What a Weekend!!

Serie A – Juventus continues their winning streak, Napoli stay atop the league, and Inter and Fiorentina sway spots.

The top of the table in Italy saw two teams swap places as Inter Milan were only able to draw 1-1 with Carpi, and Fiorentina defeated Torino 2-0.  Rodrigo Palacio gave Inter the lead in the first half and it looked like they would get all three points when Lorenzo Pasciuti was sent off.  However, Kevin Lasagna scored the equalizer in the 92nd minute.  Fiorentina got goals from Ilicic and then Gonzalo Rodriquez.  The two teams are level on points, but Fiorentina has the better goal difference.  The top two remained the same as Napoli defeated Sampdoria 4-2.  Higuain scored his 21st goal of the season.  That is a strike rate of 1 goal per game, and he is scoring about every 85 minutes he plays.  Juventus won their 11th straight game thanks to Paulo Dybala.  The young striker finished off a nice pass from Pogba to give Juventus the win.  At the other end of the table, the bottom 3 remained the same, despite the bottom 2 each earning a point.  Verona remains in last place as they sit 6 points behind Frosinone and 13 from safety.   Carpi remains in the bottom 3.  Sampdoria and Palermo switched spots.  The race at the top continues to be fascinating and is one to watch with only 17 games to play.

Ligue 1 – PSG stays unbeaten, Angers drops out of top 3, Troyes wins first game of the season.   

PSG is now 22 games unbeaten as they defeated Angers 5-1.  Di Maria continued his great form and added a late brace.  Ibramhimovic, Lucas Moura, and Gregory van der Wiel also scored.  Their opponents, Angers, dropped out of the top 3 and now sit on the outside looking in.  Nice have jumped into the last Champions League spot following their 2-1 victory over Lorient.  At the bottom end of the table, the bottom 2 remained the same.  Troyes remains a long distance from safety, despite their first win of the season.  They are up to 11 points, but are still 11 points from safety.  Toulouse is the other team in the bottom 2 after their heavy defeat at Monaco 4-0.  They are two points from safety as Montpellier was jumped by both Stade Reims and Guingamp.   Montpellier lost 2-1 to Caen.  Stade Reims drew with Saint-Etienne 1-1.  Guingamp defeated Bastia 1-0.  Lyon and Marseille drew 1-1 in the historic showdown this weekend.  Look for the race to survive to really pick up pace in the next couple of weeks.

Bundesliga – The return of the league was good for the bottom half of the table as 5 teams in the bottom half won compared to 2 in the top half. 

This weekend was a great weekend for teams from 10 to 18.  Ingolstadt, Darmstadt, Eintracht Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Werder Bremen all won this weekend.  The only two teams in the top half that won this weekend were Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Munich defeated Hamburger 2-1 on Friday.  Dortmund won big in the Borussia derby as they defeated Monchengladbach 3-1.  The big two increased their leads at the top.  Munich is 8 points clear of Dortmund, who is 8 points clear of Hertha Berlin.  The rest of the top 9 remained the same despite none of them winning.  At the bottom end of the table, Hoffenheim and Hannover switched places.  Hannover lost 2-1 to Darmstadt.  Hoffenheim earned a vital point against Bayer as they drew 1-1.   This point was enough to draw them level on points with Hannovere.  The two teams are four points from safety now thanks to Werder Bremen winning 3-1 over Schalke.  The league returned with a bang and these games get more and more entertaining to watch each weekend.

La Liga – Barcelona are the only big three team to win.

Coming into this weekend, Atletico Madrid was on top of the league and looking dominant.  They faced a tough Sevilla squad but struggled to find their attacking threat.  The game ended in a 0-0 draw.  Madrid would take 20 shots but only 3 went on target.  This was a slip up by Madrid and it opened the door for Barcelona to take the top spot.  Barcelona went on to defeat Malaga 2-1.  Munir El Haddadi opened the scoring in just 2 minutes.  Juanpi leveled the score in the 32nd minute.  Messi scored the winner in the second half.  Real Madrid stumbled as they traveled south to Real Betis.  Betis took the lead through a stunning goal by Alvaro Cejudo.  Benzema leveled the score with just under 20 minutes left in the game.  It means that Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are level on points and 4 points ahead of Real Madrid.  Athletic Club defeated Eibar 5-2.  Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao were the only two teams outside of the bottom 5 to win.  Granada defeated Getafe 3-2, Rayo Vallecano defeated Celta Vigo 3-0, Sporting Gijon defeated Real Sociedad 5-1, and Levante defeated Las Palmas 3-2.  Las Palmas was the only team in the bottom 5 not to win.  This means that the race is really tightening up.  The bottom 8 teams are separated by just 5 points.  Next week will be a big weekend as Atletico Madrid and Barcelona face off.

English Premier League – Arsenal stumble, Manchester United lose at home, Liverpool wins 9 goal thriller.

This weekend was a big one as London rivals faced off in the Emirates Stadium and Chelsea defeated Arsenal 1-0.  Chelsea has earned 6 points from Arsenal this season.  That accounts for 21% of Chelsea’s points.  The game was turned when Per Mertesacker was sent off for his tackle on Diego Costa.  Costa then went on to score the winner just 5 minutes later.  This also means that Arsenal is now level on points with Manchester City and 3 behind Leicester.  Manchester City drew 2-2 with West Ham United this weekend thanks to a late goal from Sergio Aguero.  Leicester City defeated Stoke City 3-0 to go top of the league.  Their title hopes are really starting to be taken seriously.  We could really see Leicester City take on Barcelona next year.  Think about it J  The weekend started with a 9 goal thriller between Norwich City and Liverpool.  Liverpool took a 1-0 lead before falling behind 3-1, and then went ahead 4-3 before the madness would begin.  Bassong scored in the 92nd minute to level the score.  It seemed like the game would end 4-4, but with almost the last kick of the game, Adam Lallana sent the ball over the defense and into the side netting.  All three points went to Liverpool in a great start to the weekend.

Pictures of the Week

I am going to go with two this weekend.

  1. When a celebration in Norwich leads to some broken glasses.
    IMG_5613
  2. What happens when you have to sit next to the reason you are not playing anymore?
    IMG_5621 (1)

Goals of the Week

James’ Pick – Probably the goal of the season, an absolute beauty from Dele Alli.

My Pick – I am going with the sweet volley that earned Real Betis a point.

Three Games to Watch This Week

  1. League Cup – Liverpool vs. Stoke City – The second leg of the semifinal is tomorrow. The winner will advance to the final. Liverpool won the first leg 1-0.
  2. Copa del Rey – Atletico Madrid vs. Celta Vigo – The first leg ended 0-0 so a place in the semifinals is on the line in Madrid on Wednesday.
  3. Coppa Italia – Juventus vs. Internazionale – Two of the top team in Italy square off in the semifinals of the Coppa Italia on Wednesday.
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