Portugal hold Italy to become first team to reach Nations League semi-finals

• Rui Patrício the Portugal hero in goalless draw at San Siro • Mitrovic scores and misses Panenka-style penalty in Serbia winPortugal became the first team to qualify for the Nations League semi-finals when they held on for a goalless draw away to Italy to make sure of top spot in Group Three in the competition’s top tier.Italy dominated the first hour and Portugal were rescued by the Wolverhampton Wanderers keeper Rui Patrício, who twice denied Ciro Immobile when the forward looked set to score. He also saved Lorenzo Pellegrini’s header from close range in stoppage time. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Marika Koroibete double helps off-colour Wallabies to victory in Italy

• Italy 7-26 Australia• Hosts have two tries disallowed with match scorelessAustralia survived an early scare before easing past Italy 26-7 in Padua on Saturday. Italy, chasing their first win against the Wallabies, had two early tries ruled out before Australia broke away with two of their own, one from the late addition Marika Koroibete and one from Taniela Tupou.Mattia Bellini scored a converted try at 21-0 down and the Australia scrum-half Will Genia added barely deserved gloss to the scoreline with a try near full-time. The Wallabies lost to Wales 9-6 last weekend in Cardiff, their eighth defeat in 11 tests, and were hoping for a convincing victory in Padua to get their groove back. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



The Fiver | The potential commercial benefits of honouring former heroes

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Almost two years to the day since he made his final appearance for England at Wembley, Wayne Rooney will make his final appearance for England at Wembley on Thursday, in what amounts to a testimonial for the 33-year-old striker. Rooney called time on his international career in 2017, but like a well-intentioned ex-con in a cliched heist movie has been talked into one last job. The grizzled old veteran will take his place among the substitutes in Gareth Southgate’s squad for a friendly against the USA! USA!! USA!!! so England fans can thank a loyal servant who played quite well in one major tournament England didn’t come close to winning, before playing quite badly in several others they also didn’t come close to winning. As an homage to an international career in which he earned 119 caps and scored 53 goals, Rooney will receive a guard of honour from both sets of players, come on as a substitute and take the captain’s armband from Fabian Delph. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Thousands of Leicester City fans march to honour Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha – video

Thousands of Leicester City fans marched on Saturday to honour former owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others, who were killed when their helicopter crashed following Leicester's previous home match against West Ham. Fans gathered in Jubilee Square and marched towards the team's King Power Stadium  ahead of their match with Burnley waving Leicester City and Thai flags, with others holding up banners. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Ben Ryan: ‘If rugby were a company people would be comparing it to an Enron’

Fiji’s gold-medal winning sevens coach is unhappy with the direction he believes the game is moving in – from the treatment of tier-two nations to laws being overlooked by refereesIf you love rugby union what follows will be a tough read. According to one of the world’s leading coaches, however, the time has come for the sport to get real. “If rugby were a company people would be comparing it to an Enron,” says Ben Ryan, Fiji’s Olympic gold-medal winning sevens mastermind. “It’s completely dysfunctional.”Ryan’s charge sheet is long and chilling. With Japan set to visit Twickenham this weekend he says tier-two nations continue to be treated with almost feudal disregard, that the sport’s law-book is being wilfully ignored and that skilful players are becoming disillusioned with where 15-a-side rugby is heading. Central to it all, he believes, is the selfish decision-making of certain stakeholders which is steering the global game into deeply worrying territory. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Sports quiz of the week: Wayne Rooney, All Blacks and a generous fan

