As many will know, on Monday night history was made. After Tottenham’s draw with Manchester United, Leicester City FC have been announced Barclays Premier League Champions for the first time in the clubs history. Jamie Vardy, the clubs top scorer, currently holds the record for the most goals scored this season, 22. The recently announced footballer of the year, Riyad Mahrez, has produced 7 assists so far, the second most in the current season, falling just short of Özil’s 13. However, this can all change in their last game against the previous champions, Chelsea. They will attempt to defend this title next season against the first newly-promoted side, Burnley, who, after a 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers, have secured their place in the top flight next season.
Further celebrations were held in Leicester on Monday night after Mark Selby defeated Ding Junhui 18-14, playing the best of 33 frames. After his narrow victory against Marco Fu by only 2 frames, this result was by no means on the cards, however, given his previous victory at the crucible, this result was definitely anticipated. The match spanned two days, with play itself lasting just over 13 hours and the longest frame, the 15th frame on the first day, taking over an hour to complete. It was an intense and captivating final with the perfect outcome for Mark Selby, describing the moment as the ‘best night of his life’.
In relation to this, the other sporting successes from the last week seem fairly insignificant however, on Sunday Nico Rosberg achieved his first Formula One Grand slam of the season (winning qualifying, leading every lap of the race and winning the overall race) and on Monday the netball super league final line up was decided with Manchester Thunder playing Surry Storm on Saturday to determine the victor in this seasons Netball Super League.
On a more solemn note, justice was achieved this weekend for the families of the 96 victims of the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy and their families as, after a long court case, the jury finally decided on the verdict – the victims were unlawfully killed by the local police force. The Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, the member in command of the police force in Sheffield, was found ‘responsible for manslaughter by gross negligence’ and will therefore be blamed and punished as a result. This signified a gruelling campaign which has lasted over 27 years and means that the families can now mourn over their loved ones, knowing that all blame for the event has been attributed elsewhere.
This week there are numerous sporting events to look forward to across the country:
County cricket continues throughout this week with Nottingham currently playing Yorkshire, who currently look on top, whilst Warwickshire take on Somerset towards the end of the week. As it stands Warwickshire top the table with 36 points and will therefore go into the game as favourites, however, for Somerset there is all to play for as at is still very early in the season.
This week also features the semi-finals of the Champions league which, for the first time in many years, has English interest as Manchester City take on Real Madrid away at the Bernabeu. A decent result here will stand them in good stead for the return leg in a couple of weeks at the Etihad Stadium and give them a better chance at progressing to the final, where they would play either Bayern Munich or Atletico Madrid, depending on their result. There is also English interest in the Europa league semi-final, taking place on Thursday night, as Liverpool face Villareal at home. The same theory applies, and would be greatly beneficial to Liverpool as this would place them into next year’s Champions league, a positive in what has been a rather poor season for the reds. As the end of the Premier league season draws ever nearer, there is increasing focus on the teams facing the drop and those attempting to squeeze into the top four positions as, barring the Champions Leicester and already relegated Aston Villa, there is all to play for, creating an exciting and thrilling end to the season next weekend.
The Diamond League athletics continues on Saturday with the highlights of the events in Doha taking place at 1:00, however, given the Invictus Games are taking place later into next week, we can expect many of the big names in disabled sport to not be featuring here. The opening ceremony for the Invictus Games is taking place on Monday with the first events also taking place here. The games last for 4 days and this year marks only the third games to be held, after the inaugural and subsequent games took place in 2016 and ’17 respectively.
The rugby league Challenge Cup takes place this Saturday with Castleford playing against Salford, whilst Sunday brings the awaited game between Hull FC and St Helens. Harlequins face Exeter in their final game of this year’s rugby Union Premiership on Saturday, with the pro 12 teams the Ospreys and Ulster facing up at the Liberty Stadium later in the afternoon.
With all the action taking place this weekend, there should be something that appeals to you – enjoy!