Competitive league football resumed over the weekend after the international break and we had plenty to talk about. From Barca’s newfound form to Bayern’s inconsistency, here is a look at the winners and losers. Bet on football here.
Barcelona’s attacking trio
Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were all on target as Barcelona beat Eibar 3-0 on Saturday to move to the top of the La Liga table. Both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid dropped points meaning Barca will be leading the title race for the first time this season. Most importantly though is the fact that Griezmann is slowly but surely developing an understanding with his strike partners Messi and Suarez. The Frenchman opened the scoring in the first half, turned provider after the break for the second before laying a part in the last goal that was scored by Suarez.
Borussia Dortmund edged past Bundesliga leaders Borussia Monchengladbach 1-0 on Saturday to cut the gap to the top to one point. Gladbach are on 16 points and they lead the standings ahead of unbeaten Wolfsburg and Dortmund were desperate since this was their first win in four league games. Bayern Munich also drew their fixture which leaves the title race wide open for any of the top four sides. It is worth noting that they started the weekend in eighth and no team in front of them won their fixture for the weekend.
PSG picked up from where they left before the international break with a fine display over Nice away from home. Angel Di Maria was on target twice for the Parisians but it is Kylian Mbappe’s contribution that caught the eyes of many. The youngster is fresh from injury but he was able to score whilst assisting the fourth goal. He was introduced for Pablo Sarabia with a few minutes remaining and true to his hype, he did not take long to have an impact.
Real Madrid’s title bid
Real Madrid suffered a shock defeat by the hands of newly-promoted side Mallorca and as such lost a chance to extend their lead at the top of the La Liga table. The result saw their unbeaten start to the season come to an abrupt end whilst raising questions over their ability sustain a title challenge. In their defence Zinedine Zidane was missing big names such as Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, and Eden Hazard.
Bayern Munich were also on the receiving of a draw when they faced Augsburg in the Bundesliga. The Bavarians have been very shaky domestically and this was very evident in the manner in which they drew the game. One of their problems dating back to last season is the lack of defensive discipline to see out a game. They were seconds away from taking all three points when they gave up the lead with very few minutes left to play. Niko Kovac has work to do in this regard and this could be their undoing if they don’t find a solution.
Steven Pioli’s reign in charge of AC Milan did not go according to plan after conceding late in the game to share the spoils with Lecce. This was a game of two halves as the host dominated the first half where they went ahead before Lecce found the equalizer in the second half. Krzysztof Piatek thought he had scored the winner but the visitors had more up their sleeves and it was only a matter of time. The draw leaves his side in 12th place on ten points, three ahead of 15th-placed Lecce.