FFA asks broadcasters to identify their preferred expansion locationsTwo new teams are expected to join the competition in 2018-19Football Federation Australia has asked TV networks to state their preferred A-League expansion club locations as part of …
Peter Handscomb, Matt Renshaw and Nic Maddinson keep places
Jackson Bird and Chadd Sayers to duel for the third seamer position in side
Australia’s three debutants have kept their spots in an unchanged 12-man squad for the day-night first Test against Pakistan in Brisbane.
Batsmen Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson will line up for the pink-ball match at the Gabba starting next Thursday after debuting for Australia in a consolation third Test win over South Africa in Adelaide last month.
• Damning verdict expected after ‘fundamental attack’ on sport’s integrity • Yelena Isinbayeva is shock choice to take over Russia’s anti-doping unit
The International Olympic Committee has extended the sanctions it imposed on Russia in the summer until further notice as the sporting world waits for the publication of a landmark report into the country’s recent doping history on Friday.
The IOC announcement was made on the same day it emerged that Yelena Isinbayeva, the Russian double Olympic pole vault champion, will take charge of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency supervisory board in a move that will cause some alarm within the global anti-doping community.
Australian hopes to finally get a mentor on board in 2017
‘I feel it could be a huge year for me,’ says world No26
He is still on the lookout for a full-time coach but Bernard Tomic believes he is primed to launch a bold quest to crack the ATP Tour top 10. The Australian is hoping to eventually find a full-time mentor next year despite enjoying a career-high world ranking of 17 in January, while flying solo.
He said finding a new coach would be a key step toward his 2017 goal of finally joining the top 10. “Hopefully in 2017 I can have someone there, a mentor – that is going to be important,” said world No26 Tomic. “I would like to reach the top 10 mark.”
• Only one of nine charges upheld against former technical director • ‘To learn majority of complaints not upheld is heartbreaking’ – Varnish
Jess Varnish admitted she was “shocked and upset” and would appeal against the findings of an internal investigation carried out by British Cycling after it emerged only one of the nine charges she made against the former technical director Shane Sutton was upheld.
In October British Cycling upheld the claims made by Varnish that Sutton had used “inappropriate and discriminatory language” towards her, without going into the finer details of their investigation. However, the full report, which was leaked on Wednesday night, shows that only one allegation – that Sutton used the word “bitches” – was upheld.
Real Madrid failed to win their Champions League group for the first time in four years when a late goal by the substitute Marco Reus allowed Borussia Dortmund to equalise and clinch a 2-2 draw.
Zinedine Zidane’s side looked to be on their way to securing first place in Group F when Karim Benzema knocked in Dani Carvajal’s cutback in the 28th minute and the French striker stretched their lead by nodding in James Rodríguez’s cross in the 53rd minute.
• Teenager scored a wonder goal against parent club in Champions League • Pep Guardiola said ‘well done and keep it up’ after Tuesday’s 1-1 draw
Patrick Roberts said he has no regrets’ about joining Celtic on loan after an outstanding performance in the 1-1 Champions League draw with his parent club Manchester City and is determined to show he is capable of starring for Pep Guardiola’s side.
The England youth international, who moved to City from Fulham in July 2015 for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £11m, was only permitted to play at the Etihad Stadium because his father, Neil, insisted he should be allowed to play if the two clubs were drawn against each other. That proved to be Celtic’s gain as the 19-year-old scored a brilliant individual goal in the fourth minute that was cancelled out by Kelechi Iheanacho.
Star fullback has spent a month in Thai clinic after positive cocaine test
Barba will reportedly spend summer working as builder’s labourer
Ben Barba’s return to Cronulla looks increasingly likely after the NRL premiers confirmed they want the star fullback on their playing roster. But Sharks boss Lyall Gorman says the club needs evidence the 27-year-old’s off-field woes are behind him.
Already qualified Leicester City suffered the worst defeat by an English team in the Champions League as Porto recorded an overwhelming victory to join the Foxes in the last 16.
Leicester were already assured of progressing as Group G winners before the game and boss Claudio Ranieri made 10 changes to his starting XI.
