12-12-2018 Ariarne Titmus breaks records with world short-course swimming gold

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...

12-12-2018 Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool boss on 'unbelievable' win to reach Champions League last 16

Jurgen Klopp says he could "fill his adrenaline in bottles" after an "unbelievable" win over Napoli earned his side place in the Champions League knockout stage.

12-12-2018 Champions League: Inter denied by PSV, Dortmund snatch top spot from Atlético

• Agonising 1-1 draw means Inter finish third in Group B• Dortmund beat Monaco, Atlético Madrid held by BruggeInternazionale failed to get the win that would have seen them into the Champions League last 16, drawing 1-1 with PSV Eindhoven on a fraught night at the San Siro.The hosts fell behind early on, but Mauro Icardi’s equaliser after 73 minutes meant the Italians were going through with Tottenham 1-0 down at Barcelona. After news of Lucas Moura’s crucial equaliser filtered through, Inter missed two late chances to win the game. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Luton aim high once again after building on their talented reserves | Ben Fisher

The Hatters’ under-11 class of 2009 were the best of their age in Europe and several have gone on to enjoy decent careers – a couple of them at the renascent Kenilworth RoadNine years ago Luton Town were crowned European champions. They swatted aside Werder Bremen in the quarter-finals, edged past FC Zurich after extra-time in the semis and beat Bayern Munich in the final, clinching a 3-2 win with four seconds to play. It was at the Aarau Masters, a televised five-a-side tournament in Switzerland played in front of 3,000 spectators, where Luton’s under-11s triumphed, upstaging the cream of the crop from across the continent, including Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund.Among those celebrating that day was James Justin, now 20 and a core member of a free-scoring Luton team who are flying high in League One under Nathan Jones. Others from the class of 2009 have progressed nicely too, with Jamal Lewis excelling at Norwich, the brothers Jay and Cole Dasilva on the books of Chelsea and Brentford respectively, while Frankie Musonda remains at Luton. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 '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.

12-12-2018 'Rugby's like a chessboard with 120kg pieces' - how virtual reality could transform training

Painstaking research, virtual reality and holding the tackle bags in training... an insight into how a top rugby analyst operates.

12-12-2018 Johnny Sexton set to end career in Ireland after signing contract extension

New IRFU deal will run until end of the 2020-21 season‘I am delighted ... it is where I have always wanted to play’Johnny Sexton has signed a contract extension with the Irish Rugby Football Union until the end of the 2020-21 season which is likely to see him end his playing career in Dublin.The Leinster and Ireland fly-half has enjoyed a stellar 2018 for his province and country and was crowned World Rugby Player of the Year. Sexton, 33, helped Leinster to a European Champions Cup and Guinness Pro14 double, after steering Ireland to a Six Nations grand slam. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 ‘Creative’ AlphaZero leads way for chess computers and, maybe, science | Sean Ingle

Former chess world champion Garry Kasparov likes what he sees of computer that could be used to find cures for diseasesGarry Kasparov is not only humanity’s greatest ever chess player but its highest-profile victim of artificial intelligence. His loss to IBM’s super computer Deep Blue in 1997 made global headlines and left him feeling bitter and, well, blue. Yet there is a warm glint in his eye when he talks about AlphaZero, the game-changing chess programme that took just four hours to teach itself to become the strongest in history. Related: Magnus Carlsen beats Caruana in tie-breakers to retain World Chess crown Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp's side in perfect shape after Napoli victory

Liverpool's win over Napoli to reach the Champions League knockout phase leaves their season in perfect shape.

12-12-2018 NFL: Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson gets play very wrong against Minnesota Vikings

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson endures a nightmare play against the Minnesota Vikings, but did eventually recover to lead his team to a 21-7 win on Monday night.

12-12-2018 Ban on TV betting ads during other live sports can be boost to racing | Greg Wood

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...

12-12-2018 The Fiver: The only people laughing are watching David Luiz’s defending

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Is it true that the Fiver never gets invited to cool dinners with influential football intellectuals? The Fiver prefers not to comment on idle speculation. The Fiver has lots of friends! Lots of important and influential friends in high places and anyway its invite to Arrigo Sacchi’s meal with Pep Guardiola and Maurizio Sarri earlier this year probably got lost in the post. So stop laughing. The Fiver totally would have applied for a passport in order to fly to Italy for that. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Paul Pogba shocked at Manchester United omission for past two games

• 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...