Good week/Bad week

It has been another bumper week of sporting action, but as always we have sifted our way through the thrills and spills to bring you the highlights and lowlights from the last seven days.

Last Updated: 16/09/13 at 16:32 Post Comment

All tastes the same: Rafael Nadal checks out his 13th grand slam trophy

All tastes the same: Rafael Nadal checks out his 13th grand slam trophy

With the transfer window well and truly closed and a less than thrilling international break for the home nations over, attention turned to the domestic season, while Rafael Nadal's quest to become the king of tennis continued and is Ian Holloway left disgruntled - just another ordinary week at the office then?

There is a routine nod to Gareth Bale, who made a scoring debut for Real Madrid after becoming the most expensive footballer on the planet, while Stateside, Jim made sure he fixed it, making golf history.

Here are our picks of the week...

Good Week

Rafael Nadal

Tennis immortality beckons for the Spaniard after claiming his second US Open title at Flushing Meadows last Monday. Following an injury-plagued 2012, Nadal continued his renaissance with a 3-1 victory over World No 1 Novak Djokovic in a match of breath-taking quality.

The 27-year-old's coronation could be complete in coming weeks if, as expected, he usurps Djokovic to reclaim the number one crown. Victory in New York City handed Nadal his 13th career grand slam, which means talk inevitably turns to chasing down Roger Federer's cored haul of 17 major wins.

Mesut Ozil

It took Arsenal's marque signing just 11 minutes to vindicate his £42.5million price-tag as he made Premier League against Sunderland. The German playmaker displayed panache and elegance from the off before a deft touch allowed him to pick Kieran Gibbs' ball out of the air to make an inch-perfect pass to set-up Olivier Giroud for Arsenal's opener.

The club record signing terrorised the Black Cats defence at the Stadium of Light with drops of the shoulder and some majestic footwork as he enjoyed an eye-catching debut in the English top flight.

Jim Furyk

Jim Furyk etched his name into golfing folklore this week by becoming only the sixth man to post a sub-60 score in the history of the PGA Tour. The 43-year-old shot a dramatic round of 59 to launch an incredible comeback and tie for the lead at the halfway stage of the BMW Championship in Illinois.

After starting the day nine shots adrift of competition leader Brandt Snedeker, Furyk charged through the field, collecting 11 birdies and an eagle in a superfluous round to draw level with the overnight leader. Suppose we can ignore that bogey at the fifth, Jim?

Durham's cricketers

While all eyes turn to the Ageas Bowl to see if England can complete a summer of woe for Australian sport in the ODI decider, Durham have found themselves dubbed 'champions elect' in Division One of the LV= County Championship. England's loss is Durham's gain, or so at least Graham Onions will tell you.

Having been denied the dream recall for the Ashes series earlier in the summer, the 6ft 2in paceman stood tall to take 5-23 as Durham sunk Derbyshire to move one step closer to a third Championship title in six years. After Yorkshire's bid to chase down a contrived target at Hove was foiled by the weather, Durham lead the top flight by 27.5 points and could seal the deal when they take on Nottinghamshire at Chester-le-Street this week.

Bad Week

Catalan Dragons

It was not for the want of trying, but Catalan Dragons became the first victims to fall as the Super League season entered the knockout stages with round one of the play-offs. Laurent Frayssinous' men made a trip to the KC Stadium on a wet and windy Thursday night, only to return to France bruised after losing 14-4 in a fiercely contested encounter.

As the rain persisted in East Yorkshire the Dragons sorely missed the kicking game of Scott Dureau, who missed the end of the season with a quad injury. Hull FC managed to repel almost everything the visitors could muster as the Dragons head back to Perpignan slayed, as their dreams of Super League title enter a 14th year.

Mo Farah

"Mo Farah having a bad week," I hear thousands of Brits cry? Monday morning's newspapers are awash with a very unfamiliar sight for British sports fans. No 'Mo-Bot' this time, anguish painted across the face of the double world and Olympic champion as he crossed the line second to arch rival Kenenisa Bekele.

British hero Farah chased down his nemesis in the Great North Run to no avail on Sunday as Bekele clinched a thrilling sprint finish. There was a solitary second between the pair at the line after Farah made a late surging attempt to hunt down the Ethiopian. An unaccustomed taste left in the 30-year-old's mouth.

Eli Manning

Who would want to be a younger brother? The American Football quarterback continues to endure heartache in the shadow of his older brother, Peyton. Eli was once again unable to break the shackles as Manning Senior landed two touchdown passes as Denver Broncos racked up a 41-23 victory over the New York Giants.

Manning Junior has never prevailed against his elder sibling and Sunday's rout was the third time the Giants have been slayed by Peyton. The now Broncos quarterback starred twice for the Indianapolis Colts and took centre stage yet again with 307 yards and 30-of-43 passes completed.

Ian Holloway

The Crystal Palace boss could only watch from the stands at Old Trafford as his side were beaten 2-0 by defending champions Manchester United in a game marred by controversy. Holloway was banished from the touchline and fined £18,000 following his comments regarding a contentious penalty decision in the aftermath of Palace's defeat to Tottenham.

How could the outspoken extrovert resist vocalising his opinions again? Well, "I can't afford it," said the man famed for airing his views on the controversial points. United's Ashley Young was booked for diving and could well have been dismissed for the same offence in a second incident, in which Kagisho Dikgacoi instead saw red and Palace were one-nil down to a Robin van Persie penalty. Red? Doesn't even come close to describing the colour of Holloway's face.

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