India’s captain Virat Kohli (right) congratulates his New Zealand counterpart Kane Williamson after the match. Reuters
Both the Champions League and Europa League titles this season will be going to clubs from England. While Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur will be vying for Europe’s blue riband club football completion in Madrid come June 1, it will be Chelsea and Arsenal who will figure in the Europa final in Baku.
The best way to popularise a sport is to have wider participation, so the decision to have only 10 teams for the 2019 Cricket World Cup goes against that spirit. FIFA for instance is planning to expand its reach by holding a 48-team Football World Cup in 2026. The Cricketing governing body should have implemented
Though heavyweights India and Australia are out of contention, there is much to look forward to as England square up against New Zealand at Lord’s (‘Morgan wants England to relish pressure of World Cup final,’ July 13, Gulf Today). We will have a new champion as neither of the finalists have ever won the title.
India is on a roll. At the rate they are going, even if rains plays truant for the rest of the tournament, the Men in Blue should reach Lords comfortably (“Rohit stars as India beat Pakistan to maintain perfect WC record, June 17, Gulf Today). While it was a disciplined show of skill by the Indians, their counterparts failed in almost all departments of the game.
Nantes: Monaco’s problems deepened at Metz on Saturday when the 2017 champions slumped to a second successive 3-0 defeat in Ligue 1 and again finished with 10 men on the field. New recruits Wissam Ben Yedder and Henry Onyekuru both started up front but neither striker made an impression as Monaco
Manchester: Pep Guardiola called for VAR to be “fixed” after Manchester City were denied a last-gasp winner in their dramatic 2-2 draw against Tottenham on Saturday. Guardiola’s side failed to win for the first time in 16 Premier League games dating back to last season as a result of the latest VAR row.
Vigo: Zinedine Zidane indicated Gareth Bale will stay at Real Madrid after the Welshman led the way in a 3-1 victory over Celta Vigo on Saturday. Bale was back in the team and back in form at Balaidos, with Zidane’s eagerness to sell him this summer perhaps fresh in his mind as he teed up Karim Benzema’s opening goal.
Veteran full-back Maxime Medard scored twice as France hammered Scotland 32-3 in their first Rugby World Cup warm-up Test in Nice on Saturday. Medard, 32, winning his 57th cap, dotted down either side of the break for his first tries in more than three years. The fixture was the first outing of the side since