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Soccer Insights – Feb Vol. 1

There was a top of the table clash in the Premier League, the Bundesliga finally returned after the long winter break, and as always there are plenty of talking points from the biggest leagues in Europe!

Premier League

Arsenal 5-0 Aston Villa
Chelsea 1-1 Manchester City
Crystal Palace 0-1 Everton
Hull 0-3 Newcastle
Liverpool 2-0 West Ham
Manchester United 3-1 Leicester
Southampton 0-1 Swansea
Stoke 3-1 QPR
Sunderland 2-0 Burnley
West Brom 0-3 Tottenham

1. Chelsea 53pts
2. Man City 48pts
3. Man United 43pts
4. Southampton 42pts
5. Arsenal 42pts

Talking points
• In a clash of the top two, Chelsea and Man City shared the spoils at Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho will certainly be the happier of the two managers after seeing his side maintain their five point lead. The Blues were also active in the transfer window, selling Andre Schurrle and bringing in Juan Cuadrado.
• Daniel Sturridge made his long awaited return from injury as a substitute against West Ham, and took only a matter of minutes before marking it with a goal.
• QPR have now lost all 11 of their away games, the worst start to a top flight campaign since the 1953/43 season. Harry Redknapp resigned the day after the transfer window shut citing his upcoming knee surgery as the reason, though many suspect it may also be due to a lack of signings during January.

La Liga

Almeria 1-0 Getafe
Barcelona 3-2 Villarreal
Celta Vigo 1-0 Cordoba
Eibar 1-3 Atletico Madrid
Granada 1-0 Elche
Levante 0-2 Athletic Bilbao
Malaga 1-0 Valencia
Rayo Vallecano 1-2 Deportivo
Real Madrid 4-1 Real Sociedad
Sevilla 3-2 Espanyol

1. Real Madrid 51pts
2. Barcelona 50pts
3. Atletico Madrid 47pts
4. Sevilla 42pts
5. Valencia 41pts

Talking points
• Barcelona twice came from behind to win a thriller against Villarreal and record their eighth win in a row, Leo Messi scoring the winner.
• David Moyes’ Real Sociedad side made a dream start at the Bernabeu by taking the lead inside a minute, but a Ronaldo-less Madrid roared back for a convincing victory.
• Atletico Madrid made light work of a potentially tricky game at Eibar, going 3-0 up inside just 25 minutes.


Augsburg 3-1 Hoffenheim
Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Borussia Dortmund
Freiburg 4-1 Frankfurt
Hamburg 0-2 Koln
Mainz 5-0 Paderborn
Schalke 1-0 Hannover
Stuttgart 0-1 Borussia Monchengladbach
Werder Bremen 2-0 Hertha Berlin
Wolfsburg 4-1 Bayern Munich

1. Bayern Munich 46pts
2. Wolfsburg 38pts
3. B. M’gladbach 33pts
4. Schalke 31pts
5. Augsburg 30pts

Talking points
• Runaway leaders Bayern were thrashed by Wolfsburg as they conceded as many goals in one game as they did the entire first half of the season. Bas Dost and Kevin de Bruyne scored two each as Bayern suffered a first league defeat of the campaign – they must have still thought they were on a break!
• Schalke’s home win was marred by a red card for striker Klass-Jan Huntelaar for violent conduct, with the German FA since suspending the Dutch forward for six games.
• Borussia Dortmund remain bottom of the league, but picked up a valuable point away to Bayer Leverkusen.

Serie A

Atalanta 2-1 Cagliari
Cesena 2-1 Lazio
Chievo 1-2 Napoli
Genoa 1-1 Fiorentina
Milan 3-1 Parma
Palermo 2-1 Verona
Roma 1-1 Empoli
Sassuolo 3-1 Inter
Torino 5-1 Sampdoria
Udinese 0-0 Juventus

1. Juventus 50pts
2. Roma 43pts
3. Napoli 39pts
4. Lazio 34pts
5. Sampdoria 34pts

Talking points
• Inter Milan beat Sassuolo 7-0 at the San Siro earlier in the season, but were beaten 3-1 in the reverse fixture and are now below their hosts in the table.
• Jeremy Menez continued his good recent form with two goals for Milan against bottom placed Parma.
• Juventus were held to an uneventful draw at Udinese, but Roma failed to close the gap with a disappointing home draw against Empoli.

Ligue 1

Bordeaux 1-1 Guingamp
Caen 1-0 St Etienne
Lens 1-1 Bastia
Lorient 0-0 Montpellier
Marseille 1-0 Evian
Metz 0-0 Nice
Monaco 0-0 Lyon
Nantes 1-1 Lille
PSG 1-0 Rennes
Toulouse 1-0 Reims

1. Lyon 49pts
2. Marseille 47pts
3. PSG 47pts
4. St Etienne 40pts
5. Monaco 40pts

Talking points
• Monaco held table toppers Lyon to a goalless draw, with the visitors missing top scorer Alexandre Lacazette through injury. Monaco now have eight straight clean sheets in the league.
• Ezequiel Lavezzi rounded off a fine team move to score the only goal of the game for PSG.
• Overall is wasn’t the most exciting week in Ligue 1 history – not a single team managed to score more than one goal!

What to look out for next week

• Premier League – Saturday is derby day with Tottenham hosting Arsenal and Liverpool travelling to Everton.
• La Liga – Saturday also sees a huge Spanish derby, as leaders Real Madrid face fierce rivals Atletico Madrid.
• Bundesliga – a Friday encounter between Schalke and Monchengladbach is a big game in the race for Champions League qualification.
• Serie A – Milan may not be the force they once were, but a trip to Juventus is still one of the biggest games in the Serie A calendar.
• Ligue 1 – Lyon’s title credentials will face a stern examination when they face off against reigning champions PSG.

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Greg Bortkiewicz