WHAT today papers are saying:
SUNDAY TIMES: Mark Hughes’ future at Queens Park Rangers was looking increasingly uncertain last night as the club’s owner, Tony Fernandes, issued a statement that fell short of backing the manager after a 3-1 home defeat to fellow strugglers Southampton, which left them four points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League. Also: Eight times have Manchester United overturned a deficit to claim victory this season. Last night, in the chill of a Norfolk evening, it was ninth time unlucky as a heroic Norwich City refused to buckle once Anthony Pilkington headed the winner on the hour...Sebastian Vettel is poised to clinch the Formula One drivers’ championship today, having qualified his Red Bull on pole position for the American Grand Prix at Austin - seven places ahead of Fernando Alonso, his only title rival.
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: England suffered a significant defeat in the first of three crucial matches at Twickenham which will determine the seedings for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Also: QPR owner Tony Fernandes last night declared he had done all he could to “give support” to the club’s management and players amid angry calls from fans for Mark Hughes to be sacked...Roberto Di Matteo was involved in an angry dressing-room inquest into Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat at West Bromwich Albion yesterday.
SUNDAY MIRROR: Andre Villas-Boas last night refused to blame Emmanuel Adebayor after Spurs were thrashed in the north London derby. Also: Chelsea’s hopes of landing Radamel Falcao have been boosted after Manchester City turned down the chance to bid for the Colombian striker...Referee Mark Clattenburg expects to find out his fate from the FA by Wednesday night...Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is a target for Italian champions Juventus...Barcelona are prepared to concede defeat to Real Madrid over the chase for Gareth Bale - unless the Welshman pushes, Cesc Fabregas-style, for a move.
DAILY STAR SUNDAY: Paris Saint Germain are ready to offer £40million for Mario Balotelli in January - and trigger a tug of war for the Italian striker with AC and Inter Milan. Also: Sir Alex Ferguson would love to have Cristiano Ronaldo back - but he knows the Real Madrid ace is “unbuyable”...England did their best to put a woeful first innings behind them as they followed on 330 runs behind against India at the Sardar Patel Stadium.
SUNDAY PEOPLE: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is planning to blow away his rivals with a bid for Crystal Palace sensation Wilfried Zaha. Also: Roberto Di Matteo is ready to wield the axe on his stars as Chelsea head into a crucial week...Manchester united reject Anthony Pilkington knocked Sir Alex Ferguson off the Premier League summit...Roy Keane is suing Sunderland - four years after leaving the Stadium of Light.
THE SUN: Alex Ferguson watched Manchester United squander the chance to regain top spot - then admitted he would love to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo. Also: Roy Hodgson has effectively ended John Terry’s and Rio Ferdinand’s England careers...Newcastle are threatening to take FIFA and Senegal to court following a furious row over striker Pap Cisse...Luis Suarez was caught in a fresh storm last night when Roberto Martinez accused him of a stamp.
SUNDAY EXPRESS: Mark Hughes was facing the axe last night - but insisted he would not be quitting rock-bottom QPR. Also: Stuart Lancaster last night refused to point the finger of blame after suffering his first Twickenham defeat as England boss...Matt Prior admitted that England had been gripped by “panic” in the first innings of the first Test against India - but backed them to fight their way to a gutsy draw.
SUNDAY INDEPENDENT: England’s hopes of an autumn clean sweep, and breaking into the big league occupied by the southern hemisphere at the top fo the world rankings, fell apart in a shattering defeat by Australia. Also: Tony Fernandes, the QPR owner, last night apologised to the club’s fans following their 3-1 home defeat by Southampton.
THE OBSERVER: The England head coach Stuart Lancaster told his players to keep trusting their attacking instincts after they turned down four chances to kick penalties in the second half against Australia at Twickenham before losing by six points. Also: Andre villas-Boas refused to lay any shred of criticism at the feet of Emmanuel Adebayor, despite the striker’s 17th-minute red card representing the turning point in Tottenham Hotspur’s 5-2 derby defeat at Arsenal...Sebastien Vettel is poised to make it a hat-trick of Formula One world championships in his 100th Grand Prix today.
MAIL ON SUNDAY: Carlos Tevez unveiled an arresting new goal celebration as Manchester City raced to the top of the table with a 5-0 victory over Aston Villa. Also: David Beckham, set to quit LA Galaxy next month at the end of the current Major League Soccer season, has been swamped with offers from clubs around the world hoping to provide him with the chance to extend his playing career...Britain looks certain to welcome back the Tour de France in the next three years, with a decision on a proposed Grand Depart in 2014 or 2015 expected within weeks.