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 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 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 The Superclásico final that became too big and too bad for Buenos Aires

For the last five years, Copa90 have been making films about the biggest derbies in the world. Now for the biggestA film by Copa90, part of the Guardian Sport NetworkOn the ground at the Superclásico final in Buenos Aires ... and MadridThe two biggest football clubs in Argentina? The fiercest rivalry in South America? The best derby in the world? Every superlative was used to describe the first ever Superclásico final in the Copa Libertadores. As the eyes of the world turned towards Buenos Aires, our team of filmmakers set off to experience the “final to end all finals” first hand. Everyone expects controversy from this fixture, but no one could have predicted what happened between these two teams over two legs in two continents.First off, Boca’s home tie at La Bombonera. After a biblical rainstorm led to a 24-hour delay, the football gods finally gave the fans the moment they had been waiting for all their lives on Sunday 11 November. The first of the two ties ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw. The away goals rule was not in play, so the tie was perfectly poised before the second leg. Continue reading...

19-12-2018 José Mourinho just the latest casualty in Ed Woodward’s failing regime | Daniel Taylor

Manager did not help himself but the man in charge, the owners and the players at Manchester United have to share the blameIf you ever needed to know what a mess Manchester United have made of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson, perhaps we can start with the tragicomedy that there are still 194 days before the six-year contract handed to David Moyes was supposed to lapse. Moyes lasted nine months and, in the process, seemed to age 10 years.Louis van Gaal gave Old Trafford two seasons of drift. And now José Mourinho is history, too – with his lip curled, his bank account swelled by a reputed £15m in severance pay and a very public decline in which he demonstrated that the higher a man climbs the more you see of his backside. 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 Manchester United set to appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker

• Mauricio Pochettino refuses to rule himself out of full-time role• United have made their worst start to a season in 28 years• How the day of Mourinho’s United axe unfoldedManchester United are hopeful of announcing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their caretaker manager after the sacking of José Mourinho on Tuesday morning, with the club intent on appointing a permanent replacement by the summer. Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino is the current frontrunner.On Tuesday Pochettino refused to rule himself out of the running. “I cannot answer this type of question, because this type of rumour happens in this business, in football,” he said. Continue reading...

19-12-2018 NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves' Taj Gibson tries to block shot with his shoe

Minnesota Timberwolves' Taj Gibson makes an unorthodox attempt to block an opponent's shot after losing his shoe during his side's 132-105 NBA win over the Sacramento Kings.

19-12-2018 Saints smother Panthers to close on home-field advantage for playoffs

New Orleans Saints 12-9 Carolina PanthersPanthers’ only TD comes from pass by RB Christian McCaffreyNew Orleans put the clamps on Cam Newton, and the Saints beat the Carolina Panthers 12-9 on Monday night to take a big step toward locking up home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs.The Saints’ defense, which has been among the best in the league the last six weeks, held the former MVP to 131 yards passing, sacked him four times and forced two turnovers on a night when Drew Brees and the offense couldn’t get much going. Alvin Kamara had 103 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, and Brees had 203 yards passing for the Saints (12-2), who took a one-game lead in the NFC over the Rams. The Saints close the season at home against Pittsburgh and Carolina; the Rams visit Arizona and host San Francisco. 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 Tyson Fury is no angel but he should have been on the Spoty shortlist | Kevin Mitchell

It is toweringly paradoxical that a fighter who is trying against mountainous odds to put embarrassing chunks of his past behind him is reminded of his sins again in a public referendumGeraint Thomas deserves the acclaim of armchair Britain as the nation’s outstanding athlete of 2018. He’s a wonderful cyclist, won the Tour de France – only the third Briton to do so, after Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome – and is, by all accounts, a decent man.Tyson Fury, on the other hand … is, well, a bit difficult. He fights for a living. He’s prone to discomfit “civilised company”. He grew up on a Travellers’ site. Some of his views would embarrass a nightclub bouncer. Or once did. Continue reading...

19-12-2018 Mourinho v the media: the road to his Manchester United sacking – video

José Mourinho has been sacked by Manchester United after overseeing the club's worst start to a campaign for 28 years.The Portuguese coach was often criticised for the team's pragmatic playing style and his treatment of some players, leading to many tense exchanges during his meetings with the press.Mourinho started his two-year tenure at Old Trafford by winning two trophies – the League Cup and Europa League – but failed to win silverware in his second season before their dreadful start to his third campaignDavid Squires on ... José Mourinho's United exit Continue reading...