Premier League Final Gameweek Round Up – Salah seals historic season, hope for Arsenal and Leicester’s potential

The final week of Premier League fixtures saw plenty of goals, action and excitement as there were many talking points.

Salah puts the seal on a brilliant season

Mo Salah helped Liverpool to seal a Champions League place after he scored the opening goal in Liverpool’s 4-0 win against Brighton. His 32nd goal placed him two clear of Harry Kane. His goal tally is a record for any player in a 38 game season in England. He beat Luis Suarez, Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo. He has had an amazing season.

England strikers look to be firing at the right time

Spurs and Leicester played out an entertaining 5-4 victory as Harry Kane scored the winner. Kane and Jamie Vardy were arguably the two best players on the pitch s they tormented the opposition defences. Marcus Rashford scored for Man United in their 1-0 victory against Watford. Rashford has been involved in 17 goals in his 18 starts this season. Gareth Southgate will hope their form lasts to the World Cup.

Fletcher should have played more for Stoke

Stoke got their first win in 14 games after a 2-1 win against Swansea. Darren Fletcher replced Joe Allen after 8 minutes. He made the most successful passes of anyone on the pitch and he helped Stoke protect a lead, something they have been very poor at.

Hope for Arsenal

Arsenal secured their first away win in 2018 in Arsene Wenger’s final ever game as manager of Arsenal. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang scored the only goal and he now has 10 goals and four assists in 13 games. He was Wenger’s last signing and may be the most important player for the next manager. The new manager will need to sort the defensive issues that have dogged Arsenal but if Aubameyang continues this form next season then he can propel Arsenal forward.

Arsenal v Burnley
Arsenal celebrate against Burnley. Will they have reason to cheer next season? Photo via: http://www.arsenal.com

We may never see a season like Man City’s

Man City’s 1-0 victory against Southampton helped to break more records in their incredible season. Gabriel Jesus’ late goal meant that Pep Guardiola’s side are the first team to reach the 100 point barrier. They also have:

  • Most Goals Scored (106 goals, beats 103 scored by Chelsea in 2009/10).
  • Most Wins (32 wins, beat 30 wins by Chelsea in 2016/17).
  • Most Away Wins (16 wins, beats Chelsea’s 15 wins in 2004/05).
  • Most Away Points (50 points, beats 48 by Chelsea in 2004/05).
  • Goal Difference (+79, beats +71 held by Chelsea in 2009/10).
  • Points Ahead of Second (19 points ahead of United).
  • Consecutive Premier League Wins (18 wins in a row).
Man City Premier League Champions
Man City Premier League Champions. Source via: Vivaronews

 

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Champions Cup Final – Leinster make history as Racing fall short again

Leinster 15 – 12 Racing 92

Leinster secured a record equaling fourth European title after they battled to a 15-12 victory against Racing 92 in Bilbao.

Isa Nacewa’s perfect farewell

Ireland’s greatest rugby import added further European glory to his growing trophy collection. Nacewa’s decision to rejoin the club in 2015 was a gamble but it has more than paid off. The Fijian slotted the final penalty to effectively win Leinster the Champions Cup. He is a big game player while he also plays in the Pro 14 games when the Six Nations is in full swing. He may end the season with even more silverware.

Isa Nacewa
Isa Nacewa celebrates Chmpions Cup glory. Photo by: Getty.

James Ryan’s Perfect 21

21 year old James Ryan played in his 21st senior game on Saturday evening. He has won all 21 of those games. This is a phenomenal statistic considering the fact he was not known to many Irish fans before this season. He came up against Donnacha Ryan and Leone Vakarawa, two of the finest locks in the world. Ryan’s Munster exit has allowed Ryan to become an Irish international. He has won a Grand Slam and a Champions Cup title in just 21 games. The future looks bright for Ryan.

James Ryan
The old guard vs the new pretender. Donnacha Ryan and James Ryan compete in the air. Photo by: James Crombie/Inpho

Racing’s out-half woe

Racing 92 have spent millions in making themselves contenders for titles. They suffered from a shortage of out halves after Dan Carter was unable to take his place on the bench while Pat Lambie suffered a knee injury after 3 minutes. French out half Remi Tales performed admirably but Racing did miss the extra spark that Lambie can bring. It is ironic that they have spent millions but still suffered from a shortage of 10s.

Dan Carter
Dan Carter. Photo by: Getty Images

Teddy Thomas’ mistake

Teddy Thomas has enjoyed an excellent season with both France and Racing 92. He is a top class winger who destroyed Munster in the semi-final. Unfortunately for him his final major act of the European campaign was to be tackled to touch after Racing had turned the ball over. His mistake proved decisive after Leinster won a penalty and edged ahead. Thomas has a bright future and hopefully he learns from his mistake.

Cullen and Lancaster must be considered for Ireland

Leo Cullen’s decision to bring Stuart Lancaster in to the Leinster set up has proven to be a masterstroke. Cullen took charge in 2015 but it is only since Lancaster arrived that Leinster have enjoyed true success. Joe Schmidt is expected t stand down as Ireland coach after the 2019 World Cup. Cullen and Lancaster must be in the running when Schmidt decides to step aside. Their achievements with Leinster speak for themselves.

Cullen and Lancaster
Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster. Photo by: INPHO

Williams creates history – Talking Points from an epic Crucible Final

Mark Williams beat John Higgins 18-16 in an epic World Championship final. Williams became the oldest champion since 1978 and the gap of 15 years between world titles is the longest in snooker history. Here I discuss the main talking points from an absorbing clash.

Williams’ potting under pressure was the key to victory

Mark Williams has changed his game this season. He is more aggressive than ever and he ha reaped the ultimate reward. When the game was level at 15-15, Williams was the player who made the difficult shots and the big breaks. Higgins’ clearance to make it 17-16 was incredible but Williams’ 70 in the final frame, after missing match ball was one of the great Crucible clearances. The title is just reward for his bravery.

Mark Williams World Champion
Williams poses with the Crucible Crown. Photo By: Richard Sellers/PA.

Higgins is one of the best match players to have ever played

When Mark Williams led 14-7 many thought this final would be one-sided. Higgins came roaring back and won 8 of the next 9 frames to level the game at 15-15. He simply refused to be beaten. His comeback shows that he is up there with Mark Selby and now Mark Williams in terms of matchplay. He has the ability to bounce back from disappointment and banish memories of any mistakes. He will go down in history as one of the best ever.

Mark Williams v John Higgins
Mark Williams (right) and John Higgins (left). Photo via: Matzinfo

Experience and Temperament are needed to win the biggest prize

Mark Williams showed exceptional potting and temperament to reach the final of the Crucible. There are many younger players capable of winning this tournament but they do not have the experience and temperament that Williams and Higgins have. Both players overcame adversity and ground out wins in the earlier rounds. Until the younger players can match the temperament of these veterans then we may see more major wins for the experienced players.

Class of ’92 will go down as the greatest graduates

Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins and Mark Williams all turned professional in 1992. They have won 12 Crucible titles between them and their success is unparalleled. They have won two of the three majors this season. They have won 8 of the 16 tournaments this year. It is impossible to think of a story similar to it in snooker terms. They will keep fighting and it is up to the younger players to beat them.

O'Sullivan, Higgins and Williams
The new Class of ’92 – Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins and Mark Williams

Williams can win more

Mark Williams didn’t dream of winning this title  year ago but now he can go on and win more. He is 43 years old but he has shown that age is just a number. He has won three titles this season before his World Championship triumph. If he plays the same way that he has this season then he can add more titles to his stacked resume.

 

This World Championships produced many great games and plenty of talking points.  There were shocks and terrific shots but in the end it was Mark Williams who emerged victorious. He is a deserving winner and a true champion. It has been a fantastic tournament. Here’s hoping that next season is as good as the one gone passed.

Premier League Round-up – Is the miracle esacape possible?, Wenger’s farewell and all set for a grand stand finish

Swansea need goals and fast

Swansea slumped to a 1-0 defeat away at Bournemouth as they remain deep in relegation trouble. The positive results under Carlos Carvalhal at the start of his reign now look a distant memory. The Swans have not scored in their last 3 league games and they have only scored twice in their last 8 games in all competitons. They must find a way to score in their last two games otherwise they may well be relegated.

