Football

Published on April 23rd, 2018 | by Vieri Capretta

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Winners and Losers: Old Lady snoozes as Liverpool suffer WBA backlash

It was a weekend of shocks and turnarounds, as Juventus fail to turn up for their title defense and Liverpool lash out after WBA debacle 

Winners

Napoli

The stuff of dreams. Dominating at the Allianz Stadium, conceding no shots to the team that has won six titles in a row, scoring in the final minutes. A perfect night for Napoli and the Neapolitans and for most neutral Serie A fans who want a changing of the guard at the top of the table. Juve’s dominance could crumble, and Napoli have done almost everything they could to make this happen. They need to hold on now, hoping Juve drop some points.

Arsenal

The farewell to Arsene Wenger has started in the best possible way, with four goals put past West Ham United in the London Derby. The #WengerOut campaign is now a thing of the past: the manager will leave the Gunners, and it is about all the good stuff he’s done rather than the mediocre recent years. Arsenal have a single aim now: say ‘au revoir’ having won the Europa League.

Andres Iniesta

His career speaks for itself. To see Andres Iniesta leave Barcelona will be another reminder of how relentless time and change are. He has won everything he could, multiple times, with the icing one the cake of scoring in the Copa del Rey final against Sevilla and lifting the trophy as captain. With the Liga title coming up too, very few will ever match his cabinet in history.

Losers

Juventus

To lose against this Napoli side is perfectly possible. To do so when it matters most, is really not Juventus’ style. They always smash through these kinds of games, even through playing ugly football, but efficient in defending and clinical up front. The problem is: when you lose, and you’ve had no shots on target and played horrendously, then you’ve got no excuses. No bad luck. Juve’s motto is that “winning is all that matters”. The ‘how’ is pointless. So losing this game is terrible for them. They still have a one-point advantage in the title race: will it be enough to win it?

Jurgen Klopp

Going 2-0 up and then being caught in the final minutes by the team that is bottom of the table can be annoying for any manager, especially when you know your team should have done better. Klopp showed all his frustration in the post game interview, claiming West Bromwich Albion had little interest in drawing the game, because they had little need for points. Essentially saying they are already doomed and that Liverpool needed the points more. A very mathematical way of looking at it, but really, what were WBA supposed to do? They played their football, got their result. It’s not their fault that Liverpool stopped playing.

Vincenzo Montella

Yet another heavy defeat: the fourth time Sevilla concede five under the Italian manager, and this time around it means losing a final. Nothing – victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford aside – has gone the right way for Montella since he joined Sevilla. The club were two points behind fourth, fighting to claim a Champions League spot, which is now just a dream. An extra round was added to the Champions League campaign, but that’s it. Bayern quickly got rid of them. And now what? Will he be confirmed for next year?

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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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