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The sports wrap 12th November 2018

LanguedocLiving, Nov 11

Man City stay top of Premier League after beating arch rivals United. 

Defending champions Manchester City stayed two points clear at the top of the English Premier League on Sunday with a dominant 3-1 home win in the derby against Manchester United. Liverpool, having beaten bottom club Fulham 2-0 at Anfield, will go into the international break in second place after receiving a favour from neighbours Everton, who held Chelsea to a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge. Meanwhile Arsenal had to come from behind to extend their unbeaten run to 16 games in all competitions with a 1-1 draw at home to promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers. Man City moved on to 32 points from 12 games, while Liverpool have 30 and Chelsea 28, with all three teams retaining their season’s unbeaten record in the league. Tottenham Hotspur are fourth on 27 points after beating Crystal Palace 1-0 on Saturday with North London rivals Arsenal three points behind in fifth spot. City were on top from the start against a United team missing the injured Paul Pogba. David Silva scored the first goal after 12 minutes and Sergio Aguero added a second soon after halftime. Jose Mourinho’s side barely threatened until substitute Romelu Lukaku came on to win a penalty that Anthony Martial converted just before the hour mark. But despite City largely controlling the game, it took a late third goal by their substitute Ilkay Gundogan to ensure there could be no repeat of United’s dramatic comeback to win 3-2 in the same fixture last season. United remain eighth, 12 points behind the leaders. Chelsea’s manager Maurizio Sarri set a record in the Premier League era by completing his first dozen games without a defeat, but he would have expected more than a goalless draw from the home game with Everton. His team failed to score for only the second time in the league this season against a well-organised Everton, who stayed ninth in the table. In the Scottish Premiership, Steven Gerrard’s Rangers moved to within two points of top spot after they hammered 10-man Motherwell 7-1 at Ibrox. Defending champions Celtic moved to the top of the league for the first time this season after a goalless draw at Livingston ahead of Hearts on goal difference who surprisingly went down 1-0 at home to Kilmarnock.

PSG make it 13 straight wins to go 13 points clear in Ligue 1

Defending champions Paris Saint Germain continued their relentless charge to another title with a 4-0 away win over hapless Monaco to make it 13 straight wins and a 13-point gap at the top of French Ligue 1. Uruguayan Edinson Cavani scored a hat-trick with Neymar adding a fourth from the penalty spot as the unbeaten Parisians humbled Monaco who are looking like relegation contenders under new coach Thierry Henry. Montpellier slipped into third place after a surprise 1-0 loss away to lowly Amiens, to be replaced by Lille who drew 0-0 at home to Strasbourg. In the Spanish La Liga, Barcelona lost a home league match for the first time in two years as the defending champions were beaten 4-3 by Real Betis's expert display at the Nou Camp. Junior Firpo gave Betis a deserved lead after 20 minutes, before veteran Joaquin made it two before the break. Lionel Messi scored a penalty in reply but a Marc-Andre ter Stegen error saw Giovani lo Celso add a third for Betis. Arturo Vidal's tap-in gave Barca hope, but Sergio Canales got the away side's fourth, before a Messi consolation. Barca are only one point ahead of Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Alaves. Real Madrid moved up to sixth spot with a 4-2 away victory over Celta Vigo. In the Italian Serie A, defending champions Juventus went six points clear at the top of the table after a 2-0 away win over AC Milan with Napoli in second spot following a 2-1 victory at Genoa. Juve bounced back from their first defeat of the season to Manchester United in the Champions League during the week. Mario Mandzukic opened the scoring in the first half, heading home from a pinpoint cross into the middle. Cristiano Ronaldo doubled the advantage late on, before former Juve striker Gonzalo Higuain saw red for Milan to compound their misery. In the German Bundesliga, leaders Borussia Dortmund twice came from behind to beat champions Bayern Munich 3-2 in a thriller. Polish striker Robert Lewandowski broke the deadlock against his former club after heading home from the edge of the six-yard box. Dortmund levelled from the penalty spot through Marco Reus after he had been fouled by Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer. Lewandowski headed Bayern back into the lead before two goals in six second-half minutes by Reus and Paco Alcacer won it for Dortmund. Bayern, champions of Germany for the past six seasons, now trail Dortmund by seven points in the Bundesliga table after 11 games. Borussia Monchengladbach move into second place after a 3-1 victory at Werder Bremen.