Porto needed to win to guarantee their place in the knockout stage and made the ideal start when Andre Silva headed home.
The Portuguese side dominated throughout, with Leicester rarely making it out of their own half, and added a deserved second through Jesus Corona’s stunning volley.
Yacine Brahimi then scored a brilliant third just before half-time, backheeling Maxi Pereira’s cross beyond goalkeeper Ben Hamer, before Silva converted a second-half penalty following Danny Drinkwater’s foul.
Diogo Jota rounded off the scoring late on, slotting home after being put through on goal.
The result took some of the shine off Leicester’s previous performances in the Champions League this season, but they can now look forward to the draw for the last 16, which takes place on Monday at around 11:00 GMT.
Passage to the knockout stage might have been secured before Wednesday’s game but Ranieri will still have felt the need for a good performance and result.
While they have exceeded expectations in the Champions League, the Foxes’ Premier League title defence has been disappointing and they sit just two points above the relegation zone.
Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have so far been unable to recapture their form of last season and were two of the frontline players not to travel to Portugal. Instead, it was left to Leicester’s bit-part players to put on a show.
That, unfortunately, did not happen.
The Foxes had let in just one goal in their five previous Champions League games but looked capable of conceding from every Porto attack. Their defence was disjointed, with Silva allowed to rise too easily for the hosts’ first while Corona was left unmarked for the second.
In attack, Shinji Okazaki and Ahmed Musa offered little, with the latter replaced by Leonardo Ulloa at half-time. The change did nothing to improve Leicester’s attacking threat as they finished the game without a shot on target, although Ulloa did hit the crossbar late on.
Ranieri would have liked to have seen his fringe players stake a claim for a regular place in his starting XI, but instead their performance may have left the Italian concerned about his side’s strength in depth.
Who could Leicester face in the last 16? One of:
Tinkerman tinkering too much?
Ranieri made sweeping changes for this game to give his key players a rest, but the Italian does appear to be struggling to find his strongest XI.
The Italian has not named an unchanged side for two consecutive games since 10 September – 14 games ago.
It may be that a lack of consistency is affecting the Leicester players but Ranieri will be forced to rethink his starting line-up once again for this weekend’s game against Manchester City.
Drinkwater – a crucial player for Leicester in their title-winning season – was substituted with a knee injury towards the end of the second half and an extended absence would be a blow for the Foxes, although Ranieri said after the game that he did not believe the injury to be serious.
Dates for the diary
Last 16, first leg:
14-15 February and 21-22 February
Last 16, second leg:
7-8 March and 14-15 March
‘We didn’t show our character’
“I have a clearer idea about my players now,” said Ranieri afterwards.
“We wanted to see something different, but it was too easy for Porto. We didn’t make them fight to score.
“We can lose, but I want us to show our character and our strength. We didn’t do that well enough.”
Leicester return to Premier League action this weekend as they look to start their climb up the table. They host Manchester City on Saturday before travelling to Bournemouth on Tuesday, 13 December.
An unwanted place in history – the stats
This was the heaviest defeat by an English side in Europe since Everton’s 5-0 defeat at Benfica in the 2009-10 Europa League.
Ben Hamer is the first English goalkeeper to concede five goals on his Champions League debut. Gary Walsh and Nigel Martyn both conceded four on their CL debuts.
FC Porto have lost just three of their past 22 Champions League home games (W14 D5 L3).
This was the second match this season in which Leicester have conceded 3+ goals in the first half (the other was v Man Utd in the Premier League). They didn’t do this at all in 2015-16.
Andre Silva scored in three of FC Porto’s final four Champions League group stage matches this season (four goals).
Ben Chilwell became only the third English teenager to start a Champions League game this season, after Tosin Adarabioyo and Patrick Roberts.
• Lions coach says Wales and Northampton wing’s concussion is ‘concerning’ • Gatland says quality goal-kickers give Lions big advantage over All Blacks
The British & Irish Lions head coach, Warren Gatland, has told George North to “forget about rugby” and concentrate on his long-term health as an official investigation continues into how the Wales wing was allowed to return to the field after apparently been knocked out playing for Northampton last weekend.
Lions coach named Andy Farrell, Steve Borthwick and Rob Howley in his backroom team but also has a few fascinating elements in place for the New Zealand tour
The beauty of every British & Irish Lions tour is the delicious uncertainty, despite the rather limited shock factor created by the announcement of Warren Gatland’s three assistant coaches.
Gatland continues to believe the odds can be overturned in New Zealand and, together with his lieutenants Andy Farrell, Rob Howley and Steve Borthwick, has been busy incorporating some fascinating elements into his plan for next summer.
There was more at stake for Tottenham Hotspur than securing their place in the last 32 of the Europa League in February – the merits of which continue to feel a little dubious – and Mauricio Pochettino knew it. How else could his team selection have been explained?
The starting XI that he sent out was stronger than that which he had named in the previous Champions League tie away against Monaco, when the club’s hopes had been on the line. This time, Kyle Walker and Jan Vertonghen played, rather than Kieran Trippier and Kevin Wimmer – although Mousa Dembélé was rested. Christian Eriksen started and he excelled.
As chapters in a Champions League adventure go, this could hardly have been less romantic. Better sides than Leicester have fallen at Estádio do Dragão and it spoke warmly of their achievements to this point that Claudio Ranieri could afford to field a skeleton lineup for what could have been their toughest Group G assignment.
The shame in this defeat, confirmed by two goals from André Silva either side of slick finishes from Jesús Corona and Yacine Brahimi before Diogo Jota completed the rout, is superficially slight but Porto could not have dreamed of more supine opposition against which to ensure their own progress. Any thoughts of a pick-me-up before the critical meeting with Manchester City on Saturday were exposed as fantasy.
5% of MLS players earn €100,000 or more weekly, compared to 3% in Serie A
Kaká and Sebastian Giovinco are the top earners in Major League Soccer
MLS had more players in 2016 earning a six-figure weekly salary than Italy’s Serie A, according to research released this week.
The study, conducted by Verve Search, a marketing agency in London, and Axo Finans, a Norwegian financial consultant, found that 5% of players earned €100,000 ($107,000) or more per week in North America, as opposed to 3% in Italy.
Tottenham secured a place in the Europa League knockout stage as their Champions League campaign ended with a convincing victory over CSKA Moscow.
Spurs, who needed to avoid defeat to secure third in Group E, went behind when Alan Dzagoev scored from Zoran Tosic’s headed flick-on.
But Dele Alli, who had already missed two good chances, half-volleyed in Christian Eriksen’s cross to level, before Harry Kane finished a stylish move to put Spurs in front.
CSKA keeper Igor Akinfeev gifted Spurs a third when he inadvertently guided Alli’s header into his own net after making an initial save.
It means Tottenham will enter the Europa League for the sixth consecutive season after their first appearance in the Champions League for five years ended in disappointment.
But there were positive signs for Spurs as they created numerous chances in a performance inspired by Eriksen’s creativity and range of passing.
Wembley wobble put to bed?
Despite Spurs’ hopes of progressing in the Champions League being extinguished by a defeat at Monaco two weeks ago, boss Mauricio Pochettino opted for a strong side. He made just one change from the 5-0 win over Swansea in the Premier League on Saturday, bringing in Harry Winks for Mousa Dembele.
And the Argentine was rewarded not only with a Europa League berth, but also a first win for Tottenham at Wembley in their last seven outings – including domestic competitions.
Spurs’ decision to play this season’s Champions League home games at Wembley meant they were left playing a game with very little at stake in the grand surroundings of the national stadium.
Tottenham have the option to use Wembley for all of their home games next season and, despite losing their first two group games there, a club-record attendance of 85,512 against Bayer Leverkusen last month and this win over CSKA Moscow might make that prospect more appealing.
There was further good news for Spurs as defender Toby Alderweireld came off the bench after missing the last 10 games through injury, suggesting he could be fit for Sunday’s league game against Manchester United.