Category Archives: Tuesday Roundup

European Football Roundup 26/5/2020

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)

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

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)

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

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’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)

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)

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 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)

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

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)


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)

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)

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)

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)

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)


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)

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)

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)


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)

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)


Precious points slip through Fabianski’s fingers. Leicester pay the penalty for VAR inconsistency. Apprentice wipes floor with master (Part II). Bruno boost for United. Maupay makes a point. Jota getting hotter. Massive improvement on the reverse fixture. Bournemouth burden hard to shoulder. Saints take advantage of villainous showing. Magpies no match for Eagles. (TABLE)

A late screamer for Levante knocked Real off top spot as the Braithwaite snatchers ran riot against Eibar 5-0 (another Messi hat-trick). Braithwaite’s cutting edge was sorely missed by the victims of the La Liga endorsed heist, Leganes, who now look doomed after falling to defeat to ten-man Celta. Getafe’s recent struggles continued as they lost 3-0 at home to Sevilla, who now occupy the Champions League spots with Atletico after downing the Yellow Submarine. Sociedad lie just behind Getafe in 6th with a game in hand after a 3-0 win over Valencia, while two rocket strikes from Machis inspired Granada to a 3-0 win at El Sadar. At the bottom, Alaves and Valladolid distanced themselves from the drop with key victories and Mallorca grabbed a crucial point at Betis in a six-goal thriller. (TABLE)

Coronavirus containment saw four matches cancelled in Veneto and Lombardy, which allowed the Old Lady and the Eagles to put more space between themselves and Inter with narrow away wins at SPAL and Genoa. Roma emphatically ended their recent poor form with a 4-0 trouncing of Lecce, while Napoli’s late comeback win at Brescia saw them move ahead of Milan thanks to ten-man Fiorentina’s late equaliser at the Artemio Franchi. Bologna also knocked in a late goal to rescue a point at home to Udinese in the remaining fixture played. (TABLE)

Bayern needed an 88th minute Lewandowski winner to see off a valiant Paderborn 3-2, but Leipzig and Timo Werner have reawoken behind them, knocking in five unanswered goals in Gelsenkirchen. Haland got another as Dortmund took revenge for their cup exit to Werder, but Monchengladbach paid the price for squandering numerous opportunities to put Hoffenheim away. Bayer’s fantastic post holiday form secured another three points that puts them back in the title picture, while Brekalo kickstarted the Wolves to an impressive 4-0 win over Mainz that makes Europe a possibility. At the bottom, Uwe Rosler’s Fortuna picked up a crucial three points in Breisgau, while the Hertha honeymoon is over for Alexander Nouri, who saw his side smashed 5-0 at home by Karneval celebrating Koln. Monday’s match was a mid-table comedy of defensive errors with Union coming out on top. (TABLE)

Edinson Cavani’s double century of goals for PSG made up for a Neymar red and some disastrous keeping from Sergio Rico, as the Parisians snuck home 4-3 against Girondins; they extend their lead over OM, who slipped to a shock home defeat to the Canaries. A Niang double snapped the Crocodiles’ winning streak and has Rennes back at the races in third, but Lille are just behind after a perfunctory win over moribund Toulouse. At the bottom, Amiens and Dijon picked up important points against European hopefuls Strasbourg and Monaco, while Metz fell to OL. Elsewhere, St Etienne had to settle for a point after an injury time equaliser from Reims, Brest came from behind to draw 2-2 at the Allianz Riviera, and SCO edged Montpellier 1-0 at the Jean-Bouin. (TABLE)


Not bored of winning yet, Reds fans? Wolves and Foxes leave each other unscathed. The battle for 4th (and 5th?) hots up. Zero to hero to zero for Engels. Gunners too strong for muted Magpies and jaded Joelinton. Burnley back in business. (TABLE)

Leaders Real were held 2-2 at the Bernabeu by a courageous Celta, as Barca cut the deficit at the top by beating 3rd placed Getafe; Atletico Valencia also ended two goals apiece. The teams at the other end are starting to dig in, as Leganes drew with Betis, Espanyol managed a point at the Sanchez Pijuan and Mallorca took all three against Alaves. Elsewhere, the Yellow Submarine has re-emerged in the European race, while Granada and Osasuna consolidated mid-table security with wins over Valladolid and Bilbao. (TABLE)

The big game this week saw Lazio take up the position of prime challenger to the Old Lady with a win over Inter, as Juve returned to top spot. La Dea is sitting pretty in fourth after beating her closest rival, Roma, at home, while Napoli and Milan continued their recent uptick in form with 1-0 wins. Genoa are also on a roll and have closed back in on Samp, who fell 5-1 at home to Fiorentina. Elsewhere, Lecce gained some breathing space with victory over SPAL, Parma defeated the Neroverdi and Hellas were held by Udinese. (TABLE)

