Steve McClaren is confirmed as Derby County’s new head coach, just 17 months after he was sacked by the Championship club. “I am excited to be back at Derby County as the club’s manager and I have a great affiliation with the club, having been here on three previous occasions,” McClaren told Derby’s official website. “I’m really delighted at the prospect of finishing what we started back in September 2013. I regret how my time at Derby ended back in 2015 and am very motivated to put things right for the club and our supporters. “My ultimate aspiration remains exactly what it was before, to take Derby County back to the Premier League.”
A power cut interrupted the World Cup qualifying match between Venezuela and Brazil in the Venezuelan city of Merida on Tuesday night. Brazil were leading 2-0 when the floodlights suddenly went dark in the 74th minute of play. The match had to be stopped for 22 minutes until some of the lighting went back on. During the blackout, some Venezuelan fans chanted anti-government slogans and called for a recall referendum.
1860 Munich forward Ivica Olic has been suspended for two games and fined £18,000 for gambling on matches, including in the league he plays in. The German Football Association (DFB) said there was “no evidence of betting manipulation” and the 37-year-old had not bet on his own side’s matches. But its rules do not allow players to gamble, or use a third party to do so. The DFB said the bets, made between 26 August and 11 September, included nine on games in the German second division.
Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has extended his contract until 2022. The 26-year-old, who arrived at the Bernabeu from Bayern Munich for a reported £24m in 2014, has scored four goals in 108 games for Real. Spanish newspaper AS claims Kroos’ new deal will earn him £346,000 a week.
Former referee’s chief Keith Hackett has criticised the appointment of Manchester-based referee Anthony Taylor for Monday’s meeting of Manchester United and Liverpool. Taylor lives six miles from Old Trafford, which Hackett believes could lead to allegations of partiality. “No-one is questioning his integrity,” Hackett said. “But what if something goes wrong? It would be intolerable.” Taylor has no United ties and supports National League North side Altrincham.
Romania players said cash and personal items were stolen from their hotel rooms while they were training for their World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan on Tuesday. An adviser to Romanian Football Federation told DolceSport TV: “We didn’t find out who stole the money and all the objects.” At least 12 players had cash stolen while the team masseur said his tablet had also been taken. Romania are third in the group with five points from three games, two points behind leaders Montenegro. Kazakhstan are fifth with two points.
Paris Saint-Germain and Ivory Coast defender Serge Aurier has been praised after “saving the life” of Mali forward Moussa Doumbia on Saturday. After Doumbia was knocked unconscious in a challenge with Sunderland’s Lamine Kone, Aurier intervened to stop the Rostov player swallowing his tongue. Mali’s manager Alain Giresse added that he spoke to Aurier after the game to thank him for his “superb reactions”. Ivory Coast went on to win the home 2018 World Cup qualifier 3-1 in Bouake. “All the players realised that Doumbia was choking and was about to swallow his tongue,” Giresse told French radio station RMC. “That’s when Aurier, with one of our players, quickly put him on his side and pulled out his tongue, because he was about to lose his life.” However, Aurier later caused controversy by making a throat-slit gesture towards the crowd after his side’s third goal.
Former Manchester United great Eric Cantona has backed Jose Mourinho’s squad to get back to challenging for top honours, three years since they last won the Premier League. “It’s just the beginning. Manchester can still be champions. Jose Mourinho is a successful manager at a successful club which this year has successful players,” the former French international told Portuguese daily newspaper, Publico. “But this is an extremely difficult championship, full of great teams and great managers like Pep Guardiola,” he added.