The triumph of Atlético de Madrid in Villarreal, which returns the Madrid team to victory and allows it to maintain a cushion at the head of LaLiga, after the victory of a good Barcelona in Seville, awakening at least Gareth Bale’s scorer in a Premier that each matchday is more of Manchester City, the puncture of Juventus Turin in Verona and the ability to produce a Robert Lewandowski to whom you have to take your hat, marked the weekend in the major European leagues.
The sad note was in the Netherlands, where the new classic of their championship, the PSV-Ajax duel (1-1), had incidents at the end and with the Serbian Dusan Tadic damaged by the throwing of objects at the exit of the stadium , being hit by one of the coins thrown by the radicals of the local team.
BALE AWAKE, THE CITY IS STILL UNTREATABLE
The Welshman Gareth Bale has spent several years in a kind of hibernation that led him from being considered one of the best footballers in the world, from being decisive in Champions League victories with Real Madrid, not even appearing in the line-ups. The reasons, apart from injuries, are only known to him. At the beginning of the summer he was loaned out to José Mourinho’s Tottenham in an attempt to make him find himself on the pitch at his old club. The beginnings were not promising and he even received an arrow from his technician. But in the last ten days it seems to have regained some of the brilliance of yesteryear. At 31 he hopes to be reborn.
This Sunday he started and scored a double in the victory against Burnley (4-0), a team in the fight for permanence. Two goals that are added to the other two scored in the previous three games (one in the Premier, two in the Europa League), that is, four goals in the last four games. He seems to have woken up from his long slumber and football is grateful for it, because it has virtues and quality.
The one who remains intractable, and does not give an iota, is the leader Manchester City. Against West Ham (2-1) he added his twentieth consecutive victory in all competitions, the fourteenth league in a row. He has not lost in an official match since November 21, 2020, when he fell in the Premier against Tottenham (2-0); since then, 24 wins and three draws. And, as if that weren’t enough, he has benefited from the goalless equalizer between Chelsea and Manchester United in a mutual self-cancellation match.
City are even more leaders, leading by 12 points to United, and by 13 to Leicester, who lost at home to Arsenal (1-3, a visitor goal by Brazilian David Luiz). Liverpool, still reigning champions, stopped their free fall (four defeats in a row) by winning at the bottom of the bottom, Sheffield (0-2), although it took 48 minutes to pierce the local goal. Three points that allow Jürgen Klopp’s team to breathe, although they are still out of European positions.
THE ATLETI REACTS, MESSI BELIEVES IN THE LEAGUE
LaLiga had an interesting and long-awaited day. The top six in the standings were measured against each other and their results could mark the fight for the title. Atlético de Madrid and Barcelona faced two difficult outings, against Villarreal and Sevilla, respectively, while Real Madrid host Real Sociedad on Monday. At the moment, neither Atlético nor Barcelonistas failed. And the pressure goes to the madridistas.
The third time was the charm, at least in LaLiga. After a draw and a defeat, which had lowered their lead at the top of the standings and, together with the defeat in the Champions League, sown doubts of a bump, Atleti del Cholo Simeone reacted. He took an important victory for Villarreal (0-2), in a game where he also suffered but that he took with the virtues that had raised him to the top, and after eight games conceding (League and Champions) he returned to leave his goal immaculate. An own goal and a goal from the Portuguese Joao Félix signed the sentence and be able to face the Madrid derby with greater tranquility.
Barcelona lives in a kind of carousel of emotions that just seven days ago it was thought that it said goodbye to the League with an unexpected home draw with Cádiz and, now, with its triumphs against Elche on Wednesday (game postponed) and in Seville on Saturday, he continues to dream of the title. And the great architect of this is Leo Messi, who does not give up, who pulls his team with goals (three in these two duels) and assists, which again unbalances. In Sevilla, Barça was superior. With a system with three centrals and the two laterals incorporated into the center of the field, he commanded and was just the winner. And under the fumes of a rival who, if he won, would have taken his place in the fight for the title, and who scared him for Wednesday, when he must overcome two goals if he wants to be in the final of the Copa del Rey. He is five behind Atleti, with one more game.
The pressure now is for Real Madrid, who saw how Barcelona took second place from him, and how Atleti is six points ahead. And on Sunday, the Madrid derby on athletic ground.
THE ‘VECCHIA SIGNORA’ CLICK AND INTER ESCAPES
Juventus Turin, the so-called ‘Vecchia Signora’ more because of the aristocratic origins of its foundation and, later, of its owners, has very difficult to revalidate what would be its tenth consecutive ‘Scudetto’. Despite continuing to count on goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrea Pirlo’s team does not fuel what was expected. And this Saturday he showed it again not going beyond the level in a visit to Verona (1-1) that seemed very affordable. And that he went ahead with the nineteenth both league of the Portuguese, but he did not know how to hold the result and saw how in 77 ‘they tied him. And there was hardly more.
The Inter Milan of former Juventine Antonio Conte, on the other hand, continues without yielding. The Lautaro Martínez-Romelu Lukaku partnership continues to bear fruit, unstoppable for rival defenses. This Sunday, his team beat Genoa (3-0), with a first goal from the Belgian after assistance from the Argentine. The third goal also had a Latin flavor, as the Chilean Alexis Sánchez scored it, just a minute after jumping onto the pitch instead of the one born in Bahía Blanca. Not only does it maintain the lead, but the Interista team increases its advantage over Juventus to ten points (one game less), which is equaled in third place by a ‘Dea’ Atalanta who reacted with a victory in the field of Sampdoria ( 0-2) to the home defeat suffered on Wednesday against Real Madrid (0-1), in the Champions League. Between Interistas and Juventinos, Milan, which is still in second place four points behind, after their brilliant victory at home to Roma (1-2).
EL LILLE SAVES ‘IN EXTREMIS’ LEADER; LEWANDOWSKI, FROM ‘SOMBRERAZO’
Lille were ‘ko’ at home against Strasbourg until the 86th minute. The big surprise of the day was close. But the Portuguese Jose Fonte avoided defeat with the equalizer (1-1), which kept his team leading without waiting for the subsequent result of Lyon. Another great beneficiary of the equalizer is Paris Saint-Germain, who on Saturday destroyed at the home of Dijon (0-4) with a double (one from a penalty) by Mbappé, which is still unaffected by the continuous rumors about his future, among others. things because it is in their hands. The capital team is now two points behind the head.
In the Bundesliga, normality. They won the first three: Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Wolfsburg, respectively, against Cologne (5-1), Borussia Mönchengladbach (3-2) and Hertha Berlin (2-0). The distances are therefore maintained, with the two and five points of advantage of the Munich.
Of ‘sombrerazo’ the one of the Polish Robert Lewandowski, author of two so many in the ‘little hand’ of the Bayern that allow him to add 28 goals in the 23 league days that have been played. At 32 years old, he continues to drill the rival goal like no one else.