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Weekend round-up: Guardiola-effect on England, Whyte win, Lewis loses

| 26.03.2018

In the absence of top flight football, there was still a wonderful weekend across the spectrum of sport.

International football, boxing, F1, and cricket were all in the headlines as the Premier League took a much-needed break.

Guardiola-esque goal

England recorded an impressive 1-0 win over the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Friday night. Gareth Southgate’s side won by a solitary goal from social media star, Jesse Lingard.

The goal itself was superb and a nod to the effect Pep Guardiola is having on English football.

It all started with Jordan Pickford playing a short passing combination with John Stones. That took out two Dutch players. The next pass then took out four.

Suddenly England were on a rapid break before Lingard stroked in from the edge of the box. The team selection and formation were also both reminiscent of a Guardiola XI. Can it be replicated against Italy at Wembley?

Wonderful Whyte could be on for Wilder

A fresh, lean, mean Dillian Whyte easily disposed of Australia’s Lucas Browne to retain his WBC silver heavyweight title.

The Brixton-based boxer was levels above Browne, forcing the ex-bouncer into a sixth-round stoppage. In his post-fight interview, Whyte took the time to call out heavyweight kingpin Deontay Wilder.

A super fight between Wilder and Anthony Joshua has been mooted. But, at this juncture, it’s looking unlikely. In the interim, a fight between Wilder and Whyte would whet the appetite in a big way.

It would certainly be intriguing to how the American would handle the ‘body snatcher’.

Lewis vexed by Vettel in Australia

The 2018 Formula One season kicked off in dramatic fashion as Sebastian Vettel won the Australian Grand Prix.

Despite comfortably leading for a large portion of the race, Lewis Hamilton was somehow beaten by his great rival.

The emergence of the Virtual Safety Car allowed Ferrari to pounce as Vettel pitted, incredibly re-emerging ahead of Hamilton.

The Mercedes outfit couldn’t recalibrate or recover and the Scuderia – lead by Vettel – saw out the race to win the opener in Melbourne. It sets the tone for what could be a cracking season of F1 racing.

Howzat? Aussies up to no good – again

Australia’s Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera being a naughty boy in Saturday’s test with South Africa.

Apparent images of the Aussie fast bowler tampering with the ball were circling social media like wildfire in the aftermath.  Both Bancroft and Captain Steve Smith incredibly admitted afterward that it was a premeditated plan, too.

And it’s arguable it wasn’t the first time, either. England also had suspicions of similar behaviour in the final Ashes test last year.

The pair have been handed a one-test suspension and had their match fees stripped. But surely a sterner punishment is needed to stop further similar incidents?

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Cian Carroll

Starting life as a football columnist for his local paper in Dundalk, Cian has written for a number of media outlets with pieces published in The Birmingham Mail and Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo. A lover of football, GAA, boxing, rugby and MMA, he’s a big Aston Villa and Dundalk fan. He can be regularly spotted on various mountain tops.