Good Week/Bad Week
We pick out the best and worst from the last seven days of sport
Last Updated: 19/12/11 2:35pm
Manchester footballing heavyweights City and United continue to match each other stride for stride at the top of the Premier League, while across town Blackburn manager Steve Kean faces a much less comfortable festive period.
Away from football, there were mixed fortunes for East Midlanders Lee Westwood and Carl Froch as Britain's golfers and boxers continue to flourish and flounder in equal measure on the biggest stage.
In rugby, Harlequins passed a tough French exam at Toulouse but Raymond van Barneveld and Green Bay Packers came up short in matches both were expected to win.
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The Barclays Premier League title is looking more and more like a two-horse race each week. City and United both recorded victories at the weekend and head into the busy festive period with five points separating second-placed United and third-placed Spurs - albeit with Harry Redknapp's men having one game in hand on the Manchester duo. Sir Alex Ferguson's reigning champions swept newly-promoted QPR aside with a 2-0 win at Loftus Road to temporarily top the table on Sunday, however their 'noisy neighbours' edged past Arsenal 1-0 later that day to reclaim top spot.
A stunning seven-shot victory in Thailand at the weekend propelled Lee Westwood above Ryder Cup team-mate Rory McIlroy as the new world number two. The Worksop golfer carded a career-best round of 60 on his way to a commanding wire-to-wire victory at the Amata Spring Country Club in Bangkok. He will now head into 2012 eager to break his major duck.
Quins took a giant step towards qualification for the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup following a stunning 31-24 victory over Toulouse at fortress Stade Ernest Wallon on Sunday afternoon. Conor O'Shea's men impressively ended Toulouse's 30-match unbeaten run on home soil to throw Pool Six of the competition wide open. A brace of tries from Mike Brown and a Joe Gray score saw the Londoners leave the south of France with the spoils.
Another world title fight, another defeat for a British boxer! Nottingham's Carl Froch was the latest fighter to wake up the morning after the night before without one of his prized possessions wrapped around his waist. 'The Cobra' was on the receiving end of a masterful performance from Andre Ward, who deservedly claimed a unanimous points victory to scoop the WBC super-middleweight belt at Atlantic City. Froch's defeat has made it a poor return this year for British fighters abroad with nine losses, one draw, only two victories, and those two victories belong to fighters - Khan and Froch - who have lost their titles in the space of seven days.
Less 'bad week' more 'bad reign'. Blackburn's under-fire manager watched his players crash to yet another defeat at the weekend, prompting more angry calls for his resignation at Ewood Park. Kean has now won just 11 of 43 matches and the 1994/95 Premier League winners look in real danger of sliding out of the top-tier of English football. Saturday's defeat will have been especially difficult to stomach - Peter Odemwingie's 89th-minute wonder strike ensuring fellow strugglers West Brom walked away with the points
Raymond van Barneveld
Five-time world champion 'Barney' was rumbled by unheralded James Richardson in round one of the PDC World Championships to leave his future on the oche shrouded with doubt. In one of the greatest upsets ever seen at the famous event, Richardson twice took out 145 to eliminate van Barneveld at the first-round stage for the first time in the Dutchman's illustrious career. His recent failings on the oche have been well-documented and the question is now: What next for Barney?
Green Bay Packers
The Packers saw their 19-game winning streak come to a crashing end as Kansas City Chiefs claimed a shock 19-14 victory on Sunday night. Kyle Orton outshone Aaron Rodgers by throwing for 299 yards and the win served as the perfect tonic for the Chiefs, who had sacked coach Todd Haley six days previous. The loss was Green Bay's first since December 2010, however they still boast an impressive 13-1 record for the season.