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Sport in Brief - March 3, 2021

FOOTBALL: Mikel Arteta insists he is fully focused on doing “much better” at Arsenal after he was linked with the Barcelona job earlier this week.

There has been speculation that Joan Laporta, running for another stint as Barcelona’s president, was eyeing a move for Gunners boss Arteta if he won the race.

“Obviously I was raised there as a player and there are always going to be links,” Arteta admitted. “But I am fully focused to the job that I have to do here, [for] which we have a lot to do, and I am really enjoying it.”

RACING: Trainer Gordon Elliott has lost his yard sponsor — the latest backlash to an image of him sat on a dead horse which was posted on Twitter last weekend.

Ecomm Merchant Solutions, the firm of prominent owners Noel and Valerie Moran, terminated its contract on Tuesday night over “recent events.”

Owners Cheveley Park Stud have moved their horses – including the unbeaten Envoi Allen, favourite to win again at this month’s Cheltenham Festival – away from Elliott, who is also currently banned from running any of his horses in Britain.

RUGBY UNION: England lock Courtney Lawes could be out of rugby for 12 weeks after suffering a pectoral injury.

The Northampton forward, who has won 87 caps, was hurt during England training last week.

His Saints teammate David Ribbans was called into England’s Guinness Six Nations squad today to bolster second-row resources ahead of their remaining games against France and Ireland.

FOOTBALL: Burton and Sunderland have been fined a total of £6,000 after an ugly melee during their League One clash at the Pirelli Stadium last month.

The Brewers have been ordered to pay £3,500 and the Black Cats £2,500 after both admitted to FA charges of failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.

Players from the two sides clashed after Sunderland striker Aiden O’Brien was bundled over the advertising hoardings by Burton’s Josh Earl, who received a second yellow card of the game as a result.

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