Manchester United reached the halfway point of the English Premier League season Wednesday with a seven-point lead in the standings. Mexico international Javier Hernandez...

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Man United widens EPL lead

Manchester United reached the halfway point of the English Premier League season Wednesday with a seven-point lead in the standings. Mexico international Javier Hernandez scored the winning goal in the 90th minute as United had to come from behind three times in a 4-3 victory over Newcastle.

“Once again they have proved their courage, never gave in — down three times and came back three times, and eventually deserved to win the game,” United manager Alex Ferguson said.

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“Never mind where we are at this moment in time, this was a championship performance.”

Hernandez was starting in place of star forward Wayne Rooney, who was out with a knee injury.

Second-place Manchester City lost 1-0 at Sunderland to fall further behind United. Chelsea is now only four points behind City after Juan Mata clinched a 1-0 victory at Norwich.

Friedel signs through 2014

American goalkeeper Brad Friedel signed up for another season with Premier League club Tottenham at age 41.

Tottenham says Friedel, who has made 82 appearances for the U.S. men’s national team and began playing in England in 1997, has signed a new contract through 2014. He joined the London club in June 2011.

They agreed to the deal even though Friedel’s place in the starting lineup for league matches is no longer guaranteed since Hugo Lloris joined the club from Lyon in August.

UEFA seeks harsher punishment for Serbia

UEFA is appealing its own disciplinary panel’s sanctions against Serbia for racial abuse in response to widespread outrage that the punishment was too lenient.

During an under-21s match in October, Serbian fans directed monkey chants at black England players throughout a testy match in Krusevac, which ended in a brawl involving players and coaches from both teams.

The British government led the condemnation of the $105,000 fine imposed on the Football Association of Serbia. Several Serbian coaches and players were also suspended, and the team was ordered to play one under-21s match in an empty stadium.

College basketball

Creighton guard quits for health

Creighton senior backup guard Josh Jones is quitting basketball because of a heart condition.

Jones fainted before the Dec. 6 game at Nebraska and underwent surgery 12 days later to fix an atrial flutter. Doctors have said Jones will require more procedures.

Jones had an infected heart valve in 2007, when he was a high-school senior. He had no more problems until minutes before the Nebraska game.

Jones played in eight games this season, scoring 18 in a win over Alabama-Birmingham.

Nebraska’s Biggs cited for DUI

Nebraska men’s basketball player Deverell Biggs has been cited on suspicion of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident in Omaha last weekend.

According to a police report, Biggs backed his Chevrolet Suburban into a man’s vehicle about 1:35 a.m. Sunday. The 20-year-old Biggs spoke briefly to the other driver and drove off.

Police stopped Biggs several miles away. His blood-alcohol content measured .134, over the legal limit of .08.

Biggs is sitting out as a redshirt junior this season.


Wild Oats XI leads Sydney to Hobart race with 400 miles left

Favorite Wild Oats XI opened up a lead of 15 nautical miles over fellow super maxi and defending champion Ragamuffin Loyal on Thursday morning in the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

After 19 hours of racing, Wild Oats XI, a five-time line honors winner and race record-holder, had nearly 400 nautical miles to go in the 628-nautical-mile (723-mile), 76-yacht race, which started Wednesday in Sydney Harbour.

Projections showed a Friday-morning finish at Constitution Dock in Hobart on the island state of Tasmania.

Ragamuffin Loyal was being skippered by 85-year-old Syd Fischer, who is taking part in his 44th Sydney to Hobart race.

The Associated Press

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