Hamilton vows to bounce back from S'pore disappointment

GAVE OF HIS BEST: A forlorn Lewis Hamilton after finishing third to race winner and teammate Nico Rosberg at the Formula 1 
Singapore Grand Prix yesterday. 

Lewis Hamilton unleashed everything he had in his arsenal last night to stop Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg from retaking the championship lead, but it came to naught in the end.

The Englishman ended the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix just as he started it: Third behind race winner Rosberg and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

From a two-point lead before the night race at the Marina Bay street circuit, he now trails the German by eight points.

There was a hint of sarcasm at the post-race press conference that he was not at the top step and had to settle for third.

"No, I am not disappointed at all, definitely not," Hamilton told the media.

"But first of all, big congratulations to Nico, he drove fantastically well all weekend and fully deserved the win.

"Very tough day today, as always it is here in Singapore.

"This weekend has just been a bit of a tricky one for me, but I'm still glad I could get back up on the podium and get some points for the team."

Hamilton endured a difficult weekend.

During Friday's practice he was forced to miss almost the entire session because of a faulty hydraulic valve.

It cost him the necessary set-ups to fight for pole during Saturday's qualifying.

When team engineers ordered him to go easy on his brakes as he was pushing to catch the two frontrunners in last night's race, he shot back: "Is the other car (Rosberg's) having the same problems?"

It smacked of the accusations early in the season when he struggled while Rosberg won the first four races.

But Hamilton said he was struggling with his brakes as they were overheating and he had to slow down.

"I was just looking at different ways to try and get them back under control," said the defending world champion.

"Eventually once I did my second or third stop, all of a sudden my brakes were under control.

"But of course, towards the end I still got a bit of heat in them.

"I have a lot of support here this weekend and I just want to say a big thanks to everyone for coming out and we'll keep pushing."

With six races left in the championship, the title battle is expected to go down the wire.

The next race is in Malaysia in two weeks' time, and asked if he expects to get a better car, the 31-year-old said: "We have a good car. We've got to have a good weekend (in Malaysia).

"We've closed the gap from 43 points earlier this year, so theoretically the margin of eight points isn't anywhere near as steep as that.

"But still, Nico's been performing fantastically well.

"This weekend he's done an amazing job.

"I expect him to continue like that so I've got make sure that I do the same."

Tags: Formula 1

Mourinho lays blame on officials, players

WRONG CALL, REF: Jose Mourinho believes that referee Michael Oliver should have disallowed Etienne Capoue's opener following a strong challenge by Miguel Britos on Anthony Martial in the build-up.
Premium content not available

Mourinho's inexplicable loyalty to Rooney is costing United

Manager's refusal to drop Rooney shows fear and weakness

TWO OF A KIND: Wayne Rooney plays at all cost under Jose Mourinho (above).
TWO OF A KIND: Wayne Rooney (above) plays at all cost under Jose Mourinho.


(Etienne Capoue 34, Juan Zuniga 83, 
Troy Deeney 90+5-pen)


(Marcus Rashford 62)

Wayne Rooney shouldn't be in Manchester United's line-up.

On current form, he shouldn't be on the bench because there is no form, just a series of abject, bewildering performances.

But the fault no longer lies with a declining legend, fast turning into an exhausted thoroughbred being told to perform tricks at a travelling circus.

It lies with the ringmaster. And Jose Mourinho looks a jaded leader.

The 3-1 loss at Watford leaves United in a crisis, a genuine, red-light blinking crisis, not because of a third defeat in three games, but because of the underlying weakness in the dugout.

Mourinho's misplaced belief in presenting himself as a dignified, respectful club statesman, rather than the outspoken dictator that made him the most successful manager in the game is damaging United.

The new Mourinho feels like an imposter because the old Mourinho would drop Rooney.

The old Mourinho would usher a wounded giant towards a lucrative pension elsewhere.

