PSG, Barcelona, rampant, Marseille humbled – This week’s Euro roundup

Chelsea have gone, ceased to be: they are an ex-Champions League team. Dumped out of the competition by PSG, but with, frankly, no chance of finishing in the top four and the best they can do is to hope for a top six finish to make the Europa League.

It looks like next year without Chelsea for the Euro roundup. We’re heartbroken.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are as good as gone, so too are Tottenham, and Manchester United are teetering on the brink. Manchester City and Liverpool are flying the flag for England’s coefficient – but even they may be lucky to make it through an extra round.

This week’s Euro roundup has had enough of croissants for breakfast and is going to eat nutella out of the jar with a spoon when no one’s looking. Laters.

Germany

The top of the Bundesliga was restored to order, with Bayern Munich back to winning ways after two games without a victory. This week it was the unlucky Werder Bremen who were thumped, dominated, obliterated and humiliated 5-0 by a resurgent Bayern.

Bremen’s Clemens Fritz and Zlatko Junuzovic both missed the game after picking up ban-inducing yellow cards – later, they admitted the bans were deliberate in order to miss a game they thought they’d lose anyway. They did miss the game, they did lose anyway, and they were both duly fined €20,000.

Dortmund kept the gap at five points with a win over Champions League-chasing Mainz, whilst the battle for fourth spot hots up.

That battle, however, is mostly down to the ineptitude of the chasing teams. Salomon Kalou’s unlikely heroes Hertha Berlin stay in third place, and they beat fellow chasers Schalke on Friday night, although Bayer Leverkusen’s win on Sunday saw them gain a bit of ground, but are still three points off the Champions League spots.

Elsewhere, Borussia Monchengladbach did their challenge a big favour by beating relegation strugglers Eintracht Frankfurt, who had an even worse weekend as they are now level on points with Hoffenheim who won against Wolfsburg this weekend. Frankfurt and Hoffenheim may be fighting it out to avoid doom, but poor Hannover are very doomed at this point.

Winners – Hertha Berlin at the top and Hoffenheim at the bottom, who saw lots of the teams around them lose.

Losers – All the teams around Hertha Berlin and Hoffenheim who lost….

Italy

League leaders Juventus continued their inexorable march towards yet another league title as the Bianconeri machine saw off high-flying Sassuolo. This time a stunning, curling strike from Paulo Dybala was enough to see off the opposition as Gigi Buffon approaches the record for the longest a Serie A goalkeeper has kept his clean sheet intact.

Quite a feat when you find out that the current record is held by Sebastiano Rossi from 1993/94, but he had Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta and Paolo Maldini in front of him. Buffon just needs to keep Turin rivals Torino quiet for all of three minutes in their next game and the record will be all his.

Napoli, meanwhile, are creating something of a title challenge themselves. Over the last few weeks, Sarri’s side have been in the unenviable position of having to chase Juve, playing a series of Monday night fixtures due to their Europa League commitments.

Now they’ve been dumped out, they’re back on track and keeping up with the pace of Juve, just three points back. Ten points now separate Napoli from fourth spot, so they should be all but guaranteed Champions League football next season. A resurgent Roma, on the other hand, are now five points clear of Fiorentina and Inter Milan, so they too will be dreaming of losing at the Bernabeu and the Camp Nou again.

Elsewhere, Palermo have appointed their seventh manager of the season in a bid to stave off certain doom. They remain a point above the currently doomed Frosinone and two above Carpi who beat Frosinone this weekend to stay in touch. Hellas Verona are as good as gone.

Winners – Roma, who are now five points clear in the race for third, and Carpi who have a real chance of survival now.

Losers – Palermo, who are in serious trouble; as if going through seven managers in one season didn’t already tell you that.

France

The title race is over and PSG have put everyone out of their misery. A 9-0 win over severely doomed Troyes sealed the victory in style – a nine-minute Zlatan Ibrahimovic hat trick summed up the game, and perfectly sums up the season, too. He’s past it, you say?

It’s the earliest anyone has ever won the title in France, and the rest of the league are just trying – and comically failing – to keep pace with Monaco.

The Monegasques, however, were held this weekend by Gazelec Ajaccio of the doomed spots. The Corsicans are inexplicably only six points behind Marseille, however, highlighting the ineptitude of PSG’s alleged rivals this season.

Nice, Rennes, Lyon and even Nantes, are all vying to be the French team who gets beaten in the Champions League qualification round.

Winners – Nice, whose victory puts them above Lyon into the Champions League spots.

Losers – St Etienne, who are now without a win in six in all competitions and a full five points off Champions League qualification at this point.

Spain

Ligue 1 may be a farce this season, but La Liga isn’t too far behind in terms of monopoly, and Real Madrid are this close to tossing over the board in frustration.

Barcelona are rampant again, scoring six against Getafe. That means they’ve scored 4+ goals in 35% of their games so far in all competitions – that’s 15 times. They’ve stretched their unbeaten run to 37 games and even Andres Iniesta thinks that’s ‘barbaric’.

His boys have scored 117 goals and conceded just 20 in the run so far. The front three certainly is barbaric, looking at this stat:

If MSN are barbaric, then Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo are mini-barbarians. Between them, they have scored over 50% of Real Madrid’s 81 league goals this season, and they managed to beat Las Palmas to move 10 points clear of Villarreal, who we all thought might put pressure on Real.

Instead it’s Sevilla who are putting the pressure on the Yellow Submarine. Unai Emery’s side are just five points off the Champions League spot thanks to stellar home form. But don’t worry, if Sevilla don’t qualify for the Champions League in fourth place, they’ll do it by winning the Europa League anyway. It’s their ‘thing’, after all.

Elsewhere, Getafe’s big loss to Barcelona puts them only a point above Granada of the third doomed spot. The relegation battle is becoming the only interesting part of the league as Levante beat city rivals Gary Neville’s Valencia™ and only three points now separates the bottom five. Watch this space.

Winners – Levante, whose derby victory gives them real hope of avoiding doom, and Sevilla, whose great form might be a signal that Europa League glory will be theirs again.

Losers – Getafe, whose huge defeat leaves them perilously positioned above certain doom.