March began with tragedy with the sudden death of Fiorentina captain and Italy international David Astori who passed away after a brief illness, triggering a wave of tributes from across Italian and international football.

Tottenham surrendered a one-goal lead at Wembley against Juventus to crash out of the Champions League 4-3 on aggregate, but there was little such bother for Liverpool and Manchester City as they swept comfortably through to the last-eight. Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United were dumped out after a limp defeat to Sevilla.

Another racism row erupted when France’s Ousmane Dembele and Paul Pogba made allegations they were abused by supporters during a friendly fixture in St Petersburg against World Cup hosts Russia – FIFA promptly launched an investigation.

Former Chelsea player Ray Wilkins was admitted to hospital in a critical condition after suffering a heart attack, whilst away from football Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to run a sub-four minute mile, passed away at the age of 88.

And Sir Bradley Wiggins became embroiled in a doping row after allegations were made against him following a report by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee.

1

Manchester City inflicted more pain on Arsene Wenger with a second crushing 3-0 victory over his Arsenal side in the space of four days.

2

Great Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson claimed her first global title after winning the pentathlon at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.

3

England beat New Zealand by four runs in the third one-day international in Wellington to take a 2-1 series lead.

4

Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to run a sub-four minute mile, died at the age of 88.

5

Sir Bradley Wiggins claimed he was the victim of a “malicious” attempt to “smear” his reputation after denying he had ever cheated during his career in the wake of a report by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee.

6

Liverpool reached the Champions League quarter-finals with a 0-0 draw against Porto at Anfield completing a 5-0 aggregate win.

7

Manchester City lost 2-1 at home to Basel but reached the Champions League quarter-finals thanks to a 5-2 aggregate triumph, while Tottenham were knocked out by Juventus as the Italians came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Wembley and 4-3 on aggregate.

8

Goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey, both set up by Mesut Ozil, earned Arsenal a 2-0 victory at AC Milan in the first leg of a Europa League last-16 tie.

9

Tiger Woods took the outright lead of a golf tournament for the first time since August 2015 as he briefly topped the leaderboard during the second round of the Valspar Championship.

10 

Ireland, who beat Scotland 28-8 earlier in the day, won the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations title following England’s 22-16 defeat against France.

11

England international Harry Kane limped off with just over half an hour played after sustaining an ankle problem during Tottenham’s 4-1 Premier League win at Bournemouth.

12

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick announced that he would retire from playing at the end of the season.

13 

Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League, losing 2-1 to Sevilla. Roma beat Shakhtar Donetsk on away goals in the night’s other last-16 tie.

14

Mark Hughes was appointed as the new manager of Southampton.

15

Uncapped Nick Pope, James Tarkowski, Alfie Mawson and Lewis Cook were called up by England manager Gareth Southgate for the friendlies against Holland and Italy.

16

Liverpool were drawn against Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals. Arsenal were drawn to meet CSKA Moscow at the same stage of the Europa League.

17

Ireland beat England 24-15 at Twickenham to secure the NatWest 6 Nations Grand Slam. Defeat left England fifth in the table, their worst ever finish.

18

Juan Martin Del Potro ended Roger Federer’s perfect record in 2018 and clinched his first ATP Masters title at Indian Wells.

19

Manchester United triggered an option to extend Ashley Young’s contract by a year.

20

Southampton full-back Ryan Bertrand pulled out of the England squad with a back injury.

21

Jaap Stam left his position as manager of Championship club Reading by mutual consent.

22

England needed a last-wicket stand of 31 to avoid a lowest-ever total in Test cricket as they were bowled out for 58 by New Zealand.

23

An experimental England side beat Holland 1-0 in Amsterdam.

24

Australia captain Steve Smith said he was “incredibly sorry” for bringing the game “into disrepute” after Cameron Bancroft was caught up in ball-tampering allegations against South Africa in the third Test in Cape Town.

25

Australia captain Steve Smith was banned for one Test and fined 100 per cent of his match fee and Cameron Bancroft also disciplined by the International Cricket Council after the latter was caught ball-tampering during their third Test defeat against South Africa in Cape Town.

26

Steve Smith stood down as captain of the Rajasthan Royals over the ball-tampering row.

27

Australia captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were sent home from South Africa after Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the trio were the only members of the set-up aware of the attempts to tamper with the ball during the third Test in Cape Town.

28

Australia captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were banned from international and domestic cricket for 12 months and Cameron Bancroft for nine months for their part in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

A Cricket Australia release confirmed Warner was the instigator of the plot to manipulate the ball in the third Test against the Proteas at Cape Town and that the yellow tape Bancroft was captured rubbing against the ball was in fact sandpaper, not sticky tape.

29

Cricket Australia announced that Darren Lehmann would step down as Australia’s head coach after the final Test against South Africa.

30

Jack Leach made his England debut in the second Test against New Zealand at Christchurch.

31

Frank Lampard, Gary Lineker and Didier Drogba were among those sending best wishes to former England midfielder Ray Wilkins who was critically ill in hospital following a heart attack.

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