Dutch in danger: Despair for Memphis and RVP as Turkey paste rivals in Konya to leave Holland in doubt of reaching Euro 2016

Turkey 3-0 Holland: Dutch Euro 2016 hopes take a huge blow as they slide to fourth in

TURKEY 3-0 HOLLAND: Holland's Euro 2016 qualifying campaign was plunged into further disarray as they were beaten 3-0 by Turkey and dropped to fourth in Group A. Oguzhan Ozyakup opened the scoring after eight minutes with his first international goal before Arda Turan doubled the hosts' lead by beating Jasper Cillessen at his near post before half-time. Danny Blind's side are now two points behind Turkey, who have moved third and occupy the play-off spot in the group. The first two teams automatically qualify.

Is this the moment Hamilton won his third world title? Rosberg's hopes go up in smoke as engine catches fire leaving Brit to cruise to yet another victory

Lewis Hamilton wins the Italian Grand Prix and takes step towards title after Mercedes

JONATHAN McEVOY AT MONZA: Lewis Hamilton's victory at the Italian Grand Prix has been upheld after stewards cleared Mercedes of breaching tyre pressure rules. This came to light after he was given a mysterious late instruction to speed up - presumably to give him a large enough lead to withstand a time penalty or drive-through. For the majority of the afternoon this was not a thrill-a-minute feast for the neutrals - or indeed the partisan Tifosi with their red flags and horns - but, after to the stewards' decision, it proved another big step towards Hamilton's third world title victory, when Nico Rosberg's engine blew two laps from the end.

JONNY WILKINSON EXCLUSIVE: 'I feel like I am breaking apart': Twelve years on from conquering the world, England's hero still can't come to terms with his life and achievements

.

OLIVER HOLT: On the eve of the first World Cup for 20 years that he has not graced, the man who was for so long England's talisman and comfort is trying to turn away from the things that once defined him and search for a new life.

Hamilton apologises after sparking outrage by keeping his cap on during minute's silence for IndyCar's Wilson 

image001.png

Lewis Hamilton said sorry after angry F1 fans on Twitter complained about him keeping his cap on during a minute's silence in memory of IndyCar driver Justin Wilson, who died two weeks ago.

Klopp admits his next job in football may not be at an 'absolute top club'

Football manager Jurgen Klopp of Dortmund attends a press conference at Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, Germany on April 15, 2015.  


"Please note this image forms part of the Getty Premium Access agreement and may incur an additional fee. If reused it must be downloaded from the Getty site"



DORTMUND, GERMANY - APRIL 15, 2015
(Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund/Getty Images)

Former Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp has fuelled speculation over his next job in management, admitting he may not join an 'absolute top club'.

Wales frustrated as thousands queue outside the ground and miss kick-off

As Wales kicked-off their potentially momentous Euro 2016 qualifying match with Israel, there were plenty of empty seats inside the Cardiff City stadium due to fans still queuing outside.

Pogba admits he could reject Chelsea and Barcelona to stay at Juventus

France's midfielder Paul Pogba (L) reacts after his victory against Portugal during the Euro 2016 friendly football match Portugal vs France at the Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon on September 4, 2015. France won 0-1.  AFP PHOTO/ FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Paul Pogba has dealt a blow to Chelsea and Barcelona by admitting he could stay at Juventus for the forseeable future. The France midfielder was a target for Blues boss Jose Mourinho this summer.

Former Manchester United winger Ralph Milne dies, aged 54 

Tributes have been paid to former Scottish footballer Ralph Milne who has died at the age of 54. The former Dundee United and Manchester United winger had been receiving treatment for liver problems

Ramsey misses an absolute sitter as Wales are held by Israel with frustrated Bale and Co made to wait for a place at Euro 2016

Wales 0-0 Israel: Gareth Bale and Co are held to Cardiff stalemate and made to wait on

WALES 0-0 ISRAEL - LAURIE WHITWELL IN CARDIFF: Wales have waited 57 years to qualify for a major tournament, so what is another month? The hope could even be fulfilled later on Sunday night should Belgium drop points at home to Cyprus. But in all likelihood Chris Coleman and his players will have to delay their champagne-popping until the double-header of fixtures against Bosnia and Andorra in October.

High-fliers Ibe and Gomez are centre of attention as England U21s jet off to Norway ahead of Euro 2017 qualifier

Jordon Ibe, Joe Gomez and Co flying high as England U21s jet off to Norway ahead of

Liverpool pair Jordon Ibe and Joe Gomez were among the England Under 21s squad who have travelled to Norway ahead of their opening Euro 2017 qualifier.

Berahino to be offered new £50,000-a-week deal as 'Peace offering' after breakdown of Tottenham transfer... and it will include £25m release clause

Saido Berahino of West Bromwich Albion applauds the crowd after the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, England.  


WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - MAY 18:  
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

West Brom are exploring the possibility of offering Saido Berahino an improved deal to stop the forward from going on strike after his potential move to Tottenham broke down.

Benzema insists he was never going to leave Madrid for Arsenal

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 29:  Karim Benzema (C) of Real Madrid celebrates with Luka Modric (L) and Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring their team's third goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Betis Balompie at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on August 29, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images)

Arsenal and Manchester United target Karim Benzema has rubbished reports suggesting he was considering a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu this summer.

'Being benched is not something I'm used to': Neymar blasts Dunga after playing cameo role for Brazil

.

