Celtic: Leigh Griffiths faces spell out to deal with 'ongoing issues'

13-12-2018 Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths will be "out of football for a little period of time" as he receives help with "ongoing issues", including some relating to his mental health.

Mourinho praises Manchester United's improved attitude with Pogba on bench again – video

13-12-2018 José Mourinho praised his team’s effort after Manchester United thrashed Fulham 4-1 at Old Trafford. The result ended United’s run of four games without a win and Mourinho said the convincing nature of their victory should earn the ‘respect’ of fans.He confirmed that Paul Pogba, an unused substitute against Fulham, will return to the starting lineup against Valencia next week, adding that the game would be a chance for the France midfielder to ‘show everyone how good he is’.Marcus Rashford seals comfortable win for Manchester United over Fulham Continue reading...

José Mourinho says he learned ‘nothing’ in Champions League loss to Valencia

13-12-2018 • Manchester United would have topped group with victory • Manager insists campaign so far has still been a ‘success’José Mourinho aimed another shot at his players, revealing his growing frustration as he insisted he had learned “nothing” and was not surprised by his team’s 2-1 defeat at Valencia.Manchester United were unexpectedly handed the opportunity to finish top of their Champions League group but, while they wasted that chance and Mourinho admitted they could blame only themselves, he said he had no regrets about fielding a changed line-up and insisted that finishing second still represented “a success, never a failure”. Continue reading...

Bradford City 4-4 Peterborough: Toney's brilliant half-way line goal in FA Cup replay

13-12-2018 Ivan Toney scores a free-kick from the halfway line during Peterborough's thrilling FA Cup second round replay win over Bradford City.

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

13-12-2018 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...

The 100 best female footballers in the world 2018

13-12-2018 Seventy-two judges from 30 countries have had their say and here is our top 100 of the best players in the world. In association with The Offside Rule Suzanne Wrack meets our No 1, Pernille HarderInterview: Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegeberg Continue reading...

Justin Gimelstob pleads not guilty to assault in Los Angeles

13-12-2018 Two-time Grand Slam mixed doubles champion Justin Gimelstob pleads not not guilty to a charge of battery causing serious bodily injury in a Los Angeles court.

Cheltenham deaths review prompts safety changes in racing

13-12-2018 A review into the deaths of horses at the Cheltenham Festival warns that welfare issues threaten the future of the sport.

Leroy Sané’s fine double fires Manchester City past Hoffenheim

13-12-2018 Leroy Sané scored both goals as the Group F winners cruised to a fourth victory but for the second game in a row a Manchester City player seemed to be singled out by opposing fans and this time it was the German.The 22-year-old appeared to receive some heightened abuse from Hoffenheim fans when taking a first-half corner. After what happened to Raheem Sterling at Chelsea on Saturday – four home fans have been suspended pending a club and police investigation into alleged racial invective – Guardiola was asked about the incident involving his match-winner. Continue reading...

Tottenham braced for fresh Real Madrid interest in Pochettino at end of season

13-12-2018 • Manchester United have also been linked to Argentinian• Pochettino’s stock rising after Champions League progressTottenham are braced for further interest in Mauricio Pochettino after the manager enhanced his reputation with Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Barcelona – a result that carried his team into the Champions League knockout rounds.It is an open secret at the club that they expect a fight to keep Pochettino at the end of the season with Real Madrid, in particular, monitoring his progress. Real sacked Julen Lopetegui at the end of October and turned to Santiago Solari, initially on a caretaker basis. In mid-November they gave him a contract until 2021. Manchester United are also admirers and considered him after the departure of Louis van Gaal in 2016 only to appoint José Mourinho. Continue reading...

Leigh Griffiths takes break from Celtic to tackle off-field problems

13-12-2018 • Striker to get ‘all the help he needs’ from Celtic• Brendan Rodgers: ‘He has reached a point where it is a struggle’The buildup to a decisive European tie for Celtic has been overshadowed by Leigh Griffiths being given indefinite leave further to reports he is to receive professional help for off-field problems. Brendan Rodgers said on Wednesday the striker is “struggling” and that “life is tough for him right now”.The 28-year-old is reported to have an issue with gambling, to the point where he apparently entered into a self-exclusion programme from a group of one leading bookmaker’s shops. While Rodgers understandably did not offer details, he strongly hinted at concerns that need to be resolved. Continue reading...

Alisson the rock in Liverpool’s solid defence but Matip injury is a blow

13-12-2018 • Goalkeeper vital to defensive improvement this season•Defender out for six weeks with a fractured collarboneThere was a grin from Virgil van Dijk before giving his assessment of Alisson’s contribution to Liverpool’s victory over Napoli. “He was there to do his job,” the defender said. Bear hugs and effusive praise could come from others. Van Dijk was, of course, correct, although a Liverpool goalkeeper doing his job so well, so consistently and so decisively feels a novelty in the context of Anfield’s recent history.The Champions League group decider was Alisson’s 22nd appearance for Jürgen Klopp’s team following his £65m summer move from Roma. He had justified the expectation levels that soared with his signing long before Wednesday, when he earned Liverpool an extra £11m in Champions League revenue with the 92nd-minute block that secured victory and a return to the knockout phase. Continue reading...

Manchester City 2-1 1899 Hoffenheim: Qualification 'incredible success', says Pep Guardiola

13-12-2018 Manchester City's qualification for the Champions League last 16 was an "incredible success", says manager Pep Guardiola.

Paul Sherwen obituary

13-12-2018 Cyclist, television commentator and broadcaster who became one of the defining voices of his sportPaul Sherwen, who has died of a heart attack aged 62, was a pioneering member of the group of English-speaking cyclists nicknamed the Foreign Legion, a doughty five-times Tour de France finisher and, together with Phil Liggett, half of the Channel 4 commentary pairing that brought the race into British sitting rooms daily for the first time during the late 1980s.“Phil and Paul” became the voices of the Tour de France across the English-speaking world: the voluble Liggett described the action and the more measured Sherwen detailed moves and personalities. For a generation of fans – initially in the UK, later across most of the English-speaking world – they were the defining voices of the sport. By this year, Sherwen had attended 40 tours. Continue reading...

Can Sumo survive? The crossroads facing Japan's national sport – video

13-12-2018 The ancient Japanese ritual of Sumo is in crisis. Only last week, a Mongolian wrestler was forced to retire after assaulting a teammate – but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Years of controversy and scandal, coupled with the country's declining population, have greatly impacted the sport's ability to attract new talent. The Guardian visits Tokyo's Ryōgoku district, the birthplace of Sumo, to see how this iconic institution is adapting to life in the 21st century, and why - despite women being banned from the ring itself - young female fans are flocking to watch it like never beforeYokozuna, controversies and a 'Dump Truck': a sumo history – in pictures Continue reading...