REVIEW: Everton remain unbeaten in PL

FOOTBALL – Everton beat Newcastle 3-2 and are the only unbeaten team in this season’s PL, yet they have a point less than at this stage last season.

Tim Howard became the 2nd goalie to assist this PL season after Brad Guzan. They are both from USA and it was Howard’s first assist since Nov 2007 in Everton’s 7-1 win v Sunderland.

It is 10 years since Everton scored 3 goals faster than today: 3-0 lead after 35 minutes v Fulham in Aug 2003. They also scored 3 in 37 minutes versus Southampton last year.


AWARDS SHOW: September Quiz winner unveiled

FOOTBALL – We did not believe it would be possible, but @G_o_s_h_a has achieved the unthinkable by winning ALL six monthly quizzes in the 2013 Clausura season. And for good measure he put in a perfect answer form. How do you come up with ‘Diego Penny’? Honestly. Congratulations to this phenomenal achievement and also kudos to @marcobinnekamp_ for qualifying for the big season final as this month’s runner-up. The field is set and the Clausura final will run from 1-6 October. Good luck to all participants!

Results August Grand Final Quiz

100 – @G_o_s_h_a

77 – @marcobinnekamp_

40 – @JorisMoossdorff

Grand Final Quiz Winners – Clausura 2013

Apr – @G_o_s_h_a

May – @G_o_s_h_a (no runner-up)

Jun – @G_o_s_h_a (@poirot986 advances to Clausura final)

Jul – @G_o_s_h_a (@Yusuf_Official advances to Clausura final)

Aug – @G_o_s_h_a (@JorisMoossdorff advances to Clausura final)

Sep – @G_o_s_h_a (@marcobinnekamp_ advances to Clausura final)


REVIEW: Costa champion as Valverde posts fifth podium

CYCLING – Rui Costa had become the first rider from Portugal to win the Men’s Road Race at the UCI Cycling World Championships. Spain’s Alejandro Valverde finished third to register a record setting fifth career podium finish in this race. Valverde has yet to win a gold medal in this race.

REVIEW: Barcelona, Atlético both set club records

FOOTBALL – FC Barcelona and Atlético Madrid both recorded an unprecedented achievement in club history by winning their first seven Spanish top flight matches of the season. Barça had won their first six on five previous occasions, but all five previous runs were halted on Matchday 7. For Atlético, it took beating crosstown rivals Real Madrid in a league match for the first time since 1999.

REVIEW: Big day for London, bad day for Manchester

FOOTBALL – At the conclusion of Saturday’s Premier League action three London-based clubs occupy the top three spots in the Premier League table. It is the first time this has happened since 23 October 2005, when Chelsea, Charlton Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur were first, second and third. The London clubs benefited from the fact that both Manchester sides lost on the same day for the first time since 13 September 2008.

PREVIEW: Gilbert aiming for B2B world titles

CYCLING – The men’s road race at the 2013 World Cycling Championships will be held on Sunday. See below facts and figures of selected favourites of winning this race.

Gilbert aiming for back-to-back world championship crowns

  • Philippe Gilbert can become the sixth rider to win back-to-back world titles in the men’s road race on Sunday.
  • Three of Gilbert’s Belgian compatriots have already achieved this feat, with Rik Van Looy being the last in 1961.
  • The last rider to win back-to-back was Paolo Bettini in 2006 and 2007.
  • Gilbert can also join 11 other riders to win multiple world titles. Mark Cavendish, Thor Hushovd and Cadel Evans can also win their second world title.

Valverde looking for record fifth podium finish

  • Alejandro Valverde can become the first rider to finish on the podium in five different years in the road race.
  • He currently shares the record of four podium finishes with seven other riders (Alfredo Binda, Rik Van Steenbergen, André Darrigade, Rik Van Looy, Raymond Poulidor, Greg Lemond and Óscar Freire).
  • Valverde has yet to win a world title (2 silver medals, 3 bronze). Of the seven other riders on four podium finishes, only Raymond Poulidor did not win a world title (1 silver, 3 bronze).
  • If Valverde wins, he becomes the seventh rider to win all possible three medals in the men’s road race. The only riders who have achieved this feat are André Darrigade, Theo Middelkamp, Ferdi Kübler, Felice Gimondi, Giuseppe Saronni and Moreno Argentin.
  • Matti Breschel can also join this group if he wins on Sunday. The Dane finished second in 2010 and third in 2008.

Vuelta stage win almost necessary to win world title

  • Seven of the last 11 winners of the rainbow jersey did win a stage in the Vuelta prior to becoming world champion.
  • The only exceptions in these last 11 years are Igor Astarloa (2003), Tom Boonen (2005), Cadel Evans (2009) and Mark Cavendish (2011).
  • Individual stage winners in the 2013 Vuelta a España who are likely participating in the world championships are: Nicolas Roche, Chris Horner, Daniel Moreno, Michael Matthews, Zdenek Stybar, Leopold König, Fabian Cancellara, Philippe Gilbert, Warren Barguil, Bauke Mollema, Vasil Kiryienka and Joaquim Rodríguez.

Roche family looking for first father-son world titles

  • Nicolas Roche can give the Roche family their second men’s world title, after his father Stephen won in Villach (AUT) in 1987.
  • Roche’s compatriot, Daniel Martin, is also family of Roche. His mother is the sister of Stephen Roche.
  • A family has yet to have two men winning the men’s road race at the world championships.

Cancellara hoping to become second rider to win road race and time trial

  • Fabian Cancellara can become the second rider to win the men’s road race and the individual time trial at a world championship.
  • Abraham Olano won the road race in Duitama (COL) in 1995 and the individual time trial in Valkenburg (NED) in 1998.
  • Cancellara won the time trial in 2006 (Salzburg, AUT), 2007 (Stuttgart, GER), 2009 (Mendrisio, SUI) and in 2010 (Geelong, AUS).
  • The only other rider who will participate in the road race and who has won a WCh time trial is Tony Martin (2011, 2012, 2013).
  • Cancellara can become the second rider after Tom Boonen (2005) to win the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix and the WCh in the same year.

Sagan can become youngest world champion this century

  • Peter Sagan will be 23 years and 246 days old on Sunday.
  • He can become the youngest world champion since Óscar Freire (23-237) won in 1999.
  • In total, Sagan can become the 11th youngest rider winning the rainbow jersey. Karel Kaers (BEL) is the youngest ever winner at the age of 20 years and 46 days in 1934.
  • Another notable young rider is Michal Kwiatkowski. He is 23 years and 119 days on Sunday. He can become the eighth youngest winner and the youngest since Lance Armstrong won at age 21 in 1993.

Nibali, Froome and Horner aiming for Grand Tour and WCh double

  • Giro d’Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali, Tour de France champion Chris Froome and Vuelta a España winner Chris Horner all can become the 11th rider to win a Grand Tour and the world title in the same year.
  • The last rider to achieve this feat is Greg Lemond in 1989, winning the Tour and WCh.
  • Alfredo Binda was the first ever rider. He won the Giro and WCh in 1927.

Sánchez hoping for world title as Olympic Champion

  • Samuel Sánchez won the men’s road race at the 2008 Olympic Games and can become the fourth rider to win the road race at the Olympic Games and the World Championships.
  • Ercole Baldini won the Olympic Games in 1956 and the WCh in 1958. Hennie Kuiper won Olympic gold in the 1972 road race before winning the rainbow jersey in 1975 and Paolo Bettini was victorious at the 2004 Olympic Games before winning the world title in 2006 and 2007.
  • Sánchez won Olympic gold five years ago, which would mean he can set the biggest gap between winning the Olympic Games and first world title, currently held by Kuiper on three years.

Italy can equal Belgium on most home wins

  • An Italian victory would mean Italian riders have won four world titles on home soil, equalling the record held by Belgian riders.
  • The three Italian riders who won in their own country are Alfredo Binda in 1932 (Rome), Vittorio Adorni in 1968 (Imola) and Alessandro Ballan in 2008 (Varese).
  • Ballan’s victory is also the last home win by any country.

Last six world champions can come from record six different countries

  • In the last five years, the world champion has come from five different countries. Starting in 2008, when Alessandro Ballan won the race for Italy. In 2009, Cadel Evans (AUS) was victorious followed by Thor Hushovd (NOR) in 2010. In 2011, Mark Cavendish won for Great Britain and last year Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert won the road race.
  • If another country besides Italy, Australia, Norway, Great Britain or Belgium wins the race, it will be the first time ever that six successive world champions have come from six different countries.
  • Five consecutive years with five different countries winning the world title has happened on several occasions, with the most recent between 1996 and 2000 (before current streak).