The sports wrap, Monday 20 July 2020

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Manchester United defender Harry Maguire puts through his own goal to help Chelsea on their way to the FA Cup final

Arsenal to play Chelsea in all-London FA Cup final

Arsenal surprisingly beat FA Cup holders Manchester City 2-0 while Chelsea upset Manchester United 3-1 to set up an all-London cup final on 1 August. In two surprise results at an eerily empty Wembley, Arsenal’s in-form striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored both goals for the Gunners on Saturday while French international striker Olivier Giroud paved the way for Chelsea’s victory with a deft flick for the opening goal on Sunday.  Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who came to Arsenal from Manchester City where he was assistant manager, outwitted his mentor Pep Guardiola as Aubameyang  ruthlessly exposed City’s defensive deficiencies after 19 minutes when he showed great technique to steer home Nicolas Pepe’s cross with the outside of his foot at the far post. A dominant City squandered numerous opportunities after the break and Aubameyang made them pay once more in the 71st minute when he raced away on the angle to slide a composed finish under the keeper. In the other semi-final, an impressive Chelsea never looked like losing to the in-form United with experienced Giroud marshalling his forward line brilliantly. After leading 1-0 at half-time through his goal, a 46th minute howler from keeper David de Gea gifted Mason Mount the second and a Harry Maguire own goal sealed it for the Blues. A Bruno Fernandez penalty came too late for a United fightback.

Kane deals blow to Leicester’s Champions League hopes

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane was back to his best with two quality goals as his side dealt a huge blow to Leicester City’s top-four hopes with a 3-0 victory in the Premier League on Sunday. Spurs scored all their goals before half-time in the weekend’s only league matches involving the top six clubs and the win boosts the home side’s bid to qualify for the Europa League moving them up to sixth spot above Wolves. Leicester’s James Justin deflected Son Heung-min’s shot into his own goal after six minutes to give Spurs the perfect start and England captain Kane’s clinical double  put Jose Mourinho’s side in

Harry Kane scores the first of his two goals that helped sink Leicester City on Sunday

complete control. He has now scored four times in two games and has 23 in all competitions this season. Leicester had looked certainties for a top-four finish for virtually the whole season but now are at risk of missing out on a Champions League spot. They remain fourth but are level on 62 points with fifth-placed Manchester United who have two games left to play to Leicester’s one. They meet on the final day of the season. Sky Sports will make a number of matches available “free to air”. Here’s the full breakdown of the restart programme: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11661/11996682/premier-league-restart-kick-offs-and-sky-sports-matches-announced

In the Spanish La Liga,  champions Real Madrid drew their final game 2-2 which relegated opponents Leganes to the second division. Celta Vigo’s goalless draw at Espanyol was enough to keep them up by a single point at the expense of Leganes. Captain Sergio Ramos netted his 12th goal of the season by heading in from Isco’s cross for Real, who had wrapped up the title in their previous game. Bryan Gil and Roger Assale netted either side of Marco Asensio’s strike but it was not enough for the visitors. Second-placed Barcelona wound up their disappointing end to the season with a 5-0 win at lowly Alaves. Lionel Messi won his seventh La Liga golden boot – and his fourth in a row – after scoring twice in the win.

In Italian Serie A, Inter Milan substitute Romelu Lukaku’s penalty in the 88th minute salvaged a 2-2 draw at Roma on Sunday night as they stuttered in their pursuit of leaders Juventus. Second-placed Inter, who had been gaining ground on defending champions Juve over the last 10 days, will see the result as two points lost since they are five behind the Turin side, who host Lazio on Monday. After that, there are four matches each to play.

Hamilton wins in Hungary to move into championship lead

Britain’s Lewis Hamilton moved into the world championship lead for the first time this season with a dominant victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix at Hungaroring, Budapest, on Sunday. The Mercedes driver pulled out an eight-second lead in three wet laps at the start of the race, before switching to dry tyres, and controlled the race from there. The masterly Hamilton even had time to stop for fresh tyres with three laps to go to grab the extra point for fastest lap. Finnish team-mate Valtteri Bottas failed in an attempt to pass Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for second, giving

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest on Sunday

Hamilton a five-point championship lead over Bottas after three races. Verstappen’s second place was extraordinary, for he crashed on the laps to the grid and damaged both his front wing and suspension. The Red Bull mechanics worked wonders to change his left front push-rod on the grid in the time permitted and get him into the race and he then drove a superb race to hold off Bottas at the end. It was Hamilton’s second consecutive victory and it came after another anti-racism protest from the drivers before the race. It was a record eighth win for Hamilton in Hungary and marked 86th career victory, from his 90th pole position. He also collected a bonus point at the end for fastest lap and left the six-times world champion five short of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91 wins.

Broad burst keeps England hopes alive in 2nd Test

An explosive spell from pace bowler Stuart Broad in the last session on the fourth day of the 2nd Test kept alive England’s hopes of victory and levelling the series against the West Indies at Old Trafford. Broad, who was rested for the 1st Test, took three wickets in 14 deliveries with the second new ball to inspire the home side after West Indies looked to be batting towards a position of safety. Kraigg Brathwaite made 75 and Shamarh Brooks 68, but when Brooks was trapped lbw by Broad it

Stuart Broad’s brilliant spell gives England a chance of victory in the 2nd Test at Old Trafford

began a slide from 242 for four to 260 for eight. Roston Chase’s 51 dragged the tourists past the follow-on mark, only for Chris Woakes to remove him and Shannon Gabriel in the same over to bowl West Indies out for 287, 182 behind. The sight of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler striding out to open the batting for England 40 minutes from the close was thrilling, evoking memories of the World Cup final. However, in a chaotic eight overs Buttler fell for a duck and Zak Crawley 10 to leave England 37 for two, leading by 219. They will continue the quest for quick runs on Monday, setting up a declaration before looking to take the 10 wickets that would level the three-match series at 1-1. Broad ended with figures of three for 66.

Spaniard Jon Rahm claims No.1 spot after winning Memorial

Jon Rahm claimed golf’s No.1 spot for the first time in his career on Sunday, cruising to a five-shot victory at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio. Rahm flew ahead of the pack on a hot, windy Saturday after posting a four under 68, the lowest

Spaniard Jon Rahm has claimed golf’s No.1 spot after winning the Memorial Tournament in Ohio

round on a day when the scoring average was nearly two strokes above par. While his round on Sunday wasn’t outstanding by any means — he carded a one over 73 in his final round to finish 11 under on the week — it was far and above better than the rest of the pack.  He sealed the deal on No. 16, too, after chipping in for birdie to push the lead back to four.  American Ryan Palmer who was in second headed into the final round with Tony Finau, finished the week in second at six under.  Finau shot a six over on Friday, dropping him to eighth. Briton Matthew Fitzpatrick came in third at five under. Rahm is now just the second Spaniard to claim the top spot in the rankings, the first since Seve Ballesteros did so for the final time in 1989.

French Rugby Federation say Beziers can remain in Pro D2

The French Rugby Federation has given Beziers rugby club approval to continue playing in Pro D2, according to the club’s co-president Pierre-Oliver Valaize. The federation’s decision to endorse the club’s financial accounts ends almost three months of turmoil and follows the breakdown of negotiations to sell the club to Franco-Middle Eastern interests. Valaize

Beziers’ co-presidents Cedric Bistoe and Pierre-Olivier Valaize can feel relieved as the club stays in Pro D2

said the federation’s validation was due to the efforts of the club’s existing partners to put the club’s finances in order. He said it was necessary to act quickly after the sale fell through early last week. The 2020/21 season starts on 4 September with an away match at Mont-de-Marsan followed by a home game against Soyaux-Angouleme a week later. On the failed purchase by Franco-Emirates investor Sami Ben Romdhane brokered by former French international Christophe Dominici, Valaize said though the club had signed a memorandum, the bank guarantees were never forthcoming. The club, once a major French rugby powerhouse, was ninth on the Pro D2 table before Covid-19 triggered the cancellation after the 23rd match day in March and the official suspension of the season in early May.

Leinster host Saracens in Champions Cup on 19 September

Reigning champions Saracens will travel to Leinster in the first quarter-final when this season’s Heineken Champions Cup resumes on Saturday, 19 September. The last eight includes an all-Premiership meeting when Exeter host Northampton on Sunday, 20 September. Clermont Auvergne will host fellow French side Racing 92, while Ulster will travel to France to face Toulouse. The draw was in January, with the dates confirmed by European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) on Thursday. Ireland’s Leinster will be looking to avenge last season’s 20-10 final defeat to Sarries. Saracens, winners of the tournament in three of the last four seasons, will be relegated to the English championship in 2020/21 after persistent salary cap breaches. The Challenge Cup quarter-finals will also take place across the same weekend, with Bristol Bears hosting Welsh side Dragons in the first game on Friday, 18 September, while Leicester take on Castres Olympique on the Sunday. It has not yet been decided whether spectators will be allowed to attend matches, but EPCR says it will adhere to the guidelines at the time.

Serena Williams returns to play Top Seed Open in August

Serena Williams will return to the court for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic when she competes at the inaugural edition of the Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky beginning on 1o August, the WTA said late last week. It will mark the 23-time Grand Slam champion’s first match since she helped Team USA defeat Latvia in Fed Cup play in Everett, Washington in February. Another U.S. Open champion, fellow American Sloane Stephens, will also compete at the event, the WTA said. Last week, the WTA confirmed the addition of events in Prague, Czech Republic and Lexington to its provisional calendar, which now features 21 tournaments. The WTA Tour, suspended since March due to Covid-19, last month announced it would resume in Palermo, Italy on 3 August. The Cincinnati Masters is scheduled to be played at Flushing Meadows, New York in mid-August followed by the U.S. Open, also at its usual Flushing Meadows home, from 31 August to 13 September.

