Arsenal and Liverpool entered Saturday’s Premier League clash in need of a spark and, when all was said and done, it was the latter that found it in the form of a much-needed win.
Liverpool toppled the Gunners, 3-1, on Saturday to temporarily move up into third place in the Premier League standings. The Gunners controversially began the match without Alexis Sanchez, and they were punished for it as the team fell to their fourth loss in six matches.
Elsewhere in Europe, Napoli bounced back after consecutive defeats in all competitions to defeat AS Roma, 2-1, at the Studio Olimpico on Saturday.
A brace from Dries Mertens saw Napoli leave Rome with an important three points. His 50th minute effort proved to be the game-winner as the Belgian tapped home from close range. It doubled Napoli’s lead after the forward opened the scoring after 26 minutes by finishing off Marek Hamsik’s through-ball assist. Kevin Strootman pulled a goal back in the 89th minute for Roma, but it proved to be too little too late for a comeback. Napoli remain sin third place, sitting two points behind Roma, who have now lost two in-a-row in all competitions.
In Spain, Real Madrid eased their way to a demolition of Eibar away from home, while Paris-Saint Germain inched past Nancy in France. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund earned comfortable wins in Bundesliga action.
Here is a rundown of Saturday’s action in Europe.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
After losing to Leicester City on Monday, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side bounced back with a convincing 3-1 home win against Arsenal in Saturday’s late match. A 2-0 halftime lead saw Roberto Firmino open the scoring after nine minutes. Just before the halftime whistle, Sadio Mane rifled home his 12th league goal to the bottom-left corner which gave the Reds a 2-0 advantage at the break. Danny Welbeck pulled Arsenal to within one, finishing off substitute Alexis Sanchez’s assist in the 57th minute.
Georginio Wijnaldum’s third league goal of the season put the game to rest in stoppage time as he slotted home Origi’s assist. Liverpolo looked the more-creative out of the two sides, creating seven chances on-target. Petr Cech made four saves in the loss, while Simon Mignolet made two saves in the win.
Manchester United were not their best in a 1-1 home draw against Bournemouth in Saturday’s early fixture. Marcos Rojo’s left-footed effort after 23 minutes saw the Red Devils leading before Joshua King’s 40th minute penalty kick leveled the match before halftime. Eddie Howe’s side were reduced to 10-men in first-half stoppage time as Andrew Surman earned his second yellow card of the match.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw his 72nd minute penalty saved by Artuc Boruc which kept the score at 1-1. Boruc made six saves in the draw, keeping out efforts from Paul Pogba and Juan Mata earlier in the match. Jose Mourinho’s side remain in sixth place, while Bournemouth remain in 14th.
Leicester City earned their second win in the last six days as they defeated Hull City, 3-1 ,at the King Power Stadium. Riyad Mahrez’s 59th minute winner from long-range proved to be decisive after Hull had given the Foxes an early scare. Sam Clucas’ first goal of the season after 14 minutes had Marco Silva’s side up 1-0. Christian Fuchs leveled it for Leicester in the 27th minute from close range, before Mahrez gave the Foxes their first lead. A 90th minute own-goal off of Tom Huddlestone added insurance for Leicester who remain in 15th with the win. Hull stay in 19th after losing two of their last three.
Stoke dumped visiting Middlesbrough into the relegation zone with a 2-0 win at the Bet 365 Stadium. A first-half brace from Marko Arnautovic was all Mark Hughes’ side needed to pick up three points. The Austrian opened the scoring after 29 minutes, finishing off Glenn Whelan’s assist to the top-right corner. Three minutes to halftime, Arnautovic tapped in Peter Crouch’s assist for a 2-0 lead. Victor Valdes made six saves in the defeat, while offensively Aitor Karanka’s side only had two shots-on-goal. Stoke go up to ninth, while Middlesbrough drop to 18th after suffering consecutive defeats.
Here are all of Saturday’s Premier League results:
Manchester United 1 – A.F.C. Bournemouth 1
Leicester City 3 – Hull City 1
Stoke City 2 – Middlesbrough 0
Swansea City 3 – Burnley 2
Watford 3 – Southampton 4
West Bromwich Albion 0 – Crystal Palace 2
Liverpool 3 – Arsenal 1
SPANISH LA LIGA
After fighting back for points in their last two league fixtures, Real Madrid comfortably beat Eibar, 4-1, at the Estadio Municipal de Ipurua on Saturday. The hosts were up, 3-0, at halftime, led by a brace from Karim Benzema after 25 minutes. His first goal after 14 minutes was rifled home to the bottom-left corner, before finishing from close range just before the half-hour mark. Benzema played distributor on Los Blancos’ third goal which James Rodriguez put away for a 3-0 advantage. Marco Asensio’s seventh goal in all competitions made it 4-0 before Ruben Pena netted a consolation goal for Eibar in the 72nd minute.
Barcelona kept their top spot in La Liga after a 5-0 drubbing of Celta Vigo at the Camp Nou on Saturday afternoon. The hosts led, 2-0, at halftime, thanks to goals from Leo Messi and Neymar. Ivan Rakitic made it 3-0 in the 57th minute, finishing with a left-footed effort. Samuel Umtiti’s first goal for the club made it 4-0 after the defender finished from close range four minutes later. Messi doubled his tally in the 64th minute as the Argentine slotted home with his deadly left foot. Celta Vigo only saw one shot go on target, while allowing Barcelona 61% of the match possession. Celta Vigo remained in 10th after the road loss, while Barcelona sit a point better than Real Madrid.
