The sports wrap, Monday 3 February, 2020

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Novak Djokovic wins his eighth Australian Grand Slam title after defeating Austrian Dominic Thiem

Djokovic wins eighth Australian Grand Slam title

Novak Djokovic defended his Australian Open crown and won a 17th Grand Slam after digging deep into his physical and mental reserves to beat Austrian Dominic Thiem in a gripping five-set final. The Serbian second seed won 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 for a record-extending eighth title at Melbourne Park. Djokovic, 32, twice called the doctor while trailing before fighting back. Fifth seed Thiem, 26, still awaits his first major title after losing a third Grand Slam final. Djokovic, who fluctuated from steely brilliance to being emotionally erratic and back again, took the first of two championship points when Thiem pulled a forehand wide. He made an emotional winning speech where he talked about the “devastating” Australian bushfires, world conflicts and the death of American basketball great, and his “mentor”, Kobe Bryant. “I would like to say this is a reminder that we should stick together more than ever,” Djokovic told the 15,000 crowd. His latest triumph moves him within three of Swiss Roger Federer’s all-time leading tally of 20 men’s singles titles, and only two behind Spain’s Rafael Nadal, who is on 19. In the men’s doubles final,  Britain’s Joe Salisbury claimed his first Grand Slam doubles title as he and 35-year-old American partner Rajeev Ram beat Australian wildcards Max Purcell and Luke Saville 6-4 6-2. Salisbury, 27, and Jamie Murray are the only two British winners of the men’s doubles title in Australia in the Open Era.

France launch Six Nations with victory over England

A rejuvenated France held off England to start their Six Nations campaign with a bang in a 24-17 victory at the Stade de France on Sunday, giving new coach Fabien Galthie a confidence-boosting debut. Les Bleus, who were 17-0 up at the interval, held firm to prevent an embarrassing second-half collapse as England sprung into life around the hour. France captain Charles Ollivon led by example with two tries, one of them debatable, and Vincent Rattez also went over, with the other points coming from Romain Ntamack’s boot.

Man-of-the-match Antoine Dupont helped create two of France’s tries

England threatened a comeback after falling 24-0 behind, with two Jonny May tries converted by Owen Farrell who also slotted a penalty, but it was too late for the World Cup runners-up in their first game since their final defeat by South Africa in Japan. England coach Eddie Jones had promised his team would unleash “brutal physicality” against the French, but they failed to deliver, the absence of Billy and Mako Vunipola as well as Manu Tuilagi’s early substitution being clearly felt. Quick on their feet and brilliantly marshalled by scrumhalf Antoine Dupont, France, with only one player over 30 in one of their youngest ever squads, put England on the back foot and defended with discipline and ferocity.

At Principality Stadium, Cardiff, defending champions Wales recorded a comfortable 42-0 victory over Italy in Wayne Pivac’s first Test match in charge. A hat-trick from Josh Adams and further tries from new cap Nick Tompkins, who scored a stunning effort, and George North set up the victory. Fly-half Dan Biggar added 13 points after being given the goalkicking duties ahead of Leigh Halfpenny.

At the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Andy Farrell’s reign as Ireland coach got off to a winning but unimpressive start as his side earned a fortunate 19-12 win over Scotland. New captain Johnny Sexton scored all of Ireland’s points, including a first-half try, as the hosts profited from Scotland’s inability to take chances. Scotland’s new skipper Stuart Hogg’s knock-on over the line in the second half summed up his side’s try-less day.

Chiefs rally brilliantly to beat 49ers in Super Bowl

Patrick Mahomes produced a brilliant fourth-quarter performance to guide Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl win in 50 years as they came from 10 points behind to stun the San Francisco 49ers in Miami. Quarterback Mahomes, 24, had endured a difficult evening under the pounding pressure of the 49ers and looked set to miss out on the big prize. But then, with his side 20-10 down heading into the fourth quarter, last year’s MVP found two superb throws on third down to

Chiefs celebrate after the Super Bowl final play

continue a season of comebacks as the Chiefs scored 21 unanswered points in four minutes and 57 seconds to take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Damien Williams’ second touchdown of the final quarter put the gloss on the scoreline as the Chiefs capped their wonderful late rally before celebrating a famous win in emotional scenes. “We never lost faith. Everybody on this team, no one had their head down and we found a way to win in the end,” Mahomes, who was named Most Valuable Player, said in a TV interview as his team-mates celebrated under a cloud of confetti.

