Four takeaways from Europe: Rodrygo stars for Real Madrid, Bayern Munich’s struggles continue & more

Europe’s top teams have been getting their final reps in this week ahead of the much anticipated UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

Real Madrid have been warming up for their clash with holders Manchester City by putting a talented Athletic Club side to the sword, Barcelona have been preparing for PSG by tightening up their defence, and Bayern Munich have been falling apart ahead of their trip to London to face Arsenal.

Here’s all the key takeaways from this week’s European action:

Real Madrid shouldn’t sacrifice Rodrygo Goes for Kylian Mbappe

If you watched Real Madrid’s clash with Athletic Club, you’ll probably be shocked by the rumours that the club could be set to sell Rodrygo Goes during the summer transfer window.

And while those transfer stories are predicated on Madrid signing literally the best football in the world (Kylian Mbappe), one can’t but fell that they’d be remiss to let a player as good as Rodrygo go.

As he proved with his stunning brace in the win on Sunday, the Brazilian has developed into a genuine superstar at the Santiago Bernabeu and the type of player that, if Madrid are hoping to dominate European football once again, they can’t afford to let go of.

Bayern Munich are bloody awful














The sub-heading is music to Arsenal fans’ ears.

Bayern Munich have notably been spiralling since the turn of the year, with the Bavarians losing their 12-year grip on the Bundesliga despite signing England captain Harry Kane.

The 2-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund – a team that had gone 11 games without a win against them – was yet another drab and uninspiring outing from Thomas Tuchel’s side. Judging by the performance at the weekend, they may need a miracle to beat Arsenal in the Champions League.

Juventus are also bloody awful













Speaking of bad football teams, here’s Juventus.

After a promising first half of the 2023/24 campaign, La Vecchia Signora’s form has fallen off a cliff in recent months. Since losing a top of the table clash with Inter back at the start of February, Juve have remarkably managed to win just one of their seven subsequent Serie A games.

It’s a run which has, rightfully, put Max Allegri’s future at the club in doubt.

Barcelona re-find their defensive mojo














Since Xavi Hernandez announced his intention to leave, Barcelona have played like a team possessed.

Their 11-game unbeaten run has been in part thanks to the improved performances of Robert Lewandowski up top, but mainly down to Xavi’s side re-finding their defensive mojo.

La Blaugrana have been back to their 2022/23 defensive best in recent weeks, keeping five straight clean sheets in La Liga due to the form of fit-again Marc-Andre ter Stegen in goal and the emergence of 17-year-old Pau Cubarsi at centre-back.

Whisper it: Barcelona are dark horses to win the Champions League.

source: 90min

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