Jordan Ayew
No way through for Jordan Ayew. Photo By: Getty Images

Giroud suits Conte’s game plan

Olivier Giroud struck as Chelsea reignited the top 4 race with a 1-0 victory against Liverpool. His header means that in the last three seasons, he has scored more goals with his head than anyone else in the top 5 leagues. He is keeping Morata on the bench and it was his double against Southampton that helped Chelsea believe they could gain a Champions League spot.

Giroud v Southampton
Giroud celebrates after scoring Chelsea’s 3rd goal against Southampon. Photo by: Reuters

Southgate must be relieved with England defenders’ returns

John Stones returned to the Man City starting 11 as they drew 0-0 with Huddersfield. England manager Gareth Southgate must be delighted to see Stones back and he will be hoping the youngster can see more action before the end of City’s campaign. Gary Cahill has returned to Chelsea’s starting team and he will be pushing hard for a place in Southgate’s plans. This is a welcome problem for England to have.

Spurs gone off the boil

Spurs’ season has petered out since their loss to Man United in the FA Cup. Their narrow defeat to Juventus in the Champions League has taken the wind out of their sails before United ensured they would win no silverware this year. They struggled to create chances against a battling West Brom as Harry Kane failed to score. Their season is not over as they need to seal a top 4 place to keep their top talents.

West Brom v Spurs
West Brom score a last minute goal to beat Spurs. Photo By: Getty Images

No straight fall back to the Championship

Brighton sealed their place in next season’s premier league with a deserved 1-0 victory against Man United. Newcastle are already safe while Huddersfield’s draw against Man City means all three promoted clubs look set to stay up. A series of resuts would need to go against The Terriers if they are to be relegated. If they survive, it would be the third time in 25 years that none of the 3 sides that come up got relegated straight back down.

Aubameyang can fire the next Arsenal manager to glory

Aubameyang scored twice as Arsenal gave Arsene Wenger the perfect final game at the Emirates. He was a constant threat alongside the improved Alexandre Lacazette in a game that felt like a testimonial match. Aubameyang has been involved in 12 goals in 11 games since his arrival (8 goals and 4 assists). Wenger’s final signing will be crucial for the new manager and if he continues his fine form next season then Arsenal may make quick progress.

Arsenal v Burnley
Arsenal celebrate against Burnley. Will they have reason to cheer next season? Photo via: http://www.arsenal.com

Southampton need to be smarter

Southampton squandered a major chance to escape the relegation zone as they drew 1-1 with Everton. They led through Nathan Redmond’s header before Tom Davies’ deflected 96th minute strike earned Everton a point. Southampton failed to keep the ball in the corner and failed to reset themselves as Everton attacked. They headed the ball away before Ryan Bertrand prevented the throw. He should have put the ball dead but his clearance fell to Idrissa Gueye who teed up Davies. Southampton don’t seem to be learning their lesson and it could prove very costly.

 

Pro 14 Quarter Final Talking Points – Munster edge through while Scarlets show their credentials

Munster 20 – 16 Edinburgh

Munster’s need to improve to trouble Leinster

Munster edged past Edinburgh after their resounding defeat to Racing 92 in the Champions Cup. They needed to win this game but there are still question marks around their game. Their attack needs to improve as they failed to take advantage of overlaps. They will not get many chances against Leinster so they will need to be clinical. Conor Murray’s box kicking was not up to its usual standards and that will need to be addressed. Munster can find redemption but they need to up their game.

Keith Earls and Simon Zebo
Keith Earls and Simon Zebo celebrate Munster’s vital second try. Photo By: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Zebo shows what Munster will be missing

Simon Zebo produced a moment of magic to create Keith Earls’ try. In the 42nd minute he collected a poor pass before chipping the ball over the Edinburgh defence before producing a brilliant pass to Keith Earls. In his final home game, Munster’s record try scorer showed why many fans are angry at the IRFU for not doing more to keep him at Munster.

Simon Zebo
Simon Zebo waves goodbye on his final home appearance for Munster. Photo via: munsterrugby.ie

Scarlets 43 – 8 Cheetahs

Steff Evans at his best

Scarlets turned on the style as they defeated the Toyota Cheetahs to set up a mouthwatering showdown with Glasgow. Evans scored twice as Scarlets hit six tries. Evans’ second try was the pick of the bunch as he picked the ball up 45 metres out before evading tackles. He sent a delicious grubber kick through before touching down. Wales coach Warren Gatland must be delighted with Evans’ form while Leigh Halfpenny and Scott Williams were constant threats.

Steff Evans
Steff Evans on his way to his second try. Photo By: Alex Davidson / INPHO

Cheetahs away day blues continue

The Cheetahs were toothless as they slumped to a heavy defeat To their credit they fought until the end and grabbed a late try but the game was long over as a contest. They have only won 4 games away from home, with two of those against fellow South African team the Southern Kings. This loss was another heavy defeat away from home and they will need to improve their away form if they are to challenge for the title next season.

Liverpool v Roma – Liverpool edge through but old errors rear their head

Roma 4-2 Liverpool

Liverpool edged into the Champions League final after a brave performance by Roma was not enough to deny the Reds. Here we have the talking points from the game.

  1. Mane shows his true value

Mo Salah enjoyed a quieter night as Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum scored for Liverpool. Mane has scored nine goals in ten games, just one goal less than Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino who have both played an extra game. He is the least heralded of the front 3. He worked his socks off last night as Liverpool were put under fierce pressure. Another good performance in the final nd he may get the same recognition as Firmino and Salah.

Sadio Mane
All smiles after reaching Kiev. Source via: http://www.premierleague.com.

    2. Liverpool get the luck needed to qualify

Liverpool rode their luck as Roma were left aggrieved at a handball by Trent Alexander Arnold and a fould by Karius on Edin Dzeko that wasn’t given due to offside. The best teams need a bit of luck. Real Madrid were fortunate that Bayern didn’t take more of their chances. Real and Liverpool both deserve to be in the final but all teams need luck on their side.

Roma Manager
Roma’s Italian head coach Eusebio Di Francesco gestures during the UEFA Champions League first leg semi-final football match between Liverpool and Roma at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north west England on April 24, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE

    3. Liverpool defence given a wake up call

Liverpool’s defence has improved since Virgil Van Dijk arrived. However, they were given a wake-up call as Karius was lucky not to be sent off and Lovren looked shaky. Alexander Arnold endured a tough game as he was frequently caught out by the cross field ball. He was fortunate not to concede a penalty for handball. Robertson lost his cool and got booked while Milner was very unfortunate to score an own gal. They will need to improve if they are to beat Real.

    4. Liverpool miss Oxlade-Chamberlain

Despite Wijnaldum’s goal, Liverpool missed Oxlade-Chamberlain’s surging runs from midfield. Liverpool lost control of the midfield battle as they struggled to link the midfield to their front 3. They will need Milner or Wijnaldum to be brave against Real and try create for the front 3. That could be the winning of the Champions League.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Liverpool missed Oxlade-Chamberlain’s surging runs. Photo By: Shutterstock.

5. An Unpredictable Final

Liverpool and Real both have defensive issues and awesome attacks. That leads many to believe that this will be a shootout. It is not as simple as that but anything can happen in this final. Both teams are capable of wonderful play mixed with dodgy defending. They are both counter-attacking teams so any mistakes going forward could be severely punished. This final will be the most intriguing in years.

World Snooker Championship – Who will earn a shot at snooker immortality?

John Higgins v Kyren Wilson

John Higgins overcame Judd Trump in a cracking quarter final to set up a semi-final showdown with Kyren Wilson.

Fatigue

Higgins game with Judd Trump went all the way but the Scot prevailed 13-12. His semi-final is first up on Thursday. This means he will need to recover quickly from his late night win. Will he feel the fatigue or will he have momentum behind him? This will be crucial if he is to make a strong start.

John Higgins
Higgins has his eyes on the prize. Source via: snooker.org

Experience

Kyren Wilson will take part in his first Crucible semi-final. They don’t get more difficult than John Higgins. He will need to adapt to the one-table format quickly or else he could be in major trouble. Will he revel in the one table format or will he struggle? His ability to play the key shots with the whole crowd watching will be crucial to whther he progresses to the final or not.

Kyren Wilson
Wilson looks to rech his first Crucible final. photo by : Getty

Mark Williams v Barry Hawkins

Barry Hawkins put in an excellent performance to thrash Ding Junhui 13-5. Mark Williams showed his ability with a top class win against Ali Carter. The clash of the two left handers will feature tactical battles and big breaks. It looks set to be a classic.

On the comeback trail

After Williams failed to qualify for this tournament last year, many thought it was the end of his career. He has come roaring back by winning three titles this season, two of those being ranking event titles. If he wins this match, he would be one step closer to achieving a feat that no-one thought possible. Can he earn a shot at glory?

Mark Williams
Wil Mark Williams lift the trophy this year? Source via: TotalPoster

Looking to avoid another near miss

Barry Hawkins has reached the quarter-finals or better in his last 5 years at the Crucibl.e He lost in his only Crucible final appearance to Ronnie O’Sullivan. Hawkins looks in excellent form after defeating Ding in the quarter finals. He knows that he will be slight favourite for this match. He does not want to become the nearly man when it comes to the World Championships. Can he set that right?

 

 

 

 

World Championship Snooker Quarter Finals – Who will move closer to glory?

The quarter finals of the World Snooker Championships are upon us with 4 cracking ties in store. Here I discuss the main talking points from each match.

Ding Junhui v Barry Hawkins

A real test of Ding’s all round game

This match is difficult to call as both men are capable of winning this tournament. Ding has been accused of lacking the all round game needed to win this marathon of a tournament. He is among the best in the world when it comes to potting but can he mix it with one of the best all round players in Barry Hawkins? If he can then he may be able to go all the way.

Ding Junhui
Can Ding battle through? Source via: South China Morning Post

Mark Allen v Kyren Wilson

Entertaining Game

This is Kyren Wilson’s fourth year playing at the Crucible and he is now in his third quarter final. He has played some excellent snooker to reach this stage while Mark Allen’s two games have been cracking ties to watch. This game is a repeat of the Masters final but arguably both players are in better form now. This match could go all the way to a deciding frame. Either way it is a game not to be missed.

Mark Allen
Mark Allen celebrates his Masters win. Can Kyren Wilson get revenge? Photo by: Getty

Judd Trump v John Higgins

Trump’s revenge mission

Judd Trump was defeated by John Higgins in the final of the World Championships in 2011. That was Trump’s only final appearance in Sheffield and it was Higgins’ last World Championship victory. Trump would love to gain an ounce of revenge for that defeat. Higgins has been arguably the form player after his 13-1 victory against Jack Lisowski while Trump has battled his way through. Can Trump get his revenge and possibly claim a maiden world title? Can Higgins maintain his good record over Trump? Time will tell.

Judd Trump and John Higgins
John Higgins (left) and Judd Trump (right) before their 2011 final. Photo by: Action Images.

Mark Williams v Ali Carter

Players on the comeback trail

Mark Williams has enjoyed an excellent season after he failed to qualify for the World Championships last season. Many thought he would not make it back to his best but he has proved his doubters wrong. Ali Carter shocked Ronnie O’Sullivan as he delivered a tenacious performance. Carter had an awful record against the ‘Rocket’ but he has given himself every chance of progressing to the semi-finals. This is a major opportunity for both players but who will seize it?

Premier League Round-up. Salah is human, relegation battle comes to life and more.

Salah shows he is human

Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw against Stoke City. Mo Salah was played through on goal but the crowd were amazed when he chipped the ball wide. He failed to score at Anfield for the first time since St Stephen’s Day. He was unable to add to his 43 goals this season but Jurgen Klopp will be pleased that he got through the full 90 minutes unscathed.

Salah v Stoke
Salah misses his early chance. Photo by: PA

Burnley (almost) qualify for Europe 

Burnley and Brighton played out a forgettable 0-0 draw as Burnley all but secured European football at Turf Moor next season. They are six points ahead of Everton with two games to go and have a much superior goal difference. This is a remarkable achievement considering Burnley were promoted to the Premier League in 2016. Is Sean Dyche manager of the year?

Hodgson has proved his doubters wrong

When Roy Hodgson was appointed as Frank De Boer’s replacement, many ridiculed the decision and thought Hodgson was finished as a manger after the disastrous Euro 2016 campaign. Fast forward 6 months and he has all but secured Palace’s place in the league next season. They had lost their first seven games so to be in this position is a remarkabl feat. They are full of confidence while he has managed to get the best out of Wilfred Zaha and Ruben Loftus-Cheek while solidifying the defence. Those ridiculing him months ago must now be eating humble pie.

Crystal Palace v Leicester
Crystal Palace celebrate against Leicester. Source via: talkSPORT.

This season could have a dramatic ending after all

A few weeks ago, many people (myself included) thought the season may fizzle out. This week’s results leave Swansea only 1 point above the relegation zone with 3 games left for themselves and Southampton. That battle may run on until the final day of the season. Chelsea’s victory over Swansea means they are no two points behind Spurs although they have played a game more. They are six behind Liverpool with a game less played. They face Liverpool next weekend and that result could seal Liverpool’s top 4 place or open the door for Chelsea. Things are hotting up at both ends of the table.

Moore should get a shot with West Brom next season

West Brom beat Newcastle at St.James’ Park for only the second time since 1977. Since Darren Moore took charge, West Brom are undefeated in four games. He has collected 8 points in these games, the same Alan Pardew managed in 18 games. The fans have responded to the team’s battling qualities. Moore refuses to be drawn on whether he will manage the team next season but based on results he deserves a shot.

Darren Moore West Brom Manager
Darren Moore prowls his technical area v Newcastle. Photo by: Getty.

Allardyce has helped Everton despite the protests

Everton beat Huddersfield as they all but secured eighth place in the table. There have been protests and surveys sent to fans. When Allardyce took over Everton, they were in 13th position and just 5 points above the relegation zone. This was after they beat West Ham 4-0. He was brought in to ensure they didn’t suffer relegation. He has done more than that and this win may show the progress the team has made. It may not be stylish but it has been effective.

No let up from City

Man City continue to destroy everyone put in front of them as they followed up last week’s 5-0 win with a 4-1 win against West Ham. They have now scored 102 goals while victory in their final three games would see them reach a century of points. Simply a fantastic team.

Gabriel Jesus Man City v West Ham
Gabrile Jesus celebrates after scoring City’s third goal. Photo by: AP.

United show their class

Man United beat Arsenal in the final game of the weekend as Arsenal are winless away from home in the Premier League this year. Sir Alex Ferguson presented Wenger with a trophy before the game while Jose Mourinho passed on his best wishes. Wenger hasn’t always seen eye to eye with either manager but the presentation was a sign of mutual respect. Wenger received a warm ovation from the Old Trafford crowd as United showed their class.

 

Europa League – Arsenal let it slip while Marseille hold the advantage

The Europa League took place yesterday with Arsenal drawing 1-1 with Atletico Madird while Marseille beat Red Bull Salzburg 2-0. Today I examine the key talking points from the two games.

Arsenal 1 – 1 Atletico Madrid

Arsenal dominated the game last night at the Emirates but a defensive blunder by Laurent Koscielny gifted Atletico an equaliser. This has been a hallmark of Arsenal in Europe and that will frustrate everyone involved. They cannot afford any mistakes in the away leg.

Ozil and Griezmann
Ozil and Griezmann. Source via: goal.com

Alexandre Lacazette has improved greatly since his return from injury. He won plenty of headers last night before he grabbed his goal. The decision by Aubameyang to allow Lacazette to take the penalty against Stoke looks an astute decision. Lacazette was central to everything Arsenal did and they will need him to perform to a similar standard as he did last night.

Lacazette and Oblak
Lacazette and Oblak showed their quality last night. Source via: Zimbio.

Jan Oblak showed why so many top teams are interested in signing him. He produced some excellent saves as he frustrated the Gunners. He kept them in the tie while Griezmann showed his class to equalise for Atletico. He kept his compusure while evryone else lost theirs. His goal changed the complection of the game and leaves Atletico as hot favourites to progress.

Marseille 2 – 0 Red Bull Salzburg

Some familiar faces combined to help Marseille open a 2-0 lead. Former West Ham player Dimitri Payet orchestrated evrything while former Spurs winger N’Jie scored the second goal. They will need to have a big game next week to help Marseille win their first European competition since 1993.

Payet and Thauvin
Payet celebrates with Florian Thauvin after the pair combined to give Marseille the lead. Photo By: Reuters

Salzburg will feel aggrieved at Scottish referee Willie Collum’s performance. Him and his assistants failed to see that Florian Thauvin used his hand to score Marseille’s first goal. Collum also denied Salzburg a penalty as full back Stefan Lainer seemed to be brought down in the box. They will need some luck on their side next week if they are to progress.

We had two cracking European ties last night with both games hanging in the balance. Roll on next Thursday.