Category Archives: Tuesday Roundup

European Football Roundup 30/6/2020

PREMIER LEAGUE (HIGHLIGHTS IN THE TEXT)
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.

LA LIGA (HIGHLIGHTS MATCHDAY 31 AND MATCHDAY 32)
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)

SERIE A (HIGHLIGHTS MATCHDAY 27 AND MATCHDAY 28)
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)

BUNDESLIGA (MATCHDAY 34 HIGHLIGHTS)
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)

LIGUE 1
League finished. Winners: PSG / Champions League: Marseille, Rennes / Europa League: Lille, Nice, Reims / Relegated: Amiens, Toulouse / Promoted: Lens, Lorient (TABLE)

European Football Roundup 23/6/2020

PREMIER LEAGUE (HIGHLIGHTS IN THE TEXT)
Premier League players all had “Black Lives Matter” printed on the back of their shirts and took a knee prior to kick-off this week in a gesture that felt a lot more authentic than FIFA and UEFA’s half-hearted efforts of the past. An unbelievable mess ensued on the pitch once the action got underway as Sheffield United were denied a clear goal and three points first by Hawkeye and then by VAR. VAR did intervene correctly in the Spurs Man U game, however, to rule out a second penalty for the visitors, with the ref seemingly desperate to hand the Red Devils the spoils. The other big games of the week saw a classic David Luiz cameo, in which he gave away two goals before picking up a red card against City, whilst the Merseyside derby ended goalless, with Everton looking the more likely winners towards the end.

The Reds’ lead is now down to 20 points after City thrashed Burnley 5-0 with braces from Mahrez and Foden. Leicester remain third after a late Chilwell screamer was cancelled out by an even later Watford equaliser, whilst Chelsea came from behind to beat Villa to stay fourth. Wolves are looking good for Europe after winning at the London Stadium, but Sheffield United slipped to a surprise 3-0 defeat at Newcastle in which Joelinton finally ended his goal drought. Palace are level on points with Spurs after brushing aside the Cherries, who seem doomed to relegation with Fraser having played his last game for the club and a tough run-in ahead. The Canaries lost 3-0 at home to the Saints and for them it seems the drop is a case of when not if. Things are looking brighter for Brighton after they stunned the Gunners with a late comeback win, which prompted Guendouzi to grab Maupay by the throat. Inexplicably, the FA have opted not to take action. (TABLE)

LA LIGA (HIGHLIGHTS MATCHDAY 29 AND MATCHDAY 30)
Shockingly one-sided officiating handed Real top spot as the referee ruled time and time again in Madrid’s favour to gift them three points at the Anoeta, with Barca held by Sevilla. The Blaugrana’s Pique is in hot water for his comments on the official in question, but it’s hard to have much sympathy for a side that are so often given preferential treatment themselves. Getafe and Sociedad’s dramatic dip in form since the restart has allowed Atletico and Sevilla to move clear in the race for the Champions League. At the other end of the table, it’s looking increasingly likely that the bottom three now will be the three to go down with Espanyol, Leganes and Mallorca all looking woefully bereft of quality and form. Celta’s 6-0 demolition of Alaves after a battling point at Valladolid has allowed them to move four points clear of the drop and given them the insurance of an unassailable advantage in goal difference should their form drop off again. Elsewhere, Real Betis have already decided to part ways with their boss, “Rubi”, just three games after the restart. (TABLE)

SERIE A (COPPA ITALIA FINAL) (SERIE A CATCH-UP GAMES)
Napoli won their sixth Coppa Italia by defeating Juve on penalties. The Old Lady started the shootout disastrously with Dybala and Danilo both failing to convert, as Gattuso’s Napoli claimed a trophy from a season that seemed like it would best be forgotten a few months ago. In the Serie A catch-up games, Inter defeated Samp, La Dea picked up where they left off with a thrashing of Sassuolo, Torino and Parma drew, and Hellas kept their European ambitions alive with a win over Cagliari. (TABLE)

BUNDESLIGA (MATCHDAY 33 HIGHLIGHTS)
As expected, Paderborn were relegated in a defeat at Union Berlin, as the home side celebrated mathematical safety. Werder will probably join them in the 2. Bundesliga after a spirited defeat against Bayern was followed by a less than flattering loss to Mainz, who are now in the clear. To steal the relegation play-off place off Dusseldorf, who picked up an invaluable point with two late goals against Leipzig, Bremen will have to defeat Koln and hope the Flingeraner lose to Union. Unlikely. Dortmund made sure of second place by defeating Leipzig after a shock loss to Mainz. RB and the Foals look as though they will join them in the Champions League after Leverkusen fell to Hertha. Hoffenheim have booked their Europa place for next season after big wins over Augsburg and Union, as have Wolfsburg, who routed a sorry Schalke. It’s getting increasingly hard to imagine David Wagner in the Royal Blues’ dugout at the start of next season. (TABLE)

LIGUE 1
League finished. Winners: PSG / Champions League: Marseille, Rennes / Europa League: Lille, Nice, Reims / Relegated: Amiens, Toulouse / Promoted: Lens, Lorient (TABLE)

European Football Roundup 16/6/2020

BUNDESLIGA (MATCHDAY 31 HIGHLIGHTS)
The nails are nearly all in Paderborn’s coffin after a 4-1 loss to Bremen left them all but down. This put 17th placed Werder level on points with Dusseldorf, who suffered stoppage time Haland heartache in the form of a deft header, showing the big Norwegian is not just power and pace. The result keeps the title mathematically open, although there will be no catching Bayern after their own late winner at home to Gladbach. Leipzig are looking certain for Champions League football following their triumph in the battle of the “plastics”. Union will almost certainly remain a Bundesliga side thanks to victory in Cologne, and the same applies to Augsburg, who won away at Mainz; the carnival side remains at risk. Elsewhere, Hertha’s revival seems to be over as they were ripped apart by Eintracht at home, Wolfsburg are odds on for Europa League football despite Freiburg coming back from two goals down in their meeting, and Schalke seem to be turning a corner after a point against Bayer. The DFB Pokal final will be between Bayern, who edged out Frankfurt 2-1 midweek, and Bayer, who ended the fairy-tale run of fourth-tier Saarbrucken, which sadly had to take place in an empty stadium. (TABLE)

LA LIGA (MATCHDAY 28 HIGHLIGHTS)
Barca and Real both had comfortable restarts seeing off Mallorca and Eibar with minimum fuss, while Sevilla consolidated their grip on third with a comfortable win in El Gran Derbi. Fourth-placed Sociedad dropped 2 points at home to Osasuna, as Getafe’s Champions League ambitions were dented after their keeper had a nightmare at Los Carmenes. Atletico had to settle for a point in Bilbao, and there was late drama as a stoppage time penalty salvaged a point for Levante at Mestalla in the third city derby. At the bottom, Celta got back into their nasty habit of conceding late goals losing 1-0 to Villarreal, and Leganes were beaten at home by Valladolid. All this was music to Espanyol’s ears, who closed the gap on their nearest rivals by three points thanks to the Eibar keeper’s brain fade that left his team reduced to ten men early on. (TABLE)

SERIE A (JUVE VS MILAN / NAPOLI VS INTER)
The Coppa Italia semi-final second legs were played at the weekend. Juventus squeezed past Roma on away goals as their meeting in Turin ended goalless. The match’s key passage of play happened early on and saw Ronaldo miss a penalty, only for Anton Rebic to put his studs into Danilo’s chest moments later reducing Roma to ten men for most of the contest. In the other semi-final, a David Ospina pass set Insigne off on a run, leaving Inter goal-scorer Christian Eriksen in his wake, before squaring for Dries Mertens to become Napoli’s all-time record goal-scorer. The Belgian moved past Marek Hamsik to claim the pedestal all to himself on 122. Napoli will face the Old Lady in the final tomorrow. (TABLE)

PREMIER LEAGUE
Marcus Rashford’s efforts to secure lunches for out-of-school British children living in poverty over the summer holidays is a shining example of how a sportsperson can use their influence and their own experience growing up to do good. A massive well done to him! On the pitch, Liverpool have a rather comfortable 25 point cushion at the top of the table and could wrap up the title as early as this weekend’s Merseyside derby. Man City and Leicester look nailed on for the Champions League, but Chelsea (fresh from their coup of attracting Timo Werner to join) still have some work to do to fend off Man U, Wolves and Sheffield United for the lucrative final spot. Arsenal and Spurs look less likely to close the gap and will probably need to settle for the Europa at best. The bottom six are all in real danger of relegation, particularly the Canaries, but the Saints and Magpies would prefer to pick up the 4-6 points they’ll need to ensure safety sooner rather than later. (TABLE)

LIGUE 1
League finished. Winners: PSG / Champions League: Marseille, Rennes / Europa League: Lille, Nice, Reims / Relegated: Amiens, Toulouse / Promoted: Lens, Lorient / Legal Action: Lyon, Amiens (TABLE)

