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

'I'm not a predatory lender': Derek Fisher goes from the NBA to player loans

The five-time NBA champion is now an executive at Asset Capital. But is he helping athletes or exploiting them?Derek Fisher began the month defending his credentials as the newly appointed head coach of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks. Fisher’s December continued with the former basketball star denying he is a legal loan shark.It was revealed last week that the five-time NBA champion and former coach of the New York Knicks is joining Luxury Asset Capital, a boutique lender and posh pawnbroker for clients who are loaded but not liquid. The company is launching a sports and entertainment division that seeks to woo athletes, offering short-term loans of about $50,000 to $5m using assets such as contracts, pensions, cars, watches, fine art and jewelry as collateral. Continue reading...

19-12-2018

McCann case may put bookies’ treatment of winning punters in the spotlight

• Teenager not paid after winning bets totalling nearly £1m• Remote Gambling Association denies ‘cartel-like’ behaviourThe legal case in which Megan McCann, a young punter from Northern Ireland, is suing the online bookmaker Bet365 for more than £1m in unpaid winnings promises to put the entire betting industry’s treatment of successful punters in the spotlight . Her legal team have submitted an amended statement of claim that is understood to allege “cartel-like” activity by major online operators.McCann’s case took another step towards a full hearing last Friday, when Bet365 was granted four weeks to consider whether it will continue with an attempt to strike out key parts of McCann’s claim. The parties will reconvene at the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast on 18 January when it is possible that a date will be set for a full hearing of the case in the spring. Continue reading...

19-12-2018

The Dozen: the weekend's best Premier League photos

Our picture editors select their favourite images from around the grounds Continue reading...

19-12-2018

Lewis Hamilton 'used wrong words' in slums comment

Lewis Hamilton says he is "super proud" of hometown Stevenage after his faux pas at the SPOTY awards.

19-12-2018

Watch: Who do the fans want next after Mourinho?

Man Utd fans voice their opinions on who they would like to replace Jose Mourinho, with the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Diego Simeone and Mauricio Pochettino all cropping up.

19-12-2018

Jose Mourinho: How Manchester United manager's season collapsed

BBC Sport looks at six factors which contributed to Jose Mourinho’s downfall at Man Utd, from the departure of his “brother” Rui Faria to his fall-out with Paul Pogba.

19-12-2018

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

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...

19-12-2018

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

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

19-12-2018

'Solari the stopgap with bigger name to come' - what is going on at Real Madrid?

The relatively unknown Santiago Solari has been placed in charge of Real Madrid - but he is not likely to be in the role for long, writes Andy West.

19-12-2018

Mauricio Pochettino does not need Manchester United job, says Unai Emery

• Arsenal manager praises Pochettino’s work at Spurs• Arsenal play Spurs in Carabao Cup quarter-finals on WednesdayUnai Emery has questioned whether Mauricio Pochettino would want to leave Tottenham to join Manchester United next summer.The Arsenal manager, whose team play Spurs in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night, is friends with Pochettino and claimed the Argentinian does not need to move. Continue reading...

19-12-2018

World sport: 10 photos we liked this week - 22-28 October

A selection of the most striking sports photographs from around the world this week.

19-12-2018

Zidane? Pochettino? Who will be Manchester United's new manager?

Zinedine Zidane, Mauricio Pochettino and Antonio Conte are possible contenders to be José Mourinho’s long-term successorMourinho sacked after United’s worst start in 28 yearsThe former France international is currently out of work after leaving Real Madrid last summer following the victory over Liverpool in the Champions League final. Remarkably, that was his third triumph in the competition in only two and a half years in charge. Is unlikely to join a club until next summer, which could suit United. 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

British surfer Tom Butler conquers potential world record '100ft tall wave' – video

Briton Tom Butler believes he may have broken the world record for surfing the biggest ever wave after successfully riding a huge swell at Nazaré in Portugal on 14 December.The 29-year-old says the wave was estimated to be more than 100ft tall. The current official record is 80ft, which was set last year by Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa also at Nazaré.Butler said surfing the wave was like 'running away from a raging bull'. It is likely he will have to wait for the WSL Big Wave Awards in April 2019 for official confirmation on whether he broke the world record.Surfing and skateboarding receive huge Olympic boost from UK Sport Continue reading...

19-12-2018

Shane Flangan deregistered by NRL after breach of suspension

Cronulla coach has until end of January to respondClub fined $800,000, half suspendedCronulla coach Shane Flanagan has been de-registered by the NRL for dealing with the club while suspended in 2014 and the Sharks fined $800,000 – half of which was suspended at the time over their supplements saga.Flanagan and the club have until the end of January to respond to a breach notice, which is when the NRL will make its final determination. Until then Flanagan cannot have any official involvement with the club. Continue reading...

19-12-2018

Whyte v Chisora & Warrington v Frampton: Warren & Hearn on PPV clash

Promoters Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren discuss why two pay-per-view fights are being shown at the same time on Saturday.

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

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named Man Utd caretaker manager until end of season

Manchester United name former player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager, following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.

19-12-2018