Update: the state of play, Monday 29 June 2020

Raheem Sterling scores Manchester City's second goal in their FA Cup win over Newcastle

Holders Man City play Arsenal in FA Cup semi-finals

Holders Manchester City will play Arsenal while Chelsea will play Manchester United in mouthwatering FA Cup semi-finals after weekend quarter-final matches behind closed doors.

At St James’ Park, Manchester City showed class and patience to beat Newcastle 2-0. After wasting several good chances, City opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 37th minute when Kevin de Bruyne slotted past Karl Darlow following Fabian Schar’s needless push on Gabriel Jesus. Newcastle subsititute Dwight Gayle had a golden chance to equalize after the break before Raheem Sterling settled it with an exquisite curling finish for his 22nd goal of the season.

At King Power Stadium, eight-times FA Cup winners Chelsea reached the last four on Sunday as midfielder Ross Barkley came off the bench to secure a deserved 1-0 victory at faltering Leicester City. Barkley, one of the three changes manager Frank Lampard made at halftime, slid home the winner in the 63rd minute.

At Bramall Lane, Dani Ceballos’ 91st-minute winner gave Arsenal a 2-1 victory over Sheffield United. The on-loan midfielder slotted home a low, angled drive to win the tie in dramatic fashion, after David McGoldrick’s hooked finish just a few minutes earlier looked to have ensured extra time. The Gunners had led from midway through the first half when Nicolas Pepe had slotted home a penalty.

At Carrow Road, Harry Maguire scored deep into extra-time as Manchester United overcame valiant 10-man Norwich 1-0. The England defender, who moments earlier had a header brilliantly saved by Tim Krul, reacted sharply to turn in the loose ball at the far post. The game turned on the dismissal of Timm Klose in the 89th minute. Norwich were in the ascendancy after equalising and looked favourites to snatch a late winner before the Swiss was shown a straight red for pulling back Odion Ighalo.

In the Premier League, Manchester City’s players will give new Premier League champions Liverpool a guard of honour at Etihad Stadium on Thursday, says Pep Guardiola. It will be Liverpool’s first game since their 30-year wait for a league title was ended after City lost at Chelsea. “We are going to do the guard of honour of course,” said City boss Guardiola. “We will greet Liverpool, when they come to our house, in an incredible way. We are going to do it because they deserve it.”

Sky Sports will make available “free to air” along with 24 other games. 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 La Liga,  Real Madrid moved two points ahead of arch rivals Barcelona at the top of the table with a 1-0 away win over bottom-placed Espanyol on Sunday night. Striker Karim Benzema set up Casemiro with an exquisite back pass for the only goal just before half-time. Celta Vigo had dented champions Barcelona’s title hopes on Saturday with a late equalizer to salvage a 2-2 home draw. Luis Suarez headed Barca in front from Lionel Messi’s clever free-kick but Fedor Smolov levelled from Okay Yokuslu’s pass. Suarez then swivelled and smashed in a great strike – from another Messi pass – but his ex-Liverpool team-mate Iago Aspas’ perfect low free-kick rescued Celta.

In Serie A, leading scorer Ciro Immobile converted a contentious second-half penalty to set second-placed Lazio on the way to a 2-1 comeback win over Fiorentina that kept them

Lazio’s Ciro Immobile scores his 28th goal of the season to keep them in the title hunt

four points behind leaders Juventus on Saturday. Franck Ribery stunned the hosts with a solo goal in the 25th minute and Lazio were struggling to get back into the game until Felipe Caicedo went down under a challenge from goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski and Immobile converted his 28th goal of the season in the 67th minute. Luis Alberto grabbed the winner with seven minutes left. Champions Juventus hammered Lecce 4-0 on Friday to retain their lead at the top. Third-placed Inter Milan scored twice in the last six minutes through Stefan De Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni to snatch a 2-1 win at Parma on Sunday night.

