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

23-02-2019 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...

Manchester United result will not decide title, says Jürgen Klopp

23-02-2019 • Klopp worried about ‘too much pressure’ on his players• Liverpool manager backs Solskjær to land United job full-timeJürgen Klopp has said Liverpool will be under “too much pressure” should they consider Sunday’s visit to Manchester United a defining moment in the title race rather than an opportunity to inflict a first Premier League defeat of Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s reign.The Liverpool manager is acutely aware of the perception that Old Trafford is the most difficult assignment remaining, on paper at least, in his team’s pursuit of a first league championship for 29 years. Liverpool will move three points clear of Manchester City with a first win at United since their last title challenge in 2014, but Klopp believes it would be self-defeating to consider the wider implications of Sunday’s outcome. Continue reading...

Matt Doherty: Can Wolves defender predict the future?

23-02-2019 After correctly predicting Wolves would win the Championship last year, Football Focus sees whether right-back Matt Doherty's mystic powers extend beyond his own team.

Wales v England: remembering six of their best meetings down the years

23-02-2019 We delve into the Guardian and Observer archives to mine excerpts from match reports of memorable Five and Six Nations clashesWales, with a delirious commitment to handling rugby which at times made one wonder at the reality of it all, completely shattered England’s delusions of winning the triple crown and sharing the Championship. It must be said that in the making of this, one of the greatest spectaculars ever seen in a rugby international in the British Isles, England fully played their part. Continue reading...

Delray Beach Open: Dan Evans beats Andreas Seppi to reach semi-finals

23-02-2019 Britain's Dan Evans reaches his first ATP Tour semi-final in over two years by beating Andreas Seppi in the Delray Beach Open.

Leander Dendoncker: ‘There had to be a reason I wasn’t in Wolves’ team’

23-02-2019 He had to wait until December for his big chance but there was no banging on the door by the midfielder from PasschendaeleGiven it was hailed as a coup when Wolves signed Leander Dendoncker last summer, it was surprising to see him sitting on the bench during the first half of the season. Nuno Espírito Santo is known for rarely changing a winning team but there must have been times when Dendoncker wondered whether moving to Molineux was a mistake. There were even rumours the Belgian would ask to leave in January.Yet it is not in Dendoncker’s nature to lose his cool. The 23‑year‑old grew up in Passchendaele, a small village known as a first world war battlefield, and he has never been the type to throw his weight around. He used his time on the bench to study how Nuno’s 3-4-3 system worked and made sure he stayed fit and focused. There was no question of him banging on the manager’s door. Continue reading...

Retaining the Carabao Cup would be historic for City, says Bernardo Silva

23-02-2019 • We should forget the recent 6-0 win over Chelsea, he adds• Portuguese is also aiming for last eight of Champions LeagueBernardo Silva believes if Manchester City beat Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final and retain a trophy for the first time their quest to be serial winners will be advanced.City won the cup by beating Arsenal 3-0 in last season’s final. It was the club’s 15th major trophy and became part of a third double when Pep Guardiola’s side secured the Premier League title in April. The Portuguese midfielder acknowledged it is important to start winning the same competitions two years in a row, starting at Wembley on Sunday. Continue reading...

Super League Triathlon: World Champion Vicky Holland - 'It is brutal'

23-02-2019 World Triathlon Series Champion Vicky Holland discusses the Super League Triathlon format with BBC's Louise Minchin ahead of Saturday's eliminator races in Singapore.

Chelsea v Dynamo Kyiv, Arsenal v Rennes: Europa League draw – as it happened

23-02-2019 Chelsea will face a trip to Dynamo Kiev of Ukraine in the last 16 of the Europa League, where Arsenal take on French club Rennes 12.44pm GMT Chelsea will face a trip to Dynamo Kiev of Ukraine in the last 16 of the Europa League, where Arsenal take on French club Rennes. Friday’s draw in Nyon was not protected by any seeding but teams from Russia and Ukraine were kept apart. Dynamo Kyiv were first out against Chelsea. 12.32pm GMT Charles Antaki wanted a nice story, but alas, we cannot always have nice things: “Shame that Arsenal didn’t draw Villareal, to give fans a sight of the much-loved Santi Cazorla; even sadder that it looks like Villareal won’t even be in the top division net year…” Continue reading...

Manchester City 'made banned £200,000 Jadon Sancho agent payment'

23-02-2019 Manchester City made a banned payment of £200,000 to Jadon Sancho's agent when the England winger was 14 years old, according to Der Spiegel.

