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Top Sports Stories (10th – 12th March)
A hat-trick of assists for Trossard and a tight Golden Boot race in France. We touch on these as well as the Chicago Bears trading away their #1 pick in the upcoming NFL draft, but before that, you can head to our Cross Sport Specials page to check out some of the special offers we have.
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Leandro Trossard Gets A Hat-Trick Of Assists For Arsenal
New signing, Leandro Trossard was the star of the show as the Gunners picked up yet another London derby win on Sunday. The ex-Brighton man assisted all 3 first half goals for the visitors as they eased their way to 3pts against Fulham. Gabriel Magalhães, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Ødegaard all got on the scoresheet in a game that also featured the return of Gabriel Jesus, who had been away from 3 months with an injury.
Martinelli, Saka and Ødegaard have now scored 10+ league goals this season, making them the first trio of teammates to achieve this in England this season and the second in Europe’s top 5 leagues after Neymar, Mbappé and Messi. The Gunners also became the first side in English Football League history to win 5 consecutive away London derbies without conceding a goal.
Chelsea Finally Get An Away Win
Chelsea’s great start to the month of March continued as they recorded their 3rd win in 7 days. This time, however, it was even special as it came on the road – something they had not done since the 25th of October against RB Salzburg. Relegation strugglers, Leicester City, put up a decent fight and even drew level through Patson Daka after Ben Chilwell had opened the scoring for the visitors. But, Graham Potter’s side had too much quality to keep up with. Kai Havertz scored the winning goal deep in the first half stoppage time, before Mateo Kovačić put the game beyond doubt to secure 3 vital points. For Leicester City, it was their 16th loss of the season – the joint highest in the league and the most Brendan Rodgers has suffered in his career. With 12 games left, things could get worse for the Foxes.
Casemiro Sees Red… Again
The Brazilian midfielder received his marching orders just after the half-hour mark as United had to settle for a point at home to Southampton. His tackle on Carlos Alcaraz was adjudged to be a yellow card by Anthony Taylor, but later upgraded to a red after a VAR check by Andre Marriner. The game also saw the ball hit the woodwork on three occasions, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka had an important goal-line clearance to save what would have been a Scott McTominay own-goal.
It is the 2nd straight red card for the Brazilian in his club career and he’ll now miss 4 games – Fulham in the FA Cup as well as Newcastle, Brentford and Everton in the Premier League. Southampton meanwhile has kept 3 clean sheets in their 4 league games under new manager, Rubén Sellés, more than they had in their previous 34 games (2). Despite the improvement, they remain bottom of the league, but some believe it’s not for too long now.
Liverpool Brought Down To Earth
Perhaps still riding the high of their historic win over Man Utd, the Reds showed up to the Vitality Stadium looking confident and a lock for the win, but they never recovered from Philip Billing’s early opener. Mo Salah had a glorious chance to pull them level from the penalty spot, but his effort was uncharacteristically well off target. It was Bournemouth’s 2nd ever competitive win over Liverpool since a 4-3 victory in 2016 and their second ever clean sheet against the Reds – their first since January 1968. Liverpool now head to Santiago Bernabéu to face Real Madrid in the 2nd leg of the Champions League Round of 16.
Dortmund Slips Up In Bundesliga Title Race
Dortmund’s failure to beat bottom of the table Schalke in the Revierderby has seen them slip 2-points behind Bayern Munich as the race for the Bundesliga title heats up.
Twice Dortmund took the lead through Nico Schlotterbeck and Raphaël Guerreiro and twice the hosts pulled level through Marius Bülter and substitute, Kenan Karaman. Elsewhere, Bayern came out tops in an 8-goal thriller with a 5-3 over Augsburg. João Cancelo, Benjamin Pavard (2), Leroy Sané and Alphonso Davies all got in on the action for the Bavarians as they opened up a lead at the top. Both German heavyweights will meet in Munich in 2 weeks in what should be the decider.
Senegal Wins U-20 AFCON
Senegal’s dominance of African football continued as they were crowned U-20 AFCON champions on Saturday in a 2-0 victory over The Gambia. Goals from Sulaymane Faye and Mamadou Camara were enough to secure their country’s first-ever U-20 Africa Cup of Nations title after losing the 2015, 2017 and 2019 finals. The victory comes after Senegal’s AFCON victory last year, as well as triumphs for the Beach Soccer national team and home-based national teams in continental tournaments. It’s been a remarkable 12-month period for Senegalese football, and the newly crowed U-20 Champions will be hoping to replicate their success on the world stage when they head to Indonesia for the U-20 World Cup later this year.
Golden Boot Race In Ligue 1
With PSG opening up a 10-point lead in France following their late victory over Brest, there’s little to no excitement over who will be crowned champions, as it feels like only a matter of time before it becomes official for the Parisians. The more interesting race, it seems, is the chase for the Golden Boot, with both youngsters and veterans pushing for it. Jonathan David’s hat-tick for Lille in their draw 3-3 at home to Lyon took him to 19 league goals for the season – level with Kylian Mbappé who scored the winner against Brest. Jonathan David felt he had won it for Lille as they had a 3-1 lead with 7 minutes left, but Alexandre Lacazette, just back from injury, grabbed a very late brace to rescue a point for Lyon. Lacazette is now on 16 goals for the season, the same as Folarin Balogun (who scored this weekend) and Monaco’s Wissam Ben Yedder.
Victor Osimhen’s Napoli Beats Atalanta
Victor Osimhen came out tops in the battle with countryman, Ademola Lookman, but neither of them got on the scoresheet. Osimhen had multiple chances to grab a goal, including an overhead kick in the 2nd half, but it just wasn’t his day. He did however provide the assist for Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who dazzled his way through the Atalanta defense before firing past Juan Musso.
Amir Rrahmani made it 2-0 through a header as Napoli opened up an 18-point lead over Inter, who had lost 2-1 to Spezia on Friday. With Man Utd in desperate need of a striker next season, there is a high chance the Red Devils would aggressively pursue Victor Osimhen, whose physicality, ruthlessness and intelligence makes him a perfect fit for English football. The one bad news for Napoli in their win over Atalanta was the injury sustained by Kim Min-jae. The South-Korean defender has been one of the best in his position and has been as vital to Napoli’s phenomenal season as Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia. They’ll be hoping he can make it back in time for the game against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Sam Kerr Scores In Victory Over Man United Women
In the WSL, Chelsea leapfrogged Man Utd to grab the 1st position, thanks to a 1-0 victory. Heading into Sunday, Man Utd were top of the league and had the best defense and joint-best attack, but Sam Kerr’s quality was the difference between both sides. The Australian forward had numerous chances to put her team ahead but recently crowned FIFA’s The Best Goal-Keeper, Mary Earps made it difficult. Her breakthrough came after she executed an audacious and brilliant chip from Lauren James’ equally perfect through ball, which left Earps rooted to the spot.
Steph Curry Leads The Warriors To Victory Over The Bucks
In a meeting between the last two NBA champions, Steph Curry’s 36pts led the Warriors to a 125-116 over the Bucks in OT. With Giannis Antetokounmpo out with an injury, the Warriors were slight favorites for this game, and they delivered the win, but they had to do it the hard way. 7 different Bucks had double figures in scoring, including Jrue Holiday who came alive late in the 4th Quarter.
He hit what he thought was a game winning 3-pt shot with seconds left on the clock before Steph Curry answered with a 3-pt of his own to tie the game and followed that up with a rare block on Holiday to send the game to overtime. From then on, the visitors clearly ran out of gas, as the Warriors outscored them 14-5 to grab the win.
Denver Nuggets Lose 3 In A Row
The Western Conference leaders have lost 3 games in a row as they dropped to 46-22. Even more surprising is two of those losses coming on home court, where they had only lost 4 times in 34 games before that. The Nuggets, who have the best home record in the league, lost to the Bulls on Thursday in Denver and followed that up with a surprise loss to the tanking Spurs. Sunday’s loss was perhaps the most unexpected. MVP front-runner, Nikola Jokić put up 35 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists, but it still wasn’t enough against a rejuvenated Brooklyn Nets side. Before this stretch, the Nuggets had won their last 28 games in a row in which Nikola Jokić had recorded a triple-double, but now, they’ve lost their last two games with the Serbian also posting a TD in the loss to the Spurs.
Chicago Bears Trade #1 Pick To Carolina Panthers
The Chicago Bears have traded their first-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for wide receiver DJ Moore and four draft picks. The Bears, who already have Justin Fields as their quarterback of the future, were expected to trade their No. 1 pick to the highest bidder, which turned out to be the Panthers. In return, the Bears will receive Carolina’s first-round pick at No. 9, a late second-round pick (No. 61), a first-round pick in 2024, and a second-round pick in 2025. This trade provides the Panthers an opportunity to choose a quarterback who can lead them into the future, with Bryce Young from Alabama and C.J. Stroud from Ohio State as the current favorites. The Panthers have a successful history of drafting quarterbacks at No. 1, with Cam Newton from Auburn being their 2011 selection and winning the MVP award in 2015 and leading the team to a Super Bowl appearance the same year.
Jalen Ramsey Is Heading To Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have made a significant move by obtaining All-Pro Cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Rams. The trade involved a third-round pick in this year’s draft and Tight End Hunter Long.
In the past year, Miami has been aggressively pursuing high-profile stars, such as All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill and Pro Bowl linebacker Bradley Chubb. They now plan to pair Ramsey with another All-Pro cornerback, Xavien Howard. With Aaron Rodgers expected to join the Jets in the next few days barring a collapse in negotiations, the AFC East could be one of the toughest divisions in the entire NFL.
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