Last weekend was surprising to say the least, mainly because I didn’t get a single prediction right (I need to step up my prediction game) and all the games went completely different than I thought it would. I think the best place to start would be the first game of the weekend:
Manchester United 1:1 Arsenal – Mesut Missing
I did say in my match previews that I really wanted United to get something out of this game, and even though they did, we should of got more out of it. United were the dominant team from start to finish. Arsenal posed no threat to that back four and Pogba, Herrera and Mata bossed that midfield, making Wenger’s decision not to play Xhaka pretty regrettable, because Coquelin and Elneny just couldn’t deal with Pogba’s strength and speed. That Arsenal game sums up United at Old Trafford this season, playing their best games but just not finishing their chances and being very unlucky. But even though these draws are hurting United in the long run, the signs are still there. United were a constant threat and solid in the back. The issue is the players aren’t taking their chances, and it makes you think that maybe the game would of been different if Zlatan was leading the line instead of Rashford. Mourinho has nothing to worry about at all. The issues he has are all solvable, including the inconsistency, as long as United get the best out of Pogba, they should be fine. Arsenal on the other hand, were typical. Typical for them to not turn up and for Wenger to make excuses. Players like Ozil, Sanchez and Ramsey did nothing. Arsenal just got very lucky with Oxlade-Chamberlein coming on and actually trying to do something, and crosses it the best super sub around right now, Olivier Giroud. This was supposed to be Arsenal’s year, after actually buying players in the market. But everyone should of saw this coming. I still believe Arsenal will never win the league under Wenger, it just seems like all these players don’t have the mentality to win the league, and you just have to blame the manager for that.
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Bayern Munich – Tuchel prepared!
I have to admit Dortmund surprised me big time here. They set up with the intention of dealing with that powerful attack, and they suppressed it as much as they could. When looking back at that team sheet, you could do nothing more than be puzzled. Schurrle in CM? 5 in the back? I just couldn’t understand what was going on. When watching the game, i still couldn’t put my finger on it. But they scored and went on to win the game, so they must of done something right. Tuchel was very lucky in one aspect and that was how average Bayern were. Players you’d think they could rely on, like Alonso and Hummels, just didn’t play well enough, making many mistakes. You could blame the occasion on Hummels, but we all expect better from Bayern. They just didn’t look up for probably the biggest game of the season, but Dortmund did. They set up perfectly, making Lewandowski invisible and their wingers unable to do anything. Not only that, their players worked so hard to get those three points, and you can’t do anything more than praise every single one of them. Players like Gotze just turned up, it’s as if they all knew the occasion and knew how important it was for the fans, who despise Bayern with a passion. I just wanna thank Dortmund for making the league interesting and competitive. With Leipzig top of the league and Dortmund only three points behind their rivals, even after their slow start, this could be a season to remember.
Athletico Madrid 0-3 Real Madrid – Ronaldo at his best
What else to say about Real absolutely destroying their rivals. I thought this game would be closer than it was, with Athletico desperate to close that gap. But it seems like Athleti are out of the title race already. I can’t see Real losing anymore games now and Barca will obviously be fine. All Athletico can do now is aim for top four, and let’s be honest, they’ll probably get it. I think what impressed me the most was the depth Los Blancos have. With six obvious starters out, you’d expect them to struggle without the likes of Ramos, Kroos and Casemiro. But clearly not. Players people have written off at Real, the likes of Isco and Kovacic, two players I thought had no future at the club, turned up, especially Isco. He was absolutely brilliant, making those key passes and making Athletico’s midfield look like nothing. But let’s quickly talk about Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo is obviously one of the best to ever play the game, so when people criticise his form, they don’t know who they are talking about. Ronaldo is a player who Real can rely on, no matter how out of form he is. He has gained this ability over the years to be in the right place at the right time, and Zidane will keep playing him because of this ability. The world’s best don’t rely on form because they will always turn up, no matter what the occasion. Even his hatrick wasn’t that impressive, a free kick that only went in from a deflection, a questionable penalty and a tap in. But hey, a hatrick is a hatrick. I think the player I was most impressed with was Varane. He was an absolute rock and he gets my man of the match.
AC Milan 2-2 Inter Milan – best game of the weekend!
What a game of football! This was actually the first Milan Derby I ever watched, and I now understand why it’s considered one of the best Derby’s around. Both teams were in different kinds of positions and form. Milan obviously being in better form than Inter. But Inter just turned up today. I thought Perisic was their best player, being a constant threat and getting that dramatic late equaliser. Miranda was also great at the back and was very impressed with him. AC Milan I thought had the right game plan, play on the break and outnumber them. Suso had the game of his life, scoring two great goals. He was a constant threat on that right wing, running past that defence and scoring two huge goals. The best thing Inter did was silence Icardi. The Inter captain barely got a sniff of the ball and didn’t do much. I thought the inclusion of Jovetic did help relieve some pressure from Icardi, giving him an actual chance against Donuramma. Speaking of Donuramma, this was actually the first time I watched Donuramma in goal, and I got to say I was very impressed. For a 17 year old playing against their biggest rivals, he was so calm through most of the game and was playing like he’s done it plenty of times. I feel like Donuramma will be big in the future. But at good as Buffon, we’ll just have to wait and see
Other notable games to talk about were Fenerbatche beating Galatasaray, Spurs coming from behind to beat West Ham, Malaga getting a draw against Barca and RB Leipzig moving to the top of the Bundesliga