Johanna Konta fired up for Muguruza clash as Serena Williams eases through

British No 1 has good record against second-round opponentWilliams talks of putting family before media commitmentsJohanna Konta could be the last of eight British players left in this Australian Open by the weekend, but she views her second-round match against Garbiñe Muguruza on Thursday with the same equanimity as she would an opponent from outside the top 100.Having lost to too many outsiders in big tournaments in the past, she is aware that danger lurks in every match. Her memories of Muguruza are clear and largely encouraging, however. Continue reading...

16-01-2019



Blackburn 2-4 Newcastle: Rafael Benitez's side win after extra time in FA Cup third-round replay

Newcastle score two goals in extra time to beat Championship side Blackburn in their FA Cup third-round replay at Ewood Park.

16-01-2019



The Fiver | Cech, mate

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Unlike say, a certain couple of Fulham players, it is difficult to imagine Petr Cech ever clashing with a teammate during a yoga class. While it is easy to imagine the Arsenal keeper trying somebody’s nerves by complimenting them excessively on their Downward Facing Dog, repeatedly offering them drinks from his water bottle or accidentally treading on their velvet slings, the prospect of actually coming to blows with one of football’s nicest men in any environment seems so implausible as to be utterly beyond the realms of possibility. Google “Petr Cech” and “controversy” and one of very few occasions in which the 36-year-old appears to have lost his cool in a senior career spanning almost 20 years was when he cut loose at the end of a game and gave referee Mike Dean both barrels. Which doesn’t really count because it was referee Mike Dean, a fabled attention-seeker who probably deserved both barrels. Continue reading...

16-01-2019



‘Football has no gender or religion’: Annie Zaidi’s journey into coaching | Suzanne Wrack

Solihull Moors Ladies’ head coach on how years of abuse could not quash her love for the game and how she owes her career to that fearlessness and Les Ferdinand‘I still have to pinch myself. Head coach. Ladies’ first team. At a club with so much credibility.” You can hear the giddy excitement in Annie Zaidi’s voice. The new head coach of Solihull Moors Ladies, who play in Division One Midlands of the Women’s National League, has worked hard for this opportunity – harder than most have to because the 34-year-old is not only a woman working in a profession dominated by men but has also had to battle racial and religious stereotyping and abuse as a Pakistani Muslim.She strives to avoid being defined by those labels, craving the day when her talent is all anyone notices. Widely known as “Coach Annie”, Zaidi has been working with Solihull’s boys’ youth teams since 2017. Continue reading...

16-01-2019



Can Franck Ribéry not have his gold-leaf steak and eat it? | Barney Ronay

The Bayern Munich forward has been vilified for his display of wealth in Dubai but that ire would be better directed at the excesses of the game rather than those who play itIn his book This One’s On Me Jimmy Greaves describes the pre-match meals of his playing days in the 1960s. At West Ham it was all down to Moody’s cafe for a full roast dinner and apple crumble for pudding. As an England player Greaves records, with some reverence, the pre-match habits of Gordon Banks, who in line with the sports science of the day would prepare himself for a game with a huge steak served with both boiled and roast potatoes, all washed down with “a large bowl of rice pudding”.Looking back now it is probably a good thing social media wasn’t around in the mid-60s. It isn’t hard to imagine the wider response to such wanton displays of starch-based excess. Banks Flaunts Roast Riches. Soccer Ace in Boiled AND Roasted Shame. Potato Bae: Gloveman Rocked By Double-Spud storm. Continue reading...

16-01-2019



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

A selection of the most striking sports photographs from around the world this week.

16-01-2019



Arsenal's post-Wenger plans in tatters with Sven Mislintat set to leave club

• Mislintat’s chances of move to technical director had slimmed• German feared role would become that of glorified chief scoutArsenal’s grand plans to restructure post-Arsène Wenger have begun to splinter with Sven Mislintat, brought in as head of recruitment, set to leave after feeling his position has become untenable.The German, whose ideas in the sphere of spotting and developing talent are highly regarded in European football, was initially appointed in November 2017 by Ivan Gazidis, with the idea that his role would evolve into that of a technical director as the club aimed to refresh its operation once they moved on from the Wenger era. Continue reading...

