On this day in sport: The most fouls in an NBA game, Gullit joins Milan

By Sports Desk March 21, 2020

With the majority of world sports postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have time to look back at some famous - and perhaps forgotten - exploits and broaden our knowledge.

Regardless of how much we think we know, there is always more that can be learned. A trip down memory lane often proves worthwhile.

With that in mind, we looked back at what occurred on March 21 in years gone by to bring you the best bits.

 

1953 – An NBA record that still stands

When the Boston Celtics hosted the Syracuse Nationals in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals it was a game that went down in history.

The teams combined for an incredible 106 personal fouls in a quadruple-overtime battle that saw 12 players foul out, with neither team having enough personnel left to make substitutions in the final two OT periods.

Police were also required to get fans and players off the floor following Dolph Schayes and Bob Brannum getting into a fight that saw both ejected.

Red Rocha and Paul Seymour played 67 minutes each in a slug fest that ended with the Celtics triumphing 111-105.

 

1971 – Gavaskar gets going

Sunil Gavaskar is undoubtedly one of the greatest openers in Test cricket history.

In just his second match in the longest format for India, he scored the first of his 34 centuries.

It came in the third Test against West Indies in Georgetown, Guyana, and he made 116 in his first innings of what ended up a drawn match.

 

1982 – Pate at the Players

The 1982 Players Championship was the first on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass and Jerry Pate ensured it lived long in the memory.

After sending his ball into the water at the par-four 18th in round three, Pate thought victory had slipped from his grasp.

However, in round for he posted gains on the island-green 17th and the final hole to defeat his brother-in-law Bruce Lietzke and Scott Simpson by two shots.

To celebrate, he took a famous dip in the water hazard at the last.

 

1987 – Record-breaking Gullit agrees Milan move

Silvio Berlusconi made Ruud Gullit the most expensive player in the world when he signed him from PSV.

The powerful midfielder won the 1987 Ballon d'Or and went on to win three Serie A titles and back-to-back European Cups during his time in Milan.

Gullit now has a permanent place in the Rossoneri's Hall of Fame.

Related items

  • Pirlo not ruling out striker swoop amid Dzeko and Scamacca links Pirlo not ruling out striker swoop amid Dzeko and Scamacca links

    Andrea Pirlo revealed he hopes to sign a striker before the transfer window closes if the right opportunity arises after Juventus beat Bologna 2-0 in Serie A on Sunday.

    Roma frontman Edin Dzeko and Sassuolo's Gianluca Scamacca – who is on loan at Genoa – have been linked with a move to Juve ahead of the February 1 deadline.

    Dzeko was left out of Roma's squad for their 4-3 win over Spezia on Saturday, leading to further speculation he could be on his way out of the club.

    Scamacca, Olivier Giroud, Fernando Llorente and Graziano Pelle have also been mentioned as potential signings for the Bianconeri.

    Pirlo said he would like to add more firepower to his squad after goals from Arthur and Weston McKennie moved the champions into fourth place in Serie A, seven points behind leaders Milan with a game in hand.

    "We are watching what happens, there is not much around," Juve head coach Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia when asked about the possibility of going into the market.

    "We do not have the obligation [to do any business], it will be a last-minute thing and if there is an opportunity to take it we will be happy."

    Arthur scored his first Juve goal in fortuitous fashion with a long-range strike that took a big deflection in the first half and McKennie sealed all three points with a header 19 minutes from time.

    Juve had 23 shots, 11 of which were on target, and Cristiano Ronaldo endured a rare off day, failing to find the back of the net with any of his five attempts.

    Pirlo warned the Turin giants must be more clinical as they go in search of more trophies after their Supercoppa Italiana triumph in midweek.

    "The important thing was to win after the satisfaction of the victory in the Supercoppa," he said.

    "We started well but missed a few too many opportunities to end the game."

    He added: "We played a good match against a team that attacks well, we were good at finding the spaces they left us."

