Stoke end striker Berahino's West Brom misery

LONDON Wantaway striker Saido Berahino finally ended his unhappy stay at West Bromwich Albion by joining fellow Premier League club Stoke City on a 5-1/2 year deal for 12 million pounds on Friday.

Stoke beat off competition from top-flight rivals Watford and West Ham United to sign Berahino, whose relationship with West Brom soured after a bid from Tottenham Hotspur was rejected on transfer deadline day in 2015.

Nice held by 10-man Bastia as title challenge stalls

PARIS Nice's Ligue 1 title challenge continued to stall as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Bastia despite playing against 10 men after Yannick Cahuzac was sent off just past the hour on Friday.

The hosts went ahead in the 15th minute when Prince Oniangue fired home but Nice equalised through Arnaud Souquet's header in the 33rd and late on failed to take advantage of the extra man.

Lewandowski's last-gasp goal earns Bayern 2-1 win at Freiburg

BERLIN Robert Lewandowski scored twice, including a stoppage-time winner as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich came from a goal down to beat Freiburg 2-1 on Friday and open up a six point lead as the league resumed after the winter break.

With his back to the goal, Lewandowski controlled a cross with his chest and fired past the Freiburg keeper in stoppage time to rescue the three points for lacklustre Bayern. It was his 14th goal of the campaign.

Jones needs more England leaders, but not Itoje

By Mitch Phillips

LONDON England coach Eddie Jones has made developing more leaders in the team one of his top priorities but said forward Maro Itoje is not about to be fast-tracked towards captaincy.

Jones raised a few eyebrows when he installed Dylan Hartley as captain at the start of his reign but was rewarded with a largely trouble-free, and hugely successful, year from the bad-boy hooker with a poor disciplinary record.

Morocco recover to beat Togo 3-1 and revive hopes

OYEM, Gabon Morocco stormed back from conceding a fifth minute goal to beat Togo 3-1 on Friday and keep alive their chances of progressing to the last eight at the African Nations Cup.

Beaten by Democratic Republic of Congo in their Group C opener, the former champions could ill afford another slip.

But Mathieu Dossevi shocked the more fancied Moroccans as he handed Togo a 1-0 lead by scoring at the end of a mazy run.

Aziz Bouhaddouz justified his late call-up to the squad by bringing Morocco level nine minutes later.

Miller fireworks leads South Africa to victory over Sri Lanka

PRETORIA David Miller smashed a quick-fire 40 as a new-look South Africa defeated Sri Lanka by 19 runs in the rain-shortened first Twenty20 International on Friday.

South Africa, who rested a number of experienced players and had five debutants, were sent in to bat in a game reduced to 10 overs a side and bludgeoned their way to 126 for five at Centurion Park.

Sri Lanka kept up with the run chase as they raced to 73 for one in the sixth over but then lost momentum as they lost five wickets in quick succession to finish well short on 107 for six.

Silverstone says no decision on British GP until July

By Alan Baldwin

LONDON Silverstone's owners have dismissed as "speculative and wrong" recent media reports suggesting the British Formula One Grand Prix would be dropped after 2019.

The British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) said in a statement on Friday that no decision on exercising a break clause would be made before mid-July, when the race is held.

"Our objective is to preserve the British Grand Prix at Silverstone for many years to come but, of course, we can only do this if it makes economic sense," said BRDC chairman John Grant.

Gerrard to return to Liverpool as Academy coach

LONDON Liverpool's former captain and talisman Steven Gerrard will return to his roots as part of the Academy's coaching set-up, the Premier League club announced on Friday.

Gerrard, who made 710 appearances for his boyhood club during 17 years at Anfield, will begin his new role in February.

"It feels like completing the circle; returning to the place where professionally it all began," the 36-year-old told the club's website (

Napoli braced for tough trip to Milan

Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri expects Saturday's trip to AC Milan to be a test of his depleted-side's maturity and mental toughness.

"San Siro (Milan's stadium) will be an important and ferocious testing ground, both for Napoli and for Milan," he told reporters on Friday.

The top four clubs in Serie A are separated by five points, with third-placed Napoli four adrift of leaders Juventus and clear of Milan, who are fifth, by the same margin.

Norris hopes to follow in Button's tracks

By Alan Baldwin

LONDON Jenson Button's departure from Formula One last year had one local website reflecting on the sad fact that the English county of Somerset would have no driver on the starting grid for the first time since 1999.

As parochial angles go, it was a good effort. And yet, if Lando Norris keeps on winning, a South-West successor to the 2009 world champion -- who made his F1 debut in 2000 -- may not be too far down the road.