12-12-2018 Harry Kane says Spurs are Champions League contenders after Barça draw

• Spurs reaching last 16 is ‘massive achievement’ • ‘It’s important we go as far as we can in this competition’Harry Kane said Tottenham’s performance at Barcelona was the latest evidence that they can live with Europe’s best and should fire the belief they can progress deep into the Champions League.Spurs drew 1-1 at Camp Nou on Tuesday to advanced to the last 16, because Internazionale could only draw 1-1 at home to PSV Eindhoven. Tottenham had needed to match Inter’s result to go through. “Thank us later Spurs,” PSV’s account tweeted, with a winking emoji. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Joel Matip: Liverpool defender out for up to six weeks with fractured collarbone

Liverpool defender Joel Matip could be out for up to six weeks as he needs surgery on a fractured collarbone.

12-12-2018 Rob Cross: ‘After the world darts final it was like I’d hit rock-bottom’

The world No 2 darts player went from winning £7 in pubs to winning the PDC world championship within 18 months, but, he says, quick success ‘drained me’“Do you ever get these feelings that something’s going to happen?” Rob Cross asks with surprise in his voice. “You don’t know where they come from but you can feel that something’s going to happen. I had that feeling when I won the worlds. I had that feeling when I won the Challenge Tour. They’re like premonitions.”Cross shakes his head and smiles at the mysterious force of the past two years. His life has been transformed from being an electrician who won £7 after victory in a pub tournament, to becoming the world champion of darts 18 months later. Cross won £400,000 on 1 January 2018 when, in the PDC world championship final, he crushed his hero, Phil Taylor, at the end of his first year as a professional. Since then, Cross put on five stone in weight and was disconcerted when the lives of his wife and three children were threatened by a crank who was offended by his stunning rise. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 BBC Sports Personality of the Year: The cheeky trophy spills the beans on his 65-year career

Before BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2018, the trophy remembers his wonderful 65-year career living with some of the world's greatest sporting stars.

12-12-2018 Sport on the BBC: Best of this week's TV & radio coverage

This week's sport on the BBC includes the final round of matches in the group stages of the Champions League, European rugby union and the Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

12-12-2018 Luton aim high once again after building on their talented reserves | Ben Fisher

The Hatters’ under-11 class of 2009 were the best of their age in Europe and several have gone on to enjoy decent careers – a couple of them at the renascent Kenilworth RoadNine years ago Luton Town were crowned European champions. They swatted aside Werder Bremen in the quarter-finals, edged past FC Zurich after extra-time in the semis and beat Bayern Munich in the final, clinching a 3-2 win with four seconds to play. It was at the Aarau Masters, a televised five-a-side tournament in Switzerland played in front of 3,000 spectators, where Luton’s under-11s triumphed, upstaging the cream of the crop from across the continent, including Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund.Among those celebrating that day was James Justin, now 20 and a core member of a free-scoring Luton team who are flying high in League One under Nathan Jones. Others from the class of 2009 have progressed nicely too, with Jamal Lewis excelling at Norwich, the brothers Jay and Cole Dasilva on the books of Chelsea and Brentford respectively, while Frankie Musonda remains at Luton. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 British Cycling coaches 'jealous' of athletes' success, says BMX champion

Liam Phillips claims body denied cyclists lucrative deals at tribunal for girlfriend Jess VarnishBMX world champion Liam Phillips has claimed that British Cycling denied athletes a chance to capitalise on their success via sponsorship deals at an employment tribunal for his girlfriend, the Olympic cyclist Jess Varnish.Varnish has accused British Cycling of exercising “extreme control” over her and other athletes in her long-running legal attempt to sue the organisation for sex discrimination and unfair dismissal. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Football transfer rumours: Real Madrid's Marco Asensio to join Spurs?

Today’s fluff has got plenty of problemsMarcus Rashford is a target for Milan. Paul Pogba is unhappy. And José Mourinho has gone to the absurd lengths of distancing himself from a claim that he’s committed to Manchester United made by his own agent. “It’s not my statement, I didn’t know at all and I didn’t care about it.” Poor Ed Woodward. And there’s Theresa May thinking she’s got problems.But here’s some slightly more upbeat news for the beleaguered giants: Manchester United are hopeful of finally landing that elusive, game-changing central defender in the upcoming window! Step forward Pablo, Bordeaux’s 27-year-old Brazilian international. Not only that, hot Ajax pair Matthijs De Ligt and Frenkie De Jong are on their radar, as is the young Middlesbrough winger Marcus Tavernier. And Juan Mata is eager to sign a new contract. So it’s swings and roundabouts. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Alvarez v Fielding: Briton ready to seize chance against Mexican legend

Rocky Fielding used his selfie with Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez to impress Mexicans on holiday - now he is preparing to fight the country's boxing icon.

12-12-2018 Mo Salah, Liverpool’s kangaroo, looks ready to bounce through winter slog | Barney Ronay

The Egyptian just keeps on keeping on, and does so with a rare lightness, hinting at what may be to come in the next monthsJust past the half hour at a chilly, angsty Anfield Mo Salah was suddenly free in space on the edge of the Napoli box, scampering in on goal in that bouncy style, hair flapping, legs whirring like a cartoon kangaroo. Salah had time to look up, pause and nudge a doomed pass across the six-yard box in the vague direction of Sadio Mané. There was a groan from the stands, but not much of a groan. The one thing they know for sure about Salah around here is that he just keeps on keeping on. Some footballers are relentless in a pained kind of way, tied to the rack, teeth clenched, head down. Salah has a lightness to him. He keeps coming because he knows in the end the game will open up, that his ability to glide and spring sideways with preternatural speed will find the right pocket of space. Related: Salah and Alisson heroics ensure Liverpool qualify at Napoli’s expense Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Paul Sherwen obituary

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...

12-12-2018 Stalemate at Old Trafford and Wolves at Chelsea's door – Football Weekly Extra

Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, Amy Lawrence and Mike Calvin discuss ‘four crap goals’ in the game between Manchester United and Arsenal, Morgan Gibbs-White, a very strange game in Brighton, the French for ‘putting your foot in it’ and sprinting managersJoin the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.We look back at the last few days of football, starting with Manchester United’s 2-2 draw at home with Arsenal, with the away side the ones to pile late pressure on at the one-time home of Fergie-time. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Luka Doncic's genius has managed to make a great NBA rookie class look average

The 2018 draft-class may well end up being one of the greatest in history. But they risk being eclipsed by the Slovenian teenagerPoor Marvin Bagley. The bouncy one-and-done Duke big man went second overall in the 2018 NBA draft and so far he is having what is, by any reasonable standard, an excellent rookie season, even though he plays for the Sacramento Kings, which is hardly his fault. Bagley is not an excellent NBA player right now; in fact, by most metrics, he’s kind of a bad NBA player. But most rookies, even the really good ones, are bad players. And just 20 games into his career, Bagley is pouring in points and grabbing rebounds at the same ferocious clip he did at Duke – 12.9 and 6.2 in just under 24 minutes per game – and he’s doing it despite taking several thousand fewer shots than Trae Young.In almost any other season, Bagley’s nifty stats plus his arrival coinciding with the Kings’ revival would be enough to anoint him an early rookie of the year candidate. If he’d come out of college two years ago, when Malcolm Brogdon won the award because Ben Simmons was injured and the rest of the 2016 draft class was trash, it would be Bagley’s name on that trophy and not Brogdon’s. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Alisson the rock in Liverpool’s solid defence but Matip injury is a blow

• Goalkeeper vital to defensive improvement this season•Defender out for six weeks after suffering 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. Related: Klopp says £67m Alisson ‘worth double’ after save puts Liverpool through Continue reading...

12-12-2018 The 100 best female footballers in the world 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...

12-12-2018 Sunderland 'Til I Die: Netflix series charts pain, prayers and passion for the club – trailer

Netflix has released a trailer for Sunderland 'Til I Die, a new docu-series following the club's first season back in the Championship after the team crashed out of the Premier League in 2017.The fly-on-the-wall style series, following the 2017-18 season as the club suffered a second consecutive relegation, features interviews with the club’s manager, players and dedicated fans.All eight episodes of the Netflix series will be released globally on 14 December.Sunderland’s Jack Ross: ‘I’ll never regret accepting this job, whatever happens’ Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Liverpool 1-0 Napoli: how the players rated in the Champions League

Georginio Wijnaldum proves the outstanding player for Liverpool at Anfield, while Kalidou Koulibaly shines for NapoliAlisson 9/10 One save to make all night and delivered. In the 92nd minute too. The difference between pain and progress. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.

12-12-2018 Mauricio Pochettino: Tottenham boss 'so proud' after achieving 'mission impossible'

Mauricio Pochettino says he is "so proud" after Tottenham completed "mission impossible" and reached the last 16 of the Champions League.