Premier League

Weekly sports round up; Fist of Fury: The Sports Buff

By Ayyaz Malik 

Boxing

Manchester-born Tyson Fury spectacularly became a two-time world heavyweight champion after beating American Deontay Wilder with a knockout win in the seventh round.

American fighter Wilder (34) was looking to win this fight between the two men and defend his title for a record 11th time, but as far as Wilder was concerned, that was sadly not to be. 

The former world title who of course came to Yorkshire last year just had no match for the man who calls himself The Gypsy King. Usually, The Bronze Bomber would rely on his power to get him out of trouble in the past, which it has done, fights against fighters like Bermane Stiverne. 

On Sunday morning, however, that golden punch didn’t arrive as Wilder was floored in the third and fifth rounds. In a match that promised so much for both men, it turned out to be Fury who would rise to the occasion. 

Deontay Wilder just wasn’t able to exert any influence on the fight. The only way this one ended was when Wilder’s corner threw the towel on behalf of their fighter to end the fight. The 34-year old seemed initially irked by the decision, but even he later admitted: “the better man won”. 

After the fight, the victorious Fury called out fellow Brit Anthony Joshua, who is the world champion of the three other belts. If the two men do face-off, the winner stands the chance of unifying the belts. 

The last man to do that was fellow Brit Lennox Lewis. As glamorous as a fight between Fury and Joshua could be, both men have a few obstacles to overcome to make the fight happen. 

For two-time champion Joshua, he might need to face mandatory challenger Kubarat Pulev and for Fury, he too might need to face mandatory challenger, Derek Chisora. Tyson Fury might also get lured into a third fight with Deontay Wilder. 

Should we get any news on a potential fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, we will be sure to let you know. 

Football

Champions Manchester City strengthened their grip on second place with a hard-fought 1-0 win over third-placed Leicester City. City did miss a penalty through record goalscorer Sergio Aguero, but strike partner Gabriel Jesus was able to score the vital goal to give The Citizens the win. 

Neighbours Manchester United were able to capitalise on Tottenham’s slip up (a 2-1 defeat by Chelsea) as they beat struggling Watford 3-0. The win for The Red Devils sees Ole’s men back up to fifth, just three points behind Chelsea. 

As for Watford, The Hornets now appeared to be set for relegation, which some would have thought wouldn’t have happened when boss Nigel Pearson became the third manager to take the Vicarage Road hot seat this season. 

Looking forward

There are other things to look out for in the world of sport such as the start of the Pakistan Super League. The tournament, which is in its fifth year, is just five games in, and already seems to be set for a tournament to remember. 

Players such as Alex Hales, Luke Ronchi and Colin Monroe will be competing in Pakistan’s domestic cricket showpiece, providing evidence that Pakistan can host a cricket tournament to a decent standard. 

In the early stages, all matches will be played in Lahore and Karachi. 

In the rugby, beaten world cup-finalists England, ended Ireland’s grand slam hopes with a 24-12 win at Twickenham. Eddie Jones, who got embroiled in a race row this week, would have been delighted to have been able allow his actions on the rugby field take centre stage.

The kicking of the ever reliable Owen Farrell, helped  England open up a commanding 17-0 half time lead. The Irish did rally in the second half, but Eddie Jones’ England held on to move into second in the table and leaving France as the only side who could could achieve the Grand Slam.

See you same time next week. Before we go, please be sure to check the weekly sports round up video here;  https://www.smartlightpeople.com/others/fury-dismantles-wilder-weekly-sports-round-up-the-sports-buff/.

The Sports Buff sports round up: Manchester City face two year ban

By Ayyaz Malik (The Sports Buff)

Football 

Premier League champions Manchester City, have sensationally been banned from European football for two seasons, after being found guilty of breaching financial fair play. The Citizens, who have also been handed a £30 million fine on top, join top clubs such as Paris Saint Germain (fined £30 million) and AC Milan (banned for one season) in being punished for similar breaches.

In the case of Italian giants Milan, they are serving their ban this season, but with the former six-time Champions League winners, enduring a difficult season domestically, it appears like that AC Milan, will be absent from European football for two years at least.

