The sports wrap, Monday 3 August, 2020

Lewis Hamilton won the British GP for a record seventh time with a punctured tyre

Hamilton wins British GP in last-lap puncture drama

World champion Lewis Hamilton took an extraordinary victory in a dramatic finish to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday despite suffering a puncture on the last lap. The Mercedes driver’s left-front tyre failed halfway around  but he just held on in front of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. The Dutchman would have won had he not stopped late for fresh tyres in a successful quest for the point for fastest lap. Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas also punctured, two laps earlier, which dropped him out of the points. The Finn

Lewis Hamilton celebrates his dramatic British GP win

finished 11th and dropped to 30 points behind Hamilton in the title race, a potentially devastating blow to his hopes so early in a season truncated by the coronavirus. McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was a third driver to suffer a left-front puncture, his like Hamilton’s on the last lap, and he dropped from fourth place to 13th. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was promoted from fourth to the final podium spot by the late drama. The result was a record seventh British Grand Prix victory for Hamilton but sadly not in front a fanatical home crowd. “I have definitely never experienced anything like that on the last lap,” said Hamilton after inspecting his deflated front tyre. “Up until that last lap everything was relatively smooth sailing,” added the six times world champion. “The tyres felt great.” The victory was the 87th of Hamilton’s F1 career – leaving him four short of Ferrari great Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91- and probably the luckiest.

Aubameyang double sinks Chelsea in FA Cup final

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice to help his side secure a 2-1 win over 10-man Chelsea in the FA Cup final on Saturday for a record-extending 14th crown in the competition – and a spot in next season’s Europa League. Victory at an empty Wembley Stadium earned Mikel Arteta his first trophy as Arsenal manager, after he left his role as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City to replace Unai Emery in December. With the contest locked at 1-1,the Gabonese striker Aubameyang danced past the opposition

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with the FA Cup after his two goals gave Arsenal victory over Chelsea

defenders before finishing with his left foot in the 67th minute to ensure that Arsenal salvage European action from a difficult domestic season after finishing eighth in the Premier League. Chelsea had struck in the fifth minute when Christian Pulisic collected Olivier Giroud’s fine flick-on inside the penalty area and tucked the ball past goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from close range. Arsenal drew level from the penalty spot through Aubameyang in the 28th minute after Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta was booked for bringing down the Gabonese moments earlier. Chelsea, who were forced to take off Azpilicueta and US striker Pulisic with injuries, were reduced to 10 men after going 2-1 down when Mateo Kovacic collected his second yellow card of the game for a very soft foul on Granit Xhaka.

PSG beat Lyon to win yet another trophy

Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint Germain beat Lyon on penalties in the French League Cup final on Friday night to seal a fourth domestic treble in six years. The final French League Cup final – the tournament is to be cancelled after this season – ended 0-0. After the first 10 penalties were scored, PSG keeper Keylor Navas saved from Bertrand Traore before Pablo Sarabia scored the winning kick. The game was watched by about 5,000 fans at the Stade de France. It was only the second domestic game in France since Ligue 1 was curtailed in April – with PSG beating St. Etienne

Neymar scored PSG’ fifth penalty which took the shoot-out against Lyon to sudden death

in the French Cup final a weekly previously. The game had little in the way of real drama, except Lyon defender Rafael being sent off in the final minute of extra time for fouling Angel di Maria on the edge of the box. Lyon are now facing a first season without European football since 1996-97, unless they win this season’s Champions League. They visit Juventus next Friday in the last-16 second leg, holding a 1-0 first-leg win. PSG, who have won 25 of France’s last 36 domestic trophies, play Atalanta in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, 12 August as they look for a quadruple. The 2020-21 Ligue 1 season begins on 23 August, the same day as the Champions League final.

In the Scottish Premiership, Celtic began their campaign for a 10th straight title in the new season with an easy 5-1 home win over Hamilton Academical, thanks to a hat-trick from prolific striker Odsonne Edouard. After arch rivals Rangers’ win at Aberdeen on Saturday,  Celtic responded with an impressive display. Edouard tapped in Greg Taylor’s cross before the Scotland left-back laid on another for Jeremie Frimpong. Scott Martin’s deflected strike gave Hamilton hope, but Edouard added two more from close range after the break, with Patryk Klimala completing the rout.

In the Italian Serie A, Lazio striker Ciro Immobile won the league’s Golden Boot and European Golden Shoe as he matched Gonzalo Higuain’s record of 36 goals in an Italian top-flight season.  The 30-year-old scored in Lazio’s 3-1 defeat by Napoli on the final day as his side finished fourth. Juventus meanwhile went down 3-1 at home to Roma, losing at home for the first time since April 2018 and ending only one point head of Inter Milan who

Ciro Immobile’s goal earned him both the league’s Golden Boot and Europe’s Golden Shoe awards

won 3-1 at third-placed Atalanta to end a long unbeaten run.  Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo – who was rested on the final day – was Serie A’s second top scorer with 31 goals, with Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku on 23. The European Golden Shoe rewards the top scorer across every European top-flight, with goals weighted by the quality of league. Immobile finished two goals clear of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, with Ronaldo third. It was his third Serie A Golden Boot – winning in 2013-14 with 22 goals and sharing with Mauro Icardi on 29 in 2017-18.

England stutter to one-day series win over Ireland

England stumbled against Ireland in the second one-day international on Saturday but won by four wickets to take an unassailable 2-0 series lead. Chasing 213 at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, the hosts were flying early on, with Jonny Bairstow striking a 41-ball 82. But when Bairstow fell, Eoin Morgan and Moeen Ali soon followed – all to seamer Josh Little – leaving England 137 for six. It took a 79-run stand by Sam Billings and David Willey to see England home, albeit with 17.3 overs to spare. Billings ended with an unbeaten 46 and Willey was 47 not out, but the game was closer

Jonny Bairstow equalled the fastest ODI half-century by an England player in spurring his team to victory

than had been expected during Ireland’s disappointing batting performance, and when Bairstow was powering England to 131-3 inside 13 overs. Ireland were 91 for six  at one stage and had 21-year-old all-rounder Curtis Campher to thank again for taking them to a respectable score. He followed his half-century on debut in the first ODI with 68 and also took two for 44. For England, Willey backed up his maiden international five-wicket haul on Thursday by taking two more wickets and leg-spinner Adil Rashid claimed an excellent 3-34, including his 150th ODI wicket. The series finale takes place at the same venue on Tuesday.

Justin Thomas wins WGC-St Jude Invitational in Memphis

Justin Thomas warmed up for this week’s PGA Championship by winning the WGC-St Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee, on Sunday.  The American began four shots behind leader Brendon Todd but won by three from Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Daniel Berger and Englishman Tom Lewis. Defending champion Koepka birdied 17 to get within one of Thomas but found water on the last to end his hopes. The closing 65 gave Thomas, the 2017 US PGA champion, his 13th PGA Tour title and a return to world No.1. In Birmingham, Sam Horsfield sealed his maiden European Tour crown on home soil on Sunday, winning the English Open after a final round of 68 to finish ahead of Belgian Thomas Detry. Overnight leader Horsfield was on course for a comfortable victory but the 23-year-old had to endure a nervy finish after Detry took the lead with a fine birdie on the penultimate hole to come into contention. But a bogey on the final hole meant that the Belgian handed the advantage back to Horsfield, who fired a birdie on the 17th and parred the final hole to go 18-under for the tournament.

