02/06/2017 Issue 20

Promotion beckoned this weekend with many teams gaining, or indeed re-gaining, a place in the top tier of their respective domestic leaves. Tottenham Hotspurs women sealed promotion to the English Women’s Super League for the first time in their history with a 3-0 win over Blackburn Rovers. The goal of the season surely goes to Wendy Martin who scored a spectacular 30-yeard lob. Spurs came up-against Blackburn Rovers, who went unbeaten in their regular league season.

Hamilton retain their Premiership status with a 1-0 win over Dundee United. The teams drew 0-0 in the first-leg of the Scottish Premiership play-off final. A goal settled the tie, just as a single point settled Hamilton’s Premiership survival. Greg Docherty’s fine finish was the difference between relegation and reinstatement. Despite being sent off in the 77th minute of the play-off final first-leg, there has been some good news for Terrors striker Simon Murray who has secured a move away to newly promoted Hibernian. While United stay down, Murray moves up. It’ll be Premiership football for him, and a chance to get some revenge on survivors Hamilton.

Huddersfield beat Reading in a dramatic penalty shoot-out in their Championship play-off final against Reading on Monday to secure a place in the English Premier League. It is the first time Huddersfield have been in the top-flight since 1972. Huddersfield won 4-3 on penalties to secure promotion, following a 0-0 draw over 120-minutes.

Manager ins and outs.

Barcelona have appointed Ernesto Valverde as their new head coach on a two-year deal, with an option for a third. Valverde replaces the successful Luis Enrique. The former Barcelona striker left his four year post at Athletic Bilbao to take on the new role at the Camp Nou. Valverde has had successful spells at Olympiakos and Espanyol, who he lead to a UEFA Cup final in his first season in charge. Valverde has been a success following his return to Athletic Bilabo in 2013. He brought them silverware in 2015 winning the Supercopa de Espana, the clubs first trophy in 31 years following a 5-1 aggregate defeat of Barcelona, and lead them to a top four finish which sealed a place in the Champions League.

McCann IN! On Monday Neil McCann, interim Dundee manager, made the decision to leave his post as Dundee boss #McCannOUT. Five days later… Neil McCann has been named the new Manager of Dundee! Confused? So was Dundee’s faithful Twitter following. McCann steered Dundee clear of relegation after just 5-weeks as interim manager. It was believed he would be returning to punditry at Sky Sports, alas we saw one of the quickest turn arounds in managerial history which see’s him take the full-time position at Dens Park.

Luciano Spalletti leaves Roma after securing automatic qualification for the 2017 – 2018 Champions League. Genoa threatened to spoil Totti’s leaving party. It was a dramatic end of season encounter, which Roma needed to win to pip Napoli to the second place post. Danielle De Rossi scored in the 74th minute to take the lead, only for Lazovic to score a header 5-minutes later in a bid to spoil the party. But Diego Perotti was not going to let club legend Totti leave without a victory. The Argentine popped up in the final minute to seal a victory for Roma. Totti was in tears following a presentation to mark his final appearance for Roma in this his 25th year at the club.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle have parted company with manager Richie Foran following relegation from the Scottish Premiership. A single point was all it took to send Inverness down to the Scottish Championship, despite winning three of their last four games.

Roberto Mancini has been appointed as the new head coach of Zenit St Petersberg.

Thomas Tuchel has left Borussia Dortmund after falling out with the clubs senior figures. Where to you going?

Back to it then.

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has confirmed he will leave Torino after a season-long loan. Hart was forced out of Manchester by City boss Pep Guardiola, who told the England-international that he was “free to leave” the club back in August last year.

Rangers have signed former Aberdeen player Ryan Jack and Portuguese International Bruno Alves. The 35-year old was a member of Portugal’s 2016 winning European Championship side. He has previous club experience at Porto, Zenit St Petersburg and Fenerbache, and will be expected to make a big impact given his credentials. Rangers are really looking to build for the future; getting rid of 38-year old Clint Hill and a 32-year old Phillipe Senderos and replacing them with a 35-year old. Top drawer transfer there lads!

Celtic completed their domestic treble after winning the Scottish Cup Final in a nail-biting encounter against Aberdeen last Saturday. The Hoops ended the game 2-1 winners when Tom Rogic burst the net in the 92nd minute. A spirited Dons side took the lead through Johnny Haynes, only for the goal to be cancelled out by Celtic’s Stuart Armstrong two minutes later. This was the 37th time Celtic had lifted the world’s oldest trophy and the fourth time they had completed the domestic treble. It truly has been a special season for this magnificent team, how fitting that they have rallied together during the 50th anniversary of the clubs greatest achievement.

Surprise! Surprise! Arsenal were the victors in yet another FA Cup final. They beat opponents Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley to lift the trophy for the 13th time, the 7th for boss Arsene Wenger. Off the back of the FA Cup victory, and despite all of the criticism that the Frenchman has received over the season, Wenger has been offered and signed on a two-year deal. ARSENE IN or ARSENE OUT? Now you have your answer. More fun for me! Maybe not so much fun for the Arsenal faithful who have spent the season fighting the board, fighting the manager, fighting the players and fighting each other. Happy days! No domestic double for Antonio Conte, but at least he has restored Champions League football to the blue side of London with a Premier League title in tow.

Paris St Germain beat Angers 1-0 in the Coupe de France final to pick up their second piece of silverware this season.  Borussia Dortmund lifted the DFB Cup following their 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. Finally, Barcelona lifted the Cope del Rey with a 3-1 over underdogs Alaves. This was Barca’s third consecutive Copa del Rey triumph.

Portuguese cup final ball was delivered by drone. Incredible! Benfica won the Taca de Portugal final with a 2-1 victory over Vitoria SC.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed Atletico Madrid’s appeal against their summer transfer ban. The Spanish club had hoped to overturn the transfer ban which prohibits the registration of any new players until January 2018. The Court reduced the club’s financial penalty, but that won’t cause much celebration, given that the La Liga club won’t be able to sign any new players during the summer window.

 

ONES TO WATCH

Wendy Martin’s Super goal: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39956418

Blackburn Rovers Ladies unbeaten season: http://www.rovers.co.uk/fixtures-results/ladies/

Neil McCann OUT: https://twitter.com/dundeefconline/status/869199370381643777

Neil McCann IN: https://twitter.com/dundeefconline/status/870355383050743808

Neil McCann ‘quick turnaround’: https://twitter.com/StevenRobson/status/870365222988644352

Totti Farewell: http://www.asroma.com/en/news/2017/5/video-totti-s-final-day-in-full#tag=6Yic6Lry7eaoCkg4Qks4OK

Hamilton retain a place in the Scottish Premiership: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/40080415

Athletic Bilbao 4 – 0 Barcelona 2015 Supercopa win: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77qE4ex0cSE

Barcelona 1 – 1 Athletic Bilbao 2015 Supercopa win: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btSwhcnDvnU

Roma 3 – 2 Genoa (Totti’s last game): https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=roma+fc&oq=roma+fc&aqs=chrome.0.69i59l2j0l4.1056j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#sh=0

Hamilton 1 – 0 Dundee United: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/40080415

Aberdeen 1 – 2 Celtic Scottish Cup Final: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39984102

Ball delivered via flying man on hover board: https://twitter.com/gasparlanca/status/868865050638860288

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