Daily Briefing

Sport shorts: 35 goals in 35 games for 35-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo and Fallon Sherrock draws on Premier League Darts debut

Ten things from the world of sport on Friday 14 February

1. 35 in 35 for 35-year-old Ronaldo 

Cristiano Ronaldo held his nerve to salvage Juventus a 1-1 draw in the Coppa Italia semi-final first leg against AC Milan last night. 

Ante Rebic volleyed home to give Milan the lead after 61 minutes at the San Siro, but Juve were awarded a stoppage-time penalty which Ronaldo stepped up to score. 

The Portugal captain, who recently turned 35, has now scored 35 goals in his past 35 games for club and country, the BBC reports. He is also currently on a club-record ten-match scoring streak in Serie A. 

This season he has netted 24 times for Juve in all competitions and in 2020 alone has played in eight matches and scored 12 times. 

Ronaldo will hope to continue his run of form when Italian champions Juve host Brescia in Serie A on Sunday in Turin (2pm GMT).

Messi vs. Ronaldo: all-time career records, goals and assists

2. Pogba would return ‘home’ to Juve

Could Paul Pogba join Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus next season? The Manchester United midfielder’s agent Mino Raiola says the Frenchman would be open to a return to Turin.

Quoted by ESPN, Raiola said: “Italy is like home for Paul. He would not mind going back to Juve but we will see what will happen after the Euros. Paul wants to play at the best level but he can’t escape by Manchester United if they are in a difficult situation.”

3. Welcome back EPL

Premier League clubs and players may have been enjoying the winter break, but that all ends tonight when Wolves host Leicester City at Molineux. Tomorrow sees the return to action of leaders Liverpool, who travel to Norwich.

Victory for Leicester tonight would see them leapfrog Manchester City into second place while a win for Wolves would lift them from ninth to sixth, overtaking Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham.

Premier League returns: goodbye winter break, hello football

Premier League fixtures 
  • Tonight: Wolves vs. Leicester City (8pm, live on BT Sport 1) 
  • Tomorrow: Southampton vs. Burnley (12.30pm, live on BT Sport 1); Norwich City vs. Liverpool (5.30pm, live on Sky Sports)  
  • Sunday: Aston Villa vs. Tottenham Hotspur (2pm, live on Sky Sports); Arsenal vs. Newcastle United (4.30pm, live on Sky Sports)  
  • Monday: Chelsea vs. Manchester United (8pm, live on Sky Sports)

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

4. Mercedes unveil the W11 

Formula 1 world champions Mercedes have unveiled their 2020 challenger, the W11. The new car’s livery was revealed online ahead of drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas testing the W11 at Silverstone. 

Six-time title winner Hamilton told Sky Sports: “It’s always a new piece of art - the guys have worked on this for so long. It’s an evolution of last year’s car but there’s all these small details that perhaps you won’t get to see which are beneath the hood, you might say, and I’m one of two that gets to go and experience it.”

5. Alfa Romeo feel the love

Sky Sports adds that Alfa Romeo Racing are also “feeling the love” on Valentine’s Day after showing glimpses of their 2020 F1 car, the C39, in a special snakeskin-style test livery. The C39 also featured a heart displaying the Alfa Romeo logo.  

The team will officially unveil their car on the first day of pre-season testing next Wednesday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.

6. Sherrock draws on Premier League debut

Two months after becoming the first woman darts player to win a match at the PDC World Championship, Fallon Sherrock had to settle for a draw on her Premier League debut last night. 

In her match against Glen Durrant in Nottingham, Sherrock narrowly missed out on the victory after her opponent won the last leg to secure a 6-6 draw. 

The 25-year-old said: “I’ve loved every minute. I’m so happy to have played again on the big stage. I’m speechless and I’d like to thank everyone here supporting me. Opportunities are opening up for me all the time and I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2020 holds for me.”

7. Fury: I need to knock Wilder out

Tyson Fury says if he is to beat Deontay Wilder in next week’s WBC heavyweight title rematch he will need to knock out the American champion. 

The duo’s previous encounter ended in a split-decision draw in December 2018 and British boxer Fury said: “To guarantee a win, I need a knockout. I don’t want another controversial decision - I want a defining win.”

Wilder vs. Fury II: preview, fight guide and predictions

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8. Andy Farrell: it’s not weird facing Owen

The third round of the Six Nations rugby championship will see Ireland head coach Andy Farrell go up against his son Owen, the captain of England. 

Speaking ahead of the Twickenham clash on 23 February, Farrell senior said it isn’t “weird” for the family.

He told The Daily Telegraph: “I know it’s weird for you guys [in the media] but it’s certainly not weird for us because it’s never been any different. It’s as professional as it gets because that’s all we’ve ever known with Owen being a professional and me being a professional coach. It’s never been any different.”

Six Nations round three fixtures 
  • Saturday 22 February: Italy vs. Scotland (2.15pm GMT; ITV); Wales vs. France (4.45pm GMT; BBC and S4C)  
  • Sunday 23 February: England vs. Ireland (3pm GMT; ITV)

9. Itoje denies any wrongdoing 

The Times reports that on the day Saracens’s main sponsor, Allianz, announced it was ending its eight-year association with the club, star name Majo Itoje denied all knowledge of any wrongdoing. 

England’s dominant rugby union club of the last decade have been relegated from the Premiership for breaching salary cap rules, but Itoje says he’s not to blame in any way. 

The England ace said: “When I entered into [the co-investments], they were all, to my knowledge, above board. There wasn’t even the slightest thought of it being not allowed by the salary-cap manager.”

10. Back pages: could Pep be sacked by City?

The lead story for most of the tabloids is Pep Guardiola’s fear that he could be fired if Manchester City fail to beat Real Madrid in the Uefa Champions League. 

Under the headline “Tough Love” (a tenuous reference to Valentine’s Day), the Daily Mirror says that the City head coach is under no illusions as to the importance of the Champions League last-16 clash with the Spanish giants. 

Similarly Metro says that should City fail to make it to the quarter-finals, Guardiola’s position will be under scrutiny given their poor form in the Premier League this season.

Today’s back pages

Pep Guardiola fears the sack if Man City lose to Real Madrid

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