At the latest – Manchester United ruthlessly returned to victory with a 9-0 home win over Southampton, which ended the game with nine men, to move on points with Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Both teams have 44 points despite United played two more games with City traveling to Burnley tomorrow.
Southampton, which was already weakened by injuries, was reduced to 10 men after 79 seconds and lost another four minutes and fell back to 12th place in the table.
Newcastle United returned to earth with a bump as Crystal Palace recovered from an early goal and scored a 2-1 win at St James’ Park.
Newcastle lost to 16th place, eight ahead of third from bottom, to Fulham, who played two games less, by winning the weekend at the soaring Everton, who suffered five league defeats in a row.
Palace are 13th.
Arsenal ended up with nine men after suffering a 2-1 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers, who ended an eight-game run without a win in the Premier League.
Arsenal dominated the first half but lost to David Luiz just before the break and the Wolves converted the subsequent penalty.
Goalkeeper Bernd Leno was put on the red card in the 72nd minute for handling the ball outside of his penalty area.
The Gunners stay 10th with wolves 13th.
On the downside, Sheffield United gave their hopes of survival a shot in the arm with a third win in five games after beating relegation candidates West Bromwich Albion 2-1 from behind.
The win brought Sheffield to 11 points from 22 games, 10 points away from the safety zone and one behind 19th West Brom.
Experienced crew named after Sail GP
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have named a squad with experience in the areas of Olympics, World Cup, Round the World and America’s Cup.
The couple added Team New Zealand America’s Cup teammates Andy Maloney, Josh Junior, Louis Sinclair and Marcus Hansen.
The team also includes the successful candidates for the New Zealand SailGP team’s female development program – Liv Mackay and Erica Dawson.
SailGP, which uses high-performance F50 foil catamarans, has been postponed for launch in Bermuda in April, followed by regattas in Italy, the UK, Denmark, France and Spain.
This is New Zealand’s first entry in the series.
Back problem for Rafa
Rafael Nadal retired with a back problem less than a week before Spain’s first ATP Cup match before competing for the men’s 21st Grand Slam record title.
The number two in the world was supposed to play against the Australian Alex de Minaur in Melbourne Park.
Nadal said he hoped to play for runner-up Spain 2020 against Greece on Thursday.
Novak Djokovic had previously given defending champions Serbia a successful start.
World number 1 Djokovic defeated Denis Shapovalov 7-5 7-5 when Serbia scored a 2-1 win over Canada in their first Group A game.
The defending champion of the Australian Open, Djokovic, has won all 10 singles and doubles games he played in the ATP Cup, which was added to the tennis calendar in 2020.
Munro won’t play PSL
New Zealand cricketer Colin Munro decided against the Pakistani T20 league later this month after struggling to find a quarantine spot in New Zealand after the tournament ended.
Munro was scheduled to travel straight to Pakistan after graduating from BBL, where he will be part of the Perth Scorchers cast. However, since he had to book a place in advance, the earliest he could have found a place was after the PSL was in mid-May.
Munro was scheduled to play for Islamabad United in the month-long Pakistan Super League.
Munro had 248 runs at 35.42 and a hit rate of 147.61 in the previous edition of the PSL.
He has so far scored 441 runs for the Scorchers playing in the Big Bash playoffs.
Mitchell extends contract with England
England rugby defense coach John Mitchell has signed a two and a half year contract extension that will keep him on the squad until the 2023 World Cup.
The New Zealander joined Eddie Jones’ coaching staff in 2018. The 2023 World Cup will take place in France.
“I’m very excited to sign this contract extension. I’m enjoying my time here in England very much and working with such a talented group of players, coaches and staff,” said Mitchell.
“It takes a long time to really build these relationships and I wanted to continue the work we are all doing to achieve exactly what we can do here with England.
“I also think it’s the right place for me to develop and challenge myself as a coach. I’m always learning and that will only help me improve the players and contribute more to this team.”
England begin their Six Nations title defense this weekend as they host Scotland at Twickenham Stadium.
Dragons confirm interest in Folau
Australian NRL team St. George Illawarra Dragons are asking the league for permission to sign controversial former Wallabies full-back Israel Folau.
Folau, who has a history of outrage over inflammatory social media posts, is signed to Catalans Dragons of France in the Super League but Ryan Webb, CEO of St. George Illawarra, is hoping to sign him for two years too can.
“We are definitely interested in and talking to Israel,” Ryan Webb, CEO of St. George Illawarra, told the NRL website.
“Now we are working with the NRL to address any concerns about registering a contract for them.”
Folau, a fundamentalist Christian, ended his wallabies and super rugby deals in 2019 after the 31-year-old posted a meme in which hell awaited “drunks, gays, adulterers” and other groups.
“We know there will be a range of opinions on this decision but we believe it will be a good addition to our club,” added Webb.
Folau is back in Australia after his wife, Maria, a former silver fern, gave birth to their first child.
Fed confirms return in court
Roger Federer is set to return to the tennis track after double knee surgery at an ATP 250 tournament in Qatar in March, having not played since the Australian Open last year.
The 39-year-old, who is linked to Rafa Nadal in 20 Grand Slam titles, has not played a competitive game since his loss to Novak Djokovic in the Melbourne Park semi-finals last January.
Federer’s agent Tony Godsick said in December that he wanted to create a game calendar for the Swiss from the end of February.
Federer hadn’t missed a trip to Melbourne Park since losing his qualification in 1999, but the prospect of playing five players in the Australian summer heat after a long injury and 14 days of quarantine forced him to skip the 2021 edition.
Federer has won the event in Doha three times in the past. The upcoming edition will take place from March 8th to 13th.
“I want to celebrate big victories again. And for that I am ready for the long, hard road,” said Federer the Swiss broadcaster SRF.
LeBron argues with fans, but wants them back
LeBron James says an argument between him and fans during the Los Angeles Lakers’ 107-99 win over the Atlanta Hawks was “disproportionate” and they didn’t deserve to be ejected.
Two women molested James after exchanging heated words with a man they were with and were thrown out.
There were approximately 1,300 fans at the Hawks’ State Farm Arena.
James said, “I’m glad the fans are back. I need this interaction. I don’t feel like they deserve to be kicked out.”
James explained what happened in the incident that led to the game being suspended in the fourth quarter: “There was a back and forth between two grown men, he said his play, I said my play.
“And then someone else jumped in and said their piece. But I don’t think they should be kicked out.”
The Olympic organizer says the games will continue
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said Japan will hold the Summer Olympics regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic situation and is working closely with the International Olympic Committee to make it happen.
“We will hold the Olympics no matter what the coronavirus (the situation) is,” Mori said, adding that the discussion should focus on how, and not whether, the Olympics will take place.
“We need to look at new ways of hosting the Olympics,” he said.
Mori added that Tokyo 2020 organizers and the IOC struggled while working together.
The 2020 games were postponed last year due to the worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus.
A recent surge in infections in Japan, which sparked a state of emergency in some areas, has sparked speculation over whether the rescheduled Games can take place this year.