Monthly Archives: March 2018

RB Leipzig beats rare submissive Bayern in Bundesliga

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Bayern Munich’s breeze to the Bundesliga title were delayed after a putting on a rare submissive performance that sealed their defeat against RB Leipzig by 2-1.

Timo Werner’s 56th-minute effort gave his side their first win over Bayern after five encounters between the two sides and left the visitors with more work to do to seal another crown.

Bayern had looked set to consolidate their status at the summit when Sandro Wagner headed in James Rodriguez’s cross for the opener with 12 minutes on the clock.

However, a stirring performance by the home side led to Naby Keita equalising just before half-time, with Konrad Laimer finding Keita with a through ball for the Guinean national to lash past Bayern keeper Sven Ulreich.

Keita then contributed again by finding Werner who shrugged off the attention of Mats Hummels and raced clear to fire in low past Ulreich for the winner.

Still, Bayern did not give up and Hummels, looking to make amends forced a fine save from Leipzig keeper Peter Gulasci and headed over over the bar 10 minutes from time.

However, an equalizer proved elusive, and Bayern’s defeat meant that their 18-game unbeaten streak in all competitions was stopped short.

“We met a Leipzig side today who right from the start were full of strong running, extremely aggressive and displayed good pressing,” said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes. “They also did this in St Petersburg on Thursday [in the Europe League].”

“I warned against this and we didn’t play like we have done in recent weeks. If we had played over the 90 minutes like we did in the last half hour then we would not have lost.”

Ronaldo scores four as forward collects 50th career hat-trick

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Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo scored four goals to hit a 50th career hat-trick as Los Blancos defeated Girona by 6-3.

Ronaldo would take his league tally to 22 goals for the season in another commanding performance at the Bernabeu, and a total of 17 in the calendar year within 8 games in all competitions.

The Portuguese captain converted Toni Kroos’ pass, but Girona’s Cristhian Stuani’s header made it 1-1.

Real, however, reclaimed the advantage with a powerful strike from Ronaldo before setting up Lucas Vazquez for the hosts’ third and then completing his hat-trick.

Stuani headed in Girona’s second, while Gareth Bale scored Real’s fifth, Juanpe pulled one back but Ronaldo got his fourth and Real’s sixth in injury time.

Their big win at home meant that Real are just four points behind neigbouring rivals Atletico — who lost in a shock 2-1 defeat at Villareal, although remain 15 points behind league leaders FC Barcelona.

Barca had already got their full 3 points with 2-0 home win over Athletic Bilbao, as Lionel Messi scored for the sixth consecutive game with Barcelona tightening their grip in the title race.

The Argentinian made a trademark dribble into the Bilbao box before laying the ball off to Jordi Alba, setting the defender up for a run to the byline before cutting the ball back to Alcacer, who was left with a simple side‑footed finish in the eighth minute of the game.

Messi then scored when Ousmane Dembele found him unmarked at the edge of the area to allow the La Liga top scorer made a clinical finish.

Antonio Conte: Lionel Messi made the difference for Barca

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Chelsea coach Antonio Conte believed that Lionel Messi made the difference for FC Barcelona as the Catalan team knocked the Blues out of the Champions League with 3-0 home win (4-1 on aggregate).

After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Conte saw his team fell behind after just 128 seconds as Messi shot through the legs of Thibaut Courtois from a tight angle.

The Argentine then set up Ousmane Dembele to hammer home, before collecting his 100th Champions League goal — after a mistake by Cesar Azpilicueta — took the hosts out of sight.

Marcos Alonso, who nearly scored with a free-kick was then denied a penalty after a challenge by Gerard Pique as Barcelona joined La Liga rivals Real Madrid and Sevilla in Friday’s quarter-final draw.

Conte, who sought out Messi at the final whistle to express admiration at his display as they made their , said: “I have to praise the commitment of my players, and be proud because they gave everything. But Messi made the difference and, when you have the opportunity to make a great compliment to Messi, it’s right to praise a super, super, super top player.”

“A player who is able to score 60 goals in every season. Not only for one season. We are talking about an extraordinary player, the best in the world.”

The former Italian International coach also believed that his team was also unfortunate to exit the Champions League after striking the woodwork four times in the two legs.

“We were a bit unlucky because we created many chances to score,” he added. “I think there was a penalty on Marcos Alonso [after a challenge from Gerard Piqué] at the start of the second half and, if you make it 2-1, you can put a bit of pressure on Barcelona. At the end, I repeat: I must be pleased with the commitment of my players. I saw great work from my players.”

Red Bull Salzburg digs in to send Borussia Dortmund out of Europa League

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German giants Borussia Dortmund were eliminated from the Europa League after a goalless draw in Austria saw Red Bull Salzburg won their quarter-final tie by 2-1 on aggregate.

The visitors was even on the defensive, with keeper Roman Burki forced to make an excellent save to deny Salzburg’s Duje Caleta-Car in the first half and further chances fell to Hwang Hee-chan.

Although Dortmund themselves came close through Michy Batshuayi and Marcel Schmelzer, they needed to score at least twice to go through and that never came to pass.

Since Salzburg became runners-up in the old UEFA Cup in 1993-94, no other Austrian side has reached the last eight of the Europa League before.

Meanwhile, Dortmund’s Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig knocked out Roberto Mancini’s Zenit St Petersburg squad with a 1-1 draw in Russia and progressed by 3-2 on aggregate.

Like Salzburg, Leipzig had won the first leg by 2-1 before leading ahead through Jean-Kevin Augustin, although Zenit leveled through Sebastian Driussi’s back-post volley. Yet the German club would advance to Friday’s draw despite Timo Werner having an 81st-minute penalty saved.

Premier League club Arsenal FC picked up a 3-1 victory over AC Milan at Emirates Stadium thanks to two goals from Danny Welbeck to go through 5-1 on aggregate.

However, the Gunners were given a scare when Hakan Calhanoglu fired in from long range but Welbeck converted a penalty he had won controversially to level the score shortly afterwards.

Milan keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma’s error later on allowed Granit Xhaka to find the net in the second half before Welbeck added a third.