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Top games to watch on Feb. 19-25, 2021

Arsenal vs Man City, Milan Derby, Atletico vs Chelsea headline top games to watch live on February 19-25, 2021

February 18, 2021 By Ali M.
Arsenal vs Man City, AC Milan vs Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea, Atalanta vs Real Madrid, and the 2021 SheBelieves Cup comprise our list of must-watch games.

What are the must-watch games this week?

AC Milan vs Inter Milan this Sunday at 9 a.m. ET live on ESPN+

We are only in the second month of 2021 but lovers of the beautiful game will be treated to a second Milan Derby of this calendar year. This clash comes at the most crucial time, with Inter Milan having just usurped AC Milan as the Serie A leaders. After going 2-0 down against Spezia last weekend, the Rossoneri dropped a point behind the Nerazzurri. Victory over Conte's men would see Ibrahimovic and Co. immediately reclaim the top spot but it should be noted that when these two bitter rivals last met, Piolo's side lost 2-1. That Coppa Italia defeat saw Zlatan and Lukaku get into a heated clash. The Swedish icon inevitably got sent off later on in that game, thus contributing to the defeat. Will he get revenge over Inter Milan this time around? Tune in to find out.

Arsenal vs Man City this Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ET live on Peacock and SiriusXM FC

Two Premier League giants, one struggling to qualify for Europe and another well on their way to the title, will come face to face in Sunday's Arsenal vs Man City tie. The Gunners host Guardiola's table-toppers this weekend having returned to 10th after their 4-2 triumph over Leeds. 10th, however, doesn't get you into Europe and with fifth-placed West Ham being eight points ahead, Arteta's side must beat the Citizens at the Emirates Stadium. Unfortunately, this is a task Liverpool, Tottenham, and Everton failed to achieve recently. Gundogan and Co. enter this clash with a historic 17-game winning streak and are thus unlikely to go down without a fight.

Can Arsenal halt City's remarkable winning streak?

Arsenal, Manchester City, English Premier League, Broadcast Listings

Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea this Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET live on CBS All Access, TUDN, UniMás, ZonaFutbol, and Univision NOW

Thomas Tuchel has begun life at Chelsea extremely well, winning five and drawing once in his opening six games in charge of the Blues. This midweek, the German tactician will make his UEFA Champions League debut for the London giants. Unfortunately, he will be in for a tough test as Werner and Co. are set to lock horns with Spanish giants Atletico Madrid. Beating Simeone's side is never an easy task and this couldn't be truer this season, with the Liga leaders losing only three games across all competitions this term. Los Rojiblancos have suffered two recent slip-ups in the Spanish top-flight, drawing with Celta Vigo and Levante, and will thus be out for blood in this first-leg tie.

Will Tuchel win his first UCL game as Chelsea boss?

Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, UEFA Champions League, Broadcast Listings

Atalanta vs Real Madrid this Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET live on CBS All Access, UniMás, TUDN, ZonaFutbol, and Univision NOW

Real Madrid, the kings of Europe, resume their campaign to win a record-extending 14th continental trophy. However, while this competition has not seen a more successful club than Los Blancos, the Spanish giants haven't been their best this season and were hovering way too close to a group-stage exit than most would have liked. In the end, Zidane's men finished top of Group B and are now gearing up for an interesting showdown against Atalanta. The Serie A outfit boast the second-best attack in the Italian top-flight, meaning an impeccable display will be required by Varane and Co. against Gian Piero Gasperini's exciting side. 

Biggest stories of the week

Mbappe makes history with his three-goal haul at Barcelona

Kylian Mbappé had a day to remember in his first trip to Camp Nou, where he accomplished quite a few feats. First off, the Frenchman became the first footballer to score a hat-trick at Barcelona's stadium in a KO stage match. He joined Andriy Shevchenko, Faustino Asprilla, and Ferenc Puskas as the only men to score three times when playing at Camp Nou, but all of them had done so in group stage games. As a result, fans started comparing the French ace to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's antics in the competition.

Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, PSG, Barcelona, UEFA Champions League

Haaland's brace inspires Borussia Dortmund to landmark win

Borussia Dortmund starlet Erling Haaland made a mark in the UEFA Champions League once more by getting on the scoresheet in Wednesday night's win over Sevilla. The 20-year-old striker hit a double as his side ran away with a goal advantage ahead of the second leg encounter scheduled for March.

