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2019 Football Recap - March

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Ahead of the end of 2019 and the start of a new decade, over the past few days we’ve looked back at some of the biggest football stories to take place this year month-by-month. This time we’re going back to March and seeing what happened in the world of football during the third month of the year. If you would like to look at our previous recaps, click on the relevant title below.

2019 Football Recap - January

2019 Football Recap - February

Champions League Round of 16 - Second Legs

After a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford in the first leg, it looked very likely that Manchester United would be exiting the Champions League after their visit to Paris to face PSG. However, an injury-time penalty from Marcus Rashford gave United a 3-1 victory in Paris, meaning they went through on away goals against all the odds. Another team to produce a brilliant comeback was Ajax in their game against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. Ajax went into the game trailing 2-1 on aggregate, but an incredible performance from Dusan Tadic helped Ajax stun Real Madrid by winning 4-1, meaning Ajax qualified for the quarter-finals and the holders were knocked out.

Tottenham looked set for the quarter-finals after their 3-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the first leg and made sure they got the job done in the second after beating Borussia Dortmund 1-0 in Germany to give them a 4-0 aggregate win. Liverpool also headed to Germany for their second leg game against Bayern Munich, needing a win after their 0-0 draw at Anfield. A Virgin van Dijk goal and a Sadio Mane brace gave Liverpool a huge 3-1 victory at the Allianz Arena meaning that they would be joining Manchester United and Tottenham in the quarter-finals. A 3-2 victory in Gelsenkirchen meant that Manchester City looked well on their way to the next round and a 7-0 win over Schalke at the Etihad stadium made sure that they would qualify, meaning that all 4 English teams would take part in the quarter-finals. Find all the results for the second leg knockout games here:

  • Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax (3-5)
  • Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Tottenham (0-4)
  • Porto 3-1 Roma (4-3)
  • PSG 1-3 Manchester United (3-3)
  • Manchester City 7-0 Schalke (10-2)
  • Juventus 3-0 Atletico Madrid (3-2)
  • Bayern Munich 1-3 Liverpool (1-3)
  • Barcelona 5-1 Lyon (5-1)

Europa League Round of 16 - First Legs

After victories in the round of 32, both Chelsea and Arsenal found themselves in the Europa League round of 16 and one step closer to the final in Baku. After seeing off Swedish side Malmo, Chelsea were drawn against Dynamo Kyiv, with Arsenal facing French side Rennes after knocking out Bate Borisov. Both sides had completely different starts to the round. Arsenal got off to a terrible start as they lost the first leg 3-1 in France and had it all to do back at the Emirates in the second leg, Chelsea on the other hand essentially guaranteed qualification after beating Dynamo Kyiv 3-0 at Stamford Bridge. Find all the results for the first leg knockout games here:

  • Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Inter
  • Sevilla 2-2 Slavia Praha
  • Zenit 1-3 Villarreal
  • Rennes 3-1 Arsenal
  • Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Benfica
  • Valencia 2-1 Krasnodar
  • Napoli 3-0 RB Salzburg
  • Chelsea 3-0 Dynamo Kyiv

Europa League Round of 16 - Second Legs

After their 3-1 defeat in the first leg to Rennes, Arsenal at the very least needed to score 2 goals to keep their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals alive, and that’s exactly what happened as a 3-0 victory at the Emirates gave them a 4-3 aggregate victory. Chelsea, on the other hand, went into their second leg with a 3-0 aggregate lead but were hungry for more goals and beat Dynamo Kyiv 5-0 in Ukraine to give them an 8-0 aggregate lead and a place in the quarter-finals. Find all the results for the second leg knockout games here:

  • Dynamo Kyiv 0-5 Chelsea (0-8)
  • Krasnodar 1-1 Valencia (2-3)
  • RB Salzburg 3-1 Napoli (3-4)
  • Benfica 3-0 Dinamo Zagreb (3-1)
  • Slavia Praha 4-3 Sevilla (6-5)
  • Inter 0-1 Eintracht Frankfurt (0-1)
  • Villarreal 2-1 Zenit (5-2)
  • Arsenal 3-0 Rennes (4-3)

FA Cup Quarter-Finals

March saw the quarter-finals of the FA Cup take place, with the remaining teams only being 1 win away from Wembley. History repeated itself as 2016 semi-final opponents Watford and Crystal Palace fought it out once again, this time for a place in the semi-final rather than the final. This time though it was Watford who was victorious as they beat Palace 2-1 at Vicarage Road. One of the two remaining Championship sides Millwall hosted Brighton in one of the other quarter-finals, with the Lions looking for their first FA Cup semi-final appearance since 2013. Millwall looked set for a place at Wembley before Brighton equalised in the 95th minute to take the game to penalties, with Brighton winning the shootout to take the Premier League side to Wembley.

The two Manchester clubs took part in the remaining two fixtures, with Manchester United travelling to Wolves and Manchester City travelling to Wales to face Swansea. Despite facing a scare and going 2-0 down, Manchester City got the job done in Wales and beat Swansea 3-2 to book their place in the semi-finals. The same couldn’t be said for Manchester United as goals from Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota helped Wolves to a 2-1 victory at Molineux. Find all the results of the 5th round of the FA Cup below:

  • Watford 2-1 Crystal Palace
  • Swansea 2-3 Manchester City
  • Wolves 2-1 Manchester United
  • Millwall 2-2 Brighton (Brighton win 5-4 on penalties)

Premier League

Liverpool went into January top of the Premier League with a 1 point lead over Manchester City. However, that wouldn’t be the case at the end of the month as despite wins against Tottenham, Fulham and Burnley, a 0-0 draw with Everton at Goodison Park gave Manchester City the opportunity to head to the top of the table. An opportunity which City took as they won all 4 of their Premier League games in March, meaning that the roles would be reversed going into April as it would be Manchester City who would have a 1 point lead over Liverpool at the top of the table.

The race for the top 4 was heating up throughout March as Arsenal played two top 4 rivals in the form of Tottenham and Manchester United. A 1-1 draw with Tottenham at Wembley and a 2-0 win over Manchester United at the Emirates was huge in Arsenal’s hopes for Champions League football as they found themselves 2 points clear of Manchester United in 6th and level on points with Chelsea but with a bigger goal difference (with Chelsea having a game in hand). Find below some of the key Premier League games that took place during March:

  • Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham
  • Everton 2-0 Chelsea
  • Arsenal 2-0 Manchester United
  • Everton 0-0 Liverpool
  • Tottenham 1-1 Arsenal
  • Southampton 2-1 Tottenham
  • Chelsea 1-1 Wolves

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made permanent Manchester United manager

On the 28th March, after winning 14 of his 19 games as caretaker manager of Manchester United, including a brilliant 3-1 victory over PSG in the Champions League, it was announced that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had signed a three-year-contact to take over as permanent manager. Solskjaer’s first game as permanent manager.

El Clasico

The second El Clasico of the season saw Real Madrid host Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu. After winning the previous El Clasico 5-1 at the Nou Camp earlier in the season, Barcelona were the favourites going into the game, and went ahead through an unlikely source as Ivan Rakitic put Barcelona ahead after 26 minutes. Rakitic’s opener would prove to be the only goal of the game as Barcelona left the Spanish capital with 3 points and their 22nd competitive victory over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.