20-02-2019 Manchester City hail purchase of Chinese club as ‘exciting new chapter’

• Sichuan Jiuniu FC are the seventh club to be part of CFG• Ferran Soriano says China is an ‘extremely important market’Manchester City’s parent company has announced the joint-purchase of a seventh club, Sichuan Jiuniu FC, who play in China’s third tier.City Football Group (CFG) have bought the Chengdu side together with China Sports Capital and Ubtech. It is the next step in CFG’s involvement in China, having previously opened offices in Shanghai and Shenzhen. Continue reading...

20-02-2019 Jordan Henderson steps up to show the value of meat and potatoes | Barney Ronay

The Liverpool captain is often maligned but he outshone more expensive dishes such as Thiago and James in his side’s hard-fought 0-0 draw with Bayern MunichThey came to Anfield expecting fire and light and red-shirted vengeance. They came scenting one of those hair-raising nights when the air seems to throb with wild, skirling possibilities. They may, on reflection, have slightly misread the situation.In the buildup to this Champions League first leg against Bayern Munich Jürgen Klopp had promised “passion football”, presumably a sub-genre of the usual heavy metal style: speed-metal football, Lancashire pomp-rock. Continue reading...

20-02-2019 Man City buy stake in third-tier Chinese club Sichuan Jiuniu FC

Manchester City's owners buy a stake in Chinese third-tier club Sichuan Jiuniu FC - their seventh football club.

20-02-2019 Football transfer rumours: Stoke to offload Saido Berahino after arrest?

Today’s fluff is here, at leastTottenham Hotspur are planning to abandon their recent policy of not signing any new players by dipping into the market next summer. A spanking new defender is high on Mauricio Pochettino’s shopping list and the name of Real Betis’s Aïssa Mandi is being named in dispatches. A right-back who can fill in at centre-back if required, the 27-year-old Algerian international is also inching his way across Arsenal’s radar.According to reports in Spain, Unai Emery is also interested in signing Éver Banega from Sevilla. The reformed party boy is a firm favourite of Arsenal’s Spanish manager, who coached him at both Valencia and Sevilla, and more recently tried unsuccessfully to bring him to the Emirates in January. Contracted to Sevilla until 2020, the 30-year-old Argentinian midfielder is valued at about £17m. Continue reading...

20-02-2019 Matija Nastasic: ‘I told Pellegrini it was better for everyone if I left City’

The defender’s career in Manchester ended in frustration but he has flourished at Schalke and is confident his current side can upset his old one in their Champions League meetingIt is with matter-of-fact delivery, rather than obvious emotion or regret, that Matija Nastasic recounts the meeting that in effect brought about his departure from Manchester City. He had made a rapid impact after arriving from Fiorentina as a 19-year-old in 2012 but, two and a half years on, had fallen off Manuel Pellegrini’s radar with no obvious explanation bar some niggling injuries he had long since overcome.“I was thinking a lot: ‘What is the problem?’” he says. “After some time I spoke with Pellegrini and he explained I had to wait for my chance. In the end there were not so many opportunities to play. There was no issue between us but I couldn’t understand why it was like that and told him that I felt I could help the team more, that I should have more playing time at that moment and that, if it was not possible at City, then it would be better for everybody that I changed club.” Continue reading...

20-02-2019 Maurizio Sarri: Chelsea manager says winning is 'only solution'

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says winning matches is the "only solution" and describes criticism of his system as a "false problem".

20-02-2019 FA Cup: Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United highlights

Watch highlights as Manchester United cruise past Chelsea at Stamford Bridge to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals.

20-02-2019 Joe Marler has no regrets over England absence despite pull of Wales tussle

• Prop has had no call from Eddie Jones despite Vunipola injury• Marler happy out of England fray but Wales is ‘incredible’ gameJoe Marler has admitted he would love to be playing for England against Wales on Saturday but insists he has no regrets over his international retirement despite Mako Vunipola’s injury-enforced absence.England head to Cardiff light on experience at loosehead prop after Vunipola was ruled out for the rest of the Six Nations with an ankle injury, leaving Eddie Jones to choose between Ben Moon and Ellis Genge, who have five Test starts between them. Marler revealed Jones has not been in contact about coming out of retirement and, while he did not completely close the door on doing so in the future, he said adding to his 59 England caps was “highly unlikely”. He did concede that England versus Wales was his favourite fixture to play in because of the hostility of the Welsh supporters. Continue reading...

20-02-2019 West Indies v England: first ODI – live!

Updates from the first ODI in BarbadosYou can email Rob here with your thoughtsThe Spin: Questions facing England ahead of the World Cup 2.33pm GMT Jason Holder and Eoin Morgan agree that it looks like a cracking pitch for batting. Morgan says he is happy to chase. 1.51pm GMT Read all about it Related: Eoin Morgan expects West Indies to put England’s dominance to the test Related: In an age of endless cricket Sri Lanka just gave us a special moment | Andy Bull Related: Adil Rashid to play to his strengths against Chris Gayle and West Indies Continue reading...

20-02-2019 Paul Pogba drives Man Utd into FA Cup quarter-finals with 'magnificent' display

A "magnificent" performance from Paul Pogba, who made one and scored one, drives Man Utd to a 2-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in their FA Cup fifth round tie.

20-02-2019 Heather Knight column: 'We'd like to make history by winning in India'

Heather Knight is ready to lead England in India after a winter of Hurricanes, headbands and being Hartley's human shield in Hobart.