Manchester City, have been given 10 days by the footballing governing bodies to appeal, if not the ban will stand. This landmark decision will send shock waves across the game, and serve as a warning to other teams like recent big spending Barcelona, to name just some clubs.

On the pitch, City’s rivals Liverpool continued their relentless pursuit of this year’s Premier League with yet another win, this time against relegation-threatened Norwich.

The Canaries, who boast a very youthful squad, gave the champions-elect a scare, but Sadio Mane, with another late goal, helped The Reds on their to opening a 25 point lead at the top.

Defending champions Manchester City face West Ham on Wednesday. The last two weekends of fixtures have been halved of course, and that’s been due to this season being the first season that the winter break is getting trialled.

With the Premier League arguably won by Liverpool, the race for second and the race for fourth spot, couldn’t be tighter. Leicester City, this year’s surprise package are just a point behind City (but they have played a game more).

Chelsea, who faced Manchester United at home on Monday, are just one point above Tottenham overcame Aston Villa 3-2, in what was an entertaining game at Villa Park. The Blues going into their game against The Red Devils, knew that only a win would suffice as Jose’s Spurs, look to make an assault on the top four.

North London rivals, Arsenal racked up an impressive 4-0 win against Newcastle, to give manager Mikel Arteta his biggest win since he took charge at The Emirates Stadium. That win took The Gunners into the top half of the table, and it will be hoped by Arteta, that this win, will signify a European push.

Cricket

England’s cricketers after beating South Africa 3-1 in the test series, also came out on top in the T20 series winning 2-1, after winning a thrilling match decider. After winning the toss, new South Africa captain Quinton De Kock elected to bat.

The decision by the new Proteas skipper, seemed to be the correct one as the home side racked up 222-6. England were facing a difficult task, but not impossible and so it proved.

After the early loss of Jason Roy, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow were able to hit half-centuries (57&64 respectively) to help the England run-chase to get back on track. When Jos Buttler was out for a well constructed 57, this sparked a mini-collapse.

Bairstow (64), who would end up top-scoring for the tourists, fell as well as Dawid Malan which meant England had a mini-collapse and were in danger of a mini-collapse, but captain Eoin Morgan (57 not out) and Ben Stokes (22), helped England win a thrilling run chase by five wickets.

There is more cricket to come, especially in the way of T20. The Pakistan Super League returns for another year. Unlike last year, this year’s tournament will be in Pakistan, unlike last year where the latter stages of the tournament was held in Pakistan and the earlier stages in Qatar.

Here, I Ayyaz Malik (The Sports Buff) will give you a weekly insight into the world of sport, every week. Do look out for my videos The Sports Buff sports round up: Manchester City face two year ban see you next week for more!

 

The Juan And Only

Manchester United's players celebrate their 2-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield.

Manchester United’s players celebrate their 2-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield.

Juan Mata scored twice as Manchester United ruined Steven Gerrard’s final Merseyside derby with a just about deserved 2-1 win in the big Sunday lunchtime game.

The hosts who’s last defeat came against the Red Devils in December, were unchanged – which meant club captain Gerrard would have to come off the bench to appear in this one. As for the visitors United who looked to have returned to form after an impressive win over Tottenham last week, they make just the single change as Ashley Young comes in – but the returning Angel Di Maria who was sent off in the FA Cup against Arsenal starts this one from the bench.

As for the match itself, United got out of the blocks the quicker. The visitors midfield of Fellaini, Carrick, Mata and Young were slick in their passing – and were operating at the tempo which blew away Tottenham last week.

Liverpool had no answer – and despite having the majority of the possession, it was indeed Louis Van Gaal’s side who looked more fluent in attack – and it was a little of surprise that United would take the lead in the 14th minute.

Juan Mata who was brilliant in last weeks win at Old Trafford, was equally as brilliant here. The Spaniard who had been subject of transfer speculation at the start of the season , latched on to a fantastic Ander Herrera through ball- and beat the on rushing Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet with a brilliantly placed finish into the bottom corner.

The visitors at the point were in complete control – but rather naively took their foot off the pedal, which allowed the hosts to come back into the game. After going a goal down Liverpool’s response was good as Adam Lalana missed a great chance to level the scores before halftime.

