There’s always something special with the midweek fixtures late in the season. All the major leagues in Europe playing at the same time, with the action coming at you from all directions. Out of all that quality, Liverpool beating Everton in the Merseyside derby, Juventus inching closer towards a fifth consecutive league title and Barcelona finally stopping their collapse stood out.
For Liverpool, this was a fourth straight win in all competitions, and the third time in four matches scoring four goals. They carried on with their astonishing record against Everton over the last 16 years, especially at Anfield, with a 4-0 demolition that made it clear Roberto Martinez has very little control over his collapsing team (3 shots at goal compared to 35), while the Reds don’t let the momentum from drawing in Dortmund and then beating them at Anfield go to waste. There have been ups & downs since Jurgen Klopp took over for Brendan Rodgers, but the ship seems to be steadying at the right time. It might be too late for a Champions League spot (six points behind at the moment), but this is about next season as much as it is about this one.
Juventus beat Lazio 3-0 as they put themselves one win away from pretty much clinching the title, although at this point, they really need four points. They have a nine point lead over Napoli, with four matches remaining this season. They haven’t lost a league match since October 2015, and have dropped only two points since then in league play. Who remembers their early season crisis, when it seemed that the departure of Carlos Tevez, Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo in one summer would be too much to handle? Paulo Dybala (16 league goals this season) with a brace against Lazio has been at the vanguard of this incredible run.
And the run down of big winners on this night ends with Barcelona. Their 8-0 win over Deportivo comes after four consecutive matches without a league win, including three straight losses, seeing them lose a nine point lead at the top of the table. Now it’s even with Atletico Madrid and one point more than Real Madrid. Luis Suarez scored four goals and added three assists in a record night for him. Barcelona need to hope that the exhaustion of their front trio, along with Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta falling off their feet, won’t cost them a league title that seemed to be in the bag only three weeks ago.