Football

Published on February 13th, 2018 | by Vieri Capretta

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Winners and Losers – Unrelenting Juventus and more Man Utd misery

An unstoppable force will meet an immovable object in the Champions League as Harry Kane comes up against Juve’s impregnable back four 

Juventus

The away clash at Fiorentina was one of the most difficult games on the calendar for the Bianconeri between now and the end of the Serie A season. And there were risks with Fiorentina going close to scoring and deserving at least a point, but in true Juventus fashion, Massimiliano Allegri’s men got the business done and took home all three points with yet another clean sheet: the Old Lady are still to concede in 2018 in all competitions. Now the focus can shift to the main objective: the Champions League.

Tottenham

Harry Kane and a huge amount of wasted chances. This, in a nutshell, was the North London Derby, with Spurs deserving the win, but taking far too many risks to get the edge over the Gunners. Arsenal had a couple of chances to get a sloppy draw, whilst Tottenham could have easily put another couple goals past Petr Cech. The constant positive for Mauricio Pochettino remains Kane: a real goal-machine.

Atletico Madrid

Is the Liga title race really over? The Colchoneros are now only seven points behind leaders Barcelona, who have slowed down over the past two games. Diego Simeone’s men will face Sevilla and the Blaugrana in the next month: two victories – albeit very difficult – could see them as real title contenders until the very last moments of the season. For now, Atletico can be happy with the weekend’s result, taking home the victory at Malaga, the third win in a row.

Losers

Lazio

The almost perfect machine put together by Simone Inzaghi against all odds fell to Napoli at the weekend. And losing at the San Paolo would not be a problem in itself, if only Lazio hadn’t also lost the previous two Serie A encounters to slide down the table. The Biancocelesti are now fifth, overtaken by both Roma and Inter. At Napoli, a solid first-half performance was followed by a disastrous second 45 minutes, with a well-deserved 4-1 defeat.

Arsenal

Every time something changes at the club the fans get excited again, be it a signing or a victory. But Arsenal are a rollercoaster team, and consistency has been lacking for about a decade. Alexis Sanchez left, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan joined, and the North London Derby was lost again. Arsene Wenger will likely miss out on a Champions League spot for a second consecutive season, and the mediocrity is truly surrounding the team. A win in the Europa League becomes vital.

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Manchester United

Not that it makes a difference in the title race, but Manchester United’s defeat at Newcastle exposes two issues for the Red Devils. Firstly, second place in the table is not secure. Secondly, José Mourinho still hasn’t solved the problems the team has been having for about a year. The manager is not the only thing that isn’t completely working, with certain players not fully delivering and ongoing issues at the back. The 1-0 loss to Newcastle United is one of those that could leave scars for the rest of the season, and United need to bounce back immediately to put everything back on the right tracks.

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About the Author

mm

A freelance journalist and broadcaster focusing on European soccer and currently featuring on Uefa.com, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Marca in English and more.



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