Manchester United will return to the Champions League after a 4-1 win over Chelsea on Thursday. The win guarantees them a top four spot in the Premier League.
Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is set to renew his contract with Mercedes.
In the German Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund will win its first title in 10 years, should they beat Mainz on the final matchday. They lead Bayern Munich by two points in the table.
In cricket news, Australia has named Jimmy Peirson as their backup wicketkeeper for the upcoming Ashes series.
Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for 26 May, 2023:
Manchester United beat Chelsea
Erik ten Hag said Manchester United are back where they belong after a 4-1 thrashing of Chelsea on Thursday secured a return to the Champions League next season.
Casemiro, Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford were on target as the Red Devils moved up to third in the Premier League.
A miserable night summed up Chelsea’s season despite spending over £500 million ($620 million) in the transfer market as they slumped to an eighth defeat in 10 games since Frank Lampard returned as interim manager.
By contrast, confirmation of a top-four finish rounds off a successful first season in charge for Ten Hag after also ending United’s six-year trophy drought by winning the League Cup in February.
More silverware could be to come next month should United halt Manchester City’s charge towards the treble in the FA Cup final.
But a return to Europe’s elite competition next season was one of Ten Hag’s primary aims when he took the reigns after a disastrous 2021/22 campaign when United finished sixth.
“I think (it is) a successful season but the season is not finished,” said Ten Hag.
“This club belongs in the Champions League, but this league is very strong, with many clubs competing for this position.
“It is the main objective of the season to get into the Champions League. The competition is tough, many teams with really good squads, good managers, so you are doing a good job (to qualify). For this moment it is the maximum but we want more (next season).”
Casemiro’s arrival from Real Madrid has been fundamental to United’s revival.
The 31-year-old’s class and experience shone through against a youthful Chelsea side that were punished for a lack of efficiency in both boxes.
“It was another reality day today when you look at the emphatic nature at the top end of the pitch of United compared to us,” said Lampard. “Results for Chelsea this season are not good enough.”
Hamilton to renew Mercedes contract
Lewis Hamilton on Thursday denied all reports that he has been approached by Ferrari and said he was set to re-sign with Mercedes “in the coming weeks”.
The seven-time world champion’s current contract expires this year.
He has been in discussions with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff for several months, but recently passed the task of completing what may be his final contract in Formula One to his personal management team.
“I think, naturally, when you are in contract negotiations there is always going to be speculation,” Hamilton, 38, told a news conference at the Monaco Grand Prix.
“But, unless you hear it from me, that’s all it is. There is a certain individual in this room that has written at least one of them – I don’t know, but maybe with last weekend being cancelled, they just got bored.
“But my team is working closely behind the scenes with Toto and we are almost at the point of having the contract ready. I’m having the team focused on that so I can just do my job.
“It’s a much better position than I used to be in before because I used to do the negotiations on my own and it was very stressful. I don’t have to do that anymore.”
He added, when asked, that he hoped the contract would be completed “hopefully in the coming weeks”
Hamilton’s denial of any approach from Ferrari followed an earlier rejection of the speculation by Ferrari team chief Fred Vasseur.
He said also that despite a long win drought since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, he remained keen to stay with Mercedes.
“I think we’re still a championship-winning team,” said Hamilton.
German Bundesliga on knife-edge
Borussia Dortmund are on the brink of being crowned German champions for the ninth time as they prepare to face Mainz on the final day of the Bundesliga season on Saturday, breaking Bayern Munich’s decade-long hold on the title.
European spots are also up for grabs alongside one of the tightest relegation battles in recent memory as the campaign comes to an end.
At the top of the table, Dortmund know a win over mid-table Mainz will secure the title, while Bayern can claim their 11th straight championship with a win at Cologne, if of course the leaders slip up.
Dortmund manager Edin Terzic called on his side to not lose focus, with one game to play.
“We’re not done yet, but we’re ready to take the final step,” Terzic said, “As a team, as a club, as a city.”
Terzic was called “the best Dortmund coach since Jurgen Klopp” on Thursday by Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, putting the 40-year-old ahead of Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel, perhaps a sign how far the former Chelsea mentor’s stock has fallen since taking the job.
Bayern have closed ranks ahead of a week which could see them go trophyless for the first time since 2011-12, but veteran Thomas Mueller called on fans to “stick together for one more week”.
Writing on Instagram, Mueller – who has won the last ten Bundesliga titles in a row with Bayern – told his 12.8 million Instagram followers “everything is still possible”.
Australia add backup wicketkeeper for Ashes
Wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson was added to Australia’s squad for the Ashes against England on Friday as cover for Josh Inglis who will head home for the birth of his first child after the opening Test.
The Queensland gloveman will meet up with the team in London ahead of the second Test at Lord’s from June 28 at which point Inglis will return to Perth.
“Peirson has trained with the squad in the past and was part of a Brisbane mini camp last week,” Cricket Australia said, adding that Inglis, who is back-up wicketkeeper to Alex Carey, would rejoin the squad at a later date.
Peirson has impressed at domestic and Australia A level with his wicketkeeping, aggressive batting and leadership as captain of Queensland and Brisbane Heat.
The first Test of the five-match series starts at Edgbaston on June 16. Ahead of that, Australia face India in the World Test Championship final at The Oval from June 7.
With text inputs from AFP
Updated through the day