- United go top of the league
Thanks to a pick up in form from United and a stumble from City, Manchester United are now top of the league. They hosted Sunderland this weekend and went ahead just before halftime with a late first half goal from Memphis Depay. Rooney opened the second half with a goal and then Mata finished it off with a late goal. Van Gaal seems to have found his team and has them playing very well right now. This week will be a big test for them as they host Wolfsburg.
- Barcelona get back to winning ways but it is costly.
The main story out of Barcelona is the injury to Lionel Messi. The forward left the game after 10 minutes with a knee injury. He clashed legs with a defender in the box and will now miss about 8 weeks with a damaged collateral ligament. The question now is will he be fit in time for the first El Classico of the season at the Bernabeu on November 22? According to Madrid based papers, he will miss the clash. But Mundo Deportivo, based in Barcelona, claims he will be there. Barcelona got two goals from Luis Suarez this weekend to give them the win. Jonathan Viera got a late conciliation goal.
- Dortmund stumble in the last week.
On last Monday, Borussia Dortmund had won 5 out of 5 games in the Bundesliga. Since then, they have faced Hoffenheim and Darmstadt 98 and drew both games. They needed a second half goal to equalize against Hoffenheim. Then they stumbled late, as Aytac Sulu scored a 90th minute goal to give Darmstadt a 2-2 draw. They have now dropped 4 points in a week and sit four points behind Bayern Munich. Can they figure out what is wrong quickly? They will need some help now as Munich look strong.
- PSG Rolls On
PSG came into the weekend just one point ahead of St. Etienne and then fell behind at the weekend after 11 minutes. Then in the second half, PSG got going as Zlatan, Cavani, Di Maria, and Aurier all scored to win the game 4-1. PSG are now four points clear at the top and have scored 7 goals in their last two games. They are rolling again and look to be ready for their trip to Kiev to face Shathkar. With the rest of their title challengers struggling, PSG look odds on favorites to win their fourth league title in a row.
- Fiorentina go top as they hand Inter first loss.
Fiorentina came storming out of the gate this weekend with 3 goals in the first 23 minutes. Josip Ilicic scored a penalty in the fourth minute. Then Nikola Kalinic scored two goals in 5 minutes. The game further turned when Miranda was shown a red card in the 31st minute. Mauro Icardi scored a goal in the 60th minute to give Inter hope, but it was killed off 16 minutes later when Kalinic finished off his hat trick. Fiorentina held the possession and went top of Serie A thanks to their goal difference. Coming into the game, Inter had given up just 1 goal all season and in the span of 23 minutes that total quadrupled. Inter need to figure it out fast, as they face Sampdoria and then Juventus in their next two games.
- Chelsea continues to struggle
Coming into the weekend, Chelsea had won just two games this season and need to carry on from their second win of the season when they traveled to the northwest to face Newcastle. They needed a win but were without their star striker. However, they were facing a team that had not won a game yet this season, so Chelsea was almost certain to win this weekend. But that is why they play the game. Late in the second half, a great ball was played in by Vurnon Anita and Ayoze Perez controlled the cross and volleyed it home. Then on the hour mark, Georginio Wijnaldum finished off Perez’s corner with a great header past Begovic. Chelsea looked set for their fourth loss of the season, but they showed a little bit of heart in the last half hour as Ramires and Willian both scored to equalize the game at 2. While it was a massive comeback for Chelsea, it is still 2 points dropped. They now sit in 15th place and are 8 points off the top of the table.
- Villarreal go top with a win in Madrid.
Villarreal have come off a disappointing season last year to take the league by storm. They started the season with a 1-1 draw against Real Betis but have beaten Espanyol, Granada, Athletic Bilbao, and Malaga since. This weekend they faced off with Atletico Madrid. Atleti had won all of their games except for their match against Barcelona. This game was a 50-50 game all along and the only difference was an early goal from Leo Baptistao. Leo is currently on loan to Villarreal from Atletico Madrid and he scored the only goal of the game. The young Brazilian striker has never really played for Atleti, as he has been on loan since he arrived. For those EPL fans, the EPL is the only league that does not permit players to play against their parent club. With their 1-0 win, Villarreal are now top of the league. They sit 1 point ahead of Barcelona and 2 ahead of Real Madrid.
