European Rewind: Inter, Arsenal and Chelsea struggle, Barcelona run rampant

Inter milan getty

By JOHN BOSCHINI

Out of Arsenal, Chelsea and Inter Milan, who is having the worst season? It is easy to make a case for all three but what is certain is that these traditional powerhouses are experiencing terrible runs of forms and all three managers are facing increasing pressure.

Inter Milan extended their league winless streak to five games with a humiliating 3-0 home loss to Bologna. Marco Di Vaio scored a first-half brace and Robert Acquafresca added a third in the dying minutes to move the visitors four points clear of the relegation zone. Inter Milan find themselves in seventh place, 14 points off the Serie A lead and six points off third place.

Arsenal will likely have to wait another year for silverware as the Gunners were knocked out of the FA Cup. Martin O'Neill continues to impress as Sunderland manager and advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-0 win. Kieran Richardson scored the first while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain bungled the ball into his own net. The loss comes after Arsenal's 4-0 thumping at AC Milan effectively knocked them out of the Champions League.

Chelsea's FA Cup hopes are still alive but a despondent 1-1 draw with Birmingham leaves questions over the Blues' motivation. David Murphy capitalized on woeful Chelsea defending to take the lead and Juan Mata failed to convert a penalty before halftime. Daniel Sturridge powered a header home in the second half to salvage a replay on March 6.

Here is a look back at the other weekend results around Europe.

England

On most days scoring four goals against Liverpool would be considered something of a success. The problem for Brighton, however, is that three of those goals went into their own net. Liverpool move into the quarterfinals of the FA Cup thanks to a 6-1 drubbing of the Championship side. Everton, Bolton and Stoke City joined them as the other Premier League sides to book their place in the next round.

SATURDAY

Chelsea 1, Birmingham 1
Everton 2, Blackpool 0
Millwall 0, Bolton Wanderers 2
Norwich City 1, Leicester City 2
Sunderland 2, Arsenal 0

SUNDAY

Crawley Town 0, Stoke City 2
Stevenage 0, Tottenham Hotspur 0
Liverpool 6, Brighton 1

SPAIN

There were goals galore in La Liga this weekend as seven of the 18 teams in action scored at least three times. Barcelona made quick work of third-placed Valencia with a 5-1 victory. Lionel Messi's brilliance was on display once again with four goals. Pablo Pitatti gave the visitors a shock lead before Messi's quadruple and Xavi's insurance goal in the 90th minute. Real Madrid maintained their 10-point lead with a 4-0 thumping of Racing Santander. 

SATURDAY

Getafe 1, Espanyol 1
Real Madrid 4, Racing Santander 0
Sevilla 2, Osasuna 0

SUNDAY

Granada 4, Real Sociedad 1
Athletic Bilbao 3, Malaga 0
Mallorca 4, Villarreal 0
Sporting Gijon 1, Athletico Madrid 1
Levante 3, Rayo Vallecano 5
Barcelona 5, Valencia 1

MONDAY

Real Zaragoza vs. Real Betis, 3:00 p.m.

GERMANY

There were no surprises in the Bundesliga over the weekend save one notable exception. Bayern Munich's sketchy away form continued as they slipped to third place following a 0-0 draw with last-placed SC Freiburg. Bayern Munich have now only won five of 11 games on the road this season. The top-four teams continue to keep pace with each other with only five points separating them.

FRIDAY

TSG Hoffenheim 1, Mainz 1

SATURDAY

Bayer Leverkusen 4, FC Augsburg 1
Hamburg SV 1, Werder Bremen 3
Hertha Berlin 0, Borussia Dortmund 1
Kaiserslautern 1, Borussia Monchengladbach 2 
Nurnberg 2, FC Cologne 1
SC Freiburg 0, Bayern Munich 0

SUNDAY

Schalke 4, VfL Wolfsburg 0
Hannover 4, VfB Stuttgart 2

ITALY

Juventus and AC Milan leapfrogged each other at the top of the Serie A table as both coasted to easily victories. Udinese moved back into third place despite a scoreless draw after Lazio was thrashed 5-1 by Palermo. 

FRIDAY

Fiorentina 0, Napoli 3
Inter Milan 0, Bologna, 3

SATURDAY

Juventus 3, Catania 1

SUNDAY

Lecce 4, Siena 1
AS Roma 1, Parma 0
Cesena 1, AC Milan 3
Genoa 0, Chievo Verona 1
Novara 0, Atalanta 0
Palermo 5, Lazio 1
Udinese 0, Cagliari 0

FRANCE

Montpellier and Paris Saint-Germain played to an entertaining 2-2 stalemate that did nothing to separate the two front-runners. PSG retains their one-point advantage at the top of the table after Guillaume Hoararu scored in the 88nd minute. Lille increased their lead over Marseille in the race for the Champions League with a victory against Lorient.

SATURDAY

AC Ajaccio 0, Brest 0
AS Nancy Lorraine 0, Toulouse 3
Caen 2, Evian Thonon Gaillard 2
Dijon FCO 3, Nice 0
Lorient 0, Lille 1
Sochaux 0, AJ Auxerre 0
Marseille 1, Valenciennes 1

SUNDAY

Bordeaux 1, Lyon 0
St Etienne 4, Stade Rennes 0
Paris Saint-Germain 2, Montpellier 2

NETHERLANDS

The Eredvisie table is in flux again as the two leaders suffered 3-0 losses while the rest of the pack gained ground. PSV Eindhoven and AZ Alkmaar fell to FC Groningen and FC Utrecht respectively and saw their lead shrink to just two points. FC Twente moved to within three points of the lead with a 4-1 victory over Vitesse Arnhem.

FRIDAY

Heerenveen 1, NAC Breda 0

SATURDAY

Feyenoord Rotterdam 1, RKC Waalwijk 1
ADO Den Haag 1, Excelsior 1
De Graafschap 1, VVV Venlo 4
SC Heracles Almelo 2, Roda JC Kerkrade 1

SUNDAY

FC Groningen 3, PSV Eindhoven 0
Ajax Amsterdam 4, NEC Nijmegan 1
FC Utrecht 3, AZ Alkmaar 0
Vitesse Arnhem 1, FC Twente 4

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What do you think of the weekend's results? Is Inter Milan's season a lost cause? Do you want to see Wenger or AVB go? Surprised by the upsets in the Netherlands?

Share your thoughts below.

 

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4 Responses to European Rewind: Inter, Arsenal and Chelsea struggle, Barcelona run rampant

  1. Second City says:

    Chelsea have been two steps forward, one step back all year but I don’t see them finishing out of the Top 4.

    Arsenal, on the other hand, I don’t see them Finishing Top 4.

    Chelsea have men that are battle tested, despite their managers inexperience. Arsenal have boys who are green, despite their managers experience.

    I just don’t think Arsenal have the backbone, leadership or stones to fight it out.

  2. Jay says:

    Completely agree with you. But Chelsea will finish top four because of the fact that the top of the EPL stinks. Arsenal is average and Liverpool and New Castle are inconsistent. I doubt outside United and City teams 3-7 could beat the same teams from La Liga, Seri A, or the Bundisliga.

  3. beachbum says:

    agree too, though Inter’s resume’ is strong for this dubious distinction

  4. solles says:

    it makes me laugh to hear chelsea referred to as a “traditional powerhouse”. traditional maybe if tradition begins in 2005.