EVERYTHING happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is because you’re stupid and make bad decisions.

That was very much the case for Aussie cricket cheats Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft who were embroiled in sandpaper-gate in March 2018 where they admitted to tampering with ball against South Africa.

But where is karma when you need it? Smith, who was stripped of the captaincy and given a one-year international ban for his part in the scandal, owned the first Ashes Test as England went 1-0 down.

On Day One the 30-year-old batsman scored 144 as his side recovered from 122-8 to 284 all out at Edgbaston.

Karma finally turned up on Day Three with Warner and Bancroft both out as the Aussies started badly with figures of 27-2 chasing down England’s 374 first innings total.

But Smith saved his side, posting an almost identical score (142) to become just the second man this century to score centuries in both innings of an Ashes Test after Matthew Hayden in 2002.

The Aussies ended up thrashing the hosts by 251 runs and England need a quick response in this week’s Second Test or could find themselves with a mountain to climb.

FRANK LAMPARD overseeing Chelsea’s worst ever start to a season left the Blues legend as surprised as Jeffrey Epstein was when he ‘committed suicide’ in his cell.

The Premier League kicked off this weekend and some things never change. Champions Manchester City handed out a thrashing, Liverpool sit firmly on their coat-tails and Manchester United got a soft penalty at Old Trafford.

United versus Chelsea was the stand-out match and it did not go well for new boss Lampard. A shock 4-0 loss was the Blues’ heaviest EVER opening day defeat in what is their 104th league season.

Lampard had already tasted success in his short managerial career against United when his Derby side beat them 10-9 on penalties in the League Cup last campaign.

But the Blues legend, now boss at Stamford Bridge, had less enjoyable times against the Red Devils as a player – winning just four times and losing 10 in 17 league appearances.

Lamps felt that same misery this weekend as he suffered the heaviest defeat by a Chelsea manager in his first match in charge since Danny Blanchflower lost 7-2 to Middlesbrough in December 1978.

And the bad news kept on coming as the Blues ended the day in the Premier League relegation-zone for the first time since September 2000!

Tammy Abraham and Emerson both hit the woodwork before Kurt Zouma lazily dangled a leg at Marcus Rashford who needed no invitation to go over before brushing himself down to convert the spot-kick.

Further strikes from Rashford, Anthony Martial and Dan James lent a flattering look to the scoreboard as Chelsea had more shots (18-11), more on target (7-5), more corners (5-3) and more possession (54%-46%). But only one stat really counts – the goals for tally.

If owner Roman Abramovich is going to be patient with anyone, it is Chelsea’s 211-goal record scorer. Off the pitch Lamps is slicker than a boiled onion but he was the one left with tears in his eyes on Sunday.

It was the first time Old Trafford fans got a glimpse of their new defender Harry ‘Slabhead’ Maguire.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer paid a whopping £85m for Maguire – a pound for every square centremetre of head – or an entire Champions League winning defence (Andy Robertson £8m, Virgil van Dijk £75m, Joel Matip £0 and Alexander-Arnold £0) with £2m to spare.

Talking of the Reds they kicked off the new campaign by putting four past a stunned Norwich inside 42 minutes but whatever Jurgen Klopp & Co can do, Man City make it their business to go one better.

So it was no surprise when the champions won 5-0 away at a West Ham side who collectively were as handy as hip pockets on a hog.

Also unbeaten after the first round of fixtures are Tottenham who had the added joy of seeing not one but two of those rarest of things – a Harry Kane goal in August.

Arsenal and more surprisingly Brighton and Burnley also sit proudly on three points, while it already looks like it could be a long season for the likes of Southampton, Watford and Norwich.

AND finally it’s been oh so quiet . . . no moaning, eye-gouging, rude gestures, blaming referees for defeats, kicking bottles, conspiracy theories, chewing out his own players, snarling and belittling rivals.

Jose Mourinho is STILL without a managerial job since being unceremoniously dumped by Manchester United last December.

But the Portuguese popped up in the Sky studios as a pundit this weekend and the disrespectful comments were soon flowing as he slammed Frank Lampard’s naïve tactics.

Now remind me who was the boss who lost 4-0 at Old Trafford in 2016 – in the HOME dugout – or was manager of Chelsea when they were smashed by Spurs 5-3 in 2015 or who lost 3-0 at Stamford Bridge to MIDDLESBROUGH in 2006???

I wish he would zip it as it’s nice when toxic people stop talking. It’s like the bins took themselves out.

Tweet @BabsDouglasBP

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