FA Cup: Newport hoping to pull off biggest FA Cup shock of all time

16-02-2019

Newport County manager Mike Flynn tells Football Focus reporter Mark Clemmit that his side hope to pull off the "biggest FA Cup shock" of all time when they take on Man City.



Juventus 3-0 Frosinone: Cristiano Ronaldo scores as Juve go 14 points clear

16-02-2019

Juventus move 14 points clear at the top of Serie A with a routine victory over struggling Frosinone.



Eric Harrison, the man to whom the Class of ‘92 owe it all

16-02-2019

The Manchester United youth coach turned talented youngsters into household names and ‘good human beings’Originally they were called Fergie’s Fledglings, then the Class of ’92, though it was fitting that Eric Harrison’s death at the age of 81 led everyone at Manchester United to acknowledge where the credit for a remarkable generation was due.“Eric we owe you everything,” Gary Neville said. “We’ve lost our mentor, our coach and the man who made us. He taught us how to play, to never give up and how important it was to win your individual battles.” Continue reading...



Super League v NRL: is the northern hemisphere bridging the gap? | Aaron Bower

16-02-2019

As Wigan take on the Roosters in the World Club Challenge, Super League needs to demonstrate the English game’s healthIt is said that the more things change, the more they stay the same, and never has that mantra been more applicable to a sporting event than in rugby league’s World Club Challenge. Of the 26 previous versions of the event to determine the best club side in the sport – dating back to the inaugural unofficial clash between Sydney and St Helens in 1976 – there have been more tweaks and changes than most league fans would care to remember.From the ill-fated, expanded 1997 edition, in which British clubs performed disastrously amid millions of dollars’ worth of losses, to the short-lived World Club Series of recent seasons, the format has never discovered its panacea. The purported disparity between the sport’s two elite competitions, Super League and the NRL, has long been cited as the reason why the competition has never properly taken off but, as Wigan prepare to host the Roosters on Sunday in the latest instalment, just how big is the gap between the two? Continue reading...



Was Infantino just too busy to get involved in freeing Hakeem al-Araibi? | Marina Hyde

16-02-2019

Fifa has a new human rights policy, yet its president appears to have been too caught up with other things to help out a footballer jailed under false pretencesTo the Middle East, where Fifa’s brilliant plan to bring peace via the medium of football continues apace. Last month, Qatar’s extraordinary win in the Asian Cup was noisily welcomed by Fifa, presumably as retrospective justification for its decision to award the tiny Gulf state the 2022 World Cup. And in some of the regional countries currently blockading Qatar, the headlines on news coverage of the final show just how close the whole peace-dream is to becoming a reality. Which is to say, not very close, if they still can’t mention the match winner in a match report. As the UAE’s Gulf News had it: “Japan come up short in Asian Cup final.” That said, it did have two articles about the final. The headline on the other was: “The Samurai’s extra confidence caused their loss.” Related: Privileged sport officials willing to sacrifice Hakeem al-Araibi's life should be expunged | Craig Foster Continue reading...



Étienne Capoue’s strike for Watford leaves QPR to rue missed chances

16-02-2019

Queens Park Rangers had to wait for this moment. Their previous appearance in the FA Cup fifth round had come at Wimbledon in 1997 and it is doubtful whether any club has since endured a more dismal record in the competition. The London club had won only four ties – each of them in the third round – before this season.Rangers promised to fight and they made light of a run of five consecutive Championship defeats that has sucked them down to 18th in the table to give their Premier League opponents a scare. Continue reading...



FA Cup fifth round: 10 things to look out for this weekend

16-02-2019

Swansea trying to find an on-field distraction, a striker searching for goals and a potential shock at NewportManchester United have lost five times to Chelsea in the FA Cup and the last of United’s eight Cup victories over the Blues came almost exactly two decades ago, in the 1999 quarter-finals, when Ole Gunnar Solskjær was in the team. Within the next month Solskjær’s side will play key games against Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal away from home and against Liverpool at Old Trafford, with the period ending with either a home match with Manchester City in the league, an FA Cup quarter-final or a few days off, depending on results here and at Newport County this weekend. By its end we will know if the Solskjaer Bounce was just a temporary elevation or whether the genial Norwegian has successfully coaxed this previously pedestrian team into taking flight. The first match of the run, against PSG, brought something of a reality check and also a couple of unwelcome injuries, with Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial both limping off, which may force Solskjaer into some fixture prioritisation. It will be interesting to see where this one ranks, given United’s chances of silverware this season almost certainly hinge on it. SB Continue reading...



'Rugby's like a chessboard with 120kg pieces' - how virtual reality could transform training

16-02-2019

Painstaking research, virtual reality and holding the tackle bags in training... an insight into how a top rugby analyst operates.



Chris Smalling says Manchester United are once again a team to be feared

16-02-2019

• Defender says team playing their best since Alex Ferguson era• United away to Chelsea in FA Cup on MondayChris Smalling can draw on his own challenging childhood when talking to the pupils of Salford City Academy. He is there as the new patron of Football Beyond Borders, a charity that hopes to provide stability and hope for disadvantaged youngsters. Smalling’s glittering career shows how difficult beginnings can be overcome. The 29-year-old lost his father as a child and was raised on a council estate, the family requiring social security. Related: Kylian Mbappé’s teleportation device leaves Manchester United floundering | Barney Ronay Continue reading...



'I'm always at risk' of being sacked by Chelsea, says Sarri after humiliation at Man City – video

16-02-2019

Maurizio Sarri feels he is 'always at risk' of being sacked by Chelsea after watching them succumb to their heaviest defeat in almost 28 years.The pressure intensified on the Italian after Sergio Agüero's 11th Premier League hat-trick, Raheem Sterling's double and Ilkay Gundogan's goal wrapped up an incredible 6-0 win for Manchester City. Sarri made an encouraging start to his tenure. Chelsea were unbeaten after their first 12 top-flight matches under him but the Blues have faded out of title contention and face a battle to finish in the top four. Agüero hits hat-trick in Chelsea’s humiliation by Manchester City Continue reading...



Matt Kuchar apologises to temporary caddie and agrees to pay $50,000

16-02-2019

• David Ortiz helped Kuchar win £1.3m at Mayakoba Golf Classic• World No 22 previously defended decision to pay Ortiz $5,000Matt Kuchar has issued an apology and said he will pay a temporary caddie in full following his victory in the Mayakoba Golf Classic last November.Kuchar, 40, this week defended his decision to pay $5,000 (£3,900) to a local caddie, David Ortiz, who had stepped in for his regular one, John Wood. Continue reading...