Real Madrids unhappy birthday sees club with nothing left to play for

Defeat to Ajax ended a run of three Champions League wins, days after Copa del Rey and La Liga hopes also evaporated Today is 6 March, Real Madrids birthday but there is nothing to celebrate. This week has been the worst in their 117-year history: three home defeats, eight goals conceded and only one scored, all three competitions gone, one after the other the La Liga title race, have won more clsicos than Real, two victories in four days last week leaving the all-time record at 96-95. For the first time too, a home team holding a 2-1 first-leg lead went out of the Champions League. Real are used to breaking records but not like this. Four home defeats in …

Search called off for missing Himalayan climbers

Briton Tom Ballard and Italian Daniele Nardi disappeared on Nanga Parbat A search for the missing British climber Tom Ballard and his Italian climbing partner, Daniele Nardi, who disappeared on the Himalayan peak Nanga Parbat, has been called off. The decision involved Pakistani and Spanish climbers from nearby K2, a Pakistani mountaineering official told the Associated Press. Karrar Haidri, the secretary of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, said the search team halted its efforts after another unsuccessful day on Wednesday. He said it had been a very painful decision. The helicopter and foot search was hampered by dangerous conditions and found no sign of Ballard or Nardi. Ballard is the son of Alison Hargreaves, the first woman to scale Everest …

Stabbed Manchester United fan recovering after surgery in Paris

The Manchester United fan stabbed on Wednesday night in Paris may be able to return home at the start of next week United knocked Paris Saint-Germain out of the Champions League last 16. United have been in contact with his family and are monitoring the situation. A club spokesperson said: We were shocked to hear about the incident with one of our fans who was stabbed while in Paris for the Champions League game. Everyone at the club wishes him well during his recovery. The supporter is being treated at the Hpital Europen Georges-Pompidou in Paris and the Foreign Office is in contact with the French authorities regarding the incident.

The Lakers are a dumpster fire not even LeBron James can extinguish

The bad chemistry and bad fortune undoing the Lakers have wrought the unthinkable: an NBA playoffs without LeBron Its looking like LeBron James in the NBA playoffs isnt the forgone conclusion weve come to presume. On Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Clippers, 113-105, slumping to a ho-hum 30-34 record, six games adrift of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 18 games left in the regular season. Not only will James almost certainly fail to extend his preposterous streak of eight consecutive NBA finals appearances, its looking signed with Los Angeles during the offseason, it was hardly the obvious move from a basketball perspective. There were many other teams he could have joined …

Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates World Cup overall ‘three-peat’ from hotel room

(CNN)Without skiing through a gate in anger, Mikaela Shiffrin was crowned overall World Cup champion for the third straight year as the scheduled weekend events in Sochi fell victim to the weather. Follow @cnnsport The all-conquering Shiffrin had already opted to skip Sochi, but she now has an unassailable 719-point lead over her nearest rival Petra Vlhova of Slovakia with only six races of the season remaining.

World Rugby official could quit if Pacific Islands excluded from new league

(CNN)Radical plans to reshape rugby’s international calendar have caused shockwaves through the sport, but World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot has quelled fears that certain teams — specifically Fiji and Samoa — will be excluded from the new league. But Pichot, a former Argentina captain who retired from rugby a decade ago, has said he is advocating promotion and relegation between two international leagues. Fiji’s spectacular sand dune workout Confusion Last week, the Pacific Rugby Welfare group, which possesses a 600-strong membership including many professional players, said a boycott of this year’s Rugby World Cup could be discussed as a “legitimate player protest” of World Rugby’s alleged plans. Reports said that a 12-team league comprising New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, …

Martina Navratilova apologizes for transgender ‘cheating’ comments

(CNN)Martina Navratilova may have apologized for using the term “cheating” when describing transgender athletes but the issue received further attention over the weekend with former UK Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies saying trans women had unfair physical advantages. “Needless to say, I have always and will always be a champion of democracy, equal rights, human rights and full protection under the law for everyone. When I talk about sports and rules that must be fair, I am not trying to exclude trans people from living a full, healthy life. “And I am certainly not advocating violence against trans people, as has been suggested. All I am trying to do is to make sure girls and women who were born female are …

Winx: World record 23rd Group One win for ‘very special’ horse

(CNN)Australian wonder horse Winx set a new world record for Group 1 wins Saturday as she stretched her incredible unbeaten run to 31 races. “I had the horse to get me out of trouble, as she has done time and time again.” Winx was surpassing the previous record she jointly held with the famous Irish horse Hurricane Fly, who raced over fences, twice winning the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. At seven years old the iconic mare is in the autumn of her racing career as trainer Chris Waller admitted after her latest triumph. “I can see the sun going down, hopefully we can get through two more races,” he said. Her final appearance is likely to be at …

So who does have the easier run-in, Manchester City or Liverpool? | Marcus Christenson

Fixtures, form and favours from friends could all come into play in the Premier League title race between now and 12 May. Weve crunched the numbers for Manchester City and Liverpool The Premier League has reached the stage where fans of the two title contenders spend a large part of their days looking at the remaining fixtures. We are down to nine games each for Manchester City and Liverpool and it is possible to hazard a guess as to where points could be dropped. On Sunday Liverpool the most blustery days during this spring?

Mohamed Salah and Liverpool frustrated as Everton claim derby draw

Liverpool and Everton played out a largely forgettable 0-0 draw at Goodison Park that leaves the visitors a point behind Manchester City at the top of the Premier League Jrgen Klopp beat the Liver bird on his chest in front of Liverpool fans gathered in the Bullens Road stand but the noise that pulsated around Goodison Park after the final whistle emanated from elsewhere. Evertons long wait for victory in a Merseyside derby goes on but they found ample compensation in damaging their rivals bid for the Premier League title. On a local level the 233rd Merseyside derby brought Liverpool closer to the nine-year anniversary of their last defeat by Everton and extended their unbeaten run to a record 17 …

Englands Steph Houghton and Nikita Parris score to earn draw with USA

Englands Steph Houghton and Nikita Parris scored high-quality goals in a 2-2 draw with the World Cup holders USA in Nashville A chess match first half and a boxing match second, said England manager Phil Neville of an unbelievable advert for womens football. A stunning Steph Houghton free-kick had cancelled out an equally impressive Megan Rapinoe strike before Nikita Parris gave England a 2-1 lead against the USA in their SheBelieves Cup match in Nashville. Tobin Heath equalised for the world champions butthis was an impressive performance by Nevilles side. While the visitors had opened the tournament with a come-from-behind defeat of Brazil, it was a second successive 2-2 draw for the hosts. Both coaches will probably admit that the …

Spandex snobbery smackdown: why the liberal elite snubs wrestling

The sport has drama, showmanship, and gender equality as the film Fighting With My Family proves. Yet, because its working class, its marginalised, writes director Stephen Merchant In 2014, after years of struggle, a working-class British woman, aged just 21, was awarded the highest honour her profession can bestow, live, in front of 20,000 people and a television audience of millions. The Guardian didnt report it. In the days following, there were no laudatory profiles, no in-depth interviews, no op-eds about her stratospheric success in a male-dominated world. Saraya-Jade Bevis, known professionally as Paige, is a World Wrestling Entertainment superstar. She began her career wrestling with her family in small venues across Norfolk, before climbing to the top of WWE, …

Farewell to Fulham for Claudio Ranieri, he will always have Leicester

Dilly-ding dilly-dong man unable to retrieve the magic from his well-travelled suitcase but Fulham should have known relegation battles are not the Italians forte Claudio Ranieri will always be remembered with affection in England his cost Slavisa Jokanovic his job, mostly defensive ones, stubbornly remained through his successors tenure. The Craven Cottage roster failed to yield a Jamie Vardy or a Riyad Mahrez capable of surprising even the most alert defences and allowing Fulham to find an effective way of playing. Leicester were a one-off, in other words. As everyone suspected, Ranieri was unable to bring the magic with him in his well-travelled suitcase, because he was unable to repeat the trick with them after the miracle season, even with …

Epaillard edges champion Maher to clinch Global Champions Tour opener in Doha

(CNN)Julien Epaillard edged out defending champion Ben Maher by a whisker to win the first leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour in Doha. “It’s crazy for me, today,” Epaillard said in a televised interview, after riding away with prize money of €123,750 ($140,733).

Chelsea defend themselves over Uefa charge of antisemitic chanting

Chelsea have sprung to the defence of their chairman, Bruce Buck, who had been critical of Uefas handling of its charge of alleged antisemitic chanting Chelsea have moved to clarify comments by their chairman, Bruce Buck, in which he suggested Uefas decision to charge the club over alleged antisemitic chanting during a Europa League group game against Vidi had been a waste of time. Uefa confirmed on Thursday that the charges would not be pursued, apparently because of a lack of evidence. That decision was reached despite Chelsea having released a statement immediately after the game in Budapest last December condemning those who had shamed the club and questioning the brainpower of anyone who had engaged in the chants, which …

Woman gets a college football scholarship to play defense on men’s team

(CNN)Toni Harris is an undersized defensive back with huge dreams. The free safety wants to be the first woman to play in the NFL. “I always try to push myself every single day and keep my faith in God to let me go as far as I want to go,” she said earlier this month before Toyota aired an advertisement about her during the Super Bowl. The ad focused on how people underestimate her as a player. “I’ve never been a big fan of assumptions,” Harris, who told CNN she is 5-foot-7 and 166 pounds, says in the spot. Harris was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was 18. “I had a tumor inside of my stomach,” she told CNN …