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The sports wrap 4th February 2019

LanguedocLiving, Feb 3

England stun Grand Slam champions Ireland as Wales beat France.

A resurgent England shocked Ireland 32-20 in Dublin on Saturday while France squandered a half-time 16-0 lead to go down to Wales in Paris as the Six Nations tournament got under way at the weekend. Scotland easily defeated Italy 33-20 in Edinburgh in the third match with three late consolation tries flattering the competition underdogs. At the Aviva Stadium, England pulled off an impressive and unexpected victory, running in four tries to inflict Ireland's first Six Nations defeat in Dublin in six years. England had led the Grand Slam champions 17-10 at half-time with tries from Jonny May and the impressive Elliot Daly separated by Cian Healy's burrowing score from close in, and could have been further ahead. With their defence outstanding, their tactical kicking precise and the back three rock-solid under the high ball, they added two more opportunistic tries in the second period through the livewire Henry Slade. Ireland had seen off world champions New Zealand in an unbeaten autumn but they succumbed to a thunderous English assault. World Player of the Yeear Johnny Sexton was subdued as an attacking force, his pass being picked off for Slade's second score, John Cooney's late try for Joe Schmidt's men did little to dampen the pain of a defeat that will jolt Irish confidence as this year’s World Cup in Japan looms into view. At the Stade de France (pictured), Wales staged an incredible second-half revival to beat France after the hosts started superbly to surge into a 16-0 half-time lead with tries from Louis Picamoles and Yoann Huget. But Wales were unrecognisable in the second half as Tomos Williams and George North crossed to put them 17-16 ahead. Camille Lopez put France back in front but North intercepted a wild pass to seal Wales' 10th straight win. The match-winning score came after a moment of madness from French lock Sebastien Vahaamahina, who threw a recklessly high-risk miss-pass which North picked off and juggled before speeding to the line. The British and Irish Lions wing had shown a similarly predatory instinct for his first try, pouncing on Huget's calamitous fumble on his own line.

Man City beat Arsenal to move within two points of Liverpool

Manchester City beat Arsenal 3-1 on Sunday with a hat-trick from prolific marksman Sergio Aguero to move within two points of table-topping Liverpool, who play West Ham United on Monday night. Manchester United maintained their unbeaten run under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a 1-0 win at Leicester to move into fifth place above Arsenal while Tottenham Hotspur remained third following a hard-earned 1-0 home win over Newcastle United thanks to a late goal from South Korea’s Son Heung-Min. At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea bounced back from a 4-0 midweek drubbing at AFC Bournemouth to remain in fourth place with an emphatic 5-0 defeat of bottom club Huddersfield. Belgium striker Eden Hazard and new recruit Gonazalo Huguain scored a brace each as the Blues put Huddersfield to the sword. At the Etihad Stadium, Sergio Aguero's 14th hat-trick for Manchester City saw his side bounce back from last Monday’s shock defeat at Newcastle United. He put the reigning champions ahead inside the first minute, but Arsenal swiftly restored equality as Laurent Koscielny escaped poor marking to head home from a corner. City's nerves were eased by a magnificent second from Aguero just before the break and he secured City's win when he bundled in Sterling's cross after 61 minutes. At the King Power Stadium, Manchester United extended their unbeaten run under Solskjaer to 10 games thanks to Marcus Rashford, who continued his goalscoring form with the winner in the ninth minute - his 10th goal of the season. He took a lofted ball from Paul Pogba, allowing it to come over his shoulder before taking a neat touch and drilling a low shot past Kasper Schmeichell. In the Scottish Premiership, defending champions Celtic moved six points clear at the top of the table as goals in the final 12 minutes by James Forrest and Timothy Weah floored St Johnstone. Rangers remained second after hammering St Mirren 4-0 at home.

Lyon end Paris Saint Germain’s unbeaten record in French Ligue 1 

Third-placed Lyon ended Paris Saint Germain’s unbeaten record in Ligue 1 on Sunday evening but the defending champions, who were without the injured Neymar, still head the table by 10 points, with Lille in second spot after an easy 4-0 home win over Nice. PSG, who have two games in hand over Lille and Lyon, opened the scoring in the seventh minute through Angel Di Maria but Lyon hit back through Moussa Dembele in the 33rd minute and got the winner four minutes into the second half with a Nebil Fakir penalty. Montpellier remained in fifth spot after picking up a point in a 1-1 draw away to local rivals Nimes. In the Spanish La Liga, a Lionel Messi double saw Barcelona come from 2-0 down to draw against an impressive Valencia at the Nou Camp. Kevin Gameiro struck the opener for the visitors, before Daniel Parejo doubled their lead from the penalty spot. Messi scored his first from the spot, with his second a curler from the edge of the box in the 64th minute. Barca stayed six points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid who went down 1-0 to real Betis. Real Madrid cemented third place, two points behind Atletico, with a 3-0 home win over Alaves. In the Italian Serie A, former Arsenal forward Gervinho struck twice in the second half as Parma came from 3-1 down to earn a point at leaders Juventus. Cristiano Ronaldo gave Juve the lead in the 36th minute with a deflected shot. There were then three goals in six second-half minutes - Juve's Daniele Rugani volleyed in and Antonino Barilla headed home for Parma before Ronaldo nodded in his second. Gervinho's flicked effort and strike in stoppage time completed the fightback. Second-placed Napoli cut the lead on champions Juve to nine points with a 3-0 home win over Sampdoria. In the German Bundesliga, Bayern Munich's hopes of a seventh successive Bundesliga title suffered a blow as Bayer Leverkusen came from a goal down to beat the champions. Niko Kovac's side are now seven points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund who drew 1-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt. Leon Goretzka's header gave Bayern the lead before Leon Bailey equalised with a brilliant 20-yard free-kick.Leverkusen's Kevin Volland then fired in following a sweeping move and Lucas Alario's tap-in sealed the fightback.

Patriots beat the Rams to win Super Bowl for a record equalling sixth time.

 The New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Atlanta on Sunday in the lowest scoring Super Bowl played to capture the National Football League championship for a record-tying sixth time.The victory, which moves the Patriots into a share of the all-time mark with the Pittsburgh Steelers, was also a record sixth Super Bowl triumph for Tom Brady, who at 41 became the oldest quarterback to win the championship game. Brady was joined in the record books by 66-year-old Bill Belichick who becomes the oldest coach to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy. Brady again orchestrated the victory finally cracking open a tight 3-3 defensive battle late in the fourth quarter when he hit Rob Gronkowski with a 29-yard to set up a two-yard touchdown run by Sony Michel. The Rams looked ready to hit right back when Jared Goff marched Los Angeles into New England territory only to be intercepted on the four-yard line with four minutes to play. Brady moved in for the kill with another drive to set up kicker Stephen Gostkowski who nailed a 41-yarder with 72 seconds remaining to clinch New England’s third Super Bowl since 2015.

West Indies thrash England again to win Test series

Kemar Roach and captain Jason Holder took four wickets each as West Indies thumped England by 10 wickets in the second test in Antigua to gain an unbeatable 2-0 series lead on Saturday. With fellow pace bowler Alzarri Joseph chipping in with two top-order wickets, including the prized scalp of captain Joe Root, the hosts bowled out England for 132 in the second innings. Joseph’s performance came hours after his mother died following a long battle with a brain tumour. West Indies needed only 14 runs in their second innings, and they polished them off quickly to win with more than two days to spare. John Campbell clinched victory in appropriate Calypso fashion with a six over mid-wicket as batting great Viv Richards, after whom the stadium is named, grinned broadly in the crowd, ever the epitome of cool in his dark sunglasses. West Indies lead the three-test series 2-0. In Canberra, pace bowler Mitchell Starc took his second five-wicket haul in the match to power Australia to a 366-run win on the fourth day of the second Test against Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval and a 2-0 sweep of the series. Chasing an improbable 516 for victory, the touring side were all out for 149 in the second session of the fourth day after losing the opening test by an innings and 40 runs. In Wellington, India scored 252 to beat New Zealand by 35 runs in the fifth and final ODI to win the series 4-1.

Dustin Johnson wins Saudi International by two strokes

Dustin Johnson held off China's Li Haotong to win the inaugural Saudi International by two strokes on Sunday. England's Tom Lewis was a further shot behind in third after a round of 65. American Johnson, who headed into the final round in a share of the lead with Li, finished with back-to-back birdies to claim victory at 19 under par. "I am pleased with the outcome, but feel I should have played a lot better," said Johnson, who will move to second in the world rankings on Monday. Li also claimed a shot back at the 18th to edge ahead of Lewis, who had started the day with five successive birdies. A four-under-par final round made Ian Poulter the next best-placed Englishman in a tie for sixth place at 11 under par. Saturday's third round had been dominated by the disqualification of Sergio Garcia for serious misconduct after damaging the greens.

Rickie Fowler recovers to win Phoenix Open in dramatic style

American Rickie Fowler lost a four-shot lead in bizarre fashion at the Phoenix Open on Sunday but recovered to win the event. A Fowler chip on the 11th went into the water and he took a drop shot, which also rolled back into the hazard to force him to take another drop. He found the green and putted in for a triple bogey seven but also dropped a shot on the 12th. South Africa's Branden Grace briefly led before Fowler birdied the 15th and 17th on the way to victory. Fowler, 30, finished on 17 under after a three-over-par final round of 74, while Grace finished on 15 under after a two-under 69 on the last day. "It was a bit of a rollercoaster," said the world No.14 ranked golfer. "Other than two holes, it was a decent round.”

Germany and Italy join France and UK in new format Davis Cup finals

Australia, Germany, Serbia and Italy have won their Davis Cup ties to make it through to the 18-nation World Cup-style event in Madrid in November. Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Netherlands and Russia also won their qualifying ties. They join automatic qualifiers Croatia, France, Spain and USA, plus wildcards Great Britain and Argentina, in the finals. Serbia, without world No.1 Novak Djokovic, were given a scare by Uzbekistan but emerged 3-2 victors. Japan had to come back from 2-1 down against China to reach the finals, with Taro Daniel beating Zhe Li 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 in the deciding match. Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Norbert Gombos 6-3 6-4 in a decider to send Canada through at the expense of Slovakia, while Chile knocked out Austria thanks to Christian Garin's 6-2 6-1 victory over Jurij Rodionov in the final rubber. Switzerland, who were missing 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, fell 3-1 to Russia. There were also 3-1 wins for Italy over India, Kazakhstan against Portugal and for Netherlands in their tie with Czech Republic. Germany were emphatic 5-0 winners against Hungary, while Australia and Colombia were comfortable 4-0 victors against Bosnia & Herzegovina and Sweden respectively. The Davis Cup format has undergone an overhaul and has been replaced by the new event .

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

http://www.bbc.com/sport, http://www.espn.com, http://www.lequipe.fr, http://www.reuters.com/news/sports, www.skysports.com, www.eurosport.fr.

Calendar Keynotes: 4-10 February 

Monday, 4 February

Football: English Premier League – West Ham United v Liverpool, Italian Serie A – Frosinone v Atlanta.

Tennis: ATP Open Sud de France, Montpellier (till 10 February).

Winter Sport: FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, Are, Sweden (till 17 February). 

Tuesday, 5 February

Football: French Ligue 1 – Marseille v Bordeaux, French Coupe de France (major clubs) – Croix Iris CF v Dijon, Nantes v Toulouse, Bastia v Caen, German DFB Cup (major clubs) – 1.FC Heidenheim 1846 v Beyer 04 Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund v Werder Bremen

Tennis: ATP Open Sud de France, Montpellier (till 10 February).

Winter Sport: FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, Are, Sweden (till 17 February). 

Wednesday, 6 February

Football: English Premier League – Everton v Manchester City, Scottish Premiership – Aberdeen v Rangers, Celtic v Hibernian, Dundee v Kilmarnock, Hamilton Academical v St Johnstone, Hearts v Livingston, French Coupe de France (major clubs) – Villafranche v Paris Saint Germain, Rennes v Lille, Spanish Copa del Rey – Barcelona v Real Madrid, German DFB Cup (major clubs) – RB Leipzig v VfL Wolfsburg, FC Schalke 04 v Fortuna Dusseldorf, Hertha Berlin v Bayern Munich.

Cricket: International Twenty20 – New Zealand v India, Wellington, South Africa v Pakistan, Centurion.

Tennis: ATP Open Sud de France, Montpellier (till 10 February).

Winter Sport: FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, Are, Sweden (till 17 February). 

Thursday, 7 February

Football: French Coupe de France – Guingamp v Lyon, Spanish Copa del Rey – Real Betis v Valencia, Italian Serie A – Lazio v Empoli.

Tennis: ATP Open Sud de France, Montpellier (till 10 February).

Golf: USPGA Tour, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Saint-Omer GC, Acquin-Westbecourt, France (till 10 February), PGA European Tour, Vic Open, 13th Beach GC, Barwon Heads, Victoria, Australia (till 10 February).

Winter Sport: FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, Are, Sweden (till 17 February). 

Friday, 8 February

Football: French Ligue 1 – Dijon v Marseille, Italian Serie A – Chievo v Roma, German Bundesliga – Mainz 05 v Beyer 04 Leverkusen.

Cricket: International Twenty20 – New Zealand v India, Auckland.

Tennis: ATP Open Sud de France, Montpellier (till 10 February).

Golf: USPGA Tour, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Saint-Omer GC, Acquin-Westbecourt, France (till 10 February), PGA European Tour, Vic Open, 13th Beach GC, Barwon Heads, Victoria, Australia (till 10 February).

Winter Sport: FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, Are, Sweden (till 17 February).

Saturday, 9 February

Football: English Premier League – Fulham v Manchester United, Huddersfield Town v Arsenal, Liverpool v AFC Bournemouth, Scottish Cup fifth round (major clubs) – Hibernian v Raith Rovers, Kilmarnock v Rangers , French Ligue 1 – Paris Saint Germain v Bordeaux, Nantes v Nimes, Spanish La Liga – Getafe v Celta Vigo, Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid, Italian Serie A – Fiorentina v Napoli, Parma v Inter Milan, German Bundesliga – Borussia Dortmund v 1899 Hoffenheim, Borussia Monchengladbach v Hertha Berlin, RB Leipzig v Eintracht Frankfurt, SC Freiburg v VfL Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich v FC Schalke 04.

Rugby Union: Six Nations – Scotland v Ireland, Italy v Wales.

Cricket: West Indies v England, 3rd Test, Saint Lucia (till 13 February – West Indies lead series 2-0)

Tennis: ATP Open Sud de France, Montpellier (till 10 February), Fed Cup World Group 1st round – Belarus v Germany, Liege, Belgium, France v Belgium, Ostrava, Czech Republic, Czech Republic v Switzerland, Braunschweig, Germany (till 10 February).

Golf: USPGA Tour, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Saint-Omer GC, Acquin-Westbecourt, France (till 10 February), PGA European Tour, Vic Open, 13th Beach GC, Barwon Heads, Victoria, Australia (till 10 February).

Winter Sport: FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, Are, Sweden (till 17 February). 

Sunday, 10 February

Football: English Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, Manchester City v Chelsea, Scottish Cup – Celtic v St Johnstone, Hearts v Auchinleck Talbot, Aberdeen v Queen of the South, French Ligue 1 – Montepellier v Monaco, Toulouse v Reims, Guingamp v Lille, Nice v Lyon, Spanish La LIga –, Valencia v Real Sociedad, Sevilla v Eibar, Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona, Italian Serie A – Atalanta v SPAL, Sassuolo v Juventus, AC Milan v Cagliari, German Bundesliga – Werder Bremen v FC Augsburg

Rugby Union: Six Nations – England v France.

Cricket: West Indies v England, 3rd Test, Saint Lucia (till 13 February – West Indies lead series 2-0)

Tennis: ATP Open Sud de France, Montpellier (final day), Fed Cup World Group 1st round – Belarus v Germany, Liege, Belgium, France v Belgium, Ostrava, Czech Republic, Czech Republic v Switzerland, Braunschweig, Germany (final day).

Golf: USPGA Tour, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Saint-Omer GC, Acquin-Westbecourt, France (final day), PGA European Tour, Vic Open, 13th Beach GC, Barwon Heads, Victoria, Australia (final day).

Winter Sport: FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, Are, Sweden (till 17 February).

 

 

 

 

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