Neymar has warned Brazil coach Dunga he won't tolerate being benched for the national team. The Barcelona star was restricted to a 10-minute cameo in Brazil's 1-0 win over Costa Rica

Late Hazard strike closes gap on Wales as Belgium battle through to conquer Cyprus

Cyprus 0-1 Belgium: Eden Hazard rescues visitors with late winner as Marc Wilmots' side

CYPRUS 0-1 BELGIUM: Belgium moved to within a point of Group B leaders Wales after Eden Hazard's second-half strike secured Marc Wilmots' side a precious victory against Cyprus in their Euro 2016 qualifier clash.

Buffon wins 150th cap but De Rossi turns hero to villain as Italy match-winner sees red in fiery win over rivals Bulgaria

Italy 1-0 Bulgaria: Daniele De Rossi turns from hero to villain as both sides finish with

Daniele De Rossi converted an early penalty and was later sent off as Italy beat Bulgaria 1-0 in a Euro 2016 qualifier which saw goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon win his 150th cap for the hosts on Sunday. De Rossi scored with a twice-taken penalty in the sixth minute but blotted his copybook early in the second half when he was dismissed after clashing with Iliyan Mitsanski, who was also sent off. Buffon, who won his first cap in a World Cup qualifier away to Russia in 1997, rescued Italy with a difficult save from Giorgi Milanov in stoppage time.

Iceland qualify for Euro 2016 as group rivals Czech Republic also book place in next summer's finals in France

Czech Republic's team players celebrates after the Euro 2016 qualifying Group A soccer match between Latvia and  Czech Republic in Riga, Latvia, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Roman Koksarov)

Iceland were held to a goalless draw with Kazakhstan but it was enough to spark jubilant scenes as they qualified for Euro 2016.

Greaves fund hits £30,000 target as former England team-mate Cohen calls for big clubs to show more support

Jimmy Greaves, former footballer.


PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday May 4, 2015. Former England and Tottenham striker Jimmy Greaves suffered a severe stroke on Sunday and is in intensive care in hospital, his family has said. See PA story SOCCER Greaves. Photo credit should read Sean Dempsey/PA Wire.

File photo dated 10-06-2009.

Supporters of Jimmy Greaves have reached the £30,000 target to fund physiotherapy for the former England striker who suffered a severe stroke in May. Greaves, 75, left hospital in June.

Vettel: Don't take Italian GP off F1 calendar for s***ty money reasons... you'd be ripping our hearts out

Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel celebrates with a Scuderia Ferrari flag on the podium after placing second in the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 6, 2015.  AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLAROANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has pleaded with Bernie Ecclestone to keep the Italian Grand Prix on the Formula One calendar, describing the potential axe as like 'ripping our hearts out'.

FBI home in on alleged $10m bribe paid to Warner to secure vote for South Africa in 2010 World Cup bid

Indicted former FIFA vice president Jack Warner sits in his office on June 6, 2015 in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago. 

A member of Parliament, Warner has continued attending his constituencies after being released on bail from jail. He was indicted by the United States for allegedly taking a $10 million bribe to help South Africa win the race to host the 2010 World Cup.    

AFP PHOTO / DIEGO URDANETADiego URDANETA/AFP/Getty Images

NICK HARRIS: The manner in which South Africa were awarded the 2010 World Cup is central to the FBI's investigations. Bribery is suspected, specifically that a $10m payment was diverted.

$250,000 in a suitcase, how Germany bought the World Cup and shady deals that could lead FBI to Blatter's door

FIFA President Joseph Blatter, left, Franz Beckenbauer CEO President Germany 2006, center, and Fedor Radmann, delegate of the coordination for the bid to host the 2006 soccer World Cup, pose for photographers after a press conference in Zurich Wednesday, July 6, 2000. Germany won with 12-11 votes against South Africa. (AP photo/Walter Bieri)...S...SOC

ANDREW JENNINGS: The campaign to give the 2006 tournament to Germany involved the shafting of South Africa, wrapped up in a strategy to retain the FIFA presidency for Sepp Blatter.

Watch Rooney fluff his lines and Jones fail at skills school among hilarious collection of Manchester United video bloopers

Wayne Rooney among Manchester United stars to feature in funny bloopers video as players

Wayne Rooney, Marouane Fellaini and Daley Blind should not think about going into live television presenting after hanging up their boots if this video is anything to go by. The Manchester United trio all mucked up their lines while promoting team sponsors Chevrolet during the course of last season.

Martial looking to catch the eye and earn his first France start as United star warms up for Serbia

Manchester United new boy Anthony Martial bidding to make first France start in the

Manchester United new boy Anthony Martial was put through his paces alongside his France team-mates as they prepared for the international friendly match against Serbia on Monday. France are not involved in the qualification rounds for the European Championship next year owing to their bye as the host nation and are therefore just playing friendlies instead.

Scattergun spending, lack of youth team stars and naive hierarchy out of their depth... Manchester United are squandering Fergie's legacy

OLIVER HOLT: It is more than two years now since Sir Alex Ferguson and chief executive David Gill left and the reality is that the club have still not got their mojo back. They are still in a state of flux.

Van Gaal STILL wants to lure Bale or Ronaldo to Manchester United

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 29: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid competes for the ball with Alfred N'Diaye of Real Betis during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Betis Balompie at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on August 29, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Castillo/Real Madrid via Getty Images)

JOE BERNSTEIN: Manchester United will not be deterred in making future bids for Gareth Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo due to the fall-out with Real Madrid over David de Gea.

Martial 'has qualities to captain Man United and France'... says his brother!

