From the Back Pages, July 2: WATCH: Lionel Messi’s incredible dribble ties Paraguay defenders in knots to help Argentina book place in Copa America final

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Argentina thrashed Paraguay 6-1 in Concepcion on Tuesday night to book their place in the Copa America final, with one particular moment in the match drawing gasps from the viewing public. With Gerardo Martino’s side 3-1 up, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi went on a solo run through the Paraguayan back-line to create Argentina’s fourth. (Daily Mail)

So it transpires you can be sacked for who you are as much as for what you do. Nigel Pearson’s abrupt defenestration at Leicester City, amid claims by the club of “differences in perspective”, could more accurately be distilled as a toxic clash of personalities. He had, quite frankly, become a liability, his habit of revelling in his image as a brutish, unreconstructed PE teacher anathema to Thai owners who have set great store by moral rectitude and a spirit of goodwill. In an age when a Premier League manager is required to be at least plausibly ambassadorial, Pearson’s incorrigible narcissism offered as solid a pretext as any for being fired. (The Telegraph)

Liverpool have announced they have completed a move for England right-back Nathaniel Clyne from Southampton. (The Independent)

ON the eve of the British Grand Prix many believe the sport is running out of gas, dying on its feet, boring and losing fans in their droves. (The Express)

The British No 1 tennis player Heather Watson has hit back at the “cowards” who have sent her death threats on social media. Following an emphatic straight sets victory over the former world No 5 Daniela Hantuchova, Watson said trolling messages had become such a usual occurrence that she had stopped checking her social media accounts, but that the abuse usually came from gamblers, “because you either win or lose them money”. (The Guardian)

FIFA president Sepp Blatter insists he has a clean conscience and that anyone who calls him corrupt should be sent to jail. (The Mirror)

Adil Rashid gets nod with selectors nurturing spirit of adventure. There was no surprise that there were no surprises. England had signalled their intentions by taking a 14-man squad on a jolly to Spain over the weekend, including all those defeated by New Zealand at Headingley, a number whittled down by one when the squad for the opening Investec Ashes Test was announced yesterday. (The Times)

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