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Review of the sporting year - April

22 Dec 2010 23:42:27

Review of the sporting year - April

Another sporting year is coming to an end, and once again 2010 has delivered the goods. An Olympic Winter Games, a World Cup and so many other marvellous events have kept us enthralled for the past twelve months. Relive some of those memories with Sportsmail's monthly guide to another year to remember.  April1 Manchester United confirmed Wayne Rooney had suffered 'minor ligament damage' to his right ankle in the 2-1 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich, ruling him out for two to four weeks, less than most had feared. However, Barclays Premier League title rivals Arsenal were not so lucky as captain Cesc Fabregas was ruled out for the rest of the season with a broken fibula suffered in the 2-2 draw with Barcelona. Liverpool surrendered an early lead and had Ryan Babel sent off in losing the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie 2-1 away to Sporting Lisbon, while Fulham enjoyed a 2-1 victory over German champions Wolfsburg at Craven Cottage. Premier Rugby confirmed they would step in to settle a contract dispute between Northampton and Saracens, with both clubs having claimed to have signed prop Soane Tonga'uhia. 2 Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed striker Wayne Rooney would be out for two to three weeks with his ankle injury, easing Fabio Capello's fears over his availability for England at the World Cup in South Africa. The Premier League confirmed they had received an official complaint from West Ham over Fulham boss Roy Hodgson's decision to field a weakened team against Hull on March 27, a game Hull won 2-0 to go level with West Ham on 27 points in the Barclays Premier League table. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed central defender William Gallas was expected to miss the rest of the season with a calf injury. The news came in a bad week for Wenger as captain Cesc Fabregas also saw his domestic season ended by injury. 3 Chelsea leapfrogged Manchester United at the top of the Barclays Premier League following a 2-1 win at Old Trafford. David Haye retained his WBA world heavyweight title after John Ruiz's corner threw in the towel in the ninth round of their fight in Manchester. Cambridge won the 156th University Boat Race. Top dogs: Chelsea celebrate a vital victory at Old Trafford 4 Sebastian Vettel led from the first corner as he won the Malaysian Grand Prix ahead of Red Bull team-mate and pole-sitter Mark Webber and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg. Liverpool's faltering bid to finish in the top four suffered another blow as Liam Ridgewell's equaliser earned Birmingham a 1-1 draw against Rafa Benitez's side at St Andrew's. Former England cricketer Sir Alec Bedser died at the age of 91. 5 Tiger Woods insisted during a press conference ahead of the US Masters that he has never used human growth hormone (HGH) while recovering from injury. Newcastle United secured promotion to the Barclays Premier League after Nottingham Forest drew 0-0 with Cardiff in the Coca-Cola Championship. The Magpies celebrated promotion with a 2-1 home win over Sheffield United later in the evening. Peterborough were relegated from the Championship after a 2-2 draw at Barnsley. 6 Lionel Messi scored four in a masterful display as Barcelona beat Arsenal 4-1 at the Nou Camp to advance to the Champions League semi-finals 6-3 on aggregate. Inter Milan awaited the Catalan giants after their 1-0 win in Moscow saw them beat CSKA 2-0 over the two legs. Tiger Woods was drawn to play alongside KJ Choi and Matt Kuchar during his opening round at The Masters. Caster Semenya revealed she would return to athletics in Spain on June 24. 7 Manchester United were eliminated from the Champions League at the quarter-final stage after an away-goals defeat to Bayern Munich. United, with Wayne Rooney starting despite concerns over an ankle injury, won the second leg 3-2 at Old Trafford for an aggregate score of 4-4. Former Chelsea forward Arjen Robben netted the decisive goal. Martina Navratilova revealed she has breast cancer, describing the day she was diagnosed as her 'personal 9/11'. Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong was forced to pull out of the Circuit Sarthe-Pays de la Loire race after coming down with a viral intestinal infection. Read Sportsmail's Des Kelly on why no English club reached the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 20038 Liverpool beat Benfica 5-3 on aggregate in their Europa League quarter-final following a 4-1 win in the second leg at Anfield. Fulham beat Wolfsburg 3-1 on aggregate at the same stage after a 1-0 win in the second leg in Germany. Manchester United announced a deal with Chivas de Guadalajara to sign striker Javier Hernandez for an undisclosed fee, subject to a work permit. 9 David Lampitt, the Football Association's head of football integrity, was appointed as Portsmouth's new chief executive. Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina signed a new six-year contract. Audley Harrison claimed the vacant European heavyweight title with a 12th-round knockout of Michael Sprott at Alexandra Palace. 