European Round-Up

Spain – La Liga
The big guns in Spain recorded big wins, in a weekend of great goal feast. A Messi-less Barcelona hit Granada for four. Iniesta and Fabregas gave the Blaugranas a 2goal lead from the penalty spot, before further strikes from Alexis Sanchez and Pedro late on completed the rout. Cristano continued his impressive Ron of goals, opening Real Madrid’s account against Almeria at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos, before being forced off the pitch by a knock on the knee. Undetered by the setback, Los Blancos pulled the strings and were duly rewarded with goals from Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Isco, and Morato to complete a 5nil romp. Atletico Madrid recorded the biggest win at the weekend in a 7nil annihilation of Getafe. A brace from David Villa and Raul Garcia apiece, was complemented by strikes from Diego Costa, Adrian and a Alberto Lopo OG. In the match of the week, Real Sociedad came from 2goals down to record a memorable 4:3 win over visiting Celta Vigo. Carlos Vela grabbed the headlines for scoring all four goals, three of which came with less than 30minutes to the full relegation . Villareal sunk Levante with 3 unreplied goals; Espanyol ran out victorious at Rayo Vallecano in a 4:1 win. Elche shocked Valencia 2:1; and Sevilla crushed Real Betis by 4goals.
On Monday evening, Atletic Bilbao came from behind to defeat Malaga 2:1 at the Audalasian. The home side took the lead in the 38th through Juanmi strike, but in the 2nd half, San Jose (69th) pegged the scoreline before Munian (85th) sealed victory for the Basque side.
Barcelona lead the way with 40points, trailed closely be Atletico Madrid on 37points, Real Madrid is 3rd on 34points, and Villareal occupy the 4th spot on 27points.
Almeria (12points), Rayo Vallecano (12points) and Real Betis (9points) are stuck at the basement.
Ronaldo tops the goalscorers chart with 17 strikes, Diego Costa is next on 14points, and an injury-sidelined Messi is 3rd on a distant haul of 8goals.
Cesc Fabregas, Neymar and Koke share top honours for most assists with 8 to their credit each.

England – Premier League
Another round of refereeing controversies, goalkeeper howler, late dramas, and bumper harvest of goals, the weekend’s top match was the Merseyside derby. A brace from Luis Suarez and Lukaku apiece ensured that Everton-Liverpool shared the spoils in an enthralling 3:3 draw. Arsenal restored their 4points lead at the summit with a 2:0 win over Southampton. Oliver Giroud helped himself to a gift from the Saints Santa, Boruc, before adding another from the spot. Manchester City laid down a marker after humiliating fellow title contenders Tottenham in a 6nil romp. In-form striker Aguero got a brace, same as Jesus Navas, with further strike from Negredo and a Sandro OG to compound AVB woes. The revival of their City neighbours, United suffered a setback after Kim scored a late equaliser for Cardiff to draw ties at 2:2. Swansea heaped more misery and pressure on Fulham with a 2:1 win at the Craven Cottage; Crystal Palace overwhelmed Hull City 1nil; Newcastle defeated Norwich 2:1; Stoke made home advatage count as they saw off the challenge of Sunderland in a 2-0 victory. Lampard’s brace eased Chelsea to a comfortable win over a striker-less West Ham.
On Monday night football, West Bromich were held to a 2:2 draw by Aston Villa, despite taking an early 2nil lead through Shane Long.
At the summit of the EPL log, Arsenal is ahead with 28points, Liverpool and Chelsea both on 24points stay 2nd and 3rd respectively, and are followed by ManCity on 22points.
Fulham (10points), C.Palace (7points) and Sunderland (7points) occupy the lower rung.
Hot fire Aguero’s 10goals put him ahead of Luis Suarez (9goals) on the topscorers log.
Steven Gerrad, Wayne Rooney, and Kevin Mirallas are tied at the top assist table with 5 apiece.

