European football: Five talking points from the weekend

Real Madrid ceded ground to Barcelona after the home draw with Athletic Bilbao in LaLiga, while Bayern Munich beat Wolfsburg to return to winning ways.

Published : Dec 23, 2019 13:14 IST

Real Madrid's Luka Jovic reacts after a missed opportunity at the Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid's Luka Jovic reacts after a missed opportunity at the Santiago Bernabeu

Real Madrid's Luka Jovic reacts after a missed opportunity at the Santiago Bernabeu

La Liga

Real Madrid stumbled at home to Athletic Bilbao, the goalless draw giving Barcelona a two-point lead in the title race. Both the Spanish giants played out a draw in the Clasico preceding the weekend but Barcelona responded with a comfortable victory against Deportivo Alaves.

Read: Barca the best-paid team in the world, reveals survey

Sevilla is three points behind in third following its 2-0 win at Real Mallorca while Atletico Madrid moved back into the top four with a 2-1 win at Real Betis.

The league now goes into its usual 10-day winter break.

Serie A

Juventus overcame Sampdoria 2-1 in the league before the Italian Super Cup final, against Lazio, in Saudi Arabia. Just over two weeks since defeating the Old Lady 3-1 in the league, Lazio took home the trophy with another win by the same scoreline.

Romelu Lukaku’s brace helped Inter Milan defeat Genoa in a match where his teammate Sebastiano Esposito became the club’s youngest scorer in more than 60 years.

Inter and Juventus are both on 42 points at the top, with the latter on top thanks to a better head-to-head record, as the league heads into the two-week winter break.

Fifteenth in the table, Fiorentina has taken just two points from its last seven games and the 4-1 defeat at home to AS Roma saw its manager Vincenzo Montella sacked immediately after. Roma, with 35 points, continues to occupy the final Champions League spot.

Read: Lazio beats Juve 3-1 to lift Italian Super Cup

Atalanta handed AC Milan its heaviest defeat since 1998 when it won 5-0 at home to climb to fifth, trailing Roma by four points.

While Atalanta has scored a league-best 43 goals this season, the clean sheet would’ve been equally pleasing for its head coach Gian Piero Gasperini as it has been a little porous at the back – conceding more goals than nine other teams.

Napoli registered its first victory in the league since October 19 when it came from behind against Sassuolo, with the winner coming in the fourth minute of stoppage time. It is its first win in nine matches and first under head coach Gennaro Gattuso.

It is eighth in the table, seven points off the top four.


RB Leipzig came from behind to win against Augsburg and enter the month-long winter break with a two-point lead at the top.

Second-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach missed the chance to draw level with the leader after being held to a goalless draw at Hertha Berlin.

Andrej Kramaric’s goal three minutes from time helped Hoffenheim come from behind and upset Borussia Dortmund.

Read: Leipzig ends Bayern, Dortmund streak by topping Bundesliga at Christmas

With the win, Hoffenheim moved to seventh while Dortmund stays fourth.

Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win against Wolfsburg sees it move two points behind Moenchengladbach but the highlight of the clash Dutch teenager Joshua Zirkzee. Having scored against Freiburg as a substitute on his Bundesliga debut, he came off the bench to score again. And both those goals have come with just eight minutes of playing time under his belt!

Schalke’s 2-2 draw at home to Freiburg sees it stay fifth.

Ligue 1

Two days after celebrating his 21st birthday, Kylian Mbappe scored a brace either side of Neymar’s effort to help Paris Saint-Germain maintain its seven-point lead at the top. Mauro Icardi added a late fourth after ex-Chennaiyin FC forward gave Amiens a consolation goal.

Marseille won against Nimes to stay second – five points ahead of Rennes, which jumped over Lille thanks to its win against Bordeaux and Monaco’s 5-1 hammering of Lille.

Lyon’s draw at Reims sees it stay 12th, ahead of the two-week winter break.

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