In the Bundesliga, Werder Bremen salvaged a relegation lifeline, Borussia Monchengladbach secured the final Champions League spot and champions Bayern Munich scored their 100th league goal of the season on Bundesliga’s final day. Werder thrashed Cologne 6-1 to leapfrog Fortuna Dusseldorf into 16th and claim the relegation play-off position. Monchengladbach beat Hertha Berlin 2-1 to take fourth place. Bayern Munich rounded off their season in style by beating Wolfsburg 4-0. Kingsley Coman and Mickael Cuisance scored in the first half for Bayern before Robert Lewandowski got his 34th Bundesliga goal of the season from the penalty spot. Thomas Muller then made it 4-0 with a goal that brought Bayern’s league total for the season to 100.

In Ligue 1, French league clubs voted last week to maintain Ligue 1 at 20 teams for the next season, a move that ended Amiens’ and Toulouse’s hopes of avoiding relegation by changng the format to 22 teams.The league said in a statement the resolution proposed by the administrative council was adopted by a 74.49 percent majority of ballots. France’s highest administrative court this month suspended the relegations of Amiens and Tououse  to the second division, ordering the French league to rethink the format of the 2020-21 season before the end of June Ligue 1 was cancelled on 30 April 30 with defending champions Paris Saint-Germain retaining their title.

On the European stage, UEFA President Aleksander Cerefin said it had a concrete plan for finishing the European season in August with the final stages of the Champions League and Europa League likely to be played in that month. The quarter-finals and semi-finals are expected to be played over two legs. Euro 2020, Europe’s flagship tournament, has already been postponed and would be held from 11 June to July 11, 2021.

Dustin Johnson wins Travelers Championship 

American Dustin Johnson won the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut, on Sunday,  closing with a three under 67 for a one-stroke victory over compatriot Kevin Streelman to end a long drought. Former No.1 Johnson, who last won at TPC River Highlands in March 2019,  finished at 19-under 261 for his 21st PGA Tour title. Streelman, who also shot a last round 67, had a 11-metre birdie try on 18 that ended up just short and right.  Canadian Mackenzie Hughes, who shot a first-round 60, had a 67 to tie for third place with 23-year-old Will Gordon at 17 under. Hughes made a 14-metre birdie putt on 17, which he started well left of the hole and watched as it turned right to the flag. He finished the round with a much straighter 13-metre birdie putt on 18. World No.1 Rory McIlroy finished joint 11th on 13 under par.

Vettel believes margins will be tight in F1 resumption

German driver Sebastian Vettel believes the back-to-back races in Austria at the start of the Formula One season will be decided on slim margins and his Ferrari team will need to fine-tune their racing strategy to remain competitive over two weeks. Four-times world champion Vettel and team mate Charles Leclerc hit the track in Ferrari’s 2018 car, the SF71-H, earlier this week in a test at Mugello as the Scuderia stepped up their preparations for the 2020 campaign.The season will kick off with the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring on 5 July, followed a week later by a second race at the same track, as part of an eight-race European leg. “I have no experience heading back to the same track just a week after and having a second race, but I’ve been around for a while,” Vettel told Ferrari in an interview. Organisers said they were still aiming for a reduced season of 15-18 races. The sport had already cancelled four races, including the showcase Monaco Grand Prix in May, with a revised and shortened provisional European schedule set to start in Austria without spectators. The championship is due to end in Abu Dhabi in December after visiting Bahrain, which could host two races around different layouts.

Archer joins England training after testing negative

Bowler Jofra Archer will join England’s training group in Southampton later on Thursday after testing negative for coronavirus. The 25-year-old was delayed in joining the camp after a member of his household felt unwell over the weekend. Archer, and the rest of his household, tested negative earlier this week for the virus and after a second negative test he will now travel to Southampton. The three-match series, originally due to start on 4 June, begins on 8 July behind closed doors in bio-secure environments at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford. England’s training group – based at the Ageas Bowl – will play a three-day practice game from 1 July, after which a squad will be chosen for the first Test.Of those tournaments cancelled or postponed, The Hundred. the ECB’s new city-based tournament, will now take place next year.  If and when the 2020 season does begin, the national governing body has already stated it will focus on delivering men’s and women’s internationals, as well as domestic first-class and limited-overs competitions, in the period between July and the end of September. However, it seems likely the majority of cricket would have to be played behind closed doors The 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) has already been suspended “until further notice”.

