It was a history-making few days in sports. A group of minnows sealed a famous victory, a boxer has walked away from the sport to make radical changes in his country, and pro rugby saw the first female referee take charge of a game.
The biggest upset in Champions League history occurred as Moldovan minnows Sheriff Tiraspol beat titans Real Madrid 2-1 at the Bernabeu Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Spanish side battered the defence of Tiraspol all night but to no avail, thanks in no small part to their heroic goalkeeper Giorgos Athanasiadis. An early header also meant Real trailed 1-0 going in at halftime.
Karim Benzema eventually slotted a penalty to level the scores but the back and forth continued until breaking point. In the 89th minute, Sebastian Thill thundered home a sensational strike to send his teammates into jubilation. Tiraspol held firm in added time for the final whistle to send them into ecstasy.
Lionel Messi’s Parisian goal drought was brought to win with a wonderful effort against Manchester City on Tuesday night. A lovely 1-2 with Mbappe before firing it into the top corner even earned the praise of Pep Guardiola, who called Messi “impossible to control”.
Elsewhere, Liverpool dominated Porto 5-1 with Mo Salah bagging a brace while Luis Suarez was the man of the moment as he netted a late goal to see his side Athletico Madrid seal a 2-1 victory over AC Milan.
Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquaio has announced his retirement from boxing in order to focus on his political career. The former multi-division champion, who is a senator in his home of the Philippines, declared his decision on his social media.
As someone who has risen his way from poverty to the top of his field, Pacquaio will now aim to offer the same opportunities to other people. He has made it clear he intends to run for president of the Philippines one day.
Meanwhile, Oleksandr Usyk expects a rematch clause with Anthony Joshua to activate sometime in February. This has come after Usyk’s supremely dominant and confident display in their heavyweight bout.
The Ukrainian earned unanimous acclaim for his display while Joshua was deemed unusually slow and laboured. It was a huge occasion in sport yet the actual event was deemed pretty one-sided.
History was made this weekend as Sara Cox became the first female referee of a men’s Premiership Rugby match. She has previous experience of being a touch judge in the Prem before but this was the first time she has taken charge as she held the whistle during Worcester’s clash with Harlequins.
Cox has received praise for her control of the game, and she has gone on record hoping achievement in sport will inspire more people, male and female, to pick up refereeing.
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