- Munich is a machine and Lewandowski is unhuman.
Lewandowski added 2 more goals to his tally and that takes his mark to 101 goals in the Bundesliga in just 168 games. This is faster than any foreign player in the Bundesliga. During the week, he scored a ridiculous 5 goals in 9 minutes. He has now scored 10 goals in four matches in the Bundesliga. Munich is flying very high right now, as they look more and more dangerous each week. They have won every game this season, scoring 23 goals in 7 games and giving up just 3 goals. Will it be another run away for Munich? Dortmund and Wolfsburg have hit some road bumps, so it just might be.
- Juventus struggles continue.
In a big match in Naples, Juventus were ready to show that they had turned the corner. However, their struggles continued when Lorenzo Insigne scored a first half goal. Then Higuain gave Napoli a cushion as he scored his 5th goal of the season. Juventus would score just a minute later as Mario Lemina scored his first of the season. The young midfielder joined Juventus on loan this season and gave his team some hope with just under 30 minutes left. Juventus could not find an equalizer and the final whistle meant that Juve sit in 15th place just 2 points clear of the bottom 3. Napoli, on the other hand, jumped into the top half of the table. Is there an end to Juventus’ struggles? Sevilla travel to Turin this week in Champions League, so it is not getting any easier.
- Rough weekend for the historical powers in France.
What team might you think of If I were to ask you who has won the most Ligue 1 titles? What about the top five in terms of titles? How many of you would say PSG? You would be wrong, as they have won just 5 titles and that includes the last 3. They are, in order, St. Etienne (10), Marseille (9), Nantes (8), Monaco (7), and Lyon (7). This was not a good weekend for those 5 teams. They combined for a total of 1 point this weekend. Lyon was beaten 3-1 in Bordeaux. Monaco earned the only point with a 3-3 draw with Guingamp. Nantes lost 4-1 to PSG, despite taking an early lead. Marseille might have been the shock result of the round, as they lost 2-1 to newly promoted Angers. Saint Etienne lost at Nice 4-1, despite Nice ending the game with just 9 players on the field. Saint Etienne is the closest challenger to PSG this year, but the rest are 8th or worse. One of these teams will need to step up if they want to challenge for the title again.
Picture of the Weekend…
Goals of the Weekend…
My Pick – My choice this week is from Serie A as Torino beat Palermo 2-1 on Sunday. Marco Benassi scored a wonderful volley on a great cross from Maxi Lopez.
Champions League Returns!
BATE vs. Roma Barcelona vs. Bayer
Bayern Munich vs. Dinamo Zagreb Arsenal vs. Olympiacos
Maccabi Tel- Aviv vs. Dynamo Kyiv Porto vs. Chelsea
Zenit vs. Gent Lyon vs. Valencia
My game to watch… Porto vs. Chelsea – While Chelsea have struggled in the EPL, they have a very straight forward group. Their closest rivals have to be Porto in the group and a win for Chelsea would almost guarantee their place in the Round of 16.
Manchester United vs. Wolfsburg CSKA vs. PSV Eindhoven
Astana vs. Galatasary Atletico Madrid vs. Benfica
Monchengladbach vs. Manchester City Juventus vs. Sevilla
Malmo vs. Real Madrid Shakhtar Donetsk vs. PSG
My game to watch… Juventus vs. Sevilla – These teams are atop the group of death and a win will give them some breathing room. Both teams have had poor starts in their leagues but will look to maintain their 3 point advantage on the rest of the group.
Games on Friday…
La Liga – Celta de Vigo vs. Getafe – 2:30 pm EST
Bundesliga – Darmstadt 98 vs. Mainz 05 – 2:30 pm EST
Ligue 1 – Lille vs. Montpellier – 2:30 pm EST