Soccer-Speaking factors from European soccer


(Reuters) – Speaking factors from the weekend in European soccer leagues:


Coach Xabi Alonso is the toast of Leverkusen after main Bayer from sixteenth place when he took over in October to sixth with Sunday’s 2-0 win over fellow European hopefuls RB Leipzig.

Leverkusen at the moment are on a 13-game unbeaten run in all competitions as they eye a possible Champions League spot with 5 matches left within the Bundesliga marketing campaign. They’re additionally by to the Europa League semi-finals.

“I’m happy with this group and the mentality it’s exhibiting,” mentioned Alonso, a former World Cup winner with Spain who’s in his first senior teaching publish.

“After successful in Brussels in midweek (within the Europa League) we performed a troublesome opponent with Leipzig.”

“The group was able to combat at this time. We have now to maintain going like that with a great spirit.”


Actual Madrid supervisor Carlo Ancelotti was very crucial of the pitch at their Santiago Bernabeu stadium after their 2-0 win over Celta Vigo on Saturday because the membership is about to vary the taking part in floor for the fifth time this season.

“There’s a drawback with the turf,” a visibly involved Ancelotti advised DAZN on Saturday. “They’re engaged on it and I hope they will discover a resolution, I believe they may work out one thing quickly. The pitch must be higher.”

After greater than three years of the redevelopment work that guarantees to show the stadium into one of the spectacular venues on the earth, the ultimate levels have been negatively affecting the pitch which was in dangerous situation on Saturday.

“It’s fairly evident that the (building) work impacts the pitch, it was already identified,” Ancelotti mentioned.

“The turf has been modified periodically as a result of with the work it has been deteriorating fairly rapidly.”

With the revamp attributable to be accomplished by the top of 2023, Actual will hold taking part in on the stadium in the course of the redevelopment.

They are going to hope the circumstances are higher after they host the their Champions League semi-final, first leg towards Manchester Metropolis early subsequent month.


A final-gasp objective by ahead Giacomo Raspadori earned Napoli a treasured 1-0 win at Juventus on Sunday as Luciano Spalletti’s facet brace to rejoice their first Serie A title for the reason that Diego Maradona period.

Napoli ended their mini-slump of no wins of their final three aggressive outings and will turn out to be champions as early as subsequent weekend in the event that they beat Salernitana at residence on Saturday and second-placed Lazio fail to win at Inter Milan on Sunday.

“These are good bricks in the direction of the ultimate victory, so rightly the gamers had a little bit of a celebration because the objective got here in added time,” Spalletti mentioned.

“If you deliver residence a win within the dying minutes there may be much more happiness. However we now have to attend to uncork bottles and hearts.”

Napoli accomplished a league double over Juve for less than the fourth time, the final being in 2009-10.


RC Lens striker Lois Openda has been the speak of the city in Ligue 1 after a scintillating show in a 3-0 win towards AS Monaco on Saturday because the Belgium striker struck twice and arrange one other as his facet edge nearer to a Champions League spot.

Openda, 23, had a troublesome spell with 5 objectives from 20 video games between September and early March however since then has scored eight objectives and delivered two assists within the final six matches after working with a psychological coach following the World Cup.

Saturday’s victory over Monaco put Lens in third place, 5 factors forward of the principality facet, and the northeners occupy the Champions League third qualifying spherical spot.

“It is all the time been in our minds, we’re able to play the video games full fuel,” mentioned Openda.

Monaco’s Philippe Clement, who was head coach at FC Brugge when Openda was within the junior ranks there, mentioned: “Lois remains to be a younger participant, however he has an amazing future.”

(Reporting by Fernando Kallas, Karolos Gorhmann, Julien Pretot and Anita Kobylinska; Modifying by Ken Ferris and Toby Davis)

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