Sunday (November 11) seemed the perfect ending to a long weekend for football fans as they were treated to a goal fest and some mesmerising football by a select group of Europe’s elite.
The title races for the top four leagues of the continent heated up producing stunning results like Spanish champion Barcelona’s 4-3 loss to 12th place Real Betis despite the presence of Lionel Messi who grabbed a brace in the tie. Barcelona were reduced to 10 men in the 81st minute after a reckless challenge by Ivan Rakitic and were not able to get past a resilient Real Betis defence.
Meanwhile, Barcelona’s arch-rivals Real Madrid continued their impressive form under new manager Santiago Solari by putting four past hapless Celta Vigo. The battle for the La Liga title seems the most challenging up until now as a mere four points separate the leaders Barcelona and sixth place Real Madrid.
The Premier League, on the other hand, saw leaders Manchester City asserted their dominance over their arch-rivals Manchester United by winning 3-1 in the highly anticipated Manchester Derby. Despite manager Jose Mourinho defending his side post-match, United looked overawed by their noisy neighbours who looked more refined than last season.
City looked totally in control after David Silva took the lead in the twelfth minute, which was doubled by Sergio Aguero just after half-time. United pulled one back after Lukaku won a penalty but it was all in vain. Final score 3-1 thanks to a late Ilkay Gundogan strike.
Meanwhile, Arsenal and Chelsea failed to bridge the gap between them and the defending champions by each earning a draw. This came as a disappointment for Arsenal fans who were expecting a win against Wolverhampton Wanderers after a strong show against Liverpool last week.
Liverpool meanwhile recovered from the shock defeat at Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League and bridged the gap at the top by winning 2-0 against Fulham with Mo Salah back on the scoresheet again.
Cristiano Ronaldo continued his fine form for Juventus as he scored a goal in his team’s 2-0 victory over A C Milan. The Bianconeri dictated the tempo of the game and dominated possession over the club struggling to reclaim the glory days. Juventus with this victory stretch their lead over second-place Napoli to six points.
The Bundesliga was also a cracker with German giants Bayern Munich losing 3-2 to rivals Borussia Dortmund as the mercurial Marco Reus grabbed a brace along with a goal from the in-form Paco Alcacer. Bayern had no answers to stop Dortmund’s counters despite Robert Lewandowski finding the net twice.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.