Football is a crazy sport, and this was the case over the weekend as all sorts of surprises sprung up in key fixtures across Europe’s major leagues. Some teams are ‘due drop points’ as Paterson Mgbeoji, a notable Nigerian football OAP would say. However, Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side once again escaped unscathed, to maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League table.
Same cannot be said for the likes of Napoli, PSG, Valencia, Barcelona, etc, although the Catalans, one way or the other still maintained their lead as the hot pursuers on their heels all conspired to drop points.
Juventus showed their Serie A dominance once again as they thwarted Napoli’s attack, beat them away from home with a Higuain goal, and kept a clean sheet in the process. There is still the case of a red-hot Inter Milan, and Beppe Marotta may have displayed brilliant foresight when he expressed his opinion that the Inter side would be more of a title threat than the Napoli side as they had no European commitment. Inter Milan hammered Chievo Verona 5 nil, and now sit top of the Serie Table with 39 points, from 12 wins and 3 draws and no loss. This has set up a cracker in waiting for the next matchday as Inter travel to Turin to face Juventus. We wait to see if Juventus can inflict the first defeat on the Luciano Spalletti led side as they did to Napoli
And then, there is Benevento who decided to be mean against one of the recent pretenders in the Serie A, now managed by Gattuso. The game provided one of the major thrills across Europe as the goalkeeper of the newly promoted side Alberto Brignoli must have attained legendary status when he was in the position to power a header into the net in the dying minutes of the game to secure the first point for the newly promoted Serie A side in 15 attempts against AC Milan. Yes! AC Milan!
Man City continued their recent habit of quashing opposition hopes as they rallied to beat West Ham at the Etihad after going a goal down in the first half. This ensured the gap was maintained as they visit Old Trafford for one of the major consequential Manchester derbies in recent times, and an opportunity to witness the rivalry between Mourinho and Guardiola in a match that matters significantly. Meanwhile, Man United were in Frank Castle mode to see off Arsenal, as they punished every defensive error with lethal finishes that left Petr Cech helpless. It was a game that brought out arguably the best individual performance from Da Gea this season as he was on hand to pull many spectacular saves and deny Arsenal the result that their barrage of attacks deserved.
TO BE CONTINUED!