Weakened Scotland bidding to expose self-belief of unpredictable France

23-02-2019 Despite missing a cluster of key players Scotland believe they can win in Paris for the first time since 1999Having failed to win in Paris so far this century, Scotland will attempt to end that trend on Saturday with something akin to a second-string side. Of the team’s key quartet, only the captain, Greig Laidlaw, is in the squad, Finn Russell having joined Stuart Hogg and Willem Nel on the injury list this week.Factor in other absentees such as Huw Jones,, Ryan Wilson and Hamish Watson, and it may seem that this game is France’s to lose. But that also appeared to be the case at half-time in their last home game, before they went on to surrender a 16-0 lead to Wales. Given such an ignominious collapse was followed by a heavy defeat at Twickenham, it is evident self-belief is in short supply in the French ranks, as Jacques Brunel implied when asked if, by naming his team two days early, he were not giving the Scots an advantage. “After seeing our performance against England, Scotland must be pretty confident anyway,” the head coach said. Continue reading...

The best of Gordon Banks, Tony Romo's gold and Juve's Welshmen | Classic YouTube

23-02-2019 This week’s round-up also features a Nascar crash, the World Club Challenge and parkour1) Farewell, then, Gordon Banks. Where else to start than The Save? Or, A Version Of The Save. Here he is keeping Denis Law out at Wembley in 1967, beating the looping deflection in style. The Pathe news report on 1966 is always worth a look, not least for some jaffas of saves by our man. No patriotic conviviality a few years later when he saved a penalty from Geoff Hurst in a broiling League Cup semi-final between Stoke and West Ham. Enjoy a compilation of his top stops, soundtracked by some delicious 1960s lounge jazz. Certainly more appropriate than Sabrina Vaz (us neither) to go with this clip of the last game Banks played before the car crash that effectively ended his career as a top-class goalkeeper, although as you can see in this Channel 4 interview, he declared the loss of his right eye “not too bad.” Finally … go on then, here it is.2) It’s the rugby league World Club Challenge this weekend, as Wigan take on the Sydney Roosters. Here’s the first official edition of the game, when Widnes turned over Canberra in 1989. And regard the time Wigan won it for the third time, a belter against Brisbane in 1994, featuring the British national anthem as played on a toy Stratocaster. The 2010 edition was a bit weird: Melbourne Storm won the game, beating Leeds Rhinos 18-10 (first half, and second here), only for them to be stripped of the title due to financial irregularities, but rather than give the crown to Leeds it was just…left in the ether. Continue reading...

Celtic out of Europe after Toljan red card gives Valencia upper hand and victory

23-02-2019 Celtic’s 16th European game this season was also their last. A journey that began with the Champions League qualifiers in Armenia on 10 July ended in the Europa League round of 32 in Spain seven months later.It is their longest continental campaign since 2004 but they fell to a Kevin Gameiro goal, defeated 1-0 at Mestalla and 3-0 on aggregate, still three months and nine games away from the final. There is no reproach there, just reality, and there was satisfaction at emerging from their group, a sense of achievement at their performance at the home of one of the competition’s favourites. “I’m very proud of the team,” Brendan Rodgers said. Continue reading...

The Fiver | Staring us in the face, in plain sight, giving us the big do-you-want-some

23-02-2019 Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Yesterday evening, Barcelona took 25 shots against Lyon but none of them went in, so they drew for the fourth time in five matches. At Anfield, Naby Keïta had a pass completion rate of 74%. But apart from those two examples of things that are brimful of pretty attacking promise but aren’t quite clicking at the moment, there was very little to talk about in Big Cup. The needle on the Fiver’s patented Entertainmentometer™© got stuck halfway between Mildly Diverting But Only Because There’s Nothing On Any Of The Other Channels and Intriguing But Only Because You’re Trying Way Too Hard. Bah. As a banner displayed in the Bayern end and applauded by the Liverpool fans noted, you had to pay £48 for a ticket to watch this stuff. One day a real rain will come. Continue reading...

EFL warns Coventry City they risk expulsion over home venue uncertainty

23-02-2019 • Coventry given deadline of 5 March to provide an update• Club say they ‘want to do a deal’ to stay at Ricoh ArenaOne hundred years after joining the Football League, Coventry City have been warned they may face expulsion from it if they do not confirm where they plan to host matches next season.The club’s tenancy at the Ricoh Arena runs out this summer and no end is in sight to their long-running dispute over rent and other issues with the stadium’s owners, the Premiership rugby club Wasps, and Coventry city council, the freeholder. The EFL says the uncertainty cannot be tolerated much longer. Continue reading...