Frenchman Quartararo wins maiden MotoGP race in Spain

French rider Fabio Quartararo won his maiden race as world champion Marc Marquez suffered a broken arm in the season-opening Spanish MotoGP on Sunday.  The Spaniard crashed out with four laps to go in Jerez after he had recovered from earlier sliding into the

Marc Marquez is taken to hospital after his crash

sand. The 27-year-old will have surgery in Barcelona on Tuesday on his right humerus bone. It is not yet clear how long he will be out for, but the second race of the season takes place next week in Jerez. Spain’s Maverick Vinales finished second behind the Nice-born Quartararo  who was riding a Petronas Yamaha SRT with Andrea Dovizioso of Italy third just two weeks after having a shoulder operation. Britain’s Cal Crutchlow missed the race after crashing in the warm-up. Marquez had come off the track and into the sand on lap four while leading, but somehow managed to remain upright and rejoined the field, battling his way up from 14th to third before the crash ended his race. Although he walked away with the help of track marshals, he was clearly in pain after being hit by his bike and was later put in a neck brace before being taken to a medical centre for X-rays.

Colin Keane rides Even So to victory in Irish Oaks

Trainer Ger Lyons won his second Classic of the season as Even So took the Irish Oaks at the Curragh on Saturday.  The 10-1 shot, a daughter of 2012 Derby winner Camelot, was guided to a two-length victory by jockey Colin Keane.

Jockey Colin Keane with trainer Ger Lyons after the Irish Oaks win on Even So at the Curragh

Favourite Cayenne Pepper (2-1) was second, with Passion (6-1) in third place. Keane and Lyons had combined last month to win the Irish 2,000 Guineas with Siskin.  “She’s just a queen, isn’t she?” said Lyons after victory with Even So, the first horse he has trained for owners from the powerful Coolmore Stud team.

For full coverage of sporting events go to: 

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Calendar Keynotes: 20-26 July

Monday, 20 July

Football: English Premier League –  Brighton & Hove Albion v Newcastle United, Sheffield United v Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers v Crystal Palace, Italian Serie A – Juventus v Lazio.

Cricket: England v West Indies, 2nd Test, Old Trafford (West Indies lead series 1-0).

Darts: World Matchplay, Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes (till 26 July).

Tuesday, 21 July

Football: English Premier League –  Watford v Manchester City, Aston Villa v Arsenal, Italian Serie A – Atalanta v Bologna, Sassuolo v AC Milan.

Darts: World Matchplay, Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes (till 26 July).

Wednesday, 22 July  

Football: English Premier League – Manchester United v West Ham United, Liverpool v Chelsea, Italian Serie A – Parma v Napoli, Inter Milan v Fiorentina, Lecce v Brescia, Sampdoria v Genoa, SPAL v Roma, Torino v Hellas Verona.

Golf: European Tour, British Masters, Close House GC, Newcastle, UK (till 25 July).

Darts: World Matchplay, Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes (till 26 July).

Thursday, 23 July

Football: Italian Serie A – Udinese v Juventus, Lazio v Cagliari.

Golf: USPGA Tour, 3M Open, TPC Twin Cities, Blaine, Minnesota, US (till 26 July), European Tour, British Masters, Close House GC, Newcastle, UK (till 25 July).

Darts: World Matchplay, Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes (till 26 July).

Friday, 24 July

Football: Coupe de France – Paris Saint Germain v Saint-Etienne, Italian Serie A – AC Milan v Atalanta.

Cricket: England v West Indies, 3rd Test, Old Trafford, Manchester.

Golf: USPGA Tour, 3M Open, TPC Twin Cities, Blaine, Minnesota, US (till 26 July), European Tour, British Masters, Close House GC, Newcastle, UK (till 25 July).

Darts: World Matchplay, Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes (till 26 July).

Saturday, 25 July

Football: Italian Serie A – Brescia v Parma, Genoa v Inter Milan, Napoli v Sassuolo.

Cricket: England v West Indies, 3rd Test, Old Trafford, Manchester.

Golf: 3M Open, TPC Twin Cities, Blaine, Minnesota, US (till 26 July), European Tour, British Masters, Close House GC, Newcastle, UK (final day).

Darts: World Matchplay, Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes (till 26 July).

Sunday, 26 July

Football: English Premier League – Arsenal v Watford, Burnley v Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur, Everton v AFC Bournemouth, Leicester City v Manchester United, Manchester City v Norwich City, Newcastle United v Liverpool, Southampton v Sheffield United, West Ham United v Aston Villa, Italian Serie A – Bologna v Lecce, Cagliari v Udinese, Roma v Fiorentina, SPAL v Torino, Hellas Verona v Lazio, Juventus v Sampdoria.

Cricket: England v West Indies, 3rd Test, Old Trafford, Manchester.

Golf: USPGA Tour, 3M Open, TPC Twin Cities, Blaine, Minnesota, US (final day).

Darts: World Matchplay, Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes (final day).