To bring you the best of the sporting weekend, we dig into our bespoke social media analytics platform, Pitch Social Insight, to provide a more social view of sport’s talking points.
Every weekend in sport is dramatic, but perhaps this week more than usual. We’ve had goal-feasts in the Premier League, Sports Personality of the Year, two high-profile managerial sackings, an Ashes meltdown, mouth-watering Champions League draws and some blistering golf in Thailand.
We’ll kick off with the big news stories that tailed the weekend; the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas and the draw for the Champions League knockout stages. After Spurs were taken apart by a Jordan Henderson and Luis Suarez-inspired Liverpool team, the pressure was well and truly on Andre Villas-Boas. As it turned out, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back and Spurs announced that they had parted company with AVB on Monday morning. Interestingly, Villas-Boas experienced a two-week peak in positive sentiment on Friday at 62.9%. Over the course of the weekend this dropped and reached a low of 33.1% in the aftermath of the defeat to Liverpool.
The other big news from Monday morning, was the draw for the Champions League knockout stages where arguably the pick of the round was revealed immediately, with Manchester City facing Barcelona. However social media disagreed, and Real Madrid’s tie against Schalke was the most mentioned game across English-speaking Twitter.
On Sunday evening Britain tuned-in to watch Andy Murray win the annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. It was a landslide in the end, with Murray receiving nearly five-times the number of votes of second-placed Leigh Halfpenny. However, that didn’t mean everyone was happy with the result. 10.4% of viewers expressed anger at the result, with phrases such as ‘Miami’ (referring to him being located at his training camp) and ‘rigged’ appearing in the top 10 angry phrases.
England’s nightmare Ashes series didn’t improve this weekend, with Australia looking in control throughout. An injury to Stuart Broad didn’t help proceedings. The English fanbase appear resigned to defeat, and every hour of Saturday night featured the word ’embarrassing’ in the top 10 phrases of England fans talking about the test.
The Premier League games did their best to live up to the other drama. An extraordinary game on Saturday saw Manchester City beat Arsenal in a thrilling nine-goal game. Positive sentiment surrounding the game stood at 66.3% in the two hours before kickoff, but dropped to 46.1% just 30 minutes after Manchester City scored their second. This would suggest that Arsenal fans were influencing more conversation than their City counterparts.
Finally, slightly out of the public eye, Sergio Garcia finished with a strong 68-shot round to fight off Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose to win the Thailand Open Championship. Garcia, clearly the star of the weekend, was the most mentioned phrase over the weekend. 72.9% of those talking about golf, did so on desktops. This compares to 68.9% on users talking about Manchester City v Arsenal on their mobile devices.