THE WEEKEND REVIEW
Chelsea defeat defending Champions.
Chelsea inflicted Manchester City’s first defeat of the Premier League season, thereby opening up the title race. Both teams played without centre-forwards with Sterling and Hazard meant to occupy those positions. Chelsea was seriously on the back foot and registered their first shot on target on the 45th minute, resulting in a rare Kante goal. In the second half, we expected to see more of Manchester City but it was Chelsea that posed more problems after the break. Without Sergio Aguero for City, they seem to lack that killer finish amidst all their creativity. Chelsea eventually finished comfortable winners with a two-goal cushion, breaking Manchester City’s ‘stranglehold’ in the Premier League. Now that they have lost, they have to get back to winning ways soon. It also seems that there was not a lot of ‘Sarri-ball’ from Chelsea. They just defended resolutely and broke effectively. Also, the fact that Alvaro Morata did not make the Chelsea bench even though there was no report of any injury speaks volumes. Maurizio Sarri may have lost patience with the very expensive Spanish forward. Watch this space.
Liverpool (and Mohammed Salah) make light work of Bournemouth..
For a Bournemouth side that had lost their last five games prior, this result would not have come as a surprise. But in all the games they had lost, they had at least scored one goal. Liverpool were a bit slow in the first few minutes but as soon as Salah scored the first goal, things became a bit more straightforward. Salah went on to score a hat-trick and he also politely turned down the Man of the Match Award, preferring that James Milner be given instead as he made his 500th Premier League appearance. Salah now has ten goals, the highest goal-scorer in the Premier League. The old Salah is back! But is he? We wait..
Barcelona dominate Cataluyna Derby..
Barcelona seems to be finding their feet again as they were comfortable winners over the weekend with Lionel Messi netting two exquisite free-kicks and providing an assist for another sublime goal by Ousmane Dembele. Lenglet and Pique finally look like they are getting their acts together, being relatively assured in defence over the weekend. The La Liga is really tight at the top and any slip-up could send Barcelona (or any other team) spiralling down the table.
Jadon Sancho scores fine winner in Ruhr Derby..
The Ruhr Derby is always a game in the Bundesliga to look up to. There was energy and loads of fouls (seven yellow cards to be exact), some controversy – see Marco Reus’ alleged foul in the box that led to the penalty to draw Schalke level. Eventually, Jadon Sancho came from the left, played a sweet give and go and bent the ball round Ralf Fahmann in the Schalke goal. Dortmund still remains unbeaten in the League, winning 11 of their 14 meetings. Will this young Lucien Favre side be able to go all the way?
Juventus keep on going..
Juventus kept up the pace in the Serie A by defeating a troublesome Inter Milan on Friday. Ronaldo did not have a hand in the goal, something that has not happened in a long while this season. It may be fair to say that the Serie A title is theirs to lose.
Ligue 1 matches postponed..
Four games in the Ligue 1 were postponed (till mid-January presumably) due to protests concerning the increase in fuel taxes. Paris St. Germain, one of the teams whose game was cancelled, still lead the league with 13 points with a game in hand. Enough said..
Posted by: Abiodun Motunrayo
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