Tag Archives: winner

Haroon Khan wins his debut fight

Younger Khan follows in Amir's footsteps by winning debut fight on points over Fidoe

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

21:10 GMT, 27 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:49 GMT, 28 April 2013

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Haroon Khan's bid to follow in the footsteps of big brother Amir began seamlessly on Saturday night with a points victory over Brett Fidoe in Sheffield.

The 21-year-old made his professional debut just hours before his elder sibling's clash with Julio Diaz and never looked in serious trouble at the Motorpoint Arena.

Boxing at super flyweight, Khan was however too eager to impress at times – an accusation levelled at his brother throughout his career – but came through unscathed.

Beating: Haroon Khan, left, throws a left hook against Brett Fidoe

Beating: Haroon Khan, left, throws a left hook against Brett Fidoe

Representing Pakistan, Khan won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and is now working under Salford-based trainer Oliver Harrison who guided Amir to a 17-fight undefeated professional career before their sudden split in 2008.

Fidoe, meanwhile, began his career with successive defeats at the tail end of last year before halting the slide with his sole victory to date in February.

Such was the ease with which he was expected to be deposed, the 22-year-old already had his next assignment lined up – against an unbeaten prospect in Manchester in just 13 days time.

Eyeing him up: Although Fidoe boxed well in the last round, Khan was a runaway winner

Eyeing him up: Although Fidoe boxed well in the last round, Khan was a runaway winner

Making his debut six months after turning professional, Khan was afforded a warm welcome by the simmering crowd and he looked determined to give them something to cheer about from the first bell.

Abandoning his jab, he repeatedly attempted to land the overhand right, only for Fidoe to slip it with ease.

The few punches that did land came from Khan however and that pattern continued into the second session.

Intent: Khan throws a punch but Fidoe manages to duck in time

Intent: Khan throws a punch but Fidoe manages to duck in time

At the start of the third stanza, Khan threw an eye-catching three-punch combination and although the first two missed the target, the third, a left, landed flush.

He had further success when he switched downstairs to the body and had by this time built up a commanding lead.

To Fidoe's credit, he came out swinging for the final three minutes and deserved the consolation of winning the round only to be forced to share the spoils as the referee awarded Khan victory by 40 points to 37.

Robin van Persie will ignore Arsenal boos – Sir Alex Ferguson

Boos won't bother Robin! Ferguson urges Van Persie to ignore dissenting Arsenal fans

By
Chris Wheeler

PUBLISHED:

11:53 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:00 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Sir Alex Ferguson has told Robin van Persie to ignore the Arsenal boo boys on his first return to the Emirates this Sunday.

Arsene Wenger’s side will give Ferguson’s newly-crowned Premier League champions a guard of honour at the Emirates, but Van Persie is assured of a hot reception after leaving the Gunners for United in a 24million move last summer.

It has paid off with the Dutchman’s hat-trick against Aston Villa on Monday securing his first title winner’s medal, but the Arsenal fans will be less understanding.

Lending a hand: Former United player Bryan Robson was at United's training this morning

Lending a hand: Former United player Bryan Robson was at United's training this morning

WENGER'S TAKE

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants fans of the north London club to show respect for their former player Robin van Persie.

Click here to read Wenger's opinion

‘I don’t really bother about it and I don’t think Robin should bother about it either,’ said Ferguson.

‘There was a bit of booing when he
played against Arsenal at Old Trafford and you probably expect a portion
of the fans to do that. That’s the modern generation and modern
society, I’m afraid.

‘But I’m glad Arsene has done that
(guard of honour) because when they came to Old Trafford some years back
and Wiltord scored the only goal we did that, and that’s what great
clubs should do.’

Ferguson said that he understands why
Arsenal are so upset over losing one of their prize assets but believes
they have to look to the future now.

