The sports wrap, Monday 9 December 2019

Anthony Joshua gets his belts back after beating Andy Ruiz

Joshua beats Ruiz to get back his heavyweight titles

Britain’s Anthony Joshua beat Andy Ruiz Jr on a unanimous points decision in Saudi Arabia  to seize back the heavyweight world championship belts he lost to his Mexican-American opponent in a shock upset last June.The ‘Clash on the Dunes’ in Diriyah was for the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles and Joshua set the pace from the start with a measured masterclass that showed he had learned from the nightmare of New York. The judges scored the fight 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109

Joshua easily beat Ruiz who said he was overweight

to the 30-year-old Briton. “It was his night, man,” said Ruiz as his six-month reign ended in the 15,000 seat arena on the outskirts of the capital Riyadh. Ruiz had stopped the previously undefeated Briton in the seventh round at Madison Square Garden but there was to be no second bolt of lightning from the man in the golden gloves and shorts. He suffered a nasty gash over his left eye early on, with Joshua also bloodied on the brow in the second round to keep the cornermen busy to the end.

Leicester remain in the chase as City slip up 

Unbeaten Liverpool remain eight points clear of Leicester City at the top of the Premier League after comfortably beating Bournemouth. Only Leicester seem in the hunt to challenge the Reds after an easy 4-1 victory at Aston Villa. Champions Manchester City are now 14 points behind Liverpool in third place after city rivals Manchester United beat them 2-1. Chelsea are fourth after a 3-1 defeat at Everton while United move up to fifth ahead of Tottenham

Jose Mourinho congratulates Son Heung-Min after his wonder goal in Spurs’ 5-0 home win over Burnley

Hotspur who beat Burnley 5-0, highlighted by a wonder solo goal from Son Heung-Min.

At Villa Park, Jamie Vardy scored twice as Leicester City thrashed Aston Villa 4-1 to make it a club record eight league wins in a row. Vardy linked up with Kelechi Iheanacho to open the scoring after 20 minutes,Iheanacho added the Foxes’ second from close range only for Villa captain Jack Grealish to whip an effort into the bottom corner on the stroke of half-time. The hosts’ comeback was short lived, however, with Jonny Evans heading in from a corner shortly after the interval. Vardy then dashed clear with 15 minutes remaining to slide an effort home.

At the Vitality Stadium, Liverpool had a comfortable 3-0 win over Bournemouth with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opening the scoring after a brilliant long-range pass from Jordan Henderson. Naby Keita made it 2-0 before the break, slotting in with the outside of his foot after Mohamed Salah set him up with a sublime backheel. Keita then turned provider for Salah as Liverpool eased to victory. It extends Liverpool’s club record unbeaten run to 33 league games, winning 15 of 16 games this season.

At the Etihad Stadium. Manchester United dented neighbours Manchester City’s title hopes with a superb counter-attacking 2-1 victory in the local derby.  Marcus Rashford’s first-half penalty, which was awarded after a VAR check, put United ahead. Anthony Martial scored the second with a left-foot shot off the post and Nicolas Otamendi replied with a late header for City. United’s win was no more than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side deserved after they repeatedly carved the hosts’ defence apart in the opening stages.

In the Scottish League Cup final,  10-man Celtic survived a Rangers onslaught – including a missed penalty – to clinch their fourth Scottish League Cup in a row and 10th consecutive domestic trophy. Christopher Jullien slammed in the winner with Celtic’s only shot on target, though the French defender appeared a yard offside. But three minutes later in a frantic contest, Jeremie Frimpong was sent off after fouling Alfredo Morelos in the box, only for Fraser Forster to save the Colombian’s penalty.

PSG beat Montpellier to remain five points clear

Paris St-Germain came from behind to beat 10-man Montpellier 3-1 and remain five points clear at the top of Ligue 1. The hosts had led through Leandro Paredes’ own goal but the game changed when they had Pedro Mendes sent off for two bookings with 18 minutes to go. Neymar scored the resulting free-kick and then French international Kylian Mbappe blasted them into the lead – the 20-year-old’s 40th goal in his past 39 league games. Mauro Icardi volleyed home Mbappe’s cross to make sure of the win. Marseille stay second behind PSG after a 3-1 home win over Bordeaux on Sunday night. bouncing back after going 1-0 down in the first half. While Montpellier slip to 10th on the table, Nimes share bottom spot with Toulouse after a 4-0 home loss to Lyon.

