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Sport | The Guardian



Sports news, scores, blogs and opinion on US and world sports from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice



Published: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 23:15:13 GMT2017-12-11T23:15:13Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2017
 



The Tom Savage fiasco shows the NFL's concussion protocol is not working

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 09:30:01 GMT2017-12-11T09:30:01Z

When Houston’s quarterback returned to the field only minutes after a big hit left him twitching, it showed the NFL doesn’t care about getting concussions right

The lasting image of the 14th week of this NFL season won’t be the Bills and Colts romping in the snow or Cam Newton roaring through Minnesota’s secondary or Dak Prescott heaving touchdown passes over the New York Giants. The lasting image of a week that should be all about playoff runs is instead Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage lying on the turf, his head having been smashed to the ground, staring blankly in the air with his fingers twitching uncontrollably.

Related: NFL roundup: Eagles win NFC East but lose Wentz in thriller over Rams

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Philadelphia Eagles confirm Carson Wentz is done for season with torn ACL

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:30:19 GMT2017-12-11T18:30:19Z

  • Eagles confirm Wentz tore ACL and will miss rest of season and playoffs
  • MVP favorite suffered injury during Sunday’s thrilling win over LA Rams
  • Back-up Nick Foles will take over for Eagles, who have NFL’s best record

Eagles star quarterback Carson Wentz has a torn left ACL and will miss rest of the season and playoffs, coach Doug Pederson confirmed.

Wentz, a favorite in the NFL MVP race, had an MRI on Monday that revealed the severity of the injury. Wentz was hurt late in the third quarter Sunday at Los Angeles. Backup Nick Foles rallied the Eagles (11-2) to a 43-35 win over the Rams that secured the NFC East title and put them in first place in the conference with three games remaining.

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Champions League: tie-by-tie analysis of the last-16 games | Nick Miller

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:00:12 GMT2017-12-11T19:00:12Z

Chelsea renew their rivalry with Barcelona, City get lucky, Liverpool and United should both progress, while Spurs aim to create more history

First leg 13 February Second leg 7 March

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The women boxers of Gleason's Gym – a photo essay

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:00:04 GMT2017-12-11T15:00:04Z

Gleason’s Gym has been around since 1937 and is the oldest working gym in the US. Many of the world’s famous boxers, including Jake LaMotta, Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, have trained at the New York gym. Gleason’s are currently training six world champions and for the first time in the gym’s history they are all women. Tim Knox paid a visit to photograph some of the boxers and find out about their motivation

In 1982, Bruce Silverglade, in his 30s at the time, went into partnership with Ira Becker, the second owner of Gleason’s gym. Ira was in his 70s.

Silverglade says: “I came from an age where elders were to be respected. I had a great deal of respect for Ira and basically left the main decisions up to him. During this time, there was a lot of filming at the gym and a lot of the women on the crews wanted to try boxing training. More and more women were asking and Ira refused to allow the women to train.”

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Manchester United were too passive in derby – Mourinho must take the blame | Jonathan Wilson

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:00:04 GMT2017-12-11T12:00:04Z

Manchester City were vulnerable at times at Old Trafford but their hosts never looked like taking advantage due to tactics that do not fit with Manchester United’s stature or attacking heritage

About 10 minutes before half-time, the plea went up around Old Trafford: “Attack! Attack! Attack!” It’s a chant that dates back to the 1960s. It was heard, for instance, at Wembley in 1968 when Manchester United beat Benfica to win the European Cup as fans revelled in the refusal of Matt Busby’s side to rest on a 1-0 lead even in a game so freighted with emotion and importance. By Louis van Gaal’s time, the chant had taken on a different tone: something between mockery of an approach based on risk-free possession and a demand for something more uplifting. It’s hard to interpret this latest outbreak as being anything other than a complaint.

Related: José Mourinho in post-match fracas over Manchester City’s ‘noisy’ celebrations

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United and City dispute the blame for Manchester derby tunnel bust-up

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 20:16:35 GMT2017-12-11T20:16:35Z

• Both clubs have until 6pm on Wednesday to provide an account of the fracas
• Clubs dispute roles played by Romelu Lukaku and Vincent Kompany

Manchester United and Manchester City are at loggerheads regarding the scuffle in the Old Trafford tunnel on Sunday night, with the Football Association expected to receive contrasting accounts of the incident from the clubs.

