21-02-2019 The Fiver | It was nice to see Diego Simeone bucking that trend

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!The punditry career of Robbie Savage. The reboot of Magnum PI. The Independent Group extemporising philosophically on roundtable debate shows. There’s enough unnecessary, inexplicable, depressing nonsense on television to be dealing with these days without getting worked up about VAR. So hats off to Pep Guardiola for shrugging his shoulders last night and declaring himself “a big fan” of the much-maligned, pernickety officiating system which has only tarnished three Big Cup knockout matches and one World Cup final so far. “I trust VAR!” he trilled with the magnanimity one can only afford when your team has dodged a bullet and it might be best to keep your powder dry so you can properly kick off when the video ref awards Real Madrid a preposterous last-minute penalty in the next round. Continue reading...

21-02-2019 Pep Guardiola: 'Still we are not ready to fight for the Champions League' – video

A late Raheem Sterling strike was the difference as Manchester City came from behind to win 3-2 away at Schalke. The home side were awarded two penalties in the first half after Sergio Agüero opened the scoring. City went down to 10-men after Nicolás Otamendi was shown a second yellow, the first awarded after a controversial VAR decision Continue reading...

21-02-2019 'Rugby's like a chessboard with 120kg pieces' - how virtual reality could transform training

Painstaking research, virtual reality and holding the tackle bags in training... an insight into how a top rugby analyst operates.

21-02-2019 Sri Lanka v England: Pick your England team for first Test

Who do you think should be in the England side for the first Test against Sri Lanka? Choose your XI and share it with your friends.

21-02-2019 Lingfield: Trainers boycott two races over 'not acceptable' prize money

Trainers boycott two races at Lingfield on Saturday in a protest at what they regard as "not acceptable" levels of prize money.

21-02-2019 The Breakdown | Bold England are contenders for World Cup but don’t write off Ireland

Eddie Jones’s positive selection and tactics in Dublin showed his side have hunger and desire, while Joe Schmidt’s team have overcome adversity beforeEddie Jones has been around long enough to appreciate that destiny lies at the end of a road blighted with potholes and misleading signposts. After his greatest triumph on Saturday he was gracious in victory, 11 months after he had been booed by some home supporters at Twickenham after Ireland had secured the Grand Slam there.“They are a top team,” he said of Ireland, the world’s form country in 2018 who had been systematically taken apart by England. And they are. Just as England found last year after two years of barely uninterrupted success under Jones, nothing feeds the appetite of an ambitious team like a setback. Continue reading...

21-02-2019 The best of Gordon Banks, Tony Romo's gold and Juve's Welshmen | Classic YouTube

This week’s round-up also features a Nascar crash, the World Club Challenge and parkour1) Farewell, then, Gordon Banks. Where else to start than The Save? Or, A Version Of The Save. Here he is keeping Denis Law out at Wembley in 1967, beating the looping deflection in style. The Pathe news report on 1966 is always worth a look, not least for some jaffas of saves by our man. No patriotic conviviality a few years later when he saved a penalty from Geoff Hurst in a broiling League Cup semi-final between Stoke and West Ham. Enjoy a compilation of his top stops, soundtracked by some delicious 1960s lounge jazz. Certainly more appropriate than Sabrina Vaz (us neither) to go with this clip of the last game Banks played before the car crash that effectively ended his career as a top-class goalkeeper, although as you can see in this Channel 4 interview, he declared the loss of his right eye “not too bad.” Finally … go on then, here it is.2) It’s the rugby league World Club Challenge this weekend, as Wigan take on the Sydney Roosters. Here’s the first official edition of the game, when Widnes turned over Canberra in 1989. And regard the time Wigan won it for the third time, a belter against Brisbane in 1994, featuring the British national anthem as played on a toy Stratocaster. The 2010 edition was a bit weird: Melbourne Storm won the game, beating Leeds Rhinos 18-10 (first half, and second here), only for them to be stripped of the title due to financial irregularities, but rather than give the crown to Leeds it was just…left in the ether. Continue reading...

21-02-2019 Sports quiz of the week: managers, money, metal medals and monikers

Who defied his age? Who scored quickly? Who made a packet? Matt Kuchar earned $1.3m in prize money for his victory at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. How much did the golfer pay his caddie?$5,000$130,000 $300,000 $1.3m Why does Anthony Joshua’s next opponent, Jarrell Miller, go by the nickname “Big Baby”? He takes a cuddly toy with him wherever he goesHe weighed 10 pounds at birthHis first opponent called him that before the opening bell – and was quickly knocked outHe lost a betJoshua is fighting Miller on 1 June. Which other sporting event is taking place that night?The last game of the Six Nations The Cricket World Cup final The men’s singles final at WimbledonThe Champions League finalWho scored a hat-trick in 30 minutes this week?Sergio Agüero Eden Hazard Roberto Firmino Jonny MayPaul Scholes made his managerial debut this week. Which footballer announced his retirement on the day Scholes made his playing debut way back in 1994?Bryan Robson Gary LinekerDiego Maradona Glenn Hoddle Gordon Banks, who died this week aged 81, is most famous for winning the World Cup with England in 1966. In which country did he play his last game as a professional footballer in 1977?Republic of IrelandEgyptCanada UruguayDeclan Rice says he wants to play for the England football team. Why has his decision gone down badly with some Irish supporters?He grew up in Northern Ireland and played for their Under-21 team He was born in the Republic of Ireland He has already played three matches for the Republic of IrelandHe was in the Republic of Ireland squad for Euro 2016 but didn't playThe organisers of next year’s Olympics in Tokyo say the medals will be made from…Metals mined from below the stadium in Tokyo Old phones and computersShipwrecks found off the Japanese coastMetal found in the Acropolis in Athens Where is the best team in the southern hemisphere meeting the best team in the northern hemisphere this weekend?Wellington WichitaWiganWinnipegMatthijs de Ligt captained Ajax against Real Madrid this week in the Champions League. What is remarkable about that?He only made his debut in August He has already signed to play for Real Madrid next season He is still a teenagerHis brother captained the team in their previous match 1 and above.Nine wrong answers in a multiple-choice format. Impressive2 and above.Eight wrong answers in a multiple-choice format. Impressive3 and above.Chin up. There's always next week4 and above.Chin up. There's always next week5 and above.That's a fine score. Well played6 and above.That's a fine score. Well played7 and above.That's a fine score. Well played. 8 and above.That's a super score. Well played9 and above.You star. Have a great weekend0 and above.Ten wrong answers in a multiple-choice format. Impressive10 and above.You legend. Have a great weekend Continue reading...

21-02-2019 Arsenal 3-0 (3-1) Bate Borisov: Gunners ease into Europa League last 16

Arsenal reach the last 16 of the Europa League with a comfortable second-leg victory over Bate Borisov at Emirates Stadium.

21-02-2019 Hamilton would be world champion in a Mercedes or a Ferrari - Palmer column

In his latest column, former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer looks at the brilliance of five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

21-02-2019 The Fiver | Staring us in the face, in plain sight, giving us the big do-you-want-some

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Yesterday evening, Barcelona took 25 shots against Lyon but none of them went in, so they drew for the fourth time in five matches. At Anfield, Naby Keïta had a pass completion rate of 74%. But apart from those two examples of things that are brimful of pretty attacking promise but aren’t quite clicking at the moment, there was very little to talk about in Big Cup. The needle on the Fiver’s patented Entertainmentometer™© got stuck halfway between Mildly Diverting But Only Because There’s Nothing On Any Of The Other Channels and Intriguing But Only Because You’re Trying Way Too Hard. Bah. As a banner displayed in the Bayern end and applauded by the Liverpool fans noted, you had to pay £48 for a ticket to watch this stuff. One day a real rain will come. Continue reading...

