Published on April 30th, 2018 | by Vieri Capretta0
Weekend Winners and Losers – Advantage Juve as Napoli crack under Serie A pressure
The Serie A title race took another dramatic step forward as Barcelona clinched La Liga with Leo Messi leading the Camp Nou club to an invincible campaign
From having lost it, to winning it back again in Turin. The Scudetto race has not been this exciting in a very long time and Juve went from losing at home to Napoli, to winning away at Inter with their rivals losing to Fiorentina. Now the Bianconeri are back to a four-point lead. And it doesn’t matter to them that the win against Inter came thanks to some rough referee decisions and a sprinkle of luck, with two goals scored in the final two minutes of the game. “Winning is all that matters” is the motto of the Bianconeri, and for yet another season they are ready to fulfill it.
Barcelona are unbeaten, Andres Iniesta became the most titled player in history and ends his Barcelona era with a ninth La Liga win. But after losing Neymar in the summer, the man that had to make a difference this season up front was yet again Lionel Messi. And the Argentinian sealed the title victory with a tremendous hat-trick, bringing his league goal tally to 32 and up to the top of the Golden Shoe table. He has scored over 30 goals for seven consecutive seasons. Unreal.
A demolition. The Old Firm ending 5-0 for Celtic in the most drastic way, with rumours linking Steven Gerrard with the Rangers job adding that extra flavour to a complete destruction of Rangers by Celtic. And that makes it seven titles in a row. To win it with a 5-0 victory over the rivals is the best possible way.
Lazio and Roma won, Inter were two minutes away from doing so and imploded against Juventus. Yes, the referee wasn’t particularly good to the Nerazzurri, with at least a couple of rough decisions, but coach Luciano Spalletti did not help with the substitutions, bringing on Davide Santon for Mauro Icardi in the final minutes, with the defender at fault in both Juventus goals. A great reaction to playing most of the game with ten men blown away by a couple of dreadful minutes.
The psychological reaction to Juventus winning in the final minute on Saturday was as bad as could be for Napoli on Sunday. At Fiorentina they played their worst game of the season, losing away after almost two years and putting together a dreadful performance. Kalidou Koulobaly went from hero to zero, scoring last week against Juve and then being sent off after seven minutes in Florence. Then, there was no reaction. And Fiorentina did their job. Napoli now need yet another miracle to win the title.
The final Arsene Wenger game at Old Trafford was a mixture of nostalgia and classic recent Arsenal. The only English club to have lost every single away game in 2018. It happened again, with a late Marouane Fellaini winner, ruining the party for Wenger, who had received a goodbye trophy from Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho before the game. That was the highlight of the afternoon for the Gunners, who now need to react in the Europa League.