Midweek action across Europe kicked off on Tuesday with Premier League leaders Chelsea edging Southampton, 4-2, at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte’s side used a second-half brace from Diego Costa to pull away from the visiting Saints. The hosts started quickly as Eden Hazard scored five minutes in for a 1-0 lead. Former Blue Oriel Romeu leveled the score at 1-1 in the 24th minute, netting his first goal of the season.
Gary Cahill headed Chelsea back in front right before halftime, finishing off Marcos Alonso’s cross. Costa then snapped a five-match goalless drought, heading Chelsea’s third goal in the 53rd minute.
Costa’s 19th league goal of the season extended Chelsea’s lead to 4-1 on the verge of stoppage-time. Ryan Bertrand scored a consolation header in the 94th minute for the Saints, but the final score stood at 4-2 to the hosts.
Claude Puel’s side dropped their second consecutive league fixture, and remain in ninth place. Chelsea extended its lead over second-place Tottenham to seven points ahead of the Spurs’ road trip to Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid was handed a shock defeat at home, while Malaga defeated Granada away from home. In the first semifinal of the German DFB Pokal, Eintracht Frankfurt edged Borussia Monchengladbach on penalties.
Here is a rundown of all Tuesday’s European action:
SPANISH LA LIGA
Villarreal handed Atletico Madrid their first league defeat since Feb. 26, winning, 1-0, at the Vicente Calderon. An 82nd-minute winner from Roberto Soriano proved to be the difference for Fran Escriba’s side. Soriano finished off fellow substitute Cedric Bakambu’s assist from close range for his ninth goal of the season. Villarreal keeper Andres made nine saves in the clean sheet, his second in the month of April. Villarreal remains in fifth place, which is good for a Europa League spot. Atletico Madrid remains in third after suffering their second league defeat in 2017.
Malaga made it back-to-back league wins after a 2-0 road victory at Granada. A brace from striker Sandro Ramirez lifted the bottom-half side closer up to mid table. Following a scoreless opening half, Ramirez’s opening goal came from a long-range strike in the 47th minute. Despite striking the post in the 81st-minute, Ramirez doubled his tally on the day, scoring from a right-footed effort in stoppage-time. Granada only had one shot on goal, losing their fourth match in a row. Malaga moves up to 14th, while Granada sits seven points from safety.
In the day’s early match, Espanyol fought back for a point in a 1-1 draw at Sporting Gijon. Gerard Moreno’s 12th goal of the season, earned the visitors a point after leveling the score at 1-1 in the 55th minute. Victor Rodriguez’s 39th-minute free-kick had given Gijon the halftime lead, which they could not hang onto. Gijon keeper Ivan Cuellar made four saves, while Espanyol’s Diego Lopez made five. The hosts stay in 18th, three points from safety, while Espanyol stays in ninth.
Sporting Gijon 1 – Espanyol 1
Granada 0 – Malaga 2
Atletico Madrid 0 – Villarreal 1
GERMAN DFB POKAL
Eintracht Frankfurt booked their spot to the German Cup final after defeating Borussia Monchengladbach, 7-6, on penalties. Branimir Hrgota’s successful penalty kick sent Niko Kovac’s to their first German Cup final since 2006. The hosts held a 1-0 lead after 15 minutes as Taleb Tawatha finished off Timmy Chandler’s cross. Gladbach drew level on the verge of halftime as Jonas Hofmann’s second goal of the season found the bottom-left corner. Neither side could find a winner in extra-time so the match went to penalty kicks.
Gladbach had a chance to win it on two separate occasions, but Andreas Christensen and Djibril Sow saw efforts saved by Frankfurt’s Lukas Hradecky. Hrgota’s left-footed finish found the bottom-left corner which earned Frankfurt an appearance in Berlin for May’s final.
Kovac’s side will face off against the winner of Bayern Munich-Borussia Dortmund on May 27. The second semifinal takes place at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.
Borussia Monchengladbach 1 – Eintracht Frankfurt 1 (Frankfurt advance 7-6 on penalties)