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The sports wrap 24th September 2018

LanguedocLiving, Sep 24

Tiger Woods wins Tour Championship to claim first victory in five years.

Tiger Woods marked a remarkable return to the top by winning the season-ending Tour Championship by two shots to claim his first victory in five years. The 42-year-old American, who was ranked world No.1.199 less than a year ago after having spinal fusion surgery, shot a one-over 71 in Atlanta for his 80th PGA Tour title. England's world No.1 Justin Rose finished tied fourth to secure the overall FedEx Cup which determines the season-long PGA Tour champion. Rose birdied the 18th at East Lake for a 73 to seal the top-five finish he needed to win the $10m (£7.6m) bonus on offer as FexEx Cup champion. "I had a hard time not crying on the last hole," Woods told NBC. "I had to suck it up and hit some shots. Once I got the ball on the green, it was done. I could handle it from there." The 14-time major champion's last tournament victory was in August 2013 in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He came into the final day of the tournament - the last of four FedEx Cup play-off events - with a three-shot lead over Rose and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, who faded from contention with a 74 to finish on five under in tied seventh.Fellow American Billy Horschel finished two shots back on nine under.

Liverpool sit on top of the Premier League as Chelsea drop first point

Liverpool easily dispatched Southampton 3-0 at Anfield to make it six wins out of six and sit at the top of the English Premier League as Chelsea lost their 100 per cent record with a goalless draw at West Ham. Defending champions Manchester City lie second on goal difference ahead of Chelsea after thrashing Cardiff City 5-0 while unfashionable Watford remain fourth following a 0-0 draw at Fulham. Tottenham Hotspur are a point behind in fifth place after returning to winning ways with a 2-1 win at Brighton & Hove Albion. Liverpool’s victory on Saturday made it their best start to a season in 28 years, subduing Southampton with three first-half goals who limited the damage after the break. The two surprise results of the weekend fixtures were Burnley’s 4-0 defeat of Bournemouth for their first win of the season and Manchester United’s 1-1 home draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers which moves them into sixth place on the table. In the Scottish Premiership, defending champions Celtic continued their wobbly start to the season with a shock 2-1 loss to Kilmarnock which moves them down to sixth spot with only 10 points from six games. Former Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard’s Rangers moved up to second spot with a 5-1 thrashing of St Johnstone while Hearts remain top despite a disappointing 0-0 home draw against Livingston.

PSG keep 100 per cent record with 3-1 win over Rennes

Defending French Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint Germain continued to look unbeatable after a 3-1 at Rennes gave them six straight wins and took them five points clear of Lille at the top of the table who had a 2-1 home win over Nantes. Montpellier moved up to third place with a 1-0 home win over Nice. Cameroon international Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored his first goal for PSG one month after leaving Championship side Stoke City. The 29-year-old scored five minutes after replacing Marco Verratti to seal a fine comeback win at Rennes. The home side were the last team to beat in Ligue 1, in May, and another upset looked on the cards when Adrien Rabiot deflected into his own net. But Angel Di Maria equalised before Thomas Meunier made it 2-1 from Neymar's pass. In the Spanish La Liga, 10-man Barcelona were surprisingly held to a 2-2 draw at home by their Catalan neighbours Girona and after losing their 100 per cent record now share first place on the table with arch rivals Real Madrid who beat Espanyol 1-0 on Saturday. In the Italian Serie A, Cristiano Ronaldo struck nine minutes from time to break Frosinone's resistance and help Juventus maintain their 100 per cent start to the season. Th In the 81st minute, the Portuguese forward finally found the net for the defending champions with a firm strike from eight metres. And in stoppage time, Federico Bernardeschi fired in the second goal. Napoli moved into second place with a 3-1 win at Torino. In the German Bundesliga, Colombian James Rodriguez marked his first league start of the season with a goal as Bayern Munich continued their 100 per cent winning start to the season with a 2-0 away win over Schalke 04. The defending champions are two points ahead of Hertha Berlin who beat Borussia Monchengladbach 4-2.

