Manchester City delivered a stunning display of their Premier League title credentials with a 6-1 demolition of rivals and defending champions Manchester United at Old Trafford. City inflicted United’s heaviest home defeat since 1955 to go five points clear at the top of the table. Mario Balotelli’s brace put the visitors 2-0 up with Jonny Evans sent off between. Sergio Aguero added another before Darren Fletcher pulled one back. However, Edin Dzeko struck twice and David Silva once late on to humiliate United.
Unbeaten Newcastle went level on points with third-placed Chelsea, who lost 1-0 to QPR, thanks to a 1-0 win over Wigan. Chelsea had Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba sent off before half-time. Tottenham moved above Liverpool into fifth with a 2-1 defeat of Blackburn, who went bottom, after the Reds were held 1-1 by Norwich. Arsenal rose to seventh by beating Stoke 3-1.
Elsewhere Everton beat Fulham 3-1, West Brom saw off city rivals Aston Villa 2-1, Sunderland defeated Bolton 2-0 and Wolves drew 2-2 with Swansea.
Hosts New Zealand won the Rugby Union World Cup, ending a 24-year tournament hoodoo with a thrilling 8-7 victory over France.Prop Tony Woodcock was an unlikely scorer of the All Blacks’ first-half try and fourth-choice fly-half Stephen Donald’s penalty after the break made it 8-0. France hit back through captain Thierry Dusatoir’s try, which Francois Trinh-Duc converted, but New Zealand held on for the narrowest of wins.
Australia took third place with a 21-18 defeat of Wales. Berrick Barnes’ try and drop goal plus eight points from James O’Connor’s boot put the Wallabies in control. Wales hit back through Shane Williams’ try but Ben McCalman crossed to leave Leigh Halfpenny’s late touchdown a mere consolation.
England captain Lewis Moody, a 2003 World Cup winner, announced his international retirement, aged 33.
Domestically, there were Anglo-Welsh Cup wins for Bath, Harlequins, Leicester, London Irish, Newport-Gwent Dragons, Northampton, Saracens and Scarlets.
In Rugby League, wing Tom Briscoe scored two tries as England warmed up for the Four Nations by beating France 32-18. England Knights beat Cumbria 26-12.
In Cricket, England went 4-0 down in the best of five one-day series in India with a six-wicket defeat in Mumbai. Having lost by five wickets despite scoring 298 in the previous game at Mohali, the tourists could manage only 220 all out. Although they reduced India to 46 for three, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina responded with a 131-run stand to all but complete victory.
In Golf, Luke Donald topped the PGA Tour money list with victory in the Disney Classic in Florida. Donald finished on 17 under par thanks to a final-round 64 which included six birdies on the back nine.
In the annual NFL game at Wembley.the Chicago Bears withstood a late fightback by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win 24-18.
Following British IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon’s death the previous weekend, there was another high-profile fatality in motor sport with Italian MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli losing his life in a crash at Sepang, Malaysia.