European Leagues: Dean Henderson turns hero for Nottingham, Real Madrid keeps winning

Dean Henderson’s last-minute save against Liverpool allowed Nottingham Forest to pull off one of the biggest upsets this season. Napoli continued to march along confidently in Serie A, showcasing its brand of free-flowing football while collecting one win after another.

A save to remember: Dean Henderson gestures to fans after Nottingham Forest’s win over Liverpool. It was Forest’s second win of the season and its first in 10 games.

A save to remember: Dean Henderson gestures to fans after Nottingham Forest’s win over Liverpool. It was Forest’s second win of the season and its first in 10 games. | Photo Credit: AFP

Dean Henderson’s last-minute save against Liverpool allowed Nottingham Forest to pull off one of the biggest upsets this season. Napoli continued to march along confidently in Serie A, showcasing its brand of free-flowing football while collecting one win after another.

Just as Liverpool’s run in the Premier League seemed to take a turn for the better, the club was brought crashing down on earth. Less than a week after its 1-0 win over Manchester City, it fell to a 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest, which collected its first win since August. With all its competitors dropping points, Arsenal continued on its merry run to continue leading the rest of the pack.

Premier League goal of the fortnight

Paraguayan winger Miguel Almiron has been one of the players leading Newcastle’s resurgence this season. His winner against Everton after a solid team move encapsulated his side’s mood.

In the space down the right, Almiron found right-back Kieran Trippier, who floated a cross into the box. The ball circulated its way back to Almiron via four Newcastle players. Almiron bent a shot with his favoured left foot into the top right corner, past a flailing Jordan Pickford.

Premier League save of the fortnight

Dean Henderson’s last-gasp, last-minute diving save to prevent Virgil van Dijk from scoring an equaliser for Liverpool against Tottenham is the save of the fortnight. Even bereft of the context, the save was laudable. It was an exhibition of reflex and strength from the Manchester United loanee.

La Liga

With just two points dropped from 11 games, Real Madrid has been flawless this season. Add to that a thumping 3-1 win in the El Clasico and Carlo Ancelotti’s men are looking unstoppable right now.

La Liga goal of the fortnight

Real Madrid’s versatile midfielder Fede Valverde has added goal-scoring to his repertoire, as evidenced by his screamer against Villareal. After receiving a square ball at the right edge of the box late in the game, the 24-year-old cracked a thunderbolt with his right foot that flew into the left top corner, leaving the goalkeeper a mere spectator.

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La Liga save of the fortnight

Edgar Badia pulled off a stunning save against Espanyol to keep Elche in the game with his side trailing 2-1. Badia was almost the architect of his destruction when he gave away the ball cheaply to Martin Brathwaite, who crossed the ball. But the shot-stopper redeemed himself by retreating to his goal-line quickly and flung himself to the right to keep away the header from Joselu.

Serie A

Will this be the year Napoli finally brings the Scudetto back to Naples? The only two Italian titles it has won came nearly 40 years ago, during Diego Maradona’s stint. Since then, it has come close multiple times.

But now, manager Luciano Spalletti seems to have found the right formula. Driven by Georgian attacker Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, nicknamed ‘Kvaradona’, Napoli has set Italy and Europe alight with its free-flowing football and is currently at the top of the league.

Napoli’s Victor Osimhen celebrates during the Serie A contest against AS Roma. Napoli is at the top of the points table after 11 matches.

Napoli’s Victor Osimhen celebrates during the Serie A contest against AS Roma. Napoli is at the top of the points table after 11 matches. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Serie A goal of the fortnight

Brahim Diaz’s solo effort to open the scoring for AC Milan against Monza tops the goals in Serie A. After receiving the ball from a goal kick at the centre line, Diaz went on to slalom past four opponents to enter the box and nudge it past the onrushing keeper to score a memorable goal.

Serie A save of the fortnight

Sassuolo keeper Andrea Consigli’s effort to deny Atalanta’s Mario Pasalic in a one-on-one situation is the top save from Serie A.

Pasalic, who sped into Sassuola’s box after a quick one-two pass, tried to poke it past the keeper. But Consignli had premeditated the shot. He pushed his right hand into the direction of the shot to save a near-certain goal.

Bundesliga

Borussia Dortmund has been the launchpad of legendary forwards like Robert Lewandowski and most recently, Erling Haaland. But the Norwegian’s departure before the 2022-23 season has allowed more youngsters to take over. And that bore fruits against VfB Stuttgart when a brace by Jude Bellingham and a goal each from Giovanni Reyna and Youssoufa Moukoko helped the side to another victory.

With the goals, the trio set the unique record: three teenagers scored for the same team in a Bundesliga game for the very first time.

Bundesliga goal of the fortnight

Omar Marmoush became the super-sub for Wolfsburg when he came off the bench and scored the equaliser against Borussia Monchengladbach. Paulo Silva’s low cross from the left was received by the Egyptian with his left foot. He then turned and hit with his right, netting what may be one of the contenders for the goal of the season.

The draw stole a point for Wolfsburg as it avoided its fifth defeat of the season and its first since its loss to Union Berlin in September.

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Bundesliga save of the fortnight

VFL Bochum pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the Bundesliga when it beat table-topper Union Berlin at home. Two early goals by the host saw it enjoying a comfortable lead when it conceded a penalty in the 77th minute. However, Riemann’s save off Milos Pantovic’s shot saw the team stay clear till the last moment.

Though Pantovic finally scored one, Bochum held on for a win.

Ligue 1

Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar have been firing in unison for PSG this season. The Parisians are unbeaten in the league, its attacking trio alone scoring 25 goals. Messi has taken up the creative duties of the side with nine assists, six of them for Mbappe. With PSG cruising in the league, the focus could soon shift toward the form and fitness of its golden trio ahead of the Qatar World Cup.

Ligue 1 goal of the fortnight

Elye Wahi of Montpellier has been touted as the next big thing in French football. The 19-year-old made himself further known with an outrageous overhead goal in his side’s defeat against Lyon. With a floated cross from left about to land in the six-yard box, Wahi readjusted himself while keeping his sight on the ball, before leaping in the air to execute a scissor kick to score a statement goal.

Ligue 1 save of the fortnight

Youcef Atal of OGC Nice almost wheeled away in celebration when he got ahead of his marker to push the ball towards FC Nantes’ goal from a few yards out after a corner was nudged to the back post. To his shock, Nantes keeper Alban Lafont got himself back in position and swatted the ball back into play with his right hand from point-blank range.

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