Solari to make his closing argument for Madrid job
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.