Here are all of Saturday’s La Liga scores:
Leganes 1 – Granada 0
Eibar 1 – Real Madrid 4
Villarreal 2 – Espanyol 0
Barcelona 5 – Celta Vigo 0
ITALIAN SERIE A
Sampdoria made it six matches unbeaten after a 3-1 in over Pescara on Saturday. Fabio Quagliarella’s 58th minute header proved to be the winner after the score was 1-1 at halftime. Alberto Cerri’s 32nd minute equalizer had leveled it for Pescara after Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring after 18 minutes. Quagliarella headed the hosts back in front, finishing off Fernandes’ cross. Fernandes chipped in his second assist of the match as Partik Schick slotted home Sampdoria’s third goal of the match in the 68th minute. Sampdoria keeper Emiliano Viviano made three saves in the win, while Pescara’s Albano Bizarri made four in the loss. Pescara remain in 20th, sitting ten points from safety. Sampdoria move up to ninth with the win.
Here are all of Saturday’s Serie A results:
Roma 1 – Napoli 2
Sampdoria 3 – Pescara 1
A.C. Milan 3 – Chievo 1
Borussia Dortmund cruised to a 6-2 home win at Signal Iduna Park over visiting Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 69th minute header proved to be the winning goal in an eight-goal thriller in Dortmund. The hosts led, 2-0, at halftime, thanks to goals from Ousmane Dembele and Aubameyang. Kevin Volland’s second league goal pulled Leverkusen to within one early in the second-half. Aubameyang extended Dortmund’s lead to 3-1 after heading home Dembele’s assist for his 21st league tally of the season.
Wendell’s 74th minute free-kick inched Leverkusen closer before Christian Pulisic slotted home his third goal of the season three minutes later. Andre Schurrle added an 85th minute penalty-kick goal to make it 5-2 before Raphael Guerreiro finished off Pulisic’s assist for an insurance tally. Thomas Tuchel’s side are now six points behind second-place RB Leipzig, who drew 2-2 at Augsburg on Friday. Leverkusen drop to ninth after losing consecutive league matches.
Elsewhere, Bayern Munich capped a good week with a 3-0 road win at F.C. Koln on Saturday. After advancing to the German Cup semifinals on Wednesday, Carlo Ancelotti’s side turned their attention back to league play. Defender Javi Martinez’s close-range finish after 25 minutes proved to be the winning goal as Bayern cruised to the victory. Juan Bernat’s 48th minute strike made it 2-0 to the visitors, before Franck Ribery netted his third league goal of the season in second-half stoppage time. Koln struggled for possession, only having 25% of it in the match. Manuel Neuer made two saves in the win. Koln stay in seventh, while Bayern extend their lead to seven points over RB Leipzig.
Borussia Monchengladbach made it four wins in-a-row in all competitions with a 4-2 home win over Schalke. A dominant second-half by the hosts saw Dieter Hecking’s side pull away after the score was level at 1-1 at halftime. Fabian Johnson had opened the scoring after 28 minutes, finishing from inside the box with his left foot. Nabil Bentaleb’s 38th minute penalty kick goal had leveled it for Schalke before the intermission. Johnson doubled his tally in the 64th minute as he finished off Lars Stindl’s through-ball assist.
Oscar Wendt made it 3-1 to Gladbach three minutes later, seeing his left-footed effort find the back of the net. Raffael slammed the door on any comeback by netting his sixth league goal in the 76th minute to make it 4-1. Leon Goretzka added a consolation goal for Schalke in the 82nd minute, heading home his fourth tally of the season. Schalke dropped to 13th with the loss and are winless since Feb. 16th. Gladbach climb to eighth, now sitting three points from a European spot.
Here are all of Saturday’s Bundesliga results:
Borussia Dortmund 6 – Bayer Leverkusen 2
FSV Mainz 1 – VfL Wolfsburg 1
F.C. Koln 0 – Bayern Munich 3
SV Werder Bremen 2 – SV Darmstadt 0
1899 Hoffenheim 5 – F.C. Ingolstadt 2
Borussia Monchengladbach 4 – Schalke 04 2
FRENCH LIGUE 1
In Paris, PSG made it 11 matches unbeaten in all competitions with a 1-0 win over Nancy at the Parc des Princes. An 80th minute penalty from Edinson Cavani was all Unai Emery’s side needed to earn three points at home. Despite 71% possession, PSG found it tough to break down Nancy’s defense. Nancy’s Sergey Chernik made six saves in the defeat, while Kevin Trapp made three saves in the clean sheet victory. PSG remains in second-place, but are level on points with leaders Monaco at least until tomorrow. Nancy drop to 18th, and have not won since Feb. 5.
Third-place Nice leveled PSG on points after a 1-0 road win at Dijon on Saturday afternoon. Wylan Cyprien’s 69th minute winner earned the visitors all three points against a stubborn Dijon side. It was the 22-year-old’s eighth league goal of the season, as the midfielder ripped a right-footed shot to the top-left corner. Valentin Eysseric was credited with his fifth assist of the season. Dijon only created two shots-on-goal, while Nice had five. Dijon remain in 18th, while Nice make it three wins in-a-row.
Here are all of Saturday’s Ligue 1 results:
Paris Saint-Germain 1 – Nancy 0
Montpellier 1 – Guingamp 1
Bastia 0 – Saint-Etienne 0
Dijon 0- Nice 1
Caen 2 – Angers 3
Metz 1 – Rennes 1