Europe’s Top Clubs Drop Points
Manchester United are only three points clear of the relegation zone, following a shocking (but not that shocking?) 1-2 home defeat against West Brom. They will now be identifying a few easier fixtures across the course of the season which they see as ‘must-win’ in order to avoid relegation at the end of the campaign (what? It’s possible). Manchester
United are only three points clear of the relegation zone, following a shocking (but not that shocking?) 1-2 home defeat against West Brom. They will now be identifying a few easier fixtures across the course of the season which they see as ‘must-win’ in order to avoid relegation at the end of the campaign (what? It’s possible).
United wasn’t the only team to drop points at the weekend, in fact, they weren’t the only team in Manchester. City also lost away at Aston Villa 3-2, leaving them in sixth place behind Southampton, who beat Crystal Palace comfortably 2-0. Arsenal is top after beating Swansea 1-2 away from home, and there were also wins for Hull against West Ham and Cardiff away at Fulham.
Chelsea and Tottenham drew 1-1 at White Hart Lane, where former colleagues Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas were in opposing dugouts. Mourinho wasn’t keen to answer questions about the current state of their friendship, but Villas-Boas was more open, seems to be saying that they are no longer friends and that their conflicting career interests drove them apart.
On Sunday, Liverpool beat Sunderland 1-3 away to go up to 2nd place, with two goals from the returning Luis Suarez. Norwich beat Stoke 0-1 away from home with a goal from Jonny Howson.
It wasn’t only in England where glamour clubs were dropping points. Real Madrid lost in the Madrid derby to Atletico, 0-1 at the Bernabeu stadium, where Gareth Bale’s appearance as a second-half substitute on his home debut for Real couldn’t help them avoid defeat. Cristiano Ronaldo said that the players are to blame, not the manager Carlo Ancelotti. Barcelona had no such trouble, beating Almeria 0-2 away and maintaining their perfect start to the season. They now sit top just about Atletico, both on 21 points. Real Madrid is 3rd on 16 points.
The only bad news for Barca is that Messi could be out for three weeks with an injury. There were away wins for Levante at Osasuna, Elche at Celta de Vigo, and Getafe at Espanyol. Real Betis beat Villa Real at home and Valencia beat Rayo Vallecano at home. The two draws of the weekend were Real Sociedad and Sevilla, and Valladolid and Malaga on Friday night.
In Italy, Roma is top after a crushing 5-0 win against Bologna. The team from the home of Spaghetti Bolognaise were made mincemeat of by Roma, with the help of two goals from Gervinho. Elsewhere Juventus beat Torino 0-1, Atalanta beat Udinese 2-0, Cagliari and Inter Milan drew 1-1, Catania beat Chievo 2-0, Verona beat Livorno 2-1, AC Milan beat Sampdoria 1-0 and Napoli won 1-2 away at Genoa. Lazio drew 2-2 away at Sassuolo. The top of Serie A looks pretty familiar, with Roma, Inter Milan Juventus and Napoli in the top 4; the only real surprise being AC Milan down in eighth. Still, at least they’re not as low as Manchester United in the Premier League, who are 12th.