European Football Roundup 9/6/2020

BUNDESLIGA (MATCHDAY 30 HIGHLIGHTS)
Any Bayern doubters were silenced this week as they romped to a 4-2 win at rivals Leverkusen. Dortmund are looking secure in second after beating flying Hertha, with Gladbach losing in the Black Forest and Leipzig held by plucky Paderborn, who will be relegated in the next couple of weeks barring a miracle. That miracle would have to start with a win over Werder this weekend, who find themselves in deep, deep trouble after falling to both the Eagles and the Wolves. Eintracht did them a double disservice by losing to Mainz, who are now just one win from safety, like Augsburg and Union, who both managed draws. Both these teams will play Fortuna in the last two matchdays, with the Flingeraner stuck in the relegation play-off place after a draw with Hoffenheim. (TABLE)

LA LIGA
Just a couple of days until the Seville derby raises the curtain on the restart in Spain. There are not too many top of the table clashes early on, but Athletic will face Atletico and Valencia will host local rivals Levante. The battles for the title, Europe and survival are all very tight. (TABLE)

PREMIER LEAGUE
More detailed fixtures have now been published for the restart of the Premier League with football likely to be played every day, following the Spain model. Early highlights include Manchester City vs Arsenal (17th), Mourinho-led Spurs hosting Man U (19th) and the Merseyside derby (21st). (TABLE)

SERIE A
Serie A has announced its opening fixtures for June 20th and, like the Premier League, will begin by playing games in hand in case the season needs to be curtailed. Inter and Atalanta will both be in action, with the Nerazzurri of Milan looking to revive their fading title challenge as the Nerazzurri of Bergamo aim to put distance between themselves and fifth in the race for the Champions League. (TABLE)

LIGUE 1
League finished. Winners: PSG / Champions League: Marseille, Rennes / Europa League: Lille, Nice, Reims / Relegated: Amiens, Toulouse / Promoted: Lens, Lorient / Legal Action: Lyon, Amiens (TABLE)

European Football Roundup 2/6/2020

BUNDESLIGA (MATCHDAY 29 HIGHLIGHTS)
George Floyd’s death has, quite rightly, permeated every facet of society. In the Bundesliga, Jadon Sancho showed his solidarity by revealing a shirt calling for justice after scoring, Schalke’s Weston McKennie wore an armband with the same message, and Lilian Thuram took a Colin Kaepernick knee after netting for the Foals.

Although the league seems irrelevant in comparison, much was decided in an entertaining double game week in Germany. Bayern will stroll to the title after winning 1-0 at their closest rivals Dortmund, although they have VAR to thank for not flagging Jerome Boateng’s handball in the box. Bayern’s other rivals also dropped points midweek to end any uncertainty. All four managed to bounce back with big wins on the weekend, but it’s too little too late.

At the bottom, there’s now precious little hope for Paderborn, who were thumped by Dortmund after three creditable draws. Werder have found a new lease of life, however, taking 7 from the last 9 and could move out of the drop zone if they win their match in hand against Eintracht. It’s shaping up to be a titanic tussle at the bottom, as Dusseldorf’s good form up until their drubbing by Bayern has dragged Mainz, Union and Augsburg into real danger. Even the Eagles are not yet safe.

Union have been on a desperate run without the support of their fans, as have Koln, but neither have matched the plight of Schalke, who have lost four from four, leaving David Wagner under increasing pressure. At the other end of the spectrum are a Bruno Labbadia inspired Hertha, who are loving life without fans. They’ve taken 10 from 12 and, after Bayern, are the league’s form team. (TABLE)

LA LIGA
Fixtures have now been published for the first two rounds of fixtures. The Seville derby will get proceedings underway on the 11th, before Barca begin at Real Mallorca and Real host Eibar. League officials have promised there will be football every day until the planned end of the season on 19th July. (TABLE)

PREMIER LEAGUE
17th June is the restart date for the Premier League, although fixture details have not yet been announced. What is clear is that the make-up games (Man City vs Arsenal and Villa vs Sheff U) will be played first, which probably reflects the gamble that restarting represents. Should the season need to be called off, at least all clubs will have played the same number of games. (TABLE)

SERIE A
Serie A is slated to return 3 days later on the 20th, but there have been no announcements regarding fixtures. As Serie A was the first league to close down, they have the most fixtures to make up. There are concerns this could leave players exhausted with next year’s season just around the corner. (TABLE)