  • Tomori eager to learn from Maldini after 'surprise' Milan call Tomori eager to learn from Maldini after 'surprise' Milan call

    Fikayo Tomori is eager to learn as much as he can from legendary defender Paolo Maldini after joining Milan from Chelsea.

    The 23-year-old this week completed a switch to Milan on an initial loan deal until the end of the season with the option to make that move permanent.

    Tomori struggled for first-team opportunities under Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge, featuring just once in the Premier League this term.

    But the centre-back now has the opportunity to kickstart his career at San Siro, where he is hoping to follow in the steps of the great Maldini.

    Five-time European Cup winner Maldini is now working as Milan's technical director and Tomori says he could not turn down the chance to link up with one of the all-time greats.

    "I chose to come here to Milan because it's a club with a great history, with great players and obviously the club is in a good moment right now," he told the Italian club's official website.

    "It's an opportunity that I couldn't turn down. It's a huge honour for me to be here. When I first got the call, I was a bit… I wouldn't say confused, but I was surprised.

    "I spoke to Paolo Maldini. The best defender to ever play football was talking to me and asking me to come, so from there I knew this is where I wanted to come and play football and to learn from him."

    Tomori added: "When I was young and I was [playing as] a striker or a midfielder, Kaka was someone that I really enjoyed watching, [Clarence] Seedorf as well.

    "To be able to put on the shirt that they wore is a huge honour and if I have half the success that they had, I'll have a good time here."

    Tomori, an unused substitute in Milan's 3-0 home loss against Atalanta on Saturday, will wear the number 23 shirt during his time at the club.

    Explaining the choice of jersey, the one-cap England international said: "I'm 23 years old so I thought I'd choose number 23.

    "Michael Jordan is someone I look up to a lot and he wore number 23, so I think it made a lot of sense for me to choose it. Hopefully I can be successful in it."

    Tomori impressed during a spell on loan with Lampard at Derby County in 2018-19 and was used more regularly on his return to Stamford Bridge last season.

    He featured 15 times in the Premier League and averaged 6.68 recoveries per 90 minutes, which is behind only Antonio Rudiger (7.42) among Chelsea's regular defenders.

    Only Kurt Zouma (70.68 successful passes per match), meanwhile, boasted a better pass success rate among Chelsea's defenders than Tomori's 69.95 in the league last season.

    "I'm quite aggressive, I like to win the ball, go and take the ball off opponents," Tomori added. "I like to defend, I enjoy defending and helping the team to win.

    "That's the attitude I’m going to bring to this team. I spoke to the manager and he was very happy for me to join. He gave me the fire to come and play and to enjoy myself.

    "I spoke to some players who had been here before and who have played in Italy before and everyone had only good things to say about Milan. It was 100 per cent Milan for me."

  • Mesut Ozil leaves Arsenal: How an ideal relationship ended in a necessary divorce Mesut Ozil leaves Arsenal: How an ideal relationship ended in a necessary divorce

    Mesut Ozil and Arsenal have officially gone their separate ways after seven and a half years together. 

    What was once a seemingly ideal football marriage has come to an end. Long since removed from the pedestal where he was once placed by Arsenal fans, Ozil has cut short his stay with the Gunners.

    Having coveted him for so long, Fenerbahce have got their man. The 32-year-old heads to Turkey, aiming to kick-start a career that had not so much stagnated of late but come to a complete standstill.

    Left out of Arsenal's squads for domestic and European duties this season, his most telling contribution in the final months of his career at the club was seemingly offering to cover the wages of mascot Gunnersaurus.

    The union had become broken to the point of no return in the closing stages, but there were plenty of good times before the inevitable break-up.

    FALLING HEAD OVER HEELS

    Ozil arrived at Arsenal in September 2013. The Gunners did not just break their transfer record to sign him from Real Madrid, they shattered it by paying around £42.5million.

    "This is an exciting day for all of us. We have signed a world-class player who is one of Europe's brightest young talents," said Ivan Gazidis, Arsenal's chief executive at the time, when the deal was announced.

