Weekend talking points: Ole’s United earn their Spurs
Round-up of the biggest headlines
Football. NFL. Darts. Snooker. There was plenty going on to keep us occupied on a grim January weekend.
We’ll start our weekly round-up at Wembley. Where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign as Manchester United boss reached new heights…
New records for Ole as De Gea does it again
A clinical Marcus Rashford finish plus a stupendous performance from David de Gea was the perfect combination for Solskjaer and United on Sunday.
Their 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur means Solskjaer has now won his first six games in charge of the Red Devils, breaking Sir Matt Busby’s record in the process.
The Norwegian has passed his first proper test with flying colours. Paul Pogba and Rashford combined brilliantly for the game’s only goal, while Spurs’ 11 shots on target all failed to beat an inspired De Gea.
It means United are now level on points with Arsenal (having been eight points behind when Solskjaer took charge.) They’re only seven behind Spurs in third, and are 9/4 to bag a top-four finish.
Spurs are now nine behind Liverpool, and boss Mauricio Pochettino faces a nervy few days after Harry Kane suffered an ankle injury in the final minute.
It’s not known yet how serious the issue is or how long Kane may be out for. Moussa Sissoko also went off injured to add to Pochettino’s midfield woes.
Liverpool continue to grow with Brighton win
They say true champions manage to win even when they face adversity. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was without three of his four centre-backs for his side’s trip to Brighton on Saturday afternoon.
So the German will have been delighted to see his team come away from the South Coast with a 1-0 win.
The hosts fielded a defensive line-up, leaving Liverpool with little space to create, but they chiselled out an opening when Pascal Gross brought down Mo Salah in the box.
The Egyptian despatched the penalty (his 17th of the season in all competitions) to hand Liverpool their 18th league win from 22 games this term. They’re 4/6 favourites to win the title for the first time since 1990.
Patriots, Chiefs, Rams and Saints power through
The Super Bowl is looming ever nearer, and now just four sides remain after a thrilling weekend of Divisional Playoffs.
In the AFC, Tom Brady’s New England Patriots were in merciless form to down the LA Chargers 41-28. The game was all-but over by half-time after the Patriots roared into a 35-7 lead.
They’ll face the Kansas City Chiefs, who saw off the Indianapolis Colts 31-13. The first-half decided things here too, with the Chiefs building an uncatchable 24-7 lead by the interval in snowy conditions.
But it’s the NFC where most eyes will linger next weekend, with a match-up between arguably the two best sides in the league – the LA Rams and New Orleans Saints.
The LA Rams downed the Dallas Cowboys 30-22 on Saturday night. The Rams, 14-3 in the regular season, were pushed hard but a devastating 17-unanswered points in the second quarter did the damage.
They’ll now face Drew Brees’ Saints (also 14-3 in the regular season), who found themselves 14-0 down against reigning Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles, before launching a fightback to win 20-14.
Durrant dazzles in BDO showpiece
History was made at Frimley Green’s Lakeside this weekend, as Glen Durrant became the first man since Eric Bristow to win three-consecutive BDO World Championships.
Duzza was a cut above the rest all week, and looked in ominous form as he made his way to meet Scott Waites in the final.
Waites matched Durrant in the opening six sets, but from 3-3, the Middlesbrough arrowsmith found another gear with some devastating outshots to win the title 7-3.
Surprises aplenty at Ally Pally
And there was plenty of drama on the baize too this weekend.
Both reigning champion Mark Allen and two-time champ John Higgins lost on the opening day of this year’s Masters at Alexandra Palace.
Allen, one of the in-form players prior to the tournament, went down 6-5 to the impressive Luca Brecel, while Higgins was ousted by the same scoreline to Ryan Day.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing