It was another action packed weekend of sport around the globe with Tiger Woods winning the Players Championship and Kaizer Chiefs all but wrapping the Absa Premiership title. Sir Alex Ferguson received the perfect send-off at Old Trafford as the Red Devils beat Swansea. Rafa Nadal and Serena Williams won in Madrid to send out an ominous warning ahead of Roland Garros.
Kaizer Chiefs are a single point away from winning their third PSL title. The Amakhosi hasa game in hand and, due to its superior goal difference, has all but wrapped up the title. Platinum Stars crashed to a 2-1 defeat to Golden Arrows leaving its hopes of a first-ever PSL title in tatters. Orlando Pirates is also licking its wounds after a 1-0 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns saw the Buccaneers relinquish the title to rivals, the Amakhosi.
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
Rio Ferdinand scored his first goal in five years as Manchester United gave Sir Alex Ferguson the perfect send off in his last match in charge at Old Trafford. The Red Devils, which were handed the Barclays Premier League trophy, beat Swansea 2-1. Ferguson thanked the fans for their support and urged them to support their new manager, David Moyes, who was also on the winning side as Everton beat West Ham 2-0. Daniel Sturridge scored a hat trick as Liverpool beat Fulham 3-1 at Craven Cottage. Norwich thrashed West Brom 4-0 while Tottenham Hotspur saw off Stoke 2-1 to move two points clear of Arsenal in fifth, three behind Chelsea in third. Sunderland will face a nervous final day of the season after a 1-1 draw against Southampton left the Mackems on 39 points, four clear of the third-from-bottom Wigan which has a game in hand. Newcastle United, on the other hand, beat QPR 2=1 to secure its place in the top flight next season.
Barcelona are Spanish champions for the fourth time in five seasons after coming from behind to beat Atletico Madrid 2-1, but the Catalan giants was confirmed as champions the night before as Real Madrid drew with Espanyol. It is the 22nd La Liga title for the team which was given a guard of honour by Atletico before kick off. Real Madrid now will pin its hopes on the Copa Del Rey trophy when it plays Atletico on Friday in the competition’s final.
AC Milan and Roma played to a goalless draw at the San Siro in a match marred by racist chanting. Sulley Muntari and Francesco Totti were both sent off in the clash that was halted shortly after half time due to racist chants from a group of Roma fans. The result means that AC remain in third, only two points above Fiorentina in fourth position with one game to play. It will need to beat Siena to secure Champions League football next season.
VODACOM SUPER RUGBY
The Southern Kings were the only South African team to claim a win in round 13 as the table-topping Vodacom Bulls enjoyed a bye, while the Sharks, Stormers and Cheetahs crashed to defeats. The Kings beat the Highlanders 34-27 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to record only their third win of the competition. The Kings, boosted by over 18 000 supporters at the stadium, claimed a four-try bonus point victory to bounce back from the humiliation last week against the Waratahs. Captain Luke Watson scored two tries in the victory and praised the supporters who turned up on the night.
The Stormers were humbled 21-15 by the Waratahs in Sydney. The men from Cape Town were expected to beat the Tahs, but made a costly defensive error to let the home side in for a late try, and its first win over the Stormers in several years. Allister Coetzee will be smarting after the defeat because it means that the men from Cape Town are in danger of missing out on a place in the playoffs. The Stormers are third on the SA Conference standings and tenth overall, eight behind the sixth-placed Crusaders, but still have a mathematical chance of reaching the top six. The Stormers was rocked by further bad news as Duane Vermeulen was ruled out for several weeks with a knee injury. The talented number 8 will also miss the Springboks June tests as a result.
The Sharks miserable run of form and luck continued in Brisbane as the 2012 finalists lost to the Reds 32-17. The visitors paid dearly for a slow start and were punished by the Reds which led 29-3 at the break, but the Sharks fight back was too late as John Plumtree’s side slumped to their sixth defeat in 11 games. The Sharks sit in fourth on the SA Conference and are a point behind the Stormers, but have played an extra game.
The Cheetahs produced an out-of-sorts performance as Naka Drotzke’s charges crashed to a 39-34 defeat to the Hurricanes in Bloemfontein. It means the Cheetahs’ hopes of winning the SA Conference have been dealt a massive blow as it sits five points behind the Bulls which has a game in hand. They find themselves seventh overall, two behind the ‘Saders which also has a game in hand. The Cheetahs was made to play as a disciplined Hurricanes outfit negated its rolling maul and scrum. The Cheetahs plays the Reds next and can’t afford to lose its next home game.
HSBC SEVENS WORLD SERIES – LONDON
The Springbok Sevens team failed to emulate its Glasgow Cup performance at Twickenham on Sunday as Paul Treu’s men lost 19-14 to hosts England in the Cup quarter-final. The Blitzbokke managed to hold onto second place overall behind overall series winners New Zealand, who went on to win the Cup Final against Australia.
FORMULA ONE – SPAIN
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso claimed victory in the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, much to the delight of the local supporters at Jerez. Alonso used a four-stop strategy and it paid off in the Spaniard’s second win of the season. It sees the former double world champion move up to third on the Drivers’ standings. Kimi Raikkonen was second with Alonso’s teammate Felipe Massa in third. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel was fourth and holds onto top spot on the standings, only four clear of Raikkonen in second.
SBK – ITALY
Marco Melandri won a thrilling Race 1 at Monza yesterday. It was the 11th win of the Italian rider’s career as he edged Tom by 0.085 seconds and by 0.107 seconds on Eugene Laverty. Race 2 belonged to Laverty who saw off Melandri and Sykes third. Syvain Guintoli leaders the SBK Rider’s standings, 13 ahead of Lavery.
TENNIS – MADRID
Eleven-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal stormed to his fifth title in seven tournaments after winning his third Madrid Masters. The Spaniard swept aside Stanislas Wawrinka 6- 2, 6-4 on the red stuff in Madrid to send out an ominous warning ahead of Roland Garros at the end of the month.
Serena Williams retained her Madrid Open title after beating Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-4. The result means that Williams holds onto her number one ranking for another week and is the 50th title of her singles career.
THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
Tiger Woods secured his fourth win of the year with a two-shot victory at the rain interrupted The Players Championship at Sawgrass on Sunday. The world number one carded a round of 70 to finish on 13-under par, two shots ahead of David Lingmerth, Kevin Streelman and Jeff Maggert.