So­lari to make his clos­ing ar­gu­ment for Madrid job

The Nation - - SPORT -

RB Leipzig 2-1 in their must-win clash at Park­head.

Salzburg, semi-fi­nal­ists last sea­son, qual­i­fied for the next round with a 5-2 thrash­ing of Rosen­borg in the group’s other match, as Ja­panese for­ward Takumi Mi­namino scored a hat-trick.

Else­where, Ein­tra­cht Frank­furt reached the last 32 by beat­ing Apol­lon Li­mas­sol 3-2 in Cyprus, while Lazio joined them in pro­gress­ing from Group H af­ter a 2-1 win over Mar­seille. SAN­TI­AGO So­lari is pitch­ing for more than just three points as Real Madrid con­tinue their re­vival un­der the in­terim coach and head to Celta Vigo aim­ing for their fourth straight win.

So­lari’s time as the Eu­ro­pean cham­pi­ons’ stop-gap fol­low­ing Julen Lopetegui’s sack­ing will ex­pire over the in­ter­na­tional break, and club pres­i­dent Florentino Perez needs to de­cide whether to take the Ar­gen­tine on per­ma­nently.

Real have bounced back un­der So­lari, with Wed­nes­day’s 5-0 drub­bing of Vik­to­ria Plzen a clear sign of life in the strug­gling gi­ants.

“We’re do­ing fine with him,” says striker Karim Ben­zema. “I don’t see a coach com­ing for one or two months, for me So­lari has to stay un­til the end of the sea­son. He’s a great coach. Now we have more con­fi­dence and we are go­ing to fight.”

Madrid have scored 11 and con­ceded none since So­lari’s ar­rival but are still lan­guish­ing in sixth place, seven points off the pace and Celta, the third high­est scor­ers in La Liga will of­fer a sterner test this week­end. Li­onel Messi could re­turn on Sun­day when league lead­ers Barcelona host Real Betis af­ter three weeks out with a bro­ken arm.

Serie A lead­ers Ju­ven­tus will aim to quickly over­come their Cham­pi­ons League shocker on Sun­day but can ex­pect few favours when they travel to AC Mi­lan.

The Ital­ian cham­pi­ons have 31 points from 11 games, six points ahead of In­ter Mi­lan and Napoli, with AC Mi­lan in fourth po­si­tion, a fur­ther four points adrift along with Lazio.

Ger­man cham­pi­ons Bay­ern Mu­nich are em­brac­ing the role of un­der­dogs for Satur­day’s Bun­desliga show­down at lead­ers Borus­sia Dort­mund with cap­tain Manuel Neuer ad­mit­ting all is not well at the Al­lianz Arena.

Bay­ern have won 10 of their last 19 games against Dort­mund, in­clud­ing a 6-0 thrash­ing of the cur­rent league lead­ers last March when Robert Le­wandowski scored a hat-trick against his for­mer club in Mu­nich.

Six months later, third-placed Bay­ern trail Dort­mund by four points in the ta­ble and strug­gling for form un­der coach Niko Ko­vac.

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