On this day in sport: Mickelson's Masters joy, Klopp's Dortmund beat Bayern, and shamed Cronje loses top job

By Sports Desk April 11, 2020

As Jurgen Klopp waits for Liverpool's 2019-20 Premier League coronation, he might look back fondly on this day in 2012 when he was nudging ever closer to glory with Borussia Dortmund.

BVB were also involved in a major news story exactly five years later, when their players were stunned by a bomb attack on their team bus before a Champions League game.

Phil Mickelson landed his first major golf title at the Masters in 2004, and a South African cricket great's downfall came on this day in 2000.

Here we look back here at standout sporting moments to have occurred on April 11 through the years.

 

2000 - Disgraced Cronje loses South Africa captaincy

Hansie Cronje was one of South Africa's greatest cricketers, and one of the country's most popular figures. His life unravelled in 2000, however, as it emerged that he had been corrupt.

He was stripped of the South Africa captaincy on April 11, 2000, within days of the first claims emerging, initially from India.

Cronje initially denied wrongdoing, but he later came clean, revealing the depths of his match-fixing dishonesty.

He was banned from cricket for life and died in a plane crash in June 2002. Cronje, nevertheless, is still fondly remembered by many in South Africa.

2004 - Mickelson's Masters

'Lefty' had been a leading contender for major glory for many years, and had been racking up second-placed and third-placed finishes, so it was high time he made a breakthrough.

At the age of 33, it finally came when the American landed a first Green Jacket, fending off Ernie Els by one shot at The Masters.

It was the first of three Augusta triumphs to date for Mickelson, whose third also came on April 11 in 2010, when a closing 67 saw Mickelson overtake 54-hole leader Lee Westwood to win by three.

2012 - Klopp's Dortmund pip Bayern to move to Bundesliga brink

This was Klopp's golden age at Dortmund, as BVB backed up their 2010-11 Bundesliga title campaign with what would be a double-winning season.

A 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich on April 11 was a pivotal moment, as it saw Dortmund pull six points clear of the Bavarians at the top of the table.

The only goal came in the second half with a neat backheel from Robert Lewandowski, who two years later would join Bayern in a stunning snatch for Die Roten.

Bayern, bossed by Jupp Heynckes at the time of this 2012 game, had a late opportunity to draw level, but Arjen Robben had a penalty saved.

Dortmund drubbed Bayern 5-2 in the DFB-Pokal final a month later, Lewandowski grabbing a hat-trick, and they won the league by eight points.

2017 - Dortmund rocked by bomb attack

All of Europe was shocked when three explosions struck the Borussia Dortmund team bus shortly before a Champions League home match against Monaco.

Dortmund defender Marc Bartra was injured, suffering a broken wrist and hand injury and had to undergo surgery, and there was relief nobody was killed. A police motorbike escort rider was also hurt after pipe bombs detonated in a roadside hedge by the team hotel.

Various terrorism theories were raised and investigated before a man was arrested and later charged and found guilty of the attack, having plotted it as part of an attempted elaborate, derivatives-based, financial fraud.

The man, a 29-year-old German-Russian, was jailed for 14 years after being found guilty on 28 counts of attempted murder.

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    The reigning champions capitalised on RB Leipzig's shock defeat at Mainz by seeing off Schalke, the division's bottom side, at the Veltins-Arena on Sunday.

    Thomas Muller scored either side of Robert Lewandowski's record-breaking goal - netting in an eighth successive away league match - before David Alaba got in on the act in the final minute.

    Bayern did not have things all their own way in the first half, though, with Manuel Neuer reacting well to keep out Mark Uth's header from the best of Schalke's opportunities.

    Flick is pleased his side have rediscovered their form with three wins in a row since suffering back-to-back losses earlier this month, but he acknowledged there is still more to come.

    "I'm not entirely happy with what we showed," he told Sky Sport. "We scored four goals, but we should have done better, especially with the way we positioned ourselves.

