17-12-2018 New-look Spoty hits the right note with Baddiel, Skinner and Three Lions | Barry Glendenning

The organisers tweaked the format and a lively evening of music and razzmatazz ensued, with a little space left for sportWho knew netball was so popular? Is sliding downhill really a sport? And how unloved must Chris Froome feel at being the best British Team Sky rider never to have won this public vote? These and other questions were asked, but not necessarily answered, as the Tour de France-winning cyclist Geraint Thomas accepted the famous silver four-turret lens camera trophy that is presented annually to the winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Having beaten Lewis Hamilton and Harry Kane into the minor placings at Birmingham’s Genting Arena, the visibly stunned Welshman accepted his award from Billie Jean King, who was also honoured for her own lifetime achievements. She had earlier delivered a rousing speech espousing the virtues of tolerance and inclusion at an event fabled for dividing public opinion to a degree that is quite frankly weird.When he was not upsetting colleagues (Aggers, do stop it!) by defending his right to air understandable views on the folly of Brexit on Twitter last week, Gary Lineker, who co-hosted alongside Clare Balding and Gabby Logan, took one journalist to task for airing similarly forthright views on the folly of the often maligned annual orgy of self-congratulatory backslapping that is Spoty. “Why do you get angry?” he asked. “Seriously? It’s a television awards show. Granted, an award that is revered by those in contention and watched and largely enjoyed by a huge audience, but it is still just a TV show. Find your annual angst as bewildering as it is amusing.” Continue reading...

17-12-2018 José Mourinho: We were unable to cope with Liverpool’s physicality

• United manager says he has too many injury-prone players• ‘Liverpool are fast, intense, aggressive, physical, objective’José Mourinho confessed Manchester United could not cope with the intensity or physicality of Liverpool as Jürgen Klopp’s team returned to the Premier League summit with a convincing victory at Anfield.Mourinho claimed his squad contains too many injury-prone players and was therefore no match for the impressive qualities of Liverpool, a remarkable admission from a United manager, as two deflected strikes from Xherdan Shaqiri sealed a merited 3-1 win for the unbeaten league leaders. Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Track Cycling World Cup: Matt Walls seals omnium gold

Britain's Matt Walls puts in a strong ride in the points race to seal gold in the men's omnium at the Track Cycling World Cup in London.

17-12-2018 Sterling’s racism ordeal was ugly but the reaction has been positive | Eni Aluko

Fallout from the Manchester City forward’s complaint about the media scrutiny black players face has been hearteningThis week could be a eureka moment for football. Most of the reaction to Raheem Sterling’s claims that parts of the media have racially biased agendas has been very positive. It feels like a genuine step forward is being made and that Sterling has managed to turn something outrageous into a catalyst for long, overdue change. Related: If every racist at football was silenced stadiums would still be full of racists | John Barnes Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Sports Personality of the Year: England netball win Team & Greatest Sporting Moment awards

England's netballers win Team of the Year and Greatest Sporting Moment at SPOTY following their historic Commonwealth Games triumph.

17-12-2018 Europa League draw: Celtic v Valencia, Bate Borisov v Arsenal, Malmo v Chelsea

Celtic are drawn to face Valencia in the last 32 of the Europa League, while Arsenal will take on Bate Borisov and Chelsea meet Malmo.

17-12-2018 Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Southampton have had an instant new-manager bounce while Huddersfield and Fulham look as if they must spendMaurizio Sarri fell short of accusing his players of complacency, but admitted something strange keeps happening when his Chelsea team appear to be in complete control of matches. At Wolves recently their early lead was overhauled and they were beaten. They had more leeway at Brighton with a two-goal cushion established but still ended a contest, in which they had been utterly dominant, heaving to repel Albion’s late flurry of attacks. Every long ball suddenly seemed a threat, every set piece a route to parity. It ensured what had been an impressive display felt rather undermined at the death. “We are a danger to ourselves,” admitted the Italian. It is affecting some more than others in their ranks, with Marcos Alonso’s early-season composure having evaporated of late. He rather personifies this team’s current fragility in periods within games. They escaped real damage at Brighton. “But suddenly the level of application and attention lowered,” added Sarri. That, in truth, does sound like complacency at work. Dominic Fifield Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Canelo Álvarez builds brand with simple demolition of Rocky Fielding

The all-conquering Mexican’s latest win felt more like a promotional parade than a genuine world title showdownFor years Canelo Álvarez was hailed as the biggest star of boxing’s post-Floyd Mayweather age. After managing to fill Madison Square Garden to capacity on Saturday night for a wildly violent sparring session with the sacrificial lamb Rocky Fielding, that premise appears beyond dispute.Álvarez, the youngest of seven brothers who each boxed (once all together on the same card), turned professional at 16. He was still a teenager when he signed a contract with Televisa, the TV network known for telenovelas that is among the most watched in all of Latin America. Televisa built him into a household name with his red hair and matinee-idol good looks if not his still-young body of work. That led many sceptical Mexicans to denigrate him as a media creation or, worse, a fraud. Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Sports Personality of the Year 2018: Billy Monger wins Helen Rollason Award

Watch as Lewis Hamilton presents Billy Monger with the Helen Rollason Award at Sports Personality of the Year 2018 at the Genting Arena in Birmingham.

17-12-2018 Sports quiz of the week: Champions League, Canelo and conspiracies

Who was big? Who doubted? Who scored Liverpool’s penalties?What offer did basketball player Stephen Curry receive this week?President Trump offered him the job of coaching USA’s Olympics basketball teamMarvel offered him a role as a baddie in their next superhero moviePhil Mickelson offered him a winner-takes-all round of mini-golfNasa offered him a tour of the lunar lab at their space centre in HoustonMichael “Rocky” Fielding fights Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez in New York this weekend. Why was Rocky given his nickname?He starred in Creed 2 as young Rocky’s body double He was born in Ballyrock He has never watched any Rocky films and vows he never willHe weighed 10lb when he was born On a similar theme, what does “canelo” mean?ChampChopperCinnamonChilledAll four English clubs in the Champions League have qualified for the knockout stages. Which of them did so with a negative goal difference in their group?Manchester United LiverpoolTottenham HotspurManchester CityVinicius Junior was just 18 years and 152 days old when he made his Champions League debut for Real Madrid on Wednesday night. Which player was even younger when he started for Real against Ajax in the competition in September 1995?Iker CasillasRaúlGutiLuis Enrique Liverpool host Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday afternoon. Who scored two penalties for Liverpool the last time they beat United in the league? Luis SuárezDanny MurphySteven GerrardFernando TorresTeam Sky, whose future is in doubt, have won six of the last seven editions of the Tour de France. Which cyclist won the other one?Vincenzo NibaliNairo Quintana Rigoberto Urán Romain Bardet The new Formula E season begins in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Which innovation has been introduced for this season?Attack mode, which gives drivers a temporary speed boost like in Mario KartTag-team mode, which gives teams a chance to sub in a Formula 1 driver for one race of the season Water mode, which permits teams to soak the track in one race of their choice Petrol mode, which permits teams to use non-electric cars for one race of their choiceEngland played Belgium twice in the football World Cup earlier this year (and lost twice). The two countries are meeting in the semi-finals of which tournament this weekend?Men's Hockey World CupChess World CupCurling World CupWomen's Volleyball World CupIn which city are Anastasia Dobromyslova and Lisa Ashton competing at the minute?RiyadhLondonNew York CityMelbourne1 and above.Oh dear. That's a bad score2 and above.Oh dear. That's a bad score3 and above.Oh dear4 and above.Not bad but not great5 and above.Not bad but not great6 and above.Nice work. Enjoy your weekend7 and above.Superb scoring. Enjoy your weekend9 and above.Superb scoring. Enjoy your weekend8 and above.Superb scoring. Enjoy your weekend0 and above.Poor show10 and above.You are a genius. Enjoy your weekend Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Simon Yates: Briton wants to 'finish the job off' at the 2019 Giro d'Italia

Britain's Simon Yates says he wants to "finish the job off" when he returns to the Giro d'Italia in 2019.

17-12-2018 José Mourinho safe for now amid business as usual at Manchester United

• No change of manager after defeat at Liverpool• Mourinho has clear week to prepare for Cardiff tripJosé Mourinho is safe as Manchester United manager for the immediate future, with it being business as usual for the 55-year-old despite Sunday’s insipid 3-1 loss at Liverpool.Mourinho is coming under increasing pressure because of United’s poor season so far, a run that has left them in sixth place, yet the Guardian understands that Mourinho is to remain in place. Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Jose Mourinho: Man Utd can still finish in the top four after Liverpool loss

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says his side can finish in the top four despite their defeat at Liverpool.

17-12-2018 Champions League: PSG await for Mourinho and Liverpool face Bayern

Spurs set for Dortmund test in last 16 of competitionManchester City land Schalke; Atlético meet JuventusManchester United face a monumental task to progress in the Champions League after being drawn to play Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16, while Liverpool face a tough tie against Bayern Munich, with Tottenham and Manchester City also paired with German opposition. Related: Champions League last 16 draw: Man Utd face PSG, Liverpool v Bayern – live! Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Ralph Hasenhüttl hails Southampton team and fans after 'amazing' win over Arsenal – video

Ralph Hasenhüttl enjoyed a dream home debut as Southampton manager after Charlie Austin's late header earned a 3-2 win over Arsenal. The victory was Saint's first in the Premier League on home soil since late April and prompted scenes of jubilation in the stands followed by a lap of honour on the pitch. Hasenhüttl sent free beer vouchers to season ticket holders during the week in an attempt to have 'everyone in our boat to row with us' and after ending the Gunners' 22-game unbeaten run, the new manager joked about considering whether to make this a regular occurrence.Free beers for fans … three cheers for Southampton, says Hasenhüttl Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Edinburgh have firm grip on Pool Five after victory at Newcastle

• Newcastle 8-21 Edinburgh• Edinburgh complete double over FalconsMuch has rightly been made of Newcastle’s rise under Dean Richards but this match underlined the excellent work being done by another former Leicester legend as Richard Cockerill’s Edinburgh claimed a famous and deserved victory.Both men enjoyed glittering careers during their spells at Welford Road and both ended up being sacked. While Richards went on to Harlequins and pitched up at Newcastle in 2012 after a three-year ban from rugby for his part in the Bloodgate scandal, Cockerill has similarly been forced to reinvent himself elsewhere. Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Pete Shelley's Tour de force, Miami's Miracle and Premier Passions | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features Paul Sherwen, NHL deflections and Dean Jones’s very bad idea1) It wasn’t always widely known, but Buzzcocks’ brilliant Pete Shelley, who died this past week, wrote the music for the iconic Channel 4 Tour de France theme, itself taken from within 1984 track Give It To Me. Another sad passing this week was Paul Sherwen. It’s well worth a listen to the Cycling Podcast’s tribute, while Sherwen recalls how he met his broadcasting partner Phil Liggett.2) The Miami Miracle! Obviously there’s already a Tecmo Super Bowl version out there. Gronk’s still stumbling. More laterals: here’s the Music City Miracle, which always features highly among some of the NFL’s most famous. There are more in college football, including … Miami (!) v Duke, Trinity v Millsaps and the classic: Cal v Stanford. Watch out for that band! More on The Play. Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Who is the greatest F1 driver ever?

After Lewis Hamilton won his fifth world title on Sunday, BBC Sport is asking you just who is the greatest F1 driver ever?