Footy facts in brief

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Photo: Sunderland Assn. Football Club
Sunderland beat Newcastle 3-0


Last weekend Sunderland beat Newcastle 3-0 – their third successive win in the North-East derby. The last time they achieved this was almost 90 years ago. Stoke eclipsed Manchester United for the first time in 30 years, winning 2-1; Everton bounced back from their 4-0 Merseyside defeat by beating Aston Villa 2-1; WBA held Liverpool 1-1, Manchester City lost 1-0 at home against Chelsea.

Chelsea, Arsenal clipped Crystal Palace 2-0, hapless Fulham lost 3-0 to Southampton, West Ham beat Swansea 2-0, Hull and Spurs drew 1-1 and Craig Bellamy became the first player to score for seven different PL clubs by netting in Cardiff’s crucial 2-1 win over Norwich.

Leicester extended their lead at the top of the Championship to ten points (66-56) with a 1-0 win at Bournemouth and Brentford lead Wolves by two in FL1.

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In Scotland’s LC semi-finals, Aberdeen beat St Johnstone 4-0 and Inverness CT, who had equalised with nine men, defeated Hibs on penalties. It’s Dons’ first major final in 14 years and Calley’s first since 2010.

Atletico Madrid are top of Spain’s La Liga for the first time since 1996 after beating Real Sociedad 4-0. Cristiano Ronaldo was sent-off in Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw with Bilbao, Barcelona lost 3-2 at home to Valencia, Almeria were beaten 1-0 in Elche and Malaga took out Sevilla 3-2.

WINDOW CLOSED – When football’s January transfer window closed at 12 midnight last Friday, a total of 422 players had found a new club… there were 182 completed deals involving the 20 Premiership clubs, with Crystal Palace signing six new recruits.

So far this season, top flight clubs in England have spent a record £780 million on players, beating the previous best by £90 million set in 2008-09.

Arsenal signed Swede Kim Kallstrom – but he’s out for six weeks after injuring his back playing beach volleyball! 

LAST GASP DEFEAT – England, leading by six points with three minutes remaining, were pipped at the post 26-24 by France on the opening day of the Six Nations campaign. Elsewhere, reigning champions, and sluggish Wales beat Italy 23-15 and Ireland slammed Scotland 28-6.

FLOWER OUT IN JANUARY – After a quite disastrous tour down under when they won only one of 13 cricket matches against Australia, England have parted company with head coach Andy Flower. Either South African Gary Kirchen or Warwickshire’s Ashley Giles could take over. Meanwhile Scotland – after beating Kenya – have been drawn in England’s group for the 2015 World Cup in New Zealand.

GREAT WIN – For the first time since 1986, Great Britain are in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup after defeating the USA in San Diego, California. Star of the show was Andy Murray who won both his singles matches.

COLD OLYMPICS – Eighty-eight countries will be taking part in the 2014 Winter Olympics which starts in Sochi, Russia today. Team GB will be aiming to win at least four medals. In fact, they have never won one on snow – on ice, yes.

TOP TRAINER – Four of Venetia Williams’ horses won last weekend at Sandown and Flos (Ireland), bringing her a 549-1 four-timer.

BOWLED OVER – Seattle Seahawks dominated Super Bowl XLV111, thrashing Denver Broncos 43-8 in the first ‘final’ played indoors. Seattle led after just 11 seconds and never looked back.

R.I.P. – Ex-Aston Villa, Chelsea, Coventry, Liverpool, Rangers, Notts County and Oldham centre-forward Tony Hateley died last Saturday, aged 72. He scored 248 goals in 455 appearances in 16-years, 1958-74. 

Also Luis Aragones, who coached Spain to Euro 2008 glory, has died aged 75 and former UK 3,000m record holder and 1972 Olympian Andy Holden has passed away, aged 66.

DID YOU KNOW?  West Ham have had 14 managers in 112 years; QPR have had eleven in the last decade. And batting against Australia in 1947, England wicket-keeper Godfrey Evans took 97 minutes to score his first run.

by Tony Matthews


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