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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: Fri, 24 Nov 2017 04:17:04 GMT2017-11-24T04:17:04Z

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



Chargers humble fading Cowboys as Vikings tame Lions in Thanksgiving tilts

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 21:54:04 GMT2017-11-23T21:54:04Z

  • Philip Rivers torches Dallas for 434 yards and three touchdowns
  • Minnesota hold off Detroit to take three-game lead in NFC North

Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers are on the move. Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys are fading fast.

Rivers threw for 434 yards and three touchdowns in his first Thanksgiving game in his 14th season and the Chargers beat the fading Cowboys 28-6 on Thursday.

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Sehrou Guirassy penalty seals win for Cologne over Arsenal understudies

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 20:27:09 GMT2017-11-23T20:27:09Z

There is a limit to how much genuine disappointment Arsène Wenger will carry from Cologne after a flat performance and narrow Europa League defeat for his understudies. Arsenal qualified as group winners, despite a going-through-the-motions 90 minutes with few redeeming features, and all the while his most valued personnel stayed at home with their feet up. This game was, bizarrely, more of a silver lining than a cloud.

“You feel you have done the job and finished top of the group and we play the final game against Borisov with not much at stake apart from the fact we want to win the game,” said Wenger, a summation that crystalised the relaxed nature of this situation.

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Donald Trump blasts 'ungrateful fool' LaVar Ball as war of words escalates

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 14:21:34 GMT2017-11-22T14:21:34Z

  • President continues feud with LaVar Ball in series of pre-dawn tweets
  • Trump on LaVar: ‘a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair’
  • Potus also rips into NFL commissioner over reported anthem resolution

President Donald Trump doubled down in his mounting feud with the father of a UCLA basketball player detained for shoplifting in Shanghai, saying Wednesday that he was an “ungrateful fool”.

Trump again raised his complaint that LaVar Ball, the outspoken father of LiAngelo Ball, hasn’t given him proper credit for the release of his son and two other UCLA basketball players from detention in China.

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Atalanta run Everton ragged on sorry Europa League night for David Unsworth

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:00:22 GMT2017-11-23T22:00:22Z

Everton did not pick the most auspicious day to announce they have just signed the land contract for a new stadium at Bramley Moore dock on the Mersey. With their doomed European non-adventure nearing its end a dead rubber against Atalanta fell a long way short of filling the present stadium. David Unsworth made nine changes from the side that drew at Crystal Palace at the weekend, and the only part of the ground where empty blue seats were not conspicuous was the section of the Bullens Road stand filled by 3,000 noisy Italians.

Incredibly, as the teams lined up on the pitch the stadium announcer introduced the visitors as Lyon. Still, by the time a new riverside home is designed, built and commissioned, there is every chance Everton will have found a new manager.

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Maria Sharapova under investigation for real estate conspiracy in India

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 15:39:27 GMT2017-11-22T15:39:27Z

  • Sharapova was used to endorse luxury housing project that never took off
  • Five-time major champion is said to be reason most buyers put in money
  • Plaintiff alleges builders disappeared after taking payments on apartments

Maria Sharapova is being investigated by police in India in a cheating and criminal conspiracy case involving a real estate company who used the tennis star to endorse a luxury housing project that never took off.

Real estate firm Homestead Infrastructure is accused of taking tens of millions of rupees – or millions of dollars – from home buyers for a project named Ballet by Maria Sharapova, a luxury apartment complex with its own helipad, tennis academy and other amenities. The five-time grand slam champion travelled to India in 2013 to launch the project at a glitzy ceremony. Police began the investigation on 16 November.

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Ashes 2017-18: Australia v England first Test, day two – live!

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 04:15:26 GMT2017-11-24T04:15:26Z

18th over: Australia 48-2 (Warner 19, Smith 12) Smith and Warner have been entirely unruffled since they came together, and Ball fails to significantly ruffle them, though it’s a pretty decent introductory over but for an early no-ball.

17th over: Australia 46-2 (Warner 18, Smith 12) Morning whinge: BT Sport/Channel 9/whoever’s fault it is’s inability to show the number of overs that have been bowled, and the number of balls in the current over, makes an OBOer’s life even more difficult. “Smith and Warner showing little respect for the respectfully sedate template laid down by England’s batsmen,” writes Brian Withington. “Already batting with indecent purpose and intent - have they no shame?” Jake Ball’s about to find out if he can do anything about it.

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Italian court sentences Robinho to nine years in jail for rape

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 20:14:10 GMT2017-11-23T20:14:10Z

• Former Manchester City forward convicted as part of gang rape in 2013
• Robinho says he is not guilty and vows to fight the ‘accusations’

An Italian court has sentenced the former Manchester City and Brazil forward Robinho in absentia to nine years in prison after convicting him of taking part in a gang rape of an Albanian woman in 2013.

