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Alamy Stock Photo Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo looks dejected after the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match.
# good reads
Man United now a second-rank side and more of the week's best sportswriting
Also, Daragh Ó Conchúir pays tribute to Tiger Roll.

1. “Deep into the 94th minute at Old Trafford, Manchester United swarmed forward for one last attack. As the famous red shirts massed ominously in the penalty area, the Stretford End rose as one, shouted as one, dreamed in vivid noise and colour of a classic United comeback. Meanwhile, surging forward with the ball at his feet, the messenger at the gates of glory, was Nemanja Matic.”

The Guardian’s Jonathan Liew on how a midweek erratic display shone a light on Manchester United’s also-ran status.

2. “And so, the end is near. Tiger Roll is on the brink of making his curtain call.

“He should have had one more day in the sun, bidding to make history at Aintree, trying to win a third Grand National in three attempts. But hey, two out of two is pretty special.


“He signs off Wednesday at Cheltenham, where he has won six times, five at the festival – three times on his birthday, March 14 which means he will have just turned 12.”

Writing for The Irish Examiner, Daragh Ó Conchúir pays tribute to Tiger Roll.

3.Professor Anita Elberse stands in front of her class in the Baker Library at Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts and asks how. How did Toto Wolff become the dominant team principal in Formula One? They’re seated in an impressive amphitheatre, they have read her case study and have their ideas about how Wolff and his Mercedes team got to where they are.

“Hands are quickly raised. “He is empowering and protecting his people,” Dean says. Elberse writes that on a blackboard. Ana talks about the formidable standards Wolff has set for the team. Helen says he has bridged the gap between the engineers and the rest of the team.”

The Sunday Times’ David Walsh interviews Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

4. “On March 10th, the fifteenth day of the war in Ukraine, the British government imposed sanctions on Roman Abramovich, the Russian owner of Chelsea Football Club, the reigning European and world champions of the club game. According to the sanctions listing, “Abramovich is associated with a person who is or has been involved in destabilising Ukraine and undermining and threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, namely Vladimir Putin, with whom Abramovich has had a close relationship for decades.”

“Chelsea is Abramovich’s best-known asset, ahead of his super yachts, Kensington mansion, and twenty-nine-per-cent stake in Evraz, a mining-and-steel company that the British government believes may have supplied the Russian military and whose board members included, until recently, a former private secretary to Prince Charles. (Evraz says it has sold steel only to Russia’s “infrastructure and construction sectors.”) At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s stadium, in West London, the merchandise store closed and went offline. The club’s credit cards were suspended. Ticket sales ceased. The government granted a special license for Chelsea to play out its schedule for the rest of the season, so as not to wreck competitions for other teams, but capped its spending on travelling to and hosting matches to twenty thousand pounds and nine hundred thousand pounds per game, respectively.”

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The New Yorker’s Sam Knight looks at ‘The Endgame of the Oligarch Who Owns Chelsea’.

5. “Destiny Littleton closes her eyes. Clears her head. The lights dim as the national anthem starts to play. She tells herself to stay ready.

“Whether you play a lot, a little, or none at all, be a great teammate, she thinks to herself. Believe in yourself, hit shots, and be you.

“As the game gets underway, she watches and waits from the bench. She cheers and claps. Minutes pass. Sometimes, the entire first half. She doesn’t know when she’ll be called into the game. Some games her number isn’t called much at all. But when it is, she has to be on. Even if she has sat all game, her arms and legs turning completely cold—she has to deliver.”

The Ringer’s Mirin Fader profiles South Carolina’s biggest X factor.

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