Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling hit two goals apiece as England thrashed Bulgaria 6-0 in a Euro 2020 qualifier amid racist behaviour from fans in Sofia.

Marcus Rashford and Barkley had Gareth Southgate's men two goals to the good midway through the first half when play was stopped and a message relayed over the public address system at Vasil Levski National Stadium, urging home supporters to cease their abuse.

In between Barkley and Sterling continuing an emphatic response to the Three Lions' surprise defeat to the Czech Republic, there was a further lengthy delay.

The match appeared under threat of abandonment at that stage, as a group of fans were ejected, but England resumed their punishment of over-matched opponents – captain Harry Kane laying on Sterling's second and completing the scoring five minutes from time.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 700th goal of his professional career during Portugal's Euro 2020 qualifier against Ukraine on Monday.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner brought up his septuple century for club and country when he converted a second-half penalty in Kiev, awarded after Taras Stepanenko handled the ball inside the box.

It was his 95th goal for Portugal, with only Iran's Ali Daei (109) ahead of him on the all-time international goals list.

The bulk of Ronaldo's goals came for Real Madrid – 450 over the course of nine seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu between 2009 and 2018.

The 34-year-old has continued to be a prolific operator at Juventus, scoring 32 times for the Bianconeri – including 24 in their triumphant Serie A campaign last season.

Ronaldo only scored five times for boyhood club Sporting CP before earning a move to Manchester United in 2003, where 118 strikes helped to make him a hero at Old Trafford.

He has 10 goals so far in 2019-20, with some way to go before getting close to the most prolific season of his career. In 2011-12, when Madrid unseated Barcelona as LaLiga champions, Ronaldo scored a scarcely believable 69 goals overall.

Play was stopped twice before half-time during the Euro 2020 qualifier between Bulgaria and England after the visiting players were subjected to racist abuse.

Following their surprise loss to the Czech Republic on Friday, England stormed into a 4-0 lead at the interval, with Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling on target either side of Ross Barkley's brace.

But events on the field became secondary as pre-match fears England players would be targeted by racist chants were unfortunately realised.

Sterling clashed with Bulgaria winger Wanderson after being fouled by Ismail Isa Mustafa in the 25th minute and a stoppage followed, with an appeal made over the stadium's public address system urging those offending fans to desist.

It was 3-0 by the time England boss Gareth Southgate entered conversation with the fourth official, preceding another more prolonged break in play – during which a group of Bulgaria fans were ejected from the stadium.

Under UEFA's protocol for dealing with racist incidents, the next steps for match referee Ivan Bebek would be to suspend the game and send the players to their dressing rooms for a specific period and then, if discriminatory behaviour did not stop or broke out again, abandon the match.

Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones have returned to training with Manchester City.

Influential midfielder De Bruyne started this season in superb form, racing to eight assists in the Premier League.

But a groin problem kept him out of City's past two matches, including a lacklustre 2-0 loss at home to Wolves last time out that left Pep Guardiola's men eight points shy of leaders Liverpool in England's top flight.

Stones has been out with a hamstring injury since mid-September – an absence that has been keenly felt after Aymeric Laporte underwent knee surgery.

It left Nicolas Otamendi as City's only specialist senior centre-back, with midfielder Fernandinho pressed into action alongside the Argentina defender in recent weeks.

Sergio Aguero was not selected alongside his compatriot Otamendi for games against Germany and Ecuador over the international break, with Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni claiming "he's been carrying a problem and has not been training 100 per cent with his club".

However, City's all-time record goalscorer took part in Monday's session alongside Stones and De Bruyne.

City resume their Premier League title defence at Crystal Palace on Saturday before looking to make it three wins out of three in the Champions League when they entertain Atalanta next Tuesday.

Former Italy international Giuseppe Rossi is to train with Villarreal, the LaLiga club have announced.

Rossi spent five and a half years with Villarreal before leaving in 2013 and still leads their all-time scoring charts with 82 goals, 22 of those from the penalty spot.

The 32-year-old has been without a club since leaving Genoa in July 2018 and spent time training with another former side in Manchester United earlier this year.

However, Villarreal confirmed on their official website on Monday that the United States-born striker will join up with their first team on Tuesday as he continues to seek a new club.

Rossi has also previously represented Newcastle United, Parma, Fiorentina, Levante and Celta Vigo across his 15-year senior career.