    Gazidis was right: Ozil was 24, a Germany international and someone who had played regularly during three seasons in LaLiga. His departure from Madrid was not popular with players and fans alike in the Spanish capital, but a necessary consequence of a spending spree that included bringing in Gareth Bale from Tottenham.

    Arsenal's big-name recruit did not take long to make an impact, setting up a goal for Olivier Giroud 11 minutes into his Premier League debut away at Sunderland. It would be the first of many laid on for the Frenchman, who benefited more than any other team-mate from the playmaker's abilities.

    Ozil's eye for a pass and talent for producing subtle moments of skill saw him quickly enchant the club's fanbase. How could they possibly do anything but fall for him?

    His opening year in England saw him score five goals and contribute nine assists in 26 league appearances. He won the FA Cup, helping Arsene Wenger's side rally from an early 2-0 deficit to defeat Hull City 3-2 in the Wembley final. Two months later, he was lifting the World Cup in South Africa.


    THE GOLDEN YEARS

    Ozil's second season included a lengthy spell on the sidelines, restricting him to 22 outings in the Premier League. He did help them retain the FA Cup though, this time with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Aston Villa.

    However, the Gunners saw the best of him in the two years that followed. In 2015-16, he laid on 19 assists – one shy of Thierry Henry's record – and created 146 chances, the latter number the most by any player in the competition for a single season since 2003-04. He was also the subject of seemingly thousands of Twitter memes, too.

    Arsenal ended up second in the final table, 10 points behind surprise champions Leicester City. The glass half-full type pointed to it being their best finish in 11 years, while the less optimistic sort strongly suggested it was more a missed opportunity.

    The following season was Ozil's best in terms of Premier League goals – eight in 33 games – but another possible title challenge faded after the turn of the year, leading to a finish outside the top four. There was yet another FA Cup success to at least ease the pressure on Wenger, but their streak of participating in the Champions League was over.

    Then, in February 2018, came Ozil's new contract. "I signed dat thing," he tweeted at the time, having committed through to 2021. Wenger was with him in the picture, though nobody knew at the time that the manager was coming towards the end of his tenure.

    A lucrative deal handed out to ward off potential suitors and tie down one of the club's leading names appeared a necessity at the time but would quickly become a millstone around the player's neck. The reported weekly salary was referenced so often in the media it should have been added to his name by deed poll.

    In terms of his future output, Ozil managed a mere six goals and five assists in 48 league games after the moment he put pen to paper for three more years.


    DRIFTING APART AND THE INEVITABLE SPLIT

    Relations became strained as Ozil shifted from eye-catching centrepiece to expensive luxury. The focus had switched from how much he produced on the ball to what he didn't do without it. The phasing-out process began during the Unai Emery reign, then led to him being completely ostracised by former team-mate Mikel Arteta.

    Yet it is easy to forget that he did start in the Spaniard's first game in charge, away at Bournemouth. "To be fair, his attitude in training since the day that I walked in the building has been incredible," Arteta told reporters after the 1-1 draw on Boxing Day in 2019.

    Still, six months later, when the Premier League returned following the coronavirus-enforced break, Arteta's tune had changed somewhat. After completely omitting Ozil from the squad to face Manchester City in June in the first game back, Arteta said: "I'm going to put him on the pitch when I think he can give his best.”

    There were two more fixtures when Ozil made the bench, only to be an unused substitute on both occasions. The 2019-20 season saw him play 18 times in the league and he managed a solitary goal and two assists. His final outing for the club came on March 3, 2020 – a 1-0 home victory over West Ham.

    Across his Arsenal career, Ozil provided 54 assists. Only Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne (75) and David Silva (62), plus Tottenham's Christian Eriksen (62), contributed more assists for their teams since Ozil's arrival in England. When it comes to chances created, only Eriksen (571) beats Ozil's total of 558 – and the Dane played over 40 games more.

    And yet, as the divorce is confirmed, there is a sense of relief for all involved that it is all over. It was fun, for a while, but the time is right to move on.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.