Hamilton wins in Brazil after Verstappen collision with backmarker

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton saw victory fall into his lap at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday as his Mercedes team clinched the constructors’ title for the fifth year in a row. The win was Hamilton’s 10th of the season and 72nd of his career. The Briton had already won the drivers’ title for a fifth time in Mexico. Hamilton started on pole position but was no match for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who led until a collision with the Force India of already-lapped Esteban Ocon sent him into a spin, putting the champion back in front. Verstappen finished second, still seething, while Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen took third. Only Ferrari have previously managed to win five championships in a row, taking six in succession during the Michael Schumacher era from 1999 to 2004. Verstappen, winner in Mexico two weeks ago, stepped up next to him on the podium but the Dutchman knew it should have been the top step. The collision was the talking point of the day, with arguments on both sides and angry scenes in the paddock afterwards. Ocon was handed a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for causing the collision but that came as no consolation for Verstappen, whose colourful language over the radio was largely bleeped out for television viewers. When the Dutchman found Ocon, at the post-race scales, matters became more physical with the Red Bull driver confronting the young Frenchman and giving him a push.

All Blacks edge England in a thriller as Wales beat the Wallabies

The autumn campaign between the northern and southern hemisphere powerhouses saw England go down in a heart-breaking one-point loss to the mighty All Blacks while Wales outkicked Australia 9-6 to win against the Wallabies for the first time in 10 years. France lost by three points to South Africa while Scotland thrashed Fiji 54-17 and Ireland laboured in a scrappy 28-17 victory over Argentina in Dublin. At Twickenham, New Zealand hung on to win a thriller in pouring rain by a single point after Sam Underhill's late try was controversially ruled out. A try from the returning Chris Ashton after two minutes and another for skipper Dylan Hartley off a thundering rolling maul had established a well-deserved 15-0 early lead. Damian McKenzie's try and Beauden Barrett's boot brought it back to 15-10 at half-time, before Barrett's drop-goal and penalty edged the world champions in front. With five minutes to go the huge Twickenham crowd celebrated as Underhill profited from a Courtney Lawes charge-down to dive into the corner. But television replays showed that Lawes had been fractionally offside, and the chance of only a second win over the world champions in 15 years had gone. At  the Principality Stadium, Wales beat Australia for the first time since 2008 as Dan Biggar's late penalty settled a low-scoring but nerve-shredding encounter in Cardiff. Defences reigned supreme in a rugged first half which ended 3-3, with Leigh Halfpenny uncharacteristically missing a simple kick for the hosts. A gritty second period followed suit, Halfpenny edging Wales in front 6-3. Matt To'omua drew Australia level with five minutes left but, two minutes later, Biggar struck the decisive blow. At the Stade de France, South Africa beat France with a try deep into injury time to steal a 29-26 victory. Replacement prop Bongi Mbonambi scored off the back of a lineout drive in the 85th minute to complete their escape after France led for most of the game, going up 16-9 just before halftime thanks to a try from hooker Guilhem Guirado.

New Zealand thump England 34-0 in third rugby league Test

New Zealand ran in six tries to beat England 34-0 in Leeds on Sunday in the third and final Test of a series already won 2-0 by the hosts. Winger Ken Maumalo scored an early try, while Isaac Liu and Kodi Nikorima tries gave the Kiwis an 18-0 half-time lead. England had two first-half tries ruled out after video reviews. Maumalo touched down in the corner before Jesse Bromwich and Joseph Tapine scored under the posts in the final 10 minutes to complete the rout. New Zealand came flying out of the blocks at Elland Road as they looked to deny England a 3-0 series whitewash. Maumalo's early try handed the visitors the lead but England were denied parity when Tommy Makinson, who scored a hat-trick in last week's series-sealing win, had a try disallowed. His diving finish in the corner was ruled out after a review because Tom Burgess was judged to have obstructed the New Zealand defence in the build-up. Oliver Gildart was also denied a try by the television match official after Jermaine McGillvary's initial kick through was deemed to have struck a Kiwi player's knee before the England winger connected with the ball. Had one of those tries been awarded, England would have had the chance to draw level with momentum behind them, but instead Liu added a second try for the visitors who never looked back.

