All eyes will be on Francesco Bagnaia at the Grand Prix of Americas after the Ducati star claimed his third successive pole position.

Bagnaia became the first Italian rider to clinch a hat-trick of poles since MotoGP great Valentino Rossi in 2009, while he is first Ducati to do so in consecutive events since Jorge Lorenzo in 2018.

The 24-year-old achieved the feat after snapping Honda superstar Marc Marquez's run of seven straight poles at the Grand Prix of Americas in Texas on Saturday.

Bagnaia's last lap of two minutes, 02.781seconds left six-time world champion Marquez in third as Yamaha championship leader Fabio Quartararo earned second spot.

As Bagnaia seeks to become the second Ducati rider to clinch three straight victories along with Casey Stoner (2007 and 2008), Yamaha's Rossi lavished his countryman in praise.

"Pecco is impressive, it's his third consecutive pole position, with an incredible lap," seven-time MotoGP champion Rossi said after qualifying 20th fastest.

"He's in great shape and it's a real pleasure to see him ride. It's really been a long time since I've seen the Ducati ridden so well, so I'm very happy for him."

It is set to be another showdown between Quartararo and Bagnaia, who is 48 points adrift of the Frenchman ahead of Sunday's main race with crucial championship points on the line.

Quartararo is the only MotoGP rider who has collected points in the 14 races held so far in 2021. In fact, he has picked up points in his last 15 races – his best historical run in all categories and the best of any MotoGP rider since Maverick Vinales' 16 between 2020 and 2021.

But Bagnaia said: "I took some risk to do it because this morning I was more in trouble. Then we decided to stop and try to let the bike follow the bumps better. 

"I started getting a better feeling in FP4 and in the Q2 I was able again to have the same feeling. 

"It was easier for me to push more. Then when I saw I was down [faster] in the first sector by two tenths I tried to push more and I'm very happy because we started this weekend a bit in trouble and now we are again on top."

 

Qualifying results

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 2:02.781
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.348secs
3. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +0.428
4. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +0.497
5. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) +0.511
6. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +0.598
7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.672
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.747
9. Luca Marini (Avintia) +0.765
10. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.939
11. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +1.000
12. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +1.094

Ronald Koeman is grateful to have been given "clarity" over his Barcelona future after president Joan Laporta confirmed the under-fire head coach will remain in charge of the beleaguered club.

Former Netherlands boss Koeman was widely reported to be on the verge of being sacked by Barca this week, with Saturday's trip to Wanda Metropolitano set to be his final game.

The Dutchman appeared to accept his fate when speaking to reporters at a pre-match news conference on Friday as he hit out at Laporta for failing to inform him face-to-face.

However, Laporta clarified ahead of Barca's clash with Atletico on Saturday – which ended in a 2-0 loss – that Koeman's position was not under threat regardless of the scoreline.

After being given a reprieve, the 58-year-old is already preparing for Barca's next batch of fixtures after the two-week international break.

"The conversation I had [with Laporta] over the phone last night was very good," Koeman said after the defeat to Atleti.

"We also spoke this morning about the squad, the club and other things. At least now there is some clarity in that sense. It's important for the dressing room that there is clarity. 

"But we are Barcelona, and now we have to start winning games. The pressure exists for any coach, particularly at Barcelona. After the break, we have three games we must win.

"We have spoken together and the president has made his decision."

 

Asked if he would have liked Laporta's backing sooner, Koeman said: "I think so, but we must highlight that it has now been said, and it will bring us tranquillity."

Laporta's public support came on the back of a run of one win in five games in all competition, which has now been extended by a further match following defeat to Atleti. 

Luis Suarez teed up Thomas Lemar for the opener and then tucked away the second himself before half-time to condemn his former side to their first league loss since May.

With that clinically taken goal, Suarez has now netted against all 31 of the teams he has faced in LaLiga, scoring 172 goals in total.

Barca had the whole of the second half to respond but managed just two attempts on target, only one of which – a Philippe Coutinho one-on-one – seriously troubled Jan Oblak.

"I'm sad about the result, but we were good in parts of the game," Koeman said. "We also let ourselves down, especially for the first goal.

"We talked before the game about how to defend. They have a lot of depth, but we failed to defend and 1-0 is a complicated scoreline.

