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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform