22-01-2019 Scottish Premiership is tight at the top … but is there really a title race? | Ewan Murray

Three points separate the leading four clubs but the managers of Kilmarnock and Aberdeen have dismissed claims their sides can challenge Celtic at the summitThe strange thing about optimism attached to an unusually tight Scottish top-flight season is that this sense has generally emanated from those not involved in it. As the Premiership resumes on Wednesday, three points separate the top four teams. St Johnstone, who are sixth, are only eight from the summit.Those north of the border seeking bragging rights finally have ammunition. Chelsea, the fourth-placed team in the Premier League, are 13 points behind leaders Liverpool. In the Bundesliga, RB Leipzig lie fourth but 14 points worse off than Borussia Dortmund. A Juventus stroll towards the Serie A title is such that they lead by nine. Paris St-Germain have already dismantled Ligue 1; their advantage is 13 points over Lille with two matches in hand. Continue reading...

22-01-2019 Rafael Nadal: 'It's so special to be back where I am' – video

Rafael Nadal is just one win away from a fifth Australian Open final after dismantling young American talent Frances Tiafoe in the quarter-finals. The Spaniard barely put a foot wrong on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday, holding serve throughout a clinical 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory in one hour and 47 minutes.Nadal said it was more than he could have hoped for in his first competitive tournament since a knee injury forced him out of last year's US Open. Chasing his 18th grand slam title, the second seed will meet Roger Federer's fourth-round conqueror Stefanos Tsitsipas in Thursday's semi-final. Continue reading...

22-01-2019 'They were happy tears,' says Kvitova after beating Barty – video

Petra Kvitova has advanced to her first grand slam semi-final since surviving a brutal knife attack by a burglar in her home town in the Czech Republic two years ago. The World No 6 beat Ashleigh Barty 6-1, 6-4 in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open - ending home hopes of quelling a 41-year singles title drought.Following her win, Kvitova said: 'It wasn't really easy to see myself in the semi-final of a grand slam' after everything she has been through. The two-time Wimbledon champion was told she would likely never play again after having her left playing hand seriously injured.Reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka and sixth seed Elina Svitolina, who clash in the quarter-finals and fellow Czech Karolina Pliskova, who faces Serena Williams in the last eight, are the only players who can stop Kvitova from climbing to world No 1 for the first time.Kvitova sets up Australian Open last four clash with unseeded Danielle Collins Continue reading...

22-01-2019 Simon Zebo abuse: Ulster fan handed lifetime ban

The Racing 92 player said he was abused during his side's game in Belfast earlier in January.

22-01-2019 Megavalanche, footballers dancing badly and a perfect 10 | Classic YouTube

Also featuring a full-court buzzer beater, some dire defending and a 1956 lap round Le Mans (including oncoming traffic)1) Clear some time in your day, strap in and relive the 40 minutes of mayhem that was Megavalanche 2018 from the point of view of the winning rider, Damien Oton, who somehow stayed upright while whizzing down the French Alps on a bike … in the snow.2) There have been plenty of dancing footballers down the years but not many quite so enthusiastic as Raul Meireles in Lip Sync Portugal. Just look at those shoulders go. He’s got form from his playing days, mind. But spare a thought for poor Mo Salah. He would have probably preferred Sadio Mané to win African Footballer of the Year had he known he was going to be forced to dance on stage by Youssou N’Dour. And we’re not sure about Carlos Tevez’s moves in this video when he was in a band called Piola Vago. He looks as if he’s having much more fun than he ever had in the Chinese Super League, though. Sergio Agüero is another South American footballer whose body moves better on a pitch than in time to music. Here he is self consciously fronting a song about himself by the band Los Leales. Youri Djorkaeff takes his dancing far too seriously in this R&B effort. And Jürgen Klopp did a bit of dad-dancing recently too. We’ve seen worse. Continue reading...

22-01-2019 Masters Snooker 2019: Watch the best shots from the tournament

Watch the best shots of the 2019 Masters, featuring Ding Junhui, Judd Trump and Neil Robertson.

22-01-2019 Rafael Nadal beats Frances Tiafoe in Australian Open quarter-finals

Second seed Rafael Nadal eases past unseeded American Frances Tiafoe to reach the Australian Open semi-finals.

22-01-2019 Paul Pogba’s ‘pace and power’ stresses need for rethink over BAME coverage | Sachin Nakrani

Language used to describe Frenchman’s revival highlights importance of the debate sparked by Raheem SterlingIt is just over six weeks since Raheem Sterling caused a stir on an otherwise sleepy Sunday morning. Dogs were being walked and churches were being prepared for service when the winger grabbed people’s attention with that Instagram post. Suddenly, and unexpectedly, we were talking about race.Specifically, we were talking about how we talk about race. Sterling had homed in on the practices of certain sections of the media, claiming they helped “fuel racism”, and from the industry came an acceptance that things had to change. Chins were stroked, think pieces were written. This, we were told, was a turning point. And then everyone simply turned back to what they had previously been doing. Continue reading...

22-01-2019 Australian Open 2019: Petra Kvitova sets up semi-final against Danielle Collins

Petra Kvitova reaches her first Grand Slam semi-final since being stabbed in a knife attack as she beats Ashleigh Barty at the Australian Open.

22-01-2019 Super Bowl: Tom Brady and the New England Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs

Tom Brady reaches an unprecedented ninth Super Bowl after leading his team to a 37-31 overtime win over the Kansas City Chiefs.