22-02-2019 Bookmakers call for drugs clampdown to tackle racecourse brawls

• Call for tracks to counter illegal drug use• Layers respond to fights at Haydock last weekendRacecourses should do more to counter illegal drug use and fighting, according to on-course bookmakers who are well placed to witness bad behaviour among the crowds at British tracks. The Guardian spoke to several bookmakers this week in the aftermath of a nasty incident at Haydock last Saturday, when a mother and child found themselves surrounded by men throwing punches at each other.“The general consensus from bookmakers is that it is a drug issue. It is not alcohol,” said Adam Swann, who, in common with most bookmakers, takes bets at several tracks. He was at Haydock on Saturday. “Remember we are dealing with these people and we can tell if someone is a bit wired or not. I found a nearly empty bag of some substance behind my joint at York. One bookmaker found a bag in front of his joint at Aintree. They are just two examples out of many.” Continue reading...

22-02-2019 The best of Gordon Banks, Tony Romo's gold and Juve's Welshmen | Classic YouTube

This week’s round-up also features a Nascar crash, the World Club Challenge and parkour1) Farewell, then, Gordon Banks. Where else to start than The Save? Or, A Version Of The Save. Here he is keeping Denis Law out at Wembley in 1967, beating the looping deflection in style. The Pathe news report on 1966 is always worth a look, not least for some jaffas of saves by our man. No patriotic conviviality a few years later when he saved a penalty from Geoff Hurst in a broiling League Cup semi-final between Stoke and West Ham. Enjoy a compilation of his top stops, soundtracked by some delicious 1960s lounge jazz. Certainly more appropriate than Sabrina Vaz (us neither) to go with this clip of the last game Banks played before the car crash that effectively ended his career as a top-class goalkeeper, although as you can see in this Channel 4 interview, he declared the loss of his right eye “not too bad.” Finally … go on then, here it is.2) It’s the rugby league World Club Challenge this weekend, as Wigan take on the Sydney Roosters. Here’s the first official edition of the game, when Widnes turned over Canberra in 1989. And regard the time Wigan won it for the third time, a belter against Brisbane in 1994, featuring the British national anthem as played on a toy Stratocaster. The 2010 edition was a bit weird: Melbourne Storm won the game, beating Leeds Rhinos 18-10 (first half, and second here), only for them to be stripped of the title due to financial irregularities, but rather than give the crown to Leeds it was just…left in the ether. Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Celtic out of Europe after Toljan red card gives Valencia upper hand and victory

Celtic’s 16th European game this season was also their last. A journey that began with the Champions League qualifiers in Armenia on 10 July ended in the Europa League round of 32 in Spain seven months later.It is their longest continental campaign since 2004 but they fell to a Kevin Gameiro goal, defeated 1-0 at Mestalla and 3-0 on aggregate, still three months and nine games away from the final. There is no reproach there, just reality, and there was satisfaction at emerging from their group, a sense of achievement at their performance at the home of one of the competition’s favourites. “I’m very proud of the team,” Brendan Rodgers said. Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Chelsea may turn to England coach Steve Holland if Maurizio Sarri is sacked

• Holland has worked at Chelsea and assists Gareth Southgate• Holland the favoured option to take charge till summerChelsea would consider approaching their former coach and current England assistant manager Steve Holland to help steady the ship on an interim basis if they call time on Maurizio Sarri’s tenure at the club over the next week.Sarri, who is seven months into a three-year contract, is clinging to his job despite the team’s progress to the last 16 of the Europa League on Thursday. Recent humiliating defeats by Manchester City and Bournemouth have eroded confidence in the Italian, who faces pivotal games against City in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final and Tottenham in the Premier League on Wednesday. Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Dubai Tennis Championships: Petra Kvitova to meet Belinda Bencic in final

World number four Petra Kvitova continues her fine start to the season by beating Hsieh Su-wei to reach the Dubai Championships final.

22-02-2019 EFL warns Coventry City they risk expulsion over home venue uncertainty

• Coventry given deadline of 5 March to provide an update• Club say they ‘want to do a deal’ to stay at Ricoh ArenaOne hundred years after joining the Football League, Coventry City have been warned they may face expulsion from it if they do not confirm where they plan to host matches next season.The club’s tenancy at the Ricoh Arena runs out this summer and no end is in sight to their long-running dispute over rent and other issues with the stadium’s owners, the Premiership rugby club Wasps, and Coventry city council, the freeholder. The EFL says the uncertainty cannot be tolerated much longer. Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Bristol City's Lee Johnson 'first man' to use drones for analysis

Bristol City head coach Lee Johnson tells Football Focus that he was the first man in English football to use drones as a tool to analyse training.

