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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  • We'll take the plane or bus - Guardiola relaxed as Istanbul Champions League final is placed in flux We'll take the plane or bus - Guardiola relaxed as Istanbul Champions League final is placed in flux

    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is unconcerned over where the Champions League final will take place amid fresh doubts over whether the showpiece will take place in Istanbul.

    City beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 in midweek to close out a 4-1 aggregate triumph and book their place in a maiden Champions League final.

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    The change in status is effective from May 17, the same day Turkey's own national lockdown is set to end, and will not be reviewed for three weeks, meaning there is no prospect of a change in the UK government stance before the final.

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    "If we go to Istanbul, it will be a pleasure. I think the situation depends on the pandemic there but if they decide to move on or stay here in this country or another place, we'll take the plane or the bus and we will be there."

    Stats Perform News understands City will await further guidance from UEFA over the Champions League final venue and will not lobby for the game to be moved to a stadium on home soil.

    City host Chelsea on Saturday in a dress rehearsal for the final, knowing victory at the Etihad Stadium will secure a third Premier League crown in four seasons with three games to spare.

    However, Guardiola insists that would not be a cue to rest the players who have established themselves as a settled first XI in European matches.

    The Catalan's often-repeated mantra of players needing to be in "rhythm" will not be allowed to slide with a defining night on the horizon.

    "I want to be honest, the players will not be rested to think about the Champions League final," Guardiola said.

    "Now we have a period of six days [between] Chelsea [and the trip to] Newcastle, so now the schedule is a little bit more fresh.

    "Now it's time to try to… it's in our hands and we don't depend on other results to win the Premier League as quickly as possible. It won't be easy because of the opponent we have.

    "It's not necessary to tell them to be focused on the last game of the season because nobody in the club has been there before apart from Ilkay [Gundogan], who played in the [2013 Champions League] final. The rest, everyone will be so focused to arrive in this final in the best condition possible."

    After their trip to St James' Park, City face Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on May 18 before rounding out their Premier League campaign at home to Everton on May 23.

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