Whilst England made an impressive performance in their final group-match, they were unable to mark against a deeply-set Slovakia defence. Despite the efforts of Hodgson’s side, Wales finished top of the group after a dominant victory over Russia though England’s poor conversion rate was the decisive factor in the standings.
Whilst the majority of the world is fixated on the early developments made in EURO 2016, the MLS returned with the New York Red Bulls hosting Seattle Sounders.
Portugal made another dominant performance as they were clearly superior to their Austrian opposition. Despite having a clear shot dominance and multiple good chances, Robert Almer was in the way to prevent the Iberian side from capitalising on a strong offensive display.
It took a moment of individual class from Eder to separate the two teams after a stale match in which both teams displayed similar issues in possession of the ball.
After promotion to the Serie A in the summer of 2014, Maurizio Sarri’s side were considered one of the favourites for relegation straight back into the second division. However, through intelligent football and a particularly strong attacking game they were able to comfortably retain their top-flight status quite comfortably. The odds were further against their favour after a disastrous off-season in which they lost multiple key players and worst of all, the manager who was central to their success in the first place. Whilst Sarri would go on to instil a stark turnaround in playing style at Napoli, Empoli found their replacement in Serie C1’s with Cremonese’s Marco Giampaolo.
Large improvements on last week and one of the most dominant 1st halves of Bayern under Pep were not enough to overcome Simeone’s Atlético. After edging the first leg, the side from the Spanish capital held on against an excellent Bayern side who were on top for large periods.
Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid are arguably the form team in the world currently. After overcoming Barcelona over two legs, they were faced with a worse-performing Bayern Munich in the semi-finals. Hosting the first leg, Cholo’s men made yet another great defensive performance to keep Bayern goalless after Saul Niguez opened the scoring early with an excellent solo run and finish.
After a tense first leg, both teams faced up at Anfield in a much greater attacking focus and the result was a more chaotic game. It was decided by intelligent changes from Klopp in the second half as he produced another miracle, yet this time from the opposite dugout.
Dortmund played host to Liverpool in one of the most highly-anticipated Europa League games in recent years. The talk of the game was largely based around Jürgen Klopp’s first return to Dortmund after leaving the side last year, however we saw a much more interesting story on the pitch in a tactically-intriguing match-up.
After winning his first clasico on the weekend, Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid travelled to Germany and faced Dieter Hecking’s Wolfsburg.