Mauricio Pochettino considers false nine role for Dele Alli at Fulham

19-01-2019 • Tottenham look for striking solutions after Harry Kane injury• Academy product Kazaiah Sterling could take place on benchMauricio Pochettino has said he could use Dele Alli as a false nine at Fulham on Sunday, as he wrestles with the dilemma of how to replace the injured Harry Kane and the absent Son Heung-min. The Tottenham manager stressed that Fernando Llorente was also in his thoughts for the lead striker role, even though the Spaniard has started only one Premier League game in his 18 months at the club. Related: Marouane Fellaini: forever tainted as Old Trafford’s king of dark times | Barney Ronay Continue reading...

Australian Open: Halep to meet Serena Williams in last-16 clash worthy of final

19-01-2019 • World No 1 beats Venus Williams for loss of five games• Serena Williams makes short work of Dayana YastremskaA fourth-round collision on Monday that will rip the 2019 Australian Open wide apart brings the official world No 1, Simona Halep, and the best player in the history of the game, Serena Williams, together for the ninth time.The American has an 8-1 grip on that rivalry, but the Romanian comes into the match after beating her sister, Venus, fairly convincingly on day six, 6-2, 6-3 in a little more than an hour-and-a-quarter. However, the younger Williams sister has been in equally awesome form in the first week, taking just over an hour to beat the Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska for the loss of just three games. Continue reading...

'I observed all the rivals we played': Marcelo Bielsa's 'spygate' presentation – video

19-01-2019 Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa has admitted that he has spied on all of his sides opponents this season. One of Bielsa's staff was recently caught observing Derby County prior to their match in the Championship. 'So why did I send someone to watch them?' said Bielsa. 'I wasn't violating the norm.' The Argentinian also gave a lengthy PowerPoint presentation to a room packed with journalists outlining the extensive analysis he does on each opponent Continue reading...

Which football teams doctored their playing surface to hinder opponents? | The Knowledge

19-01-2019 Plus: top-scoring defenders, non-league double delight and strange middle names. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Pep Guardiola says he didn’t leave the Etihad grass long against Liverpool. But which teams or managers have used this tactic to help their own side or hinder an opponent?” asks George Jones.Let’s start with the Poundland Machiavelli, former Cambridge and Lincoln innovator John Beck. Everyone in football knows about the infamous Beck and the stunts he used to pull at Cambridge. He brought in statisticians to lecture his players about how few passes were needed to score. He had the grass grown several inches long in the corners to hold up the ball when his players knocked it over the top. During the week they would rough up the pitch so anybody who tried to play football against them was at a disadvantage. “We just used to boot it upfield, so it didn’t really matter to us,” Steve Claridge recalls in his autobiography. Continue reading...

Sports quiz of the week: FA Cup goals, Floyd Mayweather and Brexit moans

19-01-2019 Who scored? Who hit a wall? Who threw in the towel?Which of these FA Cup third-round ties features two clubs who have won the competition six times each?Newcastle United v Blackburn Rovers Chelsea v Nottingham Forest West Ham v Birmingham City Wolves v Liverpool Who was top scorer in the FA Cup last season?Romelu LukakuDick WilliamsEden HazardWill GriggWho said: “I tried everything to turn it around, I went backstage and hit a wall. I think I broke my hand. I was trying just that little bit too hard”?Tenshin Nasukawa Michael SmithCarl FramptonTakuma InoueHow long did it take Floyd Mayweather to beat Tenshin Nasukawa in their boxing match in Tokyo?14 seconds 140 seconds14 minutes 14 two-minute rounds Which tennis players faced each other in a competitive match for the first time this week?Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan Andy Murray and Jamie Murray Roger Federer and Serena WilliamsKristyna Pliskova and Karolina Pliskova Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has won his first four matches as Manchester United boss. Which former United manager won his first five league games in charge?David Moyes José Mourinho Louis van Gaal Matt Busby Which of these World Cups will not be played this year? Rugby World CupCricket World CupRugby League World Cup Netball World CupSanti Cazorla scored twice for Villarreal on Thursday night as they held Real Madrid to a 2-2 draw in La Liga. Who was Cazorla playing against the last time he scored a league goal (it was a 94th-minute winner from the penalty spot)?BarcelonaAtlético Madrid JuventusSouthampton Blackpool played Sunderland at Bloomfield Road on New Year’s Day. What percentage of the fans at the game were there to support the away team?0% 50% 71%100% Who has been complaining about Brexit, saying: "It’s horrible isn’t it. Did you vote for Brexit? Brex-shit. I don’t like it. Look at the pound and the euro. I get everything paid in pounds so just have a look how much it dropped. Let’s say it dropped by 10%, that’s cost me 10% of my prize money straight away. So that’s quite a lot of money"?Ronnie O'SullivanLewis HamiltonMichael van GerwenPhil Taylor1 and above.Ah well. Happy new year. 2 and above.Ah well. Happy new year. 3 and above.Ah well. Happy new year. 4 and above.Ah well. Happy new year. 5 and above.Nice work. Happy new year. 6 and above.Nice work. Happy new year. 7 and above.What a start to 2019! Happy new year. 8 and above.What a start to 2019! Happy new year. 9 and above.What a start to 2019! Happy new year. 0 and above.Ah well. Happy new year. 10 and above.What a start to 2019! Happy new year. Continue reading...

