Last weekend, the leader of the Italian Serie A “Milan” watched the matches of the closest competitors – “Inter”, “Napoli” and “Juventus”, and “Barcelona” fought for a return to second place in La Liga. “Sheets. Sport “- about the results of a football evening in Europe.
Hoping for a miracle
“Barcelona” has completed an incredible comeback – beating “Seville” (1: 0) on Sunday, the Catalans rose to second place in the Spanish championship. In November, the multiple winner of the Champions League was only ninth. But after the change of head coach, everything changed, and now, under the leadership of Xavi, Barça has gained a championship pace. The last defeat in the Spanish championship dates back to December. And after a draw with Espanyol (2: 2) in February, Barça won seven in a row.
“Sevilla” for most of the championship was the main pursuer of “Real”, but in the game with “Barca” could not create enough threats to the opponent’s goal. The Catalans had to strike 19 blows to break through the goalkeeper of “Seville” Boone. The only goal in the game was scored by Pedry. The 18-year-old talent of the Barça Academy made room for a strike with a double false move and hit the far corner of the goal.
However, the Catalans will not be able to return to the race for the title on their own. Under Ronaldo Cuman, Barça lost too many points, so Real’s lead, even after a crushing defeat in El Clásico, was nine points. There are eight rounds left until the end of the championship, but the chances of Barça, according to the statistical model FiveThirtyEight.com, do not exceed 6%.
Inter’s difficult victory
The central match of the Serie A tour was the Italian derby between Juventus and Inter. With the victory over the reigning champion of the country, “Juve” had a chance to get ahead of him and reduce the gap from the leading “Milan” to four points. In turn, “Inter” hoped to retain third place and get closer to “Milan” by one win.
The motivation of both teams was outrageous, but it was Juventus that was able to take the initiative from the first minutes of the meeting. The players of the “old lady” aggressively went to the press, often not allowing “Inter” to even leave their half of the field. During the entire match, “Juve” struck 22 shots, twice hitting the goal post. Inter responded with only five shots, and found their goal thanks to luck. Milan midfielder Hakan Chalhanoglu missed a penalty, but the referee called for a repeat attempt due to violations by Juventus: one of the home players ran into the penalty area ahead of time, which is prohibited by law.
For the second time, Chalhanoglu did not miss and brought victory to Inter. The current Serie A winner continues to show championship stability even in matches where he loses to his opponent. In the last 99 games of the Italian championship, “Inter” has lost only nine times.
Napoli is also in the race
Another big sign of the tour in Serie A is the confrontation between the third and fifth teams of the Napoli and Atalanta leagues. This match turned out to be productive – the Neapolitans scored twice in the first half. First, the penalty was taken by team captain Lorenzo Insigne. He then assisted Matteo Politano: “Napoli” unexpectedly played a free kick through a hinged pass into the penalty area. The Atalanta players did not have time to prepare and missed Politano, who scored on the fly.
During the break, Atalanta coach Gian-Piero Gasperini made two substitutions. Alexei Miranchuk appeared on the field. The Russian thanked the coach for the trust with a goal assist in 11 minutes. The exact canopy of the Russian midfielder was closed by the head of Martin De Ron. The rest of the match, Atalanta had the initiative, attacking a large number of players.
And it paid off: in one of Napoli’s counterattacks, he played a combination that was completed by Elias Trindade. The final score is 3: 1. Thanks to this victory, the Neapolitans kept the second line in the standings and caught up with “Milan”, spending one game more. The Serie A leader will play his match today, at 21:45 Moscow time, against Bologna.
Mbappe has not yet decided on his future
“Paris Saint-Germain” defeated “Lorient” (5: 1), and the whole star trio of Parisians was marked by effective actions. Killian Mbappe participated in each of the team’s goals: made a double and gave three assists. Neymar scored two goals and Lionel Messi scored one.
PSG’s victory does not matter: the Parisians are leading by 12 points in eight rounds before the end of the championship. The Mbappe transfer saga looks more intriguing. According to the latest media reports, it seemed that Killian had decided to leave Paris and join Real Madrid. But in a post-match interview, the French striker denied this information.
“I have not decided yet. If a decision had already been made, I would have said it, I would have announced it. I always do that. I don’t need to hide. I want to make the best decision. But it’s not that simple. Can I stay at PSG? Yes of course”. (ed.)