From PSG and Manchester United totally on top of their game to Maurizio Sarri losing the plot against Arsenal, here are the big weekend winners and losers
Simply unstoppable. Nine goals scored in just one match, with Guingamp being the victims. A total of 53 points in 21 Ligue 1 games, and the objective being just one: perform at this level in the Champions League as well. Neymar scored two, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani three: can anyone stop such firepower?
Seven wins in seven for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. The problem was really Jose Mourinho then, at least in terms of the mental block the players had. Regenerated under Solksjaer, United can now dream of something much bigger than before. Paul Pogba really didn’t like Mourinho, and scored another goal, with a penalty. Marcus Rashford got the second and sealed the win for the Red Devils.
A crucial win away to Leipzig to cement the six point lead over Bayern, who had won their game. Dortmund continue to stay top of the table, playing lovely football and keeping Bayern at bay. The new year has started as the old one had ended.
Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny got the goals in the 2-0 victory for the Gunners, but it was Arsenal as a team that destroyed Chelsea, outplaying the city rivals in every situation.
Better at winning the ball back, better at pressing, better at creating chances. Arsenal, like against Tottenham, showed what they can be like on a good day. Of course, they lack consistency long term, but this win is another testament of Unai Emery’s great foundation work for this season.
Roma’s sporting director is often criticised for his recent work, but having brought the new star of Italian football to Roma has to be underlined. Nicolò Zaniolo dominated the game against Torino, showing what a complete midfielder he is at just 19-years of age.
On the same day, the player who went to Inter in exchange for Zaniolo and money – Radja Nainggolan – played just half an hour as the Nerazzurri got just one point against Sassuolo. A Monchi masterclass.
What happened to Sarri-ball?
Chelsea were demolished by the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium, without ever even looking close to getting back in the game. And Sarri primarily blamed his players, in the press conference via his interpreter, of not getting the right message and motivation.
He went full on Jose Mourinho mode, who was harshly criticised for the same kind of post match blame. It’s hard to control this group of players, as Mourinho and Antonio Conte demonstrated, but Sarri surely should take more of the responsibility now, with the team struggling to express the great football he supposedly brings with him.
Another, unbelievable, result for Monaco, demolished 5-1 at home against Strasbourg. Thierry Henry’s season continues to be terrible, with Monaco stuck in the drop zone. Radamel Falcao got the consolation goal, but that was it.
Losing at the Santiago Bernabeu wouldn’t be too bad normally, but this season Real Madrid aren’t exactly great. Sevilla could have kept Los Blancos behind in the table, instead lost and let Madrid overtake them, losing the third spot in La Liga.
On his way to Chelsea and a new life under Maurizio Sarri. Whilst he’s still at Milan, though, Gennaro Gattuso left him out of the squad, underlining how, because of Higuain, he had to oversee one of the worst training sessions of his career. After four months at this below par level, at least his exit could have been classier.