FA Cup second-round replay: Connor Jennings scores long-range volley to give Tranmere lead over Southport

19-12-2018 Connor Jennings scores a stunning long-range volley from outside the area to give Tranmere an early lead against Southport in their FA Cup second-round replay.

José Mourinho just the latest casualty in Ed Woodward’s failing regime | Daniel Taylor

19-12-2018 Manager did not help himself but the man in charge, the owners and the players at Manchester United have to share the blameIf you ever needed to know what a mess Manchester United have made of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson, perhaps we can start with the tragicomedy that there are still 194 days before the six-year contract handed to David Moyes was supposed to lapse. Moyes lasted nine months and, in the process, seemed to age 10 years.Louis van Gaal gave Old Trafford two seasons of drift. And now José Mourinho is history, too – with his lip curled, his bank account swelled by a reputed £15m in severance pay and a very public decline in which he demonstrated that the higher a man climbs the more you see of his backside. Continue reading...

Gareth Farrelly: ‘It was a toxic, bullying culture for young players at Aston Villa’

19-12-2018 Midfielder turned lawyer claims coach Kevin MacDonald left a ‘dark shadow’ over players at Villa and says it drove him to suicidal thoughts“It was a culture of verbal and physical bullying, but there were no checks and balances; he operated with impunity … It was like a dark shadow came over.”Gareth Farrelly, now 43 and a qualified lawyer, with a Premier League and international career behind him, is recalling the bullying he says he endured as a young player at Aston Villa in the 1990s from the coach Kevin MacDonald. It was a “relentlessly negative” regime under him. Continue reading...

Geordan Murphy appointed Leicester coach despite dismal run

19-12-2018 • Tigers have lost eight games on the bounce• ‘We are working hard to improve performances and results’Geordan Murphy has been appointed as Leicester’s permanent head coach despite a run of eight straight defeats that has left the Tigers at “their lowest ebb”, according to the former Ireland full-back.Murphy, who has spent 21 years at Leicester as a player and coach, was handed the role on an interim basis when Matt O’Connor was sacked after the first game of the season but has managed four wins from his 15 matches in charge. Continue reading...

Blackpool 3-2 Solihull Motors: Hosts to play Arsenal in FA Cup third-round tie

19-12-2018 Blackpool defeat non-league side Solihull Moors in extra time to set up a home FA Cup third-round tie against Arsenal.

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

19-12-2018 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.

Anastasia Dobromyslova loses to Ryan Joyce at world darts championship

19-12-2018 • Dobromyslova beaten 3-0 by debutant Joyce• Raymond van Barneveld shocked by Darius LabanauskasAnastasia Dobromyslova followed Lisa Ashton out of the PDC world championship as she lost to the Alexandra Palace debutant Ryan Joyce, while Raymond van Barneveld went out to Darius Labanauskas in Monday’s big shock.Ashton and Dobromyslova were the two multiple British Darts Organisation women’s world champions to qualify this year and Ashton lost to Jan Dekker on the opening night of the Professional Darts Corporation event last Thursday. Continue reading...

Mourinho and United ended up like a loveless celebrity marriage | Barney Ronay

19-12-2018 His style at Manchester United has been defence-heavy and excitement-free but problems exist in all areas of the clubFarewell, then, José. It’s been fun. Or if not exactly fun then fitful, tedious and wreathed in a familiar sense of entropy. Either way José Mourinho’s abrupt departure from Manchester United on Tuesday morning completes a familiar three-year cycle of doomed hope, doomed decline and, by the end, simply doom.There was at least an inevitability about the end. It has been clear since the summer that Mourinho was preparing for this moment, using his public pronouncements to shift blame, distance himself from the squad of players assembled, and tend to the one element that really matters: his glorious but increasingly distant legacy. Continue reading...

What happened next? How the World Cup brought in a new era for Alex Scott – and women in football

19-12-2018 She had already earned 140 caps for England, but Scott became one of the breakout stars of the men’s tournament this year as the first woman pundit taken to a World Cup by the BBC. She reveals why it wasn’t all plain sailing Alex Scott is not alone in looking back at the long hot summer of 2018 with a pronounced sense of nostalgia. But for the former Arsenal right back, who herself won 140 caps for England, it holds particularly cherished memories: she became the first female football pundit ever taken to a World Cup by the BBC.The Champions League winner and six-time Premier League champion saw a fearless England side ride a wave of uncharacteristic national optimism to the semi-final of the World Cup in Russia. Continue reading...

England’s netballers set sights on new horizons after Spoty double

19-12-2018 English netball walked away with two BBC prizes but attention swiftly turned from celebrations to plans for the futureThe day after the night before, and England Netball had already moved on from their unexpected triumph at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year awards.The Commonwealth gold medal-winning squad were named both Team of the Year and creators of the Greatest Moment of the Year, provoking scenes of celebration in the aisles at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena. The party did not last for long, though. Players were under strict instruction not to overdo the celebrations on Sunday night and, by Monday lunchtime, they were back at their training camp in Loughborough. Continue reading...

Focus on skill and not emotion rewards Tim Paine's new Australia

19-12-2018 Australia skittle India’s tail end before lunch on final dayPaine ‘relieved’ to post his first win as captainIt was with just enough of the old and just enough of the new that Tim Paine’s side found the necessary balance to win their first international fixture under his tutelage. Both captains acknowledged the runs made by the hosts at the start of the Test were the biggest input to the result, a base that allowed the Australian attack to swamp their opposition four days later – a business model they made their own for two decades when they were the top of the world.Getting ahead in the game also allowed them to project themselves accordingly, Paine himself taking responsibility for pushing back against the hyperactivity of his opposite number, Virat Kohli, that dominated so much of the colour and movement through the middle days of this Test. When it all came together on the fourth evening and fifth morning in Perth, it was the best sign yet of a welcome thaw in Australia’s long winter. Continue reading...

Hamilton would be world champion in a Mercedes or a Ferrari - Palmer column

19-12-2018 In his latest column, former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer looks at the brilliance of five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Mauricio Pochettino: Tottenham boss remains 'focused' despite Man Utd link

19-12-2018 Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says he is "focused" on his current job after being asked about the vacant role at Manchester United.

Manchester City rely on penalties to beat Leicester in Carabao Cup

19-12-2018 History repeated itself in the East Midlands as Manchester City sealed their passage into the Carabao Cup semi-finals via penalties and at the expense of Leicester for the second season running. Arijanet Muric, City’s 20-year-old Kosovan goalkeeper, was the hero, denying James Maddison and Caglar Soyuncu in a shootout that was not exactly a masterclass in the art of how to take a penalty.Christian Fuchs blazed his kick over the bar, Raheem Sterling fluffed his lines when attempting a Panenka and, without wishing to take too much credit away from Muric, both the penalties he saved were desperately poor. Continue reading...

What next for Manchester United? Sort Pogba mess and show humility

19-12-2018 The Old Trafford to-do list before a permanent manager comes must also include appointing a transfers expert Related: José Mourinho sacked by Manchester United after worst start in 28 years Continue reading...

Spurs, saves, Street Fighter and Atlanta United – Football Weekly Extra

19-12-2018 Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Paolo Bandini and Lars Sivertsen to discuss Spurs and Liverpool squeaking through in the Champions League, easy but great saves, Italian strife, Atlanta United and Street FighterJoin the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.We look back at the last few days of football, starting with Tottenham’s 1-1 draw at Camp Nou, which in combination with Inter’s draw with PSV was enough to see Mauricio Pochettino’s side qualify for the round of 16. Continue reading...