Arsenal huff and puff but can’t blow the big bad Wolves down

Arsenal 1 Wolves 1

Gervinho 8; Fletcher 38

After watching Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool all drop points unexpectedly on Boxing Day, Arsenal wasted an opportunity to claim a place in the top four as they were held at home by a stubborn Wolves side. The visitors battled hard to end a run of six consecutive away defeats in the Premier League and earn their first point away from Molineux since August 27th – exactly four months ago. However, this was a game Arsenal should have won, and nine times out of ten would have won.

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The week in numbers: w/e 25/12/11

Cavendish added the BBC SPotY award to his green and rainbow jerseys (image courtesy of Wikipedia

2 – Mark Cavendish followed in the footsteps of Tom Simpson by becoming only the second road cyclist to be crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SpotY). Cavendish had already emulated the achievement of Simpson 46 years earlier as the only British riders to win a World Championship road race, and also became the first Briton to win the green jersey at the Tour de France in 2011.

49.47% – In winning SPotY, Cavendish received a staggering 49.47% of the total votes cast between the ten shortlisted finalists, four times as many as runner-up Darren Clarke.

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Benayoun’s late winner brings Arsenal Christmas cheer

Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 2

Albrighton 54; van Persie 17 pen, Benayoun 87

An unconvincing Arsenal escaped from Villa Park with all three points after a late winner from a most unlikely source: the head of on-loan substitute Yossi Benayoun. The result was tough on an Aston Villa side who ruffled the visitors throughout and dominated most of the second half, but ultimately paid for a lack of cutting edge up front and a defensive lapse by Gabriel Agbonlahor, who let Benayoun run in unopposed to score the winner.

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BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPotY) in numbers

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPotY) Awards takes place at a star-studded ceremony at the BBC’s new MediaCityUK complex in Salford tomorrow (Thursday) night. Cycling world champion and Tour de France green jersey winner Mark Cavendish is the bookies’ favourite to become the first road cyclist since Tom Simpson in 1965 to win the coveted award. You can find out more about the final shortlist of ten in my preview, but here is a breakdown of all the statistics relating to the major SPotY awards – in numbers.

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The week in numbers: w/e 18/12/11

Wilkinson retired as the second-highest scorer in rugby internationals (image courtesy of

1,246 – Points scored by England’s Jonny Wilkinson, who announced his retirement from international rugby last week. Only New Zealand’s Dan Carter (1250) has more international points. Wilkinson’s 36 drop goals is more than any other international player.

15 – South Africa crushed Sri Lanka by an innings and 81 runs in the first Test of a three-match series at Centurion. Sri Lanka have now failed to win any of their 15 matches since Muttiah Muralitharan retired from Test cricket in July 2010.

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