Talking points from around Europe

Atletico Madrid stopped the rot, while Lionel Messi once again enjoyed himself betting Sevilla and it has actually been another unstable couple of days at Schalke and in Marseille, 2 of Europe’s crisis clubs.

AFP Sport assemble a few of the primary talking points from throughout the continent:

– Atletico dig themselves out of rut –

The wheels threatened to come off for Atletico Madrid in February, with a run of one win in 4 in La Liga being followed by an extremely frustrating screen in losing 1-0 to Chelsea in the very first leg of their Champions League last-16 incorporate Bucharest.

However in real Diego Simeone style, Atletico got better in hardship, winning 2-0 at Villarreal on Sunday with an Alvaro Pedraza own objective and after that a strike by Joao Felix, who had actually been dropped to the bench at kick-off following the Chelsea ordeal.

“I like a rebellious player, one who shows pride and wants to turn things around,” stated Simeone of Joao Felix.

The win ended a run of 8 successive video games without a tidy sheet and enabled Atletico to move 5 points clear at the top from Barcelona with a video game in hand, although ruling champs Genuine Madrid will near to within 3 points if they beat Genuine Sociedad on Monday.

Successive it’s the Madrid derby.

– Messi simply enjoys Sevilla –

It stays not likely, however Barcelona cannot yet be dismissed in the Spanish title race after their outstanding 2-0 win at Sevilla, in which Lionel Messi established Ousmane Dembele for the opener and after that scored the 2nd after a one-two with the Frenchman.

Messi is now La Liga’s leading scorer with 19 objectives having actually netted 12 times in 9 getaways in 2021.

He merely enjoys betting Sevilla too. According to popular Spanish sports statistician Mister Chip, the Argentine has actually now scored 38 times and offered 17 helps in 42 video games versus Sevilla.

Barcelona’s next video game is the Copa del Rey semi-final 2nd leg versus…Sevilla on Wednesday, when Ronald Koeman’s group need to reverse a 2-0 first-leg deficit.

– Schalke sack 4th coach –

Bundesliga crisis club Schalke 04 have actually sacked yet another coach, with Christian Gross, the 66-year-old Swiss, relieved of his responsibilities in the wake of the 5-1 loss at VfB Stuttgart which left the Gelsenkirchen side still 8 points adrift at the bottom and 9 points from security.

He won simply among 10 Bundesliga video games in charge, losing 5 matches by a margin of a minimum of 3 objectives.

Gross is the 4th coach to leave Schalke this season, following David Wagner, Huub Stevens and Manuel Baum. His departure was available in a significant clear-out as sporting director Jochen Schneider, group organizer Sascha Riether, assistant coach Rainer Widmayer and physical fitness coach Werner Leuthard were likewise fired.

The Royal Blues need to now begin getting ready for life in the 2nd department.

– Sampaoli to be Marseille’s saviour? –

On the other hand France’s crisis club, Marseille, selected a brand-new coach as Argentine Jorge Sampaoli was called as the irreversible follower to Andre Villas-Boas, concurring an offer up until 2023 at the previous Champions League winners.

Marseille likewise selected Pablo Longoria, a 34-year-old Spaniard, as their brand-new president in a relocation by American owner Frank McCourt viewed as an effort to pacify fans who were upset at the running of the club by previous incumbent Jacques-Henri Eyraud.

On the field, Marseille originated from behind to draw 1-1 with Ligue 1 title chasers Lyon, suggesting they have actually lost simply when in 7 video games given that Villas-Boas was eliminated. Nevertheless they stay outside the European locations in seventh.

– Sporting still on course –

Sporting Lisbon stay on course for a first Portuguese league title since 2002 after a goalless draw at rivals Porto in Saturday’s “Classico”.

In a disappointing game, Sporting’s young team — featuring five starters aged 22 or under — were held by defending champions Porto for the second time this season.

They stay unbeaten, with 17 wins and 4 attracts 21 league getaways, and are 9 points clear of Braga along with 10 clear of Porto.


Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.