The sports wrap 11th September 2017

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Froome hails Grand Tour double as  “greatest achievement”.

Chris Froome has become the first Briton to win the Vuelta a Espana as he safely completed the final processional Stage 21 of the three-week race from Arroyomolinos to Madrid on Sunday. After Spain’s Alberto Contador won the penultimate stage of this year’s race on Saturday, the 32-year-old became only the third man in history to win the Tour de France and Vuelta in the same year, following Jacques Anquetil (1963) and Bernard Hinault (1978). Froome sealed his triumph after Contador, who retires after the race, surged clear on the gruelling 13.2km ascent of Alto de Angliru. Team Sky’s Froome was third, 17 seconds behind Contador but 34 clear of Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali to extend his lead over the Italian to two minutes, 15 seconds. Froome’s win also chalks up a fifth Grand Tour victory for the four-time Tour de France champion and moves him up to joint seventh on the all-time list. Eddy Merckx, who is also one of six riders to win each of the three Grand Tours (the other being the Giro d’Italia) at least once, leads the way with 11. Froome hailed the double triumph as probably “my greatest achievement”. Italy’s Matteo Trentin won Sunday’s final stage to claim his fourth of the race. In Cardiff, Dutchman Lars Boom sealed a second overall victory in the Tour of Britain as Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen won the final stage to Cardiff on Sunday. Boasson Hagen launched a solo attack with 3km remaining and managed to stay out in front despite the efforts of the sprinters to chase him down. Boom (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), also champion in 2011, began the stage in Worcester with a slender eight-second lead over Stefan Kung (BMC Racing Team) but did a good job protecting it as those still in with a chance of overall victory piled on the pressure.

United, City stay on top of English Premier League

The two Manchesters remain unbeaten and stay top of the English Premier League after United drew 2-2 at Stoke City and City thumped Liverpool 5-0 at home, helped by a controversial first-half red card for striker Sadio Mane with the score at 1-0 for a high challenge on City goalkeeper Ederson. City, however, played some breath-taking attacking football while United had to battle against Stoke who grabbed a draw and ended United’s 100 percent record with two goals from their new Cameroonian striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. United stay top on goal difference while last season’s champions Chelsea move up to third with a 2-1 win at Leicester with unbeaten Watford now in fourth spot with a 2-0 away victory at Southampton. Tottenham are fifth after easily beating a woeful Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park. Newly-promoted Huddersfield could move up to third if they beat West Ham on Monday night.

Paris St Germain top Ligue 1 with fifth straight win

Paris St Germain thrashed pointless Metz 5-1 away on Friday night while Nice upset reigning champions Monaco 4-0 on Sunday to end their 100 percent record and leave the Parisians three points clear at the top of Ligue 1. Mario Balotelli scored twice as Nice thrashed Monaco, ending their winning start to the season. The former Manchester City and Liverpool striker netted from the penalty spot after just six minutes and tapped in his second from close range. In between, Alassane Plea broke clear and slotted in for the home side. Debutant Ignatius Ganago added a fourth for Nice late on, going round the goalkeeper and tucking in. In Metz, Kylian Mbappe scored on his debut for Paris St-Germain as the 18-year-old, who will cost PSG 180m euros when he makes his loan move from Monaco permanent next summer, impressed throughout alongside the world’s most expensive player Neymar. In the German Bundesliga, Bayern Munich suffered their first league defeat since April when Mark Uth scored twice as Hoffenheim won 2-0 and sent them into fifth place. In Spain, Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick to help see off Espanyol in the Catalan derby and take Barcelona top of La Liga. In contrast, Real Madrid, without the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo, had to settle for their second successive draw, 2-2 at home against Valencia, which dropped them to seventh place in the table headed by Barcelona and Real Sociedad, both on nine points. In Italy’s Serie A, Juventus and Inter Milan head the table with a maximum nine points from three matches, the Bianconeri defeating Chievo 3-0 at home, while the Milanese beat SPAL 2-0.

Rafael Nadal wins US Open in straight sets

Rafael Nadal won his third US Open and 16th Grand Slam title – three short of Roger Federer – with a one-sided victory over South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in New York on Sunday night. The world No.1 powered to a 6-3 6-3 6-4 victory in the men’s final at Flushing Meadows. The 31-year-old Spaniard has now won two Slams in the same year for the first time since 2013, having won the French Open in June. In the women’s final on Saturday, unseeded Sloane Stephens completed a spectacular return from injury by beating fellow American and close friend Madison Keys. Stephens, ranked 83rd, beat 15th seed Keys 6-3 6-0 in the final. The 24-year-old was ranked as low as 957th six weeks ago, having only returned from 11 months out with a foot injury at Wimbledon. She becomes only the fifth unseeded woman to win a major title in the Open era. In the mixed doubles final, Scotland’s Jamie Murray and former Swiss women’s singles No.1 Martina Hingis added the US Open title to their Wimbledon crown with a 6-1 4-6 10-8 victory over Michael Venus and Hao-Ching Chan after their third-seeded opponents took the second set to force a championship tie-break. On Sunday night Hingis added a second Grand Slam title when she partnered Taiwan’s Chan Yung-Yan to take the women’s doubles with a 6-3 6-2 win over Czech partnership Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova.