Liverpool go 22 points clear as Man City lose

Rampant Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the English Premier League to a massive 22 points as second-placed Manchester City went down 2-0 away to Tottenham Hotspur. Leicester City and Chelsea, the third and fourth placed clubs drew 2-2.  The Reds opened up the biggest lead in English top-flight history with a 4-0 home win over

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson scores his side’s second goal

Southampton. They have also equalled City’s record of 20 consecutive Premier League wins at home and only Bill Shankly’s Liverpool team in 1972 had a longer winning streak on home soil in English top-flight history. Four second-half goals gave Liverpool a victory that extends their unbeaten run in the league to 42 games. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored the opener against Southampton just after half time – his second goal in as many league matches – when he drilled the ball low into the bottom corner.Reds’ skipper Jordan Henderson made it 2-0 on the hour mark with a calm finish after being set up by Roberto Firmino. Henderson then played in Mohamed Salah for Liverpool’s third and the Egypt forward added a fourth from close range in the last minute.

In the Scottish Premiership, Celtic moved seven points clear after scoring three times in the final 12 minutes to beat 10-man Hamilton Academical.

Odsonn Edouard scored Celtic’s third

Marios Ogkmpoe gave the hosts a shock lead as Celtic attempted to capitaliseon second-placed Rangers’ draw with Aberdeen. However, Jamie Hamilton’s red card changed the game, with Odsonne Edouard levelling from the resulting free-kick. Accies defended bravely but late goals from Christopher Jullien, Edouard and James Forrest left them bottom.

PSG thrash Montpellier to lead table by 12 points

Defeding champions Paris Saint Germain moved 12 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 after thrashing Montpellier 5-0  – but French striker Kylian Mbappe and Neymar were not happy. Mbappe, who had scored a goal, was furious to be replaced by Mauro Icardi in the second half. Brazilian star Neymar needed lengthy treatment after being injured by Montpellier’s Arnaud Souquet towards the end of the first half and angrily remonstrated with the fourth official in the tunnel at half-time. It was a comfortable win for PSG against the fifth-placed side who finished with nine men. Pablo Sarabia curled PSG into a lead before away keeper Dimitry Bertaud was sent off for handling outside the box. Angel di Maria chipped debutant keeper Matis Carvalho to double the lead before a Daniel Congre own goal. Mbappe and Layvin Kurzawa also scored and Joris Chotard was shown a late red card for a foul on Presnel Kimpembe. Marseille remain second after a disappointing 0-0 draw at 10th-placed Bordeaux.

In the Spanish La Liga, Karim Benzema scored the only goal as Real beat fifth-placed Atletico in the Madrid derby to stay three points clear after second-placed Barcelona on Sunday beat Levante 2-1. The French striker converted Ferland Mendy’s cross from six yards out to give Real a deserved win.  Zinedine Zidane’s side are now unbeaten in 21 games and have won eight in a row – including a penalty shootout success over Atletico in the Spanish Super Cup.

In the Italian Serie A, Cristiano Ronaldo scored two penalties to take his tally to 10 goals in his last six games as league leaders and defending champions Juventus beat Fiorentina 3-0. The hosts were first awarded a spot kick for handball in the first half and Ronaldo swept home the penalty. Rodrigo Bentancur was fouled inside the box towards the end of the second half and Ronaldo again converted. Matthijs de Ligt then headed in a third in injury time. Inter Milan remain in second place, three points behind, after beating Udinese away 2-0.

In the German Bundesliga, champions Bayern Munich are now top after a 3-1 away win over Mainz as title rivals RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach played out an entertaining 2-2 draw. Robert Lewandowski headed Bayern ahead at Mainz and Thomas Muller doubled their lead with Thiago scoring a fine solo goal before Jerry St Juste’s consolation. Borussia Dortmund teenagers Jadon Sancho and Erling Braut Haaland both made history with goals in a convincing 5-0 win over Union Berlin. England’s Sancho became the only teenager to score 25 Bundesliga goals with a deflected strike to open their scoring. New signing Norway international Haaland is the first player to score seven goals in his opening three Bundesliga games. He scored a tap-in to make it 2-0 and blasted in the fifth for third-placed Dortmund.

