Peter Bosz’ Ajax side hosted Feyenoord in De Klassieker on Sunday afternoon. Ajax came into the clash in 2nd place, 6 points behind Feyenoord, knowing that victory was necessary to keep alive their title hopes with 6 games left afterwards.
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Simeone’s Atletico Madrid hosted Sampaoli’s Sevilla side in an eagerly anticipated 3rd vs 4th clash. An uncharacteristic season for the home side had shown signs of improving in recent weeks, whereas Sevilla’s form had been on the wane.
Allegri’s Juventus hosted Sarri’s Napoli in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final on Tuesday night. With both sides and coaches being amongst the strongest in Europe tactically, the clash was eagerly anticipated. What followed was a high class encounter, in keeping with the clashes between the teams over the last two seasons.
Mourinho’s United and Puel’s Southampton met at Wembley for the EFL Cup final on Sunday evening. Cup victory would be significant for either side, it would offer Europa League qualification for Southampton and a chance for Mourinho to be the first United manager to win a trophy in their first season.
Luis Enrique’s Barcelona side made the enviable trip to Paris on Valentine’s day for a last-16 first leg clash with Paris Saint-Germain. Both sides are experiencing average domestic campaigns by their lofty recent standards and the Champions League thus takes on great significance as an alternative way of enjoying a successful season.
Klopp’s Liverpool hosted high-flying Tottenham on Saturday evening still looking for their first league win of 2017, with a poor run of form that saw them drop from 2nd to 6th, albeit temporarily. Pochettino’s men however were unbeaten in their last 9 league games, winning 7 and earning the title of Chelsea’s main “challengers”. The clash between both sides’ high intensity approach was an element that added further intrigue to a tie which already had the league’s attention.
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Title chasing RB Leipzig hosted Champions League hopefuls Hoffenheim in the clash of the Bundesliga high flyers on Saturday afternoon. Whilst the hosts knew victory was necessary to keep the pressure on Bayern, they came up against Nagelsmann’s side who were Europe’s last remaining unbeaten outfit.
Guardiola’s Manchester City hosted in-form Tottenham in a highly anticipated clash on Saturday evening. Fresh from their 4-0 defeat at Everton City were under pressure to win to keep alive their increasingly slim title hopes. This task was made tougher since they welcomed the league’s most in-form side with the North Londoners enjoying a 6 game winning streak.
Klopp’s Liverpool side hosted Guardiola’s Manchester City in the final league encounter of 2016 on Saturday evening. The opposing managers’ renewed acquaintance after clashes in Germany was one factor that ensured the game was eagerly anticipated. To add a further edge to the game, Liverpool were one point ahead of City coming into the game and the winner would take the title of Chelsea’s main challengers.