Montpellier make it a hat-trick of wins to head Top 14 table

Montpellier Herault made it three wins out of three to head the Top 14 table thanks to a dramatic late try from Fijian Nemani Nadolo which gave them a 22-17 away win over Castres on Saturday. After easily dispatching Agen and Oyonnax at home this was the visitors’ first significant test, but they began impressively and went 6-0 ahead via a brace of Ruan Pienaar penalties. Christophe Urios’ men hit back via Benjamin Urdapilleta, who kicked successive three-pointers, before a well-worked move ended in Julien Dumora touching down out wide. Despite being 11-6 in arrears, Montpellier continued to battle and further Pienaar penalties either side of the break regained the away team’s advantage. In a see-saw encounter, Urdapilleta took Castres back in front and Rory Kockott then extended their buffer 13 minutes from time. Vern Cotter’s charges were not finished, however, and after Pienaar had closed the gap with his fifth penalty, Nadolo won the game by surging down the left-wing and going over. La Rochelle thumped reigning Top 14 champions Clermont Auvergne 51-20 at home to move into third spot just behind Racing 92 who beat CA Brive 25-6. The loss sends Clermont into an unfamiliar 11th position on the Top 14 table.

Bath and Newcastle top the Aviva Premiership table

Semesa Rokoduguni’s late brace of tries clinched victory for Bath against European champions Saracens and kept their 100 percent record in an Aviva Premiership thriller at the Recreation Ground. The hosts raced into a 14-0 lead courtesy of the boot of Rhys Priestland and a try from Francois Louw. After the break Mark McCall’s side got back to 17-16 with a penalty try, before Ben Spencer put them two points ahead with seven minutes to play. However, Rokoduguni and Bath were not finished, and the Fijian-born England winger’s pace and power won the game for the hosts. Bath, in second spot, remain unbeaten at home since March, while Saracens are off to Philadelphia in the US to face top-of-the table Newcastle Falcons in their next Premiership match. A Newcastle late penalty try gave them victory over Sale Sharks on an error-strewn night at the AJ Bell Stadium. The hosts dominated the first-half possession but held only a 3-0 lead at the break courtesy of AJ MacGinty’s boot. Sonatane Takulua levelled the scores in the second and, after the two kickers traded penalties, MacGinty extended Sale’s cushion to six points. However, Falcons’ pack had the last word to maintain their 100 per cent start.

All Blacks come from behind to beat Argentina

New Zealand came from behind to beat Argentina 39-22 and maintain their 100 percent record in the Southern Hemisphere Rugby Championship. The victory puts the All Blacks top of the table after South Africa drew 23-23 with Australia in Perth. The All Blacks trailed 16-15 at half-time but recovered to seal a 39-22 win at Yarrow Park in New Plymouth. Rookie flanker Vaea Fifita’s try, while the home side were down to 14 men after Beauden Barrett had been sin-binned, brought the scores level at 22-22. Until then, the Pumas were heading for a major upset and their first win over New Zealand in 25 attempts. South Africa fought back from a 10-point deficit to secure the draw in Australia. The Wallabies were in command at 20-10 at the start of the second half, but the Springboks stepped up their domination of the breakdown and set piece to take the lead before the tie ended level. The result means South Africa remain unbeaten in six Tests this year, but they sit three points behind world champions New Zealand, whom they meet next in the championship.

Anderson bowls England to Test series win over West India

Seamer James Anderson, who took his 500th Test wicket on Friday, took a career-best 7-42 at Lord’s on Saturday to lead England to a series-clinching nine-wicket victory over West Indies in the third and deciding Test. Anderson claimed five wickets on day three as West Indies were bowled out for 177, despite 62 from Shai Hope. Set 107, England were taken to their target by an unbroken stand of 72 between Mark Stoneman and Tom Westley. The 2-1 series win not only extends an unbeaten home record against West Indies that dates back to 1988 but also sends England off on their defence of the Ashes on the back of two Test series wins in Joe Root’s first summer as captain after the 3-1 defeat of South Africa. England play one Twenty20 and five one-day internationals against the Windies to conclude the home summer before travelling to Australia in October. Anderson’s seven-wicket haul took him back to No.1 on the ICC Test bowling rankings.

Reigning champion Marquez wins rain-hit San Marino MotoGP

Spaniard Marc Marquez seized the lead on the last lap to win a soaking San Marino Grand Prix for Honda on Sunday and pull level at the top of the overall standings with works Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso. Italian Danilo Petrucci, who led for much of the race at the Misano circuit on Italy’s Adriatic coast, had to settle for second on a non-works Ducati with compatriot Dovizioso a distant third. Current MotoGP champion Marquez and Dovizioso are now tied on 199 points with Spaniard Maverick Vinales, who finished fourth for Yamaha, third on 183. The top two have both won four races but Marquez has more second places. Vinales was the sole works Yamaha rider after Italian rider Valentino Rossi, who is fourth in the championship on 157 points, broke his leg in training last week.

