Sport In a stew: Downing is counting on a Cup win to build confidence

Being known as a "Cup team" is a mixed compliment, implying the ability to raise your game for one-off occasions, but never to sustain it. If Wigan Athletic, FA Cup winners relegated within a week, are newcomers to the genre, West Ham United have been at it rather longer.

Darren Bent claims he can handle expectations

Darren Bent insists he can handle the pressure of being Aston Villa's record signing after completing his £18million move from Sunderland.

Bruce accuses Bent of betraying Sunderland

Manager says £24m striker failed to give his all in build-up to Aston Villa move

Aston Villa sign Darren Bent in record deal

Aston Villa have smashed their transfer record in signing Sunderland striker Darren Bent in a deal which could eventually be worth £24million.

Darren Bent hands in transfer request

Aston Villa will have to come up with in excess of £20m to persuade Sunderland to part company with striker Darren Bent.

Collins rescues vital Villa point in Midlands derby

Birmingham 1 Aston Villa 1

Bardsley sends Villa into the dropzone

Aston Villa 0 Sunderland 1

Bruce shuts up shop to all but 'crazy offers'

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce insists only a "ridiculous" offer would prompt him even to think about selling one of his key players this month.

Van der Vaart scores two as Spurs beat Villa 2-1

Aston Villa 1 Tottenham 2

Heskey heads Villain the right direction

Aston Villa 2 West Bromwich Albion 1: Ex-Anfield striker stirs happier memories for Houllier as Di Matteo suffers

Pedersen provides the welcome to greet Rovers' new owners in style

Blackburn Rovers 2 Aston Villa 0

Albrighton has Fulham all at sea but then ensures their rescue

Fulham 1 Aston Villa 1

Fulham share spoils after last-gasp equaliser

Fulham 1 Aston Villa 1

Houllier refuses to take credit for Aston Villa win

Gerard Houllier refused to take credit for the double substitution which spared Aston Villa's blushes and booked them a Carling Cup quarter-final spot.

Downing's stunning strike ensures Villa do not pay for their profligacy

Aston Villa 2 Burnley 1 (aet)

Downing sends Villa through at expense of brave Burnley

Aston Villa 2 Burnley 1 (after extra-time)
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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

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Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent