Lautaro Martinez is happy at Inter and intends to stay at the club despite strong rumoured interest from Tottenham, according to the forward's agent Alejandro Camano.

Reports from England on Sunday suggested Spurs are looking to complete a £60million (€70.8m) deal for the 23-year-old.

However, Martinez's agent has distanced the Argentina international – who has two more years to run on his Inter contract – from a move away from the Serie A champions.

"Lautaro is an Inter player and is happy with life in Italy. His decision is to stay," Camano told TyC Sports

"While Lautaro is under contract he will not enter conflict with the club. That will never happen."

Martinez has made 132 appearances for Inter in all competitions in his three seasons at San Siro since joining from Racing Club in July 2018.

He has scored 37 goals and assisted 11 more in 100 Serie A outings – only Romelu Lukaku (60) has been directly involved in more goals for the Nerazzurri over that period.

That includes 17 goals in 38 league appearances last season as Inter won their first Scudetto in 11 years.

Martinez's 0.59 goals per 90 minutes in 2020-21 bettered his return of 0.51 in 2019-20 and 0.4 in his debut campaign outside Argentina.

However, Inter are under pressure to raise funds as they try to ease their financial situation, with Achraf Hakimi already leaving in this transfer window for Paris Saint-Germain and Lukaku expected to sign for Chelsea.

Head coach Antonio Conte has also departed and been replaced by Simone Inzaghi since the end of 2020-21.

With speculation continuing to circulate regarding the futures of Martinez and Lukaku, Inter have been tipped to bring in Joaquin Correa and Edin Dzeko before the window closes.

The reigning Italian champions begin their new Serie A campaign with a home match against Genoa on August 21.

Swimmer Caeleb Dressel led the way with five golds as the United States finished top of the medal table at the Olympic Games for a third successive time.

Team USA's haul of 113 medals at the Tokyo Games – comprising 39 gold, 41 silver and 33 bronze – was 25 more than second-placed China, while Japan finished third.

The 58 medals won by the hosts set a record for the most they have ever won at a single Olympics, including 27 golds – 11 more than their previous record from 1964 and 2004.

Italy (40 medals), the Netherlands (36), Brazil (21), New Zealand (20), Turkey (13) and Chinese Taipei (12) also enjoyed their best ever Games showings.

In all, 93 different competing nations claimed a medal in Tokyo, which is more than any other edition of the global showpiece, surpassing the previous record of 87 set in 2008.

That includes first ever Olympic medals for Turkmenistan, San Marino and Burkina Faso in weightlifting, shooting and athletics events respectively.

Indeed, with a population of around 34,000 people, San Marino are now the smallest nation to win an Olympic medal.

 


MCKEON IN SEVENTH HEAVEN

Twenty of Australia's 46 medals came in the pool, with swimmer Emma McKeon responsible for seven of those – at least two more medals than any other athlete in Tokyo.

In doing so, the 27-year-old became the second female athlete to claim seven or more medals at a single Olympics after Maria Gorokhovskaya in 1952.

Dressel swept up five golds in the men's swimming events, meanwhile, to become the 10th athlete to reach that tally at a single Games.

Away from the Aquatics Centre, it was an Olympics to remember for Elaine Thompson-Herah as the Jamaican became the first woman to win both the 100 metre and 200m sprint at two Games.

Further success came for Thompson-Herah in the 4x100m relay, making her only the second woman to win five athletics golds after Allyson Felix (seven).

The Netherlands' Sifan Hassan also wrote his name in the record books by becoming the first athlete to win a medal in the 1500m (bronze), 5000m (gold) and 10,000m (gold) at the same Games.

Indeed, Hassan is the first track and field athlete to claim a medal in three individual disciplines since Carl Lewis and Heike Drechsler in 1988.

 


AGE IS JUST A NUMBER

Japanese skateboarder Momiji Nishiya became the youngest Olympic gold medal winner since 1960 – and third-youngest of all time – with victory in the women's street event at the age of 13 years and 330 days.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, 62-year-old Andrew Hoy of Australia became the oldest medallist at the Olympics since 1968 with a silver and bronze in the equestrian competitions.

Judokas Hifumi Abe and Uta Abe kept it in the family by becoming the first brother and sister combo to claim gold medals at the same Olympics when winning the men's -66 kilograms and women's -52kg events respectively.

July 28 proved to be a day to remember in more ways than one for Olga Frolkina and Evgeniia Frolkina, meanwhile, as the twin sisters took silver in the 3x3 basketball on their 24th birthday.

Xavien Howard will be staying with the Miami Dolphins after the two parties agreed to a restructure of his contract.

The All-Pro cornerback last month requested a trade, saying he did not feel "valued or respected" by the team.

The 28-year-old signed a five-year, $76.5million extension in 2019, which at the time made him the highest-paid corner in the NFL.

However, Howard was seemingly irritated by not even being the highest-paid corner on his team, with Byron Jones signed to a five-year $82.5m deal to lure him from the Dallas Cowboys last year.

Jones' contract carries an average annual value of $16.5m compared to $15.05m for Howard.

Howard's 2021 base salary of $12m sees him paid over $2m less than Jones.

But the Dolphins have satiated the 2020 first-team All-Pro, who led the league in interceptions (10) last year, increasing his fully guaranteed money for this year to $12.78m and his maximum with added incentives to $16.28m.

Howard has also seen his 2022 base salary of $12.97m guaranteed against injury. It will become fully guaranteed on the first day of the 2022 league year. Additionally, it has been reported Howard has received assurances the Dolphins will revisit his deal next year should he stay healthy and perform at a productive level again in 2021.

On top of his league-leading interceptions tally, Howard recorded a career-high of 20 passes defended in 2020.

Per Stats Perform advanced data, Howard's adjusted open percentage – which measures how frequently an opponent got open against a defender's coverage, adjusted for position – was 25.19, almost a full percentage point better than that of Jones (26.16) in 2020.

His efforts last season helped the Dolphins lead the NFL in takeaways (29), though that did not translate to a playoff berth as Brian Flores' team finished 10-6.

The Dolphins have not reached the postseason since the 2016 campaign and have not won a playoff game since their Wild Card victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the 2000 season.

They begin their quest to end those droughts at the New England Patriots on September 12.

MotoGP championship leader Fabio Quartararo enjoyed a "good day" at the Styrian Grand Prix, as his podium finish and Jorge Martin's win extended his lead at the top of the standings.

Quartararo finished third in a race that was suspended for half an hour due to an early crash, which saw two bikes engulfed in flames.

Both riders – Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo Savadori – escaped relatively unscathed, though the latter was unable to restart the race.

The restart benefited Martin, who had set a record time at the Red Bull Ring to take pole position in Saturday's qualifying session.

Francesco Bagnaia had overtaken the Pramac Racing rider but, despite an early attack from Jack Miller after the restart, Martin recovered to cruise to his maiden MotoGP triumph.

Behind Martin, Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) claimed second, with Quartararo nipping into third – Miller's hopes fading when he skidded off the track at Turn 7 with 10 laps remaining.

Quartararo (172) now has a 40-point lead over Johann Zarco, who finished sixth, in the championship standings, with Mir further behind on 121.

"It feels so good because when there is a red flag it is always tough," said Quartararo.

"I was extremely good on the braking on Turn 3. I knew that there was a possibility to overtake and did it.

"I don't really know the position of the other guys apart from Joan and Jorge finishing in front. I am so happy. The best goal was to finish on the podium and we did it. So happy for Jorge, he took some points off Joan, so a good day."

Martin, meanwhile, was ecstatic after achieving what he labelled the first step on his path to pushing for world championship glory.

"I can't believe it, I don't believe it, that's why I'm not so excited! I think the ride was amazing. I kept a really constant pace. I was super focused," said the 23-year-old.

"Even if I did some mistakes, my target was to win the race. Joan was impressive today, he was behind me almost all the race but then in the last laps I tried a bit more and I took a gap for the lead.

"The last laps I was thinking about things – everyone who has helped me to be here – that's why I did worse in the last laps but I had this gap to manage. Thanks to all my family, this is one big step towards my big area to be world champion."

Reigning world champion Mir said: "Today was close. I'm happy because all weekend we have been there, overall.

"I needed a couple of faster laps to fight with Jorge, he did a great job. We must push a bit more, find something more for next weekend if we want to be on the top of the podium.

"I am proud of the team, they have done a great job and finally, the performance is higher, so happy and proud of them."

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge successfully defended his men's marathon title and the United States added three more golds to their tally on the final day of Tokyo Olympics action.

Kipchoge crossed the line one minute and 20 seconds ahead of runner-up Abdi Nageeye to become the third athlete to win the event at back-to-back Games.

In doing so, the 36-year-old – who previously took 5,000 metre silver in 2008 and bronze in London four years later – believes he has inspired a generation of runners.

"It means a lot to me, especially at this hard time," he said. "Last year was postponed, and now it has happened.

