By JUSTIN FERGUSON
Even though they had won their most important meeting with Borussia Dortmund back in May’s Champions League Final, Bayern Munich entered Signal Iduna Park this weekend on a six-match winless run against Dortmund in Bundesliga play.
That all changed during the second half of Saturday’s rivalry match, which ended 3-0 in favor of the visitors.
While Dortmund produced the better chances in the first hour, Bayern hit Dortmund for three goals in the span of 22 minutes to earn the road win. Midfielder Mario Gotze, who was playing in his first match at Signal Iduna Park since his summer departure from Dortmund, opened the scoring in the 66th minute with a close finish past old teammate Roman Weidenfeller. Arjen Robben doubled Bayern’s lead in the 85th minute after receiving a great pass from Thiago, and Thomas Muller wrapped up the victory with an easy finish past Dortmund’s makeshift back four.
In England, another league leader kept hold of its top spot with a shutout victory of their own. Arsenal ended Southampton’s impressive unbeaten run to third place in the English Premier League table with a 2-0 win at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal forward Oliver Giroud helped his club take advantage of two key Southampton mistakes — the Frenchman scored off a blunder from Saints goalkeeper Artur Boruc and netted a late second-half penalty following a shirt tug in the box by Jose Fonte.
Here is a closer look at all the weekend’s action from the top leagues in Europe:
The EPL weekend started off with a bang Saturday as Everton and Liverpool played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in their Merseyside Derby match at Goodison Park. After Liverpool’s Phillippe Coutinho and Everton’s Kevin Mirallas traded goals off of set piece situations in the opening eight minutes, Luis Suarez added to his impressive goal tally by putting the Reds in front with a free-kick goal. Everton stormed back in a controversial second half with two goals in ten minutes from Romelu Lukaku, but Suarez’s goal-scoring compatriot, substitute Daniel Sturridge, rescued a point for Liverpool with an 89th-minute header off a Steven Gerrard free kick.
There were six goals scored in the Manchester City-Tottenham Hotspur match Sunday — but, unfortunately for Spurs fans, all six of them were scored by the host Citizens. Jesus Navas scored 13 seconds in and added a late stoppage-time goal to lead Manchester City to a 6-0 drubbing of Tottenham, who had allowed a combined six goals in their previous 11 matches. Manchester City moved into fourth place with the victory and extended their season home record to 6-0-0 with an outstanding +24 goal differential.
Here are the results from this weekend’s English Premier League action:
Everton 3, Liverpool 3
Arsenal 2, Southampton 0
Swansea City 2, Fulham 1
Crystal Palace 1, Hull City 0
Newcastle United 2, Norwich City 1
Stoke City 2, Sunderland 0
Chelsea 3, West Ham United 0
Manchester City 6, Tottenham Hotspur 0
Cardiff City 2, Manchester United 2
It was a Saturday of blowouts for Spain’s top teams as Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid won by a combined score of 16-0. Barcelona buried a pair of first-half penalties against Granada, who allowed two additional goals in the second half after Manuel Iturra’s 66th-minute red card. The defending champions now have a goal differential of +34 through their first 14 matches of the season.
In Madrid, second-place Atletico routed Getafe 7-0 to maintain their perfect record at the Vicente Calderon. Raul Garcia and David Villa each netted a brace for Atletico, but it was Diego Costa’s stunning 69th-minute bicycle kick that had Atletico fans buzzing at the conclusion of the victory. While Atletico drilled Getafe at home, rivals Real kept a firm grip on third place with a 5-0 road victory against Almeria that saw five different players get on the score sheet.
