Jarrell Miller can’t beat me even on his best day, says Anthony Joshua

• UK fighter says outspoken American is ‘jealous’ of him• ‘He’s slow, he’s not a puncher ... I can’t really respect that’So much of the early buildup to Anthony Joshua’s forthcoming defence of the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles has centred on those the British champion will not be fighting on 1 June at Madison Square Garden instead of on Brooklyn’s Jarrell Miller. That is more than fine with Joshua, who understands that fans would rather be served a long-awaited summit meeting with Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury than Miller, an unfancied former kickboxer who has been installed as a 5-1 underdog in the contest.“My view on the whole situation is they’ll appreciate you when you’re done,” Joshua said on Tuesday at the Garden. “So right now I’m just going with where the best opportunities are and I’m making the right decisions for the long term. I’ll beat up Jarrell Miller, and what that then does help me do is say to Wilder: ‘Look, if you don’t want want to come to the UK, you’ve seen what we’ve done in the US, so let’s work on having it here on both of our terms.’” Continue reading...

20-02-2019



Chelsea fans don’t often have time to turn on a manager – this felt decisive | Jonathan Wilson

Maurizio Sarri is serving up predictable, sterile football and some choices are hard to fathom but Chelsea share the blame for this messChelsea fans don’t often turn on their manager. They don’t usually have time. But there, distinct in the cool February air, just six days before they play in a cup final, it was: “Fuck Sarri-ball! Fuck Sarri-ball! Fuck Sarri-ball!” Add in the booing at the final whistle and the chants for Callum Hudson‑Odoi throughout the second half and it’s fair to say the Matthew Harding Stand has made its mind up about Maurizio Sarri.Fans are not always right, of course, as a notorious Old Trafford bedsheet of the late 80s makes clear, and boards must make their own decisions, but this nonetheless felt a decisive moment. Stamford Bridge turned on André Villas-Boas and it didn’t like Rafa Benítez from the start, but outright revolt against a manager is unusual. Continue reading...

20-02-2019



Anthony Joshua: Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury fight would not be held up

Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua insists a future meeting with Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury would not be held up by television companies.

20-02-2019



Ellis Genge hoping to be the man with a dragon tattoo

• England prop building a collection of body art on his right foot • Genge hoping for Six Nations start against Wales on SaturdayHeard the one about the England player hoping to get a Welsh dragon tattooed on his foot? Those who say rugby is short on characters have clearly not met Ellis Genge, the Leicester loosehead prop, whose taste in inspirational body art is putting the boot into Six Nations convention.To mark significant English Tests and overseas tours, the 23-year‑old likes to have a reminder of the experience inked on his right foot. Despite having only six caps, he already has a wide array of designs including wallabies, a springbok, a puma and a shamrock to denote successful recent England performances against Australia, South Africa, Argentina and Ireland, among others. Continue reading...

20-02-2019



In an age of endless cricket Sri Lanka just gave us a special moment | Andy Bull

Kusal Perera’s and Oshada Fernando’s last-wicket stand of 78 to beat South Africa last weekend was one of the finest spectacles the game has produced in recent yearsLast Saturday in Christchurch, Martin Guptill thrashed a century for New Zealand in a one-day game against Bangladesh; in Dubai, Shahid Afridi finished off Multan Sultans’ Twenty20 match against Islamabad United with back-to-back sixes; and in Chittagong a young kid called Jamie Smith made a run-a-ball hundred for England Under-19s in a Test against Bangladesh. Cricket’s always on, somewhere or other, one format or another, bat hitting ball like the background tick-tock of a wall clock, something you only really notice when you look at it, catch a fraction of the match in a gif, a clip, a stream, or tweet, or a glance at a scorecard.Amid all the rest of it, South Africa and Sri Lanka were playing in the first Test at Kingsmead in Durban. The match had meandered into a fourth day and it looked as if it was only going one way. South Africa v Sri Lanka isn’t necessarily a series you stop to watch. They have been playing each other for only 26 years and, in South Africa, the contests have been off-puttingly one-sided. Sri Lanka had played 13 Tests there before this series and won only one of them, in 2011, when Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samararweera made all the runs and Rangana Herath took most of the wickets. Continue reading...

20-02-2019



FA Cup: Daniel James gives Swansea lead against Brentford

Swansea City's Daniel James scores "a wonderful solo goal" to give them the lead against fellow Championship side Brentford in the FA Cup fifth round.

20-02-2019



Sport on the BBC: Best of this week's TV & radio coverage

This week's sport on the BBC includes snooker's Welsh Open, Premier League football and the Alpine World Ski Championships, plus much more.

20-02-2019



Lyon 0-0 Barcelona: Catalans held to fourth draw in five games

Wasteful Barcelona cannot convert any of their 25 shots in a goalless Champions League last-16 first-leg draw against Lyon.

20-02-2019



Sports quiz of the week: managers, money, metal medals and monikers

Who defied his age? Who scored quickly? Who made a packet? Matt Kuchar earned $1.3m in prize money for his victory at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. How much did the golfer pay his caddie?$5,000$130,000 $300,000 $1.3m Why does Anthony Joshua’s next opponent, Jarrell Miller, go by the nickname “Big Baby”? He takes a cuddly toy with him wherever he goesHe weighed 10 pounds at birthHis first opponent called him that before the opening bell – and was quickly knocked outHe lost a betJoshua is fighting Miller on 1 June. Which other sporting event is taking place that night?The last game of the Six Nations The Cricket World Cup final The men’s singles final at WimbledonThe Champions League finalWho scored a hat-trick in 30 minutes this week?Sergio Agüero Eden Hazard Roberto Firmino Jonny MayPaul Scholes made his managerial debut this week. Which footballer announced his retirement on the day Scholes made his playing debut way back in 1994?Bryan Robson Gary LinekerDiego Maradona Glenn Hoddle Gordon Banks, who died this week aged 81, is most famous for winning the World Cup with England in 1966. In which country did he play his last game as a professional footballer in 1977?Republic of IrelandEgyptCanada UruguayDeclan Rice says he wants to play for the England football team. Why has his decision gone down badly with some Irish supporters?He grew up in Northern Ireland and played for their Under-21 team He was born in the Republic of Ireland He has already played three matches for the Republic of IrelandHe was in the Republic of Ireland squad for Euro 2016 but didn't playThe organisers of next year’s Olympics in Tokyo say the medals will be made from…Metals mined from below the stadium in Tokyo Old phones and computersShipwrecks found off the Japanese coastMetal found in the Acropolis in Athens Where is the best team in the southern hemisphere meeting the best team in the northern hemisphere this weekend?Wellington WichitaWiganWinnipegMatthijs de Ligt captained Ajax against Real Madrid this week in the Champions League. What is remarkable about that?He only made his debut in August He has already signed to play for Real Madrid next season He is still a teenagerHis brother captained the team in their previous match 1 and above.Nine wrong answers in a multiple-choice format. Impressive2 and above.Eight wrong answers in a multiple-choice format. Impressive3 and above.Chin up. There's always next week4 and above.Chin up. There's always next week5 and above.That's a fine score. Well played6 and above.That's a fine score. Well played7 and above.That's a fine score. Well played. 8 and above.That's a super score. Well played9 and above.You star. Have a great weekend0 and above.Ten wrong answers in a multiple-choice format. Impressive10 and above.You legend. Have a great weekend Continue reading...

20-02-2019



Refereeing of women’s football needs work. Here is the plan to tackle it | Suzanne Wrack

Full-time officials for Women’s Super League and a fast-track pathway for female referees are among the ideasConsider these three incidents: the Chelsea midfielder Drew Spence cynically scything down Arsenal’s Kim Little, breaking one of Little’s legs, but picking up only a yellow card; David McNamara’s rock, paper, scissors debacle; and Phil Neville questioning two penalty shouts and a disallowed goal against Australia.This season the standard of refereeing in the women’s game has been under the microscope. Except now, with a fully professional top division and more televised coverage than ever, there are a lot more eyes peering through that microscope. Continue reading...

20-02-2019



Chris Eubank Jr: ‘Nothing can match the feeling of having your hand raised after a fight’

Brighton super-middleweight has one last chance to show that he can live with a top operator on Saturday when he takes on James DeGale in a bout which will leave the loser with nowhere to go“This is the biggest and most important fight of my career,” Chris Eubank Jr says quietly, rocking gently on a plastic chair in a tiny office tucked away in his gym on Hove seafront. He nods intently as he considers his battle against James DeGale at the O2 in London on Saturday night. “It’s definitely the one where I have the most to lose. A loss would leave me in no man’s land. DeGale is in exactly the same position. We both cannot afford defeat. We’re both on the edge and someone’s going to fall.”I have asked just one opening question and Eubank has cut to the heart. He and DeGale are preparing for a bout which will surely leave the loser facing the end of his career. Of course this is boxing and so a controversial decision or a narrow defeat might persuade the defeated fighter that one last shot at redemption is possible. But both men recognise their future, and long-term reputations, could be decided this weekend. Continue reading...

20-02-2019



Jürgen Klopp ready for dangerous threat of Bayern Munich – video

Liverpool host five-time Champions League winners Bayern Munich on Tuesday. Speaking before the game, Jürgen Klopp discussed the 'outstanding' atmosphere he's anticipating at Anfield. Bayern travel to Merseyside with five key players missing, however Liverpool aren't without their own issues, with Virgil van Dijk suspended Continue reading...

20-02-2019



FA Cup goal of fifth round: Swansea City's Daniel James wins vote

Re-watch our selection of the best goals from the FA Cup fifth round with Daniel James' solo effort for Swansea selected as your favourite.

20-02-2019



My form is having a mental effect on England’s opponents, says Jonny May

The wing is the most improved player in world rugby and, with Wales next up on Saturday, he admits his searing displays now constitute a psychological barrier for opposition teamsAt this rate Jonny May might have to consider changing his surname. Nowadays it is less a case of “may” than “will” when the Leicester wing hurtles towards a try-line, to the point where Wales will have to make special plans for England’s prolific flyer in Cardiff this weekend. Give him half a yard and he will – not may – take full advantage.Twelve tries in his last dozen Tests, including a hat-trick inside the opening 29 minutes against France last time out, is a world-class strike rate by anyone’s standards. The last time he faced Wales he scored twice at Twickenham, the only tries of a low-scoring game. His tally of 22 tries in 42 Tests has elevated him to seventh on the list of England’s all-time try scorers, with the power to edge past, among others, Jason Robinson’s 28 in 51 Tests by the end of the year. Continue reading...

20-02-2019



Leroy Sane: How the Schalke schoolboy became a Premier League star at Manchester City

Leroy Sane's former teachers and coaches tell the story of his "amazing rise" from Schalke's youth academy to starring for Manchester City.

20-02-2019



Is Tottenham's run of 30 league games without a draw a record? | The Knowledge

Plus: Old Trafford’s mysterious semi-final snub, back-to-back penalty misses and unused subs. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Tottenham have currently played 30 consecutive Premier League games without drawing one,” notes Wouter van Dael. “What is the longest ever such league run?”The short answer is that Spurs are Premier League record-breakers, Wouter, but only just. “Bolton previously held this title with a run of 28 games between March and December 2011,” writes James Clarke. “But in the wider context of English league history, Spurs have a long way to go yet. Twenty-nine clubs have had longer streaks without a draw at some point – and seven have gone more than 40 consecutive league games without a stalemate: Birmingham (43 games), Walsall (44), Leicester (44), Bradford Park Avenue (44), Stoke (46), Sunderland (46) and Aston Villa (51). Although it is probably worth noting that Sunderland’s is the most recent of these, coming comparatively recently in 1908-09. The slightly interesting quirk here is that five of these seven draw-less clubs are midlands teams.Season 2017-1830 Apr Spurs 2-0 Watford5 May West Brom 1-0 Spurs9 May Spurs 1-0 Newcastle13 May Spurs 5-4 Leicester Continue reading...

20-02-2019



Maurizio Sarri: I haven't spoken to Abramovich for three weeks – video

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri admitted he has not spoken with club owner Roman Abramovich since his side's record-breaking 6-0 loss to Manchester City – or for the weeks leading up to that result.The Italian has come under pressure after a string of poor results that has seen Chelsea slip to sixth in the league. Continue reading...

20-02-2019



Bradford’s Lewis O’Brien: ‘I used Twitter critics as a drive to show who I am’

Loan from Huddersfield was greeted with some disdain but he has impressed with his dynamism – and his singingIt can be one of the most nerve-racking times of a young footballer’s career – the moment when he is asked to stand on a chair and sing to the whole senior squad. Lewis O’Brien, the 20-year-old Huddersfield midfielder who has been a smash hit on loan at Bradford this season, decided there was only one approach to take.“There’s no point being there and not going for it,” he says of his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition, which so wowed his teammates that he has practically become the in-house entertainment. “I’ve probably sung about 30 times this season. Every time we’re down for a meal the lads start chanting, ‘Lewis, Lewis.’ I’ve got a few regulars I do, mainly Superstition, Valerie and Stand By Me. I wouldn’t even say I’m a good singer, I just put a lot of effort into it.” Continue reading...

20-02-2019



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.

20-02-2019