New league leaders, controversial goals and perhaps the strangest game you’ll see all season. European football continues to deliver!

La Liga

Barcelona took care of business against Rayo Vallecano despite going down 1-0 early on. Gerard Pique, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez each scored to lead the Blaugrana to a 3-1 victory at the Camp Nou, maintaining Barça’s seven point lead at the top.

Atlético Madrid made it five clean sheets in a row as they defeated Leganés 1-0. Saúl cleaned up the rebound from his own missed penalty to fire Atléti into the lead, and from there Los Rojiblancos did what they do best – defend. Their La Liga hopes remain alive – but only just.

Real Madrid and Real Valladolid played out one of the strangest games of the season – Los Blancos eventually running out 4-1 winners. Valladolid missed a penalty and had two goals disallowed within the space of four minutes, before taking the lead some 10 minutes later. Madrid dominated from there as Raphael Varane, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema found the back of the net to plaster over the cracks of a miserable week for the club.

Other results:

Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Espanyol

Alavés 1-1 Eibar

Getafe 2-1 Huesca

Celta Vigo 0-1 Real Betis

Girona 2-3 Valencia

Levante 0-2 Villarreal

Sevilla 5-2 Real Sociedad

 

Bundesliga

We have a new leader in Germany. Bayern Munich have topped the standings for the first time in 2019 with a 6-0 win over Wolfsburg. Robert Lewandowski grabbed a brace, while goals to Serge Gnabry, James Rodriguez, Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich added to the demolition. The Bavarians now sit top of the table on goal difference.

Bayern’s win means Borussia Dortmund slip to second, despite the yellow and black recording a 3-1 win over Stuttgart. Nerves frayed around Signal Iduna Park when Marc-Oliver Kempf cancelled out Marco Reus’ opener, but Dortmund found a way to win as Paco Alcacer and Christian Pulisic secured a much-needed three points.

Eintracht Frankfurt had a commanding win over Fortuna Düsseldorf to keep their Champions League hopes alive. Gonçalo Paciência opened the scoring just after the interval, before Sébastien Haller scored twice inside the final few minutes to wrap up the 3-0 victory. 

Other results:

Werder Bremen 4-2 Schalke

RB Leipzig 0-0 FC Augsburg

SC Freiburg 2-1 Hertha

Mainz 0-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach

Hoffenheim 2-1 FC Nürnberg

Hannover 2-3 Bayer Leverkusen

  

Premier League

The game of the round saw Arsenal come away with a crucial win over Manchester United at the Emirates. The two sides are vying for a top four spot, but it was the Gunners who handed the Red Devils their first Premier League loss since December. A long-range Granit Xhaka strike and a Pierre-Emrick Aubameyang penalty sealed the points for Arsenal, who jump into fourth while United slip to fifth.

Manchester City continued their strong domestic form with a 3-1 win over Watford. Raheem Sterling completed a 15-minute hattrick – albeit in controversial circumstances – to put Watford to the sword. City’s lead at the top remains at one point.

Liverpool kept their hopes of a Premier League title alive with a comprehensive 4-2 win over Burnley. The Kop was silenced early when an Ashley Westwood corner found the back of the net, however Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane had other ideas, scoring a brace each to seal the win for the Reds.

Other results:

Crystal Palace 1-2 Brighton

Cardiff 2-0 West Ham

Huddersfield 0-2 Bournemouth

Leicester 3-1 Fulham

Newcastle 3-2 Everton

Southampton 2-1 Tottenham

Chelsea 1-1 Wolves

 

Serie A 

Juventus had the ideal preparation ahead of their clash with Atléti, convincingly defeating struggling Udinese. A new-look Juve side took the field and incredibly, it was the first time this season that Juve have scored four goals in a game in any competition. Moise Kean led the line, scoring twice, before Emre Can and Blaise Matuidi added a goal each. Kevin Lasagna pulled one back late with a stunning finish, but the difference in quality was evident as Juve ran out 4-1 winners.

Milan made it five wins in a row in the Serie A with a victory away to Chievo. Lucas Biglia marked his return to football with a stunning free-kick to put the visitors ahead, before Përparim Hetemaj equalised for the Flying Donkeys. It was Krzysztof Piątek, however, who had the final say, scoring his sixth goal in seven league games for Milan to guide the Rossoneri to a 2-1 win.

Claudio Ranieri’s first game in charge of Roma was a success. The Giallorossi defeated Empoli 2-1 at the Olimpico thanks to a wonder strike from Stephen El Shaarawy and a Patrick Schick header. Roma were reduced to 10 when Alessandro Florenzi was sent off in the 80th but were able to hold on for a crucial three points.

Other results:

Parma 1-0 Genoa

Bologna 2-0 Cagliari

Sampdoria 1-2 Atalanta

Inter 2-0 SPAL

Frosinone 1-2 Torino

Sassuolo 1-1 Napoli

Fiorentina 1-1 Lazio

 

Ligue 1 

The Marseille machine keeps rolling on and so does Mario Balotelli. The Italian striker scored his fifth goal for the club, while also becoming the first player in 45 years to score in his first four home games for Marseille. The win puts Marseille right in the mix for a Champions League spot – a major turn of events after manager Rudi Garcia was almost sacked just over a month ago.

Lyon and Strasbourg played out an entertaining 2-2 draw Stade de la Meinau. Lyon led 2-0 thanks to a Moussa Dembele brace, but Strasbourg managed to claw their way back as Ludovic Ajorque struck twice in a minute to salvage a point for the home side.

Lille’s stunning form this season has recorded another scalp, winning 1-0 at St Etienne. One of the players of the season Nicolas Pepe found the winner just minutes from time to send Lille seven points clear in second.

Other results:

Amiens 2-1 Nîmes

Dijon 1-1 Reims

Monaco 1-1 Bordeaux

Montpellier 2-2 Angers

Toulouse 1-0 Guingamp

Rennes 3-1 Caen

 

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Damon Palmar
damon@footballnationradio.com