This Week in Sports: IPL Postponed, English Teams dominate Europe, Lakers Struggle and more
It has been an eventful week with a lot happening across different sports and tournaments around the world. While some of these are reaching their conclusion, the others are too close to be called. This week we change our usual approach and cover these major events across different sports than just one story.
Indian Premier League 2021 Suspended
The Cricket carnival was back in India amidst a devastating second COVID wave. While the games were conducted with utmost precautions, the players were always treading a thin line. The teams were travelling between venues and hotels leading to a higher chance of exposure to the virus. The players eventually surrendered to the virus with multiple positive cases reported across all the teams. BCCI had to take a swift decision and suspend the league indefinitely from a safety perspective. The fans will have to wait sometime to see if the league resumes anytime soon.
English Teams take over Europe
Champions League football hardly disappoints and this week was no exception. Manchester City and Chelsea were clinical in their demolition of PSG and Real Madrid. It was a defensive masterclass with passing and finish of highest standards. The likes of which is hard to recall in recent memory from Premier League teams. This will be the third all-English Final in the competition’s history. While City would look to hold the trophy for the first time, Chelsea is not to be underestimated. The FA is also requesting UEFA to shift the venue from Turkey to England for the final as Turkey joins UK’s travel red list. Makes sense for an All-English Final.
In the sister competition, Manchester United’s routing of Roma reminded the fans of their 2007 performance against the same opponent. It was arguably one of the finest performances from a United team at this stage. United will like their chances against Villareal in the Final. Will we see the city of Manchester do a total sweep, let’s wait and watch.
The Black and Blues break The Old Lady’s streak
Inter Milan won the Serie A this week breaking Juventus’ 9-year winning streak. This marks their first scudetto since 2010 and 19th overall taking them ahead of Milan as second on the all-time winners’ list. Conte brought his winning touch to a gritty squad that managed to surpass all expectations and has lost only 2 matches in the league so far. The rest of the bunch is now trying to qualify for the Champions League but cannot afford to slip up any more. Atalanta, Juventus, Milan are all breathing down each other’s neck with only 4 matches left. The race to the top 4 could not be any tighter. While the rest struggles, Inter can rest easy and celebrate.
Defending Champions struggle to avoid play-in
The Lakers could not have seen their season turn out this different. As a defending champion and one of the favourites to retain their title, they find themselves in the dreaded play-in spot. Just to give a context, the teams in the play-in spot will have to play a mini-series to qualify for the 7th and 8th spot in the playoffs. It makes the race for the playoffs a bit exciting from a neutral perspective. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis still recovering from the injuries, it’s next to impossible to win the loaded Western Conference. Even if they manage to do so, they will most likely face the three-headed monster in Brooklyn in the Finals. It will be equivalent to boxing Mike Tyson right away after facing Floyd Mayweather for 12 rounds. It is stupid to bet against LeBron in the playoffs but these are exceptional times and all the odds are against him.
Tennis sweeps the Laureus Awards
The world no.2 Rafael Nadal won the 2021 Laureus Sportsman of the Year on the back of his 13th French Open title and 20th Grand Slam title. This comes after the day Nadal lost his third consecutive match against Zverev, the first on clay court. The fellow world no.2 Naomi Osaka won the 2021 Laureus Sportswoman of the Year. Along with it, Billie Jean King has also been honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award. Tennis is back on the world map with the superstars of the game making a name for themselves.
Manchester United-Liverpool League Fixture Postponed
In the wake of the European Super League, the fans are still not happy with the owners. To show their anger and frustration, a few United fans took it to the pitch before the match to protest against the owners. It took some time to escort the fans out of the ground. However, the teams could not continue with their fixture with the COVID risk. While the tensions might have eased over the last few weeks, the fans look in no mood to forgive the owners easily. The match has now been rescheduled to 13th May.