United and City have until 6pm on Wednesday to provide the FA with their versions of a fracas that involved up to 20 players and staff from the clubs in the aftermath of the 2-1 win Pep Guardiola’s side achieved against José Mourinho’s team. Each club believe the other to be culpable for the incident. The FA can request CCTV footage from United should this exist and the governing body believes this will help clarify what happened. While the City coach Mikel Arteta was left with blood on his face, the cause of the injury remains unknown.

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Antonio Conte tips Premier League clubs for Champions League glory

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:30:00 GMT2017-12-11T22:30:00Z

• Chelsea manager expects first English winner since 2012
• ‘I think the first round showed great power for their teams’

Antonio Conte believes this could be the season when Premier League clubs break a run of five years without a Champions League title, provided they master the backlog of fixtures that builds up in the spring.

Related: Champions League last 16: Chelsea face Barça, Real Madrid land PSG – as it happened

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Cardiff City fight back for point at Reading after Neil Warnock is sent off

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:21:33 GMT2017-12-11T22:21:33Z

Lee Tomlin scored in stoppage time as Cardiff came from two goals down to snatch a draw at Reading.

A Callum Paterson own goal and a Mo Barrow effort gave the home side a 2-0 lead but, after manager Neil Warnock was sent to the stands, the visitors scored twice in the last seven minutes to earn a point.

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Sam Allardyce plans to question Everton players about wanting to stay

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:30:16 GMT2017-12-11T22:30:16Z

• Manager will quiz first-team squad before January transfer window opens
• Allardyce wants to bring in a proven goalscorer as well as sell

Sam Allardyce will ask every member of Everton’s first-team squad whether they wish to be part of the club’s future before finalising transfer plans for January.

Related: Everton’s Sam Allardyce sees his dour derby plan come to fruition | Paul Wilson

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City slickers, Benteke's blunder and classic Allardyce – Football Weekly

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 16:06:38 GMT2017-12-11T16:06:38Z

Guest host Paul MacInnes and co cover Milkgate at Old Trafford, Big Sam Big Samming, and the team Sid Lowe thinks got the best Champions League draw

Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

Guest host Paul MacInnes is joined by Barry Glendenning, Priya Ramesh and Daniel Harris for a stop-gap tour around the Premier League weekend. Starting with the derbies, we ask whether Manchester United fans deserve better than to play the role of underdog in every game against a big side, and whether Everton’s equaliser was the most Big Sam thing to have ever happened.

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Christian Benteke apologises to Crystal Palace team-mates for penalty farce

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:32:46 GMT2017-12-11T22:32:46Z

• Striker angered players by insisting on taking penalty against Bournemouth
• Roy Hodgson interested in Espanyol goalkeeper Diego López in January

Christian Benteke has apologised to his Crystal Palace team-mates after wrestling the ball from the side’s regular penalty taker, Luka Milivojevic, and insisting on taking Saturday’s stoppage-time spot-kick against Bournemouth, with his weak attempt duly saved.

Related: Police must get to bottom of false stories about Crystal Palace fans | Daniel Taylor

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Ostersund’s Arsenal fan Ronald Mukiibi plans ‘a few words’ with Arsène Wenger

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 17:43:26 GMT2017-12-11T17:43:26Z

• Mukiibi: ‘I need to talk to him about his starting line-ups’
• Arsenal’s Swedish opponents have enjoyed meteoric rise

It is a measure of how far Ostersund have come that the Swedish side who will face Arsenal in the last 32 of the Europa League were formed a month after Arsène Wenger’s arrival in north London.

But having already eliminated Galatasaray and Hertha Berlin on their way to this stage of the competition under their English manager Graham Potter, a visit to the Emirates Stadium will also represent an opportunity for defender Ronald Mukiibi to get a few questions off his chest.

