Man United wins thriller against West Ham

The Premier League produced the week’s most high-voltage game across Europe, while French top-flight football saw Lionel Messi’s home debut for Paris Saint-Germain and yet another act of hooliganism, which led to a pause in play during the Lens-Lille derby.

Hero of the day: Manchester United’s David de Gea brings a spectacular save off a penalty taken by West Ham United’s Mark Noble. Man U took full points from the game.   -  Reuters

It was another week of exciting European fixtures, which had everything from late drama to underdogs showing resilience to overcome the favourites.

The Premier League produced the week’s most high-voltage game across Europe, while French top-flight football saw Lionel Messi’s home debut for Paris Saint-Germain and yet another act of hooliganism, which led to a pause in play during the Lens-Lille derby

Premier League

It was an inspiring week for the newly-promoted Brentford, which, despite going a man down, showed resilience to topple Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 and did not allow the latter to even have a shot on target throughout the match.

Arsenal scraped through with a 1-0 win against Burnley. Liverpool scored three past Crystal Palace without reply in a match where Sadio Mane netted his 100th goal for the Reds. It was another dominating display by Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea as it thrashed Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 in the London derby to go joint-top in the league standings.

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It was a disappointing week for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City. The side couldn’t find a way past Southampton at home resulting in the champion dropping points in a game marred by VAR controversies, which ruled out a goal by Raheem Sterling in the 90-minute and overturned Kyle Walker’s red card and a Southampton penalty earlier.

However, very few would disagree that Manchester United’s clash against West Ham was the most dramatic fixture across Europe this game week. With the match locked at 1-1, Jesse Lingard’s strike broke the deadlock for Man United in the 89th-minute and a win looked certain. However, a VAR-backed call by referee Martin Atkinson gave a penalty to West Ham after Luke Shaw’s arm seemed to have handled the ball.

The stage was set and West Ham subbed in its penalty specialist Mark Noble to take the shot but David De Gea saved his first penalty since 2016 to guide United home and clinch all three points.

Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United remain joint-top with 13 points after matchday five.

La Liga

It was a disappointing week for Spanish champion, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona as both teams dropped points in their respective fixtures against Athletic Bilbao and Granada.

Atletico’s match against Bilbao saw Joao Felix get a red card in the 78th-minute and, while the defending champion had a stronger team than Bilbao on paper, the 2020 Copa del Rey runner-up held on to earn a point.

Barcelona’s fortunes seemed to take a further stumble as it required a 90th-minute equaliser from centre-back Ronald Araujo to clinch a 1-1 draw against Granada, which went ahead in the second minute through Domingos Duarte. Despite having 78% possession throughout the match, completing 639 passes, and winning 12 corners in the match, Ronald Koeman’s men could not find a way past a determined Granada.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid had a good week considering both of its rivals dropped points. It was never meant to be an easy fixture against Valencia for the Los Blancos. Valencia had taken the lead through Hugo Duro in the 66th-minute but Vinicius Junior equalised in the 86th-minute and set up Karim Benzema for the winner in the 88th, which guided Madrid to a well-earned 2-1 win.

After matchday five, Real Madrid sits on top with 13 points, followed by Atletico and Valencia with 11 and 10 points respectively. Barcelona languishes at seventh with eight points, having played a match less than the top three.

Serie A

Defending Italian champion, Inter enjoyed a good week as it thrashed Bologna 6-1, while current table-topper Napoli secured a 4-0 win against Udinese.

The highly-anticipated Milan-Juventus match turned out to be slightly anti-climactic as it ended in a 1-1 stalemate, with both teams enjoying almost equal footing throughout the match. Milan, without the services of the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic, trailed early in the match after Alvaro Morata scored for Juventus in the fourth minute, but Ante Rebic equalised for the seven-time European champion to earn a draw for his team.

The news of the week from Italy is Jose Mourinho’s Roma losing its first match of the season as Verona earned a well-earned 3-2 victory to halt the Portuguese’s 100% start.

After matchday four, Napoli, Inter, Milan and Roma take the top-four positions with 12, 10, 10 and nine points respectively.

On a high: Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland scores his side’s fourth goal against Union Berlin in the Bundesliga.   -  AP

 

Bundesliga

German champion, Bayern Munich took no mercy on the newly-promoted VfL Bochum as it thrashed the latter 7-0.

For Borussia Dortmund, it was an Erling Haaland show again as the Norwegian striker scored a brace in his team’s 4-2 victory against Union Berlin.

It was a frustrating week for last season’s runner-up RB Leipzig as it dropped points. Travelling to a determined Koln, Jesse Marsch’s side could only manage a 1-1 draw, which kept it in the bottom half of the table at 12th with four points in five matches.

After matchday five, Bayern Munich and VfL Wolfsburg are joint-top with 13 points each, while Borussia Dortmund occupies third place with 12 points.

Ligue 1

It was an exciting week for Parisians as Lionel Messi made his debut at the Parc des Princes in PSG’s match against Lyon. A thriller, the match was locked at 1-1 with Lucas Paqueta and Neymar scoring for Lyon and PSG respectively.

King on the move: Lionel Messi, on his Paris Saint-Germain debut, challenges Lyon’s Jerome Boateng (left) in French Ligue 1.   -  AFP

 

Kylian Mbappe, quiet throughout the match, showed his brilliance in the 94th-minute as he delivered a pin-point cross to substitute Mauro Icardi, who made no mistake in heading the ball home and clinching a late winner to ensure PSG’s 100% start to the season.

After the recent fan violence in the Nice-Marseille encounter, French football was rattled by another incident. This time, fans of Lens and defending champion Lille clashed resulting in the match being halted after 30 minutes. However, it was decided that the match would continue and, in the end, Lens secured a 1-0 victory over its bitter rival.

After matchday six, PSG is top with 18 points followed by Marseille and Lens with 13 and 12 points respectively.