Linfield hosted Celtic at Windsor Park for the first leg of their Champions League second round qualifier, in a game that will be remembered more for events off the pitch than on it. With the match moved to Friday evening as opposed to the originally scheduled Wednesday night to avoid the Glasgow side‚Äôs playing in Belfast coinciding with the ‚ÄėTwelfth‚Äô, an already unusual scenario was only compounded by Celtic‚Äôs uncharacteristically poor play in possession, albeit in part down to the home side‚Äôs good defensive organisation.
Celtic completed an unprecedented domestic treble on Saturday, as they defeated Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup final, adding to their League Cup and Premiership titles. Brendan Rodgers‚Äô side went unbeaten in all competitions in Scotland in the Northern Irishman‚Äôs first season in charge. Though they managed to win the league at a canter, finishing a staggering thirty points ahead of second-placed Aberdeen, Celtic were forced into a gruelling contest by the Dons to round off their record-breaking season.
Granada v Real Sociedad belongs to the group of fixtures which one does not tend to eagerly anticipate. Both teams are, however, interesting in their own different ways.
Stefano Pioli took charge of his first game for Inter on Sunday night. Having taken over from Frank de Boer less than two weeks prior, his first game was none other than the Milan derby. With Milan sitting unexpectedly near the top of the table ‚Äď a testament to the work Vincenzo Montella has done in Italy‚Äôs second city ‚Äď the task was to be a formidable one.
Rostov return from Amsterdam with what could be a crucial away goal in the first leg of the Champions League Qualification Round. Despite having the ball for the vast majority of the contest, Ajax hosts were unable to turn their dominance of possession into a victory, thanks in no small part to Rostov‚Äôs defence.
Hosts France will join Portugal in the final of Euro 2016 after a 2-0 victory over Germany. Despite the Germans‚Äô dominance for most of the game, Joachim Low‚Äôs side were unable to find a breakthrough in Marseille, and instead found themselves crashing out of the tournament they were so heavily fancied to win.
Wales advanced to the quarter finals of Euro 2016 with a 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland on Saturday. Chris Coleman‚Äôs side, who attracted praise during the group stage with tactically impressive performances against Slovakia, England, and Russia. It was Northern Ireland, however, who impressed the most in Paris, as they prevented Wales from asserting themselves on the game with an impressive defensive display.
Spain threw their hat in the ring for the title of ‚Äúmost impressive team‚ÄĚ with their 3-0 victory over Turkey on Friday night. A stellar performance from Celta‚Äôs Nolito saw Spain overcome their issues with their build up play.
England kicked off their Euro campaign at the stunning Stade Velodrome in Marseilles on Saturday night. Their first opponents were Russia, under the stewardship of CSKA Moscow manager Leonid Slutsky following the well-publicised soap opera that was the departure of Fabio Capello. Vasili Berezutski‚Äôs last minute header snatched a draw for the Russians, though England fans have much to be optimistic about over the coming weeks.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the deciding penalty in the shootout at the San Siro to win Real Madrid an eleventh Champions League, and elevate Zinedine Zidane to the pantheon of the six other coaches who have won the European Cup as both a player and a manager. A classic match, however, it most certainly was not, with both teams struggling in key areas of their game.