"I think I fulfilled the legacy by winning the marathon for the second time. That's my total happiness, my inspiration for the next generation."

The final day of action at the 2020 Games ultimately belonged to the United States, though, as they collected three golds to finish above China at the top of the medal table.

 

USA TRUMP CHINA

Team USA trailed China by two gold medals heading into Sunday's events, but triumphs in basketball, volleyball and track cycling saw them top the standings.

USA's victory in the women's basketball would have come as little surprise given it is their seventh straight success in the competition.

Brittney Griner racked up 30 points and Breanna Stewart also impressed in the 90-75 win over Japan with 14 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks.

Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi each picked up their fifth gold medals, while for Japan the silver was their first medal of any sort in the sport.

"The only thing about getting older, you know all the bad stuff that can happen," Bird said. "We lost in the 2006 World Cup. We tasted that and that's always been the driver. 

"So, when we actually have the medal around our necks, it just feels so good. It's a sense of relief in a lot of ways."

While success in the women's basketball is par for the course, overcoming Brazil in the volleyball final provided USA with their first gold medal in the event.

After finishing runners-up to Brazil in the 2008 and 2012 Games, USA exacted some revenge with a 25-21 25-20 25-14 victory in Sunday's final.

Jennifer Valente completed the hat-trick for the Americans in the women's cycling omnium, the 26-year-old delivering her country's first track cycling gold since 2000.

She led from start to finish, despite crashing in the final points race, with home favourite Yumi Kajihara taking silver.

"There were some bumps. It was actually quite a short day as far as omnium goes," Valente said. "That was something that was very much on my mind, that we played into.

"Crashing in the point races is never ideal. I was just trying to get back on my bike, make sure I was okay, and get back in the race as soon as possible."


BRITAIN RULE THE TRACK

Kelsey Mitchell won the women's sprint for Canada by beating Ukraine's Olena Starikova 2-0 in the best-of-three final.

But it was a familiar outcome in the men's keirin as Jason Kenny finished 0.763 seconds ahead of Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia to win his seventh Olympic gold medal.

That makes Kenny Great Britain's most decorated Olympian and ensured Team GB finished top of the cycling medals table with six golds, four silver and two bronze.

"It's a bit of shock, I think," Kenny said of his latest medal success. "I really wanted to cross the finish line. I am absolutely buzzing. 

"Going into the final I didn't expect anything other than a five, really. I was hoping to kind of get stuck in, and hopefully come away with some silverware. 

"To win at the corner on my own like that is absolutely buzzing."

AMERICA'S BOXING WAIT GOES ON

The final four boxing gold medals were up for grabs on Sunday and plenty of focus was on the super-heavyweight bout between Bakhodir Jalolov and the USA's Richard Torrez. 

Twenty-two-year-old Torrez started strongly with a ferocious assault in the first round, but Uzbekistani boxer Jalolov recovered and won unanimously.

Torrez's compatriot Keyshawn Davis earlier lost his men's lightweight clash with Cuba's Andy Cruz, meaning USA's wait for an Olympic men's boxing gold will reach 20 years come Paris 2024.

"I've never felt this much pressure in fights a day in my life," Davis said. "I'm glad I got to experience this because it did make me a better fighter.

"I'm not cool with winning silver, but it's something I've got to live with and I'm okay with that. I'm gonna live with it and we're just gonna take it to the next level."

In the female categories, Kellie Anne Harrington beat Brazil's Beatriz Ferreira in the lightweight final to earn Ireland their second gold of the Games, while GB's Lauren Price outclassed Li Qian to win the middleweight final on points.

Jorge Martin capitalised on his record-setting pole position to claim victory in a dramatic Styrian Grand Prix on Sunday to seal his maiden win in MotoGP.

Martin, competing in his maiden MotoGP campaign, clinched pole with a time of 1:22.994 – the fastest recorded at the Red Bull Ring.

However, he needed a second chance to turn his superb qualifying session into a race triumph following an early red flag due to a crash involving Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo Savadori.

Francesco Bagnaia had taken an early lead ahead of Martin, but when the race restarted, the original grid positions were used, and having reclaimed control from Jack Miller – who later crashed out – the Pramac Racing rider held firm to secure a first premier class success ahead of Joan Mir and runaway championship leader Fabio Quartararo.

Bagnaia wasted no time in getting on the attack and had overtaken Martin within seconds of the start, while Mir, Quartararo and Marc Marquez had an almighty tussle for position on Turn 6.

Yet their efforts proved fruitless as the red flag was soon raised.

