13 May 2021

Today's sports news: What you need to know

10:49 am on 13 May 2021

Latest - Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said his side's 1-0 defeat by Arsenal was their own fault and a "wake-up call" ahead of a huge end to the season.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.

Thomas Tuchel Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Tuchel's side would have all but sealed a Premier League top-four finish with a win, but instead are now looking over their shoulders after a poor performance.

"It was maybe too many changes from the last match and I take full responsibility for that. Maybe it's the last wake-up call for all of us."

With an FA Cup final on Saturday against Leicester City, Tuchel made a number of changes to his starting lineup.

It resulted in only a third defeat in 26 games in all competitions for Tuchel and left Chelsea in fourth spot in the Premier League with two games to play.

They are six points clear of West Ham United who have three matches left and seven ahead of Liverpool with four.


Breakers beaten by Phoenix

The New Zealand Breakers have been beaten 90-82 by South East Melbourne Phoenix in their Australian National Basketball League game.

Finn Delany of the Breakers.

Finn Delany Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Breakers star Finn Delany had a game-high 32 points and Rob Loe added 19 but the Phoenix had seven players score nine points or more then had import guard Keifer Sykes come up big in the final minutes to claim the win.

The Breakers did get within a point with three minutes to play, but the Phoenix were always able to respond.

Breakers coach Dan Shamir praised his players for their resilience after their pre-game preparation was ruined when the team was forced into isolation upon their return to Melbourne from Perth due to an administrative error.

Shamir wouldn't use it as an excuse and said his side showed toughness to still get so close to beating the Phoenix.

"A lot of teams I know of would not look like that. We are taking a lot of beatings but one thing is for sure, people are not turning against each other or quitting or not doing the work 100 per cent," Shamir said.

"We don't need anyone to feel sorry for us. Even in games like that, our job is to find a way to win and with a little bit more focus in a lot of points in the game we could have won this game.

"100 per cent hats off to the character everyone is showing and for doing the job right under tough circumstances."

The Breakers are second to bottom of the standings with a 9 and 19 record.


Softball World Champs pushed back further

Next year's World Men's Softball Championships in New Zealand has been moved from February to November to give more certainty to competing countries.

Black Sox batter Ben Enoka.


The tournament will now take place from 26 November to 4 December in Auckland, New Zealand.

Originally set to take place in February 2021, the tournament was previously delayed to 2022 as a result of Covid-19 pandemic safety precautions and international travel restrictions.

Softball New Zealand CEO Tony Giles says the new dates provide certainty in what has been a very difficult 12 months.

Auckland will host the top men's softball event for the second time in the tournament's 55-year history, after Rosedale Park was also the stage for the WBSC Men's Softball World Championship in 2013.

Serena beaten in Rome

Serena Williams, playing the 1,000th Tour-level match of her glittering career, suffered a shock loss to Argentina's Nadia Podoroska in the the Italian Open second round.

Wimbledon 2019  - Serena Williams


Playing her first competitive match in nearly three months, the 23-times Grand Slam champion twice came back from a break down but struggled on her first serve.

Defeat for Williams, who received an opening round bye in Rome, was a major blow to her preparations for the French Open, starting on May 30.

It was the American's 149th defeat in her 1,000 career WTA matches.

World number two Naomi Osaka also crashed out of the tournament, losing to American Jessica Pegula.

Osaka, a four-times Grand Slam winner, has often struggled on clay and her defeat in Rome followed a second-round loss at the Madrid Open this month.


Australian wins Giro stage

Australian Caleb Ewan sprinted to victory but one of the main GC favourites Mikel Landa's race is over after a crash-hit climax to stage five of the Giro d'Italia.

Lotto Soudal rider Ewan surged through to beat Italian Giacomo Nizzolo on the line alongside the Adriatic resort of Cattolica with Elia Viviani in third place.

Italian Alessandro De Marchi held on to the leader's pink jersey, having taken it yesterday.

But the day was overshadowed by late crashes involving Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) and Landa (Bahrain Victorious).

Russian Sivakov, Ineos's co-leader with Egan Bernal, fell heavily after clipping an over-hanging tree but finished the stage on a spare bike with a cut arm.

Much worse was to follow as Spaniard Landa went down in a crash also involving stage four winner Joe Dombrowski after a rider hit a race marshal signalling some road furniture some 4km from the finish.

New Zealand's george Bennett is 30th overall, 3 minutes down, while Patrick Bevin is 44th.

Tonight's stage is a 160km route to Ascoli Piceno including three categorised climbs.


McGregor top sports earner

Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor was the world's highest-paid athlete over the last year ahead of football players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, according to the annual Forbes list.

The real Conor McGregor.

The real Conor McGregor. Photo: Photosport

During the 12-month period ending May 1, 2021 McGregor earned $250 million, a figure which includes $220 million from endorsements and the recent sale of the majority stake of his whiskey brand, Forbes said.

Barcelona and Argentina forward Messi was second on the list and set a record as the highest-earning football player after bringing home $181 million while Portugal and Juventus forward Ronaldo earned $168 million to sit third among the top 10 highest-paid athletes.

NFL quarterback Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys and four-times NBA champion LeBron James rounded out the top five.

Forbes said its on-the-field earnings figures include all prize money, salaries and bonuses earned during the 12-month period while off-the-field earnings are an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees and licensing income.


UEFA starts investigation into Super League

UEFA has appointed disciplinary inspectors to conduct an investigation into Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus over their attempts to launch a breakaway Super League.

The clubs are the only three of the original 12 to have not distanced themselves from the project following an outpouring of criticism.

"UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary inspectors have today appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding a potential violation of UEFA's legal framework by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus in connection with the so-called 'Super League' project," UEFA said in a statement.

The Super League was launched with 12 clubs as founding members, but nine of them -- Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid -- have since backed out and reached a deal with UEFA.

The clubs who withdrew from the project signed a 'Club Commitment Declaration' with the governing body last week, which includes a series of "reintegration" steps.

UEFA had said last week that it would start disciplinary proceedings against Juventus, Real and Barca, the three clubs who remain involved with the Super League.