Martial's brother believes he is capable of following Patrice Evra by captaining Man United

Manchester United's £36million new boy Anthony Martial can follow Patrice Evra and Thierry Henry by captaining his club and country, according to his brother Dorian.

What is wrong with Costa? Under fire in Spain for lack of goals and struggling with Chelsea, striker is pale imitation of the beast who ripped Premier League apart a year ago

Diego Costa is a pale imitation of the striker who lit up the Premier League last

ADAM SHERGOLD: Well, that didn't take long. Just eight games into his international career for Spain and Diego Costa is already being bombarded with criticism. After again drawing a blank for his adopted national team in Saturday's 2-0 win over Slovakia in Euro 2016 qualifying, Costa was seemingly the only topic of conversation.

Ace! Neymar steals cheeky kiss from Bouchard's twin sister Beatrice in New York

Brazil superstar Neymar shares cheeky Instagram snap with Eugenie Bouchard's twin sister

New York is currently playing host to an array of sporting talent, with Brazil's national football team and the world of tennis descending on the US city.  The two sports collided on Saturday night, when the twin sister of Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard shared a snap with Barcelona forward Neymar at the Red Bull Arena.

Walcott: England can conquer Europe, we're getting better and better

England's forward Theo Walcott celebrates after scoring during the EURO 2016 qualifying football match San Marino vs England at the San Marino stadium in Serravalle on September 5, 2015.  AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTOVINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images

Theo Walcott sees no reason why England cannot challenge for the European Championship crown after becoming the first nation to qualify for next summer's finals.

Rooney can prolong his career by moving into midfield, says Moyes

England's Wayne Rooney scores his side's first goal of the game from the penalty spot, to equal Sir Bobby Charlton's record haul of 49 goals, during the UEFA European Championship Qualifying match at the Stadio Olimpico di Serravalle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER San Marino. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to FA restrictions. Editorial use only. Commercial use only with prior written consent of the FA. No editing except cropping. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 or see www.paphotos.com/info/ for full restrictions and further information.

Wayne Rooney can extend his career by shifting focus away from his record-equalling goalscoring exploits, according to his former boss David Moyes.

Barkley's England career has been slow to ignite but this was a boost

England's Ross Barkley (left) celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game with Wayne Rooney during the UEFA European Championship Qualifying match at the Stadio Olimpico di Serravalle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER San Marino. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to FA restrictions. Editorial use only. Commercial use only with prior written consent of the FA. No editing except cropping. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 or see www.paphotos.com/info/ for full restrictions and further information.

MATT BARLOW: England goal No 49 for one graduate of the Everton academy and England goal No 1 for another. Wayne Rooney matched Sir Bobby Charlton and Ross Barkley got off the mark.

Low wary of Scotland backlash as Germany warm up for crunch qualifier at Hampden

Germany manager Joachim Low insists Scotland pose bigger threat following their shock

Joachim Low claims Scotland's defeat by Georgia will only increase their threat to Germany in their crucial Euro 2016 qualifier at Hampden Park on Monday night. An unexpected 1-0 defeat in Tbilisi on Friday night left the Scots in fourth place in Group D, a point behind the Republic of Ireland, as the world champions leapfrogged opponents Poland into top place with a 3-1 home win.

High hopes, Mario? Liverpool flop takes helicopter ride as he looks to get career restarted at AC Milan

Mario Balotelli flying high as he spends the international break posing in a helicopter 

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has taken a few hits in recent months but it seems the Italian is still flying high. The striker, on loan from Liverpool, took to Instagram on to show fans the views as he enjoyed a trip in a helicopter.

Brown knows only a top performance will suffice against Germany 

Scotland skipper Scott Brown concedes it will need an outstanding performance to get anything from Germany in Monday night's Euro 2016 qualifier at Hampden Park.

Cuadrado is just like Tevez... he has a point to prove here, says Juve chief

30.08.2015. Rome, Italy. Serie A Football. Roma versus Juventus. Juan Cuadrado is challenged by Iago Falque

New Juventus signing Juan Cuadrado has been compared to Carlos Tevez by the Italian side's general manager Beppe Marotta.

Just call me Gianfranco Clyne! Liverpool defender reveals he used to style himself on Chelsea hero Zola 

Nathaniel Clyne has revealed that he dreamed of becoming a striker when he was a youngster and styled himself on Gianfranco Zola because of his height.

Canada 18-47 Fiji: Matawalu fires warning to World Cup rivals England as Bath-bound star scores two tries in comfortable victory

Canada 18-47 Fiji: Niko Matawalu fires warning to England as Bath-bound star scores two

Niko Matawalu's two-try cameo fired England a World Cup warning as Fiji dispatched Canada at The Stoop on Sunday. The Bath-bound scrum-half bossed Fiji's fluent, potent back line under the shadows of Twickenham, 13 days before the Pacific Islanders will look to spoil England's World Cup party. Matawalu limped off gingerly just before half-time with a leg injury, but was clearly removed as a precaution and under little panic.

Gatland waiting on Halfpenny and Webb injury verdicts before calling on World Cup replacements as Wales face up to nightmare scenario

Wales coach Warren Gatland waits on Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb injury verdicts before

Wales boss Warren Gatland looks set to summon World Cup replacements this week after being hit by a savage double blow just a fortnight before his team's opening game.

Flying May inspires England to victory against Ireland as Red Rose head into World Cup with confidence boost

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 05:  Jonny May of England goes over to score the opening try during the QBE International match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on September 5, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

ENGLAND 21-13 IRELAND - SAM PETERS: Stuart Lancaster's men will breathe a little easier following a vast improvement on the debacle in Paris.

