THE WEEKEND REVIEW..
Manchester United claw back to win vital match…
Newcastle came to Old Trafford on the back of scoring 4 goals in 7 games. In under 10 minutes, they had scored twice. Shortly afterwards, practically every other thing they did was to defend. Eric Bailly lasted just 18 minutes and was replaced by Juan Mata, who was ultimately a huge influence in the United comeback. You just wonder whether this was a panic change after going two goals down. Even if it was, it takes a discerning coach to realize that and effect a change that early in the game. At the end of the day, you just get the feeling that the game was won as a result of a lot of players pouring forward to score a goal regardless of tactical switches. All the same, Manchester United showed a mental toughness that had been missing for a number of months. We will get to know if Manchester United has finally turned a corner. Next up: Chelsea
Manchester City and Liverpool play out a boring draw….
This was a much anticipated football fame because both teams have been known to be well renowned for attacking with precision and not being particularly good on the defensive side of things. However, in this game, the reverse was actually the case. Both teams were almost perfect in defense up until that Van Dijk challenge. Mahrez taking the spot-kick (and duly missing) has sparked some debate as to whether he should have taken it. His record is not particularly good with respect to penalties. Ultimately, a draw was a deserved result and three teams sit on 20 points with Arsenal and Tottenham a further two behind.
Juventus simply cannot be stopped..
The Old Lady once again came up against a resilient Udinese side but got two quick-fire goals from Bentancur and Ronaldo in the first half. Most of the rest of the game was played under cruise control and every week you wonder what has to happen for Juventus to give up pole position in the League. After eight games, they are already six points ahead. Who can stop them?
Bayern Munich handsomely beaten at the Allianz Arena; Dortmund entertain yet again..
Bayern Munich is sixth (you heard that right) in the Bundesliga. In seven games, they have lost twice, in their last three League games, they have scored once, conceded six times and have one point. Over the weekend, they were woeful. After Monchengladbach scored their first in the tenth minute, we all thought that there was going to be some form of onslaught from the home side. It never came and they were deservedly beaten. Tine is ticking for Niko Kovac.
Borussia Dortmund (still top of the League by the way) entertained us with a 4-3 victory over Augsburg. To give you a better idea of how things were, it was still 1-1 as at the 70th minute. And we also cannot forget the last minute free-kick Paco Alcacer scored to seal the win and score his hat-trick.
The La Liga race widened even more…
Real Madrid had not scored in three League games (make that four if you count the CSKA Moscow loss in the Champions League) and they wanted to get that monkey off their back this weekend. It did not happen. Instead, they conceded a goal in the 90th minute to Deportivo Alaves. Real Madrid being Real Madrid, we expect them to still compete in the league but how long can this slump continue?
Else, Barcelona could only manage a draw at the Mestalla (Real Madrid fans were probably happier than the Valencia fans) and also cannot seem to get out of their rot even after their masterful display in Wembley against Tottenham. With Gerard Pique at the back, they seem so vulnerable and continuously leak goals week in week out.
We initially said that the League was wide open, it is even wider now with Sevilla leading the pack after the win over Celta Vigo. Real Madrid and Barcelona, even with their terrible recent form are still two points behind.
Wide open it is.
Posted by: Abiodun Motunrayo
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