Sport news in brief
Arsenal stage comeback to stay five points clear
Winger Reiss Nelson’s last-gasp winner earned Arsenal a 3-2 comeback victory over Bournemouth to keep them five points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table. Philip Billing stunned the Gunners with the secondfastest goal in Premier League history after just nine seconds, and the relegation-threatened Cherries looked like they could pull off a famous victory when Marcos Senesi’s 57th-minute effort doubled their advantage. Arsenal’s pressure finally paid off five minutes later as Thomas Partey equalised and Ben White
levelled matters with 20 minutes still remaining. Time looked to have run out but Nelson lashed in a superb winner deep into injury time.
Despite their efforts at the Emirates, Bournemouth ended the day bottom of the table after Southampton earned a priceless 1-0 victory over Leicester. Carlos Alcaraz scored the only goal in the 35th minute shortly after James Ward-Prowse had missed a penalty, and Leicester were unable to turn pressure into an equaliser, with Harry Souttar heading against the bar in injury time.
Wesley Fofana’s 53rd-minute goal secured a precious 1-0 victory for Chelsea over struggling Leeds, earning Graham Potter a first win in seven games. There was no such comfort for West Ham’s David Moyes as they fell to a comprehensive 4-0 loss at Brighton. Kaoru Mitoma won a penalty that was converted by Alexis Mac Allister in the 18th minute and Joel Veltman chested in a second shortly after half-time before Mitoma and Danny Welbeck piled misery on the Hammers.
Joachim Andersen’s own goal proved enough for Aston Villa to secure a 1-0 victory over 10-man Crystal Palace. Wilfried Zaha had an early effort disallowed for offside and poor defending culminated in Andersen scoring in his own net in the 27th minute. Palace’s hopes of a comeback were then dealt a major blow by Cheick Doucoure’s second yellow card in the 62nd minute.
Muir claims record fifth European indoor title
Laura Muir claimed a record fifth European Indoor Championships title with gold in the women’s 1500m in Istanbul. Scotswoman Muir, who took Olympic silver in Tokyo, moved through the field to pull ahead on the final lap to finish in four minutes and 03.40 seconds, ahead of Romania’s Claudia Bobocea and Sofia Ennaoui of Poland.
Katie Snowden finished fifth, with Great Britain teammate Ellie Baker in 11th. Muir’s victory at the Atakoy Arena sees the
Dundee Hawkhill runner become Britain’s most successful athlete at the European Indoor Championships, going ahead of Colin Jackson and Jason Gardener.
Elsewhere, defending champion Keely Hodgkinson coasted into the final of the 800m. Hodgkinson, who celebrated her 21st birthday on Friday, was runner-up at the World Championships in Eugene last year and also won Olympic silver in Tokyo as well as the 2022 European outdoor title. Jack Rowe and James West both went through in the men’s 3,000m, while British champion David King qualified in the men’s 60m hurdles. There was, though, disappointment in the men’s 60m final as both Jeremiah Azu and Reece Prescod failed to make the podium.
Harlequins thrash Exeter at Twickenham
Harlequins showcased some glamorous rugby as they dominated an underwhelming Exeter side 40-5 in the Premiership clash at Twickenham. The hosts earned their bonus point before the half-time whistle had been blown thanks to tries from Cadan Murley, Josh Bassett, Sam Riley and Joe Marchant, while Rob Baxter’s men were rendered pointless. Chiefs had a brief shift in form as Jack Innard got his name on the scoresheet, but Quins soon returned to their usual ways as Marchant touched down for his second, and captain Stephan Lewies added another. The victory sees Quins halt a recent dip in form that has seen them defeated five consecutive times in the Premiership, and climb from ninth place to fourth as they give their play-off hopes a hefty boost. Chiefs meanwhile have had their winning streak ended at three matches, as their play-off aspirations take a minor hit.
Djokovic bid to play Indian Wells gets US Open backing
Novak Djokovic’s bid to take part in this month’s tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami has been backed by the United States Tennis Association and the US Open. Djokovic is currently unable to enter the USA as he is unvaccinated against Covid-19.
But, with current restrictions due to end in April, the Serbian 22-time grand slam winner wants dispensation to enter the country and play the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, which starts next week, and the Miami Open.