Here are MouthLondon’s top 10 sporting moments of 2011 Part 1:

10. RBS Six Nations – Ireland v England, Dublin  

…confident of completing the Grand Slam…

England had started this year’s Six Nations with a deserved away win over Wales, and then won 3 consecutive home fixtures to leave them on the brink of Grand Slam glory. With Chris Ashton providing the tries (and the swallow dive celebration) and Jonny Wilkinson ever-reliable with the boot, England were confident of completing the Grand Slam in an away match against Ireland. Sadly, England were comprehensively beaten 24-8. Overall, this match was significant not because of the positive result, but that it was the start of a dreadful run for England, which ended in their shambolic performance in the World Cup.

 

9. Rugby World Cup – Wales v France – Auckland, New Zealand

…narrowly losing their first game…

England’s World Cup campaign was a disaster and of the home nations, it was Wales that had the best tournament, eventually going out in the semi-finals to France. France had stumbled through the group stages while Wales had been excellent throughout, narrowly losing their first game to defending champions South Africa but winning all of their other games. This semi-final turned on a controversial sending off for the Welsh captain, Sam Warburton, and with 14 men it was always going to be difficult. Though Wales rallied by scoring a try in the second half, it was too little too late. They were edged out 9-8 blaming the referee Alain Rolland for their narrow defeat.

 

8. England v India – Test Series

…a superb double century…

Having won the Ashes at the start of the year, England went on to inflict a series whitewash upon India, which left them ranked the number one test side in the world. A glimpse of what was to come occurred in the first test, with England winning by 196 runs, with a superb double century from Kevin Pietersen the stand-out performance. From then on, it was humiliation after humiliation for the Indians, as they lost by 319 runs in the second test, before a monumental innings and 242 runs defeat in the 3rd test left England as winners of the series. This left the 4th test, which England continued in the style of previous performances with another innings victory, this time by an innings and 8 runs. England finished the series 4-0 winners, and the number one test side in the world.

 

7. Mark Cavendish – Tour de France and World Cycling Championships

…superb performance in the Men’s road race…

This year’s Tour de France and World Cycling Championships highlighted the tremendous talent of Mark Cavendish.  He took victory in the green jersey points competition in the Tour de France, winning 5 stages to take his total of stage wins up to 19. He then followed this up with a superb performance in the Men’s road race at the World Cycling Championships in Copenhagen. A superb team effort from the UK set Cavendish up for the sprint finish, which he won in his usual blistering style. Rounding off the year by being named BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and it is easy to see why Mark Cavendish has been the standout British sportsman of the year.

6 UEFA Champions League Final – Manchester United v Barcelona, Wembley Stadium, London

…side blessed with such talent…

The Champions League final is always a great sporting occasion, and in the 2011 final, we saw just why Barcelona are considered the best club side in the world. Manchester United actually started the game well, but soon fell behind as Barcelona’s precise passing game opened up a chance for Pedro to score. Wayne Rooney equalised 20 minutes later with what was arguably the goal of the game, a fine left foot shot into the roof of the net. But, come the second half, Barcelona showed just why they thoroughly deserved to win the Champions League with goals from Lionel Messi and David Silva. A side blessed with such talent as Messi and Villa will always be a match for any team, but it was the midfield pairing of Xavi and Iniesta and their supreme ability to keep the ball  which resulted in this mesmerising performance from Barcelona. 

 

About The Author

A 3rd year Theology student at King's College London.

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