the third time in a little over a month may feel repetitive, but this game actually marks a playoff first.

It is the first playoff game since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 in which the Pats and Bills have met.

Their lone playoff clash was an AFL tiebreaker in 1963, after the teams finished the season tied for first place in the Eastern Division (both 7-6-1). The Boston Patriots won that playoff game, 26-8, at Buffalo's War Memorial Stadium.

With lows of minus 16 degrees Celsius expected in Buffalo on Saturday, a low-scoring close game would not be a surprise. The Bills (289) and Patriots (303) are ranked one-two in the NFL this season in fewest points allowed. Buffalo allowed the fewest passing touchdowns (12), and New England tied Denver for the fewest rushing touchdowns allowed (nine).

Yet if the Bills come out on the right side of the ledger, recent history suggests they will do so by a double-digit margin.

The Bills won 11 games this season and all their wins were by at least 12 points. Buffalo's average victory margin (22.1 points) was the highest in the NFL (New England: 2nd at 21.4).

Genoa have sacked Andriy Shevchenko only two months after appointing the Milan great as head coach.

The Ukrainian was hired to replace Davide Ballardini on November 7, with his appointment one of the first major decisions made by the club's new ownership group.

Shevchenko had left his role as Ukraine coach in August, having taken his country beyond the group stage of a European Championship for the first time in their history at Euro 2020.

However, Genoa's form has shown no sign of improvement under the former Chelsea and Milan striker.

In nine Serie A games, Shevchenko did not preside over a single victory – they amassed three points and as many goals in that time.

His sole win in charge came via a slender 1-0 success over Salernitana in the Coppa Italia last month.

It was thought Genoa's performance in the 3-1 extra-time defeat to Milan in the Coppa on Thursday might have bought him more time.

But those reports ultimately proved inaccurate, with his former stomping ground San Siro being where his fate was settled.

England fought back with the ball after another batting collapse, but Australia remained on top after 17 wickets fell on a dramatic second day of the final Ashes Test.

Australia resumed on 241-6 in their first innings and were bowled out for 303 during Saturday's opening session, Stuart Broad taking 3-59 and Mark Wood 3-115 at Blundstone Arena.

The tourists then crumbled from 78-2 to 188 all out in reply, Chris Woakes top-scoring with 36 as the excellent Pat Cummins (4-45) and Mitchell Starc (3-53) did the bulk of the damage, with the ball zipping around off the seam and swinging prodigiously.

Australia were reduced to 5-2 in their second innings before closing on 37-3 in Hobart, leading by 152 runs and favourites to win the series 4-0.

Wood dismissed Starc and Cummins early on as Australia got the day's play under way, but Nathan Lyon struck the pacemen for three sixes as he held up England with a quickfire 31 and Alex Carey made 24, with Australia adding 51 runs for the last two wickets.

There was a sense of deja vu as England were two down early in their reply, Rory Burns run out without scoring on his return to the side and Zak Crawley caught by Travis Head at short leg to become Cummins' first victim.

Joe Root (34) and Dawid Malan steadied the ship, with left-hander Malan having a slice of fortune when he nicked Cameron Green behind with 13 to his name and Australia did not review.

Malan (25) was on his way after edging Cummins through to Carey, ending a third-wicket stand of 49, and England capitulated yet again, with Root trapped lbw by Australia's outstanding captain.

Lyon took a brilliant catch to get rid of Ben Stokes for four, before debutant Sam Billings (29) and Woakes offered some resistance, but Cummins ended another abysmal England innings by bowling Wood.

The tourists dazzled with the ball under the lights, with Warner bagging a pair and Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja departing, but Steve Smith (17no) and nightwatchman Scott Boland prevented further damage from being done.


Magnificent Cummins shows he's the best in the world

Cummins produced another exhibition of pace bowling as he exploited England's batting frailties yet again.

The Australia skipper was relentless and would have deserved a five-wicket haul, snaring Root with a brilliant delivery that nipped back sharply to claim the scalp of the England captain for the first time in the series.

He was supported well by Starc, Green (1-45) and Boland (1-33), who had Woakes dropped by both Warner and Khawaja early in the all-rounder's knock.


Woe for Warner as Broad strikes again, Robinson returns

It was an all too familiar story for Warner as he fell to Broad for the 14th time in Test cricket, Ollie Pope taking a stunning diving catch at point to remove the opener.

Not since Warner failed to score in both innings of the Old Trafford Ashes Test in 2019 had an Australian suffered the misery of getting a pair.

Woakes snared Labuschagne and Billings took a second Test catch when Khawaja gloved a brute of a rapid short ball from Wood. Ollie Robinson was unfortunate not to take a wicket when he returned to bowl after suffering back spams on day one as England finished a disappointing day strongly.

Stephen Curry was "a little concerned" about a hand injury he sustained in the Golden State Warriors' thrashing of the Chicago Bulls on Friday but declared: "I'll be all right."

Curry fell on his right hand during the Warriors' 138-96 rout of the Bulls at United Center – their 10th consecutive victory over Chicago.

The seven-time NBA All-Star, who scored 19 points, was initially worried about the damage he may have done, but says the pain did not last for long.

He said: "Anything that involves the hands, especially the right one, you're a little concerned. But the feeling came back, the strength came back. It hurts, but I'll be all right."

Curry added: "I have some PTSD from [a hand injury sustained] two years ago. When I landed, it felt kind of the same, but we'll get it looked at and figure it out. Should be all right."

Rookie forward Jonathan Kuminga top-scored with 25 points in 26 minutes for Golden State, with Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins finishing with 22 and 21 points respectively.

Klay Thompson was rested as he eases his way back from a long injury lay-off, while Draymond Green could return from a calf injury against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.

The Warriors' demolition of Eastern Conference leaders Chicago (27-13) was only their second win in six games and moved them to 31-11, sitting second in the Western Conference behind the 32-9 Phoenix Suns.

 

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