Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ribs Alan Shearer about 1999 FA Cup final defeat

20-02-2019 Manchester United's caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reminds Alan Shearer about the 1999 FA Cup final in which both men played, when the Red Devils beat Newcastle United 2-0.

Presenting Percy may run this weekend despite owner’s caution

20-02-2019 • Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite could run at Fairyhouse• Philip Reynolds being ‘ultra, ultra careful’ with the horseThe need to be “ultra, ultra careful” with the horse of a lifetime was behind the late decision not to run Presenting Percy last weekend but there is still a 50% chance, according to his owner, that the rarely sighted Magners Gold Cup favourite could run this weekend. Philip Reynolds dismissed any suggestion of a problem affecting his star on the same day that another horse he owns, Tin Soldier, was dramatically cut in the market for another Cheltenham Festival race, the Pertemps Final.Along with the reclusive Athenry-based trainer Pat Kelly, Reynolds has been a winner at the last three Festivals, thanks to the efforts of Mall Dini and Presenting Percy. It is an incredible record at the sport’s biggest race meeting for previously low-profile connections and they now appear to have bright prospects of extending that run in three weeks’ time. Continue reading...

Chelsea fans don’t often have time to turn on a manager – this felt decisive | Jonathan Wilson

20-02-2019 Maurizio Sarri is serving up predictable, sterile football and some choices are hard to fathom but Chelsea share the blame for this messChelsea fans don’t often turn on their manager. They don’t usually have time. But there, distinct in the cool February air, just six days before they play in a cup final, it was: “Fuck Sarri-ball! Fuck Sarri-ball! Fuck Sarri-ball!” Add in the booing at the final whistle and the chants for Callum Hudson‑Odoi throughout the second half and it’s fair to say the Matthew Harding Stand has made its mind up about Maurizio Sarri.Fans are not always right, of course, as a notorious Old Trafford bedsheet of the late 80s makes clear, and boards must make their own decisions, but this nonetheless felt a decisive moment. Stamford Bridge turned on André Villas-Boas and it didn’t like Rafa Benítez from the start, but outright revolt against a manager is unusual. Continue reading...

Heather Knight column: 'We'd like to make history by winning in India'

20-02-2019 Heather Knight is ready to lead England in India after a winter of Hurricanes, headbands and being Hartley's human shield in Hobart.

Tyson Fury insists Deontay Wilder rematch still on cards despite ESPN deal

20-02-2019 • Talks thrown into doubt by ‘exclusive’ broadcasting deal• Fury adamant fight is ‘more makeable now than ever’A proposed rematch with Deontay Wilder has been thrown into doubt after Tyson Fury announced a deal with ESPN that makes it the “exclusive” broadcaster of his fights in the US.Negotiations for a rematch, following December’s controversial draw in Los Angeles, were expected to conclude in an agreement for Fury and Wilder to fight in the US in May but they are now likely to end in frustration given Wilder has a deal with the network Showtime. Continue reading...

Naomi Osaka blames scrutiny over coaching split for Dubai defeat

20-02-2019 Japan's Naomi Osaka blames scrutiny following the split from her coach for defeat in her first match since becoming world number one.

Jordan Henderson steps up to show the value of meat and potatoes | Barney Ronay

20-02-2019 The Liverpool captain is often maligned but he outshone more expensive dishes such as Thiago and James in his side’s hard-fought 0-0 draw with Bayern MunichThey came to Anfield expecting fire and light and red-shirted vengeance. They came scenting one of those hair-raising nights when the air seems to throb with wild, skirling possibilities. They may, on refection, have slightly misread the situation.In the buildup to this Champions League first leg against Bayern Munich Jürgen Klopp had promised “passion football”, presumably a sub-genre of the usual heavy metal style: speed-metal football, Lancashire pomp-rock. Continue reading...

Questions facing England in West Indies 100 days out from World Cup | The Spin

20-02-2019 A new-ball partner for Woakes, whether Wood has a role and back-up batting at the top of the order are among the issuesEngland play 11 one-day internationals and two international warm-up matches before the World Cup starts on 30 May, but this five-match series is the last before they must announce their 15-man squad. A 16th space would allow them to cover all bases, but 15 means a corner needs to be cut. They are likely to want two spare seam bowlers, especially as those players are most susceptible to injury, which means they will have to sacrifice either a second back-up batsman (Alex Hales will be the first) or a back-up spinner. Or they could cheat. That’s what they have done with the current squad, in which Joe Denly nominally fills both roles. Denly’s last ODI appearance was in 2009 and England need to find out whether he, with support from Joe Root, is a realistic option should Adil Rashid or Moeen Ali sustain an injury. The alternatives are not irresistible, though Liam Dawson – not in the squad for West Indies – would be a more reliable, like‑for‑like substitute. Continue reading...

British driver Lando Norris makes a fast start on F1 track bow for McLaren

20-02-2019 • 19-year-old’s time in testing is second only to Charles Leclerc • Lewis Hamilton completes 74 laps and is 10th-fastestLando Norris, who took to the track for the first time as a Formula One driver in testing on Tuesday, capped a strong performance by setting the second-fastest time. The 19-year-old McLaren driver will be the youngest British driver to take part in F1 when he makes his debut at the Australian Grand Prix in March and has made a controlled and confident start to his new career.Norris has already shown promise and he was able to exploit McLaren making a far stronger start in testing than they have in the previous four years. His time, set in the last hour of a day during which he completed an impressive 104 laps, was just over three-tenths down on Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari, who led the timesheets throughout. Continue reading...

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

20-02-2019 • 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...