Mourinho says United lacked belief under Van Gaal

By Simon Evans
| MANCHESTER, England

MANCHESTER, England Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he inherited a good group of players from predecessor Louis van Gaal, but that they lacked the happiness and belief that they have since discovered.

United extended their unbeaten run to 24 games in Thursday's 0-0 derby draw against Manchester City, despite a lengthy injury list and the additional workload of a Europa League campaign that has taken them into the semi-finals.

FIFA ethics panel pursues corruption case against Derrick

ZURICH FIFA ethics watchdogs have opened formal proceedings against Caribbean soccer official Gordon Derrick in a corruption investigation, they said on Friday.

Investigators have recommended a ban of at least four years and a fine of at least 15,000 Swiss francs (11,799.19 pounds) against Derrick, who is president of the Caribbean Football Union and general secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association, the ethics panel said in a statement.

Vandoorne faces Russian GP grid penalty

By Alan Baldwin
| SOCHI, Russia

SOCHI, Russia Belgian rookie Stoffel Vandoorne is set to start Sunday's Russian Formula One Grand Prix from the back of the grid after his troubled McLaren suffered more engine problems in Friday practice.

Honda said the power unit had been changed, with the excessive use of various components translating into a 15-place penalty.

Leicester skipper Morgan doubtful for West Brom trip

Leicester City captain Wes Morgan remains doubtful for Saturday's Premier League trip to West Bromwich Albion, manager Craig Shakespeare said on Friday.

Morgan returned from a month-long spell on the sidelines with a back injury in the Champions League quarter-final second-leg against Atletico Madrid earlier this month but failed to complete 90 minutes due to a hamstring injury.

"It will be touch-and-go with Wes Morgan," Shakespeare told a news conference. "If he joins in today, it'll be a late shout for tomorrow."

Bournemouth plotting path to safety against Sunderland

Bournemouth have set their sights on securing Premier League survival by beating basement side Sunderland on Saturday, manager Eddie Howe said.

Bournemouth beat second-bottom Middlesbrough 4-0 last weekend to climb to 13th in the table, putting them within touching distance of safety on 38 points with four games left, but Howe said there was still work to be done.

"I won't accept we're safe until it's mathematically done," Howe told reporters on Friday. "We'd love to get over the 40-point barrier this weekend..."

London Marathon unveils new half-distance mass race for 2018

LONDON London Marathon organisers have announced plans for a mass participation half-marathon next year as part of a campaign to encourage the city's communities to interact.

A statement on Friday said leading athletes will run with amateurs in a mass participation event across closed roads in London on March 4.

A total of 7,500 places will be reserved for community groups from the four host boroughs in the race.

'Exciting' Spurs can still snatch title, says Edman

By Philip O'Connor
| STOCKHOLM

STOCKHOLM Tottenham's adventurous attacking play has made them the most exciting team in the Premier League, and they could still snatch the title from Chelsea, former Spurs defender Erik Edman said.

Four points behind leaders Chelsea with five games to go, Tottenham face North London rivals Arsenal at White Hart Lane on Sunday in a derby they must win to keep up pressure on the Blues.

Wenger says Arsenal, not Spurs, are north London's No.1

LONDON Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal will remain the major force in north London even if Tottenham Hotspur overturn decades of dominance to finish above the Gunners in the Premier League this season.

Arsenal have never ended below Tottenham in Wenger's 21 years at the club although the gap has been narrowing, and last season they only leapfrogged Spurs into second spot on the final day of the season.

Red-hot Highlanders rack up record win over Stormers

WELLINGTON The red-hot Otago Highlanders ran in nine tries in a record 57-14 thumping of South Africa's Stormers in Dunedin on Friday to secure their fifth straight Super Rugby victory.

Fijian winger Patrick Osborne scored two tries and created another for centre Rob Thompson as the home side crossed five times in a first half blitz to set up a win which bettered the 52-25 hammering they handed the Stormers in 1996.

Raikkonen puts Finns on top in first Russian practice

By Alan Baldwin
| SOCHI, Russia

SOCHI, Russia Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen set the pace in the first Russian Grand Prix practice on Friday with fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas close behind for Formula One champions Mercedes.

Raikkonen, who has not stood on the podium since last July and has scored half the points taken by team mate and championship leader Sebastian Vettel this season, lapped in one minute 36.074 seconds.

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