Serie A returns with a reminder that it can be beautiful too | Paolo Bandini

After its grim end to 2018, Serie A returned from the winter break with an entertaining round of gamesThe crowd at San Siro was the smallest it had been for any game in this Serie A season, yet also perhaps the most uplifting. Inter’s match against Sassuolo was originally supposed to be played behind closed doors, as a punishment for racist abuse of Kalidou Koulibaly by supporters at the stadium last month. Club officials persuaded the footballing authorities to let them distribute 11,000 tickets to schoolchildren instead.They filled a part of the stadium’s lower tier, with the remaining seats covered over by gigantic banners upon which ‘BUU’ had been printed in various fonts. That spelling is used by Italian journalists to represent monkey noises directed at black players during games. Inter were inviting us to reinvent the letters as an acronym – to be written, not said – ‘Brothers Universally United’ against discrimination. Continue reading...

22-01-2019



Serena Williams too hot for Simona Halep in tense Australian Open battle

Williams defeats world No 1 Halep 6–1, 4–6, 6–4 Karolina Pliskova awaits for Williams in quarter-finalsThe last time Serena Williams came to Melbourne, she was five weeks pregnant and went on to win the Australian Open for the seventh time. On day eight of the 2019 championships, two years older at 37, she dredged up a sliver of her old magic to hold off the robust challenge of the world No 1, Simona Halep, and edge closer to joining Margaret Court on the all-time record of 24 majors. It was a typically mercurial performance that swung between brilliant and desperate. Related: Novak Djokovic v Daniil Medvedev: Australian Open last 16 – live! Continue reading...

22-01-2019



Mark Sampson, former England Women coach, apologises to Aluko and Spence

• ‘I’ve worked hard to educate myself’• Sampson was sacked by FA in September 2017The former England women’s coach Mark Sampson has apologised unreservedly to Eni Aluko and Drew Spence for remarks he made to the players while in charge of the national team.An inquiry, after the allegations had been published by the Guardian, by the independent barrister Katharine Newton found in October 2017 that Sampson had “on two separate occasions made ill-judged attempts at humour, which, as a matter of law, were discriminatory on the grounds of race” but added that “it was fundamentally important to emphasise that I have not concluded that MS is a racist”. Continue reading...

22-01-2019



Novak Djokovic sees off Medvedev to set up Nishikori battle at Australian Open

• Djokovic into last eight with 6-4, 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 win • Nishikori beats Carreño Busta, Raonic defeats ZverevIf the guard is changing at the summit of tennis, it is doing so slowly and without conviction, as Novak Djokovic steps into the void left by the departure of Roger Federer. After eight days of the fortnight the world No 1 is again instilling fear into his side of the draw, as he lurks – fit, seasoned and determined – three matches away from a record seventh Australian Open title. Related: Novak Djokovic beats Daniil Medvedev: Australian Open last 16 – as it happened Continue reading...

22-01-2019



Mark Sampson: Ex-England boss will 'forever regret' situation after sacking

Former England women's manager Mark Sampson says he will "forever regret" the parliamentary inquiry into his behaviour.

22-01-2019



Who is the greatest F1 driver ever?

After Lewis Hamilton won his fifth world title on Sunday, BBC Sport is asking you just who is the greatest F1 driver ever?

22-01-2019



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

This week's sport on the BBC includes the FA Cup, Carabao Cup, Australian Open and World Indoor Bowls Championships, plus much more.

22-01-2019



Masters Snooker 2019: Watch the best shots from the tournament

Watch the best shots of the 2019 Masters, featuring Ding Junhui, Judd Trump and Neil Robertson.

