Arsenal’s streak checked
Arsenal’s recent resurgence in the Premier League was checked by Crystal Palace as they were held to a dull 0-0 draw on Thursday. Mikel Arteta’s side were bidding for a fourth successive league win, but could find no way through an obdurate Palace, who were the better side in the first half in which defender James Tomkins hit the bar and Christian Benteke went close
No Harden, no problem
The Houston Rockets put this week’s franchise-altering trade in the rear-view mirror on Thursday as they began their post-James Harden era with a gutsy comeback NBA win over the San Antonio Spurs. Journeyman Christian Wood scored a team-high 27 points and had 15 rebounds for the Rockets in a 109-105 win over the Spurs a day after Houston sent shockwaves through the NBA when they traded three-time league scoring champion Harden to the Brooklyn Nets as part of a mammoth multi-team deal. Sterling Brown delivered 23 points and Jae’Sean Tate had 13 points and 10 assists for short-handed Houston, who were coming off back-to-back blowout losses at home to the Los Angeles Lakers. Elsewhere, the Indiana Pacers won 111-87 over the Portland Trail Blazers, the Toronto Raptors held off the Charlotte Hornets 111-108, The Denver Nuggets beat the Golden State Warriors 114-104 and the Philadelphia 76ers rolled over the depleted Miami Heat 125-108.
Oilers’ McDavid dominates
Connor McDavid scored three goals and added an assist in a dominating performance to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two goals and an assist, Leon Draisaitl collected four assists and Mikko Koskinen made 38 saves for the Oilers. Elsewhere, the Capitals beat the Sabres 6-4, the Bruins downed the Devils 3-2, the Islanders blanked the Rangers 4-0, the Hurricanes kept a clean sheet against the Red Wings 3-0, the Blue Jackets lost to the Predators 1-3, the Flames went down to the Jets 3-4, the Sharks edged the Coyotes 4-3, the Ducks lost to the Golden Knights 2-5 and the Wild beat the Kings 4-3. The Stars-Panthers game was postponed.
‘Mini World Cup’ mooted
Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan said that the governing body was open to hosting a “mini World Cup” during the southern hemisphere winter to keep the international calendar going amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The calendars in Europe and South Africa looked “very sketchy” due to the pandemic, and Australia has proved that it is well-equipped to host sport in a safe environment, he said. France are scheduled to tour in July and Rugby Australia is planning to ask other nations if they would play in a tournament that could run in parallel with the Rugby Championship. “We are still expecting the Rugby Championship to go ahead this year, but perhaps we can add to it and create a ‘mini world cup,’” McLennan told the Financial Times. “We have the French in July, but if anyone else wants to come out, great. We have a significant British and Irish population here and South Africans. We are open to creating a new tournament and keeping the international calendar going.”
Olivier Giroud’s bicycle-kick on Tuesday broke Atletico Madrid’s resistance and earned Chelsea a crucial away goal, a 1-0 victory giving Thomas Tuchel’s side a slender advantage in the UEFA Champions League last 16. Giroud’s acrobatic strike was initially ruled out for offside, but stood after the video assistant referee showed that Mario Hermoso had the final touch, delivering a huge blow to Atletico’s hopes of reaching the quarter-finals. Diego Simeone’s side had put on a typically disciplined defensive performance until that point, but Giroud’s moment of genius means that they must score in London on March 17 if they are to avoid
Tiger Woods has had surgery for multiple fractures of his right leg after a car accident that a Los Angeles police officer said he was “very fortunate” to have survived. The golfer was “awake and responsive” after the operation to insert a rod into his tibia and stabilize his ankle with pins, his TGR foundation said on Tuesday night. Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Carlos Gonzalez, the first to respond after Woods’ car went off the road in a single-vehicle accident, said that the sports star was “calm and lucid,” despite being trapped inside his vehicle. Woods was removed from the crash by
‘INTIMIDATING’: Andy Murray said that players on the ATP Tour face a difficult challenge going from semi-finals to facing 17-time Grand Slam winners in a final Naomi Osaka’s Australian Open championship moved her up one spot to No. 2 in the WTA rankings on Monday, while men’s finalist Daniil Medvedev rose to a career-best No. 3 behind winner Novak Djokovic on the ATP list as Andy Murray said that the “young guns” on the men’s tour have not closed the gap on the “Big Three.” Jennifer Brady, the 25-year-old American who was the runner-up to Osaka, jumped 11 spots to No. 13, her first time inside the top 20. Aslan Karatsev’s historic run from qualifying to the final four before losing to nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic allowed
‘ESCAPE FROM JUSTICE’: A US gymnast who trained under Geddert for more than 10 years and was assaulted by Larry Nassar called his suicide ‘an admission of guilt’ A former US Olympics gymnastics coach with ties to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar on Thursday killed himself, hours after being charged with turning his Michigan gym into a hub of human trafficking by coercing girls to train and then abusing them. John Geddert faced 24 charges that could have carried years in prison had he been convicted. He was supposed to appear in an Eaton County court, near Lansing, Michigan, but his body was found at a rest area along Interstate 96, state police said. “This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved,” Michigan Attorney General Dana