Manchester United draws with Swansea
• Manchester United was held to a 1-1 draw at Swansea City on Sunday, ending a run of five straight Premier League wins as it failed to restore a six-point lead. Chelsea routed Aston Villa 8-0 to move into third.
France fullback Patrice Evra put United ahead on 16 minutes, with Miguel Perez Cuesta replying after 29 minutes at Swansea. Four of Chelsea’s goals were scored by Brazilians, including two by Ramires Santos do Nascimento.
“We’ve thrown two points away really,” United manager Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports. “We absolutely battered them. It was a great performance in the second half. It is unbelievable we didn’t win.”
United tops the standings on 43 points after its first league draw of the season, four points ahead of second-place Manchester City, the defending champion. Chelsea, which has played one match fewer, has 32 points, with four teams on 30.
Chelsea, runner-up to Brazil’s Corinthians in soccer’s FIFA Club World Cup a week earlier, returned to league action by matching its best Premier League victory — 8-0 against Wigan in May 2010.
David Luiz and Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior joined Santos as Brazilians on the score-sheet at Chelsea. Fernando Torres, Branislav Ivanovic, Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard also scored to end the visitor’s five-match unbeaten league run.
Newspaper to sue cyclist Armstrong
• Lance Armstrong is being sued for more than $1.5 million by a British newspaper over the settlement of a libel action, which followed doping allegations against the cyclist that it published. The Sunday Times paid Armstrong 300,000 pounds (now about $485,000) in 2006 to settle a case after it reprinted claims from a book in 2004 that he took performance-enhancing drugs. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency concluded this year that Armstrong led a massive doping program on his teams. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from cycling for life.
NHL, union unsure of next meeting
• All is quiet between the NHL and the players’ association, and there is no sign the sides will talk even by phone before Christmas. “Nothing today,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Associated Press in an email Sunday night. “Don’t know whether we will speak before the holiday.” Daly and players’ association special counsel Steve Fehr spoke to each other Saturday, but nothing of note came out of those discussions. The union declined to comment Sunday, the 99th day of the NHL lockout. The sides haven’t met face to face since Dec. 13.
Orioles, Showalter working on contract
• During face-to-face meetings during the past week, Orioles manager Buck Showalter and team principal owner Peter G. Angelos established parameters for a multiyear contract extension that would keep the popular manager with the club beyond 2013. Although some specifics still need to be worked out, a deal is expected to be reached in January, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
— From wire reports