Another exciting week of Euro football action has come and gone, but of course is nothing compared to the excitement awaiting all football fanatics next weekend when three derbies will take place, one in Ligue 1, Serie A, and La Liga.
5) PSG sweeps past Sochaux while Valenciennes upset league leaders Marseille
After a decent start to their campaign, Paris Saint-Germain are now firing on all cylinders winning four consecutive matches and mountain climbing to second place with a 2-0 victory over Sochaux. France international Kevin Gameiro bagged a brace, but it was a team effort as Javier Pastore, Maxwell, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Salvatore Sirigu all came together to guide the team to their winning ways.
Next weekend is the battle at the top of La Ligue 1 with Marseille welcoming PSG to the Stade Velodrome. Top spot Marseille are coming off a shocking 4-1 defeat to seventh placed Valenciennes and will need to quickly get back to their good form as Carlo Ancelotti’s side are motivated to catch them on points. The next match day will most likely be the most viewed in France.
4) CR7 hat-trick guides Real Madrid to 5-1 rout, Barcelona come from behind to maintain perfect record
Real Madrid have been on fire of late winning five straight games including the Champions League tug-of-war with Manchester City. Sunday, Los Merengues slapped Deportiva La Coruna severely with a 5-1bruising at the Bernabeu. ‘Depressed’ superstar (uncertainty surrounds his depression now), Cristiano Ronaldo, scored trice with a pair of penalties and a sitter from six yards. Argentine international Angel Di Maria as well as Portuguese defender, Pepe, bagged goals of their own to make it five on the night. Deportivo had taken the lead on 16 minutes which sparked Madrid’s fierce comeback. Real Madrid climb to sixth place with 10 points.
Down two goals away to Sevilla, Barcelona completed an electric comeback win of their own with two goals from Cesc Fabregas and David Villa launching in the winner in second half stoppages. The Blaugrana remain undefeated with a 100% record having gone six-for-six on the trot and continue to lead La Liga with 18 points, 17 goals scored with only five conceded.
Both sides’ fine form cannot come at a better time seeing that ‘El Clasico’ will take place next weekend at the Camp Nou. All eyes will be on Spain next weekend as the two juggernauts of La Liga, Real Madrid will travel to Catalonia to take on Barcelona in the biggest derby in soccer today. The last time these two sides met was in the Spanish Super Cup where Los Blancos defeated their rivals over a two-leg fixture to raise the trophy. This fixture will certainly not disappoint so stay tuned!
3) Bayern Munich keep hold of 100% record for another week
Only a couple of teams have been able to keep a perfect undefeated record intact in the major European leagues and Jupp Heynckes’ side is one of them. After six rounds of the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich are still undefeated without having lost a single game. Recently, the Bavarians disposed of Werder Bremen with a 2-0 scoreline thanks to late goals scored by 25 year-old Brazilian midfielder Luis Gustavo and new Croatian arrival striker Mario Mandzukic at the 81st and 83rd minute respectively. With a +17 goal differential so far (19 goals scored, two goals conceded), it’s safe to say that the German league has been dominated by Bayern and will most likely continue this way. BM is comfortably sitting in first with 18 points followed by Eintracht Frankfurt with 16. The 2011-2012 Bundesliga champions, Borussia Dortmund, are currently occupying third place tied with Schalke 04 with 11 points.
2) Andrea Pirlo silences critics helping Juve humiliate non-existent Roma 4-1
Italian 33-year-old deep-lying playmaker, Andrea Pirlo, answered his critics Saturday as Juventus taught AS Roma, and controversial coach Zdenek Zeman, a lesson in football with a 4-1 demolition at the Juventus Stadium in Turin. Not only did the magician orchestrate the perfect victory but he contributed by opening the score with a magnificently tricky free kick from the edge of the box that fooled the Roma defenders as the ball curled hard and low into the bottom left corner surprising Giallorossi ‘keeper Maarten Stekelenburg. Juve went on a rampage taking complete control of the game and scored two more goals with an Arturo Vidal penalty and an Alessandro Matri solo effort; it was 3-0 inside of 20 minutes! In the second half, Pablo Daniel Osvaldo converted a penalty of his own to cut the lead down to two goals. But again, the Bianconeri were simply too much class to handle, restoring the three-goal cushion before the final whistle with Sebastian Giovinco getting around past Stekelenburg and angling his shot to the back of the net. Pure dominance 4-1!
Juve were coming off a very tough match in midweek against Fiorentina where the Viola were incredible and were unfortunate not to get the victory against the reigning champions. Pirlo, for the first time in a long while, did not put in the ideal ‘Pirlo’ performance and was criticised by former Juve midfielder, Alessio Tacchinardi, for being too tired and stated that he should relinquish some of his duties such as playing for the National side so that he could regain his energy for a busy season up ahead. Well, he certainly silenced his critics in this match-up. Being a Juve supporter and all, I hope he continues this trend to respond to unnecessary criticism all season long. The Old Lady continue to lead the way in the Serie A on level with Napoli with 16 points.
1) Tottenham get first Old Trafford win in 23 years
Hotspurs manager Andre Villas-Boas is ecstatic after his side ran out of Old Trafford with a 3-2 victory over Manchester United, a feat that has not occurred since 1989. The Portuguese coach was very pleased with his side’s performance in which Tottenham displayed a great amount of concentration, composure, and desire to resist the Red Devils’ pressure to equalize in the closing stages of the game.
Jan Vertonghen gave the Spurs the lead before Gareth Bale added a second just after the 30-minute mark. Man United cut the lead in half with Portuguese winger Nani getting on the scoreboard, but it must have been written in the stars because the gods were certainly not agreeing with the Red Devils Saturday as Clint Dempsey restored the two-goal lead. Man United did not go down easily though and fought back with newly signed Japanese forward Shinji Kagawa who gave Manchester United hope with an angled drive that shortened the lead to one goal. However, as mentioned above, it was not the night for Red Devil’s hopefuls as Wayne Rooney hit the post with a free-kick and former Gunner star Robin van Persie wasted several chances to equalize the encounter. Manchester United are currently tied for third place with city-rivals Manchester City, both teams with 12 points. Tottenham follows closely in fifth, just a single point behind.
In other news, the city of London was painted blue Saturday as Chelsea collected the three points up for grabs against Arsenal in a hard-fought match-up that ended 2-1 for the Blues. Fernando Torres fired Chelsea ahead before the on-form Ivorian forward Gervinho brought the match back up to par just before half time. The European Champions bagged the winner with a spectacular Juan Mata free kick that squirmed in to secure the victory. Chelsea continue to lead the EPL with 16 points. Arsenal is in seventh with nine points.