FOOTBALL – Lots of goals and red cards in this week’s football as the first leg semi-finals of the Europa League and Champions league took place.
Football is in the final stages of all competitions for this season. In every match there is so much to play for – all goals count, and no team can be discounted.
Sevilla dropped an important 3 points on Monday when they lost at home 0-1 to Athletic Club. This ended their 5-match unbeaten run. There were plenty of chances for both sides, but none hit the spot. Sevilla looked like they would take a point from the game, until substitute, Williams scored for Athletic in the 90th minute.
It was a tense match on Sunday when Barcelona took on 14th place Valencia. Valencia appeared to have the upper hand, but the first half ended goalless. Just five minutes into the second half, and Valencia´s Paulista scored. This was followed just seven minutes later when Barcelona managed to score three goals in just 12 minutes. Two came from Messi and the other from Griezmann. Valencia´s chances of winning looked over, but they were right back in the game when Solar scored in the 83rd minute. However, no more goals were produced by either side during the remaining minutes of the game. Barcelona won 2-3 after losing the first goal.
Real Madrid won 2-0 against Osasuna on Saturday with two late goals in the 76th and 80th minutes from Militao and Casemiro. The score could have been a lot higher had it not been for some outstanding saves from Osasuna goalkeeper, Herrera.
La Liga standings
As La Liga table stands Atletico are still top with 76 points. Real Madrid and Barcelona both on 74 points and still snapping at their heels is Sevilla on 70.
With only four games remaining, this weekend could make a massive difference to the standings for all four at the top. All have matches against each other. On Saturday Barcelona are at home to current leaders Atletico. If they win, they go top. Should Atletico win, they go 5 points ahead of Barca. However, if they draw, it will be a nail-biting day on Sunday when Real Madrid are at home to Sevilla. The Sunday match will have the advantage of knowing what they must beat.
All teams desperately must win to be in with a chance of the title. After this weekend there are only 3 games and 9 points to play for.
Manchester United were on top form in the Europa League this week. They scored an incredible 6 goals at home against Roma. The final score was 6-2. There were goals from Fernandes 9, and a penalty in 71. Then Carvani 48 + 64 Pogba 75 and Greenwood 86. Roma scored a penalty from Pellegrini in 15 and then Dzeko 33. The 2nd leg is in Rome on Thursday.
The other semi-final resulted in Villarreal winning 2-1 against Arsenal. Trigueros from the home side opened the score in the first five minutes and Albiol followed with their second goal in the 29th minute. The first half finished 2-0 for Villarreal. Pepe from Arsenal scored the away goal in the 73rd minute.
There was a red card for each side during the second half, Arsenal´s Ceballos was sent off after 57 min. Then Capoue followed for the early bath after 80 minutes. Another hard game for the return leg is set for Thursday at the Emirates Stadium.
The winners from Thursday’s games will play in the final on May 26.
The 2nd leg of the Champions league took place last night (Tuesday) Manchester city v PSG. City went into the home game 2-1 ahead on aggregate and with the away goals advantage.
Last night´s match was dominated from the start by Manchester City with Mahrez opening the score after 11 minutes into the game. Mahrez scored again in the second half after 63 minutes to finish the game 2-0 and 4-1 on aggregate.
There was a red card after 69 minutes when Di Maria from PSG was sent off.
Tonight, sees Real Madrid visit Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for their second leg semi-final. Both teams were evenly matched in the first leg when the game finished 1-1. However Chelsea have the away goal advantage.
After last night´s win, Manchester City have already bagged their place in the final. The winner of tonight´s game will play against them on May 29.
According to Marca, with the final games in La Liga looming, Messi invited teammates and partners to his garden for a BBQ bonding session on Monday evening. Although the squad is part of the same corona “bubble”, Messi is under investigation by La Liga and the local authorities to see whether restrictions – in particular the rule of 6 – were breached. Tables and facilities were reported to have been spaced according to the social distance requirements.
Athletico Madrid also had a similar event after their 1-0 victory against Elche on Saturday.
Previously there were some breaches of corona restrictions reported with regard to travel during Semana Santa.