A Milan court ruled that Robinho and five other Brazilians assaulted the woman, who was 22 at the time, after plying her with alcohol in a discotheque. The whereabouts of Robinho’s five companions is not known, so their trial has been put on hold.

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Manchester United punished for taking it easy by Michael Lang’s late shocker

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 07:38:34 GMT2017-11-23T07:38:34Z

Disaster struck for Manchester United with less than a minute of normal time remaining when Michael Lang prodded home to claim a win which means José Mourinho’s team will qualify unless they suffer a record home European defeat in their final Group A game against CSKA Moscow.

For that scenario to come into play Basel would also need to beat Benfica to then draw level with United and Moscow on 12 points. The remote chances of this left Mourinho calm about progression to the knockout stage.

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Neymar leads the charge again in PSG’s repeat rout of Celtic

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 22:21:49 GMT2017-11-22T22:21:49Z

Brendan Rodgers said this mauling by Paris Saint-Germain brought more encouragement than Celtic’s seven‑goal thrashing by Barcelona last season. Moussa Dembélé fired the visitors into a first-minute lead but that only riled the home side, who reacted to the concession of a first goal in this season’s Champions League in style.

A Neymar double was followed by goals from Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappé before the break and the Ligue 1 leaders, who had won 5-0 at Parkhead in September, were just as ruthless in the second half with goals from Marco Verratti, Cavani and Dani Alves completing the rout.

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USA Gymnastics doctor faces 25 years in prison after guilty plea to molesting girls

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:49:26 GMT2017-11-22T16:49:26Z

  • Larry Nassar worked with Olympic gymnasts and at Michigan State University
  • 54-year-old’s plea deal carries minimum 25-year term

A sports doctor accused of molesting girls while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University pleaded guilty on Wednesday to multiple charges of sexual assault and will face at least 25 years in prison.

Related: Olympic champion Gabby Douglas says she was abused by USA Gymnastics doctor

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Hacking the free throw: the science behind the most practiced shot in sports

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 09:30:16 GMT2017-11-22T09:30:16Z

The free throw is the rare instance in sport where a player can attempt to score without any defensive pressure. So why do so many top players struggle?

Despite the name, free throws only seem free. Though they are one of the few, or perhaps only, opportunities in sport during which the defense steps aside, many NBA players struggle with consistently making the uncontested 15ft shot. But that’s nothing new, despite advancements in nearly every other physical skill, NBA free throw shooting percentage has bounced around 75% since the early 1970’s.

In today’s NBA, it’s much more exciting to shoot three-pointers. NBA players are human beings too, generally young people that were brought up on SportsCenter and YouTube. And let’s face it, shooting free throws is kind of boring, even for the NBA players that struggle to make free throws. That’s reflected in the continued rise of three-point attempts – currently at an all-time high of nearly 40 per game – and the fall of free throw attempts to nearly the lowest in 60 years. For all the talk about the analytical advantages of three-point shooting, it doesn’t get better than a shot taken without a defender and a stopped clock.

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Willian eases Chelsea into last 16 after early red card ends Qarabag chances

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 19:01:41 GMT2017-11-22T19:01:41Z

There was no manic celebration from Antonio Conte and his players at the final whistle, polite handshakes replacing joyful punches of the air, but all in the visitors’ ranks could take pride in a job professionally done. Comfortable victory in Baku has extended Chelsea’s Champions League campaign into the new-year knockout phase. They may not appreciate it at Anfield on Saturday, when aching limbs will kick in as they heave to deal with a wounded Liverpool, but the 5,000-mile round trip to Azerbaijan has been distinctly worthwhile.

The final group game against Atlético Madrid, a daunting prospect when the section was drawn, will now merely determine the leadership of the section. “We have reached our first target: to go through into the knockout,” Conte said. “And to avoid the game with Atlético becoming decisive for us is very important. It will be a good chance now to have another rotation with my players.”

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Alberto Moreno and Liverpool back to their slapdash worst in familiar collapse | Sachin Nakrani

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 09:59:17 GMT2017-11-22T09:59:17Z

Jürgen Klopp’s side had the chance to show what was supposed to be their new-found maturity against Sevilla, but they comprehensively failed the test

Georginio Wijnaldum’s expression said it all. As the final whistle blew at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, the Liverpool midfielder could be seen shaking his head in shock and despair as he tried to make sense of what had just happened. Many of the travelling supporters appeared equally shellshocked, yet ultimately the surprise was that anyone was surprised. After all, this was classic Liverpool – great going forward, gruesome in defence. A 3-0 lead thrown away and an important test failed.

Related: Jürgen Klopp admits Liverpool stopped playing at half-time against Sevilla

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Ray Allen, two-time NBA champion, says he was catfished by man posing as women

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:12:32 GMT2017-11-21T19:12:32Z

  • Former Heat and Celtics star he has been harassed on social media
  • Bryant Coleman insists he is being harassed rather than former player

The two-time NBA champion Ray Allen said he is a victim of catfishing, and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online. 

Allen filed an emergency motion in Orange County, Florida, on Tuesday, one day after Bryant Coleman told the court he is being stalked by the 10-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion, who won titles with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. Allen said Coleman is the one who is stalking. 

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Spurs secure top spot after Son Heung-min screamer sinks Borussia Dortmund

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:02:54 GMT2017-11-21T22:02:54Z

When the time comes to pull the names out of the hat at Uefa headquarters next month, none of the second-placed teams will want to draw Tottenham Hotspur. There is no longer evidence of any inferiority complex when they rub shoulders with Europe’s elite and they will fancy themselves against anyone after winning Group H – at the expense of the mighty Real Madrid, no less – with a game to spare after this mature, resilient victory away to Borussia Dortmund.

Related: Sevilla 2-2 Liverpool: Champions League – as it happened

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Belichick wary of Patriots return to Mexico due to volcanoes and quakes

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 15:24:31 GMT2017-11-21T15:24:31Z

  • New England played Oakland in Mexico City on Sunday
  • Patriots head coach says natural hazards are a concern for team

The New England Patriots got the result they wanted on their trip to Mexico City on Sunday, beating the Oakland Raiders 33-8. Their coach, however, is in no rush to repeat the experience.

“Players did a great job dealing with all the challenges we had to deal with. I think we’re fortunate there was no volcano eruptions or earthquakes, or anything else while we were down there,” Bill Belichick said in an appearance on WEEI on Monday. “You have two NFL franchises in an area that I don’t know how stable the geological plates that were below us [were], but nothing happened, so that was good.”

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Seattle Seahawks go down to another defeat without Legion of Boom

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 12:23:36 GMT2017-11-21T12:23:36Z

  • Seattle lose 34-31 to Atlanta Falcons after missed field goal in final seconds
  • Questionable decisions by Pete Carroll cost Seattle dear

Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons did enough through three quarters that even the best comeback attempt by Russell Wilson fell short this time.

Ryan threw a pair of touchdown passes, Adrian Clayborn returned a fumble 10 yards for a score and the Falcons watched Blair Walsh’s 52-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds fall short, holding off the Seattle Seahawks for a 34-31 win on Monday night.

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Liverpool’s defensive problems do not begin and end with Alberto Moreno | Jonathan Wilson

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 23:26:33 GMT2017-11-23T23:26:33Z

The Reds have let in three or more goals four times this season but the main problem is not just in defence but more the lack of a proper holding player

At around 10 to 10 local time on Tuesday Liverpool were leading Sevilla 3-0. The home side were pressing and had had chances in the first half but there was no real sense of danger. Only the knowledge of Liverpool’s past record suggested the game might not be over.

All they had to do was hold out, wait for the storm to pass, avoid doing anything stupid. Alberto Moreno did something stupid.

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We need a culture shift, not just Rainbow Laces, for players to come out | Liam Rosenior

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 18:29:09 GMT2017-11-23T18:29:09Z

Society seems to be more inclusive than it was, but football still has its macho dressing-room as a barrier

My six-year-old daughter is football mad and her heroes are Neymar and Ronaldo. In the 21st century it’s not unusual for girls to choose football as their obsession and it’s natural that two of the best players in the world are her idols while I’m just proud to be her dad – who also happens to be a professional footballer.

Every school day she puts on her uniform, which comprises trousers, a shirt and tie and jumper – just like all of the boys at her school. This is her choice and we are fortunate that her school allows her to decide what she wants to wear rather than insisting she wear the traditional dress and blouse assigned to girls. They’re making an effort to have empathy with her choices, which makes me proud because it makes me feel like society is more open-minded and inclusive than it was even a decade ago.

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Blind Liverpool fan makes formal complaint against Seville police tactics

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 19:57:29 GMT2017-11-23T19:57:29Z

• Supporter left ‘vulnerable’ after his cane was taken away at stadium
• Calls for FA to do more to protect fans against ‘over-zealous’ policing abroad

A blind Liverpool fan was left feeling “vulnerable” and discriminated against after claiming his cane was snatched from him by police in Seville and called on the Football Association to do more to protect British supporters travelling abroad.

