Monday, April 16, 2018

The Week that was (in Football (Soccer)): Review of the top Leagues in Europe-part 1 (Week of April 9-16, 2018)


Note:
The purpose of this section is to summarize the week in question, it is not meant to give a full statistical analysis of the matches.
We live in a viral age and all that information can be accessed.
I welcome all contributions from anyone, even for the Leagues that I did not cover.

I.  England


At the beginning of the week, Manchester City (despite being virtual champions) were on the ropes after two consecutive defeats (Liverpool in CL and Manchester United in the League).
The odds were against Manchester City to overcome their (0-3) deficit against Liverpool in the CL Quarterfinal second leg at home on April 10th.
Manchester City scored early through Gabriel Jesus and continued pressing.
Just before halftime, Leroy Sane scored a second goal but it was unjustly ruled offside. Manchester City Manager Josip Guardiola would be sent off for protesting this decision. Liverpool would come back and score twice to eliminate Manchester City and defeat City for the third time in the season.


                                    Photo From: L'Equipe, April 11, 2018
(Mohamed Salah, April 10, 2018, Champions League, Manchester City 1-Liverpool 2)





Two days later, Arsenal reached the semifinals of the Europa League after a  (2-2) tie vs. CSKA Moscow.
On Saturday, it was back to the business of the League and Manchester City bounced back after three straight defeats to defeat Tottenham (3-1) at Wembley.
Manchester City would be assured of the title if Manchester United slipped up on Sunday against WBA.
However, most expected a comfortable Man Utd victory against a weak opposition at home.
Against all odds, WBA won (1-0) through a Jay Rodriguez strike.
This handed the title to Manchester City with matches to spare.
It was their third title in seven seasons. Guardiola has won League championships in Spain, Germany and now England.
Arsenal’s loss on Sunday vs. Newcastle United (1-2) was their fifth straight away loss of the calendar year. The worst run in EPL history for the club and their worst run since December 1984.
It is also the first time since 1925 (93 years) that Arsenal have lost their first five away matches in a year.


Diary:

Monday, April 9, 2018:
- The UK Government rejected a proposal by West Bromwich Albion to convert the 3,600 seats in the Smethwick End into ‘rail seats’ (that can be locked in an upright position). The Government maintained the all-seater policy  (source: BBC Football Online)

-Manchester United’s Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera denied to have spat intentionally on Manchester City’s team crest in the team tunnel as the players were on their way to the half-time break, during the previous Saturday’s clash between the two sides. (source: AS.Com Online)

- Tottenham Hotspur announced that they would lodge an appeal to award a goal to Harry Kane (that had originally been attributed to teammate Christian Eriksen) in their previous League match vs. Stoke. Kane is in a race with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah to be the top goalscorer. Kane has claimed that Eriksen’s free kick had grazed his shoulder prior to going in (source: BBC Football Online)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018:
- The UK Government rejected a proposal by West Bromwich Albion to convert the 3,600 seats in the Smethwick End  into ‘rail seats’ (that can be locked in an upright position). The Government maintained the all-seater policy  (source: BBC Football Online)

-Manchester United’s French forward Anothony Martial has rejected an offer to renew his contract. He is linked with Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Tottenham. (Source AS. Com online)

-Match Action:
Champions League-Manchester City 1-Liverpool 2

Wednesday, April 11, 2018:
-Former WBA Manager Alan Pardew is to attend a hearing for Jay Rodriguez in his fight against a charge of using racist language against Brighton’s Cameroon player Gaetan Bong back in January.(Source Daily Telegraph online)

-Manchester City Manager Josip Guardiola could face up to a three match ban after his ending off in the CL match against Liverpool on Tuesday. (Source Daily Telegraph online)
Guardiola accused the match Referee Antonio Mateu Lopez as "a special guy" who "likes to be different". (Source AS. Com online)
Guardiola was charged with improper conduct (for communicating with the bench in the second half after being sent off) by UEFA, who also charged Liverpool for setting off fireworks and throwing objects from their fans.
The case is set to be heard on May 31st. (source: BBC Football Online)

Thursday, April 12, 2018:
-Harry Kane was awarded Tottenham’s second goal vs. Stoke (in the previous weekend) after his appeal  (source: BBC Football Online)

