Even if you’ve been watching soccer since before Gianluigi Buffon joined Juventus from Parma you witnessed some things for the first time in European soccer this past weekend. Barcelona became the first team in the 21st century to win La Liga with four games left to play. 10th placed Tondela upset Benfica with their first ever win over the Portuguese superpower. And although we’ve seen it before, Arsene Wenger lost at Old Trafford for the last time.
Let’s countdown the top stories of European soccer from the 10th number to the first.
10. Tondela’s 10th league-win of the season was one of the most iconic victories in the history of the club. Tondela downed Portugal giants Benfica for the first time ever in a 3-2 win away from home at Estadio da Luz. Tondela currently sits 10th in the Primeira Liga table.
9. Juventus number 9 Gonzalo Higuain ushered the Old Lady to a 3-2 victory over Inter Milan away at the San Siro with an 89th minute winner. Juve winger Douglas Costa scored the opener with a dashing shot from a tight angle in the first half. Inter number 9 Mauro Icardi’s header tied it up in the second half before The Black and Blues’ center back Milan Skriniar and Juve central defender Andrea Barzagli exchanged own goals.
Inter played most of the match with nine field players, as Matias Vecino was red carded at the quarter-hour mark for stepping on Mario Mandzudik.
8. Real Madrid edged Leganes 2-1 home at the Santiago Bernabeu with a roster made up mainly of their second unit. 28-year-old Gareth Bale starred amongst the youngsters with an 8-minute semi-bicycle kick. Borja Mayoral scored Los Blancos’ second goal. Leganes pulled one back through Darko Brasanac but it wasn’t enough for the club to avoid an 8th consecutive away loss.
7. Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini flicked in a signature United added time winner over Arsenal. Paul Pogba scored the opener from his 17th Premier League shot on target of the season in the first half. The Gunners’ number 7, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, leveled the score against his former club in the 50th minute. But Fellaini’s 90th minute game winner brought a fitting conclusion to Arsene Wenger’s miserable times at Old Trafford (Wenger’s record at Old Trafford: W5-D6-L17).
6. Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen played to a hard-fought draw in Germany. The clubs even ended the game with the same amount of shots on target, 6. Marco Reus scored again after his brace last week, tucking the ball into the bottom left corner of the net with a one-time effort. The German has 6 Bundesliga goals to his name now. Werder’s number 6, Thomas Delaney, canceled Reus’ goal in the end of the second half with a leaping header from the heart of the box.
5. Milan extended their win streak over Bologna to 5 games. Calhanoglu srtuck first for A.C. Milan, scoring in the 33rd minute. The Red and Blacks’ number 5, Giacomo Bonaventura’s 45th-minute goal ended up being the winner. Sebastian De Maio pulled one back for Bologna in the second half, but the damage had already been done.
4. Barcelona won La Liga with 4 games to go after scoring 4 goals on Deportivo de la Coruna. Barca become the first team this century to clinch the league with 4 games left to play and they still have yet to lose a match in the league. Relegation-doomed Deportivo fought valiantly, holding the score line at 2-2 until the 81st minute. The blaugranas’ number 14 Philippe Coutinho scored the first goal of the encounter, steering a voluptuous shot to the left corner of the net from Ousmane Dembele’s pass.
Lionel Messi bagged a hat trick for Barca. Lucas Perez and Emre Colak were the players on target from Deportivo.
3. Fiorentina stunned Napoli with a 3-0 victory, handing Napoli their 3rd loss of the season. The Light Blues now need Juve to drop at least 4 points with 3 rounds to go to have a chance at the Scudetto. Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone probably favored Fiorentina’s 3 goals over the clean sheet as his son, Giovanni Simeone scored all 3 of them. Simeone has tallied 13 goals in 33 Serie A starts this season.
2. Edinson Cavani’s 2 goals saved Paris St. Germain from losing at Parc des Princes for the first time this season. After going down 0-2, Cavani rallied the Parisians back to a 2-2 tie versus Guingamp. Cavani became the club’s all-time top scorer in domestic play after his first goal, passing by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
32-year old Jimmy Briand and Ludovic Blas scored for Guingamp.
1. Besiktas entered the weekend in second place, 1 point below Galatasaray. After losing to Galatasaray 0-2, Besiktas is now 1-point below third place. Galatasaray’s number 1, Fernando Muslera, racked a clean sheet to guide his side to the win while Fernando and Garry Rodrigues scored a goal each.
Besiktas played down a man for most of the second half due to Dusko Tosic’s red card.
Author: Onz Chery