Teamwork makes the dream work

Man United’s Casemiro quandry, Barcelona leapfrog Actual Madrid

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European membership soccer is again in full swing following the worldwide break. We noticed a pair large derbies within the Premier League — Arsenal beating Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester Metropolis seeing off Manchester United — whereas Barcelona now sit over Actual Madrid in LaLiga standings. In the meantime, Liverpool and Internazionale are all out of kinds.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, extra (U.S.)

Here is what you must know concerning the weekend from Europe’s largest leagues.

Leap to: Speaking factors | Greatest targets | Groups in bother | MVP of the Weekend

Speaking factors

Manchester United not satisfied with Casemiro?

There have been loads of points to handle for Manchester United following their 6-3 derby humiliation loss to Manchester Metropolis on the Etihad, however one which solely Erik ten Hag can reply is his ongoing reluctance to make use of Casemiro on the coronary heart of midfield.

The Brazil worldwide arrived at United in a £60 million switch from Actual Madrid in August and was presupposed to be the reply to the workforce’s issues within the defensive midfield space.

However the 30-year-old nonetheless hasn’t began a Premier League sport for his new workforce after being named on the bench for the conflict in opposition to Metropolis. Casemiro was ultimately thrown on within the 59th miniute when United had been 4-1 down and in purely harm limitation mode.

His 31 minutes on the pitch took his variety of Premier League minutes for United to simply 82 since arriving from Actual within the wake of the 4-0 defeat at Brentford in August. Regardless of his world-class pedigree, Casemiro has began simply as soon as — in opposition to Actual Socieded within the Europa League — since leaving the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ten Hag needed Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong this summer season and when United lastly deserted that pursuit, they tried to seal a deal for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot earlier than turning to Casemiro.

So the query that Ten Hag has to reply is whether or not he actually needed Casemiro or if he was the best choice obtainable on the time.

Primarily based on the period of time he has used him to date, it will appear that Ten Hag continues to be to be satisfied by Casemiro’s value to the workforce. — Mark Ogden

Barca rise to prime in Spain as Clasico countdown begins

There’s a new chief in LaLiga after Barcelona beat Mallorca on Saturday earlier than Actual Madrid’s 100% profitable begin to the season was ended by Osasuna on Sunday.

Barca weren’t at their greatest away at Mallorca however did sufficient in each bins to seal a slender 1-0 win to leapfrog Madrid courtesy of their superior purpose distinction. Robert Lewandowski‘s twelfth purpose of the season in all competitions, a superb solo effort, was sufficient to safe the factors, coupled with a two good saves from goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen on the different finish.

“We did the naked minimal, however it’s a big win forward of a very robust run of video games,” mentioned Ter Stegen, who has no longer conceded a purpose in 534 minutes in LaLiga.

Madrid misplaced Thibaut Courtois to harm however welcomed again Karim Benzema this weekend and regarded set to retake their place on the prime when Vinicius Junior gave them a fortuitous first half lead. Kike Garcia’s header drew Osasuna stage on the Santiago Bernabeu, although, earlier than Benzema smashed the bar with a late penalty.

Madrid stay stage on 19 factors with Barca however their 100% file is now gone. Each side stay unbeaten and the countdown is on for the Clasico, with the 2 groups set to fulfill on the Bernabeu in two weekends time. Earlier than then, Barca host Celta Vigo and Madrid journey to Getafe — Marsden

Bundeliga title race lastly tilts in direction of Bayern Munich

We now have been hoping for a real title race in Germany after nearly a decade of Bavarian superiority, however the finish of the worldwide break introduced a heavy dose of the established order as league leaders Union Berlin misplaced, Borussia Dortmund misplaced 3-2 at FC Cologne (let’s give credit score to Dejan Ljubicic for his elegantly curled sport winner) and Bayern Munich shirked off a turgid run of home type for his or her first Bundesliga win since Aug. 21 to thump everlasting hopefuls Bayer Leverkusen 4-0.

Julian Nagelsmann’s facet had been firing early and infrequently on Friday and seemingly sending a message to the remainder of the league with their snug victory. Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala scored below little duress contained in the opening 20 minutes earlier than Sadio Mane added a 3rd earlier than half-time to essentially snuff out any hope of a aggressive sport. Mane, the previous Liverpool ahead, had a second disallowed on account of a foul however Thomas Muller would spherical out the simplest of video games — James Tyler

Inter Milan are in a funk

4 defeats of their first eight Serie A matches this season: Inter Milan are going by means of their worst begin of a season since 2011. Their loss in opposition to AS Roma and Jose Mourinho (who was suspended and watching from his van outdoors the bottom!) occurred as soon as once more after the Nerazzuri scored the primary purpose. Their incapacity to defend a lead which occurs time and time once more below Simone Inzaghi was on show once more on Saturday.

They had been 1-0 up however let the Roman facet come again by means of Paulo Dybala (who was closely linked with Inter in the summertime) after which Chris Smalling on a set piece, which can be a weak point for Inter. They’ve quite a few issues, amongst them that Romelu Lukaku continues to be not again from harm and Samir Handanovic‘s goalkeeping capacity has diminished as we noticed on the primary purpose.

