The Euro Roundup: Messi, Ronaldo score in heated El Clasico

The referee Hernandez Hernandez showing yellow card to 04 Sergio Ramos from Spain of Real Madrid during the La Liga derby football match between FC Barcelona v Real Madrid at Camp Nou Stadium in Spain on May 6 of 2018. (Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The referee Hernandez Hernandez showing yellow card to 04 Sergio Ramos from Spain of Real Madrid during the La Liga derby football match between FC Barcelona v Real Madrid at Camp Nou Stadium in Spain on May 6 of 2018. (Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /

Barcelona and Real Madrid played out a heated El Clasico at the Camp Nou, with the Catalans long unbeaten streak surviving through a 2-2 draw.

La Liga

The only place to start recapping this weekend’s European action is at the Camp Nou, where Barcelona and Real Madrid clashed in yet another memorable Clasico. Barcelona had already sealed the title with a 4-2 win against Deportivo the previous weekend, and much of the pre-match buildup focused on whether Real would give the newly-crowned champions a guard of honor.

When a team is crowned champions early, it’s tradition for their opponent the following week to give the winners a pasillo (literally translated as hallway). Famously, Barcelona gave Real Madrid a pasillo in 2008. This season, however, Zinedine Zidane’s men refused to give Barcelona the guard of honor, as the Catalans didn’t give Madrid one after they had won the Club World Cup, sparking debate in both Madrid and Barcelona about when a pasillo should be given and whether one should be given to world champions.

Real stuck to their word, and didn’t give Barcelona a pasillo, setting the tone for what was one of the most heated Clasicos in recent years. With the league title decided and Real Madrid reaching their third consecutive Champions League final, many thought neither side would be too interested in this game. Such thoughts were quickly done away with as the two sides played out a 2-2 draw that starred dodgy refereeing calls, red cards and some really rash lunging tackles from players on both teams.

In the end, Real Madrid came from behind twice, with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi putting Barcelona in front on two separate occasions before Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale leveled up for Madrid. Barcelona will walk away the happier side as they now seem to have passed the final big hurdle between them and an invincible season.

Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid suffered their first home defeat, Espanyol completing the league double over Los Rojiblancos with two second-half goals. Sevilla’s new manager got off to the perfect start as they saw off an in-form Real Sociedad side at home.


The relegation battle was the area of most intrigue this week, as Wolfsburg and Hamburg postponed their relegation scrap to next week after heavy defeats. Hamburg currently occupy the automatic relegation spot, while Wolfsburg sit in the relegation playoff spot.

After losing 3-0 to Eintracht Frankfurt, Hamburg could have been doomed to a first ever relegation, having featured in the German top flight since 1963. However, RB Leipzig spared their blushes by beating Wolfsburg 4-1 and prolonging the relegation struggle to the final day. Hamburg will need to beat Borussia Moenchengladbach and hope the already-relegated Cologne can go out with a bang and beat Wolfsburg to avoid automatic relegation.

Should Hamburg reach the relegation playoff, they’ll face the third-place team in the Bundesliga. 2 in a two legged tie. Hamburg have retained their Bundesliga lifeline the previous two seasons through a relegation playoff.

At the other end of the table, Schalke secured the runners-up spot with a 2-1 win over Augsburg, while their rivals Borussia Dortmund left third place in doubt until the final day after falling to defeat against Mainz. Bayer Leverkusen remain level with fourth-place Hoffenheim, who are currently only qualifying for the Champions League on goal difference. To clinch a top-four finish, Leverkusen either need to better Hoffenheim’s result on the final day of the season, or win by four more goals.

Serie A

Juventus are primed to win their seventh consecutive scudetto after a comeback win over Bologna. That result, coupled with Napoli’s draw against Torino, leaves Juventus with a six-point advantage with two games left to play. With their head-to-head record tied at 1-1, Juve’s goal difference means Napoli would need to win their next two games by a combined margin of 16-0 to have any chance of winning the title.

Roma need a draw against the champions-elect to secure Champions League soccer for next season after a 1-0 win over Cagilari. The final Champions League spot is still very much up for grabs after fourth-place Lazio drew with Atlanta and fifth-place Inter saw off Udinese 4-0 away from home. Just two points now separates Lazio and Inter, who face each other on the final day.

It’s equally tight further down the table, as five teams are separated by a mere two points. Cagilari, in 18th, and SPAL, in 14th, are separated by two points, with the three sides between them all level on 34 points.

Champions watch

Porto wrapped up a well-fought and well-deserved 28th league title and a first in five years.
Sergio Conceicao’s side opened their league campaign with an incredible 26-match unbeaten run. Their run was then ruined with two losses in three games to allow Benfica a route back into the title race. A crucial away victory against the four-time defending champions allowed Porto to reclaim the advantage, and they sealed the title with two games to spare.