Manchester City stays on top; Mbappe, Neymar score hat-tricks

Having produced some brilliant clashes over the years, Manchester City and Liverpool did not disappoint with some end-to-end attacking football as the contest ended in a 2-2 stalemate.

Unstoppable: Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus, right, scores his side's second goal during the Premier League soccer against Liverpool, at the Etihad stadium in Manchester, England.   -  AP

Premier League

In a potentially title-deciding clash, Manchester City’s match against Liverpool was the most talked about game of matchday 32. Having produced some brilliant clashes over the years, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp’s men did not disappoint with some end-to-end attacking football as the contest ended in a 2-2 stalemate.

Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring early for City, but it wasn’t long before Diogo Jota equalised for the Reds. Gabriel Jesus ended his 15- match goalless run in the Premier League and gave City the lead again in the 36th minute with a composed finish off Joao Cancelo’s cross. Liverpool, which started the second half behind for the first time in the league this season, struck early in the second half with Sadio Mane making optimum use of Mohamed Salah’s through ball and equalising with a first-time finish.

It was a disappointing week for Manchester United and Arsenal as both succumbed to losses against Everton and Brighton respectively, which dented their top-four hopes.

Chelsea, which suffered a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid midweek in the Champions League, thrashed Southampton 6-0 and Tottenham Hotspur made most of Man United and Arsenal’s loss and entered the top four after a 4-0 win over Aston Villa as Son Heung-min scored a hat-trick.

Christian Eriksen’s fairytale return with Brentford continued as the Bees secured a 2-0 win against David Moyes’ West Ham United, courtesy of strikes from Bryan Mbeumo and Ivan Toney. The win keeps Brentford in 13th place.

After matchday 32, Man City leads the standings with 73 points, followed by Liverpool with 72. Chelsea and Tottenham follow with 62 and 57 points respectively. Arsenal is fifth with 54 points while Man United languishes at seventh with 51.

LaLiga

Late charge: Luuk de Jong of FC Barcelona (right) celebrates after scoring his side's third goal with teammates during the La Liga match against Levante in Valencia, Spain.   -  Getty Images

 

Barcelona conceded three penalties against 19th-placed Levante, out of which two were converted by the latter. With a draw imminent, it was Luuk De Jong’s 92nd-minute winner which guided the Blaugranas to a 3-2 win with the previous goals being scored by Pierre- Emerick Aubameyang and Pedri.

It was a simple 2-0 win for Real Madrid against Getafe with Casemiro and Lucas Vazquez finding the net. However, the other Madrid heavyweight, Atletico suffered a shock 1-0 loss to 17th-placed Mallorca.

Sevilla secured a 4-2 win over Granada with Diego Carlos, Lucas Ocampos, Rafa Mir and Papu Gomez finding the net. After matchday 31, Real Madrid tops the table with 72 points.

It is followed by Barcelona and Sevilla with 60 points each, but Xavi’s men are ahead with a better goal difference. Atletico Madrid occupies the final Champions League spot at fourth with 57 points.

Bundesliga

It was a difficult outing for Bayern Munich against Augsburg. The German champion scraped a 1-0 win courtesy of Robert Lewandowski’s penalty in the 82nd-minute for the precious three points.

Borussia Dortmund won 2-0 against VfB Stuttgart with Julian Brandt scoring a brace. However, the win came at a cost as Giovani Reyna was ruled out for the rest of the season after sustaining a muscle and tendon injury. The American could only be on the field for two minutes before he was replaced by Brandt, who made a brilliant impact and guided his team to victory.

For RB Leipzig, it was a fairly easy 3-0 win over Hoffenheim with Christopher Nkunku, Marcel Halstenberg and Dominik Szoboszlai scoring.

Bayer Leverkusen and VfL Bochum played a goalless draw.

After matchday 29, Bayern Munich leads the table with 69 points. Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig follow with 60, 52 and 51 points respectively.

Serie A

League-leader AC Milan dropped precious points in a goalless draw against Torino as it looks to win its first Scudetto since 2011.

Defending champion Inter Milan beat Hellas Verona 2-0 with Nicolo Barella and Edin Dzeko finding the net.

Matthijs De Ligt and Dusan Vlahovic scored a goal each as Juventus scraped a 2-1 win against Cagliari.

For Napoli, it was a bad day at the office as it lost 2-3 against Sampdoria with goals by Dries Mertens and Victor Osimhen not being enough. On the other hand, for Lazio, it was a brilliant 4-1 win against Genoa as Ciro Immobile scored a hat-trick and equalled Vlahovic’s tally of 21 goals for the season.

Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma had a narrow 2-1 win over lowly Salernitana with former Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling scoring an 85th-minute winner.

After matchday 32, Milan tops the table with 68 points, followed by Inter and Napoli on 66 points each. Juventus is fourth with 62 points. Roma is fifth with 57 points.

Gamechangers: : Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar (L) celebrates with French forward Kylian Mbappe after scoring three goals each against Clermont Foot.   -  AFP

 

Ligue 1

It was a brilliant day for Mauricio Pochettino’s Paris Saint-Germain as it thrashed Clermont Foot 6-1. Neymar and Mbappe scored hat-tricks with Lionel Messi providing three assists in the match.

Defending champion LOSC Lille won 2-1 against Angers, while Rennes defeated Reims 3-2. Strasbourg played a 1-1 draw against Lyon.

After matchday 31, PSG is the league leader with 71 points. Marseille, Rennes and Strasbourg follow with 59, 56 and 52 points respectively. Lille is seventh with 48 points.

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