From yet another remarkable display by Lionel Messi to Manchester United sinking to a new low – here are the weekend winners and losers from Vieri Capretta
A hat-trick, two assists, bringing the tally to 20 goals in 19 games this season, plus hitting the woodwork 11 times. Simply, Messi. Unreal stuff from the Argentinian, as Barcelona stayed top of La Liga after winning 5-0 at Levante.
What a week for the Reds. Perfection. After going top of the Premier League last weekend and progressing to the knockout stages of the Champions League on Tuesday, Jurgen Klopp’s men demolished Manchester United, beating the Red Devils 3-1 thanks to a Xherdan Shaqiri double in the second half. At Anfield, Liverpool dominated from beginning to end, deserving the victory and the three points.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 16, 2018
An absolute relentless machine. Another record broken, piling together 46 points out of 48 available in Serie A. Simply unreal. The Bianconeri this time round got a 1-0 victory away to Torino, in the city derby, one of the toughest games of the season. Not a problem, as Cristiano Ronaldo slotted home the winning goal from the penalty spot. Many thought Juve could have dropped some points in the past games, facing Fiorentina and Torino away, and Inter at home. Not a chance.
Bayern put four past Hannover, but Dortmund stay top of the table nine points clear, beating Werder Bremen 2-1 in what promised to be a tricky encounter for the German league leaders. Paco Alcacer and Marco Reus got the goals for Lucien Favre’s men, putting the icing on the cake of a brilliant week, in which they topped their Champions League group as well.
Yet another disappointing weekend for José Mourinho at Manchester United. In one of the most important matches, historically at least, for the fans, the Red Devils were outplayed by Liverpool from beginning to end, unable to ever react, apart from Jesse Lingard’s equaliser, courtesy of an Alisson mistake. Mourinho’s time at United continues to lack the spark and truly lift itself out of mediocrity.
After losing 3-0 at home in the Champions League, Los Blancos managed to win against Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabeu, but the home fans were still not very happy. Just one goal was scored, and the football on display was not at the level expected by the demanding Bernabeu supporters. Sure, Madrid got the three points, but nobody wants boring football from the three-times Champions League holders.
It would really be a miracle if Claudio Ranieri manages to keep Fulham up in the Premier League come May. Yet another bad result, a 0-2 home defeat to West Ham, the fourth game without a win in a row, with three defeats.. And with Southampton getting all three points against Arsenal, the Cottagers are now bottom of the table on their own with just nine points.
This is the kind of match the Gunners really shouldn’t have lost. Chelsea won and went three points above Arsenal, who meanwhile got beaten 3-2 at Southampton, a team that was bottom of the table before this weekend. Unai Emery’s work remains great, and one slip up can happen, but the likes of Laurent Koscielny – who returned to playing football after the big injury he picked up against Atletico Madrid in May – aren’t at the level of the starters.