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Weekend talking points: Favourites do the business in FA Cup

| 18.02.2019

Round-up of the biggest sporting stories

With another Monday comes the chance to look back on a hectic weekend of sport.

We were treated to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup, the first full Saturday of racing since the equine flu outbreak, round four of the Formula E season and much more…

Favourites come up trumps in FA Cup

Watford set the tone for a favourites-dominated FA Cup fifth round this weekend. The Hornets downed QPR 1-0 on Friday night to put their name in the quarter-final hat.

Saturday afternoon’s games saw Brighton & Hove Albion come from behind to beat Derby County 2-1 and Millwall defeat AFC Wimbledon 1-0.

And after a courageous performance, Newport County’s cup dreams are over after Manchester City ran out 4-1 winners at Rodney Parade. Credit to the League Two outfit though, who held Pep Guardiola’s men at bay for 50 minutes.

Wolverhampton Wanderers, Crystal Palace and Swansea City all progressed on Sunday. The final quarter-final place will be fought out between Chelsea and Manchester United tonight.

Chelsea are Evens favourites to win in 90 minutes, with United out at 14/5.

Skipper Brown on-hand for crucial Celtic late winner

In Scotland, Celtic took a last-gasp step towards the Ladbrokes Premiership title on Sunday afternoon.

After seeing Rangers draw with St Johnstone on Saturday night, the Bhoys claimed a 90th-minute winner through Scott Brown to defeat Kilmarnock on Sunday.

The win moves Brendan Rodgers’ men eight points clear at the top and they’re now 1/20 to win the league.

Thrills aplenty in Mexico as Di Grassi wins E-Prix

The new Formula E season has now yielded four different winners from four races, after Lucas di Grassi’s smash and grab win in Mexico.

Pascal Werhlein had led the race in Mexico City from pole position. But an early red flag and safety car period for a big Nelson Piquet smash threw the race into a new dimension.

With all teams and drivers struggling to make their power reserves last the distance, Werhlein looked to have the race in the bag, until he too ran out of power within sight of the chequered flag. Di Grassi swept by to take the win.

Jerome d’Ambrosio finished fourth to maintain his place at the top of the leaderboard, with the next race in Hong Kong in three weeks’ time.

McIlroy’s good form on PGA Tour continues

Rory McIlroy hasn’t won a Major since 2014, but the Northern Irishman is certainly in good form with the 2019 Masters now just two months away.

McIlroy finished fourth at the Genesis Open on Sunday to post his third straight PGA Tour top-five finish.

The 29-year-old was three off winner JB Holmes, with Tiger Woods five shots behind McIlroy.

Jordan Spieth is the 10/1 favourite for Augusta, with McIlroy and Woods sharing second in the betting at 12/1 alongside Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose.

Sun shines on Nicholls as Cheltenham looms

Paul Nicholls had a Saturday to remember! The trainer collected a record eight winners over three courses.

Five of those came in a remarkable afternoon at Ascot, including Clan Des Obeaux in the Denman Chase and Cyrname in the Ascot Chase.

Nicholls is 20/1 to be named top trainer at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, with Gordon Elliott heading up the market at 11/8.

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Richard Marsh