It was one other busy weekend in European membership soccer as the Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A all had tasty match-ups on the menu.
The weekend began with Paris Saint-Germain getting upset by Nice whereas Bayern Munich battled Leverkusen to a draw. Meanwhile, Saturday had its personal surprises, with Manchester United falling to Brighton, Inter Milan walloping AC Milan and Valencia embarrassing Atletico Madrid.
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So let’s get into it. After an thrilling weekend from Europe’s huge 5 leagues, listed here are your speaking factors, highlights and the information you have to know.
The Saturday lead: Liverpool once more provide causes for optimism or fear (relying the way you have a look at it)
Liverpool have not at all times been convincing this season however briefly on Saturday, after beating Wolves 3-1 at Molineux, they had been prime of the desk with 13 factors from a potential 15.
Wolves took the lead towards the Reds, identical to Bournemouth and Newcastle did in earlier weeks already this season, however once more Jurgen Klopp’s aspect got here again to win.
Liverpool, who handed 20-year-old Jarell Quansah his first Premier League begin in defence, had been fortunate they had been solely 1-0 down at half-time however in the second half, their attacking energy was an excessive amount of for the house aspect. Luis Díaz modified the recreation after approaching at the break, Cody Gakpo bought the equaliser and Mohamed Salah chipped in with two assists. Klopp was additionally in a position to deliver £85 million striker Darwin Núñez off the bench with the rating at 1-1.
After lacking out on the prime 4 final season, it is troublesome to know what goals Klopp needs to be setting for Liverpool this season. Is securing a swift return to the Champions League sufficient or can this workforce emulate the class of 2019, 2020 and 2022 and push for the title?
They have solely stored one clear sheet this season however they’ve the attacking expertise to rival every other workforce in the league. –Rob Dawson
Saturday speaking factors round the leagues
Man United are flailing, however the membership cannot activate Ten Hag now
Manchester United are in hassle, however they haven’t any possibility however to again supervisor Erik ten Hag. They’re a membership seemingly lurching from disaster to disaster off the subject, and issues aren’t going significantly better on it, however they’ve staked a lot on Ten Hag that they can not panic now.
The Dutchman has been central to a switch coverage that has seen former gamers Lisandro Martínez, Antony, André Onana and Sofyan Amrabat arrive at Old Trafford, plus many others with hyperlinks to Dutch soccer, whereas he is additionally been given licence to put down the regulation to the squad. Cristiano Ronaldo was minimize free final season after his spat with Ten Hag, and £73 million ahead Jadon Sancho may need performed his final recreation for the membership following his very public row along with his supervisor.
If Ten Hag is just not the proper man for this job, then who’s? For the first time in the Premier League period, United have misplaced three of their first 5 video games however membership management can take solace in the indisputable fact that final season started with defeats to Brighton and Brentford and Ten Hag managed to show issues round.
Ten Hag, the 53-year-old former Ajax boss, wants some respite shortly, nevertheless it will not get any simpler with a Champions League journey to Bayern Munich to return on Wednesday. — Dawson
Dawson: Atmosphere at Ten Hag’s Man United disintegrating
Rob Dawson reacts to loud boos at Old Trafford after Erik ten Hag’s determination to sub Anthony Martial on for Rasmus Hojlund.
Guardiola’s affect palpable as Man City profitable machine rolls on
Manager Pep Guardiola’s powers of persuasion got here to the fore as Manchester City beat West Ham 3-1 at London Stadium on Saturday.
It appeared doubtless at one stage that each Bernardo Silva and Kyle Walker would go away the Premier League champions this summer season. Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain had been courting Silva whereas Bayern Munich pursued Walker just for each gamers to signal new offers with Man City following prolonged conversations with Guardiola, who was determined for the pair to remain. Saturday proved why.
While solely Rodri, with 129 touches, bought on the ball greater than Walker’s 105 touches as City dominated play in east London, Silva supplied the second of high quality to unlock a spirited and compact West Ham aspect, lifting a 76th-minute end over Alphonse Areola to place the guests 2-1 up. They needed to come from behind after James Ward-Prowse’s Thirty sixth-minute header threatened an upset with the Hammers taking the one clear probability that got here their means.
But Jérémy Doku marked his second City look with a high-quality objective simply 41 seconds into the second half earlier than Silva struck and Erling Haaland ended a day wherein he appeared extra human than he has shortly with a late third.
Haaland had as many photographs (9) as accomplished passes and ended with a person xG of two.47, underlining the high quality of possibilities he spurned. Ultimately, it did not matter as City maintained their excellent begin to this Premier League marketing campaign.
