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SPORTS





Honoring the best in sports over the past calendar year, the 2012 ESPY Awards took place at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, California on Wednesday night (July 11).

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Hosted by "21 Jump Street" star Rob Riggle, LeBron James emerged as the big winner of the night with three awards inlcuding Best NBA Player and Best Male Athlete trophies, as his team the Miami Heat took home Best Team accolades.
Tom Coughlin, who won his second Super Bowl in January, beating New England 21-17 took home Best Coach of the Year with Brittney Griner being named Best Female Athlete, and another big winner was Josh Hamilton as he won Best MLB Player.

Meanwhile, there was plenty of star power on hand, as celebrity presenters included Jessica Biel, Jeremy Renner, Kenny Chesney, Olivia Munn and Jordana Brewster.

Also including a performance from Nas, the complete list of winners from the 2012 ESPY Awards is as follows:

Best Male Athlete:
Novak Djokovic, Tennis
WINNER: LeBron James, NBA
Aaron Rodgers, NFL
Justin Verlander, MLB

Best Female Athlete:
WINNER: Brittney Griner, Baylor Basketball
Maria Sharapova, Tennis
Lindsey Vonn, Alpine Skier
Abby Wambach, Soccer

Best Championship Performance:
David Freese, World Series
WINNER: LeBron James, NBA Playoffs
Eli Manning, Super Bowl
Tony Stewart, Sprint Cup
Jonathan Quick, Stanley Cup

Best Breakthrough Athlete:
Anthony Davis, Kentucky Basketball
Robert Griffin III, Baylor Football
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
WINNER: Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks
Alex Morgan, Soccer

Best Record-Breaking
Performance:
WINNER: Drew Brees, Passing Yards Record
Coach K, Wins Milestone
Mariano Rivera, Saves Milestone
Lexi Thompson, Youngest Winner

Best Upset:
Iowa State over Oklahoma State, NCAA Football
WINNER: L.A. Kings, Stanley Cup win
Lehigh over Duke, NCAA Tournament
Norfolk State over Missouri, NCAA Tournament

Best Game:
Missouri at Kansas, College Basketball
Rangers – Cardinals, World Series Game 6
WINNER: 49ers vs. Saints, NFL Playoffs

Best Moment:
Derek Jeter, 3,000th Hit
WINNER: Tebow to Thomas, Sudden Death TD
Bubba Watson, Masters Win
MLB Season Ends, Drama On Final Night

Best Coach/Manager:
John Calipari, Kentucky Basketball
WINNER: Tom Coughlin, NY Giants
Kim Mulkey, Baylor Women’s Basketball
Patrick Murphy, Alabama Softball
Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat
Darryl Sutter, L.A. Kings

Best Comeback Athlete:
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Johan Santana, New York Mets
Maria Sharapova, Tennis
WINNER: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Best International Athlete:
Novak Djokovic, Tennis
WINNER: Lionel Messi, Soccer
Cristiano Ronaldo, Soccer
Yani Tseng, Golfer

Best NFL Player:
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
WINNER: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens

Best MLB Player:
Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
WINNER: Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

Best NHL Player:
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
WINNER: Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning

Best Driver:
Dario Franchitti, IndyCar
WINNER: Tony Stewart, NASCAR
Sebastian Vettel, F1
Del Worsham, NHRA

Best NBA Player:
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
WINNER: LeBron James, Miami Heat
Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics

Best WNBA Player:
Seimone Augustus, Minnesota Lynx
Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever
Tina Charles, Connecticut Sun
Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta Dream
WINNER: Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury

Best Fighter:
Jon ‘Bones’ Jones, MMA
WINNER: Floyd Mayweather Jr., Boxing
Anderson Silva, MMA
Andre Ward, Boxing

Best Male Golfer:
Luke Donald
Bill Haas
Rory McIlroy
Webb Simpson
WINNER: Bubba Watson

Best Female Golfer:
WINNER: Cristie Kerr
Yani Tseng
So Yeon Ryu

Best Male Tennis Player:
WINNER: Novak Djokovic
Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal

Best Female Tennis Player:
Victoria Azarenka
Petra Kvitova
WINNER: Maria Sharapova
Samantha Stosur

Best Male College Athlete:
Jack Connolly, Minnesota-Duluth Hockey
Anthony Davis, Kentucky Basketball
WINNER: Robert Griffin III, Baylor Football
Andrew Luck, Stanford Football
Mike Zunino, Florida Baseball

Best Female College Athlete:
WINNER: Brittney Griner, Baylor Basketball
Alex Jupiter, USC Volleyball
Caitlin Leverenz, Cal Swimming
Teresa Noyola, Stanford Soccer
Jackie Traina, Alabama Softball

Best Male Action Sports Athlete:
Travis Rice
Kelly Slater
Ryan Villopoto
WINNER: Shaun White

Best Female Action Sports Athlete:
WINNER: Jamie Anderson
Kelly Clark
Carissa Moore
Kaya Turski

Best Jockey:
Javier Castellano
Ramon Dominguez
WINNER: Mario Gutierrez
John Velazquez

Best Male Athlete with a Disability:
Baxter Humby
Raymond Martin
WINNER: Kyle Maynard
Oz Sanchez
Tyler Walker

Best Female Athlete with a Disability:
WINNER: Jessica Long
Chelsea McClammer
Tatyana McFadden
Alana Nichols
Melissa Stockwell

Best Bowler:
Jason Belmonte
Mike Fagan
WINNER: Sean Rash

Best MLS Player:
WINNER: David Beckham, Los Angeles Galaxy
Brad Davis, Houston Dynamo
Dwayne De Rosario, DC United
Chris Wondolowski, San Jose Earthquakes

Best Track & Field Athlete:
WINNER: Walter Dix
Carmelita Jeter
Jason Richardson
Christian Taylor

Best Team of the Year:
Alabama football
Baylor women’s basketball
Kentucky men’s basketball
Los Angeles Kings
WINNER: Miami Heat
New York Giants
St. Louis Cardinals


Rooney return: Key striker back for Manchester United
Wayne Rooney will return to the Manchester United side to face Norwich on Saturday.

