As a footy fan, all last week you couldn’t help but look forward to the weekend full of action that included three quality games on the schedule from El Clasico, to Liverpool vs Man City, to Juventus vs AC Milan. But after a weekend of binge football watching, I was rather disappointed. All the hype leading up to those games was like picking out your favorite toy as a kid, which one do I really want to see? The answer for me is simple…ALL of them. With El Clasico you practically had an All Star game of footballers, at Manchester City you had a team on the rise with a coach factor in Jürgen Klopp versus a team that has been at the top of the table for the most part so far, then a good old fashion Italian battle with Juventus and AC Milan.
But before getting wrapped up in those matches I must say that Everton, Tottenham, and Leicester City looked good also. For the Toffees, Romelu Lukaku is in great form right now, as well as Ross Barkley and that young defense. Tottenham is the youngest team in the league and look like a real contender as the season progresses. And what can you say about the Foxes?? Raise your hand if you thought that in November that Leicester City would be sitting at the top of the table. Really only Claudio Ranieri and his players felt this way all along. Their goal coming into the season was to get to 40 points. Well they are 12 points away from that goal after just 13 weeks, and I don’t think they are going anywhere. However, we will see what they are made of over the next six weeks as they play Man United, at Swansea, Chelsea, at Everton, at Liverpool, and home with Manchester City.
Now back to the big three. Never saw a Barcelona beat down coming. This team has been good since Messi went down as Suarez and Neymar have come up big, but to totally dismantle a Real Madrid team that was in good form as of late also, was just astonishing. Iniesta, Roberto, Suarez, Neymar all just too much pressure put on the Madrid midfield and backline, and Rafa Benitez’s tactics were questionable. Now the questions arise as to who will take his spot.
One question that was asked was whether or not the “Klopp Factor” would play a role in Liverpool’s success at Manchester City. Well I think the answer is YES! Liverpool’s attacking tandem of Firmino and Coutinho was devastating for a slow unorganized defense missing Vincent Kompany. And Manchester City’s problems don’t stop there. They need another striker to fill that void if Aguero is out. But overall, I never saw a 4-1 score line, and it could have been worse. City has issues to address, and Liverpool fans should be very happy right now.
As for the Juventus-AC Milan match, pardon my ignorance but that was not really anything special outside the beautiful goal scored by Paulo Dybala. After a poor start, Juventus is finding their game and are now up to sixth in the table. I always find myself getting caught up in the hype of these big Serie A matchups and they always end up being a dud. Maybe it’s because the style of that league is a little different, NOT the game - the style.
So overall it was a not so super Saturday if you will. But there are plenty more super Saturdays ahead, like every week no matter who you support.