Who has 125 caps? Who coughed up? Who is being ripped off?Callum Wilson scored on his England debut on Thursday night, meaning he has one cap and one goal. Which of these players has the same international record?Carlton Palmer Rickie Lambert Francis JeffersMark Hateley Wayne Rooney finished his England career with 120 caps. Who is the only player with more?David Beckham Steven Gerrard Peter ShiltonBobby Moore Who will provide the voice of the Green Goblin in the French language version of the new Spider-Man film?Olivier GiroudThierry HenryMathieu BastareaudTyson FuryThe two best rugby teams in the world – New Zealand and Ireland – meet in Dublin on Saturday night. Ireland have only ever beaten the All Blacks once. Where? FranceAustraliaEnglandUSA Why did the FA suspend referee David McNamara for 21 days?He called a ball boy a “little dweeb” when he wouldn’t give back the ballHe laughed in the face of a player who missed a sitterHe lost his whistle so was forced to shout “STOP” to get the attention of the playersHe forgot to bring a coin for the toss so asked the two captains to play rock, paper, scissors insteadNew Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri has managed some of Europe's biggest clubs in his career – including Napoli, Fiorentina, Valencia, Atlético Madrid, Juventus, Roma, Inter, Valencia, Monaco and Chelsea – but he has only ever managed one national team. Which one? ItalyAustraliaGreeceSwitzerlandHow did Coalville Town supporter Damien Trown help the club this week?He ran on to the pitch wearing a full kit without the referee noticing and scored from a cornerHe went to their ground with his lawnmower after the manager had complained about the pitchHe ran on to the field and rugby tackled a streaker – his mumHe gave his replica shirt back to the club as they didn't have one big enough for their new signingThe Golden State Warriors have offered fans a new ticket that costs $100 a month. What is the only drawback for fans?They won’t have a seat or view of the basketball court They are in the singing section and have to pass an audition They have to pick up litter for 15 minutes after matchesThey have to live within a mile of the stadium to qualify for the ticket Which of these football teams has not lost a game in 2018? Borussia Dortmund Paris Saint-Germain The US women's teamEngland women's team Complete this sequence: Moscow, Samara, Kazan, New Jersey, Maryland, Riyadh, Jeddah, London …New YorkMilton KeynesColchesterBerlin1 and above.Oh dear, oh dear2 and above.Oh dear, oh dear3 and above.You'd done OK there. Something to build on for next week4 and above.You'd done OK there. Something to build on for next week5 and above.You'd done well there. A decent score and something to build on for next week6 and above.You'd done well there. A decent score and something to build on for next week7 and above.You're among the elite with that score8 and above.You are excelling in life9 and above.You're among the elite with that score0 and above.Oh dear10 and above.What a score. One to print out and keep. Or at least screengrab Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Chess: Deadlock continues after Magnus Carlsen escapes in Game 6

As the encounter reaches the halfway stage all the games have been drawn and the challenger Fabiano Caruana will be aware of the world No 1’s undefeated record in play-offsMagnus Carlsen’s plan of a mid-match push recoiled badly in Friday night’s sixth game of the €1m world title match in Holborn, London, but the champion, a knight down and on the verge of defeat, found the rare plan of a defensive fortress which Fabiano Caruana could not break down. The game was drawn in 80 moves after six and a half hours’ play when the American abandoned his winning attempts.The €1m match in London remains level at 3-3 with six games left. The prescribed colour sequence gives Carlsen a second successive White in Sunday’s seventh game, so he still has the chance of a mid-match push which was foreshadowed when he chose Black in game one. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



José Mourinho: People who don't understand football analyse with statistics – video

Manchester United manager José Mourinho has blamed exertions for his side's 3-1 derby defeat to Premier League leaders Manchester City.United fought back for a 2-1 victory against the Italian champions Juventus in Turin on Wednesday while City cruised through a home game against Ukrainians Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0.'Everybody has to agree - it is one thing to go to Juventus and play against one of the best teams in the world for 90 minutes and another thing to beat Shakhtar Donetsk at home 6-0 and be very relaxed. We arrived in different circumstances,' said the Portuguese coach. But in contrast with some defeats this season, Mourinho was unwilling to criticise his team's attitude and effort, saying 'for me zero words against my players, everything is positive. I am with them and they are with me.'Sportblog: Would Pep Guardiola win the title with this Manchester United squad? Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Women's World Twenty20: Big-hitting Mandhana & Kaur help India beat Australia by 48 runs

India beat Australia by 48 runs in their last group game in Guyana to top Group B at the Women's World Twenty20.

17-11-2018



How can Renato Sanches be so bad at one club and so good at another? | Stuart James

The midfielder is rebuilding his career at Bayern and is clearly a huge talent, which makes his failed spell at Swansea so bafflingSeptember 2017, the London Stadium. Renato Sanches is brought down by Cheikhou Kouyaté deep inside the West Ham half and is determined to take the free-kick. He tells his Swansea teammates he is going to put it in the top corner. One swing of his right boot later and the ball is on its way to the top corner ... of the stadium rather than the net. Swansea’s players are already turning on their heel before gravity has started to do its work.July 2018, Wörthersee Stadion. Bayern Munich win a free-kick wide on the right, about 22 yards from goal. Every Paris Saint-Germain player is expecting a cross as Sanches stands over the ball. Expertly disguising his intentions, Sanches curls a brilliant shot inside the near post. Rafinha jumps on top of Sanches to celebrate and the rest of his Bayern teammates join in. Continue reading...

17-11-2018