FOOTBALL – At the top of the Premier League (PL), leaders Manchester City, courtesy of Mario Balotelli’s 95th minute penalty, defeated Spurs 3-2 and Manchester United won 2-1 at Arsenal to stay second.
Clint Dempsey’s second hat-trick in two weeks helped Fulham whip Newcastle 5-2.
WBA registered only their fourth League win at Stoke in 80 years (2-1). Aston Villa loanee Robbie Keane became the seventh player to score for six different PL clubs with a brace in a 3-2 win over his old club Wolves.
Norwich kept a PL clean sheet for the first time this season, 0-0 v Chelsea, Bolton stunned Liverpool 3-1 and QPR climbed out of the drop-zone with 3-1 victory over Wigan.
Sheffield United failed to score in League One for the first time this season, beaten 1-0 at Charlton; Celtic clipped St Mirren 2-0 to extend their lead at the top of the SPL to four points and who’ll be contesting the LC final – Liverpool or Manchester City v Cardiff or Crystal Palace?
Soccer Shorts There have been two upsets already in the 28th African Cup of Nations…
A rescue group pledged £50,000 to save Darlington FC… Defender Kieran Freeman, 19, achieved a first by playing for all three clubs in his home county of Nottinghamshire – Forest, County and Mansfield Town – in successive weeks…
Chris Coleman is Wales’ new manager… David Beckham is staying with LA Galaxy until 2014… Fernando Torres has now gone 17 games without scoring – his worst run ever…
January’s transfer window closes next Tuesday; so expect some activity before then…
Lionel Messi’s hat-trick helped Barcelona beat Malaga 4-1 and Cristiano Ronaldo struck two penalties in Real Madrid 4-1 win over Athletic Bilbao… And Liverpool-Manchester United is the pick of this weekend’s 16 fourth round FA Cup-ties
CRICKET – Pakistan thrashed England by 10 wickets in Dubai’s first-ever Test match.
This was the 72nd meeting between the countries, Pakistan’s 14th win and their sixth best over England.
BOXING – David Haye and Audley Harrison, who both retired last year, might return to the ring. David Price is England’s new heavyweight champion and Amir Khan has been granted a re-match with Lamont Peterson following the British boxer’s controversial defeat, but the yank isn’t happy chappie!
MOTOR RACING – Bruno Senna will drive for Williams this year while Germany’s Adrian Sutil has been charged with GBH following an incident after the 2011 China GP.
RUGBY – Aviv League leaders Harlequins and Leicester are out, leaving Saracens as the only English team left in the Heineken Cup. Edinburgh and Cardiff are also through.
TENNIS – The big guns were still firing down under when I submitted these notes with Nadal v Federer and Djokovic v Murray the likely men’s semi-final line-up.
Federer who played his 1,000th competitive match on Tuesday, has reached the quarter-finals of 33 consecutive tournaments. Murray has lost the last two Aussie finals.
Five-time champion Serena Williams, who won her 500th competitive tennis match last week is out of the women’s singles.
GOLF – Rory McIlroy’s six-iron shot to the 10th hole in the final round of the US Open, was voted the world’s best drive in 2011.
SNOOKER – Neil Robertson (Australia) beat Shaun Murphy (England) 10-6 to win his first Masters title.
SAILING – Congratulations to Laura Dekker (16) from Holland – the youngest person to circumnavigate the world single-handed.
Photo credit: Jean-Michel Andre
SKIING – Didier Cuche (Switzerland) has won a record 5th downhill slalom title at Kitzbuhel, Austria.
DID YOU KNOW? In 1961, Denis Law scored seven goals for Manchester City in an FA Cup-tie v Luton but ended up a loser!
The 4th round tie at Kenilworth Road was abandoned after 69 minutes due to a waterlogged pitch with City winning 6-2 and Law having scored all their goals.
When the game was replayed, Luton won 3-1 with Law again netting for City.
QUESTION from Sid Carr (Baza): Who are the Premiership’s oldest managers? Answer: Bobby Robson (71), Alex Ferguson (70), Harry Redknapp (65), Roy Hodgson (64), Gerard Houllier & Neil Warnock (63), Guus Hiddink, Arsene Wenger & Joe Kinnear (62), Jim Smith & Luiz Scolari (60).