Here are James Olley, Alex Kirkland and James Tyler to debate the massive stuff you want to know from the soccer weekend round Europe.
Four speaking factors
Guardiola ends Tuchel hoodoo, units Man City report
Thomas Tuchel had the possibility to grow to be the primary supervisor to beat a Pep Guardiola facet 4 occasions in a row when Chelsea met Manchester City, so pregame discuss targeted on how the Chelsea boss had the tactical edge over his more-celebrated counterpart, however Guardiola gained a measure of revenge for May’s Champions League Final defeat by masterminding a totally deserved 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
City pressed Chelsea relentlessly excessive up the pitch to achieve management, whereas Romelu Lukaku seemed remoted all through. Tuchel’s choice to make use of an extra defensive-minded midfielder within the centre of the pitch didn’t have the specified impact, leaving Guardiola to have a good time his 221st win as City boss, greater than some other supervisor within the membership’s historical past. He surpasses Les McDowall, who was in cost for 592 video games from 1950-63.
It was solely Guardiola’s 303rd match and the most recent reminder of his exceptional consistency got here on a day that reiterated how troublesome it is going to be for anybody to dethrone City, regardless of the champions lacking out on striker Harry Kane from Tottenham. — James Olley
Real Madrid get actuality verify
Going into Saturday’s sport with Villarreal, Real Madrid have been flying. Top of LaLiga, having scored 21 occasions in six matches with Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior main the best way, their earlier two dwelling video games had been 5-2 and 6-1 thrashings of Celta Vigo and Real Mallorca respectively. However, a clumsy 0-0 draw with Unai Emery’s crew slowed los Blancos’ momentum.
Real Madrid could not discover a means by means of as Villarreal take a degree away from the Bernabeu.
Villarreal have been superior within the first half, as Etienne Capoue and Dani Parejo dominated midfield and summer season signing Arnaut Danjuma threatened in assault. Only later within the second interval, when the guests appeared blissful to accept a degree on the Bernabeu, did Madrid come into their very own. Even then, although, there was no onslaught, no late siege of the Villarreal aim.
A dose of realism is not any unhealthy factor, and coach Carlo Ancelotti is wise sufficient to be taught from what went fallacious right here. Madrid have a run of what needs to be winnable video games now — beginning with Sheriff Tiraspol within the Champions League on Tuesday — earlier than the one that basically issues: At Barcelona in El Clasico on Oct. 24. — Alex Kirkland
Inter, Atalanta placed on a present
Serie A served up an absolute traditional on Saturday when Inter Milan and Atalanta met at San Siro in an Italian model of the “six-pointer between title rivals that could be significant, even though it’s only September.” The 2-2 draw marked the primary time Inter dropped factors at dwelling within the league for greater than a 12 months, not that the neutrals will thoughts. This sport had lots, together with a boatload of targets, a goal-line block, grievances for each side and limitless leisure.
The high quality was excessive, too, as was the refreshing notion of two sturdy groups sticking to their plans and never being afraid to lose. After simply 4 minutes, Nicolo Barella‘s luxurious, curling cross was fizzed into the web on the volley by a high-speed, sliding movement from Lautaro Martinez. (By the best way, is there a extra in-form midfielder than Barella?) Thereafter, each side traded a raft of possibilities, just for Atalanta to attain twice earlier than half-time: First, Ruslan Malinovskyi let rip from 25 yards and scorched his shot full past Samir Handanovic, then Rafael Toloi pounced on a rebound.
Yet Atalanta had that nagging problem of not with the ability to convert dominance into a cushty scoreline, which is an issue in opposition to a fighter like Inter. The hosts pushed and probed for a levelled, lastly to hit paydirt through the ageless Edin Dzeko.
At 2-2, although, the most effective was but to return. Inter received a penalty (confirmed by VAR) after a handball, however sub Federico Dimarco smashed it off the bar, resulting in delirium for the guests. Three minutes later, Roberto Piccoli thought he had given Atalanta a dramatic late win just for — yep, VAR — to overturn the aim as a result of the ball had gone out of play within the build-up. Phew! — Tyler
Are Arsenal good once more? Or are Tottenham unhealthy?
The North London derby gave us one thing not seen in years: A second straight Arsenal win over Spurs. You have to return to 2013-14 for the final time that occurred and, after weeks of ready to see what a “revamped” Arsenal could possibly be, we lastly witnessed it.
Mikel Arteta’s facet have been vivid and assured in possession, aggressive within the deal with and sharp within the ultimate third. They attacked in what felt like waves all through the primary half and have been rewarded with a staggering three-goal lead contained in the opening 34 minutes: Emile Smith Rowe (aim, help) and Bukayo Saka (aim, help) have been a relentless menace on the flanks and the Martin Odegaard / Thomas Partey / Granit Xhaka midfield axis had virtually full management.
Tottenham have been a multitude and Harry Kane’s lamentable type continued; the England veteran wasted a number of gilt-edged possibilities, with one such miss within the first half main on to Arsenal’s second aim. Son Heung-Min pulled one again late, however this was the Gunners’ day. It felt like an announcement win, however now they need to take advantage of a winnable run of fixtures. — James Tyler
Three must-see targets
Curtis Jones, take a bow
It was a aim so candy, you would like it counted double. At the very least, you hope it will be sufficient to provide your crew a win, however Liverpool weren’t so lucky on Saturday as they wobbled their option to a irritating — however actually pleasant — 3-3 draw at Brentford.
Our scouser in midfield 😍
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 26, 2021
Jurgen Klopp’s assault is as sharp as ever and what happy most about Jones’ thundering strike was not the truth that he hit it completely, leaving David Raya no probability; fairly, it was that, that hardly a minute earlier, he had an analogous effort solely to slice it hilariously over the bar and into the gang. Second time’s a appeal, we suppose. — Tyler
Ansu Fati‘s memorable return
It had been a very long time coming, however greater than 10 months after struggling a knee damage so problematic that some questioned whether or not he can be the identical participant upon his return, Ansu Fati stepped onto the Camp Nou pitch and offered a second of pleasure for a membership in disaster.
Ansu Fati scores a improbable aim for Barcelona after getting back from virtually a 12 months out with damage.
Barcelona have been already cruising, 2-0 up in opposition to a poor Levante crew, when the 18-year-old was launched within the 81st minute. Ten minutes later, Ansu picked up possession simply contained in the guests’ half, ran straight at a panicked defence, then reduce inside onto his proper foot and slammed the ball previous goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez. The wild celebrations felt cathartic. Lionel Messi‘s No. 10 shirt is in secure palms. — Kirkland
Aubameyang competes sweeping Arsenal transfer
Arsenal ripped Tottenham to shreds and nothing embodied the one-side nature of the sport greater than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s Twenty seventh-minute aim, which additionally confirmed what Gunners boss Mikel Arteta desires to see with regard to his crew enjoying out from the again.
This transfer started with goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale discovering Granit Xhaka. The Swiss midfielder mixed with Emile Smith Rowe and Kieran Tierney to seek out Aubameyang, whose flick and spin set Arsenal off on the counter-attack. Smith Rowe crossed and Aubameyang did the remainder, netting his eighth aim in 11 video games in opposition to Spurs. — Olley
Two groups that needs to be anxious
Marco Rose would have needed some other end result heading again to the membership he left, Borussia Monchengladbach, with Borussia Dortmund, but BVB continued to appear to be a misshapen group of nearly-theres in a 1-0 loss on Saturday.
Denis Zakaria’s first half aim sees Borussia Monchengladbach win 1-0 vs. Borussia Dortmund.
The aim was scrappy, however reward for Gladbach’s persistence: Denis Zakaria‘s dribble into the field was aided by a beneficiant deflection off Jude Bellingham, leaving the Swiss midfielder free to slice the ball in from 12 yards out below minimal stress. Dortmund’s job bought tougher when Mahmoud Dahoud was despatched off 5 minutes earlier than half-time.
In entrance of a partisan crowd, Rose’s new membership created little over 90 minutes; with Erling Haaland and Marco Reus dominated out earlier than the match, there was no person able to choosing up the slack. Dortmund are nonetheless within the Bundesliga‘s prime 4, however a quartet of golf equipment are inside three factors and this was not ok for a would-be title contender. — Tyler
Saying Atletico are in hassle could also be somewhat untimely — they nonetheless sit comfortably in LaLiga’s prime 4 — however all just isn’t properly with the Spanish champions, who’ve simply two wins of their final six video games in all competitions following Saturday’s shock 1-0 defeat at Alaves, who have been backside of the desk going into the match, with zero factors and one aim scored.
Spanish LaLiga: Victor Laguardia (4′) Deportivo Alaves 1-0 Atletico Madrid.
Atletico expectations have been sky excessive this season, with Diego Simeone assembling arguably his best-ever squad after Antoine Griezmann was added to the attacking firepower of Luis Suarez, Joao Felix, Angel Correa, Matheus Cunha, Yannick Carrasco & Co. However, Griezmann has but to contribute a aim or help, and this weekend it was Correa, who began the season as Atleti’s most in-form participant, who dropped out.
Simeone tried (and failed) to discover a successful system and issues don’t get simpler this week, with a visit to Milan within the Champions League adopted by a house date with a crew that basically is in disaster, Barcelona. — Kirkland
MVP of the weekend
Nkunku stars once more for Leipzig
RB Leipzig kickstarted their season in effective fashion with a thumping 6-0 win over Hertha Berlin that was impressed by an all-action efficiency from Christopher Nkunku, who scored his first brace within the Bundesliga (10 days after netting a Champions League hat trick at Manchester City).
Yussuf Poulsen lets the move undergo his legs to Christopher Nkunku who chips it over the goalie for the rating.
The 23-year-old’s influence ran far deeper, nonetheless, with Nkunku additionally registering an help and successful a penalty to have a hand in 4 of his facet’s first 5 targets. Nkunku confirmed the vary of his expertise, beginning with a splendidly delicate end to elevate the ball over Hertha goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow. Seven minutes later, he capped a effective counter-attack with a wonderful cross to provide Yussuf Poulsen a tap-in.
Early within the second half, Hertha defender Niklas Stark might solely halt Nkunku’s run by hauling him down for a penalty and the Frenchman capped a surprising efficiency with a wonderful Seventieth-minute free kick, which he curled over the wall and into the highest nook. The targets have been his first first in 14 league matches; in a single afternoon, Leipzig doubled their complete season tally. — Olley
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