A lack of minutes was once again the theme as only a few of Arsenal’s players out on-loan featured for their clubs on Sunday and Monday’s list of fixtures across Europe.
In the Birmingham Derby, Aston Villa secured a narrow 1-0 victory over the Blues – a forgettable start for Harry Redknapp in charge.
Krystian Bielik was an unused substitute here, as Redknapp presumably opted for more experienced defenders in an attempt to solidfy their defensive woes where he changed the formation too.
Julio Pleguezuelo started at centre-back and completed the full 90 minutes as Mallorca were held to a 1-1 draw with Córdoba on Sunday.
Seven league fixtures remain between now and the end of the campaign, so Pleguezuelo will be hoping to impress and retain his starting berth as they look to miraclously avoid relegation.
Rangers were beaten by two goals to nil against Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final. Pedro Caixinha opted not to utilise Jon Toral throughout the 90, leaving the midfielder an unused substitute as the visitors crashed out of the competition.
Wojciech Szczesny started and completed the full 90 as AS Roma kept up the pressure on leaders Juventus with a 4-1 away win over Pescara on Sunday.
The goalkeeper was forced into making a handful of saves and tested aerially upon occasion. Despite his decent display, a clean sheet was ruined late on as midfielder Ahmad Benali netted a close-range consolation effort. The 25-year-old, who spent eleven years at Manchester City as a youngster, diverted Ledian Memushaj’s cross into the corner with a deft one-touch finish to make Szczesny’s diving attempt an unsuccessful one.
Takuma Asano started and played 63 minutes before being replaced as VfB Stuttgart were 3-1 winners over Union Berlin on Monday evening. With four matches remaining, they’re three points clear at the top of the table but have to avoid complacency to secure top spot and promotion back into the Bundesliga for the 2017/18 campaign.
The 22-year-old forward struggled to really get going and was only able to show his quality during infrequent patches within the match.
Asano’s match statistics (source – WhoScored):
– One key pass, 29 touches, two completed dribbles and fouled twice
– 66.7% pass accuracy, worst for any outfield Stuttgart player