Weekend Round-up

A sports-filled weekend with a huge domestic boxing fight, the F1 championship being decided, England rugby internationals and six London clubs featuring in the Premier League.

On top of the world

Lewis Hamilton secured his second drivers’ world championship on Sunday with a victory in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to become the fourth multiple British world champion.

Hamilton, who finished second in qualifying, behind teammate and title-rival Nico Rosberg, finished 67 points clear at the top of the final title standings after his 11th win of the season – and sixth in the last seven races.

Despite the unpopular double-points awarded for the final race Abu Dhabi, Hamilton only needed to finish above Rosberg to become champion – and did so comfortably as the German encountered car trouble.

The 29-year-old Hamilton hailed the victory as “the greatest day of my life.”

Pressure increases on Wenger as Arsenal’s defence exposed again

A late Olivier Giroud stunner could not prevent Arsenal’s third loss of the season as their lack of defensive cover again exposed the Gunners’ frailties at the Emirates Stadium.

Kieran Gibbs deflected Antonio Valencia’s strongly-hit cross into his own net after the north London club were unable to capitalise on strong spells of dominance in the early stages of the match.

Wayne Rooney gave United a two-goal lead with his sides first shot on target after 85 minutes, as quick counter-attacking play tore apart the Arsenal defence. Giroud came from the bench after a three-month absence from injury to score a 20-yard half-volley – but it was not enough to earn his side anything from the game.

Arsenal’s defeat leaves them with their lowest total for 32 years with 17 points from 12 games – and 15 points behind leaders Chelsea.

Palace haunt Liverpool again

Crystal Palace inflicted more misery on struggling Liverpool as they scored two goals in three minutes to earn their second victory of the season.

Rickie Lambert celebrated a rare start for his new club with his first goal of the season after just 90 seconds. Their lead only lasted 15 minutes as Dwight Gayle equalised for Palace after Yannick Boalsie’s shot came off the post.

Joe Ledley and captain Mile Jedinak scored within minutes of each other to ensure Liverpool’s return to the ground, where they effectively lost last season’s title, was an unhappy one.

The defeat leaves Liverpool in 12th with six defeats from 12 games. With Liverpool 18 points behind leaders Chelsea, manager Brendan Rodgers accepts his job may be at risk.

“I’m not arrogant enough to think that I will be in a job through anything. Any manager will tell you that you have to win games and you have to get results, especially after how we’ve been developing as a football club.” said Rodgers.

Leaders Chelsea remain unbeaten

Jose Mourinho’s men opened up a seven-point lead at the top of the table after a comprehensive win against 10-man West Brom at Stamford Bridge.

Diego Costa and Eden Hazard scored in the first half in a dominant display, which ensures the west London club remain undefeated after 12 games.

Chelsea continue their impressive form

Claudio Jacob was sent off to cap a miserable half-hour for West Brom after a two-footed lunge on striker Costa diminished hopes of a comeback.

Mourinho was impressed with his side’s performance: “We are playing well and it is three important points. We made the pitch very wide, we created spaces in the central area, and the result should be better than 2-0.”

QPR unable to stop Newcastle’s winning form

A late Moussa Sissoko strike left Harry Redknapp’s QPR stuck at the foot of the Premier League table as they lost their eighth game from 12.

It was Newcastle’s sixth successive win leaving them fifth in the table after the 1-0 victory at St James’ Park.

QPR failed to consistently test goalkeeper Tim Krul throughout the game with only four shots on target. The defeat leaves them bottom of the table and three points adrift of 17th place Aston Villa.

West Ham’s winning form halted by impressive Everton 

Sam Allardyce was left rueing an ever-growing injury list as his West Ham side lost their first match in six Premier League games on Saturday.

Leading scorer Diafra Sakho joined Enner Valencia, Stewart Downing, Alex Song and Cheikhou Kouyate on the side-lines as they watched Everton score in each half to take all three points at Goodison Park.

Andy Carroll’s long-awaited return to the starting line-up was a subdued one as he was unable to make an impact on the game.

West Ham looked to have won a point as Mauro Zárate equalised seven minutes into the second half. However, a late Leon Osman goal gave Everton a well-deserved victory as Everton remained undefeated in 13 league matches against West Ham.

Tottenham strike late to grab all three

Tottenham Hotspur came from behind to snatch all three points in their game against Hull City on Sunday.

Former Tottenham midfielder Jake Livermore gave City the lead eight minutes in, before a Gaston Ramirez sending off changed the course of the game. Harry Kane equalised 11 minutes after his dismissal and Christian Eriksen completed the second half rally with an injury-time winner.

Spurs’ good fortune continues after another opposition player was sent off. They have not won an away fixture in the Premier League against a side finishing with 11 men since they played Newcastle United in February.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino denied the sending off impacted on the final result. Pochettino said: “I think it did not have a big impact. In the second half our attacking game was better than Hull’s. I’m sure in the end it would have been the same result.

England secure first win of autumn internationals

England finally won their first game of the autumn as they defeated Samoa 28-9 on Saturday evening.

An unconvincing victory, but a much-needed one as England go into their final game of the autumn internationals against Australia with a victory following successive defeats against New Zealand and South Africa.

Jonny May and Mike Brown were the two England players with the tries as they were made to work against a gallant Samoa side at Twickenham.

Bellew-Cleverly fight fails to live up to the hype

Tony Bellew won a split decision against cruiserweight rival Nathan Cleverly in a 12-round fight on Saturday night.

The fight, which was available on Pay-Per-View, could not produce the fireworks promised from both fighters, as Bellew’s natural strength denied Cleverly to win the fight just from his jab.

Bellew was victorious on the judges’ scorecards of 114-115, 116-112, 115-113 and now looks to leave Cleverly behind in order to chase WBO champion Marco Huck next year.

The first nine rounds were evenly matched before Bellew bullied Welshman Cleverly in the final part of the fight at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

James Degale, George Groves and Anthony Joshua all produced victories on the undercard.

Picture credits: Morio (Wikipedia) and BBC Sport (Twitter)

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