The Manchester Derby may have settled the Premier League title race, Barcelona were made to wait while Lazio fans dug a new hole for Italian football
Silky, smooth, brilliant, lethal. The Manchester Derby at Old Trafford could have been the iceberg on City’s route to consecutive Premier League titles. It should have been the game in which City could have pulled a Gerrard and dropped points. Impossible, with this side. Pep Guardiola’s team are a machine, and the three points at the Theatre of Dreams were never in doubt from the off.
With Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United all dropping points, this was a key round for Spurs to make a huge step towards ensuring a place in next year’s Champions League. It took longer than expected, but eventually a Christian Eriksen beauty got the job done, giving all three points to Spurs over Brighton. A key victory for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
This mid-week trip to Alaves could have been the final obstacle on the path to winning La Liga. Atletico Madrid’s victory the following day against Valencia means it’s not mathematical done yet, but Barcelona’s smooth 2-0 away win is another step towards the trophy for Ernesto Valverde’s side. A win against Levante on Saturday and it’s all over.
It’s been a rough campaign for Bayern, at least in the first half, but now all is nicely falling into place. After going top of the Bundesliga, the German champions are well on for the domestic double, having clinched a spot in the final of the DFB-Pokal in dramatic fashion against Werder Bremen. Not too bad after all.
After a season with some ups, but many downs, the Poland captain has finally been decisive in one of the key matches for Bayern. Against Werder Bremen he broke the deadlock, and then once the opponents’ comeback had been completed, he stepped up to score the winning penalty.
David De Gea
The light at the end of the tunnel won’t come quickly enough for De Gea. The Spaniard is a world-class goalkeeper, but has conceded ugly goals in rapid succession, to Lionel Messi in the Champions League, and now in the Manchester Derby. De Gea used to be one of the few consistent and reliable players for the Red Devils, but if this also changes, then it will be really tough for United to get a top four finish.
Playing at Stamford Bridge against Burnley should have been fairly easy for the Blues to get the win and move closer to a top-four finish. But Maurizio Sarri’s side just cannot find consistency. Callum Hudson-Odoi’s achilles heel injury was just another blow, as Chelsea failed to win.
What happened in Milan was sickening. Absolutely outrageous. Firstly, the Lazio ultras went to pay homage on the location where fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was executed, and then they chanted racist abuse throughout the evening, before, during and after the return leg of the Coppa Italia against AC Milan. Disgusting. And for now, all of this remains absolutely unpunished.
A group of football fans — supporters of Serie A club Lazio — have put up a banner reading "Honor to Benito Mussolini" and performed Roman salutes in Milan ahead of a major Italian Cup match on Wednesday. https://t.co/G9HtbFW2rI
— CNN International (@cnni) April 24, 2019
Just like their London companions, this match day should have been a positive one for the Gunners, on paper. United was bound to drop points, and it was the chance to make a crucial move towards the vital top four finish. Unai Emery’s team crumbled 3-1 at Wolverhampton, being absolutely destroyed. Champions League football is still a long way off.
The Reds didn’t play, yet were amongst the biggest disappointed ones as City took no prisoners at Old Trafford. Finding themselves supporting their biggest rivals, the Liverpool fans were hoping United could at least snatch a draw. It didn’t happen, and the title race is still in the hands of the Citizens.