Best of the Weekend

Zac Elkin Zac Elkin

The beauty of sport is that it’s supply is endless. This weekend marked another hugely entertaining couple of days of action.

Here are the stand-out performances.

Champions of Asia


Southampton were quite magnificent against an out-of-form Everton as the Satins blew them away 4-1 in the Premier League on Sunday. On Saturday, there was a remarkable come-back in the Bundesliga as FC Schalke 04 banged-in four second-half goals to rescue a point against Borussia Dortmund after trailing 0-4 with less than 30 minutes remaining in the game.

However, the limelight belonged to the Urawa Red Diamonds as they lifted the prestigious AFC Champions League with a 2-1 aggregate win over Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal at Saitama Stadium.

The victorious campaign was sealed with a powerful Rafael Silva strike. The Japanese outfit have now won Asia’s premier club competition twice.

Back with a bang


In the world of combat sports, Sergey Kovalev produced an emphatic win over Vyacheslav Shabranskyy to regain the WBO light heavyweight championship.

In Kovalev’s first fight since his back-to-back defeats to Andre Ward, the Russian sent a strong message to his rivals.

Gastelum announces himself to the UFC


Elsewhere, in the UFC, Kelvin Gastelum stunned former middleweight champion Michael Bisping. The American dished-up a brutal first round knock-out after landing a flowing jab-upper-cut combination. However, it wasn’t enough to force the 38-year-old Briton into retirement.

“Kelvin is a great guy,” Bisping said afterwards.

“Unfortunately, it’s going to take a bigger pile of s**t to get rid of me.”

Changing of the guard at Mercedes?


The curtain’s closed on the 2017 Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi and it was Valteri Bottas who finished in the winner’s circle.

While the campaign will be remembered for Lewis Hamilton’s fearlessness and speed, Sunday could well be a decisive day for the future of the sport.

Can Bottas find a way of consistently producing performances like this? If so, he could be a serious threat to his teamate next year.

France fantastic in Lille


The Davis Cup sees tennis played in a completely different environment to what we are used to. That’s largely due to the behaviour of the fans.

The final was contested between France and Belgium and it was quite some spectacle. All square at 2-2, it went down to the very last match.

World number 18 Lucas Pouille made sure France won their 10th Davis Cup trophy with an emphatic 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 win over Steve Darcis.

This, France’s first title since 2001, was celebrated wildly by the 27,000 strong crowd at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Lille.

Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi


A strong field contested the UBS Hong Kong Open but in Australia’s Wade Orsmby there was a relatively obscure winner. The 37-year-old claimed his first ever European Tour victory by carding a brave 68 on Sunday.

He wasn’t the only Australian celebrating though as countryman Cameron Davis lifted the Australian Open in Sydney too.