Ahead of the winter break, league football across Europe ended 2019 in style. AC Milan suffered their worst defeat in 21 years, Atletico finally won an away game, while Gattuso grabbed his first win as Napoli manager. Here are the Winners and Losers from European football: December 21-22. Bet on football here.
After five consecutive draws away from home in La Liga, Atletico Madrid finally registered an away win, their first since September. Diego Simeone’s side produced a solid performance to win 2-1 away to Real Betis who dominated the possession. Second half goals from Angel Correa and Alvaro Morata saw Atletico climb to fourth in La Liga, five behind second-placed Real Madrid. It was a typical Atletico performance which means they end the year inside the top four.
Gennaro Gattuso and Napoli
Napoli ended their two-month Serie A winless streak as they defeated Sassuolo 2-1 away from home in dramatic fashion. Pedro Obiang’s own goal at the death gave Napoli a valuable win. This was also Gennaro Gattuso’s first victory since being appointed almost two weeks ago. The Partenopei had last won a Serie A game in late October, then went on an eight-game winless streak, a run which resulted in the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti. Gattuso’s next match will be against title contenders Inter Milan next month. The top four now looks remote for Napoli taking into account Lazio and AS Roma’s superb form.
Home teams in Ligue 1
Ligue 1 teams played their last games of the year on Saturday before the brief winter break. Of the ten games played, seven saw home teams secure maximum points. Nantes were beaten 2-1 at home by Angers. Dijon drew 2-2 with Metz while Reims held Olympique Lyon to a 1-1 draw.
Atalanta handed AC Milan their heaviest defeat in over two decades with a 5-0 hammering in Serie A. Milan had not lost by five goals in any competition since being beaten 5-0 by Roma in May 1998. This was their eighth defeat of the season which saw them drop to 10th on the log with 21 points from 17 games. Milan last won the Scudetto in the 2010/11 season and it looks like it’s going to be a long road back to the top.
Dortmund’s Bundesliga title charge suffered another setback after they closed out the year with a disappointing 2-1 loss away to Hoffenheim. Dortmund opened the scoring but collapsed late in the match with Andrej Kramaric scoring an 87th-minute winner. That loss saw Lucien Favre’s men drop to fourth in the table, seven points behind league leaders RB Leipzig. With Leipzig and Bayern Munich registering wins over the weekend, Dortmund’s inconsistencies might cost them later in the season.
Real Madrid were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Athletic Bilbao in their last La Liga game of 2019. The result saw Madrid drop two points behind Barcelona at the top of the table ahead of the winter break. Zinedine Zidane’s side failed to build on a solid performance from the El Clasico. The draw means Los Blancos are still in second but trail the Blaugrana by two points.