It was a wild weekend of footy action as all five of Europe’s top soccer leagues took the field.
The Premier League’s game of the week did not disappoint as the Battle at the Bridge ended in a 2-2 Chelsea-Tottenham brawl… er, draw.
Here is what we learned from another thrilling week of European football.
Don’t piss off Thomas Tuchel… Or Antonio Conte, for that matter.
Things got a little testy in Stamford Bridge this weekend when Chelsea played London-rival Tottenham Hotspur to a 2-2 draw. The physical and controversial match ended with a game-tying goal and confrontation between the two coaches.
There’s a lot to unpack here. Forget sensational goals from both teams – this is all about the drama. Chelsea was up 1-0 on a non-controversial corner volley from Koubilay in the 20th minute. Tottenham’s Højbjerg tied the game in the 68th minute a minute after Kai Havertz was taken down in a no-call, potential foul. Then, Antonio Conte, the Hotspur coach, screamed at the Chelsea bench in celebration of the tying goal, causing Chelsea’s head coach and bench to lose it. The teams had to be separated.
Ten minutes later, Reece James put Chelsea ahead, only to have his efforts stolen 20 minutes after that, when Harry Kane put in a last-second header off a corner in the 96th minute. Thrilling. But as you can see below, there was clearly a foul on the play, but once again, despite VAR, the goal was allowed to stand.
Tuchel, furious, made up some bullshit about handshake etiquette as an excuse to tell the Italian to shove it to his face. Wild.
Both teams played pretty well, actually, and it was by far the most entertaining match of the year… so far. Chelsea and Tottenham are both alive and well in the Premier League title race.
Manchester City (and their ex-strikers) are still on top.
Current and former Man City strikers are all doing pretty well. Raheem Sterling is getting quality minutes at Chelsea, Erling Haaland is doing his big, tall, Nordic thing, and Gabriel Jesus is becoming 2002 Ronaldo right before our very eyes.
Jesus had two assists and two goals in Arsenal’s impressive 4-2 thwomping of Leicester City. It’s probably too early to tell, but Arsenal looks ready to contend. But so do the champions themselves, Man City, who haven’t slowed down at all this season, brutalizing Bournemouth 4-0 on some unfair Kevin De Bruyne shit.
Ronaldo is probably wishing he had just literally shot himself in the foot instead of choosing Man U over Man City last year.
Leeds United has all of what Manchester United lacks – heart.
America’s Sweetheart, Leeds United FC, took a 2-2 tie against Southampton, giving up two second-half goals to allow Hampton back in it when Marsch’s men had a clear advantage. Leeds United looks less like they gave up and more like they were overpowered, which is easier for fans to accept than what’s happening over at Old Trafford.
(Before we cover how much of a joke Man U is right now, it’s worth mentioning that USMNT stars Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams both started and played well for LUFC. Though Aaronson wasn’t as involved as last week, he and Adams both are gaining Premier League for their off-the-ball movement and work rate.)
The once great Manchester United now sits solidly at the bottom of the Premier League table after losing 4-0 (in the first half alone) to Brentford, who most people have deservedly never heard of. Ten Hag’s team is off the worst Man United start in over 100 years, making many, many, many rival fans rejoice the world over.
Man U seems proper screwed. At this point, it’s unclear if they will finish the season in the top half of the league, much less top four. It seems a real possibility they could be relegated because absolutely nobody has looked worse than them, so far, this season. We’ve been talking about Ronaldo wanting to leave – what if Man U lets Ten Hag go before Ronaldo? That would be a crazy twist. Some pundits are already calling for it.
The Premier League is juicy this season! Man U is learning that a dominant preseason means nothing in league play. Down in LaLiga, another superpower is learning the same lesson.
Barcelona needs fifth palanca while Real Madrid still rules Spain.
In one of the most hilarious reports ever, ESPN says Barcelona’s head coach Xavi says that the club needs more signings after spending over $170 million on new signings over the summer.
It seems like a lame excuse for Barca’s 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano on Saturday. Fans expected big goals from Lewandowski, Raphinha, and Ousmane Dembele but got none. Barca had plenty of chances but couldn’t quite finish, learning (much like Man U) that league play is slightly more competitive than preseason action. Barca clearly still has some gelling to do and players to re-arrange before they can challenge Real Madrid for the crown.
After going down early at the recently promoted Almeria, Madrid came back and won in true Los Blancos fashion. Substitute David Alaba whipped in a beauty of a free kick to give the European champions the surprisingly hard-fought win.
While the kings of Spain struggled, the rulers of France danced around each other’s egos.
The only thing that can stop PSG is Mbappe.
Paris Saint-Germain thrashed Montpellier 5-2 with Neymar scoring two goals, including one penalty. Mbappe had a penalty saved earlier in the game and reacted like this when Neymar took the second penalty.
There is certainly trouble brewing amongst the superstars in Paris, who just can’t seem to get it together enough to win a UCL title. It looks like this year will be no different, with a wide rift forming among the team’s talented superstars.
Malik Tillman is about that life.
Finally, some fun news for USMNT fans – potential World Cup striker Malik Tillman is having himself a time in the Scottish Premiership with Rangers FC. After scoring the go-ahead goal in the Rangers UCL playoff game, he scored another big header in his first Ranger’s home game. And they’re just loving him in Scotland.
If Air Tillman keeps this up, he’ll certainly be getting some air time in Qatar this winter.
What did you learn this weekend? Sound off below!
Featured Image: Pexels/MART PRODUCTION/ChelseaFC/ManchesterUnitedFC/FCBarcelona/DM