Germany – Bundesliga
The biggest match in Europe at the weekend was the Klassiker: Borrusia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich. After 45minutes, scoreline was delicately balanced at 0:0 until came the moment, came the villain, Mario Gotze. The ex-Dortmund star got the Bavarians on the cruise with the opener, and further strikes from Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller condemned the host to a 3nil bashing. The win ensured that Bayern maintained a 4point lead over their nearest challenger, Bayer Leverkusen who defeated Hertha BSC by a lone strike courtesy of a 29th Stefan Kielsling goal. Schalke and Frankfurt shared the spoils in a 6goal thriller; Nurnberg and Wolfsburg also drew in lesser fashion, 1:1 it ended; Freiburg collected vital 3points against Braunschweig in a clash of basement teams. Augsburg defeated Hoffenheim 2:0; Hamburg rolled over Hannover in a 3:0 win; Mainz got a crucial 3:2 win over host Werder Bremen, while Monchegladbach boosted CL hopes after a 2:0 away win over Stuggart.
Bayern Munich (35points), Bayer Leverkusen (31points), Borrusia Dortmund (28points) and Mochengladbach (25points) occupy the 1st four spots on the log.
While SC Freiburg (11points), Nurnberg (8points) and Braunschweig (8points) bring up the rear.
Robert Lewandowski with 9goals is the Bundesliga top goalscorer. Ballon d’Or frontrunner Ribery is the league’s top assist provider with 6 assists.

Italy – Seria A
Juventus leap-frogged Roma at the echelons of the table after a 2:0 win over Livorno. The Old Ladies ran a near wholesale change on their back four due to injuries to key personnel, yet they came out unscathed from the Stadio Armando Picchi. Llorente and Carlos Tevez got the goals for Juve. Meanwhile on Monday, Roma were held by Cagliari in a frustrating stalemate, which makes it the 3rd consecutive draw for the Giallorossi. Napoli failed to close the gap at the top of the table after they succumbed to a second back-to-back defeat, this time in the hands of Parma, thanks to a late Cassano strike. Internazionale could only manage a 1:1 draw with Bologna. AC continued their shaky start to the season with a 1:1 home draw against Genoa despite the luxury of an extra man advantage, and a penalty which Balotelli missed (his 2nd career miss, both in the colours of the Rossoneri). Udinese halted Fiorentina’s climb with a 1:0 victory; Sampdoria and Lazio divided the spoils in a 1:1 stalemate; Sassuolu 2:0 victory over Atalanta ensured that they will spend life outside the relegation zone at least for a week; Torino hammered Catania 4:1, and Chievo struck once at Verona to claim all 3points.
Juventus is Seria A new leader with 34points, one point ahead of 2nd placed Roma, and Napoli completes the 3rd CL spot with 28points.
Sampdoria (10points), Chievo (9points) and Catania (9points) occupy the 18th, 19th and 20th position in that order.
Giuseppe Rossi is Seria A top marksman with 11goals, while Fransceco Totti is the top assist provider with 6 assists.

France – Ligue 1
PSG continued their surge with a dominant display at Reims. Lucas Moura, Menez and Ibrahimovic got the goals in a routine win which consolidates their grip on the table. Evian were disgraced in front of their fans in a 4:0 loss to Lorient; Lyon were held by Valenc’nes in a 1:1 draw; similar scoreline was registered in three other matches featuring Montpellier vs. Guingamp, Rennes vs. Bordeaux, and Sochaux vs. Bastia. Vincent Enyeama once again stole the show as the Nigerian shot-stopper inspired Lille to a slim 1:0 win over Toulouse, pulling up impressive saves before and after Souare’s 84th minute winner. It didn’t go too nice for Nice as they lost at home to St. Etienne by a lone margin. Monaco laboured to a 1:0 victory over Nantes, courtesy of an Obbadi’s 70th winner, which keeps them in close tab with table toppers PSG.
PSG bears the torch on 34points, followed by Lille (30points) and Monaco (29points)
Valenc’nes (10points), AC Ajaccio (8points) and Sochaux (8points) languish in the murky waters of relegation.
On the top goalscorers chart, Edison Cav ani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Radamel Falcao are tied on 9 goals.
While James Rodriguez shows he’s Ligue 1 current top assist provider with 5 to his honour.