It is just the seventh or eighth week of the 2018/18 European football season and the big teams are already looking spent. Bayern, Barcelona, Real Madrid are looking jaded already and all three have gone four games in all competitions without a win.
|2 – 2 Girona||1 – 1 Augsburg||0 – 3 Sevilla|
|1 – 2 Leganes||0 – 2 Hertha Berlin||0 – 0 Atletico|
|1 – 1 Bilbao||1 – 1 Ajax||0 – 1 CSKA Moscow|
|1 – 1 Valencia||0 – 3 Monchengladbach||0 – 1 Alaves|
La Liga | Where will Lopetegui turn to?
Real Madrid are not already in real trouble because their main rivals, Barcelona are not doing so well themselves while Atletico Madrid are just getting back to normal. What is wrong at the Bernabeu? Is it the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo or is there a general malaise after three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles?
Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale were expected to take up the slack of the Portuguese’s departure but Benzema is still not scoring even after resuming in the centre of the attacking third. Bale’s injury problems have surfaced once again while Marcelo does not bother anymore to play his defensive role. Madrid are not known to play nanny to nay manager and Julen Lopetegui won’t be the exception. He now has two weeks to sort out the mess or he won’t last into November.
Bundesliga | Kovac is in trouble at the Allianz
It was the dream job for Niko Kovac but it is gradually turning into a nightmare. Mats Hummels summed up the slump thus: “Obviously we weren’t happy with how we played, but you get results like these when the opposition are so effective and we’re not.”
But that was just part of the story – Monchengladbach scored with their first two shots but the manner in which the opposition was able to put the defending champions under pressure will be the real cause for alarm for the Bayern hierarchy. Are there too many old magicians in the team or they need an overhaul?
La Liga | Barcelona just happy to have Messi
The Catalans are not in a crisis because they have a healthy Lionel Messi in their ranks. Luis Suarez suddenly looks his age and the goals have stopped flowing while the manager, Ernesto Valverde clearly does not know his best 11. They have now drawn with Girona and Bilbao at the Nou Camp and have found it hard going away against Leganes and Valencia. Though Tottenham provided some respite, the team suddenly looks old and jaded.
Ligue 1 | PSG flattered by 5-0 whitewash of Lyon
The 5-0 PSG win over Lyon was a flattery. Bruno Genesio will still be weeping at home now after his players contrived to deliver this emphatic win to Paris. But we have to laud Kylian Mbappe’s performance because of the four-goal haul. PSG manager, Thomas Tuchel admitted afterward, “Lyon played an excellent first half. It was very tough, we lacked structure and confidence and we lost a lot of balls.”
EPL | Liverpool, and City serve up a dour affair
A billion people were left disappointed with the spectacle served up by Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday. Two great attacking teams became shot-shy and it was apt that Riyad Mahrez blazed his penalty high and wide. None of the two teams did that much and the 0-0 was punishment for the dour affair.
Meanwhile, at the Theatre of Dreams, Jose Mourinho somehow inspired his team from two goals down against Newcastle to win 3-2 though he still had a rant at his detractors afterward. For Chelsea, the main goal for the season became much clearer at Southampton with a 3-0 win but more importantly, they have to keep Eden Hazard at all costs because he is Chelsea right now! Lest we forget, their third goal, scored by Alvaro Morata, involved 31 passes from back to front.