We're ready to win it! Lancaster insists England can be world champions

Stuart Lancaster insisted his England team is ready to win the World Cup after seeing them dismantle Ireland 21-13 in their final warm-up match at Twickenham.

World Cup call-up sparks ticket scramble for Scotland prop Reid 

Scotland's prop Gordon Reid runs as France's scrum-half Sebastien Tillous-Borde (L) tries to block him   during the rugby union test match between France and Scotland at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on August 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURELIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images

Gordon Reid was left beaming after booking his place at the World Cup - but the Scotland prop has been left with a headache trying to arrange tickets for his excited relatives.

Fiji coach confident team can spring a surprise when they face England

.

England have been warned that Fiji will enter their World Cup opener at Twickenham armed with the belief they can cause upsets in the most difficult group in the tournament's history.

Joshua insists he has 'no chance in boxing' if he fails to beat Cornish 

Anthony Joshua in sparring

Undefeated heavyweight Anthony Joshua wants to crush the Tartan Army when he comes up against proud Scotsman Gary Cornish at the 02 Arena next Saturday.

Finn tells England to move on from Stokes' controversial ODI dismissal

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 05:  Ben Stokes of England looks back at his wicket after diving to make his ground subsequently being given out for obstruction off the bowling of Mitchell Starc of Australia during the 2nd Royal London One-Day International match between England and Australia at Lord's Cricket Ground on September 5, 2015 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Steven Finn has urged England to put their anger over the controversial dismissal of Ben Stokes at Lord's behind them as they seek to stay in the one-day series against Australia.

Murray hopes his return stands firm as he bids to march on against giant Anderson 

Andy Murray hoping his return stands firm in US Open clash against Kevin Anderson 

Andy Murray is counting on his powers of return as he prepares to do battle with South African serve-king Kevin Anderson in the US Open last 16. Anderson rocketed 17 aces past Austrian Dominic Thiem in the third round at Flushing Meadows to climb to the top of the tournament table with 69, and he now plays Murray for a place in the quarter-finals.

Konta not feeling any pressure as Brit hopes to upset the odds again in last 16 clash against Kvitova

Johanna Konta says she is not feeling any pressure as Brit sets her sights on US Open last

Britain's surprise US Open success Johanna Konta insists she is feeling no extra pressure as she looks to upset the odds again by beating Petra Kvitova in the last 16. Konta arrived in New York with only one grand slam victory in her career but she now has three in a week, including two shock wins against ninth seed Garbine Muguruza and 18th seed Andrea Petkovic.

Serena sets up quarter-final clash with sister Venus after cruising past Keys

MIKE DICKSON IN NEW YORK: The next installment of Serena Williams' quest to complete the calendar Grand Slam could be the most dramatic or awkward yet - a quarter-final against her sister Venus.

Bouchard dream is over as she pulls out after freak locker room head injury

MIKE DICKSON IN NEW YORK: Eugenie Bouchard pulled out of the US Open tonight, still suffering from the concussive effects of slipping over and banging her head in the locker room on Friday night.

Bairstow in as Buttler is dropped for remaining ODIs against Australia

England's Jos Buttler has been left out of the remainder of the one-day series against Australia, with the wicketkeeping duties passing to Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow.

Montgomerie becomes first player to win three events in a row in European Tour and Senior Tour after Woburn joy

Colin Montgomerie became the first player to win three events in succession on both the European Tour and Senior Tour with victory in the Travis Perkins Masters at Woburn.

Nicholls lines up experienced chaser Join Together to help Pendleton in her ambitious bid to ride at Cheltenham

Victoria Pendleton before her first race during the Bank Holiday Fun Day at Ripon Racecourse, Ripon. Picture date: Monday August 31, 2015. See PA story RACING Ripon. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Trainer Paul Nicholls is lining up experienced chaser Join Together as the perfect schoolmaster for Victoria Pendleton in her ambitious bid to ride at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Bing

Season at a glance

  • Premier League
  • Premier League
  • Championship
  • League One
  • League Two
  • Scottish Premiership
  • Scottish Div 1
  • Scottish Div 2
  • Scottish Div 3
  • Ligue 1
  • Serie A
  • La Liga
  • Bundesliga
   

MORE STARS OF SPORT

LATEST MATCH REPORTS

.        

Rooney equals Sir Bobby's England goals record (and Coleen and Kai were there to see it) as Roy's boys secure Euro 2016 spot

San Marino 0-6 England: Wayne Rooney equals Sir Bobby Charlton goal record as Roy

ROB DRAPER IN SAN MARINO: Amidst rolling hills, basking in a balmy late summer sunset and over-looked by a mountain-top castle, a little piece of English football history was secured on Saturday night. The San Marino Stadium - capacity 4.378 - is not one most-intimidating arenas known to international football, nor is it home to the most-formidable opponents but that will not matter a great deal to Wayne Rooney.

Chile 3-2 Paraguay: Sanchez seals late win for Copa America champions

Chile 3-2 Paraguay: Alexis Sanchez seals a late win for the Copa America champions

 Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez scored in the 82nd minute as Chile beat an under-strength Paraguay 3-2 on Saturday, in their first match after winning their first Copa America in July.

