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The sports wrap 3rd December 2018

LanguedocLiving, Dec 2

Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea all win at top of Premier League.

Defending champions Manchester City remained top of the English Premier League after beating Bournemouth 3-1 at home, two points clear of Liverpool who scored a last-gasp derby winner over city rivals Everton, thanks to a disastrous error by their England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Chelsea remain third, five points behind, after a hard-fought 2-0 win over Fulham while Arsenal move up to fourth following a 4-2 victory over North London neighbours Tottenham. In a day of derbies on Sunday, Chelsea kicked off with a relatively comfortable 2-0 home win over bottom club Fulham with goals from Pedro and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. In the second match of the afternoon, Arsenal went into the interval 2-1 down but recovered after producing a relentless attacking performance at Emirates Stadium. Unai Emery's side extended their unbeaten run to 19 matches. He introduced Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey at the start of the second half to dramatic effect. The Welshman set up Pierre-Emerick’s Aubameyang's magnificent finish for his second goal and the France striker's deflected shot beat goalkeeper Hugo Lloris from the edge of the area to put Arsenal ahead with 16 minutes left. The outstanding Lucas Torreira ran clear to wrap up Arsenal's win and Spurs' misery was complete when Vertonghen was sent off for a foul on Lacazette. At Anfield, Divock Origi scored a bizarre 96th-minute goal for Liverpool in sensational circumstances as a terrible Pickford error gifted the Reds victory over Everton. The match looked set for a draw when Pickford mishandled a high ball that seemed to be heading over his bar and spilled it out to Origi. All the late substitute Belgian striker had to do was nod into an empty net to secure a win. On Saturday, Manchester City had to work hard to see off a determined Bournemouth side before Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan secured their lead at the top of the league. City's victory maintained their 100 per cent home record this season, with eight wins out of eight. In the Scottish League Cup Final, Celtic handed their manager Brendan Rodgers his seventh straight domestic trophy with a 1-0 victory over Aberdeen. Former Aberdeen loanee Ryan Christie scored the only goal. Celtic’s cup commitment saw Old Firm rivals Rangers move top of the Scottish Premiership for the first time under Steven Gerrard after a fiery 2-1 comeback away win over fourth-placed Hearts. Following Scott Arfield's red card for a rash challenge on goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal, the visitors held on for the final 20 minutes to move a point clear.

PSG lose 100 per cent record as Bordeaux score late equaliser

French Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint Germain lost their 100 per cent record on Sunday as Bordeaux fought back with a late equaliser to snatch a 2-2 home draw. The Paris team, with a record 14 straight victories, looked set for another win but a Andreas Cornelius header in the 84th minute gave Bordeaux the equaliser after teenage French World Cup star Kylian Mbappe had put them ahead with a right-footed shot in the 66th minute. PSG are still 14 points ahead of second-placed Montpellier who beat second-from-bottom Monaco 2-1. PSG also lost Neymar to injury after the Brazilian star had volleyed them ahead in the first half. In the Spanish La Liga, Barcelona moved above Sevilla to the top as Gerard Pique and Carles Alena scored to secure a win over struggling Villarreal. Pique headed in Ousmane Dembele's right-wing cross for the opening goal. And youngster Alena scored his first La Liga goal when he chipped the ball over Sergio Asenjo from Lionel Messi's through ball. Sevilla missed the chance to go back to the top when they drew 1-1 at fourth-placed Alaves later on Sunday. Real Madrid produced another unconvincing display on Saturday but rode their luck to earn a 2-0 win at home to Valencia which allowed them to climb to fifth in the La Liga standings and soothe their recent troubles. In the Italian Serie A, unbeaten eaders Juventus went nine points clear of Inter Milan at the top of the table by beating Fiorentina 3-0 with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a penalty. The champions led through Rodrigo Bentancur's excellent 18-yard strike after a one-two with Paulo Dybala. Giorgio Chiellini scored his first goal in 18 months - a fortunate effort which keeper Alban Lafont pushed into the air, before it landed in his net. And Ronaldo scored his 10th Serie A goal with a penalty after a handball. In the German Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund maintained their unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season with victory over Freiburg to send them seven points clear at the top. Marco Reus slammed a penalty down the centre after England's Jadon Sancho was fouled by Dominique Heintz. Jerome Gondorf almost equalised with a 30-yard free-kick which hit the crossbar, and Dortmund's Lukasz Piszczek also struck the bar. Paco Alcacer then scored his 11th goal in 11 games to complete the victory. Borussia Monchengladbach remained in second place despite their 2-0 loss to third-placed RB Leipzig.

Saracens top Premiership table as Exeter lose for first time

Saracens clocked up a ninth straight Premiership win of the season by beating Wasps 29-6 to go top of the table and maintain their 100 per cent winning start, going two points above Exeter Chiefs who lost for the for the first time, going down to Harlequins 38-26. Champions Sarries' 16th successive Premiership victory, going back to last season, owed much to the boot of Wasps old boy Alex Lozowski who kicked five penalties as part of a 19-point haul against his old club. But Sarries also claimed the game's only tries, from hooker Jamie George and Nick Isiekwe's interception try. Harlequins excellent victory at Twickenham Stoop saw the home side ahead at 13-5 at half-time after James Chisholm's clever try from a lineout and a Nathan Earle score.Jack Yeandle and Ollie Devoto went over either side of Earle's second try to move Exeter to within a point. A penalty and a Joe Marchant try gave the hosts a buffer before Ian Whitten's runaway score set up a tense finale. The bonus-point victory lifts Paul Gustard's side up to fourth behind Gloucester who beat Worcester Warriors 36-16, It was the first time Rob Baxter's side have lost to Harlequins in eight meetings and comes after they had started the Premiership season with eight consecutive wins.

Clermont beat Montpellier to lead Top 14 table by three points

Clermont Auvergne continued their fine domestic form to extend their lead in the Top 14 table following an impressive 28-23 away win over Montpellier. Les Jaunards struggled to find their rhythm against Lyon last weekend until Morgan Parra entered the fray but, with the scrum-half starting at the GGL Stadium, they were into their stride immediately. Vern Cotter’s men have faltered this season and they were 7-0 down early on when star centre Wesley Fofana crossed the whitewash for the visitors. To the hosts’ credit, they fought back and successive Ruan Pienaar penalties reduced the arrears after 25 minutes. Pienaar then added another off the tee to take Cotter’s charges in front, but Parra moved Auvergne back ahead on the stroke of half-time. It was tight going into the second period but Clermont displayed their quality by taking the game away from the home team. Firstly, Damian Penaud touched down before Camille Lopez and Parra kicked three-pointers to open up a comfortable buffer. Matters worsened for the 2017/18 Top 14 runners-up, who are now in ninth spot, when Kelian Galletier was sin-binned and Isaia Toeava completed the victory by going over, despite Vincent Giudicelli and Yvan Reilhac consolation scores. Toulouse are in second place on the Top 14 table after a 49-20 win over Stade Francais while winless newcomers Perpignan remained rooted at the bottom after a 11-22 home defeat to Bordeaux Begles – their 11th straight loss.

Wilder retains heavyweight title after split decision draw against Fury

American Deontay Wilder retained his WBC heavyweight title after a thrilling split decision draw with Britain’s Tyson Fury at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, leaving both fighters talking up a rematch. The hard-hitting Wilder knocked Fury down twice, including a brutal right-left combination that sent the towering Fury to the canvas in the 12th in what initially looked to be the end of the fight. But the ‘Gypsy King’ willed himself to his feet and held on to send the fight to the judges, who rewarded him for controlling much of the fight behind his long jab, precise footwork and slippery defence. One judge scored the fight 115-111 to Wilder, another 114-112 to Fury and the third had it 113-113. The scorecards showed that Wilder benefited greatly from his two knockdowns in the ninth and the 12th, which all three judges scored 10-8 in favour of the champion. In all the other rounds the fighters were separated by a single point. Wilder said he thought the battle was over when he saw Fury’s eyes “roll into the back of his head” as he fell hard on his back early in the 12th round. But Fury beat the count and got back on his feet. Both fighters preserved their unbeaten records with the draw, but both thought they had done enough to earn the victory in the bout before nearly 18,000 fans in downtown Los Angeles. Britain’s Anthony Joshua holds the other three heavyweight titles in boxing – the IBF, WBO and IBO championships.

Spain’s Rahm wins Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas

Spaniard Jon Rahm recorded seven birdies in his final round to win the Hero World Challenge by four strokes in the Bahamas on Sunday. Rahm, 24, the world No.8, who led overnight with Tony Finau and Henrik Stenson, posted a bogey-free seven-under 65 to finish on 20 under. Britain's Justin Rose was in sight of the world No.1 spot after a 65 but Finau denied him with a birdie at the last for sole possession of second. Tournament host Tiger Woods was 17th in the 18-man field after a closing 73 left him at one under. Rose, 38, who was five shots off the lead in a share of eighth going into the final round, holed a putt from off the green at the 11th for his fourth birdie of the day. He sank a 15-footer to eagle the 15th and birdied the par-three 17th from five feet, but saw another birdie chance from 12 feet, for a round of 64, finish on the edge of the cup. Needing a three-way share of second place to regain the top spot, it left him in sole possession of the runner-up spot at that stage after Finau made a double bogey at the 14th. But the American picked up two shots in the closing four holes to ensure that compatriot Brooks Koepka, who was not playing this week, remained at the top of the rankings as Rose finished third.

