On this day in sport: Blackburn crowned champions, Alonso makes Spanish GP history

By Sports Desk May 14, 2020

In the history of Blackburn Rovers, May 14 is a momentous sporting date.

Twenty-five years ago today, Blackburn sealed the Premier League title on a dramatic afternoon at Anfield.

This date also represents the 14-year anniversary of a famous day in the history of Spanish motorsport, achieved by Formula One great Fernando Alonso.

Here we look back at some of the top moments to occur on May 14 in the world of sport.

 

1995 - Blackburn secure dramatic Premier League title

Blackburn were crowned Premier League champions at Anfield in the most dramatic of circumstances in 1995.

Rovers came into the final day of the season leading title rivals Manchester United, who were playing at West Ham, by two points.

When Alan Shearer scored his 34th league goal of a remarkable season, everything appeared to be going to plan.

However, Liverpool goals from John Barnes and a last-gasp winner from Jamie Redknapp had Rovers fearing their chance of a first English top-flight championship since 1914 had passed them by.

United were piling on the pressure in their match but were unable to snatch a late winner against West Ham that would have seen them win the title, as they were held to a 1-1 draw.

Following the full-time whistle, it took several nervous moments before Blackburn boss Kenny Dalglish and his players got confirmation that the title was theirs, prompting ecstatic scenes.

Given Dalglish's history with Liverpool and the fact their rivals United had been denied, home fans were pretty happy with the outcome as well.

Rovers finished a disappointing seventh when defending their title, after which the departure of the magnificent Shearer to Newcastle United ended their hopes of competing again.

Shearer went on to become the Premier League's record goalscorer but this league title remained the only one he won in his career.

 

2006 - Alonso makes Spanish Grand Prix history

Cheered on by King Juan Carlos and a 130,000-strong crowd at Circuit de Catalunya, Alonso became the first home driver to win the Spanish Grand Prix in 2006.

The Renault star, who would go to win his second Formula One world title that year, qualified in pole position, with team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella joining him on the front row.

Alonso had been forced to settle for second in the previous year's race, but he was not to be denied this time around, building a strong lead and ultimately cruising home ahead of title rival Michael Schumacher.

It was a key moment in the championship battle, given Schumacher had won the previous two grands prix.

"To finish first in front of my people, my supporters, I think was my best feeling so far in a Formula One car," said Alonso, who was then 24.

"The Brazilian Grand Prix where I won the championship [in 2005] - I didn't enjoy it as much as I did here."

Alonso went on to claim one further win at his home race, triumphing in 2013 with Ferrari, as well as winning the 2012 European Grand Prix on home soil in Valencia.

 

2011 - Man City claim FA Cup glory

Manchester City have won 11 major trophies since they were taken over by their Abu Dhabi owners in 2008.

Their four Premier League crowns in that time are the biggest of those, but City fans will fondly remember the first – their 2011 FA Cup crown.

Yaya Toure scored the winner with a powerful strike 16 minutes from time to give City a 1-0 victory over Stoke City at Wembley, with Mario Balotelli named man of the match.

It was the team's first trophy in 35 years, their last having come in the EFL Cup way back in 1976.

This success under Roberto Mancini set them up to win their first Premier League title the following season.

Related items

  • Tottenham's top-four hopes do not rest on Everton clash, insists Mourinho Tottenham's top-four hopes do not rest on Everton clash, insists Mourinho

    Jose Mourinho insists Tottenham's hopes of a top-four Premier League finish will not be over if they fail to beat Everton on Friday. 

    Sunday's 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United left Spurs in seventh, six points adrift of fourth-placed West Ham. 

    That result meant Tottenham have dropped 18 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, with only Brighton and Hove Albion (20) losing more. 

    They will hope to bounce back from that disappointment against an Everton side who are also in the hunt for a Champions League qualification spot, with Carlo Ancelotti's men just a point and a place behind Spurs, having played a game less. 

    Mourinho acknowledged it is an important game for both sides, but the Portuguese believes there is ample time for Spurs to claw their way back into top-four contention if they do not return to London with all three points. 

    "We are very close, but there are more clubs around, with a few more points, some others with a few less," he said.

    "With more than 20 points on the table, it's still open. The winner gets the points and stops the loser. 

    "Understandably, I don't think anything is going to be decided but if one of the two teams wins and gets an advantage that can be important in the direct duel, not in relation to all the others around.

    "This match is very important as the distance between the two teams is very short. Of course, they have one match in hand. 

    "The distance is short. They have similar objectives. They are going to fight with us to try and get the best possible position and see if we and them can get a European position. It's an important match."

    Tottenham are unbeaten in their last seven away league games against Everton (W3 D4), while the Toffees have won just one of their last eight Premier League home games (D2 L5).

    Despite this, Mourinho is well aware of the threat they pose to his side. 

    "They are going in the right direction," he added. "They've got a big coach; one of the best in the world. They've got important players and they've got a very good squad. It's just the beginning for them. 

    "Of course, this Everton is different from previous seasons. Nobody better than Carlo. I see a very good future. They have everything. They didn't play in Europe, they had complete weeks to work and develop. 

    "They can play in different systems. They have talent in attack. Quality in midfield. Physicality behind. They have a tactical culture. They have a very good combination."

  • From Rule 5 pick to MLB sensation: Rapid rise of history-making Tigers rookie Akil Baddoo From Rule 5 pick to MLB sensation: Rapid rise of history-making Tigers rookie Akil Baddoo

    Akil Baddoo is the name on everyone's lips.

    Baddoo has shattered records from his very first pitch in MLB this month amid an incredible rise from unheralded Rule 5 pick to the biggest sensation in baseball.

    The 22-year-old Detroit Tigers outfielder is already the first player in modern MLB history (dating back to 1901) to hit a grand slam, another home run and a walk-off hit in his first three career games.

    But Baddoo's story is one of perseverance. Let's rewind back to May 2019. He was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery.

    If sitting out the 2019 campaign was not bad enough, he missed last season when the minor leagues were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    During the winter's Rule five draft in December, Baddoo was taken by the Tigers, having initially been drafted out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in 2016.

    The Rule 5 draft aims at preventing franchises from stockpiling too many young players on their minor league affiliate teams when other clubs would be prepared to play them in the major leagues. If chosen, a player must be kept on the selecting team's major league active roster for the entire season.

    "If you think about it, he's gone through so much," Baddoo's mother Akilah said. "And then this opportunity came, and it was like, 'This can't be a joke. There's a plan for you. You got to know that'."

    In the least likely of places, the Tigers appear to have landed a gem, and Baddoo is making the most of his opportunity, immediately becoming a cult hero in Detroit.

    Baddoo had 233 career minor leagues games to his name, but none above Class A as he earned a place on the Opening Day roster after hitting .325 in Spring Training with five home runs. However, the Maryland native looked like a man for the big stage.

    In his opening at-bat on April 4, Baddoo homered in a memorable maiden outing for the Tigers, driving to left field in the bottom of the third inning against the Cleveland Indians.

    "I'm just living in the moment," Baddoo said post-game after becoming the ninth player in Tigers franchise history to hit a home run in his first major league at-bat and only the second to do so on the first pitch, following George Vico in 1948. "I got a good pitch to hit, and I was able to hit it in front of my family and everyone."

    If that was not enough, Baddoo continued the fairy-tale week by hitting his first career grand slam against the Twins the following day. He became the first Tiger to homer in each of his first two MLB games and the first player in major league history to homer out of the ninth spot of the batting order in his first two career games. Baddoo was also the first player in franchise history to hit a slam within his opening two games.

    Baddoo has continually showed maturity beyond his years as the rookie adds to his growing legend. Taking over Motor City, he then delivered a walk-off shot to sink his old team the Twins 24 hours later.

    His game-winning hit saw him become the first Detroit player with a walk-off shot within his first three MLB games since 1998.

    Baddoo is yet to drop off, his history-making season continuing with a homer against the Houston Astros on Tuesday. Through eight games, he took his tally to four home runs, a double and a triple. According to Stats Perform, his slugging percentage at the time – 1.043 – was the highest in American League (AL) history after eight games.

    After his RBI double against the Astros on Wednesday, Baddoo has now driven in at least one run in seven of his first nine career games, the second Tiger in franchise history to do so, following Dale Alexander in 1929.

    Since 1920, only George Shuba (eight) managed more RBIs in his first nine career games across MLB, according to Stats Perform.

    As it stands, Baddoo's slugging percentage stands at .963 (which ranks eighth all-time through first nine career games since 1901) with 11 RBI. If you combine his RBI and SLG percentage, he is one of four players to have 11-plus RBI and a 900-plus SLG over his first nine career games, after Trevor Story (13/.974 – 38/39 in 2016), Taylor Teagarden (12/1.000 – 29/29 in 2008) and Dave Kingman (11/1.105 – 21/19 in 1971).

    Baddoo was rated as Detroit's fifth outfielder before the start of the season, so how does he compare to his team-mates?

    Counting only plate appearances while playing outfielder, Baddoo's .370 average, .379 on-base percentage, .963 SLG, 1.342 OPS, four homers and 11 RBI are more than the team's other outfielders combined –.190 AVG, .277 OBP, .330 SLG, .607 OPS, three home runs and nine RBI.

