It’s been another highly charged sporting week that has now seen the majority of top European football leagues draw to a close. With titles secured, and final positions confirmed, this week’s newsletter has all of the best sporting action from the last seven days covered.
Bayern Munich win eleventh successive Bundesliga title in wild final weekend
A topsy-turvy Bundesliga season came to an end this past Saturday with Bayern Munich somehow winning their eleventh straight Bundesliga title.
Heading into the final weekend the maths was simple, Borussia Dortmund simply had to beat Mainz to ensure they would be crowned champions, whereas Bayern simply had to win and hope that Mainz could do them a favour in order to secure an eleventh successive crown.
With Bayern needing a miracle, their afternoon got off to the perfect start with Mainz taking the lead in Dortmund thanks to a goal from centre back Andreas – Hanche – Olsen.
However Bayern’s joy would be short lived as just five minutes later Dortmund had the chance to level things up from the spot.
Up stepped Sebastien Haller, but the big striker saw his strike saved. With many inside Dortmund’s famous Signal Park stadium sensing it wasn’t going to be their day, their misery was compounded when Karim Onisiwo doubled the visitors lead and news spread of Bayern took the lead in their match against FC Koln thanks to Kingsley Coman.
Needing to produce something special in the second half or hope that Koln could fight back against Bayern, Dortmund were offered a ray of hope when Raphael Guerreiro was able to produce a neat finish to get the score back to 2-1.
A huge twist would then follow, as Koln equalised against Bayern meaning that all of a sudden it was Dortmund who would be crowned champions.
With the Dortmund fans praying that their side could find two quick goals, or Koln could hold on, disaster struck as Jamal Musiala scored a superb solo goal to restore Bayern’s lead.
With the title slipping away, Niklas Sule was able to level the Dortmund game at 2-2 but it was a case of too little too late.
With Bayern holding on, the final whistle went in Dortmund with Bayern being crowned champions by a point.
Dortmund’s loss was a hammer blow considering how well they have been playing all season. Further bad news is expected for Dortmund with captain Jude Bellingham expected to depart for Real Madrid later this summer.
PSG win Ligue 1, huge summer awaits
PSG wrapped up another Ligue 1 title this past weekend thanks to a 1-1 draw against Strasbourg.
Knowing that one point from their final two games would be enough to secure the title, a Lionel Messi goal was enough for PSG to get over the line.
The title is the minimum of the PSG board’s expectations, but it looks to be a summer of change for the French champions. So often the big spenders, the days of huge transfers look to be a thing of past.
Despite leading his side to the title, it is likely that Christophe Galtier will be fired after this week and it’s widely expected that both Neymar and Messi will be following him out of the door.
With transfer funds set to be limited it is set to be a summer of change in Paris.
Benfica win first Primeira Title in four years
Benfica have won their first league title in four years thanks to a 3-0 win over Santa Clara on the final day of the Portuguese season.
Heading into the final day of the season just a point ahead of rivals Porto, Benfica knew that any slip up could be enough for Porto to steal the title away.
With a big 90 minutes ahead, any Benfica nerves were eased when Gonçalo Ramos found the back of the net after just eight minutes, a further goal from Rafa Silva put Benfica firmly on their way.
2-0 up and cruising, the title was secured when Alejandro Grimaldo netted from the spot to spark wild and jubilant scenes.
Despite Porto beating Guimaraes 3-0, there was nothing there great rivals could do as Benfica would go onto close out the match and lift their 38th title.
Final day Premier League drama see’s Leicester and Leeds relegated
With Manchester City having wrapped the Premier League title up weeks ago, all eyes were on the bottom of the table to see who would join Southampton in getting relegated into the Championship next season.
With destiny in Everton’s hands, they knew a win against Bournemouth would be enough to secure their fate in the league next season – regardless of what relegation rivals Leeds and Leicester did in their matches against Tottenham and West Ham.
With Leeds trailing at half time to Spurs and Leicester 1-0 up at the break, it was the Foxes who looked like they would be staying up, however the narrative would change in the 57th minute as Abdoulaye Doucoure smashed in a shot to give Everton a vital 1-0 lead.
With Leeds going onto lose 4-1, their fate was sealed, however with Leicester holding onto win 2-1, a late Bournemouth goal would see them stay up at Everton’s expense.