-Match Action:
Europa League-CSKA Moscow 2-Arsenal 2

Friday, April 13, 2018:
-The racial charge against Jay Rodriguez was found to be ‘not proven’ by the Football Association.  (source: BBC Football Online)

-The draws for the semifinals of the European competitions were made.
In the Champions League, Liverpool are to face AS Roma.
In the Europa League, Arsenal will meet Atletico Madrid. (source: BBC Football Online)

-Premier League clubs voted against the use of VAR (video assistant referee) for the next season. (source: BBC Football Online)

-According to Josip Guardiola, teams like Chelsea and Manchester United were among those responsible to block the use of VAR for the following season. (Source Daily Telegraph online)

Sunday, April 15, 2018:
-Manchester City are the 2017/18 English Premier League Champions following Manchester Unkited’s loss (0-1) to WBA.

Monday, April 16, 2018:

-Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger has criticized the decision not to use VAR for next season. He said “we are behind the rest of the World.”  (source: AS. Com online)


European Matches involving English Teams:

Tuesday, April 10, 2018:
Champions League, Quarterfinals, second Leg:
Manchester City 1-Liverpool 2 (Gabriel Jesus 2 / Mohamed Salah 56, Roberto Firmino 77)

Thursday, April 12, 2018:
Europa League, Quarterfinals, second Leg:
CSKA Moscow 2-Arsenal 2 (Fedor Chalov 39, Kiril Nababkin50 / Danny Wellbeck 75, Aaron Ramsey 90+2)

League Matchday (April 14-16, 2018):

Saturday, April 14, 2018:
Southampton 2-Chelsea 3 (Dusan Tadic 21, Jan Bednarek 60 / Olivier Giroud 70, 78, Eden Hazard 75)
Burnley 2-Leicester City 1 (Chris Wood 6, Shane Long 9 / Jamie Vardy 72)
Crystal Palace 3-Brighton Hove and Albion 2 (Wilfried Zaha 5, 24, James Tomkins 14 / Glenn Murray 18, Jose Izquierdo 34)
Huddersfield Town 1-Watford 0 (Tom Ince 90+1)
Swansea City 1-Everton 1 (Jordan Ayew 71 / Kyle Naughton (Own Goal) 43)
Liverpool 3-Bournemouth 0 (Sadio Mane 7, Mohamed Salah 69, Roberto Firmino 90)
Tottenham Hotspur 1-Manchester City 3 (Christian Eriksen 42 / Gabriel Jesus 22, Ilkay Gundogan 25 pen, Raheem Sterling 72)

Sunday, April 15, 2018:
Newcastle United 2– Arsenal 1 (Ayoze Perez 29, Matt Ritchie 68/ Alexander Lacazette 14)
Manchester United 0-West Bromwich Albion 1 (Jay Rodriguez 73)

Monday, April 16, 2018:
West Ham United 1– Stoke City 1 (Andy Carrol 90 / Peter Crouch 79)

Top Goalscorer:
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) 30 goals
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) 25 goals


Table
Team
P
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
1
Man City
33
28
3
2
93
25
68
87
2
Man Utd
33
22
5
6
63
26
37
71
3
Liverpool
34
20
10
4
78
35
43
70
4
Tottenham
33
20
7
6
65
30
35
67
5
Chelsea
33
18
6
9
57
33
24
60
6
Arsenal
33
16
6
11
62
45
17
54

P-Played, W-Win, D-Draw, L-Loss, GF-Goals For, GA-Goals Against, GD-Goal Difference, Pts-Point




II.  Italy


When the week started the prospect of Roma and Juventus overturning deficits in the Champions League against powerful Spanish opposition seemed unlikely.
By the end of the week, Roma had staged one of the most talked about comebacks in European Cup history by defeating a lifeless Barcelona (3-0) in Rome. The comeback was dubbed as ‘Romantada’.


                                      Photo From: L'Equipe, April 11, 2018
(April 10, 2018, Champions League, AS Roma 3-Barcelona 0)



The city of Rome was in absolute euphoria and Roma President James Pallotta celebrated by diving in the fountain ‘Fontana dei Leoni’ in Piazza del Popolo (and was fined).
An even greater comeback nearly came off the following day as Juventus took a (3-0) lead in Bernabeu against Real Madrid to tie the deficit.
Then the unthinkable happened, the match appeared headed for overtime, when the English referee Michael Oliver awarded a penalty kick for Real in the injury time after Juventus’ Mehdi Benatia was adjudged to have fouled Lucas Vazquez. Predictably, Juventus players furiously protested the decision and Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus’ captain and goalkeeper, was sent off amidst the protests.


                                  Photo From: L'Equipe, April 12, 2018
(Gianluigi Buffon and Michael Oliver, April 11, 2018, Champions League, Real Madrid 1-Juventus 3)



Cristiano Ronaldo would score from the free kick to eliminate Juventus, but given the sense of injustice Juventus had won the hearts of most neutral fans.
On the following days, the debate continued (on social media as well) whether a penalty kick was justified or not.
Back to the business of the League on the weekend. Napoli dropped two crucial points on a road trip to San Siro in a scoreless tie with AC Milan.
A new galvanized Juventus, defeated Sampdoria (3-0) to open up a six point lead over Napoli and take a crucial leap towards a seventh successive title.


Diary:

Monday, April 9, 2018:
- Fabio Capello confirmed his retirement from Management and also confirmed that he had turned down the offer to be the Italy Manager. He is to continue as a commentator. (Source AS. Com online)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018:
- Juventus are reported to be interested to bring back the Spanish striker Alvaro Morata (currently at Chelsea) for next season (Source Daily Telegraph online)

- Juventus are also interested on a number of Real Madrid players, their CL opponent. The main target appears to be Isco, but also Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos and Mateo Kovacic (Source AS. Com online)

-Sauro Toma, the last remaining player from Torino’s 1940s squad of ‘Grande Torino’ passed away aged 92.  (Source Toro News online)

-Match Action:
Champions League-AS Roma 3-Barcelona 0

Wednesday, April 11, 2018:
-Match Action:
Champions League-Real Madrid 1-Juventus 3

-Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon said Michael Oliver, the English Referee of the match vs. Real Madrid, "a bag of rubbish for a heart". The Englishman had awarded an injury time penalty kick for Real Madrid as well as sent off Buffon. (source: BBC Football Online)

Thursday, April 12, 2018:

-Match Action:
Europa League-Salzburg 4-Lazio 1

Friday, April 13, 2018:

-The draws for the semifinals of the European competitions were made.
In the Champions League, AS Roma are to face Liverpool. (source: BBC Football Online)


European Matches involving Italian Teams:

Tuesday, April 10, 2018:
Champions League, Quarterfinals, second Leg:
AS Roma 3-Barcelona 0 (Edin Dzeko 6, Daniele De Rossi 58 pen, Kostas Manolas 82)

Wedday, April 10, 2018:
Champions League, Quarterfinals, second Leg:
Real Madrid 1-Juventus 3 (Cristiano Ronaldo 90+7 pen / Mario Mandzukic 2, 37, Blaise Matuidi 60)

Thursday, April 12, 2018:
Europa League, Quarterfinals, second Leg:
Salzburg 4-Lazio 1 (Moanas Dabbur 56, Amadou Haidara 72, Hwang Hee-Chan 74, Stefan Lainer 76 / Ciro Immobile 55)

League Matchday (April 14-16, 2018):

Saturday, April 14, 2018:
Cagliari 2-Udinese 1 (Leonardo Pavoletti 21, Luca Ceppitelli 84 / Kevin Lasagna 10)
Chievo Verona 0-Torino 0
Genoa 1-Crotone 0 (Daniel Bessa 28)
Atalanta 0-Internazionale Milano 0

Sunday, April 15, 2018:
Fiorentina 0-SPAL 0
AC Milan 0-Napoli 0
Bologna 2-Verona 0 (Simone Verdi 31, Adam Nagy 90+4)
Sassuolo 2-Benevento 2 (Matteo Politano 41, 64 / Cheick Diabate 22, 27)
Juventus 3-Sampdoria 0 (Mario Mandzukic 45, Benedict Howedes 60, Sami Khedira 75)
Lazio 0-AS Roma 0

Top Goalscorer:
Ciro Immobile (Lazio) 27 goals
Mauro Icardi (Internazionale Milano) 24 goals


Table
Team
P
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
1
Juventus
32
27
3
2
77
18
59
84
2
Napoli
32
24
6
2
66
21
45
78
3
AS Roma
32
18
7
7
50
26
24
61
4
Lazio
32
18
7
7
75
40
35
61
5
Internazionale
32
16
12
4
50
22
28
60
 6
AC Milan
32
15
8
6
43
36
7
53

P-Played, W-Win, D-Draw, L-Loss, GF-Goals For, GA-Goals Against, GD-Goal Difference, Pts-Point



III.  Spain


At the beginning the week, unbeaten Barcelona and Real Madrid appeared to have comfortable leads in the CL over their Italian opponents and the second leg ties seemed a formality.
As stated in the Italian section above both sides would be given a scare.
Barcelona’s exit appeared to mark an end of an era at least in the CL. Their poor performance was decried all over the Football world.