Champions Cup: Edinburgh 19-10 Montpellier - Hosts secure home quarter-final

19-01-2019 Edinburgh defeat Montpellier to clinch a Champions Cup quarter-final place along with Glasgow.

Trent Alexander-Arnold: Liverpool defender signs new five-year deal

19-01-2019 Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold signs a new five-year deal until 2024 with the Premier League leaders.

Australian Open 2019: Pouille v Popyrin and Pliskova v Giorgi – live!

19-01-2019 Serena wins and Halep beats Venus to set up clash fit for a finalDjokovic regains calm to turn lights off for ShapovalovAnd feel free to mail Tom with your thoughts 12.06pm GMT It’s a tie-breaker in the men’s match. Popyrin refused to be broken but could not find an inch on Pouille’s serve. The Frenchman ran away in first set decider, can Popyrin do any better here? 12.00pm GMT Giorgi finally takes her third set point after breaking Plíšková for a third time. We’ll have a deciding set. It now seems a question of who will hold serve rather than break it. Continue reading...

Masters Snooker 2019: Neil Robertson beats Barry Hawkins to reach semi-finals - best shots

19-01-2019 Watch the best shots as Neil Robertson comes from to beat Barry Hawkins 6-3 at the Masters to set up a semi-final against Judd Trump.

Harry Potter fan Calum Chambers reveals his football secrets...

19-01-2019 Fulham's Calum Chambers talks to Football Focus about Harry Potter, beating Tottenham, and how long he can hold his breath for.

Edinburgh sink Montpellier to qualify for quarter-finals with Glasgow

19-01-2019 • Edinburgh 19-10 Montpellier• Darcy Graham’s second-half try clinches Murrayfield battleEdinburgh sealed Champions Cup quarter-final places for themselves and Glasgow with a 19-10 victory over Montpellier. Related: Exeter target finest Champions Cup feat with qualification on line at Munster Continue reading...

Chess: Magnus Carlsen halves 21 games in a row to set unwelcome record

19-01-2019 The Norwegian managed to keep the No 1 ranking he has held for more than seven years, despite the long winless runIt will be a sore statistic with Magnus Carlsen for years to come. The world champion has just emerged from a run of 21 consecutive draws which threatened to derail his achievement of staying No 1 in the global rankings since July 2011.Carlsen halved his final five rounds at the European Club Cup in October, famously drew all 12 classical games in his world title match with Fabiano Caruana in November, then this week halved his first four rounds at Tata Steel Wijk aan Zee, where the international tournament continues this weekend and can be viewed online, with grandmaster and computer commentaries, from 12.30pm daily. Continue reading...

Indianapolis Colts defensive end Denico Autry falls foul with Key & Peele reference

19-01-2019 Jason Bell and Osi Umenyiora explain how Denico Autry of the Indianapolis Colts fell foul of the NFL celebration rules by referencing a skit by US comedians Key & Peele.

Djokovic advances at Australian Open but shows irritability on and off court

19-01-2019 • No 1 seed beats Shapovalov in four sets after lights complaints• Serbian later insists he is not trying to oust ATP’s KermodeNovak Djokovic will probably be favourite to win every tournament he enters this year – including this Australian Open, where he has been champion six times in 14 visits – but the world No 1 showed signs of irritability on and off the court here on day six that suggest he needs to quickly find some tranquility.Djokovic snapped after dropping the third set against the young Canadian hustler, Denis Shapovalov, copping a code violation for swearing, before finishing in an angry flourish to win 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 on a warm Saturday afternoon on Rod Laver Arena, to book a fourth-round match against Andy Murray’s Brisbane conqueror, Daniil Medvedev, who made short work of David Goffin, 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-3. Continue reading...

Dakar Rally 2019: Sand, sea, helicopters and canines – in pictures

19-01-2019 After 10 stages and more than 5,000 kilometres of brutal racing on a giant loop rally-route entirely in Peru, 70% of which was across desert, we bring you some of our favourite images from this year’s Dakar RallyClick here to check out images of the rally from yesteryear Continue reading...

David Squires on ... the Socceroos' progress at the Asian Cup

19-01-2019 Our cartoonist reflects on Australia’s late win over Syria – and the tournament’s outrageously large accreditation lanyardsTake a look through David’s archive of cartoons Continue reading...

Durham's 'accidental manager' sets sights on promotion to WSL

19-01-2019 Buoyed by recent victory over Manchester United, Durham are thriving without the need for attachment to a men’s clubIt is a clear, crisp, good-to-be-alive January day in a green, wooded Durham valley and Lee Sanders has a bright future to map out.Beneath an unbroken blue sky and illuminated by low winter sunshine, reconstruction work on the £31m overhaul of Maiden Castle, Durham University’s sports centre, continues apace but the builders have still to reach the ordered chaos of Sanders’s cluttered upstairs office. Continue reading...

Australian Open 2019: Serena Williams comforts teenager after third-round victory

19-01-2019 Seven-time champion Serena Williams comforts opponent Dayana Yastremska after powering past the teenager into the Australian Open fourth round.