Exeter and Saracens continue to set the pace in Premiership

Champions Saracens and Exeter Chiefs continue to set the pace in the Gallagher Premiership, both keeping their 100 per cent records with victories over Gloucester and Newcastle. Saracens are one point ahead of Exeter at the top of the table after a convincing 38-15 home victory over Gloucester while Exeter, the 2016-17 champions, won 24-17 at Kingston Park. Saracens opened in style with Sean Maitland setting up David Strettle to go over in the corner and Maro Itoje grounding Owen Farrell's high kick to put Sarries two tries ahead. Itoje went over for his second before half-time, with Billy Twelvetrees' penalty all Gloucester could manage. Maitland and Alex Lozowski added to the lead, before Mark Atkinson and Charlie Sharples went over for the visitors. Gloucester came into the game in good form, having taken two wins and a draw from their first three games, though they never looked like getting back into the game after Strettle's early try. Sarries celebrated scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth's Premiership record appearance in suitable fashion as they dominated in all phases. In Exeter’s away win, No.8 Sam Simmonds bundled over for two tries as they beat a stubborn Newcastle to make it four wins from four. Wasps moved into third spot on the Premiership ladder with a 31-13 bonus point away win over Sale

Bordeaux-Begles hand Clermont first defeat of Top 14 season

Clermont Auvergne suffered their first defeat of their Top 14 campaign as they went down 23-19 to a determined Bordeaux-Begles side at Stade Chaban Delmas on Saturday. But they still head the table by one point over Stade Francais who beat Pau 25-13. In third place are the second Paris-based stide Racing 92 who beat last season’s champions Castres 27-11. The result of the weekend was Montpellier’s 66-15 thrashing of 14-man Toulouse which moves them up to eighth place and hopefully provides the trigger for a form revival. In the surprise win by ninth-placed Bordeaux, tries from Vadim Cobilas and Afaesetiti Amosa, coupled with the boot of Baptiste Serin, helped them seal only their second win of 2018/19. They led 13-9 at the break thanks to prop Cobilas’ crossing from short range, with Greig Laidlaw kicking all of Clermont’s points off the tee. After the turnaround a yellow card for Bordeaux fly-half Brock James did not affect their game as after Laidlaw’s fourth penalty, Amosa powered over from close range, making it 20-12 with the conversion before the influential scrum-half Serin added a penalty that made it 23-12. Jacobus van Tonder responded with a carry over the line for Clermont just after the hour to reduce the margin to just four points and despite the visitors pressing hard late on – replacement George Moala being their main threat – Bordeaux held on for a stunning victory.

Catalans Dragons end losing streak with victory over Hull FC

Challenge Cup winners Catalans Dragons had their first victory since Wembley, scoring five tries to beat hosts Hull FC 26-20 at the KCOM Stadium to climb above them into seventh place on the Super 8s table. Kenny Edwards' 77th-minute try, converted by Lucas Albert, capped earlier tries from Sam Moa, Tony Gigot, Iain Thornley and Brayden Wiliame. That ended a run of six successive league defeats dating back to 21 July. Lee Radford's injury-hit Hull side have now lost 10 consecutive games. They recovered from 12-4 down, then 16-10 down, to lead 20-16 with nine minutes to go, when full-back Shaul went over. But that lead lasted only two minutes before Edwards helped his side level, setting up the Dragons' fourth try for Wiliame, before himself grabbing the crucial match-winning converted score. The Black and Whites scored four tries, from Josh Griffin, Brad Fash, Fetuli Talanoa and Jamie Shaul, of which England international Jake Connor converted two. Josh Drinkwater also kicked two goals for the Dragons, who host Huddersfield next Saturday. Meanwhile League Leaders Shield winners St Helens continued on their victory path with a 34-14 away win over Warrington Wolves. They are six points ahead of Wigan Warriors who beat Huddersfield Giants 13-6.

Britain’s Joshua knocks out Povetkin to retain world heavyweight titles

Anthony Joshua delivered a stunning seventh-round finish to stop Alexander Povetkin and retain his world heavyweight titles at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night. Iin front of a 70,000 crowd, the IBF, WBO and WBA champion, responded emphatically with a stoppage of the Russian, who had never been beaten inside the distance. After an early chess match in which Joshua suffered a bloodied nose before cutting his rival, the Briton grew in confidence and a savage right hand followed by a left hook began an onslaught which would prove telling. Another right-left combination downed Povetkin, who somehow made the count, only to stagger into a left hook which saw him slump into the ropes, leaving referee Steve Gray with no option but to intervene. Roars poured down to ringside as the rain had all day, with Joshua's corner ecstatic and rightly so. His display showcased poise, intellect and power, sending a message to the heavyweight division that the champion will take some stopping. Joshua, who had been suffering from flu during his preparations and had a problem with his right hand before the fight, paid tribute to his opponent. "Povetkin is a very tough challenger, he proved that with good left hooks and counter punches," he said. Unbeaten Joshua has now won 21 of his professional fights by knockout.

Team Europe defeat Team World 13-8 to retain Laver Cup

Germany’s Alexander Zverev edged out Kevin Anderson in another match tie-break to help Team Europe defend their Laver Cup crown over Team World in Chicago on Sunday night. The world No.5 battled back from a set down to defeat Wimbledon finalist Anderson 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 10-7 and hand Bjorn Borg's side an unassailable 13-8 lead in the tournament. Zverev's win came with one singles rubber to spare at the United Center in Chicago and saw Europe hold on to the title they won at the inaugural edition of the tournament in Prague last year. "It was such a close match all around, I mean not only this one but the whole weekend," said Zverev. "A few few points here and there could have changed the whole thing. Earlier in the day, Roger Federer had beaten John Isner in an epic, but the Swiss star and Zverev went down to Isner and Jack Sock in a doubles classic. Team World captain John McEnroe vowed to win the tournament, saying: "I am so proud of these guys, it's awesome to be a captain for Team World. We've got great camaraderie and dammit we're going to win this one next year."

Pliskova beats Osaka in straight sets in Pan Pacific Open final

Former world No.1 Karolina Pliskova used her big serve to full effect to ease to a 6-4 6-4 victory over home favourite and U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka in the Pan Pacific Open final in Tokyo on Saturday. Osaka, in top form coming into the contest on the back of 10 consecutive wins, appeared uncertain throughout the match as her Czech opponent broke serve once in each set to triumph in 64 minutes. Pliskova converted both her break point opportunities and reeled off the last 11 points to secure a second WTA title of the campaign. “It was important for me to play just two sets and not go to a third one. I needed a match like this,” the 26-year-old world No.8 told reporters. Osaka’s defeat was her second in the tournament final, having also been runner-up in 2016, as the 20-year-old seemed to finally succumb to the after-effects of her emotional U.S. Open triumph earlier this month. “I have literally never been so tired in my entire life,” she told reporters. “I haven’t really had much time to rest, so I feel tired right now.”

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

Calendar Keynotes: 24-30 September

Monday, 24 September
Tennis: ATP Chengdu Open, China (till 30 September), WTA Shenzhen Open, China (till 30 September), WTA Wuhan Open, China (till 30 September).
Cycling: UCI Road World Championships, Innsbruck, Austria (till 30 September).

Tuesday, 25 September
Football: EFL Cup (major clubs) – Oxford United v Manchester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leicester City, Manchester United v Derby County, French Ligue 1 – Monaco v Angers, Nantes v Nice, Toulouse v Saint-Etienne, Spanish La LIga – Espanyol v Eibar, Atletico Madrid v Huesca, Italian Serie A - Inter Milan v Fiorentina, German Bundesliga – Werder Bremen v Hertha Berlin, Bayern Munich v FC Augsburg.
Tennis: ATP Chengdu Open, China (till 30 September), WTA Shenzhen Open, China (till 30 September), WTA Wuhan Open, China (till 30 September).
Cycling: UCI Road World Championships, Innsbruck, Austria (till 30 September).

Wednesday, 26 September
Football: EFL Cup third round (major clubs) – Arsenal v Brentford, Liverpool v Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur v Watford, French LIgue 1 – Bordeaux v Lille, Caen v Montpeillier, Dijon v Lyon, Marseille v Strasbourg, Nimes v Guingamp, Paris St Germain v Reims, Spanish La LIga – Leganes v Barcelona, Sevilla v Real Madrid, Valencia v Celta Vigo, Italian Serie A – Udinese v Lazio, Juventus v Bologna, Napoli v Parma, Roma v Frosinone, German Bundesliga – Mainz 05 v VfL Wolfsburg, Borussia Dortmund v 1. FC Nuremberg. Borussia Monchengladbach v Eintracht Frankfurt.
Tennis: ATP Chengdu Open, China (till 30 September), WTA Shenzhen Open, China (till 30 September), WTA Wuhan Open, China (till 30 September).
Cycling: UCI Road World Championships, Innsbruck, Austria (till 30 September).

