Jan. 29 (Reuters) – Weekend headlines in European football leagues:
Pioli under pressure as Milan set records they didn’t want
Stefano Pioli and AC Milan got off to a tough start to 2023 with one win in seven games.
They lost their last two Serie A matches against Lazio and Sassuolo by scorelines of 4-0 and 5-2 respectively. Pioli’s side became the first team in club history to concede four goals in a row in the league and on Sunday he conceded his five at home for the first time since 1997.
Pioli has admitted that the tactics that secured Milan’s Scudetto last season are no longer working.
“Everything that has worked well in the last two years and allowed us to play beautiful and effective football is not working right now, so I think a lot,” Pioli said.
Milan will face Inter on February 5th and Torino on February 10th, while Tottenham Hotspur will travel to San Siro for the Champions League round of 16 on February 14th.
Barcelona survive three-game stretch without Lewandowski
Barcelona remain top of La Liga, extending their unbeaten run to 13 games without key striker Robert Lewandowski.
Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Girona was their third consecutive narrow league victory, following Atlético Madrid and Getafe, and the third without Lewandowski in the same result.
Paul was given a three-match ban for gesturing at the referee after being shown a red card in November’s 2-1 win over Osasuna against Barça.
Despite the absence of Lewandowski, LaLiga’s top scorer with 13 goals, Xabi Hernández’s side maintained their momentum and extended their lead to rivals Real Madrid to five goals.
Lewandowski took on Real Betis on Wednesday and gave Barça momentum after the news that injured forward Ousmane Dembele will be out for at least two weeks on Saturday.
Huerkrug in Bremen on fire
A lot has changed in the Bundesliga since the season restarted this year. Bayern Munich are still winless and Borussia Dortmund are back on their winning ways.
Werder Bremen striker Niklas Fürkrug’s scoring prowess has remained exactly the same this season, with the German forward scoring twice in a 2-1 win over in-form VfL Wolfsburg.
Fuelkrug, who made a surprise addition to Germany’s World Cup squad in November at the age of 29, currently tops the scorer list with 13 goals.
Paris Saint-Germain have a chance to extend their Ligue 1 lead to five points after RC Lens drew 1-1 at Troyes, with Olympique de Marseille and Monaco sharing the spoils on Saturday.
However, after losing their last two away league games, they were caught snoozing at the Parc des Princes by the Stade de Reims, and were forced to finish in stoppage time after Marco Verratti’s dismissal reduced PSG to 10 men. He scored the equalizing goal six minutes later.
Neymar opened the scoring early in the second half, but more than the result is the lack of creativity on Christophe Galtier’s side two weeks before facing Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Reporting by Tommy Lund, Fernando Callas, Karolos Grauman, Julian Preto Editing by Christian Radonege
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