Staff pick

Barcelona 4-0 Deportivo: Luis Suarez And Paulinho Net Twice In La Liga Win

Luis Suarez and Paulinho both scored twice as Barcelona beat Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 to go six points clear at the top of La Liga on Sunday.

Both players scored in either half at the Nou Camp, with the Uruguay striker opening the scoring in the 29th minute before Paulinho doubled the lead in the 41st minute.

Two minutes after the restart, Suarez added a second before the Brazil midfielder rounded off proceedings in the 75th minute to send Barcelona six points ahead of Athletico Madrid, while Deportivo remain in 17th place.

Barcelona could have added to their tally too, but a Suarez strike was not deemed to have gone over the line in the final minute of the first half while Lionel Messi had a penalty saved by Deportivo goalkeeper Ruben in the second half.

Mo Farah Wins BBC Sports Personality Of The Year 2017

World 10,000m champion Sir Mo Farah has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017.

The 34-year-old was presented the award on video link by daughter Rhianna.

Farah won his third successive world 10,000m gold medal in London in August, despite almost falling twice late in the race.

He becomes the first long-distance runner to win the Sports Personality award since Paula Radcliffe in 2002.

World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea was second and two-time Paralaympic champion Jonnie Peacock third

Former Liverpool and Scotland striker Kenny Dalglish announced the award at a sold-out Echo Arena in Liverpool.

Farah, who was at the Sir Mo Farah Track in London, looked genuinely surprised to be named the winner before the video link cut out.

Former sprinter Michael Johnson stepped in to say a few words on Farah's behalf.

"It's well deserved," the American four-time Olympic champion said. "This year he came into his home championships, his last race on the track, and still delivered.

"Over the years he's dominated, he's out there by himself and always got the tactics right."

Farah, one of 12 contenders for the award, has been shortlisted five times before and enjoyed his previous highest finish of third in 2011.

After the show went off air, Farah spoke to those inside the arena.

Appearing close to tears, Farah said he was shocked to win because of the quality of the other athletes up for the award.

"It is pretty amazing and hard to think about," he said.

"I didn't imagine I was every going to win this but I anything can happen. If you work hard you can achieve your dreams.

"I am sorry I could not be there. My kid has been not well.

"I just cannot believe I have won."

A third successive World Championships 10,000m gold medal was the highlight of a year in which Farah also won a world 5,000m silver, missing out on a fifth major championships distance double in a row.

The Somali-born Londoner, a four-time Olympic champion, received a knighthood from the Queen at Buckingham Palace in November.

He bowed out from his track career with a 5,000m victory at the Diamond League event in Zurich in August, and will now concentrate on road races.

In second place, Northern Ireland's Rea became the first rider to clinch three successive World Superbike titles, breaking American Colin Edwards' 15-year record for the number of points scored in a season.

He was also made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Third-placed Peacock won the T44 100m final in London in 10.75 seconds for his second world title after success in Lyon four years earlier.

The two-time Paralympic champion, who had his right leg amputated below the knee as a five-year-old after contracting meningitis, also became the first disabled contestant in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing show this year.

Real Madrid 1-0 Gremio: Ronaldo Free-Kick Wins Club World Cup For Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo expects to continue his "trajectory" and win more trophies at Real Madrid after scoring the winner against Gremio in Saturday's Club World Cup final.

The Portugal international, 32, curled home a free-kick as Real became the first team to win back-to-back titles.

Ronaldo won a fifth Ballon d'Or earlier this month and crowned himself "the best player in history".

"The numbers speak for themselves," he said.

"I am very happy, I remain very motivated to keep winning things at a collective and individual level.

"I still feel strong enough to continue my trajectory as a player and to win trophies, which is what I like most."

Saturday's victory in Abu Dhabi was a record-equalling third Club World Cup win for Real, who also triumphed in 2014, matching Barcelona's achievement.

Real have now won five trophies in 2017 - the Champions League, La Liga, Uefa Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup and now the Club World Cup.

It takes their overall total under Zinedine Zidane to eight since the former France international's appointment as manager in January 2016.

For long periods of this game in Abu Dhabi, it looked like Brazilian side Gremio would frustrate Real Madrid and perhaps even pinch a victory as the Spanish giants became increasingly frustrated in their attempts to break down a disciplined defence.

Real dominated possession in the first half but only one of their 10 chances before the break was on target.

They switched to attempting to find joy from long distance but efforts by Luka Modric, Ronaldo and Karim Benzema were all wayward.

However, eight minutes into the second half Real were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal when Ronaldo was tripped and the Portugal international picked himself up to curl the ball through a gap in the wall and into the net.

It was Ronaldo's fourth goal in three Club World Cup finals and extended his record of scoring in significant finals for Real Madrid, having also hit three goals in three Champions League finals and two goals in two Copa del Rey finals.

 

Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool: Reds Tear The Cherries Apart

An irresistible Liverpool performance completely dismantled Bournemouth and made it a comfortable evening on the south coast for the Merseysiders with a thumping 4-0 victory.

Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Lovren and Mohamed Salah were amongst the goals in the first half, while Roberto Firmino finished the job off in the second half.

The match could have been so different, however, had Jermain Defoe scored a golden opportunity at 2-0.

This fixture last season was one of the games of the year, a last minute goal giving the Cherries a dramatic 4-3 win having been 3-1 down. Another goalfest was anticipated in this game, with two of the league's most attack-minded teams facing each other. The question on everyone's lips was which Liverpool team would turn up, with inconsistency being the order of the day on Merseyside.

Liverpool began on the front foot, and were inches away from taking the lead in the 11th minute. Last season's match winner for Bournemouth Nathan Ake clumsily brought down Roberto Firmino just outside the box, and Coutinho curled the resulting free-kick against the post. 

But the Reds continued to threaten, and it was no surprise to see the brilliant Coutinho opening the scoring in the 20th minute. A fantastic mazy run bamboozled the Bournemouth defence, and he fired home from just inside the box.

Six minutes later it was two. A corner was deflected to the back post, where Firmino managed to hook the ball back into danger just before it went out of play, and Lovren reacted first with a diving header into the net. 

Against this Liverpool team, though, you will always get opportunities, and long through balls were still looking hopeful for Bournemouth. In the 39th minute Junior Stanislas, who had come on for the injured Andy King, threaded a fantastic ball through to Defoe, who could only hit the inside of the post. For a player of his finishing abilities, it has to go down as a bad miss.

Liverpool's front three were still purring, and a stunning flick from Coutinho set up Salah, who could only volley straight at Begovic. 

But the Egyptian was not to be denied a minute later. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played him through, and after holding off Charlie Daniels he cut inside and finished in the corner to score his 20th goal of the season. Game over.

The second half began at a slower pace to the first, and it wasn't until the 59th minute that we saw another big chance, the lively Oxlade-Chamberlain hitting the outside of the post after a direct run. 

But just five minutes later Bournemouth's misery was complete, Coutinho with a delicious cross to Firmino, who gave Asmir Begovic no chance with a powerful header, although there were suspicions that he was marginally offside. 

With the game won Salah, Firmino and Coutinho were all withdrawn early to a rapturous reception from the Liverpool faithful, and the rest of the game was a procession.

Next up for Liverpool is a huge game against fellow top four chasers Arsenal on Friday night at the Emirates, while Bournemouth have a Carabao Cup Quarter final away against Chelsea on Wednesday night before a daunting looking trip to Manchester City on Saturday. 

If the Cherries perform like they did today, it may not be a question of whether City will win, but whether Bournemouth can restrict them to a single figure scoreline.

 

Bologna 0-3 Juventus: Champions Earn Comfortable Win

Goals from Miralem Pjanic, Mario Mandzuckic and Blaise Matuidi handed Juventus a 3-0 win over Bologna as the defending champions leapfrogged Inter Milan to climb to second in Serie A.

Juve made three changes from the goalless draw with Inter, with Andrea Barzagli, Alex Sandro and Douglas Costa replacing Giorgio Chiellini, Kwadwo Asamoah and Juan Cuadrado, as they looked to keep up the pressure on league leaders Napoli.

Bologna meanwhile made three changes from their 2-1 defeat at AC Milan, with Ibrahim Mbaye, Andrea Poli and nineteen year old Orji Okwonkwo, making his first start in Serie A, replacing Vasilis Torosidis, Adam Nagy and Rodrigo Palacio respectively.

The opening exchanges saw Juventus dominate in terms of both possession and territory, but the match was almost twenty minutes old when the defending champions finally took the game's first shot in anger, as Miralem Pjanic blazed over from the edge of the area from Alex Sandro's pull back.

Five minutes later, it was Bologna's turn to have their first chance of the game, as Godfed Donsah broke from the centre of midfield, and after riding the challenge of Barzagli, fired low into the arms of Szczesny.

Juve's response to that minor scare was to take the lead with a stunning Miralem Pjanic free kick. Positioned right on the left hand corner of the Bologna penalty area, the Bosnian curled his effort towards the top corner of the near post, and although goalkeeper Mirante got his hands to it, he was able to prevent Pjanic from notching his third league goal of the season to hand the champions the lead.

After Higuain became the first player in the game to be booked following a late challenge, Sami Khedira missed a chance to double Juve's lead, but volley from a corner which bounced into the ground and up into the arms of Mirante. 

Moments later Juventus did double their advantage, as Pjanic turned provider for Mario Mandzuckic, who controlled the midfielder's lofted ball with his chest before volleying home from a tight angle for his fourth league goal of the season.

That second goal only strengthened Juve's control on the game, and Verdi's cross come shot free kick after 43 minutes was easily held by Szczesny, giving the champions a 2-0 lead at half time.

There was to be no let up for the hosts after the break as Juventus continued to press their attacks in the opening stages of the second period. Blaise Matuidi's flick on from a corner found Higuain who couldn't get his shot away, before the Argentinean was unable to reach a toe-poked pass through from Diego Costa after the winger had linked up nicely with Mandzuckic on the edge of the area.

