In the German championship, Bayer defeated Bayern

In the German championship, Bayer defeated Bayern

The main events of the past weekend in European football were the central matches of the next rounds in the championships of Spain and Germany with the participation of the favorites and their unexpected competitors. And if the Spanish favorite - Real - confidently, 4:0, dealt with Girona on their own field, then the German favorite - Bayern - suffered an almost equally large - 0:3 - defeat from Bayer, which, like the Madrid team, he took the lead in the “golden race.”

Spanish Championship

The Madrid match of the 24th round of the Spanish Championship forced Girona coach Michel Sanchez, summing up its outcome, to sadly say: “Today they showed us that this is not our league.” Actually, a strange phrase for a person leading a team that has been leading the championship for a long time, which will surely receive an award when it ends, which has jumped two heads above all expectations associated with it and whose game constantly generates admiring reviews from those who understand trendy football experts. But the context is clear. This season everything is great for Girona, everything is at such a level that one can, without fear of being suspected of a penchant for beautiful hyperbole, talk about a well-deserved fight for gold. But not when it comes to clashes with Real Madrid. Without fading in clashes with other competitors, often surpassing them in class, in clashes with the most terrible competitor, “Girona” for some reason ideally corresponds to the ideas about itself that prevailed last summer, before the start of the championship - a completely ordinary team, and close not standing with the giants.

In September, in the first round, Real destroyed it away with a score of 3:0. Now he beat me even more severely at home. And this despite all its seemingly enormous problems caused by the avalanche of injuries that hit the Madrid club. Because of them, for example, the center of defense almost in the key match of the championship - in the absence of Eder Militan, David Alaba, Antonio Rudiger - had to be covered by Aurélien Chuameni and Dani Carvajal, although the specialization of both requires slightly different skills. But Girona did not derive any benefit from these difficulties.

And “Real” played, one might say, a classic match for itself today - without the desire to possess the ball at all costs (in this aspect, Madrid’s advantage turned out to be scanty - 53% of possession versus 47% for the guests), but with a very tight game in the middle field, on the runway from which the Catalans are accustomed to accelerating counterattacks, corked tightly, like an elite champagne with a tight cork, by Toni Kroos, Eduardo Camavinga and Federico Valverde, with an attacking extravaganza from Vinicius, Rodrigo and Jude Bellingham, who scored all four goals (the fifth should have scored Joselu, however, made a mistake when he took a penalty kick in stoppage time). Bellingham, who after the New Year suddenly slightly changed his focus from sniper exploits to playmaking, this time scored twice. And now he has 16 goals in the championship - by the way, a record figure for Real Madrid midfielders this century.

The ending of the match was also classic in a sense. This refers to another Madrid injury. As luck would have it, it was the best among the Real Madrid players who twisted his leg after a collision with Pablo Torre: Bellingham tried to return to the field, but nothing happened. And on Tuesday, Real, which after its victory is five points ahead of Girona, will have the first match of the 1/8 finals of the Champions League against Leipzig.

German Championship

If before the central match of the 21st round of the German championship someone was drawn to equate Bayer with Girona - an upstart, which, of course, is good, but hardly enough to withstand the “golden race” with a real giant, then after it the thesis has clearly lost its relevance. Well, no, this is not just an upstart. The point of what happened is that Bayer did not just defeat Bayern. He gave her a demonstrative flogging that, in terms of cruelty, was approximately the same as what Real Madrid gave to Girona at the same time.

To describe it, in fact, one number is enough - one. This is the number of shots on target that the Munich team managed to inflict in the match. This hasn't happened to them for eight years. And this is with Leroy Zane, with Jamal Musiala in the lineup. With Harry Kane in great shape, after all. Kane, by the way, didn’t suddenly fall asleep in the meeting with Bayer. It’s just that almost all of his two dozen touches of the ball are events either far from the goal or nearby, but in such situations when, due to the competent opposition of the guards, it is impossible to invent jokes.

But the anthems after the match were sung, naturally, not only for the art of Bayer coach Xabi Alonso in setting up the game in defense. They were also addressed to the Leverkusen attack - these constant movements of its elements, sudden flank connections, disguised so cunningly that experienced Munich players may not notice how Josip Stanisic is creeping up to their goal to open the scoring. Bayern loaned him to Bayer last summer with a light heart - as a player who was unlikely to make it into the first team. And then I received such a slap in the face from him.

And then, already in the second half, she received them from Alejandro Grimaldo and Jeremy Frimpong, who sent the ball into an empty net. At the flag, Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer ran to help his strikers, trying to save a hopeless match. The rescue did not work out, and Leverkusen broke away from the Munich team by five points. And this is no longer a side-by-side fight, this is a decent margin of safety.

English Championship

The next round of the English championship maintained the highest level of intrigue in the “golden race”. All three leaders won victories. And the most extraordinary is certainly Arsenal.

Its rivals, Liverpool and Manchester City, had to deal with unprepossessing rivals Burnley and Everton on Saturday, whom they beat 3-1 and 2-0. But Arsenal’s opponent was not a sinking one, but a very strong one with ambitions. And the game took place on the West Ham field.

Meanwhile, Arsenal put on a performance that was in no way inferior in effect to the one they gave a week ago, when they beautifully dealt with Liverpool. At the beginning of the second half, television cameras showed the stands at West Ham's home stadium, gaping with fresh bald spots. The spectators went home, and one could understand them: not every fan will withstand such torture, not everyone will agree to watch the game with the score 0:4.

And Arsenal bullied the hosts as they wanted. And he made former Tottenham midfielder Michael Brown, who was commentating the match for the BBC, choke with delight at the talents of the visiting players’ key players: “Declan Rice! God, is there anything he can’t do on the field?! Selects, passes, scores...”

In the end, Arsenal won 6:0. And his coach Mikel Arteta, towards the end of the meeting, took advantage of the situation to put 16-year-old Ethan Nwaneri on the field for just a quarter of an hour. But not only a schoolchild prodigy, but also a club bus driver on crutches could not spoil anything here.

In general, the situation after this tour remained the same. Liverpool are just two points ahead of Manchester City and Arsenal. At the same time, the Manchester team has a match in hand.

Alexey Dospehov

Next rounds of European national championships

English Championship

24th round. "Manchester City" - "Everton" 2:0 (Haaland, 71, 85). Tottenham - Brighton 2:1 (Sarr, 61; Johnson, 90+6 - Gros, 17 (pen)). Liverpool - Burnley 3:1 (Jota, 31; Diaz, 52; Nunez, 79 - O'Shea, 45). West Ham - Arsenal 0:6 (Saliba 32; Saka 41 (pen), 63; Magalhance 44; Trossard 45+2; Rice 65). Aston Villa - Manchester United 1:2 (Douglas Louis, 67 - Højlunn, 17; McTominay, 86). Team position. 1. Liverpool - 54 points. 2. Manchester City - 52 (after 23 matches). 3. Arsenal - 52. 4. Tottenham - 47. 5. Aston Villa - 46. 6. Manchester United - 41.

Spanish Championship

24th round. Real Sociedad - Osasuna 0:1 (Budimir, 49). Real Madrid - Girona 4:0 (Junior 6; Bellingham 35, 54; Rodrigo 61). Team position. 1. Real Madrid - 61 points. 2. Girona - 56. 3. Barcelona - 50 (after 23 matches). 4. Atlético - 48 (23). 5. Athletic - 45 (23). 6. Betis - 38. 7. Real Sociedad - 37.

The matches "Sevilla" - "Atlético" and "Barcelona" - "Granada" ended after the issue was signed for printing.

German Championship

21st round. Borussia (Dortmund) — Freiburg 3:0 (Malen, 16, 45+7; Füllkrug, 87). "Augsburg" - "Leipzig" 2:2 (Tietz, 35; Demirovich, 60 - Openda, 39; Sheshko, 52). Bayer - Bayern 3:0 (Stanisic 18; Grimaldo 50; Frimpong 90+5). “Stuttgart” — “Mainz” 3:1 (Mittelstedt, 45+2; Leveling, 45+5; Undav, 73 — Azhork, 76). Team position. 1. Bayer - 55 points. 2. Bayern - 50. 3. Stuttgart - 43. 4. Borussia (D) - 40. 5. Leipzig - 37. 6. Eintracht - 32.

Italian Championship

24th round. Cagliari - Lazio 1:3 (Gaetano 51 - Deiola 26 (own goal); Immobile 49; Anderson 65). Roma - Inter 2:4 (Mancini 28; El Shaarawy 44 - Acerbi 17; Thuram 49; Angelino 56 (own goal); Bastogne 90+3). “Genoa” — “Atalanta” 1:4 (Malinovsky, 51 - De Ketelare, 22; Kopmeyners, 55; Zappacosta, 90+10; El-Bilal Toure, 90+13). “Bologna” — “Lecce” 4:0 (Boekema, 5; Orsolini, 27, 49; Odgor, 82). Team position. 1. Inter – 60 points (after 23 matches). 2. Juventus - 53 (23). 3. Milan - 49 (23). 4. Atalanta - 42 (23). 5. Bologna - 39 (23). 6. Roma - 38.

The Milan-Napoli match ended after the issue was signed for printing.

French Championship

21st round. Lens - Strasbourg 3:1 (Vai, 16; Costa, 30; Sotoka, 58 - Delen, 43). PSG - Lille 3:1 (Ramos, 10; Alexandru, 17 (own goal); Kolo Muani, 80 - Yazici, 6). "Clermont" - "Brest" 1:1 (Quiet, 69 - Lys-Melu, 50). Team position. 1. PSG - 50 points. 2. Nice - 39 (after 20 matches). 3. Brest - 37. 4. Lille - 35. 5. Monaco - 35 (20). 6. "Lance" - 35.

The match "Nice" - "Monaco" ended after the number was signed for printing.

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