Mo Farah claims fourth successive Great North Run victory

Britain’s Mo Farah, who quit the track last month after a stellar career, claimed a record fourth successive victory in the 37th Great North Run in South Shields on Sunday. The 34-year-old defeated New Zealand’s Jake Robertson in a thrilling duel to win in one hour six seconds. London Marathon winner Mary Keitany of Kenya surged to her third victory in the women’s race in 1:05:59. Farah equals the number of victories in the race by Kenyan Benson Masya, who won in 1991, 1992, 1994 and 1996. The four-time Olympic gold medallist, who ended his track career with victory in the 5,000m in Zurich last month, timed his push for the line to perfection to pass Robertson and finish six seconds clear. “That was really, really tough, Farah told the BBC. “I think it was a lack of training really.”

Fitzpatrick wins European Masters in play-off

Matthew Fitzpatrick won his fourth European Tour title with a dramatic play-off victory over Australia’s Scott Hend at the European Master on Sunday. The 23-year-old shot a closing six-under 64 to end on 14 under at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland. The long-hitting Hend led by three shots going into round four and had an eight-foot putt to win on the second play-off hole. But he missed and a wayward shot from a bunker on the third play-off hole gave Fitzpatrick the chance to close out.

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,
· For county cricket enthusiasts, BBC Local Radio will broadcast live commentary of every single county match with increased coverage on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra most weeks.

Calendar Keynotes: 11 – 17 September

Monday, 11 September
Football: English Premier League – West Ham United v Huddersfield Town.
Tennis: WTA Japan Open, Tokyo (till 17 September)

Tuesday, 12 September
Football: Champions League – Manchester United v FC Basel (Group A), Celtic v Paris St Germain (Group B), Bayern Munich v FC Anderlecht, Chelsea v FK Qarabag (Group C), Barcelona v Juventus (Group D).
Tennis: WTA Japan Open, Tokyo (till 17 September)

Wednesday, 13 September
Football: Champions League – Liverpool v Sevilla (Group E), Feyenoord v Manchester City (Group F), RB Leipzig v Monaco (Group G), Real Madrid v Apoel Nicosia, Tottenham Hotspur v Borussia Dortmund.
Tennis: WTA Japan Open, Tokyo (till 17 September)

Thursday, 14 September
Football: Europa League – SV Zulte Waregem v Nice (Group K), Apollon Limassol v Lyon, Atalanta v Everton (Group E), Arsenal v 1. FC Koln (Group H), Marseille v Konyaspor (Group I).
Golf: USPGA tour, BMW Championship, Conway Farms Golf Club, Lake Forest, Illinois (till 17 September).
Tennis: WTA Japan Open, Tokyo (till 17 September)

Friday, 15 September
Football: French Ligue 1 – Toulouse v Bordeaux
Formula 1 – Singapore Grand Prix (till 17 September)
Tennis: Davis Cup, World Group Semi-Finals – France v Serbia (Lille), Belgium v Australia (Brussels), WTA Japan Open, Tokyo (till 17 September)
Rugby Union: Aviva Premiership – Northampton v Bath.
Golf: USPGA tour, BMW Championship, Conway Farms Golf Club, Lake Forest, Illinois ((till 17 September).

Saturday, 16 September
Football: English Premier League – Liverpool v Burnley, Watford v Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur v Swansea City, Scottish Premiership – Celtic v Ross County, French Ligue 1 – Monaco v Strasbourg, Troyes v Montpellier, Spanish La Liga – Getafe v Barcelona, Atletico Madrid v Malaga, German Bundesliga – Bayern Munich v Mainz 05, Italian Serie A – Crotone v Inter Milan.
Formula 1 – Singapore Grand Prix (till 17 September)
Rugby Union: France Top 14 – Stade Toulouse v Stade Francais, SU Agen Lot-et-Garonne v La Rochelle, Clermont Auvergne v CA Brive, English Aviva Premiership – Newcastle v Saracens (Philadelphia, US), Rugby Championship – New Zealand v South Africa, Australia v Argentina
Tennis: Davis Cup, World Group Semi-Finals – France v Serbia (Lille), Belgium v Australia (Brussels), WTA Japan Open, Tokyo (till 17 September).
Golf: USPGA tour, BMW Championship, Conway Farms Golf Club, Lake Forest, Illinois (till 17 September).

Sunday, 17 September                                                           Football: English Premier League – Chelsea v Arsenal, Manchester United v Everton, French Ligue 1 – Amiens v Marseille, Rennes v Nice, Paris St Germain v Lyon, Spanish La Liga -Real Sociedad v Real Madrid, Italian Serie A – Sassuolo v Juventus, AC Milan v Udinese. Formula 1 – Singapore Grand Prix                                                 Rugby Union: French Top 14 – Montpellier Herault v Toulon, Aviva Premiership – Wasps v Harlequins                                           Tennis: Davis Cup, World Group Semi-Finals – France v Serbia (Lille), Belgium v Australia (Brussels), WTA Japan Open, Tokyo (final day)     Golf: USPGA tour, BMW Championship, Conway Farms Golf Club, Lake Forest, Illinois (final day).