It’s been another superb week of sport with Europe’s top football leagues and elite tournaments starting to reach the business end of proceedings.
With so much happening all over the world, we recap some of the best stories of the week below.
Barcelona win first La Liga title in four years
The champagne has been on ice for the past few weeks but finally the deal was sealed as Barcelona cruised past local rivals Espanyol 4-2 to win their first La Liga title since 2019.
Knowing that a win was all that was needed, Barcelona put any nerves at ease with three first half goals. A fourth would quickly follow ten minutes into the second half allowing the celebrations to begin.
To their credit, Espanyol fought back to score two consolation goals, but their focus will now return on trying to beat the drop.
Manchester City close in on third consecutive Premier League title
Sunday marked a crucial day in the race for this year’s Premier League title race.
Manchester City were first in action and were able to extend their lead back to four points thanks to a 3-0 victory against strugglers Everton. Two goals from Ilkay Gundogan and a 52nd of the season from Erling Haaland ensured that City kept their grip on the Premier League title and moved a step closer to a historic treble.
With City beating Everton, Arsenal knew that they had to beat Brighton to keep any realistic hopes of a first Premier League title in twenty years alive.
In what was a cagey first half, Brighton came firing out of the blocks in the second and took the lead thanks to Julio Enciso. A dagger to Arsenal’s title charge would be struck towards the end of the game when Deniz Undav produced a neat finish to put the Seagulls two up.
Pervis Estupinan put the cherry on top with a nicely taken third deep into injury time.
Arsenal’s defeat means that if they lose their next game to Nottingham Forest the title will be City’s. If Arsenal are able to escape defeat, City can wrap up the title with a victory over Chelsea on Sunday.
Bundesliga title looks set to go down to the wire
Both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund refuse to blink as the race for the Bundesliga title looks set to head to the final week of the season.
It was Bayern who had the opportunity to first lay down a marker and Thomas Tuchel’s men didn’t disappoint. With Thomas Muller setting Bayern on their way midway through the first half, the German giants would find the back of the net a further five times as they beat a struggling Schalke side 6-0.
With Bayern’s lead stretched back to four points, it was Dortmund’s turn to respond and they did so emphatically.
Led by Jude Bellingham, and with a brace from Sebastien Haller, Dortmund kept up the pressure on their great rivals beating Mochengladbach 5-2.
The gap at the top remains at just one point. With the promise of more twists and turns to come, this looks set to be one of the greatest finishes to any season in German history.
Champions League and Europa League semi-finals kick off in style
This past week saw the three premier European cup competition’s resume, with the semi-finals in the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League all taking place.
In the Champions League, Real Madrid and Manchester City will head to the Etihad this week tied at 1-1.
In what was a high quality match between two European giants, it was Madrid who opened the scoring thanks to a cracker from Brazilian superstar Vinicius Junior. Not to be outdone, City levelled up the contest thanks to a thunderbolt of a strike from Kevin De Bruyne.
Wednesday’s second leg promises to be one of the best matches of the season and it will be fascinating to see who will come out on top.
In the other semi-final it was Inter Milan who took a huge step towards this year’s final thanks to a 2-0 first leg victory over bitter rivals AC Milan.
In what was a one sided match, Milan will be happy that the damage was only limited to two goals. Outplayed and outfought, Milan will need to produce a remarkable comeback if they are to reach their first Champions League final since 2007.
In the Europa League, both semi-finals remain evenly poised heading into this weeks second legs.
Jose Mourinho’s Roma are looking to add Europa League glory to the Europa Conference League title they won last year, and they will head into their second leg against Bayer Leverkusen holding a 1-0 lead.
If Roma were to progress to the final they may meet Italian rivals Juventus.
Juventus and Sevilla played out a thrilling 1-1 draw with the Spaniards only being denied taking a 1-0 lead back to Spain thanks to a Federico Gatti goal which came in the seventh minute of injury time.