The former Southampton captain who earned a reputation for scoring goals by arriving late in the box did that here – but disappointingly fired wide when maybe he should have scored. That missed chance was one of the last bits of action of the first half as United went in at the break a goal up.

Liverpool who have been in brilliant for since that defeat to United were in dire need of shaking things up in midfield. So who better to bring on at the start of the second half than club legend Steven Gerrard. The Liverpool skipper who has only just returned from a hamstring injury, would have been determined to end his associations in Merseyside derbies on a high – but there was no fairy tale ending for the Liverpool captain here.

Gerrard who was brought on to provide a calmness into the Liverpool midfield that was lacking the first half, inexcusably lost his head – and was sent off. The 34 year old Gerrard who had barely been on the pitch for more than two minutes was involved in a 50/50 challenge with United’s Herrera – and then rather foolishly stamped on the United midfielder’s leg, which didn’t go unnoticed, all be it with some assistance by the referee’s assistant.

That Red card was to prove costly as Juan Mata scored with a wonderful goal to apparently put the game beyond doubt. The Spaniard started a well worked move – and the 28 year old passed to Di Maria which lead to the Argentine to provide a well judged chip over the Liverpool defence – and set Juan Mata up to acrobatically place a left strike in the bottom corner of Mignolet’s goal.

With the game seeming out of Liverpool’s reach, United became complacent – and despite having 10 men it was Liverpool who looked the better side, despite having 10 men. The visitors sloppiness allowed Daniel Sturridge to pull a goal back with a near post strike, which David De Gea maybe could have done better with.

Fortunately for United there were no more goals in this one. The visitors did have time to win a penalty in the dying minutes as Emre Can clumsily brought down Daley Blind in the box. The resulting penalty kick was missed however as Wayne Rooney’s kick was at a nice height for Liverpool keeper Mignolet to save.

Advantage United then in the ‘rat race’ for fourth, as Man United manager Van Gaal put it -but with both sides needing to play the big sides such as Arsenal and Chelsea, the race for fourth isn’t over just yet.The

Queens Park Rangers Vs Manchester United Match Report

Marouane Fellaini opened the scoring in the 2-0 win over QPR.

Marouane Fellaini opened the scoring in the 2-0 win over QPR.

Manchester United overcame a spirited Queens Park Rangers performance, to return winning ways after last weeks defeat against Southampton.

The Reds recalled striker Radamel Falcao after Robin Van Persie was unavailable for this one. Di Maria is again up front for the Reds in a new tactical formation for Manchester United.

As for QPR, the hosts included Nedum Onuha – but new loan signing Mauro Zarate only could make the bench as Rangers looked to maintain their impressive home form.

It was QPR who started the better as Manchester United were struggling with the 3-5-2 formation, which at times Louis Van Gaal blindly choses it seems. Not to take anything away from the West Londoners who were impressive and matched United for certain parts of this game.

Main man Charlie Austin had a couple of efforts brilliantly saved by Man United keeper David De Gea on both occasions . United were second best in the first half and Manchester United fans let their feelings known to their manager Van Gaal.

Radamel Falcao had a couple of opportunities at the other end, firstly hitting straight at Rob Green then in the second half forcing the QPR into an unbelievable save – but the facts were clear Manchester United were poor.

The Man United fans made their opinion very clear of the first half and what should be done to change it. The Manchester United fans chanted for a change of formation and got their wish of a change of formation as Van Gaal switched to the more renowned United formation of 4-4-2.

With in minutes it lead to the first goal. Antonio Valencia set up Marouane Fellaini who emphatically beat Rob Green in the Rangers goal. QPR pushed for an equaliser but to no avail.

James Wilson who came on as a second half sub, killed the game off as a contest with a classic breakaway goal. The United sub went on a surging run, only to see his shot at the end of it blocked – but fortunately for the youngster he got a second chance.

A good result for United – but the Reds will have to improve on their away from. Manchester United might have won here – but in the last month to many dropped points on the road have allowed United’s rivals back into the race for a top four position.

As for QPR, the Hoops can be proud of such a brave performance. Rangers’ performance wasn’t a performance of a team that is at the wrong end of the table. The performance although a defeat will be encouraging for Harry Redknapp who has been subject to rumours this week of losing his job.