The 100 best female footballers in the world 2018

12-12-2018 Seventy-two judges from 30 countries have had their say and here is our top 100 of the best players in the world. In association with The Offside Rule Suzanne Wrack meets our No 1, Pernille HarderInterview: Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegeberg Continue reading...

David Squires on … the mistreatment of Raheem Sterling

12-12-2018 Our cartoonist on why it’s hard to exaggerate the vilification Raheem Sterling has been subjected to in recent yearsIf you like David’s cartoons, buy his book Goalless Draws Continue reading...

How often do Barcelona lose at home?

12-12-2018 The almost impregnable Camp Nou, home to Barcelona, is the barrier to Tottenham’s qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions LeagueWho wears blue-and-garnet stripes and scarcely loses at home? Barcelona. We may be fast approaching yuletide, the season of half-baked one-liners, dodgy dad jokes and tacky gadgets funnelling out of Christmas crackers, but the size of the task facing Tottenham Hotspur who visit Catalonia on Tuesday night is no laughing matter.The reality is they have to win, or at least match, Internazionale’s result against bottom-of-the-group PSV Eindhoven to guarantee qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League. Saying that, Mauricio Pochettino’s side probably do not know whether to laugh or cry given Barça’s imperious formperformance at the Camp Nou. Continue reading...

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

12-12-2018 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...

Boca Juniors v River Plate: the fiercest rivalry in football – video explainer

12-12-2018 The second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate will be played at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu stadium on 9 December. The derby, referred to as the Superclásico, is renowned for the animosity between the two Argentinian sides. The first leg ended in a 2-2 draw at La Bombonera, the home of Boca, but the second leg at El Monumental was postponed after the Boca team bus was attacked before the matchPostponed Copa Libertadores final to be played at Bernabéu in Madrid Continue reading...

Patricio Manuel: First transgender pro boxer in US wins on debut

12-12-2018 Patricio Manuel becomes the first transgender boxer to fight in the United States as he beats Hugo Aguilar in a super-featherweight bout.

Ban on TV betting ads during other live sports can be boost to racing | Greg Wood

12-12-2018 The new whistle-to-whistle blackout on gambling adverts excludes horse racing and should work in the sport’s favourIt is not often that bookmakers give in to pressure from anti-gambling groups without being forced to, so Thursday’s news that the biggest names in online betting will soon introduce a whistle-to-whistle ban on television advertising around sporting events is a collector’s item. Ray Winstone’s loss, many will feel, is the armchair fan’s gain.The market leaders in online gambling, including Bet365, SkyBet and Paddy Power Betfair, are all signed up to the voluntary ban, from which TV coverage of horse racing will be exempt. So, too, are the firms with big retail estates, such as Ladbrokes, Coral and William Hill, who may – perhaps – have learned a lesson from their long, bitter and ultimately futile campaign to resist pressure for a cut in stakes on fixed‑odds betting terminals. Continue reading...

Ariarne Titmus breaks records with world short-course swimming gold

12-12-2018 Australian teenager wins 200m freestyle in HangzhouSets new Commonwealth, Oceania and national recordTeenager Ariarne Titmus has secured Australia’s first gold medal of the world short-course swimming titles in China with a record-breaking 200m freestyle win. The 18-year-old mowed down American Mallory Comerford and the Netherlands’ Femke Heemskerk in the last 50m to claim victory in 1min 51.38sec – a new Commonwealth, Oceania and national record.Titmus’ stirring effort on the opening night of the six-day event at Hangzhou shattered Emma McKeon’s mark of 1:51.66 set at the 2015 national short course titles. It moved the teenager to fourth on the all-time rankings. Continue reading...

Football transfer rumours: Liverpool to snap up Thorgan Hazard?

