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.

Luis Suarez celebrates scoring Liverpool's first goal

Jack Pitt-Brooke: Luis Suarez's hard shift gives Liverpool wings against Arsenal

At heart he is a disrupter and a pest, a footballing teaser and taunter

Steven Gerrard

Brendan Rodgers issues warning to young Liverpool players

Fringe players failed to impress in 3-2 defeat to Oldham

Steven Gerrard

'I can't rely on Steven Gerrard for 70 games': Brendan Rodgers calls on Liverpool players to take responsibility

Premier League side were beaten by League One Oldham in the FA Cup

Mansfield handed a painful lesson in injustice by Suarez

Next to Mansfield Town's ground is a shop called Dreams which has a sign announcing its closure. It was a metaphor of sorts. They were wild, improbable dreams, and Mansfield lost gloriously and controversially.

Match Report: Mansfield Town handed a hard lesson in injustice by Liverpool's Luis Suarez

Mansfield Town 1 Liverpool 2: Stags' dreams are cruelly broken after controversial goal breaks fans' hearts

Suarez the flawed genius puts on a superb show

There has always been something of the revivalist preacher about Brendan Rodgers and it seemed last night that his future might just work.

Christian Benteke celebrates a late winner against Reading

Christian Benteke going nowhere insists Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert

£8m signing has been sensational

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez

Premier League: Liverpool v Aston Villa match preview

A look ahead to this weekend's Premier League fixture at Anfield

The Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, congratulates Jordan Henderson last night

Henderson makes mark as Liverpool survive scare

Udinese 0 Liverpool 1

Jose Enrique

Brendan Rodgers defends changes to Liverpool team

Liverpool have struggled for goals beyond Luis Suarez

Brilliant Bale makes difference for Spurs

For as long as Gareth Bale plays like this, Tottenham have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League. Spurs climbed to fifth place last night after overcoming Liverpool in a thrilling game. Both teams impressed with their pace and commitment to attack but it was Bale, with an assist, a goal and terrifying excellence, who made the difference. He even scored Liverpool's goal.

Gareth Bale scores Tottenham’s second goal last night
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Andre Wisdom returns for Liverpool ahead of Tottenham clash

Premier League team news

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott

Liverpool will have transfer funds in January, but a move for Theo Walcott is played down

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said funds will be available in January to strengthen his squad, although played down the mounting speculation that he will be making a move for Arsenal winger Theo Walcott.

Joe Allen with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Swansea fans owe Joe Allen respect says Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Swansea fans have no reason to begrudge midfielder Joe Allen his move to Anfield.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there