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

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...

16-02-2019

Presenting Percy to miss prep race and may go straight into Gold Cup

• Trainer Pat Kelly opts against running in chase at Gowran• Owner Philip Reynolds says they are ‘happy with where he is’Presenting Percy could go straight to the Cheltenham Gold Cup after connections of the talented but rarely spotted animal decided against the prep run that had been planned for him on Saturday. That raises the extraordinary possibility of a horse starting favourite for the Gold Cup despite not having raced over fences for a full year.Horses have won major races after injury-plagued preparations, restricted them to rare appearances at the track but it is something new for a young, reportedly healthy and top-class chaser to be campaigned so sparingly. There was no public comment from his Athenry-based trainer, Pat Kelly, and the only available explanation came from Presenting Percy’s owner, Philip Reynolds. Continue reading...

16-02-2019

Sergio Ramos: Real Madrid defender 'had no choice' over controversial yellow card

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos says he "had no choice" but to make the foul that earned him a yellow card against Ajax.

16-02-2019

Sport on the BBC: Best of this week's TV & radio coverage

This week's sport on the BBC includes snooker's Welsh Open, Premier League football and the Alpine Ski World Championships, plus much more.

16-02-2019

Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.

16-02-2019

Dyed beards and lucky stones: Crazy Gang lives on at AFC Wimbledon | Barry Glendenning

The successors to the 1988 FA Cup-winning side have revealed the unusual practices they hope will help them beat MillwallWhile his teammate Scott Wagstaff sits in the home dressing room at Kingsmeadow getting his bushy ginger beard dyed bright blue and yellow, the AFC Wimbledon midfielder Anthony Wordsworth is in the President’s Lounge telling reporters about his lucky stones. The original FA Cup-winning Crazy Gang may have been uprooted and moved to Milton Keynes many moons ago, but at the fan-owned phoenix club which replaced it there is still an apparent undercurrent of madness.Quiet and unassuming, Wordsworth is anything but deranged, although at one point he teetered on the brink. As a Southend player, he suffered the trauma of losing his beloved older brother, Steven, to a heart attack, a bereavement that led to a slump in form and eventually left him without a club. Picked up by Wimbledon, he is looking forward to an FA Cup fifth-round tie against Millwall on Saturday following his side’s demolition of West Ham. Continue reading...

16-02-2019

Mauricio Pochettino: Spurs can win 'every single game' in the Champions League – video

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes his side's league form since December shows they can beat "any team" in the Champions League, as Spurs prepare for the first leg of their last 16 clash with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.Spurs ready for Champions League and Dortmund – then a much-needed break Continue reading...

16-02-2019

Andy Farrell says succeeding Joe Schmidt will be his greatest challenge

• Ireland assistant ‘proud and privileged’ to take reins• Farrell confirms Johnny Sexton will be fit for Italy gameAndy Farrell has rated succeeding Joe Schmidt as Ireland head coach the biggest challenge of his career. The former dual-code England international will step up from assistant coach when Schmidt steps down after the autumn’s World Cup in Japan.The 43-year-old has worked under Schmidt since 2016 amid Ireland’s rise to second in the world, after four years as England defence coach. Continue reading...

16-02-2019

'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?

16-02-2019

FA Cup: 'He's fluffed it' - Mumford & Sons try football commentary

Mumford & Sons' Marcus Mumford and Winston Marshall give football commentary a go, describing Nat Knight-Percival's bizarre FA Cup goal for Bradford in 2017.

16-02-2019

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

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...

16-02-2019

Sports quiz of the week: managers, money, metal medals and monikers

Who defied his age? Who scored quickly? Who made a packet? Matt Kuchar earned $1.3m in prize money for his victory at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. How much did the golfer pay his caddie?$5,000$130,000 $300,000 $1.3m Why does Anthony Joshua’s next opponent, Jarrell Miller, go by the nickname “Big Baby”? He takes a cuddly toy with him wherever he goesHe weighed 10 pounds at birthHis first opponent called him that before the opening bell – and was quickly knocked outHe lost a betJoshua is fighting Miller on 1 June. Which other sporting event is taking place that night?The last game of the Six Nations The Cricket World Cup final The men’s singles final at WimbledonThe Champions League finalWho scored a hat-trick in 30 minutes this week?Sergio Agüero Eden Hazard Roberto Firmino Jonny MayPaul Scholes made his managerial debut this week. Which footballer announced his retirement on the day Scholes made his playing debut way back in 1994?Bryan Robson Gary LinekerDiego Maradona Glenn Hoddle Gordon Banks, who died this week aged 81, is most famous for winning the World Cup with England in 1966. In which country did he play his last game as a professional footballer in 1977?Republic of IrelandEgyptCanada UruguayDeclan Rice says he wants to play for the England football team. Why has his decision gone down badly with some Irish supporters?He grew up in Northern Ireland and played for their Under-21 team He was born in the Republic of Ireland He has already played three matches for the Republic of IrelandHe was in the Republic of Ireland squad for Euro 2016 but didn't playThe organisers of next year’s Olympics in Tokyo say the medals will be made from…Metals mined from below the stadium in Tokyo Old phones and computersShipwrecks found off the Japanese coastMetal found in the Acropolis in Athens Where is the best team in the southern hemisphere meeting the best team in the northern hemisphere this weekend?Wellington WichitaWiganWinnipegMatthijs de Ligt captained Ajax against Real Madrid this week in the Champions League. What is remarkable about that?He only made his debut in August He has already signed to play for Real Madrid next season He is still a teenagerHis brother captained the team in their previous match 1 and above.Nine wrong answers in a multiple-choice format. Impressive2 and above.Eight wrong answers in a multiple-choice format. Impressive3 and above.Chin up. There's always next week4 and above.Chin up. There's always next week5 and above.That's a fine score. Well played6 and above.That's a fine score. Well played7 and above.That's a fine score. Well played. 8 and above.That's a super score. Well played9 and above.You star. Have a great weekend0 and above.Ten wrong answers in a multiple-choice format. Impressive10 and above.You legend. Have a great weekend Continue reading...

