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Talking points from European soccer

TALKING points from the weekend in European soccer leagues:

ITALY

ATALANTA FOCUS ON EUROPEAN GLORY

Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta are having a great season, with the Bergamo club chasing a top-four finish in Serie A, and looking to win the Europa League and Coppa Italia.

However, the 66-year-old coach is clear about where his priorities lie as they prepare to face Olympique de Marseille on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final.

“Right now, the Europa League is the target we care about most, but we must be careful because Marseille are a strong side,” Gasperini said.

FRANCE

BREST QUALIFY FOR EUROPE FOR FIRST TIME

Brest is enjoying a fairytale campaign and secured a spot in European competition next season for the first time ever after a thrilling win against Stade Rennais.

Currently, in third with a 10-point lead over Lens in sixth, the Brittany club are guaranteed at least a spot in the Europa League group stage.

Brest were tipped as relegation contenders this season, but Eric Roy’s side have defied expectations and could secure qualification for the Champions League.

“To pursue this unthinkable goal at the beginning of this season: it’s simply difficult to put into words tonight,” Roy said after Sunday’s match.

SPAIN

RACIST ABUSE MARS LALIGA GAME

There was another alleged racist incident in LaLiga on Saturday as Athletic Bilbao’s Nico Williams was targeted in the first half of their game with Atletico Madrid.

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“I have gone to take a corner and I have heard monkey sounds,” he told DAZN.

“There was a few of them. These dumb people are everywhere. I hope that this will change little by little.”

Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham said earlier that football authorities “need to do more” to tackle racism, a growing problem in the sport in Spain in recent years.

By The African Mirror

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