Back to business: Robin van Persie (left) and his team-mates were training after their title triumph

Back to business: Robin van Persie (left) and his team-mates were training after their title triumph

Man in the middle: Rio Ferdinand and Tom Cleverley (left) practise their ball skills

Man in the middle: Rio Ferdinand and Tom Cleverley (left) practise their ball skills

He added: ‘I know about the Tottenham derby but United have been Arsenal’s biggest rivals over the last 20 years.

‘It doesn’t sit well with their fans, and nor with Arsene for that matter, but it does happen and you just have to move on.

‘Arsenal have moved on now. They’re
challenging for a Champions League place and have every chance of doing
so, and they still play as attractive foot as anyone in the league.’

Antonio Valencia

Danny Welbeck

Relaxed Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck look calm after they helped clinch the title on Monday

Jessica Ennis becomes TV interviewer in park – VIDEO

Which Olympic champion turned TV interviewer with an impromptu workout in the park (she's not really a blonde)

and a dazzling gold medal winner, but she wasn't easily recognised when she put on a wig and took a microphone into Hyde Park.

For regular morning fitness fanatics the last thing you expect is to bump into Sheffield's finest, Jessica Ennis. But one runner got more than he was expecting when she stopped him for a chat – and then offered an impromptu workout.

Scroll down to watch the video

Disguise: Jessica Ennis has a wig fitted as she prepares to undercover and surprise runners in London

Disguise: Jessica Ennis has a wig fitted as she prepares to undercover and surprise runners in London

Disguise: Jessica Ennis has a wig fitted as she prepares to undercover and surprise runners in London

Ennis initially donned a wig, grabbed a microphone and film crew and questioned runners in London's Hyde Park about their training habits.

Then, having revealed herself to one unsuspecting participant, the 27-year-old Olympic heptathlon gold medallist spent an hour showing him ways to improve his fitness.

Using equipment ranging from a medicine ball to a park bench, the amateur athlete is put through
his paces.

The video was shot as part of a new Powerade campaign: ‘You Have More Power Than You Think'.

And with Sunday's London Marathon fast approaching, what better time to pick up some last-minute tips

For more information and to download the training tips, click here.

Up close and personal: Ennis stopped unsuspecting runners to quiz them on their fitness regimes

Up close and personal: Ennis stopped unsuspecting runners to quiz them on their fitness regimes

Surprise: Ennis reveals her true identity to one runner before taking him through a workout

Surprise: Ennis reveals her true identity to one runner before taking him through a workout

Working out: Ennis takes the amatuer athlete through a session involving a variety of exercises

Working out: Ennis takes the amatuer athlete through a session involving a variety of exercises

Working out: Ennis takes the amatuer athlete through a session involving a variety of exercises

Working out: Ennis takes the amatuer athlete through a session involving a variety of exercises

Masters 2013: Guan Tianling to do homework while becoming youngest ever Masters player

Teen sensation Guan balances schoolwork and golf ahead of becoming youngest ever Masters player

By
Phil Casey, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

19:25 GMT, 8 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:46 GMT, 9 April 2013

]

China's Guan Tianlang has done his homework, in every sense of the word, ahead of his historic appearance in the US Masters this week.

Guan secured his place at Augusta by winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand last year and, at the age of 14, will become the youngest player Masters history when he tees off on Thursday.

The Guangzhou schoolboy says he will do 'pretty much all' of his homework while in America, but has found plenty of time for seven practice rounds at Augusta, with today's being alongside two-time winner Ben Crenshaw and tomorrow's scheduled to be with another double champion Tom Watson.

Juggling: Tanlang Guan, during the first Masters practice round today, will do his homework while in America

Juggling: Tanlang Guan, during the first Masters practice round today, will do his homework while in America

Juggling: Tanlang Guan, during the first Masters practice round today, will do his homework while in America

Guan

'I'm really excited in the morning when I come out on the course and there's many people here and I'm really looking forward to the tournament,' said Guan, who will also play the traditional par-three contest on Wednesday with three-time winner Nick Faldo.