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Belated bravado shows José Mourinho is feeling the sting of his own methods | Barney Ronay

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:46:31 GMT2017-12-11T15:46:31Z

In confronting Manchester City’s staff after Sunday’s defeat, the United manager showed an aggression that was missing from his side’s display on the field

At first glance the most startling aspect of the Manchester derby tunnel fracas is the fact it seems to have been kicked off by José Mourinho knocking on the dressing room door and going toe-to-toe with Manchester City’s players. Hearing this, you wondered: why now? The fronting-up, the ballsiness, the stick-it–to-them bravado. Where was all this an hour and a half ago when the score was 0-0 and there was still a match to be won?

At which point, with the day still wide open and the spoils there to be claimed, Mourinho’s men didn’t go banging on anyone’s door. Instead the players of Manchester United coiled back in their own half like a red-shirted draught excluder, abasing themselves in this grand old stadium before the perceived – and conceded – superiority of their opponents

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Álvaro Morata absence for Chelsea adds to Antonio Conte’s problems

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:30:16 GMT2017-12-11T22:30:16Z

• Striker misses Premier League game against Huddersfield
• ‘He is out, because he’s a bit tired and there is a problem in his back’

Álvaro Morata will miss Chelsea’s match at Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night because of a mixture of injury and fatigue, with Antonio Conte increasingly concerned by the strain a hectic schedule is placing on his first-team resources.

The striker was distinctly off-colour during the 1-0 defeat at West Ham United on Saturday, having struggled in the preceding week through illness and a knock sustained in training. Chelsea’s top scorer, with 10 goals, has had to shoulder a heavy burden up front during his first Premier League season in the absence of alternatives Conte trusts, but is now in line for an enforced rest that will inconvenience his manager.

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Saracens chairman criticises 'chaotic' organisers over rearranged fixture

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:01:49 GMT2017-12-11T22:01:49Z

• Nigel Wray says club have lost money over rearranged Champions Cup tie
• Visitors Clermont Auvergne complain they were left out of negotiations

The Saracens chairman, Nigel Wray, has pointed the finger at the “chaotic” Champions Cup organisers for the confusion over when their rearranged fixture with Clermont Auvergne would be played and whether fans would be allowed to attend.

Wray’s comments came in response to Clermont’s furious reaction to the match being rescheduled for 5.30pm on Monday, labelling the situation as “a tale of the absurd”, 24 hours after the game was postponed because of hazardous conditions around the stadium.

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England players have let down Joe Root and must rebuild trust, says Bairstow

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:58:00 GMT2017-12-11T18:58:00Z

• ‘We’ve got a chance as a group to go out there and front up’
• ‘Lads are still feeling positive’ despite trailing 2-0 in Ashes

Jonny Bairstow accepts England’s players have let down their captain, Joe Root, and must rebuild public trust by delivering on the field during the remainder of the Ashes series.

Root and Trevor Bayliss, the England head coach, expressly told the players to behave before the Thursday night in Perth that resulted in Ben Duckett’s suspension from Lions duty for tipping a drink over Jimmy Anderson – and suggestions he was not alone in the caper.

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Cue Card may head for restaged Peterborough rather than King George

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:16:46 GMT2017-12-11T18:16:46Z

• Tizzard family considers sending him to Taunton on Thursday
• Grade Two race will be salvaged from Sunday’s Huntingdon card

Cue Card could be a fascinating addition to the Peterborough Chase when the race is staged at Taunton on Thursday. The Grade Two race will be salvaged from the Huntingdon card that was wiped out by snow on Sunday, under plans announced by racing’s ruling body on Monday night, and those efforts could be rewarded with a popular and high-profile new entrant.

Related: Cue Card may miss King George after Betfair Chase defeat to Bristol De Mai

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José Mourinho in post-match fracas over Manchester City’s ‘noisy’ celebrations

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:03:31 GMT2017-12-11T11:03:31Z

• Confrontation in tunnel and changing rooms after derby match
• City coach Mikel Arteta left with blood streaming down his face
• FA asks clubs for observations and police ready to act on any complaint

Police officers and stewards had to separate up to 20 players and members of staff from Manchester United and City after an extraordinary bust-up in which bottles and punches were thrown and Mikel Arteta, one of Pep Guardiola’s assistants, was left with blood streaming down his face.

Related: Manchester City defeat United with Otamendi strike and open 11-point gap

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NFL Week 14: Buffalo Bills beat Indianapolis Colts in snowstorm – video highlights

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:08:49 GMT2017-12-11T13:08:49Z

The Buffalo Bills kept their play-off hopes alive with a win over the Indianapolis Colts in the snow on Sunday. LeSean McCoy had over 150 yards on the ground in the 13-7 overtime win which lifts the Bills to 7-6. Elsewhere on Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles sealed the NFC East but may have lost quarterback Carson Wentz for the rest of the year after a suspected ACL injury

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MLS Cup: Five things we learned from Toronto's cathartic, legacy-sealing win

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 09:00:32 GMT2017-12-10T09:00:32Z

Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore enjoyed sweet vindication as Toronto FC made their most compelling pitch for Major League Soccer’s best team ever

The spirit of blame has been bouncing around US soccer circles since the USA’s World Cup elimination – but over the course of these MLS playoffs far more than its share has settled on Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore. Both men were booed by opposing fans every time they touched the ball during the playoffs, and both had their struggles – Bradley was nullified by Tyler Adams in the home playoff loss to the Red Bulls, while Altidore saw red in the same game and missed the first leg against Columbus.

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The gifs that keep on giving: laughter, face football and two big clearances

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 10:00:32 GMT2017-01-21T10:00:32Z

Featuring two UFC fighters trying to pretend, a new form of badminton, fast fists, a very short game of pool and an exceedingly chamring basketball player

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The forgotten story of … the Colourful XI tragedy

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 09:30:37 GMT2017-10-12T09:30:37Z

Fifteen Dutch footballers were among 176 people who died in a 1989 plane crash. Edu Nandlal, one of the survivors, tells his story of the disaster

Edu Nandlal couldn’t sleep. Many of the other passengers on Surinam Airways flight 764 from Amsterdam Schiphol to Paramaribo Zanderij had decided to get some rest on the 12-hour journey. But this was the first time Nandlal had returned to Suriname since leaving for the Netherlands after the military coup in 1980. He wanted to see home as the plane approached.

Most were still sleeping when the flight began its descent, in the early hours of Wednesday 7 June 1989. Nandlal looked out of the window and saw lights from houses in the jungle shining. Then he felt something hit the plane. And then something else. “Shit,” he thought, “I’m dead.”

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The Fiver | 'Noisy neighbours' live up to their name

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 16:11:02 GMT2017-12-11T16:11:02Z

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Whether it’s gouging opposition coaches in the eye from behind, publicly humiliating a doctor for refusing to illegally encroach on the pitch to treat a player he’s ordered to feign knack or disparaging referees for doing their job correctly, José Mourinho has always been the personification of fair play. As gracious in defeat as he invariably is magnanimous in victory, the Manchester United manager was understandably irritated when his club’s famously “noisy neighbours” lived up to their name by celebrating their victory at Old Trafford with actual celebrations: playing loud music, busting moves in their dressing room and creating the kind of din that can distract a manager who is busy dreaming up outlandish excuses to explain the manner in which his team have just been outplayed by their city rivals ahead of his media duties.

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The Joy of Six: Cup Winners' Cup memories

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 12:00:02 GMT2017-12-08T12:00:02Z

From Chelsea’s deep freeze to Robbie Fowler’s outrageous skill via a 1970s Milan v Leeds battle, we look at half-a-dozen memories from the Cup Winners’ Cup

When Gianfranco Zola came off the bench to smash home his winning goal in the 1998 final, it meant that no British team had won the Cup Winners’ Cup as many times as Chelsea. Twenty-seven years after they claimed the trophy for the first time, they doubled their tally , triumphing where Arsenal had unforgettably failed in 1995. They had a few scares on their way to the final and sailed dangerously close to the wind in their semi against Vicenza, only for Mark Hughes to wallop home a bouncing ball with time running out in the second leg.

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It's time to introduce a two-legged MLS Cup - with a twist

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 09:00:10 GMT2016-10-24T09:00:10Z

The single final is insufficient, and the two-leg final doesn’t reward the higher-seeded team for their regular-season performance. So why not combine the two?

Do US soccer leagues need their own Super Bowl, a week-long festival of the sport at a neutral site? Or should they reward the best regular-season team with home-field advantage for the final game?

Related: Didier Drogba fined but not suspended for Montreal Impact tantrum

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Tarik Cohen's ridiculous return, flying goalkeepers and derby clangers | Classic YouTube

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:06:08 GMT2017-12-07T10:06:08Z

This week’s roundup also features an NFL match stopped because of crowd noise, Zinedine Zidane at Bordeaux and high school basketball brilliance

1) Tarik Cohen sends the 49ers’ entire pack chasing after the wrong fire with this ridiculous punt return. Oh, and here he is catching a ball while doing a backflip.

2) Trailing 2-1 against Milan and having failed to win a point all season, up trots Benevento’s goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli in the 94th minute to score a stunning flying header to earn a 2-2 draw and join an exclusive club of five goalscoring Serie A keepers. Only 130 more to match Rogério Ceni, though, Alberto.

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Congested calendar and lack of planning to blame for Saracens fixture pantomime | Robert Kitson

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:29:54 GMT2017-12-11T22:29:54Z

Confusion over rescheduling of Clermont Auvergne game adds embarrassment to injury on worst weekend for English clubs in Europe’s top tournament

The pantomime season is upon us but farce is rugby union’s recurring speciality. How else to explain the sight of Clermont Auvergne thrashing a pallid Saracens in one of the year’s supposedly highest‑profile club fixtures in front of a paltry audience on a freezing Monday teatime in Mill Hill?

To decree, as the European Professional Club Rugby did in a belatedly rescinded statement on Sunday night, that the rescheduled game would be held behind closed doors was ludicrous from everyone’s point of view – players, coaches, fans and sponsors. The natural disruption caused by a snowy weekend should not obscure the shambolic administrative aftermath.

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Manchester City deserved derby win over United, says Pep Guardiola – video

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 21:59:41 GMT2017-12-10T21:59:41Z

In the post-match press conference following his team’s 2-1 win over their city rivals, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola had a simple explanation for their success: ‘we were better.’ United manager José Mourinho found it within himself to criticise the referee for not awarding his side a penalty and claimed that City scored ‘two disgraceful goals’ considering their flair and skill level

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Jürgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce disagree over Merseyside derby penalty – video

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 20:06:40 GMT2017-12-10T20:06:40Z

The managers of Liverpool and Everton, Jürgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce, saw a late penalty, which was converted by Wayne Rooney to earn the Toffees a point, very differently. Klopp argued that his team were subject to 60-70 similar challenges in midfield which went unpunished, while Allardyce claimed that referee Craig Pawson was ‘brave’ to give Everton their first penalty at Anfield since 1988

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Bradley Wiggins misses his target time on indoor rowing debut – video

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 19:49:00 GMT2017-12-09T19:49:00Z

Bradley Wiggins made his rowing debut competing in the Open Men 2km at the British Indoor Championships on Saturday. The former cyclist came 21st in the event and well over his six minute and five second target

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Antonio Conte concedes title after Chelsea lose at West Ham – video

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 18:21:30 GMT2017-12-09T18:21:30Z

Chelsea are out of the Premier League title race after losing at West Ham on Saturday, according to Blues manager Antonio Conte. ‘To talk about the title race after a defeat, I think it a bit strange.’ says Conte following the 1-0 defeat at the London Stadium. David Moyes meanwhile is thrilled with the result, his first win as West Ham manager

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Manchester City 'are not going to win or lose the title' in derby, says Guardiola – video

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:50:10 GMT2017-12-08T18:50:10Z

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says the chance to make history is not playing on his mind as he prepares for Sunday’s derby with rivals Manchester United, and it is far too early to suggest that the match could be a title decider. ‘Winning, drawing or losing on Sunday, we are not going to win or lose the Premier League. It’s December.’

