On this day in sport: Fergie announces retirement & a star-studded NFL Draft

By Sports Desk May 08, 2020

One could argue Manchester United have still not recovered from the departure of the great Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson quit after leading United to the 2012-13 Premier League title, the 13th of his reign and their 20th in total. He won the Champions League twice, too.

United have toiled in the intervening years, unable to replace one of sport's all-time finest leaders.

The announcement of Ferguson's exit came on May 8, 2013, allowing us to reflect on that news among other notable sporting events on this day.
 

2004 - Controversy as Marquez makes recovery

Few boxers are able to recover from the sort of first-round barrage Manny Pacquiao inflicted upon Juan Manuel Marquez in their 2004 featherweight title fight.

And, as it turned out, Marquez should not have been able to either.

The Mexican was sent to the canvas three times before the first round was up and, although he subsequently outboxed Pacquiao, Marquez would have narrowly lost but for a scoring error.

Burt Clements judged the bout 113-113, prompting a draw as Guy Jutras and John Stewart went 115-110 each way. But Clements scored the opening round 10-7 to Pacquiao, rather than 10-6, and later acknowledged: "I screwed up."

Pacquiao had to wait almost four years to defeat Marquez - again by split decision - before another disputed verdict went in his favour in 2011. A year later in their fourth encounter, Marquez took the judges out of the equation with a brutal sixth-round knockout of his great rival.
 

2013 - Ferguson leaves a champion

Having suffered final-day pain at the hands of rivals Manchester City in 2011-12, Ferguson made sure to bow out on a high with the 2012-13 Premier League crown.

After 26 years at the helm, the Scot confirmed his departure on May 8 - this time not backtracking on this decision as he had in 2001.

David Moyes and Jose Mourinho were among the early favourites to replace Ferguson, with the former appointed on the outgoing manager's recommendation.

Moyes' stint was short and unsuccessful, though, and neither Louis van Gaal, Mourinho nor now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have been able to add to United's tally of 20 top-flight championships.
 

2014 - Beckham and Donald arrive in NFL

It is six years since some of the most prominent names in the NFL were drafted, with Odell Beckham Jr and Aaron Donald both selected in 2014.

Beckham went to the New York Giants with the 12th pick, establishing himself as a star at wide receiver before moving on to the Cleveland Browns last year.

Donald is now a two-time Defensive Player of the Year but then followed one pick after Beckham, going to the St Louis Rams. Khalil Mack was another standout at number five.

But the first overall pick was used by the Houston Texans to secure Jadeveon Clowney. Traded to the Seattle Seahawks in 2019, the defensive end is now a free agent looking to put persistent injury troubles behind him.
 

2019 - Another Champions League classic

Just 24 hours after Liverpool stunned Barcelona with a 4-3 aggregate semi-final win, the 2018-19 Champions League was at it again.

Tottenham looked down and out when Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech netted for Ajax to add to their 1-0 first-leg lead, with Mauricio Pochettino's men needing three goals in Amsterdam.

However, Lucas Moura netted twice in the space of five second-half minutes, and Spurs kept pushing deep into stoppage time.

With 96 minutes on the clock, Moura struck once more to seal his hat-trick and Tottenham's place alongside Liverpool in the final, leaving a previously inspired young Ajax side bruised and beaten on the turf.

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    Holders Bayern Munich begin their Champions League defence with the visit of Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, in a game that will pit Robert Lewandowski against Luis Suarez.

    Liverpool, winners in 2019, travel to Ajax, and Real Madrid host Shakhtar Donetsk, with two of the competition's most successful clubs hoping to avoid some worrying runs of defeats.

    Antonio Conte's Inter tackle Borussia Monchengladbach and Manchester City host Porto, a team who boast a rather unfortunate record when it comes to games on English soil.

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    Perhaps Roberto Firmino is the man to help them. He has been directly involved in 26 goals (15 scored, 11 assisted) in 33 Champions League matches; since his debut in 2017-18, the only other player with 10 or more goals and assists in that time is Kylian Mbappe (13 goals, 13 assists).

     

    Bayern Munich v Atletico Madrid: Lewandowski has history in his sights

    Bayern were the first team in history to win every game en route to lifting the trophy last season, and their 11-game winning run is already the longest ever in the competition.

    Should Robert Lewandowski score, he will become the first player to do so in 10 Champions League group games in a row. He currently shares the record of nine with Cristiano Ronaldo, who did so from 2012 to 2014.

    Atletico have only won twice in their previous 10 group games away from home, but Luis Suarez could give them the boost they need – he has scored five goals in his last five starts in the competition, as many as he managed in his previous 31 starts combined.

     

    Real Madrid v Shakhtar Donetsk: Zidane puts 100 per cent record on the line

    Real Madrid have been in the Champions League group stage 28 times and have never failed to reach the next round. Leeds United, who did so twice, are the only other team to feature in more than one group stage and boast a 100 per cent record.

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    Manchester City v Porto: More English misery?

    Porto have played 20 away games against English sides in Europe and have failed to win any. In fact, they have lost 17 of those games and have not scored in the previous seven. They do at least go into this contest off a run of just two defeats in 16 Champions League group-stage matches.

    City have a pretty strong recent record in the group stage, having gone unbeaten in 11 games since a surprise 2-1 loss to Lyon in September 2018. They also have Raheem Sterling in sharp form: the forward has scored 20 goals in the competition since his debut for City in September 2015, a tally only Harry Kane can match among English players in that time.

     

    Other fixtures:

    Inter v Borussia Monchengladbach:

    9 – Romelu Lukaku has scored nine goals in 11 appearances in European competition for Inter. Since the start of last season, only Robert Lewandowski (15) and Erling Haaland (10) have netted more across the Champions League and Europa League.

    8 – Strike partner Lautaro Martinez has scored five in six Champions League starts and eight in 14 in Europe overall for the Nerazzurri.

     

    Salzburg v Lokomotiv Moscow:

    10 – Since September 2018, Lokomotiv Moscow have lost 10 Champions League games, more than any other club in that time.

    16 – Salzburg scored 16 group-stage goals last season but finished third in their group. The only other team to score that many and get knocked out were Chelsea in 2012-13.

     

    Midtjylland v Atalanta:

    16 – Atalanta have scored at least once in 16 of their previous 17 European games, including nine in three matches in last season's knockouts. Josip Ilicic has nine goals in 13 European appearances for the club.

    18 – Midtjylland conceded 18 goals in eight matches in the 2015-16 Europa League, their previous involvement in Europe. No team conceded more that season.

     

    Olympiacos v Marseille:

    3 – This will be Andre Villas-Boas' first Champions League game since March 2016. He has lost his most recent three matches in the competition.

    41 – Steve Mandanda has made 41 appearances in the competition, the most for any Marseille player in history. The goalkeeper accounts for 37 per cent of the total games played by current Marseille players in this tournament.

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