18-02-2019 Fear and loathing without Aspas as 'pathetic' Celta drift towards the rocks | Sid Lowe

Their talisman is injured and Celta Vigo are slumping badly at the wrong time, just as others are arresting their slidesCelta de Vigo’s fans saw hope disappear before their eyes. An hour had gone and José Luis Morales had just scored Levante’s third but it wasn’t only what was happening on the pitch that brought the fatalism flooding back at Balaídos, it was what was happening alongside it. There had been applause and anticipation when Iago Aspas, their captain and their everything, stepped into the sunlight and began warming up, tracksuit off ready to return after six weeks away; now there was silence as he ducked into the shadows and sat down again, worry and resignation written across his face and theirs.Back on the bench, boots off, mission aborted, Aspas watched powerless as the fans clapped Morales and whistled everyone else. He watched team-mates argue over an irrelevant 88th-minute penalty to make it 1-3, the tiniest flicker of life immediately extinguished when Borja Mayoral scored Levante’s fourth seconds later. He listened to supporters call for the president to resign – which is exactly what Carlos Mouriño, pointedly ignoring the mayor up in the directors’ box, would do if he could find someone to pay him enough to buy the club. And he watched another defeat and more disillusion, the final whistle blown to emptying stands. While he watched, he occasionally reached down and rubbed his calf. Continue reading...

18-02-2019 Formula 1 testing 2019: Williams in turmoil as Sebastian Vettel fastest

Williams are in turmoil ahead of the new F1 season as a result of delays building their new car, as Sebastian Vettel is fastest for Ferrari.

18-02-2019 FA Cup: Swansea City 4-1 Brentford highlights

Watch highlights as Swansea come from behind to beat fellow Championship side Brentford and reach the FA Cup quarter-finals.

18-02-2019 The breakdown will be a key to who gets into the fast lane at Cardiff | Nick Evans

England will miss Mako Vunipola on Saturday but they have enough ball-carriers to turn on the power against WalesIt is not uncommon to introduce themes every now and then – we often use them at Harlequins – and one we’ve used recently is called decapitation strike. It’s a military term and it’s all about targeting the key individuals of an organisation and taking advantage of the knock-on effect – watching everything else fall away if you can eliminate their leaders. It could well be a key theme for Wales to target England’s half-backs in a similar fashion on Saturday.Owen Farrell is so influential in terms of how he organises England’s attacking and territorial shape, and he and Ben Youngs would be the two Wales targets. That may look like the Wales scrum-half coming hard off the defensive line, making sure that Farrell has to pass early, negating the ability to bring Billy Vunipola and Manu Tuilagi into the game thus winning the gainline battle. If Wales make him play early then they can bring their defensive line up and shut down England’s options. Continue reading...

18-02-2019 Tyson Fury signs ESPN fight deal worth reported £80m

British heavyweight Tyson Fury signs a fight deal with a United States television network worth a reported £80m.

18-02-2019 Mauro Icardi, Internazionale and the return of unwelcome headlines | Paolo Bandini

Inter dug deep to see off Sampdoria, but without their forward after he was stripped of the captaincyThe first time the big screen cut to Mauro Icardi, it stayed with him for only a few seconds. He had arrived just before kick-off for Inter’s game against Sampdoria, taking a seat beside his wife, and agent, Wanda in the stands at San Siro. Neither seemed to notice when the cameras picked them out, provoking brief jeers from the home crowd.But the camera lingered a little longer the second time around. Play had stopped, and the mood inside the stadium was restless, with the score still lgoalless after the interval. This time the whistles were ear-splitting. Wanda glanced up at the screen, and quickly cast her eyes back down. Continue reading...

18-02-2019 The Spin | Sheer pace is sheer bliss though fast bowlers often blow hot and cold

Mark Wood’s Sunday spell in St Lucia was a refreshing reminder of how pace bowling turns a slow game into a fast oneThere are certain words that are crying out to have “sheer” in front of them. Sheer bliss. Sheer lunacy. Sheer pace.In cricket, sheer pace is sheer bliss, as long as it’s on your side. In St Lucia on Sunday evening England, who had been blown away in the first two Tests by a resurgent West Indies attack, finally produced a riposte. Mark Wood came on after 20 overs, when the game is inclined to nod off, and suddenly every delivery carried an electric charge. Bowling to Shai Hope, Wood beat the bat outside off stump with his first ball, and his second, and his third. The fourth was a bouncer, which Hope wisely ducked. The little box on the screen that clocks the bowler’s speed showed 145kph, or 90mph. A stiff breeze was helping, but then Wood, so often kept off the field by a dodgy ankle, deserved a fair wind. Continue reading...

18-02-2019 The Fiver | This rag-tag collection of multi-millionaire footballers

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Following a weekend of FA Cup ties that produced no upsets whatsoever, it is left to the plucky minnows of Chelsea to go all Mills & Boon on the fifth-round romance stakes by slaying Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. Two places and one point behind United in the English league pyramid, it has been left to this rag-tag collection of butchers, carpenters and postmen – or, at the very least, multi-millionaire footballers who may know their local butcher, carpenter or postman – to fly the flag for the little guy when United’s juggernaut rolls up with a place in the quarter-finals at stake. Continue reading...

18-02-2019 Jürgen Klopp ready for dangerous threat of Bayern Munich – video

Liverpool host five-time Champions League winners Bayern Munich on Tuesday. Speaking before the game, Jürgen Klopp discussed the 'outstanding' atmosphere he's anticipating at Anfield. Bayern travel to Merseyside with five key players missing, however Liverpool aren't without their own issues, with Virgil van Dijk suspended Continue reading...

18-02-2019 FA Cup Magic, fifth round: Super solo goals, Maupay's miss & 'everything but the kitchen sink'

Watch the quirkier moments from the FA Cup fifth round, including last-gasp goalkeeping antics, a solo goal from Swansea's Daniel James, and a contender for miss of the round.