It was the last week of European football before the international break. During the break, footballers will get to spend valuable time with their national colleagues before the fast-approaching Qatar World Cup 2022.
Manchester City’s Erling Haaland continues to score goals in the Premier League. His goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers made him the first Premier League player in history to score in his first four away matches.
In Spain, Real Madrid secured bragging right over city-rival Atletico Madrid with a win in the Madrid derby.
Here is a look at what has been happening in the top five leagues of Europe.
Premier League goal of the fortnight
The goal of the week comes from Tottenham Hotspur’s 6-2 drubbing of Leicester City at home. Son-Heung Min, on a goal drought, silenced his critics with a 13-minute hat-trick. It was his second goal that stood out.
Leicester did not close down quickly enough which gave Harry Kane ample time to pick a pass out to Son. Son took a touch, looked up and curled the ball to the top-left corner from the edge of the box in the 84th minute.
Premier League save of the fortnight
Newcastle United was held to a 1-1 draw by Bournemouth at St. James’ Park. In the 42nd minute, Aleksander Isak swung an accurate cross at the far post to Joelinton. Joelinton went for a first-time volley and connected really well but Bournemouth keeper Neto got down in lightning speed, pushing the ball away from goal. Moments later, Ryan Fraser took another shot from outside the box and Neto showed good reflexes to tip that over the bar.
For Her Majesty, the Queen
England is still coping with the death of its longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. It was a known fact that her funeral service would take up a massive police force so the biggest games were postponed this week due to the lack of availability of resources.
Two matches — Manchester United v Leeds United, and Chelsea v Liverpool — were postponed to a later date.
La Liga goal of the fortnight
There were many well-taken goals in Spain, but Radamel Falcao of Rayo Vallecano tops the list with his lovely finish against Athletic Bilbao. Fran Garcia delivered a pin-point cross from the left flank into the box and Falcao got ahead of his marker and used the outside of his boots to guide the ball inside the net with a first-time shot.
The match, however, ended in a 2-3 defeat for Vallecano.
The Real supremacy and the bullish Blaugranas
White was the colour of Madrid after Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 in the Madrid derby courtesy of goals from Rodrygo and Federico Valverde. With the win, Real continued to be perched at the top of the points table.
Barcelona continued its impressive run of La Liga wins with a commanding 3-0 against Elche. Robert Lewandowski scored a double and is at the top of the league scoring charts with eight goals.
La Liga save of the fortnight
Jeremias Ledesma’s double save at Valladolid was crucial in Cadiz securing its first win of the season after Alvaro Negredo scored in the 92nd minute to clinch a win for the team. After a bland first half, Valladolid came all guns blazing and Ledesma had to be at his best. He first denied Kiko Perez at his near-post with a solid left-handed stop and then stopped Shon Weissman’s shot on the rebound.
Bundesliga goal of the fortnight
Bayer Leverkusen, which grabbed headlines for its Champions League win against Atletico Madrid, managed a 1-1 draw against Werder Bremen. But it was Leverkusen’s Kerem Demirbay who scored the Bundesliga goal of the week.
With the match locked at 0-0, Demirbay got the ball at the edge of the box and tucked the ball in the top-left corner to make it 1-0 for Leverkusen. The match eventually finished 1-1.
Bayern Munich clinched a 2-0 win against in-form Barcelona in the Champions League but could not replicate the same performance in the league against Augsburg and suffered a 1-0 defeat. Munich is now without a win in its last four matches.
Borussia Dortmund’s 17-year-old forward Youssoufa Moukoko made history after his header guided Dortmund to a 1-0 win against bitter-rival Schalke FC. Moukoko became the youngest scorer in the history of the hallowed Revierderby.
Bundesliga save of the fortnight
Rafał Gikiewicz played a crucial role in Augsburg’s 1-0 win against Bayern. Making some important saves in the late stages, his most crucial one came at the 95th minute when Manuel Neuer came forward for the last-minute corner in the hope of an equaliser. And Neuer would have got it also had his towering header not been kept out by Gikiewicz.
Serie A goal of the fortnight
Jonathan Ikone of Fiorentina opened the scoring for his team in the 2-0 win against Verona with a wonderful solo goal in the 13th minute. Receiving the ball on the right flank, Ikone had marvellous control of it despite being under pressure. He cut into his left and once inside the box, slotted the ball home at the keeper’s near post.
Serie A save of the fortnight
Vanja Milinkovic Savic of Torino conceded a goal in his team’s 1-0 against Sassuolo but he also made a terrific save. Davide Frattesi of Sassuolo dispatched a well-taken first-time volley at Savic’s near-post but the Torino keeper, who was at the centre of the goal, quickly made some ground and palmed the ball off the line to deny Frattesi.
Ligue 1 goal of the fortnight
Nabil Bentaleb’s stunning goal secured a 1-0 win for Angers against Nice. Nice was on the backfoot from the get go as Jean-Claire Todibo was sent off in the first minute.
It was a good team move consisting of some slick passing and Bentaleb, who was stationed just outside the box, received the pass and lashed the ball to the top-right corner of the net to score the winner.
Messi proves to be enough
The highly-anticipated clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon turned out to be a low-scoring affair with PSG clinching a 1-0 win. In the fifth minute, Neymar found Lionel Messi with a short pass inside the box and the Argentine took a first-time shot to find the bottom-left corner to score the only goal of the match.
Ligue 1 save of the fortnight
Ghjuvanni Quilichini of Ajaccio replaced first-choice keeper Benjamin Leroy in the eighth minute against Brest after Leroy had to be stretchered off due to an injury. But the change between the sticks proved to be beneficial to Ajaccio.
Quilichini’s double save in the 37th minute proved to be crucial in Ajaccio’s 1-0 win against Brest. First, Mathias Lage curled a shot from outside the box, which Quilichini got down to save but the rebound fell to Islam Slimani who shot at goal from the right of the six-yard box. But Quilichini showed tremendous recovery pace to make the second save in quick succession.