As was so often the case in the match, Bologna once again fashioned a decent chance from which they failed to test Szczesny in the Juve goal 55 minutes in. This time it was the turn of Okwonko, but the youngster's low turn and shot was straight into the arms of the goalkeeper.

Perhaps inevitably, Bologna's lack of ruthlessness was once again punished by the champions in the 64th minute. Helander's clearance found Matuidi at the edge of the area, and the Frenchman rifled a first time volley low into the bottom corner to make it 3-0 to Juve and claim his first Serie A goal.

Once again the champions began to turn the screw on their hosts, this time it was Higuain who went close, running across the face of goal before unleashing a thumping 20 yard effort to produce a flying save from Mirante.

Higuain then went close again with twenty minutes to go, as Masina headed a cross straight at the feet of the Argentinean, who blazed over from fifteen yards while under pressure from Helander.

Perhaps the most worrying moment if the afternoon for Juventus came with a quarter of an hour remaining, as Mandzuckic limped off to be replaced by Paulo Dybala after landing awkwardly when jumping when jumping for a header.

Dybala almost made an instant impact upon his arrival, as he latched onto Higuain's flick on inside the Juventus half, but having sprinted half the length of the pitch, his effort was tipped over by Mirante with Higuain waiting for a tap in in the centre of the area.

Higuain had one last chance to get his goal in the final minute of normal time, but after cutting inside his low strike was easily gathered by Mirante.

Bologna thought they had a consolation in final minute as Szczesny dropped the ball over his line from a corner, but the goalkeeper was clearly fouled by Mbaye allowing Juve to warm up for next weekend's crunch clash with Roma with a comfortable 3-0 win.

West Brom 1-2 Man United: Lukaku Scores As Red Devils Claim Victory

Manchester United withstood late pressure from West Brom to seal a 2-1 victory after first-half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard.

Lukaku's superb header against his former employers sent United on their way before a deflected Lingard strike put them in control before half-time.

Gareth Barry tapped in West Brom's first goal in more than six hours of football to ensure a frantic finish at the Hawthorns, but United clung on for a sixth league win in seven games.

United ultimately close the gap on leaders Manchester City back to 11 points, while Alan Pardew's search for a first victory as West Brom boss goes on, with the club now winless in 15 Premier League games.

After a slow start, United took the lead with the first attempt on target as Lukaku found the top corner with a brilliant glancing header from Marcus Rashford's cross, though it was met with muted celebrations once more from the Belgian after his second goal in as many games.

It got better for United eight minutes later courtesy of Lingard's seventh goal of the season after his effort deflected off Ahmed Hegazi and beyond Ben Foster, who had looked set to make a routine save.

The home side improved after the break and substitute Barry forced David de Gea to make a comfortable save before Marcus Rashford's first-time strike whistled past the far post down the other end.

Lingard almost had his second just before the hour-mark, but the 25-year-old shot straight at Foster after a swift counter-attack from the visitors.

And as United started to sit back, West Brom handed themselves a lifeline in the 77th minute, with Barry poking home the first goal of the Pardew era after a scrappy passage of play from a corner.

West Brom continued to push for an equaliser, but Jay Rodriguez could only head wide before De Gea eventually gathered the ball after another corner caused mayhem in the United defence.

Matic was United's standout performer in an otherwise uninspiring display from the visitors. The Serbian made vital interceptions to prevent West Brom, while he also carried the ball forward with intent on numerous occasions.

His ability to break beyond West Brom's midfield paid dividends for both of United's goals, while 105 touches in total - 32 more than any other player on the pitch (Ander Herrera, 73) - highlighted how integral he was to United's hard-fought victory.

Man. City 4-1 Tot. Hotspur: City Hammers Spurs To Earn 16th Consecutive Win

Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 to earn their 16th consecutive Premier League win and go 14 points clear at the top.

Ilkay Gundogan, in for David Silva, who was absent for personal reasons, headed the opener from Leroy Sane's corner on 14 minutes.

Kevin De Bruyne powered in a second after being played in by Gundogan with 20 minutes left.

After blasting the rebound over when Gabriel Jesus missed a penalty, Raheem Sterling made amends with two late goals.

City Academy graduate Phil Foden also made his PL debut late on, before Christian Eriksen netted Spurs' consolation in stoppage time. 

Manchester United can cut the gap at the top to 11 points if they win at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. Spurs are seventh.

Chelsea 1-0 Southampton: Marcos Alonso Gives Chelsea Second Win

A Marcos Alonso strike gave Chelsea their second win of the week as they beat Southampton 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.

In first-half stoppage time, Alonso curled his free-kick beyond Fraser Forster and into the bottom corner as Chelsea made their pressure count.

Moments earlier, Pedro battled his way down the wing and cut inside, only to see his effort hit the foot of the post. 

Forster denied N'Golo Kante and Willian as Chelsea looked to increase their advantage, while Southampton twice came close through Charlie Austin.

Chelsea are in third position, behind Manchester United on goal difference ahead of the Red Devils' visit to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. Southampton are 12th with 18 points.

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