Rio Ferdinand shrugged off his looming eight-month ban and helped Manchester United go top of the Premier League on Sunday after a 2-1 victory at Tottenham. \nThe world's most expensive defender took his place on the Reds lineup at White Hart Lane two days after a Football Association disciplinary panel handed out the ban for failing to appear for a random drug test Sept. 23. \nThe ban doesn't start until Jan. 12 and United plans to appeal it. Ferdinand left the field blowing kisses and waving to the Reds fans who had chanted his name several times during the game. \n"I'm very pleased," said United manager Alex Ferguson. "I think it was probably the best thing to play him, getting all the things out of his mind and concentrating on playing again. I think he's acquitted himself very well in the circumstances. \n"The boy merits a position in the team because of his performance. Strangely enough, since it's all happened, he's been better and better." \nGoals by John O'Shea and Ruud van Nistelrooy put the Reds in control before Gustavo Poyet replied for Spurs. The result means United is the first team to reach 40 points, with Arsenal and Chelsea tied for second on 39. \nThe Reds went ahead in the 15th minute when O'Shea met a corner from Darren Fletcher, sticking out a right leg to deflect the ball into the top corner past Kasey Keller. \nIn a meeting of two American goalkeepers, Tim Howard dived low to his left to make a stunning one-handed stop to keep out a powerful right foot shot from Poyet. \nBut it was 2-0 in the 26th minute when Van Nistelrooy took a first time pass from Ryan Giggs to run clear of the defense and fired home, the ball taking a deflection off the tackling Anthony Gardner. It was the Dutch striker's 33rd goal in 32 games for United. \nVan Nistelrooy fired across the face of the Spurs goal after a slick, end-to-end Reds move from inside their own area. \nThen Spurs halved the Reds' lead in the 63rd minute when Paul Konchesky crossed from the left, Stephane Dalmat turned the ball into the middle and Poyet just beat Ferdinand to prod it goalwards. Howard did well to push the ball onto his right hand post but it bounced back into the net. \nEarlier Sunday, Southampton jumped into fourth place with a 3-0 beating of Portsmouth to leave its south coast neighbor in relegation trouble. \nGoals by Jason Dodd, Marian Pahars and James Beattie gave Saints a lopsided victory at St. Mary's and improved their poor goals ratio. Before the game, Gordon Strachan's team had scored only 15 in 16 matches. \nThe loss means that Harry Redknapp's men, promoted last season, remain in the relegation zone only a month after being in the top four early in the season.
1.Manchester Utd 40 2.Arsenal 39
Bottom of the table
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there