There were satisfying Champions League warm-ups for Bayern, Dortmund and Leipzig, who all cruised to victories by 3-goal margins. The Foals went one better by putting four past Eintracht, who will also be in European action. Bayer were just able to keep in touch with the top four as a last gasp winner made it 3-2 at Union. The Wolves also won 3-2 away at Hoffenheim, while Hertha brushed off Klinsmann’s sudden departure with a key win at the Benteler Arena. Elsewhere, Augsburg drew 1-1 with Freiburg and Mainz Schalke finished goalless. (TABLE)

PSG were involved in a most unexpected 4-4 thriller at the Stade de la Licorne coming back from 3 goals down to lead 4-3 only to pegged back at the death. OM now lie 10 points behind after they pulled off their own comeback against Lille. Rennes’s poor recent league form continued with a defeat to Reims and Monaco have come out of nowhere to be back in the Champions League picture in fifth after they saw off Montpellier. At the bottom, the Crocodiles won their fourth straight to go 17th ahead of Dijon, but Toulouse lost again with a couple of red cards to boot. St Etienne are also looking edgy in 16th as they lost their fourth straight game to Brest. The remaining games ended in draws. (TABLE)


Bournemouth comeback sets Blades on course for Europe. The rise and rise of Carlo’s Blues. Amex relegation clash ends a point apiece. (TABLE)

Real and Barca both came from behind for wins to salve the wounds inflicted by their midweek Copa del Rey exits; their Basque conquerors met at Anoeta with Sociedad edging out Bilbao 2-1. Getafe consolidated their hold on third with an impressive 3-0 win over Valencia, while Atletico slipped back into the top four with a win against Granada, taking full advantage of Celta’s victory over Sevilla. The Celestes move out of the relegation zone with the bottom three locked together on 18 points each after Espanyol’s crucial win over Mallorca and Leganes’ defeat to Levante. Elsewhere, Alaves took the other Basque derby and the battle of the ten letter teams beginning with V finished level. (TABLE)

Hellas Verona had an incredible few days, first holding Lazio at the Olimpico before going on to defeat Juve at home. This made it a fantastic week for Antonio Conte, who saw his Inter come back from two behind to take the Derby della Madonnina 4-2 and go top. It was a good week for Atalanta, too, as they staged a comeback at the Artemio Franchi that capitalised on a shock home defeat for the Giallorossi against Bologna. Napoli were also stunned at home by a Lapadula inspired Lecce, while there was no new manager bump for Il Toro as they slumped to a Sampdoria defeat. At the bottom, Genoa got a win that keeps them just about in touch with 17th, but a solitary point for Brescia and none at all for SPAL leaves them both in deep deep trouble. (TABLE)

The goal machines both fell silent in the much anticipated top of the table clash between Bayern and Leipzig, as did Dortmund’s Haland for the first time since his move. His teammates did, however, manage to knock in three, but Bayer scored four to move up to fifth. Not to be outdone, Frankfurt’s five unanswered goals continued their excellent post holiday form and secured a return to the top half. Mainz moved clear of the bottom three with a win in Berlin thanks to a Robin Quaison hat-trick, while Freiburg edged a mid-table clash with Hoffenheim that arrests their recent stuttering form. Fortuna and Paderborn picked up respectable points at Wolfsburg and Schalke, but Werder lost to Union, upping the pressure on boss Florian Kohfeldt. The Foals and Billy Goats had their match cancelled due to an approaching storm. (TABLE)

Six sides managed to take six points from six this week. PSG and OM were two of them, as they consolidated their probable finishing positions of first and second. Lille also won both to move within one point of a Rennes side running out of steam in third, while Strasbourg and Monaco’s wins put them back in the running for Europe. Perhaps the most crucial double, however, was that of Nimes, as the Crocodiles snapped back into form and out of the automatic relegation spots. That leaves Amiens marooned in 19th and Toulouse all but sunk 11 points from the potential safety of the relegation play-off. (TABLE)


Lethal Liverpool move 22 (twenty-two) clear. Steven and Son make City pay for Zinchenko’s sins. Rudiger rescues a point at Leicester. Blades looking good for a European spot. Watford’s relegation worries return. West Ham worries deepen too. Breathing space for Bournemouth. European yawn. Mid-table yawn. Relegation yawn. (TABLE)

Benzema brushed Atletico aside in the Madrid derby, but Real’s lead remains a mere three points thanks to an Ansu Fati double for Barca. An impressive win at San Mames put Getafe in the dreamland of third spot level on points with Sevilla, who were held at the Sanchez Pijuan. Fifth-placed Valencia left it late to claim all three points against Celta, who remain deep in relegation trouble alongside Espanyol and Mallorca (who lost) and Leganes (who picked up a crucial three points thanks to a 94th minute strike against Sociedad). Elsewhere, Villarreal won comfortably at La Ceramica and Eibar drew at home with Betis. (TABLE)

A pair of highly suspect spot kicks made it 9 scoring games in a row for Ronaldo and left Fiorentina fuming. Inter and Lazio kept pace with Juve as a Lukaku brace gave the Nerazzurri 3 points at Udinese, while the Biancoceleste ran riot at home to SPAL. Roma fell to a shock defeat to the Neroverdi allowing La Dea to slip into fourth, despite their failure to defeat Genoa. The Europa League battle remains as tight as ever with the teams from sixth to ninth all drawing with each other. Napoli and Bologna took advantage to catch up with wins over Samp and Brescia respectively. In the remaining fixture, Torino shipped another four unanswered goals against Lecce leaving Mazzarri nowhere to go but out. (TABLE)

Dortmund are the new Leipzig, bashing in another five this week, but Haland had to settle for just the two in his first start. Bayern won at Mainz to move top, taking advantage of RB’s comeback draw after the Foals were reduced to ten men. Paderborn also lost a man, but battled gamely against the Wolves before going down 4-2. They returned to the bottom after Fortuna managed a draw with Eintracht. Werder remain deep in trouble after a loss in Augsburg, but Koln have now moved well clear of the drop, showing off their newfound confidence with a dismantling of Freiburg. Elsewhere, Hoffenheim defeated Bayer and Hertha Schalke ended goalless.(TABLE)

PSG whipped Montpellier to increase their lead to 12 points at the top as Marseille failed to end their incredible 42 year hoodoo at Girondins. The Breton derby was taken in dramatic fashion by third-placed Rennes, who trailed Nantes as late as five minutes into injury time. Lille moved into fourth with a win in Strasbourg, while OL slipped to a Dolberg double defeat in Nice. The champagne was on ice for Reims, too, as they ran out 4-1 winners at Angers. At the other end, wins for Dijon and Metz have left the bottom three marooned. The Crocodiles did manage to pick up three points at least as Monaco’s miserable season took another turn for the worse. Amiens and Toulouse, their basement buddies, played out a goalless draw at the Stade de la Licorne. (TABLE)


Firmino fires in late to make it 22 from 23. Sergio sneaks one in in Sheffield. Hammers sinking fast. Lamps laments Gunners let-off. New nadir for United. Lo Celso looking the business. Saints’ ascent continues. Moise keener under Carlo. Crucial win brightens Bournemouth’s evening. Mings takes sting out of Hornets. (TABLE)

It may be a case of better the devil you know for Barca as new boss Setien slipped to a Maxi Gomez inflicted defeat at the Mestalla. Real took full advantage by sneaking past Valladolid to move clear at the top. Sevilla closed the gap to the Blaugrana with a comfortable win over Granada, but their city rivals fell to a contentious penalty loss at Getafe; the Azulones move into fourth past Atletico, who were held by basement dwellers Leganes. Celta and Espanyol, their companions at the bottom, both drew, but the fixture in Catalonia was mired by racist abuse directed at Inaki Williams. Both teams move closer to Mallorca in 17th, who were well beaten at the Anoeta. Elsewhere, there was a home win for Osasuna and an away one for Villarreal. (TABLE)

The mighty were humbled this week as Lazio’s winning run finally came to an end in a Rome derby draw, Inter failed to defeat Cagliari at home (losing Lautaro to a red card for petulance in the process), and Sarri was defeated by his old side at the San Paolo. The ultimate humiliation was reserved for Il Toro, however, as they were put to the slaughter 7-0 at home by an Atalanta side furiously bouncing back from a loss to SPAL. Donnarumma heroics and another Rebic strike from the bench kept the Rossoneri’s revival going in Brescia, whilst Parma and Hellas solidified their top ten positions with comfortable home wins. Bologna moved well clear of the drop zone with a win at SPAL, and the other games finished goalless. (TABLE)

We’ll begin with Borussia again, as Haland made it 5 goals in 57 minutes for Dortmund in a 5-1 thumping of the Billy Goats. Bayern were in similarly intimidating form as they swept aside Schalke 5-0. Perhaps the most surprising result, however, was a Leipzig shutout from a reenergised Frankfurt, with the league leaders going down 2-0. The other early pacesetters, Monchengladbach, returned to winning ways with victory over Mainz, Hertha and Union moved further clear of danger with wins over Wolfsburg and Augsburg, while Paderborn made it off the bottom with a shock victory in Freiburg. There was little cause for celebration for Werder and Dusseldorf, however, who both lost 3-0 and are staring relegation full in the face. (TABLE)

It was a week for reflection this week in Ligue 1, as Nantes and Bordeaux (0-1) paid tribute to Emiliano Sala a year after his passing. Neymar paid his own tribute to Kobe Bryant after netting his second at Lille in a 2-0 victory. Marseille and Rennes were both limited to a point, allowing Montpellier and OL to close the gap by two points on the Champions League places. At the other end, the bottom four all lost, as Metz moved closer to safety with a victory in champagne country. Elsewhere, Wahbi Khazri scored a brace as he continues to rediscover his form for St Etienne, but Monaco’s fell off a cliff with a dreadful home defeat to Strasbourg. (TABLE)