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Oct 17

Middlesex lose appeal against points deduction as relegation stands

• Middlesex appealed against over rate penalty in match with crossbow incident• ‘Rules relating to over rates are clear,’ says cricket discipline commission chairMiddlesex have lost their appeal against the two-point penalty imposed on them by the ECB …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/17/middlesex-lose-appeal-points-deduction-relegation-crossbow-cricket

Oct 16

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Manchester City resemble the girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead, N’Golo Kanté’s return to Leicester shows Wilfred Ndidi what needs to be done and David Moyes regrets catching the bullet dodged by Mark HughesThis time last year Southampton p…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/jan/16/premier-league-10-talking-points-southampton-manchester-city

Oct 16

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Anthony Knockaert could make the difference for Brighton, Pablo Zabaleta fed up with West Ham’s ill-discipline and Kevin de Bruyne is drawing more praiseMark Hughes was in no doubt he had witnessed the favourites for the title. “Clearly I would say tha…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/16/premier-league-10-talking-points-weekend-football

Oct 10

Premier League says any Christmas Eve games will kick off before 4pm

• Richard Scudamore tells fans’ group that earlier kick-off is guaranteed• Football Supporters’ Federation called Christmas Eve games ‘a new low’The Premier League has agreed that any games on Christmas Eve will kick off before 4pm amid controversy ove…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/10/premier-league-christmas-eve-4pm-kick-off-richard-scudamore

Oct 09

Rugby union: talking points from the weekend’s action

Fly-halvess are becoming an endangered species, Matt Toomua’s upswing continues apace and Jim Mallinder has a tough decision to makeIt has taken a series of injuries to highlight it, but there would appear to be a paucity of fly-halves in England at pr…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/oct/09/rugby-union-talking-points-from-weekend-premiership-pro14

Oct 03

USA star Alex Morgan kicked out of Disney World alongside MLS players

  • World Cup winner ejected along with former Derby player Giles Barnes
  • Striker’s goals have helped US to Olympic and World Cup wins

USA striker Alex Morgan was one of three football players cited kicked out of Walt Disney World after an argument at a party, police say.

Morgan was part of a group including Orlando City SC players Giles Barnes and Donny Toia who were issued citations by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. She is married to another Orlando player, Servando Carrasco. Barnes is a former England Under-19 midfielder and played in the Premier League for Derby County and West Bromwich Albion.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/03/alex-morgan-ejected-disney-world-soccer

Oct 03

Dan Evans banned for a year over positive cocaine test

• British player’s ban backdated and so can play again in April 2018
• Evans provided urine sample containing cocaine at Barcelona event

British tennis player Dan Evans has been banned for one year following his positive test for cocaine in April, the International Tennis Federation has announced.

The suspension has been backdated to the time of the 27-year-old’s failed test, which means Evans could return to action on 24 April 2018.

Related: Officer who tackled James Blake in mistaken arrest sues for defamation

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/03/dan-evans-banned-for-year-positive-cocaine-test

Oct 03

Next Generation 2017: 20 of the best talents at Premier League clubs

The Guardian picks the best prospect from each Premier League club born between 1 September 2000 and 31 August 2001, an age band also known as first-year scholars. We will then follow their progress over the next five years Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/ng-interactive/2017/oct/03/next-generation-2017-20-of-the-best-talents-at-premier-league-clubs

Oct 02

Rugby union: talking points from the weekend

Matt O’Connor’s Tigers are evolving fast, Bath’s fledglings offer hope for the country and Quins’ Kyle Sinckler is at the mercy of the law book

The Tigers are changing their stripes. A side which for years built its foundation on set-pieces, an all-enveloping back row, controlling half-backs and immovable defence has evolved into one that can thrive on less than 50% possession. The midfield partnership of George Ford and Matt Toomua allows Leicester to react quickly in broken play and, after all the upheaval of the last few seasons, continuity has been a theme this season. Five rounds into the Premiership the director of rugby, Matt O’Connor, has made just one change in his back line, and that was enforced when Manu Tuilagi was injured after the opening weekend. The wings Jonny May and Nick Malouf have scored seven of the 12 league tries between them, profiting from a broader range of passing, and both added to their tally against the champions in a match in which the home side spent two-thirds of the match in their own half and had just 38% of possession. Paul Rees

Related: George Ford extends a generous hand to England No10 rival Marcus Smith

Related: Scott Baldwin apologises for missing match after being bitten by lion

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/oct/02/rugby-talking-points-matt-oconnor-tigers-kyle-sinckler-premiership-pro14

Oct 02

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Everton’s defence has gone walkabout, Swansea and Southampton are serving up stodgy fare and Antonio Conte may rue being in a tougher league than Serie A

Chris Hughton, the Brighton & Hove Albion manager, said it all when he highlighted how his team had not been “out of sight” against Arsenal, just as they had not been against Manchester City on the opening weekend of the season. On both occasions, the final scoreline of 0-2 hinted at respectability. Which, in truth, was Brighton’s priority. The gap to the Premier League’s top six clubs yawns like a chasm and Hughton’s approach at the Emirates Stadium – an approach born out of necessity – was characterised by damage limitation. Hughton used a 4-5-1 system and, even after Nacho Monreal’s early opener, Brighton did not come out. Their lack of firepower remains a worry. It was the fourth time in seven league matches that they had drawn a blank. However, their season will not be defined by away games like this. David Hytner

Related: Pep Guardiola’s flying full-backs expose Chelsea’s vulnerability | Jonathan Wilson

Match report: Chelsea 0-1 Manchester City
Barney Ronay on Gabriel Jesus helping Manchester City tick without Sergio Agüero
Antonio Conte laments loss of ‘complete player’ Kevin De Bruyne

Match report: Manchester United 4-0 Crystal Palace
Roy Hodgson says Crystal Palace are fighting in a class they can’t handle

Related: Jürgen Klopp laments draw but confident Liverpool’s luck will improve

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/oct/02/premier-league-talking-points-everton-swansea-southampton-antonio-conte

Sep 27

Ben Stokes’s Ashes hopes in the balance after Bristol arrest

• ECB responds as CCTV footage allegedly emerges of incident
• Stokes earlier named in Ashes squad as vice-captain

The participation of Ben Stokes in the Ashes series this winter remains in the balance following the fight in Bristol at 2.35am on Monday that saw the England all-rounder arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm and left with a broken finger.

