2.5km to go: Dumoulin is still going, whatever those difficulties were, but it seems as if his challenge is done. Froome has seen him off here, I’m sure of it!
2.9km to go: Dumoulin goes away again as they enter a tunnel ... Froome responds yet again, and you can’t really fault the leader’s sharpness here. He’s ready for everything Dumoulin is trying ... and Dumoulin may be in trouble now ... he’s shaking his head!Continue reading...
Click-clack, click-clack … the players are in the Twickenham tunnel.
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Mohamed Salah, in the red of Liverpool, and Cristiano Ronaldo, in the white of Real Madrid, will be expected to score goals tonight worthy of European football’s annual showpiece
Two teams of 11 men apiece will emerge into the Olympic stadium in Kiev on Saturday night for the 2018 Champions League final but much of the attention of Europe’s fans will be focused on two individuals whose head-to-head battle is likely to define an outcome worth not just around £80m to the winner but pride and prestige of incalculable value.
Mohamed Salah, in the red of Liverpool, and Cristiano Ronaldo, in the white of Real Madrid, will be expected to score goals worthy of European football’s annual showpiece. In that sense the two men play the same role but in very different ways and with strongly contrasting personal styles.Continue reading...
And another one! A bit of inswing there, and it flies inside the bat to clip middle and off!
That’s edged, and two balls after drinks Malan has gone!Continue reading...
LeBron James scored 46 points and preserved his reign atop the Eastern Conference for at least one more game as the Cleveland Cavaliers shook off losing All-Star Kevin Love with a head injury to beat the Boston Celtics 109-99 on Friday night and force a Game 7.
James, playing in what could be his final game for the Cavs in Cleveland, delivered another sensational performance as he added 11 rebounds and nine assists while playing all but two minutes to avoid elimination and delay any decisions about his future this off-season.Continue reading...
Eddie Jones has revealed that the list of candidates to be his new defence coach is exclusively English as he closes in on Paul Gustard’s successor. The Australian also confirmed it would be a like-for-like replacement rather than a quick fix and dismissed suggestions Gustard’s position on the South Africa tour next month would be undermined by his departure immediately after the three-Test series.
Jones has started interviewing potential replacements and all are English. That would appear to rule out two Australians – Brad Davis, currently employed by the Ospreys, and the Scotland defence coach Matt Taylor – while strengthening the chances of Shaun Edwards, Alex Sanderson and Shaun Wane.Continue reading...
The credentials of this Prix de l’Abbaye winner are hard to fault at Haydock
There are a few things for odds-on gamblers to worry about as Battaash (4.00) returns to the track in Saturday’s Temple Stakes at Haydock. Personally, if I’m going to back something at 8-11 or similar, I prefer to know that this race is the big day.
No such comfort is available because the Haydock contest is a reappearance run, intended to get the freshness out of this zippy sort before Royal Ascot. He is giving weight to all his rivals and is partnered by the owner’s second jockey because the No 1 has gone to Ireland for the day. All the same the credentials of this Prix de l’Abbaye winner are hard to fault. He is easily the most likely winner and I would rather be with him than against him, even at such short odds.Continue reading...
Marco Andreolli played under Arsenal’s manager at Sevilla and says the Spaniard has all the skills to succeed in England
Arsenal have appointed a winner. That is something that is clear the moment you meet Unai Emery. He constantly thinks about winning and the trophies he has won during his coaching career speak for him. Even at Paris Saint-Germain, where they expected more in the Champions League than he was able to deliver, he proved he knew how to win.
Emery has one great quality: he is an extraordinary motivator. His speciality is preparing for matches, speaking at great length to his players. I remember when I was at Sevilla we had long squad meetings where he would first show various tactical videos and then motivational films. He wanted to really get us going, to light a fire inside us. More than once we stayed literally for hours in a room watching motivational videos, so when we got to the game we were really hungry for success.Continue reading...
Milwaukee police didn’t just assault a basketball player, they damaged the hopes young people of color have of a better life
Another day, another black man violently assaulted by five rogue police officers for the ever-increasing crime of BWB (breathing while black). This time it was NBA player Sterling Brown. In January, the Bucks rookie was confronted by Milwaukee police at Walgreens for a parking infraction, which resulted in a compliant Brown being wrestled to the ground, handcuffed, tased, arrested – and given a parking ticket. The recently released police body-cam footage was called “disturbing” by Milwaukee’s mayor. Particularly in a city that Bucks president Peter Feigin once called “the most segregated, racist place I’ve ever experienced in my life”. The officers involved have since been disciplined. Now what? Bygones?
All England Lawn Tennis Club to keep name despite calls to modernise use of language
Wimbledon does not intend to change the name of its ladies’ tournament to “women’s” despite the positive reaction garnered by Chelsea football club rebranding its women’s team.
The ladies’ singles has run concurrently to the gentlemen’s at the championships since 1884, but the gentlemen’s tournament is more commonly referred to as the men’s by the players themselves and on TV commentary.
Formula One double world champion recalls the day his luck changed in Monte Carlo and how having fun on the track led to the Finn’s first title in 1998
“I have never forgotten what James Hunt said to me: ‘Remember, Mika, remember to have fun,’” recalls the double world champion Mika Häkkinen, relaxing on a yacht in Monaco beside the very car that enabled him to fulfil Hunt’s bidding. Häkkinen believes his win here 20 years ago, on the way to his first Formula One title, was the stand‑out performance of his career and that the drivers who take to the streets on Sunday still face the ultimate test in Monte Carlo.
Hunt’s words had been delivered to an intense young Finn in 1991. By 1998, after a life-changing accident and some tough years in F1, he was finally able to do as the British champion advised and revel in his endeavour. “When I did the first test in ’98 I felt the car was fast whatever I did, turn or break, it did exactly what I wanted,” he says. “I told myself: ‘Now is the time. You can win the world championship’.”Continue reading...
The 22-year-old is already one of Flat’s leading riders and Roaring Lion offers the chance to seal his first Group One win in the Classic
Which winning jockey in the Derby at Epsom also rode a winner of the Gold Cup at Cheltenham? It is a trick question, of course, but it will have a fair answer if Oisin Murphy can steer Roaring Lion to victory in the most celebrated Classic of all at Epsom next Saturday.
At only 22 Murphy is already established as one of the Flat weighing room’s leading riders and the No 1 jockey for Sheikh Fahad al-Thani’s Qatar Racing. His roots, though, are in jumping, both over National Hunt obstacles and in the show-jumping arena, and his first job in racing was as a stable lad and work rider with his “Uncle Jim” – better known to jump fans as Jim Culloty, one of four winning trainers in the Cheltenham Gold Cup who also won the race as a jockey.Continue reading...
AB de Villiers learned his craft before T20 was invented but made the game look easy, regardless of the format
It seems odd now but English people really did used to hate Pablo Picasso, godfather of cubism and the great all-format all-rounder of 20th century art. When Picasso died in 1973 Kingsley Amis wrote in a letter to Philip Larkin: “I see Pablo the piss-poor paint-pusher has fallen off the hooks at last.” Thirty years earlier Winston Churchill is said to have expressed a willingness to “kick him up the backside” if he saw Picasso walking down Whitehall. Evelyn Waugh went through a period of routinely signing off his letters “Death To Picasso!”
Weird. Foreign. Improvisational. Both eyes on same side of face. This seems to have been the basic tone of the objections to Pablo the paint-pusher, who is, needless to say, still going pretty strong and is this year expected to break his own single-year record of $568m of piss-poor artworks sold.Continue reading...
British No1 faces Yulia Putintseva in the first round of the French Open having fallen to 22nd in the world rankings
Johanna Konta insists she is comfortable playing on clay – despite a thin résumé in five visits to Roland Garros. It says much for her self-belief.
“This is only my third French Open main draw by ranking,” she said, “so I think it would be a little bit unfair to say completely that my record is terrible. I would like to give it a few more years.”Continue reading...
• Warrington 30-12 Hull FC
• Harvey Livett leads the way with a try and five goals
By the end this felt like a night where there were grounds for optimism in both camps, despite the slightly lop-sided result. For Warrington there was the satisfaction not only of an instant return to winning ways but of a second-half performance which solidified their position inside Super League’s play-off places.
With the side trailing 12-0 at half-time questions might have been asked of Steve Price and his side as they appeared destined for a second consecutive defeat. A run then of 30 points answered many of those questions but what prompted such a dramatic turnaround will not appear in too many coaching manuals.Continue reading...
• ‘That 65 is best round I’ve ever seen,’ says partner Noren
• PGA debutant Horsfield and Fleetwood fly flag for England
Another day returned another Rory McIlroy milestone at Wentworth. After the Northern Irishman had produced his finest opening round at the PGA Championship he recorded a 65 on day two, playing the West Course bogey-free for the first time.Continue reading...
Australia’s cricket team can expect a verbal barrage from England’s players, fans and media on their tour next month following the ball tampering scandal but new coach Justin Langer has told his side they can negate that if they behave better.
Australian cricket was thrown into turmoil in late March after captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft conspired to illegally rough up the ball during their test series in South Africa. All three were banned afterwards, while the Australian team were criticised globally by cricket fans and commentators for what they perceived to be an arrogant and hypocritical team culture.Continue reading...
• England 184; Pakistan 350-8
• Babar Azam top-scores with 68 but forced off injured
On a grey day at Lord’s the situation grew grimmer for the home side. The pattern of the game was sustained as Pakistan outplayed England by dint of solid, unspectacular, old-fashioned virtues. This is not how Pakistan are supposed to prevail. In the past the inspired, stream of consciousness cricket of Waqar and Wasim, Mushtaq and Qadir, and Anwar and Inzamam has enthralled and intimidated, depending on your vantage point .
But here for two sessions the Pakistan team was clinical and patient, dutifully grinding down an England side which contains three players who in recent times have been accustomed to spending only 20 overs in the field at any one time. Then in the final session they played a few more shots against a weary attack.Continue reading...
• Irishman trained four world champions in decorated career
• Former super-middleweight champion Dean Francis, 44, dies
Brendan Ingle, the highly respected trainer, has died at the age of 77, the British Boxing Board of Control has confirmed.
The Irishman became one of domestic boxing’s most influential figures during a decorated career in which he trained four world champions, including Naseem Hamed and Johnny Nelson. His gym in Wincobank, Sheffield, continued to thrive when his sons Dominic and John assumed control, but it is Brendan Ingle who is still credited with inspiring its success.Continue reading...
The Briton’s breakdown raises questions of his team’s strategy but was a reminder that participants are human after all
It will come as little comfort to Simon Yates after losing the pink jersey of the Giro d’Italia on Friday, but he is not alone in his fate. The race has witnessed some epic collapses in its closing mountain stages in recent years. In 2016, Vincenzo Nibali, famously, took advantage of a catastrophic breakdown and crash by the Dutchman Stephen Kruijswijk en route to the French ski resort of Risoul with two days to go, while in 2002, the young Australian Cadel Evans cracked with four days remaining, slipping from pink jersey to an anonymous 14th overall.
It is the eternal fascination of stage racing, for the onlooker at least, that this sort of disastrous event can happen and occasionally does. In an era where fans and media have become used to the idea that everything can be predicted and dialled in, it is a welcome reminder that the participants are human beings, as frail as the rest of us for all the superhuman feats that they attempt, and usually achieve.Continue reading...
Forget the glamour, the street circuit is still the most demanding test where the slightest error can lead to a big crash
Formula One has long been happy to paint the Monaco Grand Prix with the very broadest of brush stokes. Here then, the streets of the Principality glory in the sport’s glamour, its ostentatious wealth over a weekend that embraces the spotlight and the celebrities it attracts beneath the clamour of a thousand flashbulbs. It is yachts and it is parties on yachts, where people come to be seen and F1 in turn sells itself to the world in the sunshine by the sea.
A bold and not a little brash picture is but the facade of a meeting that remains the most demanding test in Formula One. What really matters here is what happens behind the wheel and Monaco is still the drivers’ race.Continue reading...
Chiefs are the reigning champions and finished top of this season’s table but their disparate squad remains relatively unheralded
Scanning the Exeter team list on grand final day is to be reminded of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid being pursued on horseback by a mysterious posse who never take a wrong turn. “They’re beginning to get on my nerves,” mutters Butch. “Who are those guys?” Jonny Hill, Alec Hepburn and Joe Simmonds are less famous than their counterparts Maro Itoje, Mako Vunipola and Owen Farrell but the Chiefs have long since stopped worrying about lofty reputations.
Having topped the regular-season table and hoisted last year’s Premiership trophy, there is no inferiority complex out west nowadays. Good luck telling the 6ft 7in tall Hill, for instance, that he should be looking up to Itoje or simply be grateful to share the same field. Not only did the pair feature in the same England U20 squad but they are about to be reunited as team-mates on tour in South Africa next month.Continue reading...
The French Open champion steadfastly sees the Serb, despite his struggles with injury, as ‘one of the candidates to win’
For all the inclination in some quarters to park Novak Djokovic in the past, given his slow recovery from injury, the rival who has played him most, Rafael Nadal, refuses to join the clamour.
While the sans-culottes might be baying at the castle walls in Paris – Kyle Edmund and Cam Norrie under the British flag, alongside Alexander Zverev, Denis Shapovalov, Dominic Thiem, a wounded Nick Kyrgios and a handful of others – there is no strong evidence to suggest the 117th staging of the French Open will witness the total collapse of the ancient regime.Continue reading...
Leinster want victory on home territory to add to their European Champions Cup and Ireland’s Six Nations grand slam
Two weeks after winning the European Champions Cup, Leinster have the opportunity to complete a green sweep. Victory over the Scarlets in the Pro14 final at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday would deliver a triple crown after Ireland’s Six Nations grand slam.
Leinster defeated the Scarlets even more comprehensively than the 38-16 scoreline suggested when the two sides met in the Champions Cup semi-final last month, dominating possession and territory after denying the Welsh region turnover possession to exploit.Continue reading...
Cricket has a huge following among the BME community – particularly south Asians – yet few women try their hand at the sport. Two Leicestershire women have set out to change that
Growing up in Pakistan, Nafeesa Katib remembers watching cricket with her siblings on a TV hired at the weekend as a treat. It wasn’t a viewing choice at the time – it was the only thing being broadcast – but she remembers it fondly. “Even if we didn’t like cricket we had to watch it, and in the end all of us fell in love with the game,” she says.
She remembers thinking: “Where are all the women on the cricket field?” That thought stuck with her after she moved to the UK as a teenager. Now 41, and living in Leicestershire with her husband and two children of her own, she is helping to redress that imbalance, in her role as a cricket coach for girls aged eight to 14.
The city’s schoolchildren love their football, and few other sports get a look-in, but charity Chance to Shine is on a mission to bring cricket to the masses
When you think about Liverpool and sport, you probably think of its Premiership football clubs, Liverpool and Everton. You might even think of boxing: the city is home to some of the sport’s greatest exponents, including recent former world champion Tony Bellew and former British and Commonwealth champion David Price.
But few people would associate Liverpool with cricket.Continue reading...
In inner-city areas where children have few facilities, it’s easy to fall in with a bad crowd. One 12-year-old chose a different path, and is now a graduate, cricket coach and teacher
At 12 years old Siraj Ali wasn’t a bad kid. But, like many of the young people he grew up with in the outskirts of Birmingham, he’d hang out on the street at night, sometimes get in trouble at school, and had anger management issues that could boil over.
“The area that I come from, the crime rates are really high,” says Ali, a decade later. “In and outside school I was getting into a lot of trouble. I wasn’t being myself. I was being dragged into the wrong crowd.”
Ex-convict and urban youth specialist Tanayah Sam knows first-hand the allure of gangs – and he’s using cricket to show youngsters an alternative path
Tanayah Sam says things you wouldn’t expect to hear in the classroom. During his workshop, at St Edmund Campion Catholic School near Birmingham, he tells a group of children how he was expelled from school for stabbing a schoolmate with a screwdriver – and how, as a teenager, he spent years running with gangs, carrying guns and knives, and dealing drugs.
The urban youth specialist stares into the eyes of each member of his audience in turn as he explains what it was like to serve time in 11 different prisons. He tells the children, some as young as 12, about a friend who was stabbed to death 16 years ago: “I buried him.” He talks about a different friend who is in prison for life. “He asked me to tell you not to repeat his mistakes,” he says.Continue reading...
He raps, has dozens of tattoos and knows nothing but Champions League success as Madrid’s captain
Sergio Ramos was born with golden balls. That’s what Sergio Ramos says, anyway – and, he adds, they’re right where they’re supposed to be. It’s no Ossie’s Dream and it’s not the Anfield Rap either, but this week Real Madrid’s captain released a cup final song of his own: a European Cup final song, offered up with the words “my house, some friends, a lot of magic and this is the result: my life in a song and lots of verses still to write”. With the usual rapper’s brag and bravado, SR4 tells his journey from the streets – well, the square in Camas, Seville – to the World Cup and close to another Champions League title. Already “a legend,” as the track has it, it would be his fourth.
Nothing was handed over free, runs one line; “his ‘testiculine’ is not for sale, it comes out as a Panenka” – that moment when, in the Euro 2012 semi-final, he dinked in a penalty. That was one of a handful of moments that define a player with a gift for the epic and the grand gesture, for goals too, late ones, important ones, who is almost a cartoon character at times. It was also two months since the European Cup semi-final when, during the shootout, he sent the ball sailing over and some, including Manuel Neuer, into fits of laughter. That night Ramos vowed he would show them. So he did.Continue reading...
‘The Manchester City of the Championship’ take on Villa in the play-off final with much to thank their Serbian manager for
When Neil Warnock described Fulham as “the Manchester City of the Championship” he was not talking about the transfer fees. Fulham had a net spend of around £3m this season and their most expensive signing, the forward Rui Fonte, has been a conspicuous failure. No, the Cardiff manager was talking about the passing. Top in the division for completion (83.1%) and total passes (24,857), Fulham were also the side with the most accurate short passes, second most shots on target and the highest average possession.Continue reading...
• Manager targets victory in final against Real Madrid
• ‘We have shown how good we are. Now we have to win.’
Jürgen Klopp has called on Liverpool to deliver another exhibition of “big balls football” to defeat Real Madrid in the Champions League final and launch a new era of European success for the club.
“We are Liverpool, we are different,” Klopp said as he looked to Saturday’s game in Kiev with firm confidence. The German coach has lost his past five finals, two with Liverpool and three with Borussia Dortmund, and confronts a Madrid team attempting to become the first club since Bayern Munich in 1976 to win a hat-trick of European Cups. Liverpool, however, are the highest-scoring team in this season’s competition and Klopp believes his players pose a unique threat to the European champions.Continue reading...
• Manager says pressure brings the best from his team
• ‘We have had chaos before and we will have it tomorrow
As Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid side arrived in Kiev to face Liverpool in the Champions League final he admitted he is ready for chaos and insisted that, if there was pressure, they would be all the better for it.
“Today and tomorrow will never happen again; we will live other experiences but never this, so we have to make the most of it,” the Frenchman said. “And if there’s a bit of pressure, no problem. It’s life, it’s better like that – a bit of emotion. We’re humans and humans are pure emotion. With pressure it’s even nicer.”Continue reading...
Both of the manager’s parents have died this year beating Fulham in the Championship play-off final might provide a little respite
When Steve Bruce is asked whether work on strengthening the team will start immediately if Aston Villa win promotion to the Premier League on Saturday, the first thought that comes into his head has nothing to do with new signings. “The one thing I need this year, more than any other year, is a holiday,” he says.
The Championship can be a grind at the best of times with all those Saturday-Tuesday fixtures and all the more so when a 46-game season is extended by another three weeks because of the play-offs, but Bruce is looking forward to a break for reasons that transcend football.Continue reading...
• Former Stoke manager commits his future to 2021
• Hughes calls on fans to build on end-of-season revival
Mark Hughes has been rewarded for keeping Southampton in the Premier League with a three-year deal.
The former Wales, Manchester City and Stoke manager was charged with keeping the Saints in the top flight when he took over in March in place of Mauricio Pellegrino. Having achieved that, he is now contracted to stay at St Mary’s - along with his assistants, Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki - until the summer of 2021.Continue reading...
• Unai Emery targets 34-year-old Switzerland captain
• Lichtsteiner leaves Juventus as a free agent this summer
Arsenal are in talks to sign Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free when his contract at Juventus expires this summer, with the right-back among Unai Emery’s targets.
The 34-year-old, who is expected to captain Switzerland at the World Cup in Russia, could become the Arsenal head coach’s first signing.Continue reading...
England’s goalkeeper was laid low by food poisoning before their quarter-final – during a World Cup that saw little go right
It was Friday 12 June. The previous day England, without playing at all well, had beaten Czechoslovakia 1-0 to secure second place in Group C and qualification for the quarter-finals. All four ties were to be played on the Sunday, giving the team a couple of days off. Alf Ramsey decided that there was enough slack in his schedule to allow a little downtime.
Not far from the Hilton, where England’s team was based, was the Guadalajara Country Club, a swanky golf course with tennis courts, swimming pools and swanky bar attached that apparently charged £1,500 a year – the equivalent of £19,000 today – for membership. Many English football figures, including Joe Mercer, Don Revie and a few players’ wives, had based themselves there for the tournament and the players had been demanding a chance to visit every time their coach trundled past. Finally Ramsey relented.Continue reading...
Our panel of 169 experts from 63 nations compile a list of the greatest male players in 2017. Click on an individual to read more about their year.Continue reading...
Does the Champions League title mean more Liverpool or Real Madrid? Who is more crucial to their team – Mohamed Salah or Cristiano Ronaldo? And who is most likely to walk away from the final victorious?Continue reading...
Liverpoo's Mohamed Salah is under no illusions that Saturday's Champions League final with Real Madrid will be anything other than an incredibly "hard fight". The Egyptian who has scored 10 of Liverpool's 29 goals in the competition this season is excited and praised the impact of manager Jürgen Klopp, who he calls a "friend".Continue reading...
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league wants respect for the American national anthem after introducing new rules following a spate of protests by players over the past two seasons. Scores of players have knelt during the national anthem in protest against social injustice in the United States. The new rules would allow players to stay in the locker room during the anthem if they choose, but there would be fines for teams whose players do kneel during the anthemContinue reading...
A TV presenter took matters into her own hands after a loose horse galloped around Chepstow racecourse. The horse had unseated its rider after one furlong. At The Races presenter Hayley Moore managed to stop the runaway by blocking its path. She was pushed to the ground in the process, but did manage to cling on to the horse’s harnessContinue reading...
