My sporting month: January 2012

A new year brings with it the start of the season for many sports which have been in hibernation over the past couple of months. For winter sports, it sees the competition hotting up as their calendars pass the midway point or, in some cases, the road to the end-of-season playoffs.

With both the London Olympics and football’s European Championships upcoming this summer, 2012 looks set to be a bumper year for all sports fans. And January gets things off to a fast start with a post-Christmas cracker of a schedule. Here is a personal list of my top five events for the coming month.

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Van Persie’s clinical finish in striking contrast to Walcott

Arsenal 1 QPR 0

van Persie 60

For an hour, Arsenal appeared to be heading for the same stalemate as they did against Wolves four days previously, repeatedly spurning chance after chance against a battling but limited QPR defence. But, minutes after Theo Walcott had fired tamely wide when through one-on-one, captain Robin van Persie showed him how it should be done, beating Radek Černý with a clinical first-time shot. Arsenal had plenty of opportunities to pad their advantage, but a 1-0 win was nonetheless enough to elevate them into the top four at the mid-point of a season which had started so disastrously.

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