Weekend Talking Points: Another Wales fightback and stoic Man United
Dave Burin | 25 February 2019
Round-up of the major sporting action
From a substitution shambles in the Carabao Cup Final to Welsh glory in the Six Nations, the weekend’s sport had one dramatic twist after another.
Meanwhile, the Premier League saw title hopefuls Liverpool frustrated by their fiercest rivals, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men showing their tough side.
We round up all that and more below…
Comeback kings Wales silence the visitors
With victory over Ireland under their belt, and a dominant head-to-head record against Wales, many were tipping Sunday’s clash to be the next step toward a Grand Slam for Eddie Jones’ men.
But England became the latest victims of a second-half Wales resurgence. While the comeback against France (from 16-0 down at half-time) was arguably a bigger task, fighting back from 10-3 down against England will live longest in Welsh memories.
Tries from Cory Hill and Josh Adams in the final 15 minutes clinched the game, though the ever-reliable Gareth Anscombe also deserves praise.
The ice-cool kicker tucked away all three of Wales’ penalties, to keep them within touching distance before the Tries secured an eventual 21-13 win. That means a Grand Slam at 2/1 is still very possible for Warren Gatland’s men.
Ole’s men show their solid side
One first-half injury is unlucky. Two is scarcely believable. Three? That’s virtually unheard of. But Manchester United saw Juan Mata, Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard (himself a sub) all exit the field with injuries before the break.
That saw the Red Devils’ game-plan go out the window. Facing arguably the best side in the country in Liverpool, that could have seen the hosts crumble. But in reality, the visitors were hardly given a sniff.
United sat deep, allowing the Anfield outfit possession, but were outstandingly organised and composed at the back. Especially Luke Shaw, who kept the usually lethal Mohamed Salah silent.
This wasn’t a classic for the neutral, but United fans will undoubtedly be the happier. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are 11/10 to finish in the top-four.
Knicks win avoids unwanted history-making
It was victory in the nick of time for the New York Knicks on Sunday. Ahead of tip-off, they were one game away from tying the longest home losing streak in NBA history (held by the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks).
In surprising fashion, the Knicks’ triumph came against a San Antonio Spurs side currently on course for the playoffs.
Sunday’s 130-118 win Madison Square Gardens was spearheaded by Damyean Dotson, who racked up an impressive 27 points. But this was a team effort – with the Knicks recording their highest points total in regulation time this season.
Having also won in Atlanta on Valentine’s Day, there’s finally a bit more for fans to love about this Knicks side.
Does Kepa-gate highlight rift at Chelsea?
Chelsea’s dream of lifting the Carabao Cup ended in farce yesterday, with their shoot-out defeat to Manchester City overshadowed by the antics of Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The situation appeared to show the Blues stopper refusing to be substituted off in lieu of Willy Caballero ahead of penalties, with boss Maurizio Sarri looking increasingly animated.
Both Kepa and Sarri have moved to quash rumours of a rift, but all does not look rosy at Stamford Bridge. Out of both cups, and sixth in the Premier League, could this spell the end for Sarri?
Sancho shines again for Dortmund
The pressure on Borussia Dortmund could hardly have been higher ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Bayer Leverkusen.
Winless in three ahead of kick-off, with a resurgent Bayern Munich drawing level on points, the visit of in-form Leverkusen was arguably the biggest test of their title mettle yet.
Once again, it was the man from South London – Jadon Sancho – who stepped up to do the business in an eventual 3-2 win.
The teenager provided a beautiful cross for Dan-Axel Zagadou’s opener, before restoring BVB’s lead to 2-1 with an ice-cool volley. Three points clear with 11 games remaining, we make Dortmund 11/10 to win the Bundesliga.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing