Manchester is Red…you read that right
Manchester City came into this game fully aware that failure to keep up with Liverpool would potentially spell the end of the season’s title race. Well, the result was commensurate with the performance. Manchester United had a game plan from the outset and stuck with it throughout which was mightily impressive. They mostly made the right decisions whenever they played on the counter attack and duly deserved their win. Manchester United is unbeaten against the ‘top teams’ in the Premier League this season. They are quite devastating on the counter and their game plan does not necessarily depend on holding on to the ball for too long. The glaring issue seems to be when they play the smaller teams that sit back and let Manchester United do all the playing. The lack of creativity in the middle and the make-up of their forwards – the likes of Rashford, James and Martial seem to like running into spaces in the final third- seems to put them at a disadvantage when they do not play against teams like Manchester City. That would need to be looked into.
For Manchester City, the middle was always overrun with almost every Manchester United counter-attack. They missed the midfield muscle of Fernandinho. Oh, he was playing alright, but was playing in the wrong position. Rodri has so far shown that he can move the ball well but was practically non-existent whenever Manchester United charged forward. Is the title race over for the blue side of Manchester? Not mathematically it isn’t.
The Old Lady finally falls..
The fact is that Juventus has not set the Serie A and the Champions League alight. They have struggled in practically all their games. Many thought that Juventus would go back on top after Inter Milan’s draw with Roma. Against Lazio at the Stadio Olympico, their run came to an end. You would not have bet against them coming away with something had Juan Cuardado not been sent off. Their best player was Wojciech Szczseny, who made some spectacular saves, especially the penalty and the rebound. Ultimately, there is only so much that you can do when your team goes a man down and is poor defensively on the night. Fortunately, all is not lost for Juventus and Maurizio Sarri as they are only two points behind Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan. Do not blink just yet.
Bayern Munich loses again…
Bayern Munich lost for the second consecutive weekend to table topping Borussia Mochengladbach and are down to seventh place in the Bundesliga. If you saw this game, the Bayern players were so wasteful in front of goal – yes, Mr. Lewandowski, I am looking at you – and were eventually punish via a last minute penalty. Luckily for Bayern Munich, the lead is not insurmountable – only seven points- but one is beginning to get the feeling that once Lewandowski does not find the back of the net, not many other people can. That is a game plan that may need to be looked at as the bad spell has coincided with his own dry spell. Another loss and it would be extremely difficult to recover.
El Clasico finely poised..
Real Madrid and Barcelona are joint top of the La Liga table with 34 points this season. Both teams have not really been at their best this season. Both teams have had some shocking results this season. Unfortunately, no other team has been able to take advantage of their frailties – side eye to Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid. If this trend continues, the first El Clasico of the season slated for the 18th of December would have an impact on La Liga proceedings- bar any postponement. We cannot wait!