With massive games such as Der Klassiker, Monaco v PSG and plenty of shocks in Spain, this week’s Winners and Losers across Europe is one to behold! Bet on European football here.
Borussia Dortmund managed to extend the gap between them and Bayern Munich to seven points after coming from behind to win 3-2 at the Signal Iduna Park. Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski was on target for the visitors with two goals but his efforts were not enough to salvage them a point. The hosts will now head into the international break with a four-point advantage over second-placed Borussia Monchengladbach. They must use the momentum from this win to mount a serious challenge for the title and hopefully snatch it away from the Bavarians for the first time in over six years.
La Liga’s title contenders
The race for the title in La Liga just got interesting with one point separating the first team from the fourth in the table following the weekend’s fixtures. Barcelona are top of the table with 24 points despite their home loss to Real Betis and they are just a point above the second-placed side Sevilla. Alaves are fourth, but level on points with Sevilla and Atletico above them. Espanyol and Real Madrid are in fifth and sixth place on 21 points and 20 points respectively. This is going to be a very competitive season and the race is very wide open as things stand.
Edinson Cavani heaped more misery on Monaco with a hat-trick to send PSG 13 points clear in the Ligue 1 table. Cavani was on fire from the very onset and he got his name on the scoresheet with PSG’s first meaningful attack, after he converted Neymar’s cross from close range. He would then double the lead with another close-range finish shortly after. Finally, the former Napoli man added his third with a few minutes into the second half to complete his hat-trick. Neymar was also on target though Cavani will be happy with his showing especially now that he had not scored in slightly over a month.
Gonzalo Higuain had a miserable outing against his parent club when Juve visited AC Milan in Serie A. He saw his penalty saved before being sent off in Milan’s 2-0 loss at San Siro on Sunday. The Argentine had the chance to bring Milan level after Mario Mandzukic’s early opener, but his penalty was saved before Cristiano Ronaldo sealed Juve’s win in the second half. The loss has dealt a big blow to their top four place ambitions and Higuain will have to wait to see if more punishment will be handed to him for his red card.
Niko Kovac is a man under pressure following a mixed start to life as Bayern Munich manager. Their weekend loss only served to raise more questions over his long-term viability as manager. The Bavarians have tended to dominate fixtures during his spell but they have been lacking end product and this was the situation during the weekend. He will continue to enjoy the backing of the board for the time being, though results will need to come sooner than later if he is to keep his job.
Monaco’s fortunes continued to dwindle with their 4-0 loss at home to PSG. Thiery Henry is still in search of his first win since taking over the reins of management from Leonardo Jardim. They have accumulated seven points since the turn of the season and are placed 19th in the table making them candidates for relegation. Henry has been unable to change the trajectory of the side and things seem to be getting worse with each and every passing game. It will be interesting to see how things pan out in the coming weeks though there is a general consensus that things have to change.