The top leagues in Europe played out a full complement of games this week, as teams played for points to better their standing on their respective league tables. All of the major leagues have reached or passed the quarter mark of the season, and the league tables are starting to take shape. Let’s examine who performed and who underperformed this weekend.
The newcomers picked up their first league win in eight attempts, winning 2-0 against Bournemouth courtesy of a stunning goal from Gaston Ramirez and a second from veteran Stewart Downing.
Boro, who were impressive defensively last weekend against Arsenal have struggled for goals this season, with only 7 in their first nine games.
The goals were the first for both Gaston Ramirez and Stewart Downing this season, and more performances like this will help reduce the pressure on the misfiring Alvaro Negredo.
The win sees Boro move to 14th place on the table with 10 points from 10 games.
Southampton lacked ingenuity and intensity in their game against Chelsea, limping to a 2-0 defeat. The loss was the club’s first home defeat since February, also against the same opponents.
The Saints were the architects of their own misfortune, failing to track Eden Hazard in the first half, and failing to close down Diego Costa for the second goal.
Claude Puel’s three-man midfield struggled to create chances, as the Saints managed only one shot on target for the entirety of the game.
Top: FC Cologne
Anthony Modeste was the man of the match as Cologne defeated Hamburger SV 3-0 on Sunday. The French-born striker scored a hat-trick in 25 second half minutes to make away with the match ball.
Modeste missed a penalty in the 40th minute of the game, and it looked like he had let Hamburger off the hook, but a scintillating second half display ensured Hamburger stay rock bottom of the division.
The goals see Modeste out on his own at the top of the scorer’s chart, with 11 goals in the league this season.
A change of manager has done little to improve Wolfsburg fortunes, as they fell 1-2 at home to Bayer Leverkusen, their third league defeat on the trot.
Maximilian Arnold gave the Wolves a glimmer of hope in the first half, giving them a 1-0 lead going into the break, but Leverkusen rallied in the second half with late goals from Admir Mehmedi and Tin Jedvaj.
The defeat leaves Wolfsburg stuck in 16th place, with 6 points from 9 matches.
The league favourites sealed an important win against rivals Napoli, winning 2-1 to extend their lead atop the league to 4 points.
Leonardo Bonucci had given Juventus the lead, which was cancelled out by Napoli’s Spanish winger Jose Manuel Callejon.
Serie A record signing Gonzalo Higuain then rubbed salt into the wounds of his former employers by scoring the winner in the 70th minute of the game.
The result leaves Napoli in 5th place on the league table.
Flop: Inter Milan
The pressure on manager Frank de Boer continues to build as Inter Milan slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Sampdoria, their 4th league defeat in 5 games.
Fabio Quagliarella scored the winner for Sampdoria in the dying minutes of the first half to take all three points. Inter Milan could count themselves unlucky on the day, with Marcelo Brozovic and Rodrigo Palacio hitting the woodwork in the game.
The defeat leaves Internazionale in 11th place, with 14 points from 11 matches.
Eibar were impressive in their game against Villarreal on Sunday, scoring twice in the last 10 minutes to run away 2-1 winners.
Bruno had given the Yellow Submarines a lead from the penalty spot late in the first half, but Eibar, who have gone five games without a win, scored in the 80th and 87th minutes.
The defeat was the first league loss for Villarreal this season.
Flop: Real Betis
The boos rang out for under pressure manager Gus Poyet, as Real Betis suffered defeat a 1-0 home defeat to fellow strugglers Espanyol.
Real Betis struggled to create clear-cut chances for the entirety of the game, and the few shots on target they managed were kept out by an in-form Diego Lopez in the Espanyol goal.
The defeat was Real Betis 3rd loss in 4 La Liga games, and they currently sit in 13th position on the league table.
Nice continued their scintillating start to the season, routeing Nantes 4-1 to extend their lead at the top of the table to 6 points.
The game saw the impressive front men for Nice get the job done, with a goal apiece from Mario Balotelli and Alassane Plea, while Wylan Cyprien scored a brace.
Mario Balotelli whose French renaissance has seen him score six league goals, continues to prove his doubters wrong. Nice, remain unbeaten in France under the management of Lucien Favre.
AS Nancy vs. Caen was seen before the start of the game as a potential 6 pointer, as both teams were on the wrong end of the table. AS Nancy did their hopes of escaping relegation a world of good, winning the game 2-0.
The win was AS Nancy’s first home win of the season, and it came courtesy of goals from Christophe Mandanne and Alou Diarra. The game was over as a contest as early as the 12th minute.
The win was Nancy’s second victory over Caen in 4 days, having dumped them out of the cup in midweek. The result leaves Nancy in 19th place, and Caen in 18th place.