Good Week/Bad Week

We take a look back on who fired and who floundered over the last seven days in the world of sport

By Alex Williams (@skysportsalexw).   Last Updated: 27/05/13 1:31pm

  • Share:
Arjen Robben: Scored the winning goal in the Champions League final to bury his demons

Arjen Robben: Scored the winning goal in the Champions League final to bury his demons

Sky Bet

A particularly packed week of sporting action has kept us all engrossed and has thrown up the usual stories of success and failure.

In fewer than 24 hours over Saturday and Sunday, Bayern Munich were crowned European champions, Carl Froch defeated Mikkel Kessler in an epic rematch and Nico Rosberg claimed victory in an eventful Monaco Grand Prix.

So we found ourselves spoilt for choice when selecting the most notable highs and lows from the past seven days and plenty of worthy candidates missed out on our pick of the week.

Good week

Arjen Robben

Robben could have been forgiven for thinking that Bayern Munich's heartbreaking defeat to Chelsea in last year's Champions League final was all down to him.

In Bayern's own stadium, the Dutchman missed a penalty in extra time before seeing his former club going on to lift the trophy after winning a dramatic shootout.

But 12 months later Robben went from villain to hero, producing an assist for Mario Mandzukic's opener against Borussia Dortmund before grabbing a dramatic winning goal in the dying stages at Wembley.

For a man who also missed a glorious chance in the 2010 World Cup final, it was the perfect redemption story.

Nico Rosberg

"This is where I've grown up, it's my home, and winning the Monaco Grand Prix is the highlight of any racing driver's career and for me a childhood dream."
Nico Rosberg

Mercedes were expected to dominate qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix, but it was less clear whether the silver arrows had the race pace to claim victory around the streets of the principality.

But in the end that did not matter as the German got away cleanly to retain his lead from pole position and was able to make his two tyre changes in neutralised conditions - first under the safety car and then during a red flag period.

With passing a near-impossibility in Monte Carlo, Rosberg's position did not come under threat from second-placed Sebastian Vettel and he cruised to the flag to win at Formula 1's most prestigious venue, even though the cloud of a controversial tyre test prior to the race is hanging over his team.

Carl Froch

Froch added the WBA super-middleweight title to his IBF crown as he recorded a unanimous points win after 12 pulsating rounds of combat with Mikkel Kessler at the O2 Arena in London.

The rematch between the two was billed as the most eagerly-anticipated fight to be held in Britain for several years and did not disappoint, with Froch and Kessler battling it out in brutal but admirable style in front of a fervent crowd.

Froch, who avenged his loss to the Dane in the pair's first meeting, cemented his place as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the UK and has now set his sights on bringing Andre Ward over for another blockbuster rematch.

Graeme Swann

Generally Headingley is viewed as a seamer's paradise, so much so that England's premier slow bowler Swann was dropped for last year's Test with South Africa at the Yorkshire venue.

No such decision was made this time around against New Zealand and the off-spinner responded by ripping through the Black Caps' middle order to put the hosts in total control of the second Test of the two-match series.

Swann made an instant impact after being brought on, bowling Dean Browlie and Martin Guptill through the gate before also claiming the scalps of Kane Williamson and Doug Bracewell to finish as the pick of England's first-innings bowlers with 4-42.

Bad week

Dylan Hartley: Will miss British & Irish Lions tour following ban

Dylan Hartley

The Northampton and England hooker is not exactly unfamiliar with the Rugby Football Union's disciplinary panel, but his latest indiscretion has proved to be especially costly.

Hartley will miss the British & Irish Lions' tour to Australia this summer after being given an 11-week suspension for verbally abusing referee Wayne Barnes in the Aviva Premiership final against Leicester.

The 27-year-old maintained that the alleged "cheat" slur was directed at opposite number Tom Youngs but Barnes was adamant he was the one being talked to.

Hartley, who was sent off as a result, could only watch from the bench as Leicester saw off his Saints to claim their fourth title in seven years.

Felipe Massa

The unforgiving Armco barriers claim several victims at Monaco each year, but for Massa to pile into the wall at exactly the same place in exactly the same manner on consecutive days beggared belief.

The Brazilian was forced to miss qualifying after a sizeable shunt in Saturday practice saw him lock both wheels on the run down to Sainte Devote, rebound off the outside wall before barrelling into the tyres.

His team put the crash down to driver error, even though Massa said it was "not an easy thing to happen". But it happened again in the race on Sunday as Massa once again buried himself in the Turn One barriers before being taken to hospital as a precaution.

It has been speculated that both shunts were due to car failure, and there has been no comment on the second accident from the Italian marque.

Steve Ganson

"We have reviewed the decision and it is clear that Steve made the wrong call."
RFL head of match officials Jon Sharp

Ganson is one of the most experienced officials in Super League, but his blunder during the Hull derby on Magic Weekend left those with a Kingston Rovers allegiance in a blind fury.

Acting as the video referee, Ganson awarded a decisive late try to Hull FC despite the replays showing that Chris Green was offside when he collected a Danny Houghton kick to touch down.

Both Hull KR coach Craig Sandercok and chairman Neil Hudgell were quick to express their dismay at the decision, while the Rugby Football League admitted the try should not have been awarded and stated that Ganson had made a personal apology to the Robins.

Michele Acquarone

Michele Who? Well, Acquarone is the managing director of RCS Sport, who are the organisers of the recently-concluded Giro d'Italia.

The Giro is arguably the toughest cycling event in the world, but this year has seen its famous mountain stages decimated due to unseasonal snow and freezing temperatures.

The planned grand finale of the race over Friday and Saturday was effectively reduced to a single climb - the Tre Cime di Lavaredo - as Acquarone's RCS Sport were forced into cancellations and route diversions due to the nightmare weather.

Home favourite Vincenzo Nibali emerged as the overall winner, but television audiences in Italy and around the world were left disappointed at the unavoidable lack of climbing.

  • Share:

Most Popular


Sky Cricket Podcast

Sky Cricket Podcast

Jacques Kallis and VVS Laxman join us to look ahead to the IPL and reflect on their stellar careers.

The all-new World Cup

The all-new World Cup

Fifty-over cricket was reborn in 2015 as records tumbled. Benedict Bermange charts the evolution...

Tim's World Cup A-Z

Tim's World Cup A-Z

Sky Sports News HQ reporter Tim Abraham has spent the last seven weeks in Australia. Here's his A-Z...