'I'm not going to push myself too hard and I'm going to enjoy my game. Hopefully I can play well.

'The general manager of my home course is friends with Ben (Crenshaw) and he told him I wanted to play with him. He told me a lot and we really enjoyed it on the golf course.'

Picture perfect: Guan enjoyed his practice round with Tiger Woods on Monday

Picture perfect: Guan enjoyed his practice round with Tiger Woods on Monday

Picture perfect: Guan enjoyed his practice round with Tiger Woods on Monday

Guan has already played with Tiger Woods in a pro-am in his native China but will also seek out the world number one for a chat.

'I
think probably we will talk,' he added. 'The players here are all great
players, so I'm looking forward to speaking to any one of them.

'When
I was three or four years old I was looking at him (Woods) winning the
Masters and it's pretty exciting to watch him. I played with him twice
in the past couple of years and he gave me a lot of advice. Every time I
play with him I feel a lot better and give myself some confidence.'

Starlet: Guan will become the youngest Masters player in history when he tees off on Thursday

Starlet: Guan will become the youngest Masters player in history when he tees off on Thursday

Guan

Guan

Guan's appearance at Augusta may have made headlines around the world, but world number eight Steve Stricker was still taken aback when he realised exactly how old the former world junior champion is.

'I knew he was playing, I knew he was young. I didn't think he was the same age as my daughter,' Stricker said. 'I thought he was 16.

'That's remarkable. I just can't imagine being that young and competing at this level at such an early age.

'It will be interesting to see how he does and how he handles it. It's remarkable that he's even playing.'

Final preparations: Staff in Augusta are making last changes ahead of the tournament's start on Thursday

Final preparations: Staff in Augusta are making last changes ahead of the tournament's start on Thursday

Final preparations: Staff in Augusta are making last changes ahead of the tournament's start on Thursday

Grand National 2013: Last year"s fatalities put jump racing under the microscope

Grand National faces biggest test with fatalities putting jump racing under the microscope

By
Marcus Townend

PUBLISHED:

21:04 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:04 GMT, 3 April 2013

Four Grade One races of rare quality grace today’s opening day of Aintree’s Grand National meeting while tomorrow the clash between steeplechase superstar Sprinter Sacre, Cue Card and Flemenstar is being billed as the race of the season.

But which horses pass the winning line first over the next three days won’t matter a jot if Saturday’s big race turns into another visceral examination of jump racing.

Twelve months ago, when two horses were killed for a second year running, including Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised, the joy was squeezed out of the victory of Neptune Collonges.

Scroll down for Peter Scudamore's inside track on Aintree's new fences

Preparations: Aintree ground staff were tending to the new safer fences ahead of the three-day meeting

Preparations: Aintree ground staff were tending to the new safer fences ahead of the three-day meeting

The deaths of Synchronised and According To Pete raised questions as to whether the race could even survive in its present form.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant called the deaths ‘totally unacceptable’ while branding the famous Becher’s Brook, where According To Pete was brought down before being hit by another horse, a ‘killer fence’. A nervous calm precedes this year’s race but a major modification to the fences’ construction has been welcomed (see graphic above).

Spokesmen for the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare deny the race is on trial but another body blow would be serious given a sponsor is being sought with John Smiths leaving after Saturday’s race.

Finishing touch: The grass on the Grand National finish line was cut this week before the Aintree showpiece

Finishing touch: The grass on the Grand National finish line was cut this week before the Aintree showpiece

WHW chief executive Roly Owers said: ‘There is still huge support for the race but there also are increasing voices within racing questioning whether the National is doing the sport any good. The warning bells have sounded and Aintree have recognised that.

‘Our biggest issue with the National is the number of fallers. It is five times higher than a normal steeplechase. The fewer fallers, the less chance of injury. The changes to the fence core are a real step forward and we also welcome the improvements in irrigation.

