Here are 10 teams that were either winners or losers this weekend.
- Eintracht Frankfurt & Hoffenheim – These two German sides got massive wins this weekend. They currently sit in 17th and 16th respectively. However, they are now level on points with Augsburg and just one point behind Bremen and Darmstadt. Eintracht defeated Hannover 1-0. Hoffenheim defeated Hamburger SV 3-1. These wins mean that we now have a 5 team race for survival and these two teams have given themselves a chance now to potentially escape. While the top of the table seems fairly settled, the bottom is going to be a great watch.
- Villarreal – Villarreal faced Barcelona this weekend. Barcelona was in the midst of a 38 game unbeaten run and a 12 game win streak. Barcelona took an early lead thanks to Ivan Rakitic and Neymar. They looked on pace for an easy win. Villarreal had other ideas. They fought back after the break and Cedric Bakambu scored to make it 2-1. Then Jeremy Mathieu scored an own goal just moments on to the pitch. Villarreal had fought back and earned a point. They made a big statement towards their future Champions League place.
- Manchester United –The race for fourth place is really on now as Manchester United won the Manchester Derby. Marcus Rashford scored the lone goal of the game with a great move and some poor defending from Manchester City. United are now level on points with West Ham and just a single point behind City for fourth place. A place in the Champions League is on the line and United took a big step towards potentially returning to the Champions League next season.
- Carpi – The Italian minnows defeated fellow relegation strugglers Verona this weekend 2-1. Verona is going to be relegated this season. Carpi took a step this weekend as they jumped from 19th to 17th and out of the relegation zone. It will certainly be a great race for the final 8 games. Carpi and Palermo are both level on 28 points. Frosinone has 27 points. Two of them will get relegated. Who will it be? Carpi gave themselves a chance at survival this past weekend.
- Nice – OGC Nice is close to qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since 1957. This weekend they took a big step towards this as they remained in third place. They have a one point lead on Lyon and two point lead on Rennes. This weekend they defeated Ajaccio 3-0. The win helped keep them in the Champions League places. There are just 7 games remaining in the Ligue 1 and this would be great for Nice and the French league to get some new blood in the Champions League.
- Atletico Madrid – In a weekend in which Barcelona did not win, they still picked up ground on Atletico Madrid. Atletico faced relegation zone side, Sporting Gijon. At halftime, they had a 1-0 lead thanks to Antoine Griezmann. However, it all fell apart in the second half, more precisely in the last 10 minutes. Antonio Sanabria scored with 11 minutes to go and then Carlos Castro Garcia scored the winner. Atletico Madrid’s title challenge might be over. Barcelona is now 9 points ahead with 8 games to play. Atletico will now need to cheer for their cross-town rivals when the league resumes with El Clasico.
- Monaco – Monaco defeated Paris Saint Germain this weekend 2-0. They provided the Parisian side just their second loss of the season. It makes the point differential now 27 points with just 8 points to go. It is way too little too late. PSG has won the title and they have no need to win another game in Ligue 1 the rest of the season. I think Monaco was close to pushing PSG for the title, but they struggled this season. Maybe next season they can play like this all year and make the French league a competition, but probably not.
- Sunderland & Newcastle – The Tyne-Wear derby was a fascinating game but at the end, a 1-1 draw was bad for both clubs. Norwich defeated West Bromwich Albion 1-0. This sent the Canaries out of the relegation zone ahead of the Tyne-Wear derby. The draw means that Sunderland and Newcastle are still in the relegation zone. Will we see three established Premier League clubs in the Championship next year including both sides of the Tyne-Wear derby?
- Roma – They are a loser this weekend because their run of 8 consecutive Serie A wins ended and they fell behind Juventus and Napoli. They fell behind thanks to an Ivan Perisic goal. They looked set to lose the game, but Radja Nainggolan leveled the score with just 6 minutes. They earned a point and maintained their 5 point lead for the third and final Champions League spot. Roma will hope to make it back into Champions League and look to build on their round of 16 exit.
- Monchengladbach – In what was the biggest game of the weekend in Germany, Schalke defeated Monchengladbach 2-1. Schalke took the lead thanks to an own goal from Martin Hinteregger. Monchengladbach leveled the score with just 11 minutes to go however, that would not last long. Leon Goretzka would give Schalke the 2-1 win and send them above Monchengladbach in the table. The race for the final Champions League spot is on as the two teams are separated by just 2 points. Who will get the final spot?
Goal of the Week
For my goal of the week, I am going to go with Paul Pogba and his free kick goal in the Turin derby.
As we approach the international break, there will not be a blog on Friday but I will write one on this week on the Cup competitions going on in each of the big 5 leagues.