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Cristiano Ronaldo wins fifth Ballon d'Or of his career – video

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 21:28:24 GMT2017-12-07T21:28:24Z

Cristiano Ronaldo has won the fifth Ballon d’Or of his career, equalling Lionel Messi’s record after a season that saw him lead Real Madrid to their 12th Champions League title. Ronaldo was presented with the award at a ceremony in Paris on Thursday evening. 'It's a great moment in my career,' says the Portuguese

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Shakhtar Donetsk manager dresses up as Zorro after Champions League win – video

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:26:52 GMT2017-12-07T10:26:52Z

Paulo Fonseca, the Shakhtar Donetsk manager, conducts his post-match news conference in a Zorro costume on Wednesday. Fonseca promised to dress up as the masked vigilante if his side qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League. The 2-1 win over Manchester City sealed the club’s place in the knockout stage

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Liverpool ready to face anyone in Champions League last 16, says Klopp – video

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 08:48:06 GMT2017-12-07T08:48:06Z

Jürgen Klopp says Liverpool will be ready to face anyone in the Champions League knockout stages after a 7-0 rout of Spartak Moscow at Anfield on Wednesday night. The victory ensured the Reds progress as group winners and will therefore face Basel, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk or the reigning champions Real Madrid in the last 16

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Ashes: Australia defeat England by 120 runs to take 2-0 series lead – video report

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 09:00:33 GMT2017-12-06T09:00:33Z

Australia lead the Ashes series 2-0 following a 120-run victory over England in the second Test. Josh Hazlewood quickly extinguished any hope the tourists had of levelling the series by dismissing Chris Woakes and Joe Root early on day five in Adelaide. England finished 233 all out and now face a mountain of a challenge if they are to avoid a series defeat

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Dennis Rodman asks Trump for formal role as North Korea envoy

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:11:32 GMT2017-12-11T13:11:32Z

Ban on US passport holders travelling to Pyongyang stops former basketball star from making sixth trip

Dennis Rodman, the American basketball star turned freelance diplomat , has urged Donald Trump to sign him up as a peace envoy to North Korea after his latest foray into Kim Jong-un’s hermit kingdom was scuppered by a travel ban preventing US citizens from visiting.

During an interview in Beijing, from where Rodman had hoped to fly to Pyongyang for his sixth trip there, the former NBA star said US officials had discouraged him from doing so amid continuing tensions between the countries. “Basically they said it’s not a good time right now,” he said.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 'Trump is where he is because of his appeal to racism'

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:26:39 GMT2017-12-08T18:26:39Z

The basketball legend and social activist who counted Ali and King among his contemporaries discusses Colin Kaepernick, LaVar Ball and Trump’s America

“Like all people my age I find the passage of time so startling,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says with a quiet smile. The 70-year-old remains the highest points-scorer in the history of the NBA and, having won six championships and been picked for a record 19 All-Star Games, he is often compared with Michael Jordan when the greatest basketball players of all time are listed. Yet no one in American sport today can match Kareem’s political and cultural impact over 50 years.

In the 90 minutes since he knocked on my hotel room door in Los Angeles, Abdul-Jabbar has recounted a dizzying personal history which stretches from conducting his first-ever interview with Martin Luther King in Harlem, when he was just 17, to receiving a hand-written insult from Donald Trump in 2015. We move from Colin Kaepernick calling him last week to the moment when, aged 20, Kareem was the youngest man invited to the Cleveland Summit – as the leading black athletes in 1967 gathered to meet Muhammad Ali to decide whether they would support him after he had been stripped of his world title and banned from boxing for rejecting the draft during the Vietnam War.

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Alivereti Raka grabs hat-trick as Clermont Auvergne maul Saracens

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:47:50 GMT2017-12-11T19:47:50Z

• Pool Two: Saracens 14-46 Clermont Auvergne
• French side leapfrog Saracens to go top of pool

Perhaps Saracens will wish the doors stayed closed after all. The European champions have swept all before them on the continent in recent years but this was a record thrashing at the hands of Clermont, irate that this contest was not played on Sunday, every bit as resounding as the scoreline suggests.

Alivereti Raka scored three of their six tries and was near untouchable on the left wing, Morgan Parra imperious at scrum-half and Fritz Lee a colossus despite his yellow card. But Saracens simply could not shake the snow off the roof. Defensively they were dreadful, missing a staggering 37 tackles and they played nothing like a side who were unbeaten in their previous 20 European matches – a run that dates back to the 2015 semi-final defeat by Clermont.

