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Football: Milik hat-trick sends Marseille into Europa League

Arkadiusz Milik scored a hat-trick for Olympique de Marseille as his side defeated Angers 3:2 in the penultimate, 37th gameweek of French Ligue 1. Sunday’s victory secured the Polish international’s club a Europa League spot.

Milik put Marseille in ahead in the ninth minute with a header. Three minutes into the second half, he received a vertical pass from Payet and slotted the ball past the Angers goalkeeper to make it 2:0 to the home side.

However, the visitors recovered from two goals down and equalised just five minutes before the final whistle. It was going to end in a disappointing draw for Marseille when the referee decided to give the hosts a penalty after a VAR analysis in the third minute of added time. Milik kept his nerve and converted his third goal of the night, securing OM victory.

The Polish national team striker received high marks in the French media. The prestigious L’Equipe gave him 8 out of 10, writing that Milik’s “triple vision” ensures a victory for Marseille. In turn, France Football noted that “Olympique had a monumental Arkadiusz Milik up front, and just a few seconds into the match was enough to understand that the Marseille attack would have a good day.”

The Pole’s crucial contribution moved his team up to the 5th position in the league table, which guarantees the Europa League spot, three points ahead of newcomers, RC Lens.

Since his arrival from the Italian side Napoli, Milik has become the club’s joint-top scorer, despite arriving half-way through the season, bagging eight goals in 14 appearances. Florian Thauvin, a winger who is leaving Marseille to join the Mexican side Tigres in the summer, scored eight in 36 league games.

The rising form of the 27-year-old Pole is a good sign for the national team, who will have to make do without striker, Krzysztof Piątek, in the upcoming EURO 2020 tournament. The German Hertha BSC forward broke an ankle and will be sidelined for the upcoming months.

Zieliński shines in Italy

Milik’s former teammate, Piotr Zieliński, continues to impress in Italy. Although he did not score against Fiorentina, his deflected shot found its way into the net and was Napoli’s second in a 2:0 victory..

The Polish midfielder has been in scintillating form recently. He notched two goals and provided two assists in his last three games. For the first time in his career, he has recorded double figures for goals and assists in all club competitions this season.

Zieliński’s invaluable contribution may bring a lot of joy for the fans in Naples, who were left upset by the team’s performance in the previous campaign. With only one match to go, Napoli are fourth in the league table, and should they defeat Verona at home, they will secure their Champions League spot regardless of the other results.

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