Pedrosa fell on the exit hairpin of Turn 3 with Savadori subsequently colliding with the stricken bike.

Making his first start in MotoGP since 2018, Pedrosa came away unscathed, though Savadori had to receive further medical attention and was carried away on a stretcher. Meanwhile, race marshals had to contend with a fire on the track – a result of a ruptured fuel tank from one of the bikes.

After a 30-minute delay, the race restarted with 27 laps remaining. This time, it was Miller who was the early aggressor, with six-time MotoGP champion Marquez dropping to 14th and Martin back to third.

Miller could not hold on, though, with Martin picking his line perfectly to undertake, while defending champion Mir and Quartararo soon followed suit.

Matters were made worse for Miller with 10 laps to go, the Australian skidding out on Turn 7 as he attempted to hunt down Quartararo. It is the second successive race he has failed to finish.

The day instead belonged to Martin, the 23-year-old keeping compatriot Mir at bay to win with a 1.548-second cushion.

Quartararo came in in third, collecting more points in his quest for the world title, while Marquez – who finished on the podium in three of his four previous MotoGP races at the Red Bull Ring – had to settle for eighth.

The Indianapolis Colts have made Darius Leonard the highest-paid inside linebacker in the NFL after signing him to a five-year contract extension worth $99.25million.

Leonard's deal includes $52.5m in guaranteed money, and he will receive an annual salary of $20m over the first three years, according to a report by NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.

It means he overtakes San Francisco 49ers star Fred Warner as the highest-paid player at the position.

Warner signed a five-year, $95m extension with the Niners last month, with his deal paying him $19m annually.

Leonard is one of the key players on a stout Colts defense that ranked 10th in yards per play allowed in 2020.

A second-round pick out of FCS program South Carolina State in 2018, Leonard was named Defensive Rookie of the Year after a stellar first season.

His 416 total tackles are the fourth-most among linebackers since 2018, while he ranks tied fifth for his position group with 22 pass breakups in that time.

Adept at stopping both the passing game and opposing rushing attacks, Leonard registered a run disruption rate of 9.1 per cent in 2020, putting him sixth among all linebackers, according to Stats Perform data.

The signing of Leonard to a long-term deal is some much-needed good news for the Colts, who have lost both quarterback Carson Wentz and All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson to foot injuries during training camp.

As a result, the pressure may be on Leonard and the defense to do the heavy lifting when the Colts start their 2021 campaign against the Seattle Seahawks on September 12.

Roger Federer turned 40 on Sunday amid uncertainty over whether he will grace the stage of a grand slam again.

Both he and Serena Williams, who reaches the same birthday landmark in September, have kept their future plans under wraps.

However, it would come as no surprise now if one, or both, were to retire by the end of the year.

Injuries are taking their toll, and even the greatest champions cannot go on forever.

Stats Perform looked at both Federer and Williams, considering what they may still want to achieve, and their prospects of attaining those remaining goals.

 

Federer's final fling?

Ahead of his 30th birthday, Federer was asked what it felt like to hit such a milestone.

"Birthdays happen. They're part of life," Federer said. "I'm happy I'm getting older. I'd rather be 30 than 20, to be honest. To me it's a nice time."

A decade on, Federer has good reason to be satisfied with life as he chalks up another decade. Family life is good, he'll never need to borrow a dollar, and he has advanced from 16 grand slams to 20.

But the knees would sooner be 30 than 40, and Federer, remarkable sportsman though he is, looks to have entered the lap of honour stage of his career – if he can even complete such a lap.

Two knee operations in 2020 were followed by a setback that ruled him out of the Olympics and will also keep him sidelined for the Toronto and Cincinnati tournaments before the US Open.

Will Federer make it to Flushing Meadows, where he won five successive titles at the height of his career? There has to be doubt over that, and should he indeed be an absentee in New York, what is there left to target? The Laver Cup, perhaps, a tournament in which he is financially invested and which is due to be played in Boston in late September.

Would he play on in 2022? Could he tolerate more long road trips without his family, living in a tennis bubble?

Target: Federer has never settled for second best, and it may have dawned on him at Wimbledon that in all probability he no longer can win a grand slam. Losing a 6-0 set to Hubert Hurkacz on the way to a quarter-final exit would have hurt. The hunger does not go away after 20 grand slams, but Federer's battle-weary body is sending him messages. He will want to go out on his own terms, which means getting fully fit.

Prospects: Assuming the knee issue is not a major problem, and more of a niggle, then Federer could still play the US Open, Laver Cup, Indian Wells and Paris Masters this year. If the mind is willing but the body does not comply, however, then it would not be a shock to see him call time before the Australian Open comes around in January.