"At times we could have done more damage. At two goals down against a team like Atletico, it is very complicated. We had the Coutinho chance, but that's it.

"We could not create much. We have to recognise that creating against Atletico is not easy. You have to play very well as they have a lot of defensive strength.

 

The Catalan giants are ninth in LaLiga after seven matches, five points adrift of leaders Real Madrid, who they face later this month after the visit of Valencia.

"There is a solution to our problems," said Koeman, who has not won any of his three games against Diego Simeone in LaLiga (D1 L2).

"But that solution is not from today to tomorrow. We have to work hard and give time to the youngsters. I also hope we will be able to recover injured players soon."

Diego Simeone did not feel Atletico Madrid were any better against Barcelona on Saturday than in previous meetings, with Lionel Messi's absence instead the decisive factor.

Atletico have had a poor record against Barca in Simeone's time at the club, going 20 without a win in this fixture before their 1-0 success in 2020-21.

But they have now gone three without conceding to the Blaugrana in LaLiga for the first time, having drawn 0-0 at the end of last season and won 2-0 on Saturday.

Barca had 70.4 per cent of the possession but created only nine shots worth a combined 1.0 expected goals at the Wanda Metropolitano.

New Paris Saint-Germain signing Messi had scored 26 goals in 30 LaLiga games against Atleti – only managing more against Sevilla (30) and Valencia (27) – and a lack of cutting edge was evident without him.

"It's the first game we played against Barca without Messi," coach Simeone told a news conference. "Other games there has not been much difference to this one, but now Messi is not there."

By contrast, Atleti were ruthless in attack, led by former Barca superstar Luis Suarez.

He teed up the opener for Thomas Lemar, who returned the favour for Suarez to score against Barca for the first time, meaning he has netted against all 31 opponents he has faced in Spain's top flight.

Joao Felix was also involved in both goals, with the opener including one of four passes he completed to Suarez. He found no team-mate more often.

The Portugal international started ahead of Antoine Griezmann, who failed to fire from the bench, but Simeone was not ready to declare Joao Felix and Suarez his new first-choice front line.

"At this hour, we can't get carried away by one game," he said. "There's [Angel] Correa, Griezmann's moment. He scored in the Champions League.

"We have important footballers. Hopefully they can accept that we can be a group so we can be a team."

Luis Suarez insists his goal celebration during Atletico Madrid's victory over Barcelona was not a mockery of former boss Ronald Koeman.

Suarez was on target as reigning LaLiga champions Atletico intensified the pressure on the Barca head coach with a 2-0 win at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Latching on to Thomas Lemar's lofted pass in the 44th minute, the Uruguay forward steadied himself before firing past Marc-Andre ter Stegen for his fourth goal of the season.

Suarez has now found the net against all 31 opponents he has faced in LaLiga, taking his tally in the Spanish top flight to 172 goals.

The 34-year-old did not celebrate immediately after his strike – instead appearing to ask for forgiveness from the supporters of his former side, for whom he scored 198 goals in 283 appearances, as well as providing 97 assists.

However, he subsequently imitated being on the phone in what was perceived to be a jibe at the expense of Koeman, who informed the striker he was not in his plans after taking over the reins at the Camp Nou in August 2020.

But Suarez says the gesture was in fact the representation of an inside family joke.

"I already knew that if I scored, I would apologise – out of respect, affection," he said.

"[The phone signal] was for people who know that I have the same number and that I am still using the phone. 

"It was not for Koeman; I was joking with my children that I would do that."

The 2-0 victory also gave Atletico a third consecutive clean sheet against Barca for the first time in LaLiga history.

More importantly, it moved Diego Simeone's side level on points with leaders Real Madrid, who have a game in hand on their rivals.

"I'm happy for the team's victory, which is what we want," Suarez added.

"The opponent in front of us is special, but my work must be dedicated 100 per cent to Atletico.

"Last year, people suffered for not being able to enjoy the LaLiga title. 

"I know the affection that people have for me and I work hard and strong to keep Atletico at the top."

Edin Dzeko has scored six goals in his first seven Inter league appearances, matching Ronaldo's haul from the 1997-98 season, and the striker is brimming with confidence after his fine start.

The 35-year-old came off the bench in the second half of the Nerazzurri's 2-1 Serie A away victory over Sassuolo on Saturday.

