The week in numbers: w/e 25/3/12

Woods won his first PGA title in over 2½ years (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

924Tiger Woods ended his winless streak of 924 days on the US PGA Tour by claiming a five-shot victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida.

62 – Age of two-time world darts champion John ‘Jocky’ Wilson, who died on Saturday night two days after his birthday. The Scotsman won the world title in 1982 and 1989.

156 – South Africa’s Alviro Petersen scored an 8½-hour 156 as South Africa took control of the third and final Test in Wellington. They currently lead the series over New Zealand 1-0. Read more of this post

The week in numbers: w/e 19/2/12

Hoy won two events at the Track World Cup meeting in London (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

4 – Gold medals won by the British cycling team at the Track World Cup event at London’s Olympic velodrome. Sir Chris Hoy won in the individual sprint and keirin, while Joanna Rowsell won the women’s individual pursuit and the women’s team won the team pursuit. Britain also won a silver and two bronze medals.

45 – Balls required by South Africa’s Richard Levi to hit the fastest-ever Twenty20 international century. He finished with an unbeaten 117 from 51 balls, including a record 13 sixes, as South Africa beat New Zealand by eight wickets in Hamilton.

10 – Points deducted from Rangers after the club was put into administration last week owing up to £75m to HM Revenue & Customs. Despite the deduction, they remain six points clear of third-placed Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League.

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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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The week in numbers: w/e 15/5/11

Djokovic beat Nadal in the final for the fourth tournament in a row

37Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-4 in the final of the Rome Masters to record his 37th consecutive victory of 2011 and his seventh title of the year.

4 – Djokovic has now beaten Nadal in the final of the last four Masters 1000 tournaments in which he has played (two on hard courts, two on clay).

31 – Former Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou were given 31-month suspended jail sentences for faking a motorcycle crash to evade a doping test on the eve of the 2004 Athens Olympics.

21Barcelona won their 21st La Liga title, their third in a row, with a 1-1 draw at Levante on Wednesday night.

254Somerset‘s Nick Compton scored an unbeaten 254 in the first innings of their drawn County Championship game against Durham.

Wouter Weylandt, 1984-2011 (image courtesy of Graham Watson).

26 – Age of Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt, who was killed in a crash on stage three of the Giro d’Italia. He was the fourth cyclist to be killed as a result of a crash at the Giro, and the first in 25 years.

59 – Number of seconds by which Alberto Contador leads the Giro after winning stage nine on Mount Etna yesterday.

24 – Age of Kenyan 2008 Olympic marathon champion Samuel ‘Sammy’ Wanjiru, who died after falling from a first-floor balcony at his home in Nyahururu.

6 – Years since Napoli were playing in the third tier of Italian football. A 1-1 draw with Inter Milan saw them qualify for their first ever Champions League campaign.

54 – In his last season before retirement, manager Walter Smith guided Rangers to their 54th Scottish league title after a 5-1 win at Kilmarnock.

The Premier League in numbers

Rodríguez was quick off the mark against Fulham

32Liverpool‘s Maxi Rodríguez scored the fastest goal of the Premier League season after just 32 seconds in the 5-2 win at Fulham last Monday night.

2 – The above result meant that all 20 Premier League teams scored in the same game-week for only the second time in the competition’s history. The previous occurrence was also this season.

19Manchester United‘s 1-1 draw at Blackburn secured a record 19th English top-flight title, surpassing Liverpool’s total of 18.

1,000D J Campbell scored the 1,000th goal of the 2010/11 Premier League season in Blackpool‘s 4-3 win over Bolton.

2 – On FA Cup final day, Blackpool’s win was a repeat of the scoreline of the 1953 FA Cup final (the ‘Matthews final’), as was West Bromwich Albion‘s 1-0 win over Everton, a repeat of the 1968 Cup final result.

24Tottenham‘s 2-0 win at Anfield meant they completed a league double over Liverpool for the first time in 24 years.

Bent scored against Arsenal - again

5Darren Bent‘s two goals in Aston Villa‘s 2-1 win at Arsenal improved his record to five goals in his last five starts against the Gunners.

17Robin van Persie scored his 17th league goal of 2011 against Villa – the same number of goals as the entire Blackburn team have scored since New Year.

0 – The Emirates Stadium is the only Premier League ground that has not seen a single goal scored with a shot from outside the box (both Arsenal and all visiting sides) this season.

The FA Cup final in numbers

35Manchester City won their first trophy in 35 years as they defeated Stoke 1-0 in the FA Cup final.