England had stated on Wednesday that Stokes would continue in his role as Test vice-captain while investigations by themselves and police were ongoing, with the selectors having named him in their squad for the five-Test series with Australia that starts on 23 November.

Related: Joe Root’s reluctance to bat No3 leaves England selectors in a tangle | The Spin

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/27/stokes-vince-ballance-england-ashes-squad

Sep 25

Rugby union: talking points from the Premiership weekend

HIA’s in the limelight again, Saracens suffer injuries, Jonathan Joseph facing Ben Te’o challenge for England place, and Eddie Jones has a back-row dilemma

For the second Friday night in a row, a team has been reduced to 14 players after incurring a head injury, having already emptied their bench. Ten days ago it was Bath then it was Gloucester this time and while the Cherry & Whites claimed a second win of the season, they had to withstand considerable pressure from Worcester to do so. The issue was that Tom Savage suffered a head blow deemed serious enough that he had to be taken off permanently rather than for a head injury assessment and as a result, Ed Slater could not be brought back on. Had Savage gone off for an HIA, however, Slater would have been allowed to return. Todd Blackadder made his feelings clear when it was Sam Underhill who came off at Northampton and the Gloucester captain Willi Heinz did likewise. It is easy to sympathise with both. Gerard Meagher

Related: British & Irish Lions to reduce fixtures for 2021 South Africa tour

Related: Six Nations sets tight deadline after struggling to find new sponsor for 2018

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/sep/25/rugby-union-talking-points-premiership-weekend

Sep 25

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Sean Dyche was worked up about nothing, Mark Hughes hopes life for Stoke will get easier and Ronald Koeman played his last cards to get Everton out of trouble

If Brighton survive this season – and they survived this game thanks to several Newcastle misses and some good goalkeeping – there is every chance we will be talking about the signing of Pascal Gross as a masterstroke. The German midfielder with a picture-perfect delivery has been involved in all of Brighton’s Premier League goals, and was instrumental again at the Amex in the 1-0 win over Newcastle when his free-kick homed in on Dale Stephens, who headed down for Tomer Hemed to finish. The value of an accurate set-piece taker cannot be overlooked in a squad short on goalscorers and one suspects there will be plenty more of those well-rehearsed moves. Ingolstadt were relegated despite Gross creating more chances than any other Bundesliga player; Chris Hughton will hope his creative streak delivers safety for Brighton. Lawrence Ostlere

Related: Brighton’s Chris Hughton serves up reminder of lost art of defence | Jonathan Wilson

Related: Jürgen Klopp’s wide-eyed entertainers likely to win more admirers than medals | Jacob Steinberg

Related: Slaven Bilic feeling the heat after Spurs shine glaring light on West Ham flaws | David Hytner

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/sep/25/premier-league-talking-points-dyche-stoke-koeman

Sep 25

Tigers’ Trent Cotchin cleared by match review panel to play AFL grand final

  • In-form Richmond captain free to play against Adelaide on Saturday
  • ‘Cotchin’s direction was line of the ball, not opponent,’ MRP rules

Richmond have been given a huge boost ahead of their first AFL grand final appearance for 35 years after the match review panel cleared their influential captain, Trent Cotchin, to play in Saturday’s premiership decider.

Related: Jack Riewoldt’s unselfish evolution rewarded as Tigers’ dream lives on | Craig Little

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/25/tigers-trent-cotchin-cleared-by-match-review-panel-to-play-afl-grand-final

Sep 21

Brian Cookson emphatically unseated as UCI president by David Lappartient

• French candidate for world cycling’s top role wins by 37 votes to eight
• Cookson: I depart with head held high. Someone had to lift sport out of gutter

Brian Cookson’s reign as the UCI president came to a humiliating end as he garnered only eight of 45 possible votes in losing world cycling’s top job to the Frenchman David Lappartient. The contest in Bergen had been forecast to be on a knife edge. Instead, Cookson haemorrhaged support and suffered one of the widest election losses by a reigning head of any international sports federation.

The result also means that Cookson, who took over as the head of international cycling in September 2013 after 16 years in charge of British Cycling, becomes the first UCI president to serve only one term.

Related: Tour de Yorkshire cycling races to be extended from 2018

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/21/brian-cookson-uci-presidency-david-lappartient-cycling

Sep 18

Rio Ferdinand confirms move into boxing: ‘It’s a challenge I’m not taking lightly’

• Former Manchester United and England defender reveals change of sport
• Ferdinand will look to emulate former footballer Curtis Woodhouse in ring

Rio Ferdinand will attempt to become a professional boxer at the age of 38 after taking up the sport to stay fit in retirement from football and to channel his grief after the death of his wife.

It is understood Ferdinand’s training will be filmed for a TV documentary series and that he will aim to have his first fight as its concluding episode.

Related: Hughie Fury: ‘I’ve had no teenage life, no drinking or friends. I’ve sacrificed everything’

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/sep/18/rio-ferdinand-boxing-manchester-united-curtis-woodhouse