Thursday, 27 September
Football: Italian Serie A – Sassuolo v SPAL, Empoli v AC Milan.
Formula One – Russian Grand Prix (till 30 September).
Tennis: ATP Chengdu Open, China (till 30 September), WTA Shenzhen Open, China (till 30 September), WTA Wuhan Open, China (till 30 September).
Cycling: UCI Road World Championships, Innsbruck, Austria (till 30 September).

Friday, 28 September
Football: French Ligue 1 – Saint-Etienne v Monaco, German Bundesliga – Hertha Berlin v Bayern Munich.
Formula One – Russian Grand Prix (till 30 September).
Rugby Union: Gallagher Championship – Newcastle v Wasps.
Rugby League: Super League Super 8s – St Helens v Castleford Tigers, Wakefield Trinity v Warrington Wolves, Wigan Warriors v Hull FC, Super 8s qualifiers – Leeds Rhinos v Toronto Wolfpack.
Tennis: ATP Chengdu Open, China (till 30 September), WTA Shenzhen Open, China (till 30 September), WTA Wuhan Open, China (till 30 September).
Golf: Ryder Cup (US v Europe), Le Golf National, near Paris, France (till 30 September).
Cycling: UCI Road World Championships, Innsbruck, Austria (till 30 September).

Saturday, 29 September
Football: English Premier League – West Ham United v Manchester United, Arsenal v Watford, Huddersfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea v Liverpool, Scottish Premiership – Celtic v Aberdeen, Hearts v St Johnstone, French Ligue 1 – Nice v Paris Saint Germain, Lyon v Nantes, Reims v Bordeaux, Spanish La Liga – Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao, Eibar v Sevilla, Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid, Italian Serie A – Roma v Lazio, Juventus v Napoli, Inter Milan v Cagliari, German Bundesliga – FC Schalke 04 v Mainz 05, VfB Stuttgart v Werder Bremen, VfL Wolfsburg v Borussia Monchengladbach.
Formula One – Russian Grand Prix (till 30 September).
Rugby Union: Gallagher Championship – Exeter v Worcester, Gloucester v Harlequins, Saracens v Bath, French Top 14 – Toulouse v Castres, Bordeaux Begles v La Rochelle, Lyon v Grenoble, Perpignan v Montpellier, Clermont Auvergne v Toulon.
Rugby League: Super League Super 8s – Catalans Dragons v Huddersfield Giants, Super 8s qualifiers – London Broncos v Halifax.
Tennis: ATP Chengdu Open, China (till 30 September), WTA Shenzhen Open, China (till 30 September), WTA Wuhan Open, China (till 30 September).
Golf: Ryder Cup (US v Europe), Le Golf National, near Paris, France (till 30 September).
Cycling: UCI Road World Championships, Innsbruck, Austria (till 30 September).

Sunday, 30 September
Football: Scottish Premiership – Livingston v Rangers , French Ligue 1 – Rennes v Toulouse, Montpellier v Nimes, Lille v Marseille, Spanish La Liga – Levante v Alaves, Italian Serie A – Fiorentina v Atalanta, Sassuolo v AC Milan,
Formula One – Russian Grand Prix (race day).
Rugby Union: Gallagher Premiership – Leicester v Sale, French Top 14 – Stade Francais v Racing 92.
Rugby League: Super 8s qualifiers – Hull KR v Widnes Vikings.
Tennis: ATP Chengdu Open, China (till 30 September), WTA Shenzhen Open, China (till 30 September), WTA Wuhan Open, China (till 30 September).
Golf: Ryder Cup (US v Europe), Le Golf National, near Paris, France (final day).
Cycling: UCI Road World Championships, Innsbruck, Austria (final day).

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