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The Stagcom 6th February Round Up

It was billed as an exciting weekend in the world of sport, and it certainly didn't let us down!

You could have been forgiven for staying put on your sofa all weekend to take it all in, but if you weren't able to do so, allow us to fill in all the blanks and offer our take on all that happened.

All But Over

In terms of the Premier League title race, it appears all but over after yet another win for leaders, Chelsea. They comfortably beat Arsenal 3-1 Saturday lunchtime, to cement their place at the top and end Arsenal's hopes yet again for another year. Marcos Alonso and Cesc Fabregas scored either side of an Eden Hazard wonder goal, before Olivier Giroud headed in an injury time consolation.

Spurs are now Chelsea's closest challengers, nine points back, after a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough. Boro put in a dogged defensive display, but a second-half penalty from Harry Kane gave the hosts all three points.

Things are certainly tighter at the bottom of the Premier League, with just two points separating the bottom six! Sunderland remain bottom, but have put themselves in touching distance of safety after a 4-0 thumping victory at fellow strugglers Crystal Palace. Lamine Kone gave the visitors an early lead, before Didier Ndong and a Jermain Defoe double gave David Moyes' side a convincing win.

Hull also gained a valuable three points, with a win over Liverpool. The Tigers have been revitalised under new boss Marco Silva and goals from Alfred N'Diaye and Oumar Niasse gave the Portuguese manager his fourth win in four home matches since taking over.

Six Nations Starts

The 2017 RBS Six nations started with three fantastic matches over the weekend. The opening match of the tournament saw Scotland gain a shock 27-22 win over Ireland at Murrayfield.

Stuart Hogg went over twice early on for the Scots, before Keith Earls scored to put Ireland back in it. A well-worked try from Alex Dunbar put Scotland 21-5 ahead at the break, but Ireland came out fighting in the second period.

Tries from Iain Henderson and Paddy Jackson put Ireland in front, but two late Greig Laidlaw's penalties gave the hosts a famous victory.

England began their title defence with a narrow 19-16 win over France at Twickenham. The win also saw the hosts secure a record 15th victory in a row.

Eddie Jones' side could count themselves lucky to go in at the break level at 9-9 after a disjointed first-half display. A try from Rabah Slimani looked as though it may give France a surprise win, but a late try from Ben Te'o rescued the win for the holders.

The weekend's matches were completed when Wales overcame a strong Italian defensive display to win 33-7. Tries from Jonathan Davies, Liam Williams and George North, combined with strong kicking from Leigh Halfpenny gave the Welsh a morale boosting victory before hosting England this weekend.

Great Britain Win

Great Britain reached the Davis Cup quarter-finals after a 3-2 win over Canada, but the win was overshadowed by a bizarre incident in the final match between Kyle Edmund and Denis Shapovalov.

With Edmund leading the match 6-3 6-4 2-1, a frustrated Shapovalov fired a ball in frustration which hit the match umpire directly in the eye. A default followed to award Edmund the match and Great Britain an overall victory.

It was a disappointing end to what had been a closely fought contest over the weekend. Great Britain will now face France when the quarter-finals take place in April.

Cook Quits

The news broke this morning that Alastair Cook has stood down as England Test captain. The 32-year-old opening batsman retires after winning a record 59 matches in charge, along with Ashes victories in 2013 and 2015.

England's highest ever run scorer will still be available for selection as a Test player, and it is now expected that Joe Root will be appointed skipper ahead of the next Test series, which is against South Africa in the summer.

Image credit: Sky Sports

Back to articles Date Posted: Monday 6th February 2017 Author: George Crewe