22-02-2019 Zenit fans give team fiery welcome before Europa League tie – video

Zenit fans gave a stirring welcome to their team as they approached the stadium on Thursday. Zenit were heading towards the Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg for their Europa League tie with Fenerbahce. A must-win game for them after a 1-0 defeat away, and perhaps it made all the difference the home side going on to win 3-1 on the night Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Trent Alexander-Arnold: ‘I use last year’s loss at United as a learning point’

The Liverpool right-back returns to Old Trafford keen to atone for chastening defeat by Manchester United 11 months ago“Don’t get complacent or big-headed” was the direct but well-meaning advice from Cafu to Trent Alexander-Arnold when the two-times World Cup winner attended an awards ceremony in Monaco this week. Listening to the Liverpool defender relive his uncomfortable afternoon at Manchester United last season underlines why his club and country do not – and Brazil’s most-capped player should not – worry about ego.Old Trafford, where Jürgen Klopp’s team head in search of the Premier League leadership on Sunday, staged what Alexander-Arnold describes as the hardest moment of his career last March. The Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid would claim that low mark two months later but United’s 2-1 victory, and the lessons from it, are seared on the 20-year-old. Continue reading...

22-02-2019 West Ham 3-1 Fulham: Manuel Pellegrini pleased with reaction to going a goal down

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is unsure why his team started so badly but is happy with the way his players reacted to going a goal down, to then beat Fulham 3-1.

22-02-2019 Gareth Anscombe selection highlights Wales’s adapted Warrenball strategy

Warren Gatland’s fly-half decision suggests Wales will vary their attack plan in the Six Nations duel with EnglandA constant of Welsh rugby through the years has been a raging debate about who should play at fly-half. Even Cliff Morgan, Barry John and Phil Bennett had their detractors, but lost in the verbal jousting between Warren Gatland and Eddie Jones this week was the former’s decision to play Gareth Anscombe at 10 against England ahead of the more experienced and battle-hardened Dan Biggar. Related: Wales v England: remembering six of their best meetings down the years Continue reading...

22-02-2019 West Ham 3-1 Fulham: Referee missed Hernandez handball - Claudio Ranieri

Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri is frustrated a controversial Javier Hernandez goal wasn't ruled out as his side stumbled after a good start to lose 3-1 away at West Ham.

22-02-2019 Hamilton would be world champion in a Mercedes or a Ferrari - Palmer column

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

22-02-2019 Six Nations 2019: Why France and Scotland are more similar than they seem

A globe-trotting coach, a rapscallion play-maker and struggles on the road - why France and Scotland are kindred spirits.

22-02-2019 'Solari the stopgap with bigger name to come' - what is going on at Real Madrid?

The relatively unknown Santiago Solari has been placed in charge of Real Madrid - but he is not likely to be in the role for long, writes Andy West.

22-02-2019 Six Nations: Wales v England - watch some of the greatest moments from past matches

As Wales take on England in the Six Nations, watch some of the greatest moments, including Gavin Henson's tackle on Matthew Tait and James Haskell hitting the post.

22-02-2019 Chelsea to appeal after being hit with transfer ban for two windows by Fifa

• Sanction relates to dealings with foreign players under 18• Chelsea deny wrongdoing and announce they will appealChelsea have been banned from the transfer market for two windows after Fifa found them guilty of a serious and systemic breach of the rules regarding their dealings with overseas players under the age of 18. The club swiftly said they would appeal.The governing body announced the sanction on Friday at the end of a lengthy investigation into Chelsea and how they have registered players at their academy over a number of years. Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Man Utd v Liverpool: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scores FA Cup winner at Old Trafford in 1999

Watch Ole Gunnar Solskjaer score the winning goal for Manchester United against Liverpool in their FA Cup fourth round match in 1999.

22-02-2019 The NFL's Kaepernick settlement should just be the start of making amends | Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Hopefully the league can now support the values of the US constitution rather than pandering to those who mistake parochialism for patriotismIn one of my favorite sports movies, Vision Quest, the varsity wrestling coach tells his students they can challenge the best wrestler in any weight class if they want to take his place.“Fairest thing in the world,” he smugly tells them. As soon as one kid raises his hand to make that challenge, the coach quickly dismisses the team, pulls him aside, and says: “You’re out of your mind!” Continue reading...