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Three goals conceded, three consecutive draws as Arsenal slip up again

Arsenal 3 Norwich 3

Benayoun 2, van Persie 72, 80; Hoolahan 12, Holt 27, Morison 85

In the end, the villain of the piece was Kyle Naughton – the defender on loan from Tottenham, of course – who had a hand in the final result. Literally, as his shove in the back on Robin van Persie in the dying moments of the game denied the striker a dramatic late winner. But the truth was Arsenal had no one to blame but themselves, as they were fortunate to finish with a point after a pulsating 3-3 draw with Norwich which featured shockingly amateurish defending from a side which hopes to play in the Champions League next season. Their fate is now out of their hands, however, as the weight of expectation passes to Tottenham tomorrow. It is a burden which proved too much for Arsenal here. Read more of this post

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The week in numbers: w/e 1/4/12

All football fans will wish Petrov well

32 – Age of Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov, who was diagnosed with acute leukemia last week.

56 – Jail sentence (in days) handed down to 21-year old student Liam Stacey, who made malicious and racist posts on Twitter in the wake of Fabrice Muamba‘s on-pitch heart attack two weeks ago.

1Sri Lanka beat England by 75 runs in the first Test at Galle to record their first win on home soil since Muttiah Muralitharan’s retirement in July 2010.

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The week in numbers: w/e 18/3/12

Tendulkar finally completed his century of centuries after waiting for more than a year

100Sachin Tendulkar finally ended a run of 33 innings – over the space of 370 days – without a hundred to become the first batsman ever to hit 100 international centuries, scoring 114 in a one-day international against Bangladesh in Dhaka. However, Bangladesh won the match by five wickets.

3Wales completed their Six Nations campaign with a third Grand Slam in eight years after their 16-9 victory over France.

5 – Italy’s 13-6 victory over Scotland left them bottom of the Six Nations table having lost all five games.

16 – Big Buck’s tied Sir Ken’s record of 16 consecutive jumps victories by winning the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival for a record fourth time.

23 – World number one Victoria Azarenka recorded her 23rd consecutive victory of 2012 as she defeated Maria Sharapova 6-2 6-3 to win the Indian Wells tournament.

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The week in numbers: w/e 29/1/12

Azarenka won both her first major and gained the number 1 ranking (image courtesy of Mark Howard/Flickr)

1 – Having lost the opening two games of the Australian Open final, Victoria Azarenka won 12 of the next 13 games to defeat Maria Sharapova 6-3 6-0, winning her first Grand Slam tournament and taking over the number one ranking.

15 – This was the third time in the last six tournaments that only 15 games were required to complete the ladies’ singles final. On each occasion the losing finalist was Russian (Sharapova in 2007 and 2012, Dinara Safina in 2009).

7 –  A joint-England-record seven players failed to score more than one run as the tourists were skittled out for 72 in pursuit of a target of 145 to give Pakistan an unassailable 2-0 lead in the second of their three-match series.

22 – 22 wickets fell in one day as New Zealand inflicted Zimbabwe’s record defeat to win their one-off Test in Napier by an innings. New Zealand declared on 495/7 before dismissing Zimbabwe for 51 and then 143 following on.

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The week in numbers: w/e 22/1/12

Joe Paterno, RIP (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

85 – Age of Joe Paterno, former football head coach of Penn State University, who died after a short battle with lung cancer. Paterno won 409 games and two national championships in nearly 46 years as coach, but was sacked last November for his links to a child abuse scandal.

0 – Number of sets won by the five British players – Laura Robson, Heather Watson, Elena Baltacha, James Ward and Anne Keothavong – who competed on the first day of the Australian Open. They lost ten sets and all five matches between them.

3 – Former Chelsea and Leeds defender Michael Duberry scored an unusual hat-trick for current club Oxford United. He conceded two own goals to put visitors Hereford United 2-1 up at the Kassam Stadium, before snatching a last-minute equaliser to earn Oxford a point.

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