LIGUE 1
League finished. Winners: PSG / Champions League: Marseille, Rennes / Europa League: Lille, Nice, Reims / Relegated: Amiens, Toulouse / Promoted: Lens, Lorient / Legal Action: Lyon, Amiens (TABLE)

European Football Roundup 26/5/2020

BUNDESLIGA (HIGHLIGHTS)
The stage is set for today’s Klassiker, which Dortmund absolutely must win to have a chance at the Meisterschaft. Bayern made it six points from six since the restart with a wild 5-2 win over Frankfurt, in which Martin Hinteregger scored a hat-trick of sorts (one went in his own net), whilst BVB kept pace with a clinical 2-0 win in Wolfsburg. Koln came from two down to poach a point in the carnival derby with Dusseldorf, but it was Leipzig having a party in Mainz as Timo Werner netted a real hat-trick in a 5-0 trouncing. Hertha took brutal derby revenge on Union with a 4-0 win, and the Werkself kept alive the faintest glimmer of hope for the title with a comfortable win over Borussia MG. At the bottom, Augsburg moved closer to safety with a stunning 3-0 win at Schalke, Bremen got an unexpected 3 points in the Black Forest after sticking by Kohfeldt, but Paderborn had to settle for a point against Hoffenheim. (TABLE)

PREMIER LEAGUE
The planned start date has been moved back from the 12th to either the 19th or 29th June, depending on who you believe. (TABLE)

LA LIGA
Permission has been granted to return to action from the 8th June by the Prime Minister. However, 12th June remains the likely start date, with a Seville derby likely to kick off proceedings. (TABLE)

SERIE A
The Italian Minister for Sport has claimed that Serie A is angling for a restart on either the 13th or 20th June. (TABLE)

LIGUE 1
League finished. Winners: PSG / Champions League: Marseille, Rennes / Europa League: Lille, Nice, Reims / Relegated: Amiens, Toulouse / Promoted: Lens, Lorient / Legal Action: Lyon, Amiens (TABLE)

European Football Roundup 19/5/2020

BUNDESLIGA (HIGHLIGHTS)
Bundesliga’s back…with silent stadiums and social distancing subs. But anyway, it’s still great to see people with wands for feet kicking a ball around again. The Revierderby got things underway as BVB played like they’d never been away, polishing off Schalke 4-0 with Haaland opening the scoring at the end of a wonderful, flowing one touch move. The Foals joined them in keeping the pressure on the leaders with a stroll past Frankfurt. However, Bayern avoided the potential banana skin of Union away with a 2-0 win in the capital; they are averaging over 3 goals a game under manager Hansi Flick! Leipzig’s challenge stuttered as they scraped to a 1-1 home draw with Freiburg, while Koln uncharacteristically threw away a two goal lead against Mainz that allowed their opponents to ease away from danger. At the very bottom, Paderborn and Dusseldorf both failed to get on the scoresheet in their clash and remain in deep distress with Bremen, who rolled over as Leverkusen rolled in four. Elsewhere, Hertha stunned Hoffenheim 3-0 away and Wolfsburg snatched a last minute winner at the WWK Arena. (TABLE)

PREMIER LEAGUE
Players will engage in non-contact training in their clubs starting today with surprise inspections from an independent body aiming to ensure that rules are followed. The original planned start date of June 12th seems improbable, though, with over half of doctors at English clubs stating they didn’t understand what they were supposed to be doing to protect players against the coronavirus in a survey. Much like the rest of the country then. (TABLE)

LA LIGA
After only five positive tests for asymptomatic Covid 19 across the top two divisions last week, training has resumed in groups containing a maximum of ten players. La Liga boss Javier Tebas has been singing the praises of the Bundesliga and, if all goes well, Spain is heading for a return to action behind closed doors on June 12th. (TABLE)

SERIE A
Serie A is slated to return the following day (June 13th) with all 20 clubs voting in favour of the motion initially. However, dissent has emerged concerning the strict quarantine measures required, which could prove a spanner in the works. Inter are the ringleaders, with over half the league believed to be in agreement with the Nerazzurri. (TABLE)

LIGUE 1
League finished. Winners: PSG / Champions League: Marseille, Rennes / Europa League: Lille, Nice, Reims / Relegated: Amiens, Toulouse / Promoted: Lens, Lorient / Legal Action: Lyon, Amiens (TABLE)

European Football Roundup 5/5/2020

PREMIER LEAGUE
Despite the UK looking likely to be the worst affected country in Europe in terms of deaths, the Premier League is working on “Project Restart”, which could see the resumption of fixtures at neutral grounds behind closed doors as early as June. However, many players are not so keen due to obvious safety concerns, with Sergio Aguero and Glenn Murray having spoken out publicly against the idea. There is also a rift between the big six, who are very keen on the fixtures being concluded, and teams involved in the relegation battle, who believe it is unfair that their fate could be determined without the support of their home crowds. (TABLE)

LA LIGA
Spain has also been extremely badly hit by the virus, but like the Premier League is aiming for a restart to proceedings in June. Testing on all La Liga players will commence today (Tuesday) as they begin a staggered return to training. Should the matches begin as planned, there will be a minimum of 72 hours between matches for each club after a previous proposal for there to be just 48 hours was ruled out due to the heightened risk of injury to players. (TABLE)

SERIE A
Italy has been in the same boat as both Spain and the UK during the pandemic. The highest profile coronavirus sufferer in the league is Juventus’ Argentinian superstar, Paulo Dybala, . All twenty clubs voted in favour of a restart on Friday and individual training began yesterday, with Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Turin from his hometown. However, the sports minister maintains that a restart is still very far away and a leading Italian expert in infectious diseases has spoken out against returning to action any time soon. (TABLE)

BUNDESLIGA
Germany has rightly been lauded for the efforts it has made to contain the coronavirus, with extensive testing available to the population from the outset ensuring the country fought the disease with its eyes wide open. As a result, the Bundesliga is the league closest to a restart, although the plan to begin this weekend seems to have now been shelved amid opposition from fan groups, who consider moving medical staff out of hospitals and into stadia at this time as highly irresponsible. A meeting involving Chancellor Merkel is scheduled for tomorrow (May 6th), with the possibility of a restart behind closed doors on May 16th under discussion. (TABLE)

LIGUE 1
At the other end of the spectrum is Ligue 1, who have already declared the season over, awarding Paris Saint-Germain their ninth title. The final league table was calculated based on an average points per game model, after an alternative approach of taking the standings after 19 matches as final was rejected. This formula puts OM and Rennes into next season’s Champions League with Lille, Nice and Reims occupying the Europa league positions. At the bottom, Toulouse and Amiens have been relegated to Ligue 2 (to be replaced by Lens and Lorient), but Nimes have been spared a relegation playoff. Although Toulouse’s relegation and PSG’s title were never really in doubt, legal action is being taken by both Lyon and Amiens, the teams worst affected by the abrupt end to proceedings. Lyon’s claim rests on the fact they had more home games remaining than their rivals and that they had already played PSG twice whereas others had faced them only once. Amiens also had more home matches remaining and, even more crucially, they were mostly against teams in the bottom half of the table. (TABLE)

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL ROUNDUP 10/3/2020

PREMIER LEAGUE (HIGHLIGHTS IN THE HEADLINES)
Reds close in on the title. Ole’s double delight. Foxes tear through Villa. Chelsea win the battle of the Blues. Seagulls snatch a point from Wolves. Blades’ consistency checks Canaries’ revival. Clarets settle for a point against turgid Tottenham. Gunners emerging from Spurs’ shadow. Hornets crash back down to earth. Maximin adds a goal to his attacking menace. (TABLE)

LA LIGA WEEK 27 HIGHLIGHTS
The leadership changed hands yet again this week as a Messi penalty and a late winner for Betis meant victory for Barca over Sociedad and defeat for Real. Just below there were draws as Valencia gained a point at Alaves and Getafe were held by Celta at home; Atletico and Sevilla also ended up all square, as did Levante and Granada . Things are getting tight at the bottom, with Mallorca getting an away win at Eibar and Leganes stunning Villarreal at the Ceramica. Valladolid are very much back in the relegation mix after a heavy home defeat to Athletic, but Espanyol have been cut adrift after losing at El Sadar. (TABLE)

SERIE A WEEK 26 HIGHLIGHTS (PARTS I AND II)
There will be no more action in Italy until April, as the government seeks to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The postponed Week 26 fixtures were completed this week behind closed doors with the Derby d’Italia ending in a victory for the Old Lady that could well have ended Inter’s title challenge. The other fixtures were from the other end of the table, as Genoa, Samp and SPAL all picked up key wins over higher-ranked sides to leave the relegation battle extremely tight. It was not such good news for bottom side Brescia, who lost in Sassuolo, or for Udinese and Fiorentina, who shared a draw that leaves them both precariously poised. (TABLE)

