- Can Jose Mourinho get United back to winning ways? – Yes he can and in nice style as his two new boys scored en route to a 3-1 win over Swansea City. Paul Pogba scored the opener after 15 minutes with an absolutely wonderful goal that reminds all of us why he was worth so much this summer. Then just 6 minutes later Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the first of his two goals. Both goals were assisted by Wayne Rooney. Mike Van der Hoorn brought Swansea one back in the 69th minute but it was too little too late. The win sends United up to 6th They are 6 points behind Arsenal in 4th place and 8 points behind Liverpool, who is at the top of the table. This was a good win for United ahead of the international break and should help right the ship going forward.
- How will Barcelona respond to their midweek defeat? – Sloppily in the first half is the answer, but in the end Messi came to the rescue. Sevilla were the better team for much of the game. They took a deserved lead in the 15th minute from Vitolo. Sevilla had a ton of chances in the first half but failed to score a second goal. Just before half time, Neymar found Leo Messi and he finished nicely past Sergio Rico to level the score. In the second half, Barcelona looked better as Messi found Suarez in the 61st minute and Barcelona took the lead. Barcelona held on and got all three points. This means they have kept pace with Real Madrid and sit two points behind them in second place. Sevilla drops to 5th place following the defeat but is still in the race for the top four this season.
- Can Nice maintain their unbeaten run? –No they cannot and now we might have a race for the title in France. Ivan Santini scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in the first half. Nice dominated possession but only managed 4 shots. Caen meanwhile had 12 shots during their 32% possession. This is Nice’s first loss of the season and now means that PSG and Monaco are within striking distance of Nice. Nice has just a 3-point lead on the two big boys and this will give them hope. Caen meanwhile was in need of 3 points. They are now 3 points clear of the relegation playoff spot. This was just what the French league needed from a neutral point of view.
- Will the three unbeaten teams in Germany stay unbeaten? – Yes they can since Munich and Hoffenheim shared the points this weekend in Bavaria. Hoffenheim took an early lead in the first half only to concede an own goal from Steven Zuber. The game ended 1-1 and meant that both teams shared a point apiece. RB Leipzig scored 3 first half goals that would be enough to give them all 3 points, as they defeated Mainz 3-1. This means that Leipzig and Bayern Munich are level on points at the top of the table. Hoffenheim is 4 points behind them in third and level on points with Hertha. This could be an interesting title race this season as Leipzig has taken the league by storm. They seem like they can push Munich the way that Dortmund were supposed to.
- Can Roma, Milan, Lazio, or Napoli keep pace with Juventus? –Two of these teams were able to. Juventus won their third game in a row following their defeat by Milan. They defeated Chievo 2-1 thanks to a second half goal from Miralem Pjanic. Mario Mandzukic opened the scoring in the second half only to see his goal equalized by Sergio Pellissier from the penalty spot 13 minutes later. Pjanic would win the game for Juventus just 6 minutes after that. Milan also needed a late goal to earn all three points. Suso opened the scoring against Palermo in the first half. Then Ilija Nestorovski leveled the score with 20 minutes left to go. With just 11 minutes remaining Gianluca Lapadula came on for Bacca and scored 3 minutes later to give Milan all three points. Roma had the best game of the weekend as they eased to a 3-0 win over Bologna to send them to back to second place in the table. Mohamed Salah scored all three goals. Juventus is still 4 points above Roma and 5 above Milan. Lazio and Napoli drew 1-1 this weekend, which means that they both fell further down the table. Lazio is in 4th place and 8 points behind Juventus. For Napoli, this means that they are winless in their last two games and now 9 points behind Juve. Juventus is still the favorite to win the title, but they might get a challenge from Roma and Milan this season.
Some tidbits from other games around the leagues.,.
Premier League… Manchester City dropped points this weekend when they drew 1-1 thanks to an extra time goal from Marten De Roon. This meant that Liverpool is now top of the table after their 6-1 win over Watford. Chelsea also jumped over Manchester City thanks to a 5-0 thrashing of Everton. The North London derby ended 1-1 to maintain Spurs unbeaten season. Bundesliga… Hertha Berlin started the weekend with a massive 3-0 win over Monchengladbach. Salomon Kalou scored all three goals. Dortmund scored 5 past Hamburger to win 5-2. Wolfsburg got their second win of the season this weekend with a 3-0 win over Freiburg. La Liga… Real Sociedad defeated Atletico Madrid 2-0 this weekend. This meant that Sociedad climbed to 6th and Atleti dropped to 4th. Real Madrid got 2 goals from Gareth Bale and one from Alvaro Morata to give them a 3-0 win over Leganes. Villarreal defeated Real Betis 2-0 to jump into third place. Serie A… Empoli scored more goals this weekend than they had in the first 11 games of the season as they defeated Pescara 4-0. Inter Milan seem to be doing better since the departure of de Boer. They defeated Crotone 3-0 this weekend. Atalanta also won 3-0 this weekend to move into 5th place in the table. Ligue 1… Monaco scored 6 goals past Nancy this weekend. Lyon defeated 9-man Bastia 2-1. PSG defeated Stade Rennais 4-0 this weekend to put the pressure on Nice. Saint-Etienne was able to hold on for a point despite going down to 10 men against Metz.
Score from the Weekend
Me – 86 (4)
Brad – 60 (7)
Team of the Weekend
F. Marchetti (Lazio)
M. Dawson (Hull), R. Rodriguez (Wolfsburg), M. Caldara (Atalanta)
Fabinho (Monaco), P. Countinho (Liverpool), M. Salah (Roma), Salomon Kalou (Hertha)
Pedro (Chelsea), Aubameyang (Dortmund), Leo Messi (Barcelona)