European leagues roundup: Manchester City stay ahead; Mbappé and Neymar score hat-tricks
In a potentially title-clinching clash, Manchester City v Liverpool was the most talked about game of Matchday 32. Having produced some brilliant clashes over the years, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp’s men did not disappoint with attacking football from start to finish as the contest ended in a 2-2 stalemate.
Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring early for City but Diogo Jota was quick to equalize for the Reds. Gabriel Jesus ended his 15-match Premier League scoreless streak and put City back in front in the 36th minute with a calm finish from Joao Cancelo’s cross. Liverpool, who started the second half behind for the first time in the league this season, struck early in the second half with Sadio Mane making optimal use of Mohamed Salah’s through ball and equalizing again with a first finish.
READ: Liverpool vs Man City showdown was like watching heavyweight boxers, says Klopp
It was a disappointing week for Manchester United and Arsenal, who both succumbed to defeats to Everton and Brighton and Hove Albion respectively, which shattered their first four hopes at the end of the season.
Chelsea, who suffered a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in midweek in the Champions League, beat Southampton 6-0 and Tottenham Hotspur capitalized on defeats to Man United and Arsenal and moved into the top four after a 4-0 win over Aston Villa as Son Heung. -min scored a hat-trick.
Christian Eriksen’s fairytale comeback with Brentford continued as the Bees cruised to a 2-0 win over David Moyes’ West Ham United, courtesy of strikes from Bryan Mbeumo and Ivan Toney. The win keeps Brentford in 13th place.
After Matchday 32, Man City lead the standings with 73 points, followed by Liverpool with 72. Chelsea and Tottenham follow with 62 and 57 points respectively. Arsenal are fifth with 54 points while Man United languish seventh with 51.
Barcelona conceded three penalties against 19th-placed Levante, two of which were converted by the latter. With a draw looming, it was Luuk De Jong’s 92nd-minute winner that guided the Catalans to a 3-2 victory with the previous goals scored by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Pedri.
It was an easy 2-0 win for Real Madrid against Getafe with Casemiro and Lucas Vazquez finding the net. However, Madrid’s other heavyweights Atletico suffered a shock 1-0 loss to 17th-placed Mallorca.
Sevilla picked up a 4-2 win over Granada with Diego Carlos, Lucas Ocampos, Rafa Mir and Papu Gomez finding the net. After Matchday 31, Real Madrid lead the standings with 72 points. They are followed by Barcelona and Sevilla on 60 points each, but Xavi’s men are ahead with a better goal difference. Atletico Madrid sit last in the Champions League in fourth place with 57 points.
It was a tough outing for Bayern Munich against Augsburg. The German champions secured a 1-0 win thanks to Robert Lewandowski’s 82nd-minute penalty for the precious three points.
Borussia Dortmund won 2-0 against VfB Stuttgart with Julian Brandt scoring a brace. However, the win came at a cost as Giovani Reyna was ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a muscle and tendon injury.. The American was only able to stay on the pitch for two minutes before being replaced by Brandt, who made a brilliant impact and guided his team to victory.
For RB Leipzig, it was a fairly easy 3-0 win over Hoffenheim with Christopher Nkunku, Marcel Halstenberg and Dominik Szoboszlai scoring.
Bayer Leverkusen and VfL Bochum played out a goalless draw.
After the 29th day, Bayern Munich leads the standings with 69 points. Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig follow with 60, 52 and 51 points respectively.
League leaders AC Milan dropped valuable points in a goalless draw against Torino as they seek to win their first Scudetto since 2011.
Reigning champions Inter Milan beat Hellas Verona 2-0 with Nicolo Barella and Edin Dzeko finding the net.
Matthijs De Ligt and Dusan Vlahovic scored a goal each as Juventus cruised to a 2-1 win over Cagliari.
Game Changers : : Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian striker Neymar (L) celebrates with French striker Kylian Mbappe after scoring three goals each against Clermont Foot. -AFP
For Napoli, it was a bad day at the office as they lost 2-3 against Sampdoria with goals from Dries Mertens and Victor Osimhen not being enough. On the other hand, for Lazio, it was a brilliant 4-1 win over Genoa as Ciro Immobile netted a hat-trick and equaled Vlahovic’s tally of 21 goals for the season. Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma cruised to a narrow 2-1 victory over lowly Salernitana with former Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling scoring an 85th-minute winner.
After Matchday 32, Milan top the standings with 68 points, followed by Inter and Napoli with 66 points each. Juventus are fourth with 62 points. Roma are fifth with 57 points.
It was a brilliant day for Mauricio Pochettino’s Paris Saint-Germain who beat Clermont Foot 6-1. Both Neymar and Mbappe scored hat tricks with Lionel Messi providing three assists in the game.
Holders LOSC Lille won 2-1 against Angers, while Rennes beat Reims 3-2. Strasbourg drew 1-1 against Lyon.
At the end of the 31st day, PSG is leader of the championship with 71 points. Marseille, Rennes and Strasbourg follow with 59, 56 and 52 points respectively. Lille are seventh with 48 points.