European Round-Up

Bundesliga Recap

Bayern Munich 2 – Borussia Dortmund 1

We know Dortmund can play with any team in the world. They just haven’t played to their ability for much of the Bundesliga season. When Bayern Munich comes to town, you bring your A-game. Trouble is, even your best game usually isn’t enough to beat Bayern Munich.

Dortmund finds itself in 17th out of 18 teams in the Bundesliga, ahead of Werder Bremen only on goal differential.

Marco Reus struck first for Dortmund, scoring against Manuel Neuer. Neuer hadn’t allowed  a league goal in 688 minutes before that. It’s only the second goal that Bayern has allowed through 10 games.

Bayern turned the pressure up after that, but Dortmund continued to cling to a one-goal lead for most of the game.

Robert Lewandowski’s blast from 25 yards out evened the game up in the 71st. Arjen Robben ensured a win for the title holders, pulling a trick out of his playbook: Going down at the right time in the right spot.

Bayern opened up a 4-point lead in the Bundesliga ahead of it’s UCL match with Roma.

La Liga Recap

Real Madrid 4 – Granada 0

La Liga has been home to some of the best goal scorers in soccer history. The best goal scorer of this generation continued his assault on the record books over the weekend.

Ten games. Seventeen goals. Cristiano Ronaldo now has the most goals through the first 10 games of a season in La Liga history, breaking the 79-year old mark set by Isidro Langara. The goal came in less than 100 seconds after the opening whistle.

James Rodriguez scored the best goal of the weekend. Karim Benzema juggled the ball over the head of the defender and Rodriguez – who burst onto the scene with similarly stunning goals in the World Cup this summer – followed through with a single, flawless motion from the right hand corner of the 18-yard box, sending the ball into the top left-hand corner of the net. A thing of beauty.

Real Madrid, who now lead La Liga, tacked on two more and cruised to an easy 4-0 win over Granada as they get set to welcome Liverpool to the Bernabeu on Tuesday.

Barcelona 0 – Celta Vigo 1

Barcelona failed to score at home for the first time since October 2011 in their 1-0 loss to Celta Vigo.

Though the Catalan club connected with the woodwork three times, there’s no excuse for a loss such as this.

Sergio Alvarez turned in a brilliant performance in goal for the visitors. For a league that is known for prolific goal scorers, goalkeepers have been the story in the early part of the season. Alvarez made nine saves on the day.

Joaquin Larrivey lone goal sent Barcelona plummeting down to fourth place in La Liga.

Atletico Madrid 4 – Cordoba 2

I’m not sure how long Diego Simeone can use the “Us against the world” motivational tool, but I’d imagine he can utilize it for the next two to 200 games or so.

After a relatively slow start, Atletico has won seven of its last eight games across all competitions, outscoring opponents 18-2 in the seven wins.

Antoine Griezmann scored twice and Koke was involved in three of Atletico’s goals, and the defending champions now find themselves one point behind Real Madrid.

Griezmann, a French international, has put away four goals in his last five games, including a match for France vs Portugal on Oct. 11th.

The lone loss for Atletico in that time? A 3-1 defeat to Valencia, who sit in second just ahead of them on goal-differential.

Serie A Recap

Napoli 2 – AS Roma 0

Not only did Napoli take down Roma, but they did it in style. Albeit a very odd style, as Napoli donned denim jerseys, their third kit, for the match.

Gonzalo Higuain opened the scoring in eye-opening fashion.

The Argentinian’s strike – almost a complete bicycle kick – was the definition of class. It makes you realize how much talent comes out of the South American country. All the more amazing that Germany beat them in the World Cup final this summer.

Higuain hadn’t scored a Serie A goal as little as eight days prior. He now has five in his last three games, and Napoli are in fourth place, a point behind the upstarts of Sampdoria.

Rafa Benitez has his club heading in the right direction. They haven’t lost a domestic game since Sept. 21st.

Thanks to Roma’s loss, Juventus regained the outright lead in Serie A after their 2-0 win over Empoli.

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