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Tide defense powers team to victory, shuts out LSU at Tiger Stadium

LSU asked for all the smoke, and boy did it get it.

Alabama rendered the Tigers’ pedestrian offense scoreless, while allowing it to total 196 yards on 60 plays from scrimmage. Quarterback Joe Burrow was in fear for his life all game long, especially with Quinnen Williams, Isaiah Buggs, Christian Miller and Anfernee Jennings in his face.

He was sacked five times, with two of them coming via Williams.

With quite a few National Football League scouts in attendance at Tiger Stadium, the Birmingham native is looking like a concrete first-round pick for next year’s draft.

Williams, a redshirt sophomore, is now at four sacks and 12 tackles for loss (team-high) through nine regular season games. He led the Crimson Tide’s charge in tackles with 10, while Dylan Moses finished with six stops – including a shared tackle for loss. The duo of cornerbacks Saivion Smith and Shyheim Carter came up huge for Alabama, as both had five tackles each.

In his return to Death Valley, Smith recorded two pass breakups.

Despite him not recording a sack of Burrow, junior defensive end Raekown Davis constantly brought pressure and was one of three players to have at least four tackles. Junior inside linebacker Mack Wilson, who suffered an injury last year against the Tigers, posted four tackles and sealed the game with an interception.

While its offense generated 576 yards, the Tide’s defense proved it is still college football’s gold standard.

Alabama will return home next week for the first time in a month to face Mississippi State, following its 29-0 win over the Tigers.

Source: Tdalabamamag

Juventus v Cagliari 3-1 Dybala and Ronaldo inspire Juventus win

Juventus v Cagliari 3-1

Juventus v Cagliari 3-1 Dybala and Ronaldo inspire Juventus win
Paulo Dybala scored after 44 seconds for Juventus but they were made to struggle in a 3-1 win over a brave Cagliari team as they stayed six points clear in Serie A on Saturday. 

Juventus have now won 10 of their 11 league games but they needed the help of an own goal by Filip Bradaric after Joao Pedro had equalised for Cagliari. 

Dybala gave Juve the perfect start when he received a pass on the edge of the penalty area, twisted one way and then the other and, despite slipping as he struck the ball, scored with a right-foot shot past Alessio Cragno. 

Cagliari fought back and, after having a penalty appeal for handball turned down following a VAR review, forced Juve goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny into a point-blank save to block a Leonardo Pavoletti volley.

The Sardinian side deservedly levelled in the 36th minute when Joao Pedro controlled Darijo Srna's cross with an excellent first touch before beating Szczesny with a low drive. But Juve were gifted a goal less than two minutes later by Bradaric who, under no immediate pressure, slid in and diverted Douglas Costa's low cross into the net. 

Cristiano Ronaldo, who hit the post on the stroke of halftime, laid the third on a plate for Juan Cuadrado with three minutes left after Cagliari were exposed on the counter-attack. 

Juve have 31 points out of a possible 33 with Inter Milan, who beat Genoa 5-0 earlier on Saturday, and Napoli, 5-1 winners over Empoli on Friday, both on 25. 

Source: ESPN

Royal Bank of Scotland lifts profits, cautious on outlook

RBS reported stronger third quarter earnsing but said the outlook was more uncertain as Brexit early next year looms on the horizon

London (AFP) - Royal Bank of Scotland on Friday announced a 14-percent rise in quarterly net profit but warned of a “more uncertain outlook” as Britain’s struggles to strike a Brexit deal.

Profit after tax rose to £448 million ($574 million, 505 million euros) in the third quarter to September compared to the same period in 2017, RBS said as it continues to recover after a record government bailout a decade ago at the height of the financial crisis.

RBS announced also that bad loans had increased by £100 million, “reflecting the more uncertain economic outlook”.

Chief executive Ross McEwan warned earlier this month that a no-deal Brexit risks sending the British economy into recession in 2019.

In the face of Brexit uncertainty, RBS lending was becoming more cautious while companies were delaying investment decisions, McEwan said.

The bank has said that it is planning for the worst amid increasing worries that Britain will exit the European Union in March without a deal in place with Brussels.

RBS is meanwhile looking to set up a European subsidiary in Amsterdam to serve customers on the continent.

The lender remains majority-owned by the British government after it was saved with £45.5 billion of taxpayers’ cash at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008.

Britain in June resumed privatisation of the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Conservative government led by Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking to sell two-thirds of its stake for roughly £15 billion over a five-year period.

RBS was fined $4.9 billion by the US Justice Department over its role in the subprime housing crisis which sparked the 2008 meltdown... read more ultrasurfing

Loftus-Cheek treble fuels Chelsea as Arsenal streak hits 11

Ruben Loftus-Cheek gave manager Maurizio Sarri a reminder of his ability with a hat-trick against BATE

Paris (AFP) - Ruben Loftus-Cheek capitalised on a rare start for Chelsea by scoring a hat-trick in Thursday’s 3-1 Europa League victory over BATE of Belarus, while Arsenal extended their winning run to 11 games away to Sporting Lisbon.

Loftus-Cheek, part of England’s World Cup squad in Russia, started for just the second time this season under Maurizio Sarri and struck twice inside the opening eight minutes as Chelsea dominated at Stamford Bridge.

The 22-year-old midfielder drilled in a low Davide Zappacosta cross as the Blues led after two minutes, and Loftus-Cheek doubled his tally when he hooked in from a corner.

He completed his hat-trick with a side-footed effort from the edge of the area on 54 minutes, although BATE left with a consolation goal after an unmarked Aleksei Rios turned in from a late free-kick.

