The 100 best male footballers in the world 2018: Nos 100-71

19-12-2018 Our panel of 225 experts from 69 nations compile a list of the greatest male players in 2018. We will unveil 30 names a day until the top 10 on Friday. Meet our 2018 judges2017 edition | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012The 100 best female footballers in 2018 Continue reading...

Manchester City rely on penalties to beat Leicester in Carabao Cup

19-12-2018 History repeated itself in the East Midlands as Manchester City sealed their passage into the Carabao Cup semi-finals via penalties and at the expense of Leicester for the second season running. Arijanet Muric, City’s 20-year-old Kosovan goalkeeper, was the hero, denying James Maddison and Caglar Soyuncu in a shootout that was not exactly a masterclass in the art of how to take a penalty.Christian Fuchs blazed his kick over the bar, Raheem Sterling fluffed his lines when attempting a Panenka and, without wishing to take too much credit away from Muric, both the penalties he saved were desperately poor. Continue reading...

José Mourinho must take the consequences, says Jürgen Klopp

19-12-2018 • Klopp has more sympathy for sacked lower league managers• Liverpool beat Manchester United in Mourinho’s last matchJürgen Klopp said he has more sympathy for managers sacked at lower league clubs than José Mourinho and his former Manchester United rival had to “take the consequences” for what unfolded at Old Trafford.The Liverpool manager oversaw a comfortable victory over United on Sunday in what proved to be Mourinho’s final game. He said Mourinho remained an outstanding manager who has “all my respect” for what he has achieved and would not find it difficult to land another top job. For that reason, and perhaps the lucrative pay-off from Old Trafford, Klopp insists he has greater concern for peers sacked at the lower level than a two-times Champions League winner. Continue reading...

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

19-12-2018 Painstaking research, virtual reality and holding the tackle bags in training... an insight into how a top rugby analyst operates.

Tyson Fury is no angel but he should have been on the Spoty shortlist | Kevin Mitchell

19-12-2018 It is toweringly paradoxical that a fighter who is trying against mountainous odds to put embarrassing chunks of his past behind him is reminded of his sins again in a public referendumGeraint Thomas deserves the acclaim of armchair Britain as the nation’s outstanding athlete of 2018. He’s a wonderful cyclist, won the Tour de France – only the third Briton to do so, after Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome – and is, by all accounts, a decent man.Tyson Fury, on the other hand … is, well, a bit difficult. He fights for a living. He’s prone to discomfit “civilised company”. He grew up on a Travellers’ site. Some of his views would embarrass a nightclub bouncer. Or once did. Continue reading...

Pete Shelley's Tour de force, Miami's Miracle and Premier Passions | Classic YouTube

19-12-2018 This week’s roundup also features Paul Sherwen, NHL deflections and Dean Jones’s very bad idea1) It wasn’t always widely known, but Buzzcocks’ brilliant Pete Shelley, who died this past week, wrote the music for the iconic Channel 4 Tour de France theme, itself taken from within 1984 track Give It To Me. Another sad passing this week was Paul Sherwen. It’s well worth a listen to the Cycling Podcast’s tribute, while Sherwen recalls how he met his broadcasting partner Phil Liggett.2) The Miami Miracle! Obviously there’s already a Tecmo Super Bowl version out there. Gronk’s still stumbling. More laterals: here’s the Music City Miracle, which always features highly among some of the NFL’s most famous. There are more in college football, including … Miami (!) v Duke, Trinity v Millsaps and the classic: Cal v Stanford. Watch out for that band! More on The Play. Continue reading...

David Squires on ... José Mourinho's United exit and Southampton's spirit

19-12-2018 Our cartoonist on Emo Mourinho’s last stand, festive cheer at St Mary’s and Roy Hodgson cooking up a Crystal Palace winView all of David’s cartoons here Continue reading...

Talking Horses: Arc £3m prize-money cuts start to bite at Southwell

19-12-2018 The reduction in prize money is a response to the government’s decision to cut the maximum stake on FOBT machines in betting shops from £100 to £2The all-weather Flat card at Southwell on Tuesday afternoon has more runners per race than either of the jumps meetings at Catterick or Fakenham, but the lowest prize money per race by a long way, £7k on the Fibresand at the Midlands track versus £9k for Catterick and £10k at Fakenham. And it is a situation that can only get worse as the winter goes on after the Arena Racing Company (Arc), which operates four of the five all-weather venues, announced on Monday that it will cut its contribution to prize money by £3m in 2019. The reduction, Arc says, is a response to the government’s decision to cut the maximum stake on FOBT machines in betting shops from £100 to £2, a move which – according to the bookies – could lead to the closure of as many as 4,000 of the country’s 9,000 or so shops. This, in turn, would lead to a huge drop in the media rights payments to racecourse operators, which are calculated on a “per-shop” basis. Continue reading...

Daryl Gurney into round three of PDC world darts with win over Ross Smith

19-12-2018 • Gurney won 3-0 with match average of 100.3• Vincent van der Voort also through with 3-0 winDaryl Gurney shook off early double trouble to beat Ross Smith 3-0 and book his place in the third round of the PDC world championship at Alexandra Palace.The fifth seed appeared on course to take the opening set 3-0 before missing eight darts at a finish as Smith recovered to level at 2-2, only to see Gurney then hit double 12. Continue reading...

John Farnworth's freestyle skills: How to do a popcorn flick

19-12-2018 CBBC's expert freestyler John Farnworth explains how to perform a popcorn flick. Watch more skills on CBBC's new show Match of the Day: Can You Kick It?

New Perth stadium passes first Test with flying bouncers | Geoff Lemon

19-12-2018 Despite underwhelming crowds, the pitch delivered a degree of uncertainty that made for an uplifting encounterLean back with a satisfied sigh, a post-schweppervesence exhalation. Smack your lips if it takes your fancy. For those who care even a little about Australian cricket, that was exactly what was needed.Not the win, in a parochial sense. Nor the verbal back-and-forth that spilled over, with players inspired to amateur thespianism by the newly attentive stump microphones. But a cracker of a Test match, following one in Adelaide that was excellent in a different way. A series full of interest and intrigue, set up at 1-1 heading into Boxing Day and the New Year. Continue reading...

Blackpool 3-2 Solihull Motors: Hosts to play Arsenal in FA Cup third-round tie

19-12-2018 Blackpool defeat non-league side Solihull Moors in extra time to set up a home FA Cup third-round tie against Arsenal.

Shaqiri, scrambles and Champions League draw thoughts – Football Weekly

19-12-2018 Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, Mark Langdon and Marcus Bean discuss the Champions League draw, dour management, Xherdan Shaqiri’s career revival, goalmouth scrambles and a message for listeners in TogoJoin the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.We look back at the weekend’s football action, starting with Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Manchester United, which has done something for the Anfield side’s title-challenging credentials, and nothing for José Mourinho’s job prospects. Continue reading...

World sport: 10 photos we liked this week - 22-28 October

19-12-2018 A selection of the most striking sports photographs from around the world this week.

Sri Lanka v England: Pick your England team for first Test

19-12-2018 Who do you think should be in the England side for the first Test against Sri Lanka? Choose your XI and share it with your friends.

Carabao Cup: Burton Albion win 1-0 at Middlesbrough to reach semi-finals

19-12-2018 Burton boss Nigel Clough says reaching the Carabao Cup semi-finals for the first time after beating Middlesbrough is "absolutely remarkable".

England’s netballers set sights on new horizons after Spoty double

19-12-2018 English netball walked away with two BBC prizes but attention swiftly turned from celebrations to plans for the futureThe day after the night before, and England Netball had already moved on from their unexpected triumph at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year awards.The Commonwealth gold medal-winning squad were named both Team of the Year and creators of the Greatest Moment of the Year, provoking scenes of celebration in the aisles at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena. The party did not last for long, though. Players were under strict instruction not to overdo the celebrations on Sunday night and, by Monday lunchtime, they were back at their training camp in Loughborough. Continue reading...

Mourinho and United ended up like a loveless celebrity marriage | Barney Ronay

19-12-2018 His style at Manchester United has been defence-heavy and excitement-free but problems exist in all areas of the clubFarewell, then, José. It’s been fun. Or if not exactly fun then fitful, tedious and wreathed in a familiar sense of entropy. Either way José Mourinho’s abrupt departure from Manchester United on Tuesday morning completes a familiar three-year cycle of doomed hope, doomed decline and, by the end, simply doom.There was at least an inevitability about the end. It has been clear since the summer that Mourinho was preparing for this moment, using his public pronouncements to shift blame, distance himself from the squad of players assembled, and tend to the one element that really matters: his glorious but increasingly distant legacy. Continue reading...