Mixed Messages from Europe's Champions
As we hurtle into the international break last year's champions from the major leagues of Europe are undergoing vastly different experiences. While it's business as usual for some, the others will be wondering just what the hell has happened.
City bitten by Wolves 🏴
75% possession, 16 shots on goal, 9 corners and home soil. But where it did go wrong for Manchester City? In the last fifteen minutes that's where, as Wolves' Adam Traore bags two to seal an unexpected win at the Etihad.
City's makeshift defence with Nicolas Otamendi in place of injured team mates and an absence of Kevin de Bruyne in the middle shows that the Sky Blues are perhaps more reliant on certain individuals than they would care to admit.
Pep Guardiola's second loss of the season came in the wake of a last minute penalty that saw title rivals Liverpool maintain a perfect record. It now leaves the Blue half of Manchester 8 points off the mark, wondering if they will ever be able to make up the difference.
Barça bounce back 🇪🇸
What a night it was at the Camp Nou. Barcelona saw off in Sevilla in a matter of minutes with goals from Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal and Ousmane Dembele coming in quick succession to go 3-0 up in the first half. The fourth coming from a curling Lionel Messi free kick in the last minute.
Still, it didn't go all Barcelona's way, having to concede that two dismissals to debutante Ronald Araújo and Dembele in the dying minutes of the game reveals this Barcelona side has a lack of discipline that needs to be tackled.
It could've been a very different story as it so often could if Sevilla had put their chances away. It leaves Barcelona two points off league leaders Real Madrid with Atletico trailing them by one.
What was looking like a shake up in the first weeks in La Liga has given way to an all too familiar title race.
Dropped points in Derby D'Italia 🇮🇹
Juventus made their way to the San Siro to meet league leaders Inter Milan with the chance to steal top spot in what had to be the most highly anticipated fixture of the weekend.
The game didn't disappoint with a Paolo Dybala strike on four minutes igniting the contest from the off. Both teams continued to press each other hard with Inter's efforts paying off when Lautaro Martinez converted a spot kick.
Cue a more attritional and cautious contest in the second half with the game potentially going either way. But it was Juventus who were to have the last laugh as they so often do when reborn Gonzalo Higuain made the difference to take Juventus to pole position.
Let's hope we finally get the title race we've all been waiting for this season.
Nobody wants the Bundesliga 🇩🇪
If La Liga and Serie A are shaping up as we expected, in Germany it's all going to pot. Top three favourites, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig are all doing their best to dare someone else to take the title.
Following a Dortmund draw away to Freiburg, and Leipzig failing to earn all three points at Leverkusen, current champions Bayern Munich followed up their midweek demolition of Spurs with a loss at home to Hoffenheim.
It leaves all top three contenders with far from perfect records and Borussia Mönchengladbach sitting pretty at the top, much to their own surprise.
Plenty of twists and turns to follow we hope.