Serena still one short of Court

From precocious teenager to queen of the tour, Williams' tennis journey has been a 25-year odyssey and there is nobody more driven to succeed than the great American.

It is an intense frustration that she remains rooted on 23 grand slams, one short of Margaret Court's record haul, and the four grand slam final losses she has suffered while on that mark have been cruel blows.

As her 40th birthday approaches on September 26, prospects of matching Court are fading. The leg injury that cruelly forced her out of Wimbledon in the first round was a harrowing turn of events, given she looked primed to be a big title challenger in London.

She is becoming less of a factor when looking at title favourites, but Williams is still capable of beating top players, still a threat wherever she shows up. It comes down to whether the body lets her chase her goals, and whether the pain of so many near-misses in recent years persuades this great champion the exertion is no longer worth prolonging.

Target: The 24th slam has been the must-have for Williams. Tour titles feel like an irrelevance, and Williams has won just one of those since January 2017, her calendar built around peaking for the majors since returning from giving birth to daughter Olympia.

Prospects: Beating Aryna Sabalenka and Simona Halep at the Australian Open demonstrated Williams still has the game for the big stage, and a semi-final defeat to Naomi Osaka, to whom she has now lost in three of four encounters, should not particularly detract from that. Wimbledon felt like a golden opportunity, with a host of major rivals absent and others struggling for form. There is no doubt she felt that way. Getting to 24 – and beyond – has shifted from feeling like an inevitability to being an odds-against chance now.

The San Francisco Giants needed seven runs in extras and some Jake McGee heroics to win 9-6 over the Milwaukee Brewers in MLB on Saturday.

Scores were locked at 2-2 after nine innings, before both sides managed three runs in the 10th.

The Giants got the edge at the top of the 11th, with LaMonte Wade Jr driving in Austin Slater with a right-field base hit before Brandon Belt hit his second home run of the game.

With Wade on first, Belt homered over right field to give the Giants an 8-5 lead, before Kris Bryant's big hit allowed Buster Posey to get home.

McGee, who was expected to rest for this game, came in to close out the win in the 11th, allowing only one run and getting one strikeout to seal it.

"They told me I'd be down today so I came in, got treatment, but didn't do my stretches," McGee said. "I didn't have my brace down there [in the bullpen] or even my cup. They had to run it out to me in extra innings."

 

Bellinger HR as Dodgers down Angels

Trailing 3-2 in the seventh inning, Cody Bellinger homered to turn the tide as the Los Angeles Dodgers won 5-3 over the Los Angeles Angels.

In the eighth inning, Chris Taylor hit a two-run double which proved enough for the world champions.

Alex Verdugo landed a sole home run and Jonathan Arauz hit a go-ahead single as the Boston Red Sox came from behind to win 2-1 over the Toronto Blue Jays.

The in-form New York Yankees claimed five consecutive victories with a 5-4 win over the Seattle Mariners. The Yankees improved to 61-49 with the win.

The Philadelphia Phillies have also hit form, securing their seventh straight win with a 5-3 triumph over the New York Mets. The streak is the Phillies' longest since 2012.

 

Rebuilding Cubs shut out

The rebuilding Chicago Cubs were humbled at Wrigley Field by cross-towners Chicago White Sox 4-0. The result leaves the Cubs in a slump with two wins from their past 10 games, including three straight defeats. The White Sox shut-out makes matters worse as the opposition pitchers notched 17 strikeouts.

 

Winker on song for hot Reds

Jesse Winker had a day out as the Cincinnati Reds stayed hot with an 11-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Winker's form has been crucial to the Reds' run and he displayed that against the Pirates, with two runs, three hits and six RBI.

 

Saturday's results 

New York Yankees 5-4 Seattle Mariners
Chicago White Sox 4-0 Chicago Cubs
Toronto Blue Jays 1-0 Boston Red Sox
Philadelphia Phillies 5-3 New York Mets
Oakland Athletic 12-3 Texas Rangers
Tampa Bay Rays 12-3 Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox 2-1 Toronto Blue Jays
San Francisco Giants 9-6 Milwaukee Brewers
Detroit Tigers 2-1 Cleveland Indians
Cincinnati Reds 11-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
Houston Astros 4-0 Minnesota Twins
St Louis Cardinals 5-2 Kansas City Royals
Washington Nationals 3-2 Atlanta Braves
Colorado Rockies 7-4 Miami Marlins
San Diego Padres 6-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 Los Angeles Angels

 

Angels at Dodgers

Shohei Ohtani's Los Angeles Angels will head across town again to take on the world champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers, for the third and final time in their series.