                                         Photo From: L'Equipe, April 12, 2018
(April 10, 2018, Champions League, AS Roma 3-Barcelona 0)



Likewise, Real Madrid, despite advancing, were subject to criticism from many circles for the manner of their qualification as well as the perceived favoritism from UEFA.
Real Madrid Manager Zinedine Zidane would defend his team against the criticisms, but it is clear that the neutrals are no longer in their corner after the events concerning the penalty kick and the sending off of Buffon.


                                                 Photo From: L'Equipe, April 12, 2018
(penalty kick incident, April 11, 2018, Champions League, Real Madrid 1-Juventus 3)



The League title appears to be Barcelona’s and they confirmed with a win over the weekend over Valencia (2-1) despite not impressing much.
Atletico Madrid maintained their distance in the second place with a win over Levante (3-0).
Real Madrid has its sights set on the CL as the only trophy it can win this season. Zidane fielded an under-strength team vs. Malaga (resting CR 7, Marcelo, Kroos, Bale, Modric (injured)). Real Madrid won (2-1) at Malaga to maintain their third place.
This was Zidane’s 100th win as Real Madrid Manager.

Diary:

Monday, April 9, 2018:
- Atletico Madrid veteran striker Fernando Torres announced that he would leave the club at the end of the season (Source BBC Football online)

-Former Real Madrid Manager, the Argentine Jorge Valdano criticized Welshman Gareth Bale’s display in the match vs. Atletico Madrid (1-1) over the previous weekend.
He said, "Nothing that Bale does is worth 100 million euros and he has only the number he wears on his shirt," (Source AS. Com online)

-Barcelona are reportedly interested in RB Leipzig’s French defender Dayot Upamecano. (Source AS. Com online)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018:
- Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat is linked to Atletico Madrid for the following season as a prospective replacement for left back Filipe Luis. (Source AS. Com online)

-Gareth Bale’s agent denied reports that Bale is unhappy and is about to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season. (Source AS. Com online)

-Real Madrid have reportedly agreed a deal with Fluminense for Brazil forward Ramon de Araújo Siqueira (20 year old) on loan until June 2019 with a purchase option. (Source AS. Com online)

-Alaves and former Barcelona striker Munir El Haddadi aims to change his nationality to play for Morocco in the World Cup in Russia.
He has represented Spain in 2014.  (Source Corriere dello Sport online)

- Atlético Madrid made an initial offer (that was rejected) for Vasco Da Gama’s 17-year old forward Paulinho (Brazil U-17 International).

-Match Action:
Champions League-AS Roma 3-Barcelona 0

Wednesday, April 11, 2018:

-Real Sociedad veteran captain Xabi Prieto is to retire at the end of the season. (Source AS. Com online)

-Match Action:
Champions League-Real Madrid 1-Juventus 3


Thursday, April 12, 2018:

-Match Action:
Europa League-Sporting Lisbon 1-Atletico Madrid 0

Friday, April 13, 2018:

-The draws for the semifinals of the European competitions were made.
In the Champions League, Real Madrid are to face Bayern Munich.
In the Europa League, Atletico Madrid will meet Arsenal. (source: BBC Football Online)

-UEFA has decided against a punishment against Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos.
In the closing stages of the match vs. Juventus, the suspended Ramos had come down from the stands near the players’ tunnel.
According to the UEFA report, the player was not at “pitch level”. (source: Marca.com Online)

-Diego Maradona chimed in on Lucas Vazquez’s penalty kick decision vs. Juventus. The Argentina superstar suggested that Vazquez had dived. He added, "He did as I would do it too, grabbed his chance and threw himself over." (source: Marca.com Online)

Saturday, April 14, 2018:

-Real Madrid Manager Zinedine Zidane expressed outrage and disappointment at suggestions that Real Madrid’s win over Juventus had been a ‘robbery’.
He said, “Everyone has their own opinion on whether it was a penalty or not, I’m not going to discuss that, but I’m angry that people are talking of a robbery.” (source: AS. Com online)


                                    Photo From: L'Equipe, April 12, 2018
(Zinedine Zidane)



Monday, April 16, 2018:

-According to reports, this will be Andres Iniesta’s last season at Barcelona. He is set join a Chinese team at the end of the season.  (source: AS. Com online)

European Matches involving Spanish Teams:

Tuesday, April 10, 2018:
Champions League, Quarterfinals, second Leg:
AS Roma 3-Barcelona 0 (Edin Dzeko 6, Daniele De Rossi 58 pen, Kostas Manolas 82)

Wednesday, April 10, 2018:
Champions League, Quarterfinals, second Leg:
Real Madrid 1-Juventus 3 (Cristiano Ronaldo 90+7 pen / Mario Mandzukic 2, 37, Blaise Matuidi 60)
Bayern Munich 0-Sevilla 0

Thursday, April 12, 2018:
Europa League, Quarterfinals, second Leg:
Sporting Lisbon 1-Atletico Madrid 0 (Montero 28)

League Matchday (April 13-16, 2018):

Friday, April 13, 2018:
Girona 0-Real Betis 1 (Lorenzo Moron 36)

Saturday, April 14, 2018:
Sevilla 2-Villareal 2 (Nolito 78, Steven N’Zonzi 82 / Raba 36, Bacca 68)
Barcelona 2-Valencia 1 (Luis Suarez 15, Samuel Umititi 51 / Parejo 87 pen)
Las Palmas 0-Real Sociedad 1 (Oyarzabal 21)
Leganes 1-Celta Vigo 0 (Guerrero 63)
Athletic Bilbao 2-Deportivo La Coruna 3 (Garcia 47, Markel Susaeta 72 / Adrian 6, 14, Borja 53)

Sunday, April 15, 2018:
Eibar 0-Alaves 1 (Guidetti 5)
Atletico Madrid 3-Levante 0 (Correa 33, Antoine Griezmann 48, Fernando Torres 77)
Getafe 1-Espanyol Barcelona 0 (Suarez 53)
Malaga 1-Real Madrid 2 (Diego Rolan 90+3 / Isco 29, Casemiro 63)

Top Goalscorer:
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 29 goals
Luis Suarez (Barcelona) 23 goals
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 23 goals


Table
Team
P
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
1
Barcelona
32
25
7
0
81
17
64
82
2
Atletico Madrid
32
21
8
3
54
15
39
71
3
Real Madrid
32
20
7
5
79
35
44
67
4
Valencia
32
20
5
7
60
33
27
65
5
Real Betis
32
16
4
12
53
53
0
52
6
Villareal
32
14
6
12
43
39
4
48

P-Played, W-Win, D-Draw, L-Loss, GF-Goals For, GA-Goals Against, GD-Goal Difference, Pts-Point





IV.  Germany


Bayern Munich had won the League title in the previous weekend. This was their unprecedented sixth straight title.
In the CL, they held an away win (2-1) advantage over Sevilla. At home, they did not exert themselves and did the minimum for a scoreless tie to advance to the semifinals.
The most important event of the week concerned the appointment of Nico Kovac (current Eintracht Frankfurt Manager) to succeed the retiring Jupp Heynckes as the next Bayern Manager.
Bayern will still have Ribery and Robben for one more season as both veterans signed on for one more year.


Diary:


Tuesday, April 10, 2018:
- Bayern Munich is reportedly interested in the Brazilian Kenedy for next season. The Chelsea player is on loan at Newcastle United this season (Source Sportbild online)


Wednesday, April 11, 2018:

-Match Action:
Champions League-Bayern Munich 0-Sevilla 0


Thursday, April 12, 2018:

-Match Action:
Europa League-Olympqiue Marseille 5-RB Leipzig 2

-According to Kicker, Bayern Munich’s French star Franck Ribéry will extend his contract (due to end this season) by one year.
Similarly Arjen Robben has also extended his contract by one year.
Both have accepted a reduction in their salary (Source L’Equipe online)


Friday, April 13, 2018:

-The draws for the semifinals of the European competitions were made.
In the Champions League, Bayern Munich are to face Real Madrid. (source: BBC Football Online)

-Eintracht Frankfurt Manager, the Croatian Nico Kovac, was named as Bayern Munich’s Manager for the next season. (source: BBC Football Online)

-Robert Lewandowski’s agent, Pini Zahavi, stated that the striker could join Real Madrid in the future. (source: AS. com Online)

Monday, April 16, 2018:

-Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness stated that Nico Kovac had been their third choice to be the new Manager. They had hoped to convince Jupp Heynckes to stay on and their next choice had been Thomas Tuchel.  (source: AS. Com online)

- Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness responded to Fredi Bobic’s claims over the handling of the Nico Kovac appointment as “outrageous”. Bobic (Eintracht Frankfurt Technical Director) had described Bayern’s behavior as disrespectful for leaking the news. (source: Kicker.de online)


European Matches involving German Teams:

Wednesday, April 10, 2018:
Champions League, Quarterfinals, second Leg:
Bayern Munich 0-Sevilla 0

Thursday, April 12, 2018:
Europa League, Quarterfinals, second Leg:
Olympqiue Marseille 5-RB Leipzig 2 (Stefan Ilsanker (Own Goal) 6, Bouna Sarr 9, Florian Thauvin 38, Dimitri Payet 60, Hiroki Sakai 90+4 / Bruma 2, Jean-Kevin Augustin 55)

League Matchday (April 13-15, 2018):

Friday, April 13, 2018:
Wolfsburg 0-Augusburg 0

Saturday, April 14, 2018:
Bayer Leverkusen 4-Eintracht Frankfurt 1 (Julian Brandt 20, Kevin Volland 71, 77, 88 / Marco Fabian 23)
Hertha Berlin 2-Koln 1 (Davie Selke 49, 52 / Leonardo Bittencourt 29)
Hofenheim 2-Hamburg 0 (Serge Gnabry 18, Adam Szalai 27)
Stuttgart 1-Hannover 1 (Erik Thommy 53 / Niclas Fulkrug 90+1)
Bayern Munich 5-Borussia Moenchengladbach 1 (Sandro Wagner 37, 41, Thiago Alcantara 51, David Alaba 67, Robert Lewandowski 82 / Josip Drmic 9)

Sunday, April 15, 2018:
Schalke 2-Borussia Dortmund 0 (Yevhen Konoplyanka 50, Naldo 82)
Werder Bremen 1-RB Leipzig 1 (Niklas Moisander 28 / Ademola Lookman 50)

Monday, April 16, 2018:
Mainz 2-Freiburg 0 (Pablo De Blasis 45 pen, 79)

Top Goalscorer:
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) 27 goals
Kevin Volland (Bayer Leverkusen) 14 goals


Table
Team
P
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
1
Bayern Munich
30
24
3
3
81
22
59
75
2
Schalke
30
16
7
7
47
33
14
55
3
Bayer Leverkusen
30
14
9
7
55
37
18
51
4
Dortmund
30
14
9
7
57
41
16
51
5
RB Leipzig
30
13
8
9
45
42
3
47
6
Hoffenheim
30
12
10
8
55
42
13
46

P-Played, W-Win, D-Draw, L-Loss, GF-Goals For, GA-Goals Against, GD-Goal Difference, Pts-Point




V.  France


The outcome was never in doubt, as Paris St. Germain are just head and shoulders above anything else in France. However, the (7-1) result over its closest challengers and defending Champions AS Monaco was unexpected.
The win ensured PSG were mathematical champions. Monaco’s title win the previous season had been an anomaly and not many tipped them to repeat once they had sold majority of the players that had won the title (including Kylian Mbappe to PSG).
Of course, PSG have grander ambitions than domestic supremacy and the main news off the field was the appointment of the German Thomas Tuchel to replace Unai Emery on the bench for next season.
Olympique Marseille had a good week, qualifying for the Europa League semifinals after defeating RB Leipzig (5-2) and then defeating Troyes (3-2) to get closer to CL qualification.


                          Photo From: L’Equipe, April 16, 2018
(Paris St. Germain players celebrating the title win)



Diary:


Monday, April 9, 2018:
- Former Borussia Dortmund Manager, the German Thomas Tuchel is set to become Paris St. Germain’s Manager for next season (Source AS.com online)

-Olympique Lyonnais President Jean-Michel Aulas discussed the possibility of the return of Paris St. Germain’s Hatem Ben Arfa back to Lyon. (Source L’Equipe online)

- Stade Rennais’ Yoann Gourcuff was linked with a transfer to Guingamp at the end of the season. (Source L’Equipe online)

Thursday, April 12, 2018:

-Match Action:
Europa League-Olympqiue Marseille 5-RB Leipzig 2

-Nantes President Waldemar Kita has reportedly requested State subsidies for his new stadium project (YelloPark) despite having presented it as being financed “100% privately”. (Source L’Equipe online)


Friday, April 13, 2018:

-The draws for the semifinals of the European competitions were made.
In the Europa League, Olympqiue Marseille are to face Salzburg. (source: BBC Football Online)

Sunday, April 15, 2018:
-Paris St. Germain are the 2017/18 Ligue 1 Champions after defeating AS Monaco (7-1). This is their fifth title in the last six seasons.

Monday, April 16, 2018:

-PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi dismissed reports that Thomas Tuchel is set to become the next PSG coach (despite many reports to such)  (source: AS. Com online)

-AS Monaco have decided to re-imburse the traveling fans after the (1-7) loss vs. PSG.  (source: AS. Com online)


European Matches involving French Teams:

Thursday, April 12, 2018:
Europa League, Quarterfinals, second Leg:
Olympqiue Marseille 5-RB Leipzig 2 (Stefan Ilsanker (Own Goal) 6, Bouna Sarr 9, Florian Thauvin 38, Dimitri Payet 60, Hiroki Sakai 90+4 / Bruma 2, Jean-Kevin Augustin 55)

League Matchday (April 13-15, 2018):

Friday, April 13, 2018:
Angers 1-OGC Nice 1 (Angelo Fulgini 84 / Alassane Plea 67)

Saturday, April 14, 2018:
Lyon 3-Amiens 0 (Mariano Diaz 30, Memphis Depay 83, Bertrand Troare 85)
Lille OSC 2-Guingamp 2 (Pepe 55, Araujo 57 / Alonso (Own Goal) 90, Jimmy Briand 90+3)
Nantes 1-Dijon 1 (Nakoulma 33 / Changhoon 61)
Stade Rennais 1-Metz 2 (Benjamin Bourigeaud 27 / Nolan Roux 52, 57)
Strasbourg 0-Saint Etienne 1 (Mathieu Debuchy 82)
Caen-Toulouse (Postponed)

Sunday, April 15, 2018:
Montpellier 1-Bordeaux 3 (Ellyes Skhiri 88 / Martin Braithwaite 9, Francois Kamano 49, Soualiho Meite 78)
Troyes 2-Olympique Marseille 3 (Samuel Grandsir 1, Benjamin Nivet 48 / Clinton Njie 11, Kostas Mitroglu 75, Florian Thauvin 85)
Paris St. Germain 7-AS Monaco 1 (Giovani Lo Celso 14, 27, Edinson Cavani 17, Angel Di Maria 20, 58, Radamel Falcao (own goal) 76, Julian Draxler 86 / Rony Lopes 38)

Top Goalscorer:
Edinson Cavani (Paris St. Germain) 25 goals
Neymar (Paris St. Germain) 19 goals


Table
Team
P
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
1
Paris St. Germain
33
28
3
2
103
23
80
87
2
AS Monaco
33
21
7
5
78
41
37
70
3
Lyon
33
19
9
5
72
36
36
66
4
Marseille
33
19
9
5
67
40
27
66
5
Rennes
33
13
8
12
42
40
2
47
6
Nice
33
13
8
12
44
45
-1
47

P-Played, W-Win, D-Draw, L-Loss, GF-Goals For, GA-Goals Against, GD-Goal Difference, Pts-Point


Diary (extra):


Wednesday, April 11, 2018:

-Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter has come against the use of VAR (vide assistant referee) in the upcoming World Cup. (Source BBC Football online)

-Japan fired its National Team Manager, the Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic just months before the World Cup. (Source BBC Football online)


Monday, April 16, 2018:

-Greek club Panathinaikos were deducted 9 points as three players are still owed money. Unless the team can agree on an arrangement over payments with the players, they could be relegated.  (source: Kicker.de online)