22-01-2019



Strasbourg were in the fifth tier in 2012. Now they are fifth in Ligue 1

After battling back from liquidation and multiple relegations, Strasbourg are dreaming about Champions League footballBy Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football NewsSavoir-faire does not translate directly from French. The closest English equivalent would be “know-how” but the French phrase carries a sense of graceful adaptability, an ability to respond seamlessly and appropriately to any situation. Few teams in football embody savoir-faire more than Strasbourg under Thierry Laurey. Having fought back from liquidation and relegation to the sprawling fifth tier in 2011, the Alsace club are edging towards Europe and perhaps even silverware thanks to their versatile and intelligent coach. Their 5-1 win at Monaco on Saturday, which takes them up to fifth in Ligue 1, is simply their latest eye-catching achievement.The thought of playing in Europe would have been a dumbfounding dream for Strasbourg supporters throughout the last decade. After being relegated in 2008, the club plunged down the divisions amid spiralling debts. Former player Marc Keller stepped in and took over the club, but they resumed business as fifth-tier amateurs in 2011. Continue reading...

22-01-2019



Hector Bellerin: Arsenal defender out for up to nine months after rupturing ACL

Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin is set to miss the rest of the season after scans confirm he has ruptured his ACL.

22-01-2019



Netball: England beat Australia 52-49 but miss out on Quad Series

Watch the closing stages as England beat Australia 52-49 in a repeat of their Commonwealth Games final victory, but fall short of the five-goal margin needed to win the Quad Series.

22-01-2019



Megavalanche, footballers dancing badly and a perfect 10 | Classic YouTube

Also featuring a full-court buzzer beater, some dire defending and a 1956 lap round Le Mans (including oncoming traffic)1) Clear some time in your day, strap in and relive the 40 minutes of mayhem that was Megavalanche 2018 from the point of view of the winning rider, Damien Oton, who somehow stayed upright while whizzing down the French Alps on a bike … in the snow.2) There have been plenty of dancing footballers down the years but not many quite so enthusiastic as Raul Meireles in Lip Sync Portugal. Just look at those shoulders go. He’s got form from his playing days, mind. But spare a thought for poor Mo Salah. He would have probably preferred Sadio Mané to win African Footballer of the Year had he known he was going to be forced to dance on stage by Youssou N’Dour. And we’re not sure about Carlos Tevez’s moves in this video when he was in a band called Piola Vago. He looks as if he’s having much more fun than he ever had in the Chinese Super League, though. Sergio Agüero is another South American footballer whose body moves better on a pitch than in time to music. Here he is self consciously fronting a song about himself by the band Los Leales. Youri Djorkaeff takes his dancing far too seriously in this R&B effort. And Jürgen Klopp did a bit of dad-dancing recently too. We’ve seen worse. Continue reading...

22-01-2019



Transfer roundup: Ashley Cole joins Derby until end of season

• Former England left-back links up with Frank Lampard• Manchester United’s Scott McTominay signs contract extensionThe former England defender Ashley Cole has joined Derby until the end of the season. The 107-cap left-back has linked up with his former Chelsea teammate and current Derby manager Frank Lampard at Pride Park. Related: Barcelona close to signing Kevin-Prince Boateng from Sassuolo Continue reading...

22-01-2019



Arsenal’s Héctor Bellerín to miss rest of season with ruptured cruciate ligament

• Defender injured during win over Chelsea on Saturday • Player waiting to learn if there is further damageHéctor Bellerín’s season is over after he was diagnosed with a ruptured cruciate knee ligament and the Arsenal right-back faces a battle to be fit for the beginning of the next campaign.Bellerín collapsed in agony during his team’s 2-0 win against Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on Saturday and he now has the headline result in terms of the damage. But there could be yet more bad news for him as he waits to learn whether he has damaged the meniscus and other parts of the joint. Continue reading...

22-01-2019



Stuart Lancaster: ‘I haven’t decided if I’ll go to watch England play Ireland’

The Leinster coach on the bruising aftermath of his 2015 England exit, finding fulfilment in Dublin and the pain of his father’s death‘Pretty much everything has been given to Leinster and, indirectly, to Ireland,” Stuart Lancaster says when he considers how the knowledge he gained during seven years at the heart of English rugby has been jettisoned by his own country. The Leinster coach speaks without bitterness and, having reflected movingly on the recent death of his father and the bruising aftermath of being sacked by England after the 2015 World Cup, he sounds philosophical. Related: England’s Six Nations squad has tools to be hard, direct and ruthless Continue reading...

22-01-2019