From the back pages, February 10: Southampton write off Manchester City’s title chances

Inexplicable mistakes by Joe Hart and Gareth Barry gave Manchester City’s Barclays Premier League title hopes a potentially decisive blow as Southampton secured their first win under Mauricio Pochettino in style. (The Independent)

Saturday, 9th February 2013, 9:25 pm

England managed to contain the short, straight boundaries at Eden Park to defend their highest ever total in Twenty20 cricket and make a winning start to the three-match series against New Zealand. (The Times)

Rafa Benitez had Frank Lampard to thank as his late goal ensured Chelsea victory — and kept the Spaniard in his job. SunSport revealed today a loss at home to Wigan would have resulted in the axe for the beleaguered Chelsea boss. Ramires and Eden Hazard put the Blues 2-0 up within 56 minutes.(The Sun)

Ten-man Arsenal served notice they will not surrender their long-standing Champions League status lightly. A superb strike from Santi Cazorla in the 35th minute ensured a second successive 1-0 to the Arsenal, but there was ­nothing dour or ­defensive about a delightful display. (The Mirror)

Sir Alex Ferguson has accused the Premier League of hindering ­Manchester United’s chances of ­becoming kings of Europe. (The Express)

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas elevated Gareth Bale to the same status as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, then insisted that Tottenham have to keep their talisman if they are to become Premier League title contenders. Bale scored both goals in Spurs’ 2-1 win over Newcastle United yesterday to keep them in contention for a Champions League place. It took his tally to 13 Premier League goals for the season and five in his last four games. (Daily Mail)

France 6, Wales 16: The derision was huge at the end of this match as the French public turned on their team to express their utter disgust at what they had just witnessed. Two opening defeats in a Six Nations campaign after an autumn which promised so much. (The Telegraph)

Holly Bleasdale gave the performance of the day as she recorded the best jump in the world this year, nailing her second-highest clearance to win the British indoor pole vault title with 4.77m. “I’m in a really good place,” said Bleasdale, who won bronze at the World Indoor Championships in 2012, before finishing sixth in her first Olympic final. (The Guardian)