In the Europa League, West Ham will head to Holland to face off against AZ Alkmaar protecting a 2-1 lead from the first leg. The other semi-final between Basel and Fiorentina managed the same score line with the Swiss side travelling back home with a slim one goal advantage.
NBA Playoffs: Conference Finals Set
In what continues to be a barnstorming NBA Post Season, both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals have been set.
In the West it is the Denver Nuggets and LA Lakers battling it out for supremacy, whereas in the East it will be the Boston Celtics taking on the Miami Heat for the third time in the last four years.
It was the Heat who were the first team to book their tickets to the Conference Finals after they were able to close out their semi-final series against the New York Knicks 4-2.
Next to advance were the Nuggets who were able to complete their series against the Suns 4-2.
The LA Lakers were able to avoid having to go to a seventh and final game against the defending NBA champions Golden State Warriors. With the Warriors threatening to take the series to a final match, LeBron James showed exactly why he is considered one of the greatest ever to have played the game as he led his team to a crucial 122-101 victory to set up the Conference final against the Nuggets.
The Boston Celtics were the last team to secure their place in the Conference Finals after overcoming a stubborn Philadelphia 76ers team in the seventh game of their helter-skelter series.
With the game in the balance, it was Jayson Tatum who took over, scoring 51 points as the Celtics advanced 112-98 in front of a raucous home crowd.
What To Watch This Week
Another huge week of sport awaits with Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League finals all to be confirmed. The Formula 1 bandwagon continues to roll on and heads to Europe for the first time this year with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Here’s what to keep an eye on.
Monday 15th May: A huge match at both ends of the Premier League table takes place as relegation threatened Leicester take on a resurgent Liverpool. Both teams need a win to maintain their respective relegation and European pushes.
Monday 15th May – Sunday 21st May: The ATP and WTA Rome events come to a conclusion with the game’s biggest players looking for form ahead of the French Open.
Tuesday 16th May: All eyes will be on Milan as AC try to restore parity against bitter rivals Inter in the second leg of their Champions League semi final. A dramatic and electric atmosphere awaits as both teams try to reach this year’s final.
Tuesday 16th May: The NBA Conference Finals will begin with the LA Lakers and Denver Nuggets competing in the first game of their seven match series.
Wednesday 17th May: It is the turn of Eastern rivals Miami Heat and Boston Celtics who will kick-off their series on Wednesday evening.
Wednesday 17th May: With either AC or Inter Milan having booked their spot in this year’s final the evening before, either Manchester City or Real Madrid will be aiming to join them. Heading into the match squared at 1-1, the second leg promises to be one of the best matches of the season.
Thursday 18th May: All eyes will be on the Europa League and Europa Conference League semi-finals as the second legs come to a close.
Thursday 18th May – Sunday 21st May: Jon Rahm will be looking to add to his Masters title in this year’s PGA Championship. The second of golf’s four majors, it gives golfing fans the opportunity to witness the PGA Tour’s finest going up against the best golfers from the LIV Tour.
Saturday 20th May: Huge matches will be taking place across Europe as final placings across several of Europe’s biggest leagues still need to be determined. In the Premier League Arsenal travel to Nottingham Forest knowing that they must win to keep their Premier League title dream alive. Bayern Munich host Leipzig in what will be a crucial match in deciding the destiny of this year’s Bundesliga title.
Saturday 20th May: The second leg of America’s triple crown takes place with this season’s Preakness Stakes. Mage was a shock a winner of the Kentucky Derby and will continue his quest for history.
Sunday 21st May: Depending on the outcome of Arsenal’s game against Nottingham Forest, Manchester City may already be crowned Premier League champions by the time they take to the pitch against Chelsea. If Arsenal can avoid defeat, City know that a victory will see them crowned champions for the third successive season. I In Germany, Dortmund will be hoping to take advantage of any slip ups from Bayern when they travel to take on Augsberg.
Sunday 21st May: The Formula 1 season continues with this year’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The last race in Miami saw Max Verstappen extend his lead at the top of the driver’s standings but other teams will be hopeful of ending Red Bulls recent dominance around the iconic Monza circuit.
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