Spain’s top clubs tightened the screw at the weekend, while Juventus opened an ominous gap in Serie A and Bayern Munich’s blip continued.
To La Liga first, where Barcelona set the tone for the weekend by beating Deportivo La Coruña 4-0 at the Camp Nou on Saturday. A Rafinha double and Luis Suárez strike before half time ended the tie as a contest, before the returning Lionel Messi came on as a substitute and added a fourth on the hour mark.
As if to rise to the challenge, Atlético Madrid recorded an even more impressive victory over Granada later that day. Isaa Cuenca put the visitors in front after 18 minutes, but this only served to anger Diego Simeone’s side as a Yannick Carrasco hat-trick, Nicolás Gaitán double, and goals from Ángel Correa and Tiago gave Atléti a 7-1 destruction.
It says something when Real Madrid winning 6-1 isn’t the most impressive result of the day, but they couldn’t quite match their neighbours’ result from earlier that evening against Real Betis. Raphael Varane, Karim Benzema, Marcelo and Isco had Real 4-0 up at half time, and while Betis scored a consolation through Álvaro Cejudo, Isco’s second and the customary goal from Cristiano Ronaldo completed the rout.
Elsewhere, Sevilla stayed in third place after a late Pablo Sarabia goal gave them a 3-2 win at Leganés, Athletic Bilbao defeated Real Sociedad by the same scoreline, Cesare Prandelli’s first game in charge of Valencia ended in a 2-1 win at Sporting Gijón, Las Palmas and Espanyol ended in a 0-0 draw, Alavés versus Málaga ended 1-1, while Villarreal ended Sunday’s round of matches in fitting fashion by demolishing Celta Vigo 5-0. Eibar take on Osasuna on Monday night to round off the weekend’s fixtures.
To Serie A next, where champions Juventus have opened up a five-point gap at the top of the table. A Paulo Dybala double overturned a Jakub Jankto opener to give the Bianconeri a 2-1 win at home to Udinese.
Napoli, meanwhile, have slipped to third place after losing their second game in succession. They have been overtaken by Roma, who enjoyed a 3-1 win at the San Paolo. Edin Dzeko put the visitors into a commanding 2-0 lead, and while Kalidou Koulibaly pulled one back for the hosts on the hour mark, Mohamed Salah made sure of the points with five remaining.
There was trouble for Inter captain Mauro Icardi as pressure mounts for the Nerazzurri to strip him of the captaincy following clashed with ultras. Things didn’t improve for Icardi or Inter at home to Cagliari, the striker missed a penalty and although they went ahead through Joao Mario, Federico Melchiorri and a Samir Handanovic own goal gave the away side all three points in a 2-1 victory.
Elsewhere, AC Milan defeated Chievo 3-1, Sassuolo beat winless Crotone 2-1, Lazio drew 1-1 at home to Bologna, Pescara versus Sampdoria ended in the same scoreline and Fiorentina v Atalanta ended 0-0, as did the meeting of Genoa and Empoli. Palermo take on Torino in Monday night’s fixture.
Finally to the Bundesliga, where Bayern Munich’s perfect start has given way to a defeat and two draws in their last three matches in all competitions. Carlo Ancelotti’s side drew 2-2 with Eintracht Frankfurt. on Saturday, twice they took the lead – through Arjen Robben and Joshua Kimmich – and twice they were begged back, both home goals coming from Szabolcs Huszti.
Arguably the biggest game of the weekend in Germany came on Friday night, where Borussia Dortmund took on surprise package Hertha Berlin at the Westfalenstadion. Valentin Stocker put the visitors in front early in the second half, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang levelled it up where it remained 1-1 at the final whistle.
FC Cologne moved up to second place with a 2-1 win at home to bottom side Inglostadt, while Hamburg picked up only their second point of the season with a 0-0 draw at Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Elsewhere, newly-promoted RB Leipzig moved up to third with a 1-0 win at Wolfsburg, Mainz defeated Darmstadt 2-1, Werder Bremen beat Bayer Leverkusen also 2-1, Hoffenheim versus Freiburg ended in a similar scoreline for the hosts, while Schalke played out a 1-1 draw with Augsburg.
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