Two champions were officially crowned this weekend in Europe – Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
Did you know that West Bromwich is better than Manchester City? Yes, that’s the logic that comes to mind when thinking about Manchester United’s home loss to relegation-bound WBA that gave Manchester City the league title earlier than expected. After the tough week City had, I thought it’s going to struggle in Wembley against Tottenham. Instead, Guardiola’s men were the ones who stepped up and beat The Spurs, while Mourinho’s lads couldn’t find motivation to beat West Brom. Congratulations Citizens! You have yourself a well-deserved title. Enjoy it!
Chelsea found a way to come back from a 2-0 home deficit versus Southampton with 3 goals in an 8-minute span in the 3-2 win at Stamford Bridge. Newcastle stopped Arsenal’s 10-game winning streak in their head-to-head matchups and at the same time extended its own 4-game winning run with a 2-1 win at St. James’ Park. Liverpool continued its captivating run of form with an easy 3-0 victory over Bournemouth. Not only did Burnley defeat Leicester City, creating an 9-point gap in the battle for 7th place, but with Arsenal’s loss it is now two points behind The Gunners. You’ve got to give it up for Dyche’s men and their fighting spirit.
Barcelona broke the record for the longest unbeaten run in Spain. Thanks to goals by Luis Suarez and Samuel Umtiti and some excellent saves by Marc Andre Ter-Stegen, the Catalans registered a 2-1 home win against Valencia. Real Madrid defeated Malaga on the road by the same scoreline and jumped ahead of Valencia on the table. Atletico Madrid also won (3-0 vs. Levante). Betis kept its winning streak going with a 1-0 road victory at Girona. Since Sevilla and Villarreal drew (2-2), Betis is now four points clear of Villarreal in the battle for 5th place.
Even though Bayern has nothing to play for, it demonstrated its might in the convincing 5-1 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach. Schalke took a huge step towards securing a Champions League berth with a 2-0 win versus Borussia Dortmund. Bayer Leverkusen showed last weekend was no fluke with another confident performance in the 4-1 win over Eintracht. Dortmund and Leverkusen are now tied at 51. Their meeting next weekend will be tense and fun to watch.
E. Frankfurt has taken a step back after three rounds without a win. With Niko Kovac confirmed as the new Bayern manager for next season, it looks more and more likely that Die Adler (The Eagles) will not be playing in the Champions League. RB Leipzig and Hoffenheim should be the teams to join them. With the win over Hamburg, Hoffenheim is now 6th, while Leipzig is holding on to number 5. The two of them clash next week.
Italy’s first division had an amazing five 0-0 ties this weekend. Among them were Milan versus Napoli, Lazio versus Roma, Atalanta versus Inter and Fiorentina versus Spal, all highly influential matchups at the top. That means nothing really changed, other than the fact Juventus beat Sampdoria and increased its advantage to six points.
Paris Saint-Germain disassembled Monaco 7-1, thus celebrating its title win in fashion. Lyon and Marseille kept pace with each other with respective wins. The situation below them became a bit more complicated as two clubs chasing that 5th position on the table, St. Etienne and Bordeaux, were at the lower end of the pack. At this moment, there’s a total of 8 teams within 5 points of each other in what is certainly going to be a tight race to the finish line.