In the Spanish La Liga, Lionel Messi celebrated winning his sixth Ballon d’Or with a hat-trick as champions Barcelona beat Mallorca 5-2 to move top of the table, ahead of Real Madrid on goal difference who had earlier

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick to keep Barcelona at the top of La Liga ahead of Real Madrid

beaten Espanyol 2-0.  Messi scored two excellent finishes from outside the box before smashing in a third off the underside of the crossbar. Antoine Griezmann had opened the scoring for Barca, with Luis Suarez netting an outrageous backheel. Ante Budimir scored twice for struggling Mallorca.

In the Italian Serie A, Lazio came from behind to beat Juventus 3-1 and hand the defending champions their first defeat of the season, scoring the two decisive goals in the final 20 minutes after the Turin side had Juan Cuadrado controversially sent off. Juventus stay second, two points behind Inter Milan, with 36 points from 15 games while Lazio, who are third, closed the gap on their opponents to three points after their seventh successive league win. Inter drew 0-0 with Roma at home on Friday night.

In the German Bundesliga, leaders Borussia Monchengladbach scored an injury-time winner to beat champions Bayern Munich 2-1. Bayern – who have won the title for the past seven years – are now seventh, seven points behind Gladbach. They had led when Ivan Perisic smashed home from the edge of the box. But Ramy Bensebaini powered in a header to level and then scored an injury-time penalty to seal a dramatic victory after Javi Martinez fouled Marcus Thuram in the box and was sent off. Monchengladbach, who last won the title in 1977, are one point above RB Leipzig – who beat Hoffenheim 3-1.

The Irish continue to dazzle in Champions Cup

Last season’s European Champions Cup runners-up Leinster made it three wins out of three to top their pool while champions Saracens’s nightmare season continued to unravel with a 10-3 loss at Munster. The Sarries, already bottom of the Gallagher Premiership on minus 18 points after being penalized for breaching the salary cap have now lost two of their pool matches. It was another good weekend for the Irish with Ulster also unbeaten and topping their pool after a dramatic 25-24 home victory over Harlequins.

In Pool 1, Leinster remain top after a bonus-point 43-16 win at Northampton Saints.

New Zealander James Lowe scored for Leinster in their easy away win over Northampton Saints

Leinster’s James Lowe scored first before Northampton’s Ahsee Tuala crossed in a lively start. Rhys Ruddock claimed Leinster’s second try and the Irish side led at the break thanks to Andrew Porter’s score. The visitors then dominated the second half with tries from Cian Healy, Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath and Ed Byrne sealing victory for the visitors. In the other match, Lyon easily beat Benetton 28-0.

In Pool 2, Exeter Chiefs remained on course for the quarter-finals after extending their lead at the top of the pool with a 22-20 win at Sale. Stuart Hogg starred in a frantic first half, earning Exeter a penalty try and scoring one of his own. Akker van der Merwe’s double kept Sale close, but the Chiefs led at half-time thanks to Luke Cowan-Dickie’s score. Exeter held on to make it three wins from three after Jono Ross’ late score gave the visitors a scare. Exeter now have a six-point lead over Glasgow Warriors who beat bottom club La Rochelle 27-24.

In Pool 3, Clermont Auvergne came from behind to claim a bonus-point 34-17 away win and extend Bath’s cup misery. Welsh international Rhys Priestland’s bright play saw Bath claim the first try but George Moala powered over to draw Clermont level. Greg Laidlaw kicked two second-half penalties and two tries by teenager Samuel Ezeala came either side of an Alexandre Lapandry score. Jonathan Joseph scored a late try as Clermont went top of the pool while Bath stay bottom on only two points. In the other match, John Cooney landed a 79th-minute penalty for unbeaten Ulster to snatch a 25-24 home victory over Harlequins and keep them one point ahead of Clermont at the top of the pool.

In Pool 4, Munster compounded Saracens’ woes and remain second behind Racing 92 after a gritty 10-3 victory at Thomond Park. Peter O’Mahony scored the game’s only try in the first half and the score was enough to maintain Munster’s unbeaten record in this season’s competition. A Ben Spencer penalty gave reigning champions Sarries their only points. Saracens, who were without several England players, earned a losing bonus point and are third in the pool after two defeats. In the other match, Racing 92 hammered Ospreys 40-19 to keep the Welsh side firmly rooted at the bottom of the pool.

In Pool 5,  France’s Romain Ntamack scored twice in Toulouse’s 23-9 win over Montpellier to stretch their advantage at the top with three wins. Centre Ntamack, 20, crossed each side of the interval to put.the record four-time champions six points clear at the top of the standings. In the other match, Tom Marshall scored twice and Welsh teenager Louis Rees-Zammit also dotted down for second-placed Gloucester, who kept their hopes of a quarter-final place alive by beating Connacht 26-17 for a bonus point.

Ding beats Maguire to win UK Championship 

China’s Ding Junhui won his third UK Championship by dispatching Scotland’s Stephen Maguire 10-6 in an absorbing final in York on Sunday night. Ding, 32, last lifted the trophy a decade ago – four years after his first triumph – and had not won a ranking event since

Ding Junhui produced some brilliant snooker to win the UK Championship in York on Sunday night

2017. He made back-to-back centuries to take the first session 5-3 and sealed his victory with successive tons. The 38-year-old Maguire made three tons in four frames, but his poor start proved costly. Ding becomes only the fifth player to win the UK title on three or more occasions. He joins snooker greats Ronnie O’Sullivan (7), Steve Davis (6), Stephen Hendry (5) and John Higgins (3) on an elite list and collected a UK record £200,000 in prize money. “My family give me support and take the pressure. I want to do my best for my daughter so that when she grows up she thinks she has the best daddy,” Ding said after his win.

Stenson wins Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas

Sweden’s Henrik Stenson won his first title in more than two years at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. Stenson hit an eagle on the 15th to shoot a final-round 66 and finish on 18 under, one shot ahead of defending champion Jon Rahm of Spain. Patrick Reed edged US compatriot Tiger Woods by two shots,

Henrik Stenson on the way to winning the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas

while England’s Justin Rose finished joint fifth. Former Open champion Stenson, 43, had not won a PGA event since capturing the Wyndham Championship in August 2017. Rahm secured second place in New Providence with an impressive effort down the back nine, hitting birdies at the 14th and 16th and an eagle on the 15th. Overnight leader Gary Woodland, 35, slipped to joint seventh following a disappointing one-over-par 73 in his final round. Tournament host Woods, 43, shot a final-round three-under-par 69 but Reed, 29, finished above him on 16 under for the tournament.

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

 Calendar Keynotes:  9 – 15 December

Monday, 9 December

Football: English Premier League – West Ham United v Arsenal.

Tuesday, 10 December

Football: Champions League – Group E, FC Red Bull Salzburg v Liverpool, Napoli v KRC Genk, Group F, Borussia Dortmund v Slavia Prague, Inter Milan v Barcelona, Group G, Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg, Lyon v RB Leipzig, Group H, Ajax v Valencia, Chelsea v Lille.

Wednesday, 11 December

Football: Champions League – Group A, Club Bruges v Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain v Galatsaray, Group B, Bayern Munich v Tottenham Hotspur, Olympiakos v Red Star Belgrade, Group C, Dinamo Zagreb v Manchester City, Shakhtar Donesk v Atalanta, Group D, Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow,  Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Juventus.

Cricket: International Twenty20, India v West Indies, Mumbai.

Thursday, 12 December

Football: Europa League (major clubs) – Group A, Apoel Nicosia v Sevilla, Group J, Borussia Monchengladbach v Istanbul Basaksehir, Roma v RZ Pellets WAC, Group K, Wolverhampton Wanderers v Besiktas, Group L, Manchester United v AZ Aklmaar, Partizan Belgrade v FC Astana, Group B, Dynamo Kiev v Lugano, FC Copenhagen v Malmo FF, Group C, FC Basel v Trabzonspor, Getafe v FK Krasnodar, Group D, LASK v Sporting Lisbon, PSV Eindhoven v Rosenborg, Group E, CFR Cluj v Celtic, Rennes v Lazio, Group F, Eintracht Frankfurt v Vitoria Guimaraes, Standard Liege v Arsenal, Group G, FC Porto v Feyenoord, Rangers v Young Boys, Group H, Espanyol v CSKA Moscow, Group I, VfL Wolfsburg v Saint-Etienne.

