Hot and Cold: The sprint to the finish continues in the Premier League
Who’s Hot and Cold in the world of sport this week?
We look at who’s had a weekend to remember, and one to forget…
PREMIER LEAGUE TITLE RACE
Like two heavyweight boxers trading blows all the way to the 12th round, both Liverpool and Man City refuse to give an inch as both sides continue their battle for the title. It’s been five years since the title race went down to the final day. The two teams left in the race that season? Man City and Liverpool…
Every Championship matchday is a rollercoaster ride for fans of teams involved in the race for promotion. For long stretches of Saturday afternoon, Leeds fans could be forgiven for parking their dream of trips to Old Trafford and the Emirates next season.
It’s been a near-flawless start to the Yorkshireman’s tenure at Easter Road, with Friday night’s 2-1 win away at Livingston his sixth in eight games at the helm. Heckingbottom will now look to build on his strong start by aiming to help the Hibees rubber-stamp a top half finish with the SPFL split due in two games’ time.
Has momentum shifted back in Borussia’s direction after this weekend’s Bundesliga games? It didn’t seem that way as they were made to wait for their win against a dogged Wolfsburg side, before a Paco Alcacer double in extra-time made sure of the points. With nearest rivals Bayern stumbling away at Freiburg, Lucien Favre’s side is now back in the box seat in Germany.
Luck played its part, but the reigning champ is off the mark quickly in his bid to defend his title after taking full advantage of Chares Leclerc’s reliability issues in Bahrain. Encouragingly for F1 fans, it looks as if the British driver will have a far harder fight on his hands this season with Leclerc just one of several promising young drivers in the field threatening to overthrow the old order.
It’s the nightmare scenario we’ve all had to face at one point or another – waking up just minutes before you have somewhere important that you need to be. It’s not often that happens in the world of sport, however. Credit to snooker star McGill, then, for brushing off a mad sprint to the table after oversleeping to claim a groggy but effective 6-4 win over Nigel Bond at the China Open.
NEIL WARNOCK & PREMIER LEAGUE REFEREEING
Look closely enough and the steam is probably still rising at the Cardiff City Stadium with Neil Warnock rightly frothing after seeing his relegation-threatened Cardiff side suffer from a number of contentious refereeing calls as they slipped to a damaging 2-1 home defeat to an off-colour Chelsea. Could he become VAR’s most unlikely advocate?
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The Premier League dream is over for now for Huddersfield who succumbed to the inevitable as results went against them this weekend. Expect a busy summer at the John Smith’s Stadium with Jan Siewert’s long-term future at the club still an issue up for debate – albeit he has received a vote of confidence from Terriers’ chairman Dean Hoyle.
The World Cup winner hasn’t enjoyed his best season in a Spurs shirt and is once again under scrutiny after his late error gifted Liverpool a precious winner in their title charge. Could Tottenham be tempted to sell in the summer if an opportunity presented itself?
Five red cards in one season. That’s a dubious record for any player, never mind a striker. The mercurial Rangers man once again lost his cool at the worst possible moment – in an Old Firm Derby – with his moment of madness arguably all but handing Celtic the keys to this season’s Scottish Premiership trophy.
Steve McClaren leaving a Championship club by mutual consent – like Christmas, it seems to come round earlier every year. In fairness to McClaren, managing a QPR side that works on a shoestring was never going to be an easy task for any manager, but one win in 11 matches proved to be the end of the line for the former England boss.
F1’s new superstar Charles Leclerc certainly showed he’s a force to be reckoned with in Bahrain, with a maiden career victory cruelly snatched from his grasp through no fault of his own after his car began to suffer engine failure with just 10 laps to go. The Ferraris certainly look as if they have the speed to take the Constructors’ title for the first time since 2008 – but do they have the reliability?
And finally, David Price was handed victory in bizarre fashion at the M&S Bank Arena last weekend as opponent Kash Ali resorted to biting the home favourite in their all-British heavyweight bout in Liverpool. Ali was rightly disqualified from the fight and has since had his boxing licence suspending pending a hearing into the incident.
All image sources from PA Images
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