Brendan Rodgers has announced Wesley Fofana will not play again until 2022 after sustaining a medial ligament injury in a pre-season friendly against Villarreal.

Fofana was carried off on a stretcher on Wednesday after a tackle from Fer Nino injured his left leg, with the centre-back later revealing on Instagram he had fractured his fibula.

The France Under-21 international is expected to undergo surgery on Monday, though the extent of the damage is worse than initially feared.

Following Leicester City's 1-0 Community Shield triumph against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium, Rodgers provided a further update on Fofana.

"He has his operation on Monday and he won't play until 2022," the Leicester boss said in his post-match news conference. "At what point that will be we'll have to assess over the next six months or so.

"He's an incredible talent. He's in really good spirits. He'll be back in the training ground on Thursday or Friday next week and will begin his rehab then.”

Fofana became an integral part of Rodgers' team following his arrival from Saint-Etienne.

Out of all Premier League defenders, Fofana was just one of two to attempt at least 50 tackles, complete 50 interceptions and produce 50 headed clearances – Aston Villa's Matt Targett being the other.

"It's such a shame for the Premier League not to have a talent like that and certainly for us as well," Rodgers continued after Kelechi Iheanacho's late penalty had defeated the reigning Premier League champions.

Asked for clarification as to whether the defender had broken his leg, Rodgers responded: "In and around his medial ligament there was a lot more damage than we had hoped, quite substantial damage unfortunately."

While Leicester will be without Fofana for the remainder of the year, they will be buoyed on by the return of Harvey Barnes.

Barnes, who scored nine goals and provided four assists in 25 top-flight fixtures last term, suffered a setback in April with a knee injury ruling him out of the remainder of the season and subsequently contention for England's Euro 2020 squad.

"Unfortunately, I had to watch the amazing scenes [in the FA Cup final]," the 23-year-old told ITV after Saturday's win. "This time, to be on the pitch and be a part of it was amazing.

"I don’t think we approached it as a friendly. It’s a chance to win some more silverware – and something we’ve not won before. We knew it was a great opportunity to win something before the season started, so we’re over the moon with it.

"It’s obviously been a tough few months for me. It’s amazing to be back out there now. This is the first competitive game I’ve played in and for the fans to be back in at Wembley was special. I’m feeling really good and looking forward to the season now."

Paris Saint-Germain kicked off their Ligue 1 campaign with a 2-1 victory despite suffering an early scare against Troyes.

Oualid El Hajjam's ninth-minute header had the newly promoted hosts on top but their delight was cut short 10 minutes later when Achraf Hakimi smashed in a first goal for his new club.

Mauro Icardi doubled the blow two minutes later with what proved to be the winner, poking past goalkeeper Gauthier Gallon after good work by Kylian Mbappe.

Amid speculation over the possible arrival of Lionel Messi in Paris, Mauricio Pochettino's side started positively on the field as they look to recapture a Ligue 1 crown which they have claimed in seven of the past nine seasons.

Thilo Kehrer's last-ditch intervention made amends for centre-back partner Presnel Kimpembe's early mistake as Troyes threatened, though PSG did not escape so lightly from the resulting corner. El Hajjam greeted Dylan Chambost's inswinging delivery as the centre-back nodded past Keylor Navas.

Ander Herrera sent a rising effort into the side netting but shortly after Hakimi restored parity, powering onto Herrera's pass before blasting a right-footed volley into the roof of the net.

Things rapidly worsened for the hosts when Icardi added a second, the forward prodding home after Mbappe's cutback found his team-mate inside the area.

Mbappe thought he had scored himself when he rounded Gallon and curled towards goal, only to be denied by Jimmy Giraudon's goal-line clearance.

Renaud Ripart induced a smart reflex save from Navas to keep out a drilled strike that seemed destined for the net, while Mama Balde's audacious acrobatics had the PSG goalkeeper scrambling after the break.

Back-to-back opportunities followed for the away side to finish the game off but neither went in, Icardi flicking a header wide and Mbappe bending a shot narrowly over the crossbar.

What does this mean? PSG off on the right track

A good start to make amends for last season's underwhelming campaign was vital for Pochettino and they began in positive fashion despite an initial blip.

While PSG had lost just one of their previous nine opening games in Ligue 1 (W5 D3), they were beaten by Lens to open the 2020-21 season. However, Saturday's win sets the visitors off in the right direction to reclaim their crown.

Hakimi's happy debut

Hakimi's equaliser rapidly removed any nerves for the away side, smashing in to become the first player since Metehan Guclu in 2019 to score on his top-flight debut for PSG.

Since the start of the 2019-20 campaign, only Robin Gosens (34) has more goal involvements for a defender across Europe's top five leagues than Hakimi (31), while his goal here saw him become just the second Moroccan to score in Ligue 1 for the club.

Tough outing for Touzghar

Yoann Touzghar almost profited from Kimpembe's early error to square across Navas' goal, though his performance declined from there on in.

The forward cut an isolated figure up top, winning just 33.3 per cent of his duels as he touched the ball just 20 times – the lowest figure for any player who started the game.

What's next?

PSG host Strasbourg next Saturday - could Messi be part of the squad by then? As for Troyes, they travel to Clermont Foot the day after.

Paris Saint-Germain kicked off their Ligue 1 campaign with a 2-1 victory despite suffering an early scare against Troyes.

Oualid El Hajjam's ninth-minute header had the hosts on top but their delight was cut short 10 minutes later when Achraf Hakimi smashed in a first goal for his new club.

Mauro Icardi doubled the blow two minutes later with what proved to be the winner, poking past goalkeeper Gauthier Gallon after good work by Kylian Mbappe.

Amid speculation over the possible arrival of Lionel Messi in Paris, Mauricio Pochettino's side started positively on the field as they look to recapture a Ligue 1 crown which they have claimed in seven of the past nine seasons.

Thilo Kehrer's last-ditch intervention made amends for centre-back partner Presnel Kimpembe's early mistake as Troyes threatened, though PSG did not escape so lightly from the resulting corner. El Hajjam greeted Dylan Chambost's inswinging delivery as the centre-back nodded past Keylor Navas.

Ander Herrera sent a rising effort into the side netting but shortly after Hakimi restored parity, powering onto Herrera's pass before blasting a right-footed volley into the roof of the net.

Things rapidly worsened for the hosts when Icardi added a second, the forward prodding home after Mbappe's cutback found his team-mate inside the area.

Mbappe thought he had scored himself when he rounded Gallon and curled towards goal, only to be denied by Jimmy Giraudon's goal-line clearance.

Renaud Ripart induced a smart reflex save from Navas to keep out a drilled strike that seemed destined for the net, while Mama Balde's audacious acrobatics had the PSG goalkeeper scrambling after the break.

Back-to-back opportunities followed for the away side to finish the game off but neither went in, Icardi flicking a header wide and Mbappe bending a shot narrowly over the crossbar.

Jack Grealish's Wembley cameo impressed Pep Guardiola and the Manchester City manager is in bullish mood for the new season despite a 1-0 Community Shield defeat to Leicester City.

British record signing Grealish appeared as a second-half substitute in the traditional English curtain raiser, but Kelechi Iheanacho came off the bench to win and convert a late penalty against his former club.

Back at the stadium where he was the focus of adoration during England's Euro 2020 campaign, £100million man Grealish was rapturously received by the Manchester contingent, but the Leicester fans jeered his every involvement.

That amounted to a tidy 15 of 16 passes completed, including one chance created for fellow substitute Ben Knight, with 25 touches overall and seven duels contested in 25 minutes on the field.

"I saw many incredibly good things today. I don’t feel we played badly. I said to all the guys how proud I am," Guardiola told a post-match news conference.

"But in this business, you must win. And when you don't, congratulate the opponent.

"Jack was really good – aggressive, going against full-backs. Every time he had the ball he had three players [drawn towards him].

"We will find the tempo, he will know his mates, we will know him and, step by step, we will find our best.

"I know he is a lovely guy so he will adapt quickly.

"He didn't come to play 25 minutes, he came to play five or six years, that's why we will be incredibly patient like we will be for all new players every time they come."

 

Guardiola reserved praise for teenagers Cole Palmer and Sam Edozie, who were rewarded with starts after impressive pre-season showings in the absence of a host of international stars including Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus.

Winger Edozie scored three goals in three friendlies, only to shank a clear first-half opening against Leicester. However, Guardiola felt the 18-year-old's response spoke volumes.

"What I like from them is they lost one or two balls and then the next one, try again and try again," he said.

"Cole was exceptional all game. In the first half [Ricardo] Pereira won the duels with Sam but second half he was incredibly aggressive.

"Since minute one in the second half, Sam took the ball and was aggressive

"Unfortunately, we missed some chances and did not create much up front, but the game was there."