Cricket: Australia v New Zealand, 1st Test, Perth (till 16 December).

Golf: USPGA Tour, The Presidents Cup, Royal Melbourne GC, Australia (till 15 December).

Friday, 13 December

Football: French Ligue 1 – Lille v Montpellier.

Rugby Union: European Champions Cup – Pool 3, Harlequins v Ulster, Pool 4, Racing 92 v Ospreys. European Challenge Cup – Pool 1, Castres v Yenisey-STM Krasnoyarsk, Dragons v Worcester Warrioers, Pool 4, Brive v Zebre, Pool 5, Pau v Cardiff Blues.

Cricket: Australia v New Zealand, 1st Test, Perth (till 16 December).

Golf: USPGA Tour, The Presidents Cup, Royal Melbourne GC, Australia (till 15 December).

Winter Sports: FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Klingenthal, Germany (till 15 December).

Saturday, 14 December 

Football: English Premier League – Liverpool v Watford, Chelsea v AFC Bournemouth, Leicester City v Norwich City, Scottish Premiership – Aberdeen v Hamilton Academical, Ross County v Kilmarnock, French Ligue 1 – Metz v Marseille, Angers v Monaco, Brest v Nice, Nimes v Nantes, Toulouse v Reims, Spanish La Liga – Real Sociedad v Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao v Eibar, Atletico Madrid v Osasuna, Italian Serie A – Napoli v Parma, German Bundesliga – 1. FC Koln v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Mainz 05 v Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich v Werder Bremen, Hertha Berlin v SC Freiburg, Fortuna Dusseldorf v RB Leipzig.

Rugby Union: European Champions Cup – Pool 1, Benetton v Lyon, Leinster v Northampton Saints, Pool 2, Glasgow Warriors v La Rochelle, Pool 4, Saracens v Munster, Pool 5, Connacht v Gloucester, Montpellier v Toulouse. European Challenge Cup – Pool 2, London Irish v Toulon, Scarlets v Bayonne, Pool 3, Bordeaux Begles v Agen, Wasps v Edinburgh, Pool 4, Stade Francais v Bristol, Pool 5, Rugby Calvisano v Leicester Tigers.

Cricket: Australia v New Zealand, 1st Test, Perth (till 16 December).

Golf: USPGA Tour, The Presidents Cup, Royal Melbourne GC, Australia (till 15 December).

Winter Sports: FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Klingenthal, Germany (till 15 December), FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup, St Moritz, Switzerland (till 15 December), FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup, Val d’Isere, Italy (till 15 December).

Sunday, 15 December

Football  English Premier League – Manchester United v Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal v Manchester City, Scottish Premiership – Motherwell v Rangers, Celtic v Hibernian, French Ligue 1 – Bordeaux v Strasbourg, Lyon v Rennes, Saint-Etienne v Paris Saint Germain, Spanish La Liga – Getafe v Real Valladolid, Sevilla v Villareal, Valencia v Real Madrid, Italian Serie A – Bologna v Atalanta, Juventus v Udinese, AC Milan v Sassuolo, Roma v SPAL, Fiorentina v Inter Milan, German Bundesliga – VfL Wolfsburg v Borussia Monchengladbach, FC Schalke 04 v Eintracht Frankfurt.

Rugby Union: European Champions Cup – Pool 2, Exeter Chiefs v Sale, Pool 3, Clermont Auvergne v Bath.

Cricket: Australia v New Zealand, 1st Test, Perth (till 16 December), one-day international, India v West Indies, Chennai.

Golf: USPGA Tour, The Presidents Cup, Royal Melbourne GC, Australia (final day).

Winter Sports: FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Klingenthal, Germany (final day), FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup, St Moritz, Switzerland (final day), FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup, Val d’Isere, Italy (final day).

Sports awards: BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, BBC One – contenders: Dina Asher-Smith, Lewis Hamilton, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Alun Wyn Jones, Raheem Sterling, Ben Stokes.