Coronavirus pandemic: Manchester City, Southampton entertain fans during enforced break

With their matches suspended due to coronavirus, Leganes, Manchester City and Southampton entertained fans on social media.

Man City faced Southampton in a virtual game of noughts and crosses.

Man City faced Southampton in a virtual game of noughts and crosses.   -  Getty Images

The Premier League and LaLiga are both suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic, but Manchester City, Southampton and Leganes provided some entertainment on Saturday.

All matches in Europe's major leagues – along with a plethora of events across other sports – have been postponed indefinitely or cancelled as governments attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19.

In the absence of games, however, three clubs in particular got creative with their attempts to amuse their fans.

First, LaLiga side Leganes, in a bid to help keep people in their homes as Spain continues to be on lockdown, posted live updates of a fictitious match against Real Valladolid, which it was originally due to host this weekend.

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Complete with a stoppage for a VAR check, match commentary and even a post-match news conference, the imaginary encounter finished 2-1 to Leganes, with Oscar Rodriguez and Guido Carrillo scoring for the home side and Enes Unal netting one for Valladolid.

"Thank you all for following and participating in the transmission of the Leganes v Real Valladolid," a final post read. "[We need a] lot of strength right now and we never lack a sense of humour."

 

Perhaps inspired by its Spanish counterpart, Southampton attempted to get Norwich City – its scheduled Premier League opponent – involved in an online game of noughts and crosses.

However, Norwich did not respond to Southampton's initial move, with the Saints posting at half-time: "In truth, only one team making any effort to play here, but we're still waiting for the first real breakthrough."

Manchester City volunteered to take over, though, and the game finished level, prompting Southampton to appeal to the Premier League for a point.

 

It remains to be seen when the leagues will be able to recommence in more traditional fashion or if the season will be able to be completed at all.

While UEFA's 55 member nations will meet via a video conference on Tuesday, with the status of the Champions League, Europa League and Euro 2020 up for discussion, the Premier League has called an emergency meeting for Thursday after suspending all matches until April 3.

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