BUNDESLIGA WEEK 25 HIGHLIGHTS
The Lewandowski-less Bayern juggernaut rolled on past Augsburg this week; familiar foes Dortmund now seem the only side capable of stopping them after they won the battle of the Borussias. Leipzig dropped more points at the Volkswagen Arena, while Bayer’s Havertz-inspired charge, which resulted in a 4-0 win this week, seems to have come too late. The Billy Goats won yet again to leave Paderborn in huge trouble alongside Werder, who threw away a two goal lead and two points they can ill afford at Hertha. Elsewhere, Freiburg got a confidence boosting win over Union, Schalke and Hoffenheim shared the spoils and a late Fortuna equaliser kept them just about in touch with Mainz. (TABLE)

LIGUE 1 WEEK 28 HIGHLIGHTS
PSG’s trip to Strasbourg became the first coronavirus cancellation in France this week, but the other nine fixtures went ahead. A last-gasp two goal comeback from the Unicorns stunned the Velodrome and gave the visitors the tiniest glimmer of hope for survival, whilst extinguishing any Marseille may have harboured for the title. Rennes trounced Montpellier, despite resting Niang, and the Great Danes snuck past OL to close the gap to second. Reims and Nice underlined their European ambitions with home wins, with the Eaglets’ win over local rivals Monaco coming courtesy of a Dolberg double. At the bottom, Toulouse made it an incredible 1 point from the last 51 as they lost to struggling Dijon, Nimes fell again to Metz and Les Verts had to settle for a single point at home to Girondins. Angers defeated Nantes 2-0 in the remaining fixture. (TABLE)

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL ROUNDUP 3/3/2020

PREMIER LEAGUE (HIGHLIGHTS IN THE HEADLINES)
Liverpool lose (not a typo). Lewis lifts Canaries. Alonso the main man up front. VAR rescues Man U as Carlo sees red. Another former player, another loss. Clarets keep misfiring Magpies at bay. Gulls all at sea. Fans lift Hammers, slam owners. (TABLE)

LA LIGA WEEK 26 HIGHLIGHTS
Real put their recent troubles behind them to return to the top with a 2-0 victory in El Clasico, while Sevilla squeaked past Osasuna 3-2 to go third, despite having led 2-0 with a man advantage. Getafe regained fourth with a win at Mallorca, and home wins for Sociedad and Valencia made it a miserable week for Atletico, who were very fortunate to come away from El Prat with a point. Espanyol’s fellow strugglers, Celta and Leganes, both drew as well, but Eibar went one better with a comfortable 3-0 home win over Levante. In the remaining fixture, Villarreal’s hopes of European football were dented by a loss at San Mames. (TABLE)

SERIE A WEEK 26 HIGHLIGHTS
Only four matches survived the coronavirus this week, but none disappointed. Lazio went top with a win after both they and Bologna scored two goals, the difference being both of Bologna’s were disallowed. At Lecce, Atalanta scored seven for the third time this season, Zapata returning to form with a hat-trick. In the other matches, Napoli’s revival gathered in strength with a 2-1 home win, and Roma got four of the seven goals registered in their showdown in Cagliari, Kalinic bagging a brace. (TABLE)

BUNDESLIGA WEEK 24 HIGHLIGHTS

Bayern have truly clicked into gear now, running in six unanswered goals at Hoffenheim. That’s bad news for the chasing pack, but at least Dortmund and Monchengladbach were able to keep pace with narrow victories. Leipzig and Bayer dropped back a little as they took two points off each other. At the bottom, Mainz took a key three points off Paderborn, while Hertha completed a stunning three goal comeback away at Fortuna, who have now been cut adrift. Elsewhere, the flying Billy Goats beat a sinking Schalke 3-0, and four headed goals were shared between Union and Wolfsburg. (TABLE)

LIGUE 1 WEEK 27 HIGHLIGHTS
Kylian Mbappe moved top of the goalscoring charts with a couple in a 4-0 win for the champions-elect over Dijon. A Benedetto hat-trick in Nimes kept Marseille in notional contact, whilst third-placed Rennes won at Toulouse, who are now on the worst run in the history of French top flight football. Lille got a key win at Nantes to stay fourth, and OL moved back into fifth with a Dembele double sealing the derby win at the Groupama. At the bottom, the Unicorns are in deep trouble five points from safety after losing to Metz at home. Elsewhere, there were wins for Montpellier and Angers, while Monaco Reims and Bordeaux Nice both ended up one apiece. (TABLE)