4 Takeaways From El Clasico

  1. 1-0 is never safe against Real Madrid. El Clasico is always a fascinating game and you can never count a team out, especially Real Madrid. Barcelona were a much better team in the second half and created some very good chances but in the end they did not take them.  Messi and Neymar both did not finish off great chances and this cost them dearly.
  2. Real Madrid have a lead but the race is not over just yet. The lead stays at 6 points, but it might as well be 7 points after the draw. This is a nice healthy lead going into the winter break.  Real Madrid have only 1 more league game left to play in 2016.  Barcelona meanwhile has 2 games left this year.  This means there is a good chance that Barcelona could cut into the lead.  That will put some pressure on Real Madrid, but they are unbeaten so far and no reason to think that will end soon.
  3. Andres Iniesta is key to Barcelona. With Barcelona up 1-0, Andres Iniesta came on for Ivan Rakitic. He instantly changed the game and gave Barcelona a much more fluid feel.  He was the missing link between the defense and the front 3.  After he came on the field, all 3 of MSN had a chance to extend the lead.  If Iniesta is able to stay healthy, he could give Barcelona a chance at cutting into the Real Madrid lead.
  4. Sergio Ramos is clutch. The man has scored in the last minute or extra time in El Clasico, the Super Cup final, and most importantly the Champions League final. He has scored 75 goals and is a defender.  He the leader for Real Madrid and came up huge for Real Madrid with his 91st minute header.  Ramos was the highest rated player on the field and was man of the match.  He came up big in the biggest game of the season and has given Real Madrid and their fans hope of winning another title.

Elsewhere in football…

La Liga… Only 4 teams won this weekend.  Granada started the weekend by shocking Sevilla with a 2-1 win for their first win of the season.  They jumped off the bottom of the table.  Atletico Madrid and Villarreal also missed the chance to gain ground on the top as they both drew with Espanyol and Leganes respectively.  Real Betis and Celta Vigo played out an entertaining 3-3 draw.  Sporting got a vital win as they defeated Osasuna 3-1 and moved level on points with Valencia but are now closer to getting out of the relegation zone. Athletic Club was the only team in the top 15 of the table that won as they defeated Eibar.  Deportivo ended the weekend with a win as they defeated Real Sociedad 5-1.

Premier League… Chelsea made a statement as they defeated Manchester City 3-1.  Chelsea are now 4 points clear of City and Liverpool and 3 points ahead of Arsenal.  Arsenal kept pace with Chelsea as they defeated West Ham 5-1 thanks to an Alexis Sanchez hat trick.  Liverpool took a 3-1 lead against Bournemouth only to see Bournemouth score 3 unanswered goals.  Tottenham scored 5 goals as they defeated Swansea 5-0.  Manchester United had looked set for a win but conceded a late penalty leading to a 1-1 draw.  Sunderland moved up the table as they defeated Leicester 2-1.

Bundesliga… Leipzig have won again.  They have won 8 straight games and stay on top of the table. They defeated Schalke 2-1.  Bayern Munich defeated Mainz 3-1.  Hertha Berlin jumped into 3rd place with a 3-2 win over Wolfsburg.  Borussia Dortmund got a much needed win over Monchengladbach to move them into 6th.  Hamburger earned their first win of the season as they defeated Darmstadt 2-0.  Werder Bremen defeated Ingolstadt 2-1 this weekend to move them further away from the bottom 3.

Ligue 1… The result of the round has to be the 3-0 win for Montpellier over Paris Saint Germain.   This is PSG’s third loss of the season and sees them go 4 points behind the leaders Nice.  Nice stayed on top thanks to their 3-0 win over Toulouse.  Monaco moved into 2nd place as they defeated Bastia 5-0.  Rennes and  Guingamp both won but the gap between them and the top 3 is significant.  The Metz-Lyon game was abandoned after the Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes was hit with a firecracker.  These were some scary scenes.

Serie A… The top 3 all won this weekend in Italy.  Juventus defeated Atalanta 3-1.  Roma won the Derby della Capital 2-0 thanks to Strootman and Nainggolan.  AC Milan went down 1-0 in the 26th minute to Crotone, but they came back and won thanks to a late goal from Lapadula.  This means that Juventus is still 4 points clear of Roma and AC Milan.  Lazio and Atalanta stay in 4th and 5th respectively but are now 8 points back.  Napoli moved level with Lazio and Atalanta thanks to their 3-0 win over Inter.  The bottom 3 stayed the same, but Pescara did earn a point thanks to their 1-1 draw with Cagliari.

Team of the Weekend

Goalkeeper

Pepe Reina 8.2 (Napoli)

Defenders

Marc Muniesa (Stoke), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Samir (Udinese), Dante (Nice)

Midfielders

Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Pablo Fornals (Malaga)

Forwards

Yannis Salibur (Guingamp), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Harry Kane (Tottenham)

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