The Weekend That Was (April 23rd – 24th)
Jemima Sumgong recovered from a fall to win the women’s London Marathon as fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge retained the men’s title in the second-fastest time in history. She had banged her head when tripped by Ethiopian Aselefech Mergia as they approached a water station. However, she managed to rejoin the leading group and take her first London title in two hours 22 minutes 58 seconds.
Kipchoge, won in 2:03:04, which is only seven seconds outside the world record!
The FA Cup Semi Finals
Everton 1 – 2 Manchester United
Anthony Martial’s stoppage-time strike at Wembley sent Manchester United into the FA Cup final with a 2-1 win over Everton on Saturday.
Marouane Fellaini gave United the lead after 34 minutes in a pulsating encounter, before a Chris Smalling own goal handed Everton a lifeline in the second half.
Romelu Lukaku had seen an earlier penalty saved by David de Gea but Everton, who pushed for a winner with extra time looming, were left stunned when Martial’s 93rd-minute strike sealed victory.
Crystal Palace 2 – 1 Watford
Crystal Palace will play Manchester United in a repeat of the 1990 FA Cup final.
Yannick Bolasie headed Palace into an early lead but Troy Deeney levelled the match on 55 minutes. But Connor Wickham popped up with the winning goal on 61 minutes to send Palace to the FA Cup showpiece.
Leicester 4 – 0 Swansea
Leonardo Ulloa scored twice to help inspire Leicester to comfortable 4-0 victory over Swansea at the King Power Stadium and move Claudio Ranieri’s side a step closer to the Premier League title. Riyad Mahrez set Leicester on their way in the 10th minute after intercepting Ashley Williams’ poor pass, before firing a low shot into the bottom corner. Substitute Marc Albrighton rounded off proceedings in the 85th minute to help record Leicester’s biggest win of the season.
Sunderland 0 – 0 Arsenal
The Black Cats climbed out of the relegation zone and pegged Arsenal back after a goalless draw at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.
Both sides had penalty shouts turned down in the first half, as referee Mike Dean waved away appeals from Jermain Defoe and Alex Iwobi.
Patrick van Aanholt went closest to breaking the deadlock when his free-kick hit the post, while former Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone made several impressive saves to preserve his clean sheet.
Champions Cup Semi-Finals
Saracens 24 – 17 Wasps
Saracens took another giant stride towards a possible domestic and European double as they booked their place in next month’s Champions Cup final by beating Wasps 24-17 at the Madejski Stadium.
The Aviva Premiership leaders were tested physically by a resilient Wasps side but flanker Michael Rhodes’ first-half score, which was followed by a penalty try that Owen Farrell converted as part of a 14-point haul, proved enough.
Wasps led through a superb first-minute try from Dan Robson and replacement hooker Ashley Johnson crashed over late on, with fly-half Jimmy Gopperth kicking both conversions and a penalty, but Saracens dominated possession and territory and were worthy winners.
Leicester Tigers 16 – 19 Racing 92
Racing 92 will face Saracens in the Champions Cup final after the French giants beat Leicester 19-16 in their semi-final clash on Sunday.
Racing’s half-back pairing of Maxime Machenaud and Dan Carter ran the show for the visitors with Carter adding 11 points with the boot as he took a step closer to completing the clean sweep of world rugby’s premier trophies.
Rafael Nadal Wins The Barcelona Open!
Rafael Nadal’s resurgence continued as the top seed beat Kei Nishikori 6-4 7-5 to claim the Barcelona Open title for the ninth time in his remarkable career.
The Spanish great has now equalled Guillermo Vilas’ record of 49 career clay-court titles.
Valentino Rossi stormed it home to win yet again. The nine-time world champion is now only 24 points behind championship leader Marc Marquez. For Rossi it was the perfect weekend. In his own words ‘…we started to go faster..’.
Sweet success for Richard Johnson, the 16-time runner up, at the weekend as he has at last been crowned Champion Jockey. Johnson was just an apprentice jockey when he watched AP McCoy win his first jockey honour in 1996. Paul Nicholls won the trainer’s title ahead of Willie Mullins.