European Football Talking Points: Messi magic, Bailey's double and Rodgers' tactics
The major talking points from an eventful weekend of football in the top European leagues
Messi, Messi and Messi! 2019 and we are still finding it hard to write a gameweek review without mentioning the brilliance of Lionel Messi! The Argentine forward was at his super-natural best for Barcelona in the weekend as they overcame a stiff challenge from Atletico Madrid to win 1-0 and maintain their stay at the top of the table.
In England, Brendan Rodgers ensured Liverpool won't clinch the title in December by pushing his Leicester City side to an important victory over Everton in a week where Manchester City slumped to another defeat. Jose Mourinho's opening days at Spurs has been fun with a lot of goals while their North London rivals Arsenal have succumbed to fan pressure and sacked manager Unai Emery.
Here are the major talking points from an eventful weekend of football in the top European leagues
1) Messi means magic
The Barcelona forward linked with Luis Suarez to produce a stunning play of football which gave the side the all-important breakthrough in the 86th minute. The goal would have otherwise made it to the headlines as the best of the week but Messi has been doing this for ages that it is considered normal. The little magician first made his appearance for Barcelona in 2003 (November). That's 16 years of game-changing football he has given us!
2) Leon Bailey can score!
Messi isn't the only fast, wide forward who had a successful weekend. Jamaican sensation Leon Bailey inspired Bayer Leverkusen to their first win over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena since October 2012. The attacker's two goals in the first half gave enough space for Leverkusen to defend a second-half onslaught by the Bavarians. Jonathan Tah got a red on 81st minute but Bayer held firm to clinch all three points.
3) Emery out
London club Arsenal finally gave in to fan pressure and sacked their manager Unai Emery last week. The Gunners had looked bleak in the past few gameweeks and there was mounting pressure on the former PSG coach to produce the results after a decent summer where the club spent more than 100 million on recruitment.
4) Leicester keeps marching on
The only side that seems to be keen on giving Liverpool a tough time in the Premier League seems to be Leicester. The former champions, headed by former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, scored an extra-time goal to beat Everton 2-1 and stay in the title race. They are still 8 points off Liverpool but with Manchester City dropping points against Newcastle in the weekend, the only realistic challengers to the Reds seem to be Leicester.
5) No brains for Juventus
Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri isn't the kind that minces words! The banker-turned-coach said his side failed to use their brains in their 2-2 draw against Sassuolo in the weekend. To be fair, Juventus were playing after two gruelling fixtures in eight days but the slip up meant Antonio Conte's Inter Milan now top the Serie A table.
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