Winners and Losers from the weekend: Arsenal’s FA Cup joy, while Juventus win Serie A
Michael Johnson | 3 August 2020
Our round-up of the highs and lows from another weekend of sporting action
A big weekend of sport saw Arsenal win their 14th FA Cup at the expense of Chelsea, while Serie A came to its conclusion as Juventus claimed their ninth successive league title.
Over in F1, Lewis Hamilton continues to dominate after a thrilling win on three wheels in the British Grand Prix.
We take a look at all this and more in today’s winners and losers…
While Arsenal are no strangers to an FA Cup win, this, in Mikel Arteta’s first season as a manager feels a little bit special. The former Arsenal captain masterminded wins over the trophy’s last two winners to claim a historic 14th FA Cup for Arsenal, securing them a Europa League spot and giving them a better chance of building a squad capable of competing for further honours.
With superb performances from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Dani Ceballos, Arteta will hope that trophy success will persuade both players that their future lies at Arsenal.
While it’s all looking a little bit easy for Hamilton and the Mercedes team this year, a punctured tire on the final lap of the British Grand Prix allowed the driver to demonstrate his calm under pressure on Sunday.
With Max Verstappen going hell for leather to close a 30-second gap between the two, Hamilton kept his Mercedes steady for the final lap, forced to slow his car to prevent structural damage. The deflated tire was barely attached as he crossed the finish line, now just five seconds ahead of Verstappen.
The win at Silverstone makes it three wins in four for Hamilton this season and 87 Grand Prix wins in total as he closes in on Michael Schumacher’s record of 91. Hamilton is now 30 points ahead of Mercedes teammate Valterri Bottas in the Drivers Standings with the Mercedes car looking unbeatable at present.
Hamilton can be backed at 1/20 to win the 2020 Drivers Championship.
They may have sealed the title when winning 2-0 against Sampdoria several weeks ago but Juventus will be pleased to bring the season to a close with their ninth successive Serie A win. Now they can aim to extend their historic run to ten titles in a row.
Juventus understandably took their foot off the pedal in recent weeks, as their attention turned to the upcoming Champions League quarter-final tie with Lyon, as they look to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg. Juventus are currently 8/11 to progress to the semi-finals and 16/1 to win the competition.
However, losing 3-1 to Roma on the final day of the season does leave a slightly sour taste in the mouth – with their first loss at home in just over two years.
The American golfer claimed victory in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, after starting Sunday in fifth. He now has 13 PGA Tour victories to his name and goes into the PGA Championship as world no. 1, winning titles at a pace only matched in history by Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
Thomas is 9/1 to win at the TPC Harding Park, making him joint-favourite with Brooks Koepka.
Their attempt to win 10 Scottish titles in a row got off to the perfect start with a 5-1 victory over Hamilton on Sunday, with Odsonne Edouard’s hat-trick giving them every hope that this will be another winning year.
Celtic are currently 2/5 to win the Scottish Premiership this season.
While this was always going to be a transitional season for Chelsea and not one without positives, the FA Cup looks like an opportunity missed for Frank Lampard’s team, undone by familiar problems at the back and a lack of bite in midfield.
While Kepa has deservedly drawn the eye for the wrong reasons and is to blame for some of Chelsea’s problems at the back, Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger were culpable on Saturday, with rash challenges that handed Arsenal the impetus, firstly with Azpilicueta’s over-aggressive challenge that gave Arsenal a penalty, followed by Rudiger’s misjudged attempt to block off Hector Bellerin that left his defensive partners overly exposed.
In truth had Christian Pulisic remained on the pitch, it could have been a different story, after scoring one and going close even after receiving the hamstring injury that ultimately ended his game. With Pulisic and Timo Werner up top next season, there’s little doubt Chelsea will be an attacking threat, but it’s the other end of the pitch where most of their problems lie.
Their next challenge sees them attempt to overturn a 3-0 deficit against Bayern Munich in the Champions League (including three away goals). They’re 25/1 to do so and qualify for the next round, or 200/1 to win the competition.
The Italian league’s perennial yo-yo club find themselves back in the second tier, after losing 3-4 to Parma on Sunday, as Genoa triumphed over Verona.
Lecce’s desperate attempt to stay in Serie A after being promoted in consecutive seasons saw a string of high-scoring games, with 26 goals in their final six fixtures, including wins over Udinese and Brescia.
Ultimately it wasn’t to be, though Lecce will be hopeful that it won’t take another seven years to return to the top-flight.
Cardiff City and Swansea City
The Welsh sides can take the small consolation of not having to see their rivals promoted, as both were defeated in their respective play-off semi-finals, with Brentford beating Swansea 3-1 on aggregate with Fulham victorious over Cardiff with the same scoreline. The Bees are 11/10 favourites for Tuesday’s play-off final at Wembley.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication