It was an all-round enthralling week of football as the fiercest derbies and top class performances were all on show. Drama, shocking results and several twists in title pursuits unfolded. And yet again, we were all reminded just why we love the game so much.
In case you missed it, here’s a rundown of the juiciest soccer bits from the weekend…
1. Liverpool slip in the Premier league title race
Liverpool ultimately handed the title advantage to Manchester City as they dropped points during the Merseyside derby against Everton. The Reds had the opportunity to regain their lead at the top of the table but failed to capitalise as they drew the match 0-0.
Once upon a time in December, Liverpool sat pretty at the top of the table, boasting of a 10-point margin. In what was their fourth draw in their last six league games, Liverpool have seen their lead disappear. They now sit a point behind Manchester City in second place with nine games left in the campaign.
2. Barcelona make the Bernabeu their playground
Yet another solid performance saw Barcelona defeat their fiercest rivals, Real Madrid in the grossly popular El Clásico meeting. The league defeat came at the back of a Copa Del Rey semi-final oust by the league leaders just four days prior.
Their most recent win set a record of most consecutive wins (4) at the Santiago Bernabeu by a single opposition. They also tilted the overall wins’ balance in their favour, moving up to 96 wins against Real Madrid’s 95.
An unlikely hero in Ivan Rakitic scored the lone goal of the match. With the win, Barcelona stretched the gap between the sides to 12 points, all but ending Los Blancos title hopes.
3. Bayern draw level with Dortmund
The Borussia Dortmund team were handed a shock defeat away to Augsburg this weekend – a result that left the door open for rivals, Bayern Munich to go level on points and they did that in style.
The Bavarians hammered Borussia Monchengladbach 5-1 to go level on 54 points with Dortmund and cutting the goal difference to just two goals. The title race has hence been blown open with 12 matches to go.
4. Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal scramble for fourth place
With the Premier league campaign nearing its closing stages, the best of the rest struggle to secure Champions league qualification. Although it is still unclear who would go on to win the league, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea have all but resolved to battling each other for the fourth spot in a bid for Champions league qualification.
Arsenal failed to take their chances as they could only manage a draw away to North London rivals, Tottenham. A win for Manchester United see them sit fourth but Chelsea could regain the position if they manage to win their game in hand.
Tottenham would be hoping not to get dragged into the mix by shaking off a run of poor results to hold on to their position as third on the table.
5. Juve remain unbeaten
Juventus once again emerged victorious as they were hosted by title rivals, Napoli. The game which had a bit of everything, ended with three goals, both teams a man down and a missed penalty.
The Bianconeri were the first to strike when Miralem Pjanic curled in a nicely taken free kick from just outside the box. The set piece resulted when Napoli goalkeeper Meret was given his matching orders for bringing down Ronaldo who was through on goal. Emre Can soon doubled the visitors’ lead just before half time.
After the break, goal scorer Pjanic was also sent off after receiving his second yellow card of the night. Moments later, Napoli pulled one back through Callejon.
The hosts were given a late opportunity to equalise towards the end of the match as they were handed a penalty after VAR consultation but Insigne failed to convert from the spot. Juventus held on for a win stretching their lead at the top of the table to a whopping 16 points.
Other honourable mentions include; Icardi left out of the Inter Milan squad again and for no apparent reason. Kylian Mbappe making waves as PSG’s main man, scoring his 24th league goal of the season.
What other stand out feature caught your eye over the weekend? Let us know in the comment section.
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