Smith beats Leishman to defend Australian PGA title

Cameron Smith edged fellow Australian Marc Leishman by two strokes in a see-saw final round to defend his Australian PGA Championship title at the Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast on Sunday. Smith, 25, made two bogeys in the first four holes as his three-shot overnight lead over Leishman evaporated but fought back brilliantly over the back nine to claim victory at the European Tour co-sanctioned event. Smith’s final round of two-under-par 70 took him to 16-under as he became the first player to successfully defend the title since Robert Allenby in 2001. Leishman finished on a total of 14-under after his final round of 69. His challenge faded with dropped shots on the 14th and 16th holes. Englishman Ross McGowan broke the course record with a 63 to finish on 11-under in third place alongside Matthew Millar (68).

Britain’s Archibald wins omnium gold at the UCI Track World Cup

Britain's Katie Archibald overcame a points race crash to win omnium gold at the UCI Track World Cup in Berlin. The 24-year-old three-time world champion finished with 132 points, 14 clear of Italy's Letizia Paternoster. It adds to the gold Archibald won on Friday in the women's team pursuit and continues Britain's omnium success after Laura Kenny’s win in Canada. Mark Stewart and Ollie Wood won maximum points in the final two sprints to usurp Germany and win Madison silver. Denmark claimed the gold, Lasse Norman Hansen and Casper von Folsach recording 44 points, 14 clear of the British duo. In the women's sprint, Olympic bronze medallist Katy Marchant reached the quarter-final before missing out to eventual champion Stephanie Morton. Joe Truman reaching the men's keirin B final, finishing eighth overall, while Jason Kenny missed out in the repechage. Berlin is the third round of six in this year's series, with London the next venue from 14-16 December.

O’Sullivan survives scare to move into UK Championship third round

Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan survived a major scare by battling from behind to edge past Ken Doherty 6-5 and reach the UK Championship third round. O'Sullivan looked like heading out as Doherty surged into a 4-1 lead. But O'Sullivan responded in style with breaks of 75 and 76 on the way to claiming four in a row, but Doherty hit back to force a decider in York. Both players had chances in the final frame, but O'Sullivan held himself together to go through. Englishman O'Sullivan, who turns 43 on Wednesday, is aiming for a record seventh title in the event and is currently level with Stephen Hendry on 18 'Triple Crown' event victories of World Championship, UK Championship and Masters.

England held by China in men’s World Hockey Cup opener

A last-gasp equaliser denied England victory in their opening men’s World Hockey Cup game in India, as China salvaged a 2-2 draw. China, ranked 17th in the world, took a surprise fifth-minute lead after a fine solo goal from Guo Xiaoping. Mark Gleghorne equalised at the end of the first quarter and Liam Ansell finished well in the 48th minute before Du Talake struck with a minute left. The other match in Pool B on Friday saw holders Australia beat Ireland 2-1 in a superb encounter. England's next match is on Tuesday against the Australians, winners of the past two tournaments. The top teams in each of the four four-team groups qualify for the quarter-finals, with the second and third-placed teams competing in crossover matches for the right to face them.

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

Calendar Keynotes: 3-9 Decembe

Monday, 3 December

Football: Italian Serie A – Atalanta v Napoli.

Cricket: Pakistan v New Zealand, 3rd Test, Abu Dhabi (series tied at 1-1 – till 7 December).

Hockey: Men’s World Cup – Pool A, France v Spain, New Zealand v Argentina.

Snooker: UK Championship, The Barbican, York (till 9 December).

Tuesday, 4 December

Football: English Premier League – Watford v Manchester City, French Ligue 1 – Amiens v Monaco, Nice v Angers, Montpellier v Lille.

Cricket: Pakistan v New Zealand, 3rd Test, Abu Dhabi (series tied at 1-1 - till 7 December).

Hockey: Men’s World Cup – Pool B, Australia v England, Ireland v China.

Snooker: UK Championship, The Barbican, York (till 9 December). 

Wednesday, 5 December

Football: English Premier League – Burnley v Liverpool, Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea, Manchester United v Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton, Scottish Premiership – Hibernian v St Mirren, Kilmarnock v Livingston, Motherwell v Celtic, Rangers v Aberdeen, St Johnstone v Hearts, French Ligue 1 – Bordeaux v Saint-Etienne, Caen v Nimes, Lyon v Rennes, Nantes v Marseille, Reims v Toulouse, Strasbourg v Paris Saint Germain, Spanish Copa del Rey (major clubs) – Atletico Madrid v Saint Andreu, Girona v Alaves, Sevilla v Villanovense, Barcelona v Cultural Leonese.

Cricket: Pakistan v New Zealand, 3rd Test, Abu Dhabi (series tied at 1-1 - till 7 December).

Hockey: Men’s World Cup – Pool D, Netherlands v Germany, Malaysia v Pakistan.

Snooker: UK Championship, The Barbican, York (till 9 December). 

Thursday, 6 December

Football: Spanish Copa del Rey (major clubs) – Real Madrid v Melilla.

Golf: PGA European Tour, South African Open, Randpark GC, Randburg, SA (till 9 December).

Cricket: Australia v India, 1st Test, Adelaide (till 10 December), Pakistan v New Zealand, 3rd Test, Abu Dhabi (series tied at 1-1 - till 7 December).

Hockey: Men’s World Cup – Pool A, New Zealand v Spain, France v Argentina.

Snooker: UK Championship, The Barbican, York (till 9 December).

Friday, 7 December

Football: French Ligue 1 – Monaco v Nice, Italian Serie A – Juventus v Inter Milan, German Bundesliga – Werder Bremen v Fortuna Dusseldorf,

Rugby Union: European Champions Cup – Pool 4, Scarlets v Ulster, Pool 5, Edinburgh v Newcastle Falcons.

Golf: PGA European Tour, South African Open, Randpark GC, Randburg, SA (till 9 December).

Cricket: Australia v India, 1st Test, Adelaide (till 10 December), Pakistan v New Zealand, 3rd Test, Abu Dhabi (series tied at 1-1 – final day).

Hockey: Men’s World Cup – Pool B, Australia v China, Ireland v England.

Snooker: UK Championship, The Barbican, York (till 9 December). 

Saturday, 8 December

Football: English Premier League – AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool, Arsenal v Huddersfield Town, Manchester United v Fulham, Chelsea v Manchester City, Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Scottish Premiership – Aberdeen v St Johnstone, Celtic v Kilmarnock, Hamilton Academical v Hibernian, Hearts v Motherwell, Livingston v St Mirren, French Ligue 1 – Paris Saint Germain v Montpellier, Angers v Bordeaux, Nimes v Nantes, Toulouse v Lyon, Spanish La Liga – Atletico Madrid v Alaves, Valencia v Sevilla, Espanyol v Barcelona, Italian Serie A – Napoli v Frosinone, Cagliari v Roma, Lazio v Sampdoria, German Bundesliga – Bayern Munich v 1. FC Nuremberg, FC Schalke 04 v Borussia Dortmund, SC Freiburg v RB Leipzig, VfL Wolfsburg v 1899 Hoffenheim, Hertha Berlin v Eintracht Frankfurt.

Rugby Union: European Champions Cup – Pool 1, Bath v Leinster, Wasps v Toulouse, Pool 2, Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester, Pool 3, Lyon v Glasgow Warriors, Pool 5, Toulon v Montpellier.

Golf: PGA European Tour, South African Open, Randpark GC, Randburg, SA (till 9 December).

Cricket: Australia v India, 1st Test, Adelaide (till 10 December).

Hockey: Men’s World Cup – Pool D, Belgium v South Africa, Canada v India.

Snooker: UK Championship, The Barbican, York (till 9 December). 

Sunday, 9 December

Football: Scottish Premiership – Dundee v Rangers, French Ligue 1 – Saint-Etienne v Marseille, Spanish La Liga – Huesca v Real Madrid, Real Sociedad v Real Valladolid, Italian Serie A – Parma v Chievao, AC Milan v Torino, German Bundesliga – Borussia Monchengladbach v VfB Stuttgart.

Rugby Union: European Champions Cup – Pool 2, Munster v Castres, Pool 3, Saracens v Cardiff Blues, Pool 4, Racing 92 v Leicester Tigers.

Golf: PGA European Tour, South African Open, Randpark GC, Randburg, SA (till 9 December).

Cricket: Australia v India, 1st Test, Adelaide (till 10 December).

Hockey: Men’s World Cup – Pool D, Malaysia v Germany, Netherlands v Pakistan.

Snooker: UK Championship, The Barbican, York (final day).








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