St Helens thrash Dragons as RL makes its return

Champions St Helens thrashed Catalans Dragons 34-6 in the first Super League game to be played as the season resumed after being suspended for 140 days because of the coronavirus pandemic. Lachlan Coote grabbed Saints’ first try, then set James Bentley up before Zeb Taia made it 16-0 behind closed doors at Emerald Headingley, Leeds. A second Coote try and a Tommy Makinson score followed, with Catalans replying through James Maloney after an hour. Alex Walmsley added a fifth try to compete Saints’ resounding return. After a minute’s silence to pay tribute to the National Health Service and respect to those who have died during the pandemic, a majority of players took a knee in unison to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Israel Folau, controversially recruited by Catalans Dragons this season after previously being sacked by Rugby Australia for posting homophobic comments on social media, was the only starting player who chose not to take a knee.  The Dragons sit in seventh spot on the ladder with five points after five matches.

Belgian rider Wout van Aert wins Strade Bianche

Team Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert stormed to victory at the Strade Bianche one-day race in Siena, Italy, on Saturday, as elite cycling returned after a five-month break due to the Covid-19 crisis. The Belgian rider, who finished third in the previous two editions of the 184km race, launched his decisive solo attack with 13km remaining on the final sector of gravel road.

Belgian rider Wout van Aert battles his way through  the gravel on his way to winning the Strade Bianche

The 25-year-old finished 30 seconds clear of Italian Davide Formolo (UAE Emirates) on the Piazza del Campo, while German Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) took third spot. “Today was one long day of suffering and nobody felt that great,” Van Aert said. “The heat was exhausting but I really focused on hydration and keeping cool and, in the end, I got something left. I really fell in love with this race two years ago and it was my goal to win. I’m 25 and I’ve already done it. I’m really happy.” Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands won the women’s race for a second consecutive year as she continued her winning run after the resumption of the season.

Australia’s Kyrgios withdraws from US Open

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from the U.S. Open and again criticised some of his fellow professionals for their decisions to ignore health advice during the coronavirus pandemic. Kyrgios follows compatriot and women’s world No1 Ashleigh Barty, who withdrew from the 31 August – 13 September New York tournament earlier last week. “I’m sitting out for the people, for my Aussies, for the hundreds and thousands of Americans that have lost their lives, for all of you. It’s my decision,” Kyrgios said in a video on social media on Sunday. Kyrgios had no problems with the USTA scheduling the tournament or players competing if they chose, “so long as everyone acts appropriately and acts safely”. The 25-year-old said he recognised that lower-wage employees at the event, such as restaurant staff, cleaners and locker room attendants, needed the tournament to take place. The world No.40, however, also took another shot at some of his fellow players after they chose to play in a Novak Djokovic-organised exhibition event in Europe. World No.1 Djokovic, Borna Coric, Grigor Dimitrov and Victor Troicki all tested positive for Covid-19 during the event, which was hastily cancelled. “Tennis players, you have to act in the interest of each other and work together,” Kyrgios added.

Brilliant O’Sullivan through to 2nd round in record time

Five-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan completed his first-round demolition of Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10-1 in a World Championship record 108 minutes. O’Sullivan was at his destructive best in Sunday’s first session with two centuries and five further breaks of 60 or more to open an 8-1 lead. And the Englishman took less than half an hour on Monday morning to win the two frames needed to end the match. O’Sullivan will face China’s Ding Junhui in the second round.  The victory, in which O’Sullivan averaged 14 seconds per shot, smashed the previous record for the quickest match by 41 minutes, set last year by Shaun Murphy in his 10-0 whitewash of Luo Honghao. Meanwhile, John Higgins, Neil Robertson and Kurt Maflin all sealed places in the second round. Australia’s 2010 world champion Robertson produced an accomplished display in a 10-5 win over China’s Liang Wenbo, while Scotland’s four-time champion John Higgins eased to a 10-5 win over Wales’ Matthew Stevens.

MotoGP races outside Europe are cancelled

MotoGP has cancelled the remaining 2020 races scheduled to take place outside of Europe because of Covid-19. The three races in Argentina, Thailand and Malaysia had initially been postponed, but MotoGP confirmed on Friday that they will now be scrapped. Instead, a season-ending race in Europe on 2 November

Young French rider Fabio Quartararo won back-to-back MotoGPs to lead the championship standings

has been announced, at a location to be revealed next month. It means the championship will include a total of 15 races all taking place in Europe, instead of the 20 planned.Both races held at the Jerez circuit in Andalusia since the season began in July have been won by championship-leading Frenchman Fabio Quartararo.The next race is scheduled for Brno in the Czech Republic on 9 August.

