Daily Briefing

Sport shorts: ‘racism won’ says Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger and Liverpool aim to ‘put things right’ after Atletico defeat

Ten things from the world of sport on Monday 24 February

1. Rudiger: racism won 

Many of today’s newspapers carry the comments of Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger after learning that no one was punished for allegedly racially abusing him at Tottenham in December. 

The Guardian reports that the Metropolitan Police investigated Rudiger’s claims but found “no evidence to support his complaint”.

The paper adds that some Tottenham fans have accused the German of lying and booed him when the two sides met at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, a match that the Blues won 2-1. 

“It’s sad,” Rudiger said of the jeers. “I don’t know why they would. Maybe it’s because I voiced about the racism. If you boo me because of that then you are poor people. I am sorry. This is a sign that we have a very big problem… for me, in this case, racism won.”

2. No panic for England after T20 loss

Despite losing their opening ICC Women’s T20 World Cup match against South Africa, England captain Heather Knight says the team must not panic. 

Speaking after the six-wicket defeat, Knight told BBC Test Match Special: “We’ve got to park it and move on quickly. 

“It’s not panic stations - far from it. It could easily have gone the other way and we know that we’ve got a lot more to give. There are a lot of teams that can win this World Cup. Every team has match-winners.”

3. Lionesses to open Euro 2021 at Old Trafford

With 500 days to go until the 2021 Women’s European Championship it’s been announced that host nation England will play in the opening match of the tournament at Old Trafford, home of Manchester United. 

Lionesses and Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs said: “It’s incredible. The whole tournament is exciting for us. Every time we play at a big stadium, or at Wembley, it’s another amazing time for the women’s game and for us as players to look forward to.”

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4. Reed wins WGC-Mexico Championship

Patrick Reed often courts controversy for his on-course antics but the American golfer proved his talent yesterday by winning the WGC-Mexico Championship. 

After his three late birdies secured a one-shot victory in Mexico, the 29-year-old said: “I feel like I’ve been playing some really solid golf and just haven’t quite gotten over that hump to get the W, with losing in a play-off in Hawaii and then feeling like I played some solid golf at Torrey Pines. 

“But then coming into this week, I knew we were in a good pattern and I knew all I needed to do was continue to try to improve on my golf game, but at the same time just block out all the noise, no matter what it was.”

5. Mary Ann, 86, sinks 94-foot putt to win car

It’s not just Patrick Reed whose putter was red-hot at the weekend. University of Mississippi basketball fan Mary Ann Wakefield, 86, won a car after sinking a 94-foot putt during the Ole Miss Rebels vs. Crimson Tide match on Saturday.

6. Reds aim to bounce back 

Liverpool will look to restore their 22-point lead at the top of the Premier League when they face West Ham United at Anfield tonight (8pm, live on Sky Sports). 

The Reds are unbeaten in the league this season with 25 wins and one draw from their 26 matches, but last week they lost 1-0 at Atletico Madrid in the Uefa Champions League. 

Boss Jurgen Klopp has urged his team to “put things right” after the defeat in Spain. On the loss he said: “It’s really from sunshine to hardest rain - and that’s how it should be. If you really want to be successful and if you could be successful - what we could have been in that game - then it has to feel really bad and that’s how it felt. 

“So yes, we want to put things right, even when it’s a different competition.”

Should Liverpool beat the Hammers they would match Manchester City’s record of 18 consecutive Premier League wins set between August and December 2017. 

7. Mind-blowing Martial 

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised striker Anthony Martial for his role in the team’s 3-0 win over Watford yesterday. 

French frontman Martial produced a delightful chip to score the second of United’s three goals. The victory moves the Red Devils into fifth spot in the Premier League. 

Martial has now scored in his last three games and Solskjaer said of him: “He’s had a great week. Today the mind-blowing skills. I want more from him and I’ll keep at him.”

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8. Ocon expects lap records to be broken

After finishing fourth on the timesheets at Formula 1’s opening pre-season test in Barcelona Renault’s Esteban Ocon predicted that lap records will be broken in 2020.

The Frenchman said: “I have never gone that fast in some corners before. It feels good. It is definitely exciting because we are going to go faster and faster. We’re probably going to break all the records this year of lap times.”

Pre-season continues this week with three more days of testing starting on Wednesday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain. 

F1 pre-season testing: Bottas’s flying lap and Ferrari are not as optimistic

9. France still on course for grand slam 

France made it three wins out of three in the Six Nations rugby championship following a superb 27-23 victory in Cardiff against Wales on Saturday. 

Les Bleus are now the only nation in with a chance of winning the grand slam after Ireland suffered their first defeat of this year’s tournament, losing 24-12 to England at Twickenham. Scotland picked up their first win with a 17-0 victory in Rome against Italy.

Six Nations round four fixtures 
  • Saturday 7 March: Ireland vs. Italy (2.15pm GMT; live on ITV); England vs. Wales (4.45pm GMT; live on ITV and S4C)  
  • Sunday 8 March: Scotland vs. France (3pm GMT; live on BBC)

10. Back pages: Fury vs. AJ?

Tyson Fury dominates the front and back pages of today’s newspapers after his stunning victory against Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas at the weekend.

It’s reported that Wilder has 30 days to activate a rematch clause for a third fight against the new WBC champion, but British boxing fans are keen to see Fury and Anthony Joshua step into the ring for a unification bout.

The Sun says “belt up - we’re in for a wild ride” while the Daily Mirror urges the heavyweight stars and their promoters to “get it on”.

America takes it on the chin as ‘those darn Brits’ dominate heavyweight division 

Today’s back pages

Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua - it’s time to ‘get it on’

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