10 Don't Push It, trained by Jonjo O'Neill and ridden by Tony McCoy, won the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree. West Brom were promoted to the Barclays Premier League following a 3-2 win against Doncaster, while Portsmouth's relegation to the Championship was confirmed by West Ham's 1-0 win over Sunderland. Chelsea beat Aston Villa 3-0 in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. Read Marcus Townend on Tony McCoy's long wait for a Grand National winner Memorable: Tony McCoy crosses the line to win the Grand National 11Phil Mickelson won the Masters at the Augusta National for a thirdtime, recording a 16-under-par total to follow up wins in 2004 and2006. Lee Westwood was second, three strokes behind, while Tiger Woodswas joint fourth on his return from a five-month absence in the wake ofallegations about his private life. Portsmouth reached the FA Cup finalafter a 2-0 extra-time victory over former manager Harry Redknapp'sTottenham. Redknapp steered Pompey to FA Cup glory in 2008. ManchesterUnited were held to a 0-0 draw by Blackburn, hampering their hopes ofclaiming an unprecedented fourth Barclays Premier League title. 12Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor announced his retirement frominternational football in response to the terror attack on the Togoteam coach at the African Nations Cup, in which three people werekilled and two players were seriously injured. The Lawn TennisAssociation confirmed the appointment of Leon Smith as captain of theGreat Britain Davis Cup team, replacing John Lloyd. Burnley announcedthe suspension of midfielder Joey Gudjonsson for two weeks pending afull investigation following his comments about manager Brian Laws. AnIcelandic website quoted Gudjonsson questioning the team's spirit underLaws ahead of their 4-1 victory at Hull on April 10. 13 A first-half strike from Nicolas Anelka gave jittery Chelsea a 1-0 victory over Bolton and sent them four points clear of Manchester United at the top of the Barclays Premier League with four games remaining. Meanwhile, Hull's battle to avoid relegation suffered a major blow as winger Stephen Hunt was ruled out for the rest of the season with a foot injury. Darlington dropped out of the Football League despite claiming a 1-0 win over Coca-Cola League Two title-chasing Rochdale at Spotland. Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon's hopes of proving his fitness ahead of the World Cup suffered a setback after he broke down in training as he was closing in on a first-team return following a groin strain. How's this for size, Phil? Angel Cabrera helps Mickelson into the famous green jacket Read Derek Lawrenson's report on Phil Mickelson's marvellous win at the Masters14 A wonder goal by Danny Rose on his Barclays Premier League debut set Tottenham on their way to a 2-1 victory over Arsenal which severely dented their North London rivals' title hopes. Meanwhile, Aston Villa's faint hopes of finishing fourth suffered another setback despite Everton defender Phil Jagielka's injury-time own goal rescuing them a point in a 2-2 draw. Andy Murray lost his first clay-court match of the season in straight sets to Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Monte Carlo Masters. It was announced England will kick off their RBS 6 Nations campaign next year with a Friday night match against Wales in Cardiff, the first time that the tournament has started on a Friday. 15 Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was fined £20,000, suspended until the end of the 2011/12 season, after being found guilty of improper conduct by the Football Association following the Barclays Premier League game against Everton on March 24. Tiger Woods confirmed on his official website he would play in the Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte from April 29 to May 2. The Premier League unveiled new proposals which would see parachute payments for relegated clubs extended to total £48million over four years. The League also confirmed they would legally challenge Ofcom's ruling forcing Sky to cut the wholesale charges for their premium sports channels. 16 Liverpool announced the appointment of British Airways chairman Martin Broughton as chairman to oversee the sale of the club. Paul Scholes signed a new one-year contract with Manchester United. Chelsea confirmed England left-back Ashley Cole had fully recovered from his fractured ankle and would be back in the squad for the next day's clash with Tottenham at White Hart Lane. 17 Manchester United moved a point behind leaders Chelsea after a last-minute Paul Scholes header earned them a 1-0 win at Manchester City while the Blues lost 2-1 at Tottenham. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) grabbed pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix ahead of team-mate Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari). League Two Rochdale were promoted for just the second time in their history after a 1-0 win at home to Northampton. Two out four: Jenson Button notches his second win in four races - but the former world champion would not taste victory again in the 2010 season 18 Arsenal's faint title hopes were all but ended as they suffered a stunning 3-2 Barclays Premier League loss at Wigan, having led 2-0 with 10 minutes to go. Liverpool confirmed that Spain striker Fernando Torres required knee surgery and would be sidelined for six weeks, ending his season and putting at risk his World Cup hopes. Jenson Button won a rain-affected Chinese Grand Prix ahead of McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg. 19Liverpool maintained their outside hopes of clinching fourth place inthe Barclays Premier League with a one-sided 3-0 win over West Ham atAnfield. Newcastle secured the Coca-Cola Championship title after a 2-0victory over Plymouth, a result which ensured Argyle's relegation tothe third tier. Gordon Smith resigned as chief executive of theScottish Football Association after almost three years in thehigh-profile role. 20Inter Milan beat Barcelona 3-1 in their Champions League semi-finalfirst leg. Wesley Sneijder, Maicon and Diego Milito scored the goalsafter Pedro had put Barca in front. Lens president Gervais Martelconfirmed the club would allow Aruna Dindane to play for Portsmouth inthe