South Africa's AB de Villiers has announced his retirement from international cricket. The 34-year-old batsman has withdrawn with immediate effect. In a video posted on his Twitter feed, he said: 'I have had my turn and, to be honest, I am tired.' De Villiers played 114 Test matches, 227 ODIs and 78 T20 internationalsContinue reading...
Unai Emery has spoken to the media for the first time after being unveiled as Arsenal's new manager. The 46-year-old replaces Arsène Wenger at the Emirates Stadium after leaving Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the last season. In his press conference Emery outlined his plans to utilise possession of the ball and high intensity pressing off itContinue reading...
Who beat Real Madrid? Who can’t count? Who petitioned Fifa?
Who scored two goals against Real Madrid in the European Cup in the 1980-81 season, when Liverpool won the trophy?
Which of these players has won the Champions League with both Liverpool and Real Madrid?
Zinedine Zidane is aiming to lead his club to three straight European Cups. Which other manager has achieved this feat?
No one. He would be the first
Why was Stephen Curry’s mother Sonya unimpressed by his performance for the Golden State Warriors against the Houston Rockets this week?
He was caught swearing on TV
He did not wave to her in the crowd
He only scored 40 points
He “passed the ball to team-mates too much”
Unai Emery has won three European trophies. How many have Arsenal won?
In which city will a man from Majorca and a woman from Riga start defending their titles on Sunday?
Who said: "Right now I have a biological age of 23. I can keep playing until I'm 41”?
What request did France captain Hugo Lloris, Australia captain Mile Jedinak and Denmark captain Simon Kjaer make to Fifa this week?
To "show compassion" to an opponent who has been banned for taking cocaine
To change the times of their matches at the World Cup
To let them sing the full versions of their national anthems at the World Cup
To grant their fans more tickets for World Cup matches
What is notable about the Vegas Golden Knights’ appearance in the final of the Stanley Cup?
Their coach said he would ‘gamble every cent he owns on the strip’ if they made it this far
Every member of their squad is a teenager
The team are owned by Floyd Mayweather, who bought them for $1
This is their first ever season
The Women's Champions League final was goalless after 90 minutes. What was the score after 120 minutes?
Wolfsburg 1-4 Lyon
Wolfsburg 2-6 Lyon
Wolfsburg 4-3 Lyon
Wolfsburg 3-2 Lyon
3 and above.
4 and above.
5 and above.
6 and above.
7 and above.
8 and above.
9 and above.
10 and above.
2 and above.
0 and above.
1 and above.
It has been a financial, logistical and physical nightmare but The Fiver has finally completed its journey and all that remains is to fritter away 24 hours or so before kick-off in Saturday’s Big Cup final. The overland trek was gruelling, there have been outrageous bribes, costly misunderstandings and a particularly heated argument over the state of our accommodation, not to mention of our personal hygiene, but all that matters is that when the players of Liverpool and Real Madrid stride out on to the pitch in Kiev’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium, The Fiver will be roaring them on from our favourite stool at The Lengthy Barf. Occasions like these are not to be missed! And where else would we be?Continue reading...
Today’s fluff is just gathering pace
Mauricio Pochettino sat down beside himself, draped his right arm across his shoulders and looked smilingly into the camera as Spurs staged another shoot to mark the signing of a big new contract. Then the manager ordered the club to get down to more business. And so, Spurs are preparing lucrative offers for Kayla the Eagle, the Crystals cheerleading ensemble and a bust of Roy Hodgson, all in an effort to make Wilfried Zaha feel at home at the new White Hart Lane. Then all Spurs will have to do is convince Crystal Palace to sell their prize asset, so we could be about to find out whether Daniel Levy likes being hardballed. The Spurs chairman is already wincing in anticipation, with £100m having been mentioned as a possible fee for Zaha.Continue reading...
Max Rushden and co discuss new managers, a new England captain and Liverpool’s shot at Champions League glory
Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Archie Rhind-Tutt and Paul Watson to discuss Unai Emery taking Arsène Wenger’s seat at the Emirates Stadium, the war chest Manuel Pellegrini will apparently get at West Ham and the announcing of Harry Kane as England captain.Continue reading...
The irresistible force meets the immovable object when Exeter play Saracens while Leinster are favourites against Scarlets
The season, domestically at least, ends this weekend. As it came in, so it goes out with players queuing for surgery. Artificial pitches have come under scrutiny after Jack Willis, John Barclay and Steffon Armitage suffered leg injuries in the last month that will keep them out of action for between six months and a year but other factors, such as fatigue, come into play.
