On this day in sport: Barcelona inflict Arsenal pain, Ferguson wins first of many United trophies

By Sports Desk May 17, 2020

May 17 is a momentous sporting date that Arsenal fans will not remember fondly.

Fourteen years ago on this day, the Gunners lost the Champions League final against Barcelona in Paris.

This date also represents the 30-year anniversary of a famous day in the history of Manchester United, who won the first trophy of Alex Ferguson's era as manager.

Here we look back at some of the top moments to occur on May 17 in the world of sport.
 

2006 - Arsenal rue Barcelona comeback

Arsenal were within 15 minutes of winning their first Champions League on this day in 2006, when they ultimately suffered a painful defeat to Barcelona at the Stade de France.

Remarkably, despite having goalkeeper Jens Lehmann sent off after only 18 minutes, a Sol Campbell header put the Gunners ahead, a lead they still held entering the 76th minute as their fans dreamed of glory.

A star-studded Barca team which included Samuel Eto'o, Ronaldinho and Deco had not found a way through, but it was substitute Henrik Larsson who turned the game.

Man of the match Eto'o scored the equaliser and the inspirational Larsson set up an unlikely scorer for the winner 10 minutes from time, full-back Juliano Belletti. 

Thierry Henry had missed a chance to put the Gunners two goals up and a year later he would end up joining Barca, going on to help them to win the 2009 Champions League along with Eto’o and Lionel Messi.

Arsenal have not made it back to the final since – they crashed out in the Champions League knockout stages for 11 consecutive seasons after this loss, their best effort being a run to the 2009 semi-finals.

They have spent the past three seasons in the Europa League, while Barca built on their 2009 success with further victories in 2011 and 2015, moving them on to five overall.
 

1990 - First of many United trophies for Ferguson

In a magnificent era of success, Ferguson led Manchester United to 28 major trophies, including 13 Premier League titles prior to his retirement in 2013.

The opening years of his tenure were less glorious, though, and the club's first trophy was a crucial moment to launch a spectacular run of silverware lasting over two decades.

It was the FA Cup in 1990 where Ferguson earned his first triumph.

A dramatic extra-time equaliser from Mark Hughes earned United a 3-3 draw against Crystal Palace in the first match at Wembley, and in those days that meant a reply rather than a penalty shoot-out.

The return game five days later, which came on May 17, was less exciting, but Lee Martin's goal in the 59th minute was enough to give Ferguson's men a 1-0 victory.

After that first trophy in four years, a win in the European Cup Winners' Cup followed the next season, and United never looked back.

 

2019 - Koepka makes major history at the US PGA

Brooks Koepka was already a sensation at golf majors before his magnificent performance at the US PGA Championship on this day a year ago.

He already had three major titles and nine finishes inside the top 10 over a five-year span before he took things to a whole new level at the notoriously difficult Bethpage Black course in New York.

While golfing legend Tiger Woods was missing the cut, Koepka stormed into a seven-shot lead after the first two rounds.

His rounds of 63 and 65 gave him the lowest 36-hole total score in the 159-year history of professional major championship play.

Koepka slowed in his following rounds, with efforts of 70 and 74, but he was still crowned champion by two shots over Dustin Johnson thanks to his extraordinary scoring across the opening two days.

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    Leicester are on course to reach the Champions League, with the Foxes sitting third in the Premier League table prior to the coronavirus halting top-flight action.

    A remarkable season has seen them equal the Premier League's record for the biggest ever win with the 9-0 triumph at Southampton, as they sit above the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal in the standings.

    The impressive campaign in Rodgers' first full season since joining from Celtic comes after Leicester finished ninth last season, with O'Neill - who managed them between 1995 and 2000, winning two EFL Cups - impressed by what he has seen.

    He thinks Leicester's unbelievable 2016 league success catapulted the club to a new level of stardom, helping to set foundations that make the current team more likely to remain a leading force.

    "Do I think that Leicester can make the Champions League? Oh, very much so," O'Neill said to Stats Perform News.

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    "But overall, Leicester City are a very fine footballing team. They are competing.

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    "They are a team to be reckoned with, no question about that."

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    MULLERDEPENDENCIA

    "Emotionally, it was very tense back then," was how Muller described his time under Kovac, shortly after he extended his contract to 2023 in April.

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    CHASING DOWN DE BRUYNE

    Aside from goalscorer, Muller has taken on something of a new role under Flick: that of playmaker.

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    It tallies, then, that Muller is enjoying his best season for Bundesliga assists. His 17 in the first 27 matchdays has only ever been achieved once, by Kevin De Bruyne for Wolfsburg in 2014-15.

    Another four assists in the remaining seven games will see Muller eclipse the Belgium star's Bundesliga record of 20 for a whole season. That would be a remarkable number to reach for a forward who doesn't take set-pieces.

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