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Talking points from European soccer

Talking points from the weekend in European soccer leagues:



Nice’s promising start to the season feels like a distant memory as they extended their winless streak to six league matches with a 2-1 loss to Montpellier on Friday.

Manager Francesco Farioli admitted it was a difficult time for the club, which seemed unstoppable just four months ago.


“The efforts the players put in to keep the team at the top of the table for six months required a lot of physical and mental energy,” he said.

With Nice in sixth place and 16 points behind runaway leaders Paris St Germain, the dreams of a Ligue 1 title are all but lost.

“Everything we had managed to do at the beginning of the season, has been lost in recent weeks,” Farioli added.

Their next match is a clash against PSG in the French Cup quarter-final.



Bayern Munich look to have turned a corner this week after qualifying for the Champions League last eight and Saturday’s 8-1 demolition of Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga, with coach Thomas Tuchel earning praise.

Tuchel, who will leave at the end of the season a year before the end of his contract following an earlier bad run by Bayern, now looks to be making all the right moves with the Bavarians and is still in with a shot of silverware.

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With Harry Kane scoring seemingly at will and the defence that had been leaking goals all season showing signs of stability, the team looks to be finding form after February’s announcement of Tuchel’s departure.

While the league title looks to have slipped away with the team 10 points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen with nine games left, they still have the Champions League to look forward to.


Celta Vigo’s Carlos Dominguez in action with Real Madrid’s Joselu REUTERS/Ana Beltran


Real Madrid maintained their seven-point lead over second-placed Girona by crushing Celta Vigo 4-0 on Sunday and Carlo Ancelotti’s squad are beginning to look like the title is theirs to lose.


Despite the absence of midfielder Jude Bellingham due to a two-match suspension, Real were dominant against Celta with 19-year-old Arda Guler scoring his first goal for the Spanish side, and Vinicius Jr netting his 10th of the season.

“We have done well, this an important moment of the season, every match can be a trap because you can slip but we are motivated and focused,” Ancelotti said.

However, Girona still have hope of challenging for the title after rekindling their campaign with a 2-0 win over Osasuna to put them one point ahead of third-placed Barcelona.

By The African Mirror