It is not so much the number of matches players take part in but the cumulative effect of training. Mako Vunipola, who was with the Lions in New Zealand, will make his 32nd appearance of the campaign on Saturday when Saracens meet Exeter in the Premiership final.Continue reading...
News that Peru fans have been protesting in the streets against the doping ban imposed on the country’s captain, Paolo Guerrero, has got the Fiver looking forward to some thrilling attacking football from the South American side and wondering again about a vengeful marsupial. We may be extrapolating too much from the precedent set by Peru’s 1970 campaign but you knew the risks when you signed up for this guff. And the fact is that 1970 was Peru’s most successful World Cup and it, too, was preceded by popular rage against a perceived injustice – and followed by a curious incident of an opossum and denied time.
A morbid obsession with its own death has caused cricket to adapt and evolve – and is perhaps the reason why it is still being played and watched all these years later
Summer came late in 1906, and the spring, harried by a keen north-east wind, hardly stopped at all. May was cold and grey, frosty till the third Sunday. It was dismal weather for cricket. The season started on Wednesday the 2nd, but no one came to watch. Lord’s was empty. The Oval was empty. Old Trafford was empty. The press began to fret. On 27 May the Observer published a leader called The Necessity for Cricket Reform. It asked if the game had outlived its popularity. “Matches are being finished, but the crowds do not come,” the editorial read. “Cricket seems to have grown too old fashioned for these go-ahead times.”
The Observer wasn’t the only one worrying. The next year’s Wisden recalled “all sorts of gloomy forebodings”. Until “the sun came out and all was well”. By the far side of the summer, England was in the middle of a long, late heatwave. George Hirst did the double-double of 2,000 runs and 200 wickets, but Yorkshire were still pipped by Kent, who won 11 championship matches in a row, thanks in part to their brilliant young all-rounder Frank Woolley. It was one of the great seasons of the Golden Age, and when it was over, “no more was heard as to cricket being on the wane”.Continue reading...
With the best of our sports journalism from the past seven days and a heads-up on the weekend’s action, you won’t miss a thing
Let our team of editors be your guide to the best of the Guardian’s award-winning sport coverage from the past week. We’ll email you the stand-out features and interviews, insightful analysis and highlights from the archive, plus films, podcasts, galleries and more – all arriving in your inbox at 12pm every Friday. And we’ll tee you up for the weekend and let you know our live coverage plans so you won’t miss a thing.Continue reading...
Reaction to the 250 or so Commonwealth Games athletes and officials seeking to stay underlines a basic rule of thumb: never believe what a country says about itself during a mega-event
After the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne 61 athletes and officials defected. Heroes, every one of them, in an era when switching from east to west – or vice versa – made the humans themselves prized trophies, coveted propaganda wins in the endless Cold War dick-measuring contest. Following last month’s Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast it has been revealed that around 200 athletes and officials have outstayed their visas and are now seeking asylum. (Another 50 remain in the country illegally.) It is not called defecting today, you’ll note, even if it is from the sort of places that first world countries like Australia love to define themselves against.Continue reading...
European Club Association chairman hits out at Gianni Infantino’s Club World Cup plan and wants more Champions League games for the elite and fewer domestic matches
European football’s gilded elite assembling for Saturday’s Champions League final in Kiev will be more abuzz with intrigue than normal after Uefa’s public slapdown of the Fifa president Gianni Infantino’s effort to railroad through a new format for the Club World Cup. Increasingly influential in the thick of it will be Andrea Agnelli, fourth-generation scion of the famed Fiat- and Juventus-founding dynasty, chairman of Juve since 2010 and, since September, of the powerful European Club Association (ECA).
Trim in his grey pinstripe suit, talking assuredly at the Guardian offices this week while in London for a board meeting of Fiat Chrysler – turnover €111bn last year – the 42-year-old Agnelli came to bury Infantino’s grand plan. But, as he explains, it becomes clear that he sees this row as a mere squall in a six-year quest towards his own vision, which many in football may find more challenging, its ambition no less than “a big project in reshaping European football”.Continue reading...
Germany conjured football of a savagery unwitnessed against significant opposition in the tournament’s history
When it comes to the World Cup, hosting is supposed to help. Just ask Uruguay (1930), Italy (1934), England (1966), West Germany (1974), Argentina (1978) and France (1998), or Sweden (1958), Chile (1962) and South Korea (2002), who unexpectedly finished second, third and fourth, respectively. Rival teams should be cowed by the passion and the number of home fans, the hosts buoyed.
