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

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...

19-12-2018

Kelly Slater makes miraculous recovery after near-certain wipeout – video

Kelly Slater produced a miraculous recovery to avoid a wipeout in Hawaii on Sunday. The 11-times former world champion surfer fell inside a barrel while competing at the season-ending Pipeline Masters event in Oahu, Hawaii. But Slater somehow managed to roll back on to his board and popped up into a standing position before squirting out of the barrel - much to the surprise of the American and those watching from the North Shore. Continue reading...

19-12-2018

What is the smallest football ground a European champion has lost at? | The Knowledge

Plus: the longest delay for any new stadium in history and the worst goal difference you can get away with and still qualify in the Champions League. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Real Madrid recently lost 3-0 to Eibar in a stadium that holds just 7,000 people,” begins Robin Tucker. “That got me thinking: have any former European champions lost a competitive match in a smaller stadium? This would be only counting results after their first European success, so games such as Liverpool’s 1959 defeat to Worcester City would not count.”A fine question, but it’s not even the smallest stadium a former European champion has lost in this season. The 1986 winners Steaua Bucharest, now snappily known as FCSB, have suffered plenty of turmoil recently, including a defeat earlier this month to Sepsi OSK. That was in front of an estimated 2,500 at the 5,200-capacity Stadionul Municipal. Continue reading...

19-12-2018

Big Bash League 2018-19 opener: Adelaide Strikers beat Brisbane Heat – as it happened

Brisbane 146; Adelaide 147-5 (19.1 overs)Strikers win first game of BBL season by five wickets 11.36am GMT Adelaide came away with the victory, and thoroughly deserved it after commanding the match from start to finish.At times it felt like modern T20 v something a little more dated. All the hype surrounded The Bash Brothers, who - we were told - would get Brisbane off to the rollicking, entertaining start we craved. This is a very basic conception of cricket in this format that consciously overhypes hitting long and constantly undervalues less marketable elements like tactical nuance, placement, accurate bowling, and so on. 11.20am GMT Pretty clinical from the reigning premiers here at The Gabba. Some thoughts to follow... Continue reading...

19-12-2018

Manchester City rely on penalties to beat Leicester in Carabao Cup

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...

19-12-2018

From defence to Sánchez, where did Mourinho go wrong? | Jonathan Wilson

David de Gea has been left increasingly exposed, as has José Mourinho’s reliance on Marouane Fellaini as a battering ramThere was a time when the prevailing attitude to José Mourinho was it might not be pretty but he got the job done. At Real Madrid that began to change. Why was he so obsessed by playing his “trivote”, his block of three holding midfielders, even against lesser sides? But still, the problem was at the back of the team: Mourinho sides did not concede goals. This United did: 29 in 17 league games this season, the fifth-worst record in the league. But the situation is even worse than that. David de Gea is widely considered to have surrendered his crown as the Premier League’s best goalkeeper but he has still made more saves than all but three. In other words, that defensive record could easily be even worse. Continue reading...

19-12-2018

What is the longest Boxing Day away trip a football team has made? | The Knowledge

Plus: giving up big Christmas leads in the league and the ground that opened up to use its pitch for skating. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“What is the longest Boxing Day away trip a team has had to make?” enquires David Gregson.Let’s begin with a look at this year’s festive journeys (all the below are via the AA Route Planner, rather than as the crow flies). The longest trip on offer in the top flight will be taken by Rafa Benítez’s Newcastle, who must journey 174 miles to Anfield – four miles further than Cardiff’s away-day at Crystal Palace. The furthest trip in the country, meanwhile is Plymouth’s 211-mile trek to AFC Wimbledon. Continue reading...

19-12-2018

The Spin | Ed Smith avoids brickbats by proving to be a Test-class England selector | Vic Marks

Former Kent batsman has been a breath of fresh air, challenging traditional thinking and not afraid to give youngsters a chanceChairmen of selectors are a bit like wicketkeepers. We only really notice them when they make terrible mistakes. Yet the incumbent, Ed Smith, has threatened to buck the trend. He has been in the post for nine months yet his appointment has been heralded as a significant reason for England’s resurgence as a Test side.From the start Smith has challenged traditional thinking and by and large this has worked well. Jos Buttler had not played any red-ball cricket for months so how could he possibly be considered for Test matches? But hang on, he is an incredibly gifted cricketer, just think what we might be missing. Adil Rashid had withdrawn from all red-ball cricket. But why not invite him back? There are far greater threats to the integrity of county cricket to be found within the ECB’s own ranks than in the recall of Rashid. Continue reading...

19-12-2018

Jake Hesketh makes Burton Albion history at expense of Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough supporters know better than to underestimate a Clough and, by the end, there was a sense that few on Teesside begrudged Nigel Clough’s achievement in leading League One Burton Albion into the semi-finals.Which is not to say they exempted Tony Pulis or his players from blame on a night when Southampton loanee Jake Hesketh’s fine goal separated the sides and there were sufficient robust boos to suggest Boro’s manager is starting to be seen as more problem than solution. Continue reading...

19-12-2018

Leicester City 1-1 Manchester City (1-3 pens)

Holders Manchester City edge through to the Carabao Cup semi-finals by beating Leicester City 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

19-12-2018

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

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.

19-12-2018