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Published on January 15th, 2018 | by Vieri Capretta

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The weekend’s winners and losers – laughing Liverpool and morose Madrid

Manchester City’s unbeaten streak was ended by Liverpool in a pulsating encounter while Real Madrid’s season spirals out of control 

WINNERS 

Liverpool 

The first team to interrupt the unbeaten run of Manchester City, and to do so in amazing fashion. The departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona was immediately digested by the team, as goals by Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane gave the Reds the edge in the game of the season so far in the Premier League.

Man City tried to get the draw in the end, but Jurgen Klopp’s men deserved the win to help secure a spot in the top four.

PSG 

In a game that will go down in history as the weirdest sending off ever by a referee, with the man in the middle, Chapron, showing the red card to Diego Carlos for mistakenly tripping him, PSG did their job, and thanks to a Angel Di Maria goal, the Parisians move 11 points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table.

Barcelona

Real Sociedad at the Anoeta are tough to deal with for anybody. Apart from this season’s Barcelona: a true, unstoppable, machine. The Blaugrana not only remain unbeaten in La Liga, but came back from 2-0 behind to smash the opponents 4-2 and go nine points clear at the top of the table. Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi are back to their best, and as everyone awaits the debut of Coutinho, it is Paulinho who continues to be the added value up front.

LOSERS

Real Madrid

The 19 points that currently separate Madrid from Barcelona were simply unthinkable only a few months ago. Yet right now the Blancos are at a historical low, at least for recent seasons. Zinedine Zidane is having to face the first truly difficult moment of his managerial career, exemplified by the icing on the cake of Villarreal’s first ever win at the Santiago Bernabeu. Any chance of winning the title is long gone, and Real will have to be careful not to underestimate anyone if they want a place in next year’s Champions League.

Manchester City 

The 2004 Arsenal Invicibles can relax: the record is still theirs and will be for a while still. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City really seemed like a side able to go for the whole season unbeaten, but the trip to Anfield was fatal. The 4-3 final result was spectacular, but it showed that City can be vulnerable when attacked properly, opening up hope for future opponents of the Citizens, almost perfect so far this season.

Sevilla

Two losses in the first two league games in charge. Vincenzo Montella’s La Liga managerial career is not exactly the best it can be so far. Instead of beating Alaves and reaching Real Madrid in fourth, Sevilla are now sixth and have definitely not benefited from the change of coach. Of course, it is still early days for the former AC Milan manager, but the premises aren’t exactly great. Now there’s a Champions League round of 16 game to prepare for, and the necessity of immediate results to put the Liga campaign back on the right tracks.

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About the Author

mm

A freelance journalist and broadcaster focusing on European soccer and currently featuring on Uefa.com, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Marca in English and more.



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