Sporting actions have resumed thick and fast after the break since mid-March. From tennis to European football, there is a lot of games to go round. Silverware is also being won. Here is a look at some of the top sports news stories this week.
Napoli Defeat Juventus to Win Coppa Italia
Napoli have won their first silverware since European football resumed after lock down measures were eased. They were crowned the 2019/2020 Coppa Italia champions after they beat Juventus 4-2 during penalties on Wednesday’s finals which was played behind closed doors at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
The game was forced into the lottery of penalties after both teams failed to score in 90 minutes. Arkadiusz Milik scored the winning spot-kick after Paulo Dybala had his first goal attempt for Juve saved, before team-mate Danilo blazed the second over. It is Napoli’s first piece of silverware since 2014 and their sixth Coppa Italia title in their history.
The result means Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri’s wait for a first major domestic honour goes on. Earlier in the season Juventus were beaten by Lazio in the Italian Super Cup. Also, Wednesday’s final win was Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso’s first major trophy as a manager.
Man City Defeats Arsenal As EPL Resumes
Manchester City made a winning return to the Premier League with a comfortable 3-0 victory over 10-man team, Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium.
Raheem Sterling capitalised on an error made by David Luiz to give the lead on the stroke of half-time with his first goal of 2020 and when Luiz was dismissed for hauling down Riyad Mahrez early in the second half, Kevin De Bruyne converted the resulting penalty to a goal.
During the 11 minutes of added time, Phil Foden came off the bench to wrap up the points after Eric Garcia was stretchered off following a nasty collision with Ederson. On a landmark day for English football, the game began with a powerful message, as players and staff from both teams took a knee immediately before kick-off to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
US Open, To Hold Behind Closed Doors
The main hurdle for holding the US Open in its scheduled time slot, was cleared Tuesday, and it is to begin on the 31st of Aug. 2020 in New York City. The New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is satisfied with the U.S. Tennis Association’s plan to put on the event, with strict health and safety protocols to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
“The numbers today look very good,” Cuomo said, referring to the flattening of the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re excited about the US Open being held in [the New York City borough of] Queens. It will be held without fans, but we can watch it on TV. And I’ll take that.”
The ATP and WTA have also signed off on the plan. This means that unlike the spate of exhibition-style events that have popped up around the world since the tours suspended play in mid-March, the US Open likely will offer rankings points as well as prize money.
UEFA Sets August Date For UCL, Europa League Returns
Europe’s Football governing body, UEFA has announced that the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will be played as a straight knockout tournament in Lisbon, Portugal in August.
All these ties will be a single-leg fixture. The games will be split between Benfica’s Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (which will host the final) and Sporting CP’s Estádio José Alvalade.
A decision is pending on whether the remaining round of 16 second legs will take place at the home team’s stadium or in Portugal. The Estádio do Dragão in Porto and the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques in Guimarães will host the four outstanding second legs if required.
The 2019/20 UEFA Champions League has been on hold since Wednesday 11 March due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The revised schedule to conclude this season’s competition was confirmed following Wednesday’s UEFA Executive Committee meeting.
Thiem Wins Adria Tour
Novak Djokovic organized and hosted the Adria Tour in Belgrade, Serbia on Saturday. Hundreds of media personnel and fans attended the event. The initial press conference involved World No.1 Novak Djokovic himself with Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, and Grigor Dimitrov. Following the press conference, exhibition matches were organized.
There were two groups with four each for the matches. Each group followed a round-robin format and matches took place in two sessions. Dominic Thiem got his Adria Tour underway with a win over Damir Dzumhar. Unfortunately, Dzumhar retired just after 2 games. In the night session, Thiem saved three match points to beat Serbian Dusan Lajovic and entered the finals. He later beat another Serbian; Philip Krajinovic in the final to win the first leg of the Adria Tour.