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‘Collaborators and traitors’: Russia goes to war with Winter Olympics ban

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 09:00:32 GMT2017-12-10T09:00:32Z

The outraged Russian reaction to the IOC’s decision has been fuelled by comparisons with the great national triumph in the second world war

On sulphurous television chat shows this week, Russian athletes considering competing under a neutral flag at the upcoming Winter Olympics were compared to wartime collaborators and traitors. The second world war was evoked repeatedly. “Try telling them that the flag isn’t important,” wrote one Kremlin-friendly journalist on Twitter, alongside a photograph of Red Army soldiers lifting the Soviet flag above the Reichstag in 1945.

Related: Proxy battles by the US and Russia are taking sport back to the 1930s | Richard Williams

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NFL roundup: Eagles win NFC East but lose Wentz in thriller over Rams

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 21:45:48 GMT2017-12-10T21:45:48Z

  • Carson Wentz left with a knee injury but Eagles survive 43-35 over Rams
  • McCoy finished with 156 yards rushing and topped the 1,000-yard mark
  • Dak Prescott’s three touchdowns spoil Eli Manning’s return in New York
  • Aaron Rodgers’ Packers rallied to stun the winless Browns in overtime

Carson Wentz threw for 291 yards and four touchdowns before leaving with a knee injury, and Jake Elliott kicked the go-ahead 33-yard field goal with 3:45 left as the Eagles clinched the NFC East title.

Two sources familiar with the injury tell the Associated Press that doctors believe Wentz has torn his left anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the rest of the season and playoffs.

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An ACL injury is no longer a career killer, but can athletes ever truly be the same?

Thu, 11 May 2017 13:24:40 GMT2017-05-11T13:24:40Z

The tiny band of connective tissue in the center of the knee has been the downfall of many a top athlete, but not all ACL injuries are created equal

Even the best professional athletes are only as strong as their weakest link. For an unfortunate few, that weak link is the ACL, the anterior cruciate ligament. But for such an important structure, the ACL isn’t much. A little band of connective tissue in the center of the knee, it often tears during a routine cut or jump, giving way like overcooked fettuccine.

Adam Eaton of the Nationals, Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United, Zach LaVine of the Timberwolves and Devin Smith of the Jets have all torn their ACLs in recent months, putting their careers in a state of limbo. For those athletes, after surgery and six to 12 months of rehab, the million-dollar question is: will I ever be the same again?

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Australia’s Ashes angel Nathan Lyon has England in a spin before Waca Test | Vic Marks

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:26:44 GMT2017-12-11T11:26:44Z

A year ago the spinner was on the brink of being dropped – now he is the linchpin of the side and his fizzing deliveries are tormenting batsmen

It feels unprecedented before a big match at the Waca that batsmen should spend time fretting about playing against an off-spinner. Here the talk has always been about pace and bounce and how to counteract it. Now there is the suggestion that the pitch might not be so pacy which means spin bowling could be more important. But there is another factor: according to their spin bowling coach, John Davison, Australia have the best spin bowler in the world in their team – and England have not been playing him too well.

There is even a fast-expanding fad this Christmas in Australia of putting a picture of The Goat, as Nathan Lyon is affectionately known here, on top of the Christmas tree, where the fairy or the angel usually sits. I promise I have not made this up; take a look at Cricket Australia’s website. Perhaps the England and Wales Cricket Board’s website could conjure something similar with the ghosts of Christmas past. In the season of goodwill a few images of Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen in absolute harmony, hugging not headbutting, with their drinks still residing harmlessly in their glasses, might cheer everyone up.

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Superbikes world champion Jonathan Rea: ‘I want to stay where I am, at the top’

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:34:10 GMT2017-12-11T12:34:10Z

The triple title-winning Northern Irishman on his pride at being on the Spoty shortlist, proving doctors wrong after being told his career could be over, being bullied at school and how a switch to MotoGP is still not out of the question

‘I never doubted myself, but I doubted I’d get the opportunity,” Jonathan Rea says at the end of a wild day in and around Bushmills, a village 60 miles from Belfast. After becoming the Superbike world champion for an unprecedented third year in a row, and now on the shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award on Sunday, Rea has had to weather a burst of fame and a battering storm on the north coast.

The driven yet unassuming 30‑year‑old has been filmed by the BBC at Giant’s Causeway, a beautiful area on a normal day but a wilderness on a morning where he is more exposed than when racing at 200mph. Rea still looks unflappable as he waits for a cup of tea next to a roaring open fire at the local hotel.