At Real Madrid, Mourinho made a statement with Raul, a messianic figure among the Madridistas, ignoring the icon's resume and focusing only on his form. There wasn't any. Raul's Real career was just about done.

The parallels between Raul and Rooney are uncanny except in the most obvious regard. Rooney remains an omnipresent footballer at United.

Against Watford, the club captain began in midfield, finished in the No. 10 role and contributed nothing in either position. His passing was typically erratic and he was dispossessed far too easily.

But Mourinho left his club legend to wander further into the wilderness for the full 95 minutes.

The on-going obsession with Rooney is valid in this instance because his selection hints at tactical and leadership indecision in the dugout.

Rooney's involvement essentially negated the pace of Marcus Rashford, who rarely saw the ball until his goal. More importantly, the skipper forces the world's most expensive signing into a less effective position.

Paul Pogba was once again desperately below-par, but he's partially out of position and entirely out of sync with his partner.

Pogba and Marouane Fellaini go together like Clinton and Trump, an elegant, industrious midfielder alongside an unapologetic bruiser.

Lost in Watford's five-man midfield, Pogba misplaced passes far too often, scarcely resembling the Juventus powerhouse of last season.

He niggled and scrapped and picked up a booking, struggling to hide his frustration. Apart from an outstanding strike that crashed against the crossbar, his contribution was negligible. He wasn't alone.

For much of the game, United were uninspired and pedestrian.

Mourinho's greatest successes were always built on a pragmatic 4-2-3-1 that relied on incisive wingers and a totemic presence up front. 

On paper, United have that. In reality, they are mimicking that insufferable meandering under Louis van Gaal.

From the boardroom to the cheap seats, United's support base grudgingly acknowledged that the Mourinho model of 2016 was a compromise, an appointment out of necessity rather than choice.

They weren't expecting sublime football. They were expecting success. If this laboured dross endures, they're going to get neither.

Every decision reeks of a safety-first caution, the antithesis of United's greatest sides and it appeared contagious.

Anthony Martial has lost both confidence and a cutting edge. His clumsy contribution to Watford's goal will generate discussion, but the "was he fouled" debate misses the point.


He was too slow in making a clearance. He faced the wrong direction and then lost his footing. Daryl Janmaat's eventual cutback led to Etienne Capoue's lovely side-footed finish.

United improved in the second half - against a side with only one win before last night - and a rare splash of speed earned an equaliser.

Rashford, who often resembled a scampering toddler playing football with his grandparents, played an intelligent one-two with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The young striker met the Swede's cross, but his header was blocked. Rashford reacted fastest to hammer home the rebound.

Whether United warranted an equaliser was debatable, but proved a moot point when Watford found their sensational second goal from an unlikely source.

Substitute Juan Zuniga had enjoyed less than a minute of the match when he curled in an exquisite strike past David de Gea.

And worse was still to come for United.

In the 95rd minute, Troy Deeney smashed in a penalty, turning the hosts' dreams into a dizzying reality.

United's reality, on the other hand, is the stuff of nightmares.

Three defeats in three games hurt. The first loss to Watford in 30 years irritates. But the real crisis rests between manager and captain.

Mourinho will never lift United until he drops their fallen idol.

Something’s not right there. The cohesion of the team isn’t there. Mourinho needs to find the right mix of players.

— Former Man United midfielder Paul Scholes

Bayern enjoy best start in club's history

Premium content not available
Tags: Football

Karanka: Opening goal changed the game

Premium content not available
Tags: Football

2 good

He's one hard to please manager, but Koeman dishes out praise on two of his players

REVIVAL: Barkley (above) put up a performance to please the manager.
OUTSTANDING: Barry (above) scores on his 600th Premier League appearance.
Premium content not available
Tags: Formula 1

Milik brace sends Napoli top

Premium content not available
Tags: Serie A

Chun all the way

South Korean does it in style with lowest score in Majors

Chun In Gee.
Premium content not available

Iran cyclist's death mars Paralympics

Premium content not available

Murray puts Brits back in fight

Premium content not available