The (Long) Weekend That Was – 30th April – 2nd May 2016

The (Long) Weekend That Was – Saturday April 30th – Sunday May 2nd 2016

Football

Premier League

Leicester are the new Premier League champions despite being held to a 1-1 draw with Manchester United in a pulsating clash at Old Trafford.

Claudio Ranieri’s side started nervously and they were behind in the eighth minute after Anthony Martial’s ninth league goal of the season but the visitors showed the character that has underpinned their campaign levelling the scores nine minutes later thanks to captain Wes Morgan’s header.

Leicester’s first title in their 132 year history was confirmed on Monday evening when Tottenham surrendered a 2 goal lead at Chelsea in a 2-2 draw. Goals from Kane and Son had given the visitors a half time lead but second half goals from Cahill and Hazard started the party in Leicester.

Andros Townsend’s free-kick lifted Newcastle out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Newcastle winger fired home from 25 yards after 58 minutes at St James’ Park, but Palace squandered a golden opportunity to equalise when Yohan Cabaye saw his penalty saved by Karl Darlow.

The visitors pushed for a late leveller but failed to carve out another clear-cut chance as Rafa Benitez’s side held on for a precious win in their bid for Premier League survival.

Jermain Defoe scored a penalty in the final minute of stoppage-time as relegation-threatened Sunderland salvaged a dramatic 1-1 draw against Stoke on Saturday.

Desperate for points to boost their survival hopes, the Black Cats struggled to create clear-cut chances and it looked like Marko Arnautovic’s second-half goal would consign them to defeat.

But, with time running out, Defoe won and calmly converted a penalty after a lengthy delay to keep the Sunderland fans dreaming of survival.

Danny Welbeck spared Arsene Wenger’s blushes as Arsenal deepened Norwich’s relegation fears amid fan protests with a 1-0 win at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

It took substitute Welbeck just three minutes to seal victory for Wenger on the Frenchman’s 750th Premier League game at the club, rifling home Olivier Giroud’s knock down on 59 minutes.

Disgruntled supporters voiced their concern at the club’s stagnation on 12 and 78 minutes of the Saturday Night Football clash, but they were in the minority as most fans in the stadium declined to join in.

The Championship

Burnley secured an instant return to the Premier League 12 months after being relegated. Their 1-0 win over QPR, courtesy of a goal from Sam Vokes was enough to guarantee their promotion after Brighton could only manage a home draw with Derby earlier in the day. Brighton, in third, will now face second placed Middlesborough in the final game of the season to decide the automatic and title winning final places.

La Liga

Barcelona returned to the top of La Liga after goals from Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez sealed a hard-fought 2-0 win over Real Betis.

In what was a game that Barcelona had to win to remain top of the La Liga table, Rakitic and Suarez converted in the second half to grab all three points.

Betis defender Heiko Westermann was sent off in the 35th minute for two bookable offences and, with the hosts down to 10 men, Barcelona were able to take advantage as Rakitic scored first in the 50th minute, before Suarez’s calm finish killed the game off in the 81st minute.

An 80th-minute header from Gareth Bale kept Real Madrid in the title race as they beat Real Sociedad 1-0.

After missing a handful of good chances, the Wales international was able to secure a crucial three points for Zinedine Zidane’s side in a tight affair at the Anoeta Stadium.

The win for Real Madrid is their 10th in a row in the league and puts them only a point behind both Barcelona and Atletico in the race for the league title.

Formula One

Nico Rosberg Wins The Russian Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg eased to victory at the Russian GP to extend his championship lead to 43 points over Lewis Hamilton.

The German was in supreme form in Sochi on Sunday and led from start to finish as he maintained his 100 per cent victory record in 2016.

Defending world champion Hamilton recovered from 10th on the grid following more unreliability problems in qualifying to take second place and limit the damage to his title chances.

Golf

Li Haotong Wins Chinese Open

China’s Li Haotong produced a brilliant final round to become the second successive home winner of the Volvo China Open.

Li carded a flawless 64 at Topwin Golf and Country Club to finish on 22 under par and become the second Chinese player to win a European Tour event on home soil, following in the footsteps of 2015 champion Wu Ashun.

Boxing

James DeGale Successfully Defends The IBF Super-Middleweight Title

James DeGale made a successful defence of his IBF super-middleweight title with a hard-fought points victory over Rogelio Medina in Washington DC.

DeGale was in control for the majority of the 12 rounds but could not deliver on his pre-fight promise of a knockout, instead relying on a unanimous decision, by scores of 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111.

It had looked like it would be a short evening’s work for the 30-year-old after some sparkling early rounds had his Mexican opponent in trouble, but Medina showed superb durability to hang in there while taking the punishment before improving as the fight went on.

Olympics

The #RoadtoRio is steaming ahead with the GB kit unveiled this past week. The weekend has seen much comment on the latest offering from Stella McCartney. Some have branded it a patriotic nod to modern sport whilst others have suggested those watching the Olympics will get more than they have bargained for.

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