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Talking points from European soccer

Talking points from European soccer

TALKING points from the weekend in European soccer leagues: PSV CAN HAVE GREATEST-EVER DUTCH LEAGUE SEASON PSV Eindhoven clinched the Dutch league title with two games to go when they came from behind to defeat Sparta Rotterdam 4-2 on Sunday, and can now go down as statistically the best team in Eredivisie history. PSV can match Ajax Amsterdam’s 1971-72 record of 93 points in a single season, adjusted upwards as back then teams only received two points for a win, but must win their final two fixtures against Fortuna Sittard and RKC Waalwijk to do so. That will also mean they improve…
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Talking points from European soccer

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.…
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Talking points from European soccer

Talking points from European soccer

TALKING points from the weekend in European soccer leagues: ITALY INTER AIM TO SEAL TITLE IN MILAN DERBY Inter Milan were held to a 2-2 draw by lowly Cagliari on Sunday but can still claim the Serie A title with five games to spare if they beat second-placed AC Milan in their next match and recent meetings between the sides suggest that is likely. Inter have won the last five Milan derbies in all competitions, thrashing Stefano Pioli's side 5-1 in their most recent encounter in September., They beat Milan 3-0 on aggregate in the 2022-23 Champions League semi-finals and won 3-0…
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Talking points from European soccer

Talking points from European soccer

TALKING points from the weekend in European soccer leagues: ITALY ALLEGRI UNDER PRESSURE The season has changed quickly for Juventus and manager Massimiliano Allegri. After their loss against Lazio on Saturday, Juve have only one win in the last nine Serie A matches from which they have gained seven points. What had looked like shaping up to be a title battle with leaders Inter Milan before Christmas, has transformed into a struggle to achieve a top-four spot, a goal clearly stated by Allegri on several occasions. If Bologna and AS Roma win their respective matches on Monday, they will be…
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Talking points from European soccer

Talking points from European soccer

Talking points from the weekend in European soccer leagues: FRANCE NICE IN A RUT 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…
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Talking points from European soccer

Talking points from European soccer

Talking points from the weekend in European soccer leagues: NETHERLANDS IT'S NOT OVER BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION Victory for PSV Eindhoven away at Dutch champions Feyenoord on Sunday extended their 100% start to the season to 14 games and increased their lead to 10 points. But for those pundits, supporters and even players who think the title race is close to being settled, PSV coach Peter Bosz issued a rebuttal: “Nonsense. We’ve played 14 games but there are another 20 to come. We’re not even halfway. You can lose three games in a row and suddenly your lead…
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Talking points from European soccer

Talking points from European soccer

ITALY NAPOLI'S MAZZARRI FACES DEFENSIVE CHALLENGES Walter Mazzarri's spell as Napoli manager got off to a fine start with a 2-1 win at Atalanta on Sunday but he must now address defensive issues ahead of crucial matches. Defender Mathias Olivera was taken off on a stretcher after slipping and is set for an extended period on the sidelines. The injury to the Uruguay international has put Mazzarri in a difficult position as the Napoli squad currently lacks any available left-backs, with Mario Rui also sidelined. First-choice goalkeeper Alex Meret could bring some relief as his recovery from a calf injury…
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Talking points from European soccer

Talking points from European soccer

TALKING points from the weekend in European soccer leagues: SPAIN GIRONA KEEP IMPRESSING IN BELLINGHAM'S LALIGA Real Madrid's England midfielder Jude Bellingham has dominated headlines again after another magnificent performance, scoring twice to secure a 2-1 win at Barcelona on Saturday. But Real do not have LaLiga's title race all their own way as Girona are level on 28 points with the Spanish giants after beating Celta Vigo 1-0 on Friday, their ninth win in 11 games. The surprise package of the season so far, Girona's 3-0 defeat at home to Real in late September are the only points dropped…
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Talking points from European soccer

Talking points from European soccer

Talking points from the weekend in European soccer leagues: GERMANY UNION MUST END LOSING RUN A year ago Union Berlin was launching what would become their most successful Bundesliga season, culminating in a fourth-place finish and a spot in this season's Champions League. But their 1-0 loss at promoted Heidenheim on Saturday confirmed the Berliners are now in freefall with their fifth straight defeat in all competitions. Having dropped to 11th with six points from six games, Urs Fischer's team have little time to recover as they host Braga in the Champions League on Tuesday and then visit Borussia Dortmund…
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