Another dramatic week has come to a close with several huge titles being decided across a plethora of the world’s most popular sports. From Manchester City completing the first leg of their attempted treble to Dortmund moving within a victory of a first Bundesliga title in over ten years, our weekly review recaps the best action from another superb sporting week.
Arsenal lose to Nottingham Forest, City win title without kicking a ball
As the Premier League season winds to its conclusion, Arsenal knew they had to win away at Nottingham Forest to keep any slim title hopes they had alive. Knowing that three points was simply a must, Arsenal continued their sluggish form from the last few weeks and were second best throughout to a fired up Nottingham Forest side.
With Forest taking the lead in the first half, the Gunners couldn’t muster enough chances to pull off yet another second half comeback.
With Forest gamely holding on to secure the three points they desperately needed to ensure their place in next season’s Premier League, their was joy in the blue half of Manchester as Arsenal’s defeat meant that City were crowned champions for the third successive season.
With the title wrapped up, City could celebrate their title success in style and duly dominated a poor Chelsea team in a one sided 1-0 victory.
Attentions will now turn towards the FA Cup and Champions League Finals as City aim to become the first English team to win the treble since Manchester United achieved the feat back in 1999.
Bayern lose at home putting Dortmund on the verge of the Bundesliga title.
When Thomas Tuchel was shockingly appointed as the new Bayern Munich manager, the expectation was that his experience would steer the Bavarians to a historic treble. Despite his appointment, trouble would soon appear as Bayern were quickly dumped out of both the Champions League and German Cup pinning their only hopes of silverware on the Bundesliga.
Heading into this weekend a point ahead of bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund, Bayern had a chance to move four points clear at the top of the table but stumbled to a 3-1 home defeat to RB Leipzig.
In what was a bitter blow, Dortmund were able to take full advantage of Bayern’s error – smashing Augsburg 3-0 to move within a victory of the title.
With the gap at the top now two points, Dortmund know a win next weekend against Mainz will secure a first title since 2012. Bayern must hope that Dortmund slip up and that they can beat FC Koln to win the title for an eleventh successive season.
European final lineups now confirmed
The second legs of the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League all took place this week with the lineups for the various finals now completed.
In the Champions League, Inter Milan advanced through to their first final since 2010 when they outclassed city rivals AC Milan to complete a 3-0 aggregate victory.
A vital second half goal from Argentinian striker Lautoro Martinez sealed the tie and there will be high hopes they can end their thirteen year drought for Europe’s biggest title.
Their task won’t be easy as they will face Manchester City who have reached their second Champions League Final in the last three years.
Heading into their second leg against Real Madrid tied up at 1-1, City showed exactly why many people believe they are the greatest side in European football running out dominant 4-0 winners. Wrapping up the contest 5-1 on aggregate, City will start as the heavy favourites for the final.
The Europa League saw no shortage of drama as Roma and Sevilla booked their places in this year’s final.
Roma held a slim 1-0 lead heading into their second leg against a tricky Leverkusen team but showed all of their tactical and defensive nous to steal away a 0-0 draw. Roma were the inaugural winners of the Europa Conference League last season and will be hoping to add this year’s Europa League to their recent list of glories.
In the final they will meet Europa League specialists Sevilla who are looking to win the tournament for a staggering seventh time. An extra time winner from Erik Lamela completed a stunning win over Italian giants Juventus and ensured that Sevilla will be competing in their seventh final in the last seventeen years.
In the Europa Conference League, two nervy semifinals saw West Ham and Fiorentina edge through.
La Rochelle win back to back European Champions Cups
Rugby fans were treated to a special match in this year’s European Champions Cup final as Leinster and La Rochelle faced off against one another in a repeat of last year’s final.
With this year’s match being played at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, it was expected that in front of a boisterous home crowd it would be Leinster who would come out on top this year.
That prediction looked to be spot on as the Irish giants raced into an early 17-0 lead. Despite their opponents fast start, La Rochelle were able to keep their composure and slowly creeped back into the contest.
A stunning second half comeback was completed, when in the 72nd minute Georges- Henri Colombe was able to crash over the line. Despite some late pressure, the French side were able to hang on for victory and lift the European Champions Cup for the second year in a row.
Katie Taylor loses first professional fight to Chantelle Cameron
Katie Taylor has long been regarded as the best female fighter in women’s boxing but her bid for Light Welterweight glory was denied by Chantelle Cameron.
With both fighters heading into the bout unbeaten, it was Cameron who showed all of her class to beat Taylor courtesy of the judges scorecards.
Despite the close nature of the fight, the result couldn’t be disputed and the two look set to lock horns once again later in the year.