Paddy McNair scored twice as Northern Ireland's sublime first-half showing was enough to earn a thrilling 3-2 win over the Czech Republic on Monday.

Michael O'Neill's side suffered a disappointing Euro 2020 qualifying defeat to Netherlands on Thursday but bounced back in style with a superb opening 45 minutes.

McNair got them on their way with a fine finish in the ninth minute before Jonny Evans doubled the advantage midway through the opening period.

The impressive McNair scored a second five minutes prior to the break before the hosts set up a tense finale with two goals in as many minutes from Vladimir Darida and Alex Kral in the second half, but the away side saw out the win.

The visitors started with a spring in their step and powered into a ninth-minute lead.

Liam Boyce's pass from the left wing found McNair on the edge of the penalty area and the Middlesbrough midfielder took a touch past Ladislav Krejci before slotting into the bottom-right corner.

They deservedly doubled their advantage midway through the first half when Evans reacted quickly after a goalmouth scramble from a corner to scoop home his fourth international goal.

McNair then scored his second after 40 minutes, latching onto Steven Davis' throughball before rounding the onrushing Jiri Pavlenka and slotting into an empty net.

The hosts improved markedly after the restart and reduced the deficit with quick-fire goals in the 67th and 68th minutes.

First, Darida crashed an effort into the roof of the net from Zdenek Ondrasek's lay-off before Kral superbly whipped into the bottom corner from 18 yards after turning inside Craig Cathcart.

The resurgent hosts did most of the pressing in the closing stages – Ondrasek rightly seeing a goal ruled out in stoppage time after he had bundled the ball out of Michael McGovern's hands – but Northern Ireland ultimately held on for an impressive win on the road.

What does it mean? First-half blitz too much for hosts

O'Neill said this game could be good practice ahead of a potential Euro 2020 play-off and he will be delighted with the way his side went about their business inside the opening 45 minutes. He will be less pleased with the way they lost focus in the second half, allowing the Czech Republic to get back into the game courtesy of some sloppy defending. 

McNair makes his mark

After scarcely featuring for Middlesbrough last season, the 24-year-old is very much back in favour this campaign, starting every game for the Championship side. That is bearing fruit for his country, with the former Manchester United man scoring two fine goals in what was a superb display at the heart of the Northern Ireland midfield.

Simic run ragged by visitors

Making just his second appearance for his country, Stefan Simic endured a game to forget. He was consistently out of position during a torrid opening 45 minutes and suffered the ignominy of being hauled off at the break.

What's next?

The Czech Republic round off their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with Group A games against Kosovo and Bulgaria next month, while Northern Ireland face a daunting double-header against Netherlands and Germany.

Tottenham have re-signed free agent goalkeeper Michel Vorm on a short-term deal to provide cover for injured skipper Hugo Lloris.

The 35-year-old had been without a club since being released by Tottenham when his contract expired at the end of last season.

However, with Lloris out for the rest of 2019 with an elbow injury sustained in the 3-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on October 5, the Premier League side have moved to bring in Vorm until the end of the season.

Ex-Netherlands international Vorm, who made 47 appearances in all competitions for Tottenham during his previous five-season spell in north London, has again been assigned squad number 13.

He will likely act as back-up to Paulo Gazzaniga when Mauricio Pochettino's side return to action with a home match against Watford next Saturday.

Doug Pederson stated the Philadelphia Eagles are "going to win" when they come up against the Dallas Cowboys in a crucial NFC East showdown.

The two teams both hold 3-3 records following road defeats in Week 6, the Eagles going down to the Minnesota Vikings while the Cowboys surprisingly slipped up on the road against the New York Jets, meaning they have lost three on the spin.

In an appearance on WIP radio, Philadelphia head coach Pederson acknowledged the need to overcome their rivals so they can control their own destiny in a tight division.

"Anytime Dallas loses it helps, because here's the thing - I know the sky is falling outside," Pederson said. "It's falling and I get that and the fans are real.

"We're going down to Dallas, our guys are gonna be ready to play. And we're going to win that football game and when we do we're in first place in the NFC East, we control our own destiny, we're right where we need to be.

"Has it been perfect or beautiful or all of that? No. But all we need to do is try to be 1-0 this week, beat the Dallas Cowboys, we're in first place.

"Listen, they're reeling too. They're struggling too. They dropped their last three games so this will be an exciting football game."

When 'Morning Show"' host Angelo Cataldi noted his confidence, Pederson said he had to remain upbeat for "the guys in the locker room".

