This weekend’s fixtures began on Friday night. Italy’s top tier had two games for the viewer to enjoy. We began with Sassuolo vs Salernitana, a match which saw the away team lead 2-0 before Sassuolo hit back with two goals of their own to ensure the game ended all square. Following this, Genoa defeated Verona 1-0 to keep the away side in the relegation zone.
At the head of the table the duo of Inter Milan and Juventus collected all three points, with 2-0 and 2-1 wins over Frosinone and Cagliari respectively. Both of the Turin side’s goals came from defenders with Bremer and Daniele Rugani scoring, while the feature of Inter’s win was an audacious effort from Federico Dimarco finding the back of the net – I heavily urge you to check this goal out if you get the chance! These two sides face one another after the international break, with Inter currently two points ahead of Juventus. This game is a huge one. The two sides head into the game with identical records in the past ten games; eight wins, one draw, and one loss!
Borussia Monchengladbach got the weekend up and running with a 4-0 win over Wolfsburg on Friday night, a convincing performance from Gerardo Seoane’s side. The most anticipated game of the weekend in Germany followed this on Saturday, with Dortmund travelling to Stuttgart. Despite leading 1-0 Dortmund failed to see it through and lost 2-1 in the end thanks to a penalty from Serhou Guirassy, who now has fifteen goals in nine Bundesliga appearances.
Xavi Simons starred again for RB Leipzig as he scored and assisted in their 3-1 win over Freiburg, fantastic as per usual from the twenty-year-old. Elsewhere both Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen put four past their opponents to collect all three points, Xabi Alonso’s side remain top heading into the international break. Union Berlin were the side on the end of Leverkusen’s triumph, now sat bottom of the league… worrying stuff for the side considering this time last season they sat top of the Bundesliga.
Over in France Nice finally fell from the top of the table. Despite remaining unbeaten a 0-0 draw vs Montpellier meant Paris Saint-Germin had the opportunity to climb above them. On Saturday Kylian Mbappé ensured this happened as he put three past Reims to collect the match ball and all three points for his team. This is the first time this season PSG are top. Nice will be hoping they can claim this spot back after the break as PSG face Monaco who have been a strong side this campaign.
Speaking of first times, Lyon finally got a win this season and boy was it needed. They faced Rennes, and a red card for Guéla Doué in the first five minutes provided the perfect opportunity for Lyon to put some points on the board. The deciding goal came from an Irish man in Jake O’Brien, as Lyon finished the game as 1-0 winners in a tight affair. Fabio Grosso’s side need to try and pick up some form after this win, it may be vital come the end of the season.
Thirteen games in and Girona lead the table, not something anyone would’ve anticipated when the season kicked off. A 2-1 win over Rayo Vallecano made it eleven wins from thirteen this weekend, coming from behind thanks to goals from Artem Dovbyk and Sávio. Real Madrid sit in second place, they picked up all three points this weekend as Valencia visited the Bernabéu. Doubles from both Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo, the latter assisting two as well, ensured the points were Los Blancos’. Andriy Lunin will be disappointed though, after conceding in the eighty-eighth minute, he would’ve been hoping he’d see out the game with a clean sheet.
Another game which brought goals was Friday night’s fixture between Athletic Bilbao and Celta Vigo. It finished 4-3 in Athletic’s favour, after Álex Berenguer calmly slotted his penalty past Vincente Guaita. Looking at the statistics the home side did deserve to win, more possession, more shots and shots on target, higher expected goals. For any stats lovers out there, the result was fair in the end.
There’s only one real contender for the game to focus on outside the top four leagues. Benfica versus Sporting Lisbon. Going into the game it was first place against second, Sporting the team top of the table. Heading into the final few minutes Sporting led and it looked like they would be staying top, until in came a corner in the ninety fourth minute, João Neves taking a touch and hammering home to equalise. And it wasn’t over yet. Ninety seven minutes on the clock, Fredrik Aursnes plays the ball across the face of goal, and Casper Tengstedt is there to calmly place it past the keeper. The crowd cannot believe it, they erupt into celebration but VAR interrupts. Waiting… Waiting… Waiting… GOAL. 2-1 to Benfica. The crowd celebrate once more. The Beautiful Game.