WTA Birmingham – Thursday 22nd June 2017

Garbiñe Muguruza and Kiki Mladenovic won on day 4 of the main draw at the Aegon Classic. But British number 1 Jo Konta and world number 5 Elina Svitolina got knocked out in the second round.

Elina Svitolina opened the day on centre court. The world number 5 lost to Camila Giorgi in 3 sets. The number 2 seed lost 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to the Italian qualifier.

Spanish number 1 Garbiñe Muguruza beat American Alison Riske in straight sets. A 6-1, 6-4 win took Muguruza through to Friday’s Quarter-Finals. It will be the Spaniard’s first appearance in the last eight in Birmingham.

Kiki Mladenovic beat China’s Shuai Zhang 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) to reach the Quarter Finals in Birmingham. France’s number 1 set up a last eight match against Petra Kvitova.

While in the doubles over on court 1, Garbiñe Muguruza’s second match of the day ended in defeat. Aussie pair Barty and Dellacqua beat Muguruza and Cibulkova 6-3, 6-1.

The final match of the day saw British number 1 Jo Konta go out to American Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-3.

WTA Birmingham – Wednesday 21st June 2017

Petra Kvitova continued her successful comeback by beating Brit Naomi Broady in straight sets at the Aegon Classic Birmingham.

Daria Gavrilova won the first game on centre court on Wednesday after almost two and half hours. The Aussie beat Katerina Siniakova 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 to reach the Quarterfinals.

Petra Kvitova then beat Brit Naomi Broady 2 and 2. The two time Wimbledon champion played a great match, giving Broady no chance of mounting comeback.

Next up was another Czech, in Barbara Strycova who lost in three sets to Ash Barty of Australia.

Heather Watson and Broady finished the day of court 1, with a doubles match against Christina McHale, who partnered Watson in Nottingham last week and Raquel Atawo. The American pair won through in the Champions Tiebreak 10-7, after sharing the first two sets 6-2.

Aegon Open Nottingham – Thursday 15th June 2017

British number 1 Jo Konta reached the quarter-finals of the Aegon Open after a comfortable win over doubles partner Yanina Wickmayer. While in the WTA Doubles Heather Watson, playing alongside Christina McHale, reached the semi-finals, to the loss of just one game.

After racing into a 4-0 lead, Konta fought off a Wickmayer comeback, to take the first set 6-4.

The second set was far easier for the world number 8, as Konta took the set 6-1 and the match. Konta now plays Australian Ash Barty in the Quarter-Finals.

While over on court 1, British number 2 Heather Watson reached the WTA Doubles Semi-Finals with Christine McHale. Watson and McHale beat the American pair of Lauren Davis and Alison Riske 6-1, 6-0 to easily reach the semis.

The longest match of the day came in the WTA second round. When after two and a half hours Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova beat the American Alison Riske 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 on centre court.

In the ATP Challenger event, the Aussie who is returning from injury, Sam Groth took on Brit Brydan Klein. The big-serving Groth sealed a straight sets 6-3, 6-4 to reach the men’s Quarter-Finals.

While finally, in the first match of the day on centre court, the number 2 seed from Romania, Marius Copil saw off Reilly Opelka from the USA, 6-3, 7-6.

Aegon Open Nottingham – Wednesday 14th June 2017

Johanna Konta and Heather Watson were both in doubles action on Day 3 of the main draw at the WTA Nottingham and ATP Challenger Nottingham events.

Donna Vekic played Julia Boserup in the first match of the day on court 1 in the WTA Singles 2nd Round.

Vekic won 6-3, 6-4 to go through to the Quarter-Finals.

Sergiy Stakhovsky was next on court in the ATP Challenger event. He beat fellow Ukrainian Illya Marchenko 6-4, 7-6.

Heather Watson and Christina McHale then played doubles against Mona Barthel and Anastasija Sevastova.

Watson and McHale won 7-6, 3-6 and 10-8 in a champions tie-break. While Jo Konta also won her doubles match and Lloyd Glasspool won in the men’s challenger to make it a good day for British tennis.

Manchester United 2 Crystal Palace 0 – Premier League

Juan Mata arrives at Old Trafford with his girlfriend after being rested for the Europa League Final in Stockholm on Wednesday 24th May.

Mata therefore had time to sign autographs for fans and pose for photos before the game.

Fellow Spaniard, David De Gea arrives after also getting the day off, with the Portuguese Joel Pereira starting for the first time in goal.

Jose Mourinho handed debut starts to Joel Pereira, Demetri Mitchell, Scott McTominay and Josh Harrop as most first team players were rested ahead of the Europa League Final.

Of the first team players, only Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Phil Jones and Wayne Rooney started. While Anthony Martial, Daley Blind and Michael Carrick were on the bench.