Guardiola again bemoaned a schedule that has denied him much time on the training ground with key stars, but he is confident City can deliver as they pursue a fourth Premier League in five seasons.

"Mentally, yeah, of course I'm ready. But how can we be ready when some of the players have three or four training sessions?" he added.

"We have to adapt, adapt and adapt. We did last season when we started a little bit flat. After a while we were there and started to win.

"After what I saw today, I am incredibly confident that many good things are going to happen this season."

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi hailed team-mate Morne Steyn after his late penalty sealed a series victory for the Springboks over the British and Irish Lions.

Steyn came off the bench and proved the difference in Cape Town – his last-gasp kick securing a 19-16 win.

It was a first Test appearance in five years for the 37-year-old fly-half, who also landed the crucial blow in the 2009 series against the Lions.

The Lions were unbeaten in the final Test in each of their last three tours, but in a tightly contested tussle the Springboks produced a turnaround from 10-3 down to snatch a dramatic victory.

"As soon as he went for the kick, I thought 'no way!' It was beautiful to see him stay strong," Kolisi told Sky Sports.

"We didn't think he would come back and play. In his wildest dreams, he didn't think he'd get this opportunity again, so I'm very happy for him and the team.

"It was really challenging for both teams because there was a lot happening. But we focused as much as we could on what we had to do on the field, and that was most important.

"This is huge, 12 years – I will never get this opportunity again. I'm really honoured and proud of the team that we were able to achieve this. We can't compare it to anything else."

It was a heart-breaking end for the Lions and Alun Wyn Jones, who joined Mike Gibson and Graham Price as the fourth most-capped player in their history with 12.

Nevertheless, the skipper – who initially seemed set to miss the tour due to injury – revealed his sense of pride in the efforts of Warren Gatland's side.

"We are hugely disappointed – we were in it until the death. We had an opportunity at the end," he said.

"I am very proud of the boys and very conscious of who we represent but as I said, hugely disappointed at the same time.

"We wanted to come out for the second half with more of the same, we did that probably after the early exchanges, then the to-ing and fro-ing with the penalties broke up the game.

"It was probably similar to what we have seen in patches in previous games, we wanted to kick on but we could not do that."

Joe Root hit a superb hundred to offer hope for England but India are in pole position to win an absorbing first Test heading into the final day in Nottingham.

Captain Root made 109 – his 21st Test ton but first on home soil since September 2018 – to underpin England's second-innings total of 303, Jasprit Bumrah restricting their advantage with 5-64.

Left needing 209 for victory in the series opener, India lost KL Rahul for 26 in a tricky session but reached stumps on 52-1, Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara both on 12 not out.

England had resumed in the morning on 25 without loss with a considerable deficit still to deal with, the hosts eventually moving in front for the loss of Rory Burns (18) and Zak Crawley (six).

In cricket's version of the tortoise and the hare, the imperious Root raced past the dogged Dom Sibley during a third-wicket stand worth 89. The alliance came to an end when the latter played an uncharacteristically loose drive having reached 28, an inside edge off Bumrah well caught by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

Jonny Bairstow looked in excellent touch in reaching 30 but a pull shot only found Ravindra Jadeja in the deep, while Shardul Thakur removed both Dan Lawrence (25) and Jos Buttler (17), who was bowled offering no stroke, either side of tea.

Root eventually fell to the second new ball, with England slipping from 274-6 following the departure of their talismanic leader.

Bumrah sent back Sam Curran, who made a useful 32, and Stuart Broad with successive deliveries to get his sixth five-wicket haul in Tests, Mohammed Shami then claiming the final wicket as Ollie Robinson was caught at third man for 15.

Broad struck a much-needed blow when Rahul was caught behind, yet that was England's solitary success with the ball in 14 overs prior to the close.

 

Root digs in again

Root underlined his immense importance to England with a fourth Test century in 2021. He is the only player to pass 1,000 runs in the format in the calendar year, aided by making two double centuries during England's busy winter schedule.

This memorable knock spanned 172 deliveries and included 14 boundaries, one of which was a glorious straight drive that saw him reach three figures. He began celebrating before the ball had crossed the rope, raising both arms aloft.

India lean on brilliant Bumrah

Bumrah missed out on a five-wicket haul in the first innings but made sure he reached the landmark second time around, meaning he will finish with match figures of 9-110.

The pace bowler certainly likes playing at Trent Bridge, having claimed 5-85 at the venue on India's 2018 tour to help his team clinch victory on that occasion. He will hope to be on the winning side again this time too, provided his batsmen can finish the job on Sunday.

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