‘We recognise you can’t eliminate risk. The responsibility is to minimise it.’

WHW have repeated a call to reduce the number of starters.Owers said: ‘We believe there should be a trial reduction of three years. We recognise it has to be a great test but you can’t just accept the regular death of horses.’

Scrutiny: Last year's Grand National (above) saw the fatalities of According to Pete and Synchronised

Scrutiny: Last year's Grand National (above) saw the fatalities of According to Pete and Synchronised

RSPCA equine consultant David Muir added: ‘With 40 runners, you have 40 chances of things going wrong. I’d like to see them reduce it to 30 but we don’t run racing.’

Jockeys have been asked to moderate their speed to the first fence and the run-up to it has been shortened by 90 yards by moving the start further away from the unsettling cauldron of noise coming from of the grandstands.

Jamie Stier, BHA director of raceday operations, said: ‘The changes are all designed for horse welfare but at the same time we have maintained the shape, size and character of the fences.

Fences

‘People have to understand the position of the race within the fabric of society. Attendance figures last year were 155,000 at the meeting and more people watch the Grand National on TV than the FA Cup final — more than 11million — with a global audience of 600m in 140 countries.

‘We don’t feel it is on trial. It is down to the BHA and Aintree to find a way forward.’

Still, a lot of people will be holding their breath on Saturday.

Peter Scudamore looks at the major fences at this year's Grand…

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David Beckham tempted to extend PSG stay

Beckham tempted to extend PSG stay as he prepares for glamour tie with Barcelona

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

19:50 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:53 GMT, 30 March 2013

David Beckham has admitted he is tempted to extend his stay with Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain into a second season.

The 37-year-old joined Carlo
Ancelotti's PSG on a five-month deal in January and his brief
contribution has helped the capital club book a Champions League
quarter-final with Barcelona while sustaining their domestic lead over
Lyon.

Scroll down to watch video highlights

Inspiration: David Beckham's (centre) cameo appearance was a key part of PSG extending their lead at the top of Ligue 1

Inspiration: David Beckham's (centre) cameo appearance was a key part of PSG extending their lead at the top of Ligue 1

While Beckham would not publicly commit his future to the Parc des Princes outfit, he revealed he is relishing the opportunity to face Barca in Paris on Tuesday night.

He told Le Parisien: 'We'll see. Who wouldn't want to stay at a place like this

'It's very special but I'm not getting any younger so we'll see how I feel at the end of the season. It's always nice to be wanted.'

Beckham was speaking after a 1-0 victory over reigning French champions Montpellier in which he played 18 minutes as a second-half substitute.

Celebrations: Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kevin Gameiro (background) celebrates his goal

Celebrations: Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kevin Gameiro (background) celebrates his goal

Winner: Beckham challenges Montpellier's John Utaka

Winner: Beckham challenges Montpellier's John Utaka

Sliding in: Beckham wins the ball from Bryan Dabo

Sliding in: Beckham wins the ball from Bryan Dabo

The playmaker could play a bigger
role against the Primera Division leaders given the inside knowledge he
gained from a four-season spell with Real Madrid.

'Now our focus will turn to Barcelona and I think everybody's excited about the game,' he added.

'Whenever I've come up against Barcelona you always get excited about coming up against the best players and teams.

'It's important that we concentrate on our own game and not worry about their game too much.'

VIDEO: David Beckham helps PSG to victory

WTA Sony Open – Miami: Serena Williams beats Maria Sharapova 4-6 6-3 6-0 in the final

Serena storms back to sink Sharapova in three sets and lift Sony Open title in Miami

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

20:14 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:39 GMT, 30 March 2013

Serena Williams lifted her sixth Sony Open title after magnificently bouncing back to see off Maria Sharapova in the final in Miami.

The world No 1 was edged out in a tight first set but lost three games thereafter as she stormed to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory and her 11th straight win over Sharapova.

