WEEKEND FOOTBALL REVIEW 20/02/17

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The FA cup took centre stage this weekend in England and while we should be discussing the results, the attention has already shifted to the next round where Chelsea will host high flying Manchester United at Stamford bridge.

We start this weekend at the Molineux stadium where Wolves hosted Chelsea in the Emirates FA cup. 2 goals from Pedro and Diego Costa proved enough for Chelsea to progress into the quarter finals of the competition. Man City visited Huddersfield but could only play a goalless draw in the game. Middlesbrough hosted Oxford United and needed an 86th minute winner after Oxford United scored 2 goals in 1 minute to level the tie at (2-2). Former Europa league finalist Fulham hosted Spurs at the Craven Cottage in search for a place in the quarter finals. Harry Kane was however in form with a hattrick as the game ended (3-0) in favour of Spurs. Man Unted visited Ewood Park on a cold Sunday evening. Blackburn took the lead before Rashford levelled after a sublime pass from Mkhitaryan. With the game heading for a replay, newly introduced substitutes Pogba and Zlatan combined for Zlatan to score the winner and 24th goal of the season.

In the Spanish La Liga, Barcelona struggled over the weekend and had to rely on a Leo Messi brace including a 90th minute penalty to secure a (2-1) win over Leganes. Sporting Gijon hosted 4th place Athletico Madrid and lost (1-4) thanks to a Gamiero hattrick and a goal from Carrasco. Sevilla hosted Eibar and secured a 2-0 victory retaining 3rd place and putting the heat on Barcelona in the process. Real Madrid hosted Espanyol over the weekend and goals from Morata and Bale in the 33rd and 83rd minute were enough to secure a (2-0) win. Real Madrid remains 1 point ahead of Barca albeit having played 2 games less.

In the German Bundesliga, Bayern Munchen visited Hertha but could only play out a (1-1) draw. Hertha took the lead in the 21st minute and it required a 96th minute Lewandoski goal to level scores. Dortmund hosted Wolfsburg and hoping to avoid 3 consecutive Bundesliga losses and they did so in style with a (3-0) mauling of the visitors. This moved Dortmund into 3rd place, 8 points behind Leipzig and 13 points behind Bayern.  Leverkusen visited Ausburg and secured a (1-3) win with Javier Hernandez scoring a brace.

In the French Ligue 1, high flying Monaco visited Bastia but could only play out a (1-1) draw. 2nd placed PSG also played out a goalless draw against Toulouse at the Parc des princes. Lyon host Dijon in a match which ended (4-2) in favour of Lyon. Nice were the visitors at Lorient and despite Balotelli’s 3rd red card of his Nice career, Nice held out for a (1-0) win.

Finally, in the Italian Serie A, the first match of the weekend saw Palermo pay a visit to the Old Lady. The match ended (4-1) in favour of the home team with goals from Marchisio, Higuain and a Dybala brace. Ac Milan hosted Fiorentina and secured a (2-1) victory to maintain European hopes. 2nd placed Roma hosted Torino in a 5 goal match. Dzeko scored one of the goals to take his season tally to 29 in all competitions. The match ended (4-1) in favour of Roma. Napoli visited Chievo and dealt a (1-3) blow to the home team. Napoli currently sits 3rd place 2 points off 2nd placed Roma and 9 points off top placed Juventus. 4th placed Inter Milan continues their recent good form with a (0-1) win away to Bologna.

The week promises to be a great footballing week with matches both in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. We return next week with our review of the major leagues in Europe.

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