Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen break German unbeaten record

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League leaders Bayer Leverkusen kicked off this weekend’s football in Germany, hosting Mainz in a clash which would transpire to be closer than the home side would’ve wanted! Mainz are fighting for survival and need all the points they can get to turn their season around. Currently sitting eight points off automatic survival, they have ground to make up, and they need to do it fast. Pre-game it looked like taking any points off this Leverkusen side was going to be a tough task,and Granit Xhaka didn’t make that any easier as he curled a beautiful effort into the back of the net in only the third minute. Unlike most of the season, Mainz responded quickly to this setback. Only four minutes later defender Dominik Kohr grabbed his first goal of the season with a well timed header directed into the top corner of Leverkusen’s net. Mainz were playing well and looked like they could potentially hold out for a point. That was until Mainz keeper Robin Zentner had a moment to forget. Robert Andrich released a hopeful hit from long range, a shot that should’ve been easy to deal with, which was fumbled into his own net by the goalkeeper… literally handing the win to Xabi Alonso’s side. This win meant Bayer Leverkusen set a new record for the longest unbeaten streak across all competitions in Germany, 33 games unbeaten, eclipsing Bayern Munich’s previous record.

Second placed Bayern Munich picked up their first win in four games as they defeated RB Leipzig 2-1 thanks to Harry Kane’s double. Thankfully for Leipzig, Marco Rose’s former side, Borussia Dortmund dropped points in a 3-2 loss to Hoffenheim, meaning the gap between them and Champions League football isn’t enlarged after the loss to Munich. Both teams either side of Mainz at the bottom of the table picked up a point as Darmstadt drew 1-1 to a decent Werder Bremen side and Köln held a less than clinical Stuttgart side to the same score line. Borussia Monchengladbach put five past Bochum as they won 5-2 to go above Bochum, Union Berlin, and Wolfsburg in the table, the latter two both drawing this weekend.


This weekend the Friday night game was an interesting one in La Liga. Real Sociedad versus Villareal. If you looked at the table going into this game you would’ve expected Socieded to take the win. The side sat in seventh versus the side in thirteenth, however form tells a different story. Sociedad went into it with only one win in six while Villareal were five games unbeaten, including a victory over Barcelona. So, when Villareal won 3-1 it wasn’t as much of a surprise as some may have thought at first glance. Since their defeat to Villareal Barcelona have been in good form, this weekend winning their fourth game out of their last five in the league as they triumphed 4-0 over Getafe. Goals came from four different sources as Raphina, João Félix, Frenkie de Jong, and substitute Fermín López were all on the scoresheet. This win took Barcelona to 57 points, sat third in the league, chasing down Real Madrid who are eight points ahead and picked up another three points this weekend after beating Sevilla 1-0 courtesy of Luka Modric’s goal. 

There were two results that raised eyebrows this weekend over in Spain. Bottom side Almería held Atletico Madrid to a 2-2 draw, and Real Betis beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1. Almería’s draw with Atletico was one which was well earnt, coming from behind twice to shock the travelling away fans who’d made the six hour journey down south. Ángel Correa got the ball rolling after only two minutes after his strike put Diego Simeone’s side into the lead, but it wasn’t long until Luka Romero popped up to equalise just before the half hour mark as he got the first of his double. After the break Rodrigo de Paul put Atletico ahead again only for Luka Romero to equalise once more. That was that for the goals, although Athletico looked threatening they couldn’t find a winner to get the three points which would have distanced themselves further from Athletic Bilbao.

Over in Sevilla Real Betis hosted an Athletic Bilbao side who had only lost one game in their last 21 matches. The task at hand was to win to stay in the race for Europa League football, a win would shorten the points gap between the two to only seven points. It only took thirteen minutes for the home side to go ahead, a goal from Chimy Ávila putting them on the road to victory. The game finished 3-1 with an own goal from Yuri Berchiche and a very harsh red card for Nico Williams meaning this wasn’t the best day at the office for Athletic Bilbao. They now face Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in the next seven days as they look to bounce back from the loss. 


After their well below par start to the season Lyon have been picking up form. This weekend they got their fifth win in a row versus Metz who sit seventeenth in the Ligue 1 table. Georges Mikautadze put Metz ahead in the thirteenth minute before Alexandre Lacazette equalised just before the break to take the pressure off them heading into the dressing room. Saïd Benrahma was on the scoresheet in the second half to win it for Lyon with his first goal for the club since transferring from West Ham United in January. Early on Sunday Monaco travelled to Lens in an important game for the two of them. Pre-game Monaco lead Lens by two points with neither having consistent form ahead of the game. Monaco were first to draw blood, Folarin Balogun fighting his way past Kevin Danso to get his shot off and score the opener. A second was added after a blunder from keeper Brice Samba ended with the ball in his own net. Elye Wahi and Wesley Saïd brought it back to 2-2 and it looked to be finishing all square up until Takumi Minamino unleashed a thunderous strike into the bottom corner to give Monaco all three points, taking them five above Lens. 

Toulouse caused an upset last week after beating Monaco, and they’re back at it again. This time beating Paulo Foncesca’s Lille side 3-1 after a second half comeback! Hakon Arnar Haraldsson put Lille ahead just before the break with a tidy curling finish into the bottom corner. It didn’t take long for Toulouse to respond however, Christian Mawissa with the equaliser just four minutes into the second half. The home side then added two more courtesy of Vincent Sierro and Thijs Dallinga. PSG sit top of the table but nearly fell to a loss this weekend as Rennes led them for sixty three minutes after an absolutely beautiful solo goal from Amine Gouiri. It was a penalty won and scored by Gonçalo Ramos that saved a point for the Parisians. Ramos was brought in by Luis Enrique for Kylian Mbappé to the dismay of some fans who thought he took off the French man too early. Enrique responded to criticism by stating “we have to get used to playing without Kylian, when I want to play him, I will, when I don’t, I won’t”. This comes after Kylian told PSG that he’ll leave the club when his contract expires this summer, where he goes we will see!


There were goals flying in all over Serie A this weekend, an average of over three goals per game. Strugglers Empoli contributed to this as they beat Sassuolo 3-2 in a massive six-pointer between the two. Empoli now sit in thirteenth after pulling away from the relegation zone, if results hadn’t gone their way they would’ve been sat in the drop zone, instead Sassuolo are, for the first time this season as well. Juventus were seconds away from falling further behind Inter Milan as they faced Frosinone this weekend. Dušan Vlahović got goals flowing after only three minutes as he put the Old Lady ahead, this was followed by two goals from Frosinone to take the lead before Vlahović scored another to equalise. 2-2 at half-time and for all the second half until Daniele Rugani fired home to win it in the ninety fifth minute. 3-2 to Juventus. Devastation for Frosinone.  

Bologna’s win on Friday night meant when AC Milan drew 1-1 to Atalanta Thiago Motta’s side moved into fourth place, two points ahead of Atalanta who they face next week! Inter Milan beat Lecce 4-0 to follow on from their victory over Atletico Madrid in midweek, making it ten consecutive wins for Simone Inzaghi’s side across all competitions, it’s unlikely they will be stopped on the way to the league title now. Monday night gave us a much anticipated match up. AS Roma versus Torino. With controversy occuring pre game around match preparation, both teams were fired up going into this one. The difference in the end was purely one man, Paulo Dybala. Scoring all three of Roma’s goals as he picked up the match ball, thanks to a penalty and two splendid strikes, on the way to victory. It was truly Dybala’s day!

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