21-02-2019 Warren Gatland calls England’s Kyle Sinckler an ‘emotional timebomb’

• Wales coach worked with Sinckler on Lions tour in 2017• England’s travel plans also dismissed as ‘significant mistake’Warren Gatland has responded to Eddie Jones’s attempts to wind up Wales before the Six Nations game on Saturday by describing the England tighthead Kyle Sinckler as an “emotional timebomb”.Gatland also called England’s decision to delay their journey to Cardiff until Friday afternoon as a “significant mistake” and dismissed Jones’s claim that Gatland’s current side are the greatest in Welsh history. The England coach had earlier questioned whether Wales can handle the expectation that comes with seeking a record 12th consecutive win in what will be Gatland’s last Six Nations match against England. Continue reading...

21-02-2019 Anthony Joshua: Jarrell Miller shoves Joshua in fiery press conference

Anthony Joshua's first press conference with Jarrell 'Big Baby' Miller gets off to fiery start after the American shoves the Briton ahead of their fight on 1 June in New York.

21-02-2019 Widnes cancel Sheffield game as administration threat looms

• Championship fixture with Sheffield postponed• Future of rugby league club looks direThe threat of administration at Widnes appears an increasing possibility following the postponement of Sunday’s Championship home match against Sheffield.Widnes, who are former world champions, announced on Monday they were facing significant cash-flow problems after a consortium decided against a takeover of the club, who were relegated from Super League last season following a seven-year stay. Continue reading...

21-02-2019 VAR brings drama – it enhanced the Champions League at Schalke

Manchester City’s experience showed VAR is imperfect and will not end debates but also demonstrated its beautyVAR: farce or fantastic fillip for football? Thirty-five minutes into Manchester City’s breathless 3-2 win at Schalke came an incident that was a gift for those who view the system as a farrago waiting to happen.When Daniel Caligiuri’s shot hit Nicolás Otamendi’s right arm the technology kicked in. Except, not at first, as the pitch-side monitors failed to work. This caused a delay of three minutes before studio-based officials informed the referee, Carlos del Cerro Grande, a penalty should be awarded. Continue reading...

21-02-2019 David Squires on ... the hottest job in Australian football

Our cartoonist looks at the ongoing fallout from the sacking of Alen Stajcic as his successor Ante Milicic settles into the hot seatTake a look through David’s archive of cartoons Continue reading...

21-02-2019 Alysa Liu's remarkable rise: is 13 too young to be an elite athlete?

The figure skater is barely into her teens and is already the US champion. But some believe the mental and physical strain of elite sport should waitAlysa Liu covered her face and cried as the results were announced at the US ladies figure skating championship in Detroit, Michigan, last month. Her coach, Laura Lipetsky who has worked with her since she was five, hugged her.Liu had just won the national title at the age of 13, making her the youngest athlete to have done so, and with two triple axels no less. The weeks since have been a media frenzy. She appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and profiles on her meteoric rise have been published across the world. But for all the attention Liu has received, she won’t be able to compete in Worlds. She’s too young. A 1997 International Skating Union rule requires athletes to be at least 15 by 1 July preceding the season to participate in senior-level international events. Continue reading...

21-02-2019 Harry Kane 'an animal' - Pochettino on returning Spurs striker

Mauricio Pochettino calls fit-again Harry Kane an "animal" but insists he will make the decision as to when the striker returns from injury.

21-02-2019 Eddie Jones: I won’t try to talk Manu Tuilagi out of making France exit

• Tuilagi set to sign for Racing 92 in £800,000-a-year deal• England coach says it’s ‘not his job’ to change player’s mindManu Tuilagi will bring a premature end to his England career with Eddie Jones’s blessing if he makes a lucrative move to Racing 92. Tuilagi was spotted at the Paris club last week and has been heavily linked with a three‑year deal at Racing worth upwards of £800,000 a year.Tuilagi would be turning his back on England, however, having made his first international start in five years against Ireland this month, as well as Leicester, who have nursed him through a litany of injuries in recent years at no little expense considering his £450,000-a-year wage. Continue reading...