FA Cup final, waiving a £4m fee due after his next appearance.Michael Lumb was the only uncapped player named in a 27-man PerformanceSquad by the England and Wales Cricket Board. Spinner Monty Panesar wasleft out. 21 Former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch died at the age of 89. The Spaniard, who was president of the IOC for 21 years until 2001, died in hospital in his home town of Barcelona two days after being admitted with coronary problems. Portsmouth released accounts showing that their debts had spiralled to £119million. Steve McNamara was named as the new England rugby league coach. The 38-year-old former Great Britain forward was named as the successor to Tony Smith after being his assistant for the last three years. Read Robert Hardman on the passing of former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch Giant of sport: Former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch 22 Liverpool lost 1-0 to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final in Spain. In the other last-four tie, Fulham secured a goalless draw at Hamburg. The Football Association and Premier League confirmed to Portsmouth's administrators that they would not consider a late application for a UEFA club licence, ruling the FA Cup finalists out of next season's Europa League. Australian rugby league side Melbourne Storm were stripped of their 2007 and 2009 Premiership titles after being found guilty of systematic salary-cap cheating to the value of more than £1million. 23 Sir Alex Ferguson denied he would retire as Manchester United manager at the end of the 2010/11 season. Michael Dunford resigned as chief executive of Birmingham after just six months in the job. England centre Riki Flutey rejoined Wasps on a three-year contract from French side Brive. 24 Manchester United returned to the top of the Barclays Premier League after two Ryan Giggs penalties guided them to a 3-1 victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford. Arsenal drew 0-0 with Manchester City, with City keeper Shay Given ruled out of the remainder of the season after dislocating a shoulder. Steve Davis knocked defending champion John Higgins out of the World Snooker Championship 13-12, 21 years after claiming his last world title at the Crucible. Carl Froch lost his WBC super-middleweight title to Mikkel Kessler after the Dane claimed a unanimous points victory in Herning. Read Nick Metcalfe on another chapter to be added to the annals of great Crucible moments The toast of the town: The Crucible erupts as Steve Davis seals an unforgettable win 25 Rangers won the Scottish Premier League title after beating Hibernian 1-0 at Easter Road. Burnley's relegation from the Barclays Premier League was confirmed after a 4-0 reverse at home to Liverpool. Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia won the men's London Marathon, Liliya Shobukhova taking the women's race. 26 Hamburg sacked coach Bruno Labbadia just three days before their Europa League semi-final second leg against Fulham, with Ricardo Moniz taking interim charge. Crystal Palace failed to secure the victory which would have guaranteed their Coca-Cola Championship survival as they drew 1-1 at home to West Brom. The Eagles, docked 10 points and still in administration, knew a win over promoted Albion would be enough to keep them up and condemn Sheffield Wednesday to relegation. Ronnie O'Sullivan fired three brilliant centuries to knock Mark Williams out of the Betfred.com World Championship and set up a last-eight clash with Mark Selby. 27 Bayern Munich reached the Champions League final after claiming a 3-0 victory over Lyon in the semi-final second leg to win the tie 4-0 on aggregate. Former world champion Steve Davis was on the brink of going out of the World Snooker Championship as he finished the day 12-4 down to Neil Robertson. Ronnie O'Sullivan was tied at 4-4 against Mark Selby. Andy Murray won his second-round match at the ATP Rome Masters, beating Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-2 6-4. 28 Inter Milan reached the Champions League semi-final with a 3-2 aggregate win over Barcelona. Gerard Pique scored late on for Barca at the Nou Camp but Inter held on despite having to play for more than an hour with 10 men after Thiago Motta was sent off. Mike Ruddock resigned as director of rugby with Guinness Premiership club Worcester. Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery was ruled out of the Champions League final after UEFA imposed a three-match ban following his red card in the first leg of the semi-final against Lyon. Special won: Jose Mourinho is his usual restrained self after Inter Milan saw off the challenge of Barcelona 29 Fulham beat Hamburg 2-1 in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final at Craven Cottage to win by the same score on aggregate and advance to a final against Atletico Madrid. Liverpool beat Atletico 2-1 in the second leg of their semi-final at Anfield but went out on the away-goals rule following their 1-0 first-leg defeat in Spain. England's cricketers rounded off their warm-up campaign for the World Twenty20 with a five-wicket win over South Africa in St Lucia, Eoin Morgan's 63 proving decisive. 30 Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney was voted the Football Writers' Association Player of the Year for 2010. Defender Gary Neville signed a one-year contract extension with United. The Premier League cleared Fulham of any wrongdoing after West Ham complained about the team they fielded against Hull on March 27.  Sportsmail's month-by-month review of the year - JanuarySportsmail's month-by-month review of the year - FebruarySportsmail's month-by-month review of the year - March


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