5 – All five FA Cup finals at the new Wembley Stadium have been decided by a single goal.

4 – Of the five finals at the new Wembley, four have ended with an African player scoring the only goal of the game (Didier Drogba twice, Kanu, Yaya Touré).

Touré secured City's first trophy in 35 years

2Yaya Touré has attempted just two shots on target in his last two FA Cup appearances, both of which have been winning goals.

1Vincent Kompany became the first Belgian player to win the FA Cup. Nico Claesen (1987) and Marouane Fellaini (2009) lost in the final.

4 – Stoke became the fourth debutant finalist in a row to lose, after Millwall (2004), Middlesbrough (1997) and Crystal Palace (1990). The last team to win in their debut appearance in was Wimbledon in 1988 (1-0 vs Liverpool).

5 – Five of Stoke’s outfield players misplaced more passes than they completed: Kenwyne Jones, Andy Wilkinson, Matthew Etherington, Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross.

(Some statistics courtesy of Opta Sports, The Times@InfostradaLive and @StatManJon.)

My sporting month: September 2010

With the Premier League in full swing, the Euro qualifying campaign getting under way, and both domestic and European cup competitions ramping up this month, you could be forgiven for thinking September is all about football, football and still more football, with a side serving of football.

But there is plenty of great sport on all across the world this month, so here are five of the big sporting events – both football and non-football – which I will be settling down into the armchair to watch over the next 30 days.

1. NFL regular season kick-off (9th-13th)

Defending champion New Orleans Saints host the Minnesota Vikings – for whom quarterback and future Hall of Famer Brett Favre returns for an incredible 20th season of football – in the Thursday night curtain-raiser on the 9th.

In terms of history and tradition, the highlight of the opening round is probably the Dallas Cowboys versus the Washington Redskins, but I will be watching out for the San Francisco 49ers, who visit division rival Seattle Seahawks looking to end a series of seven straight seasons in which they have failed to win the NFC West, the longest barren spell since their first Super Bowl season of 1981. Surely this year …?

2. UEFA Champions League Matchdays 1 & 2 (14th/15th & 28th/29th)

The most fiercely contested club competition in world football returns this month with the opening two matchdays of the group phase. The draw, conducted in Monaco last Thursday, pits three of the historic giants of European football – AC Milan, Real Madrid and Ajax – in the same group.

Matchday 1 sees Manchester United play Rangers at Old Trafford, with Arsenal hosting Braga and Chelsea and Tottenham travelling to MŠK Žilina and Werder Bremen respectively. But the two biggest ties of the first round will see Real Madrid play Ajax, while Bayern Munich welcome Roma.

The tie of the round in matchday 2 sees Ajax host AC Milan. Tasty stuff.

3. Premier League: Man Utd vs Liverpool (19th) and Man City vs Chelsea (25th)

After an opening weekend draw with Arsenal, this is Liverpool‘s second major test of the season as they attempt to regain a top-four spot with a visit to the home of their bitter rivals. Even in relatively poor seasons, Liverpool have often upset United and will be looking to do so again in what promises to be a ferocious and passionate match.

The following Saturday (the 25th), Man City host Chelsea in an intriguing showdown between the wealthiest club in football versus the team who used to hold that mantle. As the current Premier League champions, it is Chelsea who City have directly in their sights as they strive to turn hundreds of millions of pounds of investment into tangible results. It promises to be a fascinating match-up, and a genuine yardstick for City to measure their potential against.

4. AFL Grand Final (25th)

The vagaries of the Aussie Rules playoff system means that it takes three knockout rounds to whittle the eight qualifying teams down to the two finalists. (Don’t ask.) While my team, the West Coast Eagles, finished sixteenth and last on the league ladder Collingwood, coached by former Eagles’ head man Mick Malthouse, go into the finals series as the top-seeded club.

The Grand Final will take place at the MCG on Saturday 25th, but the knockout action begins this Friday. With the entire season at stake, expect a series of tough, no-hold-barred battles.

Lewis Hamilton en route to winning last year's Singapore GP (image courtesy of Nir Sinay)

5. Singapore Grand Prix (26th)

With the F1 drivers’ championship still too close to call – just three points separate Lewis Hamilton from second-placed Mark Webber after Sunday’s Belgian GP – the spectacular night race around the streets of Singapore heralds the end of the European season and the beginning of a long, five-race haul to the end of a season which looks like going right down to the final race in Abu Dhabi in November.

Will Hamilton extend his lead? Or can Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel or Fernando Alonso haul themselves back into contention?

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