Not this time. “You looked at the faces of the Brazilian players when they walked on the pitch during the World Cup and it looked like they were about to compete in the Hunger Games,” said Zico, great Brazilian midfielder of the 1970s and 80s. “They weren’t enjoying the moment and that made things harder for them. The moment they met a team of the same pedigree they were caught out.”Continue reading...
UEFA president and FIFA vice-president Aleksander Ceferin speaks exclusively with ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti about FIFA's recent proposal of a Global Nations League. Banned former UEFA president and FIFA vice president Michel Platini says he is planning to return to football after Swiss federal prosecutors confirmed he was not being charged in an investigation into possible financial wrongdoing.Platini said in a statement it's "the end of a long nightmare for my family and those close to me."Since September 2015, the former France midfielder had the status of "between a witness and an accused person" in criminal proceedings opened against then-FIFA president...
Stewart Robson and Gab Marcotti believe Harry Kane might wish he could take his words back after saying England could win the World Cup. David Brooks insists his future is with Wales and that he will not be returning to the England set-up.The highly-rated Sheffield United forward was named the best player when England won the Under-20 Toulon Tournament last summer. But Warrington-born Brooks -- whose mother Cathryn is from Llangollen -- switched to Wales a few months later and was capped against France and Panama in November, producing a man-of-the-match performance in the latter.Brooks could still represent England as those games...
Ola Kamara rescued LA Galaxy with a decisive goal at Montreal after a Zlatan Ibrahimovic red card reduced the visitors to 10 men. LOS ANGELES -- LA Galaxy don't have plans to offload Mexico internationals Jonathan and Giovani dos Santos, team president Chris Klein confirmed on Friday.A report suggested the Galaxy could be keen to listen to offers for the duo after the World Cup, something that was flatly denied by Klein."We've not even had that conversation, so it's not even something that we talk about," Klein told reporters at half-time of the team's 1-0 win over San Jose Earthquakes. "You read rumors on the website and...
After Mexico's preliminary World Cup roster was announced, Herc Gomez talks about which players he wouldn't take to Russia. LOS ANGELES -- Giovani dos Santos returned from injury on Friday in L.A. Galaxy's 1-0 victory over San Jose and will have until June 2 to prove he is fully fit to be included in Mexico's World Cup squad.Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio was at StubHub Center to watch the "California Clasico," with Jonathan dos Santos playing the full 90 minutes and Giovani coming on for the final 15 minutes in his first game since May 6.Osorio confirmed earlier Friday that Dos Santos and Mexico's other injured players...
After Mexico's preliminary World Cup roster was announced, Herc Gomez talks about which players he wouldn't take to Russia. LOS ANGELES -- Javier Hernandez called Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio a "genius" at a training session on Friday, but believes a number of factors will have to come together if El Tri is going to have a good World Cup.The West Ham striker, in southern California ahead of a pre-World Cup friendly against Wales on Monday, was asked what it was like to work under the Colombian and the respect was clear."It's a great experience," Hernandez told reporters.. "Apart from being a great human being, he's...
Juan Lorenzana Prieto took a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo during a pre-UCL training session.A cameraman covering Real Madrid's Champions League final training session got more than he signed up for Friday -- a gash on the head and Cristiano Ronaldo's jacket!At Kiev's Olympic Stadium ahead of Saturday's UCL final against Liverpool, Ronaldo blasted a wayward shot that struck a pitchside cameraman -- identified as Univision's Juan Lorenzana Prieto -- and left the media member in need of medical assistance.Ronaldo saw what happened and immediately put his hands on his head in shock, then...
On the eve of the UEFA Champions League final, the FC crew break down what Liverpool and Real Madrid need to do to lift the trophy. On the eve of the Champions League final, Gab Marcotti and Stewart Robson explain why Real Madrid are likely to win their third straight UCL title. What is the value of a manager? Every game Real Madrid play under Zinedine Zidane is a referendum as to what he does or does not do for the team. The latter stages of the Champions League are being used to find evidence of luck and favourable refereeing decisions in order to form an opinion on the Frenchman because nobody seems to have a definitive one.You could replace Zidane's name with Jurgen Klopp for that matter and it wouldn't change. The latter even poked fun at the insinuation in the news...
Toby Alderweireld to Man United? Jorginho to Man City? ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno breaks down those rumours and more in Rumour Rater. The transfer window is open, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow live with our daily blog throughout the summer.TOP STORY: Chelsea propose striker swap with InterChelsea will propose a sensational striker swap deal to Inter Milan involving Alvaro Morata and Mauro Icardi, according to reports in Italy and Spain.The Blues would offer the Spanish forward plus £35 million to convince the Nerazzurri to sell their captain.The Argentinian was left out of Jorge Sampaoli's...