Lucas Digne rescues point for Everton after Watford’s crazy five minutes

11-12-2018

Watford fans brought inflatable snakes to taunt Marco Silva but the surest way to torment their former manager lay in the club’s first victory at Everton. It was in their grasp until stoppage time, deservedly so, only for Lucas Digne to produce an antidote for Silva and Everton’s self-inflicted suffering.Everton’s form has plummeted since they handed Liverpool victory in the 96th minute of the recent Merseyside derby. This time the 96th minute brought relief as Digne swept an exquisite free-kick into Ben Foster’s top corner following a careless handball by Christian Kabasele. Relief was fleeting as far as the Everton manager was concerned. His team led through Richarlison, the man who followed him from Vicarage Road to Goodison Park in the summer for £40m, and were punished for two lapses in concentration that produced an own goal from Seamus Coleman, plus what seemed an emphatic winner from Abdoulaye Doucouré. Continue reading...



Can women save sumo? The crossroads facing Japan's national sport – video

11-12-2018

The ancient Japanese ritual of Sumo is in crisis. Only last week, a Mongolian wrestler was forced to retire after assaulting a teammate – but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Years of controversy and scandal, coupled with the country's declining population, have greatly impacted the sport's ability to attract new talent. The Guardian visits Tokyo's Ryōgoku district, the birthplace of Sumo, to see how this iconic institution is adapting to life in the 21st century, and why - despite women being banned from the ring itself - young female fans are flocking to watch it like never before Continue reading...



Monday Night Football: Has Jason Witten ruined a US television institution?

11-12-2018

The former Cowboy has been a disaster since he joined the most storied broadcast in American sports, but he’s not the show’s only problemThe NFL has a multitude of problems: players committing off-the-field violence, the Oakland Raiders in general and, most worrying of all, the growing realization that the game is inherently dangerous to its participants’ long-term health. With all this happening, one would think the state of the league’s flagship broadcast wouldn’t be a huge story. That, however, would underestimate just how unwatchable Monday Night Football has become this season, particularly due to former Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten’s brutal start as the show’s lead analyst.It was inevitable that there would be some growing pains over at MNF, as the show replaced the entire booth during the offseason. Witten’s predecessor, Jon Gruden, left to become Oakland’s head coach, a move that has been bad for both the broadcast and the team. Meanwhile, play-by-play man Sean McDonough returned to his old gig as a college football announcer. In their stead came Witten and Joe Tessitore. Tessitore, a veteran of boxing and college football coverage, has had some struggles making the adjustment to his new gig. Most notably, he’s been guilty of over-talking. Continue reading...



The Breakdown | Neath’s sad decline laid bare as they face judgment day in court | Paul Rees

11-12-2018

In dire financial trouble off the pitch, short of players and bottom of the Welsh Premiership, the famous club faces a winding-up order in court on ThursdayBack in the day spectators used to clamber up the floodlight pylons at the Gnoll to get a better view because the terraces were so packed. Now, as Neath faces a winding-up order on Thursday for failing to repay a £30,000 loan taken out to cover wages, the lights may go out for good on Wales’s oldest club.Neath are due to entertain Llanelli on Friday night, a fixture that not long ago would have been a highlight of any club weekend. It will be preceded by a bash for supporters in the clubhouse, but if the court hearing goes against a club whose nickname has long been the Mourners, it would turn into a wake. Continue reading...



The Fiver | Places up for grabs at the very top of European football’s top table

11-12-2018

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!With 12 teams already through to the knockout stages of Big Cup, there are just four more places up for grabs at the very top of European football’s top table. If Spurs are to snaffle one, they will have to complete the relatively routine task of beating Barcelona away from home, a feat they have never managed in one previous attempt. That was back in 1982 when Danish midfielder Alan Simonsen, who had previously – and rather weirdly – been the unwitting target of a sniper in Danish movie thriller named Skytten, scored the only goal of the game to send the Spanish side through to the final of Now Defunct Cup Winners’ Pot in 1982. In Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane, modern-day Spurs have their own diminutive Danish maestro and crack marksman and their supporters will be hoping both men have their eye in on Tuesday. If Inter beat PSV, as many expect them to, only a win will do for Spurs if they are to join their hosts in Uefa’s last-16 tombola. Continue reading...



Wagner's controversial blocked field-goal helps Seahawks beat Vikings

11-12-2018

Minnesota Vikings 7-21 Seattle SeahawksOfficials throw flag on block and then pick it up againBobby Wagner blocked Dan Bailey’s field goal attempt midway through the fourth quarter, sparking the Seahawks to two late touchdowns and a 21-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. It was Seattle’s fourth straight victory. Chris Carson followed the blocked kick with a two-yard TD run with 2:53 left, and Justin Coleman provided the capper with a 29-yard fumble return touchdown 18 seconds later. Continue reading...



Cameron Radigan opens up on his passion for archery

11-12-2018

Cameron Radigan on his campaign to have his leg amputated and his archery dream.



Sam Twiston-Davies not Harry Cobden to ride Politologue in King George

11-12-2018

• Harry Cobden aboard Clan Des Obeaux on Boxing Day• Quality of Kempton fences discussed by leading trainersSam Twiston-Davies will keep the ride on Politologue when the grey lines up for the King George VI Chase in a fortnight’s time to the surprise of anyone who assumed Harry Cobden would be back aboard.Cobden has been principal jockey to the horse’s trainer, Paul Nicholls, since Twiston-Davies gave up that job to go freelance in May but he will ride the stable’s Clan Des Obeaux, who is much less fancied in the betting. Continue reading...



Hamilton would be world champion in a Mercedes or a Ferrari - Palmer column

11-12-2018

In his latest column, former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer looks at the brilliance of five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.



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

11-12-2018

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



Raheem Sterling: Tyrone Mings pulls out of Talksport appearance over coverage

11-12-2018

Bournemouth's Tyrone Mings pulls out of an interview with Talksport in protest at its coverage of the alleged racial abuse of Raheem Sterling.



Rugby league should never forget the power of free-to-air TV

11-12-2018

If the sport wants a mainstream audience, it has to prioritise its relationship with the BBC and coverage of the England teamBy Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredDoes rugby league take the BBC for granted? And are the RFL flogging a dead horse with the Challenge Cup? I left Parliament mulling over those questions after seeing a fascinating presentation by three of BBC Sport’s leading figures last week.The Beeb showed 57 hours of league this year and broadcast 50 live commentaries on national radio. They account for 78% of all rugby league viewing on TV, with over seven million people watching more than 15 minutes of rugby league on BBC this year compared to two million on Sky. They are essential to the game retaining its status in the mainstream media. Continue reading...



The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

11-12-2018

Our picture editors choose their favourite images from the weekend’s Premier League actionView the Dozen archive Continue reading...



Jadon Sancho's stock rises higher and higher after a derby to remember | Andy Brassell

11-12-2018

After a difficult week, the English teenager scored the winner against Schalke as Borussia Dortmund continue their chargeIt was dark when Borussia Dortmund’s bus arrived back at the club’s training ground in Brackel but it couldn’t get in. It was blocked by several hundred supporters, chanting and lighting the winter night with pyro. A couple of the players, Axel Witsel and Achraf Hakimi, got off the coach and joined them.This may already be shaping up to be a special season for Dortmund but if you wondered what this dream start – unbeaten in the Bundesliga, soaring above champions Bayern Munich having beaten them in Der Klassiker last month, through to the Champions League last 16 – was missing, then here was the answer. They had entered Saturday afternoon’s match already 19 points clear of rivals Schalke but winning the Revierderby, whenever, however, always means so much. Continue reading...



Jimmy Gressier retains Euro U-23 Cross Country title but faceplants on finish line – video

11-12-2018

Jimmy Gressier successfully defended his men’s under-23 European Cross Country title in the Netherlands on Sunday, but the runner’s failed celebration are likely what will be remembered best. Continue reading...