The Superclásico final that became too big and too bad for Buenos Aires

For the last five years, Copa90 have been making films about the biggest derbies in the world. Now for the biggestA film by Copa90, part of the Guardian Sport NetworkOn the ground at the Superclásico final in Buenos Aires ... and MadridThe two biggest football clubs in Argentina? The fiercest rivalry in South America? The best derby in the world? Every superlative was used to describe the first ever Superclásico final in the Copa Libertadores. As the eyes of the world turned towards Buenos Aires, our team of filmmakers set off to experience the “final to end all finals” first hand. Everyone expects controversy from this fixture, but no one could have predicted what happened between these two teams over two legs in two continents.First off, Boca’s home tie at La Bombonera. After a biblical rainstorm led to a 24-hour delay, the football gods finally gave the fans the moment they had been waiting for all their lives on Sunday 11 November. The first of the two ties ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw. The away goals rule was not in play, so the tie was perfectly poised before the second leg. Continue reading...



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...



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...



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...



London Irish to leave Madejski and share with Brentford at new stadium

• Brentford’s new west London ground will open in 2020• London Irish have played at Reading’s stadium for 18 yearsLondon Irish will play their home games at the new Brentford Community Stadium from 2020.The Championship leaders have reached an agreement with Brentford Football Club to play at the west London stadium, which is currently under construction and will have a capacity of 17,250. It is due to open in 2020. Continue reading...



Who is the greatest F1 driver ever?

After Lewis Hamilton won his fifth world title on Sunday, BBC Sport is asking you just who is the greatest F1 driver ever?



Jacob Stockdale: ‘We went after the All Blacks with confidence’

The Ireland wing on his memorable try against New Zealand, his World Cup ambitions and talking to prisoners at Northern Ireland’s highest security prisonJacob Stockdale might be the deadliest finisher in European rugby but he reflects on his remarkable year with a light touch. The Ulster wing was the player of the tournament while setting a Six Nations record by scoring seven tries as Ireland sealed the grand slam. Stockdale also made the difference with the only try of the game when Ireland beat New Zealand last month to complete a year in which they could claim to be the best side in the world.Stockdale has already told me about going into jail with his father, the chaplain at Maghaberry prison in Belfast, so he could talk to inmates who have been locked up after committing violent crimes. He has also confirmed his love for Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan and proved himself an assured 22-year-old who is different to many of his contemporaries. It is striking that, before we discuss his try against the All Blacks, Stockdale has a laugh about himself as he remembers missing the first time Ireland beat New Zealand – in a momentous match in Chicago in November 2016. 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...



Gareth Farrelly: ‘It was a toxic, bullying culture for young players at Aston Villa’

Midfielder turned lawyer claims coach Kevin MacDonald left a ‘dark shadow’ over players at Villa and says it drove him to suicidal thoughts“It was a culture of verbal and physical bullying, but there were no checks and balances; he operated with impunity … It was like a dark shadow came over.”Gareth Farrelly, now 43 and a qualified lawyer, with a Premier League and international career behind him, is recalling the bullying he says he endured as a young player at Aston Villa in the 1990s from the coach Kevin MacDonald. It was a “relentlessly negative” regime under him. Continue reading...



Mauricio Pochettino plays it cool but dance with United has already begun | David Hytner

The Tottenham manager has been in Manchester United’s sights before and has enhanced his CV since – will the stars align this time?Mauricio Pochettino has been here before – with Manchester United and Real Madrid – and it is tempting to suggest that he has now perfected the tap-dance.On one side of the fine line, the Tottenham manager talks up the respect he has for his employer; his happiness in north London; his focus on the job in hand; his professionalism. And on the other, there are a series of expansive shrugs. Who knows what the future might hold? It is known as showing a bit of ankle. Continue reading...



Manchester United risk 'writing off' two seasons by appointing interim boss - Darren Fletcher

Manchester United risk "writing off" the next two seasons by appointing an interim manager, says former midfielder Darren Fletcher.



The Dozen: the weekend's best Premier League photos

Our picture editors select their favourite images from around the grounds Continue reading...



'Solari the stopgap with bigger name to come' - what is going on at Real Madrid?

The relatively unknown Santiago Solari has been placed in charge of Real Madrid - but he is not likely to be in the role for long, writes Andy West.



Mauricio Pochettino does not need Manchester United job, says Unai Emery

• Arsenal manager praises Pochettino’s work at Spurs• Arsenal play Spurs in Carabao Cup quarter-finals on WednesdayUnai Emery has questioned whether Mauricio Pochettino would want to leave Tottenham to join Manchester United next summer.The Arsenal manager, whose team play Spurs in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night, is friends with Pochettino and claimed the Argentinian does not need to move. Continue reading...



The Breakdown | England’s dilemma: undermine Eddie Jones or risk scramble for a top coach

Looking for a successor could be a distraction in World Cup year but waiting could mean the talent is snaffled up and Wales and Ireland have already made their moveThe start of the World Cup is nine months away but countries are already thinking about their next coach. Wales are sorted, appointing Wayne Pivac in the summer knowing Warren Gatland would be off after his side’s final match in Japan, as are Ireland, with Andy Farrell to take over from Joe Schmidt.In New Zealand, Steve Hansen is due to announce this evening UK time as to whether he will seek a new contract after the World Cup. Rassie Erasmus has told South Africa he will not be carrying on after Japan, focusing on his director of rugby role instead. Australia’s Michael Cheika may not last that long after taking part in a performance review this month after the Wallabies’ worst year, in terms of results, for 60 years. A decision is expected before Christmas. Continue reading...



José Mourinho just the latest casualty in Ed Woodward’s failing regime | Daniel Taylor

Manager did not help himself but the man in charge, the owners and the players at Manchester United have to share the blameIf you ever needed to know what a mess Manchester United have made of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson, perhaps we can start with the tragicomedy that there are still 194 days before the six-year contract handed to David Moyes was supposed to lapse. Moyes lasted nine months and, in the process, seemed to age 10 years.Louis van Gaal gave Old Trafford two seasons of drift. And now José Mourinho is history, too – with his lip curled, his bank account swelled by a reputed £15m in severance pay and a very public decline in which he demonstrated that the higher a man climbs the more you see of his backside. Continue reading...