Alvaro Negredo has formed part of City's irresistible attack, yielding 115 goals this season

Comment: 12 months ago Roberto Mancini was fighting with Mario Balotelli - now the Premier League title is Manchester City's to lose

The club's form has meant they have long been seen as title favourites, now they have the top spot, too

Sarah Taylor and Charlotte Edwards celebrate with teammates after winning the match and retaining the Ashes in Hobart

Women's Ashes 2014: Victory for England 'means everything' says captain Charlotte Edwards

England won today's Twenty20 to retain the Ashes

Kevin Pietersen can either wait for the IPL auction next month or play county cricket in England

Kevin Pietersen seeking new IPL franchise

There are rumours that the batsman's England career is over

Women's Ashes 2014: Captain Charlotte Edwards shows England how to win Ashes with brilliant innings

First Twenty20 International: England 151-1 (17.5 overs) beat Australia 150-3 (20 overs) by nine wickets

Kevin Pietersen can either wait for the IPL auction next month or play county cricket in England

ODI series: Ashley Giles insists Kevin Pietersen is in his future plans as is anyone who 'can bring that tempo and win games'

Giles feels that England cannot overlook someone of Pietersen's ability given their failure to capitalise on winning positions in Australia

Sam Warburton is the first to sign a Welsh central contract

Sam Warburton’s loyalty to Wales may leave him out in the cold at Cardiff

Sam Warburton finally knows who will be employing him next season and how much he can expect to earn after signing a central contract with the Welsh Rugby Union – the kind of contract rejected by two of his fellow Red Dragon titans, the full-back Leigh Halfpenny and the lock Alun Wyn Jones, in favour of alternative deals with Toulon and Ospreys respectively. What Warburton does not know is how many top-level club games he will play if the sport’s alleged “leaders” fail to break the impasse over the future of the Heineken Cup.

Harlequins and Leicester Tigers players leave the Twickenham Stoop pitch after the game is stopped on 'health and safety grounds'

Harlequins 20 Leicester Tigers 6 match report: Match ends early as freak hailstorm hits the Twickenham Stoop sending debris onto pitch

Play was stopped on 'health and safety grounds' after Paul Sackey, Maurie Fa'asavalu and Tom Guest

Owen Farrell and Jack Nowell train with the rest of the England squad ahead of the Six Nations 2014

Six Nations 2014: Cool head Owen Farrell hoping to lead England to championship glory

Farrell admits you can't let anything effect your game as a fly-half and admits he learnt to keep a cool head very early in his career

Chris Robshaw and Stuart Lancaster hope to guide England to Six Nations glory

Six Nations 2014: Chris Robshaw hopes growing experience will prove to be deciding factor as England look to improve on second place

Robshaw has led England to the runners-up spot in the past two championships but believes a more experienced core could lead to Six Nations glory

England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler has admitted the side are in a 'desperate state' as they face the prospect of equalling their worst ever run of defeats

ODI series: Prospect of longest ever losing streak has left England in a 'very desperate' state, admits Jos Buttler

One more defeat would leave England equalling their worst ever run of 10 matches without victory

Stuart Lancaster says England have not been scarred by their heavy defeat at the hands of Wales in last year’s title decider

Six Nations 2014: England possess the belief to end title drought, says Stuart Lancaster

The French can talk a brilliant game, especially when England loom large on their horizon. "It's a mythical match for us," said Pascal Papé of Stade Francais, the new captain of Les Bleus, "and losing is not an option." Then came the coach, Philippe Saint-André, and his assertion that in Paris a week on Saturday, his side would "not start with the starter but begin with the main course, with roast beef straight away". When it comes to the word play, Stuart Lancaster and company struggle to keep pace.

Alastair Cook will not play in the fourth ODI

England eager to avoid 'worst in history' tag

Defeat on Friday will make it nine internationals in a row on tour

Tim Sherwood picked Nabil Bentaleb ahead of Lewis Holtby and Etienne Capoue

Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood alerts England over Nabil Bentaleb chance

The midfielder could qualify to play for the Three Lions

Alastair Cook looks on during the defeat in Sydney on Sunday

Alastair Cook the right man to lead England, insists old friend Ravi Bopara

Cook has said he will consider his future in light of the disastrous tour of Australia

Lydia Greenway, right, and Arran Brindle celebrate the win

England women on brink of keeping Ashes

Lydia Greenway has warned her England team-mates not to take anything for granted despite her unbeaten 69 in the first one-day international, leaving Charlotte Edwards’ side on the brink of retaining the Ashes.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?