Weekend results: wins for Arsenal, Churchill and Groves
Frank Monkhouse | 30 May 2017
What was worth noting from the weekend
Football dominated the weekend sports columns, as the FA Cup and Scottish Cup finals took place. There was a real surprise at Wembley as Arsenal upset Chelsea to become the tournament’s most-successful side, but at Hampden Celtic did as expected, beating Aberdeen to cement their treble.
Elsewhere, and boxer George Groves finally got his hands on a world title, paving the way for some big fights this year at super middleweight. We flick through the weekend’s results, picking out the lessons worth learning.
Arsene Wenger still has plenty to offer
We should find out this week if Wenger plans to stay at the Emirates, or if the long-serving manager is out the door and off into the sunset. The Frenchman has come in for no end of criticism from fans this season, but ended Saturday with a wry smile on his face, having won yet another FA Cup final. Arsenal are now the competition’s most-successful side, while Wenger is its highest-ranked manager.
Lesson – Wenger still has much to offer at the top level of football
Kell Brook down and out
World welterweight champion Kell Brook was beaten on Saturday night at Bramall Lane by American hot-shot Errol Spence Jr. The Sheffield scrapper was stopped by hard-hitting middleweight Gennady Golovkin in London last time out, suffering a broken eye socket in that defeat. He appeared to be suffering the effects of that almost a year on, going down in both the 10th and 11th. Special K has now been stopped in each of his last two.
Lesson – Unbeaten Errol Spence Jr looks the future of the welterweight division
Celtic on the up
Brendan Rodgers has completely turned the fortunes of Celtic around, seeing the Glaswegians win a treble this season, while making real progress in the Champions League. In Dembele and Sinclair they have a pair of players capable of competing at a much higher level than the Scottish game, and there’s plenty of exciting young talent coming through too. The Hoops completed the treble on Saturday, beating Aberdeen 2-1 in the Scottish Cup final, Tom Rogic scoring an injury-time winner.
Lesson – Celtic really are invincible under Brendan Rodgers
Churchill at the double
Aidan O’Brien’s three-year-old star Churchill did the business at the Curragh on Saturday to lift the Irish 1000 Guineas and polish off the double, having claimed the English version of the race at Newmarket earlier this month. He was favourite in the market before the off, but there were serious question marks hanging over his chances due to the softer than expected ground. In the end, it made little difference as, under the ride of Ryan Moore, he was a handy winner, beating Thunder Snow by 2 ½ lengths. When hitting the front, the race was over.
Lesson – Churchill just keeps getting better and better
Groves a world champion
George Groves finally got his hands on the world title that has eluded him for so long. The 29-year-old stopped hard-hitting Russian Fedor Chudinov in six rounds on Saturday to earn the WBA world title, and he promised fans that having the gong will make him a better human being, and a better fighter. St George put his demons to bed at Bramall Lane, and he now has some big names to consider, not least a rematch with fellow Brit James DeGale.
Lesson – Groves vs DeGale now a real possibility