Wins for each of the top three teams in football’s English Premier League this morning.
Manchester City attacker Raheem Sterling. Photo: Photosport
England forward Raheem Sterling’s 100th Premier League goal was enough to earn leaders Manchester City a 1-0 win over 10-man Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Wolves were doing a fine job of frustrating City in the opening period before striker Raul Jimenez’s dismissal for two yellow cards in quick succession in first-half stoppage time changed the complexion of the game.
The win kept City one point clear of Liverpool, who claimed a 1-0 win over Aston Villa thanks to a Mohamed Salah penalty.
Villa manager and former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was making his return to Anfield, but it was the home side who dominated the first before Salah’s 67th minute spot kick ensured they kept pace.
Chelsea got their title challenge back on track with a dramatic 3-2 home win over Leeds United, settled by an injury-time penalty converted by Jorginho who had earlier scored another spot kick.
The win left Chelsea in third place with 36 points, two off leaders Manchester City and one behind Liverpool.
Meanwhile fifth-placed Arsenal weathered storms on and off the pitch before coasting to a 3-0 win over Southampton.
Gunners manager Mikel Arteta dropped captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the match-day squad for disciplinary reasons.
Cristiano Ronaldo converted a 75th-minute penalty to give Manchester United a barely deserved 1-0 win at Norwich City after the visitors struggled to create chances at Carrow Road.
The result lifted United to fifth place, behind fourth-placed West Ham United on goal difference.
Munro goes big in Big Bash
New Zealand batsman Colin Munro has made an early statement in the Big Bash T20 League in Australia.
The 34-year-old left-hander belted 114 not out off just 73 balls to lead the Perth Scorchers to a 49-run win over Adelaide on Saturday night.
Munro, who was dropped on 11 and again on 58, made the most of his good fortune to smash eight four and six sixes in total.
The Auckland opener struggled early in his innings, taking 48 balls to reach his half-century but eventually found his rhythm and went from 50 to 100 in only 21 balls.
Munro last played for the Black Caps in February last year and was not part of the national squad for the T20 World Cup in the UAE recently.
Verstappen pips Hamilton for F1 finale pole
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen landed a big blow in his winner-takes-all title battle with Lewis Hamilton by seizing pole position for Formula One’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Mercedes’ seven times world champion Hamilton will line up alongside on the front row, with Verstappen on the quicker soft tyres for the start and the Briton going for the more durable mediums.
Photo: Action Plus
The pair are level on points in the standings, with Verstappen ahead 9-8 on race wins – meaning he will be champion regardless of where he finishes if Hamilton fails to score for any reason.
“I didn’t expect that, but amazing job guys,” said the Dutch 24-year-old over the team radio after being told he had secured pole under the Yas Marina floodlights for the second successive season.
“That was a fantastic lap from him,” said Hamilton. “We’re in a good position with our tyres for tomorrow and I hope we can have a good race.”
The pole was Verstappen’s 10th of the 22-race season, more than anyone else, and he was helped with a vital slipstream ‘tow’ down the straights behind his ever-helpful Mexican team mate Sergio Perez, who qualified fourth.
McLaren’s Lando Norris qualified third fastest.
Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas qualified only sixth in his last race for Mercedes.
West Indies players positive for Covid
West Indies fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell and all-rounders Roston Chase and Kyle Mayers will miss the upcoming series in Pakistan after testing positive for Covid-19.
The trio along with a non-coaching member of the team management had returned positive tests in Karachi and would isolate for 10 days, Cricket West Indies (CWI) said, adding that all four were fully vaccinated and did not show major symptoms.
“Our arrival testing protocols in Pakistan have confirmed four COVID-19 positives,” Johnny Grave, CEO of CWI, said in a statement.
“These were confirmed whilst the players and staff were still in room isolation so … we are confident that the tour can continue as everyone else returned negative PCRs prior to their arrival into Pakistan and two negative PCRs since they have been in Karachi.”
West Indies will play three T20s and three 50-over matches in Pakistan starting on Monday in the first visit by an international side since England and New Zealand pulled out of scheduled tours this year for security reasons.
The team will also be without white-ball captain Kieron Pollard for the series after he failed to recover from the hamstring injury he suffered during the Twenty20 World Cup.
Spanish tennis legend dies
Manuel Santana, one of Spain’s greatest tennis players who helped to popularise the sport in the country, has died aged 83.
Santana, four times a Grand Slam champion, died at his home in Marbella, southern Spain, the Madrid Open, a tournament of which he was honorary president, said in a statement.
Spanish tennis legend Manuel Santana. Photo: Photosport
Santana became world number one in 1966, the same year that he won Wimbledon. The previous year, he had won the U.S. Open and led Spain to an upset victory over the United States in the Davis Cup final. He also won Roland Garros in 1961 and 1964.
Coming from a humble family at a time when tennis was considered a sport only for the upper classes in Spain, Santana became a stalwart of the country’s Davis Cup team, amassing a 69-17 win-loss record in singles between 1958 and 1973.
He also won the tournament at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico, where tennis was a demonstration event.
He won the first of eight Spanish Championships titles in 1958. In all, he won 72 singles titles, the last one coming in Barcelona in 1970.