There were more twists and turns among England and Italy, with new title favourites, an abundance of red cards and re-emerging stars. All the talking points from football’s busiest period.

 

Premier League

Is it finally Liverpool’s year? The Reds had a dominant 4-0 win against a helpless Newcastle. Dejan Lovren opened the scoring with a thunderbolt at the Kop end, before goals from Salah, Shaqiri and Fabinho ensured a comfortable three points.

However, it was Manchester City who created the headlines, as they suffered defeat for the second time in a matter of days, this time to Leicester. Things were looking bright for the sky blues when Bernardo Silva broke the deadlock, but their lead lasted some five minutes thanks to a Marc Albrighton equaliser. The King Power erupted when Ricardo Pereira found the back of the net, securing the points for The Foxes. Manchester City are now seven points behind league leaders Liverpool, while Leicester have jumped to 7th.

Manchester United made it consecutive wins, taking care of Huddersfield 3-1. It was Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s first home match in charge, but the spotlight was on Paul Pogba. The Frenchman scored two classy goals to lead the Red Devils to a much-needed three points.

Bournemouth were no match for Tottenham, as Spurs ran out 5-0 victors, Chelsea returned to winning ways, defeating Watford 2-1, and Arsenal lost ground on the top 4, drawing 1-1 with Brighton.

 

Serie A

 Is it time to say goodbye to Gennaro Gattuso? Milan’s 0-0 draw against Frosinone would suggest he is on thin ice. Another lifeless performance from the Rossoneri that lacked creativity and polish sees them drop to 6th with several teams just three points behind.

Juventus dropped points for just the second time this season, drawing 2-2 away to Atalanta. A Berat Djimsiti own goal opened the scoring for Juve, before arguably the most in-form player in Italy, Duván Zapata, scored either side of Rodrigo Bentancur’s dismissal. But it was Cristiano Ronaldo who had the last say, heading from close range to level the score 13 minutes from time.

Juve’s draw meant that Napoli had the chance to close the gap to six points. However, Inter had other plans. The Nerazzurri capitalised on Kalidou Koulibaly’s sending off, scoring a 91st minute winner to send the San Siro into raptures. Lautaro Martinez was the hero, having only come off the bench seven minutes earlier.

Lazio travelled to Bologna in a clash of the Inzaghi brothers, and it was Simone who was triumphant – the Roman side winning 2-0. In the capital, Roma defeated Sassuolo 3-1 to keep their Champions League hopes alive, while Sampdoria continued their climb up the table, defeating Chievo 2-0. The Blucerchiati are two points from a Champions League spot, however will face their toughest test next week – Juventus away.

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Damon Palmar
damon@footballnationradio.com