- Getty Images
The Big Weekend Review
It’s been another fascinating weekend in Europe’s major leagues as the intense festive period gets underway.
This week’s Big Weekend Review from Chivita reviews the big talking points from the weekend’s games, and we highlight a few of the outstanding individuals from the last few days.
Salah stars amidst transfer talk
Liverpool’s 7-0 demolition of Crystal Palace was one of the finest attacking displays of the season, yet it has been somewhat overshadowed by the rumours enveloping Reds star man Mohamed Salah.
The Egypt superstar was benched for the match, amidst speculation that he was unhappy with Jurgen Klopp after having been overlooked for the Liverpool captaincy for their final Champions League game.
Since the match—in which he came off the bench to score two and contribute an assist—talk of the forward’s discontent at Anfield, and his desire to move to either Real Madrid or Barcelona persists.
Liverpool fans may face an unsettling time until this situation is resolved for good.
Arsenal toil without Aubameyang
The Gunners also left their talisman out of the starting XI for their Premier League bout against Everton, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang understood to be nursing a calf injury.
The captain is enduring a miserable season—he’s scored just three in the league this term—but without him, the Londoners were toothless as they came unstuck against the Toffees.
Rob Holding’s own goal and Yerry Mina’s effort either side of Nicolas Pepe’s penalty have taken Everton up to fourth, while Arsenal—after 14 games—have just 14 points and are only four clear of the drop zone.
- Getty Images
Aurier compounds Tottenham’s bad week
Tottenham Hotspur needed an instant response when they hosted Leicester City on Sunday, having lost their top-of-the-table showdown with Liverpool in midweek.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go to plan, as a Jamie Vardy penalty and Toby Alderweireld’s own goal guaranteed a 2-0 victory for the Foxes.
Serge Aurier—not for the first time—was the villain for Tottenham, as his bizarre charge on Wesley Fofana in the penalty box left the referee with no choice but to award the spot kick.
It was yet another mindless moment from the full-back, who had previously been a major success story under Jose Mourinho, but he again proved that he cannot truly be trusted.
Defeat sends Spurs hurtling out of the top five, and they’ve now dropped six points behind Liverpool.
- FRANCK FIFE
Kimpembe’s heroism saves point for PSG
You won’t see a better tackle this season than Presnel Kimpembe’s last-ditch effort against LOSC Lille at the weekend.
Faced with a four-on-one counter-attack, as Lille pressed forward towards the PSG goal, Kimpembe found himself critically outnumbered but had the presence of mind, the instinct, and the technical ability to pull off an audacious sliding tackle on Burak Yilmaz.
To make the tackle even more impressive, Kimpembe had just pulled his hamstring in the build-up to the block, but was determined not to let his team down.
While the defender deserves immense credit for his heroism, his tackle couldn’t entirely detract from an underwhelming PSG display in which they were held to a 0-0 draw by the table toppers.
Run continues for Real Madrid
Real extended their La Liga winning run to four matches on Sunday, with victory away at Eibar.
It was yet another strong display from the reigning Spanish champions, as they put the disappointments of November behind them to boost their hopes of retaining their title this season.
They may be level on points with Atletico Madrid having played two games fewer, but Real are functioning superbly at the moment, with Karim Benzema—who opened the scoring at Eibar—in outstanding form.
Luka Modric and Lucas Vazquez also found the net away at Eibar, but the win came at a cost, with the Croatia playmaker limping off with an injury that looks like to deny Zinedine Zidane one of his key players during the festive period.