It was a quiet start to the weekend’s action, with only three of Arsenal’s players out on-loan featuring for their respective clubs.
The domestic season is nearing its completion and many players have either finished their league campaigns, or are in the final few weeks before the 2016/17 season is fully complete.
With that in mind, Tours’ Ismael Bennacer was the only player who featured on Friday evening.
Despite starting in a holding midfield role, Bennacer played 74 minutes before being replaced by an attacked as the visitors went in search of way back into the game against AC Ajaccio. Unfortunately though, they lost 3-2 during their final fixture of the season having already avoided relegation last weekend following results elsewhere.
Julio Pleguezuelo started once more as Mallorca kept a clean sheet and a slender 1-0 victory over Almeria, which could prove pivotal in their attempts to avoid the drop this term.
With 42 points from 39 matches, they prevailed in this six-pointer as Almeria themselves are not yet safe from the prospect of demotion to Spain’s third division. Cordoba and Alcorcon both dropped points with away draws on Saturday, ensuring Mallorca still have a good opportunity to remain in the Spanish Segunda.
Wojciech Szczesny started as usual but conceded three during an action-packed 5-3 win over Chievo Verona. None of the three strikes netted could be blamed on the Poland international, who was ultimately let down by a sloppy backline. They were constantly ball-watching out of possession and seemed slow to react during dangerous moments in their own defensive third.
This sloppy defensive showing was typified by their role in Chievo’s third strike, just seconds after Francesco Totti had been introduced as a second-half substitute with a few minutes left to play. Roberto Inglese was quickest to react from a corner-kick which none of the Roma players attacked, leaving Szczesny helpless as he barked his frustrations to team-mates in the aftermath.
Luckily at the other end, attacking brilliance from the likes of Mohamed Salah and Stephan El Shaarawy helped seal all three points to keep the pressure on Juventus, who have a game in hand but are only a point ahead with a home clash with relegation-threatened Crotone.