Good morning to everyone but especially to…
ERLING HAALAND AND MANCHESTER CITY
It seems like the only thing that can stop Erling Haaland from scoring is, well, his dominance earning him some rest. That was the case Wednesday, at least, when the Norwegian superstar scored twice before being subbed off at halftime as Manchester City routed FC Copenhagen, 5-0.
- Haaland now has 19 goals in 11 matches for City, including five in three Champions League appearances.
- Had he been left in for the second half, he could have notched his second straight hat trick; he in Premier League action against Manchester United.
- Haaland’s first goal Wednesday came in the seventh minute, when he pulled off a defender and rifled in a first-time right-footed shot off a deflected cross. The second, in the 32nd minute, came after Kamil Grabara made a great save, but the rebound resulted in an easy tap-in for Haaland.
All he does is score and score and score. Manchester City has taken a perfect nine points from three Champions League matches so far.
- LeBron James admitted that he the much rumored NBA Las Vegas expansion franchise
- Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr. was just five weeks after getting shot in the leg twice and could debut this weekend.
- Speaking of incredible recoveries, Giants lineman Nick Gates over a year after a career-threatening injury.
And not such a good morning for…
The Warriors arestar forward Draymond Green after he got in a physical altercation at practice, according to reports.
- Green reportedly got in a heated argument with Jordan Poole on Wednesday and, after the two confronted each other and pushing and shoving ensued, Green “forcefully struck” Poole. The practice was paused in an attempt to calm things down.
- It’s not the first time Green and Poole have gotten into it at practice, but this time “a line was crossed,” according to the report.
- It’s not yet known what the potential discipline could include.
Green is one of the most fiery players in the NBA and is well known for his trash-talking and his on- and off-court antics, but this is surprising to hear and unprecedented. The Warriors begin the regular season Oct. 18 against the Lakers.
Not so honorable mention
- The Royals manager Mike Matheny.
Thursday Night Football preview: Can Broncos or Colts shake off slow starts? 🏈
Tonight’s game features two teams that thought a veteran quarterback was the missing piece and are quickly finding out that adding a proven quarterback doesn’t automatically translate to wins.
Matt Ryan and the 1-2-1 Colts are in Denver to take on Russell Wilson the 2-2 Broncos. How have those vets guided their new offenses? The Colts rank last in offensive points per game this season (14.3), and the Broncos are tied for second-to-last at 16.0.
- Ryan leads the NFL with eight turnovers. He’s been sacked on nearly nine percent of his dropbacks, which would set a career high, and he’s only throwing the ball 6.3 yards downfield on average, second shortest in the league ahead of Kyler Murray.
- Wilson is completing just 61 percent of his passes, on pace to be the worst of his career. He’s also on pace for career lows in passer rating and touchdown percentage. He’s been uncharacteristically inaccurate with a 14.5 percent off-target rate.
- Both teams will be playing without their top running backs: Jonathan Taylor is while Javonte Williams is with a major knee injury. Colts star linebacker Shaquille Leonard (concussion/nose/back) .
One clear advantage for Denver is that Wilson is 9-2 on Thursday since entering the league in 2012. Only Tom Brady has more Thursday wins over that span. It’s, writes NFL expert Cody Benjamin.
- Benjamin: “In this matchup, Hackett will be challenged to balance Wilson’s health — the QB ‘dinged’ his shoulder against Las Vegas — with leaning on Wilson’s best skill (i.e. throwing deep). K.J. Hamler came alive on the receiving end of a Wilson bomb in Week 4, and theoretically the speedy wideout can get by an Indy secondary that’s got older and/or banged-up safeties in Rodney McLeod and Julian Blackmon. Then again, Russ is also built to feed off the run, which means veteran Melvin Gordon and newcomer Latavius Murray, just signed off the Saints‘ practice squad, should have a heavy hand in the game plan.”
Here’s NFL guru Tyler Sullivan’s thoughts on.
MLB postseason: Who’s on the roster bubble for playoff teams? ⚾
Well, the MLB season is over, and we get one day to catch our collective breath before the playoffs begin tomorrow. and here are .
In the American League:
- No. 5 Mariners at No. 4 Blue Jays (winner faces Astros)
- No. 6 Rays at No. 3 Guardians (winner faces Yankees)
And in the National League:
- No. 5 Padres at No. 4 Mets (winner faces Dodgers)
- No. 6 Phillies at No. 3 Cardinals (winner faces Braves)
While we get a 24 hour break, the people in charge of building their teams’ rosters do not. Choosing who to take into the postseason and who not to is nerve-wracking. A 162-game season has boiled down to a best-of-three series. Which end-of-the-roster guy could be a hero?
Our baseball expert R.J. Anderson took a look at, including…
- Anderson: “Francisco Álvarez, C/DH, Mets — Álvarez made his big-league debut only last weekend, but he’s eligible for the postseason and the Mets might deem him a necessary addition to their playoff roster. Part of that is because Álvarez is a talented young catcher with game-changing power; part of it is because the Mets lack capable right-handed bats. The Mets are expected to be without starting outfielder Starling Marte for at least the Wild Card Series because of a broken finger. Deadline addition Darin Ruf is also injured, and he hasn’t been effective since arriving in town.”
As for everything else from the final day of the regular season.
Champions League wrap-up: Chelsea finally wins, Real Madrid remains perfect ⚽
While Haaland stole the show again, he and Manchester City weren’t the only team that played yesterday. There were seven other matches, including another top English side getting its first Champions League win of the year.
Chelsea beat AC Milan, 3-0, behind goals from Wesley Fofana, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Reece James. While three players found the score sheet, , writes soccer reporter James Benge.
- Benge: “After weeks of increasingly interminable debate over the relative merits of Trent Alexander-Arnold in an England shirt, here was a reminder that the other options are hardly scrubs either. Indeed James might have a case to be ranked alongside his Liverpool counterpart at the very peak of his position globally. Over the past year, he has quite possibly been the very best.“
Here are our takeaways from Wednesday, and here are all of the results:
- Red Bull Salzburg 1, Dinamo Zagreb 0 (Group E)
- Chelsea 3, AC Milan 0 (Group E)
- RB Leipzig 3, Celtic 1 (Group F)
- Real Madrid 2, Shakhtar Donetsk 1 (Group F)
- Manchester City 5, FC Copenhagen 0 (Group G)
- Sevilla 1, Borussia Dortmund 4 (Group G)
- Benfica 1, Paris Saint-Germain 1 (Group H)
- Juventus 3, Maccabi Haifa 1 (Group H)
You can see the group standings through three matches here.
What we’re watching Thursday 📺
⚽ UEFA Europa League, 12:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Paramount+