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Xavi Hernandez was upset at the way Barcelona allowed Real Sociedad to sneak away with a 2-2 draw on Saturday night. Despite going ahead 2-0 in the first half, the Catalans slipped to a 2-2 draw after two defensive errors, and the 31-year-old was furious. “We made two foolish mistakes in defence and they cost us dearly,” Xavi said to his club’s official website. “[They were] two isolated errors. From there on, their confidence grew and they showed more aggression than us. “We weren’t expecting it,” he continued. “We had...Continue reading »

Fernando Alonso admitted he was particularly hard on Sebastian Vettel when the runaway points leader was attacking him in the opening stages of the Italian Grand Prix as he felt Vettel would not want to risk too much given his position in the standings. Alonso had taken the race lead at the start, but was only able to hang on for just over a lap following the early restart before Vettel got through. The Red Bull ended up partially on the grass at Curva Grande at one point as Alonso tried to maintain his place. “We have nothing to lose in the battles with Sebastian,”...Continue reading »

Ross Brawn has hailed Michael Schumacher’s “fantastic” Italian GP, revealing that the FIA did ask the German to “be careful”. Schumacher had a storming start at Monza on Sunday, moving up to third place after overtaking Lewis Hamilton. He then spent the better part of the next 28 laps with the McLaren driver right on his rear wing. Hamilton did manage to overtake Schumacher on lap 13 through Parabolica but the German fought back using his superior speed, thanks to his Mercedes engine, to retake the position around the Curve Grande. There...Continue reading »

Sebastian Vettel now has an iron-like grip on his second Formula One world title following his eighth victory of an emphatic season. Vettel took the chequered flag at the Italian Grand Prix by almost 10 seconds to McLaren’s Jenson Button, who was forced to settle for second at Monza for the third consecutive year. With Vettel’s Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber crashing out, the 24-year-old has a 112-point cushion in the championship over his nearest challenger, now Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso after he claimed the final podium place half a second ahead of...Continue reading »

Sebastian Vettel made it 10 poles for the season as he continues to close in on Nigel Mansell’s Formula One record. On a circuit supposed to be Red Bull’s worst over the closing seven races of a one-sided campaign, the reigning champion smashed his rivals to grab top spot on the grid for the Italian Grand Prix. Vettel blitzed the Monza track with a time of one minute 22.275secs to finish a full half second clear of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton who lines up second for the fourth consecutive race. The German is now just four short of Mansell’s mark of...Continue reading »

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has assured team boss Stefano Domenicali his job is secure for next season – but expects him to deliver on promises made this week. Making his annual pilgrimage to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix, Di Montezemolo took the acclaim of a half-empty grandstand ahead of qualifying. The Italian then watched drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa finish fourth and sixth, which on home soil was not the performance Di Montezemolo would have expected, but not much of a surprise due to Ferrari’s mediocre season to date. Despite...Continue reading »

Andy Murray lost to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of a third successive grand slam as the Spaniard clinched a 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-2 victory at the US Open. The world number four felt the hard courts of Flushing Meadows gave him a better chance than he had had at the French Open or Wimbledon but in the first two sets Nadal was simply too good. Murray, who beat the Spaniard at the same stage here three years ago, fought back valiantly but he let the momentum slip away at the start of the fourth set and it proved crucial. Nadal will play Novak Djokovic in the final on Monday...Continue reading »