The Aguero and Messi show: Superstar duo run riot with four goals between them as Argentina smash SEVEN past Bolivia

Argentina 7-0 Bolivia: Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi both net braces as Manchester City

A virtuoso performance from Sergio Aguero led Argentina to a 7-0 friendly win over Bolivia in Houston. The Manchester City forward is recognised as one of the world's premier goalscorers and a pair of deft finishes were in keeping with that reputation. But unusually, it was his creativity that stood out with wonderful passes for both of strike partner Ezequiel Lavezzi's first-half goals as Gerardo Martino's side led 3-0 at the break.

Germany 3-1 Poland: World Cup final hero Gotze scores twice to send Low's side top in thrilling encounter

Germany secured a 3-1 victory over Poland at the Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt on Friday night in their Euro 2016 qualifier. Bayern Munich pair Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze scored for the hosts.

Ireland boss O'Neill quietly confident of pipping Scotland to Euro 2016

Football - Gibraltar v Republic of Ireland - UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying Group D - Estadio do Algarve, Faro, Portugal  - 4/9/15
 Robbie Keane celebrates after scoring the second goal for Republic of Ireland
 Action Images via Reuters / John Sibley
 Livepic
 EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

Perhaps it was the heady effect of the Algarve sunshine but for a brief moment Ireland boss Martin O'Neill allowed himself to contemplate automatic passage to Euro 2016.

Wales could soar up to SECOND in FIFA World Rankings next month

graphic FINAL........jpg

These are heady days for the Welsh football team. Not only are they on the verge of qualifying for their first major tournament since 1958, they could rise to second in the FIFA Rankings

Costa is a great striker, insists Fabregas after Chelsea man nets just one goal in eight internationals

Spain's Pedro Rodriguez (L) and Diego Costa (C) look on as Slovakia's goalkeeper Matus Kozacik is shown a yellow card during their Euro 2016 qualification soccer match at Carlos Tartiere stadium in Oviedo, Spain, September 5, 2015. REUTERS/Eloy Alonso

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has backed team-mate Diego Costa amid criticism over his form on the international stage. The striker has scored just one goal in eight games for Spain.

Costa in 'diving' storm after winning Spain controversial penalty for Spain

PETE JENSON IN OVIEDO: David Silva took his stunning Premier League form on to the international stage to lead Spain to a 2-0 win over Slovakia but Diego Costa finds himself in hot water.

Northern Ireland move just one win away from Euro 2016 after Lafferty ends nervy Faroes battle

Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the UEFA European Championship Qualifying match at the Torsvollur, Torshavn. Picture date: Friday September 4, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Faroe Islands. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire.

FAROES 1-3 NORTHERN IRELAND: Manic Monday beckons for Northern Ireland. Victory over Hungary will send them over to the European Championship finals for the first time.

SIR CLIVE WOODWARD: Lancaster will have slept well after a hugely improved showing as back-row trio lead the way

SIR CLIVE WOODWARD: Stuart Lancaster will sleep well after hugely improved England's

That performance was so much better than Paris two weeks ago and I would not change the starting XV for the World Cup opener against Fiji. Much of the rugby England produced in a fine first half was top drawer and although the intensity slipped a little after half time and there is plenty to work on, the positives still shone through brightly. Remember this was a quality Ireland team - ranked third in the world and Six Nations champions - who were never going to just roll over. It was also important to expunge the memory of that poor England performance and defeat in Dublin earlier this year because these two could meet in the World Cup semi-final next month.

Argentina defeat Leicester in Ayerza Testimonial in final warm-up match 

Argentina defeat Leicester Tigers in Marcos Ayerza Testimonial in last Rugby World Cup

Argentina paid a fitting tribute to prop Marcos Ayerza and enjoyed a nine-try romp as they beat Leicester 55-34 in their last Rugby World Cup warm-up on Saturday. Ayerza was given a testimonial after nine years service at Leicester which saw him play 214 games and win four Premiership titles.

Will you have World Cup stars training around the corner? Here's your guide to where the 20 teams will soon be based...

England have set up camp at the luxury Pennyhill Park, but where are all the other 19

The Rugby World Cup is just two weeks away, with this weekend's final warm-up matches offering nations a final chance to put the finishing touches to their preparations ahead of the tournament.

Youngs makes case for a front-row seat at the World Cup as England hooker hits back at his critics

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 05:  Tom Youngs of England charges upfield during the QBE International match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on September 5, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Tom Youngs turned on his critics after helping England see off the Irish threat and boosting his own chances of a World Cup start against Fiji.

North insists injury comeback 'was never a big issue' as he returns

CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 14:  George North of Wales is tackled by Johnny Sexton of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on March 14, 2015 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Wales wing George North will make his first Millennium Stadium appearance for almost six months on Saturday after he 'ticked all the boxes' on a long comeback trail from injury.

England will peak in three years! RFU chief Andrew in astonishing gaffe just a fortnight before World Cup kicks off 

BAGSHOT, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03:  Sam Burgess passes the ball during the England training session held at Pennyhill Park on September 3, 2015 in Bagshot, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

CHRIS FOY: England's lack of experience could ruin their chances of winning the Rugby World Cup, says Rob Andrew, the RFU's professional rugby director.

May hopes the fight for No 11 shirt in World Cup opener is over after shining as England beat Ireland at Twickenham

England V Ireland, RWC warm up match, Twickenham.
 Picture Andy Hooper Daily Mail/ Solo Syndication
pic shows pic shows Jonny may try

Jonny May is praying he has finally won the fight for the No 11 jersey for England's opening clash with Fiji. 'I feel I've done as much as I can do,' he said after an impressive display against Ireland.

World Cup misery for Wales as Webb and Halfpenny are BOTH injured

.

