Chelsea stick with Maurizio Sarri for now but manager on thin ice

19-02-2019 • Sarri to take charge against Malmö and Manchester City• Roman Abramovich will decide whether to sack ItalianMaurizio Sarri will take charge of Chelsea’s Europa League tie at home against Malmö on Thursday and is set to continue as manager for the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday, although another defeat by Pep Guardiola’s side at Wembley could lead to his dismissal.The 6-0 loss at City this month and the embarrassing FA Cup exit against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Monday that prompted home supporters to turn on the Italian have left Sarri clinging to his job after less than a season. The 60-year-old was given a month for results to improve after the defeat at the Etihad Stadium, and the 2-1 win against Malmö in the first leg of their last-32 tie last week offered some respite. But that proved brief given the performance against United and the reaction of large numbers of Chelsea’s supporters, who chanted “Fuck Sarri-ball” and eventually joined in with the United fans’ refrain of: “You’re getting sacked in the morning.” Continue reading...

Lyon v Barcelona: Champions League last 16 – live!

19-02-2019 Barcelona thwarted by Lyon’s fortitude and their own poor finishingTer Stegen makes excellent save from TerrierFékir to return for second leg 9.54pm GMT The home crowd greet the final whistle with measured applause. Their team put in a tremendous effort and will fancy their chances of scoring an away leg, especially with Nabil Fékir back. Barça will be confident of netting in the Camp Nou too, of course, but they will have to finish better than they did here. Their precision continually abandoned them at the crucial moment and, in the end, they were thankful for a fabulous save by Ter Stegen, who pushed a shot by Terrier on to the crossbar in the first half. The second leg will be well worth following - and you’ll be able to do that right here. See ya! 9.50pm GMT 90+2: Barceloan try to walk it in but Lyon aren’t about to allow that. In days gone by, Coutinho would settle this by lashing into the net from long range but he hasn’t even tried that so far ... Continue reading...

Proposed testosterone limit ’flawed’ and ‘hurtful’, say Caster Semenya’s lawyers

19-02-2019 • Day two of challenge against IAAF’s revised eligibility rules• Regulations ‘do not empower anyone’, say lawyersCaster Semenya’s lawyers have hit back at the IAAF on day two of their hearing at the court of arbitration for sport, claiming the world governing body’s proposed testosterone limit for women is “flawed” and “hurtful”.The two-time Olympic 800 metres champion is challenging the IAAF’s revised eligibility rules for female athletes at the Lausanne-based tribunal in a landmark case for intersex and transgender women in all sports. Continue reading...

The NFL's Kaepernick settlement should just be the start of making amends | Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

19-02-2019 Hopefully the league can now support the values of the US constitution rather than pandering to those who mistake parochialism for patriotismIn one of my favorite sports movies, Vision Quest, the varsity wrestling coach tells his students they can challenge the best wrestler in any weight class if they want to take his place.“Fairest thing in the world,” he smugly tells them. As soon as one kid raises his hand to make that challenge, the coach quickly dismisses the team, pulls him aside, and says: “You’re out of your mind!” Continue reading...

Wales’s 1969 wing wizard Maurice Richards: ‘I scored the tries but forwards won it’

19-02-2019 The scourge of England in Cardiff 50 years ago looks back on a thrilling victory in which he ran in four tries and explains why he switched codes at the end of that yearThey used to say the wind blew hardest at Cardiff Arms Park when it was trying to catch Maurice Richards. It had no more success than the England team that arrived in the Welsh capital 50 years ago chasing a share of the Five Nations title but left resembling the rubble where the north stand had been. Richards ran in four tries in a thrilling 30-9 victory that afternoon, equalling a Wales record that still stands. Wales scooped the triple crown and the championship.That afternoon’s demolition of England was the start of a golden era for the men in red, but before the end of the year the 24-year-old Cardiff wing, a 1968 Lion who had still to reach his peak, had left Wales and his job at Port Talbot steelworks for rugby league, where he would become Salford’s record try scorer and appearance holder in a 14-year career. Continue reading...

Klinsmann received $3.35m settlement after he was fired by US Soccer

19-02-2019 Coach was fired after string of disappointing resultsUSA failed to reach World Cup 2018 after poor campaignJürgen Klinsmann received a $3.35m settlement of his contract with the US Soccer Federation, according to the USSF’s tax filing. His replacement, Bruce Arena, was given a $300,000 settlement during the fiscal year that ended on 31 March 2018, according to the filing, which was released on Monday.Klinsmann was hired in 2011 and in December 2013 was given a contract extension through to December 2018. He was fired in November 2016 after struggling in the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. The exact contract settlement was $3,354,167, the tax filing said. Continue reading...

The Fiver | Unfit to face inferior players who have hardly run a lap since Christmas

19-02-2019 Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Buoyed, cheered and generally heartened by the sight of Tottenham Hotspur piling some Big Cup hurt on German league leaders Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night, Arsenal fans can look forward to some fun of their own when their team goes toe to toe with the works team of a tractor factory in Belarus tonight in Euro Vase. Bate Borisov are the opposition in the first knockout round and while most of their players are unknown outside their native country, there will at least be one recognisable face among the ranks. Continue reading...

Wales turn England changing room into a theatre for Ray Gravell play

19-02-2019 • Squad sees actor called Gareth Bale play the late Wales centre• ‘It reminded you of the reasons some of us play rugby’Wales have turned to Gareth Bale to ensure they maintain their winning start to the Six Nations against England at the Principality Stadium on Saturday. They were at the ground on Monday night to hear his impassioned one-man performance of one of the Welsh game’s most lauded figures, the late Ray Gravell.Not the Wales and Real Madrid footballer Gareth Bale, but an actor of the same name who has taken Grav, Owen Thomas’s play on the Llanelli and Lions centre, around the country for the last four years. Most of the Wales squad and management watched the performance in the dressing room England will change in this weekend. Continue reading...

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

19-02-2019 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.

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

19-02-2019 Painstaking research, virtual reality and holding the tackle bags in training... an insight into how a top rugby analyst operates.

Liverpool and Bayern Munich trade blows but draw leaves tie poised

19-02-2019 Jürgen Klopp’s prediction of a “blockbuster” between the two five-times champions of Europe was misplaced. His warning about the strength of his old adversaries from Bayern Munich was not. The wise heads rather than the old legs of the German champions prevailed as Liverpool were frustrated at Anfield for the first time in this season’s Champions League.Liverpool maintained their record of never having lost to German opposition at home in Europe and extended their unbeaten run to 20 European ties at Anfield. A goalless draw will also stir memories of the 1981 semi-final, when Liverpool advanced on the away goals rule in the second leg in Munich. But these felt like meagre consolations for Klopp’s men against opponents who, under transition with Niko Kovac, have displayed rare vulnerability this season. But not here. Bayern were assured, resilient and rarely unsettled. Continue reading...

England must pick Jofra Archer - Nasser Hussain

19-02-2019 England should pick Jofra Archer once he becomes qualified as they build up to hosting this summer's World Cup, says Nasser Hussain.

Lyon 0-0 Barcelona: Catalans held to fourth draw in five games

19-02-2019 Wasteful Barcelona cannot convert any of their 25 shots in a goalless Champions League last-16 first-leg draw against Lyon.