MANCHESTER CITY EQUAL PREMIER LEAGUE RECORD
When Angelo Ogbonna stunned the Etihad right on the stroke of halftime, Pep Guardiola would’ve been forgiven for thinking Manchester City’s run of wins would come to an end. However, the Spaniard’s tactical move to bring on Gabriel Jesus for Danilo after the break turned the game around for the Citizens who completed the comeback thanks to David Silva’s late goal. The 2-1 win confirmed City had equalled the record of successive victories in a Premier League season set by Arsenal in 2002 and equalled by Chelsea last season. City would surpass the long-standing record if they claim a victory in next week’s Manchester Derby.
ARSENAL BOW AT HOME TO UNITED
Arsenal went into the game against Manchester United as favourites, a consequence of their impressive home record that had seen them win 12 successive games at the Emirates. Even more striking was the fact that they’d kept nine clean sheets in that run. However, United has other ideas as they raced into a two-goal lead in the first 10 minutes. They had that brilliant start to thank, alongside some awesome shot-stopping by David De Gea, who made a staggering 14 saves in the game as the Red Devils saw off the challenge of Arsene Wenger’s side with a 3-1 win. It keeps Jose Mourinho’s side eight points behind City, and with the Manchester Derby set to light up Old Trafford next week, a win would put them to within five of the league leaders.
EDEN HAZARD LIGHTS UP STAMFORD BRIDGE
After another impressive performance of Eden Hazard against a hapless Newcastle United side, the Belgian further cemented his place as Chelsea’s most important player. His all-round performance was impressive and you would do well to see a better performance from an attacking player this season. The Blues fell behind early on, but stormed back to seal a 3-1 win. The slight Belgian scored the equalizer and made sure of the win with his cheeky penalty in the 75th minute. Hazard has found joy in Antonio Conte’s new 3-5-2 tactic and no opponent would fancy coming up against him in his current form.
BARCELONA AND VALENCIA STUTTER
In a bizzare weekend in the Spanish top flight, three of the top-ranked teams before a ball was kicked All dropped points in stunning circumstances. Barcelona had Lionel Messi in top form, but failed to make the most of his brilliance as they played out to a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp. Valencia would’ve been buzzing by the result and had a big chance to close the gap on Barca but fell to a shocking 1-0 defeat at Getafe. Even more surprising for the Oranges was the fact that their opponents played most of the game with ten men. A disappointing result for Marcelino who would have wanted to close the gap on FCB.
REAL MADRID FAIL TO TAKE THEIR CHANCES
It didn’t get any better for Zinedine Zidane, either, as they played out to a goalless draw against out-of-form Athletic Bilbao. The Whites’ off-kilter finishing let them down as they couldn’t capitalize on Barca’s draw earlier.
ATLETICO MADRID ARE THE BIGGEST WINNERS
Diego Simeone’s side took advantage of all the top sides dropping points as they sealed a 2-1 win against Real Sociedad. The win takes the Red-and-Whites to within six points of Barcelona.
THERE IS STILL LIFE IN JUVENTUS
If you’re looking through the archives for a defensive masterclass, the most recent addition to the collection would be Juventus’ display against Napoli at Stadio San Paolo. The Old Lady were defensively resilient and made the Light Blues resort to taking shots from range. The speed of the Zebras’ transitions was also impressive and they scored from an amazing counterattack. The statement win proved one thing... Juve won’t let their title go without a fight!
INTER MILAN TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE IN STYLE
Having seen Napoli drop points at home to Juventus a couple of days earlier, the pressure was on Inter Milan to win against Chievo Verona if they were to go top of the league. The Black and Blues stormed to 5-0 win and Ivan Perisic was at the forefront of the win. The wideman’s hat-trick was pivotal to Luciano Spalletti’s side leapfrogging Maurizio Sarri’s team. How will Inter handle the pressure of being the hunted in the Italian top flight?
BENEVENTO STUN AC MILAN AT THE DEATH
Prior to Benevento’s meeting with AC Milan, they had played 14 and lost 14 in the their first season playing in the Italian top flight. However, they rained on Gennaro Gattuso’s parade when they found a late equalizer against the shorthanded visitors. The equalizer was a shock in itself, but the source of the late leveller sent more shockwaves across the league. Alberto Brignoli - Benevento goalie - beat his opposite number, Gianluigi Donnarumma to make it 2-2 with a lovely header even forwards would be proud of. Predictably, it sent fans at the Stadio Ciro Vigorito into raptures and the newly promoted side would seek to push on from the unexpected draw.
PSG STUNNED AT STADE DE LA MEINAU
When Paris Saint-Germain visited newly promoted RC Strasbourg, nothing else was expected but for the Parisians to pick up a routine win. La Racing had other ideas, though, and secured a 2-1 victory against the champions-elect. The loss was poor in itself, but the poor performance of key PSG players played a large part in the defeat. Critics would point out how badly the away side played, but credit has got to be given to the home side who gave everything against their much more fancied hosts.