• Sat. May 18th, 2024

Pick of the week: England captain trophyless in his first season at Bayern, sensational win for Norris on the tracks, and NWFl Super 6 date confirmed.

From football down to the world of unlimited sports, with every action wrapped with grace, beauty, and aesthetics – all expressed to spice the week. This week had an awe-inspiring lineup of actions that have left sports fans clamouring for more.

Formed under pressure, desired by many, yet possessed only by a fortunate few is what the UEFA Champions League is about, there’s nothing in football quite so envied as booking a place in the finals of the Champions League. Finally, the finalist for the 23/24 Champions League season was unveiled this week as Dortmund became the first team to reach the finals at Wembley. Leading by one goal from the first leg in Germany, at the Parc des Princes, Dortmund was preponderant with their defensive displays to muzzle the efforts of their opponents PSG and just five minutes into the second half Mat Hummel rose to the occasion to head home Julian Brandt’s corner which earned them the 1-0 victory, PSG was wasteful and failed to score from 30 shots, in fact they were denied by the woodwork six times over the two legs, the host was denied a penalty kick by the Referee who decided to award a free kick instead, but there’s was no need crying over spilt milk as the deed has been done. Despite the raucous atmosphere at the Parc des Princes, Dortmund maintained a hundred per cent control.

With 76, 579 attendance at the Santiago Bernabeu, Thomas Tuchel had thought his team was headed into Wembley finals because, at the 88th minute of the game, they were leading as Alphonso Davis had scored since the 68th minute. An error from Manuel Neuer saw Madrid equalise with Joselu’s goal in the 88th minute. There was much pressure as Thomas Tuchel gambled by taking his attackers out of the game a bit too early. Joselu eventually then turned in Rudiger’s cross to the back of the net in the 91st minute. After a VAR review of the offside call on the player, the goal was awarded. The comeback means that they will meet Dortmund in the Wembley finals on the 1st of June.

In the Europa League, Leverkusen scored a last-minute equaliser against Roma to make it 2-2 to book their place in the finals of the Europa League and set a new record of 49 games unbeaten run in all competitions. Currently, Leverkusen boasts of the best records since the advent of the European competition, Also, Atlanta defeated Marseille 3-0 to book their place in the finals. By May 22nd, the Dublin Arena in Ireland will host Bayer Leverkusen and Atlanta for the finals.

In the Conference League, Aston Villa lost to Olympiacos, and as such, the finals will be between Fiorentina and Olympiacos by May 29th.

In the Epl, An appeal board upheld the original decision of an independent commission to impose sanctions which means Nottingham Forest failed with the appeal of their four-point punishment for breaching the premier league profit and sustainability rules with their losses in the 2022-23. This means that Forest remains 17th and three points clear of the relegation zone with two games left to play. Everton also withdrew their appeal against a two-point deduction.

As the EPL season gradually winds down, the nominees for the league player of the season, league manager and young player of the season have been rolled out and the winner will be decided by a public vote and premier league panel and announced on the 18th of May.

On the race tracks, it was nothing but aesthetics and a race with grace for Lando Norris and McLaren. The surprise package shredded off the unwanted record of the most podium finishes without a win in his F1 career as he beat both Redbull and Ferarri fair and square to claim the first victory of his F1 career in his 110th race. Norris took advantage of the safety car and eventually pulled away from Verstappen in the penultimate lap to emphatically win the Miami Grand Prix. 

Kevin Magnussen of Haas stands to face an F1 race ban if he commits one more controversial incident on the tracks, this came after he had a series of controversial movements during the Miami GP He was imposed a 5 seconds penalty doubling his existing total to 10, which he earned in the first six races of the season. Drivers face an automatic one-race suspension if they accrue 12 points penalty across 12 months period.

In Tennis, Andrey Rublev battled a virus, and his opponent Felix Auger-Alliasime won his second Masters 1000 title at the Madrid Open, with a thrilling 4-6 7-5 7-5 comeback victory. Shockingly, Dominic Thiem will be forced into retirement due to injury. The former US Open Champion said he would retire later this year because of the wrist injury that derailed his career. However, the Italian Open is currently up and running.

On the court of basketball, the Basketball African Laegue has been an absolute thrill ride, delivering excitement at all levels. Rivers Hoopers has had a beautiful run by winning all three of their games in the Sahara Conference and cementing their position as the top seed. After their first win against As Douanes and APR of Rwanda, they continued their fine start with an emphatic victory against US Monastir but failed to win when they played against As Douanes who defeated them narrowly with a buzzer-beater. On Saturday, the King’s Men secured their place for the playoffs in Kigali Rwanda after going 4-1 in the Sahara Conference by defeating APR Rwanda with a game left. Here are some of the players with exceptional performance.

On the other hand, this week in the NBA came with firing and hiring coupled with the awards and semi-final playoff for both conferences. The Hornets announced that they have hired Charles Lee as their next head coach, Lee is considered one of the top assistant coaches in the NBA, he was an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics this season, and he was also an assistant coach under Mike Budenholzer with the Bucks for five seasons and has been considered for several head coaching jobs but eventually signed a four-year deal with the Hornets. Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns fired their head coach, Sun Vogel. Vogel lasted only one year on the job with the Phoenix as the decision came after a disappointing season in which the Suns who were expected to be the NBA championship contenders were swept out by The Timberwolves who had not won a playoff series in 20 years.

Nikola Jokic won the NBA Most Valuable Player 23/24, and that came with a record. He has now won the award three out of the past four seasons making him the first player to do so since LeBron James, he became the seventh player overall to win three MVPs In four years joining Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Rusell etc he is also the ninth player to win three MVPS overall with Micheal Jordan and Moses Malone rounding up the list.

In the same vein, San Antonio Spurs Victor Wembanyama was named NBA Rookie of the Year, Wembanyama. The first pick in last year’s draft was the unanimous choice as he earned all 99 place votes. He is the first French man to win the award after averaging 21.4 points 10.6 rebounds 3.9 assists, 3.6 blocked shots and 1.2 steals a game, as a result, he also became the first unanimous rookie of the year since Karl Anthony in 2016.

In women’s football, the NWFL announced Bayelsa State as the host of the 2023/24 Super 6, which is scheduled to run from Thursday 16th – Sunday 26th May 2024 in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

The title race looks good at the top, with Man City cementing their position, all fingers are crossed to see what becomes of Arsenal. Meanwhile, the relegation battle has overshadowed some teams. Last week, Sheffield United was relegated, and this week, Burnley followed while Luton are just on the verge.

Join us next week for a more intriguing recap from the World of Sports.

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