One other weekend of headlines, golazos, and unpredictable finishes throughout Europe’s greatest leagues. From Borussia Dortmund‘s meltdown to Leeds’ dominating efficiency over Chelsea, there was no scarcity of drama.
ESPN correspondents Rob Dawson, Alex Kirkland, Julien Laurens, Sam Marsden, James Tyler and James Olley all break down the large stuff it’s worthwhile to know concerning the weekend.
Metropolis bracing for a wild title defence?
May this Premier League season proceed to be so unpredictable and finish with a shock? It’s miles too early to inform but it surely’s enjoyable to consider whereas we are able to. Manchester United and Liverpool face one another on Monday with each in search of a primary win whereas on Sunday, Chelsea have been humbled at Leeds United and Manchester City needed to battle again from a two-goal decifit to attract 3-3 at Newcastle United.
Man Metropolis will nonetheless be favourites regardless of dropping factors at St James’ Park however the end result, on the very least, reveals Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions might be made to look susceptible. Arsenal, in the meantime, have began a season with three straight wins for the primary time since 2004 and Tottenham Hotspur have taken seven factors from a potential 9.
This season goes to be a wierd one with a break in November and December for the World Cup and perhaps it might throw up a shock winner. Who is aware of after such a rollercoaster begin? – Dawson
A well-recognized nightmare for Dortmund
A lot for a resurgence this season, eh? A lot had been fabricated from Borussia Dortmund‘s sensible summer season acquisitions after the drawn-out farewell to Erling Haaland, specifically the strikes made to repair the chaotic protection that had held them again from a correct title problem in recent times. Nico Schlotterbeck was a shrewd signing and Niklas Sule could not be dangerous after successful so many trophies at Bayern Munich, might he?
Because it seems, closing out video games is the actual mark of a champion and Saturday’s collapse in opposition to Werder Bremen reveals simply how far they need to go.
It took Dortmund almost 75 minutes to painstakingly construct a 2-0 lead at dwelling to a facet that simply obtained again into the Bundesliga this season after a yr within the second division. Julian Brandt‘s lengthy vary effort snuck in on the cusp of halftime earlier than one other low proportion shot, this time a worldie from Raphael Guerreiro, doubled the lead.
From there, carnage, as Emre Can, Sule and goalkeeper Gregor Kobel seemingly forgot the right way to mark, press or shut down taking pictures angles because the guests notched three lamentably simple objectives after the 89th minute to take the factors.
Bremen sub Oliver Burke was on the coronary heart of a lot of it, however whereas credit score’s because of the battle again, Dortmund followers have to be terrified for one more lengthy season of self-inflicted errors to doom any probability of success. This must be a get up name for Erin Terzic and Co. if this season — which started with two tidy, skilled wins over Bayern Leverkusen and Hertha Berlin — is to finish in another way from so many earlier than it. — Tyler
Jamie Bynoe-Gittens’ interview is interrupted by loud Werder Bremen celebrations after their comeback win over Borussia Dortmund.
Mbappe all smiles (for now) after ‘Penaltygate’
Final week, we noticed a grumpy and discontent Kylian Mbappe in the course of an issue that was deemed “Penaltygate” as a result of his angle in opposition to Montpellier. On Sunday, we noticed him beam as soon as extra after scoring 9 seconds into Paris Saint-Germain‘s large win over Lille, one of many quickest objectives in French soccer historical past. And it isn’t simply getting on the scoresheet so shortly which was essentially the most spectacular (nor the ultimate rating of 7-1) — it was distinctive was the purpose itself, lifted from what you see on the coaching floor!
Neymar to Marco Verratti, again to Neymar who laid the ball for Lionel Messi within the centre-circle to ship an ideal by way of ball excessive for Mbappe, whose good run was matched by an ideal contact to lob Lille goalkeeper Leo Jardim.
The response from the PSG gamers was telling. They nearly over-celebrated as a result of they labored on that play in coaching and have been delighted to breed it in an precise match. It put an finish to all of the tensions from the earlier weekend and put a smile again on Mbappe’s face, who completed with a hat-trick. When you add Neymar’s monster efficiency (two objectives, three assists) and Messi’s brilliance (one purpose, two assists), it was an ideal night time for PSG. — Laurens
‘Yellow Submarine’ cruising
Villarreal laid down a marker for the season with a formidable 2-0 win at Atletico Madrid on Sunday to make it six factors from six in LaLiga. Yeremy Pino opened the scoring in a good encounter within the 73rd minute and Gerard Moreno sealed the factors in stoppage time after summer season signing Nahuel Molina was despatched off on his dwelling debut for Atletico.
The win will gas perception that Unai Emery’s facet can return to the Champions League. After reaching the semifinals of Europe’s elite competitors final season, dropping to Liverpool, they may solely compete within the Europa Convention League this time spherical after ending seventh in LaLiga.
Nevertheless, the highest 4 must be inside their attain this yr. Pino’s an thrilling winger who now has the advantage of his debut marketing campaign behind him, whereas Jose Luis Morales provides depth to their assault. Emery’s groups are normally effectively coaches and onerous to interrupt down, too. The important thing, although, will probably be holding purpose scorer Moreno match.
It is early days, however this win over Atletico, coupled with Sevilla‘s gradual begin, has Villarreal in an excellent place. – Marsden
Saliba sends Gunners hovering
After scoring an personal purpose in opposition to Leicester City final week, William Saliba netted on the proper finish for the primary time in his Arsenal profession on Saturday. And what a purpose it was. The 21-year-old determined to take Granit Xhaka‘s lay-off first time, executing an excellent left-foot floated end over Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers to seal a 3-0 win for the Gunners.