NIK SIMON: The grim reaper of the Group of Death showed his face in Cardiff as Wales struggled to overcome Italy and suffered injuries to Rhys Webb and Leigh Halfpenny.

Back off Clive, we won't pull a fast one on the scrum, insists Edwards as he dismisses criticism of hooker selection

NIK SIMON: Shaun Edwards has rebuked Sir Clive Woodward after he expressed his belief that Wales are wrong to select just two hookers for the World Cup.

Did super agent Mendes cause De Gea deal to collapse? Man behind Ronaldo, Mourinho and more advised on United's £58m Martial move... but did he push Real too far?

Jorge Mendes is agent for Jose Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel di Maria, Pepe, Radamel

SPECIAL REPORT BY NEIL ASHTON: By the time Real Madrid got down to the nitty-gritty with Manchester United in the negotiations for the transfer of David de Gea, it had been another good day in the life of Jorge Mendes. The self-styled super agent - who boasts a stable of approaching 100 top-class footballers, with transfer values closing in on £1billion - had already been in the thick of the action over the astonishing £58million transfer of Monaco forward Anthony Martial. De Gea should have been another slam dunk, easy money for a man who picks up the phone to speak to Real Madrid's president Florentino Perez up to 20 times a day.

Chelsea legend Drogba scores perfect hat-trick on first start for Montreal Impact

Didier Drogba scores perfect hat-trick on first start for Montreal Impact as they edge out

MLS ROUND-UP: Didier Drogba scored a hat-trick in his first start for Montreal, leading the Impact to a 4-3 home win against Chicago Fire in the MLS.

Messi poses next to 6ft 5in NFL star JJ Watt as Argentina train in Texas ahead of Mexico friendly

Lionel Messi poses next to 6 ft 5 in NFL star JJ Watt as Argentina train in Texas ahead of

Lionel Messi is used to running rings around burly centre backs week in week out but you fear the Barcelona forward may have slightly more difficulty getting past NFL star JJ Watt.

EUROVIEW: Van Basten is not the answer to help fix Dutch decline

(L to R) Netherlands' assistant coach Marco Van Basten, head coach Danny Blind and assistant coach Ruud van Nistelrooy look on during the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying round football match between Netherlands and Iceland at the Arena Stadium, on September 3, 2015 in Amsterdam. AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYSJOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images

GRAHAM HUNTER: Dutch football, so often a benchmark for intelligence and quality, is in decline, in need of renovation - in need of vision and talent.

Barcelona 'consider shock move for Manchester City winger Navas' as part of quartet of January signings 

Manchester City winger Jesus Navas may find a move to Barcelona appealing after Kevin De Bruyne's arrival

CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST: Barcelona have set their sights on strengthening in January, with Jesus Navas part of a quartet earmarked to add goals at the Nou Camp.

SPECIAL REPORT: Inside the United vs Real transfer feud... meet the man who pulls the Spanish strings

PETE JENSON IN MADRID: Relations were already strained between the two biggest football clubs in the world...even before deadline day passed.

Real Madrid pledge £730,000 donation to aid refugees taken in by Spain

Real Madrid want to help sufferers 'flee from war and death' after the recent refugee crisis

Real Madrid are to donate one million euros (£730,000) to aid refugees taken in by Spain. The La Liga giants have followed in the footsteps of clubs such as Bayern Munich and Celtic.

Taxpayer to profit by just £200,000 next year after Olympic Stadium move despite footing £257m bill to convert it

West ham

NICK HARRIS EXCLUSIVE: The public purse will profit by just a few hundred thousand pounds next year when West Ham move into the Olympic Stadium.

Man United have third costliest squad in Europe behind City and Madrid... but which other clubs make top 20?

SWANSEA, WALES - AUGUST 30:  Juan Mata (R) of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal with Memphis Depay during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Manchester United at Liberty Stadium on August 30, 2015 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Premier League clubs dominate the European landscape in terms of money spent on their squads, with eight of the costliest teams in Europe's top divisions coming from England.

Sheringham won the Champions League, played under Ferguson and Clough... now he faces a new challenge at Stevenage   

Teddy Sheringham won the Champions League, played under Sir Alex Ferguson and Brian

JOE BERNSTEIN: For Teddy Sheringham, having 51 England caps and a Champions League winners' medal was not much of an advantage when he took his first team meeting at League Two Stevenage. 'I've been in dressing rooms as one of a crowd but never had 26 human beings looking at me waiting to be led,' says the former Manchester United and Tottenham star, who has just begun a managerial career at one of the England's smallest professional clubs.

REVEALED: One hundred and sixty six - the staggering number of players currently farmed out on loan by Premier League clubs

A staggering 166 players are currently plying their trade away from their parent Premier

Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli and Juan Cuadrado are just three of the 166 players currently on loan from Premier League clubs following the end of the summer transfer window. Premier League champions Chelsea are leading the way with 33 of their registered players currently plying their trade away from the club. Harry Redknapp recently criticised Chelsea for being allowed to loan out a whole squad to teams across the world, as it means Jose Mourinho cannot keep a personal check on his playing staff.

'Facts speak for themselves': United aim ANOTHER dig at Madrid as war of words over De Gea farce continues

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 02:  David de Gea looks on during the Spain training session at Ciudad de Futbol on September 2, 2015 in Las Rozas, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Manchester United have hit back at claims by Real Madrid over their supposed 'naivety' in handling David de Gea's failed move to the Bernabeu.

