Lionel Messi’s hat-trick, Der Klassiker, Saint-Etienne’s revival and Napoli’s struggles feature in our Winners and Losers in European football: November 9-10. Bet on football here.
Messi bagged his 34th La Liga hat-trick as Barcelona thrashed Celta Vigo 4-1 to go top of the table. The Argentine scored two exquisite free-kicks and a penalty to take his league tally to eight in seven appearances. His three goals also helped Barca register their first win in three games. He has now amassed 52 career goals from free-kicks. He has scored more free-kicks than any other team in the big five European leagues since the 2011/12 season with 29.
Meanwhile, Poland striker Lewandowski scored a brace as Bayern Munich thrashed arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund 4-0 in Der Klassiker on Saturday. The goals took his league tally to 16 and broke a Bundesliga record in the process by scoring in each of the first 11 games of the season. This also means he’s scored in all 15 of Bayern's European and Bundesliga games this season, with a tally of 22 across both competitions.
A brilliant performance from Radja Nainggolan inspired Cagliari to a stunning 5-2 win over Fiorentina. The win took them to fourth in the Serie A table as well as extended their impressive run in the league. With four wins in their last five games, Cagliari have turned around their season which started with two defeats. They’re unbeaten in their last ten matches. The Belgian contributed three assists and capped it off with the fifth goal of the game after 65 minutes.
Claude Puel and Saint-Etienne
Saint-Etienne’s 3-2 away win over Nantes in Ligue 1 saw them move to fourth in the table. The win was evidence of the change that newly appointed manager Pule has brought to the club since being appointed in early October. He found the club 19th but four wins and a draw later, they are fourth in the table, seven points off leaders PSG. With instability in the club’s coaching position, Puel’s experience and record in Ligue 1 can help Saint-Etienne build momentum in the league and the Europa League.
Dortmund’s up and down season hit a new low this weekend after they suffered an embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in Der Klassiker. Lucien Favre’s side have started poorly this season after a promising campaign last year where they went close to winning the Bundesliga. However, they’ve won just three times in their last nine league games which is worrying for a team looking to challenge for the league title. Can Favre steady the ship after the international break?
Napoli’s poor form continued over the weekend as they were held to another draw by Genoa. Carlo Ancelotti’s side are winless in four of their last five Serie A matches. The result means they slipped down to seventh with 19 points, 13 points behind leaders Juventus. With the title looking like a two-way race between Juventus and Inter Milan, the Partenopei will have to massively improve after the international break to have any chance of catching the leaders. A top-four finish now looks like a realistic target.
Sevilla registered a hard-fought 2-1 win over Real Betis in the Seville derby. This was also Betis’ fourth defeat in seven La Liga games which leaves them 17th in the table with 13 points, four points above the relegation zone. After 13 matches, they have won just three with one of them coming in their last seven games. With the quality of their squad, they should be doing much better. They desperately need to improve and start fighting for a place in Europe.