Good Week/Bad Week

After another seven days of sporting thrills and spills we've selected our pick of the big winners and losers from the week in sport in our famed Good Week/Bad Week feature.

Last Updated: 04/03/13 at 15:16 Post Comment

Nadal celebrates in Mexico

Nadal celebrates in Mexico

There's been plenty of action going on yet again with some big derby clashes in football going in favour of the teams wearing white, while one Spanish giant looks like getting back to his best on the tennis court.

The world's top golfer is continuing to endure a nightmare start to the season, but Team GB's athletes looked superb in Europe, so we've an eclectic mix of sporting highs and lows to bring you.

Let us know your thoughts and choices using the feedback form below.

Good Week

Tottenham

A thunderous North London derby saw Tottenham Hotspur boost their hopes of Champions League qualification with a tense victory over neighbours Arsenal that dealt a big blow to their rivals' own top-four chances.

Gareth Bale continued his superb form with the opening goal on 37 minutes and Aaron Lennon made it 2-0 before the interval as Arsenal's defensive deficiencies were ruthlessly exposed.

Per Mertesacker pulled a goal back for the Gunners after the break but a frantic game finished 2-1 to the hosts who moved back up to third place in the table and seven points ahead of Arsene Wenger's side.

Rafa Nadal

Rafa Nadal continued to roll back into action following his long injury lay-off as he dominated David Ferrer in a one-sided final to win his second Mexican Open title.

Nadal, ranked fifth in the world, needed just over an hour to claim a 6-0 6-2 victory over top seed and fellow Spaniard Ferrer in Acapulco.

Former world No1 Nadal flew out of the blocks and won the first eight games against the three-time defending champion, before going on to lift the title and show signs of hope for his fans that he can get right back to his very best.

Saracens

Saracens took full advantage of Harlequins' slip-up on Saturday by beating London Welsh 35-14 to return to the top of the Aviva Premiership table.

The champions were shocked by Exeter at the Stoop but their closest rivals rarely looked likely to make the same mistake against the struggling Exiles.

The visitors battled bravely - particularly given the upheaval they have suffered off the pitch this week - but Saracens had too much pace and power for them, running away with the contest in the end.

GB athletes

Team GB claimed three gold medals on the final day of the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Sweden with Perri Shakes-Drayton leading the way by claiming two of them.

The 24-year-old destroyed the field to take the honours in the 400m, before anchoring the 4x400m relay team to glory soon afterwards, and they were backed up by the men's outfit.

The men's 4x400 quartet completed the golden hat-trick in their 4x400m event by taking their title as well, although they faced a nervy wait as they eventually were handed gold after initially being disqualified.

Bad Week

Rory McIlroy

2013 doesn't seem to be getting any better for Rory McIlroy as he pulled out of the Honda Classic in Florida during the second round.

McIlroy initially said little other than he was mentally not right to play, before later releasing a statement where he apologised for his withdrawal and revealed toothache as the real reason. Either way his season has been one to forget so far, with just nine birdies in the 80 holes he has played.

The world No1 missed the cut in Abu Dhabi on his big unveiling as Nike's new poster boy, before losing in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play, and his critics will continue to snap away until his game finally starts showing signs of life.

Barcelona

Even for a team running away with the league title, Barcelona will still have been stung by two defeats at the hands of arch rivals Real Madrid after a double-header of El Clasico contests in Spain.

Real won 3-1 at Camp Nou to knock Barcelona out of the Copa del Rey semi-finals during the week, before repeating the win at the Bernabeau on Saturday in the league - although Barca are still miles out in front.

However, the two defeats did make it three losses in four after their Champions League defeat in Milan and it is hardly form they want to take into that vital European clash with the Italians, who hold a 2-0 first leg advantage.

Phil Veivers

Salford sacked coach Phil Veivers following their poor start to the Super League season. The Reds have won just one game since last July, and in the first five games of the 2013 season they have conceded nearly 200 points, scoring just 62 to leave them bottom of the table.

The final straw for the board was Friday night's 38-4 home defeat to London Broncos, who are second bottom.

In a statement Salford's chief executive Ed Farish said: "We have had to look at the whole business and what is right for the club.

Adrian Lewis

Wes Newton registered his first Premier League victory and heaped more misery on Adrian Lewis with a 7-3 win in Week Four in Exeter.

The Fleetwood debutant consigned an out-of-sorts Lewis to his fourth successive defeat in this year's competition to move out of the relegation places, where he is replaced by Gary Anderson.

In a tense encounter lacking quality, Newton held his nerve on the doubles to claim a first win in four attempts.

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Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

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