Mbappe says goodbye at PSG; Premier League title race between Arsenal, Man City

Hello! The European season might be rapidly dashing towards the finish line, but matches of consequence still took center stage over the weekend and will do so once again during the week. I’m Pardeep Cattry with a look at the latest.

📺 Footy fix

All times U.S./Eastern

Monday, May 13
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 EPL: Aston Villa vs. Liverpool, 3 p.m. ➡️ USA Network
🇪🇸 La Liga: Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad, 3 pm ➡️ ESPN+

Tuesday, May 14
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 EPL: Tottenham va. Manchester City, 3 p.m. ➡️ USA Network
🇪🇸 La Liga: Real Madrid vs. Alaves, 3:30 pm ➡️ ESPN+


⚽ The Forward Line

🇫🇷 A mixed bag for Mbappe’s farewell

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Kylian Mbappe played his final match at the Parc des Princes as a Paris Saint-Germain player on Sunday, a 3-1 loss to Toulouse that delivered celebratory and awkward moments in almost equal measure.

The star scored his 44th goals of the season eight minutes into the game, extending his lead atop PSG’s goalscoring charts with his 256th strike for the club. The idea of a perfect ending was dashed just five minutes later when Toulouse’s Thijs Dallinga scored the equalizer, and the visitors notched two more goals in the second half to hand PSG only their second defeat of the season.

Considering the fact that PSG had already won the title, though, the focus was on the reception Mbappe would receive just two days after announcing his departure and true to form, it was mixed. Mbappe was booed pre-match when his name was called by the in-stadium announcer, but the tone shifted to one of appreciation once he took to the pitch. PSG supporters chanted his name as he walked out of the tunnel and unfurled a banner which read, “Child from the Parisian suburbs, you became a legend of PSG.”

The club itself, though, did not commemorate the end of Mbappe’s seven year spell in the French capital despite the argument he may be the team’s best-ever player. PSG spent an hour post-match celebrating their latest title but kept things centered around the team rather than one individual, but manager Luis Enrique delivered a cordial sendoff statement when addressing the media later — and at this point, might be the only club official to do so.

  • Enrique: “I thought it [the tribute] was fantastic and very heartfelt. It’s beautiful to recognize the work of a player of his level. He is without a doubt a legend of the club despite his youth. We still have some game left. I wish him the best of luck in his sporting career”

Mbappe wraps up his PSG career with two more Ligue 1 matches at Nice and Metz and then the final of the French Cup against Lyon on May 25.

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🔗  Midfield Link Play

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 It (maybe) all comes down to this in the Premier League

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After Manchester City and Arsenal picked up wins over the weekend, the Premier League’s title race will officially go to the last day, as just one point separates the two teams. Several days before championship Sunday, though, a major chapter of the title race is expected to be written Tuesday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where City will face Spurs and finally make up their game in hand.

It seems like a situation that favors City, who can overtake Arsenal with a win. The reigning champions are on a seven-game winning streak in the league and have outscored the opposition 28 to five during that stretch, while Tottenham’s three wins in their last nine have come exclusively against relegation contenders. There’s one small thing, though — City have never scored at Spurs’ new building, which opened in 2019, and might need to overcome that surprise obstacle to confirm they are actually the frontrunners to win the title yet again.

In City’s case, it will help that they are at full fitness and will face a Tottenham team missing a handful of top players. Richarlison missed Saturday’s win over Burnley, while Timo Werner and Yves Bissouma are also on the injury list. Destiny Udogie and Ben Davies’ lack of availability, meanwhile, leaves Spurs without a natural left back. It puts a real damper on their slim chance at a top four spot, which stands at 5.3% according to Opta and could be at 0% by kickoff if Aston Villa defeat Liverpool on Monday.

For Tottenham, there’s an added level of intrigue — taking even a point off City would be a massive boost for their rivals Arsenal, who eye their first title in two decades. Arsenal’s Kai Havertz plans to drop the enmity for a few days, admitting on Sunday that he will be “the biggest Tottenham fan ever” for Tuesday’s high-stakes matchup, per ESPN. Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou, though, plans to pay no attention to the rivalry, per The Athletic.

