From a magnificent Manchester City, chastised Chelsea to a rejuvenated Real Madrid – here are the big Cricket Soccer weekend winners and losers
Exquisite, sublime, divine.
Pep Gardiola’s football continues to entertain and surprise, despite all the silverware won and innovation deployed by the Spanish coach in his decade as a top level manager.
Six goals to destroy Chelsea, with Sergio Aguero netting three, and Guardiola’s game perfectly implemented by the machine that is Manchester City. Six goals with nine attempts means it all worked to perfection. Simply on another level.
Three goals, plenty of drama and the Wanda Metropolitano sacked. Real Madrid showed why they are the champions of Europe, and decided to do so in one of the most important games in Spain, the Madrid derby.
Casemiro, Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale – three players that represent the true soul of Los Blancos – got the winning goals, as Madrid demonstrated that it is business as usual from February onwards when their season truly starts. Santiago Solari’s men overtook Atletico and are now second in La Liga, six points behind Barcelona, who were held to a draw by Athletic.
At the most difficult time of the season, with coach Luciano Spalletti unable to control the situation, the directors in a battle with Mauro Icardi over a contract renewal, the Nerazzurri pulled it together and delivered a convincing performance against Parma.
It was topped off by the winning goal scored by supersub Lautaro Martinez, who came off the bench and did what Mauro Icardi is currently unable to do: win matches. A fundamental three points both in the table and for morale, as Inter finally get out of the quicksand.
A complete disaster. Chelsea had never lost so badly in its Premier League history. Put simply, nothing worked out for Sarri from beginning to end. The Etihad Stadium was like being in hell.
Sarri’s beloved Gonzalo Higuain barely saw the ball, as Chelsea conceded six against Manchester City and were demolished in every aspect of the game, as Pep Guardiola annihilated his most loyal disciple. A disciple who showed a lack of class after the game, as he walked off without shaking hands with Guardiola. A bad day all round for Sarri.
What a terrible game for Diego Simeone’s men, overwhelmed by their city rivals, and forced to complain about refereeing decisions at the end of the match. Of course, some of the calls were debatable, but Atletico did nothing really to deserve better luck, as Real Madrid were superior from beginning to end. Undoubtedly, with a bit of luck the Colchoneros could have gotten a result, but it goes to show how they can be fragile at times.
From 3-0 up to 3-3 at full time, as Bayern Munich put three past Schalke 04 and are now just five points behind in the table. Not exactly the ideal weekend for Borussia Dortmund.
Lucien Favre’s men seemed to be on track for the win as usual, entertaining and scoring three in rapid succession against Hoffenheim. Jason Sancho, Mario Goetze and Raphael Guerreiro were all on the scoresheet, but no one could imagine that also Ishak Belfodil (twice) and Pavel Kadeřábek would make their mark on the game, delivering the comeback for Hoffenheim and doing Bayern a big favour.