16-01-2019



Australian Open: Kevin Anderson knocked out by Frances Tiafoe

Fifth seed Kevin Anderson is knocked out of the Australian Open after being beaten in four sets by American Frances Tiafoe.

16-01-2019



David Squires on ... Chris Sutton's guide to the 2019 Asian Cup

With his reputation for fearlessness, commentator Chris Sutton embarks on his biggest adventure yetIf you like David’s cartoons, buy his new book Goalless Draws Continue reading...

16-01-2019



Henry and Vieira put aside friendship for first meeting as managers | Nick Ames

Derby on the Riviera between Henry’s Monaco and Vieira’s Nice will be special for the former Arsenal and France teammatesWhen Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira met in London over Christmas, using a short break in the Ligue 1 schedule to take coffee in the way they always have, both men knew they have to pick their moments carefully nowadays. One of modern football’s powerhouse friendships, an awesome concentration of sheer accomplishment, must be put on hold twice a year from now on and on Wednesday they will discover how that feels. The 108th Derby de la Côte d’Azur is a significant staging post in their careers and, while their bond is rooted in years of success on the pitch, a sense of mutual adversity colours their first encounter as managers of Monaco and Nice.“We’re both really excited about it,” Vieira said on Tuesday, capturing the sentiment of last month’s chit-chat. But he allowed himself a smile when the notion of feeling sympathy with Henry, whose Monaco side sit second from bottom, was offered. Vieira’s spell at Nice has begun in stately fashion but his feeling of serenity was interrupted last week when Jean-Pierre Rivère and Julien Fournier – the club’s president and general manager respectively, both credited with his appointment – announced their impending departures. The reason given was “divergences” with Nice’s Sino-American owners and, with the team looking to push on from eighth place, the timing could hardly have been worse. Continue reading...

16-01-2019



Australian Open 2019: Johanna Konta through after beating Ajla Tomljanovic

Johanna Konta boosts British hopes at the Australian Open with a titanic three-set win over home player Ajla Tomljanovic in Melbourne.

16-01-2019



Hillsborough police chief guilty of 'extraordinarily bad' failures, court told

Prosecution says David Duckenfield breached duty of care to spectatorsThe South Yorkshire police officer in charge of the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough in 1989 was responsible for “extraordinarily bad” failures that were “a substantial cause” of the crush on the Leppings Lane terrace that killed 96 people, a court has been told.Opening the prosecution’s case against David Duckenfield for manslaughter by gross negligence, Richard Matthews QC told the jury: “David Duckenfield’s criminal responsibility for the deaths ... flows from his gross failure to discharge his personal responsibility as match commander.” Continue reading...

16-01-2019



'I didn't see it': Nick Kyrgios bats off questions over Bernard Tomic claims – video

Nick Kyrgios faces the media after Bernard Tomic's allegations that there is a rift in Tennis Australia between Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt and Kyrgios, Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis. Kyrgios is dismissive, saying he hasn't heard the interview that Tomic gave and says he would play Davis Cup if askedTomic launches attack on Hewitt: ‘No one likes him’ Continue reading...

16-01-2019



Newcastle see off Blackburn with Joselu and Ayoze Pérez extra-time flourish

In word and deed Rafael Benítez gives the impression the FA Cup is a competition Newcastle can do without. His players’ commitment to victory at Blackburn suggested otherwise. The Premier League strugglers lost a two goal lead and two central defenders to injury before securing their place in round four with a spirited, clinical performance at Ewood Park.Newcastle were taken to extra time – an exertion both managers would rather have avoided – by Tony Mowbray’s determined Championship side as Adam Armstrong and Darragh Lenihan cancelled out an early advantage provided by two academy graduates. The visitors then lost Ciaran Clark plus his replacement, Jamaal Lascelles, to injury before extra-time goals from Joselu and Ayoze Pérez brought merited reward plus a welcome shot of confidence. Continue reading...

16-01-2019



Masters Snooker 2019: Mark Williams loses to Neil Robertson

World champion Mark Williams loses to Neil Robertson, while Barry Hawkins beats Shaun Murphy at the Masters.

16-01-2019