Pogba and Lingard both played 44 minutes each, coming off for Carrick and Martial just before half time. While Blind stayed on the bench as he prepares to start the final at centre-back.

Debutant Josh Harrop opened the scoring fifteen minutes in, after running onto a Pogba through-ball. Harrop cut into the box and placed a shot into the far corner past Wayne Hennessey.

Just four minutes later, Pogba himself added a second. After Tim Fosu-Mensah won the ball in midfield, Jesse Lingard took his time to play in the Frenchman who capitalised on a Palace mistake to slot home. Pogba went off to a standing ovation having both scored and assisted during his 44 minute appearance.

Palace’s top scorer Christian Benteke hit the post with a header in the second half. While Joel Pereira made a good save from a Luka Milivojevic free kick to preserve a clean sheet on his first start for the reds.

Later on, 16-year-old Angel Gomes replaced Wayne Rooney to become the days fifth debutant. The diminutive Gomes still had time to show off his ability despite only playing five minutes.

Manchester United closed their domestic season with a comfortable 2-0 win and finished with a lap of honour.

Marcos Rojo made an appearance on crutches, following successful knee surgery recently.

While Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Sergio Romero had time to take photos with family members after being rested.

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Manchester United now head to Stockholm to face Ajax for the Europa League, plus qualification for next season’s UEFA Super Cup and Champions League.

Manchester United 1 (2) Celta Vigo 1 (1) – UEFA Europa League Semi-Final 2nd leg

Manchester United started with the same team that beat Celta Vigo away at Balaídos, with the eight players who were rested at Arsenal coming back into the side.

The Europa League trophy was at Old Trafford ahead the crucial second leg.

The Celta Vigo fans travelled in their numbers from Northern Spain.

The teams come out ahead of Manchester United’s biggest game of the season. Or the biggest game in their history, according to José Mourinho 

Manchester United scored after 17 minutes to leave Celta needing two goals to qualify. Marouane Fellaini headed in a brilliant Marcus Rashford cross at the back post to give the reds an early lead on the night.

Sergio Romero made a comfortable save in the first half to keep out Pablo Hernandez, while Daniel Wass headed wide from Pione Sisto’s cross.

John Guidetti missed two good chances to score as he volleyed and headed wide in the second half. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Fellaini also had efforts saved by Sergio Alvarez in the Celta goal during a tense night.

Celta got a goal back through a Roncaglia header in the 85th minute, before the Argentine defender was sent off after an altercation with United’s Eric Bailly. Bailly was also sent off and will miss the final.

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The Swede Guidetti had a final chance to put Celta through to play in his
home final. But, he miss-kicked his effort allowing United to clear and reach a first ever UEFA Cup/Europa League Final.

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Manchester United now face Ajax in the Stockholm final on Wednesday 24th May, giving the reds the opportunity to complete their trophy collection and claim a place in next seasons Champions League.

Manchester United 1 Swansea City 1 – Premier League photo match report

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Manchester United’s penultimate league home game saw the visit of Swansea City, who had won on two out of their last three trips to Old Trafford.


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Jose Mourinho made four changes to the side that drew the Manchester Derby 0-0, with Englishmen Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard and Wayne Rooney coming into the side. Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were all rested ahead of the Europa League semi final first leg v Celta Vigo. While Marouane Fellaini was suspended following his headbutt on Sergio Aguero in the derby.


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But, after just seven minutes, Valencia was forced into action when Luke Shaw went off injured. With Mourinho thinking Shaw’s early exit must mean he has “a big injury”. Later on, the injury crisis got worse when Eric Bailly hobbled off, leaving United with no senior centre backs fit. Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind finished the match as CB’s.


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Bailly had earlier almost gifted Swansea the lead, when his clearance deflected back off Gylfi Sigurdsson and went just wide. Jordan Ayew and Fernando Llorente also had shots saved by David De Gea in the first half.


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But, it was United who took the lead, when Marcus Rashford won a controversial penalty at the feet of Lukasz Fabianski. Wayne Rooney stepped up, sending Fabianski the wrong way to make it 1-0 to the home side on the stroke of half time.


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Captain Rooney then had a great chance to double the lead, but even with Fabianski unable to get across, he could only hit his own teammate Anthony Martial with his shot. The Polish international then reacted well to Martial’s deflected effort and then Valencia’s powerful across goal strike.


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United then gave away what turned out to be a costly free kick, when Rooney fouled Ayew in the 79th minute. Free kick specialist Sigurdsson placed his effort past De Gea, into the top corner. The strike earned the Swans a vital away point in their fight for Premier League survival.


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A tenth home Premier League draw for United does see their unbeaten run reach a club record 25 games. But 23 dropped home points may prove costly in the race for the top four.