18-01-2019 Masters Snooker 2019: Judd Trump beats Mark Selby to reach semi-finals

Judd Trump beats world number one Mark Selby 6-2 to reach the Masters semi-finals.

18-01-2019 Football transfer rumours: Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United?

Today’s tit-bits are taming the shrews Ole Gunnar Solskjær has been so successful at banishing the stench left by José Mourinho that Manchester United chiefs are starting to think he may be even more than a Norwegian toilet spray. Having won six out of six matches and got United playing with such brio that David de Gea only had to make 647 saves during the victory over Tottenham Hotspur, Solskjær is to be invited to make a formal presentation to Ed Woodward and other United executives in which he will lay out his plan for taking the club forward, with the fact that it is unlikely to involve talking to Daniel Levy considered to be a big point in the Norwegian’s favour.The future of the right-back slot at United could be entrusted to Aaron Wan-Bissaka, whom United want to prise from Crystal Palace to leapfrog Diogo Dalot in the hierarchy. The Internazionale defender Milan Skriniar now looks unlikely to be moving to United, whose interest has convinced the Italian club to offer him a juicy new contract. Who says transfer gossip is worthless? Marcus Rashford is to be given a new contract worth £150,000-per-week to stave off interest from Real Madrid and further highlight what a sweet deal Alexis Sánchez got. Scott McTominay, on the other hand, is to be given a pat on the back and wave goodbye if Celtic make a loan offer. Continue reading...

18-01-2019 'I belong at the top': José Mourinho plots return after United sacking – video

A bullish José Mourinho insisted he will return to club management at the elite level despite his underwhelming spell at Manchester United. In his first major interview since leaving the club in December, he also claimed last season’s second-place finish was one of his ‘best achievements in football’. At 55, he said he was too young to retire from club managementJosé Mourinho says Manchester United not ready for modern football Continue reading...

18-01-2019 Sports quiz of the week: Murray, Marcelo Bielsa and Manny Pacquiao

Who ran for 83 hours? Who exerted herself? Who left London?Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech says he is retiring at the end of the season. Which of these statements about Cech is false?He was born a triplet He took up drumming after playing Rock Band on the PlayStation with Carlo Cudicini He played in France before his move to England in 2004 He has more Premier League titles than any other keeperThe Dakar Rally – in which trucks, motorcycles and quad bikes race off-road for 3,000 miles – drew to a close this week in the city where it had begun 11 days before. Where?DakarPortoLimaZoetermeerWho said: "I’m a supporter of Leeds and hopefully next season they can be in the Premier League. It would be good for the Premier League"?Frank Lampard Stuart Pearce David Cameron Pep Guardiola Ultrarunner Jasmin Paris became the first woman to win a gruelling 268-mile race along the Pennine Way this week, breaking the course record by 12 hours. What made her achievement at the Spine Race even more remarkable?She is only 16 years old She expressed breast milk for her baby along the wayShe was doing her job (as a vet) the day before She ran a marathon the day after the race – and won that too Complete the sequence: Slavisa Jokanovic, Mark Hughes, José Mourinho …Claudio Ranieri Neil Warnock David WagnerAntonio Conte It has been played in Italy 21 times, China four times, the US twice, Qatar twice and Libya once. Where was it played this week?BelgiumSaudi ArabiaEnglandChileWho said: "I don’t agree with athletes having to physically exert themselves in the wee hours of the morning"?Serena Williams Johanna KontaEddie JonesRonnie O'SullivanThere are a lot of Dembélés in the world of sport. The Belgian midfielder Mousa Dembélé left Tottenham to play in China this week. Moussa Dembélé, the French striker, is now playing for Lyon. In which sport did another Moussa Dembélé represent Senegal at the Olympics in 2012?Football Basketball110m hurdles FencingManny Pacquiao fights Adrien Broner in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Which of these statements about Pacquiao is false?Pacquiao is now in his 40s He has won world titles in eight weight divisions This is his 70th professional fight He is currently the president of the PhilippinesIt looks as if Andy Murray has played his last game at the Australian Open, a competition he has never won. How many times did he lose to Novak Djokovic in the final?OneTwoThreeFour1 and above.Oh dear. Have a great weekend2 and above.Oh dear. Have a great weekend3 and above.Ah well. Have a great weekend4 and above.That's a decent score. Have a great weekend5 and above.Respectable score. Have a great weekend6 and above.An impressive score. Have a great weekend7 and above.A very impressive score. Have a great weekend8 and above.A very, very impressive score. Have a great weekend9 and above.You are a sporting genius. Have a great weekend0 and above.Oh dear. Have a great weekend10 and above.You are a genius. Have a great weekend Continue reading...

18-01-2019 Which football teams doctored their playing surface to hinder opponents? | The Knowledge

Plus: top-scoring defenders, non-league double delight and strange middle names. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Pep Guardiola says he didn’t leave the Etihad grass long against Liverpool. But which teams or managers have used this tactic to help their own side or hinder an opponent?” asks George Jones.Let’s start with the Poundland Machiavelli, former Cambridge and Lincoln innovator John Beck. Everyone in football knows about the infamous Beck and the stunts he used to pull at Cambridge. He brought in statisticians to lecture his players about how few passes were needed to score. He had the grass grown several inches long in the corners to hold up the ball when his players knocked it over the top. During the week they would rough up the pitch so anybody who tried to play football against them was at a disadvantage. “We just used to boot it upfield, so it didn’t really matter to us,” Steve Claridge recalls in his autobiography. Continue reading...

18-01-2019 Jess Varnish: I lost, but my stance has exposed a culture of fear

• Cyclist lost landmark case against British Cycling and UK Sport• ‘They’ve changed their structure, policies and personnel’Jess Varnish insists she has emerged as a winner despite losing her landmark employment case against British Cycling and UK Sport because both bodies have made significant changes since she exposed what she described as the “culture of fear and lack of athlete welfare in the British world class performance system”.The former track cyclist was left disappointed on Wednesday when a judge dismissed her claim that she should have been regarded as an employee of British Cycling and UK Sport and thus subject to sick pay, a pension and the right to sue for unfair dismissal. Continue reading...

18-01-2019 Cowdenbeath unhappy after Rangers Scottish Cup tie is postponed

Cowdenbeath believe their Scottish Cup tie against Rangers could have gone ahead after it is postponed because of a frozen pitch.

18-01-2019 Lleyton Hewitt says Bernard Tomic 'won't play Davis Cup again' – video

Lleyton Hewitt has responded to Bernard Tomic's astonishing broadside, accusing Tomic of threatening him and his family for more than 12 months and saying Tomic will never play Davis Cup tennis while he is involvedLleyton Hewitt accuses Bernard Tomic of threatening him and his family Continue reading...

18-01-2019 Martin O’Neill boards the Nottingham Forest train and wants express start

O’Neill won two European Cups with the club as a player and is targeting promotion to the top flight after a 20-year hiatusAs Martin O’Neill reflected on what it was like to be the new manager of Nottingham Forest, back at the club where he won two European Cups and once spoke of it being “like getting on a train and never getting off”, he made it clear why the idea of following in Brian Clough’s footsteps – albeit 20 managerial changes further down the line – had been so attractive.“Firstly, just the name: Nottingham Forest,” he said. “It’s an extraordinarily brilliant name for a football club. Really, it’s not like you can attach a ‘United’ or a ‘City’ to it and, for me to be part of it, especially in successful times, was great. Continue reading...

18-01-2019 Andy Murray pulls out of Marseille tournament as he weighs up hip surgery

Murray’s team deny he has already decided to have operationMarseille statement said Scot would ‘undergo further surgery’Fevered speculation about Andy Murray’s retirement plans refuses to die down just days after his early exit from the Australian Open, and his team on Friday were forced to deny that he has already committed to having surgery on his hip.The former world No1 probably will have an operation to resurface the hip bone, using a metal implant, but organisers of the Marseille tournament from which he has withdrawn made the false assumption in an announcement that he had already decided to do so. Continue reading...

18-01-2019 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...

18-01-2019 Marouane Fellaini: forever tainted as Old Trafford’s king of dark times | Barney Ronay

Through successive managerial eras at Manchester United the big Belgian has fronted up gamely but remained an inherited burden, the embodiment of the post-Fergie wilderness yearsCarry on then, Marouane. After some suggestions this week that Marouane Fellaini might be on his way out of Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Friday press conference went the other way. Instead Solskjær offered what newspapers like to call “a vote of confidence” in the gangling Belgian utility-menace, talking up Fellaini’s continued presence through this, his sixth year as a Manchester United player.It isn’t hard to see why some said his time was up. Under Solskjær Fellaini has played three minutes in the Premier League. His basic footballing presence has seemed at odds with a more mobile, fluid style. Plus there is of course a wider symbolic aspect to all this. Continue reading...

18-01-2019 The Fiver | A kind of softly moving statue by which to remember Arsène Wenger

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!The big January transfer news continues to roll in, after Oumar Niasse, a player famously deprived of a locker at Everton by Ronald Koeman, left Goodison Park to join Cardiff City. Then Yohan Benalouane, a player stored in a locker for almost two years by Claude Puel, did one from Leicester to hurry into the warm embrace of Nottingham Forest’s new manager, Martin O’Neill, who confirmed he hopes to swell the good vibes at the City Ground by bringing along, as his assistant, that most eminent graduate of the Wealdstone Raider School of Motivational Discourse, Roy Keane. Continue reading...