12-12-2018 Today’s tittle-tattle is delaying the inevitableCiggie-loving Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is blowing heart-shaped smoke rings in the direction of Napoli full-back Elseid Hysaj, according to the Daily Star. Despite an initial reluctance to allow the 24-year-old Albanian to move to Stamford Bridge during the summer, reports in Italy say Napoli’s president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has now sanctioned a deal that could see Hysaj make the switch in a transaction worth £50m to the Serie A club. In more worrying news for Sarri, Eden Hazard remains typically noncommittal about his future at Chelsea, but has said talks about a new contract with his current employers have broken down. Meanwhile in Germany, Hazard’s brother Thorgan, a midfielder with Borussia Möchengladbach, is being linked with a January move to Liverpool. Related: Jürgen Klopp urges Liverpool ‘to put right our mistake’ against Napoli Continue reading...

Salah and Alisson heroics ensure Liverpool qualify at Napoli’s expense

12-12-2018 Perhaps it would be stretching the truth to say this victory will be cherished among the great European nights here. That, however, is only because the list is already so extensive and the jubilation at the final whistle signalled how much it meant to Jürgen Klopp, his players and a hugely appreciative crowd. Liverpool had made it through and the Premier League leaders can be greatly encouraged by the way they handled a potentially treacherous night. Related: Mo Salah, Liverpool’s kangaroo, looks ready to bounce through winter slog Continue reading...

Paul Gascoigne pleads not guilty to sex assault on Durham train

12-12-2018 Football legend Paul Gascoigne was arrested in Durham in August.

Bradford 4-4 Peterborough (2-3 on penalties): Visitors through after incredible cup tie

12-12-2018 Peterborough will play Middlesbrough in the FA Cup third round after edging out Bradford City in a penalty shootout after an incredible cup tie.

Talking Horses: the 'quiet' horse who became a fiery Grand National hope

12-12-2018 Walk In The Mill looks a live contender for the big Aintree race after winning over the famous green fences on SaturdaySacrifices are sometimes necessary in the buildup to a really important moment in your professional life and so it is that Walk In The Mill has been put on a strict diet of hurdle races for the next two months, part of his preparation for the Grand National in early April. The eight-year-old put his name in lights by winning Saturday’s Becher Chase and looks a serious contender for the real thing, if he can be delivered there in one piece by his trainer, Robert Walford. Continue reading...

Ada Hegerberg, a dog's goal-line clearance and vomit in Madras | Classic YouTube

12-12-2018 This week’s roundup also features a British boxing love-in, a jazzy hockey song for the World Cup and Kevin Keegan singing1) Let’s have a look at the first ever women’s Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg being really good at football, rather than concentrate on some whopper asking her to twerk. Here’s more on the Lyon and Norway star. Related: Ada Hegerberg: first women’s Ballon d’Or marred as winner is asked to twerk Continue reading...

Aberdeen 3-2 Livingston: Lewis Ferguson overhead kick secures late Dons victory

12-12-2018 Lewis Ferguson's stoppage-time overhead kick gives Aberdeen a dramatic win over Livingston and moves them back into the top six.

Stalemate at Old Trafford and Wolves at Chelsea's door – Football Weekly Extra

12-12-2018 Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, Amy Lawrence and Mike Calvin discuss ‘four crap goals’ in the game between Manchester United and Arsenal, Morgan Gibbs-White, a very strange game in Brighton, the French for ‘putting your foot in it’ and sprinting managersJoin the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.We look back at the last few days of football, starting with Manchester United’s 2-2 draw at home with Arsenal, with the away side the ones to pile late pressure on at the one-time home of Fergie-time. Continue reading...

Paul Pogba shocked at Manchester United omission for past two games

12-12-2018 • José Mourinho has omitted midfielder for two matches• Scott McTominay preferred for 15 minutes against FulhamPaul Pogba has been left shocked at being dropped by José Mourinho, with the Manchester United midfielder left out of the starting XI for the past two games against Arsenal and Fulham.The relationship between player and manager has been rocky since the start of the season. Yet despite Mourinho having terse words for Pogba privately and publicly, the France international did not expect to be left out of the XI. Continue reading...

Skateboarding: How to do kickflips with British Olympic hopeful Alex Decunha

12-12-2018 British skateboarder Alex Decunha shows BBC Sport how to do "one of his favourite tricks" - kickflips.