Mourinho and United ended up like a loveless celebrity marriage | Barney Ronay

His style at Manchester United has been defence-heavy and excitement-free but problems exist in all areas of the clubFarewell, then, José. It’s been fun. Or if not exactly fun then fitful, tedious and wreathed in a familiar sense of entropy. Either way José Mourinho’s abrupt departure from Manchester United on Tuesday morning completes a familiar three-year cycle of doomed hope, doomed decline and, by the end, simply doom.There was at least an inevitability about the end. It has been clear since the summer that Mourinho was preparing for this moment, using his public pronouncements to shift blame, distance himself from the squad of players assembled, and tend to the one element that really matters: his glorious but increasingly distant legacy. Continue reading...



Saints smother Panthers to close on home-field advantage for playoffs

New Orleans Saints 12-9 Carolina PanthersPanthers’ only TD comes from pass by RB Christian McCaffreyNew Orleans put the clamps on Cam Newton, and the Saints beat the Carolina Panthers 12-9 on Monday night to take a big step toward locking up home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs.The Saints’ defense, which has been among the best in the league the last six weeks, held the former MVP to 131 yards passing, sacked him four times and forced two turnovers on a night when Drew Brees and the offense couldn’t get much going. Alvin Kamara had 103 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, and Brees had 203 yards passing for the Saints (12-2), who took a one-game lead in the NFC over the Rams. The Saints close the season at home against Pittsburgh and Carolina; the Rams visit Arizona and host San Francisco. Continue reading...



Talking Horses: Arc £3m prize-money cuts start to bite at Southwell

The reduction in prize money is a response to the government’s decision to cut the maximum stake on FOBT machines in betting shops from £100 to £2The all-weather Flat card at Southwell on Tuesday afternoon has more runners per race than either of the jumps meetings at Catterick or Fakenham, but the lowest prize money per race by a long way, £7k on the Fibresand at the Midlands track versus £9k for Catterick and £10k at Fakenham. And it is a situation that can only get worse as the winter goes on after the Arena Racing Company (Arc), which operates four of the five all-weather venues, announced on Monday that it will cut its contribution to prize money by £3m in 2019. The reduction, Arc says, is a response to the government’s decision to cut the maximum stake on FOBT machines in betting shops from £100 to £2, a move which – according to the bookies – could lead to the closure of as many as 4,000 of the country’s 9,000 or so shops. This, in turn, would lead to a huge drop in the media rights payments to racecourse operators, which are calculated on a “per-shop” basis. Continue reading...



Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.



José Mourinho must take the consequences, says Jürgen Klopp

• Klopp has more sympathy for sacked lower league managers• Liverpool beat Manchester United in Mourinho’s last matchJürgen Klopp said he has more sympathy for managers sacked at lower league clubs than José Mourinho and his former Manchester United rival had to “take the consequences” for what unfolded at Old Trafford.The Liverpool manager oversaw a comfortable victory over United on Sunday in what proved to be Mourinho’s final game. He said Mourinho remained an outstanding manager who has “all my respect” for what he has achieved and would not find it difficult to land another top job. For that reason, and perhaps the lucrative pay-off from Old Trafford, Klopp insists he has greater concern for peers sacked at the lower level than a two-times Champions League winner. Continue reading...



Liverpool 3-1 Man Utd: Jose Mourinho says Klopp's team were 'stronger, better, faster'

Watch Jose Mourinho's last interview as Manchester United manager as the club announce his departure in his third year at Old Trafford.



Kelly Slater makes miraculous recovery after near-certain wipeout – video

Kelly Slater produced a miraculous recovery to avoid a wipeout in Hawaii on Sunday. The 11-times former world champion surfer fell inside a barrel while competing at the season-ending Pipeline Masters event in Oahu, Hawaii. But Slater somehow managed to roll back on to his board and popped up into a standing position before squirting out of the barrel - much to the surprise of the American and those watching from the North Shore. Continue reading...



World sport: 10 photos we liked this week - 22-28 October

A selection of the most striking sports photographs from around the world this week.



Football transfer rumours: Real Madrid's Isco to Manchester City?

Today’s fluff was a flight on the wings of a young girl’s dreams There is only one possible conclusion to be drawn from the way that Manchester City have excelled over the first 17 games of a Premier League season in which their outstanding midfielder, Kevin De Bruyne, has been unable to start a single match and missed all but four entirely. And that conclusion, it seems, is that they need to buy even more midfielders. According to AS, they have already made contact with the currently-disgruntled Real Madrid and Spain star Isco to see if he might be interested in a move. Apparently Madrid “will not consider selling for anything under €100m”, and it may take a sum in excess of the €117m they banked for selling Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus, but given the player’s current unhappiness and the fact that the crowd have turned on him of late, “it would be no surprise to see Isco lining up at the Etihad next season”.Juventus have put aside £125m, says the Star, after their desire to sign Paul Pogba in January led them to ask Manchester United: how much is that Poggy in the window? They won’t like the answer, though, as “despite the player being at war with José Mourinho”, even though “Pogba is desperate to quit United”, and despite the fact that “he has been axed from United’s starting line-up in recent weeks and been publicly criticised by his manager”, his club “are not prepared to let him leave”. Continue reading...