The Reds forward has missed the last two games with a hamstring strain but is back to face the Canaries.

Javier Hernandez, who also missed the 3-3 draw with Basle, should also return. Chris Smalling and Nemanja Vidic are still injured but should be back after the international break along with Tom Cleverley.

Meanwhile, boss Sir Alex Ferguson praised Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini for his "strong management" in dealing with Carlos Tevez' apparent refusal to play in midweek.

Ferguson would not speak directly about Tevez, a former player at the club, but said Mancini had handled the incident well.

Ferguson told a news conference: "I think that Roberto Mancini has come out and shown his strength of character, his strength of management and I think that is important.

"We have all experienced our own difficulties in management and you cope with it as best as you can. In my own experience strong management is important and there is nobody more important than the manager at a football club." Click below to listen to MEN Sport's James Robson give his view on the game. http://www.kyte.tv/f/ 
Tottenham survive Shamrock Europa League scare 

Tottenham Hotspur got the better of Shamrock Rovers in their Europa League Group A encounter on Thursday, but only after the League of Ireland side had taken a shock second-half lead at White Hart Lane.

Stephen Rice sent the huge travelling support into raptures when he deflected a Gary Twigg shot past Spurs 'keeper Carlo Cudicini five minutes into the second-half.

The goal had come completely against the run of play, and the Premier League aristocrats were back level 10 minutes later when Roman Pavlyuchenko headed home from point-blank range.

Within six minutes, Jermaine Defoe and Giovani Dos Santos had also netted to complete the turnaround as Spurs ran out 3-1 winners to go level with Rubin Kazan -- who drew 2-2 with PAOK Salonika earlier in the day -- on four points atop the group.

It was an excellent night all round for England's representatives, with Stoke City coming from behind to beat Turkish giants Besiktas 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium.

Peter Crouch cancelled out Roberto Hilbert's opener before a late Jonathan Walters penalty handed Stoke their first win in Group E.

A 1-1 draw in the group's other game between Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Dynamo Kiev allowed Stoke to go top.

Fulham had gone eight games without a win in all competitions before travelling to Denmark to face Odense.

However, Andrew Johnson scored either side of half-time to secure a 2-0 win for the Cottagers, who move level on four points with Twente Enschede at the top of Group K.

The Dutch club came from behind to win 4-1 at home to Wisla Krakow, with giant Austrian striker Marc Janko scoring twice.

Meanwhile, Birmingham came from a goal down to win 2-1 away to Maribor of Slovenia in Group H.

Dalibor Volas put the hosts ahead after Blues 'keeper Colin Doyle completely mis-kicked a Jonathan Spector back-pass, but a fine Chris Burke effort brought the visitors level, and Wade Elliott won it late on, as last season's League Cup winners register their first points of the campaign.

Next up for Birmingham are Club Brugge of Belgium, who won 2-1 away to Braga courtesy of Ryan Donk's last-minute effort.

There was no such luck for Celtic, however, with Neil Lennon's side being denied a first win in Group I by Udinese in a tale of two penalties.

South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung converted from 12 yards to give the Scottish Premier League side the lead with less than three minutes on the clock, but the Serie A outfit -- who were missing star striker Antonio Di Natale -- came away with a point thanks to Almen Abdi's spot-kick in the dying moments.

The other match in a tricky Group I saw 2010 Europa League winners Atletico Madrid strike late to earn a 1-1 draw against Rennes in France.

Victor Hugo Montano's deflected shot from outside the area had Rennes on course for a first win in 10 home games in the group stages of the UEFA Cup or Europa League, but a scrappy effort from substitute Juanfran allowed the Spaniards to steal a draw.

Elsewhere, Raul made his 150th European appearance but was not among the scorers for Schalke as the Bundesliga side beat Maccabi Haifa of Israel in Group J.

Christian Fuchs scored twice and Jose Jurado also found the target as Schalke recorded a win in the first match of Huub Steven's second spell as coach.

Paris Saint-Germain have been tipped as one of the favourites to win the competition, but they were beaten 2-0 away to Athletic Bilbao.

First-half goals from Igor Gabilondo and Markel Susaeta gave the Spanish side a second win in Group F, while Mohamed Sissoko was sent-off to complete a miserable day for the French league leaders.

Earlier, seven of their followers were arrested following disturbances in Bilbao.

Shop windows were broken and chairs were thrown from cafes near San Mames, while one man is accused of hitting a policeman over the head with a chair.

Injured Benzema in doubt for Espanyol match



Real Madrid's French international Karim Benzema skipped training with the rest of his teammates on Thursday due to injury and is in doubt for the club's league match away against Espanyol.

The 23-year-old was forced to leave the pitch during Real's 3-0 Champions League win over Ajax on Tuesday after 75 minutes of play because of an adductor muscle problem in his left thigh.

In a statement posted on their website, Real said Benzema did not hit the pitch with the rest on the team on Thursday because he "is undergoing medical treatment and awaiting developments."

Benzema contributed one of the goals in Real's win over Ajax which cemented the Spanish giants' place at the top of Group D.