Eamon, 40, who follows Liverpool home and away, missed much of the first half of Liverpool’s dramatic 3-3 Champions League draw on Tuesday and says he was subjected to heavy-handed policing at Sevilla’s Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.

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Chelsea did not give Mohamed Salah his chance to make it, claims Eden Hazard

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:30:13 GMT2017-11-23T22:30:13Z

• Liverpool the latest beneficiary of Egyptian forward’s eye for goal
• Hazard intends to swap shirts when the teams meet at Anfield on Saturday

Eden Hazard has conceded Mohamed Salah “did not get his chance at Chelsea” as the former club-mates prepare to meet as rivals at Anfield on Saturday, with the Belgian so impressed by the impact made by the winger at Liverpool that he intends to ask after the match for his shirt.

Chelsea had trumped Liverpool in January 2014 to secure the Egyptian from Basel for around £11m when Salah was in effect replacing the departed Juan Mata, only for him to find opportunities limited under the management of José Mourinho. He made six Premier League starts, his top-flight career failing to extend beyond nine hours of football, before loans to Fiorentina and Roma and, eventually, a permanent move to the Stadio Olimpico.

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Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino spells it out to ‘fuming’ full-back Danny Rose

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:30:47 GMT2017-11-23T22:30:47Z

• Manager ‘doesn’t care’ whether player was upset at squad omission
• Lamela could be part of squad to face West Bromwich on Saturday

Danny Rose has been left in no doubt as to who calls the shots at Tottenham after Mauricio Pochettino said he “doesn’t care” whether his player was upset at being left out of the squad.

Rose said this week that he was “fuming” at missing out on selection for the game against Arsenal. But while player and manager say there is no issue between them, Pochettino took time to explain the situation before Saturday’s game against West Bromwich, which may see the return of Érik Lamela from injury.

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Tennis Australia refuse to gift Bernard Tomic Australian Open wildcard spot

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 03:23:54 GMT2017-11-24T03:23:54Z

  • Tomic invited to play playoff tournament next month
  • Player has plummeted from N017 in world to 143

Bernard Tomic will have to fight for an Australian Open wildcard, with Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt saying he needs to see more from the controversial player. Injury-plagued Thanasi Kokkinakis was this week awarded a discretionary wildcard but Tomic will not be given the same guaranteed start.

Plummeting to 143 from a career high world No17 in 2016, Tomic has been invited to compete in a 16-man field in the wildcard playoff in Melbourne in December, although is yet to accept the invitation.

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NSW heading in right direction with addition of Brad Fittler as coach | Nick Tedeschi

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 03:07:26 GMT2017-11-24T03:07:26Z

Fittler’s arrival is a commitment to passion, to heart and to the idea that Origin is more than game plans and tactics

The NSWRL, in what can only be considered a rare move of late, has signed Brad Fittler on to coach the Blues for the 2018 and 2019 campaigns. The front-runner from the moment the axe fell on Laurie Daley, Fittler won the job ahead of more seasoned club coaches Michael Maguire, John Cartwright and David Furner.

The Blues hierarchy have been crippled by indecisiveness in recent years: Laurie Daley kept the job too long; Bob Fulton’s influence on selection for many years was too great yet curbed far too late; little was done regarding player discipline; the right types of players weren’t nurtured.

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Wallabies to unleash powerhouse Taniela Tupou on Scotland

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 23:38:49 GMT2017-11-23T23:38:49Z

  • Queensland Reds player breaks down in tears upon learning of selection
  • Stephen Moore named as starting hooker in his final international appearance

Taniela Tupou is set to make his international debut against Scotland, just a week after the prop completed his three-year Wallabies qualification period. The 130kg 21-year-old Queensland Reds player was named on the bench by Michael Cheika for the Murrayfield clash after jetting in to the UK last week from Brisbane.

Related: Cheika's referee rage a reputational and strategic risk for Wallabies

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Swansea’s manager Paul Clement is confident the owners are supportive

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:30:13 GMT2017-11-23T22:30:13Z

• ‘They are not the sort of people to be bullied into making a decision’
• Swans face lowly Bournemouth after six league defeats from seven

Paul Clement is confident his job is not on the line when Swansea City take on Bournemouth at home on Saturday and adamant the Welsh club’s board remain firmly behind him despite growing relegation fears after losing six of their past seven Premier League matches.

That awful run, combined with the fact that Tony Pulis became the fifth Premier League manager to lose his job this season when West Bromwich sacked him on Monday, has shifted the spotlight on to Swansea’s plight and Clement’s position in particular. Clement, however, insisted his discussions with Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien, the club’s majority shareholders, remained “positive” and also stated his belief that they were not the sort of people to be “bullied” into making a decision because of fans or media.