Mourinho v the media: the road to his Manchester United sacking – video

José Mourinho has been sacked by Manchester United after overseeing the club's worst start to a campaign for 28 years.The Portuguese coach was often criticised for the team's pragmatic playing style and his treatment of some players, leading to many tense exchanges during his meetings with the press.Mourinho started his two-year tenure at Old Trafford by winning two trophies – the League Cup and Europa League – but failed to win silverware in his second season before their dreadful start to his third campaignDavid Squires on ... José Mourinho's United exit Continue reading...



The Spin | Ed Smith avoids brickbats by proving to be a Test-class England selector | Vic Marks

Former Kent batsman has been a breath of fresh air, challenging traditional thinking and not afraid to give youngsters a chanceChairmen of selectors are a bit like wicketkeepers. We only really notice them when they make terrible mistakes. Yet the incumbent, Ed Smith, has threatened to buck the trend. He has been in the post for nine months yet his appointment has been heralded as a significant reason for England’s resurgence as a Test side.From the start Smith has challenged traditional thinking and by and large this has worked well. Jos Buttler had not played any red-ball cricket for months so how could he possibly be considered for Test matches? But hang on, he is an incredibly gifted cricketer, just think what we might be missing. Adil Rashid had withdrawn from all red-ball cricket. But why not invite him back? There are far greater threats to the integrity of county cricket to be found within the ECB’s own ranks than in the recall of Rashid. Continue reading...



FA Cup second-round replay: Connor Jennings scores long-range volley to give Tranmere lead over Southport

Connor Jennings scores a stunning long-range volley from outside the area to give Tranmere an early lead against Southport in their FA Cup second-round replay.



Manchester United set to appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker

• Mauricio Pochettino refuses to rule himself out of full-time role• United have made their worst start to a season in 28 years• How the day of Mourinho’s United axe unfoldedManchester United are hopeful of announcing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their caretaker manager after the sacking of José Mourinho on Tuesday morning, with the club intent on appointing a permanent replacement by the summer. Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino is the current frontrunner.On Tuesday Pochettino refused to rule himself out of the running. “I cannot answer this type of question, because this type of rumour happens in this business, in football,” he said. Continue reading...



'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?



What is the smallest football ground a European champion has lost at? | The Knowledge

Plus: the longest delay for any new stadium in history and the worst goal difference you can get away with and still qualify in the Champions League. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Real Madrid recently lost 3-0 to Eibar in a stadium that holds just 7,000 people,” begins Robin Tucker. “That got me thinking: have any former European champions lost a competitive match in a smaller stadium? This would be only counting results after their first European success, so games such as Liverpool’s 1959 defeat to Worcester City would not count.”A fine question, but it’s not even the smallest stadium a former European champion has lost in this season. The 1986 winners Steaua Bucharest, now snappily known as FCSB, have suffered plenty of turmoil recently, including a defeat earlier this month to Sepsi OSK. That was in front of an estimated 2,500 at the 5,200-capacity Stadionul Municipal. Continue reading...



NFL: Carolina Panthers stun New Orleans Saints with trick play

Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey throws a touchdown pass against the New Orleans Saints, before the Panthers fall to 12-9 defeat that puts a huge dent in their playoff hopes.



Pete Shelley's Tour de force, Miami's Miracle and Premier Passions | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features Paul Sherwen, NHL deflections and Dean Jones’s very bad idea1) It wasn’t always widely known, but Buzzcocks’ brilliant Pete Shelley, who died this past week, wrote the music for the iconic Channel 4 Tour de France theme, itself taken from within 1984 track Give It To Me. Another sad passing this week was Paul Sherwen. It’s well worth a listen to the Cycling Podcast’s tribute, while Sherwen recalls how he met his broadcasting partner Phil Liggett.2) The Miami Miracle! Obviously there’s already a Tecmo Super Bowl version out there. Gronk’s still stumbling. More laterals: here’s the Music City Miracle, which always features highly among some of the NFL’s most famous. There are more in college football, including … Miami (!) v Duke, Trinity v Millsaps and the classic: Cal v Stanford. Watch out for that band! More on The Play. Continue reading...



What next for Manchester United? Sort Pogba mess and show humility

The Old Trafford to-do list before a permanent manager comes must also include appointing a transfers expert Related: José Mourinho sacked by Manchester United after worst start in 28 years Continue reading...