Welcome to The Corner, our weekly programme that brings you up to speed with the latest from the world of football.
The Bundesliga is back. Bayern Munich looked as though they were still on holiday losing on Friday to Wolfsburg. Could the rumours of a possible Guardiola departure have unsettled the German champs?
Before a recap of the Bavarian’s defeat, let’s see how the top of the table clash ended in the English Premier.
Chelsea looked to extend their lead while Manchester City hoped to close the gap.
In the end it was status quo.
The two sides shared the spoils in a disappointing one all draw at Stamford Bridge.
Loic Remy gave Chelsea the lead before David Silva replied for City.
Sub Frank Lampard was given a warm reception on his return to the Bridge but he failed to provide a late twist to an otherwise drab encounter.
The top of the table clash in Germany provided a lot more excitement.
Wolfsburg boosted their chances of catching up with Bayern following a 4-1 victory.
Bas Dost shot past an immobile Manuel Neuer to net the first Bundesliga goal of 2015 and he was on the scoresheet again on the stroke of half-time following a delightful volley.
Kevin De Bruyne made it three eight minutes after the restart keeping his cool to fire past Neuer.
Bayern’s response to conceding a third was immediate if not slightly fortunate – Juan Bernat reducing the deficit from close range.
Wolfsburg were having none of it though and sealed an emphatic 4-1 victory when De Bruyne drilled his shot into the back of the net for his second.
Wolfsburg trail Bayern by eight points after 18 games played.
Up and Down
Let’s see who has made our Up & Down list this week.
Arsenal are quite literally on the up in England.
The Gunner’s thrashed Aston Villa 5-0 to move above Tottenham into fifth place.
It was their third straight league win and leaves them in good shape for a 19th successive top-four finish.
They are now level on points with fourth-placed Southampton, both teams one point off Manchester United in third.
Argentine club River Plate are on the down.
In a hot-tempered affair River lost 5-0 in the superclasico against fierce rivals Boca Juniors.
River players lost control and their heads ending the game with only eight men on the pitch.
Joining River Plate on the down list this week is Chelsea hitman Diego Costa who has been suspended for three games.
The Brazilian-born Spaniard was handed the punishment for stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can in last week’s League Cup semi final.
On this day
Eight years ago the Sicilian derby between home team Catania and Palermo finished in tragedy. The clashes between ultras and police caused the death of the Italian police officer Filippo Raciti.
On 2 February 2007, policeman Filippo Raciti died from injuries sustained in a riot after the Sicilian derby.
Hooliganism had been on the rise in Italian football after the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal broke the previous year, resulting in relegation for Juventus and points deductions and other penalties for a handful of other clubs.
But the groups of supporters, called ultras, directed the violence at the police rather than each other.
The situation came to a head when Palermo visited Catania in February. A fierce rivalry under normal circumstances, tensions were exacerbated by the fact that both teams were challenging for European qualification spots.
In addition, the game was played at night to accommodate the television schedule, allowing the aggression to build up over the day. Fighting broke out in the stands after Palermo took the lead, prompting the police to use tear gas, which stopped the game for 30 minutes.
Catania leveled shortly after play resumed, but Palermo scored again for the win.
Afterward, a group of ultras turned on the police, attacking them with fireworks, metal pipes, and even a broken sink taken from one of the stadium’s restrooms.
Raciti, who suffered blunt force trauma to his liver, was rushed to the hospital, but died later that day.
The Italian Football Federation canceled all matches for the following week, then instituted a series of reforms to stem the violence.
We might be wrong
It’s going to be a very interesting weekend for European football fans.
It was not easy to select only four matches in our segment We might be wrong, but we did eventually decide and here are our predictions.Send us yours, using #TheCornerScores.
Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal
Juventus 1-1 Milan
Atlético de Madrid 2-1 Real Madrid
Lyon 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain
This week in bloopers one unsuspecting youngster is left in shock when in Madrid’s city centre a homeless person reveals the star inside following ball skills of the highest level. If you have funny videos from the net, send them to us, using #TheCornerBloopers, (check out clip above).
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