Yes, Getafe really might be on their way to the Champions League | Sid Lowe

26-04-2019 An unlikely dream of joining Europe’s elite were improved by a draw with Real but the fact they wanted more said muchThe first time anyone noticed Jaime Mata he was standing there half-naked and even then no one really cared for long. He was a galáctico, sure, but not that kind of galáctico. A university student studying business and international commerce, he was also a pretty average striker at his local club Pegaso Galáctico in Spain’s Tercera División, which despite its name is a long way below the third division: there’s a Second; a Second B, 80 teams spread across four regional divisions; and then Third, with 366 teams in 18 provincial groups. Pegaso were in trouble, so Mata and his teammates posed for two photos: the first on the pitch with their shorts down, the second in the dressing room wearing nothing but pieces of paper to cover their modesty, lined up to spell out the club’s bank account.If you can spell out numbers. Anyway, the plea was out there, the press called, attention drawn. But that didn’t solve the problem. It was 2009 and Mata was 19. He was lucky enough to still be living at home with his parents in Tres Cantos, north of Madrid, but Pegaso soon disappeared, unable to survive. And Mata did much the same. You had to travel to tiny grounds with imperfect pitches to find him, but now he might well soon be looking out at you as the camera pans across his face and the modern-day adaption of Handel’s Zadock the Priest booms out. Continue reading...

The forgotten story of … the referee smuggled from irate fans in disguise

26-04-2019 AH Blythe infuriated Newport fans by abandoning a game at 5-1 – and escaped in a police car disguised as an ambulancemanOn Good Friday 1951 promotion-chasing Norwich City travelled to Newport County for a game in the Third Division (South). The Canaries had won three of their last four and drawn the other, and were two points behind Nottingham Forest in the chase for the single promotion spot, while County were in ordinary form and marooned in the middest of mid-table. But in this match form, logic and, in the end, common decency went out the window. Related: The forgotten story of … Di Jones and the footballers who died of tetanus Continue reading...

Manchester City's derby delight, focus on Burnley and eggs – Football Weekly Extra

26-04-2019 Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, Philippe Auclair and Michael Butler discuss the Manchester derby, Liverpool’s hopes, Burnley’s growing regard on Merseyside, early goals, late goals, Sean Dyche at Winterfell and eggsJoin the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.We look back at the last few days of football, starting with the Manchester derby, which briefly threatened briefly to be a good game, before a familiar pattern saw City ease to victory and go clear on top of the Premier League. Continue reading...

Could this be the new Panenka? Brisbane player scores a cheeky penalty

26-04-2019 Brisbane Roar midfielder Eric Bautheac scores a cheeky penalty during their A-League game with Adelaide United

De Gea’s Manchester United place is secure despite poor form, says Solskjær

26-04-2019 • ‘I trust David,’ says United manager of keeper after recent errors• Solskjær believes Paul Pogba will remain at club next seasonOle Gunnar Solskjær has stated he will not drop David de Gea for the visit of Chelsea on Sunday despite the Manchester United goalkeeper’s shaky form.De Gea was at fault for each of Manchester City’s goals in the 2-0 derby defeat at Old Trafford on Wednesday. The Spaniard was also culpable for Lionel Messi’s second in the 3-0 defeat at Barcelona in United’s Champions League exit last week. Continue reading...

Jobi McAnuff: ‘I didn’t think Orient fans saw the true me – that’s why I came back’

26-04-2019 Jobi McAnuff’s unfinished business has helped take once troubled Leyton Orient to the verge of a Football League return‘Still top dogs,” the postman says as he hands over a couple of letters to Jobi McAnuff on his doorstep in north London. The Leyton Orient captain smiles back – with good reason. It is the morning after Orient picked up a point at Solihull Moors to leave them on the verge of sealing their return to the Football League almost two years to the day since they were relegated and faced the threat of extinction under the disastrous ownership of Francesco Becchetti.McAnuff has made more than 700 appearances across an impressive 20-year career, won promotion to the Premier League, represented Jamaica in the Copa América, swapped shirts with Lionel Messi, and walked out in front of 70,000 people in a Gold Cup final against Mexico, yet the only thing on his mind right now is facing Braintree Town. Continue reading...

Chasing a world record dressed as a giant panda could be oddly liberating | Kate Carter

26-04-2019 The coveted title of ‘fastest marathon in a full body costume (female)’ is among those up for grabs at the London marathonThis Sunday, alongside a three-person sausage dog, an ironing board, and a tube of toothpaste, I will be one of 95 people attempting to break a world record at the London marathon. My own attempt is for the coveted title of “fastest marathon in a full body animal costume (female)”. If you see a giant panda lolloping down the Mall, that will be me.Why am I doing this? It’s a question I often ask myself, mostly when sweltering inside a giant fluffy black and white head. Partly to raise money for the World Wildlife Foundation, partly to prove a point. Earlier this year some running friends were talking about doing an “inflatable 5km” – essentially a parkrun with bouncy castles – when someone said: “Oh you won’t be up for it, Kate, you take your running way too seriously.” That stung a little. Twenty-four hours later I had submitted my application. Continue reading...

Emiliano Sala's father dies three months after son killed in plane crash

26-04-2019 Local mayor says Horacio Sala had ‘a heart problem’Player died after plane went down in English ChannelEmiliano Sala’s father has died, months after the footballer died in a plane crash in the English Channel, a politician has said.Horacio Sala, 58, died at his home in Progreso in Argentina’s Santa Fe province, local media reported on Friday. Continue reading...

David Squires on … the Premier League's game of thrones

26-04-2019 Our cartoonist looks at the title race, unexpected objects behind dugouts and a dagger through the heart of ancient zombiesYou can now buy your very own print of this stripTake a look through David’s archive of cartoons Continue reading...

London Marathon: Radio 1's Adele Roberts explores the world of runners

26-04-2019 BBC Radio 1's Adele Roberts takes at the various kinds of runners who may be taking part in this year's London Marathon.

Azerbaijan GP safety fears raised after loose drain cover causes wreck

26-04-2019 • George Russell’s Williams damaged by loose drain cover• Recovery crane then collides with temporary footbridgeFormula One’s first practice session in Azerbaijan has been cancelled after a loose drain cover wrecked George Russell’s Williams. Russell, competing in just his fourth grand prix, sustained serious damage to his car after dislodging the drain cover at high speed.The running was first red-flagged, before it was cancelled. The incident will raise serious safety concerns ahead of Sunday’s race. Continue reading...

BBC Women's Footballer of the Year 2019 contender Saki Kumagai

26-04-2019 Japan and Olympique Lyonnais' Saki Kumagai is hoping to win the coveted BBC Women's Footballer of the Year 2019 award.

Mo Farah v Haile Gebrselassie: row, recriminations and what next?

26-04-2019 A hotel room theft, blackmail and a gym brawl are among the accusations thrown in a very public falling out between two athletics greats who were once friendsA sedate Wednesday morning press conference for this weekend’s London marathon appeared to be over when Mo Farah suddenly raised his hand and began to speak. Clearly Britain’s four-time Olympic champion had something to get off his chest. “Training has gone well, and everything else,” he said, “but there was a slight problem with my hotel in Ethiopia.” Continue reading...

Absurdity at the Etihad, vibrant Ajax and cones of shame – Football Weekly Extra

26-04-2019 Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, Lars Sivertsen and Eliot Rothwell discuss the chaos of Manchester City’s 4-3 win over Tottenham, the vivacity of Ajax’s 2-1 win at Juventus and a telegraphed Troy Deeney red cardJoin the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.We look back at the last few days of football, starting with the extraordinary game between Manchester City and Tottenham, which ended 4-3 to Manchester City, but saw Spurs getting through to the semi-finals of the Champions League. They’ll face a young and vibrant Ajax side, who travelled to Turin and beat Juventus 2-1 in their own back yard. Continue reading...