- Jose has his work cut out for him.
Chelsea look old and tired and way off the pace. Chelsea has now conceded 12 goals in just 5 games. Their defense needs a lot of work. John Terry has been really showing his age this season and has not been the rock that he was last year. Branoslav Ivanovic was one of the best defenders in the league last season and this season he looks like he is in shambles. He seems to be beaten for pace almost every week. So much so that he is now backing away from attackers. Cesc Fabregas seems to just want to go for a stroll every match and play simple passes. Matić seems overwhelmed. Does Chelsea have the answer? Is Jose Mourinho the answer? For a manager who has always had great defenses, his team seems lacking.
- Ronaldo ran riot.
After not scoring in the first two matches of the season, Ronaldo finally got going and boy did he. With Real Madrid playing in Barcelona, the superstar didn’t take long to get going scoring in the 7th minute. Ronaldo then finished off a penalty in the 17th and another great goal in the 20th minute to record a 20-minute hat trick against Espanyol. He would add two more in the second half for a total of 5 goals as Real Madrid went on to win 6-0. Benzema scored the other goal on a Ronaldo assist. After drawing their first game of the season, Real have now scored 11 goals in their last two games and are yet to concede all season. They look to be on top form and ready to challenge for the title.
- Leicester City is rocking.
After fighting for survival last season, Leicester looks set to be the surprise team of the season. Their last defeat was on April 29th against Chelsea. Since that game, they have won 11 games and drawn 4 in all competitions, including friendlies. The team has seen a change in manager and not missed a beat. They are currently second in the table with 11 points. Riyad Mahrez has been one of the standout players of the season. Jamie Vardy seems to be scoring whenever he wants. Nathan Dyer scored the winning goal this weekend and looks to be a great addition. Claudio Ranieri seems to be pulling the strings. I am really excited to see what he can do with this fun to watch team this year.
- Dortmund has moved on and look great.
Thomas Tuchel took over this summer after Jurgen Klopp stepped down last spring. Klopp had been in charge for 7 seasons and had won 2 league titles, a German Cup, and went to the Champions League final. In his last season, the team struggled. Now, the team is under a new manager and looks back to the Dortmund of 2012-13. Thomas Tuchel has the team humming again. Four games into the season, Dortmund sits on top of the table with a perfect start to their season. They have scored a total of 15 goals in these games while only conceding 3. If they are going to push Bayern all the way, they will need to keep this up.
- United get it right in the second half.
After what can only be described as a terrible first half, Manchester United get their tactics right and went on to defeat a poor Liverpool team. United perfectly executed a wonderful free kick and Daley Blind smashed his shot perfectly into the goal. Then they got a very soft penalty, which Ander Herrera finished off. The best moment of the game was when Benteke scored an absolute wonder goal, but more on that later. Then newly signed Anthony Martial weaved his way through the Liverpool defense to score a fantastic debut goal. Is he worth the price tag? It is way too early to tell, but it was a great start.
- Inter Milan go top after derby win.
In the Milan Derby, Inter looked set to go top of the table with a win and they did just that. In a game that was very much back and forth, Inter took the advantage with a 58th minute goal from Fredy Guarin. This was the only goal, but it was all that was needed. Inter maintained their unbeaten start to the season and go top following Chievo dropping points. While it is really to soon to tell, Inter look to have done some great business in the summer and could be ready to return to Europe.
- Barca needed Messi.
Following the birth of his second son, Messi was left on the bench for the start of the huge clash with Altetico Madrid. Barcelona still dominated the possession and had some great chances but they seemed to miss that cutting edge. The game went into half time level at 0. Then in the 51st minute, Fernando Torres was played in by Tiago and coolly finished the ball off the post to give Madrid the lead. The lead didn’t last long, as Neymar stepped up and calmly curled a beautiful free kick into the top left corner of the goal. 5 minutes later, Messi came on to the pitch and Barcelona looked set to win the game. It didn’t take long either, as just 17 minutes on and Luis Suarez played in Messi. Messi finished the ball into the back of the net.
- Juventus finally get a point.
After a very slow start to the season, Juventus finally got a point following a 1-1 draw at home against Chievo Verona. While their heads might have been turned by their upcoming Champions League match with Manchester City, Juve needed to correct their poor start to the season. Mandzukic, Pogba, Chiellini, and Lichtsteiner all started on the bench. New signings Dybala and Hernanes got the start. Dybala scored the game-tying goal in the 83rd minute.
- PSG drop their first points of the year.
Edinson Cavani has continued his great start for PSG, scoring twice on Friday. Zlatan missed the game due to an abdominal injury but should return for the match against his boyhood club. On Friday, the story was more about the poor goaltending than it was about the actual match. Cavani’s first goal came after Cedric Carrasso failed to control the ball. Then it was PSG’s goalie Kevin Trapp’s turn. Henri Saivet flicked on the corner kick right into Trapp’s arms and he seemed to just watch it then fly into the net for the first goal he has conceded in almost 400 minutes. Cavani put PSG back on top with a great free kick that was pure class. Henri Saivet who scored the first goal was given a yellow and sent off in the 77th minute. Despite being down to 10 men, Bordeaux would get a final chance when Kevin Trapp took too long on the ball after a back pass. Wahbi Khazri stole it off his foot and smashed in the equalizer. It was the first dropped points for PSG, but they remain atop the table.
- Usual suspects show up for Bayern.
Bayern took on Augsburg this weekend and they looked to keep pace with Dortmund. They would have their work cut out for them, as the last team to score against Bayern Munich in Munich during a Bundesliga game was Augsburg last May. It didn’t even make it to half time before Augsburg took the lead with an Alexander Esswein goal. In the second half though, Bayern came back thanks to the usual two suspects of Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller. Müller finished from the spot after Douglas Costa earned a very very soft penalty. It all means that Bayern are still perfect in the Bundesliga and keep pace with Dortmund.
Pick of the Week…
Ronaldo is back with a bang!
Goals of the Week…
James’ Pick – The absolute wonder strike from Christian Benteke. Jordan Ibe crossed the ball into the box, Daley Blind headed it up into the air and then magic happened as Benteke smashed the ball into the back of the net. Check it out…
My Pick – I was debating between two brilliant free kicks for this one but I am giving the nod to Edinson Cavani for his second goal against Bordeaux. He calmly placed the shot perfectly in the top left corner and left the goal planted to the ground.
Champions League is back this week…
Tuesday Game to Watch…
Manchester City host Juventus.
The runners-up from last season have gotten off to a rough start to the season and face a difficult start to the Champions League. Manchester City has looked dominating and can really make a statement. This is a must watch game as the result will go a long way in deciding which team can make it out of this group of death. Juventus need a good result, but the same can be said for City. Winning the league is one thing, but to be among the best, you must go far in this competition.
Wednesday Game to Watch…
Roma host Barcelona
The champions start their defense on the road in a tough environment. Roma are off to a great start, including a win over Juventus. A win for Roma would be a great way to kick start the Champions League. Barcelona on the other hand has been dealing with many injuries. Gerard Piqué can play in this game, as he is eligible for European matches. No team has successfully defended the title since it was renamed the Champions League. Is this the year? We will get our first glimpse this week.
Other Games this week…
Wolfsburg hosts CSKA Moscow
Benfica hosts Astana
PSG hosts Malmo
PSV Eindhoven hosts Manchester United
Real Madrid hosts Shakhtar Donetsk
Sevilla hosts Monchengladbach
Galatasaray hosts Atletico Madrid
Chelsea hosts Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Bayer hosts BATE
Valencia hosts Zenit
Dinamo Zagreb hosts Arsenal
Dynamo Kyiv hosts Porto
Olympiacos hosts Bayern Munich
Gent hosts Lyon
The Europa League also starts this week on Thursday. but more on that post group stage.