Monday 22 January 2018 / 07:33 AM

Au Revoir Beckham

PSG were already declared champions of Ligue 1 ahead of their weekend clash with Brest at the Parc des Princes however there was cause for further celebration after veteran David Beckham announced his retirement in midweek.

The fixture was fittingly used as a send off for the former England captain who wore the skipper’s armband during a comprehensive if somewhat inconsequential 3-1 success.

Beckham didn’t quite manage to get himself on the score sheet before being substituted to a hero’s ovation in the 82nd minute but the result was already secured courtesy of a goal from Blaise Matuidi and a fine double salvo from hitman Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

PSG’s bloodless top flight triumph should leave them bang on course to challenge once again for Champions League honours next season following a more than credible run to the quarter-finals this time around.

They may have to find a replacement for boss Carlo Ancelotti however, with rumours circulating that the Italian is seeking a move elsewhere.

This year’s Champions League finalists, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, both completed their final warm-ups for next Saturday’s showpiece at Wembley with contrasting results in the Bundesliga.

Bayern incredibly found themselves 3-1 down within ten minutes on the road at Borussia Monchengladbach before managing to turn things around through Arjen Robben and fellow winger Franck Ribery who hit a brace.

Munich’s concession of three goals may well have given Dortmund some cause for optimism considering how rock solid the Bavarians have been at the back throughout the campaign.

The Black Yellows are more likely to focus on their own defensive troubles over the coming days however after they slumped to a disappointing 1-2 defeat at home to Hoffenheim with keeper Roman Wiedenfeller seeing red for a blatant foul on Sven Schipplock.  

It also emerged after the game that defender Mats Hummels is a major doubt for the final and his absence would indeed weaken the chances of Jurgen Klopp’s men who have been outclassed by their rivals domestically over the past few months.

In Spain, Real Sociedad pulled off an impressive 1-2 victory against Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to hold onto fourth spot via goal difference from challengers Valencia with two matches remaining, whilst at the bottom, Deportivo outgunned Espanyol 2-0 at the Riazor to move out of the relegation zone.

Serie A came to a close on Sunday evening and Fiorentina narrowly missed out on joining the continents elite next season despite smashing five goals past relegated Pescara.

The Viola were in a straight shoot-out with AC Milan for the final Champions League qualifying berth and seemed to be on course for celebration with the Rossoneri 1-0 behind against Siena deep into the second half at the Artemio Franchi.

But a late penalty equaliser from Mario Balotelli and a superb winner from defender Philippe Mexes dug Milan out of trouble causing heartbreak for the unlucky Tuscan side who will have to settle for a place in the Europa League.

And finally in Portugal, FC Porto lifted the title for a third consecutive season after clinching a 0-2 win against Pacos Ferreira on the last day of the campaign.

Last weekend’s pulsating 2-1 victory over main adversaries Benfica almost got the job done for Vitor Pereira’s men but they still required a success at the Estadio de Mata to be certain of landing their 27th domestic triumph and goals from Lucho Gonzalez and Jackson Martinez sealed the deal on the west coast for the Dragoes.

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Chris Kisby

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