Most Read Football

Sporting Life's Chelsea transfer round-up: Will the Blues make January additions?1

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It could be a busy end to the transfer window for Chelsea, with numerous players linked with moves involving the Stamford Bridge club.

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Paper Talk: Pogba's U-turn

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Through The Lens: A review of the weekend sport in pictures

A review of the weekend's best sporting moments from the best images
A review of the weekend's best sporting moments from the best images

Revisit the sporting weekend through the lens of the photographer as we pick out images from the best of the action.

A match made in heaven

The weather on Saturday was miserable and there was something quite unsettling about ITV pictures from Cheltenham, where the grandstands were empty as patrons huddled together inside the Arkle bar.

Yet sport's capacity to overcome such details remains and there can have been no more appropriate winner of the feature race than Frodon, who let neither the gloom nor a massive weight prevent him from winning it for a second time.

On his back was a rider still ecstatic to be aboard such a marvellous beast. When Bryony Frost said before racing that to have the opportunity to ride Frodon and Old Guard remained the stuff of dreams whatever the weather, she meant it.

In Frodon in particular she's found the perfect partner and so it was again, the pair soaring to victory.

Frodon motors home to win again at Cheltenham
Frodon motors home to win again at Cheltenham

As one young horse - Frodon is, remarkably, only six - confirmed that his future remains bright, an older one bowed out as The New One ran his final race in the Unibet International Hurdle.

It was a contest he'd won three times before, and there was hope that a return to Cheltenham might reignite the fire which made him a wonderful asset for team Twiston-Davies.

Yet by the final hurdle he was spent, allowed to sidestep it and walk back to the paddock as a champion who has brought the house down here many times before.

The New One in action during his final race
The New One in action during his final race

And then there was Brain Power, neither young upstart nor fading light; a betwixt and between horse, who swapped fences for hurdles and did so with style to win the race in which The New One waved goodbye.

Brain Power will have to improve again (and again) to match Buveur D'Air in the Champion Hurdle but that now must be the plan after he got the better of Silver Streak, with Western Ryder third.

Brain Power jumps to victory in the Unibet International Hurdle
Brain Power jumps to victory in the Unibet International Hurdle

Power shift underlined

The two best teams in the north of England, and in the Premier League, have been Manchester City and Liverpool - in that order - for a while now. Yet Sunday still required Liverpool to beat Manchester United were they to keep their noses in front of City, and that's precisely what they did.

Only a howler from home goalkeeper Alisson gave United hope as they were outclassed in a 3-1 victory for Liverpool in which substitute Xherdan Shaqiri scored the goals which effectively earned his side a deserved three points.

Xherdan Shaqiri scores for Liverpool against Manchester United
Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates

Manchester City end the weekend second after beating Everton 3-1 on Saturday thanks to a brace from Gabriel Jesus and one for Raheem Sterling, who earlier in the week had been named Player of the Month for just the second time in his Premier League career.

Raheem Sterling celebrates his fine finish against Everton
Raheem Sterling celebrates after his fine finish against Everton

Spurs sit third, albeit six points off first, thanks to a last-gasp Christian Eriksen goal which saw them beast Burnley 1-0, while Chelsea are fourth after holding on to beat Brighton on Sunday. Arsenal, meanwhile, saw their 22-game unbeaten run ended by Southampton.

Christian Eriksen scores Spurs' winner in the 91st minute
Christian Eriksen scores Spurs' winner in the 91st minute

Thomas wins SPOTY

Geraint Thomas won the public vote to be crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Under a revamped format, a six-strong shortlist was only unveiled on the night and it was Thomas who came out on top.

Geraint Thomas
Geraint Thomas with the SPOTY trophy

Lewis Hamilton finished on the podium again in second, ahead of favourite Harry Kane in third, with Dina Asher-Smith, Lizzy Yarnold and James Anderson completing the shortlist.

Billie Jean King was handed a lifetime achievement award while England's netball team and men's football coach Gareth Southgate were also among those honoured in Birmingham.

Geraint Thomas receives the SPOTY award from Billie Jean King
Geraint Thomas receives the SPOTY award from Billie Jean King

Inspired stuff from Lipsky

David Lipsky had been in fairly miserable form prior to the Alfred Dunhill Championship, but despite a late double-bogey the American held his nerve to complete a two-stroke victory over David Drysdale.

It was a dramatic renewal at Leopard Creek, where favourite Louis Oosthuizen was a never-threatening seventh, the fancied Charl Schwartzel missed the cut, and defending champion Brandon Stone went from bang in the mix to out of it altogether when he made a seven at the ninth hole on Sunday.

At the top of the leaderboard, Lipsky avoided such mistakes in the main and followed in the footsteps of close friend and compatriot Kurt Kitayama, who had triumphed in Mauritius just a fortnight earlier.

David Lipsky after winning at Leopard Creek
David Lipsky after winning at Leopard Creek

Also in golf, a poor final round cost Justin Rose the chance to eat his Christmas dinner as the world's top-ranked golfer and it's Brooks Koepka who will instead enjoy such an honour.

Rose had appeared on course to comfortably return to the top of the rankings in Indonesia, despite never looking like defending his title, which went to Poom Saksansin.

However, the tank ran empty on Sunday and wherever Rose tees up next, he'll have eyes on a return to number one where he's now spent a couple of brief spells.

Canelo far too classy

Some cynics had suggested that Rocky Fielding was chosen as Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez's first opponent on DAZN to ensure that it was an impressive debut for streaming subscribers.

They were probably right, and it took less than three rounds for the Mexican to once again demonstrate his extraordinary speed and power, stopping the outclassed Brit to add another title to his collection.

The referee brings the fight to an end
The referee brings the fight to an end

Beer oh dear

It was only a matter of time before darts' link-up with, well, beer, caused some kind of controversy - and it arrived on Saturday night.

Making his way to the oche, two-time world champion Michael van Gerwen was doused with some sort of cheap-but-expensive lager, deciding then to head backstage and compose himself before returning for his walk-on.

With the perpetrator ejected and subsequently barred for life - good luck policing that one - MVG put in a solid performance to win 3-1 and progress to the third round.

Michael van Gerwen (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Michael van Gerwen (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

On Sunday, Dave Chisnall and Josh Payne played out the game of the tournament so far, the former scraping through having trailed 2-0.

That's still arguably second when it comes to comeback of the weekend, which goes to Mark Allen after he beat Daniel Wells 6-5 to reach the Scottish Open final.

Trailing 5-2, Allen might have been forgiven for chucking in the towel having been all the way to the final in York a week earlier, but instead he rallied to win and set up a showdown with Shaun Murphy.

His efforts paid off and then some as Allen took the title on Sunday.

And finally, back to darts, the final space has to go to Peter Wright, who came dressed as Santa on Sunday because, well, of course he did...

Peter Wright came dressed as Santa Claus...
Peter Wright came dressed as Santa Claus...

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Most Read Football

Sporting Life's Chelsea transfer round-up: Will the Blues make January additions?1

Chelsea transfer round-up

It could be a busy end to the transfer window for Chelsea, with numerous players linked with moves involving the Stamford Bridge club.

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages2

Paper Talk: Pogba's U-turn

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The latest done deals and transfer rumours with Sporting Life
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