22-02-2019 The Fiver | Staring us in the face, in plain sight, giving us the big do-you-want-some

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Yesterday evening, Barcelona took 25 shots against Lyon but none of them went in, so they drew for the fourth time in five matches. At Anfield, Naby Keïta had a pass completion rate of 74%. But apart from those two examples of things that are brimful of pretty attacking promise but aren’t quite clicking at the moment, there was very little to talk about in Big Cup. The needle on the Fiver’s patented Entertainmentometer™© got stuck halfway between Mildly Diverting But Only Because There’s Nothing On Any Of The Other Channels and Intriguing But Only Because You’re Trying Way Too Hard. Bah. As a banner displayed in the Bayern end and applauded by the Liverpool fans noted, you had to pay £48 for a ticket to watch this stuff. One day a real rain will come. Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Pep Guardiola: Newport were chanting 'Who are you?' It was nice – video

Pep Guardiola praised his Manchester City players, in particular Phil Foden, as they beat Newport County 4-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.Newport had beaten both Leicester City and Middlesbrough on their way to the fifth round of the tournament, and contained the Premier League leaders well for significant spells of the game.  Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Rory McIlroy sets off with a bang to lead WGC-Mexico Championship

• Northern Irishman round in eight-under par to lead by a shot• Hatton four shots off pace with Woods signing for level 71Renewed perspective continues to pay off for Rory McIlroy. The sense that victory is tantalisingly close for the Northern Irishman was renewed on Thursdayin Mexico City, where a seemingly effortless 63 – eight under par – positioned him atop the WGC leaderboard. McIlroy in this touch is compulsive viewing.In events of 2019 prior to this, McIlroy’s highest single-round score was 72. A 63 at last week’s Genesis Open and 65 at the earlier Farmers Insurance Open stood out before round one here, where McIlroy found 17 greens in regulation. His longest converted putt was from 20ft, further demonstrating his level of accuracy. Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Manchester City fan in ‘critical condition’ after alleged assault in Germany

• Supporter in hospital following attack after Schalke game• City staff have remained in Germany to offer supportA Manchester City supporter is fighting for his life following an alleged assault during the Champions League match against Schalke on Wednesday, German police have confirmed.The unnamed 32-year-old man is in a critical condition after sustaining “massive trauma to his skull and brain” near the away section at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen. Police Gelsenkirchen added that there was “an acute danger to life”. Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Warren Gatland ensures Wales leave nothing to chance against England | Ben Ryan

The head coach’s inside knowledge means a greater insight into what to expect in the crucial Six Nations encounterWhen you have already coached the world-class talent in the team you are playing against at the weekend, it’s fair to say it won’t do you any harm. Information gleaned from reams of video or the brains of performance analysts will give you a pretty good picture. However, the experiences you have gone through and the intimate knowledge of the opposition’s key figures turns all that into 4K resolution.Warren Gatland will have felt his vision is particularly sharp this week. On Saturday, two great rivals go toe-to-toe in what is certainly the biggest matchup between the two since the pool game at the World Cup in 2015. The plan for Wales going into the 80 minutes in Cardiff will be as clear and concise as Warren Gatland has ever produced. From his time with the British and Irish Lions Owen Farrell, Jack Nowell, Elliot Daly, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Courtney Lawes and more will be known to Gatland way beyond any match analysis. He knows how they play, what makes them tick and what they are capable of. Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Dubai Championships: Simona Halep loses to Belinda Bencic

Former world number one Simona Halep loses to Belinda Bencic in the Dubai Championships quarter-finals.

22-02-2019 Chris Eubank Jr: ‘Nothing can match the feeling of having your hand raised after a fight’

Brighton super-middleweight has one last chance to show that he can live with a top operator on Saturday when he takes on James DeGale in a bout which will leave the loser with nowhere to go“This is the biggest and most important fight of my career,” Chris Eubank Jr says quietly, rocking gently on a plastic chair in a tiny office tucked away in his gym on Hove seafront. He nods intently as he considers his battle against James DeGale at the O2 in London on Saturday night. “It’s definitely the one where I have the most to lose. A loss would leave me in no man’s land. DeGale is in exactly the same position. We both cannot afford defeat. We’re both on the edge and someone’s going to fall.”I have asked just one opening question and Eubank has cut to the heart. He and DeGale are preparing for a bout which will surely leave the loser facing the end of his career. Of course this is boxing and so a controversial decision or a narrow defeat might persuade the defeated fighter that one last shot at redemption is possible. But both men recognise their future, and long-term reputations, could be decided this weekend. Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Giménez and Godín put Atlético Madrid in charge against Juventus

For Atlético Madrid it was the perfect finale and it left them dreaming of the perfect final. Two late goals from their two Uruguayan centre-backs, first José Maria Giménez and then Diego Godín, sent a gigantic roar round this stadium, the kind of noise this place has never heard before. The Wanda Metropolitano, Atlético’s home for just over a year, will host the 2019 Champions League final and, as they sang long and loud, they did so in the hope that their team will be there too, invited to the party they host. Related: Raheem Sterling gives Manchester City crucial advantage over Schalke Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Trainers pull out of Lingfield over ‘horrendous’ prize money

• 20 trainers pull horses from Saturday’s Lingfield card• ARC cut prize money contribution by £3m in 2019Racing’s latest prize-money row has dramatically undermined Saturday’s Lingfield card, with one race drawing no runners at all and another attracting one. Trainers said they had taken their horses out because the £4,500 on offer for the races at the Arena Racing Company track was “horrendous” and there were more attractive options elsewhere. Related: Talking Horses: Arc £3m prize-money cuts start to bite at Southwell Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Rory McIlroy takes one-shot lead in WGC-Mexico Championship

Rory McIlroy is one shot ahead after the first day of the WGC-Mexico Championship.

22-02-2019 Women's Super League round-up: Chelsea stars Fran Kirby & Beth England hit hat-tricks

Watch the best action from Wednesday's Women's Super League, including hat-tricks for Chelsea pair Fran Kirby and Beth England in the Blues' 6-0 win over Bristol City Women.