- Real Madrid look far better prepared for El Clasico… Real Madrid looked in control all game this weekend as they defeated Sporting Gijon. Cristiano Ronaldo has been on fire lately as he scored 2 more goals today to bring his total for the season to 10 in the league. Gijon would pull one back and did have a chance to tie but missed a penalty. Real Madrid is 6 points clear now thanks to a 1-1 draw between Real Sociedad and Barcelona. Barcelona’s struggles in Anoeta continued as they were the worse of the two teams. Willian Jose opened the scoring in the second half. It only took 6 minutes for Messi to equalize but it was not enough. Sociedad was the better side and Barcelona are now in trouble in regards to the league. This El Clasico has now become a must win for Barcelona, or otherwise the league might be over before Christmas.
- Leipzig are for real. We are more than a quarter of the way through the season and they remain unbeaten. This weekend they defeated Freiburg 4-1. They are 3 points clear at the top. By no means does that mean they will win the league, but they are a serious contender to finish in the top four. Borussia Dortmund are struggling and sit 9 points behind Leipzig. Monchengladbach and Wolfsburg are in the bottom half of the table. Schalke are 13 points behind Leipzig. A spot in the top four looks all but certain for them now if they are able to maintain just a portion of their remarkable form. A spot in the Bundesliga next year is a certainty. They are quickly becoming one of the best teams to watch, despite the fact that they might not be everyone’s favorite.
- Manchester United are in some trouble. Another draw this weekend means that they are off to their worst start to a season in 26 years. Mourinho was sent to the stands again. This is the second time in the last 6 games that he has been sent to the stands and he now faces a third FA charge this season. Mourinho needs to start mending some fences right now. His team needs to start winning some games quickly or another season without the Champions League looks likely. They are 8 points behind Arsenal and look a world behind them. They are struggling to score right now. United have scored 18 goals in their 13 games. They currently have the 4th most shots in the league but have the third worst shot conversion. Only Southampton and West Ham have worse shot conversion rates. Mourinho has two fewer points than David Moyes had in his first season. Can Mourinho change his future?
- Juventus can slip up. This weekend was not good one for Juventus. Giovanni Simeone, son of Diego Simeone, scored twice in the opening 13 minutes to put Genoa up 2-0. Alex Sandro added an own goal and the halftime score was 3-0. In the second half, Miralem Pjanic would pull one closer but it was not enough. The bigger story line might be the injury to Leonardo Bonucci. Bonucci is out for 2 months with hamstring injury. Juventus are now 4 points clear at the top as Roma and Milan both won this weekend to stay level with each other. The race for the title is still not on, but another slip up and it will be game on. The pressure could really mount on them as four teams are within 5 points of Juventus. Roma and Milan are both 4 points back. Meanwhile Lazio and Atalanta are 5 points back. These next 2 months without Bonucci will be tough and Juventus’ room for error is quickly disappearing.
- The title race is tightening in France. Nice drew this weekend 1-1 with Bastia. Monaco defeated Marseille 4-0 and PSG defeated Lyon 2-1. This means that the three at the top are separated by just a point. These three have distanced themselves from the rest of the league. PSG in third are 8 points above Rennes in fourth. This is going to be a great finish this season as all three teams will have hopes of winning the title. PSG will want to defend their title. Monaco are looking to end their 16 year title drought. Nice meanwhile are trying to end a 57 year drought. In the states we saw a 108 year drought end; can we see a 57 year drought end across the pond?
Team of the Weekend
Fernando Pacheco (Alaves)
Nicolas Pareja (Sevilla), Florentin Pogba (Saint-Etienne), Gareth McAuley (West Brom)
Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Naby Keita (Leipzig), Pablo Piatti (Espanyol), Diego Perotti (Roma)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Alejandro Gomez (Atalanta)