Edinson Cavani finally broke a goal-scoring record for PSG as Liverpool discovered that outscoring rivals isn’t always possible
Cristiano Ronaldo scored two, the midfield trio was back to its best, Marcelo had a ‘best left-back in the world’ performance, Toni Kroos was back on the scoresheet. And Los Blancos are now just two points behind Valencia in third, after beating them at the Mestalla. Finally, a great afternoon for Zinedine Zidane in La Liga, and a warning for Paris Saint Germain: Real Madrid will be a hard one to finish off in the Champions League.
Paris Saint Germain
The Parisians decided to send their own message to Madrid as well, in their favourite way: a lot of goals, zero risks taken, another win. Four goals put past Montpellier, the best defence in Ligue 1, including the one that gave Edinson Cavani the title of top scorer in the club’s history. Without having to think about breaking records or worrying about the league, the focus will be just on the Champions League clash with Real Madrid.
A third consecutive win for the Rossoneri, who under Gennaro Gattuso, have now set their sights on at least a Europa League spot. But what’s really important is that Milan deserved the result against Lazio, one of the best teams in Italy and rightfully sitting third in the table. It will be difficult for the Rossoneri to fight for a Champions League spot – the aim at the start of the season – but the second half of this campaign looks a lot more compelling for the fans.
The Sunday for the Roma fans was unfolding perfectly, until the evening woke everyone up from the dream in the harshest possible way. In the race for a Champions League spot in Serie A first Inter drew against minnows SPAL, then Lazio fell against AC Milan: Roma had the chance to catch Inter in fourth and go just two points behind the city rivals. Instead, the Giallorossi fell at the Stadio Olimpico against Sampdoria, missing a penalty and conceding late in the second half. A nightmare.
Crashing out of the FA Cup in this way was certainly something Jurgen Klopp would have wanted to avoid. West Bromwich Albion deserved the victory at Anfield, as the Reds showed the usual problems at the back, without being able to score four goals this time.
Liverpool under Klopp have played amazing football, but also put together terrible results. It is now the end of January, and the Reds are fourth in the Premier League, out of the League Cup and FA Cup, and in the Champions League Round of 16: not a terrible season so far, of course, but not particularly exciting either.
Big changes in the January transfer window, but still poor results on the pitch. A difficult year for West Ham, and it continues to be so. Will Grigg’s double for Wigan was enough to knock the Hammers out of the FA Cup, as David Moyes side remain 11th in the Premier League. A mediocre campaign so far, and no sign of it changing anytime soon.