Inter were trailing, but Dzeko equalised less than a minute after his introduction and then earned the penalty that Lautaro Martinez converted to win the game.

Dzeko joined Inter in August to replace star striker Romelu Lukaku, who left to join Chelsea, but has more than made up for the Belgian's absence so far.

"Six goals after seven games, I know Ronaldo was the last to do it," Dzeko said after the game. "Inter signed me for this, I know what I can still give and they know it too."

Asked if Inter had already forgotten Lukaku, he added: "We look ahead, we are doing well, I don't think about the past. Let's continue like this."

The veteran forward praised the spirit of his new team to battle back.

Inter have now avoided defeat after going into the break behind in three consecutive Serie A games for the first time in their history.

But Dzeko admitted that the Nerazzurri made things hard for themselves.

"Surely we showed [character] again," Dzeko said. "But we always take the most difficult road by conceding goals.

"You can't always play well, in the end the result is what counts. We were also a little tired."

Inter boss Simone Inzaghi echoed his striker's comments, admitting that fatigue played its part in his side's slow start and praising the impact of Dzeko and his fellow substitutes in turning the game around.

"Sassuolo did better than us in the first half," Inzaghi said. "In the second half, even before the changes, I saw a different team.

"Playing every three days, I need to give the team a boost, because I saw so many players tired. After the seventh game in 20 days with little training, I knew [the substitutes] would help me and they were decisive.

"I knew Dzeko as an opponent, I was struck by his availability and how he trains, he never backs down. 

"I'm happy with how the team can suffer. We always stay in the game because I found a group with a great spirit. The last two games were technically not as good as the others but now we will try to recover."

Gerard Pique accepts Barcelona were second best in their defeat to Atletico Madrid and says his side could have played for three hours and still would not have scored a goal.

The Catalan giants fell to a second straight defeat in all competitions – and their first in LaLiga since May – as they went down 2-0 to a Luis Suarez-inspired Atletico on Saturday.

Barca had two shots on target over the 90 minutes at Wanda Metropolitano, only one of which seriously troubled Jan Oblak as he kept out Philippe Coutinho's attempt.

Memphis Depay, who has had the joint-most shots on target of any player in LaLiga this term (13, level with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema), struggled up top as he fired over from his only effort.

Atletico were clinical at the other end by comparison, scoring from two of their six shots as Suarez set up Thomas Lemar for the opener and calmly tucked in a second before half-time.

Barca have now shipped five goals without response in their past two games, and Pique, who played a full part in the losses to Benfica and Atleti, recognises his side have multiple issues to work on.

"We started well, but they scored two similar goals from very little," he told Movistar. "It is difficult for us. We are suffering and there are several problems.

"People already know the issues. Even a blind man can see what we lack. But we will recover from this.

"It is not something we have experienced before, but the dressing room is good. We're not getting involved in anything else."

 

Pique was referring to the ongoing speculation over head coach Ronald Koeman's future, with the Dutchman's status uncertain after 14 months in charge, although he this week received a public vote of confidence from Joan Laporta.

Barca have won just one of their past six matches in all competitions and are ninth in LaLiga having played seven games, five points adrift of leaders Real Madrid.

Asked if he expects Koeman to leave before his side's next game at home to Valencia in two weeks' time, Pique said: "The players don't get involved in that.

"We just listen to what the coach tells us. There is little we can do. That's down to the president and the coach."

Barcelona lack many things right now: a top level coach, a Champions League wage budget, Lionel Messi, of course. But a nose for narrative? That has never been in question.

Luis Suarez's apologetic celebrations at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday, as Ronald Koeman checked the charge on his mobile phone, represented merely the latest desperate development for those of a Blaugrana persuasion – all too predictable, all too preventable.

For so long Suarez, who made one and scored one for Atletico Madrid in this 2-0 victory, had been in the Barca ranks, an unwitting spectator for a stretch of their spectacular collapse from European football's shining example to its great crisis club.

Barca at least had rather less say in the departure that kickstarted this decline than in Suarez's.

The beginning of the end, it seemed, came on the night of one of their greatest wins, a stunning 6-1 success against Paris Saint-Germain orchestrated by Neymar. In overturning a hefty first-leg deficit but allowing the Brazil superstar to step out from Messi's shadow, Barca's joy emboldened his desire to be the main man in his own team – the other team, to be precise.

