Listen to this article

00:00
00:00

* By the end of a crazy game, Chelsea were down to nine men, with two other players in discomfort and the right-back Glenn Johnson in goal, writes Jonathan Wilson at St James' Park. Moreover, they were out of the FA Cup; the quadruple will not be done this season. The heavy snow that swirled around St James' Park lent the game an atmosphere of the fantastical, and the sense of unreality was only intensified when Newcastle took a fourthminute lead, the first goal Chelsea have conceded since going behind to Scunthorpe in the third round. Laurent Robert, played into space by Nicky Butt, whipped in a superb cross from the left, and Patrick Kluivert leapt above William Gallas to power a header home. Without the pace or invention of Didier Drogba, Arjen Robben and Damien Duff, Chelsea rarely looked like breaking through a Newcastle rearguard in which Titus Bramble was magnificent.

Mateja Kezman, whose ordeal by missed chance continues, struck the bar as he reached a deflected Tiago cross midway through the first half, but that was an isolated opportunity. Mourinho, undermining any notion that he was not bothered about the FA Cup, threw on Duff, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Frank Lampard at half-time, but within two minutes the gamble backfired as Wayne Bridge slid awkwardly in a challenge with Alan Shearer and was carried off with a suspected broken ankle, reducing Chelsea to 10 men. In injury time, they went down to nine when Carlo Cudicini was sent off for a professional foul on Shola Ameobi. Even worse, Duff and William Gallas picked up knocks, and are doubtful for the Champions League meeting against Barcelona on Wednesday.

* Nottingham Forest came back to draw 1-1 at Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley drew 0-0 with Blackburn Rovers in moral victories for Championship clubs over Premier League sides in Sunday’s other fifth round ties.

* Brave Howard Eastman failed to live his Los Angeles dream as Bernard Hopkins successfully negotiated an unprecedented 20th successful world middleweight title defence at the Staples Center. Battersea man Eastman criticised the Philadelphian's tactics after falling to a unanimous 119-110, 117- 111, 116-112 points verdict despite one of the most impressive performances of his career. Eastman accused Hopkins of running scared of the battle and urged him to grant an unlikely rematch to give him another chance of claiming all four major world title belts. Eastman said: He didn't fight like a true champion. He was champion in his backyard and I dictated the pace. I am very disappointed because he never hurt me. I felt I was hitting him and he did not land a lot. Eastman valiantly attempted to solve the conundrum posed by 40-year-old Hopkins and did enough to earn a loud ovation at the end of the 12-round contest. But Eastman's chances were fleeting and Hopkins proved, with his unerring accuracy, why he remains the best pound-forpound boxer in the world. Eastman was left to rue possible missed opportunities such as in the eighth round when two good right hands wobbled the champion but were not capitalised upon. Eastman, who lost his previous world title attempt against William Joppy in 2001, criticised referee Raul Caiz Jnr for his handling of the fight.

Eastman added: I was fighting against two men in there - the referee and Hopkins at the same time. I am not making excuses but I couldn't get my job done because the referee was calling break all the time. However, when the inquests are over Eastman will surely accept that he was beaten by a man who may not be dynamic but whose technical excellence makes him a magnificent champion.

* Northampton remain bottom of the Zurich Premiership with only six matches left after losing 39-9 to Wasps, writes Huw Richards at Wycombe. They are three points from safety, although English rugby's rulers could again find excuses to protect their magic circle of rich clubs. But Northampton, who to their credit have not joined the formation whingeing about relegation, would be well advised not to trust to luck. They certainly had none yesterday, their ill fortune epitomised by full-back Bruce Reihana mistaking the soccer goal-line in this shared stadium for the rugby dead-ball line and, lobbing the ball forward to a team-mate, conceding a five-yard scrum in the 18th minute. Wasps, who rarely waste an opportunity, claimed their first try - scored by former Saint Matt Dawson. With Northampton's fragile confidence shaken, two more tries within 10 minutes by wing Tom Voyce - the first from a beautiful break by full-back Mark van Gisbergen, the second after hooker Phil Greening intercepted - ended the contest before halftime.

Van Gisbergen sealed their four-try bonus point 10 minutes after the break then, in injury time, set up Voyce's hat-trick before claiming his own second try to complete a personal tally of 19 points. Wasps are 12 points behind leaders Leicester but with a 10-point cushion in the play-off places. Switzerland's Roger Federer, the world's top-ranked tennis player, rallied for a 5-7 7-5 7-6 triumph over Croatian Ivan Ljubicic in the final of the £524,000 ABN Amro indoor tennis sport tournament in Rotterdam.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
myFT

Follow the topics mentioned in this article

Comments have not been enabled for this article.