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The Sunday Stroll: 22 May, 2011

May 22, 2011

Obviously the big news last weekend [other the trivial matters of the two Manchesters sealing the league title and FA Cup] was that West Ham lost to Wigan and were relegated to the Championship, reportedly sacking manager Avram Grant in the tunnel within minutes of the final whistle. The Hammers have had a fairly abysmal season in fairness, so it didn’t come as too much of a surprise. Hefty rebuilding job for anyone who fancies it. Anyways, they lost 3-2 to Wigan thanks to a late, late Charles N’Zogbia goal for the Latics – a goal which gives Wigan themselves a shot at staying up if results go their way later on today. Truly brilliant scenes unfolded as the goal went in and the final whistle blew – the essence of why fans watch football…

Incidentally, you can also see our choices and have your say on our 2010-11 English Premier League ‘Team of the Season’ via this link

Over on two wheels, Casey Stoner won the Le Mans MotoGP race at an absolute canter, helped somewhat by Marco Simoncelli and Dani Pedrosa’s controversial mid-race coming-together. However, he wasn’t helped in morning practice by French rider Randy de Puniet who, whilst touring the circuit at slow speed, inadvertently pulled into the Aussie rider’s path who was travelling at full-speed. Casey narrowly avoided colliding with the rear of the Frenchman’s bike, and remarkably then aimed a punch at de Puniet in retaliation (see below), which in turn earned Stoner a hefty fine…

We can’t condone Stoner’s actions obviously, but we couldn’t help but be reminded of Nelson Piquet and Eliseo Salazar’s infamous contratemps at the German Grand Prix of 1982. Classic Murray Walker: “And take that, oh my goodness…”

And whilst we’re on the subject of fisticuffs, Leicester’s Manu Tuilagi picked up a five-week ban for thumping England winger Chris Ashton last weekend. Quite a thump too (the third one, that is)…

In the tennis world Novak Djokovic continued his good form by beating Rafa Nadal and take the 2011 Rome title; Djokovic had earlier seen off Andy Murray in an epic semi-final. Below are the highlights from the final though, and you’ve got to say that Djokovic is looking good to claim another Grand Slam or two this year…

Staying in Italy and the Serie A was wrapped up in AC Milan’s favour last weekend. So what do you do when your team wins the league title? Well, if you’re Kevin-Prince Boateng you bust out a Michael Jackson tribute in the middle of the San Siro obviously. Lights down…

For those that don’t know, Sampdoria were relegated to Serie B – quite astonishing considering they finished fourth last year. Then again, perhaps allowing their main strikers Giampaolo Pazzini and Antonio Cassano to leave in January wasn’t the best of ideas. Hmm. Anyways, here’s Sampdoria skipper Angelo Palombo looking somewhat dismayed over his beloved club’s demise…

After the drama of Real’s Sergio Ramos dropping the Copa del Rey the other week, what odds on it happening again? Yep, Ajax’s Maarten Stekelenburg jumped on the trophy-dropping bandwagon whilst parading the Eredivisie trophy (Ajax’s 30th Dutch title incidentally) out of the roof of their team bus. The worrying thing is that he’s actually a goalie…

Miroslav Klose may be the joint second highest scorer of World Cup goals but even he can miss the odd sitter…

Proving that shocking misses aren’t just confined to the greats of world football, St Patrick’s winger Sean Stewart gets in on the act against Athlone Town the other day. In the last minute as well… luckily his team had a 3-0 lead though…

Last week we highlighted the good side of Mexican football. Turns out, there’s a slightly less appealing too…

Reassuringly, it would appear to still have its plus points for some…

It also transpire that Man City aren’t the only club to have adopted the ‘Poznan’ as a celebration of choice. Celtic have been taking time out from protecting Neil Lennon to get in on the rather bizarre act of bouncing up-and-down with your backs to the action…

From joy to outright despair, and it would appear Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal team have a lot to answer for. A completely sane reaction to your team throwing away a four goal lead…

But then again, when your team regularly defends with the coordination of an Afghan training camp, what do you expect…

Finally from the world of football, here’s Swansea’s Darren Pratley scoring from the half-way line to seal a play-off semi-final victory over Forest earlier this week. An encounter with Reading in the final awaits…

Rain delay at a College baseball game… time to head for a quick practice swing or pitch perhaps?? Maybe even a chance to crack on with your studies even?? Or, indulge yourselves with a spot of improvised human jousting. Yes, definitely the latter…

Here is an unfathomably ridiculous sport from Japan. We believe it’s called Bo-Taoshi, which translates simply as ‘Pole Pull-Down’. Brilliant though…

And here’s a belting goal from Mikael Granlund of Finland against Russia in the IIHF World Championship Semifinal last week. Sterling effort sir…

And here are two professional tennis players trying to talk about the serious issue of a charity tennis match last year…

IPL slogathon action for you now, with an Adam Gilchrist-inspired KXIP racking up the runs against RCB. Gilly bagged 106 off just 55 balls, not bad going…

And whilst we’re on the IPL, Aussie legend Shane Warne bowed out from the game of cricket with a ten-wicket win for his Rajasthan Royals side over Mumbai on Friday. Warnie’s been a true great over the years, 708 Test wickets and countless torturings of English batsmen undoubtedly amongst his many favoured memories. Here are some of his favourite wickets…

The F1 circus visits Spain this weekend, the race later on this arvo with Mark Webber on pole for Red Bull ahead of team-mate Seb Vettel, and both miles clear of the pack on practice and qualifying lap times. Across the Atlantic and it’s the famous Indy 500 this weekend. A reminder of just how dangerous the sport is came in Pole Day Qualifying earlier with this monster wall-contact for Ho-Pin Tung. He was fine, his car less so…

So anyway, to Survival Sunday we go. All the best to the teams and fans involved… and to those associated with Blackpool, regardless of the outcome today, thanks for entertaining!

As ever, thanks for reading. All the best folks, SportingBlogs

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