'Solari the stopgap with bigger name to come' - what is going on at Real Madrid?

13-11-2018 The relatively unknown Santiago Solari has been placed in charge of Real Madrid - but he is not likely to be in the role for long, writes Andy West.

Real Betis's Barcelona tribute act is even better than the real thing | Sid Lowe

13-11-2018 Before the match, Real Betis’s manager had to apologise for his admiration for Barça. After beating them, Barcelona’s players spoke of their admiration for him In the final moments before the first half began on Sunday afternoon, Real Betis’s manager, Quique Setién, approached Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets and asked him for his shirt. He wanted to frame it, he said. Busquets nodded and smiled, so Setién thanked him and headed out towards the bench at the Camp Nou. As he went, he also had a word with Lionel Messi, whose shirt already hangs on his wall, alongside that of Luka Modric. Messi was returning to action after three weeks out with a broken arm, today of all days, and Setién sidled up to him, greeting him fondly.“I’d have waited a bit longer, not taken any risks,” he grinned. “I couldn’t,” Messi replied; sitting out was driving him up the wall and he was desperate to play. Continue reading...

Confusion over Owen Farrell’s tackle is widespread and understandable | The Breakdown

13-11-2018 Kurtley Beale’s expression said it all when he was asked about the controversial hit, and his incredulity is shared by manyWhen Kurtley Beale was asked this week about Owen Farrell’s challenge on André Esterhuizen, his first thought was to glance in the direction of Australia’s media officer. The Wallabies’ playmaker clearly had a view, but with Twickenham their final destination this month, it needed to be placed in a diplomatic bag.Beale, like other players, coaches and fans, was confused. He pointed out that a few years ago Farrell’s tackle was unlikely to have been deemed fair as the outside-half led with his shoulder and made a cursory effort at best to wrap his left arm around the Springbok replacement. It would have merited a penalty at least with a card of either colour an option. Continue reading...

Thousands of Leicester City fans march to honour Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha – video

13-11-2018 Thousands of Leicester City fans marched on Saturday to honour former owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others, who were killed when their helicopter crashed following Leicester's previous home match against West Ham. Fans gathered in Jubilee Square and marched towards the team's King Power Stadium  ahead of their match with Burnley waving Leicester City and Thai flags, with others holding up banners. Continue reading...

Memphis Depay is a big club player with a small time attitude

13-11-2018 Depay has been more effective in Ligue 1 this year than Neymar or Kylian Mbappé but his mentality is holding him backBy Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football NewsMemphis Depay is not often associated with the words “effective” or “consistent” but he is on a remarkable run. He scored two goals and set up two more as Lyon beat Guingamp 4-2 on Saturday, continuing his brilliant form this year. Depay has either scored or set up 29 of his club’s goals in 2018. That’s more than Kylian Mbappé and Neymar – and every other player in Ligue 1 for that matter. In fact, only Cristiano Ronaldo, Leo Messi and Luis Suárez have been more effective so far this calendar year. However, despite Depay’s newfound end product and a mooted return to Manchester United, his attitude continues to hold him back.Depay was dropped for Lyon’s 2-1 win at Angers last month but, after coming off the bench to score the winning goal, he berated Lyon coach Bruno Génésio. “I do not always feel like I am a player who is respected,” said the Dutchman. “I do the job each time. I have to accept the decisions of the coach but I deserve more than this and I should be playing every match.” Continue reading...

David Squires on … a European Super League and other life-affirming stories

13-11-2018 Our cartoonist on the possibility of impoverished big clubs finally stumbling upon a way to make some moneyIf you like David’s cartoons, buy his new book: Goalless Draw Continue reading...

José Mourinho: People who don't understand football analyse with statistics – video

13-11-2018 Manchester United manager José Mourinho has blamed exertions for his side's 3-1 derby defeat to Premier League leaders Manchester City.United fought back for a 2-1 victory against the Italian champions Juventus in Turin on Wednesday while City cruised through a home game against Ukrainians Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0.'Everybody has to agree - it is one thing to go to Juventus and play against one of the best teams in the world for 90 minutes and another thing to beat Shakhtar Donetsk at home 6-0 and be very relaxed. We arrived in different circumstances,' said the Portuguese coach. But in contrast with some defeats this season, Mourinho was unwilling to criticise his team's attitude and effort, saying 'for me zero words against my players, everything is positive. I am with them and they are with me.'Sportblog: Would Pep Guardiola win the title with this Manchester United squad? Continue reading...

Why is Floyd Mayweather so bored?

13-11-2018 The American boxing legend conquered his profession and piled up more money than he’ll ever be able to spend, but a sense of purpose in retirement has proven far more elusiveAll told it could have been worse for Floyd Mayweather.On Wednesday, the five-division boxing champion backed out of a planned New Year’s Eve fight with the Japanese kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa less than three days after he appeared at a downtown Tokyo press conference announcing the bout, claiming he was “blindsided” by the promoter regarding the magnitude of the event. Continue reading...

FA Cup: Chris Dickson gives Hampton & Richmond lead against Oldham

13-11-2018 Chris Dickson scores from the penalty spot to give National League South side Hampton & Richmond the lead over League Two Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup first round.

Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck undergoes two operations on broken ankle

13-11-2018 • Club say both procedures ‘went well, without complications’• Squad spoke to Welbeck on FaceTime before Wolves matchArsenal forward Danny Welbeck has had two successful operations to repair his broken ankle, the Premier League club have announced.The 27-year-old faces a long spell on the sidelines after suffering what the club described as a “significant” injury in last week’s goalless Europa League draw against Sporting. Continue reading...

Eddie Jones is left five minutes short against All Blacks but time is on his side | Andy Bull

13-11-2018 It felt like this match was coming 12 months too late but after a brave display it is like England’s coach is starting afreshThe rain came 30 minutes before kick‑off but the storm broke only when the match started, the first collision the opening crack of thunder. It blew for two hours until, in the very end, England lost a brilliantly entertaining, brutally competitive game, 16-15. They had pushed the best team in the world right to the brink. Back in 2016, Eddie Jones promised that “everything we are doing now is about coming up with a game to beat New Zealand, to make them uncomfortable. You can and hopefully will see that by 2018.” Two years later, England were two points away from making good on his promise. Even so, Jones said he was proud of them. And rightly so.There have been times this year when it felt like this match against the All Blacks had come 12 months too late. Last year England were so keen, so confident, that there were people who wanted to bump the All Blacks’ autumn match against the Barbarians just so England could get in an early shot at them. But the team have had a long, rough 12 months, suffering losses to Scotland, Ireland, France, and South Africa. The team that reached a peak in the world rankings when they beat Scotland by 40 points at Twickenham for their 18th straight win last March belongs to a different era. Half of that side are gone now: four injured, three dropped, another retired. Continue reading...

Nick Chubb, Dion Dawkins and Ezekiel Elliot star in NFL plays of the week

13-11-2018 The Cleveland Browns' Nick Chubb produces the longest play from scrimmage of the season so far, while the Buffalo Bills' Dion Dawkins scores a fantastic 'big man touchdown' in our NFL plays of the week.

Which match has featured the most Ballon d'Or winners on one pitch? | The Knowledge

13-11-2018 Plus: Glenn Murray’s ridiculous record, a straight flush of goalscorers and Freddy Eastwood, Southend legend • Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“I have a memory from an old childhood annual that Manchester United are the only team to have fielded three Ballon d’Or winners on the same pitch, back when Charlton, Law and Best were playing,” notes Dan Wardle. “Is this right? And which match featured the most winners at the same time?”Dara O’Reilly kicks off with an excellent answer. “While Dan Wardle’s annual was probably correct at the time of going to press, I’m sure I won’t be the only person to point out that, when Michael Owen joined Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and Original Ronaldo at Real Madrid in 2004, that meant the club were able to, on numerous occasions over that season, field four players who had won football’s most prestigious individual prize. Continue reading...

Leicester City players attend Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha's Bangkok funeral – video

13-11-2018 Leicester City manager Claude Puel and his players have been paying their respects to the club's late owner at his funeral in Bangkok.Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha died, along with four others, when his helicopter came down in a car park at the King Power Stadium on 27 October. Members of the Leicester City team, including the striker Jamie Vardy, goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and captain Wes Morgan, as well as club officials flew to Thailand after their match against Cardiff. Playing on for Vichai: Claude Puel remembers Leicester’s loved owner Continue reading...