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Sport
The soccer ball is rolling again

I for one was rather excited this past weekend when, specifically, the English Premier League recommenced albeit in very strange circumstances, I must admit!

I have already watched quite a few matches and the obvious difference, needless to say, is seeing the empty stadiums. At times it almost seems to be a training match and must be very strange to the players, who are so accustomed to loud singing and chanting on the terraces.

Of the more amusing sights for me is undoubtedly the substitutes sitting metres apart from each other, yet players on the field score and still hug and congratulate each other anyway.

At the resumption of the league schedule, Liverpool required only another two wins to lift their first league trophy in 30 years. On Sunday they were able to pick up only a single point in the Merseyside Derby against rivals Everton, who held them to a goalless draw at Goodison Park.

It was quite comfortably the quietest, most boring derby I’ve watched in a long time with some players looking far away from the necessary match sharpness required for this level of the game.

Anyway, the Reds had another opportunity to pick up points when they faced Crystal Palace yesterday (Wednesday). This may not be as easy as it appears, with Palace on a decent run at the moment themselves, which has seen them move up to ninth on the table with a recent 2-0 win over Bournemouth.

The battle for survival is also hotting up as four teams are separated by just six points with eight matches still to be played. Any three of Norwich, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, West Ham and Watford can still drop down to The Championship.

Over in the German Bundesliga, Bayern Munich have wrapped up their eighth consecutive league title, with Dortmund ending as runners up. What’s more, Robert Lewandowski scored his 33rd league goal to clinch the record of the most goals by a foreigner in the history of the league.

In Spain, La Liga sees eight matches remaining with Real Madrid and Barcelona separated by a mere two goals and both teams on equal points tally of 65. This one could go right down to the wire.

Serie A in Italy commenced its schedule this past weekend with wins for Inter Milan and Atalanta, which sees them in third and fourth place, respectively. Leaders Juventus and second-placed Lazio still need to play their first matches since the lift of lockdown.

The top two teams are separated by a single point and it will be interesting to see for how long Lazio can keep up its chase.

In The Championship, the second division in England, the chase is still very much on for promotion to the lucrative Premier League with West Bromwich Albion and Leeds both on 71 points, with eight matches to play.

As many as 10 teams are still in contention for the play-off spots, so this will definitely be a league to keep an eye on over the coming weeks.

That is all I have for football fans this week . . . Until next time, stay warm and safe!

V To know anything pertaining to football call Coach Ryan on 076 533 0805 or send an email to footballcoach­ryan@gmail.com.

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