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Soccer Insights March Vol. 3

Zlatan steals the headlines following an extraordinary outburst, Bayern and Juventus march towards their respective titles, and Spain’s big two warm up for El Clasico with victories.

Premier League

Arsenal 3-0 West Ham
Burnley 1-0 Manchester City
Chelsea 1-1 Southampton
Crystal Palace 3-1 QPR
Everton 3-0 Newcastle
Leicester 0-0 Hull
Manchester United 3-0 Tottenham
Sunderland 0-4 Aston Villa
Swansea 0-1 Liverpool
West Brom 1-0 Stoke

1. Chelsea 64pts
2. Man City 58pts
3. Arsenal 57pts
4. Man United 56pts
5. Liverpool 54pts

Talking points
• Burnley dealt a huge blow to Manchester City’s title hopes with a deserved victory thanks to a stunning volley from George Boyd – cue speculation about Manuel Pellegrini’s future.
• Manchester United put in their best performance of the season as they blew away Tottenham. In reference to a video that emerged appearing to show Rooney being knocked out in a playful boxing match, the skipper mocked it with his goal celebration.
• Aston Villa doubled their number of away goals in the first half against a shocking Sunderland side. This was the final straw for the board who sacked Gus Poyet, and hired Dick Advocaat for the final nine games of the season.

La Liga

Almeria 0-0 Villarreal
Celta Vigo 1-2 Athletic Bilbao
Eibar 0-2 Barcelona
Espanyol 0-0 Atletico Madrid
Getafe 0-1 Real Sociedad
Malaga 2-0 Cordoba
Rayo Vallecano 3-1 Granada
Real Madrid 2-0 Levante
Sevilla 3-0 Elche
Valencia 2-0 Deportivo

1. Barcelona 65pts
2. Real Madrid 64pts
3. Valencia 57pts
4. Atletico Madrid 56pts
5. Sevilla 52pts

Talking points
• Messi scored two more goals allowing Barcelona to remain top of the table. Since the turn of the year the Argentine has been simply unstoppable.
• Real Madrid kept up the heat on Barca as Gareth Bale scored twice to end his barren run, but it was not enough to please the fickle Madrid fans who continued to voice their displeasure with the team.
• David Moyes won his first away game since taking over at Sociedad, as his side rose into the top 10 of the league; they were 15th when he was appointed.


Augsburg 0-2 Mainz
Bayer Leverkusen 4-0 Stuttgart
Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Koln
Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 Hannover
Frankfurt 4-0 Paderborn
Hertha Berlin 2-2 Schalke
Hoffenheim 3-0 Hamburg
Werder Bremen 0-4 Bayern Munich
Wolfsburg 3-0 Freiburg

1. Bayern Munich 64pts
2. Wolfsburg 53pts
3. B. M’gladbach 44pts
4. Bayer Leverkusen 42pts
5. Schalke 39pts

Talking points
• Another week, another big win for Bayern. Following their 7-0 win against Shakhtar in the Champions League, the Bavarians put four past an ‘in form’ Bremen.
• Kevin De Bruyne scored one, assisted one and won a penalty as his sensational form this season showed no signs of slowing down any time soon.
• Dortmund couldn’t find a way past a resilient Koln side as their unlikely push for a European spot was dented.

Serie A

Atalanta 0-0 Udinese
Cagliari 1-1 Empoli
Fiorentina 2-1 Milan
Genoa 0-2 Chievo
Inter 1-1 Cesena
Palermo 0-1 Juventus
Roma 0-2 Sampdoria
Sassuolo 4-1 Parma
Torino 0-2 Lazio
Verona 2-0 Napoli

1. Juventus 64pts
2. Roma 50pts
3. Lazio 49pts
4. Napoli 46pts
5. Fiorentina 45pts

Talking points
• Fiorentina scored twice in the final seven minutes to consign Milan to yet another defeat. The Rossoneri have taken just 10 points from their last 11 games.
• Not only is Roma’s title challenge well and truly over, but they now have teams lining up behind them as the race for the Champions League hots up.
• Luca Toni may be getting on in years, but he knows where the goal is – he scored both for Verona in their win over Napoli.

Ligue 1

Bordeaux 3-2 PSG
Lens 1-0 Toulouse
Lille 3-0 Rennes
Lorient 2-1 Caen
Marseille 0-0 Lyon
Metz 2-3 St Etienne
Monaco 3-0 Bastia
Montpellier 3-1 Reims
Nantes 2-1 Evian
Nice 1-2 Guingamp

1. Lyon 58pts
2. PSG 56pts
3. Marseille 54pts
4. Monaco 50pts
5. St Etienne 49pts

Talking points
• Zlatan made all the headlines over the weekend in France. On the pitch, his two goals were not enough as Bordeaux scored in the 88th minute to claim a 3-2 win over the Parisians.
• After the game, Zlatan vented his frustration, complaining about the refereeing in France and that the country did not deserve PSG. He later apologised and clarified his comments.
• The clash between Marseille and Lyon ended goalless, a result that certainly favours Lyon more as they extended their lead at the top.


Chicago 0-1 Vancouver
Columbus 2-0 Toronto
Dallas 3-1 Kansas City
Houston 0-1 Orlando
New York City 2-0 New England
Portland 2-2 LA Galaxy
Salt Lake 3-3 Philadelphia
Seattle 2-3 San Jose

Eastern Conference
1. New York City 4pts
2. Orlando 4pts
3. Columbus 3pts

Western Conference
1. Dallas 6pts
2. LA Galaxy 4pts
3. Seattle 3pts

Talking points
• New York City claimed their first ever win, with marquee signing David Villa scoring one and setting up the other.
• There was an incredible finish between Portland and LA; the home side looked to have snatched a win with a 90th minute goal, only for the Galaxy to equalise two minutes later.
• Clint Dempsey scored in the first minute for Seattle, but they were on the end of an upset as San Jose came back to win.

What to look out for this week
• Champions League – there are a number of ties in the balance, including Barcelona v Man City and Dortmund v Juventus.
• Europa League – the all-Italian battle between Roma and Fiorentina is finely poised at 1-1 after the first leg.
• Premier League – Liverpool v Man United is always a huge game, and the stakes are even higher with Champions League qualification at stake.
• La Liga – the footballing world will come to a standstill on Sunday as Barcelona and Real Madrid take part in ‘El Clasico’.
• Bundesliga – Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen meet on Saturday in a game that the home side dare not lose.
• Serie A – Sampdoria are one of the chasing pack for a European spot; they host an Inter team whose chances of also playing in Europe next season are slipping away.
• Ligue 1 – PSG have a chance to go top, momentarily at least, when they host Lorient in the Friday fixture.
• MLS – Kaka will be looking for his first MLS goal when Orlando host Vancouver.

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Greg Bortkiewicz