Here are the results from this weekend’s La Liga action:
Osasuna 1, Real Valladolid 0
Barcelona 4, Granada 0
Real Sociedad 4, Celta Vigo 3
Real Madrid 5, Almeria 0
Atletico Madrid 7, Getafe 0
Villarreal 3, Levante 0
Espanyol 4, Rayo Vallecano 1
Elche 2, Valencia 1
Sevilla 3, Real Betis 0
With Dortmund’s 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen were able to capture second place in the Bundesliga with a 1-0 road victory against Hertha Berlin. Stefan Kießling scored the match’s lone goal in the 28th minute, netting a fierce shot past Thomas Kraft after receiving a pass from Gonzalo Castro. Hertha Berlin controlled the majority of the match in front of their home fans, but they were unable to take advantage of their long stretches of possession and find a way past Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Borussia Monchengladbach kept a hold of fourth place and move three points behind Dortmund after a 2-0 Friday victory at Stuttgart. Raffael and Oscar Wendt each scored for the visitors, who put 11 shots on goal against hosts Stuttgart. The win, Monchengladbach’s fourth straight in Bundesliga play, moved the Foals three points ahead of fifth-place Wolfsburg, who saw their four-match winning streak snapped during a 1-1 draw at Nurnberg.
Here are the results from this weekend’s Bundesliga action:
Borussia Monchengladbach 2, Stuttgart 0
Eintracht Frankfurt 3, Schalke 3
Augsburg 2, Hoffenheim 0
Bayer Leverkusen 1, Hertha Berlin 0
Nurnberg 1, Wolfsburg 1
Freiburg 1, Eintracht Braunschweig 0
Bayern Munich 3, Borussia Dortmund 0
Hamburg 3, Hannover 1
Mainz 3, Werder Bremen 2
Defending Serie A champions Juventus moved into league’s top spot for at least a temporary basis Sunday following their 2-0 victory at Livorno. Juve controlled the match from start to finish, but they could not find the back of the net until Fernando Llorente’s 63rd-minute shot off a Paul Pogba cross. Carlos Tevez wrapped up the three points with a goal 13 minutes later, giving Juventus a two-point advantage over former leaders Roma, who host Cagliari on Monday.
Third-place Napoli missed out on a chance to pull closer to the top in a shock 1-0 home loss at the hands of Parma. Saturday’s match at San Paolo was an even match, and Antonio Cassano broke the tight deadlock nine minutes from time with a superb goal. Napoli winger Dries Mertens’ free kick shortly after Cassano’s goal flew just over the crossbar, and Parma were able to celebrate the end of their three-match winless skid minutes later.
Here are the results from this weekend’s Serie A action:
Chievo Verona 1, Hellas Verona 0
AC Milan 1, Genoa 1
Parma 1, Napoli 1
Juventus 2, Livorno 0
Sampdoria 1, Lazio 1
Sassuolo 2, Atalanta 0
Torino 4, Catania 1
Udinese 1, Fiorentina 0
Bologna 1, Inter Milan 1
First-place Paris Saint-Germain extended their Ligue 1 winning streak to three Saturday in a 3-0 road victory against Stade de Reims. PSG were able to get revenge on Reims for last season’s 1-0 upset loss thanks to some fine attacking and a few incredible saves by Salvatore Sirigu. Lucas Moura put the defending champions up in the 24th minute, Jeremy Menez doubled the lead at the hour mark, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic wrapped up the victory with a cool 90th-minute finish past a busy Kossi Agassa.
Second-place Lille are now unbeaten in nine straight Ligue 1 matches following their dramatic 1-0 home victory against Toulouse. Pape Souare’s 84th-minute header was Lille’s only shot on goal against 10-man Toulouse, but it was enough to maintain their position behind PSG and ahead of AS Monaco. The Lille defense has not allowed a goal in the nine-match unbeaten run, with their last goal allowed coming in a 2-0 loss to Nice in late September.
Here are the results from this weekend’s Ligue 1 action:
Marseille 3, Ajaccio 1
Paris Saint-Germain 3, Stade de Reims 0
Lorient 4, Evian Thonon Gaillard 0
Lyon 1, Valenciennes 1
Montpellier 1, Guingamp 1
Sochaux 1, Bastia 1
Stade Rennes 1, Bordeaux 1
Lille 1, Toulouse 0
Saint Etienne 1, Nice 0
AS Monaco 1, Nantes 0
What do you think of this weekend’s European league action? Impressed with Bayern’s shutout victory at Dortmund? Think Southampton can stay in Champions League contention after their loss to Arsenal? Which other performances caught your eye this weekend?
Share your thoughts below.