Back pages: Joy for red hot Man United, Scotland stun France
A round-up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 9 March
Manchester United’s 2-0 win against Man City in their derby encounter dominates the tabloids. “Bundle of Joy” is Metro’s headline, above a photograph of celebrating United players, while the Daily Mirror goes for “Red Hot”. The paper claims that United’s win, which moves them into fifth in the table, just three points shy of fourth place Chelsea, is further evidence that the Red Devils are rediscovering their mojo under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Daily Express focuses on the losing manager under the headline “Eds will roll”. That’s an oblique reference to City keeper Ederson, at fault for both the United goals, but the Express says that the Brazilian keeper isn’t the only player who “fears a backlash” from manager Pep Guardiola, after a defeat that means Liverpool are now just two wins away from clinching the title for the first time in 30 years.
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France felled by Scots
Scotland’s dramatic 28-17 victory over France at Murrayfield makes most of the back pages with the result meaning that four teams are still in with a shout of winning the Six Nations tournament. England, who beat Wales 33-30 on Saturday, top the table but their final match in Rome next week has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy. So they’ll have to sit and watch what happens when Scotland play Wales and France host Ireland, although that match might also fall victim to coronavirus as cases continue to rise in France. Ireland didn’t play at the weekend because their game with Italy was shelved and they, along with Scotland, are also in contention for a title that is unlikely to be decided before the autumn.
The French were expected to maintain their unbeaten campaign in Edinburgh but against a fired-up Scotland side they lost their shape and their discipline - none more so than prop Mohamed Haouas who was sent off four minutes before the break for landing a right hook on the head of Scotland flanker Jamie Ritchie. The i paper has a photo of the punch on its backpage under the headline “knockout Blow”, while the Daily Express captions the same photo with “Sucker Punch”.
The Guardian’s headline is “Le Punch” and the paper says France’s hopes of winning their first Grand Slam since 2010 are in “tatters” on account of Haouas’s moment of madness.
Keeping up with Jones
The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Express find space on their back pages to report that England coach Eddie Jones is ready to sit down with the RFU and thrash out a new contract. The Telegraph says that Jones, whose existing contract expires next year, “is keen to resolve his own future” when he meets Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney. “I think we’ve got dinner organised in a couple of weeks so we may be able to chat about it,” Jones is quoted as saying. The Express claims that the Australian “wants to go through to the 2023 World Cup”, which would see him overtake Sir Clive Woodward to become the longest-serving coach in England history.