  • Postecoglou: “To me, I don’t understand it, I never will,” he said. “I understand rivalry — I was part of one of the biggest ones in the world in the last couple of years with Celtic and Rangers — but I’ve never and will never understand if someone wants their own team to lose. … What do you think we’re going to do as a team (tomorrow)? Or any team on this planet. Aren’t we just going to try and win? It’s a simple, basic premise. Now how that makes people feel, I’m not really fussed. I don’t really care.”

🔗  Top Stories

🔴 Arsenal defeat United: William Saliba was the star as Arsenal picked up a 1-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday, the latest victory in an outstanding season for the Gunners that could still end trophyless.

🇺🇸 NWSL check-in: The North Carolina Courage slipped in this week’s batch of NWSL power rankings, while the Orlando Pride and the Portland Thorns are gaining momentum with recent statement-making wins.

🇮🇹 As promoted: Como, co-owned by assistant manager Cesc Fabregas and Thierry Henry, won promotion to Serie A after 21 years outside of Italy’s top flight.

🦩 Miami win again: Luis Suarez scored as Inter Miami beat CF Montreal 3-2 on Saturday, extending the team’s winning streak to five games.

🔴⚫ Pulisic’s first year: Here’s a recap Christian Pulisic’s strong first season with AC Milanproviding a strong foundation for the USMNT ahead of June’s Copa America.

🏆 Europa League final: With the Europa League final just weeks away, it forces the question: Can Atalanta be the team to snap Bayer Leverkusen’s 50-game unbeaten run?

💰  The Back Line

💵 Best bets

  • Premier League: Aston Villa vs. Liverpool, Monday, 3 p.m.
    💰 THE PICK: Ollie Watkins to score (+170)
    — Few things feel like a guarantee in this fixture between two teams with plenty of incentive — in Villa’s case, a top four berth and in Liverpool’s case, a strong final week for Jurgen Klopp — but inconsistent form. Both teams’ recent tendencies to score and concede in big numbers, though, means goals are likely in store at Villa Park. On a day where Villa could clinch their first UEFA Champions League berth in more than four decades, count on Ollie Watkins to be amongst the goalscorers.
  • Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester City, Tuesday, 3 p.m.
  • 💰 THE PICK: Phil Foden to score (+145) — This is arguably the most high-stakes game of the week, which should suit City just fine regardless of their demons in North London. Expect several players to rise to the occasion to take City atop the standings including the in-form Phil Foden, who has become the team’s most reliable goalscorer lately.

📺 What’s on CBS Sports Golazo Network

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3️⃣ Attacking Third (Monday, Thursday): The leading women’s soccer podcast and social brand is now a live studio show. The NWSL season is back and our coverage of the women’s game is stronger than ever. Our analysts will be breaking down the USWNT, NWSL and European domestic season all year long.

👟 Kickin’ It (Tuesdays): CBS Sports Golazo Network’s unfiltered interview show releases Tuesday. Hosted by Kate Abdo, Clint Dempsey, Mo Edu and Charlie Davies, the group chat candidly with the biggest names from the Beautiful Game and share their stories from on and off the pitch.

Call it What You Want (Monday night): A weekly podcast where Jimmy Conrad, Jesse Marsch and Charlie Davies cover all things USMNT and the state of the beautiful game in the United States.

🥅 Scoreline (Daily): Scoreline is the newest place for fans to catch up on all the biggest news and results impacting global football, match highlights from the top soccer competitions and all the can’t-miss goals from the day’s action, starting Thursday and airing seven days a week.

📺 How to watch: CBS Sports Golazo Network is a free 24/7 channel exclusively dedicated to offering unparalleled coverage of all the top soccer competitions worldwide. You can stream for free on the CBS Sports app, Pluto TV and Paramount+.

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