Sports Pulse: From UCLA to Duke, who will lead the coaches poll
Sports Pulse: From UCLA to Duke, who will lead the coaches poll
Alexandre Lacazette scores twice, including a wonderful team goal that looked as if it came from the Arsene Wenger era Gabriel Martinelli scores for the first time in 15 months for Arsenal to cap off a routine win Bukayo Saka is substituted with an apparent quad injury At the start of a season-defining week for Mikel Arteta, he could at least start with a straightforward victory and a long-awaited clean sheet to keep their hopes of European football alive. The bigger test of staying in the Europa League will come on Thursday when they face Slavia Prague after conceding an away goal in the first leg of their quarter-final. They head into the tie on the back of a win after Alexandre Lacazette two goals and Gabriel Martinelli showing why there have been calls for him to get more action. Arteta called it ideal preparation but that assessment also depends on Bukayo Saka and Martinelli recovering from knocks that forced them off in the second half. Both players give hope for the immediate and long-term future of this team. Keeping a first clean sheet in 15 matches will be a relief to Arteta. It was done with a makeshift backline and against a team whose Premier League relegation will soon be confirmed, but they all count. “This is ideal preparation, it’s a clean sheet after a long run and for the stability and spirit of the team it is great for Thursday,” said Arteta. “We had a cohesion around the team. We controlled the game and we played at a high level and scored some nice goals. From the start I had the feeling the guys were at it, we understood how we had to attack and press and we were efficient.” It was Sheffield United chasing the dream of Europe at this stage last season, while Arsenal have come accustomed to midweek trips abroad. They have not had a season without since the pre-Arsene Wenger year and it would be a dent to Arteta’s reign, not least the money available for the Spaniard to spend on players. His team can be exciting but have holes that need to be filled and attracting the right players will be more difficult without Europe. Such was Arteta’s fitness and illness problems, he picked Granit Xhaka as an ersatz left-back in a new combination to try and finally keep a clean sheet. At least it allowed Saka to spark further up the pitch and also see Martinelli start a Premier League game for the first time since January. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was suffering from flu, giving the young pair a chance to combine. Arteta’s issues have not been his talented forwards but keeping goals out at the other end. Many of the hosts’ defeats this season have been by a single goal, showing they have been battling in games despite failing to pick up enough points. They have normally made opponents work for their wins but lacked energy here. Newcastle’s win earlier in the day had pushed them closer to mathematical relegation but survival has not been part of the equation for a while. Saka’s No10 added another string to his bow heading into the European Championships this summer. Gareth Southgate likes his versatility, with his inclusion for team meetings despite being injured during the international break seen as a sign he wants him to be prepared for the tournament. He can add this role to full-back, wing-back and wide forward to his CV. It was no surprise that he was heavily involved in the deadlock being broken in the 33rd minute as Arsenal popped the ball around in front of the Blades penalty area. Saka made an incisive pass forward which was backheeled by Dani Ceballos, allowing Lacazette to finish. It was the France striker’s 14th goal of the season and a reminder of the Arsenal of old, attacking with confidence and an efficiency of touches.
Winners of six consecutive games, the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs will look to extend their hot streak against the slumping Montreal Canadiens on Monday. The Leafs are 9-0-1 over their last 10 games and are one victory away from matching the franchise's longest winning streak since an eight-game run during the 2003-04 season. The last-place Ottawa Senators threatened to spoil Toronto's fun last Saturday, but the Leafs held on for a 6-5 victory thanks to another huge performance from Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.
A precise Justin Rose tamed a windy Augusta National to hold a four-shot lead after the first round of the Masters on Thursday while defending champion Dustin Johnson was among a number of top players who struggled in challenging conditions. Rose, twice a Masters runner-up, had done little to excite the spectators on hand as he was two over after seven holes, but went on a scorching run to card a seven-under-par 65 that marked his career low at Augusta National. That left the 40-year-old Englishman four shots clear of Japan's Hideki Matsuyama and American Brian Harman.
The NBA expects to have arenas packed full of fans when the 2021-22 season begins, with the chances of it happening increased by a deal with a COVID-19 screening company, ESPN reported. With vaccine distribution in full swing, the NBA will look toward the airport screening company Clear to provide COVID-19 screening technology at home venues around the league. Each team will be allowed to determine how the screening technology will best serve its fan base.
Draymond Green was just being a good hype man for Kevin Durant.
Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics) with a 3-pointer vs the Minnesota Timberwolves, 04/09/2021
Frenchman Allan Saint-Maximin came off the bench to turn the game around for lowly Newcastle United as they came from behind to earn a vital 2-1 Premier League win at Burnley on Sunday. Burnley had led through an 18th-minute goal from Czech striker Matej Vydra and were well on top before substitute Saint-Maximin changed the game inside seven minutes with an assist and a goal. The result will ease the nerves of Newcastle fans whose team are now six points above Fulham, who occupy the final relegation spot.
Adia Barnes has a new gig and it isn't the open office next door at the Arizona facilities.
Carolyn Peck, the first Black female coach to win a basketball title, gave a piece of her net to Dawn Staley. Staley is carrying on the milestone.
Our countdown of the top 100 prospects in the 2021 NFL draft continues with No. 32 — one of the best athletic specimens you'll ever see, although he's very raw.
The Panthers are going in a different direction at quarterback after one failed season with Teddy Bridgewater as their starter.
A postponement isn't ideal, but one week is better than 2020's four-month postponement.
England spinner Dom Bess says he spoke to both captain Joe Root and head coach Chris Silverwood over how he was managed during the tour of India.
Five of the seven matches on the second night of WWE's biggest event, WrestleMania, were for championship belts, with three of them changing hands.
“I got a view on the big screen that he didn’t touch the plate.”
Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez is off to a torrid start in 2021 and could break an MLB record if he accomplishes this feat on Monday.
The Cincinnati Bengals come out ahead in a new mock thanks to their great spot.
A dramatic last-gasp winner from Stuart Dallas earned 10-man Leeds United a shock 2-1 victory against runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. A much-changed City side struggled to get going in the first half, with Leeds taking a surprise lead in the 42nd minute, full-back Dallas drilling the ball in off the post with the visitors' first shot at goal. Leeds' joy was short-lived, however, as a VAR intervention saw their captain Liam Cooper sent off just before the break for a dangerous looking challenge on Gabriel Jesus.
Two years after finishing one stroke behind champion Tiger Woods at the Masters, Xander Schauffele endured more disappointment when what he thought was a "perfect" shot finished in the water and cost him a chance of winning on Sunday. What had seemed to be an emphatic Hideki Matsuyama coronation only an hour earlier suddenly became interesting when Schauffele ran off four straight birdies to cut a seven-shot deficit to just two strokes with three holes left at Augusta National. The pressure was very much on Matsuyama as Schauffele teed it up at the par-three 16th with a chance to stick his ball close to the hole and ratchet the heat up yet another notch.
Another NL East game was decided by a controversial play at the plate.