Of course, Neymar left, and Barca, rather than rallying from behind, twice in the next two seasons built big European leads of their own – at home to Roma and Liverpool – only to remarkably let both bring about return-leg remontadas.

The Blaugrana, seemingly without a thought for their finances, responded to the Liverpool reverse with their third nine-figure signing in three years, as Antoine Griezmann followed Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele to Camp Nou and followed both in underwhelming.

By the time their next Champions League campaign concluded in typically farcical fashion, all three were on the bench – Griezmann and Dembele for Barca, Coutinho for opponents Bayern Munich. On came Coutinho, still on loan from Barca, to score twice in 15 minutes against his parent club. Since returning to Catalonia, he has scored three times in 1,041 minutes, missing their best chance on Saturday.

 

Bayern's 8-2 win prompted Quique Setien's sacking and Koeman's appointment, which surprisingly then spelled the end for Suarez. "The coach did not count on me," the striker said as he joined Atletico. "I expected it, it had already been said before he told me."

From an eight-goal humiliation, a club of Barca's size should only be able to head in one direction, back on the ascent. But Suarez's departure deepened the damage. An unsettled Messi allowed his contract to run down and, in a manner that only Barca could manage, had to leave even once he changed his mind.

Four years of bad decisions led Barca to this point and Suarez, starting in the Atleti attack, was never likely to be one for sympathy. With neither a coherent plan nor an individual of era-defining talent to fall back on, Koeman's side were ill-equipped to deal with a man he had deemed surplus to requirements.

Twice Atleti pulled the Barca back line apart, Koeman phoning in from the stands due to a touchline ban but mirroring the gesticulations of Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Memphis Depay as the visitors failed to get close to Suarez.

A drop of the shoulder from Joao Felix for the first brought him inside from the left to find his strike partner, whose first-time pass around the corner set Thomas Lemar clear to finish high into the net.

The same trio combined for number two, Lemar playing a patient one-two with Joao Felix down the same left flank and then lofting an inch-perfect pass over last defender Pique for Suarez to control, compose himself and steer past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

"The opponent in front of us is special, but my work must be dedicated 100 per cent to Atletico," Suarez told Movistar afterwards – the Atleti goal never truly troubled as they earned a third straight LaLiga clean sheet against Barca for the first time ever.

 

By full-time, Suarez had been able to remove the wide grin from his face long enough to console his former team-mates, having moments earlier been hopping with glee on the Atleti bench.

He was replaced with 18 minutes remaining but surely would have added to his tally had he stayed on the pitch. Instead, Atleti's final big opportunity fell to Griezmann, back on the bench in a big Barcelona game, this time playing the Coutinho role for the opposition. Rather than ruthlessly finish like either of the ex-Liverpool men when faced with the chance to punish the club he used to call home, Griezmann went for a pass, which he comically misplaced. With a future obligation in his loan switch meaning he will not return to Camp Nou like Coutinho, the France international need not have been so generous.

Despite sharing more than seven years between these two teams, Griezmann has somehow never scored in this fixture – featuring in every edition in that time – and never won LaLiga. Atleti had gone 20 without a win against Barca before last season's meeting, in which Griezmann started for the Catalans.

An underwhelming start to his second Atleti career saw him dropped for this game, setting the stage for Joao Felix to excel, contesting 10 duels, winning four fouls and playing a key role in both goals. Griezmann is an expensive substitute; Barca's €97million salary cap could not even fit him in the first team.

Nor, it seems, can they afford to sack Koeman, out of his depth but determined to stick around. His future, Joan Laporta said, was safe regardless of this result.

Surely only that financial factor will prevent Suarez from seeing off the coach that ended his Barca stay. Scoring against the 31st of 31 LaLiga opponents, the forward gave it a good go, at least.

Luis Suarez scored one and assisted another to earn Atletico Madrid a 2-0 win over Barcelona that heaps even more pressure on Blaugrana boss Ronald Koeman.

The Dutchman's job has been repeatedly called into question following a poor run of form, with the result at Wanda Metropolitano making it one win in Barca's last six games.

Barca could have lifted some of the weight off Koeman's shoulders on Saturday, but Suarez set up Thomas Lemar for the opener and then fired in a second to put Atleti in control at half-time.

That is how the scoreline stayed as Diego Simeone's men inflicted a first league defeat of the season on their opponents to move level on points with Real Madrid at the summit.

 

Koeman was watching from the stands as he serves the second of a two-game touchline ban and saw his side fall behind to a well-worked Atleti goal with 23 minutes played.

Suarez was picked out by Joao Felix and then played a first-time pass into the path of Lemar for the France international to thump past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Former Barca man Suarez curled wide with only Ter Stegen to beat soon after, but he made amends by picking his spot when played in by Lemar at the end of a swift counter.

Philippe Coutinho, having earlier volleyed narrowly wide, wasted a glorious chance to pull one back when failing to get the better of Jan Oblak with an hour on the clock.

Joao Felix and Barca substitute Ansu Fati exchanged shots on target at either end in latter stages but no further goals arrived in the Spanish capital, potentially bringing down the curtain on Koeman's short-lived tenure.

Inter came back from behind to beat Sassuolo 2-1 thanks to second-half goals from Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez at the Mapei Stadium on Saturday.

Domenico Berardi put his side in front from the penalty spot in the first half after Jeremie Boga was tripped by Milan Skriniar.

However, Dzeko equalised with a second-half header just a minute after being brought on, before winning the penalty that fellow striker Martinez converted to hand the Nerazzurri all three points.

The result lifts Inter into second place just one point behind Serie A leaders Napoli, who have a game in hand.

Nicola Barella flashed a strike past the top-right corner and Gregoire Defrel called Samir Handanovic into action inside the opening seven minutes.

It was Sassuolo who opened the scoring, as Boga was upended by Skriniar after cutting into the box from the left and Berardi emphatically dispatched the penalty, smashing into the bottom-right corner past Handanovic, who guessed the right way but could not get a touch on it.

The two goalkeepers had to be alert after the half-hour mark, with Andrea Consigli parrying Barella's powerful half-volley before Handanovic tipped Berardi's spectacular long-range effort over.

Just before the break, Stefan de Vrij's awful back-pass was pounced on by Defrel, who raced through on goal before going down as Handanovic jumped between him and the ball, but no foul was given, much to the ire of the hosts.

Inter levelled in the 58th minute, as Ivan Perisic's superb cross from deep was headed in by substitute Dzeko, who made an instant impact off the bench.

Nineteen minutes later, Dzeko was involved again as he raced onto a pass into the area and was barged over by Consigli, earning a spot-kick that Martinez coolly tucked into the bottom-right corner.

The Bosnia striker had a couple of chances to add to his tally, but had a goal chalked off for offside after a VAR check and then fired narrowly over.

Mikel Arteta admitted Arsenal did not deserve to win after their goalless draw with Brighton and Hove Albion in Saturday's Premier League clash.

The Gunners' four-match winning streak was halted by the high-flying Seagulls as both sides extended their unbeaten runs to five matches in all competitions.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the left-hand post with a first-half header and Emile Smith-Rowe went close in the second half in an otherwise timed showing from Arsenal.

Head coach Arteta says the Gunners must raise their game after a frustrating showing at the Amex Stadium.

"I was more concerned about the way we played," Arteta told the BBC's Match of the Day.

"We didn't make enough right decision, every time there was a duel where we could escape pressure and attack open spaces we came up short and against this structure, we had to do better.

"Aubameyang's was probably the only open situation in the first half, and we were unlucky not to score it. I don't think we deserved to win the game, we have to take the draw with the performance we had today and improve."

However, September has brought a change in fortunes for Arsenal and Arteta has been pleased with his side's response to their poor start to the season.

"We have conceded one goal in the last five games which is really positive," he continued. "It is a really positive block of games that have helped us change the situation."

Aaron Ramsdale, who signed from Sheffield United in August, was only required to make two saves in a shot-shy encounter to secure his third clean sheet in four top-flight appearances for his new side.

In the entirety of the 2020-21 campaign with United, the goalkeeper managed only five clean sheets.

Ramsdale believes the Gunners are heading in the right direction as he prepares to join up with the England squad.

"It is three clean sheets out of four games, it’s not all doom and gloom," Ramsdale said to Sky Sports.

"It’s a gritty result; we could have easily crumbled and let Brighton get the win, but we showed heart and passion to be resolute.

"We have had a tough start, and no one is hiding from that. We have turned the corner with four good results; you can see a structure of a team and one that is gelling on the pitch."

Massimiliano Allegri claimed Juventus have rediscovered the desire to defend after triumphing 1-0 against local rivals Torino on Saturday.

Juve had to rely on Manuel Locatelli's late strike to secure all three points in the Derby della Mole as the Bianconeri kept their first clean sheet in 21 Serie A games.

Only in 1955 did Juve go longer without a top-flight clean sheet but that run finally ended as Allegri's side secured bragging rights with their fourth consecutive win in all competitions.

The winning streak has put an end to Juve's early-season struggles, at least temporarily, and Allegri pinpointed his team's desire to defend as a primary reason for their resurgence in form.

"After the break for international duty, we discovered the desire to defend when we needed to defend and attack when we needed to attack," Allegri told DAZN post-match.

"It would’ve been disappointing not to win a game after that performance which, after the first half against Milan, I feel was our best of the season."

 

Juve combined experience with youth at the back as Giorgio Chiellini, who equalled Gaetano Scirea as the player with the fourth-most Serie A appearances for the Bianconeri (377), partnered Matthijs de Ligt.

Allegri stated before the season that players such as De Ligt and Dejan Kulusevski were too young to be key figures, however, the head coach believes his younger players can learn from the experience around them.

"It’s a matter of experience," he continued.

"De Ligt is a good player, despite being 22 years old, and let’s not forget he came from a different type of football, so in Italy he needs to improve his reading of the situations and his aggression in marking.

"He's coming off good performances and can only improve. The same goes for Kulusevski, we have talented young players and are working to improve them individually.

"They have the advantage of playing with team-mates like Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci."

Ruturaj Gaikwad's magnificent maiden Twenty20 century was in vain as Rajasthan Royals boosted their Indian Premier League play-off hopes with a seven-wicket win over leaders Chennai Super Kings.

Gaikwad replaced KL Rahul as the leading run-scorer in the 2021 tournament, hitting a six off the final ball of CSK's innings to finish unbeaten on 101 off 60 balls.

The opener struck five sixes in a sensational knock, with Ravindra Jadeja scoring a rapid 32 not out in the Super Kings' 189-4 at Zayed Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

Rahul Tewatia took 3-39 but it was a tough day for the Royals bowlers, Mustafizur Rahman going for 51 off his wicket-less four overs.

A big run chase was no problem for the Royals, though, as they cruised to a what could be a vital win with 15 balls to spare in an Abu Dhabi run-fest.

Shivam Dube (64no from 42) struck a brilliant maiden IPL half-century after Yashasvi Jaiswal made 50 from just 21 balls, with Josh Hazlewood (0-54) and Sam Curran (0-55) given the treatment.

Victory for the Royals leaves them in sixth place with two games of the regular season to play, behind Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings on net run-rate.

CSK are already assured of a play-off place but are not guaranteed a top-two finish after their four-game winning run came to an end in MS Dhoni's 200th match as an IPL captain.

Gaikwad takes Royals to all parts

The Rajasthan bowlers were taken to all parts by an inspired Gaikwad, who set the tone by hitting the first ball of the match from Akash Singh for four. 

He brought up a seventh IPL half-century off 43 balls and then cut loose, taking 71 off 30 deliveries and reaching three figures by launching Mustafizur for a huge six.

Gaikwad has 19 runs more than Rahul in the battle for the orange cap, having found the rope nine times to go with his five sixes in a breathtaking innings.

Dube and Jaiswal stun CSK

It was the turn of the CSK bowlers to suffer as Jaiswal and Evin Lewis (27 off 12) made a blistering start to the run chase, putting on 77 in 5.2 overs.

Teenager Jaiswal had his half-century off only 19 balls, striking Hazlewood for two sixes in a fifth over that cost 22 runs before falling to KM Asif to leave the Super Kings on 81-2.

Dube then came to the fore in a stand of 89 with captain Sanju Samson (28), bringing up a maiden fifty from 31 deliveries in a knock that included four sixes, and debutant Glenn Phillips hit the winning run to end the Royals' run of three consecutive defeats.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will remain sidelined for Milan's trip to Atalanta on Sunday, but head coach Stefano Pioli says the ageless striker "could play forever".

