Sports-On this day… March 22

March 21 (Reuters) – ON THIS DAY — March 22 March 22, 1995 SOCCER – Manchester United’s Lee Sharpe celebrates his goal against Arsenal with the corner flag. Sharpe’s goal in a 3-0 victory gave United — looking to win a third consecutive league title — a boost in a closely-fought title race with Blackburn Rovers after Alex Ferguson’s side suffered a 2-0 loss at Anfield three days earlier. However, three draws in the final seven games of the campaign allowed Rovers, managed by Kenny Dalglish, to win their first Premier League title by just a single point. March 22, 1997 SOCCER – Queens Park Rangers and Portsmouth fans fight in the Ellerslie Road stand at Loftus Road. QPR beat Portsmouth 2-1 on the day but the battle for playoff spots in the second division spilt over into the stands in the second half when supporters from both clubs came to blows, leading to nine arrests. The match was halted for 15 minutes as the referee took the players off while other fans in the vicinity moved to the pitch to escape the violence. March 22, 1997 BOXING – Joe Calzaghe turns away after knocking out Tyler Hughes at the Wythenshawe Forum in Manchester. Calzaghe reigned as super-middleweight world champion for a record time of almost 11 years and successfully defended his WBO title 21 times. The Welsh southpaw retired with an unbeaten record in 46 fights, winning 32 by knockout — including this first round victory over Hughes who was decked by two lightning-fast left hooks. March 22, 2003 RUGBY – Martin Johnson of England lifts the Calcutta Cup after England thumped Scotland 40-9 in the Six Nations at Twickenham. Jonny Wilkinson was in inspired form in 2003, scoring four penalties and three conversions in this game. He repeated his heroics in the final game against Ireland that allowed England to win the Grand Slam. Wilkinson then led England to the World Cup title later that year with a tournament-high 113 points in Australia. March 22, 2006 CRICKET – England team celebrate winning the third test against India in Mumbai. After the first test ended in a draw and India comfortably won the second by nine wickets, England squared the series with a 212-run victory in Mumbai on the final day of the match. Andrew Strauss’ century in the first innings and skipper Andrew Flintoff’s half-centuries in both innings gave India a stiff target of 313 runs. The hosts were bowled out for a paltry 100, with Flintoff — named the player of the series — picking up three key wickets. March 22, 2014 SOCCER – Referee Andre Marriner shows a red card to Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain conceded a penalty as a result of handling the ball in the penalty area. Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th game in charge of Arsenal was a game to forget for the Frenchman as they were thrashed 6-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after going down to 10 men, handing his eternal rival Jose Mourinho his biggest league win at the club. Arsenal winger Oxlade-Chamberlain conceded the penalty when he tipped Eden Hazard’s shot away from goal but Marriner produced a red card for left back Gibbs in a case of mistaken identity, as the players tried their best to explain the mix-up. March 22, 2015 SOCCER – Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard is shown a red card by referee Martin Atkinson 38 seconds after coming on as a second half substitute against Manchester United at Anfield. The former England skipper first flew into a tackle to floor Juan Mata before stamping Ander Herrera’s right leg. Liverpool were reduced to 10 men and lost 2-1. “I need to accept it, the decision was right, I have let my team mates and manager down today,” Gerrard said. “Even more importantly, I let all the supporters down.” March 22, 2017 SOCCER – Germany’s Lukas Podolski is thrown in the air by team mates after his final appearance for his country where he scored the winner in a friendly match against England at Dortmund’s Signal-Iduna-Park. The striker, who had a cannon of a left foot, represented Germany 130 times, scoring 49 goals and won the World Cup in 2014. The match was also Gareth Southgate’s first in charge of England as permanent manager and it was settled in typical Podolski fashion, a thundering strike from 27 yards out into the top corner that gave goalkeeper Joe Hart little time to react. March 22, 2002 SKI JUMPING – Tomasz Pochwala of Poland falls after his third official practice jump for the last round of the World Cup ski jumping competition in Planica in Slovenia. Pochwala lost his bearings as soon as he took off from the ramp, crashing into the slope and losing one of his skis as he somersaulted violently the rest of the way down. His in-run speed was clocked at a shade over 100 kph before he went airborne but he managed to walk away from the crash with minor injuries. March 22, 1998 SOCCER – Ronaldo scores the second goal in Inter’s 3-0 victory in the Serie A derby match against AC Milan at the San Siro stadium. In his first season in Italy, the Brazilian striker mesmerised fans and troubled defenders to finish with 25 goals in a league renowned for its staunch defences at the time. Ronaldo carried that form into the World Cup where his four goals led Brazil to the final but a seizure before the final left him unfit and he was ineffective on the pitch as France won their maiden title. (Writing by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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