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Liverpool v Arsenal, Puskás Award outsiders and Japan’s strangest sports | Classic YouTube

1) It’s Liverpool v Arsenal this weekend, and there’s only one place to start as we dig into the archives – a match so famous, it’s got its own documentary. Jumping forward 20 years to 2009, and Andrey Arshavin bags all four in a 4-4 draw. Unai Emery would surely take that: recent trips to Anfield have seen the Gunners lose 4-1 in 2007, 5-1 in 2014, 4-0 in 2017 and 5-1 again last season. Happier memories for travelling fans: a late Robin van Persie winner in 2012, and an FA Cup & Carling Cup double three days apart in January 2007.

2) Saturday’s Challenge Cup final sees St Helens and Warrington fight for the famous trophy at Wembley for the first time. Wire have lost two of the last three finals, including an historic defeat to Catalans Dragons last year.

Warrington’s last Challenge Cup success came in 2012 against Leeds, while Saints haven’t nabbed the trophy since 2008, when they completed a hat-trick of Wembley wins with victory over Hull FC. Here’s a fan’s-eye view, and a memorable scrap from the game. It’s been 32 years since St Helens lost a Challenge Cup final to a team other than Wigan, when Halifax caused a shock in 1987.

3) The 2019 Puskás Award shortlist has been announced, with Zlatan, Lionel and Andros all included. It’s not all about famous names though – Penang’s Mohd Faiz Subri won in 2016 for this jazzer, while Stephanie Roche came second in 2014 with this spot of sorcery. As for 2017, Olivier Giroud’s scorpion kick was good but unlike runner-up Oscarine Masuluke, he’s not a goalkeeper. There are already some early contenders for the next list. Aritz Aduriz’s acrobatic winner for Athletic Bilbao earned him a dressing-room ovation, while Anderson Díaz didn’t need his teammates in a Colombian U21 game. And for a spot of nominative determinism, perhaps Reading’s George Puscas deserves a place (here’s his solo run against Cardiff in full).

4) In the County Championship, Sussex’s Tom Haines takes a tumble after an exuberant appeal for lbw, with Tim Linley reminding us of his own pratfall in the comments. With hits to the helmet a big talking point this week, Leicestershire’s Mark Cosgrove provided a lighter moment against Durham:

County Championship

Who’s the better header of a ball, @cozzie99 or @HarryMaguire93? 😂

August 21, 2019

5) Nick Kyrgios was at it again in Cincinnati, labelling the umpire “the worst ref ever” before smashing a pair of rackets in the corridor. Perhaps he can take a leaf out of Daniil Medvedev’s book. The Russian won the title in Ohio, beating Novak Djokovic on the way, after putting his own bad-boy ways behind him. The Russian squared up to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Miami last year, and memorably threw coins at the umpire after his Wimbledon exit in 2017 – before quickly apologising.

6) Over in Portugal, Sporting’s under-17s try to keep things simple early on. After all, if the opposition don’t have the ball, they can’t score … ah. Also this week in rank incompetence, who thought this graphic was a good idea?

1) The Japanese pursuit of Shudan-Kodo is a sort of competitive mingling, with an unexpectedly white-knuckle finale in the first clip. Here’s a full 10 minutes of synchronised action, with a highlight reel below:

2) More antics from Japan with the sport of Bo-Taoshi, which is … well, it’s easier if you just watch it.

3) Liverpool give Spurs an absolute coating back in 1978 with an array of brilliant team goals – not least the seventh, a long-passing clinic finished off by Terry McDermott.

4) Downhill gravity racing. How? We’re not sure. Why? We don’t know. But it looks good.

Spotters’ badges: whobroughtoranges, hick405, GrahamClayton.

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EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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