The American has passed Steffi Graf's number of titles in this competition and became the oldest female champion at the tournament, while Sharapova has now been defeated in every one of her five final appearances in Miami.

Champion: Serena Williams holds the Sony Open trophy aloft in Miami

Champion: Serena Williams holds the Sony Open trophy aloft in Miami

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

History: The world No 1 became the oldest female winner of the tournament

Dominant: Williams beat Maria Sharapova (left) for the 11th time in a row

Dominant: Williams beat Maria Sharapova (left) for the 11th time in a row

After playing flawless tennis for an hour, Sharapova began to miss with her serve, and Williams dominated rallies with her power.

Sharapova built her lead by keeping Williams on the defensive, and she kissed the line with a winner on consecutive points to break for a 3-2 advantage in the second set.

But then came the turnaround. Williams began to capitalise on Sharapova's tentative second serve and broke back to love before taking advantage of two double faults by Sharapova to break again for a 5-3 lead.

Strong start: Sharapova edged ahead after winning a tight first set 6-4

Strong start: Sharapova edged ahead after winning a tight first set 6-4

Rampant: The American lost only 10 points in the final set to beat her Russian opponent

Rampant: The American lost only 10 points in the final set to beat her Russian opponent

Repeat: Williams became the first No 1 seed to lift the women's title in Miami since she won nine years ago

Repeat: Williams became the first No 1 seed to lift the women's title in Miami since she won nine years ago

Williams lost only 10 points in the final set and closed out the victory with a service winner.

'Maria definitely pushed me – she did a really great job today,' Williams said after he win.

'I look forward to our next matches – it's going to be really fun for the fans and for us and for everyone.'

Williams became the first No 1 seed to win the women's title since she was champion nine years ago.

Sharapova, who won the title in Indian Wells at the beginning of March, said: 'It's obviously been a really nice month.

'It's disappointing to end it like this but Serena played a great match and I'm sure we'll play a few more times this year.'

Fernando Torres has been ruined by Chelsea – Mauricio Pochettino

Chelsea have ruined the striker who once tormented me, says Saints boss Pochettino

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

09:01 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:02 GMT, 30 March 2013

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Chelsea might be responsible for the decline of striker Fernando Torres.

During his time at Espanyol, Pochettino was pitted against a fearsome Torres when he broke into the Atletico Madrid first team and the 41-year-old remembers being tormented by the young striker.

Torres left Atletico for Liverpool in
2007 and took to Premier League life exceptionally well. But since a
50million move to Stamford Bridge, the Spain international has
struggled to recapture the devastating form shown in Madrid and on
Merseyside.

Superstar: Fernando Torres burst onto the scene at Atletico Madrid

Superstar: Fernando Torres burst onto the scene at Atletico Madrid

Shell: Torres has been in decline ever since joining Chelsea from Liverpool for 50million

Shell: Torres has been in decline ever since joining Chelsea from Liverpool for 50million

Pochettino, whose Southampton side aim to topple Chelsea at St Mary’s this afternoon, believes Torres has not looked at ease since moving to west London.

'I have played against Torres many times and he scored some goals against me,’ Pochettino told The Daily Star.

'I remember him being a quality player, full of strength and a player who knew which spaces to run into to create chances.

'Sometimes it happens where a player is comfortable and feels happy at a certain club as he was at Atletico and at Liverpool.

'But when you leave that club and join a new team maybe you do not feel as comfortable and as happy and that can affect your performances.

Candid: Pochettino remembers being terrorised by Torres during his time at Espanyol

Candid: Pochettino remembers being terrorised by Torres during his time at Espanyol

'I do not know if Torres will leave Chelsea but what is clear is there is no doubting his quality.'

Jack Cork further stoked the fires before this afternoon’s match by saying he would not swap Saints’ top goalscorer Rickie Lambert for Chelsea’s World Cup winner.

The 31-year-old Liverpudlian has scored 13 goals in his debut Premier League season, whereas Torres has only netted seven times this campaign.

Cork, who spent 14 years at The Bridge, said: ‘Rickie has been different class for us for the last three or four years.

'For someone of his build, his touch is unbelievable. He is great to have in your team.

'Torres and Demba Ba have scored lots of goals in their careers and you don’t pay 50m for someone who isn’t any good.

No way: Jack Cork says he would not swap Torres for Saints striker Rickie Lambert (second right)

No way: Jack Cork says he would not swap Torres for Saints striker Rickie Lambert (second right)

'But if you asked who I’d rather have in my team, I’d say Rickie.'

Cork, 23, heads into this afternoon’s match to face the club he left in 2011, having been at Chelsea since the age of eight but never making a senior appearance.

He added: 'Chelsea was massive for me and from the age of eight it was my dream to play for them. It was frustrating towards the end but I loved it when I was there.

'We had a good set of young players who have all gone on to play a high standard. That was when Chelsea were doing well and winning titles — so I can understand why nobody was given a chance.

'With the managers chopping and changing there is always a lot of pressure on them to win games, so it’s tough to blood youngsters.'

Heavy heart: Cork (left) left Chelsea after 14 years at Stamford Bridge

Heavy heart: Cork (left) left Chelsea after 14 years at Stamford Bridge

Npower Championship round-up March 5

Bonkers! Championship goes crazy as promotion race hots up with a glut of late goals

By
Janine Self

PUBLISHED:

11:36 GMT, 6 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:13 GMT, 6 March 2013

So did the world stop for you on Tuesday night Answers on a postcard, addressed to Senor Jose Mourinho, c/o Real Madrid.

The Special One might be slightly surprised to learn that for many the earth continued to revolve around its axis, despite the global marketing pull of a duel with Manchester United.

While 74,759 paying customers crammed into Old Trafford, another 175,547 decided that the npower Championship was the only show in town.

Super Kev: Veteran striker Kevin Phillips netted an eight-minute hat-trick for Crystal Palace on Tuesday night

Super Kev: Veteran striker Kevin Phillips netted an eight-minute hat-trick for Crystal Palace on Tuesday night

The second tier of English football has been even more crazily unpredictable than usual this season and did not disappoint on Tuesday night.

How about Kevin Phillips, 39 years old, and scorer of an eight-minute hat-trick for Crystal Palace in the 4-2 win over Hull

The same Hull who thrashed Birmingham last weekend and who started the night in an automatic promotion place. Steve Bruce’s team are down to third while Palace lurk a point behind.

At fogbound Nottingham Forest, the pre-match chat was all about the second coming of Billy Davies. No mention of Sir Alex Ferguson or Cristiano Ronaldo at all.

Second coming: Forest are making a late charge for the play-offs under Billy Davies

Second coming: Forest are making a late charge for the play-offs under Billy Davies

The force appears to be with Davies. Ipswich had two players sent off and came within four minutes of holding out for a point only to concede to a deflected goal from Lewis McGugan.

Since returning as manager, Davies has drawn one and won the last four games. With that sort of momentum the play-offs are beckoning.

Late goals were the theme of the night at Leicester, Bolton and Huddersfield, too. Just down the road from Old Trafford, Chris Eagles continued Wanderers’ fine run with an added-time winner against Lancashire rivals Blackburn.

Rest assured that none of the 19,063 fans at the Reebok would have given United a passing thought – apart from hoping they would lose, of course.

Late show: Chris Eagles (right) scored an added-time winner for Bolton

Late show: Chris Eagles (right) scored an added-time winner for Bolton

Danny Ward came off the bench to score in stoppage time and give Mark Robins his first home win as Huddersfield manager at the expense of a Middlesbrough side, who are in freefall. Eight defeats in 11 games is doing nothing for Tony Mowbray’s mood.

The biggest attendance of the night was 22,660 at Leicester, who had Manchester United loanee Michael Keane to thank for yet another added-time goal – an equaliser against Leeds.

Some people will always remember Tuesday as the night Roy Keane burned whatever bridges he had left with Ferguson after backing the sending off of Nani.

Wolves fans will remember it as the night manager Dean Saunders won his first match after 10 attempts.

Rare win: Wolves picked up their first three points under Dean Saunders at Millwall

Rare win: Wolves picked up their first three points under Dean Saunders at Millwall

The 2-0 win at Millwall took Saunders’s team out of the bottom three and sets them up nicely for the next match, except it is at Forest.

Rant of the night came from Dave Jones, manager of Sheffield Wednesday, after a 2-1 defeat at Watford. Suggesting the referee was more suited to the Sunday League will not go down well at
the FA.

Howler of the night came from the same match. Watford goalkeeper Jonathan Bond scuffed a back pass from Marco Cassetti, which allowed Michail Antonio to run round him for a simple tap-in.

Comeback: Fernando Forestieri netted twice as Watford beat Sheffield Wednesday

Comeback: Fernando Forestieri netted twice as Watford beat Sheffield Wednesday

Brighton’s point at bottom club Bristol City came at the expense of a bad achilles injury to striker Craig Mackail-Smith, who is out for the rest of the season, which is a huge blow to their play-off hopes.

Last, but not least, even runaway leaders Cardiff are wobbling. Craig Noone popped up eight minutes from time with an equaliser against Derby, who were so short of bodies they could only name five substitutes.

Now that’s something you don’t see in the Champions League, either.

Rafael Nadal beats David Ferrer 6-0 6-2 in Mexican Open final

Nadal crushes Ferrer to claim Mexican Open title… and he's raring to go for Indian Wells!

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

12:32 GMT, 3 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:44 GMT, 3 March 2013

A dominant Rafa Nadal dismantled fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 6-0 6-2 on Saturday to win his second Mexican Open title and continue his successful comeback from a long injury lay-off.

Nadal, ranked fifth in the world, needed just over an hour to dispatch top seed Ferrer and was delighted with his form.

'For me, I played almost perfectly,' said Nadal following the match. 'My knee responded well all week.'

King of clay: Rafael Nadal collects his trophy wearing a sombrero in Acapulco

King of clay: Rafael Nadal collects his trophy wearing a sombrero in Acapulco

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Moving on: The Spaniard will play in the Indian Wells Masters tournament next week

Nadal also confirmed he would play in next week's Indian Wells hard-court tournament, despite speculation he might skip the event to spare his knee.

'My heart tells me I should continue competing, that I need to move on to the next tournament,' he added.

Nadal had been sidelined for more than seven months due to a partially torn tendon in his knee. He made his return early last month at the Chilean Open, losing in the final to Argentine Horacio Zeballos. A week later he claimed the Brazil Open title.

Easy: Nadal dropped just two games and was on court for little more than an hour against David Ferrer

Easy: Nadal dropped just two games and was on court for little more than an hour against David Ferrer

Easy: Nadal dropped just two games and was on court for little more than an hour against Ferrer

The former world number one charged out of the blocks and won the first eight games against three-time defending champion Ferrer, who saw his 19-match winning streak at the clay-court event come to an end.

'Rafa was just better than me today,' said Ferrer.

World No 4 Ferrer waited 44 minutes to win his first game of the final, the crowd erupting in applause as he put away a service winner to trail 2-1 in the second set.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Success: Nadal added the Mexican title to his triumph in Brazil and final in Chile since his return from injury

Crushed: Ferrer admitted his compatriot was the better man on the day

Crushed: Ferrer admitted his compatriot was the better man on the day

With Ferrer serving down 3-1, an extended rally in which both players scrambled back and forth from the net ended with a top-spin lob winner by Nadal, bringing the crowd to its feet and the score to 30-30.

Second seed Nadal, the 2005 Mexican Open champion, won the next two points to go up two breaks in the set and virtually put the match away.