Aston Villa beat West Brom on penalties to reach Championship play-off final

Aston Villa lost 1-0 to West Brom at the Hawthorns but progressed to the Championship play-off final 4-3 on penalties after the semi-final finished 2-2 on aggregate Aston Villa have a shot at redemption. Twelve months on from their play-off final triumphing on penalties. Tammy Abraham converted the winning kick, after Jed Steer had saved two penalties at the start of the shootout, to spark wild celebrations among the Villa supporters. The visitors made hard work of it, failing to break down an Albion side who were forced to play for 40 minutes with 10 men, including all of extra time, after Chris Brunt was sent off for two bookable offences. Both fouls were committed on John McGinn the pair …

I thought the main issue in women’s sports was equal pay. I was wrong

We are told female athletes are paid less than men because they generate less money. But that will always be the case if womens sports arent marketed properly In womens sports we talk a lot about equal pay. The focus of the conversation is usually on how women make less than men, the unfairness of the disparity despite the equal amount of work they put in, and how female athletes often have to work full-time jobs on top of being full-time athletes. The US womens soccer team has brought the conversation to the forefront over the last three years. After they won the World Cup in 2015, it was revealed that the US womens team and in turn received a …

Lucas Moura: from So Paulo prodigy and PSG outcast to Tottenham hero | David Hytner

The Brazilian took time to settle at Spurs and may not have faced Ajax but for injuries yet his hat-trick showed his talent Lucas Moura put the earphones in and looked down at the iPad screen, the peak of his dark NYC cap obscuring his eyes. It was late on Wednesday night and the Tottenham forward, whose sensational second-half hat-trick had set up a final against Liverpool on 1 June the first time that the club have reached the showpiece. The commentary built to its classically Brazilian climax and when the man behind the microphone boomed out Mouras name, the man himself lifted his head and chuckled. Photograph: Sergio Perez/X00213 Was this helpful? Thank you for your feedback. The affection …

It really is Lionels world now: Messi has remade football in his own image | Barney Ronay

From Under-9s in parks to Pep Guardiolas champions no one person has had such a vast impact on a major sports footprint as Barcelonas superstar Lionel Messi There was some consolation this week for anyone feeling a little maxed-out by the relentless individual brilliance of Lionel Messi. We have at least found something he isnt good at on a football pitch. It turns out Messi isnt very good at punching Fabinho in the head. Frankly, more of the same from Messi against Liverpool. Unclosing like a hand, he gives forever. I make no apology for writing about him again here. Firstly, because Messis talent is endlessly divisible. You never get to the bottom of it. It is always surprising. And …

Klopp took a risk with his tactics at Barcelona and Messi made him pay | Jonathan Wilson

Attacking Barcelona is not wrong given it can unsettle them but it leaves teams exposed and Liverpool found that can be fatal Contemplating his sides Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City last season, Jrgen Klopp said that to sit back and look to absorb pressure against such a side was in effect to try to win the lottery. Against the very best, he believes there is no point at least for a team of Liverpools ability in curling up like a hedgehog and hoping the threat somehow goes away. He vowed to attack, and did, and his reward was three goals in an extraordinary 20-minute spell that on Wednesday, there was some concession to the fact they were playing Barcelona. …