Ronaldo is back in Manchester; Give Simon Zebo a break

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Cristiano Ronaldo joins teammates during a walkabout inside Old Trafford on Monday night. Photograph: Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo joins teammates during a walkabout inside Old Trafford on Monday night. Photograph: Getty Images

It is now 10 victories on the spin in all competitions for Arsenal, after Mesut Özil pulled the strings in a 3-1 home victory over Leicester City last night. Tonight the attention switches from Premier League to Champions League, and Manchester United welcome Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford. Ronaldo’s homecoming of sorts is a reminder “of happier past associations for a player who was, in that three-year spell, the best the league has seen.” Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City travel to take on Shakhtar Donetsk, and the Catalan manager is calling for the fans to show more enthusiasm and belief in Europe.

In his column this morning, Gerry Thornley calls on rugby fans to give the big-hearted Simon Zebo a break, he deserves it: “For sure it’s understandable that some people found Zebo’s actions were distasteful. You wouldn’t have blamed Lowry for decking him . . . A big-hearted, good-natured, generous person, as evidenced by his contributions to various charities, he even said this was not the example he wanted to set his kids. He made a mistake.” The IRFU launched their strategic plan for the next five years yesterday, which included plans to reach the World Cup semi-finals or better in both 2019 and 2023.

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