Europe round up, part I
Biggest European national leagues basically played all the matches and there were some very interesting games. Europe round
We’ll start with the Premier League; as far as I’m concerned there was only one surprise and that’s the goalless derby at the London Stadium. It wasn’t unjust however, as West Ham built on their win against Everton last weekend with a precious point against one of the favorites. And it’s not like Fabianski had one of those miraculous days when nothing gets pass him- only one brave save on Morata… All in all the Hammers even had better chances, most of all with MoM Yarmolenko with a late header just wide. Even if Chelsea had the midweek travel in Greece they can’t take that as an excuse – half of the start up changed! Had the hosts had available one of their star attackers, Arnautovič or Chicharito, they would’ve grabbed all the points.
Man United draw at home against the Wolves was also a surprise, I hear you say? Perhaps for some but not for me. It’s easy to say it now but the way the Red Devils are playing this season their fans better prepare themselves for more of the same. Anyway Wolverhampton has only 1 points less and also 1 defeat less than the Northern heavyweights. And play good football so you shouldn’t be surprised if they take some more points form the so-called big six.
Otherwise routine wins for Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Leicester City. And a very important win for Burnley trashing Bournemouth for vital points in their quest to stay with the best.
Keep an eye on Fulham; only a point at home against surprise package Watford but they will cause a lot of problems to everybody who’ll underestimate them. After a long spell away from the Premier League they won’t settle for a last moment salvation. They will have it done much sooner.
And as long as we’re talking about goal’s, I see City achieving his in retaining the title with Liverpool pushing them till the very end. If Manchester United’s aiming for Champions League spot, I hope for their own sake that they’re not thinking any higher, it’ll be achieved only if Arsenal or Tottenham mess things up – and luckily for them both are capable of doing just that.
At the other end of the standing Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City’s chances look very slim. The third candidate for relegation will be one from a wider group of clubs with Newcastle leading, Burnley, Brighton and Southampton following closely.
Moving South to Spain, big away wins for Sevilla and Alaves don’t bother the eye. Barca’s home draw against Girona does!!!
60 minutes a man down bothers you or gives an excuse? No, nobody but Girona can accept that. Or at least shouldn’t! The reigning champions should win games against Girona, with all due respect to the latter, who put a fair fight and actually deserved the famous point, and teams of similar calibre also with 2 men down. Valverde experimented a bit with the starting line up but that’s his choice. Girona stands sky high currently in sixth but expect them do slowly slide down. They might earn a comfortable salvation but Barca will be thinking about these 2 points more then a few times. It might not cost them at the end but it’ll make things more interesting come the business end of the season.
Elsewhere, Madrid giants take routine wins even if Sergio Ramos caused a few fans some mild heart-attacks with the nonchalant reaction to a back pass under pressure but the ball eventually stamped itself on the crossbar.
Other outcomes were more or less expected and a healthy 33 goals scored in 9 matches with only table neighbour Villarreal and Valencia cancelling each other out without hurting one another.
The scorers were in good form or the defenses in bad?
As my father used to say, anybody can play as much as the opponent allows them to and goals are scored due to a mistake somewhere. Then we thank the defenses for allowing the opponents to gives us something to cheer about.
Next post will sum up the Serie A round and other interesting games spectators in European stadiums and viewers across the globe had the chance to see.
And there might be some predictions on midweek games.
Stay near and feast your eyes…