Best of the Weekend – Dec 31 – Jan 1

UFC 207 got the weekend off to a rousing start, before Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud provided the sting in the tail. We look back at the highlights of the sporting weekend that was.

Rousey to retire?

Without doubt the most spectacular sporting action of the weekend took place in Las Vegas on Friday evening when former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was absolutely destroyed by Brazil’s Amanda Nunes in just 48 seconds.

Given Rousey’s stature in the sport, the result prompted a social media feeding frenzy as people waded in to pass judgement on Rousey, questioning her desire, to her perceived lack of respect, to her choice of coach.

Leaving other sports stars to chime in in her defence.

To all the people who loves to kick a person while they're down.

A photo posted by Jon Bones Jones (@jonnybones) on Jan 1, 2017 at 6:14am PST

Rousey has yet to comment on whether she will retire following her second loss in a year, but whatever she decides, her role in popularising a sport that is now a global phenomenon should not be forgotten.

Chelsea record 13th win

The Chelsea juggernaut rolls on after the Blues’ managed to beat a spirited Stoke side for a record equalling 13th straight win in a single season.

It wasn’t easy for Antonio Conte’s men as Stoke twice fought their way back into the game with equalisers, but Chelsea stayed strong to win thanks to stunning goals from Willian and Diego Costa.

Chelsea now need just one more win to equal Arsenal’s Premier League record of 14 straight wins, but with one small obstacle standing in their way – they face an in-form Tottenham side at White Hart Lane on Wednesday in a game that promises some belated New Year fireworks!

Olivier Giroud stung into life

The wrap of the weekend wouldn’t be complete without an honourable mention for Olivier Giroud.

The broody Frenchman has not enjoyed the best of seasons and has spent most of it on the bench thanks to the form of Alexis Sanchez, who has been deployed as a out-and-out striker.

But he came back with the perfect response, scoring the goal of the year just two days into 2017, thanks to a stupendous back-heel flick that sailed into the top corner and left the Crystal Palace keeper grasping at thin air.

It was a truly remarkable goal that deserves all the praise lavished upon it.

With goals like that, maybe Wenger should consider dropping Giroud more often.