The elevated follow-through proves this was no fluke: the flight was deliberate, pin-point and worthy of a centre-forward. Oleksandr Zinchenko, stood behind Saliba, sank to his knees, fingers on head, knocked over by the majesty of all of it.
Do do do do do do do…💫
William Saliba says hiya to the highest proper nook ⚽️
— Premier League USA (@PLinUSA) August 20, 2022
And Saliba, serenaded all through the sport by jubilant Arsenal followers on the south coast, was so overwhelmed by the second he ran off to the flawed nook of the bottom to have fun, sliding on his knees in entrance of the house supporters. No trouble — these Gunners followers will solely love him extra now. — Olley
Modric magic units up Vinicius magnificence
Luka Modric‘s first-half purpose may need been essentially the most eye-catching second in Real Madrid‘s 4-1 win at Celta Vigo on Saturday, but it surely was Modric’s position in Madrid’s third which each outlined the match and summed up Carlo Ancelotti’s scarily environment friendly counter-attacking machine.
There may not be a extra harmful workforce on the break anyplace proper now. Celta hadn’t carried out badly at Balaidos, however they have been ruthlessly torn aside as the sport opened up within the second half. The transfer that led to Vinicius Junior coolly rounding keeper Agustin Marchesin and ending from an angle started with Aurelien Tchouameni‘s block contained in the Madrid penalty space.
When Modric acquired the ball moments later, deep in his personal half, the hazard was evident: Celta had gamers dedicated upfield, and Vinicius was poised to run in behind. Modric’s cross nonetheless needed to be expertly timed and completely weighted, and so it was, bisecting defenders Hugo Mallo and Unai Nunez on the midway line and placing Vinicius in on purpose.
At 3-1, it appeared like sport over; a conclusion confirmed by one other breakaway, completed off by Federico Valverde, ten minutes later. — Alex Kirkland
Pefok on the mark once more for Union Berlin
The U.S. men’s national team are nonetheless ready for an in-form striker to emerge forward of the World Cup, with a number of having tried and failed over the previous 12 months to stake their declare to begin up entrance in Qatar. Would possibly Jordan Pefok be the person in spite of everything?
The striker has wasted little time settling into life at Union Berlin since leaving Swiss facet Young Boys this summer season, scoring his third goal in four games as his facet surprised RB Leipzig 2-1 on Saturday. He was on the top of a slick counter-attack to calmly convert after Jannik Haberer and Sheraldo Becker mixed to place the striker by way of on purpose, with Pefok sweeping it past a helpless Janis Blaswich for the opener.
Becker added one other earlier than half-time and though Willi Orban scored for Leipzig with slightly below half an hour remaining, the Bundesliga underdogs held on for a formidable win. The league desk is trying enjoyable and funky after three matches, with Union second with 5 factors largely because of Pefok. Is the World Cup subsequent in his sights? On this type, it is onerous to disclaim him.
Groups in bother
Sevilla already struggling
Sevilla gained simply three of their last 12 matches final season to go from being Actual Madrid’s closest challengers for the title to hanging on to complete within the fourth and last Champions League place. That type has adopted them into the brand new marketing campaign after a troublesome summer season which noticed them pressured to promote each their centre-backs, with Diego Carlos becoming a member of Aston Villa and Jules Kounde shifting to Barcelona.
After opening the season with defeat at Osasuna, they have been fortunate to get a draw at dwelling to Real Valladolid this weekend. Anuar Tuhami had given Valladolid a shock lead with 10 minutes to play just for an enormous gaffe from goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo to permit Karim Rekik in to attain a late equaliser. Rekik’s purpose saved some extent however Sevilla, who misplaced winger Jesus “Tecatito” Corona last week to a leg injury, might want to enhance considerably with coach Julen Lopetegui already underneath stress. – Marsden
West Ham look weak
Three league video games, three defeats, zero purpose scored, 5 conceded: West Ham United are backside of the Premier League and it’s neither an accident or a shock. It’s worrying although that they already in quite a lot of bother. Towards Brighton & Hove Albion at dwelling on Sunday (0-2), they have been crushed, once more, like in opposition to Manchester Metropolis and at Nottingham Forest the place they perhaps did not deserve it.
David Moyes can argue that he has some accidents and that the membership has discovered recruiting the gamers they wished this summer season actually troublesome. But, all his stars from final season are nonetheless there and the momentum from final season was actually sturdy. Issues might get even worse with a visit to fellow strugglers Aston Villa subsequent earlier than taking part in Chelsea and Tottenham. – Laurens
Marsch has Leeds flying excessive
There was loads of scepticism when Leeds United appointed Jesse Marsch to launch a relegation rescue mission however he is doing an excellent job of silencing the doubters. There have been nervous moments on the finish of final season however Leeds did simply sufficient to remain within the Premier League and now they’re profiting from their lifeline.
Marsch, who has needed to take care of the switch of key gamers Kalvin Phillips (Manchester Metropolis) and Raphinha (Barcelona), has guided his workforce to an unbeaten begin to the brand new marketing campaign. Towards Chelsea the American confirmed he generally is a match for among the best managers on this planet in Thomas Tuchel.
Leeds have been dominant in opposition to Tuchel’s workforce, successful 3-0 because of objectives from Brenden Aaronson, Rodrigo and Jack Harrison. If something, the end result flattered Chelsea after Marsch’s tactical plan labored like clockwork. Whether or not it is highlight of being an American supervisor or the troublesome spell at RB Leipzig that has intensified the scrutiny on Marsch, the previous MLS midfielder appears to be revelling in it – Dawson