The main events of Sat­ur­day in Euro­pean foot­ball.

England: a nightmare for Wolves

Eng­land. Pre­mier League. 34th round

April 20, 21:30. Molineux Sta­di­um (Wolver­hamp­ton)




With­in a few days of each oth­er, Arse­nal suf­fered a dou­ble shock, los­ing their lead in the Pre­mier League and being knocked out of the Cham­pi­ons League. The “gun­ners” were deter­mined to get out of this state. Already in the first minute, Havertz made a dan­ger­ous vol­ley, but then the vis­i­tors’ attacks were smashed against the Wolves’ defense. And the clos­est to suc­cess was Joao Gomes, who forced Kiv­ior to make anoth­er mis­take. The Pole was saved from the wrath of Arse­nal fans by Raya, who man­aged to hit the post.

As for the end of the first half, the Lon­don­ers scored at the moment when they real­ized that with such an oppo­nent there was not enough skill. What is still need­ed is fierce ded­i­ca­tion, and Gabriel Jesus became its exam­ple. When they open­ly grabbed him in the penal­ty area, he could have fall­en and begged for a penal­ty. Gabi jumped to his feet and rolled the ball into the path of Trossard, who hit the top cor­ner. The Bel­gian became the sixth Gun­ner with dou­ble-dig­it scor­ing this sea­son.

His suc­cess extend­ed a record 33-match scor­ing streak against Wolver­hamp­ton. Not a sin­gle oppo­nent has suf­fered so sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly from Arse­nal, which, more­over, has not con­ced­ed in away match­es in the Pre­mier League for 541 min­utes in, again, a record six rounds. But the main thing is that Mikel Arteta’s team is first again. Yes, Man­ches­ter City have a game in hand, but the City have a crazy sched­ule. Next week they will have two match­es in three days — in Brighton (April 25) and Not­ting­ham (April 28). So it’s pre­ma­ture to bury the cham­pi­onship intrigue.

Pho­to by Reuters

Spain: Girona space

Spain. La Liga. 32nd round

April 20, 22:00. Mon­tilivi (Girona)




Girona are get­ting clos­er to his­toric qual­i­fi­ca­tion to the Cham­pi­ons League. More­over, in the next round, Atléti­co and Atléti­co, which again lost points on Fri­day, play among them­selves. There is a real oppor­tu­ni­ty to increase the already com­fort­able lead over their pur­suers, which is what the Cata­lans did in the game with Cadiz. This oppo­nent is des­per­ate­ly cling­ing to a place in the exam­ple and, dur­ing a res­cue oper­a­tion, beat Atléti­co sev­er­al rounds ago.

How­ev­er, this num­ber did not work with Girona. Michel Sanchez’s team is now main­tain­ing a sta­ble sched­ule — they lose away, but take their toll at home. The cur­rent suc­cess is the fourth in a row, and there was no doubt about the final result by the break. And 2:0 in 45 min­utes is still a quite accept­able score for the guests. Con­sid­er the episode in which Savio, rec­og­nized as the best play­er of the match, hit the cross­bar, throw­ing the goal­keep­er over. And to the Cadiz goal — already with the score 3:0 — there was an imme­di­ate response.

Girona already has 68 points. Apart from the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the big Span­ish three, who are in their own dimen­sion, then by the 32nd round in the entire his­to­ry of La Liga, only three teams have achieved such indi­ca­tors — Real Sociedad (1979/80), Valen­cia (2003/04) and now “Girona”. Your dream is just a few steps away.

Pho­to by Glob­al Look Press

Italy: Neapolitan complex

Italy. Serie A. 33rd round

April 20, 19:00. Car­lo Castel­lani (Empoli)




While Italy is enjoy­ing its fifth spot in the next, updat­ed Cham­pi­ons League, the for­mal­ly still cur­rent Scud­et­to hold­er risks spend­ing a year with­out Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion. In the last round, Napoli at home failed to beat Frosi­none, which was in the rel­e­ga­tion zone (2:2), and now Francesco Calzona’s team looked sad against the back­ground of anoth­er oppo­nent fight­ing for sur­vival. Empoli, which has five clean sheets in the last six rounds, scored on its debut. A long pass from the goal­keep­er, an attack from the flank, and Cher­ry, who was injured in the mid­dle of the first half, aimed his head­er. The guests were unable to respond in any way. The Neapoli­tans seem to have an Empoli com­plex. Over the past five years, this team has won five out of sev­en match­es against the south­ern­ers. More often dur­ing this peri­od, Napoli was upset only by Inter (6 wins).

Ger­many: Leipzig breaks away from Dort­mund

Ger­many. Bun­desli­ga 1. 30th round

April 20, 16:30. Voith-Are­na (Hei­den­heim)



RB Leipzig

Hei­den­heim has recent­ly become a night­mare for the favorites. Almost won in Stuttgart (3:3) and knocked out Bay­ern (3:2), and ear­li­er dried up the attack of Borus­sia Dort­mund (0:0). So Leipzig walked on thin ice on Sat­ur­day. Sheshko’s goal, which was suc­cess­ful­ly rebound­ed at the end of the first half, was not enough for the vic­to­ry. The hosts again made the most of the set-piece, and if not for Gulachi’s save, the “bulls” would have been com­plete­ly sad.

And yet, the most sig­nif­i­cant trump card of Leipzig turned out to be its fast attacks. In the end, the key defend­er, who was try­ing to inter­rupt Simakan’s cross, hit Open­da in the leg. Mar­co Rose’s side will remain in fourth place even if Bay­er’s record run is brought to an end on Sun­day in Dort­mund. And the next round, in which Borus­sia will come to Leipzig, should be the key in the fight for a tick­et to the Cham­pi­ons League. In the mean­time, the “bulls” have repeat­ed the record of “Bavaria” — they have already been on par with those from the sec­ond Bun­desli­ga for 32 match­es.

Ger­many. Bun­desli­ga 1. 30th round

April 20, 19:30. Sta­dion An der Alten Forsterei (Berlin)

Union B



At some point, it began to seem that Bay­ern, hav­ing come to terms with the first loss of the title in eleven years, was bored with the Bun­desli­ga. The Munich team meek­ly lost the Ger­man home cla­si­co, after which they man­aged to crash into Darm­stadt, los­ing their two-goal advan­tage in two min­utes. In the Cham­pi­ons League, Thomas Tuchel seemed to have a dif­fer­ent team play­ing, but grad­u­al­ly the Munich team remem­bered about domes­tic tour­na­ments.

If the suc­cess against Cologne turned out to be rou­tine, then in Berlin the Bavar­i­ans seemed to set out to score beau­ti­ful­ly and sur­prise the oppo­nent with orig­i­nal moves. In the first scor­ing com­bi­na­tion, the key action was not Tel’s pass or Goret­zka’s shot under the cross­bar, but Müller’s wit­ty pass that con­fused the defense. As for Kane’s goal from a free kick, the gap in the “wall” was cre­at­ed thanks to reg­u­lar set-piece tak­er Kim­mich run­ning past the ball. Accord­ing to Opta, Har­ry at that moment equaled Mbappe, the most pro­duc­tive play­er in Europe, and repeat­ed his per­son­al record. We are talk­ing about 50 effec­tive points in all match­es for the club, but the data here varies. Accord­ing to Trans­fer­markt sta­tis­tics, Mbappe actu­al­ly has 50 points (41+9), while Kane already has 53 (40+13). Be that as it may, this is in any case an out­stand­ing result.

And how to stop such a “Bavaria”?! The smoke from the fires of the Berlin fans, due to which the ref­er­ee briefly stopped the game, only delayed the inevitable. When the match con­tin­ued, Muller closed the per­son­al gestalt. In his sto­ried career, the only time Thomas has ever scored has been in tour num­ber 30. He did that twice on Sat­ur­day, but that’s not unique. Among the active Bun­desli­ga foot­ballers in all 34 rounds, Dort­mund’s Reus and Union for­ward Vol­land, who was not remem­bered for any­thing this time, stood out.

Sta­tis­tics of the day
3rd The team that con­ced­ed at least 50 goals in home games of the Eng­lish Cham­pi­onship was Sheffield Unit­ed. Pre­vi­ous­ly, Aston Vil­la (1935/36) and Chelsea (1959/60) played equal­ly poor­ly at their sta­di­ums.
3rd Once in its his­to­ry, Man­ches­ter City reach­es the FA Cup final two games in a row.
160 played match­es in the Eng­lish top divi­sion, Brent­ford, to score 5 goals on a for­eign field for the first time in its his­to­ry.