Bayern Munich chief calls for bigger TV deals for Bundesliga clubs to curb 'transfer tsunami' to Premier League

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has called for higher broadcasting revenues for Bundesliga clubs in order to be able to keep up with the spending power of the Premier League.

Cilic overcomes Chardy to reach quarter-finals and keep hopes of retaining title alive

Marin Cilic overcomes Jeremy Chardy to secure quarter-finals spot and keep hopes of

Defending champion Marin Cilic secured his passage through to the quarter-finals of the US Open after overcoming determined Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3 2-6 7-6  6-1 on Sunday. Coming off a punishing five-setter with Mikhail Kukushkin in a third-round match that lasted four hours, Cilic took a while to find his power game but was unstoppable once he did, the ninth seeded Croat blasting 23 aces past 27th seed Chardy, who had no answer.

Nadal must follow Federer's lead in adapting his playing style if he is to force his way back to top of the game

Rafael Nadal must follow Roger Federer's lead to force his way back to the top

While Roger Federer has somewhat reinvented himself these past eighteen months to manufacture a revival, Rafael Nadal continues to plough a similar furrow to that which he has always done.

Retiring Hewitt bows out of US Open after five-set loss to compatriot Tomic

Lleyton Hewitt bows out of US Open after five-set loss to compatriot Bernard Tomic

Lleyton Hewitt's US Open career ended with a five-set thriller as the veteran lost his all-Australian tie with Bernard Tomic after spurning two match points. Hewitt, who will retire after his final home grand slam in January, is renowned for his fighting spirit and he showed it again in New York as he battled from two sets and a break down to serve for the match at 5-4 in the decider. Tomic, however, ripped up the script against his friend and mentor to win 6-3 6-2 3-6 5-7 7-5 and book a third-round clash with Richard Gasquet

Bouchard sustains head injury slipping and falling in locker room

STUART FRASER IN NEW YORK: Eugenie Bouchard has been forced to withdraw from the US Open doubles events after the Canadian sustained a head injury in the locker room on Friday night.

Federer strolls into last 16 with straight sets victory over Kohlschreiber

Roger Federer, of Switzerland, reacts after winning a point against Philipp Kohlschreiber, of Germany, during the third round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

STUART FRASER IN NEW YORK: Roger Federer continued to breeze through the US Open draw with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over German No 29 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Williams still on for Grand Slam after comeback win over Mattek-Sands

Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates after defeating Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the U.S. during their match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 4, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Comeback queen Serena Williams staged another dramatic fightback to beat American wild card Bethanie Mattek-Sands at the US Open and keep her calendar Grand Slam dream alive.

RESULTS: Latest from men's and women's singles at Flushing Meadows

Keep track of all the latest results from the men's and women's singles at the US Open. Stick with Sportsmail for the best coverage from New York.

Cilic survives scare from unseeded Kukushkin to keep hopes alive

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 04:  Marin Cilic of Croatia shakes hands with Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan after defeating him in their Men's Singles Third Round match on Day Five of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 4, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Marin Cilic kept his US Open title defence on track but not without a scare as the No 9 seed needed over four hours to put away Mikhail Kukushkin to reach the fourth round on Friday.

Wozniacki wastes four match points before crashing out in thriller

Sep 3, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark sits in her chair against Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic (not pictured) on day four of the 2015 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports  / Reuters
 Picture Supplied by Action Images *** Local Caption *** 2015-09-04T043732Z_407844506_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_TENNIS-U-S-OPEN.JPG

Fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki spurned four match points as she crashed out of the US Open second round in a final-set tie-break against Petra Cetkovska

Honda at WAR: McLaren call for the sacking of engine boss as season hits new low

Honda at WAR: McLaren call for the sacking of engine boss Yasuhisa Arai as season hits new

JONATHAN MCEVOY: Internal feuding broke out in leafy Monza. Down at McLaren, where they have shown the patience of Job with engine makers Honda, fingers are finally being pointed in the direction of Japan. For the Mail on Sunday has learned that McLaren are so exasperated at Honda's woeful performance that they have written to the company's president, Takahiro Hachigo, calling on him to replace the head of their F1 division, Yasuhisa Arai. Little wonder. Honda's engine is both unreliable and underpowered. The litany of problems continued yesterday in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, with Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso 16th and 17th fastest - more than four-and-a-half seconds behind pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton.

Monza on the brink: Historic Italian circuit could be cut from the Formula 1 calendar

Monza on the brink: Historic Italian circuit could be cut from the Formula 1 calendar

JONATHAN MCEVOY: One of the Ferrari-red banners in the grandstand next to the start-finish straight at Monza reads: 'You cannot describe the passion. You can only live it.' 'Go Michael,' says another - the biggest of the lot - in homage to the stricken great, Schumacher. 'Go Kimi,' is written just behind it, in the white and blue of Raikkonen's national flag, of Finland. Just down along the road is one of motor racing's awesome sights, the steeply banked Parabolica curve that leads into the straight.

Button calls for closed cockpits to avoid further motor sport fatalities

Speaking ahead of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, Jenson Button has called for the immediate introduction of closed cockpits in single-seater motor-racing to avoid any further fatalities.

Lotus chief Carter optimistic about cash-strapped team's F1 future

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 04:  Matthew Carter, CEO of Lotus F1 looks on during a press conference after practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 4, 2015 in Monza, Italy.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Lotus boss Matthew Carter insists the cash-strapped outfit will survive the remainder of the F1 season. The British team, who had their cars and trucks released by bailiffs for this week's Grand Prix.

