Penalty flops and flips, Grand Fi­nal mem­o­ries and Park­our 3.0

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1) Riyad Mahrez sub­mit­ted his ap­pli­ca­tion for foot­ball’s Hall of Shame, Penal­ties Blazed Over di­vi­sion with his launch­ing of his spot-kick into or­bit over An­field on Sun­day. He joins a select group of top play­ers who mis­tak­enly plumped for power. For Eng­land, David Beck­ham v Turkey in 2003 and Chris Wad­dle v West Ger­many in 1990 come clos­est to mind. So does Roberto Bag­gio in the 1994 World Cup fi­nal, with bonus Brian Moore com­men­tary. Per­haps Jaap Stam for Hol­land v Italy in Euro 2000’s semi-fi­nal is the all-time clas­sic of the genre, though.

2) Rubin Kazan youth player Norik Av­dalyan shows Mahrez, Beck­ham, Wad­dle et al how it’s done with this as­ton­ish­ing back­flip penalty.3) Satur­day, 6pm at Old Traf­ford and it’s the Su­per League Grand Fi­nal be­tween Wi­gan War­riors and War­ring­ton Wolves. These teams, near-neigh­bours, have his­tory be­tween them, as shown by this New Year’s Day 1988 en­counter, or “world war three” as it’s known. More re­cently in the Su­per League era, they met in the 2016 fi­nal, with Wi­gan win­ning 12-6 and in 2013’s fi­nal, when Wi­gan pre­vailed 30-16. War­ring­ton also man­aged to lose their other fi­nal, in 2012, to Leeds Rhi­nos. Wi­gan are go­ing for their fifth ti­tle, hav­ing won the very first Grand Fi­nal back in 1998, beat­ing Leeds 10-6, with this try from Ja­son Robin­son the key mo­ment.

4)An Ital­ian paraglider finds a novel and dan­ger­ous way to check out the moun­tain scenery of Il Bel Paese.

5) Joshua Bubba John­son is the 350pound run­ning back for Calumet high school in Gary, In­di­ana who brings back fond mem­o­ries of Wil­liam “the Re­frig­er­a­tor” Perry, the sub­ject of this raprock cross­over clas­sic.

6)Af­ter 53 at­tempts, freestyle skier An­dri Raget­tli mas­ters a park­our course like no other.

Our favourites from last week’s blog 1)An­other one for the “ter­ri­ble tack­les” col­lec­tion: Sol Davis for Lu­ton against Stoke in 2007.

2) If your browser didn’t sup­port the 360 viewer for Alex Hon­nold’s free solo of El Cap­i­tan, here’s the trailer for the heart-stop­ping doc­u­men­tary about the climb.

Spot­ters’ badges: Stu­art Mans­field, Kevin Daw­son.

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Robert ... oh! Pho­to­graph: Chris Wilkins/AFP

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