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Updated: 42 min 51 sec ago

Mo Farah wins BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 16:43

Athlete pips Superbikes world champion Jonathan Rea and Paralympian Jonnie Peacock, while boxer Anthony Joshua misses out despite being favourite

Mo Farah was named the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award on Sunday night as the presenters Gary Lineker and Gabby Logan struggled to cope with the shock result and a broken video link.

Farah did not attend the event at Liverpool’s Echo arena but remained in London and conducted a chaotic live interview from St Mary’s University in Twickenham, west London. His daughter Rhianna was alongside him, helping to take care of Farah’s two-year-old son Hussein who was suffering from a bug. At one point, she picked Hussein up and rushed from the room to howls of laughter from the studio audience.

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Oxlade-Chamberlain hails Liverpool team-mate Coutinho’s class

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 16:07
• ‘He’s the most professional person I’ve seen all season’. says England player
• Brazilian Coutinho sparkles in Liverpool’s 4-0 romp at Bournemouth

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain described Philippe Coutinho as “the most professional person I’ve seen all season” after the Brazilian playmaker dazzled in the comfortable victory at Bournemouth to thrust Liverpool back into the Premier League’s top four.

Related: Mohamed Salah on the scoresheet again as Liverpool hit Bournemouth for four

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Mohamed Salah shreds Bournemouth to leave Suárez and Rush in his wake

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 15:50
Egyptian’s ‘world-class’ effort means he reached 20 goals for Liverpool in 26th game and left Eddie Howe saying ‘ I do not want to play Liverpool again any time soon’

Think less Fab Four and more Tormenting Trio. Liverpool are not perfect – particularly defensively – but they have no problems entertaining. The freewheeling three-pronged attack of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and the majestic Mohamed Salah – rightly heralded as the signing of the season – pierced holes across the entire Bournemouth back line for fun, deflating each defender one by one. After 25 minutes, by which point the second of three first-half goals had flown in, Jürgen Klopp was almost fiddling with his face in embarrassment, so devastating is this forward line.

The dribbling, dancing and grooving Salah reached 20 goals in 26 appearances, equalling Daniel Sturridge’s mark. “I do not go to bed at night, thinking: ‘Wow, how good is Salah?’” Klopp said, although he must be in a minority. “He is a very important player for us, like all of the others.”

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2022 World Cup migrant workers ‘systematically’ exploited, Amnesty say

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 15:50
• Research points to Qatar stadium workers ‘trapped’ in vicious cycle of debt,
• ‘Nepali migrant workers are being systematically and mercilessly set up’

Migrant workers constructing stadiums for the Qatar 2022 World Cup continue to be trapped in a vicious cycle of debt and exploitation, according to new research by Amnesty International.

Fifa is already under pressure from its own advisory board to act over the kafala system, used to monitor migrant labourers, which has been described as modern slavery. Now, a survey by Amnesty has found two-thirds of migrant workers have paid excessive or illegal recruitment fees.

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Jürgen Klopp 'really satisfied' with Liverpool's 4-0 win at Bournemouth – video

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 15:45

Jürgen Klopp praises his Liverpool side after they comfortably dispatched Bournemouth 4-0 on Sunday afternoon. The Reds moved up to fourth in the Premier League table with the win before a crucial meeting with Arsenal on Friday night. ‘I’m really happy about the full package we showed today,’ says Klopp

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Manu Tuilagi’s return fails to lift Leicester over Munster in Champions Cup

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 15:21
• Leicester 16-25 Munster
• Ian Keatley kicks six penalties and Leicester’s Dan Cole gets yellow card

Leicester’s European adventure is all but over for another season after 20 points from the boot of Munster’s Ian Keatley condemned the Tigers to only their third home defeat in this competition for a decade. The hosts can grasp shreds of consolation – Manu Tuilagi played all 80 minutes of his first game since the opening day of the season and improved as the match progressed – but no points.

They are rooted to the foot of Pool 4 and need to beat both Racing 92 and Castres to have any chance of advancing to the next stage. For Munster, though, another quarter-final beckons. CJ Stander was imperious in the back row and perhaps the most obvious difference between the two sides was the visitors’ ability to score when their opponents were down to 14 men.

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Barcelona v Deportivo La Coruña: La Liga – live!

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 14:50

7.50pm GMT

It’s a fair point.

@Will_Unwin another reason Javier M isn’t playing EV prefers having a real defender in his back4 than a converted midfielder don’t get me wrong he’s done a top job 4 FCB but TV is a quality defender

7.49pm GMT

2 min: The early state of affairs is essentially Barcelona passing the ball around slowly and the crowd waiting for something interesting to happen. It will probably get more exciting once the players have warmed up.

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Four North American cities interested in joining RFL, says CEO Nigel Wood

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 14:40
• Toronto’s success ‘leads to expressions of interest from three US concerns’
• ‘No talks yet’ with Wayne Bennett about continuing as England coach

Four more cities across North America have expressed an interest in joining the Rugby Football League in the coming years as the game’s transatlantic interest continues to grow, the RFL chief executive, Nigel Wood, told the Guardian.

Wood would not reveal the locations of the parties interested in following Toronto Wolfpack and entering the British leagues, but said there were a number of keen parties in the US and Canada.

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Clermont Auvergne inflict seventh straight defeat on Saracens

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 14:34
• Clermont Auvergne 24-21 Saracens
• Spedding’s late howitzer of a long-distance penalty secures win

It is hard to imagine two more contrasting rugby occasions than those involving Clermont and Saracens in the past week. The first leg was an icy mismatch in north London in front of a paltry audience, the sequel a belter in the continent’s most atmospheric bearpit. The only common denominator was that Europe’s defending champions, for the seventh game in a row in all competitions, lost yet again.

Related: Elliot Daly scores two tries in Wasps’ revenge mission against La Rochelle

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Douvan, Willie Mullins’ top chaser, to miss 2018 Cheltenham Festival

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 14:07
• Mullins confirms Douvan will be out of action for rest of this season
• Killahara Castle makes history with shock 200-1 win at Thurles

Willie Mullins confirmed on Sunday that his top chaser Douvan will miss the rest of the season. The seven-year-old, who has been defeated only once in 10 starts over fences, is a six-times Grade One-winning chaser.

So brilliant at the 2015 and 2016 Cheltenham Festivals, winning the Supreme Novice Hurdle and the Arkle Trophy respectively, each time under Ruby Walsh, Douvan had been one of the favourites for the Queen Mother Champion Chase in the Cotswolds in March.

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Former Milan and Real Madrid player Kaká retires from football at age of 35

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 13:56
• Kaká has been linked with return to Milan in off-field capacity
• Brazilian won 2007 Champions League and 2002 World Cup

Kaká, the former Milan and Real Madrid midfielder, announced on Sunday that he is retiring from football.

The 35-year-old Brazilian announced his retirement on Twitter. “It was much more than I could ever imagined. Thank you!” he said. “I’m now ready for the next journey. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

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BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017 – live!

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 13:48

6.46pm GMT

All Liverpool cultural signifiers ticked in the opening credits as we zoom in on the Echo Arena – Beatles, Ferry Across the Mersey, Wayne Rooney, the Liver Building. Before the somewhat less Scouse Noel Gallagher gets things underway with some so-so pub rock. Obviously.

6.44pm GMT

But of course we’re not just here for the nice things in life – here’s the anti-Spoty awards, courtesy of Simon Burnton:

Related: The Anti-Sports Personality of the Year awards 2017

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Mohamed Salah on the scoresheet again as Liverpool hit Bournemouth for four

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 13:35

When Liverpool purr like this, delighting in every incisive move and swarming all over panicked opponents, it is hard to contemplate the reality they are a team only marginally closer to the top of the table than the condemned beneath the relegation cut-off. This was a performance to showcase all that is thrilling about Jürgen Klopp’s side, from Philippe Coutinho’s invention to Mohamed Salah’s bite, from the poise at pace in midfield to the relentless press which left Bournemouth gasping for breath. It would have been a stroll on the south coast had it not all been so blisteringly energetic.

Klopp could replace his entire front-line before the end, Roberto Firmino having plundered his team’s fourth, to allow Adam Lallana only a second cameo of the season and Sadio Mané an afternoon uninterrupted on the bench. This thrashing was implemented without a call for the Senegalese, with the hosts never threatening to overhaul the two-goal deficit, as they had last year, this time round. Liverpool are now unbeaten in 12 matches in all competitions. Manchester City may not be looking over their shoulders quite yet but, on their day, this team remains one of the delights of the division.

