WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Manchester gets the Blues
The 2019 English Premier League title as well as the four 2019/20 Champions League teams may have been decided in a dramatic night of football in England yesterday. City beat United 2-0 in the Manchester derby to move to the top of the league table with three rounds of matches remaining. City broke the hearts of both United and Liverpool fans when first Bernardo Silva’s low drive went past David de Gea and then Leroy Sane beat the keeper. Liverpool must now hope City drop points against Burnley, Leicester or Brighton – teams in 10th to 17th on the league table. While most eyes were focussed on the league race in Manchester, in Wolverhampton Arsenal may have been condemning themselves to Europa Cup football next season when they were stunned 3-1 by Wolves. That result leaves Spurs and Chelsea in control of their own Champions League destiny. If they do not drop points over the final three rounds they will fill the final two spots in that competition next season (latest league tables and remaining league fixtures).
Lood signs for Sharks
The Sale Sharks’ raid on South African rugby players continues as the Manchester club yesterday announced the signing of Lood de Jager from the Bulls. The English club is building a mini Springbok team and have now signed Robert du Preez and Akker van der Merwe from the Durban Sharks as well as De Jager from the Bulls for the 2020 season, with Dan and Jean-Luc du Preez reported to be joining the Manchester club after the 2020 Super Rugby season. Faf de Klerk already plays for the Sale Sharks, as does South African-born Scotland international Josh Strauss.
Pirates sailing to league title
Orlando Pirates moved back to the top of the Absa Premiership with a tough 1-0 win over Maritzburg United in the KZN capital last night. Pirates moved three points clear of Sundowns, who have a game in hand, and Bucs are now in charge of the race to the league title. Wins in their final two matches should ensure Pirates claim the title, although Sundowns can still snatch the win if they improve their goal difference in their final three matches – and if they are not penalised with points in a disciplinary decision due to be announced soon. In other matches Wits kept their feint hopes of the title alive with a 3-1 win over Leopards, but they will need Pirates to drop points and the extra points from the Sundowns disciplinary decision to go their way. Amazulu beat SuperSport 2-0, Bloem Celtic beat Polokwane 2-1 and Free State Stars and Baroka drew 2-2 (latest league tables and remaining league fixtures).
AB keeps RCB in contention
AB de Villiers showed how much he will be missed at the World Cup when he bludgeoned 82 off 44 balls to keep the Royal Challengers Bangalore playoff hopes alive last night. The former Proteas batsman smashed 82 from 44 to set up a 17-run win over the Kings XI Punjab in the IPL. De Villiers was controlled as he nudged the ball around at a run a ball until he reached 25, and then smashed 57 off the next 19 balls at three runs a ball. Over the final 11 overs De Villiers and Marcus Stoinis (46) added 121 runs – and 64 of those came in just the final three overs. The Challengers posted 202 for four and then restricted the Kings XI to 185 for seven, with De Villiers taking three catches for good measure. Adding to South African woes was the sight of Dale Steyn sitting on the sidelines watching. The key strike bowler for the Proteas was rested due to a shoulder niggle. Today’s match sees Kolkata Knight Riders taking on the Rajasthan Royals.
Cobras and Warriors go to the top
The Cobras and Warriors are top of the CSA T20 Challenge after victories over the Titans and Lions respectively last night. In Paarl, the Cobras beat their Pretoria visitors by three wickets with seven balls remaining, while the Warriors travelled to Johannesburg to humiliate the Lions by nine wickets. The Cobras top the table with 23 points, two ahead of the Warriors with the Lions two points further back. The Knights v Dolphins match was abandoned without a ball being bowled, leaving the Dolphins three points behind the Titans in the race for the final playoff place with two rounds of matches remaining.
Comrades coverage in danger
After SABC and Athletics South Africa failed to agree on terms to broadcast the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon at the weekend, Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa has revealed the traditional all-day Comrades Marathon broadcast could be in danger as well. It was a surprise when it was announced the Two Oceans would not be broadcast – and sponsors Old Mutual were surely not too amused to find they were not getting wall-to-wall TV coverage. Bonitas is the major sponsor of the Comrades.
THE BIG READ
Time wasting could become a waste of time
Time wasting in football has become a serious issue and is turning the final few minutes of matches into a bizarre spectacle highlighting the worst parts of the sport . Rugby has removed the issue completely with independent time-keepers making deliberate time wasting by players a complete waste of time. Former professional referee Keith Hackett, writing for the Telegraph, makes a strong argument for football to follow rugby’s lead in Football needs to introduce independent timekeepers to combat time-wasting.
TWEET OF THE DAY
WHAT YOU SHOULD WATCH
Golf goes a fair way to taking over
Golf takes centre stage on our TVs today with three tournaments and four separate broadcasts. The day starts with tennis from Barcelona before the morning session of the European Tour’s Trophee Hassan II golf tournament just after midday. The afternoon session of the same golf tournament starts at 4.30. Then it is over to America where the broadcast from the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans begins at 9.30pm and is followed by the LPGA’s Hugel-Air Premia LA Open just after midnight. Today’s pyjama cricket sees Kolkata Knight Riders taking on the Rajasthan Royals and the only football action is from Spain where three LaLiga matches will fill the channels, including Real Madrid’s clash with Getafe.
Today’s live TV highlights
|Tennis||SS8||11:00-19:00||ATP World Tour 500:
Barcelona Open BancSabadell Day 4
|Golf||CSN SS5||12:30-14:30||European Tour:
Trophee Hassan II Day 1 AM
|Cricket||SS2||16:20-20:30||Vivo Indian Premier League T20:
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals
|Golf||CSN SS5||16:30-19:30||European Tour:
Trophee Hassan II Day 1 PM
Matchday 34: Sevilla vs Rayo Vallecano
|Football||SSM SS6||20:20-22:30||LaLiga Santander:
Matchday 34: Real Sociedad vs Villarreal
Matchday 34: Getafe vs Real Madrid
|Golf||CSN SS1||21:30-00:30||PGA Tour:
Zurich Classic of New Orleans Day 1
HUGEL-AIR Premia LA Open Day 1