Liverpool won their first piece of silverware in six years but required penalties to overcome Championship side Cardiff in the Carling Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.
The underdogs had led for more than 40 minutes before Martin Skrtel pounced on a deflection off the post to cancel out Joe Mason’s 19th-minute opener. In extra time Dirk Kuyt gave Liverpool the lead but in the 118th minute Ben Turner equalised from close range for Cardiff to send the match to penalities.
Anthony Gerrard – cousin of Liverpool captain Steven – suffered the ignominy of missing his side’s vital fifth penalty to hand the cup to his opponents.
Wales secured the Triple Crown in controversial circumstances with a 19-12 victory over England at Twickenham on Saturday.
Scott Williams ripped the ball from Courtney Lawes in the tackle and broke to score beneath the posts to give Wales a seven-point lead with five minutes remaining.
England pushed hard to level as the final whistle approached and, as the clock ticked past the 80-minute mark, David Strettle looked to have gone over to give England a last-minute try which would have had to have been converted to tie the match.
Referee Steve Walsh referred the decision to the television match official who saw the video evidence as inconclusive, so was unable to award the try.
Wales top the Six Nations table ahead of France who overcame Scotland 23-17 at Murrayfield to condemn the Scots to their third straight defeat in the competition. Scotland looked bright and traded the lead with their opponents until a Maxime Medard try put France into a lead which they were not to surrender.
Ireland were ruthless in their 42-10 defeat of Italy at the Aviva Stadium. Tommy Bowe scored two of his side’s five tries in a comfortable win which puts Ireland back on track after they loss to Wales, then saw their match against France postponed in the last round of matches.
In the Premier League, Arsenal thrashed North London rivals Tottenham 5-2 despite going 2-0 down in the first half.
A stunning strike from Robin van Persie levelled the scores at 2-2 before half-time after Bakary Sagna had headed home in response to Louis Saha’s opener and Emmanuel Adebayor’s penalty.
And in the second half Arsenal turned the screw, with a Tomas Rosicky goal and a brace from Theo Walcott giving them a three-goal lead which Tottenham rarely threatened.
Manchester United relied on goals from their old guard of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs to win 2-1 against Norwich at Carrow Road and avoid losing any more ground to Manchester City in the Premier League title race.
Scholes headed in from close range early on in the first half but Grant Holt equalised for Norwich after United appeared to have taken the win for granted. Conceding the goal shook United into life for the final few minutes of the match and despite Danny Welbeck missing a couple of gilt-edged opportunities, Ryan Giggs knocked in an Ashley Young cross at the far post with the outside of his left boot.
Rory McIlroy lost to Hunter Mahan in the final of the WGC Match Play final in Dove Mountain, Arizona and with it missed his chance to become world number one.
The Northern Irishman battled back from four down on the back nine but eventually went down 2&1. He had recovered from being three down after four holes against Lee Westwood in the semi-final earlier but was unable to repeat such a comeback against Mahan.
England’s cricketers recovered from Thursday’s defeat against Pakistan level the T20 series 1-1 with a 38-run victory in advance of the third and final match on Monday. An unbeaten 60 from Jonny Bairstow helped England return to winning ways in the limited overs game after a fine one-day series.
England’s bowlers were on top form to restrict their opponents to 112 all out in 18.2 overs. Pakistan were 2/2 early in their innings thanks to wickets from Steven Finn and Joel Dernbach, and those two, along with captain Stuart Broad, produced good pace displays to help England to the win.