What you missed this weekend

Another busy weekend laid bare the problems faced by Barcelona, ​​Manchester United and Juventus, as Real Madrid activated the style, Liverpool lost for the first time, Roma suffered another defeat and Neymar has inspired Paris Saint-Germain.

Here are James Olley, Alex Kirkland and Andrew Cesare Richardson with what you need to know from all over Europe.

Jump to: Discussion Points | Best goals | Teams in difficulty | Weekend MVP


Four talking points

Barcelona implosion shows Xavi’s task

With club legend Xavi Hernandez set to fulfill his destiny and take charge of the first team, Barcelona went to Celta Vigo at halftime with a 3-0 lead, again with young star Ansu Fati on the scoresheet. Things were finally starting to improve.

By the full-time whistle in Balaidos, much of that optimism and excitement had dissipated. Not only did Celta hit back for a point in La Liga – Iago Aspas scored an equalizer in the 96th minute in an exciting game – but Fati stopped with a hamstring problem, while Nico Gonzalez and Eric Garcia also had joined an 11-man injury. listing.

Barca have gifted players capable of brilliance and youngsters ready to step up and become mainstays, but they have flaws from back to front. What happened to goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen? Will Clément Lenglet ever stop being a soft touch? Does Oscar Mingueza have a future at right-back? And how do you play in 4-3-3 when your wingers are permanently injured?

Xavi is more aware than anyone of the scale of the work he faces, but this game was a useful summary of the good, the bad, and the ugly. – Kirkland

Solskjaer survives while others fall

Two Premier League managers lost their jobs over the weekend, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues to hang on to Manchester United, whose season is drifting in hopes the struggling manager can turn things around.

It seems sad, especially given the embarrassing ease with which Manchester City won Saturday’s derby at Old Trafford. The game was, in some ways, worse for United than the recent 5-0 loss to Liverpool, as Pep Guardiola’s men were able to keep the ball and conserve energy for more difficult challenges.

Meanwhile, Norwich beat Brentford to claim their first Premier League win of the season, but parted ways with Daniel Farke nonetheless. And five straight losses were enough to convince Aston Villa that Dean Smith took them as far as he could.

For better or for worse, both decisions were made in an effort to save the clubs’ respective campaigns. Norwich and Villa have different aspirations, but their cruelty only highlights United’s leniency. – Olley

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Steve Nicol says Manchester United fall far short of their rivals as Manchester City move towards victory.

Leipzig takes victory in due course for Marsch

Jesse Marsch did something Julian Nagelsmann never achieved on Saturday: he led RB Leipzig to a victory over Borussia Dortmund, while Christopher Nkunku continued his impressive start to the campaign with a goal and an assist in the ‘a 2-1 victory.

It was a tough first season for Marsch – a midweek draw against PSG ended Leipzig’s Champions League hopes with two group matches to go – but from the kick-off they were over. fresh and more determined than Dortmund.

Nkunku kept his cool to open the scoring in the 29th minute after slipping behind Manuel Akanji and goalkeeper Gregor Kobel. After Marco Reus equalized for the visitors, Nkunku set up Yussuf Poulsen to score a deserved winner who helps Leipzig’s first four Bundesliga prospects and bolsters their American coach. – Richardson

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Steve Nicol says Jesse Marsch still has some work to do to prove he can win the biggest games with RB Leipzig.

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Juventus win, but still fail to convince

Juventus put an end to a losing streak, but theirs was an unconvincing victory over rivals Fiorentina that was only achieved thanks to a stoppage of play from Juan Cuadrado after the visitors sent off Nikola Milenkovic at 17 minutes from the end.

It was the kind of victory that Max Allegri’s dominant side were known for on their first stint at the Allianz Stadium, but this Juve was lucky rather than knowing how to win lousy. The old lady offered nothing before the expulsion and was lucky when Fiorentina saw a strong demand for a penalty overturned just before half-time.