Late on Saturday night, Undisputed World Lightweight Champion Devin Haney managed to retain his titles after he beat Vasiliy Lomachenko courtesy of an unanimous decision. The win keeps Haney unbeaten and moves his winning streak to 30.
National Treasure wins the 2023 Preakness Stakes
Kentucky Derby hero Mage was bidding to win the second leg of this year’s Triple Crown as he looked to add the Preakness Stakes to the 2023 Kentucky Derby he won just a few weeks ago.
However with suspicions that the extra distance could catch him out, he found the early pace of the race too taxing and could only finish in third.
The winner of the race was the Bob Baffert trained National Treasure who held onto beat Blazing Sevens by the narrowest of margins.
The win was bittersweet for Baffert who was unable to train any runners in this year’s Kentucky Derby due to a suspension. With another classic in the bag, attentions will now turn to the final leg of the Triple Crown and this year’s Belmont Stakes.
Brooks Koepka wins third PGA Championship
American golfer Brooks Koepka joined an elite club by becoming only the third golfer in history to win the PGA Championship three times.
In what was a dramatic final day, Koepka led Viktor Hovland by one stroke as the two headed up the 16th hole. However, a severe bunker error from Hovland saw the Norwegian’s chances all but evaporate and Koepka was able to close out the tournament in relative ease.
Medvedev wins first ever clay title ahead of 2023 French Open
The French Open is just a week away and Russian star Daniil Medvedev added his name to the list of potential winners as he captured his first ever clay court title.
A self confessed hater of the slower surface, 2023 has been his best year by far on the dirt and he capped off an impressive fortnight with a victory over Danish star Holger Rune in the final of this year’s Rome Masters.
Edging a tight contest 7-5, 7-5 the Russian will return to second in the world rankings.
Any hopes that Medvedev had of winning a maiden French Open were greatly boosted after the defending champion Rafa Nadal declared himself out of the tournament. With Novak Djokovic struggling for results, this year’s French Open looks set to be wide open.
On the women’s side of the draw Australian Open winner Elena Rybakina won her first Rome title after her opponent Anhelina Kalinina had to retire at the start of the second set.
Nuggets and Heat on verge of NBA Finals
The conference finals continue apace, but both the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat look ideally placed to reach this year’s final.
Denver who have never reached the NBA Finals stand on the verge of history after taking a 3-0 lead against the LA Lakers.
It’s a similar story in the East as the Miami Heat lead the Boston Celtics by a similar scoreline.
The week coming up
Another fantastic week of sport is coming up. Here are some of the highlights:
Monday 22nd May: Newcastle vs Leicester – a huge night of Premier League football awaits as Newcastle host strugglers Leicester City. A point will see Newcastle guarantee a finish inside the top 4 and a return to the Champions League, whilst a defeat for Leicester will leave them facing the likelihood of relegation. A huge evening awaits.
Tuesday 23rd May: Denver Nuggets vs LA Lakers – it’s a must win for the LA Lakers as they try and extend their series against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. Denver currently leads the series 3-0.
Wednesday 24th May: Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics – on Wednesday night it is the turn of the Miami Heat who will be looking to secure the Eastern Conference final in game 4 of their seven match series against the Boston Celtics.
Wednesday 24th May: La Liga – a vital night in this season’s La Liga takes place this Wednesday. Real Sociedad can all but ensure their place in next season’s Champions League with a victory over Almeira. At the bottom, Rayo Vallecano will try and pull themselves out of the bottom three as they take on champions Barcelona.
Thursday 25th May: Charles Schwab Challenge – with the PGA Championship in the books, the action on the PGA Tour continues with the Charles Schwab Challenge. A limited field awaits but the likes of Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth and last year’s winner Sam Burns will all be teeing it up.
Wednesday 24th May / Thursday 25th May: Premier League – The Premier League is nearing its conclusion with two more matches taking place this week. First Brighton host Manchester City, before Manchester United will hope to wrap up their participation in next season’s Champions League when they host Chelsea.
Saturday 27th May: Bundesliga reaches dramatic conclusion – this season’s Bundesliga will come to an end with Dortmund hoping to wrap up their first title in over ten years. Dortmund will play host to Mainz whilst Bayern will travel to FC Koln. A win for Dortmund will be enough to clinch the title.
Saturday 27th May: Championship Playoff – known as the richest game in football, Coventry and Luton Town will square off in the Playoff final with the winners of the match earning promotion to the Premier League.
Sunday 28th May: Monaco Grand Prix – with last week’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix being cancelled due to horrendous weather, attentions turn to Monaco as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen attempts to extend his lead at the top of the drivers’ standings.
Sunday 28th May: Premier League season comes to an end – with the fate of this year’s Premier League title having already been decided, attentions turn to the bottom of the table. With Southampton already relegated, two out of Leeds, Leicester and Everton will face the dreaded drop.