“It feels really good,” Loftus Cheek told BT Sport after he became the first Chelsea player to score a hat-trick in Europe since Didier Drogba 12 years ago.

“It’s up there, it’s my first hat-trick in a while, even since playing for the youth team. It feels nice.

“Any player will tell you it’s nice to score a hat-trick and it feels good, I’ll get the ball signed and put in a glass box. Hopefully there are many more to come.”

Three wins from three in Group L have Chelsea poised to reach the last 32 of the competition, with Unai Emery’s Arsenal set to join them following a 1-0 victory in Portugal.

Danny Welbeck celebrates netting the winner for Arsenal in Lisbon

Danny Welbeck pounced on a defensive lapse by former Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates on 78 minutes to keep Arsenal on maximum points in Group E and prolong the club’s best run since 2007.

- AC Milan, Marseille lose -

Seven-time European champions AC Milan crashed to a 2-1 home defeat by Real Betis as Gennaro Gattuso’s team dropped their first points in Group F.

Goals from Antonio Sanabria and Giovani Lo Celso, on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, earned group leaders Betis a memorable win at the San Siro.

Patrick Cutrone grabbed a consolation for Milan who finished the game with 10 men after Samuel Castillejo saw red for the hosts in injury time.

Olympiakos beat Dudelange of Luxembourg 2-0 in the group’s other fixture, while there was more misery for Brendan Rodgers and Scottish champions Celtic in Germany.

Brazilian striker Matheus Cunha and Portugal winger Bruma, who scored against Scotland in a friendly this month, were both on target in the first half as RB Leipzig won 2-0.

Salzburg picked up a third successive victory to stay top of Group B as Munas Dabbur netted twice in a 3-0 defeat of bottom side Rosenborg.

Steven Gerrard’s Rangers remain unbeaten in Group G but were left frustrated after a 0-0 draw against an understrength Spartak Moscow, who left a number of first-choice players behind in Russia.

“We are making huge strides from where we were,” said Gerrard.

“We came close but it wasn’t to be. It could be a valuable point at the end of the day.

“It shows just how far we’ve come when we are disappointed to take a point off a Champions League team.”

Rangers are level on five points with Villarreal at the top after the Spaniards hammered Rapid Vienna 5-0.

Last season’s runners-up Marseille are in danger of an early exit after losing 3-1 at home to Lazio, while five-time champions Sevilla thrashed Turkish club Akhisar 6-0.

Henry hoping for a break in Champions League bow with Monaco

Bruges (Belgium) (AFP) - One newspaper headline described Thierry Henry as “cursed” in the wake of his managerial bow with Monaco, and the France great will be desperate to put that behind him in Wednesday’s Champions League encounter with Club Brugge.

Thierry Henry has plenty to ponder as he leads Monaco into Wednesday's Champions League clash with Club Brugge

Henry’s long-awaited first game as a coach in his own right ended in a 2-1 defeat at Strasbourg on Saturday, with Monaco’s night marred by goalkeeping errors, a sending-off and injuries.

The headline in question appeared in the following day’s edition of sports daily L’Equipe, and that game certainly made it clear to the 41-year-old that he has a massive job on his hands.

Monaco, the club where Henry began his playing career before going on to star for Arsenal, are in a critical condition, having lost their last five games and gone 11 matches without a win.

They are enduring their worst start to a season in 65 years and their longest run without a league win for a decade.

Monaco may often be mocked for their paltry attendances, but they have a passionate fan base who will be worried for their team, less than 18 months after they won the Ligue 1 title in style.

“I was aware that it would be hard to put something in place after just two days of work,” said Henry at the weekend, having had limited time on the training ground since taking over.

- Back in Belgium already -

Better will be required, however, if Monaco are to register their first points in Champions League Group A when they go to Belgium.

For Henry, it is an early return to the country after he ended a two-year stint as assistant to Belgium boss Roberto Martinez in order to strike out on his own.

Defeats against Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund mean Monaco remain pointless in Europe, and Wednesday’s match against the Belgian champions offers both sides a last chance to keep their hopes alive in the group.

Henry has not yet had much time on the training ground to make his mark at Monaco

More realistically, these teams are now fighting it out for third place and a berth in the Europa League knockout rounds. They meet again at the Stade Louis II on November 6.

“We need to take the positives. The team is starting from zero,” insisted Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans, but there were not a lot of positives from Henry’s debut.

He took a risk by starting Radamel Falcao on his return from international duty, and the Colombian duly came off injured before half-time.

With two experienced goalkeepers sidelined in Danijel Subasic and Diego Benaglio, the 22-year-old Seydou Sy started and his mistake gifted the hosts their opener.

In the second half, Henry sent on Samuel Grandsir only for the talented youngster to be sent off within three minutes of his introduction.

It was a terrible start for France’s all-time leading goal-scorer, but now he is hoping to lead Monaco to a first win in 11 Champions League outings.

The circumstances are daunting, but Henry – who won the Champions League as a player with Barcelona – knew what he was signing up for at Monaco, having turned down the Bordeaux job at the start of this season.

“It is different because now he is the one making all the decisions, but he has a philosophy that I think can help us start winning matches,” said Nacer Chadli, who has worked with Henry in the Belgium set-up.

Whether that will be the case on Wednesday remains to be seen, with last season’s star player Rony Lopes still absent and Falcao a doubt.

Meanwhile, with Sy not in Monaco’s Champions League squad, it looks like the 20-year-old Loic Badiashile, who usually plays in the French fourth tier for Monaco’s reserves, will start in goal at the Jan Breydelstadion.

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