Daniele Rugani, deemed not good enough for Rennes on loan last season, started in central defense and Adrien Rabiot was on the left wing, which looks like a manager unsure of his strongest eleven. Juve are 14 points behind leaders Napoli and AC Milan; regardless of winning Serie A, they are fighting to qualify for the Champions League. – Richardson


Three essential objectives

Kroos scores a superb Madrid goal

Real Madrid have scored some fine team goals this season and their first against Rayo Vallecano was no exception: Eder Militao’s pass was thrown by Toni Kroos for Vinicius Junior, who carried the ball to the forward and sent him back for Marco Asensio to step back and allow Kroos to apply a balayage finish.

An offside flag hurt the immediate moment, but VAR quickly rectified the shot and Madrid were able to celebrate. A second-half move involving Vinicius and Ferland Mendy’s back heels could have led to an even better goal, if only Karim Benzema hadn’t curled his shot just over the crossbar. – Kirkland

Alexander-Arnold releases a gem

Liverpool were beaten at West Ham to lose the last unbeaten Premier League record, but Trent Alexander-Arnold delivered the game-highlighting moment with a sublime free-kick just before half-time, which showed such remarkable precision that West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski could only look in awe.

Six of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s nine Premier League goals were scored outside the area and it was another reminder of his superb technique. It was also timely ahead of the international break, given that the 23-year-old has yet to convince England manager Gareth Southgate and his right-back rivals Kyle Walker and Reece James have excelled a day earlier. – Olley

Calhanoglu relishes his hero / villain status

After leaving AC Milan on a free transfer this summer to join rivals Inter, Hakan Calhanoglu added to his chapter in Madonnina Derby Sunday by becoming the fourth player in the last 25 years – after Hernan Crespo, Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic – at to score in the first Milan derby after changing clubs.

The Turkey international won a controversial penalty kick after eight minutes, following an entanglement with former teammate Franck Kessie, and after a three-minute VAR exam he coolly passed goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu to open the score and silence the booing crowd. Milan then equalized and the game ended 1-1, but their former hero had made his mark. – Richardson


Two teams that should be worried

Roma fall under Mourinho

After a good start, Roma’s form under Jose Mourinho fell alarmingly, with the latest gap seeing them lose a lead at Venezia – the promoted club have scored more than once at home for the first time this season – and condemns the Giallorossi to a fifth loss in nine league games.

Mourinho’s tenure began with three successive victories and nine goals, but form plunged; Key games for rivals Lazio and Juventus were lost, while there was also a first-ever Serie A home loss for the Portuguese and a humiliating 6-1 loss to Norwegians Bodo / Glimt in Conference League.

A simple Champions League qualification would be a success after Roma’s recent failures, but they are losing ground. Mourinho has yet to register a win against one of the league’s biggest clubs and is running out of excuses; the question now is whether he can stop the slide in progress. – Richardson

Levante continues to languish

A change of coach – Javier Pereira replacing Paco Lopez – has not sparked a revival at Levante, who are at the bottom of La Liga amid a 21-game winless streak, the last of which was a 2-1 reverse against the other Alaves fighters.

When Jorge de Frutos opened the scoring after 13 minutes, Levante hoped that an elusive first victory was imminent. However, two late strikes from Alaves striker Joselu, whose goals were one of the surprises of the Spanish season, put that idea to bed.

It’s still relatively early, but with six points in 13 games and already five points behind safety, Levante looks favorite for the fall. – Kirkland


Weekend MVP

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Julien Laurens breaks PSG’s 3-2 victory over Bordeaux, which gives them a 10-point lead in Ligue 1.

Neymar finds a touch of goal in Messi’s absence

As Paris Saint-Germain won at Bordeaux to be 10 points ahead of Lens after just 13 games in the Ligue 1 campaign, Neymar has scored twice in a game for the first time since January 31 for help cover Lionel Messi, sidelined.

With Kylian Mbappe scoring one goal and two assists, Neymar has scored the 400th and 401st goals of his professional career with high quality finishes; the first whipped inside the near post at 12 yards and the second was a first strike skillfully controlled by his teammate’s smart stroke.

Neymar added spice to his performance by unveiling a T-shirt in tribute to Brazilian singer Marilia Mendonca, who died in a plane crash on Friday, who said: “I will be your fan forever, queen of suffering. RIP MM . ” – Olley



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