Dan Evans wins Battle of the Brits final

Dan Evans showed why he is British No.1  with an accomplished display against Kyle Edmund to win the Battle of the Brits final at the National Tennis Centre on Sunday. Evans, 30, won 6-3 6-2 as he continued the momentum he had gathered before the professional tour was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic in March. This may have been an exhibition event but the quality at the National Tennis

Dan Evans wins the Battle of the Brits

Centre has made it a competitive week. final was no exception as Evans beat Edmund for the first time. Meanwhile, the Fed Cup and Davis Cup finals have been postponed until April 2021 and November 2021 respectively. Eighteen teams, including Great Britain, will compete for the Davis Cup in Madrid from 22 November 2021. Great Britain’s Fed Cup play-off tie in Mexico, which they must win to avoid relegation, will be in February 2021. The inaugural 12-team Fed Cup finals, which Great Britain missed out on, will take place in Budapest on 13-18 April 2021.

Champions Cup knockouts to be played in September

Europe’s postponed Champions Cup and Challenge Cup knockout stages will take place in September with the finals on 16 and 17 October, European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) said last Thursday. The quarter-finals of both competitions will be played on the weekend of 18-20 September with the last-four matches scheduled for the weekend of 25-27 September. 25-27 after the dates were agreed at Wednesday’s board meeting. “… EPCR remains committed to staging the matches in Marseille, however, the situation is under review in light of public gathering and international travel restrictions which might be in place at the time of the finals,” EPCR said. The finals of both competitions were originally scheduled to take place in May. The announcement adds a layer of confusion to discussions about a newly-aligned international season, with the European clubs competition and clubs in England and France opposed to plans for a two-month window in October and November. The EPCR said new Champions Cup and Challenge Cup formats for the 2020-21 season were being considered as a consequence of widespread fixture disruption due to the pandemic.

Catalans to play St Helens on RL resumption

Catalans Dragons will play Super League champions St Helens when rugby league’s 12-team competition resumes on 2 August without spectators and at a single venue, organisers said on Friday.The league, which features 10 clubs from England and one each from France and Canada, was suspended in March due. “We are in the final stages of confirming where the games will be played,” said Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone in a statement. The first three matches will be Hull Kingston Rovers v Toronto Wolfpack, St Helens v Catalans Dragons and Huddersfield Giants v Leeds Rhinos, with a full round of fixtures the following weekend at neutral venues. Super League said the revised season would feature a further 15 rounds followed by a Top Four semi-final playoff, with a grand final towards the end of November.

British Athletics Championships now due in early September

The British Athletics Championships have been rescheduled for 4-5 September and will be behind closed doors. The event in Manchester, which normally acts as trials for the Olympics, was meant to be held on 20-21 June and had already been rescheduled once. “We are delighted to be able to offer our athletes an opportunity to compete,” UK Athletics chief executive Joanna Coates said. There will be live coverage of the championships on the BBC. Meanwhile both the rescheduled New York and Berlin Marathons have now been cancelled. New York City Marathon, due to take place on 1 November, would have marked the 50th running of the event. It is the world’s largest marathon, with 53,640 finishers in 2019. The Berlin Marathon was due to take place on 27 September, but has been cancelled because the “fun, joy, health and success” of participants cannot be guaranteed. Meanwhile, the Wanda Diamond League have announced further revisions to the 2020 calendar, cancelling two of its planned meetings and postponing a third. Provisionally scheduled for 6 September, the Paris meeting will now not take place following Government announcements on the organisation of major events in France. It will return to the 2021 calendar in August next year.The other event to fall victim is the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene in Oregon – initially intended to be hosted on 4October at Hayward Field.