Federer loses opening match at ATP finals in London

Swiss legend Roger Federer paid for his errors as he lost to Japan's Kei Nishikori in his opening group match at the ATP Finals in O2 Arena in London on Sunday. The Swiss, chasing a 100th career title at the season-ending event, lost 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 to the world No.9. The normally unflappable Federer showed uncharacteristic frustration, while a calm Nishikori sealed victory when the Swiss hit a wild forehand. World No.1 Novak Djokovic opens his campaign against American John Isner on Monday. In an earlier match debutant Kevin Anderson made a confident start to his campaign with a straight-sets win over Dominic Thiem in their group opener. The South African world No.6 beat the Austrian 6-3 7-6 (12-10). The match's only break came in the fourth game of the opener with Anderson then taking the second-set tie-break with an ace on his fourth match point. The ATP Finals features the world's top eight players - minus world No.2 Rafael Nadal and No.4 Juan Martin del Potro, who are injured.

Czech Republic win Fed Cup title for sixth time in eight years

The Czech Republic won their sixth Fed Cup title in eight years as an emotional Katerina Siniakova clinched a 3-0 win over the United States with an epic victory against Sofia Kenin. Siniakova fought back tears as she saved two match points, then took a second of her own to win 7-5 5-7 7-5. The victory, which took Siniakova almost four hours, gave the home team an unassailable 3-0 lead in Prague. Siniakova and Barbora Strycova won Saturday's opening-day singles matches.The US were aiming to become the first team to fight back from a 2-0 deficit in a Fed Cup final, but 19-year-old Kenin was unable to take her opportunities at 5-4 to keep the tie alive. Kenin was punished when she pulled a forehand wide on Siniakova's second match point, enabling the Czechs to extend their home unbeaten run to an 11th tie, stretching back to 2009. The two most successful countries in the tournament's history were meeting in the final for the first time in more than three decades, although both teams were without several of their top players. Czech top-10 ranked players Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova were sidelined through injury and illness respectively, while Serena and Venus Williams, Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens were all unavailable for the visitors.

Andy Murray will play in Montpellier in February

Andy Murray has said he will play at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier from 3-10 February one week after the Australian Open. Britain's former world No.1 ended his 2018 season early in September, having only played 12 matches after returning from hip surgery in June. He said he wanted to get "in the best shape possible for the beginning of the 2019 season". Murray, 31, is expected to play at the Australian Open in January. and the Scot has already announced he will be playing in the Brisbane International earlier that month.

Westwood wins Nedbank Challenge with stunning last round 

England's Lee Westwood shot a stunning eight-under-par 64 to win the Nedbank Challenge - his first victory on the European Tour for four years. The former world No.1 took the outright lead from Louis Oosthuizen with a birdie at 17, completing the back nine in 31 to finish on 15 under. The South African's challenge faded as he finished third on 11 under behind Spain's overnight leader Sergio Garcia. "I'm a bit emotional to be honest, You're never sure whether you're going to be able to do it again. " said a tearful Westwood, 45. Westwood, who carded six birdies and an eagle on the second hole in his round, celebrated with caddie and girlfriend Helen Storey after holing a putt on the 18th. The win was Westwood's 24th on the European Tour and his third at the Nedbank. Oosthuizen carded a 69, with a damaging bogey on the 15th and then finishing with double bogey on the 18th. Garcia hit a 70 as his two-shot lead from round three disappeared. England's Ross Fisher (70) was fourth on eight under, a shot ahead of compatriot Matt Wallace (67).Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy (71) finished in a tie for 21st on one under.

Usyk beats Bellew to remain undisputed world cruiserweight champion

Tony Bellew's tilt at becoming the first Briton to hold four world titles in a weight division ended in failure as Oleksandr Usyk produced a stunning knockout finish in the eighth round at Manchester Arena on Saturday. The Ukrainian, initially cautious and behind on the cards, found rhythm around the midway point and, after following a jab with a brutal left hook, he was already smiling as the 35-year-old Bellew tried to get back to his feet, to no avail. Usyk's IBF, WBO, WBA and WBC world cruiserweight titles were safe, despite Bellew's solid counter-punching early on, when the undefeated and undisputed champion struggled with the Briton's movement. Bellew confirmed it would be his last fight, saying: "I have been doing this for 20 years, and it is over."

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

Calendar Keynotes: 12-18 November 

Monday, 12 November

Tennis: ATP Finals, 02 Arena, London (till 18 November). 

Tuesday, 13 November

Tennis: ATP Finals, 02 Arena, London (till 18 November), 

Wednesday, 14 November

Football: International friendly – Switzerland v Qatar

Cricket: Sri Lanka v England, 2nd Test, Kandy (till 18 November, England lead series 1-0).

Tennis: ATP Finals, 02 Arena, London (till 18 November), 

Thursday, 15 November

Football: UEFA Nations League, Group A2 – Belgium v Iceland, Group A4 – Croatia v Spain, Group B3 – Austria v Bosnia-Herzegovina. International friendlies – Germany v Russia, Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland, England v USA.

Cricket: Sri Lanka v England, 2nd Test, Kandy (till 18 November, England lead series 1-0).

Tennis: ATP Finals, 02 Arena, London (till 18 November),

Golf: DP World Championship, Dubai, Jumeirah Golf Estates, UAE (till 18 November). 

Friday, 16 November

Football: UEFA Nations League, Group A1 – Netherlands v France, Group B1 – Slovakia v Ukraine, Group B4 – Wales v Denmark. International friendly – Brazil v Uruguay.

Rugby Union: Gallagher Premiership – Gloucester v Leicester, Harlequins v Newcastle.

Cricket: Sri Lanka v England, 2nd Test, Kandy (till 18 November, England lead series 1-0).

Tennis: ATP Finals, 02 Arena, London (till 18 November),

Golf: DP World Championship, Dubai, Jumeirah Golf Estates, UAE (till 18 November).

Motorcycling: Valencia MotoGP rd 19, Valencia, Spain (till 18 November). 

Saturday, 17 November

Football: UEFA Nations League, Group A3 – Italy v Portugal, Group B2 – Turkey v Sweden. International friendly – Argentina v Mexico.

Rugby Union: Internationals – Italy v Australia, Wales v Tonga, England v Japan, Scotland v South Africa, Ireland v New Zealand, France v Argentina. Gallagher Premiership – Bath v Worcester, Northampton v Wasps, Saracens v Sale.

Cricket: Sri Lanka v England, 2nd Test, Kandy (till 18 November, England lead series 1-0).

Tennis: ATP Finals, 02 Arena, London (till 18 November).

Golf: DP World Championship, Dubai, Jumeirah Golf Estates, UAE (till 18 November).

Motorcycling: Valencia MotoGP rd 19, Valencia, Spain (till 18 November).

Sunday, 18 November

Football: UEFA Nations League, Group A2 – Switzerland v Belgium, Group A4 – England v Croatia, Group B3 – Northern Ireland v Austria. International friendly – Spain v Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Rugby Union: Gallagher Premiership – Bristol v Exeter.

Cricket: Sri Lanka v England, 2nd Test, Kandy (till 18 November, England lead series 1-0).

Tennis: ATP Finals, 02 Arena, London (final day),

Golf: DP World Championship, Dubai, Jumeirah Golf Estates, UAE (final day).

Motorcycling: Valencia MotoGP rd 19, Valencia, Spain (race day).



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