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England have right morals, says Jo Potter as Eni Aluko fallout continues

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 21:21:06 GMT2017-11-23T21:21:06Z

• Midfielder responds after Aluko accused former team-mates of lack of support
• Potter maintains recent upheaval will not stop them qualifying for World Cup

Jo Potter has said she and her England team-mates “know we have the right morals” as the fallout from the Eni Aluko affair continues. The squad have been criticised in the wake of Aluko’s complaint that, bar those playing alongside her at Chelsea, she has received no support from her former international team-mates.

Related: Lee Kendall admitted using mock accent to Eni Aluko but FA concealed it

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Sam Whitelock to captain All Blacks against Wales in Kieran Read’s absence

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 20:32:44 GMT2017-11-23T20:32:44Z

• Whitelock beats Beauden Barrett to role after Read ruled out through injury
• ‘I don’t think All Blacks are ever vulnerable,’ says Wales’ Warren Gatland

Sam Whitelock will captain New Zealand in Cardiff on Saturday after Kieran Read was ruled out of the All Blacks’ final Test of the year against Wales. Read has hip and back pain but Rieko Ioane has made a remarkable recovery from a shoulder injury and will start on the left wing.

The loss of Read is a significant blow to a touring squad already lacking some key forwards and the head coach, Steve Hansen, has opted to install the experienced Whitelock as replacement captain rather than the fly-half Beauden Barrett who did the job against the Barbarians. Whitelock’s brother Luke also led the All Blacks against a France XV in Lyon last week and the duo will now become the first pair of brothers to captain New Zealand since the 1920s.

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'Entitled' Beverly Hills parents drive kids' soccer ref to quit: 'I despise you'

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 22:11:59 GMT2017-11-22T22:11:59Z

Avery Krut pens withering letter explaining his departure, saying parents are ‘disrespectful and damaging the children’ with their behaviour

Avery Krut’s farewell letter to the parents of Beverly Hills is the literary equivalent of a flying kick to the shins.

“This will be my last year as your referee administrator and I will no longer be the game scheduler,” he wrote, announcing his decision to step down from the American Youth Soccer Organization’s (AYSO) branch in Beverly Hills.

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England go looking for their first World Cup final since 1995 – and a head coach

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 12:31:37 GMT2017-11-22T12:31:37Z

Wayne Bennett’s contract runs out after the World Cup. If he wants to bow out at the top, Leeds Rhinos and USA head coach Brian McDermott is ready for the job

By Gavin Willacy for No Helmets Required, part of the Guardian Sport Network

A couple of days before playing in a World Cup semi-final, England know their fixtures for this time next year but are in the dark about who will be in charge of the team. Head coach Wayne Bennett’s contract runs out after the World Cup but, if he lifts the Paul Barrière Trophy at his home ground in Brisbane next Saturday, he might consider it the perfect ending. However, if England beat Tonga in their semi-final this weekend and then put in a valiant display in defeat to his native Australia in the final, he might just decide to stick around for another crack at a major series.

Whenever the greatest Australian coach of all time does step aside, the most successful English coach of his generation is primed for the job. Bennett’s assistants, Denis Betts and Paul Anderson, may be hoping to step up when the time comes but Leeds Rhinos and USA coach Brian McDermott is ready. The World Cup has not gone as well for McDermott as it has for Bennett – USA were thrashed in all three of their matches and failed to score a point in two of them – but he says he has gained valuable experience from the tournament.

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Olympic champion Gabby Douglas says she was abused by USA Gymnastics doctor

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 01:29:37 GMT2017-11-22T01:29:37Z

  • Allegations of abuse come after criticisms of victim shaming
  • Larry Nassar faces life in prison if found guilty of sexual abuse
  • Other Olympic gymnasts say they were victims of USA Gymnastics doctor

Gabby Douglas has become the third Olympic gold medalist to say she was abused by USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.

Douglas was widely criticized last week when she appeared to blame survivors of abuse, saying that saying that women should “dress modestly and be classy” to avoid enticing “the wrong crowd”. Those comments were in response to Aly Raisman, the US team captain at the London and Rio Games, who said she had been abused by Nassar.

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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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Not stark naked, merely 'between outfits'

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 15:59:25 GMT2017-11-23T15:59:25Z

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A lot has happened in the month since Everton invited Ronald Koeman to explore new opportunities beginning with the words Do One. Leicester have appointed a new manager. West Ham have appointed a new manager. The Zimbabwean army have helped overthrow one of the world’s longest-ruling dictators and appoint a successor. And Everton’s owner, Farhad Moshiri, has plugged in his laptop and begun typing “football manager” into Google.

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The Joy of Six: unlikely football career twilights

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 11:00:28 GMT2017-11-23T11:00:28Z

From Micky Quinn’s eventful Greek swansong to Socrates’s freezing cold cameo in north Yorkshire, via Johan Cruyff sticking it to Ajax, George Best and more

It is hard to imagine a striker as typically old-school as Micky Quinn choosing to broaden his horizons. He was a burly scouser, his nickname was “Sumo” because of his wobbly midriff and he was unashamedly fond of a pie and pint. So how was it that he ended up seeing out his career in northern Greece with PAOK Thessaloniki aged 33? “They offered me twice as much money as I’d been earning for just one season in Greece.” Ah. He also wanted to carry on playing after being released by Coventry and had received very few offers in England despite having been prolific pretty much everywhere he played. His signing was seen as a coup in the Greek Super League. The club met him with garlands off the flight and hundreds of fans turned up to roar their approval as he stepped off the plane with eyes agog. That was as good as it got.

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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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Memorable Gabba moments, Georgia Dome demolition and Jimmy Thunder

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 10:00:27 GMT2017-11-23T10:00:27Z

Our roundup also features Germán Lux forgetting the rules of football, Chad Johnson’s comedy and the best three non-league touches you’re likely to see

1) England have got form when it comes to falling to pieces at the Gabba – just ask Steve Harmison and Nasser Hussain – but in the 1986-87 tour Ian Botham proved too much for the callow Australian seamers, rattling off 138, including 13 fours and four sixes, 22 coming from one Merv Hughes over.

2) There are some incredible shots of the Georgia Dome being demolished. This one is great and there are loads of them here. Boom! Boom! Boom! But our favourite is this angle, in which a bus pulls up in front of the camera just as the grand old venue bursts into millions of little pieces. Cue the cameraman who has waited hours for the big moment losing it in fine style.

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Liverpool's leaky defence, expected goals and expectant wives – Football Weekly Extra

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 17:32:27 GMT2017-11-23T17:32:27Z

Max Rushden and co run the rule over the midweek Champions League action and reveal why Edward Elgar would be turning in his grave

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

Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, Jonathan Wilson and Andy Brassell review all of the midweek Champions League action. Liverpool’s defensive resolve is being questioned once again after throwing away a three goal lead at Sevilla, while Manchester United play a “perfect half” according to José Mourinho before being undone by Basel.

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Ashes: England close day one of first Test against Australia on 196-4 – video report

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 10:45:56 GMT2017-11-23T10:45:56Z

England finished day one of the first Ashes Test at 196-4 after a tight affair at the Gabba. Alastair Cook was caught in the day's third over but Mark Stoneman and James Vince dug in for the tourists and partnered for 125 before being dismissed. Captain Joe Root then fell for 15 late on after review

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José Mourinho: Manchester United should have led 5-0 at half-time against Basel – video

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 07:55:12 GMT2017-11-23T07:55:12Z

The Manchester United manager, José Mourinho, says that his side would have beaten Basel nine times out of 10 following defeat in Switzerland on Wednesday night. Michael Lang prodded home late for Basel to condemn United to their first Champions League loss of the season. ‘At half-time, it should be 5-0,’ argues Mourinho

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Joe Root: England due an Ashes win at the Gabba – video

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 14:40:18 GMT2017-11-22T14:40:18Z

Joe Root says it is about time England were victorious at the Gabba, the venue for the first Ashes Test. Australia boast a formidable record at the ground having not lost a Test in Brisbane since 1988, and England last won there in 1986. 'I think we're about due to win here,' says the England captain on the eve of the series

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'It feels like we lost': Liverpool surrender three-goal lead at Sevilla – video

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 08:12:30 GMT2017-11-22T08:12:30Z

Jürgen Klopp admits that Liverpool's 3-3 draw away at Sevilla on Tuesday feels like a loss after his side let a three-goal lead slip in the second half. 'We didn't carry on playing football,' says Klopp. 'I don't think anybody can change that it feels like we lost the game,' he adds

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Ange Postecoglou quits as Socceroos coach – video

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 01:09:34 GMT2017-11-22T01:09:34Z

Australia will have a new coach for the 2018 World Cup in Russia after Postecoglou makes the ‘toughest decision’ and calls an end to his four-year reign

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Alastair Cook: 'You wouldn't want to be the Australian side that loses at the Gabba' – video

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:46:26 GMT2017-11-21T16:46:26Z

Former captain Alastair Cook insists that 'records are there to be broken' as England look for a first win at the Gabba since 1986. England have won four of the five last Ashes series, but are without all-rounder Ben Stokes following his arrest in September. Australia have an injury concern of their own in opening batsman David Warner, but he is clear that his neck problem won't prevent him from playing

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Tottenham Hotspur's Mauricio Pochettino: 'We need to keep going' – video

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 12:37:23 GMT2017-11-21T12:37:23Z

Tottenham Hotspur will look to consolidate their position as Champions League Group H leaders when they take on Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night. Ten points from their opening four games mean that Mauricio Pochettino's side are already guaranteed a place in the final 16 of the tournament.


