European Football round-up: Reds prove their dominance at home, Moenchengladbach remains atop Bundesliga

Liverpool extended its lead at the top of the Premier League with a 3-0 beating of Manchester City, while Borussia Moenchengladbach remains atop Bundesliga.

Liverpool players celebrate their 3-0 triumph over Manchester City in the Premier League, at Anfield, on Sunday.   -  Getty Images

A title clash is one where two teams, widely regarded as the best in the league and sitting at the top of the table, go head-to-head. But by the time Manchester City entered Merseyside, it found itself fourth in the table and the 90 minutes that followed did not change that.

Liverpool proved yet again that it is a dominant force at home — the last time it dropped points at Anfield was in January, to Leicester City. While Pep Guardiola’s side has well documented defensive frailties, the Reds were so clinical that even a fully-fit City would have gone home with its tail between its legs.

RELATED| Liverpool takes command of title race after trouncing Manchester City

Jurgen Klopp’s men scored from their first two attacks of the game by the 13th minute and then dealt with City’s pressure till the break before scoring early in the second half to seal the game.

Guardiola was justifiably upset with some decisions but refused to find faults with his team, instead saying, “I am so proud of my team, more than ever. We can be proud of how we played against the strongest team in Europe.”

Despite going nine points ahead of the two-time defending champion, Klopp refused to entertain any talk of his side winning its first title in 30 years yet.

“There is a long way to go,” he said, adding, “Who wants to be first in early November? It’s important to be top in May.”

Lost in the mayhem of a two-horse title race has been the revival of Chelsea and Leicester — until now.

Another game, another goal for Christian Pulisic. After a slow start to life in London, the American has racked up five goals and as many assists, with Mohamed Salah the only other player to do so in England. While an easily-penetrable defence has been the only negative in Frank Lampard's youth revolution, Chelsea put on a dominant display at both ends of the pitch against Crystal Palace to take all three points at home.

RELATED|  Vardy, Maddison take Leicester City to second on PL table

Jamie Vardy scored and assisted against Arsenal to take Leicester to second place, which left Unai Emery calling for “time and patience” after the game. The Gunners have now taken fewer points in the Spaniard’s first 50 Premier League games in charge than of former boss Arsene Wenger’s final 50. With just two wins in the last 10 games, time could be running out for Emery.

Mauricio Pochettino’s struggle to arrest Tottenham Hotspur’s slide continues. Aided by the VAR, it looked like Spurs would wrap up only the third win of their last 11 league games but Sheffield United found the equaliser 12 minutes from time. Twelfth in the table and booed off the pitch by its own fans, the Argentine is walking the same tight line as his North London counterpart.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer called for Manchester United to take its Europa League form into the Premier League and his team answered in style against Brighton and Hove Albion. Marcus Rashford and Antony Martial’s displays in particular stood out as they had the task of replacing the void created by Romelu Lukaku’s departure.

La Liga

Probably for the first time this season, both Barcelona and Real Madrid registered commanding wins on the same weekend.

With a double against Eibar, Karim Benzema reached 157 goals for Real Madrid — taking him above Ferenc Puskas into sixth in the club’s all-time list. However, it was a vintage display from Eden Hazard, who has struggled for form and fitness since he moved from Chelsea, that made headlines later. The Belgian’s creative masterclass could just be what Zinedine Zidane’s side needs to inject some life into a lukewarm season.

RELATED| Benzema double lifts Zidane's men into top spot

Led by Lionel Messi’s hat-trick, Barcelona got over its midweek Champions League stalemate at home to Slavia Praha by putting four past Celta Vigo to reclaim the top spot, which was briefly occupied by Los Blancos.

Alvaro Morata’s sixth goal in as many games across competitions helped Atletico Madrid keep pace with the front runners and stay third in the table. Sevilla registered an important derby win over Real Betis to leapfrog Real Sociedad into the final Champions League spot.

Serie A

Juventus registered a narrow win against AC Milan, with Paulo Dybala coming off the bench to score the only goal of the match. Cristiano Ronaldo made headlines despite firing blanks as he was the player who had to make way for Dybala, a decision that he did not agree with. There were also reports of the Portuguese captain leaving the stadium before the match ended.

RELATED| Ronaldo substituted again as Dybala bails Juventus out against AC Milan

The defending champion maintains its one-point lead over Inter Milan, which had taken pole position after coming from behind against Verona. AC Milan's seventh defeat in 12 games sees Stefano Pioli’s side drop to 14th, just four points above the relegation zone.

Lazio and Cagliari continue to impress, moving into the top four after goal-packed wins. The former saw off newly-promoted Lecce 4-2, while the latter — which was fighting relegation last season — has been a breath of fresh air since Radja Nainggolan moved back after five years away, with Fiorentina its latest victim.

Napoli has had a turbulent fortnight. Defeat to AS Roma and the draw to Salzburg was followed by the players being at loggerheads with its chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis. A goalless draw at home to Genoa did little to ease the tensions as Carlo Ancelotti’s side finds itself outside the top six.

It was an up and down fortnight for Roma. The defeat of Napoli was quickly forgotten after a dour display against Parma. Paulo Fonseca’s injury-depleted side, which played in the Europa League midweek, showed signs of fatigue in the 2-0 defeat and dropped to sixth.

Like the capital side, Atalanta also lost ground in the league thanks to mid-week European commitments. It was held to a goalless draw at relegation-threatened Sampdoria and moved out of the top four.

Bundesliga

Bayern Munich might be without a manager but Robert Lewandowski’s form this season saw it thrash Borussia Dortmund 4-0 to go third. The Polish star has now scored in every game this season, taking his season’s tally to 23 goals. Bayern is level on points with second-placed Red Bull Leipzig, which came from behind to register a 4-2 win against Hertha Berlin.

RELATED| Der Klassiker: Lewandowski hits brace in Bayern's 4-0 thrashing of Dortmund

Borussia Moenchengladbach remains four-points ahead of Leipzig at the top, with Patrick Herrmann’s double sealing an emphatic 3-1 home win over Werder Bremen.

Schalke took the lead thrice against Fortuna Duesseldorf but Rouwen Hennings found the equaliser each time to complete a hat-trick and ensure that the teams shared the spoils.

Ligue 1

A record 65,421 crowd turned up for the derby clash between Marseille and Olympique Lyonnais but the ugly scenes, on and off the pitch, overshadowed the match. While Lyon’s team bus was attacked by the home fans on its way to the stadium — leaving it with two shattered windows, its players had to deal with objects thrown at them every time they went to take corners. Thick smoke from the flares set off by the home faithful also saw the game suspended in the second half for two minutes.

Dimitri Payet scored twice before his side was reduced to 10 men after the hour mark. Lyon could not make its numerical advantage count though, with the defeat seeing it remain 14th in the table. Marseille stays second, eight points behind Paris Saint-Germain which continues to be effective, if not clinical, in the league. Mauro Icardi’s purple patch continues, with the on-loan striker coming off the bench to find the winner against Brest.

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