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The sports wrap 10th December 2018

LanguedocLiving, Dec 9

Liverpool win again to go top after Chelsea beat Man City 2-0.

Chelsea bounced back from their mid-week defeat at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers to beat Manchester City 2-0 at home and help send unbeaten Liverpool to the top of the English Premier League after their 4-0 defeat of AFC Bournemouth. At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea ended City's 21-game unbeaten league run stretching back to April, and a sequence of 14 unbeaten games away from home. The defending champions paid for a lack of ruthlessness as they dominated the first half, only to be struck by a smash-and-grab right on half-time as French international N'Golo Kante fired high past Ederson from Eden Hazard's pass. Chelsea improved after the break, securing the win with 12 minutes left when Brazilian David Luiz's glancing header bounced in off the far post. At Dean Court, Egyptian marksman Mohamed Salah scored a hat-trick to send Liverpool to the top of the table on 45 points one ahead of City. It was his second hat-trick for the club since arriving from Roma 18 months ago. In the 25th minute keeper Asmir Begovic carelessly pushed out the ball in his direction for his eighth top-flight goal of the season. His second was a composed finish after driving at the Bournemouth defence, before Steve Cook backheeled the ball into his own net while attempting a clearance to make it 3-0. Salah then completed his hat-trick after rounding Begovic, cutting back to beat the Bournemouth keeper for a second time and poking the ball past Nathan Ake on the line. Liverpool are now unbeaten in 17 league games. Tottenham Hotspur are in third spot on 36 points, two ahead of Chelsea, after despatching Leicester 2-0 with goals from Son Heung-min and Dele Alli. Their North London rivals Arsenal are fifth after scraping 1-0 home win over Huddersfield Town. In the Scottish Premiership, Celtic responded to talk of a title challenge by Kilmarnock by annihilating Steve Clarke's side 5-1 to return to the top of the table. The Ayrshire club led the division at kick-off but conceded four first-half goals as Celtic flexed their muscles. Steven Gerrard’s Rangers missed the chance of drawing level with their old rivals after being held to a 1-1 draw away to 10-man Dundee who moved off the bottom of the table. But the draw took them to second place above Kilmarnock.

Gilets jaunes protest fears prompt postponement of French Ligue 1 matches

The gilets jaunes protest movement decimated the weekend’s French Ligue 1 programme with five of the six top clubs postponing matches for fear of further demonstrations. Among the six casualties were the games between league leaders Paris Saint Germain and third-placed Montpellier and the Monaco v Nice derby. Second-placed Lille missed the chance to close the gap behind runaway leaders PSG with a surprise 1-1 draw at home against mid-table Reims.In the Spanish La Liga,.Lionel Messi scored two sublime free-kicks as Barcelona beat Espanyol 4-0 away from home to move three points clear at the top. Messi first found the top corner from the edge of the penalty area to put the visitors ahead. Ousmane Dembele doubled Barca's lead with a curling finish before Luis Suarez made it 3-0 from a tight angle. Another sensational Messi set-piece - this time from further out - completed the victory. Sevilla had missed the chance to leapfrog Ernesto Valverde's side earlier on Saturday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Valencia. Atletico Madrid are third after an easy 3-0 win over fourth-placed Alaves while neighbours Real Madrid moved to fourth after a 1-0 away win over Huesca. In the Italian Serie A, Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic's header earned Juventus a narrow 1-0 victory over Inter Milan to retain an eight-point lead at the top over second-placed Napoli who had an easy 4-0 home victory over struggling Frosinone. Mandzukic pounced to meet Joao Cancelo's second-half cross after third-place Inter missed a host of good chances. Before the break, Roberto Gagliardini hit the post with a scuffed shot, while Matteo Politano failed to punish Blaise Matuidi's error just after half-time. Juve have equalled the best ever start by a team after the first 15 games of a season in Europe's top five leagues. In the German Bundesliga, England’s teenage international Jadon Sancho scored the winner as Borussia Dortmund beat derby rivals Schalke 2-1 away from home to move nine points clear at the top. Thomas Delaney's header put the unbeaten league leaders ahead before Schalke levelled through Daniel Caligiuri's penalty. With 16 minutes to play, winger Sancho picked the ball up on the left, drove into the box and finished coolly for his sixth goal of the season. Defending champions Bayern Munich moved up to second with a 3-0 victory over Nuremberg in which Robert Lewandowski scored two goals for the 42nd time in Germany's top flight. In the Copa Libertadores final in Madrid, Juan Quintero's stunning extra-time strike helped River Plate come from a goal down to record a historic 2-1 victory over Boca Juniors in the second leg. Quintero scored in the 109th minute before team-mate Gonzalo Martinez confirmed a 3-1 victory on the night for River - and a 5-3 win on aggregate. Over 70,000 crammed the Bernabau for a match that was moved from Buenos Aires after its postponement in November, when Boca's team bus was attacked by River fans, causing injury to players and staff. 

Leinster beat Bath, Saracens beat Cardiff in Champions Cup

Ireland wing Jordan Larmour's interception try helped Champions Cup holders Leinster beat Bath 17-10 while English Premiership titleholders Saracens thumped Cardiff Blues 51-25 at home. However, after three matches in the cup campaign, Leinster sit two points behind Toulouse at the top of Pool 1 after the French side beat Wasps 24-16 to inflict further misery on their miserable cup campaign. Saracens made it three out of three and moved top of Pool 3. The Welsh side led 18-13 at half-time at Allianz Park thanks to tries from Blaine Scully and Matthew Morgan. But replacement back row Ben Earl crossed twice early in the second half to put the Sarries back in front. Two tries from Sean Maitland, and one each from Ben Spencer and Christian Judge sealed a comfortable victory. Racing 92 have also won all their games in Pool 4 and lead Ulster by five points after a 36-26 win over Leicester Tigers. In Pool 2, Munster thrashed Top 14 champions Castres 30-5 at home to go top ahead of Gloucester while in Pool 5 Edinburgh go top after a 31-13 home win over Newcastle Falcons. Former cup champions Toulon are bottom in this pool on points difference despite a 38-28 home win over third-placed Montpellier. A penalty try and Raphael Lakafia, Jean Monribot and Filipo Nakosi’s crossings were complemented by Anthony Belleau’s boot as the hosts ended their cup drought. Henry Immelman, Frans Steyn and Timoci Nagusa (2) hit back for Montpellier with Ruan Pienaar converting those tries.

Oosthuizen romps home by six strokes to win first SA Open title

Home favourite Louis Oosthuizen romped to a first-ever South African Open title after extending his overnight lead and finishing six shots clear after carding a final round 67 at the Randpark Golf Club on Sunday. Oosthuizen, with a tournament total of 266, comfortably saw off the challenging pack as he finished 18 under and ended almost three years without tournament success in securing a ninth European Tour title.England's Matt Wallace began the final round in joint second, three shots adrift of overnight leader Oosthuizen, but dropped away with a three-over 74. France's Romain Langasque finished second with England's Oliver Wilson a shot further back in joint third. Wilson finished in a tie for third on 10 under par, after carding 67 in the final round. Oosthuizen, who was forced to withdraw from August's PGA Championship just before his tee time because of a back problem, said: "I have been through injuries but my family and friends have been great."

O’Sullivan wins UK Championship and confirms status as the greatest

Legendary Ronnie O’Sullivan won his seventh UK Championship title at the Sheffield Crucible on Sunday night to confirm his status as the greatest snooker player of all time.The Englishman beat Mark Allen 10-6 in the final to defend his title to move to 19 World, UK and Masters trophies, surpassing Stephen Hendry’s record in Triple Crown events. The 43-year-old, who won his first UK title in 1993, got a great start in the afternoon session winning six frames to lead Northern Irishman Allen 7-2. He rallied to trail 9-6, but O'Sullivan closed out the match to collect the trophy and the 170,000 sterling top prize."I have to thank all of the people that have helped me get this far. “I owe it to the fans. I'm playing for them,” O’Sullivan told the BBC after his victory. "I don't set myself limits. I just want to compete. It's all about trying to enjoy it. What a fantastic sport I'm blessed to be able to play." 

England beat Ireland for chance to make hockey quarter-finals

England beat Ireland 4-2 to reach the crossover stage and eliminate their opponents from the World Cup in India. England finished second in Pool B and will play New Zealand for the chance to face Argentina in the quarter-finals. A draw would have sent Ireland through, and they twice came from behind to level at 2-2 in the third quarter. But James Gall restored England's lead and they held on in the final quarter before Mark Gleghorne scored a penalty corner with the last play of the game. Defending champions Australia finished top of England’s group winning all three matches, joining Argentina, hosts India and Germany as automatic qualifiers for the quarter-finals. The final is on Sunday, 16 December, with Australia bidding to become the first country to win three consecutive World Cup titles.

Kiwis seal first away series win over Pakistan in 49 years

New Zealand debutant Will Somerville took three key wickets to guide his side to their first away series win over Pakistan in 49 years. The off-spinner took three for 52 and was supported by Ajaz Patel and Tim Southee who both took three for 42 in a 123-run win in the third and final Test in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan, set a target of 280 in 79 overs, were all out for 156. It gave New Zealand a 2-1 series win after they won the first Test and Pakistan levelled the series. In Adelaide, spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and paceman Mohammed Shami combined to tear through Australia’s top order and bring India within six wickets of victory in the series-opening test on Sunday. Shaun Marsh was 31 not out and Travis Head on 11, the pair fighting a desperate rearguard action to nudge Australia to 104 for four at stumps on day four, still 219 runs short of their victory target of 323.

WBC sanctions a rematch between Wilder and Fury

The WBC has sanctioned a "direct rematch" between heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. Britain's Fury and American Wilder, both unbeaten, shared a controversial thrilling draw in Los Angeles on Saturday. Both fighters have said they want a rematch. The WBC said in a statement there was unanimous agreement to sanction a rematch in a meeting of the board of governors. "Wilder and Fury gave boxing one of the best fights in the heavyweight division in a long time, which has created tremendous popular demand for the fans to see a rematch," it said. Although Fury was knocked down in the ninth and 12th rounds, many observers thought the 30-year-old Briton should have won the bout, which was scored 115-111 for Wilder, 114-112 for Fury and 113-113.

For full reports on all the weekend sporting events go to:,,,,,

Calendar Keynotes: 10-16 December 

Monday, 10 December

Football: English Premier League – Everton v Watford.

Cricket: Australia v India, 1st Test, Adelaide (final day).

Hockey: Men’s Hockey World Cup crossovers – France v China, England v New Zealand winners go through to quarter-finals) 

Tuesday, 11 December

Football: European Champions League – Group A, Club Brugge v Atletico Madrid, Monaco v Borussia Dortmund, Group B, Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur, Inter Milan v PSV Eindhoven, Group C, Red Star Belgrade v Paris Saint Germain, Liverpool v Napoli. Group D, FC Schalke 04 v Lokomotiv Moscow, Galatsaray v FC Porto.

Hockey: Men’s Hockey World Cup crossovers – Belgium v Pakistan, Netherlands v Canada (winners go through to quarter-finals).

Swimming: FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), Hangzhou, China (till 16 December). 

Wednesday, 12 December

Football: European Champions League – Group E, Ajax v Bayern Munich, Benfica v AEK Athens, Group F, Manchester City v 1899 Hoffenheim, Shakhtar Donesk v Lyon, Group G, Real Madrid v CSKA Moscow, Viktoria Plzen v Roma, Group H, Valencia v Manchester United, Young Boys v Juventus.

Hockey: Men’s Hockey World Cup quarter-finals.

Swimming: FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), Hangzhou, China (till 16 December).

Thursday, 13 December

Football: Europa League (major clubs) – AEK Larnaka v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Sevilla v FC Krasnodar, Rennes v FC Astana, MOL Vidi Chelsea, Celtic v FC Red Bull Salzburg, RB Leipzig v Rosenborg, FC Copenhagen v Bordeaux, Slavia Prague v Zenit St Petersburg, Arsenal v FK Qarabag, Sporting Lisbon v Vorskla Poltava, Olympiakos v AC Milan, Rapid Vienna v Rangers, Villareal v Spartak Moscow, Lazio v Eintracht Frankfurt, Marseille v Apollon Limassol,

Golf: PGA European Tour, Alfred Dunhill Championship, Leopard Creek GC, Malelane, South Africa (till 16 December).

Hockey: Men’s Hockey World Cup quarter-finals.

Swimming: FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), Hangzhou, China (till 16 December). 

Friday, 14 December

Football: Scottish Premiership – Hearts v Livingston, French Ligue 1 – Nice v Saint-Etienne.

Rugby Union: European Champions Cup – Pool 2, Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs, Pool 4, Ulster v Scarlets.

Golf: PGA European Tour, Alfred Dunhill Championship, Leopard Creek GC, Malelane, South Africa (till 16 December).

Cricket: Australia v India, 2nd Test, Perth (until 18 December).

Swimming: FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), Hangzhou, China (till 16 December). 

Saturday, 15 December

Football: English Premier League – Manchester City v Everton, Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley, Scottish Premiership – Kilmarnock v Dundee, St Mirren v Aberdeen, French Ligue 1 – Dijon v Paris Saint Germain, Caen v Toulouse, Nantes v Montpellier, Spanish La Liga – Real Valladolid v Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid v Vallecano, Italian Serie A – Inter Milan v Udinese, Torino v Juventus, German Bundesliga – Hannover 96 v Bayern Munich, 1899 Hoffenheim v Borussia Monchengladbach, Borussia Dortmund v Werder Bremen.

Rugby Union: European Champions Cup – Pool1 , Toulouse v Wasps, Leinster v Bath, Pool 2, Castres v Munster, Pool 3, Glasgow Warriors v Lyon, Cardiff Blues v Saracens.

Golf: PGA European Tour, Alfred Dunhill Championship, Leopard Creek GC, Malelane, South Africa (till 16 December).

Cricket: Australia v India, 2nd Test, Perth (until 18 December).

Hockey: Men’s Hockey World Cup semi-finals.

Swimming: FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), Hangzhou, China (till 16 December).

Sunday, 16 December

Football: English Premier League – Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea, Southampton v Arsenal, Liverpool v Manchester United, Scottish Premiership – Hibernian v Celtic, Rangers v Hamilton Academical, French Ligue 1 – Lyon v Monaco, Nimes v Lille, Marseille v Bordeau, Spanish La Liga –,Sevilla v Girona, Levante v Barcelona, Italian Serie A – Cagliari v Napoli, Roma v Genoa, German Bundesliga – RB Leipzig v Mainz 05.

Rugby Union: European Champions Cup – Pool 4, Leicester Tigers v Racing 92, Pool 5 – Montpellier v Toulon, Newcastle Falcons v Edinburgh.

Golf: PGA European Tour, Alfred Dunhill Championship, Leopard Creek GC, Malelane, South Africa (final day).

Cricket: Australia v India, 2nd Test, Perth (until 18 December).

Hockey: Men’s Hockey World Cup bronze and gold medal finals.

Swimming: FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), Hangzhou, China (final day).




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