Button remains in our plans, insist McLaren despite worst-ever campaign

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 03:  Jenson Button of Great Britain and McLaren Honda walks with his wife Jessica Button in the paddock during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 3, 2015 in Monza, Italy.  (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier says it is the British team's intention to retain Jenson Button next season. For the second consecutive year Button faces an uncertain future at McLaren.

Fierce rivals McGregor and Aldo almost come to blows during UFC's 'Go Big' launch

Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo almost come to blows during UFC's 'Go Big' launch

The pair share a bitter rivalry, so it's no surprise that when you put Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo in the same building, fireworks are likely to be produced. The warring pair were at the UFC's 'Go Big' launch in Las Vegas, when they went toe-to-toe and were close to exchanging blows on stage. They had to be separated by security and president Dana White as the feud threatened to turn nasty before the pair even stepped into the Octagon. 

Englishman Slattery bounces back from erratic start to lift Russian Open prize

Lee Slattery bounces back from erratic start to hold off challenge of Estanislao Goya and

Lee Slattery bounced back from an erratic start to shoot a 2-under 69 on Sunday that was enough for a one-shot victory at the Russian Open.

Mayweather thanks tattooed 'superfan' for his support as he prepares for Berto Las Vegas bout

Floyd Mayweather takes to social media to thank tattooed 'superfan' for his support as he

Floyd Mayweather has taken to social media to thank one of his most loyal supporters. Mayweather posted a picture of a superfan, who has his back emblazoned with tattoos of the boxer, to his Instagram account.

Australia all-rounder Watson retires from Test cricket 

Australiaís bowler Shane Watson, right, talks to his team captain Australiaís Steve Smith during the one day international cricket match between England and Australia at the Ageas bowl in Southampton, England, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has announced his retirement from international Test cricket with immediate effect. He played in 59 Test matches for his country over 10 years

Warrington 46-16 Hull: Penny hat-trick caps belated first Super 8s victory

Warrington winger Kevin Penny claimed a hat-trick of tries and two assists as the Wolves belatedly claimed their first win in the Super 8s with a 46-16 victory over Hull at the Halliwell Jones stadium.

Rodriguez closing on Aru as Spaniard wins Vuelta a Espana stage 15    

Fabio Aru leads the Vuelta a Espana by just one second after Joaquim Rodriguez took the line on the 15th stage on Sunday. Rodriguez kicked on alone towards the end of the final steep climb on the stage.

Australia opener Warner out of rest of ODI series with a broken thumb

David Warner will miss the rest of Australia's Royal London Series campaign against England after breaking his thumb. Warner was hit by a short ball from Steven Finn and forced to retire hurt.

Ex-rugby league star Hayne makes San Francisco 49ers final 53-man roster

In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, San Francisco 49ers running back Jarryd Hayne (38) waves to fans after an NFL preseason football game against the San Diego Chargers in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. The 49ers won 14-12. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

While Efe Obada's Cinderella story took a backward step, Jarryd Hayne's inexorable march to the NFL was confirmed. Hayne was named on the San Francisco 49ers' initial 53-man roster.

Klinger ton helps Gloucestershire beat Yorkshire to reach one-day cup final

LEEDS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 06:  Michael Klinger of Gloucestershire in action during the Royal London One-Day Cup Semi Final between Yorkshire Vikings and Gloucestershire at Headingley on September 6, 2015 in Leeds, England.  (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Michael Klinger fired Gloucestershire into the Royal London One-Day Cup final with a glorious century as his side proved too good for Yorkshire at Headingley.

SAM TURNER'S RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Monday, September 7

ASCOT, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 05: Jamie Spencer riding Right Touch (2R) win The Bibendum Wine Ltd Handicap Stakes at Ascot racecourse on September 05, 2015 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Daily Mail racing expert Robin Goodfellow (Sam Turner) brings his hottest selections for Monday's meetings at Perth, Windsor and Brighton.

Collett steeled for her Blair bewitch project in Perthshire next month

MARCUS TOWNEND: If those who peddled hurtful rumours about the accident which claimed the life of Kauto Star were hoping to unsettle Collett, they had not reckoned on her inner steel.

The new Henry? Martial has the same pace, skill and hatred of losing as Thierry had, reveals coach who taught both as kids

Even at six, Manchester United's £58m teenager Anthony Martial just could not handle

ADAM CRAFTON IN PARIS: It is the morning after the night before in the Paris suburb of Les Ulis and the scene is one of frenzied excitement. Inside the clubhouse of the local football club, coach Mamadou Niakaté flicks through the newspapers and switches on the TV, eagerly awaiting his appearance on the major sports channel. At the entrance, the charming mayor of the district, Francoise Marhuenda, has arrived to congratulate the club on the prestige and attention that they have bestowed on her town.

HOT OR NOT: Green cards are rotten. What's next? Apples for managers?

.

Sportsmail's Laura Williamson runs the rule over who has enjoyed a good week in the world of sport and who has had one to forget.

JEFF POWELL: The transfer window must be shut for good. It is making a mockery of the game we love

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 02:  David de Gea looks on during the Spain training session at Ciudad de Futbol on September 2, 2015 in Las Rozas, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

The time has come for someone to smash this accursed transfer window to smithereens. It is ruining the game. Not least by prostituting the old profession of management.

CHRIS FOY: Andrew cool on England hopes... but maybe he's right

On reflection, Rob Andrew will doubtless concede that the eve of a home World Cup is perhaps not the occasion to emphasise the senior England team's long-term potential.