Maguire beats Allen to win Tour Championship

Stephen Maguire beat Mark Allen 10-6 in the snooker Tour Championship final on Friday night and picked up a 250,000 pound prize. The Scot, who won his first ranking event since 2013, took charge from 4-4 after the first session to secure the 150,000 pound winner’s prize.and another 100,000 pounds for winning the Coral Cup

Stephe Maguire (right) beat Mike Allen to win the Tour Championship

as the top player from three events. Maguire hit a tournament best break of 139 against Allen, who moves to a career-high world ranking of fourth. Former Masters champion Allen was aiming to clinch a first title success since winning the Scottish Open in December 2018 but the Northern Ireland player failed to fire in Milton Keynes. Maguire, 39, only received an invitation to play in the tournament because Ding JinHui declined to travel – the event had been scheduled for March so if played then he wouldn’t have been involved.

For full coverage of sporting events go to: 


Calendar Keynotes: 29 June – 5 July

Monday, 29 June

Football: English Premier League – Crystal Palace v Burnley, Spanish La Liga – Getafe v Real Sociedad.

Tuesday, 30 June

Football: English Premier League – Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United, Spanish La Liga – Leganes v Sevilla, Mallorca v Celta Vigo, Barcelona v Atletico Madrid, Italian Serie A – Torino v Lazio, Genoa v Juventus.

Wednesday, 1 July  

Football: English Premier League – Arsenal v Norwich City, AFC Bournemouth v Newcastle United, Everton v Leicester City, West Ham United v Chelsea, Spanish La Liga – Alaves v Granada, Valencia v Athletic Bilbao, Real Betis v Villareal, Real Valladolid v Levante, Italian Serie A – Bologna v Cagliari, Inter Milan v Brescia, Fiorentina v Sassuolo, Lecce v Sampdoria. SPAL v Inter Milan, Hellas Verona v Parma.

Thursday, 2 July

Football: English Premier League –Sheffield United v Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City v Liverpool, Spanish La Liga – Eibar v Osasuna,Real Sociedad v Espanyol, Real Madrid v Getafe, Italian Serie A – Atalanta v Napoli, Roma v Udinese.

Golf: USPGA Tour, Rocket Mortgage Classic, Detroit GC, Michigan, US (till 5 July)

Friday, 3 July

Football: Spanish La Liga – Atletico Madrid v Mallorca.

Formula One – Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull Ring, Spielberg (till 5 July).

Golf: USPGA Tour, Rocket Mortgage Classic, Detroit GC, Michigan, US (till 5 July)

Saturday, 4 July

Football: English Premier League – Norwich City v Brighton & Hove Albion, Leicester City v Crystal Palace, Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth, Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal, Chelsea v Watford, Spanish La Liga –  Celta Vigo v Real Betis, Real Valladolid v Alaves, Granada v Valencia, Italian Serie A – Juventus v Torino, Sassuolo v Lecce, Lazio v Inter Milan, German DFB Cup – Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Bayern Munich.

Formula One – Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull Ring, Spielberg (till 5 July).

Golf: USPGA Tour, Rocket Mortgage Classic, Detroit GC, Michigan, US (till 5 July)

Sunday, 5 July

Football: English Premier League – Burnley v Sheffield United, Newcastle United v West Ham United, Liverpool v Aston Villa, Southampton v Manchester City,  Spanish La Liga – Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid, Espanyol v Leganes, Osasuna v Getafe, Villareal v Barcelona, Italian Serie A – Inter Milan v Bologna, Brescia v Hellas Verona, Cagliari v Atalanta, Parma v Fiorentina, Sampdoria v SPAL, Udinese v Genoa, Napoli v Roma.

Formula One – Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull Ring, Spielberg (race day).

Golf: USPGA Tour, Rocket Mortgage Classic, Detroit GC, Michigan, US (final day)