Winners and Losers from the weekend: Arsenal & Chelsea win semis & Bournemouth on the brink
Our round-up of the highs and lows from another weekend of sporting action.
The hallowed Wembley turf played host to the FA Cup semi-final this weekend, while the battle against the drop continued in the Premier League.
Elsewhere, the long Championship title race came to its conclusion, before a thrilling wet-dry race at the Hungaroring in the third successive weekend of the 2020 Formula 1 season.
Here are the winners and losers from this weekend’s sport…
Arsenal & Chelsea
Coming into the weekend, many expected to see a derby match in this season’s FA Cup final on Saturday 1st August, but not a London derby.
Mikel Arteta put in place a tactically flawless plan, only for the Arsenal team to go and execute it exactly the way he pictured. The Gunners had lost their last seven matches against Manchester City in all competitions, with a combined score of 20-2.
But when it mattered most, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stepped up with a beautiful brace, Emiliano Martinez kept a clean sheet between the sticks and the usually erratic David Luiz provided a calming influence in the middle of a back three.
As for Chelsea, they’d already lost three matches against Manchester United this season before the semi-final, and with the Red Devils in the form they were in coming into the game, it looked like it could be four from four.
But like Arteta, Frank Lampard set his side up with three at the back, using their pace on the counterattack as their main outlet. Olivier Giroud’s goal just seconds before the half-time whistle gave the Blues the platform they needed to go on and set up a clash with Arsenal in this year’s final.
The long, painful 16-year wait is over. Leeds United are back in the Premier League, and they’ve done it as champions of the second tier.
A win over Barnsley on Thursday night moved them to a point of promotion, but before they even kicked a ball in their weekend match against Derby County, they’d sealed the title.
West Brom lost to Huddersfield Town on Friday night, before Brentford lost to Stoke on Saturday afternoon, meaning the Whites five-point gap with a game to play was unassailable.
They capped it off in style though, coming from a goal down to beat Derby 3-1 and get their Premier League promotion party started.
Max Verstappen & Red Bull Racing
At around 13:45 on Sunday afternoon, you could easily have seen this one going down into the loser’s column, after Max Verstappen hit the wall at turn 12 on his way to the grid.
But thanks to the frantic work of his team, they repaired his car with seconds to spare to allow the Dutchman to race in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
While he couldn’t match the sublime pace from Lewis Hamilton in the lead Mercedes, Verstappen managed to jump up to third on lap two after starting in seventh.
And after the first round of pit stops on around lap four, changing the intermediate tyres to slicks, he was up in second, a position he’d hold right through to the chequered flag, holding off the second charging Silver Arrow of Valtteri Bottas.
After winning the latest tournament on the PGA Tour, the Memorial Tournament, Jon Rahm became only the second Spaniard to top the golf rankings, following in the footsteps of Seve Ballesteros.
Rahm started the final round with a four-shot lead over his nearest challengers Ryan Palmer and Tony Finau, a lead which had doubled to an eight-shot lead by the eighth hole.
But it wasn’t all plain sailing, with the Spaniard bogeying the 10th and driving his tee shot on the 11th into the water, picking up a water penalty in the process. He’d double-bogey the 11th, and see his lead slashed to five shots.
He went on to regain his composure and finish three clear of Palmer to claim the tournament win, and more importantly, the world number one title.
David de Gea
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær was forced to reaffirm his belief that David de Gea is still the best goalkeeper in the world, not for the first time this season, after two errors from the Spanish number one helped Chelsea overcome the Red Devils at Wembley.
When Giroud opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, De Gea appeared to be caught in two minds as to how to save a shot that was relatively close to him. In the end, he chose nether, and his weak wrist onto his thigh wasn’t enough to stop the ball squirming over the line.
But the worst was yet to come, as less than a minute into the second half, Mason Mount’s shot was parried into the corner of his own net by De Gea. United went on to lose 3-1, meaning those two mistakes creating two goals allowed Chelsea an easier route to the final than they had expected.
Could this be the end of David de Gea’s tenure as United number one with Dean Henderson waiting in the wings?
It always looked like it would be difficult to drag themselves out of the drop zone at this late stage, but encouraging performances against Manchester City and Tottenham recently showed the Cherries still had the great escape in them
However, after a 2-0 defeat to Southampton at the weekend, they’re three points from safety with one to play. Aston Villa and Watford, who are both directly above, both have a game in hand.
Relying on results elsewhere, only a convincing victory over Everton on the final game of the season could be good enough to save their top flight ambitions, or they’ll face a return to the Championship for the first time in five seasons.
They’re now 1/16 to make the drop to the second tier.
Since the enforced break, we’ve not seen the best of Rory McIlroy, and this weekend he couldn’t find the form which got him to world number one either.
There was some promise after the first round of play at the Memorial tournament, going two under par, but that’s as good as his weekend would get on his way to losing his place as the current world number one.
He’d score a par 72 on rounds two and three, meaning he was 10 shots back of leader Jon Rahm going into the final round.
The Northern Irishman would score 78 on the final 18 holes, going from -2 to +4 and finishing tied for 32nd on the leaderboard.
With the World Matchplay up and running in Milton Keynes, defending champion Rob Cross took to the oche to try and retain his title.
Up against world number 40 Gabriel Clemens, few saw Cross becoming the first defending champion to lose in the first round since Colin Lloyd in 2006.
Yet, that’s exactly what happened.
Cross fell 10-8 to the German, with Clemens throwing an average of 89.22 and hitting four maximums.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.