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Manchester United will keep fighting for Premier League title, says Mourinho – video

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 13:15

Jose Mourinho vows that Manchester United will fight for the title until the final game of the season following victory at West Brom on Sunday. United closed Manchester City’s lead at the top of the Premier League table to 11 points after the 2-1 win at the Hawthorns. ‘We don’t want to go on holidays. We want to play until the last match,’ says Mourinho

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Manchester United still chasing hard but second best is the best on offer | Paul Wilson

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 12:56
José Mourinho’s team showed fight in victory at West Bromwich Albion despite knowing they have little chance of winning title with City 11 points clear

Title contenders have been dropping like flies in recent weeks, Manchester City’s apparent impregnability at the top of the table acting like one of those light blue insect zappers you sometimes find in chip shops, and the difficulty for everyone else now is how hard to chase when the race already seems won.

Antonio Conte admitted defeat some time ago and one can sympathise with the Chelsea coach’s complaint that no one is watching his club any longer, even though they are in a good vein of form and have won eight of their past 10 games.

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Rain appears the only hope to stop Australia reigning supreme in Ashes | Adam Collins

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 11:43
Joe Root’s momentary lapse of reason in Perth has left England’s Barmy Army looking to the weather forecasters for help in stopping the rot

Cognitive dissonance is flying the better part of 10,000 miles to watch the cricket then sing and dance and plead for rain. The healthy travelling support summed up England’s dire situation as well as any.

Maybe they had also directed their prayers in the direction of Cardiff in 2009, when the situation was much the same. Australia batted second there before a huge downpour ended Ricky Ponting’s quest for wickets on the fourth evening. We all know what happened next.

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Bournemouth v Liverpool: Premier League – live!

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 11:30

4.30pm GMT

1 min Blow your whistle! Blow your hoooorn!

4.29pm GMT

Out they come. Bournemouth payers are hugging and stuff; in the studio, Graeme Souness is doubtless stroking his thighs as though Gennaro Gattuso has just offered out Joe Jordan.

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Romelu Lukaku sets Manchester United on victory path at West Brom

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 11:24

The chase feels forlorn, and it must be even more dispiriting for Manchester United when they play the day after their neighbours have turned in yet another stirring performance, but José Mourinho and his players can at least take some satisfaction from the fact they managed to trim the deficit at the top back to 11 points.

Romelu Lukaku, taking his Premier League tally for the season into double figures, and Jesse Lingard got the goals on an afternoon that ended up being nothing like as comfortable as it should have been for United. Mourinho’s side were 2-0 up and strolling to victory when Albion punished their complacency by snatching a late goal through Gareth Barry that set up a tense finale.

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Elliot Daly scores two tries in Wasps’ revenge mission against La Rochelle

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 10:31
• Wasps 21-3 La Rochelle
• Home side’s pack responds to humiliation in France with strong performance

Historically the fourth round of the Champions Cup tests a team’s mental fortitude and character as much as their rugby abilities, which was the case for Wasps as they looked to exorcise the demons inflicted on them by La Rochelle seven days earlier.

Officially the knockout stages do not begin until April but for Wasps this was knockout rugby in everything but name. Following their 49-29 humbling on the French Riviera last weekend, Dai Young’s side were forced to dig deep to stay in the competition. Wasps were knocked from pillar to post at the Stade Marcel-Deflandre last weekend but still managed to score four tries on limited territory and possession. That was key at the Ricoh Arena on a cold December afternoon with the Premiership finalists of last season fully aware if they could turn possession and territory in their favour they could hurt the French club with their dynamic back division.

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Craig Overton and Stuart Broad injury concerns add to England Ashes woe

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 09:46
• Overton could miss rest of series after falling on cracked rib
• Broad has knee problem and is wicketless so far in Perth

Craig Overton is facing the prospect of his Ashes series ending early, and Stuart Broad is struggling with a knee issue that could require surgery at the end of the tour, as the problems continue to mount up for England and Joe Root.

Overton had been bowling through the pain of a cracked rib during the third Test. But on the third day he once again fell on the troublesome area when diving in the field. Having bowled just one over up to the point, he did not return to the attack as Australia posted 662 for nine declared.

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