West Ham have sacked manager Manuel Pellegrini after a 2-1 home defeat by Leicester City – their ninth loss in the past 12 games. The Hammers’ latest defeat on Saturday leaves them 17th, one point above the Premier League relegation zone. “It is with great disappointment that we’ve had to make this decision,” said joint-chairman David Sullivan.
Former Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has rejoined AC Milan on a six-month deal, with the option for another season. The 38-year-old was a free agent after leaving LA Galaxy at the end of the Major League Soccer season. The Serie A side said Ibrahimovic “will be in Milan on 2 January, 2020 to take his medical” and join his team-mates. “I’m coming back to a club I hugely respect and to the city of Milan I love,” Ibrahimovic said.
Russia has appealed against the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) decision to ban it from all major sporting events for four years. The ban means Russia’s flag and anthem will not be allowed at events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics and football’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has sent a letter to WADA stating that it “disputes the ban in its entirety”. The case will now be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Lionel Messi scored his 50th goal of 2019 as Barcelona beat Alaves to end the year unbeaten at home. Luis Suarez assisted three goals and scored the other as Barcelona went three points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga. Antoine Griezmann scored the opener and then Arturo Vidal blasted in a second, before Pere Pons’ header for Alaves.
Roberto Firmino struck in extra time to hand Liverpool a first FIFA Club World Cup triumph as Jurgen Klopp’s side eventually ended the resistance of Brazilian champions Flamengo in Qatar. Firmino, who scored a dramatic injury-time winner against Monterrey to send Liverpool into the final, produced a composed finish in the 99th minute as the Reds became the second English side to win the tournament, after Manchester United in 2008.
Everton have appointed Carlo Ancelotti as their manager on a four-and-a-half-year contract. The Italian, who was sacked by Napoli earlier this month, succeeds Marco Silva, who was dismissed by the Goodison Park club on 6 December. Ancelotti, a three-time Champions League-winning coach, returns to English football eight and a half years after he was sacked by Chelsea.
Arsenal have appointed their former captain Mikel Arteta as head coach on a three-and-a-half-year deal. The 37-year-old won the FA Cup twice in a five-year career with the Gunners and succeeds fellow Spaniard Unai Emery, who was sacked in November. Arteta had been working as a coach under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, joining the club in 2016 after retiring as a player. “We need to be competing for the top trophies in the game,” Arteta said.
Arsenal are in talks with Manchester City over the availability of coach Mikel Arteta. It is not known whether Arteta, 37, has been offered the chance to succeed Unai Emery, who was sacked in November. Gunners chief executive Vinai Venkatesham was pictured outside the Spaniard’s home after both flew north following City’s 3-0 win at Emirates Stadium on Sunday. City boss Pep Guardiola says he would not stop Arteta if he decided to leave.
Mark van Bommel has been sacked as head coach of PSV Eindhoven after two wins in eight games in the Dutch Eridivise. PSV are fourth in the league, 10 points behind leaders Ajax, and lost 3-1 to Feyenoord on Sunday.
Saint-Etienne’s stadium has been closed until further notice after “massive use” of fireworks and flares in the stands during their 4-0 defeat at home by Paris St-Germain on Sunday. Kylian Mbappe’s 89th-minute goal was scored against a backdrop of fireworks and flares being let off by fans.
American Terence Crawford retained his WBO welterweight title with a ninth round knockout of Egidijus Kavaliauskas at Madison Square Garden. Crawford, 32, recovered from an apparent knockdown in round three to overwhelm the Lithuanian, dropping him in the seventh and twice more in the ninth, a right hook ending the fight. “When I let my hands go that’s when I started landing more favourable shots,” said Crawford after his 36th win.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has signed a new deal with the club that will run until 2024. Klopp, who joined the Reds in October 2015, signed a new six-year contract in July 2016 and that has now been extended further. Liverpool won the Champions League under the German last season and finished second in the Premier League. They lead the top flight this season and have an eight-point lead in pursuit of a first league title since 1990. “This club is in such a good place, I couldn’t contemplate leaving,” Klopp, 52, told Liverpool’s website.
Andy Ruiz Jr “brought disgrace to himself” and boxing by being in “no fit state” to fight in his loss to Anthony Joshua, said promoter Frank Warren. Ruiz Jr, 30, weighed 20st 3lb for the fight in Saudi Arabia, more than three stone heavier than Joshua, who gained a wide points win to regain the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles.
Dillian Whyte has been formally reinstated as the mandatory challenger for Deontay Wilder’s World Boxing Council world heavyweight title. It comes after Whyte, 31, had a doping violation charge dropped. In June, he had provided a sample that contained traces of a banned steroid, but UK Anti-Doping has withdrawn the charge as the levels were “very low”. Whyte could now fight the winner of Wilder versus Britain’s Tyson Fury.
Napoli have appointed Gennaro Gattuso as the Italian club’s new head coach following the dismissal of Carlo Ancelotti on Tuesday. Ancelotti was sacked just hours after taking Napoli into the Champions League last 16 with a 4-0 win over Genk.
Flights have been cancelled after a private plane came off the runway at Liverpool John Lennon Airport. The airport is expected to be closed until at least 17:00 GMT and an inquiry has been launched into what happened when the plane landed at about 06:00. Four people were on board the plane but no-one was hurt, a spokesman for the airport has confirmed.
Russia has been handed a four-year ban from all major sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). It means the Russia flag and anthem will not be allowed at events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and football’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar. But athletes who can prove they are untainted by the doping scandal will be able to compete under a neutral flag.