Hot and Cold: A sting in the tail as Watford reach Wembley

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Watford's Troy Deeney celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with team-mates during the FA Cup semi final match at Wembley Stadium, London.

It’s been yet another week of sporting drama, but who’s up and who’s down in the world.

Hot and Cold looks back at the highs and lows of the last seven days of sport…

HOT

Watford’s Gerard Deulofeu celebrates scoring his side’s third goal of the game during the FA Cup semi final match at Wembley Stadium, London.

 

WATFORD FC

The FA Cup continuously gets written off, so it was encouraging to see Watford FC give the competition a much-needed shot in the arm with one of the most stirring comebacks in the history of the competition. The old magic is still there as Javi Gracia’s side reached only the second FA Cup Final in their 121-year history.

 

GERARD DEULOFEU

Watford’s Gerard Deulofeu celebrates scoring his side’s third goal of the game during the FA Cup semi final match at Wembley Stadium, London.

One of the most inspired substitutions of all time? Watford’s tricky winger can often infuriate with his inconsistency but delivered the goods as the Hornets advanced to the FA Cup Final. They will need the Spaniard to show off any trick in his locker to give them a fighting chance against heavy favourites Manchester City.

 

TIGER ROLL

The little horse with a huge heart thrilled racegoers all over again at Aintree by becoming the first horse since Red Rum to win back-to-back Nationals.

Tiger Roll ridden by Jockey Davy Russell on the way to winning the Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase during Grand National Day of the 2019 Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse.

 

Could he possibly match Red Rum’s record by winning a third? If he wins next year, he would be the first horse in the history of the race to win three on the spin.

 

HIBERNIAN FC

Paul Heckingbottom watches on.

 

The Hibees sealed a Top Six spot for the Scottish Premiership split in some style as they claimed the derby day bragging rights and sealed a famous comeback victory over Edinburgh neighbours Hearts at Tynecastle. Daryl Horgan was the hero as his two goals helped Paul Heckingbottom’s side leapfrog their rivals.

 

JAMES CRACKNELL

Putting ‘fortysomething’ men to shame across the UK, the former Olympic champion showed an old dog can still show new tricks as at age 46 he became the oldest person to win the Boat Race as part of Cambridge’s crew this Sunday.

James Cracknell of Cambridge (right) after winning the Men’s Boat Race on the River Thames, London.

 

Next stop Tokyo 2020 for the Olympics? Knowing Cracknell, it would be dangerous to rule it out…

 

COLD

 

BORUSSIA DORTMUND

Is the title dream now dead for Dortmund? The odds are now stacked against them after they were drubbed 5-0 by reigning champions Bayern at the Allianz Arena.

firo: 06.04.2019 Fuvuball, football: 1. Bundesliga, season 2018/2019 FC Bayern Munich Muenchen – BVB Borussia Dortmund 5: 0 BVB Marco Reus, disgust, disappointed, disappointment, disappointed, dissatisfied, whole figure, whole body, body, usage worldwide

With just six games to go, Bayern are now firmly in the box seat to retain their title with their destiny now in their own hands.

 

LEANDER DENDONCKER

A harsh lesson for the 23-year-old Belgian in just how cruel football can be if you mess up your timing. With his Wolves side on the brink of reaching this year’s FA Cup Final, Dendoncker’s reckless lunge to allow Troy Deeney to slot home an equalising penalty in the 94th-minute shifted momentum decisively in Watford’s direction.

Leander Dendoncker pictured during a friendly game between Belgium and Egypt, as part of preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, on June 6, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Vincent Van Doornick/Isosport/Pro Shots/Sipa USA)

 

To his credit, Dendoncker fronted up, admitting his ‘stupid foul’ was costly.

 

TONY PULIS

Could one of football management’s most experienced campaigners finally be losing his magic touch after nearly 30 years in the dugout.

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis during the Carabao Cup, Quarter Final match at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough.

 

Many expected the Welshman to comfortably guide Middlesbrough towards automatic promotion after his appointment in December 2017, but Boro appear to be going backwards after Pulis’ side slipped to another damaging defeat away at Swansea. Boro are still only four points off the play-offs, but with other teams around them hitting form, an extended Championship campaign beyond 5th May currently looks unlikely.

 

RICHARD JOHNSON

The barren run goes on for one of the most respected jockeys on the National Hunt circuit as Johnson’s ride Rock the Kasbah fell at the 19th fence to make it 21st time unlucky for the 41-year-old in the race every jockey wants to win.

Rock The Kasbah ridden by Richard Johnson (left) clears the final flight before going on to win The ’40 Years of Keltbray’ Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle during the Clarence House Chase Raceday at Ascot Racecouse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday January 23, 2016. Julian Herbert/PA Wire.

 

Horse racing fans will be hoping Johnson will stick around the circuit a little longer to finally realise his dream.

 

VICTORIA AZARENKA

A frustrating week for former world number one Azarenka. The Belarusian gamely battled through to her first singles final in three years at the Monterrey Open but agonisingly had to withdraw through injury during the final. Her withdrawal with a calf injury handed Spain’s Garbine Muguruza victory by default.

Mar 21, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Victoria Azarenka of Belarus hits a forehand against Caroline Garcia of France (not pictured) in the second round of the Miami Open at Miami Open Tennis Complex. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA

 

All image sources from PA Images

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