Clinical Christian feeds Sunderland to the lions
Christian Benteke struck a 17-minute hat-trick as Aston Villa thrashed Sunderland 6-1 last night to move five points clear of the relegation zone. Ron Vlaar and Andreas Weimann had put Villa ahead at the break, with Danny Rose scoring for the visitors. Gabriel Agbonlahor added a late sixth for the hosts. MORE
City in secret talks to crack America
Manchester City are set for a commercial breakthrough in the US with the club’s Abu Dhabi owners close to agreeing a £65m deal for a New York Major League Soccer franchise. The club are to face Chelsea in New York next month, when a deal could be announced.
Root marked out as a future captain
Joe Root’s unveiling as the captain of the England Lions for next week’s match with New Zealand gives an indication as to the selectors’ thinking. The 22-year-old has been earmarked as Alastair Cook’s long-term replacement as England captain.
Okoye seeking to repay ‘gamble’
Lawrence Okoye is determined to repay the faith shown by San Francisco 49ers as he takes up American Football. “They’ve taken a gamble and I’m looking forward to it,” the former GB discus thrower said. MORE
Rovers ordered to pay out to Berg
Blackburn must pay former manager Henning Berg the equivalent of £40,000 a day after a judge ruled against the club. Berg will receive £2.25m after Judge Mark Pelling dismissed claims director Derek Shaw was a maverick with no authority to agree to Berg’s severance terms. MORE
Derbyshire duo punish Yorkshire
Derbyshire’s Chesney Hughes and Wayne Madsen put Yorkshire on the back foot on the first day of their County Championship match at Headingley. Hughes finished on 171 not out in a stand of 258 with Madsen as the visitors made 302 for 4.
Mourinho asks for Real aggression
Jose Mourinho has asked his Real Madrid team to be less “honest” if they are to overhaul a three-goal deficit against Borussia Dortmund. “We played the first leg as if it was a friendly,” he said. “We were so naïve and honest. We have to be compact and aggressive.”
Wiggins ready to challenge Froome
Tour de France champion Sir Bradley Wiggins believes he can challenge his Sky team-mate Chris Froome for this summer’s Tour de France after going for the Giro d’Italia. “We both want to win the Tour and are on different paths to it,” he said.
Opinion: James Lawton
Those who appreciated Harry Redknapp’s work at Tottenham Hotspur have reason to believe that he may have more success at Loftus Road second time around. MORE
Gatland searches for Lions answers
British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has a number of issues to resolve before unveiling his squad for the summer tour to Australia today. Sam Warburton is favourite to be named captain, while the selection of Jonny Wilkinson and Chris Robshaw is up for debate. MORE
Steroid genie now out of the bottle
Between them the British Horseracing Authority and his former employers depicted and dismissed Mahmood Al Zarooni as such a flagrant aberration that he could barely be sane. One way or another a genie is now out of the bottle. MORE