There was a reminder, nevertheless, that Guardiola, again in the dugout after a minor again operation, cannot at all times get his personal means as Lucas Paquetá opposed his City aspect. City had two gives rejected this summer season for Paqueta, who wished to make the transfer, and he made some extent of embracing Guardiola earlier than and after the 90 minutes right here.
Guardiola lingered just a little longer than the commonplace post-match interplay with an opponent, showing to whisper one thing into the Brazilian’s ear. We could by no means know what was stated however West Ham will hope it is not as efficient as his phrases to Silva and Walker. — James Olley
Inter Milan firmly safe higher hand in derby vs. AC Milan
Inter have made beating their neighbours and arch rivals AC Milan a little bit of a behavior now — suppose Champions League semifinals, Coppa Italia semifinals and Italian Super Cup all final season, in addition to lots of their head-to-heads in the league in the previous couple of years. As of Saturday, the Nerazzuri have gained the final 5 Milan derbies in a row for the first time of their complete historical past.
Yet, their demolition of their crosstown rivals on Saturday was on one other stage — a 5-1 margin with most effectivity, brilliance, directness and ruthlessness. It was supervisor Filippo Inzaghi’s Inter at their finest, and their greatest win in the derby. Furthermore, it was first time they scored 5 occasions since March 1974 when in addition they gained 5-1.
And Inter followers have a brand new hero. Marcus Thuram scored a superb objective to make it 2-0 earlier than the break, coming inside onto his proper foot and inserting the ball in Mike Maignan’s prime nook. He was additionally concerned in his workforce’s first one after 5 minutes.
An early first-half objective, a late first-half objective and the recreation was just about over already. Milan tried after the break to return again however every thing Inzaghi tried labored and his gamers proceed their excellent begin of the season with a fourth win in as many league video games with 13 targets scored and only one conceded! A vastly spectacular begin for Inter whereas this defeat will harm AC Milan an excellent deal. –Julien Laurens
More proof that Bayern Munich’s grip on the Bundesliga is in jeopardy
Bayern Munich wanted a spark. Yes, the long-standing Bundesliga champions got here out of the worldwide break in second place on objective distinction, however their uneven play and questionable switch window supplied legitimate cause for concern. Friday’s go to of league leaders Bayer Leverkusen supplied a golden probability to reassert themselves as the finest workforce in Germany, and whereas it resulted in a dramatic 2-2 draw, supervisor Thomas Tuchel & Co. have one thing strong on which to construct.
An early Bayern Munich lead — due to Harry Kane’s reflexive header at the again publish after simply seven minutes — gave method to a dominant opening 20 minutes, however Leverkusen did not wilt. Alejandro Grimaldo scored his first Bundesliga objective with an excellent free-kick to stage issues on 24 minutes, although Leverkusen could not press their benefit as they ended the half seemingly in management.
Leverkusen’s summer season signing Victor Boniface, who already has 4 targets in three profession Bundesliga appearances, bought the higher of Bayern centerback Dayot Upamecano time and time once more solely to squander his possibilities. The one shot he did get past Sven Ullreich was disallowed for offside as the second half noticed each groups have possibilities to take the lead.
Kane was denied by Lukas Hradecky’s foot after a sweeping Bayern transfer, Boniface flashed a pair of photographs narrowly over the bar and Florian Wirtz hit the publish for Leverkusen, however with 4 minutes left, the hosts would lead once more. A flowing transfer down the left was capped by Leon Goretzka’s late objective into the field and assured, sweeping end on 86 minutes, which had everybody in the Allianz Arena (and watching on TV) realizing that Bayern had “done it again.”
Then, in the first minute of damage time, a slipshod collision by Alphonso Davies on Jonas Hofmann in an innocent place on the left fringe of the field gave Leverkusen an opportunity to equalize from the spot. Substitute Exequiel Palacios duly dispatched it past Ullreich, sealing Leverkusen’s comeback for a 2-2 end, leaving Tuchel once more looking for solutions.
The draw was what either side deserved, however either side will invariably draw completely different conclusions. For Leverkusen, it was vindication that this squad has the expertise and tenacity to problem for the title. For Bayern, it was some extent well-earned forward of a Champions League date with Manchester United, and an opportunity to regroup earlier than league video games with Bochum and RB Leipzig to shut out the month of September. At this early stage of the marketing campaign, it ought to provide affirmation that issues aren’t as dangerous as they appear. –James Tyler
Bayern denied go-ahead objective by Leverkusen’s beautiful double save
Bayern Munich will get two photographs on objective, however Bayer Leverkusen by some means retains the ball out with some very good last-ditch defending.
Valencia deliver Atletico Madrid again right down to earth
From a 7-0 win earlier than the worldwide break to Saturday’s meek 3-0 defeat at Valencia — this was a actuality verify for Atletico Madrid, and a severe blow to their picture as darkish horse title contenders. Coach Diego Simeone known as it “possibly the weakest game in the time I’ve been at a club” and that is fairly a declare, on condition that he took over in December 2011.
Atletico’s repute was constructed on a rock-solid defence, however that was nowhere to be seen at Mestalla. Neither was the midfield. Captain Koke is injured, Rodrigo de Paul was harm on worldwide responsibility with Argentina, Thomas Lemar went off in the first half right here, and the deep-lying midfielder who was the membership’s primary goal throughout the summer season switch window by no means arrived.
The Champions League group stage begins this week, as Atletico look to keep away from a repeat of final yr’s embarrassing elimination. They journey to Lazio on Tuesday, after which there is a Madrid derby with Real subsequent weekend. This was the worst potential preparation. –Alex Kirkland
Javier Guerra curls in a magnificence to make it 3-0 Valencia
Javier Guerra objective 54th minute Valencia 3-0 Atletico Madrid
The Joaos add wow issue for Barcelona
Barcelona briefly moved to the prime of LaLiga as they blitzed Real Betis 5-0 on Saturday at Montjuic, with João Félix and João Cancelo including the wow issue on their full debuts and Ferran Torres ending the workforce’s 866-day watch for a objective from a free-kick.
Felix opened the scoring from a good angle earlier than serving to arrange the second for Robert Lewandowski with a pleasant dummy. Torres added the third as he scored Barça’s first direct free-kick since Lionel Messi netted towards Valencia in May 2021. Substitute Raphinha netted the fourth and Cancelo accomplished the rout with a superb solo effort.
Deadline day signings Felix and Cancelo each got here into the aspect for his or her first begins for his or her new membership. They had been the stars of a primary half that noticed Barça hit heights that they had not beforehand hit this season. Despite coming by way of their first 4 video games unbeaten, that they had not at all times impressed, however this was completely different.
Felix had already had a couple of good moments when he delivered the opener with an acute end. The objective was born from Barça’s press and a thumping Cancelo problem. The second objective got here from a sustained spell of stress. Cancelo supplied an additional physique in the center earlier than Andreas Christensen’s incisive cross, brilliantly left by Felix, was turned house by Lewandowski.
Only the offside flag denied Felix a second objective after the break. The floodgates quickly opened, although, as Betis crumbled. Torres fired house a superb free-kick, Raphinha put the of completion to a different good transfer and Cancelo beat his man earlier than firing low into the backside nook to seal a memorable night for Xavi’s aspect. They transfer one level away from Real Madrid, who host Real Sociedad on Sunday. –Sam Marsden
Barcelona vs. Real Betis – Game Highlights
Watch the Game Highlights from Barcelona vs. Real Betis, 09/16/2023
News of the day
Manchester United supervisor Erik ten Hag was met with booing from the crowd as he subbed off Rasmus Højlund for Anthony Martial throughout his aspect’s 3-1 defeat to Brighton. Asked about it, the supervisor unsurprisingly opted to brush it off, saying it was “a positive” as a result of it confirmed the followers had been proud of Højlund’s efficiency. “It’s good they give this signal, this message,” he stated. “It will give Rasmus belief.”
Why has Jude Bellingham been off to such a sizzling begin for Real Madrid? Well, he is proficient, positive, however supervisor Carlo Ancelotti says it is greater than that. It’s the participant’s persona that’s the cause he has tailored so shortly to life at Real Madrid, Ancelotti stated, including: “Good players with personality suffer a bit less than the others.”
Paris Saint-Germain suffered their first lack of the Ligue 1 season as Nice ahead Terem Moffi scored two targets and earned an help to assist his aspect to a 3-2 win in Paris on Friday. PSG, who on Tuesday will host Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, may have provisionally topped the standings with a win however slipped down to 3rd on eight factors.
And lastly …
Fifteen Las Palmas gamers — over half the squad — and two of the membership’s physios had been left red-faced after lacking the workforce’s flight to mainland Spain for Sunday’s LaLiga recreation at Sevilla.
A communication breakdown noticed the group go for a espresso at a restaurant inside Gran Canaria airport when their flight was delayed, solely to then arrive late to the departure gate with the airplane already getting ready for take-off.
Transportation is a significant situation for Canary Islands golf equipment like Las Palmas, with flights to the remainder of Spain taking just below three hours.
Fortunately, the membership was in a position to prepare a last-minute constitution flight for the gamers afterward Saturday, praising native airline Binter for “managing to find an available plane and crew” to make sure the complete squad may spend the night time in Seville forward of the match. –Marsden