Excitement was back with club football in Europe after the two week international break. This period usually sees a number of top players getting injured leaving managers frustrated. Such didn’t happen this time around.
Here’s a recap to an eventful weekend.
Liverpool torn to shreds by Manchester City
Jürgen Klopp’s record against the top sides since his incursion into English football has been almost without blemish, so it wasn’t out of place to think his Liverpool side was going to make light work of a Manchester City side that had struggled to get going so far this season. After all, Liverpool had annihilated an atrocious Arsenal side 4-0 barely a fortnight ago.
The Reds however surprisingly lost 5-0. While credit must be given to Pep Guardiola’s side, the game was more or less end-to-end before the dismissal of Sadio Mane in the 37th minute. Liverpool were dangerous – especially on the break – and could have scored a goal or two but for some bad decision making and poor finishing by Mohamed Salah.
While you’ve got to feel for Mane as he was well within his right to challenge for the ball with City keeper Ederson, he might look back at the incident feeling he should have pulled out of that challenge. It also looked harsh but replays showed Jon Moss made the correct decision.
The team from Merseyside have to move on quickly from the hammering. For City and Guardiola, his side finally showed what they’re capable of when they are on top of their game.
United Crack at the Potteries
Manchester United have struggled to get results at Stoke City since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson but one would’ve expected Jose Mourinho’s side to get the better of Mark Hughes’ side (who’d scored only two goals prior to the game) on the basis of their impressive form in their first three games, but they could only draw 2-2.
The Red Devils won’t be forgetting Eric Choupo-Moting in a hurry. The Cameroon international scored two goals which in all honesty were avoidable. Not something you associate with a Mourinho team. United created chances to win the game and would be disappointed they couldn’t. They’ll need to improve as tough fixtures lie ahead in the coming weeks.
Tottenham make light work of Everton
The general assumption going into the season was Tottenham Hotspur would find games a tad easier to deal with on their travels (well, until they are acclimated to Wembley). So far, those assumptions haven’t been out of place. Two scored at Wembley, three conceded. That’s an antithesis of their away form; where they’ve scored five and let in none.
Mauricio Pochettino has got to find a way around their struggles at the Home of Football if they are to have a good season. They could, and should have scored more in their 3-0 win over Everton; such was the level of their dominance against Ronald Koeman’s side. Oh, and Harry Kane (perhaps predictably) scored – not one but two! The Lily Whites’ season starts now.
Arsene Wenger gets a reprieve
Make no mistake; it’s been a tough fortnight for Arsene Wenger following their disastrous loss 4-0 to Liverpool and comical end to the transfer window. The Frenchman needed a response against Bournemouth and he got one.
They were good value for their 3-0 win over Eddie Howe’s Cherries and created loads of chances to score more. The strength of the opposition probably suggests it’s too early to say Arsenal are out of their crises. More will be revealed in their capital collision with Chelsea next Sunday.
Real Madrid badly misses suspended Cristiano!
Two consecutive draws for Zinedine Zidane’s side has shown just how much influence Cristiano Ronaldo wields on the pitch. Los Blancos were profligate against Valencia a fortnight ago and were similarly wasteful as they played out to a 1-1 draw against Levante at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
With Los Merengues already four points adrift of rivals Barcelona and now having to deal with Marcelo’s suspension following his red against Les Granotas, CR7’s return can’t come soon enough…
Moving on to Barcelona, they were imperious in the Catalan derby against Espanyol and looked businesslike in a 5-0 win with Messi netting a hat-trick and Ousmane Dembele impressing in his cameo. Not bad for a club in crisis.
Paris-Saint Germain breeze past Metz
For 56 minutes, it seemed Metz were set to ruin Kylian Mbappe’s debut for the PSG. Then Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s sending off saw the Red-and-Blues romp to an eventual 5-1 win. With the scores level at the time of the Cameroonian’s dismissal, perhaps things would have panned out differently.
A goal and assist for the Monaco loanee and with Neymar yet again having a storming game, so far, it’s proving to be money well spent for the Parisians.
Will Manchester City carry their form against Liverpool into other games? Will Mbappe outshine the stars in PSG? Let’s have your thoughts in the comments below.
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