"I have to be. I am," Pederson said. "I see - when I watch the tape, I put the tape on and I go, 'okay, there are coachable moments, there are teachable moments on the tape that we can get better at as an offense and as a defense'.

"I'm also optimistic that some of our injured players in the secondary will make a return this week, and we'll see. But I've got to stay positive not only for myself but for the guys in the locker room."

German second-tier side St Pauli have released Cenk Sahin after the midfielder showed support for Turkey's military operation in Syria on Instagram.

The club launched an investigation after Sahin used the social media platform to support the armed offensive against Kurdish-held regions in Syria via a post that has since been deleted.

Sahin received criticism for the post and St Pauli released a statement on Friday distancing themselves from it as it "is not compatible with the club's values".

A club review has now been completed, with Sahin released.

"The internal review of Cenk Sahin's Instagram post on the deployment of the Turkish army in Syria has been completed. After further talks between club officials and the player, Cenk Sahin has been released from his training and playing duties with immediate effect," a club statement read. 

"The prime factors in reaching the decisions were his repeated disregard for the club's values and the need to protect the player.

"After numerous discussions with fans, members and friends whose roots lie in Turkey, it has become clear to us that we cannot and should not attempt to gauge nuances in perceptions and attitudes from other cultural backgrounds in detail. That we reject acts of war is not open to doubt or discussion, however. These acts, and the expression of solidarity with them, run counter to the values of the club.

"The existing contract will remain valid in the first instance. For the protection of all the parties involved, FC St. Pauli is granting Cenk Sahin permission to train with and play matches for other clubs."

Tyrone Mings will make his international debut in England's Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia.

The Aston Villa centre-back has been selected ahead of Everton's Michael Keane, with England boss Gareth Southgate ringing the changes after Friday's surprise 2-1 loss to the Czech Republic.

Ben Chilwell comes in at left-back for the suspended Danny Rose, whose Tottenham team-mate Harry Winks will operate at the base of the midfield as Declan Rice drops to the bench.

Southgate has turned to two relatively more experienced heads in the form of Ross Barkley and Marcus Rashford, who replace Mason Mount and Jadon Sancho respectively.

It was only a matter of time before Mercedes broke Ferrari's record by sealing a sixth consecutive Formula One constructors' titles.

The Silver Arrows were celebrating yet again after achieving that feat at the Japanese Grand Prix, where Valtteri Bottas took the chequered flag ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton finished third.

Mercedes have held the title since dethroning Red Bull in 2014, dominating the sport with Hamilton winning four titles during that time and standing on the brink of another this season.

We look back on the level of dominance the Brackley-based team have enjoyed.

 

2014 - A sign of things to come

Red Bull had taken the title for four years in a row before Mercedes ended that sequence in 2014.

Hamilton claimed his second world title - and his first for the team - ahead of colleague Nico Rosberg and the Silver Arrows duo amassed 701 points to win by a margin of 296.

They won 16 races and secured 31 podium finishes in a dominant season which was the sign of things to come.

 

2015 - More of the same with a marginal gain

Mercedes bettered their tally for the season by two points as Hamilton retained his title, Rosberg once again runner-up.

They matched the number of victories secured in 2014, as well as the incredible total of 18 poles for the campaign.

There was an additional podium finish for the back-to-back constructors' champions by 275 points ahead of Ferrari as rivals were left trailing in their wake.

 

2016 - Rosberg reigns as Mercedes move to another level

The Silver arrows took their dominance to another level in 2016, winning 19 of 21 races. 

While Mercedes were never in danger of losing their constructors' title, finishing 297 points better off than Red Bull, Hamilton and Rosberg fought it out in an enthralling battle for the drivers' crown.

It was Rosberg who came out on top on this occasion by just five points and the German retired after a season that saw Mercedes fail to secure pole only once and amass 33 podiums.

 

2017 - New line-up, no let-up

A new driver line-up did not stop Mercedes from adding another constructors' title to their haul two years ago.

Normal service was resumed as Hamilton regained the title, denying Vettel by 46 points with Bottas third in the standings after taking Rosberg's seat.

There were 12 wins, 15 poles and 26 podium finishes for Mercedes in 2017 as Ferrari were more competitive, although the Scuderia were still as many as 146 points adrift of the constructors' champions.