The former Red Bull Salzburg marksman was called into action to score Dortmund's second goal after assisting Dahoud to get the equalizer for Suso's seventh minute opener. Not long before the first half break, the Norwegian international doubled his side's advantage only for Luuk de Jong to reduce the deficit in the dying minutes of the second half. In retrospect, Haaland admitted to being inspired to get on the scoresheet after seeing Kylian Mbappe score a hat-trick against Barcelona on Tuesday night. More significantly, Dortmunf's win over Sevilla was its first-ever in this century against a Spanish opponent in the UEFA Champions League.

Haaland is giving Mbappe a run for his money!

Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, PSG, Dortmund, UEFA Champions League

Griezmann hails Mbappe as a GOAT in the making after his Camp Nou hat-trick

Opposition player Antoine Griezmann spoke highly of Kylian Mbappe after his hat-trick in PSG's 4-1 win at Barcelona, hailing his countryman for silencing his critics with his Man of the Match display. Despite being on the wrong side of the Mbappe show, the former Atletico man admitted to being happy for his fellow Frenchman. Griezmann did not stop there, concluding that while the 22-year-old is a future star, he will soon be discussed in the same light as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, two of the greatest players to have ever existed. 

"I am happy for him," the Blaugrana ace said about the Ligue 1 sensation. "He has been criticised a lot, but that is what happens when you are someone for a little while.

"As soon as he plays less well, we criticise him. It is quite easy. But I believe that PSG have a future star, one who will be on the level of Leo and Cristiano. He had a truly great match."

Will Mbappe follow in the footsteps of CR7 and Messi?

Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, PSG, Barcelona, UEFA Champions League

Milan vs Inter: Two records could be set in crunch derby clash

On Sunday, the latest installment of the world-famous Derby della Madonnina will get underway, and as always, this is a highly-anticipated clash for many Serie A fans all over the world. However, this year's match will be even more crucial as both Milan and Inter are locked in an intriguing battle for the Scudetto - a trophy that has eluded them for years.

Indeed, neither team have won the coveted title in over a decade, with Milan's last triumph coming in 2011, while Inter last won it in 2010. And not surprisingly, there are also some interesting records that players could set when the two sides take to the pitch this weekend.

First up is Romelu Lukaku. The big Belgian has had a fantastic campaign so far and has 16 goals to his name. Joint tied with Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the Capocannoniere, the former Manchester United man could become the first player since Benito Lorenzi to score in four consecutive Milan Derbies.

Second is none other than Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The veteran Swede has shown no signs of slowing down and is already the oldest player to score in a Derby della Madonnina. Ibrahimovic, who will be 40 later this year, has netted 14 times this season and could become the oldest player in league history to score 15 or more times in one campaign if he can find the back of the net on Sunday.

Will Zlatan or Lukaku emerge triumphant in Sunday's Milan Derby?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Romelu Lukaku, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Milan Derby, Serie A

This Week in Women's Football:

In this edition of "This Week in Women's Football", we will be going through two of the biggest ongoing international tournaments in women's football: the SheBelieves Cup hosted in Orlando at Exploria Stadium; and the last ten UEFA Women's Euro 2022 qualifying games before playoffs.

SheBelieves Cup:

North and South America's finest Canada, the USWNT, Brazil and Argentina will all clash in the 2021 SheBelieves Cup starting on Thursday, February 18. Argentina and Brazil will become the first two CONMEBOL sides to play a SheBelieves Cup game in tournament history. The opening game on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET will set the scene for the clash between the USA and Canada. 

The USWNT and Canada will also meet on Thursday for the 61st time overall in a series that dates back to 1986 to close Matchday 1 of the 2021 SheBelieves Cup. Matchday 2 is scheduled for the weekend, with the FIFA Women's World Cup champions taking on the Selecao on Sunday, with Canada and Argentina battling it out later that same day. The tournament wraps up over the midweek, with the third and final round taking place on Wednesday.

UEFA Women's Euro 2022 qualifying Women's Euro 2022 qualifying:

February's UEFA Women's Euro qualifying matchday will uncover the two remaining best runners-up that will qualify directly into the tournament and the members of the six-team playoff.  

