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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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning