Germany met their neighbours Poland at the Stade de France in the 2nd round of the European Championship group stage on Thursday evening. Both teams had won their opening games and went in with an element of security knowing that a draw would virtually guarantee their progress into the next round.
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France hosted Romania on Friday night in the opening game of the much anticipated 2016 European Championship. France, as the host nation, qualified without playing a competitive fixture since losing to Germany in the World Cup semi-final. Behind them lies an expectant set of fans and with the French previously winning a World Cup and European Championship on home soil history is on their side.
Two of the major contenders for the Champions League slots in the Bundesliga met at Borussia-Park on Saturday afternoon. Leverkusen secured 3rd spot with their 6 game winning streak but were without the excellent Julian Brandt who had scored in 5 of those games, Kampl and Bellarabi two other big factors in their excellent form. These absences presented Gladbach an opportunity knowing that a win would put them in 4th position with one matchday to go. What followed was a highly intriguing encounter where both sides showed why they are amongst the upper echelon of the Bundesliga.
Fresh from their last gasp Europa League triumph over Liverpool Villarreal travelled to the Mestalla to take on rivals Valencia on Sunday evening. Whilst victory would assure Marcelino’s men a top 4 position and a Champions league qualification round entry, their rivals, meanwhile, have endured a bitter season having even flirted with relegation at times.
Fiorentina hosted table topping Juventus in a tense derby game on Sunday evening. While Juventus were on the verge of winning the Scudetto once again, their bitter rivals were fighting to secure a top 4 position to avoid Europa League qualifiers ahead of next season.
Chelsea hosted Manchester City in the 33rd game week of the Premier League season. In previous seasons this fixture would has often had a major impact on the destination of the Premier League trophy with both sides occupying the highest positions in the table. This year however neither side are involved in the title race and the outcome was only significant for Manchester City in their attempts to fend off their neighbours and secure Champions League football for next season.
Tottenham hosted Manchester United on Sunday evening knowing that only a victory would keep their slim hopes alive in their attempts to keep pace with leaders Leicester City who built a 10 point lead with a 2-0 win over Sunderland. The stakes were high for United as well who could remain one point behind rivals Manchester City in the race to secure a top four finish.
On Sunday the 31st of May 2015 Napoli lost 4-2 at home to Lazio in their final game of the 2014-15 Serie A season. The result finally ended Napoli’s slim chances of qualifying for the Champions League in the next season as they finished 5th. To make matters worse (so it seemed) head coach Rafa Benitez was set to leave and take over at Real Madrid, and with Lazio’s emergence under Pioli, Napoli fans could be forgiven for feeling pessimistic. It was an all too familiar feeling of uncertainty for the Napoli faithful only two seasons after Mazzarri left for Inter after guiding them to their highest finish since their Scudetto winning campaign of 1989-90.