    "However, I am very satisfied with the nine points with have obtained from the last three games. After defeats to Holstein Kiel [in the DFB-Pokal] and Monchengladbach, it was important to find stability.

    "We now have a certain cushion, but it is still important that we approach every game the way we have approached the last few games, that we perform 100 per cent. 

    "We're going to take two days off now. This is important to clear your head from time to time. From Wednesday, we will then prepare intensively for Hoffenheim."

    Bayern have now kept clean sheets in successive league games for the first time this term, with Neuer making three saves in total - all in the first half.

    Neuer's 197th shutout is a new Bundesliga record, surpassing Bayern great Oliver Kahn, but it was bittersweet coming against his beleaguered boyhood club.

    Schalke are bottom of the division with one win from 18 games but Neuer is hopeful they can avoid the drop.

    "Obviously, it's difficult for them against teams like us," he said. "I think that they have to beat two or three clubs that are in the lower half of the table, one after the other.

    "I wish the Schalke players luck that they can stay in the league and that they can still turn the tide. Of course, I'll keep my fingers crossed for that."

    Of his own team's display, which saw Bayern register a season-high 31 shots, Neuer said: "We improved and still had one or two more scoring chances. 

    "We certainly would have signed for a 4-0 win beforehand."

    Meanwhile, Muller's double took him to nine goals in 18 Bundesliga games this season, already beating his tally from the entirety of 2019-20.

    The forward, who scored a clinical header in each half, echoed the thoughts of Flick in saying his side were slightly flattered by the margin of the scoreline.

    "We neglected some aspects of our game," Muller said. "We besieged the opposing goal in the first half, played a few chances well, but the last action was missing.

    "Overall, you noticed that when we increased the pace and played our game, we were always able to get ourselves into good final positions. 

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    Palmas announced the deaths of the players and club president Lucas Meira, as well as the pilot of the aircraft.

    The Copa Verde game had been due to be played on Monday, with Palmas having won through to the last-16 stage by beating Real Noroeste on Wednesday.

    Palmas said in a statement posted on their Twitter page: "Palmas Futebol e Regatas is hereby informing that at around 8:15am on this Sunday, the 24th, there was an air accident involving the president of the club Lucas Meira, when he was leaving for Goiania, for the Copa Verde match between Vila Nova and Palmas on Monday 25.

    "The plane on which Lucas was with [pilot] Commander Wagner and athletes Lucas Praxedes, Guilherme Noe, Ranule and Marcus Molinari, took off and fell at the end of the runway of the Tocantins Association of Aviation.

    "We are sorry to inform you that there are no survivors. In this moment of pain and dismay, the club asks for prayers for the relatives to whom it will provide the necessary support."

    The club said it was an "inestimable loss", adding: "We appreciate the expressions of support and affection in this moment of pain."

    Chapecoense, the club left devastated by a November 2016 plane crash that caused the deaths of many of their players and staff, were quick to offer support.

    They said in a statement: "It is with deep sadness that we received the news of the crash of the plane that took the athletes and the president of Palmas.

    "Unfortunately, we know what this moment of insurmountable pain from irreparable losses is like and we would like no other team to have to feel the same.

    "In the face of this, however, we express our feeling of strength and our total solidarity with family members, friends, team-mates and fans. You will not go through this alone."

    The Brazilian Football Confederation [CBF] expressed its sorrow at the news.

    It said: "Deeply dismayed, CBF sympathises with the families of the victims of the plane crash. Our feelings also go to all the members of the club and to the fans of Palmas."

    The CBF said a minute's silence would take place before all matches in Brazil on Sunday, adding that the Copa Verde match involving Palmas would be rescheduled for a later date.

  • Manchester United 3-2 Liverpool: Fernandes free-kick settles superb cup tie Manchester United 3-2 Liverpool: Fernandes free-kick settles superb cup tie

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    Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford turned the game in United's favour after Mohamed Salah had put Liverpool ahead in the 18th minute.

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