European Football Roundup 30/6/2020

The title is Liverpool’s for the first time in 30 years after a dazzling display against Crystal Palace was followed by City slipping up at the Bridge. The Blues closed the gap on third-placed Leicester, who could only draw with Brighton, to a single point. Wolves are now just two behind Chelsea after 1-0 wins over relegation-threatened Bournemouth and Villa, with Adama Traore in unstoppable form. An Anthony Martial hat-trick kept Manchester United in the hunt, and Spurs recorded their first win in 8 attempts in large part thanks to VAR missing a handball for their first goal. North London rivals Arsenal finally got some points on the board as well at Southampton, who bounced back to defeat Watford with Ings on target twice. The Hornets also lost to Burnley, who made it two wins from two against Palace. With Norwich going down to Everton at Carrow Road, Villa’s point at Newcastle was the only registered by the bottom five this week. (TABLE)

The FA Cup quarter-finals also took place, with the four traditional heavyweights of United, Arsenal, Chelsea and City booking their place in the last four.

A drop of the hat gets you a penalty these days in La Liga and it’s really ruining the spectacle. Spanish VAR needs to take a long hard look at itself. Wins over Mallorca and Espanyol kept Real firmly in top spot as Barca dropped another couple of points against a resurgent Celta, for whom club legend Iago Aspas netted his 150th strike. The Celeste would have taken all three but for a missed sitter at the death. Atletico got a couple of narrow victories to consolidate third as Sevilla dropped points at home to Valladolid. The Derbi de la Comunitat was won by the Yellow Submarine, who are now putting serious pressure on 4th spot along with Getafe. Valencia and Sociedad will have to settle for Europa at best. With Celta taking four from six and Eibar six from six this week, the bottom three are now eight points adrift. A win for Celta at Mallorca this evening would all but seal their fate. (TABLE)

The Old Lady is pulling clear of the pack after two comfortable wins this week against weaker opposition. Lazio’s hopes of a scudetto were dented by an impressive three goal comeback by La Dea, who won both their matches this week 3-2 to give them a nine-point gap over fifth-placed Roma, who lost to Milan. Inter remain third after a win and a draw. Brescia and SPAL are marooned at the bottom, but a lot of teams are fighting it out to avoid 18th place, which Lecce currently occupy. Like La Liga, there were multiple highly questionable penalties this week, with Lazio and Genoa two of the undeserved beneficiaries.(TABLE)

The 34th and final matchday saw a whopping 34 goals, as Robert Lewandowski netted his 34th strike of the season to maintain his average of a goal a game. Bayern have won every single match since the restart and if they continue that run, the Pokal and Champions League will follow. Timo Werner ended his career at third-placed Leipzig with two strikes, which sets a target of 95 for whoever wishes to take over as RB’s record goal-scorer in the future. Dortmund finished second again, but seemed to already be on holiday as Andrej Kramaric scored all four of Hoffenheim’s goals at the Signal Iduna. Gladbach took the final Champions League place with a win over Hertha that rendered Bayer’s win over Mainz academic. If Bayern or Leipzig win the Champions League, Freiburg will join Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim in the Europa League thanks to a 4-0 thrashing of Schalke, who will be thankful the season is finally over. At the bottom, Fortuna were relegated after a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Union was capitalised on by Werder, who defeated Dusseldorf’s local rivals Koln 6-1. Yuya Osako was the star of the show and they will need him again this week in their relegation play-off with Heidenheim, who edged out Hamburg to rule out the possibility of a Nordderby. Paderborn went down 3-2 to Frankfurt in their final match of first tier football. Arminia Bielefeld and Stuttgart will both be back in the big time next season. (TABLE)

League finished. Winners: PSG / Champions League: Marseille, Rennes / Europa League: Lille, Nice, Reims / Relegated: Amiens, Toulouse / Promoted: Lens, Lorient (TABLE)

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