Daily Briefing

Today’s back pages: Man City are the Real deal with ‘Bernablue’ win

A round-up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 27 February

Advantage City

“Bernablue” is the headline emblazoned on the back page of the Manchester Evening News, and the delight of the newspaper is shared by the national press after Manchester City’s superb 2-1 victory last night against 13-time European champions Real Madrid.

Metro describes it as a “mad night” for the Sky Blues, and claims that the win was a tonic for English football after Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham had all suffered defeat in their Champions League last-16 first legs.

With its “De-light” headline, the Daily Mirror pays tribute to the cool penalty of Kevin De Bruyne (who ended a club run of four consecutive misses from the spot), while the Daily Express and The Daily Telegraph have “Real deal” splashed across their back pages.

The Times could be accused of a touch of pomposity in its “That’s what Europe will be missing” headline.

Chief football writer Henry Winter says that in beating Real Madrid 2-1, City “stuck it to Uefa”, implying that the governing body is at fault for City’s two-year Champions League ban and not a club that breached football’s fair play rules.

i Sport’s headline catches the mood with more pith. “Not going quietly”, screams the paper, which acknowledges the guts of a City team that raided Real.

‘It’s not over yet’: delight for Man City but Pep warns of a Real fightback

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So long, Sharipova

The Daily Telegraph, Metro and The Guardian all carry the news that Maria Sharipova has called time on her tennis career. 

“Ave Maria” says the Guardian, above a picture of the Russian, who announced herself on the world stage by stunning Serena Williams to win Wimbledon as a raw 17-year-old in 2004.

Sharipova went on to win four more grand slam titles, but writing in the Guardian, Kevin Mitchell offers a harsh if honest assessment of her legacy. 

Mitchell writes: “The 32-year-old Russian, who won five grand slams and could freeze a room with her aloof grandeur, will be remembered as the ice queen of the sport, respected more than loved inside the game.”

Coronavirus chaos

Most of the papers carry the latest on how the spread of coronavirus could affect the sporting world after the announcement yesterday that Ireland’s Six Nations match with Italy has been postponed. 

The Guardian says that the decision has plunged the tournament into chaos and “there are also escalating doubts over England’s trip to Italy [on 14 March] amid concerns the tournament may not be completed for the first time in almost 50 years”.

The paper also says that the Formula 1 Australian, Bahrain and Vietnam grands prix may have to be cancelled while there are growing fears for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Today’s sport headlines

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