Football: Five Lessons From Europe’s Top Leagues

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Barca Are Spain’s King Of The Decade

Barcelona further confirmed their dominance in Spain in the last decade or so after beating Real Madrid twice in the Santiago Bernabéu‌ within 72 hours, first 0-3 in the Copa del Rey return leg on Wednesday and then 0-1 in the Laliga title race on Saturday evening.

With the win, Barcelona became the first team to win four consecutive matches in the Bernabeu in Laliga history while alsotaking over from Real Madrid as all-time leader in the Elclassico winners’ chart. It is now 96 for Barcelona against Real’s 95 in a duel that has also produced 51 draws.

Beyond that, one can say that the last decade has infact been hugely successful for FC Barcelona; winning many titles, but also showing great exhibitions and wins in all competitions against many rivals that will always remain in the memory. Winning against their arch-rivals, Real Madrid is always special and, in recent years, Barça haven’t grown tired of doing so at the Bernabéu. In fact, since the famous 2-6 in the 2008/09 season, 11 victories have been achieved: 8 in the League, 2 in the Cup and 1 in the Champions League.

In the last decade in Spain, Barcelona have won 7 league titles with another one in sight, 6 Copa del Rey titles and 6 Super Cup titles.

Juventus Are Champions Again

The Serie A title race is now officially an ex-title race, as a win against Napoli in Sunday’s high-tempo encounter, moves Juventus 16 points clear at the top.

The champions survived an intense fightback from the home side in a match that included two red cards, plenty of handbags and a crucial missed penalty.

With the win, it is now safe for bookmakers to say Juve are set to collect their eighth successive title with the Old lady just having to keep their fine form in few of the remaining 12 games of the Serie A. The big talking point now is whether or not, one team winning eight successive titles is healthy for a league.

Nothing Decided Yet In the EPL, Bundesliga

Liverpool slip up in the Merseyside derby against Everton over the weekend thereby denting title hopes.

However, Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool still have the look of Premier League champions despite a goalless Merseyside derby draw at Everton that saw them fall a point behind Manchester City at the top of the table.

You cannot agree any less with the German, considering the fact that there are still 9 rounds to go with the rest of the ties seemingly favouring the Reds.

Again, the current league leaders, Man City have been hit by an injury crisis. Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones were forced off the hard-fought victory against Bournemouth with injuries

Pepe Guardiola noted De Bruyne could be out “for a while” with a hamstring injury, while England defender Stones was withdrawn as a precaution after aggravating a muscle problem.

With Fernandinho and Aymeric Laporte already sidelined ahead of a hectic few weeks for the champions, City’s bid for an unprecedented quadruple just got slightly harder.

In the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund suffered a shock loss at lowly Augsburg to open door for Bayern Munich

Bayern joined Dortmund on 54 points with and emphatic 5-1 victory at Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday evening.

Dortmund, who currently boast a goal difference of +31 to Bayern’s +29, suffered only their second defeat of the season in losing at 15th-placed Augsburg, who had lost their last three league games.

Man Utd of Old is Back

“It is like the old days,” These were the exact words of Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after his side came from behind and then struck late to see off a spirited Southampton 3-2 at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The Norwegian stretched his unbeaten run in domestic games to 14 matches, including 12 wins with the victory over Southampton also lifting United into the top four from being 11 points adrift when Solskjaer was hired in mid-December.

Ligue 1 Is A One-Horse Race, Mbappe Is A Rising Star

With 17 points clear at the top and 12 games left to play, there is no gain saying that unless the unthinkable happens, Paris St Germain‌ are going to be crowned League 1 champions.

The league leaders and defending champions are now on 71 points – the highest tally at this stage in French top-flight history.

Kylian Mbappe scored a brace against Caen on Saturday to reach 50 career Paris Saint-Germain goals in all competitions.

Mbappe netted both goals in a 2-1 away victory, scoring a 59th-minute equaliser from the penalty spot – his first career Ligue 1 penalty attempt and conversion – before grabbing the winner in the 87th minute.

The 20-year-old has reached the 50-goal mark in just 76 games with the French champions, and has also added 28 assists in that span.

1 COMMENT

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