Cynical fouls, Champions League final best bits and Liz Cambage dunking
1) While cynical fouls to deny a goalscoring opportunity should be vehemently discouraged as being against the spirit of the game, they also happen to be one of the entertaining things in football. Step forward Bournemouth’s Chris Mepham, who managed to mis-control a pass, turn slower than milk, and rugby tackle Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo to the ground on Saturday, with the defender shown a red card in the crucial semi-final second leg of their Championship play-off. Mepham, formerly of Brentford, was serenaded off the pitch by the home supporters: “He’s one of our own!” Depleted Bournemouth would go on to lose 3-2 on aggregate, with Brentford set to face Swansea at Wembley in the final this weekend.
Next, we recount Natiya Pantsulaya’s spectacular bodycheck/WWE move on Northern Ireland’s Sarah McFadden, when it seemed a lot easier for the Ukrainian midfielder to just play the ball. Arsenal’s Willie Young chops down Paul Allen in the 1980 FA Cup final and receives just a yellow card. This scissor-lunge, when Wolfsburg were losing 2-1 to Hoffenheim back in March, is quite the mood from Paulo Otávio. Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde earned the man-of-the-match award in the Spanish Super Cup for his scything ‘tackle’ on Álvaro Morata, then of Atlético Madrid in the final minutes of extra time. And who can forget Ole Gunnar Solskjær running half the length of the pitch to hack down Newcastle’s Rob Lee, who was clean through against Peter Schmeichel?
2) The French Open returns to Roland Garros, just seven months after the Covid-affected 2020 tournament. Here are the highlights from Iga Swiatek’s win over Sofia Kenin in the women’s singles final, while Rafa Nadal beat a familiar foe, Novak Djokovic, in the men’s. His victory means the Spaniard has now won 100 matches at the tournament, and 13 (!) titles.
3) Highlights from every Champions League final from the past 21 years … in 20 minutes.
4) Eklent Kaci slams in a regulation pot at the World Pool Masters … or so he thinks. Wojciech Szewczyk suffered similar rejection from the pool gods against Jayson Shaw.
5) The WNBA’s Liz Cambage has been in the news this week after an “inappropriate and offensive” comment from a Connecticut Sun coach towards the London-born Australian. But let’s focus on the brilliance of the All-Star: here she is in 2018, setting a new WNBA record with a 53-point game, training with NBA Champion JR Smith and becoming the first woman to dunk at the Olympics.
6) After showing a stunning turn of foot to run down Budda Baker in the helmet and shoulderpads of Seattle Seahawks, people asked: could the sizeable DK Metcalf hold his own in a decent 100m race? The answer came at the recent Golden Games athletics meeting in California.