Catalans beaten by Huddersfield in league opener

Aidan Sezer inspired Huddersfield Giants to an opening-round Super League 32-12 win against a Catalans Dragons side who were without the controversial Israel Folau. The sacked Australian rugby union international is yet to arrive in France, but even in his absence he has overshadowed the first round of games. Huddersfield’s marquee signing Sezer created one try and scored another to given them a 16-6 half-time lead in Perpignan. Jermaine McGillvary’s tries either side of the break helped seal the victory. The Catalans came in for heavy criticism leading up to

Kevin Naiqama scored two tries for defending champions St Helens

the game after signing Folau, who was sacked by Rugby Australia last year for writing homophobic posts on social media. Last season’s champions St Helens ran in eight tries as they began their campaign by thumping 2019 Grand Final opponents Salford Red Devils 48-8. Zeb Taia, Alex Walmsley and Theo Fages all crossed as the hosts eased to a formidable 18-2 lead at half-time. Kevin Naiqama ran in at the corner to extend St Helens’ advantage with Ken Sio scoring Salford’s only try. Naiqama and Jack Welsby made it a pair of tries each as Walmsley added another of his own late on.

McDowell wins by two shots at Saudi International

Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell won his first European Tour title since 2014 with a two-shot victory at the Saudi International in King Abdullah Economic City on Sunday. In windy conditions at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, McDowell negotiated the final round in a level-par 70 to finish at 12-under, two shots clear of American defending champion Dustin Johnson. McDowell’s slim overnight lead evaporated at the opening hole as he carded a bogey after finding the bunker

Graeme McDowell wins by two shots in the Saudi International

with his tee shot. The 40-year-old made the turn in a solid 36 before a bogey at the 13th left him just one shot ahead of the chasing pack. But he birdied the 14th and 15th to land his 11th European Tour victory, his first since a successful defence at the 2014 Open de France. “It’s special,” he said. “I’ve been working hard the last year and a half. I want to be back up there one more time, just to be able to play against these guys. Johnson finished with an eagle at the 18th to leapfrog compatriot Phil Mickelson and Belgian Thomas Pieters into second spot on his own, signing for a 67.

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

http://www.bbc.com/sporthttp://www.espn.comhttp://www.lequipe.frhttp://www.reuters.com/news/sportswww.sports.yahoo.com,www.skysports.comwww.eurosport.frmidilibre.fr.

Calendar Keynotes:  3-9 February

Monday, 3 February

Football: Italian Serie A – Sampdoria v Napoli.

Tennis: ATP Open Sud de France, Montpellier (till 9 February), ATP Cordoba Open, Argentina (till 9 February).

Tuesday, 4 February

Football: FA Cup fourth round replay (major clubs) – Liverpool v Shrewsbury Town, Oxford Town v Newcastle United, French LIgue 1 – Lille v Rennes, Monaco v Angers, Nantes v Paris Saint Germain, Spanish Copa del Rey – Granada v Valencia, German DFB Cup (major clubs) – Frankfurt v RB Leipzig, Schalke v Hertha Berline, Werder Bremen v Borussia Dortmund.

Cricket: South Africa v England, ODI, Cape Town.

Tennis: ATP Open Sud de France, Montpellier (till 9 February), ATP Cordoba Open, Argentina (till 9 February).

Wednesday, 5 February

Football: FA Cup fourth round replay – Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton, Scottish Premierhsip – Aberdeen v St Johnstone, Hearts v Kilmarnock, Motherwell v Celtic, Rangers v Hibernian, Ross County v Livingston, French Ligue 1 – Brest v Bordeaux, Lyon v Amiens, Montpellier v Metz, Nimes v Dijon, Reims v Nice, Toulouse v Strasbourg, Saint-Etienne v Marseille, Spanish Copa del Rey – Mirandes v Villareal, Italian Serie A – Lazio v Hellas Verona, German DFB Cup (major clubs) – Bayer Leverkusen v Stuttgart, Bayern Munich v 1899 Hoffenheim.

Cricket: New Zealand v India, ODI, Hamilton.

Tennis: ATP Open Sud de France, Montpellier (till 9 February), ATP Cordoba Open, Argentina (till 9 February).

Thursday, 6 February

Football: Spanish Copa del Rey – Real Madrid v Real Sociedad, Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona.