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Calendar Keynotes: 3-9 August

Monday, 3 August

Football: Scottish Premiership – Ross County v Motherwell.

Tuesday, 4 August  

Football:  English Championship play-off final – Brentford v Fulham, Wembley.

Cricket: ODI series, England v Ireland, The Ageas Bowl, Southampton.

Wednesday, 5 August   

Football: Europa League, round of 16 – FC Copenhagen v Istanbul Basaksehir (agg 0-1), Shakhtar Doentsk v VfL Wolfsburg (agg 2-1), Inter Milan v Getafe, Manchester United v LASK (agg 5-0).

Cricket: Test series – England v Pakistan, Old Trafford, Manchester (till 9 August).

Cycling: UCI World Tour, Tour de Pologne (till 9 August).

Thursday, 6 August

Football: Europa League, round of 16 – Baye 04 Leverkusen v Rangers (agg 3-1), Sevilla v Roma, FC Basel v Eintracht Frankfurt (agg 3-0), Wolverhampton Wanderers v Olympiakos (agg 1-1).

Golf: PGA Championship, Harding Park Golf Course, San Francisco, California (till 9 August), European Tour, Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel and CC, Ware, Herts, UK (till 9 August).

Cricket: Test series – England v Pakistan, Old Trafford, Manchester (till 9 August).

Cycling: UCI World Tour, Tour de Pologne (till 9 August).

Friday, 7 August

Football: Champions League, round of 16 – Juventus v Lyon (agg 0-1), Manchester City v Real Madrid (agg 2-1).

Formula One: 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, Silverstone, UK (till 9 August).

Golf: PGA Championship, Harding Park Golf Course, San Francisco, California (till 9 August), European Tour, Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel and CC, Ware, Herts, UK (till 9 August).

Cycling: UCI World Tour, Tour de Pologne (till 9 August).

Snooker: World Championship, The Crucible, Sheffield, UK (till 16 August).

Saturday, 8 August

Football: Champions League, round of 16 – Barcelona v Napoli (agg 1-1), Bayern Munich v Chelsea (agg 3-0), Scottish Premiership – St Johnstone v Aberdeen, Hamilton Academical v Ross County, Livingston v Hibernian, Motherwell v Dundee United.

Formula One: 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, Silverstone, UK (till 9 August).

Golf: PGA Championship, Harding Park Golf Course, San Francisco, California (till 9 August), European Tour, Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel and CC, Ware, Herts, UK (till 9 August).

Cricket: Test series – England v Pakistan, Old Trafford, Manchester (till 9 August).

Rugby League: Super League – Castleford Tigers v Catalans Dragons, Warrington Wolves v Hull Kingston Rovers.

Cycling: UCI World Tour, Tour de Pologne (till 9 August), UCI World Tour, Milano – Sanremo.

Snooker: World Championship, The Crucible, Sheffield, UK (till 16 August).

Sunday, 9 August

Football: Scottish Premiership – Rangers v St Mirren, Kilmarnock v Celtic.

Formula One: 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, Silverstone, UK (race day).

Golf: PGA Championship, Harding Park Golf Course, San Francisco, California (final day), European Tour, Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel and CC, Ware, Herts, UK (final day).

Cricket: Test series – England v Pakistan, Old Trafford, Manchester (final day).

Rugby League: Salford Red Devils v Hull FC, Wakefield Warriors v Wigan Warriors, Leeds Rhinos v St Helens.

Cycling: UCI World Tour, Tour de Pologne (final day).

Motorcycling : MotoGP, Grand Prix of Czech Republic, Automotodrom Brno.

Snooker: World Championship, The Crucible, Sheffield, UK (till 16 August).