    As for the team who left their prospect unprotected, Minnesota's outfielders have tallied a .263 AVG, .331 OBS and .474 SLG so far this season – numbers surpassed by Baddoo.

    Baddoo is flying the flag for Rule 5 picks – Roberto Clemente is the only player out of that unheralded draft to earn Hall of Fame honours.

    Following an 18-season career, Clemente – who died in a plane crash at the age of 38 in 1972 – was a 15-time All-Star, two-time World Series champion, 1966 National League (NL) MVP, World Series MVP and 12-time Gold Glove winner.

    Is Baddoo destined for a Hall of Fame career?

    At the same stage of their careers, Baddoo trumps Clemente in all categories: AVG (.370 to .316), OBP (.379 to .325), SLG (.963 to .500), OPS (1.342 to .825), home runs (four to one), RBI (11 to six) and runs (five to three).

    "Obviously he has the talent to do a lot of different things, I knew he'd give me everything he's got," Tigers manager AJ Hinch has said previously. "That was evident from the beginning."

  • If Harry Kane wants to leave Spurs, it's now or never – Shearer If Harry Kane wants to leave Spurs, it's now or never – Shearer

    Harry Kane's future at Tottenham is shrouded in doubt and former England striker Alan Shearer believes it is now or never if he does want to leave.

    Kane has never been shy about expressing his desire to win trophies at Tottenham, calling that the "next step" when the club moved to their new stadium from White Hart Lane.

    Spurs flirted with that possibility under Mauricio Pochettino, finishing second in the 2016-17 Premier League season and reaching the final of the Champions League two years later.

    But under Jose Mourinho they are going backwards, with Spurs seventh in the league and six points adrift of fourth-placed West Ham, meaning Champions League qualification may elude them.

    Kane has proven himself as one of Premier League's all-time greatest strikers, with his haul of 162 goals bettered by only seven players, while his 121.8 minutes per goal is the third best among those to have netted at least 100 times.

    But recent media speculation has suggested Kane is losing patience, and Shearer – who famously joined Newcastle United over Manchester United in search of trophies and failed to win any – thinks he may not get another opportunity to take his career to the next level.

    Writing in his column for The Athletic, Shearer said: "I've got way too much respect for Harry as a player and a man to offer him advice on a decision that I know for myself is rarely linear and that may not, in the end, be his to make. What I would say, though, is this: if he's going to leave, it looks like this summer or not at all.

    "Harry is 28 in three months and this is why I think we're approaching a pivotal moment. He's at his peak, the ready-made article, an absolute guarantee of goals wherever he plays and the opposite of a gamble, but a buying club is going to want three or four of his best years in return for what would certainly be an exorbitant transfer fee. This is that time. Twelve months down the line and it becomes that bit more difficult to justify.

    "The one indisputable fact is that Harry is under contract at Tottenham for three more years. That six-year deal he signed in June 2018 was a fantastic piece of business by Daniel Levy and his club.

    "It tied down their most saleable asset and it gives them a thick layer of protection now. I'm not convinced it was quite so great for Harry, even though the landscape at Spurs was much more positive back then.

    "The point is that Harry could no longer say the same things about winning the Premier League [as he did in 2018]. Would the picture change at Spurs if Mourinho went? Maybe.

    "As Leicester City and West Ham show, a place in the top four is open to clubs that get things right, but in terms of more than that? Spurs look a long way off. And so that leads back to the same question: is it enough?"

    Shearer routinely insists he has no regrets over choosing to join Newcastle instead of going to Old Trafford 1996, despite the Red Devils going on to win the Premier League title in four of the following five years, including their historic 1999 treble that included Champions League success.

    For his part, Shearer went on to become Newcastle and the Premier League's record goalscorer, feats he treasures, and Kane appears on course to accomplish similar achievements with Spurs.

    But if it is trophies rather than personal accolades that Kane thirsts for, Shearer can see only one option – not that there is ever a guarantee of success, regardless of whether he ends up at United, Manchester City, Real Madrid or Barcelona.

    "When I moved to Newcastle for a world-record fee in 1996, I did so with the aim of winning trophies. That was the driver for me, as well as the pull of coming home," he continued.

    "It didn't work out like that, of course, but for most of my decade at St James' Park and with lots of ups and downs on the way, we were trying.

    "Harry is a big player; he won't accept staying at Spurs for the sake of it. He has to have something to buy into. Right now, winning means leaving.

    "None of that means Harry should leave; to repeat, that's not something I would ever say, but if we judge him on his words from two or three years ago, then it's certainly a subject he will be considering now.

    "If it ends with no trophies, does that mean hell have had a s*** career? No, of course not. All that said, the great players do not settle. They always want more and they push for it. And Harry is a great player, which is why it feels like he and Spurs are approaching a moment of definition."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.