Rugby League: Super League – Warrington Wolves v St Helens.

Tennis: ATP Open Sud de France, Montpellier (till 9 February), ATP Cordoba Open, Argentina (till 9 February).

Golf: USPGA Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Pebble Beach, California (till 9 February), European Tour, Vic Open, 13th Beach Golf Links, Victoria, Australia (till 9 February).

Winter Sports: ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, Seoul, South Korea (till 9 February).

Friday, 7 February

Football: French Ligue 1 – Angers v Lille, Italian Serie A – Roma v Bologna.

Rugby Union: Premiership Rugby Cup – Sale v Saracens.

Rugby League: Super League – Castleford Tigers v Wigan Warriors, Hull FC v Hull KR.

Cricket: South Africa v England, ODI, Durban.

Tennis: ATP Open Sud de France, Montpellier (till 9 February), ATP Cordoba Open, Argentina (till 9 February).

Golf: USPGA Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Pebble Beach, California (till 9 February), European Tour, Vic Open, 13th Beach Golf Links, Victoria, Australia (till 9 February).

Winter Sports: ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, Seoul, South Korea (till 9 February), FIS World Cup Alpine Skiing, Chamonix, France (till 9 February), FIS World Cup Alpine Skiing, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany (till 9 February), FIS World Cup Nordic Combined, Otepaeae, Estonia (till 9 February).

Saturday, 8 February

FootballScottish Cup fifth round (major clubs) – Hamilton Academical v Rangers, Aberdeen v Kilmarnock, Ayr v St Johnstone, Inverness CT v Livingston, St Mirren v Motherwell, Falkirk v Hearts, French LIgue 1 – Marseille v Toulouse, Amiens v Monaco, Metz v Bordeaux, Nice v Nime, Spanish La LIga – Getafe v Valencia, Atletico Madrid v Granada, Italian Serie A – Fiorentina v Atlanta, Hellas Verona v Juventus, German Bundesliga – FC Schalke 04 v FC Paderborn 07, SC Freiburg v 1899 Hoffenheim, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund.

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

Rugby League: Super League – Salford Red Devils v Toronto Wolfpack.

Cricket: New Zealand v India, ODI, Auckland.

Tennis: ATP Open Sud de France, Montpellier (till 9 February), ATP Cordoba Open, Argentina (till 9 February).

Golf: USPGA Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Pebble Beach, California (till 9 February), European Tour, Vic Open, 13th Beach Golf Links, Victoria, Australia (till 9 February).

Winter Sports: ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, Seoul, South Korea (till 9 February), FIS World Cup Alpine Skiing, Chamonix, France (till 9 February), FIS World Cup Alpine Skiing, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany (till 9 February), FIS World Cup Nordic Combined, Otepaeae, Estonia (till 9 February).

Sunday, 9 February

Football  English Premier League – Sheffield United v AFC Bournemouth, Manchester City v West Ham United, Scottish Cup fifth round – BSC Glasgow v Hibernian, Clyde v Celtic, French Ligue 1 – Montpellier v Saint-Etienne, Paris Saint Germain v Lyon, Spanish La Liga – Real Sociedad v Athletic Bilbao, Osasuna v Real Madrid, Celta Vigo v Sevilla, Real Betis v Barcelona, Italian Serie A – Genoa v Cagliari, Napoli v Lecce, Parma v Lazio, Inter Milan v AC Milan, German Bundesliga – Borussia Monchengladbach v Koln, Bayern Munich v RB Leipzig.

Rugby Union: Guinness Six Nations – France v Italy.

Rugby League: Super League – Huddersfield Giants v Leeds Rhinos, Wakefield Trinity v Catalans Dragons.

Cricket: South Africa v England, ODI, Johannesburg.

Tennis: ATP Open Sud de France, Montpellier (final day), ATP Cordoba Open, Argentina (final day).

Golf: USPGA Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Pebble Beach, California (till 9 February), European Tour, Vic Open, 13th Beach Golf Links, Victoria, Australia (till 9 February).

Winter Sports: ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, Seoul, South Korea (final day), FIS World Cup Alpine Skiing, Chamonix, France (final day), FIS World Cup Alpine Skiing, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany (final day), FIS World Cup Nordic Combined, Otepaeae, Estonia (till 9 February).