How UEFA Women's Euro Qualifying qualification works:

  • Hosts (1) – England (automatic qualification)

  • Group winners (9) – Automatic qualification 

  • Three runners-up with the best record (3) – Automatic qualification

  • The remaining six runners-up will participate in a play-off (3) – Three winners qualify

UEFA Women's Euro Qualifying qualification status:

  • Qualified: Belgium, Denmark, England (hosts), France, Germany, Iceland*, Netherlands (holders), Norway, Sweden

  • Confirmed in the playoffs: Northern Ireland, Russia, Ukraine

  • Can still qualify as group winners: Finland, Poland, Portugal, Spain

  • Group runners-up can still qualify direct: Austria, Italy, Switzerland

  • Can still reach play-offs: Czech Republic

Eight nations have already qualified for England 2022 and eleven nations are still in contention. These are February's games:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 23: Estonia vs. Slovenia

  • Wednesday, Feb. 24: Italy vs. Israel

  • Tuesday, Feb. 23: Spain vs. Poland, Azerbaijan Moldova 

  • Friday, Feb. 19: Finland vs. Portugal, Cyprus vs. Scotland 

  • Tuesday, Feb. 23: Cyprus vs. Finland, Scotland vs. Portugal

  • Tuesday, Feb. 23: Croatia vs. Romania

Key headlines from the world of football

Neymar reportedly calls Messi to convince him to join PSG 

French publication L'Equipe write that Neymar, who enjoyed a lovely partnership with Lionel Messi during his Camp Nou days, called the 33-year-old to convince him to join Les Parisiens. La Pulga has stated that he won't make a decision regarding his future until the season ends but the plea from Neymar is undeniably a tantalizing one. The Argentine is out of contract this season and could join the Ligue 1 giants for free, with Man City also keen on stealing him away from the Camp Nou.

Alaba confirms he'll be leaving Bayern Munich this summer

After 13 years of service, Bayern Munich defender David Alaba has confirmed that this will be his final season with the Bundesliga giants, bringing an end to his trophy-laden spell in Germany. Speaking to the press on Tuesday, the Austrian ace confirmed what many knew to be inevitable. With his current contract expiring this summer, the 28-year-old was destined to leave after failed attempts from the Bavarians to extend his deal. His destination will reportedly be Real Madrid, with Los Blancos agreeing a four-year verbal agreement with the Austrian ace, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Top games to watch this week

Saturday, February 20 

Southampton vs Chelsea (EPL)

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Bayern Munich (Bundesliga)

Atlético vs Levante (La Liga)

Liverpool vs Everton (EPL)

Schalke 04 vs Dortmund (Bundesliga)

Real Valladolid vs Real Madrid (La Liga)

Sporting vs Portimonense (Primeira Liga)

Sunday, February 21

West Ham vs Tottenham (EPL)

Barcelona vs Cádiz (La Liga)

Aston Villa vs Leicester (EPL)

AC Milan vs Inter Milan (Serie A)

Arsenal vs Manchester City (EPL)

Man United vs Newcastle (EPL)

PSG vs Monaco (Ligue 1)

Farense vs Benfica (Primeira Liga)

USWNT vs Brazil (SheBelieves Cup)

Argentina vs Canada (SheBelieves Cup)

Monday, February 22

Marítimo vs Porto (Primeira Liga)

Juventus vs Crotone (Serie A)

Tuesday, February 23

Lazio vs Bayern Munich (UEFA Champions League)

Atlético vs Chelsea (UEFA Champions League)

Wednesday, February 24

Tottenham vs Wolfsberger (UEFA Europa League)

Barcelona vs Elche (La Liga)

Atalanta vs Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League)

Borussia M'Gladbach vs Man City (UEFA Champions League)

Canada vs Brazil (SheBelieves Cup)

USWNT vs Argentina (SheBelieves Cup)

Thursday, February 25

Arsenal vs Benfica (UEFA Europa League)

Milan vs Crvena Zvezda (UEFA Europa League)

Bayer Leverkusen vs Young Boys (UEFA Europa League)

Man United vs Real Sociedad (UEFA Europa League)


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