Controversy, red cards, last-gasp winners, shocking results, crucial wins and pure entertainment. European football had it all this weekend. Here are the Winners and Losers in European football: March 1-3. You can bet on European football here.
Defending champions in the top five leagues in Europe
Barcelona, Juventus and Bayern Munich continued to strengthen their claim for another league title with wins this weekend. Barca narrowly edged their archrivals Real Madrid in a nail-biting El Clasico clash on Saturday night. This was their second Clasico win in four days. They are now 12 points clear of Madrid. However, they only have a seven-point lead over Atletico Madrid who are second. Juventus defeated Napoli 2-1 on Sunday in a tense encounter to move 16 points clear. Meanwhile following Borrusia Dortmund’s disappointing 2-1 loss on Friday to Augsburg, Bayern’s 5-1 win over Monchengladbach meant they go level on points with Dortmund who had led with seven points a few weeks ago.
Over 2.5 Goals
An action-packed weekend of football meant entertainment and goals galore. In Italy’s Serie A, eight matches involved had three or more goals, a good return for Over 2.5 Goals punters. Six matches in the Bundesliga had Over 2.5 Goals while Spain, England and France each saw four matches with three or more goals scored.
Gennaro Gattuso’s AC Milan continued with their scintillating form when they registered their fourth Serie A win in a row. The Rossoneri now sit third in the table, firmly in a Champions League spot, and overtook their nemesis Inter Milan who are enduring a poor run of form at the moment. Milan have lost only once since November and are yet to taste defeat in 2019. Are the European giants now turning a corner after years of slumber?
Napoli squandered a chance to close the gap with Serie A leaders Juventus losing 2-1 to the Bianconeri in a feisty encounter at the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday. Napoli are now 16 points behind the champions and with only 14 matches to go, it looks improbable that they can catch the undefeated Juventus team. Lorenzo Insigne missed a penalty that would bring them back in the game. Their Goalkeeper also received his marching orders in just the 25th minute. Although Juventus were also reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Miralem Pjanic early in the second half, they failed to get things done. Catching the leaders is now a mirage.
Dortmund have won just once in their last five matches. On Friday, they lost their second match of the season to Augsburg, a result which allowed reigning champions Bayern Munich to go level on points with them. Dortmund were seven points clear at some point this season following an impressive start to the season but their title quest has crumbled in the last few weeks, as they have drawn three and lost one of their last five matches. In that same time, Bayern have won 12 of their last 13 matches and look unstoppable at the moment. Dortmund will have to up the ante in the last ten matches of the season to have a chance of winning their first Bundesliga title in six years.
Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti is walking on a tight rope. His team lost its third match in their last six last Friday and have now dropped to fourth after their rival AC Milan overtook them. Inter are currently faced with a host of other problems including the absence of former club captain Mauro Icardi whose captaincy was stripped a few weeks ago. Spalletti was critical of his team on Friday and with tough matches coming up against Champions League hopefuls Milan and Lazio, he has the responsibility to galvanize his team or risk dismissal.