With ten minutes of injury time played, Everton were able to hold off Bournemouth and prolong their stay in the Premier League.
Despite winning the title back in 2016, and the FA Cup just two years ago, a season in the Championship now awaits Leicester who also face the prospect of losing several of their biggest stars in a mass clear out this summer.
Luton secure Premier League spot after dramatic Playoff win
Luton were able to hold their nerve to win the richest game in football as they beat Coventry on penalties in the Championship Playoff Final to secure their place in next season’s Premier League.
With the game finishing 1-1 after extra time, both teams scored their first seven penalties. With Luton able to score an eighth, the pressure was mounting on Coventry and their fate was sealed when Fankaty Dabo could only blast his effort over the bar.
The win capped a remarkable rise for Luton who have managed to go from playing non-league football to the Premier League in just ten seasons.
Verstappen cements class in rain effected Monaco Grand Prix
After last week’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix was washed out due to severe weather, the Formula 1 bandwagon rolled onto Monaco for one of the most iconic races of the season.
A notoriously hard track to pass on, pole position is key for victory and it was Verstappen who was able to put his car at the front of the pack.
Able to maintain his lead from the start, the Dutchman was able to win from the front despite the best efforts from Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin.
With rain impacting the race late on, a layer of jeopardy was added but with Verstappen over eight seconds in front, he had a big enough lead to hold his rivals off.
In what is becoming a procession for Red Bull, the win kept their streak alive of having won every race in the season.
Formula 1 next heads to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix, where Verstappen and Red Bull will take all of the beating once again.
Denver awaits winner of Miami and Boston
Earlier in the week the Denver Nuggets were able to secure their place in the NBA Finals for the first time in their history when they beat the LA Lakers to secure a 4-0 series sweep.
Many were expecting the Nuggets to face off against the Miami Heat, but Miami’s 3-0 lead has been eroded with the Eastern Finals headed to a seventh and final game.
They say that elite sport is often settled by the finest of margins and that was certainly the case in game 6.
With the Celtics trailing by 1 and with just three seconds remaining, Boston point guard Marcus Smart threw up the attempted game winning shot only for it to hit the rim. With the ball taking a wicked deflection, Derrick White was able to rebound the ball and scoop it into the net on the buzzer.
With White securing the vital basket to give the Celtics the dramatic victory, all eyes turned to the replay to see if he had beaten the buzzer and got the layup off in time.
Replays showed that the ball had left his hand with just 0.1 seconds of the game remaining. The basket was good and the Celtics have the opportunity to become the first side in NBA history to reach the Finals having been 3-0 down in the conference finals.
What’s on this week
Despite the football season coming to an end, there is still plenty of action to look forward too this week
Monday 29th May – the final of this year’s IPL will see the Chennai Super Kings take on the defending champions the Gujarat Titans. Originally meant to have been played on Sunday, the game was wiped out due to bad weather
Monday 29th May – all eyes will be on Boston and whether the Boston Celtics can complete history and become the first side to win a conference finals despite being 3-0 down in the series.
Monday 29th May – June 10th – the second major of the tennis season kicked off on Sunday with this year’s French Open. With both draws wide open the tournament looks set to be one of the most dramatic in years.
Wednesday 31st May – the Europa League final between Sevilla and Roma will take place in Budapest with Sevilla looking to win the competition for an eighth time and Roma looking for their second successive European trophy after victory in last year’s Europa Conference League.
Thursday 1st June – Sunday 4th June – the PGA Tour rolls onto the Memorial where Billy Horschel will be looking to defend his title from 12 months ago.
Friday 2nd June – the most famous horse race in the world for fillies takes place with the Epsom Oaks. Savethelastdance is expected to start the race as the heavy favourite.
Friday 2nd June – the NBA Finals will begin with the Nuggets squaring off against the Heat or Celtics.
Saturday 3rd June – is the turn of the boys in the Epsom Derby. Arguably the most prestigious race in the world, Military Order is due to start as the slim favourite.
Saturday 3rd June – it’s a day of cup finals in the UK with Manchester City hoping to secure the second leg of their treble against city rivals Manchester United. In Scotland, Celtic will be bidding for treble glory against Inverness.
Sunday 4th June – Spanish Grand Prix – all eyes will be on Barcelona to see if Red Bull can keep up their unbeaten start to the season Formula 1 season.
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