Inter must react now as early as in midweek in opposition to Bayern Munich in an enormous Champions League conflict. They’re presently ninth within the desk in Serie A, eight factors behind the leaders Napoli. Inzaghi is below increasingly stress. — Julien Laurens


Gallagher opens Chelsea account with type

What a method for Conor Gallagher to attain his first Chelsea purpose. A final-minute winner from 20 yards in opposition to the membership he did so effectively for on mortgage final season. It was spectacular that he managed to search out sufficient self-restraint to cease himself from celebrating in opposition to former workforce Crystal Palace.

As vital because the purpose was, it was simply as very important that Gallagher made an impression on his new supervisor, Graham Potter. The midfielder is seeking to construct on his season on mortgage at Palace and targets like that may solely assist him get extra possibilities at Chelsea – Rob Dawson

Riquelme proves loads extra to come back

Actual Sociedad‘s 5-3 win away at Girona was the sport of the weekend in LaLiga, and Rodrigo Riquelme‘s twenty third minute strike for the dropping facet — gathering the ball and nutmegging La Actual’s Martin Zubimendi earlier than firing into the highest nook from distance — was a real purpose of the season contender.

Riquelme, 22, is a extremely rated Atletico Madrid academy product who shone on mortgage at Mirandes within the Segunda Division final season and is already excelling having taken a step up with one other mortgage at Girona this marketing campaign. This was a primary top-flight purpose for the artistic midfielder, however on this proof, there will probably be loads extra to come back. — Alex Kirkland

A household affair purpose at Lorient

Think about celebrating your twentieth birthday on Saturday and the subsequent day, you rating the profitable purpose, your first one in Ligue 1 in solely your eighth look — solely on the membership the place your uncle is the supervisor! That is what occurred to Lorient teenager Theo Le Bris this weekend. The promising attacking midfielder made his household proud by being decisive in opposition to Lille.

The dream begin of the season continues for the 2 Le Bris and Lorient. They’re presently third within the Ligue 1 desk, just one level behind Marseille in second and three behind Paris Saint-Germain on the prime. — Laurens

Groups in bother

Liverpool getting ready to disaster

It is all relative, in fact — ask any Leicester Metropolis fan proper now and so they’d fortunately swap their state of affairs on the backside of the Premier League for the issues that Liverpool are experiencing — however no workforce within the Premier League, and arguably in any main European league, is underperforming fairly just like the Reds this season. Jurgen Klopp’s workforce are already 11 factors behind leaders Arsenal after dropping extra factors in Saturday’s 3-3 draw at dwelling to Brighton & Hove Albion and hopes of a title problem are absolutely already over.

Liverpool have received three video games all season. One was a outstanding 9-0 rout of Bournemouth, the opposite two had been a 2-1 Anfield win in opposition to Newcastle United with a winner eight minutes into stoppage time and a 2-1 Champions League victory at dwelling to Ajax Amsterdam, this time with an 89th-minute winner.

The positives are the 2 late profitable targets, however Liverpool have conceded first in seven of their 9 video games in all competitions this season, and their defending has been woeful on a number of events. Huge summer season signing Darwin Nunez is struggling to impress, Mohamed Salah is blowing extra chilly than scorching and, however for 5 targets and three assists from Roberto Firmino, Liverpool can be in a a lot worse state of affairs.

They don’t seem to be in disaster simply but, however Liverpool’s subsequent two league video games are away at leaders Arsenal after which dwelling to champions Manchester Metropolis. There may very well be bother forward. — Ogden

Stuttgart nonetheless trying to find a win

It is exhausting to say how a lot was anticipated from VfB Stuttgart this season, particularly after scraping their strategy to a Sixteenth-place end within the Bundesliga final 12 months, adopted by a modest switch window. (Out went their two greatest gamers, midfielder Orel Mangala and lanken ahead Sasa Kalajdzic, to the Premier League and in got here some modest replacements like Arsenal flop Konstantinos Mavropanos and so-so defender Dan-Axel Zagadou.) And but, they’re nonetheless trying to find a primary win since July 29, coming agonizingly shut on Saturday solely to lose to a final minute purpose away to VfL Wolfsburg.

You needed to really feel for them given the best way they battled in opposition to a greater workforce, taking the lead for barely a minute through Sehrou Guirassy’s hooked shut vary end earlier than conceding two targets and leveling on the cusp of half-time with some extent clean Mavropanos header. But they lacked the composure to see issues by means of and after some determined second half defending, Yannick Gerhardt had an open purpose header to take all three factors and proceed Stuttgart’s futile run of type.

Stuttgart had been maybe sensible to stick with Pellegrino Matarazzo as supervisor given the Bundesliga’s tradition of teaching swaps, however it’s a must to surprise how lengthy they hold occurring this course given the final of tangible outcomes. — Tyler

Weekend MVP

Fabulous Foden in Manchester Metropolis’s derby win

There have been loads of stellar performances for Manchester Metropolis in opposition to Manchester United however Phil Foden‘s was the perfect of the bunch. Mixed with Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish, he helped tear United aside, significantly throughout a devastating first 45 minutes. It was 4-0 at half-time but it surely may have fairly simply been 10. Foden has by no means reached 10 Premier League targets in a season however has already obtained 5 after simply eight video games. His expertise has by no means been doubtful however this may very well be the 12 months that he begins to rack up large numbers of targets and assists — Dawson

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