A fun week of football wrapped up with a four-nil thrashing of Man United by Chelsea on Mourinho’s first time back at Stamford Bridge since he left the club. La Liga continues to be a tight race as Atleti dropped out of the top four after losing to Sevilla, leaving Real Madrid as the lone leader. This was also a Champion’s league fixture week with goals galore, including some golazos from Arsenal, Dortmund, and Real Madrid that made it into our “Fancy Finishes”.
We are in full stride in the Premier League and everything seems to have returned to normal one season after Leicester City turned the table on its head. Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Chelsea are in the Champion’s League spots and the top three all have 20 points.
Manchester City drew Southampton at the Ethiad after Nathan Redmond took advantage of a John Stones gift in the first half. Later Iheanacho, who had come on for an unimpressive De Bruyne, leveled the score at minute 55. Man City started the season looking like the clear title contenders but have fizzled out and have not won a match in any competition since September 24th. Still they top the table with a one goal difference over Arsenal who also drew over the weekend.
The Gunners failed to make the most out their current form and capitalize on their chances in a scoreless draw at the Emirates. Arsenal controlled possession and had more scoring opportunities but were unable to break down a great performance by the Boro defense and Victor Valdez. Cech also kept Arsenal’s unbeaten streak alive with a couple of great saves on goals that would have been devastating for Arsene Wenger’s team. It was a frustrating match for Gooners but Arsenal are just one goal back of the leaders and are in fantastic form heading into a cup match against Reading tomorrow.
Liverpool got the job done at home against West Brom with two gorgeous goals from Mane and Coutinho. They are playing great football at Anfield and look to continue their current run of form against Spurs in their cup tie.
Chelsea had a very impressive performance as they dismantled the Red Devil’s in the “Chosen One’s” return to Stamford Bridge. The beatdown began with an early goal from Pedro just 30 seconds after the initial kick. Chelsea doubled their lead in minute 21 with a clean-up finish by Cahil off of a corner forced by Kante. Eden Hazard put the Blues up 3-0 in the 62nd minute and buried any chance of a comeback before Kante eased by Pogba and Smalling to put the final dagger in Mourinho’s side. Overall, it was an embarrassing performance from Man U who return home to host the Manchester derby in the league cup on Wednesday.
Real Madrid defeated Bilbao with a late winner from Alvaro Morata to go atop the table in Spain and remain undefeated this season in all competitions. Los Blancos aren’t playing their best football but have been able to take care of business when it counts. They’ll need to really put their foot on the gas though, Sevilla are closing in and looked impressive against Atletico Madrid.
Sevilla put on a defensive clinic against Atleti. Both teams came into this high stakes match in fantastic form with the winner staying in the top 2 and the loser dropping to 5th. In this case, Diego Simeone’s side got a taste of their own medicine and were not able to break down a well-placed Sevilla defense and a man of the match performance by the goalkeeper Sergio Rico.
Barcelona needed a last-minute penalty from Leonel Messi to edge ahead of Valencia and claim a crucial 3 points away from home. Barcelona deserved the penalty and deserved the points being the better team but nearly left Valencia with a tie after failing to finish numerous early chances.
In Germany Bayern Munchen defeated Borussia M’Gladbach to stay in first place of the Bundesliga with a pair of South American goals from Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa.
Juve, Roma, and Milan top the Seria A table with the latter defeating the league leaders to get within two points.
The MLS playoffs start this week as Toronto FC take on Phili tomorrow night. With little rest after Decision Day, all eight teams will look to get hot and make a run for the cup. And in a playoff format that laughs in the face of league position, all of the remaining teams have a chance to take it all. Look for the likes of Giovinco, Drogba, and Gio Dos Santos to lead their teams when things get nasty.
UGLY KIT OF THE WEEK
It be like that sometimes….
Happy Birfday Mesut
GET. OFF. HIM.
“PFFFFFFFFFFF” -The Ball