Daily Briefing

Today’s back pages: Llor out! Adrian agony as Atletico stun Liverpool and football’s crisis plan is revealed

A round-up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 12 March

Reds crash out of Europe

Holders Liverpool are out of the Uefa Champions League and their dramatic 3-2 defeat at home to Atletico Madrid dominates the back pages. 

None of the headlines will make easy reading for Reds keeper Adrian who would be best advised to stay under the duvet this morning. 

“Choker” is how the Daily Mirror describes the 4-2 aggregate loss, above a photo of a distraught Adrian after what the paper calls a “another howler”. 

The Daily Telegraph has a picture of the gloveman on one knee alongside the headline “Adrian agony”.

The paper explains how his sloppy clearance seven minutes into extra-time gifted the tie to Atletico, allowing Marcos Llorente to score a priceless away goal after Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino had put the Reds in control.

The Daily Star emblazons its back page with “Llor out”, describing Adrian’s blunder but also highlighting the clinical finishing of Llorente, who scored a second in extra-time as Liverpool’s morale collapsed in the closing stages.

Former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata completed Atletico’s triumph with a third goal in the final minute of extra-time. 

In last night’s other Champions League last-16 second leg match Paris Saint-Germain beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 on the night to qualify 3-2 on aggregate. 

Klopp backs Adrian: ‘We will not blame him for a second’

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Three Lions roar on... for now

The other story that features on most of the back pages is the news that England’s friendlies later this month against Italy (27 March) and Denmark (31 March) will go ahead - for now at least. 

The defiant message is a rare beacon of hope on the continent as more and more countries cancel sporting events because of coronavirus

Gareth Southgate will name his England squad next week and the Daily Mirror says that “plans still in place for the games even though players have been expecting them to be called off”. 

The FA tweeted to fans that: “At present, and in line with current government advice, nothing has changed regarding the status of our games against Italy and Denmark later this month. We will be sure to inform fans should there be an update.”

Coronavirus impact on sport events: what’s postponed, cancelled or being played behind closed doors?

Football’s crisis plan

Italy has been worst hit by the virus - and a story that came too late for the print newspapers is that Juventus and Italy centre-back Daniele Rugani has tested positive - and it’s already been announced that their friendly with Germany on 31 March will be behind closed doors.

The Guardian believes that the European Championships are now “at risk”, despite bullish messages from Uefa that the tournament will go ahead.

The Times reports that the FA may have been a little premature in their message with the paper reporting that “all football matches in England will be played behind closed doors under government plans to combat coronavirus that could be triggered as early as today”. 

The paper says that the government’s Cobra committee will meet today and among measures to be introduced are:

  • The season will not be postponed but matches in the Premier League and lower divisions will be played behind closed doors 
  • No games will be shown in pubs to avoid congregation of people 
  • Premier League games will not be shown live in the 3pm slot on Saturday afternoons
  • Broadcasters will be authorised to show more than one Premier League game during the lunchtime and tea-time television slots on Saturday, and the scheduled slots on Sundays and Mondays

Today’s sport headlines

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