Sport Martin O’Neill (right) and Roy Keane watch their team make a winning start

It was one of those curious nights when events on the sidelines were always going to be more telling than those on the pitch, but Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane can at least take plenty of encouragement from a statement first win in charge of the Republic of Ireland. The new regime got off to a fine start with a commanding win over Latvia.

Alex McLeish accused Robin van Persie of elbowing Carlos Cuellar

Aston Villa open contract talks with Carlos Cuellar

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has confirmed the club have opened talks with Spanish defender Carlos Cuellar over a new contract.

<b>10. Alex McLeish £6m</b>

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish vows to 'get it right' ahead of planned protest

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has come out fighting ahead of a proposed fans' protest before Sunday's home game with Manchester City and insisted: "I'll get it right at this club."

Karl Henry apologises for 'stupid mistake'

Midfielder Karl Henry has apologised to Wolves manager Mick McCarthy, players and the club's supporters for the "stupid mistake" which led to his sending off against Aston Villa at the weekend.

Robbie Keane could join on loan from LA Galaxy

Shay Given sees benefits of Robbie Keane loan

Fit again keeper Shay Given believes Aston Villa will reap the benefits if they sign his Republic of Ireland team-mate Robbie Keane for a loan spell from Los Angeles Galaxy.

Ultimo gets extra lift from its sponsors

When Britain's women unwrap their Christmas presents on Sunday, there's a good chance they'll find some lingerie, judging by the latest sales from Ultimo.

Harry Redknapp: 'They can have a Christmas party when they have a six week holiday in the summer'

Humbug Harry stands firm on Christmas ban

Spurs manager says golf trips, days at the races and festive nights out are old-fashioned and of little interest to most of his players

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham celebrates with his teammates after the Galaxy defeated the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup

America finally succumbs to the power of Becks

When the former England captain David Beckham decided to move from a footballing giant in Real Madrid to an US team with a 35,000-seater stadium and fading on-field fortunes, many saw it as an example of a player who has won a Champions League medal as well as league titles in England and Spain putting a downpayment on a retirement home. And the initial stages of his career at MLS (Major League Soccer) side LA Galaxy did not seem to promise further sporting success. But, in what may be his final game in the country, Beckham has finally got his hands on some US silverware to add to his collection, winning his first MLS title.

Football in Brief: Hamann walks out on first job; Beckham eyes final US flourish; Adam denies sectarian charge; Russian players' fury at tunnel attack

The former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann has resigned as manager of Blue Square Premier side Stockport. Hamann undertook his first management assignment at Edgeley Park this summer with the promise of new investment from businessman Tony Evans, but a deal failed to materialise. "Having been introduced to the club by Tony Evans, I presumed that the takeover by him would have taken place," Hamann said. "Promises were made which did not take place. I feel therefore unable to continue."

Crossing the pond... Famous footballers who played in the United States

Robbie Keane's 'dream move' to LA Galaxy makes him the latest football or, 'soccer' player to join team America.

David Beckham smoothed Robbie Keane switch to LA Galaxy

Robbie Keane last night revealed David Beckham had played a part in his move to Major League Soccer as he completed his transfer from Tottenham to the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Robbie Keane waits for news on LA Galaxy switch

Tottenham striker Robbie Keane is waiting to see whether his £3.5million move to the Los Angeles Galaxy has gone through this morning.

LA Galaxy quiet on Robbie Keane transfer rumours

The Los Angeles Galaxy have declined to confirm they are targeting a move for Tottenham's Robbie Keane.

Robbie Keane accepts he will 'probably' leave Tottenham

Robbie Keane accepts he is "probably" entering his final days as a Tottenham player.

Blackburn owners confident of new arrivals

Blackburn owners Venky's insist there will soon be new signings arriving at Ewood Park.

Record-breaker Keane so proud after reaching goals milestone

Irishman fulfils a 13-year prophecy by scoring his 50th international goal &ndash;and quickly makes it 51
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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
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
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Get well soon, Joan Rivers

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A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering