Sports

Today’s back pages: Shrewsbury and Cummings are FA Cup ‘kings for the day’ and Kobe Bryant’s death shocks sport


15 minutes of fame

Twenty-four hours ago few people outside of Shrewsbury had heard of Jason Cummings, a Scottish striker who arrived from Nottingham Forest after loan spells at Peterborough United and Luton Town. 

But the 24-year-old is the toast of Fleet Street this morning after coming off the bench to score twice and salvage a share of the spoils for Shrewsbury Town in their FA Cup fourth-round tie against Liverpool. 

The League One side fought back from 2-0 down and managed to do what only Manchester United have done in the Premier League this season – deny Liverpool victory. 

“Crowning Glory” is the headline in the Daily Mail, above a photo of Cummings wearing an inflatable crown, while The Times’s football supplement, the game, says the Shrews were “kings for the day”.

The Daily Star reports that despite the result, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will field a second-string XI in next week’s replay at Anfield.

Because of the Premier League winter break, Klopp confirmed to BBC Sport that the club’s youth players will take part in the replay on 4 February and reserve coach Neil Critchley will be in the dugout.

Klopp said: “The Premier League asked us to respect the winter break. That’s what we do. If the FA doesn’t respect that, then we cannot change it. We will not be there. 

“We have to respect the players’ welfare. They need a rest. They need a mental rest, a physical rest, and that’s what the winter break is all about.”

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Knock on Wood

The exploits of England paceman Mark Wood make the back pages of a number of papers, including the Daily Express and The Guardian. 

The Durham quick bowler picked up five wickets as the South Africans were dismissed for 183 in their first innings of the fourth Test. Wood will have a vital role to play today as England seek to seal the series with victory in Johannesburg. 

The hosts have been set 466 to win after England compiled a quickfire 248 all out in their second innings with captain Joe Root top-scoring with 58 on a pitch that is showing signs of inconsistent bounce.

Middle Eastern Magpies

The Times reports on its back page that Newcastle United may become a Saudi Arabian holding within the next 48 hours as owner Mike Ashley decides whether to accept a £340m offer for the club from the Middle East country’s sovereign wealth fund. 

The story was first broken on Saturday by The Wall Street Journal in which the paper claimed that Ashley had asked for two days to weigh up his options. 

According to the Times, “a deal fronted by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has control of a Public Investment Fund that boasts assets of about £300bn, could go through this week”. 

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RIP Kobe

The death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant features on many front and back pages today. 

The 41-year-old and his daughter Gianna Maria Onore, 13, were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash near Calabasas in California. 

Bryant played in the NBA for 20 years and spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He won five NBA championships and was also a two-time gold medallist with Team USA at the Olympic Games.

Kobe Bryant tributes: world of sport mourns death of an NBA icon

Today’s newspaper back pages

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