 

2018 - Ferrari close the gap, but Mercedes clean up again

A promising start for Vettel and Ferrari last season proved to be a false down as Hamilton claimed his fifth world title.

Ferrari finished with 84 points fewer than Mercedes as Hamilton and Bottas took the chequered flag 11 times between them.

Mercedes were not quite as prolific in qualifying, taking pole 13 times as their points tally was down at 655 from 668 12 months earlier.

 

2019 - Six of the best

With four races remaining Mercedes already have one title in the bag, with Hamilton closing in on another.

A win for Bottas in Suzuka and Hamilton's third place has the champions on 612 to Ferrari's 433.

Mercedes have only failed to win five of 17 races, which makes for grim reading for their rivals.

Ligue 1 side Toulouse have announced former Paris Saint-Germain boss Antoine Kombouare as their new head coach.

Kombouare, who led PSG between 2009 and 2011, replaces Alain Casanova after his contract was ended by mutual agreement last week.

The 55-year-old was appointed Dijon coach in January but parted ways with the club at the end of the campaign.

He has signed a deal until June 2021 with Toulouse, who are 18th in Ligue 1 after picking up just nine points from their opening nine games. His first match in charge will be at home to Lille on Saturday.

Tom Brady will not attempt to persuade former New England Patriots team-mate Rob Gronkowski to come out of retirement.

Tight end Gronkowski retired during the offseason and has since moved into the media, starting work as an NFL analyst for Fox.

Ahead of the game between his old team and the New York Giants last Thursday, the 30-year-old said on television he would need to be "feeling it big time" to make a playing comeback.

In his absence, tight ends Ryan Izzo and Matt Lacosse have combined for only nine receptions for 169 yards and one touchdown for the Pats, but quarterback Brady feels Gronkowski is now "at a different phase of his life".

"I'm so happy that he's enjoying his time, his life. He seems to really be doing a lot of great things," Brady said during his weekly appearance on WEEI, a Boston sports radio station.

"He knows how I feel about him. I want what's best for him. He's the only person that can make those decisions. I don't lobby for those things.

"He's given a hell of a lot to our team already over a long period of time, and I think people should be very appreciative for what he's brought to the team and what he's brought to the region.

"I think he's just a very special guy. He's at a different phase of his life."

Patriots owner Robert Kraft sparked speculation over a return recently when he said Gronkowski had yet to file his retirement papers. Kraft added that he would "pray and hope" that the three-time Super Bowl champion may yet play again.

New England are 6-0 this season and sit first in the AFC East. They make the trip to divisional rivals the New York Jets in Week 7.

Steve Hansen is "quite happy" to see Japan on the opposite side of the draw to New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup - but knows Ireland will be a tough test in the quarter-finals.

Tournament hosts Japan qualified for the knockout stages for the first time in their history, Sunday's hard-fought victory over Scotland also seeing them finish top of Pool A.

The 28-21 result means the Brave Blossoms next face South Africa, who were second in Pool B, rather than New Zealand, with the two-time reigning champions instead going up against Ireland. 

Pleased to avoid one of the in-form teams still left standing, Hansen praised the way Japan's players had lifted their nation after the devastation caused by Typhoon Hagibis.

"Without a doubt they'd have to be considered like they are playing and performing like a Tier One nation," the All Blacks head coach told the media. 

"They're now in the top eight in the world on performance and they're playing quality rugby, so I think Japan should be very, very proud of them.

"What a marvellous thing for the tournament, you know they've given the game a boost I think, they've given Japan Rugby a boost, and they've given the Japan people a boost after what was a pretty horrific weekend.

"People have said, 'Who do you want to play?' Well, they're the on-form team, so I'm quite happy they're on the other side of the draw."

New Zealand hardly have it easy in the last eight, though, as they go up against opponents who topped the world rankings prior to the World Cup.

Ireland have also won two of the three previous meetings between the teams, including a 16-9 triumph in Dublin when they met in November 2018.

"Obviously we're facing Ireland so we know that, that's the best part, we know who we're playing," Hansen said. "They're a quality side, they've been number one this year.

"I think their last three results are loss-win-loss [for New Zealand] - there won't be any complacency in their camp, so it's pretty exciting. We're right where we want to be.

"We enjoy playing them and that doesn't change because they've beaten us a couple of times.

"A lot of people are getting caught up in the past, it's about what's going to happen on Saturday that is going to matter, anything that's happened prior to that is irrelevant."

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