16-02-2019

Emiliano Sala: Nantes players wear black shirts in tribute to teammate – video

Emiliano Sala was given an emotional tribute during Nantes' first home game since the footballer was confirmed to have died in a plane crash.The 28-year-old's former teammates wore black shirts with the name 'Sala' on the back and Nantes fans also held up the number 9 in memory of the Argentinian. Sala, who had spent four seasons at Nantes, was travelling to his new club Cardiff City with pilot David Ibbotson, when their plane went missing over the English channel on 21 January.Sala 'will leave an eternal memory' says emotional Nantes coach – video Continue reading...

16-02-2019

David Squires on … Chelsea's humiliation at Manchester City

Our resident cartoonist on Maurizio Sarri’s dismay, Mike Dean and a man trying to wear trousers as a jumperTake a look through David’s archive of cartoons Continue reading...

16-02-2019

Genesis Open: JB Holmes leads from Jordan Spieth after rain-delayed opening

JB Holmes leads the Genesis Open by one shot from fellow American Jordan Spieth after the first round was completed on Friday.

16-02-2019

Maurizio Sarri: I haven't spoken to Abramovich for three weeks – video

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri admitted he has not spoken with club owner Roman Abramovich since his side's record-breaking 6-0 loss to Manchester City – or for the weeks leading up to that result.The Italian has come under pressure after a string of poor results that has seen Chelsea slip to sixth in the league. Continue reading...

16-02-2019

Premiership: Gloucester beat leaders Exeter 24-17 at Kingsholm

Gloucester upset Premiership leaders Exeter as they win 24-17 in a thrilling contest at Kingsholm.

16-02-2019

Gazprom v Abu Dhabi: an alternative guide to the Champions League ties

Other states, hedge funds and a tax haven also feature in our look at how club owners and partners stack up in the last 16Schalke 04 Continue reading...

16-02-2019

Sports quiz of the week: a birthday present, a record and a whiskey cup

Who wants a miracle? Who needs a drink? Who ran the world?What did Susannah Gill achieve in 24 hours, 19 minutes and nine seconds?She rowed from Botany Bay to Belfast She cycled from Asia to AfricaShe ran seven marathons across seven continents in seven daysShe swam from England to FranceNeymar celebrated his 27th birthday this week. In his speech at his party, what did the PSG forward say he wanted as a present?For his teammates “to stop losing without me” To move back to Spain A new metatarsal To become “the Tom Brady of soccer”Where is the Centenary Quaich being contested this weekend?DublinEdinburghLondon Chicago53% of households in New Orleans watched the Super Bowl last year. Why did that figure fall to 26% this year?People listened to the radio instead as Barack Obama was doing guest commentary Fans boycotted because a dubious refereeing decision ruled out their team Donald Trump was in the city so people were out protesting The main broadcast company mistakenly sold rights to New Zealand rather than New OrleansIn which of these leagues has one of the teams not lost yet this season?Bundesliga La Liga Ligue 1 Premier League Serie AAnd which league has a team who have not drawn a game yet this season?BundesligaLa Liga Ligue 1Premier League Serie A What world record did golfer James Nitties equal this week at the Vic Open in Australia?He went 18 straight tournaments without dropping a shot He hit nine birdies in a row He missed the cut at a tournament for the 21st time in a row He lost 10 balls on one roundWhy did Newport County goalkeeper Joe Day sprint off the pitch at the final whistle after his team had beaten Middlesbrough in the FA Cup?To brush his hair and "look smart" for the post-match interviewsHe was “absolutely busting for a number two”He is a Middlesbrough fan and “felt a bit teary”To see his partner, who was in labourDulwich Hamlet signed Simon Bloch Jørgensen this week. What makes Jørgensen stand out?He plays as a goalkeeper but refuses to wear gloves He is the tallest professional footballer playing in EnglandHe wears glasses while playing He insists on wearing a shirt with no branding or sponsorship PSG play Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Which of these footballers has not played for both teams?Gabriel Heinze Ángel Di María Zlatan Ibrahimovic Ray Wilkins Laurent Blanc David Beckham It’s the Madrid derby this weekend, which pits Diego Simeone against Santiago Solari, the sixth different Real Madrid manager he has faced while in charge of Atlético. Who did Simeone face in his first Madrid derby as a manager?Rafa BenítezFabio Capello José MourinhoCarlo AncelottiWhich of the last-16 ties features two clubs that have won the competition three times in a row?Manchester United v PSGAtlético Madrid v JuventusLiverpool v Bayern MunichAjax v Real Madrid 11 and above.You've done very well there. Good work. Have a super weekend12 and above.You've done very, very well there. Good work. Have a super weekend1 and above.It's not a good score but fret not. It's a Friday. Go forth and have fun2 and above.It's not a good score but fret not. It's a Friday. Go forth and have fun3 and above.It's not a good score but fret not. It's a Friday. Go forth and have fun4 and above.You've done OK there. Not great but certainly OK5 and above.You've done OK there. Not great but certainly OK6 and above.You've done OK there. Not great but certainly OK7 and above.You've done well there. Good work. Have a super weekend8 and above.You've done well there. Good work. Have a super weekend9 and above.You've done well there. Good work. Have a super weekend0 and above.It's not a good score but fret not. It's a Friday. Go forth and have fun10 and above.You've done very well there. Good work. Have a super weekend Continue reading...

16-02-2019