European Leagues: Clubs go on sacking spree

Norwich City’s Daniel Farke and Aston Villa’s Dean Smith lost their managerial seats. Nuno Espirito Santo

Doom and Gloom: Manchester United continued its poor run in the Premier league under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with defeats against Manchester City and Liverpool.   -  AP

In Premier League, Manchester United’s set-up under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was brutally exposed in its own backyard by arch-rivals Liverpool and Manchester City in a 5-0 and 2-0 defeats, respectively. Solskjaer’s job seemed to be under threat after the Liverpool drubbing last month, but it appears the club will persist with him to change things around.

Another manager, Nuno Espirito Santo, wasn’t so lucky. A 3-0 defeat at home to Manchester United was the final straw in his four-month long tenure as a run of poor form in the league — five losses in 10 matches — left Spurs at eighth. Antonio Conte, who has won leagues titles with Inter Milan and Chelsea in recent times, was lured into turning things around at the North London club.

Chelsea continues to lead the table with Manchester City and Liverpool as the challengers with a surprise addition in West Ham United. David Moyes’ side inflicted Liverpool’s first league defeat of the season at home which put the club three points adrift of Chelsea.

Norwich City’s Daniel Farke and Aston Villa’s Dean Smith, also, lost their managerial seats.

La Liga

Ronald Koeman out, Xavi Hernandez in. Successive defeats to Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano spelled the end for Koeman’s time in charge and Barcelona has convinced club legend Xavi to take over. The title appears out of sight but Xavi will be expected to bring the good times back for the Blaugrana.

At the end of matchday 11, La Liga continues to have a surprise leader in Real Sociedad and will be interesting to see how the club navigates the period after the end of the Europa League group stages. Madrid and Sevilla are a point behind La Real in second and third. After his struggles last season, Vinicius Jr. has stepped up to become a key player in attack for Madrid to provide support to talisman Karim Benzema.

Champion Atletico Madrid threw away a 3-1 lead at Valencia, which scored twice in the stoppage time to snatch a draw. It’s been a tough period for Diego Simeone’s men with the team struggling in both the league and in the Champions League.


Leading scorer: Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski celebrates his side's second goal with Bayern's Alphonso Davies, left, and Serge Gnabry during the German Bundesliga football match against SC Freiburg in Munich, Germany.   -  AP


Big wins seem to be the norm for Bayern Munich this season. It has scored four goals or more on 10 occasions in 16 matches this season. Julian Nagelsmann’s side vanquished Union Berlin 5-2 before beating FC Freiburg 2-1 to take the goals tally to 40 and maintain its position at the top of the table. Striker Robert Lewandowski is leading the charts with 13 goals after 11 games.

Borussia Dortmund missed the opportunity to go into the international break a point behind Bayern after its 2-1 defeat at RB Leipzig. The more troubling news for Dortmund will be the extent of the injury to its leading striker Erling Haaland, who is unlikely to play before Christmas.

After the sacking of coach Mark van Bommel, Wolfsburg turned around its wobbly form to win three on the bounce in all competitions and is now in the top four in the league behind Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen. Furth is yet to register a win this season and has only a point to its name after 10 defeats.

Serie A

After Juventus’ stranglehold on the league for most of last decade, Serie A could likely see two different champions in two seasons. Inter Milan broke Juventus’ streak but both teams are out of the title picture with both Napoli and AC Milan fighting for the crown.

Napoli missed the opportunity to put pressure on Milan by failing to defeat Verona at home in the 1-1 draw. Milan played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in the derby against Inter with former Milan player Hakan Calhanoglu opening the scoring for the Nerazzurri. Both Napoli and Milan are level on points after 12 matchdays, with Inter seven points adrift.

Juventus is 14 points from the top but it has managed to end a three-game winless run after a stoppage-time winner from Juan Cuadrado against 10-man Fiorentina. Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma continues to have indifferent form after a shock 3-2 defeat at newcomer Venezia.

Ligue 1

The biggest talking point in what looks a straightforward season in Ligue 1 is that Lionel Messi is yet to get off the mark in the league. Messi got injured again in the 2-1 win over Lille and will be hoping to make an immediate impact after the international break.

Paris Saint-Germain is 10 points clear at the top after 13 matches with no real challengers in sight.

Lens, Nice, Marseille, Rennes, Montpellier and Lyon are likely contenders for the European places. Last season’s champion Lille is languishing at 12th with no wins in its last four matches.