The Sweden international has featured only once for Milan since undergoing knee surgery in June and was on the scoresheet in that 2-0 win over Lazio on September 12.

Either side of a two-year spell in MLS with LA Galaxy, Ibrahimovic has not played more than 19 games in a single league campaign in European football since 2016-17 in his first of two seasons with Manchester United.

Prior to his recent injury lay-off, though, he was a key player under Pioli as he registered 25 goals in 37 Serie A games between his second debut for the club on January 6, 2020 and the end of last season.

That is a tally bettered by just five players across that period – Duvan Zapata (27), Luis Muriel (30), Romelu Lukaku (35), Ciro Immobile (37) and Cristiano Ronaldo (50).

Of those, only Muriel (64.1) and Ronaldo (89.9) boast better minutes-per-goal records than Ibrahimovic (114.5).

And with Ibrahimovic turning 40 on the day of Milan's clash with Atalanta at Gewiss Stadium, Pioli does not believe retirement is in sight for the Swede, who has pulled out of his country's upcoming fixtures.

"I don't know how many years Zlatan can still play. But from what I see, his enthusiasm and his desire to train, I could also say that he could play forever," Pioli said at a news conference on Saturday previewing the Atalanta match.

"He may not be 100 per cent for many games but his passion for this sport is incredible. Zlatan does what he likes. If I could give him a gift, I would extend his career as much as possible.

"Zlatan is not available for the game, but he is feeling better and will use the two-week break to recover."

 

Milan have accrued 16 points from six matches this season and will equal their best start to a Serie A campaign in the three points per win era should they beat Atalanta.

The hosts held champions Inter to a 2-2 draw last week, but they have won just one of their five home league matches against Milan since Gian Piero Gasperini took charge in 2016-17.

Though Pioli is still expecting a tough test on Sunday in an early-season test of his side's Scudetto credentials.

"They are a strong team in every way, tactically, technically and physically. I expect a determined and complete Atalanta," Pioli said.

"I watched their game against Inter and it was spectacular. We have played many games of late but the same is true of our opponents. We will just try to play our best game."

Arsenal's four-match winning streak came to an end after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Brighton and Hove Albion.

The spoils were shared during a generally low-key contest at the Amex Stadium, where both sides could only muster four shots on target between them.

Nevertheless, the point was enough for the two teams to extend their respective unbeaten runs to five matches in all competitions.

Although, Brighton missed the chance to move joint-top of the Premier League, they recorded their eighth home top-flight clean sheet of 2021; a tally only bettered by Manchester City and Chelsea.

The hosts' defence was tested inside the opening minute as Bukayo Saka embarked on a strong individual run before drilling straight at Robert Sanchez.

Opposite number Aaron Ramsdale endured a nervy moment at the other end; the Arsenal stopper spilling Neal Maupay's 21st-minute cross, only for Lewis Dunk to fire over from close range on his 350th appearance for the club.

Targeting a fourth win in five home games, Brighton continued to threaten with an important last-ditch intervention preventing Leandro Trossard from applying the finishing touch to Adam Lallana's centre.

Arsenal – winners in nine of their 15 previous away outings – went close five minutes before the break as Thomas Partey's placed effort flashed narrowly wide of the target.

Chances were fewer and further between after the break, although Sanchez came to Brighton's rescue 14 minutes from time with smart reflexes to deny Emile Smith-Rowe after a quick counter by the visitors.

The hosts finished strongly with substitute Solly March testing Ramsdale and Shane Duffy heading wide, but nothing could separate the two sides.

Manuel Locatelli came up with another precious Juventus goal to keep their winning run going in a 1-0 Derby della Mole success at Torino.

After an awful start to the season, the Bianconeri came into this game against their city rivals on the back of three victories in a row in all competitions.

Wednesday's Champions League triumph at home to holders Chelsea provided a particular highlight, but it looked as though Juve's momentum would be checked as the final match before the international break remained goalless heading into the closing stages.

Locatelli – whose first goal for the club proved decisive against Sampdoria in Juve's previous league game – came up with a winner four minutes from time, however, reward for a much-improved second half and enough to take Massimiliano Allegri's men eighth.

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