Good Week/Bad Week: We take a look at the winners and losers from the last seven days
Last Updated: 24/11/14 2:48pm
Another seven days of sport have offered up a gamut of emotions. As the dust settles, Sky Sports sifts through it all to bring you the heroes and villains of the past week.
Chelsea maintained their excellent start to the new Premier League while in Super League St Helens have one hand on the League Leaders' Shield.
England's struggles in limited over cricket has continued while Manchester United will be looking forward after a week to forget despite the signing of Angel di Maria from Real Madrid.
Congratulations to Swansea and Aston Villa for their fine starts to the new Premier League campaign, but it is Chelsea who look the business three games into the 2014/15 campaign.
Jose Mourinho’s men have been in imperious form so far and that run continued on Saturday with a 6-3 demolition job of Everton at Goodison Park.
The game was virtually done and dusted inside the opening five minutes as goals from Diego Costa and Branislav Ivanovic had the visitors 2-0 ahead on Merseyside. Everton have never been a team to roll over and Roberto Martinez’s men also attacked with conviction.
Seamus Coleman’s own goal restored Chelsea’s two-goal cushion with further goals from Nemanja Matić, Ramires and a second from Costa in injury time wrapping up a remarkable nine-goal epic. The victory means Chelsea top the table after three games with a perfect record while the Londoners are unsurprisingly the league’s leading scorers.
St Helens are now just one victory away from claiming the 2014 League Leaders’ Shield following their 13-12 success over 12-man Leeds Rhinos at Headingley on Friday.
The Rhinos fought bravely following Joel Moon’s first-half dismissal for a shoulder charge on Mark Percival and Saints made their numerical superiority count thanks to tries from Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and James Roby.
Fit-again Lance Hohaia slotted home the match-winning drop-goal in the closing minutes to secure what could be a priceless two points. Nathan Brown’s men only need to topple Warrington Wolves at Langtree Park on Thursday to clinch their first League Leaders’ Shield since the 2008 campaign.
Only Castleford can now pip St Helens to top spot. The Tigers battled hard to beat Bradford Bulls 32-18 on Sunday while rivals Wigan suffered a surprise defeat to Widnes on Friday while Warrington and Huddersfield drew 24-all on Thursday.
Racing Metro’s bid thwart the Toulon juggernaut took another upturn on Saturday as Laurent Labit’s side beat the French and European champions 17-10 at Stade Amedee-Domenech. Les ceils et blancs scored a try in each half as they issued Toulon’s first defeat of the season.
Francois van der Merwe crashed over the whitewash in the first half before Maxime Machenaud reclaimed the lead for the hosts in the second period after James O’Connor crossed for Toulon. While victory over the reigning champions will undoubtedly provide a significant boost to Racing, who have credible title ambitions this term, it would be remiss to read too much into a loss for Toulon.
The myth of French rugby suggests away victories are so to see a team hold their own on home soil is not the greatest shock, though, the strength and execution displayed by Racing did offering a warning salvo to the defending champions. Question now is whether Racing can build on their victory and topple Toulon in front of a partisan Stade Mayol crowd in the return fixture.
Belinda Bencic became the youngest quarter-finalist at the US Open since Swiss compatriot Martina Hingis won the title in 1997 following a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 victory over ninth seed Jelena Jankovic on Sunday.
It was 17-year-old's second victory over a top-10 player in a row after her third-round win against Angelique Kerber.
Jankovic was the highest-ranked player left in the bottom half of the draw and that status now belongs to 10th seed Caroline Wozniacki. In the last eight, Bencic will meet another unseeded player in China's Peng Shuai.
Louis van Gaal was meant to usher in a new era at Old Trafford having replaced the disappointing David Moyes over the summer. The vastly-experienced Dutchman was expected to help resume normal service at the Red Devils, but, so far, it has been anything but.
The week began badly when Manchester United suffered a humiliating 4-0 Capital One Cup exit at the hands of lowly MK Dons. Sure Van Gaal fielded a much-changed line up. However, they should have been enough talent on the park for United to progress in the completion.
Their hopes of claiming a first Premier League success of the new season then fell by the wayside on Saturday as they were held to a goalless draw by newly-promoted Burnley at Turf Moor. The draw means Van Gaal’s men are without a league triumph in three games this season, meaning the fallen giants are down to 14th in the table and seven points behind leaders Chelsea.
England’s ODI woes continued last week following another crushing defeat at the hands of India at Trent Bridge in the five-match series.
They failed to cope with Ravi Ashwin (3-39) and the other Indian slow bowlers as they scrambled to only 227 all out, despite an opening stand of 82 between captain Alastair Cook and in-form Alex Hales.
England managed just one boundary in their opening 26 overs as India claimed a comprehensive six-wicket victory. India’s batsmen knocked off their inadequate total with seven overs to spare to open up a commanding 2-0 series lead.
Many eyebrows were raised when Hockaday was linked with the vacant managerial role at Leeds united, let alone when he was named as their new manager on a two-year deal.
While few of the club’s fans had even heard of the guy they were willing to give him a chance at the job after he won the backing from Italian owner Massimo Cellino. However, the cracks began the show and following a disastrous start of the Championship campaign the writing looked to be on the wall.
Hockaday was handed a stay of execution following a 4-1 thrashing at Watford when Leeds had two sent off,however Cellino wielded the axe this week on the back of their Capital One cap exit to West Yorkshire rivals Bradford, another match in which the club had a man dismissed. In all Hockaday’s tenure at Elland Road lasted just 70 days.
Finishing third is a decent effort in the golf tournament. However, for Gallacher he ended up being one shot and one place short of what he needed at the Italian Open.
The 39-year-old Scot needed to win in Turin or finish joint second with just one other player to dislodge Graeme McDowell from the ninth place in the European team for the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
A final round of 65 saw him finish behind winner Hennie Otto and David Howell to miss out by the narrowest of margins. Paul McGinley has also said there is no guarantee Gallacher will be one of his Ryder Cup Captain’s picks.