Home » Haaland’s ominous hat trick, Lewandowski on fire, Firmino’s renaissance

Haaland’s ominous hat trick, Lewandowski on fire, Firmino’s renaissance

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One other weekend of headlines, golazos and unpredictable finishes throughout Europe’s greatest leagues. From Liverpool’s 9-0 shellacking of Bournemouth, to Robert Lewandowski scoring one more brace for Barcelona, there was no scarcity of drama.

ESPN correspondents Rob Dawson, Alex Kirkland, Julien Laurens, Sam Marsden, James Tyler and James Olley break down the massive stuff it’s worthwhile to know in regards to the weekend.

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Leap to: Talking points | Best goals | Teams in trouble | MVP of the Weekend


Speaking factors

Haaland has Metropolis trying ominous

Manchester Metropolis scored 99 league objectives final season on their strategy to a fourth title in 5 years, however they’re already on track to smash that mark after simply 4 video games this time round.

Because of Erling Haaland’s hat trick within the 4-2 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, Pep Guardiola’s facet have already plundered 13 objectives this season and it’s a must to go all the best way again to March for the final time they failed to attain at the very least twice in a Premier League match.

It is fortunate they’re scoring so freely as a result of, for now, they’re having bother preserving them out on the different finish. Palace raced right into a two-goal lead on the Etihad as Metropolis went two objectives down for the fourth time of their final six league video games. Remarkably although, they have not misplaced any of them, successful two and drawing two. Palace appeared snug at half-time however when Metropolis stepped it up a gear after the break, they’d no reply.

Haaland, in the meantime, is making a mockery of the claims he won’t have the ability to do it within the Premier League with six objectives in his first 4 video games. Solely three different gamers — Diego Costa, Sergio Aguero and Mick Quinn — can match that begin within the Premier League period and, worryingly for the remaining, Guardiola says there’s extra to return. — Dawson

– Premier League’s finest and worst kits of the previous 30 years

Tremendous Sommer stifles Bayern

Why do folks recommend Bayern Munich want to begin each recreation 1-0 down when there are goalkeepers like Yann Sommer round? The ageless Switzerland worldwide spent his Saturday stymying the Bundesliga champions to a 1-1 draw that they actually needed to work exhausting for, which I did not suppose occurred on this league anymore? (Ahem.)

After Borussia Monchengladbach took the lead very a lot towards the run of play earlier than half-time — and we must always acknowledge Sadio Mane having two objectives disallowed for offside right here, regardless that Dayot Upamecano ought to have executed higher reducing out a protracted ball, as a substitute giving Marcus Thuram an unobstructed 40-yard run and end — Bayern threw the kitchen sink at Sommer and he was prepared for it, making a league file 19 saves throughout the 90 minutes to protect the draw. Bayern tried every thing (together with 33 photographs at 2.82 xG) to crack Sommer, however needed to accept a degree due to Leroy Sane, who popped up unmarked on the fringe of the field to brush residence a low cross along with his left foot.

– Watch once more: Bayern Munich 1-1 Gladbach (ESPN+, U.S. solely)

Sommer was caught flat-footed on that event, however was standing on his head for almost all of the sport; beginning with a sprawling parry to disclaim Upamecano’s header within the first minute, he hardly ever discovered peace on the Allianz Area all afternoon, utilizing each little bit of his veteran expertise to frustrate the raucous Bayern crowd.

This draw should not cease Bayern from romping this season to get one other league crown, however Sommer did present the Bundesliga’s critics that it may be executed. Perhaps. — Tyler

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Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer places on a clinic to frustrate Bayern Munich in a 1-1 draw on the Allianz Area.

Peace in Paris

When Paris Saint-Germain received a penalty on Sunday evening on the Parc des Princes towards AS Monaco, everybody waited to see what was going to occur.

Two weeks after “penalty-gate” and the argument between Kylian Mbappe and Neymar over who was going to take the spot kick, there was no story this time round. Mbappe is PSG’s first-choice penalty taker, however the two superstars had a chat after the spot-kick was given by the referee and the Frenchman determined to let the Brazilian take it. There isn’t a controversy or new story, only a grown up dialog between two teammates to determine who was the most effective taker at that second in time.

Credit score goes to Mbappe for letting Neymar take it. He scored to degree the rating for Paris and regardless of not occurring to win (it completed 1-1), at the very least the French champions averted extra drama! — Laurens

Lewandowski delivering for Barca

The main target earlier than Barcelona kicked off towards Actual Valladolid on Sunday was on Jules Kounde, lastly registered with LaLiga and accessible to make his debut in defence.

However by the point the ultimate whistle went at Camp Nou it was one other summer time signing, Lewandowski, who had seized the highlight with an irresistible efficiency. Lewandowski scored a brace — and hit the woodwork twice — in Barca’s 4-0 win and appeared each inch the world class participant the membership labored so exhausting to signal from Bayern Munich.

His ending took centre stage, with an acrobatic, deft far-post contact to attach with Raphinha’s cross and put Barca forward, adopted later by a intelligent back-heel flick — albeit helped by a deflection off defender Joaquin Fernandez — to make it 3-0.

Lewandowski already has 4 objectives this season and there can be many, many extra to return.

It is not simply the objectives, although. He might need a repute as an old-school penalty field predator, however his contact, imaginative and prescient and link-up play have impressed in a Barcelona shirt to this point. Whether or not it is Raphinha, Ousmane Dembele or Ansu Fati alongside him, Lewandowski’s intelligence means he is already developed a eager understanding along with his ahead line teammates, and that is dangerous information for LaLiga defences. — Kirkland

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Robert Lewandowski reveals off some unbelievable ability to offer Barcelona a 3-0 lead vs. Actual Valladolid.


Targets

Luxurious once more from Trent

These persistent questions on Trent Alexander-Arnold’s defending have already resurfaced this season however there is no such thing as a doubting his high quality on the ball and Saturday’s third purpose in Liverpool’s record-equalling 9-0 rout of Southampton offered one more instance.

Initially shedding possession simply contained in the Bournemouth half, the 23-year-old regained the ball and performed a one-two with Roberto Firmino earlier than lining up a 25-yard drive which flew previous Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers excessive into the web. It was a end any striker would have been happy with. — Olley

Tchouameni helps Actual transfer on from Casemiro

Vinicius Junior capped a effective staff transfer to open the scoring as Actual Madrid made it three wins from three with a 3-1 victory towards Espanyol on Sunday. Summer time signing Aurelien Tchouameni was on the coronary heart of the purpose as he produced a efficiency to recommend Madrid could not miss Casemiro as a lot as they may have feared.

After a interval of possession, Tchouameni performed a one-two with Karim Benzema earlier than feeding Vinicius to provide a luxurious end from simply inside the realm.

Madrid did not have all of it their very own method in Barcelona, although, with Espanyol equalising by way of Joselu and a few late Benzema objectives wanted to earn the three factors. Benzema completed on the far put up after nice work from Rodrygo within the 88th minute after which fired residence a stoppage-time free kick after goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte had been despatched off, with defender Leandro Cabrera compelled to fill in for him. — Marsden

Sargent has us paying consideration

Is that this pandering? Perhaps, however the US want a striker within the expertise pool to search out some kind forward of the 2022 World Cup and Josh Sargent is definitely delivering to this point for Norwich Metropolis this season. His game-winning purpose towards Sunderland on Saturday was his fourth Championship purpose of the season and, whereas not a masterpiece, he was within the good place to transform a neat passage of play into three factors for the assured Canaries.

Contemplating the inventive expertise that the Individuals ought to have in Qatar this winter, generally being in the precise spot is all you want out of your No. 9. Lengthy could it proceed. — Tyler


Groups in bother

Sevilla’s struggles proceed

The look on Julen Lopotegui’s face on Saturday at Almeria mentioned all of it.

Sevilla have been crushed once more and their frustration and anger have been clearly seen on their supervisor’s face. Three league matches, one draw and two defeats, solely 3 objectives scored, 5 conceded and a fifteenth place within the desk just isn’t the place they need to be on the finish of August and never the place they have been aiming to be both.

Lopetegui will be cross, however he’s partly accountable. A few of his calls have been unusual — like taking off Oliver Torres towards Valladolid for instance — nevertheless it’s not all his fault. The summer time has been powerful for Sevilla, shedding their two centre-backs — Kounde and Diego Carlos — to solely substitute them to this point with Tanguy Nianzou, who’s a promising expertise however has not performed a lot within the final two seasons at Bayern, and Marcao from Galatasaray.

Sporting director Monchi has let Sevilla and Lopetegui down to this point. Recruiting Isco is of venture and the staff nonetheless lacks an actual goalscorer. The long run does not look nice both with the reception of Barcelona subsequent weekend in LaLiga and Manchester Metropolis within the Champions League again to again. — Laurens

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Sadiq Umar purpose fifty fifth minute Almería 2-1 Sevilla FC

Die Knappen caught napping

It appears merciless to maintain bashing on a proud membership that has endured loads of ache prior to now 2-3 seasons — together with one of many worst Bundesliga campaigns of all-time in 2020-21– however Schalke 044’s first 12 months again within the prime flight after that ignominy augurs at one other lengthy marketing campaign forward.

Winless to open the season and with two wobbly attracts (together with an harm time penalty to get a degree towards Gladbach), Saturday’s 6-1 thrashing at residence to Union Berlin confirmed that this staff is not outfitted for the problem. And so they have already launched over a dozen new gamers to the Veltins Area this summer time! A few gentler video games await earlier than Sept. 17 journey to Dortmund, however kind just isn’t their pal proper now. — Tyler

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Sven Michel purpose ninetieth minute Schalke 04 1-6 FC Union Berlin


Weekend MVP

Firmino pulls out efficiency from the previous

It felt like a scene from a couple of seasons in the past. Anfield, packed within the solar, singing its coronary heart out: “Si senor, move it to Bobby Firmino and he’ll rating.”

Saturday was very a lot Firmino’s day. He owned the sport from the beginning with two objectives, three assists within the 69 minutes he stayed on the pitch for. He was again to his finest, like within the good previous days the place he made Liverpool such a particular staff. He was a key a part of every thing good Jurgen Klopp’s facet achieved however then, between the accidents, the dangerous kind, the arrival of recent new blood, he walked alone for some time.

At 30 (he can be 31 on Oct. 2), he won’t ever be persistently like he was on Saturday towards a Bournemouth staff that shipped 9 objectives and have been dreadful, however he proved that he can nonetheless do a job for this membership the place his contract expires in a 12 months. — Laurens



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