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How NBA star Dennis Rodman came to stand between the world and nuclear war

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 08:30:37 GMT2017-09-14T08:30:37Z

It says a lot about the world that the only man on good terms with both Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un is a former basketball player

2017 has become the year when absurd jokes appear to be coming true. When Dennis Rodman made his first trip to North Korea back in 2013, it was amusing to imagine the eccentric NBA legend acting as the United States’ de facto ambassador to the country. The idea was as preposterous as Donald Trump somehow being elected president.

It sounds surreal, but with tensions rising between the two countries thanks to North Korea’s growing nuclear weapons program, there’s a very real possibility that Rodman, a man who once married himself, ends up playing a key role in preventing armageddon. Rodman himself certainly believes he will. In an interview with Good Morning Britain, the five-time NBA champion offered to “straighten things out” between Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, emphasizing that he considers both men friends.

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British woman dies after being swept overboard in Clipper yacht race

Fri, 01 Apr 2016 18:45:54 GMT2016-04-01T18:45:54Z

Round-the-world race organisers confirm death of Sarah Young, second person to die aboard vessel in recent months

A British woman has died taking part in the Clipper Round the World yacht race after being swept overboard, the event’s organisers have said. Sarah Young, who was 40 and from London, is the second person to die aboard the same vessel in recent months.

She was pulled unconscious from the Pacific ocean near the international date line by her crewmates on the IchorCoal on Friday. They tried to resuscitate her but she did not regain consciousness, Clipper said in a statement.

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Rugby union: talking points from the weekend’s European action

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 10:00:01 GMT2017-12-11T10:00:01Z

La Rochelle shine on the biggest stage, England’s finest freeze and the Welsh dragon roars as crunch time approaches in Champions Cup

Have a side ever taken to Europe as well as La Rochelle? It is supposed to require years of failure and frustration – or experience, as it is known in self-help circles – before a team start to move with confidence in this competition, but there they are, all but qualified for the quarter-finals after 15 points from their first three games. They may yet stumble in the knockouts, but La Rochelle are cruising. Then again, it is proving a disappointing pool otherwise. If English clubs are flopping right, left and centre, Wasps and Quins are as dispiriting examples as any. The latter’s defeat to Ulster followed their heroics the previous week as night does day. Ulster look best placed to mount a case as best runners-up, with home games against Quins and La Rochelle still to come before the pool is decided. Michael Aylwin

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Dennis Rodman arrives in North Korea pledging to 'open door'

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 12:03:05 GMT2017-06-13T12:03:05Z

Ex-Chicago Bulls player claims Donald Trump would be pleased with his mission because he is ‘trying to accomplish something we both need’

Flamboyant former NBA star Dennis Rodman has arrived in North Korea, saying he wants to “open the door” to the regime and claiming that Donald Trump would be pleased with his mission.

Sporting a baseball cap, sunglasses and a black T-shirt emblazoned with the logo of sponsor PotCoin – a cryptocurrency for the legal cannabis industry – Rodman was greeted at Pyongyang airport by sports vice-minister Son Kwang Ho and journalists.

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ESPN: can The Worldwide Leader in Sports manage its own decline?

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:00:08 GMT2017-12-07T10:00:08Z

The sports broadcaster has been buffeted by layoffs, declining revenue and a stormy political climate. Will it adapt to a changed media landscape?

In the summer of 1998, ESPN did what successful American sports entities tend to do: it opened a restaurant. Located in Baltimore, the ESPN Zone was less a place to grab a bite than a 35,000-square-foot monument to the broadcast company’s ascendancy – home to a baseball batting cage, a mural of local athletic heroes signing the Declaration of Independence, and a fully functional replica of the set for SportsCenter, its flagship nightly newscast.

Back then, none of this seemed unusual. To the contrary, ESPN was so popular and beloved that restaurant industry observers expected a smashing success, with one analyst gushing to the Washington Post that ESPN’s parent company, Disney, was “so good. They know their limitations – even the precise moment when to pull a video off the shelf. They’re not going to go into a market until the customers are going to drool.”

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