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Liverpool's Jürgen Klopp on Sevilla: 'This is the game' – video

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 10:36:34 GMT2017-11-21T10:36:34Z

Unbeaten so far in the competition, Liverpool will qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League with a game to spare if they beat Sevilla.

The trip to Spain is their toughest test of the competition so far, but Jürgen Klopp’s men will be full of confidence.

They are enjoying their best defensive run of the season and have conceded only two goals in their last seven games.

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Why is first Ashes day-night Test and pink ball a big deal? – video explainer

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 18:21:34 GMT2017-11-20T18:21:34Z

When Australia host England at the Adelaide Oval on 2 December it will be the first day-night Test in an Ashes series. But just what are day-night Tests all about and why do they use a pink ball? Here we reveal all

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Pep Guardiola on Feyenoord: 'They play better than results say' – video

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 16:51:03 GMT2017-11-20T16:51:03Z

Pep Guardiola insists Feyenoord are ‘better than the results ‘ as Manchester City prepare to play the Dutch side in the Champions League. The Premier League leaders head Group F with four wins from four games, and are unbeaten in 18 games in all competitions this season. They must play 12 games in the final six weeks of 2017, something their manager describes as ‘a tough moment’

De Bruyne says freedom and discipline help City thrive

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And you thought the Bears offense was bad: the NFL's last 0-0 game

Thu, 01 Oct 2015 14:54:15 GMT2015-10-01T14:54:15Z

When the Lions and Giants met in November 1943, the second world war and terrible field conditions helped create a historical oddity

We need to generate more than zero points to win games, there’s no doubt,” Chicago Bears coach John Fox.

This is hardly assailable logic. Coming after his Bears lost 26-0 to Seattle last Sunday what else could Fox say? When I first read this line I chuckled as everybody probably did. Fox is a master of the subtle quips, those self-deprecating one-liners that break up room. It’s a part of what has made him one of the best coaches of his time, taking two teams to Super Bowls and inventing an offense mid-season that worked for Tim Tebow.

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Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel trade end-of-term F1 barbs in Abu Dhabi

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 16:48:17 GMT2017-11-23T16:48:17Z

• ‘I passed you,’ Hamilton reminds Vettel after backhanded praise for Mercedes
• ‘Sebastian won the last race and I don’t want to give him this one,’ Briton adds

With Lewis Hamilton having already secured the Formula One world championship, the Briton could afford to be relaxed in the buildup to the season finale this weekend in Abu Dhabi and the Mercedes driver was more than happy to engage in some verbal sparring with his title rival Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton took the championship in Mexico having won nine races to Vettel’s five, but for much of the season the pair were engaged in a tight battle. However, while they have enjoyed some close racing only two passes have been made on the track against each other – both by Hamilton.

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James Toney: I should’ve knocked Donald Trump’s head off and saved the world lots of trouble

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:03:02 GMT2017-11-22T16:03:02Z

Twenty-six years after their first meeting Donald McRae catches up again with his favourite boxer as the outspoken 49-year-old former world champion prepares for an exhibition fight in Bristol before embarking on a career as a bounty hunter

“Why?” James Toney says fiercely as, just a foot away, the once brilliant and intimidating boxer leans forward and stares at me. “You wanted me to stop fighting? Why? Why?”

I look at my favourite boxer, who used to be rated as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and prepare to tell him the obvious reason. But, pausing first, I remember the compelling stir Toney created in the early 1990s. Before then, when he was still carrying a gun and selling crack on the outskirts of Detroit, Toney’s life seemed distorted by his violent past.

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Ashes 2017-18: Australia v England: first Test, day one - as it happened

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 08:19:17 GMT2017-11-23T08:19:17Z

England finished the opening day of the Ashes on 196 for four, with James Vince making a lovely 83 before a strong Australian fightback

Related: Australia rally as England’s Joe Root falls late on even Ashes opening day

That was a compelling arm-wrestle, with the battle rarely moving far from the middle of the table. Mark Stoneman and particularly James Vince batted beautifully before Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon dragged Australia back into the match with some seriously good bowling. At 196 for four, the day’s play was just about even. I don’t know about you but I’m already struggling to sit still at the prospect of tonight/tomorrow/whenever the hell this match resumes. Thanks for your company, bye!

