'Rugby's like a chessboard with 120kg pieces' - how virtual reality could transform training

12-11-2018

Painstaking research, virtual reality and holding the tackle bags in training... an insight into how a top rugby analyst operates.



Roger Federer slumps to straight-sets loss against Kei Nishikori at ATP Finals

12-11-2018

• Japanese world No 9 holds nerve to win 7-6 (4), 6-3 at O2 Arena• Federer picks up code violation for hitting ball into crowdIf Roger Federer is to win the 100th tournament of his 20-year career here this week, he will need to rediscover some of his renowned composure after an unusually frenetic two-set loss to Kei Nishikori on Sunday evening. It was the first time in 15 visits to the end-of-season ATP World Tour Finals that the six-times champion has lost a round-robin match in straight sets.He even picked up a rare code violation, thrashing the ball into the crowd after failing to read and reach a subtle tap down the line when he had Nishikori under pressure in the 11th game of the first set, serving at 5-6 and 15-30. Continue reading...



Ed Smith’s clever picks have given England a Ferguson-style makeover | The Spin

12-11-2018

National selector is doing a brilliant job by using rotation to craft bespoke XIs as the former Man Utd manager once didIt’s often said that selectors, like wicketkeepers and umpires, are doing their best work when you don’t notice them. Since taking over as national selector, Ed Smith has been in the news more than many of the players he has picked – yet he’s doing a brilliant job.There are two main reasons for Smith’s profile. The first, a slightly cringeworthy media obsession with his education, is not his fault. And the second is a virtue – a series of selections that have managed to be innovative and eye-catching without being ostentatious. Continue reading...



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

12-11-2018

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...



Sublime Klassiker suggests there's finally life in the Bundesliga again | Andy Brassell

12-11-2018

Borussia Dortmund’s victory despite an impressive Bayern Munich performance shows how far they have come and how competitive the German league is this seasonThe 95 minutes-plus of Der Klassiker – and every extra second of the 47 over the 95, which was felt keenly by Borussia Dortmund’s coach Lucien Favre, pushed up tensely on to the edge of his technical area, waving his arms maniacally – were part of such a dizzying swirl of fluctuating momentums and emotions that it’s hard to pick a moment to distil it.If we were going to try, though, how about 13 seconds before Paco Alcácer’s winner hit the net as Dortmund, typically for a Favre side, tore Bayern apart at the seams on the counterattack? This was the moment when Jadon Sancho – whose second-half display of incandescent talent and industry eclipsed a flat first period and fully justified his hype – dispossessed Franck Ribéry, so often the focal point of bustling energy in this fixture and rolling back the years to his irrepressible best in Bayern’s lusty first-half display. Continue reading...



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

12-11-2018

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.



'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

12-11-2018

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?



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

12-11-2018

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...



The 100 best footballers in the world 2017

12-11-2018

Our panel of 169 experts from 63 nations compile a list of the greatest male players in 2017. Click on an individual to read more about their year.• Messi edges Ronaldo to No1 | The data behind our 100 | Watch: our top 10• Meet our panel of judges for 2017 | 2016 edition | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 Continue reading...



England party for Steph Houghton’s 100th cap spoiled by Sweden

12-11-2018

• England Women 0-2 Sweden Women• Defeat in friendly delivers World Cup reality checkPhil Neville says he is endeavouring to keep his players’ “feet on the ground” but on Sunday Sweden delighted in doing the England coach’s job for him.All the bold talk about the Lionesses potentially winning the World Cup in France next summer was made to look a little optimistic by their first home defeat since February 2015 when England, then managed by Mark Sampson, lost 1-0 against the USA in Milton Keynes. Continue reading...



Arsenal had video chat with Welbeck before Wolves game to lift his mood

12-11-2018

• Bernd Leno reveals FaceTime call before Wolves match• ‘Danny is still a big part of our team and we will support him’Unai Emery and his Arsenal players spoke to Danny Welbeck on FaceTime before their game against Wolves, Bernd Leno has revealed.The goalkeeper said the squad got in touch with the striker, who broke his ankle last week, during their team meeting and Welbeck “looked very happy”. Continue reading...



England’s tactical superiority shows All Blacks’ rivals are closing the gap | Nick Evans

12-11-2018

The precision of Eddie Jones’s side put New Zealand on the back foot, making them look defensively vulnerable and reliant on individual creativityNew Zealand are not a very good wet‑weather team so grinding out this victory, having got themselves in a hole against a spirited England side, will do wonders for their confidence. But there will also be a wariness about the All Blacks because England were tactically superior on the day and it can clearly be said that, with less than a year to go until the World Cup, their rivals are closing the gap.Ireland will be a huge test on Saturday, at the end of a long season for New Zealand, and England have showed that the All Blacks’ rivals are working out where they can be pressurised. Sam Underhill had a fantastic game and he, along with Mark Wilson and Brad Shields, was able to slow New Zealand’s ball down and force them backwards. The All Blacks’ first thought is always to create but when they were pushed back Beauden Barrett had to kick off the back foot. England, on the other hand, were so much more precise, allowing Ben Youngs and Owen Farrell to kick on the front foot and that made a big difference. Continue reading...



Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund beat Bayern Munich to extend league lead

12-11-2018

Marco Reus scores twice as Borussia Dortmund beat Bayern Munich 3-2 to extend their lead at the top of the Bundesliga.



The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian's sport coverage

12-11-2018

With the best of our sports journalism from the past seven days and a heads-up on the weekend’s action, you won’t miss a thingLet our team of editors be your guide to the best of the Guardian’s award-winning sport coverage from the past week. We’ll email you the stand-out features and interviews, insightful analysis and highlights from the archive, plus films, podcasts, galleries and more – all arriving in your inbox at 12pm every Friday. And we’ll tee you up for the weekend and let you know our live coverage plans so you won’t miss a thing. Continue reading...



Santiago Solari: Real Madrid set to appoint Argentine as permanent manager

12-11-2018

Real Madrid are set to appoint Santiago Solari as the club's permanent manager after four wins in four games under the Argentine.



FA Cup: Best goals from FA Cup first round

12-11-2018

Watch some of the best goals from the first round of the FA Cup, including a screamer from Guiseley's Will Hatfield and a superb Walsall team goal finished by Andy Cook.



Gonzalo Higuaín suffers Milan meltdown as Juve push him over the edge | Paolo Bandini

12-11-2018

Gattuso warned the striker to stay calm but a missed penalty sent the former Juve talisman spiralling towards a red cardHad Gennaro Gattuso noticed something in training, the first tremors that foretell the eruption of an emotional volcano? Milan’s match against Juventus was always going to bear extra significance for Gonzalo Higuaín, cast aside by the Bianconeri following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo this summer. Still, the words spoken by the manager at his pre-game press conference sound prescient with hindsight.“The way he experiences matches, and the way that his character is, he needs to try to stay calm,” said Gattuso. “Lucidity is required.” Continue reading...