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Jana Novotná obituary

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:17:54 GMT2017-11-21T13:17:54Z

Czech tennis player who won the Wimbledon women’s singles title in 1998

The Czech tennis player Jana Novotná, who has died of cancer aged 49, had a career of consistent success that would have more than satisfied most players, but fell some way short of what she would have achieved had she possessed a much steadier nerve.

In 1998, the year before she retired, Novotná became only the fifth female player to pass the $10m mark in career prize money and in the same year was within reach of being ranked No 1 in the world. As an athlete she was among the best of her era, possessed of consummate skill in the dying and difficult art of serve-and-volley and an ability to deliver a backhand smash that was the envy of her peers. And yet in her 14 years at the top of the women’s game she won only 24 tour singles titles. Even more disappointingly, she reached the last eight in 22 of the 50 grand slam singles events in which she competed but managed to convert that consistency into just one title.

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New Zealand have had a testing, tiring year but talk of decay is premature | The Breakdown

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 11:45:23 GMT2017-11-23T11:45:23Z

The All Blacks have shown vulnerabilities this year but even when not on their game the world champions are still scoring tries and winning

Wales have not beaten New Zealand since 1953, when they led the series between the countries 3-1. Now it is 30-3 the other way, a record that would make Saturday’s latest tilt, without five players who toured with the Lions in the summer, appear forlorn.

Yet despite Wales’s injury woes that have depleted their three-quarter line and reduced their back row options, their former captain Jonathan Davies believes that this could be the year that victory number four is finally secured because the All Blacks have been showing signs of vulnerability and were within a missed tackle of suffering a draw at best at Murrayfield last Saturday.

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Australia rally as England’s Joe Root falls late on even Ashes opening day

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 08:49:00 GMT2017-11-23T08:49:00Z

First Test, day one: England 196-4 v Australia
• James Vince makes 83, Alastair Cook out for two in third over

For a while it all went quiet out there, too damn quiet – at least for the Australians. After all the braggadocio in the buildup to this series, the actual cricket seemed to be taking place in a library. Seldom have 30,000 assembled Aussies been so hushed. But in the final session of a rain‑affected day the crowd found their voice as their team snaffled the vital wicket.

As the sun dipped below the stands in Brisbane, Joe Root was dismissed by Pat Cummins and there was a roar in the stands and embraces in the field. England’s champion had gone and the tenacity displayed by two Ashes newcomers, James Vince and Mark Stoneman – both of whom recorded their career bests in Test cricket – was in danger of being squandered. England finished a tense and absorbing opening day on 196 for four.

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New greyhound rules in NSW after dogs raced against cheetahs in Shanghai

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 05:10:44 GMT2017-11-23T05:10:44Z

Rules will place greater onus on owners to prevent their racing greyhounds being shipped to cruel and degrading conditions

New South Wales authorities will introduce new rules to stop greyhounds being shipped to cruel and degrading conditions, after a large-scale export racket sent 70 animals to a Shanghai zoo known for racing dogs against cheetahs.

The new rules seek to place a greater onus on racing greyhound owners to prevent their animals being sent to places with shocking animal welfare records.

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BT Sport’s fine Ashes partnerships blighted by commercial breakdowns | Simon Burnton

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 14:32:36 GMT2017-11-23T14:32:36Z

Matt Smith and co had a solid opening despite a late wobble, while there’s an Ashes bromance in the air for Graeme Swann and Damien Fleming, but the adverts did jar a little

Fade in. Interior, an extraordinarily messy room with a massage bed in the middle. Clothing and footwear are strewn across all visible surfaces and large bags are scattered haphazardly across the remaining floor space. Pads and bats are piled up, leaning against benches and walls. Exposed pipes meander around the ceiling, not in a trendy architect‑inspired Pompidou‑Centre way but just in a couldn’t-really-be-bothered-to-hide-them way. In the corner a television is attached tightly to the wall, so that instead of facing into the room it points straight ahead, allowing hardly anyone to watch it comfortably, especially given that it’s almost at ceiling height.

It is, anyway, off. Television is not being watched in this room, it is being produced. A solitary figure stands amid the clutter: it is Matt Smith, BT Sport’s Ashes anchor. “This is the England dressing room here at the Gabba,” he says. “This is where the magic or the misery happens. That [he indicates the only space in the entire room where someone has actually folded their laundry] is Joe Root’s corner. What he says in here over the next few minutes might be – might be – pivotal for what comes over the next few weeks.”

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